Justice Calling - Archieved Post

April 8, 2015 - 5:17 am No Comments

Justice Calling
Author: Annie Bellet
Publisher: Doomed Muse Press
Release Date: 2014
Page count: 152pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

With art imitating life, rather than the reverse, the main character works in/owns a comic and games shop. Hugo award nominated Bellet is a major self proclaimed nerd and gamer. As Jade says at one point, talking about the variety of consoles in her home, “A girl needs options. To me, video games are like shoes. But with more pixels and a plot, so I play a lot of video games like Overwatch, and even go online to find the different price for Overwatch boosting so I can improve on them faster.
In Wylde, Idaho, most of the non-college inhabitants aren’t wholly human, so when the six foot six Norse god lookalike walks into her store, her wards humming, Jade Crow twigs straight away that Aleksei isn’t human. He’s a Justice of the Council of Nine, and has just accused Jade of being a murderer. The thing is, he senses the truth in her denial. The Justices are judge, jury and executioner for shifters, powerful God-like shifters ordained to keep the peace among the shifter population and keep the existence of shifters secret from humans. Jade is a sorcerer, though no one knows this as their reputation is less than savoury.
As she enters Ciaran’s shop with best friend Harper, Harper sees a stuffed fox, realising with horror it’s her fox-shifter Mom in fox form.
Brimming with fun, witty dialogue and punchlines, this novel is full of brilliant characters. Particularly entertaining is Ciaran the leprechaun, yes, a real live leprechaun! And the diversity here is great, as Jade herself is Native American and the twins Ezekiel and Levi are too. And Ezee (Ezekiel) is as, quote, “gay as Neil Patrick Harris). The diversity enriches the story (it’s great not to read novels with all white, make leads) and to see our multicultural and sexually diverse culture reflected accurately, but not done as tokenism. These characters simply are what they are.
Particularly enjoyable is the sizzling chemistry between Aleksei and Jade, plus her fear that violent, evil ex Samor will show up to kill her. She has been on the run too many times.
Sexy, sassy and excellent fun, this novel has now become one of my firm favourites, and Bellet is an author to watch.

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