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  Bookends: Dan Davidson
 

The Borderkind

Reviewed: May 13, 2009
By: Christopher Golden
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
421 pages, $8.99

In The Myth Hunters (reviewed here in January 2008) we met Oliver Bascombe, an unhappy lawyer who had doubts about his impending marriage. He met Jack Frost and found himself translated across the Veil between our world and the worlds of myth and legend, just a heartbeat away from our own. We met his sister, Collette, who was kidnapped by the monstrous Sandman of legend, who roams the worlds plucking the eyes from his victims.

We learned that our two worlds used to be connected, that the separation was caused by the establishment of the Veil centuries ago, that there are some beings, the Borderkind, who can cross the Veil at will, and that there are humans, the Lost Ones, who have crossed by accident and can never return.

We learned that Oliver and his sister have a mysterious legacy which makes them important in that other world, and that there are those who would see them dead because of it.

Finally, we met Julianna, Oliver’s fiancée, who is determined that he should not be blamed for the grisly death of his father and the kidnapping of his sister, who teams up with a disgruntled policeman named Ted Halliwell to solve the mystery of the Bascombe heirs’ disappearance.

The Borderkind picks up where the first book left off. Fires are still raging on Cana Island after the battle between the dragon and some other creatures out of myth. Julianna and Ted have just seen Oliver and some strange companions seem to step through a hole in the air and vanish. Determined to pursue them, the pair eventually find a way to cross the Veil and enter the land of myth. What they don’t realize when they go there is that they can’t go home again.

Meanwhile, Oliver finds himself ever deeper in the mysteries of the other side. Some force, it seems, is seeking to dominate the realm and cut it off forever from our world. To ensure that they have sent out teams of mystic mercenaries to kill all the Borderkind. Some of the latter are actually working with the bad guys, somehow thinking that this will save their own lives, so this means that Oliver and his friends have a lot of trouble figuring out who to trust.

Julianna and Ted give us a reprise of Oliver’s “stranger in a strange land” routine from the first book, which, to my mind, keeps this volume from falling into the standard middle volume doldrums. There are enough new twists and turns here, enough new characters and plot developments, to keep the story fresh.

There is a tremendous cliffhanger at the end, though. What happens to Ted and to Oliver’s merry band made me very happy that I had already obtained the final volume at this point in my reading.

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