Powers by John B. Olson is the sequel to Shade, but you don't need to read that volume to be completely hooked by this compelling thriller. Mariutza has been raised in seclusion by her grandfather, taught to fight, to use her mental abilities to outwit the enemy, and to fear the outside world. But when he is killed by mysterious hooded figures, she flees from the swamp that has been her only home to the city of New Orleans to seek the mysterious prophet Jaazaniah. Jazz Rechabson is just trying to make enough money to make the rent playing piano at a music club when he has a vision of a man surrounded and killed by strange beings. When he comes to, he finds himself being pursued by those same beings and the emergence of strange abilities he has no idea how to control or use. The two must pair up to find out the secret that binds them both and just may hold the key to their survival. The first 50-75 pages were a bit of a rough read for me. While the action was intense, I couldn't figure out if this was our world or a world similar to ours and just what was going on. Then I relaxed and just let the story flow, and pretty soon the hours flew by, and I couldn't put it down. The reader is much like Mariutza : in a strange world, disoriented, with no grasp of the circumstances. Olson dribbles out the information in enticing tidbits that keep the pages turning. A sure-fire hit with fans of urban fantasy or the supernatural, as well as regular thrillers, this weird, astonishing read is a true treat.
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