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Only the exceptional can walk the border between the real and the fantastic
February 25, 2016
by Mishell Baker
Sci FI & Fantasy
Pub Date: March 1, 2016
Some books make you stand up and take notice. They grab you and don’t let go. Borderline is an unforgettable piece of urban fantasy, distinct and innovative.
As leads go Millie is far from the norm. She is a paraplegic who lost her legs in a failed suicide attempt. She contends daily with her borderline personality disorder. Millie is cynical and damaged, but she is also a survivor. When she is recruited by the Agency, she learns of the fae and their presence in the world. Her first assignment seems simple, see why a nobleman of the Seelie court has not returned to Arcadia. But what at first looks simple is far from it, and much more than her new position with the Agency is on the line.
Part of what makes this book so intriguing is that the Agency recruits the mentally ill, individuals whose challenges normally make them undervalued, marginalized, and ignored. Millie’s BPD makes it difficult for her to interact with people, but it also allows her to approach problems in a unique way. All too often, heroes are beautiful, powerful, perfect, but here, in Baker’s LA, it is truly the damaged who shine, the unusual, the outcasts. Millie’s halcyon cry is unforgettable. She is a person. She is not to be ignored. She is not to be marginalized. Glamour and beauty can hide all sorts of ugliness underneath, and rarely do people wish to believe ill of beauty.
In spite of, or perhaps because of Borderline being a fantasy novel, Baker’s message comes through strongly. Appearances can be deceptive. Everyone has value. Sometimes the unlikely heroes are the best ones of all. I was profoundly affected by this novel and commend Mishell Baker for her writing and her candor.
Borderline is available for preorder and will be released March 1, 2016.
I received a copy of Borderline from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
A cynical, paraplegic screenwriter with borderline personality disorder gets recruited to join a secret organization that oversees relations between Hollywood and Fairyland in the first book of a new urban fantasy series from debut author Mishell Baker.
A year ago, Millie lost her legs and her filmmaking career in a failed suicide attempt. Just when she’s sure the credits have rolled on her life story, she gets a second chance with the Arcadia Project: a secret organization that polices the traffic to and from a parallel reality filled with creatures straight out of myth and fairy tales.
For her first assignment, Millie is tasked with tracking down a missing movie star who also happens to be a nobleman of the Seelie Court. To find him, she’ll have to smooth-talk Hollywood power players and uncover the surreal and sometimes terrifying truth behind the glamour of Tinseltown. But stronger forces than just her inner demons are sabotaging her progress, and if she fails to unravel the conspiracy behind the noble’s disappearance, not only will she be out on the streets, but the shattering of a centuries-old peace could spark an all-out war between worlds.