This novel was apparently self-published, then picked up by the illustrious Small Beer Press. Good pick. It’s not perfect, but it deserves much better than to languish in self-pubbed obscurity. I also applaud Small Beer for accurately representing the black protagonist on the cover.

Taggert has the power to control and transform his own body and the bodies of others: he can heal or kill, distract opponents with sudden physical urges or create the world’s best disguise for himself. Jama-Everett takes a geeky delight in exploring how exactly Taggert’s powers work, providing logical limitations and applications. This sometimes gets extremely gross and graphically violent, so be warned.

The storyline and tone are a pulp noir/superhero pastiche (complete with a fair amount of male gaze): Taggert’s ex-girlfriend summons him from Morocco, where he’s been working for a creepy supervillian/crime boss, to London, where she informs him that the daughter he never knew has powers too… and has gone missing. Cue chasing through the underbelly of London, meeting more mutant powered people and engaging in spectacular battles. But it’s not all violent and dark. The relationships between the characters are often surprisingly sweet and moving, and I got very invested in Taggert, Tamara, and several of the mutants they meet along the way. Gritty, vivid, energetic, intense: very much worth reading if my description sounds good. I didn’t like the climax, due to several annoying clichés involving the villain’s nature and eventual disposal, but the ending was satisfying.

The Liminal People
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