A Kirkus Review of "The Pass"


In Krummenacker and Caminiti’s paranormal thriller series starter set in the Civil War era, an Irish immigrant on a spy mission fights monsters and discovers a new superpower.

The story opens on a man named Jacob Long, who’s carrying his infant daughter in a blizzard, encountering a great beast called a Skinwalker, which gains different powers depending on what pelts it acquires. The creature protects the child when a pack of monsters attack. Readers soon learn that the monsters are under the control of a mysterious figure working with an assassin named Lansford Hastings.

The plot transitions to the main character, Keefer O’Connor, an Irishman who’s made a name for himself as a military strategist. This leads to his recruitment by Union Army Provost Marshal Lafayette Baker, and soon, Keefer is promoted from a captain to a colonel by the War Department. He’s assigned a mission to assassinate Gov. Fredrick Low of California if he sways from his antislavery stance, and to kill Hastings on sight. During his journey west, he has several supernatural experiences; for one, he discovers his own ability to see about 60 seconds into the future. O’Connor is also suspicious of a shadowy figure that follows him on his travels, along with flocks of crows. As nefarious creatures of superhuman ability pursue him, he briefly finds refuge with a widow, Jenny, and her son, Edward.

Krummenacker and Caminiti’s skillful prose ably reflects the main character’s Irish accent, as well as his considerable charm and wit. Long scenes of journeying feature vivid descriptions, and they’re broken up by exhilarating scenes of battle and tension: “Something in Keefer’s head suddenly caused him to leap from his seat and onto the ground. A moment later, the crack of a rifle and the whoosh of a bullet ripped into the seat he’d just vacated.” Although the story is relatively short, it provides a strong foundation for the series ahead.

A supernatural espionage tale that keeps the excitement high!

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