A portion of Philadelphia has been transported to Elfhome, land of long-lived magical humanoid beings with pointy ears and arrogant attitudes. Tinker, a girl genius who runs a junkyard, saves the life of Windwolf, a high ranking elf. It turns out that this is the second time she has saved his life. Windwolf proposes to her and marries her in a ceremony so subtle, she never realized that she has just said "I do". He later performs a powerful and deep spell over her and changes her from human to elf, as well as giving her his ability to command the winds.
Meanwhile, the space-time continuum accident that connected Philadelphia to Elfhome has also connected Onihada, an over-crowded planet populated by sociopathic half animal, half human beings. They want to invade Elfhome and they kidnap Tinker in order to coerce her to create a gate that will let their armies through. Tinker is tested to the limit of her intelligence and courage as she invents the gate, protect her friends, plots their escape and foils the Onihada.
This report prepared by Caroline Wong
It's shutdown time again and part of the city of Pittsburgh has once again been returned to Earth. For most of the year, it resides on the planet of Elfhome or the Faerie World where all of the human inhabitants have come to rely on magic instead of science. Most elves were not really interested in the short lived humans and none of them wanted to be stuck on Earth during shutdown time, even though it was only for 24 hours. That is why it was so unusual to see an elf running through Tinker's scrapyard. Tinker immediately recognized him as Windwolf, the elf who had saved her life several years ago. Windwolf placed what Tinker assumed was a life debt on her and who knew how that linked them together? Fearing that, if Windwolf died, she would die, Tinker heroically battles the terrifying wargs and manages to get rid of them, but Windwolf is gravely wounded. With no magic to heal him, Tinker must use all of her scientific know how and intrinsic genius to get him through the rest of Shutdown. Unfortunately, Tinker's problems don't end when she is finally able to get Windwolf to an elvish hospital...
Tinker and her cousin Oilcan are attacked by some random suits who try to kill Windwolf and any witnesses to the attack. Then there is the NSA and EIA, both organizations very curious as to what is going on in the elvish power structure and wanting to know a little bit more information about the scientific genius who just happens to be Tinker. Turns out that the feds have finally caught up with her and know that she has the mental ability to construct another gate, like the gate that links Earth to Elfhome. But humans aren't the only ones who know that Tinker has this ability - the oni, or Japanese demons, are determined to conquer Earth & Elfhome and are trying to use Tinker to do it! Windwolf is determined to protect Tinker from these people, but Tinker isn't sure if she agrees with his methods. After all, wasn't turning her into an elf and marrying her a little too drastic? Perhaps they should get to know one another first, like a date or something...
Tinker was an absolutely wonderful romantic fantasy that was also refreshingly original. I love Wen Spencer's Ukiah Oregon series and so was thrilled when I saw that she was writing something new because I knew that it would be different and I knew that I would love it! Tinker is such a great heroine - she is young and has many flaws and has a lot of growing up to do, but she is also very mature in some ways and a very smart, eccentric genius.
This report prepared by Debbie
Baen, Nov 2003, 21.95, 340 pp.
On the Rim of Elfhome in Pittsburgh, business owner Tinker and her cousin Oilcan are moving around wrecks that temporarily reside in her Pittsburgh Scrap and Salvage yard to makes room for the influx of new vehicles that Shutdown Day always brings to her. However, a power failure leads to her gadgets inability to keep out the local flow of magic that jumps sky high when a pack of wargs chase an Elf into her scrap yard.
Preferring to literally mind her business, Tinker laments that the prey has to be Windwolf, an arrogant noble who saved her life five years ago from a saurus, but placed a life debt on her that forces her to help. Not long afterward every official from the NSA to the EIA (Elfin Interdimensional Agency) make demands of Tinker. Even those not officially officious want a piece of her. All Tinker desires is to remain in Pittsburgh wanting her first kiss on her first date, but alas even the city will not cooperate as it is no longer earth tied.
Anyone who thought Pittsburgh was Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins, oh my, will quickly change their mind with Wen Spencer's wild fantasy. The story line is as fast as a novel can go yet the key players seem genuine. Readers will adore the harried heroine, an ingenious tinker who has never been kissed (but is standing on an Elven mound not a pitcher's mound).
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner