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Three by Jay Posey
Review by Mel Jacob
Angry Robot Mass Market Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780857663634
Date: 30 July 2013 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

A new series from Jay Posey and Angry Robot, Legends of the Duskwalkers, begins with Three. This science fiction novel features a knight of the road with the amazing ability to survive in a dangerous and uncertain world. At night, like vampires of legend, Weirs, half-human, half machine creatures, roam the streets of ruined cities looking for human to catch and turn into more creatures like themselves. Only the brave and skilled escape death. Hiding from them is the only option.

Three scavenges for a living as a bounty hunter and has a prize others will pay for. The agent of this enclave agrees, but hasn't the hard currency Three demands and arranged for him to return later for the rest. Relaxing in a bar, Three encounters a boy and his mother. They are hungry and exhausted. He takes pity on the boy and gives the mother money.

The mother, Cass, fleeing a vengeful son with powers beyond the ordinary, is desperate to reach the boy's father. She hopes he will be able to protect the boy from his step-brother who wants him dead. She has abilities enhanced by a drug, but needs a resupply. She seeks it from a chemist, but a genetically-modified henchman of her older son attempts to capture her. Three has followed and interrupts. He defeats the man, injuring his arm.

When Three tries to collect the remainder of his fee from the bounty agent, he finds him dead and a twin to the henchman in his place. After a fierce battle, Three kills the genetically-enhanced man. When Cass shows up with Wren, Three becomes their protector. It's too close to evening to escape the Weir. They hide below the street in a drainage system.

Eventually, Cass tells Three her destination and they begin the long trek through the city and across a desolate wasteland. The stepson's crew follows and harries them.

Three's amazing abilities are never explained, but resemble some of the feats of strength possessed by certain Asian cults. He is one of the few to fight a Weir and survive. He comes from a warrior culture with its own mores and traditions. However, we see only hints of that in the narrative.

Posey writes an exciting story and readers will look forward to the next book in the series. Much relies on the reader's imagination to fill in the blanks. The core of Three is not the world, although much is implied, but never made explicit. The setting provides its own pitfalls and dangers.

The characters and their relationships are what drive this story. The very nature and various types of love are front and center. Mother love, man-woman love, community/clan love, and comrade love drive the action, but are shown or implied, rather than articulated. I might wish for a different ending, but eagerly await Posey's next book.

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