Eyes Deep by Tim Marquitz
So Tim Marquitz is a “Marquee” name in the field of urban fantasy – having a cult following for his Demon Squad series and other numerous books in the genre. So naturally when Tim sent me an ARC of his novella – a prequel to his new series, Clandestine Daze – I was beyond excited.
Well, to be frank – I’ve never read a Tim Marquitz before and so before I took the swan-dive off the cliff, I had no ideas or pre-conceived notions about the story or his style of writing. And this was for the best. Suffice to say, he clean bowled me over with this sumptuously delightful starter course. And now I’m seriously hungry for more.
So “Eyes Deep” is a sort of prequel novella to his new UF series and introduces us to Theodore Crane – security head at the Drake Facilities, a weapons-tech research firm and a bold new world where a supernatural one called Aellisar exists parallel to our world and the beings called “Aels” have existed alongside humans for centuries now. And trust me, Tim does a bang-up job of getting us hooked into this world with this ripping yarn of an opener.
Now Theodore is a “Doppleganger” – think of a double-agent who can pretty much “become” anyone he chooses to impersonate. But not figuratively - this is the real “deal”. Body, mind, memories. Everything that the “victim” was. For Theo isn’t technically Theo – but an “Ael” from this parallel world around us – with energy sources that corporate honchos would die to get their hands on. A creature without remorse or emotions at the start of the series, Theo is only hell-bent on doing his job. Basically like a CIA operate under-cover on Earth doing the recon and doing his bit to save his world and ours.
But as the narrative progresses at bullet-speed, the layers are peeled off one by one and twists and turns abound. Tim’s writing is top-notch and it is clear that he is enjoying himself writing this bit of a teaser to give us Theodore as the “anti-hero” to cheer and back up. Starting from the first-person reveal to twists that pepper the narrative till the explosive climax, Tim gives us two worlds with a lot of tension brewing up to something colossal, an anti-hero with conflicted loyalties who holds the fate of these worlds in balance and some phenomenal action set-pieces. While clearly this book is a set up to introduce these larger plots that will follow, it gives us a good insight beyond the lip of that dark yawning maw of a crevice. Into which am sure, Tim is going to push both Theo and his following stories into. Tim writes up some solid characters in Theo and his “sidekick” Jace whom I suspect we will definitely see more of as the conspiracies and conflicts deepen.
I cannot wait. I am intrigued and hooked. And as the worlds collide, I want in. I am buying ringside tickets for this explosive melee.