The Dead Take the A Train

Macmillan Audio. Oct. 2023. 12:59 hrs. ISBN 9781250856623. $26.99. FANTASY
A collaboration between two well-known speculative-fiction writers births a savagely fun romp through a grimy, magical New York City. Most of the city’s elites are at least aware of true magic, but Julie Crews is no elite. She’s at the bottom of the magical ladder, taking odd magical jobs to make ends meet. Julie’s hard-living lifestyle gets complicated when an old friend decides to visit, an ex-boyfriend makes a power play, and whatever entity Julie just summoned threatens reality. She might not be the best at what she does (she can barely hold her own life together), but she could be what the world needs. Kadrey (King Bullet) has shown he can write two-fisted urban fantasy, and Khaw (The Salt Grows Heavy) has demonstrated a knack for beautifully describing the most disturbing horrors. Their combined efforts have created a kinetic urban noir that brims with terrifying eldritch monstrosities and human bodies defying their anatomy. Natalie Naudus’s performance anchors the unreal with her grounded portrayals of flawed heroine Julie and wide-eyed neophyte Sarah, especially as the old friends slowly become closer.
VERDICT Fans of urban fantasy, cosmic weirdness, and tough-as-nails protagonists should enjoy this work that’s the best of both authors.
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