by Ben Macallan
Desdaemona is a stand-alone Urban Fantasy set in London. The protagonist, Jordan, hears a banshee’s scream late at night. He finds a teenage girl cowering in a bus station, under attack by a pack of werewolves. The girl has no one else to help her, so seventeen-year old Jordan stands between the wolves and their prey.
This is the easy part of Jordan’s life. The hard part is making sure no one can find him. But when a beautiful woman named Desdaemona needs his help finding her little sister, it’s going to be hard staying under the radar. The cost of being found is more than his life. Desdaemona’s hunt leads them afoul of old, deadly creatures. As he pieces the facts together, Jordan comes closer and closer to the missing girl…and his hunters are now hot on his trail.
Desdaemona is a fast-paced, snappy read. It does follow a lot of the tropes of Urban Fantasy, but Macallan does a good job handling those. The relationship between Desdaemona and Jordan is handled with a bit of humor and the awkwardness of a young man with an older woman.
Macallan’s interpretation of the supernatural underground is unique. Instead of using the gods and ghouls of mythology as a background, he gives them their own motivations and histories. In a way, it’s a little too self-contained. There’s so much interesting stuff to be played with and explored, and I wish the book went into more of the lore. Barring that, we’ll just have to hope for more books.
Overall, this is an entertaining, well-written urban fantasy that hints at the potential for a lot more from Macallan.
Addendum: Macallan also writes traditional fantasy with an Asian flavor, under the name Daniel Fox. Well-worth looking up.
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Solaris; 1 edition (May 31, 2011)