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    Review of THE WIZARD HUNTERS by Martha Wells (see her website)


    EOS, 2003

    Tremaine Valiarde had just about given up--on her dying country and her life, when one of her guardians appears demanding the magical sphere that her father had entrusted to her. But the sphere will only work for Tremaine, which gets her drafted into a secret research project to find some way to fight the powerful air armadas that have bombed the nation so close to defeat. The sphere sends Tremaine and a small group into an alternative reality--where wizard hunters battle all forms of magic. Unfortunately, Tremaine and her group are quickly seen as wizards. Fortunately, the Gardier, the mysterious invaders, are causing problems in the new world as well--and are seen as worse wizards.

    Working with a couple of handsome natives, Tremaine escapes the Gardier and develops an alliance with the population of this world--including a god. But the sphere remains a mystery--capable of doing things it shouldn't be able to do. Somehow, Tremaine has to get back to her own world--in time to save it from complete destruction by the Gardier.

    THE WIZARD HUNTERS opens strongly, but sags badly in the middle as Tremaine and company thrash through their escapes from the Gardier. I would have thought that the ILE-RIEN scientists would be more interested in the strange magical sphere and researched it more completely, but that doesn't seem to have happened.

    Author Martha Wells (see more reviews of novels by Wells) does a fine job depicting the growing sensual attraction between Tremaine and native wizard-hunter Ilias. I would have liked to see more escalation in the conflict against the Gardier, but Wells does nice action sequences. The fall of Ile-Rien to the evil Gardier sets the stage for additional stories to liberate that bombed-out nation. I'll look forward to reading the sequel to discover whether Wells takes advantage of her talent and overcomes the logic problems that kept this novel from working as well as it should have.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 6/25/03

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