by Lynn Abbey
Review by Harriet Klausner
Ace Books Mass Market ISBN/ITEM#: 0441012701
Date: 30 April, 2005 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Fifty years ago, Emma Merrigan's mother Eleanor abandoned her newborn baby and her husband and it is only recently that they reconciled. Both Emma and Eleanor are hunters, going into the wasteland to destroy curses and rogues (giant curses). Eleanor was imprisoned by powerful curses and upon returning to the mundane world, she could pass as Emma's daughter. The immortal hunters never age as they possess the power to appear younger even though Emma chooses to look her real age of fifty.
The two women take a Caribbean cruise hoping to bridge the breach that exists between them but Emma has a headache most of the time. She sees a cursed woman on the wait staff, a person who has seen the atrocities committed in Serbia. Emma has the ability to plunge through time and stop a curse before it begins. When she gets off the boat she does exactly that and finds a young boy without an adult to take care of him since Emma took away his primary caretakers in order to end the curse. He is either a hunter or a rouge but either way he sets up a loop that prevents Emma from returning to her own time and she must hope that someone from the mundane world come into the wasteland looking for her to guide her home.
Down Time is an interesting urban fantasy featuring a heroine who is smart enough to know she doesn't have all the answers and is savvy enough to listen to people who have more of them. The wastelands are an interesting place, a barren dimension with a magnetic sky where curses and rogues abound. Emma is obsessed with destroying as many as she can to make the world a better place. Lynn Abbey is a spectacular urban fantasist.