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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Great characters, exciting storyline!

Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham 

What to do when you discover you have a guardian angel, are descended from Solomon and  that your family is responsible for guarding a jar that has to do with jinns, ancient curses and immortality?
Mind you all this information comes slowly. The reader is as puzzled about things as Scarlett.
Scarlett (as investigator) has taken on a case from nine year old Gemma Archer, who's worried about her brother Oliver. Gemma is right. He's turned weird, very weird, dangerously weird. 'Uh oh,, I thought,  'here come the werewolves!' But no! This plot is so much more. Possibly shades of the Librarians!
Scarlett is an interesting mixture of a street wise, cynical, young muslim mid-teen who is definitely not taking the traditional path. She has become a detective, spurred on by her father's mysterious death, seemingly poisoned. Her sister Reem is a more conservative young Muslim woman and is studying medicine, also spurred on by their parents death. Their mother died just after their father, from cancer. Each young woman has taken a different path. Together, they are the healer and the warrior.
I was fascinated at the way Latham has woven the young women's background faith into the story telling. Gently done, no alarmist issues just young American people caught up in their family inheritance from the far past, living their lives to the best of their abilities, taking the hard knocks in their stride. I loved the way Scarlett and Reem try to say morning prayers together despite their differences, family as one. I loved the ironic humour that pops up now and again à la the best of the gumshoe detective novels. Exciting and believable, this is  urban fantasy working well!

A NetGalley ARC

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