The Clockwork Woman (Time Hunter #4)
by John Paul Catton
"Kitsune" evokes Japan past and future in a story that owes more to Sapphire & Steel than Dr Who.
Another strong outing by Telos's Time Hunter series, "Kitsune" (pronounced "ki-tsu-ne") puts Honoré and Emily into a near-future Japan threatened by a rash of mysterious murders and an apocalypse seen in Honoré's vision. Author John Paul Catton gives us a vivid picture of Japan and the clash between tradition and fashion. There's much to experience packed into this novella, but the format continues to work well in keeping the story to the point. Strong themes remain clear. Yet it isn't just Catton's story that works well: he has a good hold of Honoré's and Emily's characters and they interact well with the story.
It's difficult to talk much about the story without spoiler space, but there's a sequence in 17th century Japan. One might make comparisons with "The Room with No Doors", which I know many love but was never my favourite Orman novel. "Kitsune" feels more to the point at giving a sense of historical Japan, but also moves into a sort of morality play-style like "The Clockwork Woman". There's a distinct style developing to the Time Hunter books. As I say above, "Kitsune" is more Sapphire & Steel than Dr Who, but there are also the horror elements and those morality play elements that are becoming familiar.
Henry Potts, 31 Oct 2004; revised 19 Nov 2005
Originally posted to the Jade Pagoda mailing list.
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