What did the witch say to the vampire before they crossed the road? “Run!” So we ran. These opening lines are to Swift, book one in the Strangetown Magic series by Al K. Line. It’s an old joke, but in this author’s hands it’s a joke that will scare the bejeezus out of you at the same time it cracks you up.
Swift is a Justice witch, charged with keeping order among the Stranges of Strangetown, which is what their old hometown has been known as since the Rift brought more ‘strange’ Stranges to the Normal world, and that world hasn’t been the same since. After watching a vampire she just met get stomped to jelly by a troll controlled by an elf, Swift gets a job assignment from Fester, the Queen Witch’s right-hand man. She is to find and ‘deal with’ a Monster, Pumi, who is accused of killing a child. When she finally meets him, though, she determines that he is less a monster than she thought—and, that he’s innocent.
A neat end to a simple job, right? You couldn’t be more wrong. All it does is pull Swift deeper into the mystery of the Rift and what it means for her world. Nothing and no one, or thing, is what it seems in this hilariously scary fantasy romp. I strongly urge you to read this book, but I’ll bet you that once you start, you won’t be able to stop. In fact, I dare you to try.
If you’ve read books by this author before, know going in that this is more of his penchant wit and warped sense of reality. If this is your first one, you’ll be pleasantly amazed.
I received an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review. I can’t really say my review is totally unbiased, though. I’m a fan of fantasy and humor, and when an author can combine both the way this one does, he or she is on my favorite list.
I give this opening salvo five stars.