Warbound is the third and the (currently) final volume of Larry Correia’s Grimnoir series. And as such it ties together the threads from the earlier volumes, Hard Magic and Spellbound and provides the resolution of the story lines for the main characters Jake Sullivan and Faye Vierra. These two are powerful “actives,” possessors of magic abilities in one or several categories working for the Grimnoir Society. Jake is a Gravity Spiker with the ability to alter gravity at will while Faye is a Traveler, someone who can teleport from one location to another. Both have been tested during the crises in the earlier books when they faced off first against the Iron Guard actives of the Japanese Imperium and afterward against rogue actives in the US intelligence agencies that were attempting to blame the Grimnoir Society for magical attacks by other forces.
But now the whole planet is threatened by an alien creature that preys on the entity that produces the magic. The knowledge of what is at stake produces some strange alliances that alter the dynamic that the earlier books portrayed. And despite the war footing that the book details Correia is able to mix just enough humor and other character driven interest to allow the pleasant juggling of a large number of characters. One of the features of this historical fantasy world is the introduction of historical figures often possessing magic themselves. Blackjack Pershing, J. Edgar Hoover, Buckminster Fuller, even FDR make longer or shorter appearances in the books.
I won’t go into a detailed plot summary because I don’t want to spoil the story. Suffice it to say I’m giving it a very good rating. And I’ll finish off by saying a few things about Correia’s story writing. Without a doubt Correia is one of the best sf&f authors around today. Going beyond that I’ll say he compares well with the older authors back in the heyday of the genres. He writes good heroes and good villains. He has a good ear for dialog and he can even inject humor into the story in a natural way. One of his favorite types is a variant of the competent man but instead of Heinlein’s omnicompetent type Correia’s hero is usually a working- or middle-class guy who is good with his fists and guns and adheres to a code of conventional morality. And as an added bonus his heroes are actually likable. Even his villains are interesting.
And there’s one final bonus with Correia that is refreshing to see in today’s social justice infused entertainment industry. There won’t be a single character thrown in just to earn intersectional social justice brownie points from the pink science fiction crowd. Just regular people with super powers fighting super villains without having to worry if any of them is being oppressed by the really evil cis-het white man.
So far, I’ve read all Correia’s Monster Hunter books and now the Grimmoir books. I’ve also enjoyed his comical Tom Stranger audiobooks and I follow his website for his take on the latest outrages by the pink science fiction scolds. Next, I’ll start his epic fantasy series “Saga of the Forgotten Warrior” without bothering to check reviews because I’m already sure it’ll be excellent. And in today’s science fiction and fantasy environment that’s pretty rare.