Author: Mercedes Lackey
Publication: Tor Books; First Edition edition (November 9, 2010)
Description: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mercedes Lackey presents three exciting short urban fantasy novels featuring three resourceful heroines and three different takes on the modern world and on magics both modern and ancient.
Arcanum 101: Diana Tregarde, practicing witch, romance novelist, Guardian of the Earth. Studying at Harvard, Diana is approached by Joe O’Brian, a young cop who has already seen more than one unusual thing during his budding career. The distraught mother of a kidnap victim is taking advice from a “psychic” and interfering in the police investigation. Will Diana prove that the psychic is a fake? Unfortunately, the psychic is not a fake, but a very wicked witch—and the child’s kidnapper.
Drums: Jennifer Talldeer, shaman, private investigator, member of the Osage tribe. Most of Jennie’s work is regular PI stuff, but Nathan Begay brings her a problem she’s never seen before. His girlfriend, Caroline, is Chickasaw to his Navaho, but that’s not the problem. Somehow, Caroline has attracted the attention of an angry Osage ghost. Thwarted in love while alive, the ghost has chosen Caroline to be his bride in death.
Ghost in the Machine: Ellen McBridge: computer programmer extraordinaire, techno-shaman. The programmers and players of a new MMORPG find that the game’s “boss,” a wendigo, is “killing” everyone—even the programmers’ characters with their god-like powers. A brilliant debugger, Ellen discoveres that the massive computing power of the game’s servers have created a breach between the supernatural world and our own. This wendigo isn’t a bit of code, it’s the real thing . . . and it’s on the brink of breaking out of the computers and into the real world.
Arcanum 101 - This introduces a very young Diana Tregarde. Her grandmother and teacher is recently dead and she is starting her freshman year at Harvard. She has been a Guardian for a couple of years. She gathers a group of friends as she helps the police with a kidnapping case and a phony psychic. The friends thing is new. Previously she didn't have any. She spooked her fellow students at HS. These friends include a budding witch and a stage magician and accept her as she is. The story made me want to dig out my old Diana Tregarde stories to revisit the character.
Drums - This story has Jennifer Talldeer using both her skills as a detective and her skills as a medicine woman to find out why a man's girlfriend is pulling away from him. It is a case of a "nasty ghost" who has gained way to much strength so that it takes the intervention of many Osage gods to beat him. Again, I want to read the Jennifer Talldeer books again to find out what other adventures she had. There was a lot of fascinating Osage mythology in this one.
Ghost in the Machine - This one was the least successful story for me only because of my complete lack of knowledge about video gaming. I also didn't feel that I learned enough about the main character. I would however be interested in longer stories about her. I wonder how she became a techno-mage. The hints of back story were fascinating. I also liked that the villain was a creature from Native American mythology that the programmers programmed just too well. It was an exciting story.
I recommend this book to lovers of strong female characters. There was also a lot about Native American mythology and magic too.
"Is there any way to turn off this talking paper clip? It keeps trying to correct my English. And no, I don't want to send a letter to Broccoli, California."
She blinked. "Broccoli?"
"Berkeley." He sighed. "This thing could give your Grandfather lessons in contrary."