THE SLEEPING SEER by Morgan  Blue Malory

THE SLEEPING SEER

Book One of The Shepherds of the Damned
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A debut urban fantasy novel follows two siblings in Pennsylvania.

Malory introduces readers to Ellie and Luke Kakiro. While Luke, 24, spends the bulk of his time playing in a popular band called Graffiti Thieves, Ellie, who is still in high school, is drawn to an all-female, street-racing team known as Viper Insane. Although the siblings’ passions may not be the most lucrative, both Ellie and Luke excel in what they do. Luke knows how to command a crowd, while Ellie handles her Subaru WRX masterfully. She is also drawn to certain possessions of her dead mother, Maria, which include tarot cards, writings in an unrecognizable language, and notes on occult practices (instructions for a ritual include the observation that “Black Candles more effective than white, but scaring the neighbors”). Readers eventually discover that Luke and Ellie are seers, beings with precognition abilities. While Ellie is no stranger to such magic, it is news to Luke, though it helps explain his personal history of hallucinations and intensely vivid dreams. But when Luke falls into trouble with forces he does not understand, will Ellie be able to save him? Overflowing with dialogue, characters, and periods of violence, this ambitious tale weaves an intricate tapestry. Explanations, which can be lengthy, are often required to get a handle on what exactly is developing. Take for instance the idea that someone named Darius wants to kill Luke. It is only after a discussion with a peculiar girl, Lilith (who winds up playing a major role in the narrative), that Luke comes to dissect individuals like Darius (Will they “fucking kill people over edicts? For—being in the wrong place at the wrong time?”). While such prolonged reveals contribute to the book’s over 700-page length (and at times, its plodding progress), they keep the reader from becoming too overwhelmed by the various story threads. The fun comes in seeing where the mix of hot cars, ancient knowledge, and strange dreams will finally lead. It is a destination that remains very much in flux as the plot expands well beyond the borders of the Keystone State.

A meticulous and singular story about seers that’s slowed by extensive dialogue.

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 2017
Page count: 713pp
Publisher: 43 Hours Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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