wyld_dandelyon (wyld_dandelyon) wrote,

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The Sharp Edge of Yesterday

I bought the first book in this series, Rough Passages, after hearing the author, KM Herkes, read a bit of it at a convention. I was intrigued, and the short stories in Rough Passages hooked me thoroughly. So I jumped at the chance to get an early copy of The Sharp Edge of Yesterday, the first full novel set in this world. And what a novel it is!

Some of the characters were favorites from the earlier book, now moving forward with attempts to make the world a better place for people whose R-factor goes active. I was particularly happy to see Jack and Elena again, working together, employed by a very new program that will allow people undergoing their rollovers with support at home, instead of being ripped away from their families and held in government camps.

There are new characters too, primarily Grace, a middle-aged mother who grew up believing that the R-taint in many people's blood is the work of the Devil. Her husband rolled over, causing trauma for her and her two daughters, and she left the religious compound she was raised on and is now living in the bigger world. She has prayed and prayed, yet now the government is sending her notices that her bloodwork shows she will rollover soon. And she is convinced, at a deep and totally illogical level, that she will die if she goes to one of the camps. She is the girl's one remaining parent. She can't abandon them like that.

So when Elena, now a young woman, shows up with a pamphlet about this new program, she agrees to sign on. And then suddenly things start moving very quickly, The very first energy surge Grace puts out is so strong that Elena's co-workers teleport her away, because she is defenseless--her blood is free of the R-factor that causes some people to rollover into strange new shapes, gain super (and not-so-super) powers, or both. Suddenly Grace is surrounded by people who aren't so vulnerable to, well, anything, mostly T-series Marines and former Marines, nine or ten feet tall and covered in armor that they grew when they rolled over.

From that power surge and other indications, it is certain that Grace will be powerful, but not what kind of power--or powers--she will have. Will she be able to control fire or water or weather? Will she grow wings or armor or a tail or keep on looking human? Or will she develop mind powers, like her former husband? And how will she reconcile whatever it is and her relationship with God?

For Jack, Elena, and her other keepers, the biggest question is whether they will need to take action to keep her from killing anyone as her powers roll in "hot" and strong, with her having no better control over them than a baby has over its fingers and toes. Can they protect her daughters, the neighborhood, and the city from whatever is coming, and keep her alive too? If they can't, they not only face immediate tragedy, but also the likelihood that their very new program will be labeled a failure, dashing their hopes for more humane treatment of people undergoing rollover.

I very much enjoyed The Sharp Edge of Yesterday. Things started out with high stakes and got more complicated, and I found both that and the ending very satisfactory. I hope the author keeps writing in this universe. I have no idea what she's working on, but I want to read the next book! This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/457249.html. Be welcome to comment wherever you prefer, but be warned that LJ has not, under the new management, been sending me notifications of comments. I will check LJ periodically, but life being what it is, commenting on DW will likely get you a faster response.
Tags: books

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