Sunday, November 9, 2014

Summoned to Tourney (Mercedes Lackey, Ellen Guon)

Rating: 3
Year: 1992
Genre: Fantasy
Read again? In another 10 years...

A Bard (Eric), an elf (Korendil or 'Kory') and their girlfriend Beth have been in San Francisco for a couple of years making rent money as street musicians. This is the perfect way to lie low and avoid the attention of the FBI, which has been looking for them in the wake of some scary stuff in Los Angeles (but that's another book).

Eris has been having nightmares of an apocalyptic series of earthquakes and demonic Nightflyers. It takes a lot of pages for his friends to convince him to talk to someone who can help him figure out what's going on--are they just bad dreams, or are they premonition?

More pages go by before the three venture to the Embarcadero to play for the lunch crowd. Beth gets nabbed by some guys in suits. They take her to their Evil Secret Facility and torture her into panic attacks.

Eric and Kory split up to go looking for Beth. Kory uses his elf-senses and such and goes right to the Evil Secret Facility, where he bluffs his way in...only to end up captured in the same cell holding Beth.

The bad guys torture him, too. Turns out the Evil Secret Facility is a government project run by an evil guy who's working on mind control using psychics and mages.

Eric is almost grabbed by the same suits who got Beth, but uses his music-magic to escape. He even gets their car's tag number. Good boy.

He gets with some friends, puts together a Plan, and they raid the Evil Secret Facility. Here's where Eric turns fucking stupid, evil and psychotic: he uses his music to summon a flock of Nightflyer demons and sends them into the facility to kill bad guys and wreck the joint. He has enough sense to tell them not to kill the three good guys he knows are there, but doesn't give a thought to having condemned everyone else (including innocent victims) in the place to horrible deaths. We're told that he is "sickened" by what he's done, but that doesn't keep him from doing it.

Rescue, rescue, action, action, hooray! and Eric sends the Nightflyers home. Well, he thinks he does. There's one that possessed the evil guy running the Evil Secret Facility. This one is like the Boss Momma Nightflyer and she's looking to make baby Nightflyers and wreck the world in a...Nightflyerpalooza? Nightocalypse? Nightstock?

Conveniently, the Evil Secret "torture the psychics" Facility is right on top of a Legit Good Science Earthquake Research Lab which is conveniently close to a Major Scientific Breakthrough That Could Help Save The World From Bad Earthquakes!

Unfortunately--and also conveniently--this Research Can Also Be Used As A Weapon!

Nightflyer's gonna trigger The Big'un, kill the hell out of people, spawn, and do Total World Domination.

Can Eric the Douchebag fix what he broke?

Bleh. The dialog (and, well, everything else) could use some cleanup and polishing. Seems clumsy/melodramatic, especially when two people are talking in Plot Points where descriptive text would have been better.

Decent concept; I'd like to see how the authors would write it now, compared to then.

No comments: