PUBLISHER: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Combine physics and geology and you’ve got the hardest of hard sciences, a discipline that surely would produce adherents who would reject out of hand anything inexplicable.
Or maybe not. After all, geophysicists are trained scientists. As such, they have learned to accept repeatable evidence, insert that evidence into their theories. If the theory breaks, they keep the evidence and make a new theory.
Which means that when geophysicist Caitlin Schwarzbach starts seeing ghosts, an otherworldly place and perhaps the very personification of death itself. . . Well, she has no choice but to believe.
Tired of small-town Texas life, Caitlin decides it’s time to pack her bags and start over somewhere new. When she decides to leave, there’s only one choice for her destination: Cologne, Germany. Gus, her seismologist brother, with whom she hasn’t lived since their parents divorced when she was seven, lives and works in Cologne.
Almost as soon as she arrives in the Cologne airport, Caitlin is met by a Gus lookalike. Instead of a hearty greeting, the Gus-alike tries to kidnap her by dragging her away into a wall of glass.
It turns out that there is a world beyond ours, full of mythological creatures and dangers far beyond any she has ever studied. The Schattenreich, a version of the underworld from German mythology, is not just a myth. And some of the most dangerous beings there have taken an interest in Caitlin Schwarzbach.
Primary Fault is amazing for a number of reasons. The female protagonist is a degreed, hard-science researcher, who can defend herself without dropping into cliché. She is a take-charge woman, who works with the men in the story instead of cowering behind them.
The dialogue can be a bit choppy in places, but, for the most part, this is a very accomplished read.
Because the Germanic names and mythology are so foreign to many fantasy readers, this book both demands and rewards your attention. If you enjoy thoroughlydeveloped worldbuilding and realistic characters, this is your book.
4.5 stars. I’m docking the book half a star for the recurrence of a couple of rough passages that announce this is Reamer’s inaugural effort. She’s done a yeoman’s job of bringing in an unfamiliar mythological system and making it understandable and engaging. Really good stuff here.
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Richard E.D. Jones is the author of the hilarious how-to book for new dads, A Dude's Guide to Babies, as well as an award-winning former newspaper reporter and teacher. He writes daily for the Dude's Guide blog, and posts new fiction at his personal website, byrichardjones.com.