Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lightbreaker review long time in coming

I missed my own deadline and I apologize if I have disappointed anyone but with the sequel Heartland coming soon here is a review of Lightbreaker by Mark Teppo

I’ll begin by saying that I liked Lightbreaker a lot. Mr Teppo succeeded in creating a pretty new setting to in which to tell Urban Fantasy stories; one lacking the tropes that populate many others at the moment.. His setting lacks vampires, werewolves, changelings and the other usual suspects (and I would love to see Gabriel Burne in an adaptation of this ). Mark’s characters are human, at most times all to human, which is the aspect makes them hero’s or villains not their nature as a inhuman creature.

Landis M. Markham, our hero, is a protagonist who was at times hard to like; he starts as a character filled with a desire for vengeance and often takes few qualms to use the people around him. A decade in his past a woman caused him to be awakened to the occult world, shaking his souls connection to his flesh and left him feeling a hole in himself. That hole was filled by… something called the Chorus and has left him with a pernicious darkness inside him. Markham hints at a history of searching to heal the hole in himself and that desire to feel whole with which I found it easy to identify with and overcomes the spikier sides of his character. As the story progressed both Markham and the reader learns that the past can be colored by our memory and is often marred by our interpretation of events.

Teppo has filled his world with a rich cast of innocents and rouges; surrounding Markham are a great cast, many of whom I really would love to see again. He runs afoul of the Seattle PD early in the novel introducing you to potential allies and definite enemies. Markham’s checkered past comes a calling too in the form of Antoine; a rival from the past from the secret society that thinks our hero dead). And what urban fantasy would be complete without the occasional psychic and the ones that Teppo supplies in Piotr I appreciated more then most.

This urban fantasy world is dotted with secret societies from the large, like La Societe Lumeneuse “a worldwide network of subversive agents and dedicated spies” to the small secret occult groups that are more akin to Tyler Durden’s Fight Club all exploiting occult knowledge gleaned from numerous ancient texts (expect to read some latin references) often sited in the novel. The conflicts that Markham faces in his encounters with them are personal and expand the setting and give him a chance to work out old issues and explore some interesting existential territory.

Mark Teppo tells a complete tale but definitely left me wanting more and I hope that I have left you with an interest in checking out Lightbreaker.
Check out powells here for copies

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