Rundle lit a cigarette, shook his head. “Shit on you! You wanna know my superpower? How about this?” He popped the trunk of his car and grinned, smoke curling from his lips into the rain. In the trunk were several pump-action shotguns, a few bullet-proof vests, a box of flares, assorted automatic pistols and boxes of ammunition and, in the corner a cardboard box of round, green grenades.
“Who says I ain’t Bruce Willis? Can I join your league of superheroes now, huh?”
Hidden City is a gritty, dark urban fantasy that captured my interest from page one.
Synopsis – When the city suffers, everyone suffers.
Steven Hines listened to the city and the city spoke. Cleveport told him she was sick. With his unnatural connection to her, that meant Hines was sick too. But when his friend, Detective Abby Jones, comes to him for help investigating a series of deaths with no discernible cause, Hines can’t say no. Then strange fungal growths begin to appear in the streets, affecting anyone who gets too close, turning them into violent lunatics.
As a weak city mage, Steven uses his connection to the city to get by as a PI, specialising in finding missing people. He loves his city, he is tied to it and his city loves him back. She is a jealous city.
I enjoyed this. It kept me reading when I was unable to read anything else without getting distracted. The fast paced action, combined with short chapters kept me glued to the page. The feel of the city pops off the page, I think this would make an amazing graphic novel. I could see the sin city style art in my head while I was reading. The characters where well put together, there was so much going on besides the main storyline. The magic was cool and the factions of the people throughout meant that Baxter could easily write another book set in this world. The Cyberdawn weirdos were pretty messed up and interesting.
One of my favourite things was when Hines talked about there being two types of people in the city. The crazies affected by the spores, they are out of their mind and not in control of their actions. And then you have the opportunist, looking for any excuse to wipe away civility and go on a rampage. Baxter dropped a pretty heavy truth bomb here. He is 100% right and I liked that he took the opportunity to explore that theme in the book.
All in all, a solid book, in a fantastic world. Also it made me cry. What the fuck? That’s two Alan Baxter books that I have read and both have made me cry.