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Intellectual meets paranormal

February 23, 2010
By Amy Phelps

Natasha Mostert has a knack of blending science and the paranormal in interesting, it could happen ways, and does it again in “Keeper of Light and Dust.”

Mia is a tattoo artist and studies martial arts under her sensei at  Scorpio, where martial arts fighters also train. Mia is known there  for her artistic skill with a needle and is beloved by many of the  fighters, in a little-sister kind of way. But what only three of them  know is Mia is a Keeper, a descendant of other woman who can harness the power of chi to protect three warriors. But when one of her fighters dies a few days after coming out of retirement, Mia is concerned.

Meanwhile, her friend, Nick, who has always been in love with her, has happened upon a strange message on the board he runs — one that makes veiled references to Mia’s dead fighter. When Nick begins to do more research on the strange deaths of athletes, the more he becomes suspicious of the mysterious “Dragonfly” who is posting. And then Adrian Ashton walks into their lives.

Ashton is a charismatic scientist and martial artist. He claims he has never had a tattoo and wants Mia to do one for him — but is drawn to her for more than that. And though she can’t help it, Mia feels a strange attraction to Ashton too. And when Ashton offers to help Nick train for his upcoming fight, no one suspects his intentions until Mia fights a shadowy figure on the psychic realm. One that is going to hurt Nick if she can’t stop him. What does the Dragonfly want? How is he able to kill the fighters days after their fights and why?

The book goes between Mia and Nick’s story, of Mia’s protectiveness of her fighters and Nick’s attraction to her, and the diaries of the Dragonfly. The Dragonfly’s work of death touches all in his quest for eternal life blend science and mysticism in a way that makes sense and factor in Mia’s work as the Keeper. It’s a bit “Buffy” mixed with “Kill Bill” mixed with the “UFC,” and a love story, all done in a very smart way. The villain is called a vampire at one point, and he is, but it’s not the fighters’ blood he is feasting on, but their life and their spirit. The story, the science behind it, and its mysticism will leave readers thinking (and discussing) long after the story is over.

Contact Amy at letters@graffitiwv.com

Fact Box

“Keeper of Light and Dark” is published by NAL, a division of Penguin. It is $15 and 332 pages long.

 
 

 

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