Monday, December 16, 2013

Book Review: PORTALS by Maer Wilson

PORTALS, Book 2: The Thulukan Chronicles 

By Maer Wilson, Published December 2013

About the book: (from GoodReads)

For supernatural detectives Thulu and La Fi, “normal” is a relative term. La Fi is a medium, Thulu is a finder, and their usual clients are already dead.

But when their friend Reo is shot, and a group of stranded angels show up at their house for help to find a missing child, things are striking too close to home.

And now the portals that let the magical races return to Earth have started opening on their own.

With trips off-world, a kidnapped psychic and changes to their own abilities, Thulu and La Fi are hit with a lot more than they usually handle. Of course, their magical friends are there to help, but even they may not be enough to save an increasingly unstable Earth.

Portals is the sequel to Relics and is Book 2 in “The Thulukan Chronicles.”


This past spring I reviewed Maer Wilson’s debut novel, RELICS, about a supernatural detective agency, which I thoroughly enjoyed. While working on her second novel, Ms. Wilson penned two short stories set in this same world, GHOST MEMORY and UNWANTED GHOST (which I also reviewed). She’s finally released the second book in the series, PORTALS, and I received an ARC of the book in exchange for my honest review.

This coming Wednesday, December 18, Maer will be joining me here on the blog to discuss her new book and her writing process. Then on Thursday, I'll be posting a special excerpt from PORTALS.

At the start of this second full-length book about the Thulukans, we find ourselves back in San Francisco with Thulu and La Fi, just a few days after the end of Book One. This book is divided into three parts, with the second part completely set on a far-off world, and the third part returning our heroes to the familiarity of Earth and their San Francisco home.

Like the first book and the previous novelettes, all three parts of this story are told in the first person POV of La Fi Thulukan, who can see and talk with ghosts and understand and translate any and every language in the universe. She and her husband Thulu run a supernatural detective agency, catering to clients who are already dead, and now to off-world magical creatures. We follow all the old characters from RELICS, as well as meeting a few new ones.

In the first book, the portals between worlds were opened and magical creatures arrived on Earth. Things are beginning to calm down, especially now that the magical race of Light Ones, who caused the strife in Book One, have all been sent back to their home planet for healing… Except for the group that shows up on La Fi’s doorstep, looking for help in finding a lost child. Since her husband’s abilities as a “Finder” of lost objects and people is legendary (in an inter-world way) they come seeking his help. He helps them, and plunges their band of heroes, human and magical alike, into the middle of a few inter-world battles that have been going on for years. Earth – and our heroes – will never be the same again.

I enjoyed this book, basically an urban fantasy detective tale chock-full of supernatural creatures but told from a matter-of-fact point of view. La Fi is never ruffled by the appearance of new magical beings, taking almost everything in stride. The author adds many touches of the every day, normal details to ground the story, although at times I found myself impatient with details of food preparation as I wanted to get to the juicier, magical parts more quickly. There’s also no romance or sexual tension anywhere in the book, so don’t bother looking for any, and the scenes of violence are also downplayed.

An enjoyable, well-written read, though not quite as engaging as the first book in the series. There's a lot of set up going on, which makes me wonder what Ms. Wilson has in store for her readers in the next book! Looking forward to seeing what trouble La Fi and Thulu find themselves battling next!
* 4 out of 5 stars *

About the Author (from Goodreads):

After a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she's a writer.

She's always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. Maer was born in the Year of the Dragon and has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard. When she's not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. She also co-hosts the literary podcast, “MythBehaving” and writes for two gaming fansites. She lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her two dogs, a chihuahua and a poodle.

Visit her website at

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