Round Trip Fare (Null City #4) by @barbtaub #UrbanFantasy #FridayReads

  • Round_Trip_Fare-Barb_Taub-500x800Author: Barb Taub
  • Released: April 2016 by Hartwood Publishing
  • Category: Urban Fantasy
  • five-stars

Is it wrong that shooting people is just so much easier than making decisions? Carey wonders—and not for the first time. But the Agency claims this will be an easy one. A quick pickup of a missing teen and she won’t even have to shoot anybody. Probably. 

Carey knows superpowers suck, her own included. From childhood she’s only had two options. She can take the Metro train to Null City and a normal life. After one day there, imps become baristas, and hellhounds become poodles. Demons settle down, join the PTA, and worry about their taxes. Or she can master the powers of her warrior gift and fight a war she can’t win, in a world where she never learned how to lose. 

The story begins in 2002 when sixteen year old twins Carey and Connor Parker are being supervised and protected by their guardian, Harry Daniels. They were entrusted to his care by their older sister, Gaby, when she left on a mission to help end the secret Nonwars between Heaven and Hell.

Harry and a team of ever-changing experts are training Carey and Connor in the use of their superpowers. They both have harmonia gifts, Carey’s represented by her skill as a warrior and Connor’s by his manipulation of emotions and perceptive abilities in others. 

After a trip into town one day to collect their drivers licences, Carey and Connor return to the ranch to find a battle raging, their home all but destroyed and their lives suddenly and violently disrupted.

The living room beyond looked untouched, with couches and bright rugs in their usual positions before the huge fireplace wall. Harry. She had to find Harry. Carey entered the living room, automatically checking the shadows for assassins. Another flaring explosion from the barn behind her lit the bodies piled just beyond the entrance to the living room. Firelight caught a glinting lock of golden hair. She thought some corner of her brain was screaming, but somehow the rest of her was leaping towards that gold she knew so well.

Eight years later Carey is employed by the Accords Agency as a Warden, hunting those who have moved to the dark side and use their powers for evil. She is still being targeted by the Outsiders she believes took her brother after the raid on the ranch. When an associate of Director Jeffers’, Iax Zahavi, brings her a photograph of Connor which has been taken recently, Carey very reluctantly teams up with him. She has to find her brother, who is in serious trouble, and try to save Null City before it is destroyed forever. 

Continuing the story of the Parker siblings, their friends, enemies and a magical train to a world they hope to save, where super powers don’t exist and people live a normal life. But Carey has never been one to take the easy way out. A detailed and complex plot lends itself to lots of fast paced action. Add humorous dialogue, super heroines, hunky men – with tattoos – and fabulous dogs into the mix, and you have a story to savour.

The characterisation is so good, both male and female characters are well defined and compelling. I love Carey, and Claire who is introduced in the short story Payback Is A Witch. Both are strong, feisty characters, tough and determined.  The brilliant Metro train and ticket machine are not in evidence as much as in the first book, but play their part nevertheless. Barb Taub’s sharp wit and descriptive writing is evident throughout the imaginative narrative. Can’t wait for the conclusion!

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

This review is based on a free copy from the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review.

About Barb Taub

Barb pix 300 dpiIn halcyon days BC (before children), Barb Taub wrote a humor column for several Midwest newspapers. With the arrival of Child #4, she veered toward the dark side and an HR career. Following a daring daytime escape to England, she’s lived in a medieval castle and a hobbit house with her prince-of-a-guy and the World’s Most Spoiled AussieDog. Now all her days are Saturdays, and she spends them consulting with her daughter on Marvel heroes, Null City, and translating from British to American.

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