Sob! The Laws of Magic series is over. No more will we read of the adventures of Aubrey Fitzwilliam and his friends George, Caroline and Sophie. The only thing that comforts me is that the author has begun a new series, The Extraordinaires, which I’ve just started reading. It has taken me a while to finish this one because I was trying to relish it, but finally, after my month’s stint on Insideadog, I am working my way through all those review copies that have been languishing in the pile by my bed. And I do have a new Michael Pryor book to read, after all… ;-) By the way, Michael is doing this month's stint on the Dog - go have a look.
The war is in full rage and is looking quite a lot like our World War I. Aubrey and his friends, a special unit, are right on the battlefields. And it looks like Dr Mordecai Tremaine, who is supporting Holmland (Germany) may just get his shot at immortality. How do the friends stop him from murdering half of Europe to get his way?
I can’t tell too many more details, because of spoilers, but this one is non-stop action, following on directly from Moment Of Truth, the fifth volume in the series. It builds to a tremendous climax in which Aubrey is going to need all his magical abilities to cope, and even those won’t necessarily work out as he needs them to.
Like all the other novels in this wonderful series, Hour of Need has plenty of humour – and at the end, while I can’t reveal it, I thought, “Oh! How clever! This is where Aubrey’s universe will split from ours and go down another path.” Actually, I would have liked to know how the world got this way in the first place; perhaps Mr Pryor will return to this universe one day to write about it, even if it’s only as a novella – perhaps for another volume of Ford Street’s Trust Me! short fiction?
The women in this universe are strong, intelligent and ass-kicking – but not unbelievably ass-kicking. Aubrey, son of a strong woman, a scientist, and a strong grandmother, has been brought up to respect strength in women and find it attractive, so Caroline is a believable partner for him.
You really can’t read this without having read the others, but that’s no problem. Just read them if you haven’t.
The series is doing well in my school library and there’s a student currently waiting for this last volume, so I’ll have to buy another copy, next year if necessary; he isn’t getting mine.