Author: K.L. Nappier
Publisher: Double Dragon e-books
Reviewer: Donald Munro
Voyagers is K. L. Nappier’s second novel. It follows her début Full Wolf Moon, a werewolf novel set in the unusual location of the World War Two internment camps for American citizens of Japanese descent. The events in Voyagers take place in the St. Louis of the late nineteenth century. The book occupies a territory somewhere between historical fantasy, romance and supernatural detective novel.
The central characters of Father Aaron Shane, an Episcopal priest, and Greta Roscoe, a courtesan, meet at a party held by Marshall Fielding, Greta’s scheming half brother and manager. Father Shane insults Greta over her choice of profession. Later he returns to the party to offer an apology. He finds the party deserted, witnesses the killing of Greta, and is himself murdered. The spirits of Shane and Greta find themselves in some form of afterlife. They are met by another spirit Aridite, who acts as their mentor. Aridite explains that for them to progress within the afterlife they must strive to complete a goal. He hints that their goal is to find those ultimately responsible for their murders. Shane and Greta conduct an investigation, both by following events as they unfurl and by delving into Greta’s past, witnessing the events that that led to her subservience to Marshall.
The novel is written in a clear and accessible style. The story starts at a good pace with enough tension to hold the reader. The book’s momentum falters during parts of Greta’s back story, recovering in the latter half of the book. The central characters are quite detailed; however, a couple of the minor characters seem a little underdeveloped. This is particularly true of Tess, who is a main motivating factor for her sister Greta.
Voyagers is a novel with an unusual concept which most readers will find entertaining. It’s interesting to see a writer willing to explore new territory.