Friday, September 4, 2009

Bleak History by John Shirley

Gabriel Bleak has unique talents. He can tap into The Hidden, and talk with ghosts. Along with drawing energy from The Hidden, his other talents allow him to make a living as a bounty hunter off the grid. Former Army, the last thing he wants now is to be involved in anything of moment.
But, when your talents are like Gabriel's, there are always those interested in using them. The government is running a program called CCA, which is interested in using the power of those like Gabriel. They have captured various individuals with powers, and run tests on them.
Gabriel is of especial interest. Born a twin, his brother was sold by his parents to the government and has been raised in the program. He is as firmly on the side of evil as Gabriel is on the side of goodness. It will take their combined powers to determine the world's fate. Will they combine and let through Mooloch, who some in the program believe will then block all magic from occurring except for the magic done by the program participants? Or will Mooloch just take over completely?
Gabriel gets caught up in this internal power struggle. He meets his soulmate, but she is captured by the CCA program, for which she originally worked. That means Gabriel must break into the stronghold and save her, but that is also where he will encounter his twin and the decision about whether he will help or fight him must be made.
John Shirley has written a strong contender in the urban fantasy genre. The characters are well-drawn, and Gabriel in particular is an intriguing hero. The plotlines are made believeable and the suspense and horror is well done. This book is recommended for readers of thrillers and urban fantasy.

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