The characters and world of ‘Peacemaker’ have long been galloping around in author Marianne de Pierres’ head. Finally, thanks to publishers Angry Robot, we’ll all soon be able to share in this genre-bending fun.
Ranger Virgin Jackson is following in her beloved father’s footsteps, caring for the one slice of ‘wilderness’ left for tourists to enjoy – a piece of the Wild West in the heart of a Southern Hemisphere super-city. As Virgin herself notes, it’s just plain weird.
As usual with this particular author’s work, the reader isn’t given a warm, slow introduction. Nope, it’s straight into the action – a couple of inconveniently dead bodies, mystical creatures, high tech references (to gadgets not yet invented…that we know of…), conspiracy within government and the law keepers, a vengeful cop and a super-hot Marshall called Sixkiller on loan from the real Wild West. And that’s just in the first two chapters. Oh, and there’s horses. Horses!
As a master of world-building, Marianne doesn’t drip feed information, she engulfs you in it. Peacemaker is told from Virgin’s point of view; a sassy, street savvy gal who doesn’t suffer fools easily. She’s smart, passionate about ‘her’ park, and the people she cares about. There’s a pretty wide net of secondary characters here, but they’re easy to keep track of, and all play crucial parts to keep the story moving at seat-of-your-saddle pace (sorry, couldn’t resist that one). In fact, one of the things I enjoyed most about Peacemaker was the ‘bigger picture’ – the large cast of people I’m curious to know more about, the government conspiracies and street politics…I want more of all of it.
I’ve heard Peacemaker being touted as a Science Fiction-slash-Western, and this was what I was expecting. But it’s way more than just that. In all honesty, I’d call Peacemaker a crime novel – it’s just that it’s set in a rather brilliantly realised, futuristic world. It’s not hard on the tech side of things either, with plenty of mysticism to hold this reader’s attention from the first page to the very twisted last.
For more info on Marianne’s amazing body of work, go check out her website at http://www.mariannedepierres.com/