"Move over Flipper, Jason's back in town"
Jason Murphy was back in town. Unfortunately so was his
evil Outcast father, Hieronymous. His father, a dreadful
fact he had learned on what should have been the happiest
day of his life. No wonder the Inner Circle had always
viewed him with a jaundiced eye.
Jason Murphy was a Protector, a superhero descended from
those who had been proclaimed the Gods of Olympus. Jason's
skill was the ability to communicate with fish and
cetaceans, as well as being able to shift into the form of
a dolphin which was probably why he'd been chosen to avert
his father's projected strike at the San Diego Sea World.
Hopefully he would be able to put his father away once and
for all, proving his loyalty to the Council, and allowing
him to get his family back. Not that he'd ever had that
family, thanks to Hieronymous.
When his sweetheart Lane Kent had announced her pregnancy
over seven years ago, Jason had fretted about his bad
blood, and without explanation, had gone after the man he'd
just been told was his father. The young, inexperienced,
Protector had been caught and imprisoned in a fish tank,
while Lane had given birth to his son alone. He had missed
nearly seven years of Davy's life, years he could never get
back. He would not fail this time, because time was running
Jason had just received a letter informing him of his
negligence in registering his Halfling son. He'd been
ordered to deliver the child to the equivalent of Protector
boarding school, ASAP. Lane wasn't going to like that, but
with the boy's seventh birthday approaching, he would come
into his powers and require training. Jason wanted to train
the boy himself, but the council had had their doubts about
Jason's loyalty. Some felt that he'd been too long in his
father's clutches to have resisted his evil influence.
Jason had been watching his family from afar for the last
several months, sending his child anonymous gifts, waiting
for the right time to approach them. Now he could not
afford to wait. He'd make his move as soon as this
assignment was complete.
So far there had been no signs of Hieronymous and Jason was
beginning to think the whole thing was a false alarm, when
he spied Davy in the company of his Aunt ZoŽ, the wife of
Lane's foster brother, George Bailey Taylor. While Jason
was distracted an Outcast induced storm struck the park
endangering riders. While he was busy saving them, his
Halfling half-brother Mordi kidnapped his son. The worst
part was that Mordi had shifted to resemble Jason, and ZoŽ
was certain that Davy's father is the kidnapper. Precious
time was elapsing while Jason is in her custody.
Thanks to ZoŽ and her brother Hale, Lane was knowledgeable
about Protectors, although she'd been a bit stunned to find
that her former love qualified as one. Although she'd
moved on with her life and had no intention of letting
Jason back into it, she could not bring herself to believe
that he was responsible for their son's disappearance. Her
fragile trust allowed Jason the chance to attempt to
recover their child. Time was of the essence because Davy
would come into his powers at midnight leading into his
Heironymous had already discovered that Davy's strength lay
in his brilliant mind. If he was not stopped, the child's
intelligence would soon supplement his own genius.
Heironymous planned to siphon off his grandson's blossoming
intellect at that precise moment before his powers were
set, to make himself the smartest man alive. Then no one
would stop him from taking over the world and enslaving the
human race. Would Jason defeat his dastardly dad, save his
son, and win back the love of his life?
I must say Jason has a lot to contend with, ZoŽ's mistrust,
competition from Lane's perfect new boyfriend, and a
fledgling Protector named Boreas whom Jason sarcastically
calls Boring, but who comes in rather handy at key moments.
On the plus side he's got quite a bit of help from Davy's
pet fish, and Hale's ferret, as well as other miscellaneous
sea life and yes, Shamu. As always there is plenty of
suspense and a heartwarming love story, for these two star
crossed lovers are undeniably soul mates. It's rather
lovely to see some of our old friends again, ZoŽ, Taylor,
Hoop and Deena. ZoŽ's got a bit of news of her own, and
more than a bit of trouble delivering it. Mordi is still on
the fence. Who knows what he'll get into next. Perhaps he
just needs someone to love besides his inconsistent
father. I hope we get to find out. Another delightful read
from Ms. Kenner.
Copyright © 2003
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted May 13, 2003