A few months ago, Ms. Hobson packed up a pristine advanced reading copy (in a steamer trunk emblazoned with emblems from exotic locales!) and set it loose on the world. It arrived at my door only slightly worse for the wear a few weeks ago, and I dropped everything at once to read it. Because it’s M. K. Hobson. That’s reason enough, right? You’ve read her short stories? Like Hotel Astarte which is hands down one of my favorite short stories ever? Right, then you understand where I’m coming from.
Anyway, cracked the thing, read a few pages. Read a few more. Reconstruction era America. With magic. Love it. Plus there’s a witch and a kind of stuck up warlock and his name is Dreadnaught Stanton. Do I need to keep going? Read that again…Dreadnaught Stanton. Can I steal that name for my next story? Okay, so some stuff happens that’s really cool and then…ZOMBIES. You’ve seen zombies? How about GIANT MUTANT RACCOONS? I thought not.
From then on the thrills, the plot twists and the perils come in a fury, all the way to the end. And all along the way, the book simply oozes REALLY COOL SHIT (TM) like competing schools of magic, including one that runs on belief (and is thus subject to propaganda, government or otherwise) and a secret society with plans that extend far beyond the scope of this first book (in a planned series!!!)
I loved all the characters, even the ones I hated, and the supporting cast is as vivid and interesting as Emily (the aforementioned witch and star of our story) and Dreadnaught.
On top of everything, there’s a (doomed???) romance. I mean, if you’re into that sort of thing.
The end came way too soon and I had to pack the manuscript back up and send it off to the next location. (You should have seen the FedEx guy when he showed up and saw the size of that steamer trunk…) Fortunately, The Native Star goes on sale today at fine bookstores across American, so I can run out and buy a copy to keep me company until the sequel arrives.
I suggest you buy one too. C’mon…Dreadnaught Stanton. Like you can resist meeting the character behind that name.