In what will probably rank as one of the shortest reading times this year, I finished Edward Lazellari's Awakenings over lunch today.
I think this one came via library mailing, and I'm happy I ended up checking it out. Because, even if it does get caught in trope, it's well written and engaging trope.
We don't actually meet our protagonists right off the bat. No, first we meet Colby Dretch, a PI getting ready to be indicted and pretty much lose everything he has. A client sets up an appointment to get Dretch to track down a child 13 years missing. said child doesn't have a name or a location anyone knows. To insure his loyalty, the client removes Dretch's heart and puts it in a bag.
Cut to: Cal MacDonnal, a cop working the south Bronx in NYX. His memories start 13 years prior to the start of the boo. We also meet Seth Raincrest, a photographer of a sort who also has no memories older than 13 years. Coincidence? I think not.
Into this, Seth meets a striking woman named Lelani. Lelani manages to get Seth out of his apartment for tea and conversation, only to get him back to find his apartment had exploded while they were out. since he's now homeless and penniless, he ends up following her around as she goes to find Cal, who's being attacked by strange men in the south Bronx. (Indeed, his partner gets beheaded by the men.)
In interludes, we also meet Daniel, a young adopted man who's step father bats him while his adoptive mother escapes with pills.
As things progress, we find out that the three are all part of a "Game of Thrones" of a sort; Daniel is the child with the blood of the 12 Empires who could inherit the throne of Aandor. Seth and Cal were part of a party who crossed between worlds to protect him. Somehow, Seth screwed up the spell to help them adapt to the new world, thus giving everyone amnesia. Mind you, the flow of time between Aandor and Earth are much different (Something like 3 days to a week have passed that compare with the 13 Earth years), which makes things a bit more complex, particularly since in 13 years, Cal married, had a kid, and possibly has another on the way, while a few days ago on Aandor, he's bethrothed to a politically important woman.
This one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, and according to the library, the next (and only other listed book) in the series came out in 2013. However, I plan on getting it ASAP, since I'm curious as to what happens next.