Format: Paperback, 384 pages
Release Date: December 27, 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Winter has always been a deadly season in Temperance, but this time, there’s more to fear than just the cold…As the daughter of an alchemist, Petra Dee has faced all manner of occult horrors—especially since her arrival in the small town of Temperance, Wyoming. But she can’t explain the creature now stalking the back-country of Yellowstone, butchering wolves and leaving only their skins behind in the snow. Rumors surface of the return of Skinflint Jack, a nineteenth-century wraith that kills in fulfillment of an ancient bargain.
The new sheriff in town, Owen Rutherford, isn’t helping matters. He’s a dangerously haunted man on the trail of both an unsolved case and a fresh kill—a bizarre murder leading him right to Petra’s partner Gabriel. And while Gabe once had little to fear from the mortal world, he’s all too human now. This time, when violence hits close to home, there are no magical solutions.
It’s up to Petra and her coyote sidekick Sig to get ahead of both Owen and the unnatural being hunting them all—before the trail turns deathly cold.
Nine of Stars, by author Laura Bickle, is the first installment in her new Wildlands series. You maybe asking yourselves, what are you talking about? I think you've lost your mind! There were two books before this Dark Alchemy and Mercury Retrograde! Yes, you are correct my dear brilliant book nerds who know everything. However, they are now being called prequels, which means this is the first book in a new series.
Here's how we got here:
Laura Bickle is the first author to transition from Harper Voyager’s digital-original line to the traditional print publishing Harper Voyager program. Her Harper Voyager print debut, will be the start of Wildlands, a Weird West-tinged Contemporary Fantasy series revolving around the adventures of geologist Petra Dee.
Nine of Stars once again features protagonist Petra Dee. Petra is a geologist, & scientist who traveled to Temperance, Wyoming to find her father, and found so much more than she could have hoped for or imagined. Petra has met her share of creepy and the unusual since moving to Temperance. Petra's own body is a map of all the troubles she's seen since arriving in Temperance. She's watched a lover die in flames, she faced a drug lord, a Basilisk, and her current lover Gabriel, a former hanged man, has become mortal once again after 100 plus years of being attached to the Lunaria, or Tree of Life.
But, things are about to get even more trying when she meets Skinflint Jack, a pack of wolves called The Nine Stars Pack, and her own bodies mortal state. Nine of Stars revolves around four main characters: Petra, Gabriel, a wolf named Nine whose pack is being chased by a madman named Skinflint Jack, and sheriff Owen Rutherford. Whereas Petra, Gabriel, and even Nine are not virgins when it comes to the strange, or unusual, Owen gets a first-hand ride into the abyss, and what he discovers may alter him for the rest of his life.
How can you look into the dark, and not have the darkness look back & swallow you whole? Is Owen really haunted by a ghost, or is Owen just another entity that has been twisted by Temperance? The challenges that Owen faces in trying to find out where his cousin Sal went, & who was responsible, leads his fishing expedition to Petra, Gabriel, and the horror known as Skinflint Jack. I shall be keeping a sharp look at Owen and his decisions from here on out. I just can't trust the man.
I repeat myself a whole lot when it comes to telling people that they should read the first two books, aka prequels, before jumping into this book. You see, if you have no clue what Petra and Gabriel are talking about, you lose a certain parts of the story that can't be replaced. Petra's life has changed in many different ways. She's not gullible. She's not afraid of taking chances. But, life somehow always finds a way to throw up road blocks. I dare not say more about Petra for fear of spoilers, but I do love her attitude when facing her own mortality. I love her relationship with Gabriel, and what he chooses to do to save Petra. I love Sal, the coyote, who is just a treat to have in this series. I also respect her relationship with her father, and with Maria Yellowrose, an American Indian social worker who has been more than a friend to Petra from the very beginning.