Magic is real, and hungry—trapped in ancient texts and artifacts, only a few who discover it survive to fight back. Detective Sal Brooks is a survivor. Freshly awake to just what dangers are lurking, she joins a Vatican-backed black-ops anti-magic squad: Team Three of the Societas Librorum Occultorum. Together they stand between humanity and magical apocalypse. Some call them the Bookburners. They don’t like the label.
I ran into the Book Burners team at PHXCC2015. I liked the idea of the way they wanted to do their serial. I’ve been a fan of collaboration in my own writing, and the group of authors I met seemed down to earth. I was interested in the serial, but a few delays along the way led me to “back burner” the serial, and it wasn’t until I saw episodes two and three on NetGalley that I remembered the entire venture.
The first thing I need to say about Book Burners is that it is definitely episodic, rather than serialistic. Each episode is a self-contained story, and the overarching theme introduced in the first episode is moved forward. Unlike many serials, I didn’t feel cheated when I got to the end of each episode. I can easily see a TV series being produced from each episode, and I’d love to watch it.
Episode one starts the whole thing off, and whereas many serials have to front-load the series with a lot of information in the first installment, I didn’t feel information overload that is all-to-common. The story jumps into the action, and I was along for the ride. After fifty minutes at my reading speed, the story was complete, and I had to force myself to wait until the next day for episode two.
Episode two solidifies the urban fantasy element, and drives home the occult and paranormal element that was briefly touched on in episode one. I’d forced myself to wait on the read, and I enjoyed the new information added to the overall story, and the self-contained episode.
Episode three had a Fringe vibe to it. I loved the TV series, Fringe, and episode three was the best of the bunch. We’re getting to know the protagonist more, and starting to get emotionally invested in the supporting characters. The self-contained story seemed a little shorter than the previous two, but that left more ink to advance the overall story of the protagonist and the fate of her brother. I’m looking forward to episode four.
I’d recommend the serial, and hope that when all sixteen episodes are published, there’d be an omnibus, or a season one collection.