Review: Anywhere But Here (Bookburners #1.2) by Brian Francis Slattery

October 13, 2015 Review 0

Review: Anywhere But Here (Bookburners #1.2) by Brian Francis SlatteryAnywhere But Here by Brian Francis Slattery
Series: Bookburners #1.2
Published by Serial Box on September 1st 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Horror, Thrillers
Format: eBook
Pages: 56
Source: Publisher
Sexual Content: Minor references to sex.
Reviewed by: Kim
4 Stars

Sal and Team Three travel to Madrid, through a breathing door, and into a lonely man’s weirdest dreams. Sal Brooks, newest member of Team Three of the Societas Librium Occultorum, is settling into her job and apartment in Rome. In this episode we meet the rest of the team and get a tour of the Black Archives (pro tip: don’t touch anything), before being whisked off on Sal’s first mission: investigate a magical disturbance in the heart of Madrid, Spain.

There they find a breathing apartment door, little girls being held hostage, and some furniture that is far too alive for good taste. First days on the job are never easy… This episode is brought to you by team-writer Brian Francis Slattery and trips down a rabbit hole (or rather, through an apartment door) into some thoroughly New Weird territory. Fans of Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy will find much to enjoy.

First, a bit more about the format: each weekly episode is meant to take about 45 minutes to read or listen to in the audio format. The audio format is also released weekly in conjunction with the regular version. I am a pretty quick reader, and it took me -- minutes to read ANYWHERE BUT HERE, the second installment.

This episode introduces the main home of the Bookburners, in Rome, in a secret basement library of the Vatican where magical books go to be stored, safely tucked away from anyone who would read them and release the evil inside. Sal has also moved her brother here, hoping that the specialised teams at the Vatican can save him after his disastrous encounter with magic in the first episode.

I really enjoyed the small glimpses at the other characters we got this time. Liam, Gloria and Menchu, Sal's coworkers, are quite secretive about their origins and why they fight magic. I also loved the description of the magic, of the things it did to the world as it tried to get more and more power over a poor loner in Madrid - and the two little girls who live upstairs. Although I wasn't sure about having multiple authors, I didn't feel any disconnect from the first episode and am confident that it'll work.

Bookburners is turning out to be extremely readable and entertaining, perfect for a night in or a long bus ride into work.  I'm not sure yet on whether they could be read out of order, but I think that it would be entertaining anyway.

Series Titles:
  1. Badge, Book and Candle
  2. Anywhere But Here
  3. Fair Weather
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