Sky Coyote

Posted by : atcampbell | On : October 3, 2000

Sky Coyote by Kage Baker

Nine people showed up to discuss Sky Coyote, the sequel to In the Garden of Iden. Sky Coyote is another adventure of The Company, a group of people recruited by visitors from the future to help save precious art before it is lost and natural resources before they are extinct. As compensation for the work, the historical recruits are turned immortal. The mission of this book involves saving the culture of a tribe of Native Americans in California before it is wiped out by the invasion of settlers from Europe.

This book was simply fun to read. Baker’s wonderfully amusing prose style, combined with the fast-paced action and relatively short page count, had us all zipping through the book. Baker did a great job of filling us in on the events of the prior book, so that Sky Coyote can be read as a standalone novel. We learn a lot more about the immortals (eating chocolate gives them a buzz) and for the first time actually encounter people from the future (whose taste in food seems excessively boring). This novel introduces a lot of potential conflicts between the Dr. Zeus corporation and its recruits, which we assume will build up to major fireworks when we actually get to the time period where Dr. Zeus was founded.

Sky Coyote is filled with a host of diverse and interesting characters. Joseph, the narrator, is a pragmatic long-time employee of The Company who delights in posing as the coyote god to the Native Americans. Mendoza, the narrator of the previous book, is a botanist recently recruited by Joseph who is still not sure how much she likes her job. Their relationship and their attitudes toward immortality reminded some of us of the vampires Lestat and Louis in Anne Rice’s books.

The encounters between the immortals and the Native Americans are great fun. In Joseph’s coyote guise, he attracts a flock of female followers much like a modern-day rock star. The tribe’s technology is not so primitive as first thought, which Joseph discovers when he sees them coping with an earthquake.

Once again Kage Baker provided us with a fun book that suited our reading moods perfectly. We look forward to her future work.

–A. T. Campbell, III