Sue Pokorny

Author at Starfox's Mansion

Beneath the Surface (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 13th April 2002 (3)
Zine: Cascade Beyond The Veil
Issue: 1
Tags: Novella

The first good thing about this story is the title. I like titles which have resonance and double meanings and this one did. So what was beneath the surface? Well, spooky things, naturally (given this was written for a Halloween zine). And of course, things at an archaeological dig are beneath the surface. And the evidence of the crime (yes there was a crime) was also beneath the surface. And the criminal was not the kind of person he appeared to be, on the surface. All of that makes for all sorts of things going on in this story; a touch of this, a touch of that -- spooky things, archaeology, crime, senses-use, bad guys -- toss it all in the pot and stir. Some of the flavours seem a bit odd together, but it was solid home-cooked dish.

There are two good supporting characters here, John Whitefeather the tribal cop, and Two Eagles, the tribal shaman. (Though I admit I found John calling Blair "chief" to toss me out of the story for a moment, because I don't think an Indian would use that word carelessly as a nickname). I did like the insightful (and sometimes cryptic) words of Two Eagles, especially his comment that if the way of the Shaman were easy, then everybody would follow it.

Faux Paws Productions

(508) Five Point Shot (FPP-509) (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 9th June 2000

There were some points I thought it was laying the angst on a bit thick (considering it wasn't actually the first time Blair had gone back to Ranier in the course of his duties) and there was one glaring error (a Pulitzer prize is one for journalism, a Nobel prize is the one referred to in TSbyBS). On the other hand, there were some lovely bits of verbal fencing - particularly at the end!