Art, demons, and death. Seattle is On the Verge.
Freya is just a university student worried about grades and tuition until a gorgeous succubus interrupts her post-exam latte with a proposition: come work for her boss, Seattle’s reclusive heiress and antiquities collector Imogen Beldame. Eagerly agreeing despite a nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach, Freya finds herself swept up in a deadly quest at the behest of her psychopathic new employer. Beldame has given her until Halloween to collect three magical pigments that hold the key to crafting mesmerizing portraits that can access the Verge, a borderland on the edge of human reality, and the powerful beings that call it home.
Freya’s reluctant journey takes her to a goblin stronghold in the Cascades for the color blue, to the Seattle Underground to request the color red from Baba Yaga, and to the Fremont home of a beautifully gruesome Cambodian ahp, or spirit of the night, for the color yellow. Working together with Rusty, an enigmatically disfigured man intimately connected with the Verge, and a motley crew of mercurial demons, Freya must come up with a plan to stop Beldame and preserve the fragile balance between fantasy and reality that is at its most vulnerable on Halloween.
In this nimbly executed dark fantasy Freya, an art history major living in Seattle, enlists the help of supernatural beings from an otherworldly realm known as the Verge to stop her art-collector employer from channeling its powers to serve her sinister schemes. The sinewy plot, which sends Freya on a quest to retrieve three paints with magical properties, provides a solid matrix for imaginative insights into the relationship between art, creativity, and myth that hold the tale together. Although the storytelling is schematic in places, the characters are solidly developed—especially Freya’s wary allies, the incubus Dakryma and the succubus Ophidia—and the tale’s events are well paced for a satisfying, if slightly predictable, outcome.
Date Submitted: June 09, 2016