Book Review – MYTHMAKER by Marianne de Pierres

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mythmakerBack in 2014 when I read and reviewed Marianne de Pierres’ latest novel, the genre-mashing-spaghetti-western-science-fiction-and-the-rest: ‘Peacemaker’, I asked for more. More of everything. More street politics, more insight into the large cast of fascinating side-characters, more of the government conspiracies. Peacemaker was just so much fun, so fast and entertaining, but it felt like the tip of the iceberg. The world de Pierres had created was so vast, Peacemaker just didn’t feel like it was long enough. I didn’t want it to end. But now, we have ‘Mythmaker’. And, as readers, we get the more I was after. And then some.

Set just a few weeks after the action-packed finale of Peacemaker, Mythmaker picks up with de Pierres’ trademark way of throwing the reader right into the scene, and protagonist Virgin Jackson right into trouble. There’s no mucking around with slow introductions here. Check the blurb:

Virgin’s in a tight spot. A murder rap hangs over her head and isn’t likely to go away unless she agrees to work for an organisation called GJIC (the Global Joint Intelligence Commission).
Being blackmailed is one thing, discovering that her mother is both alive and the President of GJIC is quite another. Then there’s the escalation of Mythos sightings and the bounty on her head.
Oddly, Hamish is the only one she can rely on. Life is complicated.

The complications don’t stop there, either. Something is up with Virgin’s BFF, the fabulous Caro (the outcome of which is handled with extreme respect by Virgin), we see more of her softer, more compassionate side – along with her fearlessness and uncompromising passion to protect who and what she loves. Virgin hasn’t lost her penchant for walking into trouble though, and there were a number of scenes where I wanted to scream at her: ‘NO, NO, NO DON’T GO IN THERE!’

While caring for Birrimum Park – the last remaining natural habitat – as Park Ranger in a futuristic world is still Virgin’s true passion, she spends more time away from it (by necessity) in order to save it this time around. We see more mythology combined with the hi-tech gadgetry, weapons and conflict. We also get more of the fabulous cast of supporting characters; some return from Peacemaker, plus a couple of newbies to spice things up and allow us to get to know a different side to Virgin. Her brilliant cowboy/secret agent partner, Nate SixKiller is back, as is the mysterious Hamish (who gets even more mysterious), and we learn there’s even more to the ex-lover, formally known as Heart, than we already did.

I can easily say that while I very much enjoyed Peacemaker, I adored Mythmaker. It’s like nothing else I’ve read before. The mashing of genres, the world, the action of the city and the solace of the park, the suspense and the detective work. Marianne de Pierres makes this type of story-telling an art-form, but best of all, she does it with characters and relationships you can’t help but fall in love with.

And still…I want even more. Book 3, please!

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Book Review – PEACEMAKER by Marianne de Pierres

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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/  

 

Peacemaker Cover Reveal

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~Mythago Wood meets a dime Western with an Australian accent ~

So, some of you may already know that not only is Australian author Marianne de Pierres one of the biggest talents in the biz, she’s also a seriously awesome person (in fact, this blog would not be here without her help). MdP writes science fiction, young adult dark fantasy, crime (as Marianne Delacourt) and now, she has something extra special to share with us –

Here is the cover for Marianne de Pierres’ new novel PEACEMAKER.

Joey Hi Fi, is the wonderful artist, commissioned by publisher, Angry Robot (and partially inspired by Brigitte Sutherland’s graphic novel illustrations)!

PEACEMAKER is due for release May 1st 2014 in UK and US, and as soon as it ships in Australia, you can bet I’ll be on it – you should be too!

Peacemaker-CR

Peacemaker by Marianne de Pierres