The Future Falls by Tanya Huff
(Description nicked from B&N.com.)
“When Auntie Catherine warns the family of an approaching asteroid, the Gales scramble to keep humans from going the way of the dinosaurs. Fortunately for the world, they’re wielding a guitar and a dragon.
The Gale family can change the world with the charms they cast, which has caused some supernaturally complicated family shenanigans in the past. So when NASA and Doomsday Dan confirm Auntie Catherine’s dire prediction, Charlotte “Charlie” Gale turns to the family for help.
But Allie is unavailable because the universe seems determined to have her produce the seventh son of a seventh son of a seventh son of a Gale. And the Aunties can’t help because they’re tied to the earth–although they are happy to provide their delicious, trademark pies. And in the end, all Charlie has is a guitar…
…and Jack. The Dragon Prince, and a Sorcerer.
But Charlie might like Jack just a little too much, and Jack might like Charlie a little too much in return. Actually, between Allie’s hormones, the Aunties trying to force her and Jack into ritual, the Courts having way too much fun at the end of days, and Jack’s sudden desire to sacrifice himself for the good of the many, Charlie’s fairly certain that the asteroid is the least of her problems.
The Gales are going to need more than pie to save the world from an incoming asteroid. But together there isn’t anything they can’t deal with–except possibly each other.”
Let me start by pointing to that synopsis and saying that if you haven’t read the other books in this series, all of that up above will make no sense whatsoever. Sometimes, I’m not entirely sure that it makes sense within the context of the story. But it’s a fun tale, and it’s a fun version of Canada with magical pie-baking aunties, so I’m willing to handwave a few things.
I think my favorite thing about this book, and about the series in general, is its humor. The author doesn’t take her writing or her worldbuilding too seriously, and that adds immensely to the story’s readability. I especially like the mirror that mischievously shows you things about yourself instead of your true reflection. It’s fun to get plot commentary from an inanimate object.
Charlie is my favorite lead character in the series. She’s not tied to the family the way the others have been, and so she moves through the story with a lot more freedom–although a few restrictions tend to stick and cause trouble. That whole sub-plot about her and Jack is a prime example and brackets the plot’s tension with something that’s romantic but subdued.
The resolution of the book’s main conflict is incredibly convoluted, and it involves time travel, so be sure to pay attention. I think this section of the book got a bit wobbly (no, not wibbly wobbly timey wimey) but ultimately pulled off what it set out to do.
I’m not sure if this is the end of the series or not. I mean, what is there to write about after you avert an apocalypse? I guess we’ll just have to see. In the meantime, fans of urban fantasy should enjoy this book, but only after enjoying the two that come before it.