Reviewed by Alex Binkley
A curious tale with an extra dimension
Barr Owens is an investigator-problem solver you won’t find in the yellow pages but trouble of the supernatural kind finds him readily enough. He’s the type of fellow you would enjoy a few drinks with but most likely end up stuck with a hefty tab.
Between Worlds, an urban fantasy novel by Kurtis J. Wiebe, begins in modern-day London. Barr takes on another assignment from the mysterious Meg tracking down faeries and the other mostly undesirable denizens of another dimension that are on Earth without a legal pass and returning them to the Mist Realms. Left on their own, the visitors steal children, cause mayhem and harass sheep dogs. Barr is one of few humans who can travel between the other dimension and Earth, which is known as the Mirror Realm.
Barr has steady employment removing the illegal fae back to the control of the Sidhe Council. However, an interloper outfit known as the Agency has begun issuing passes for the Mirror Realm and Earth is becoming flooded with undesirables. The Gathering, the human counterpart to the Council, wants Barr to put an end to it. Barr sets out to discover who is behind sending all the illegal aliens to Earth and why. A follow the money mystery.
Wiebe populates the story with a cast of engaging characters including Ann, a gorgeous faerie who gives Barr an extra incentive to return to the Mist Realms to find the troublemakers. He rescues her from the Unseelie, among the worst of the Mist Realm’s lowlifes, by leaping into the Thames River with her in his arms.
Harley is a retired fae hunter for the Gathering. His tales about the organization’s history convince Barr that there’s something amiss with his employer and Ann.
Barr travels to the Mist Realm to confront both monsters and Ann’s likely deception as he learns that the other dimension Mist Realm could be doomed much to Earth’s peril because of the deceitful actions of the Gathering.
Wiebe writes in a brusque chatty style that suits Barr’s gruff, seen-it-all personality. Like the art Barr paints to facilitate his magic, the other characters all have colorful personalities. The author also brings to life many mythological creatures, which should make Between Worlds a treat for readers of modern and traditional fantasy.
Between Worlds is published by Bundoran Press Publishing House.