Author:Shar Martin

Publisher:: BigRoost Media

ISBN: 978-0-578-14832-8

Combine Jurassic Park, King Solomon’s Mines, Ghost, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers with a liberal dose of human realism and you have Shar Martin’s new fantasy novel, Fate Walkers.

The searchers are involved in archeology, and their target sites range from African tombs in Zaire to the lost city of Zimia in the Amazon. As contrasted with real life archeology, site discovery in Fate Walkers is only the beginning. In the book, the process of treasure recovery is impeded by a formidable collection of human and fantasy adversaries. The struggles between the good guys on the one hand (handsome and beautiful) and the spirits, monsters, and bad guys on the other (homely to hideous) account for a large part of the narrative, and the reader that has an appetite for this sort of thing will be amply fed by Ms. Martin’s story.

In addition to the cut throat competition between good and evil diggers, the author further leavens the loaf of lunacy by providing a stress-full family, principally for its protagonist, complete with a sacrificing, long suppressed natural mother, a truly evil step one, and a childhood sweetheart.

Ms. Martin’s writing style is straight forward and straight faced. In one place, a bit of humor, possibly inadvertent, occurs when the author describes an archeologist’s efforts to reduce debt as “Avrum was still digging himself out of a hole because the revelation of old debts kept emerging…” Fans of romance novels featuring sweet to steamy sex scenes should be warned that they will find them not within the very chaste pages of this book. So, in this area, you can add straight laced to straight forward and straight faced.

Her vocabulary is often as fanciful as her flying insects, e.g., “mitariom” and “charods.” But I gather this bit of creativity is a part of the fantasy author’s tools.

With a fully populated story, it is especially important to ensure that each pronoun used has a clear noun antecedent. Ms. Martin often pays insufficient attention to this caution, resulting in occasional confusion. Also, the familiar misuse of lie/lay, mistaking “personal” for “personnel,” and twice stating “could care less,” when the opposite was intended interrupt the careful reader. These mistakes, even augmented by a couple of garden-variety typos, are less than what might have been expected from a book the title page of which states that it was “witten” by the author.

At one point there is a rather casual reference to the possibility of a new dig in Turkey. Does this portend a sequel? Fans of fantasy will undoubtedly hope so.