walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Book Blogging: Thea Harrison Elder Races/Tarot novellas

Thea Harrison's "Elder Races" series starts out with novels, but includes many shorter works, more or less novellas. Several of these novellas are linked by a Powerful Tarot deck that passes from one couple to the next through a variety of mechanisms purchase, theft, gift, etc.). A variety ...


... of characters speculate that the Tarot deck is one of the God Machines mentioned in some of the novels, Powerful objects cast into the world which takes different forms to work the will of a god. Har de har har. Kudos to Harrison for naming these things what they are.

_True Colors_: somebody is killing Wyr, specifically, rainbow chameleons. A former army, now cop (particular variety of cop, but cop) Wyr shows up a little late to save one rainbow chameleon, but in time to save another one, a school teacher. So we have here a cop-school teacher romance. The _details_ are not realistic, but the pairing is very realistic. Alice, the school teacher, bought the Tarot deck some years earlier.

_Natural Evil_: Claudia Hunter, ex-special forces human with some telekinesis, is given the Tarot deck by Alice, because the deck wants to go to her. This particular transition is one of the most forced, but it works well enough. Claudia finds a very large dog by the side of the road and rescues it. It's not a dog, obvs, it is a Wyr and there some kind of weird thing going on in the very small town of Nirvana. It involves magical silver from a pocket of Other Land. Hunter, the Wyr, and the local vet manage to get it mostly squared away. As Claudia drives away, a goth Medusa teen steals the Tarot deck from the back seat.

_Devil's Gate_: The silver magic/Other land discovery starts a gold rush, a tent city, and a jurisdictional dispute that is not resolved promptly. Our friend the medical examiner Medusa, Dr. Telemar, has to go rescue her niece, the goth from the previous novela. She has been accused of murdering Dark Fae who was trafficking and other things. She is being held by first gen, pariah Djinn Malphas when Dr. Telemar and Vampyre lawyer Duncan Turner show up to rescue her. The plot is thin in this one, but Telemar/Turner are a ton of fun, so that's just Fine. Xanthe volunteers to take the Tarot deck with her back to Adriyel.

_Hunter's Season_: Xanthe takes some time off before going back to work for Niniane and Tiago. Since too many people might recognize her now, she won't be doing more undercover work (she was working for the Dark Fae guy in the previous novella, on assignment for Tiago). She's been crushed out on Aubrey Riordan for decades if not a century or more, and seeing him while she works for Niniane as a guard just makes that oh, so much worse. Riordan is attacked and Xanthe gets to guard him in secret at her cabin a long ways away from everyone else, while he recovers from his wounds. Yum. They do actually deliver the Tarot deck to Inanna's temple where it disappears when they aren't looking (which happened to Claudia Hunter, but probably this time it isn't being stolen by a goth teenage Medusa).

This next novella is not part of the Tarot series.

_The Wicked_: Carling's library in the abandoned house on the island in the Other land in San Francisco Bay needs to be packed up and packed out through the underwater tunnel. Three symbologists and a security team head out to take care of it. One is Olivia, librarian friend of the Oracle of Louisville. Another is Phaedra, repaired but still kinda weird, even for a Djinn. The team leader is Sebastian Hale, who was cursed and is going blind and is NOT happy about that at all. One of the other symbologists makes some trouble. Hale and Olivia go see the Oracle and THAT IS SO HYSTERICALLY FUNNY. Honestly, I love the Oracle. The Oracle is hilarious, particularly _after_ she's done something amazeballs and then comes out of it and goes Oh Gross. Having a Djinn -- or better yet, two -- around is Handy.

There are more novellas, but I haven't read them yet, and they seem to involve the Pia-Dragos-Liam family.

I'm enjoying the choices that Harrison is making to have some stories be full length novels, and other ones be novellas. There are connections, but everything reads okay standalone, and the reading order is quite forgiving.
Tags: book review, paranormal fiction
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