Peacemaker-Marianne de Pierres
A novel set in a mega-city Australia, with a park ranger named Virgin attempting to understand why and someone ended up dead in the park she walks in. Meanwhile, her superiors have sent a Native American cowboy who can also see the eagle that is protecting her from ravens.
I have to say I finished this book immediately thirsting for more! (I’m thrilled this is a series.) I loved its crazy blend of outlandish characters, science fictional elements, and an amazing Australian in the near future. The plot is a bit odd and a bit hard to follow, mainly because Virgin (oh, in the future, people have odd names-I made myself ignore that) also has no idea what is going on. But she has good connections with people who can help her, a spirit guide, and a cowboy who is the first other person she’s ever know to also be able to see her spirit guide.
So she’s unsure whether she’s an unreliable narrator and you the reader gets the sense that you should buckle yourself in because something really weird is about to happen in this future where nature requires super-vigilance and everyone lives in megacities (which seems most remarkable thanks to how large the outback is). Anyway, I loved Virgin. She’s emotionally stunted, yes, but she is also hold no prisoners determined which I absolutely loved. She was thrown for a loop in every violent encounter but also somewhat in control in her independence. Her interaction with the ‘cowboy’ is a bit of a buddy cop story archetype but their growing respect for each other feels real and unfeigned.
The novel’s overall pacing is really spectacular but there is very little world building. There’s no history given to understand why the world is this way, nature wise or those specialized neighborhoods within the city.