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Long Hot Summoning: The Keeper's Chronicles #3    by Tanya Huff order for
Long Hot Summoning
by Tanya Huff
Order:  USA  Can
Daw, 2003 (2003)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I've enjoyed Tanya Huff's works for some time, my favorites being her Confederation (Valor's Choice, The Better Part of Valor) series and this one, The Keeper's Chronicles, which I find hilarious. The third in the series, Long Hot Summoning, lived up to my expectations and more.

This particular adventure involves two Keepers (Claire and her powerful young sister Diana, who's just finished high school) and hence two wisecracking cats - old pro Austin and ex-angel rookie Sam. Most of the action takes place in a shopping mall and in its Otherworld equivalent, entered through 'Erlking's Emporium'. Bystander street kids, who slipped through and are morphing into elves, have wished into existence an archetypical Arthur, their teen 'answer to a leadership dilemma.' The bad guys are building a segue so that Hell can access our world and it's up to the Keepers to save the day, with a little help from their new elvish friends.

While Claire and Diana explore the Otherworld mall, Dean and Austin develop problems of their own. A romantic couple have just rented a room at the inn - an aging professor and a mummy named Meryat - with a young grad student named Lance in hot pursuit. To buy himself some time, Dean sends Lance through the third floor elevator entrance into the Otherworld, where he eventually bumps into Claire. When it turns out that Lance was right, and after Austin's I told you so, Dean heads to the mall to trap a basilisk, in order to deal with the 'life-sucking, reanimated mummy' Meryat before Claire's return. In the meantime, Diana and Arthur's captain Kris are caught by the bad guys and end up in conversation with a hole in the ground.

After all hell breaks loose (literally of course), the good guys win by their usual willingness to sacrifice and by a 'bubblegum pink, Barbie pink' attack. I love this series and its tongue in cheek satire of modern life, the mall and the minivan; don't miss it!

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