Rose and her new age-y friend Amy, who babbles about so-called transmigration therapy and psychic repair spruce up Rose’s father’s miners’ outpost. Calling it The Rainbow’s End, they turn it into a warm sanctuary for hardscrabble speculators. Reed sets up vivid relationships fraught with tension: between Rose and her cold, all-business sister Laurel, between Rose and bad-boy Vincent, who has just rolled into town and set up The Magpie Saloon, a tavern across the street from The Rainbow’s End.
Rose is broke and weary. Fiercely protective of Crystal, her little daughter from a disastrous relationship, Rose worries Crystal is irrevocably damaged from a near-drowning. Crystal is mute, and seems trapped in her own distant world, where she spins and rocks. While Rose has set out exercises and learning charts for Crystal, she balks at her sister’s dogged attempt to send Crystal away to a special school. Will Crystal ever get better? If so, how? And what exactly is she suffering from anyway?
The other aspect that really deepens this story is that Reed is dealing with elements of rebirth and reincarnation. On a more philosophical level, that we all embody strong elements of those who came before us—both the upsides and downsides, the talents and so-called curses. She also introduces the possibility of a “twixt” world between this and the world of dreams where one can spin a practical, healing magic. Whatever your views, these are intriguing concepts, which Reed weaves throughout quite deftly.
I won’t post spoilers so I hesitate to say much more, except there’s also great romantic suspense. Vincent, the new owner of the Magpie Saloon is dashing yet sketchy in a way Rose can’t put her finger on. And Chance, another handsome, yet eccentric stranger has a very different pull on her. The question is who should she trust her heart with?
Twixt is highly recommended for those who like unusual mashups of genres (paranormal romance, myth, fairytale, dark fantasy) in their helping of speculative fiction. Oh, and the cover? Fabulous! By the talented Najla Qamber.
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