VIGIL

The Weyrd Dick Of Oz

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews - Dave Golder

re­leased OUT NOW! 368 pages | Pa­per­back/ebook Au­thor an­gela slat­ter Pub­lisher Jo Fletcher Books

When An­gel first span off from Buffy, it was a noirish su­per­nat­u­ral pri­vate de­tec­tive show – then epic arc plots took over and it de­vel­oped into some­thing very dif­fer­ent. Vigil is very much like those early An­gel episodes, ex­cept with a fe­male lead (very not Buffy… think more Wi­nona Ry­der in Beetle­juice) and set in Bris­bane.

It’s the first in the Ver­ity Fass­binder se­ries, and Ver­ity is the best thing about the book. A half-Weyrd/half-hu­man hy­brid, she’s a surly, straight-talk­ing, Doc Marten-wear­ing punch­bag who in­ves­ti­gates Weyrd-re­lated crime on be­half of the be­lea­guered “nor­mal” po­lice. She’s an adorably flawed cre­ation with a great turn of phrase that’s part Chan­dler, part Whe­don: “I reck­oned she could spit and cause an in­jury.”

The Bris­bane she in­hab­its is a pretty stan­dard ur­ban fan­tasy melt­ing pot of an­gels, harpies and other myth­i­cal crea­tures, but it’s a rich, de­tailed world full of colour­ful char­ac­ters, and fun to ex­plore. What lets the book down is a plot that starts as a hard­boiled su­per­nat­u­ral crime but es­ca­lates into a con­fused mess of in­ter­twin­ing apoc­a­lyp­tic threats and overegged con­spir­a­cies. But Ver­ity her­self emerges with dig­nity in­tact, and it’ll be in­ter­est­ing to see what’s next for her.

Ver­ity first ap­peared in Slat­ter’s 2009 short story “Bris­ney­land By Night”. Read it at http://bit.ly/bris­ney­land.

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