TIME THIEF – Katie MacAlister
A Time Thief Novel , Book1
Central Oregon, Present Day
Kiya Mortenson's life is in a bad patch: out of a job, between boyfriends, and nowhere to live. To top it off, Kiya gets hit by lightening for the second time in her life while trying to help a chipmunk get his head out of a bottle. She checks out okay at a clinic, though the lightening leaves a second mark on her body. Oh, wait. The lightening strike isn't the end of her bad luck. Eloise, her temperamental 1969 VW Bug, refuses to start, so she can't continue her journey. But maybe things are looking up when she gets help from a Good Samaritan named Gregory Faa who looks like a male model. Before long, she has a job as nanny to his grandmother's five pug dogs in their camp within the national forest. And this is how Kiya gets all involved with a family of Travellers, a mortal race with immortal abilities who can steal time, and have an affinity with lightening (so says the glossary in the back of the book).
Peter Moore Faa's mother was an ordinary mortal, and so he's an outcast from his family of Travellers. He works for the Watch, a police force within the Otherworld, which is made up of all the mortal and immortal races that exist outside the ordinary human world. As such, he's in the area to track down a serial murderer who may or may not be connected to his family. What has he to do with Kiya? He meets her on the path walking his grandmother's pugs. (And, wow, he's even more attractive than the man from the road, who happens to be his cousin.)
To say Kiya and Peter are attracted to each other is an understatement in the extreme, but could a pairing be more unlikely? Just her knowing his family is a reason for him to mistrust her. Personality-wise as well, they are miles apart. Peter is a self-controlled loner who has never known love. Kiya is an outgoing, sometimes outrageous woman who frequently speaks whatever thought enters her head…and very colorfully, too. She isn't yet aware that danger surrounds her.
TIME THIEF is the first of a new series. It features a race of mortals who can steal time from others. That means they are able to extend their lives by taking time from the lives of other people. There are rules, of course, and punishments to suffer for doing so. As a member of the Watch, Peter follows a trail from a series of deaths that may involve Travellers to the campsite of his extended family (his grandmother, one of her sons, four of her grandsons, a couple of their wives and several children). Peter is twice attacked. Could Cousin Gregory be one of the bad guys?
TIME THIEF's storywold appears to be the same one in which others of the author's series are set. Though we don't meet any here, this Otherworld contains Guardians, Dragons, and Vampires. We do meet an Animus, however. He's attached to Peter and is sweet and lovable. All the characters are very well done, especially Kiya. Even the pugs have personalities.
The tale's voices switch back and forth between Kiya's in first-person to third person when seen from Peter's point of view. In either voice, the dialogue and interaction between them is wonderful: humorous and snappy, it can also be very sexy.
It took me a little while before I was at home in this story (I hadn't noticed the info in the back of the book), but it was certainly worth the wait. Readers already familiar with Ms. MacAlister's Otherworld will no doubt jump right in. I recommend TIME THIEF to all, and then get ready for an e-short story in August (TIME CROSSED) and a new novel in September (THE ART OF STEALING TIME).