Bookburners Episode two: Anywhere but Here
Anywhere but Here by Brian Francis Slattery, Bookburners #2
Sal Brooks, newest member of Team Three of the Societas Librium Occultorum, is settling into her job and apartment in Rome. In this episode we meet the rest of the team and get a tour of the Black Archives (pro tip: don’t touch anything), before being whisked off on Sal’s first mission: investigate a magical disturbance in the heart of Madrid, Spain. There they find a breathing apartment door, little girls being held hostage, and some furniture that is far too alive for good taste. First days on the job are never easy…
Just a quick note for those hopping onto the Bookburners bus. Bookburners is the latest writing project collaboration of Mur Lafferty, Brian Francis Slattery, Margaret Dunlap and led by Max Gladstone. The important message from the first book was that some books have teeth!
Sal was a bit unofficially inaugurated in the first episode Book, Badge and Candle into the order of the Societas Librium Occultorum. A special organization that locates and eliminates the threats that are formed by powerful magical books. She got drawn into everything by her brother who encounter just such a dangerous book. In this episode we find Sal in Rome getting the full tour of the Black Archives, the headquarters of the Societas Librium Occultorum, where she discovers even more of the truth that well actually nobody but a selected few know. A good question she raises is that how they find out about the books that go rampant and well they society relies on a magic eight ball, not exactly one but it looks very, very similar. Soon after Sal's arrival and training she and the other of the team are called on a new job. The magic eight ball flashed the location of Madrid. So they all rush to the airport for the earliest flight to Madrid. When they arrive on the scene, Sal has to throw away all her fears that she has, also stop thinking about her brother and help the team succeed to stop a halt to what the current book is doing. Where in the first episode, the book took over a person, this time around the apartment is changed and swallowed in not only the owner but also two young girls. The team has to get a solution. And fast.
The build up of this story was just superbly done. From the introduction of Sal to the Black Library and then putting the focus on Gabriel, the person who discovers the book. When he opened it I got a definite chill running over my spine as well as what happened subsequently to the young girls who went to check if everything was OK with Gabriel. What also gave a nice addition to the world building was the little chat that Sal had in the airplane about the volcanic eruption in Iceland a few years back, though the news claimed that it was an eruption, it was acutally a dragon in the mountain. It's these little things that make the world of Bookburners fun to read, there are a lot of possibilities with this idea!