After three years since I read book one (review), I’ve returned to Jim Stein’s post-apocalyptic urban fantasy based on native north-American lore.
Because I’m not familiar with the “source material”, I’ve re-read the first book before coming to book two – and I guess it was a good idea because three years are quite some time to forget the details.
Strange Omens, book to in the series, starts a couple of months after book one. By that time, the band Ed (the MC) was heping to record is preparing for a tour which, in a world where diferent remnants of human population have sparse contact, is quite a big deal. But during the preparation, it seems that Ed and Quinn (his crush and a member of the band) aren’t doing that well. Worse, I couldn’t exactly spot what the issue is, and feared it may slip down into some kind of “she finds someone on the tour and blames her BF because he dislikes the guy” cliché. Not mentioning much more on that topic, that’d be spoiler.
Anyway, there are more sources of trouble: Kokopelli is pretty much absent for most of the story and appears here and there – by what is seen, stretched too thin with the conflict of good, bad, and neutral factions of gods in the background.
Another issue is that there seems to be something strange with the crowds – they’re divided pretty much into teo groups which Ed nicknames “Brights” and “Grims” based on their appearances and behavior. Worse, it seems that something is targetting the Brights and the tour organizer isn’t too willing to look into that. He keeps making very questionable decisions that hint he may be more than just a tour organizer.
The book then leads to a major finale which goes further than just Ed and a couple of his newfound friends among the Brights against the minions of dark, but one of the neutral gods also makes a major appearance when it’s clear that the effort of the dark side is going way too far.
And when the dust settles and Ed with the band goes home, they return to something that didn’t expect… but that’s for the third book.
I found this a bit hard to rate for several reasons, so take the 80% as a rough number. But, despite being in an unknown territory when it comes to the source mythology, I plan to go onwards with book three son-ish.