Crescent Moon (Phoebe Harkness Book 2)
A clever post-apocalyptic fantasy, full of hilarious one-liners, horrific science experiments gone wrong, and a snarky and sexy paratoxicologist named Phoebe.
Crescent Moon is book two of the Phoebe Harkness series by James Fahy.
Thirty years after a failed attempt at bringing about world peace, a governing body called Cabal protects the people of New Oxford, Britannia, from a deadly species known as the Pale: a species ironically created by man. A high wall around New Oxford separates the pale from humanity and genetic others (GOs) such as vampires and tribals.
Situated beneath the ancient New Oxford University Campus is Blue Lab One. Phoebe Harkness and her team are part of the Paratoxicology-and-Applied-Genetic-Research-and-Development facility. Their work is specifically aimed at refining a para-vaccine, Epsilon strain, to control the Pale.
No one can introduce protagonist, Phoebe Harkness better than her 19-year-old medical intern, the Helsing fangirl and rather spunky, Lucy. “Doc, you are the single most intelligent woman I know. You have two PhDs and a doctorate in toxicology and biochemistry. You’ve won the Rutherford-Chalmers award for paratoxicology four years in a row, and I have seen you splice rats without flinching. You can read RNA like a computer reads binary. Trust me, there is nobody here who can possibly intimidate you.”
Lucy, although an underdog in the world of paratoxicology, is gifted with the extraordinary talent of weeding through her closet and finding unique outfits at the drop of a hat. This facet says more about Lucy’s personality than any amount of character description, and one that Fahy uses throughout the series with perfect timing.
In Crescent Moon Harkness, is once again stretched beyond her comfort zone of Blue Lab One. Shoved into a world of conversation and mediation by the ever so coordinated, Servant Veronica Cloves of the Cabal (think 1980s Norma Kamali, Joan Collins, and a pair of vintage Jimmy Choos), Harkness is handed the task of solving a series of gruesome murders.
Concerned that a rogue GO committed the atrocities, Cabal promotes Harkness to GO Liaison/Ambassador, on the basis that she’s experienced close contact with more than one member of the GO community. Dragged out of the safety of Blue Lab One and into the field, Harkness is drawn into a horror-filled world where her own Epsilon strain is being used against her and the GOs. Why her, you may ask? The answer to that question lies in book one, Hell’s Teeth.
As GO Liaison, Harkness heads to the vampire district with Sophia, shape-shifter and side kick to Kane, head of the Tribals. Concerned about being in close proximity to the delectable vampire, Allesandro, Harkness does her best to put aside the sensual dreams she’s been experiencing where he plays the main character.
Adhering to her nerdy-scientist persona, Harkness agrees to meet up with Allesandro the following evening with a promise from him to share vital information regarding the recent murders. This leads to a rather messy evening in the depths of the Bodleian Library, followed by a feeding frenzy in a tight situation. A rather delicious scene . . .
Throughout the story Fahy draws on issues such as equality, social justice and the great divide between the wealthy and the poor. His characters are well established, their dialogue strong and perfectly matched, and the story is tinged with tidbits of historical anecdotes. A final copy edit would be an asset to this book; however, Fahy’s fans will enjoy the hilarious banter he delivers via the delightful and sometimes insecure, Phoebe Harkness.
Recommend reading book one, Hell’s Teeth, prior to reading Crescent Moon.