THE SPECTRA FILES books have all been a pleasure to read. Now with SMOKE & DAGGER, we get a peek behind the scenes at the beginning of it all. What fun!
In New York City, feeling far from her seaside home in Massachusetts, Catherine Littlefield haunts the local museums when she's not studying for her college courses. She especially likes to sit and gaze at a certain meteorite. It gives off some kind of...signal, a kind of...hum, which she can actually feel. She notices an elderly gentleman, often on the bench opposite from where she sits, and she wonders if he feels it too. Soon the two meet, one thing leads to another, and then she's working for the man and off to California to investigate! There are reports of black magic, sex magic, spells and singing-all with the intent of bringing through the Old Gods. Who are the people so devoted to doing this? What and who exactly, are the Old Gods? Lastly, will this group be successful? You'll have to read this to find out!
I loved the trilogy of SPECTRA FILES books, and thought the author was finished with those tales, until I saw the beautiful cover of this book on Twitter. Not only is the cover gorgeous, but there are a number of lovely illustrations inside, though many of them are of monsters and the Old Gods themselves. Some are renditions of ancient spells and chants from grimoires devoted to the black arts. These illustrations added another level of "cool" to this tale. (I'd love to see this book come out in a signed/limited edition including the drawings.)
I've come to expect a level of satisfaction from Douglas Wynne when it comes to his SPECTRA FILES books. They combine Lovecraftian type story telling, (dark, ominous and atmospheric), without the flowery language, racism and other distasteful portions of Lovecraft's actual writing. What I really love about Wynne's work though, is his characters. They are always so devoted to protecting the world from the Old Gods all while being unable to claim the credit for doing so. In this book, however, things are a little different. I wasn't sure about Catherine Littlefield's inner motivations, and it was her adventure that kept my eyes glued to the page. I'd love to read more about her in the future, and more about the Order to which she was initiated. In short, I just want more!
You do not need to have read the trilogy in order to appreciate SMOKE & DAGGER, though I recommend you do anyway, because...FUN. This volume can stand alone, tickling your sense of adventure and your curiosity. Combining those things with a brave, admirable heroine, and some Old Gods action, I just cannot see how you wouldn't have a good time!
Available everywhere August 20th; you can pre-order here: SMOKE & DAGGER
*Thanks to Douglas Wynne for the beautiful paperback ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
**Also, thank you, sir, for the wonderful inscription that made me both blush and smile.**