The Liminal War by Ayize Jama-EverettThe Liminal War by Ayize Jama-Everett

The Liminal War by Ayize Jama-EverettThe third book in Ayize Jama-Everett’s LIMINAL PEOPLE series, 2015’s The Liminal War returns us to the near future and the world of Liminal healer Taggert, his daughter Tamara and the daughter of his heart, Prentis. Prentis is the orphaned Liminal young woman who communicates with animals. We met her in the Book One; as Book Three opens, Tamara, a powerful telepath and telekinetic, starts a firestorm of fear and anger with her realization that Prentis has been kidnapped and is nowhere on their earth.

At least, nowhere in their now. In practically no time, Taggert is reluctantly talking with the enigmatic Alter Nayarana and a weird DJ who goes by Jah Puba, but also Mico, and planning a trip back in time to 1971, where there may be a trace of Prentis. Taggert is already sure he knows who’s taken her—it’s his former teacher and current Liminal adversary, Nordeen.

Liminals are people with powers, extraordinary powers, as it turns out, way beyond your average superhero. Taggert, for example, is a healer who can manipulate physical bodies down to the molecular level. We haven’t yet seen the limits of Tamara’s telekinetic abilities. Mico is a Liminal and something more, the acolyte of the Root God, the god of connections, who we met indirectly in The Entropy of Bones. The god, and others, like the time-traveler A.C, insist that Tamara and Taggert stay in their present to fight the current Liminal battle, but Taggert will not be swayed. Mico defies his god and helps them go to 1971.

After a brief and important meeting with Bob Marley in 1971 London, the travelers discover that the trail leads to a different continent and an earlier time—1938 North America. That is a bad time and place to be Black. Taggert still plans to risk it, but there is another snag. Without the support of the Root God, Mico relied on the help of the spirits of the dead Black people of the middle passage, those who drowned or died on slave ships. These spirits see no reason to help any Black people go to the USA, especially not in the 1930s. Mico tries anyway, sweeping them part of the way across the Atlantic before his magic fails. A key character from The Entropy of Bones makes an appearance, and with Taggert’s help, Mico makes a sacrifice that allows the spirits to help them. It isn’t until they reach 1938, seeking out another legendary Black musical figure, that Taggert grasps just what he’s up against and how much he has to lose.

The Liminal War is fast-paced and filled with epic superhero battles. Along the way there is still time for characters working out their relationships, and sprinkles of delight, most especially the musicians. The books rely on the magic of musical connections, and they are well-drawn here.The Liminal People (3 book series) Paperback Edition by Ayize Jama-Everett (Author)

While Taggert’s Liminal and Alter adversaries are terrifyingly powerful, this book shows us some fault lines in their coalition. They can be defeated. Hints are dropped that the very name for people like Taggert, liminal, meaning transitional, or on the threshold, is a clue to a way to defeat the entropy-born Alters. Time (and the fourth book) will tell.

Sometimes I wonder why certain books or series haven’t been snapped up by streaming platforms, and now that I’ve completed Book Three, this is one of those times. Why isn’t this a series? It’s got great characters, great visuals, sex, drugs, shrooms and music, and the special effects could be as fancy (giant playing mantises!) or as simple as you wanted to make them. Come on, Hulu or Amazon Prime. Step up.

Published in 2015. In the third Liminal Novel Taggert’s adopted daughter disappears so he only has one option: find her. When Taggert’s adopted daughter goes missing he suspects the hand of an old enemy. He gathers friends, family, and even those who don’t quite trust that he has left his violent past behind. But their search leads them to an unexpected place, the past, and the consequences of their journey have a price that is higher than they can afford.


  • Marion Deeds

    Marion Deeds, with us since March, 2011, is the author of the fantasy novella ALUMINUM LEAVES. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies BEYOND THE STARS, THE WAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and in Podcastle, The Noyo River Review, Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. She’s retired from 35 years in county government, and spends some of her free time volunteering at a second-hand bookstore in her home town.

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