Smoke and Shadows
(DAW Books, 2004. US$23.95 / Canada$36.00 hardback, 375 pages.)
This book takes a half-step aside from one of Tanya Huff's most popular
series, which Blood Price, about a cop named Vicki Nelson and the vampire
Henry Fitzroy. Now we get to see what happens to Tony Foster after he
has left the streets -- and, more or less, Henry.
Tony currently works as a Production Assistant in Vancouver, for a
television show about a vampire detective. All would be well, except
that Tony discovers the show's "special effects wizard" is, in fact,
a bona-fide if timid wizard. What's worse, the shadows have stopped
behaving like normal shadows and started acting independently. Then
people start dying.
Past experience has left Tony with a knack for spotting potentially
dangerous weirdness. Reluctant to get tangled up with Henry again, Tony
nevertheless calls on the vampire for assistance, which turns out to
be a good thing -- because an evil warlord from another dimension is
trying to take over the world using the shadows as a first step. Much
mayhem ensues as they try to convince the wizard to help (and even the
Cowardly Lion would roll his eyes at some of her antics) while thwarting
the shadows and the Shadowlord, and not incidentally trying to avoid
losing the job that Tony likes.
Smoke and Shadows is a blend of drama and very dark humor.
A must for Tanya Huff fans, it's also well worth a look for anyone who
enjoys "behind the scenes" stories about the film industry. Highly recommended.
Review by Elizabeth Barrette.