There’s a war taking place, between the forces of the Spiders and the Snakes, that is changing history around us and stretching the fabric of reality to breaking point. This is the Change War, and this short novel tells the story of one small part of that war and how it affects the participants involved.
When the dead start to rise at the battle of Gettysburg, the American Civil War comes to a sudden end with both sides agreeing to join forces against this new shambling threat. Some years later, Jane McKeene is a student at Miss Preston’s School of Combat, a place where young women of colour are trained to fight the dead and protect the white folks from being turned into zombies. As you can probably imagine from that very brief introduction, this book really doesn’t hold back on showing the true face of racial inequality in the not-so United States of the nineteenth century.
Okay, first things first. If you haven’t already met Karen Memery and read about her first adventure in the (almost) eponymously titled Karen Memory then I heartily recommend you go grab that book now. It isn’t absolutely necessary to do so in order to enjoy this second adventure, but it does help, and it’s a cracking good read. Also, there may be some spoilers to book one in this review.
It’s taken me a while to get through this book, though that’s not an indication of it being bad in any way. Mostly the slow pace has been down to not spending as much time reading as I normally would, but there’s also a hell of a lot going on in this book that really does require that the reader pays attention. It’s this level of detail, this level of engagement with the characters, that makes this an excellent mid-trilogy piece.
DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher as part of a giveaway. However, I have attempted to keep my review fair and honest.
It took me a while to work my way through this book. Not because it’s a bad book, but simply because there are a lot of stories between those two covers, and I regularly found myself needing to take a short breather to collect my thoughts after each story. This is modern, fast-paced, hard-hitting neo-noir doing exactly what it’s supposed to do and doing it remarkably well.
WARNING – This review may contain spoilers of book one in this trilogy, Smoke & Summons, and definitely contains spoilers for book two.
This is the second book in the Numina trilogy, and the second book I’ve read by Charlie N. Holmberg, and once again I found myself getting seriously dragged in by the story.