Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-44849-458-6 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-44849-460-9 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys Ad Gr. 4-7
Gertie Milk—or at least that’s who she assumes she is from the tag inside her sodden gown—awakes on a beach on an apparently deserted island, but her presence is quickly noted by a threatening worm, a flock of flightless birds, and eventually, a man named Kolt, who is not as surprised to see her as she might expect. She is another of his kind, destined to be a Keeper of Lost Things, whose job it is to take the commands of the Big Dusty Book Upstairs and return disappeared items to their owners in various time periods. The store rooms of are overflowing, and as lost limbs and misplaced sporting equipment escape their designated areas and create havoc, the lack of KOLT personnel is getting critical. Gertie’s still a little unclear her own vanished identity, but she soon musters enthusiasm for her new job and travels with her mentor through time, name-checking important people and events as they go. The story can be an immersive one at times, but Van Booy places few controls on the magic/sci fi and the plot takes on a make-it-up-as-you-go air that is less than satisfying. There are bad guys to encounter, and it’s hinted that one in particular will make Gertie’s life even harder in a subsequent volume. One hopes Van Booy will fine-tune his promising premise in future outings.