Book Review: A Line in the Sand by K. A. Stewart (Four Stars)

Book Review: A Line in the Sand by K. A. Stewart

Four Stars

“The only reason I’m alive is because I listen when my heebie jeebie alarm goes off.”

The rating is provisional. The Jesse James Dawson novels have a chronology but can  be read independently. In fact, Stewart does a better-than-average job informing the new reader without insulting returnees. This volume, however, explicitly demands another. But, unlike so many others, this book includes a satisfying conclusion to the current work.

“My first defense is always sarcasm.”

Stewart once again proves herself the master of tongue-in-cheek urban fantasy with a soul. (Pun intended; read the book.) Her mix of the banal and the fantastic manages to come down squarely on the side of entertaining, if not believable. Even the latter is close enough to feed our willingness to suspend disbelief.

“It wasn’t until I became a father myself that I truly understood the hell I must have put my own through.”

For all his smarts and talent, Jesse James Dawson is an everyman. An ordinary person dumped into extraordinary company and circumstances. A character, unlike certain superheroes, with which the reader can identify. Further, through the course of each story he grows.

“A human body was not meant to contain more than one soul.”

The plotting, character development, and delivery are all first class. Yes, pop corn for the brain, but so much more nutritious. Good job.

“I’m why my guardian angel drinks.”

A thought: Stewart also slides in a serious inquiry into the nature of freedom and consequences among all the mystical martial arts mayhem. (I’d add “magic” for a fifth “m” but it’s beyond silly already.) I have no idea about Stewart’s beliefs, but the serious reader is tempted to self-reflection as he or she reads. That’s worth an extra star. (Coincidentally, if you believe in coincidences, I recently began re-reading Blaise Pascal‘s Pensées, which raises my attentiveness to such considerations.)

“I’d asked an angel why God hadn’t sent help. And his answer was, ‘What makes you think he hasn’t?’”