Night Child—CSI With Mages

Night Child by Jes Battis book cover
Night Child by Jes Battis

Night Child, by Jes Battis, is an urban fantasy set in Vancouver. Tess Corday is an OSI, a member of the Mystical Crime Lab, which is secret from the normal world, even the rest of the police force.

1—Technical Magic

There’s a lot of technical terminology, with enough explanation that I didn’t get lost. Even Tess’s turns of phrase and metaphors tend toward the technical descriptions of the body—blood, flesh, heartbeats, etc. And that’s before you get into the technical terms for magic, like “materia” and “necroid”. I won’t try to remember how she put it, just that there was a sense of poetry to it. Tess is also given to flights of poetic imagination.

2—Creatures of the Night

Besides lab techs like Tess, there are vampires, demons of multiple varieties (technically the vampires are a kind of demon too), necromancers, and mages. Tess is a mage, the spawn of a human and a demon. We don’t know what kind of demon fathered Tess because he raped her mother and left her for dead. That, and some other tragic backstory stuff involving the death of her childhood best friend, have left Tess with a less than stellar opinion of her powers even though using it is like a high.

3—Plot

The plot was ok, with Tess following a series of clues and talking to dangerous people. Her prime motivation of putting her career in jeopardy is that Mia, the girl in the center of the mystery, reminds her strongly, if for vague reasons—“because plot”, I suspect—of said dead childhood best friend. So Tess is desperate to save Mia and this puts her in danger, yada yada. If you can’t tell, the plot didn’t really hook me.

Conclusion

It was a fun read but it didn’t enthrall me. A good book, but I don’t think I’ll be picking up the rest in the series. The world just didn’t draw me in enough. If any of what I’ve described sounds like you might like it though, give it a try.

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