Series: Verity Fassbinder #1
Published by Hachette Australia on July 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Urban, Fantasy
Source: My copy
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From award-winning author Angela Slatter comes her first full length novel, VIGIL, where the normal and the 'weyrd' combine on the streets of Brisbane.
Verity Fassbinder has her feet in two worlds. The daughter of one human and one Weyrd parent, she has very little power herself, but does claim unusual strength - and the ability to walk between us and the other - as a couple of her talents. As such a rarity, she is charged with keeping the peace between both races, and ensuring the Weyrd remain hidden from us.
But now Sirens are dying, illegal wine made from the tears of human children is for sale - and in the hands of those Weyrd who hold with the old ways - and someone has released an unknown and terrifyingly destructive force on the streets of Brisbane.
And Verity must investigate - or risk ancient forces carving our world apart.
Verity Fassbinder is half-human, half-Weyrd. From her unique position between two worlds, she keeps vigil over Brisbane, along with her boss and ex-boyfriend, Bela, and her friend and driver, Ziggi. Together, they investigate and deal with trouble that arises with the city’s Weyrd population.
Most Weyrd live glamoured in plain sight, governed by the Council. But some older Weyrd still have a taste for human flesh, even though it is strictly prohibited, and when children start to go missing, Verity is called in to investigate. With the help of the Norns of West End and the mysterious Archivist, she must discover who or what is behind the strange disappearances.
Vigil is a dark, gritty urban fantasy, sprinkled with dry humour and brimming with heart. The story is fast-paced and gripping, involving several different cases that weave together into a nail-biting showdown.
I loved Verity! She’s a sarcastic and shrewd investigator who is not above using violence to get the information she needs, but she is also deeply concerned about the people around her, including those she is searching for. Her witty interactions with several characters in this book had me laughing out loud. Her upbringing in a Normal household with her maternal grandparents was a very human one, so she acts like a relatable human being living in Brisbane, even with her superhuman strength.
The Council of the Weyrd adds a layer of political intrigue to this alternative side of Brisbane. The Councillors, along with different factions of Weyrd including Sirens, Mages and Angels make a rich and detailed society.
Readers who have lived in or know the landmarks of Brisbane will delight at the references to iconic places such as City Hall, Boundary Street at West End, the wealthy suburb of Ascot, and the semi-rural Pullenvale. Even the CityCat ferries get a mention, and the references to the semi-frequent floods in Brisbane add a layer of authenticity to the settings.
Angela already has a pile of awards on her shelf for her short stories, including Aurealis and other international awards. Her debut novel was excellent and I can’t wait to get into book two, Corpselight!