Powers by James A. Burton
Time is growing short—at least as mortals measure time. His kind broke the balance. Now he must repair it...or our world shatters.
Even gods have limits.
Albert Johannson’s forgotten more than he remembers about his past, but two things he's sure of: he’s lived a long, long time, and he doesn’t trust anyone, particularly gods. He’s not too fond of demons either, particularly the one that shows up in his kitchen looking for help with a supernatural investigation. Albert's a strangely gifted blacksmith, not a P.I., but crossing a demon can be deadly, so he reluctantly takes the job—which puts him in the path of a prickly arson detective named Melissa el Hajj who has trust issues of her own. Clashing at a crime scene, they uncover an ancient wrought-iron hexagram, a broken relic as old as Solomon. The thing may herald catastrophe unless Albert can mend it—but Albert has yet to grasp just what his special powers really mean . . .
“James A. Burton has created a world that is dark, authentic, and hauntingly familiar. Fantasy meets epic in Powers.”—Examiner.com
“Iron, Hades, battle, and godlings with amnesia. I loved this book! A sterling new voice in contemporary fantasy.”—Faith Hunter
“Take an unusual hero, throw him together with an unlikely ally, and send them on an unorthodox quest to a unique and fascinating world, and what do you get? Powers, a story of demons and gods, intrigue and magic that’s as original and readable as any book I’ve picked up in a long while."—David B. Coe
“Turning mythology—and the world itself—upside down and inside out.”—Rob Thurman
Praise for James A. Burton (writing as James Hetley):
"Fans of ‘realistic fantasy’ authors like Charles de Lint and George R.R. Martin will particularly enjoy sinking their teeth into [The Winter Oak’s] gritty and entertaining story.”—Publishers Weekly
Albert Johannson, who remembers little about his past, tries to keep a low profile so his strange affinity for metal will not be noticed.
When a demon appears in his kitchen wanting to hire him for a special task, Albert reluctantly accepts the job rather than risk the demon’s
anger. His investigation uncovers a damaged seal that might have been used by King Solomon to bind demons. Arson investigator Melissa el
Hajj, however, has no reason to trust a strange man with dangerous knowledge who might be connected to the crime she is investigating.
The author of The Summer Country and The Winter Oak (then writing as James A. Hetley) has created an intriguing occult mystery featuring a man who can talk to metal (and might be more than human) and a sharp-tongued detective descended from the warrior women of the Afghan hills. VERDICT With a pair of protagonists who are much more than their eccentricities and a plot that contains both magic and mayhem,
Burton has come up with a winner in the urban fantasy genre.
Burton, a pseudonym for James A. Hetley (Dragon's Bones), has created two unusual and interesting characters in Albert and Melissa, and his narrative is peppered with a variety of religious, cultural, literary, and mythological references.
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