In this urban fantasy by the author of Bone Dance (Ace: Berkeley, 1991. o.p.) and War for the Oaks (Ace: Berkeley, 1987), a young man with an inescapable talent for finding lost objects and people teams up with a policewoman to locate the source of a deadly drug that threatens the residents of Bordertown. Set in the universe of the Borderlands, where the human and faerie worlds meet, Bull's tale of streetwise elves and magically sensitive humans combines gritty realism with a fey otherworldliness to produce a suspenseful and entrancing blend. A good choice for most fantasy collections.
The author of the Hugo- and Nebula-nominated Bone Dance here offers a murder mystery with an agenda: its bittersweet undertones plead for tolerance among all living beings. The story takes place in Bordertown, where elves, humans and halflings (half elf and half human) coexist near the edge of the Nevernever, a country to which only pure Trueblood elves can go. A designer drug that mutates humans and halflings so they become more like Trueblood elves is being used by those desperate to enter the Nevernever. There is a problem, however: the drug horribly kills its users before they complete the mutation process. The tale's human hero, Orient, who has a magical talent for finding lost items, is recruited by Sunny Rico, a policewoman dedicated to seeking out the drug's creator. As they search, love and betrayals flourish, and we learn much about the depths of elven-human friendships. Bull has proved in past works that she can weave a web of magic and truth around her characters. Finder is not as original and exciting as Bone Dance , but this stylishly dark piece displays the author's virtuosity with pathos and command of melodious language. It's yet another case of good writing triumphing over a mediocre concept in the land of the fantastic. (Feb.)
YA‘Finder is a delightful bit of alchemistry that deftly blends the detective and fantasy genres. Orient is a young man with unique ``talent'': ask him ``where is...'' and add the ``non-abstract noun of your choice'' and he will be tugged toward the object. In the World, this odd ability made his life nearly unbearable, but in Bordertown, the mysterious land at the edge of Faerie, such magical abilities are appreciated, and Orient earns his living using his peculiar gift. An uneasy truce exists between the fey and the human, but a lethal drug that promises the credulous the opportunity to pass the border into Faerie threatens Bordertown's stability with a trail of deaths. Enter Sunny Rico, a hard-boiled lady cop who is more than ready to have Orient find a variety of things she hopes will help her track down the killers. The characters get under your skin, and a world in which the young and disaffected are willing to risk death in a mad bid for redemption is oddly familiar in spite of the setting. Bull's delicate touch allows her to exploit the genre crossover with particular success‘as in the best of both genres, the tragedy seeps through the thrills, humor, and relationships so slowly that one finds the tears on one's cheek with a shock.‘Cathy Chauvette, Fairfax County Public Library, VA