The Eterna Files, the excellent first installment in a unique new series, begins with a familiar story–the death of Abraham Lincoln. Immediately thereThe Eterna Files, the excellent first installment in a unique new series, begins with a familiar story–the death of Abraham Lincoln. Immediately thereafter, the tale veers into less-recognizable territory, with young “spiritualist” Clara Templeton declaring that the president should have been made immortal in order to protect the position. Lincoln’s widow, Mary, instantly latches onto the idea, resulting in the birth of the Eterna group, with the secret mission to investigate immortality.
Seventeen years later, Clara, still working for the Eterna group run by her mentor Senator Bishop, cannot shake the ominous feeling of impending doom, knowing something must be wrong with part of the team. Soon Clara and Bishop learn that four of their colleagues died horribly in the building where they worked, also having disappeared without a trace. Learning what happened to the fallen becomes their first priority.
Meanwhile, in London, police detective Harold Spire finds himself removed from a shocking crime scene to an impromptu meeting with Queen Victoria, who wishes him to head up security for her organization, Omega, formed in response to the Eterna group in order to discover the compound granting immortality before the Americans do. Not really given a choice in the matter, Spire accepts his new role, with reservations, but also resolves to continue with the case of the resurrectionist ring he was in the middle of.
As both teams carry out their prescribed (and unofficial) investigations, their discoveries demonstrate that much more than meets the eye may be going on, and they may well get much more than they bargained for.
Hieber expertly blends intriguing supernatural elements and interesting, quirky characters in an authentic historical setting. The ghosts, spirits, and other mysterious beings that make an appearance in the novel often prove truly spooky, just as they should in a good ghost story. The players comprising both the Eterna and Omega groups have their distinctive abilities and appeal, though this reviewer admits to an affinity for the British team. Clara and Harold, though both answer to others above them, in many ways set the tone for their respective crews, and much of the action of the novel occurs via their perspectives.
The author excels at creating the atmosphere and backdrop which infuses the tale’s setting, through imagery, historical detail, and even the cadence of speech. Readers who enjoy a skillful mixture of history and paranormal elements will be well-pleased with the terrific The Eterna Files.
Fans of the fallen Siren series will very much appreciate this exciting novella documenting the first case Emma and Zack worked on, alluded to in CursFans of the fallen Siren series will very much appreciate this exciting novella documenting the first case Emma and Zack worked on, alluded to in Cursed. The kidnapping of a young boy in Charleston leads to FBI Agent Emma Monroe being flown in from San Diego to assist Agent Zack Armstrong on the case while his partner stays by the side of his wife, an accident victim in critical condition. Though the two agents have consulted on the phone about prior similar cases, they have never met in person.
Emma suspects that Zack may be a werewolf, but she has a secret of her own: thousands of years ago, Emma, a Siren, was cursed by Demeter whose daughter, Persephone, was taken from her, and Emma has spent the years since then attempting to earn her redemption by finding the lost and missing. The current case of the missing child may be the third crime committed by the same person, and Emma and Zack race against the clock, especially given that the previous two instances resulted in the death of the abducted boys.
The authors deftly balance character and plot in the fast-paced Captured, resulting in a suspenseful narrative that keeps the reader turning pages while learning more about Emma and Zack in the process. Those familiar with Cursed will appreciate the background provided in this excellent prequel novella, but it serves the double purpose of introducing new fans to the series. Urban fantasy and paranormal romance readers alike will find much to enjoy here, as will mystery/suspense fans who do not mind a side order of supernatural fantasy in their reading. This reviewer very much looks forward to book two, Reckoning, due out in October 2014.