Dr. Davis has taken a bit of a switch from his terrific SF novels and has tried his hand with a universe run by magic and populated by Humans, Elves Dwarves, and Orcs.
Platinum Magic is based on the fact that quantum physics is indistinguishable from magic. And in this world, there are sleds raised above the ground like air cars with magic. Magic screens instead of cell phones, activated by a wave of the hand. Large magic screens instead of TVs. Weapons are needlers, bows and axes, et al.
And we have a straight-out police procedural taking place in the midst of all this. Simon Buckley is a King’s Agent or Keeper and he and his team is following a lead about illegal bomb making at an old farmhouse. When they crash the place, they find a High Elf about to indulge in some nasty Blood Magic, using a hapless orc tied to a stone and ready for gutting. The High Elf sets golems loose on the keepers but they are able to defeat themselves, but in the ensuing battle, managing to kill the Elf, too.
This raid is just the start of the intrigue. The Blood Magic being used was to open a portal to another world. The process (besides killing someone) is highly dangerous and what we in our world would term radioactive. So using portals has been forbidden. Where was she trying to get to and why? But the High Elf, a professor at the local university was deep into it.
Was this a terrorist act determined to undermine the uneasy relationship between Elves, Humans and Orcs? Who was going to profit from this and why?
The action here is top notch; I read this in two and a half days. The characters are compelling as is the plot. There is tons of action, stakeouts, shoot outs, break- ins and strange arcane clues.
A terrific summer read and a very strong start to a new series. ~~ Sue Martin