Apocalypse to Go
by Katharine Kerr
Cover Artist: Aleta Rafton
Review by Mel Jacob
DAW Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780756407094
Date: 07 February 2012 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Kerr continues her urban fantasy series, Nola O'Grady, with her third such novel, Apocalypse to Go. This time Nola and her bodyguard lover Ari Nathan set out to find and rescue her two brothers Sean and Michael who have gone to a deviant world in search of their father. With her brothers kidnapped by a nasty gang and held prisoner, Nola needs help to rescue them before Sean dies from radiation poisoning
Nola, a psychic, works for a U.S. secret agency that investigates and apprehends paranormal criminals. Not even the CIA knows of this agency. Ari, an Israeli Mosad agent, works for Interpol and is assigned as Nola's bodyguard. Brother Michael, a teen-age world walker, has insatiable curiosity and a rebellious streak. He has formed a strong relationship with a gang head on a deviant world and hoped he could assist in finding his father. These deviant worlds exist in other dimensions and split off at various times from Earth to develop in somewhat different ways.
Nola's entire family has various psychic abilities and has members able to reach these other Earths. Thirteen years ago, her world walker father was imprisoned by police from another deviant world and the family is anxious to recover him. His strong Irish roots along with his unique abilities led the police to believe he killed a man despite his claim of innocence.
The world on which Michael and Sean are held is radioactive and prolonged exposure will kill them. With Michael, gone, Nola needs a world walker to reach and rescue her brothers. Meanwhile, she is threatened by were-leopards from another deviant world demanding she return stolen property. She has no idea what they want, but suspect it is either related to a deviant they captured and now hold or to her father.
Kerr excels at creating a strange world where psychic abilities work to aid police or criminals and create problems for others. Ari and Nola are contacted by an agent for a multi-world police force similar to Interpol. The agent proposes an alliance with Nola's agency and recruits Ari to work for them.
A well-respected fantasy writer, Kerr has adapted well to the gritty worlds of urban fantasy and created a strange new universe. In this novel, Nola learns long-hidden secrets about herself and her family. The climax is exciting, but the main characters lead charmed lives and never suffer much.