Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
When an imaginary animal from her troubled teenage years reappears, Virgin takes it to mean one of two things: a breakdown (hers!) or a warning. Dead bodies start piling up around her, so she decides on the latter. Something terrible is about to happen in the park and Virgin and her new partner, U.S. Marshall Nate Sixkiller, are standing in its path…
Virgin Jackson is the senior ranger in Birrimun Park – the world’s last natural landscape, overshadowed though it is by a sprawling coastal megacity. She maintains public safety and order in the park, but her bosses have brought out a hotshot cowboy to help her catch some drug runners who are affecting tourism. She senses the company is holding something back from her, and she’s not keen on working with an outsider like Nate Sixkiller. (Goodreads)
This book is so far off my usual genre read (romance or cozy mystery); I was concerned about my enjoyment factor. This book is a mixture of science fiction, mystery, fantasy and western all rolled up in one. In the beginning, I was hard pressed to like the story, but as pages kept flipping by…I started to embrace the story, empathize and even yell at Virgin, shaking my head. I was hooked. I found that at about the half way mark the reading became easier and the pace of the story picked up. Except that there was an inordinate amount of awkward grammatical and word usage issues which definitely distracted me from enjoying the story.
Detective Chance just annoyed me. As a law enforcement official, she made her mind up that Virgin was guilty and I felt did not investigate fully, only enough to railroad Virgin. Luckily on the flip side, I really liked the character of Caro. She was there 100% for Virgin, and boy did Virgin need someone in her corner.
Virgin`s relationship with Marshall Nate Sixkiller certainly kept the mundane out of the story. His unique interactive qualities made for an interesting beginning, with both Virgin and Nate being social misfits. Throughout the story though, you could see the working bond develop between Nate and Virgin and a true respect and friendship developing.
It was interesting how the language in some parts of the book was simplistic but in other parts sophisticated. Example #1:
“Welcome back, Virgin. I missed you,” said a deep, mellifluous voice emanating from around about the poster girl’s mouth.
“that’s the thing,” he said. “We don’t got time.”
It was difficult for this reader to feel comfortable with such variance in verbiage.
On the lighter side….there were little snippet`s that just go me chuckling and full of odd imagery. For example:
”An old Keith Urban track was on the E-box. Was that old guy even alive still?”
Chuckle 2 …
“He’s gone, Virgin. Lit out like a cricket upfront of a tornado when I told him you’d headed Parkside.”
I must say on the mystery front, I certainly did not see the end coming. I won`t elaborate as that is something for any reader to discover on their own.
Would I read a story with such a variety of genres all in one story….not sure. Time will tell.