Archive for August, 2009

The Child Thief-Brom

August 2, 2009

The Child Thief

Brom

Eos, Sep 2009, $26.95

ISBN: 9780061671333

Peter the elf persuades abused and runaway children that the mist covers the island of Avalon which is a haven for them unlike nearby Manhattan; The children always come because he has a silver tongue and primes them a refuge.  He fails to warn the children until they arrive that the evil Flesh-eaters; men with scales and elongated claws led by the Captain want to kill them

Peter and his youthful soldiers and the Captain and his beastly pirates have been at war for centuries.  Each death causes Avalon to lose some of its magic as the power of the Lady is waning.  Devoted to the Lady, Peter and his army the Devils prepare for combat, but a new recruit Nick objects and wants to return to the mean streets of Manhattan.  Peter refuses until the latest battle is done.

THE CHILD THIEF is a much darker version of Peter Pan than the Williams or Disney movies or the J.M. Barrie original novel from a century ago.  Peter is obsessed with saving the Lady and the island which he has lived on for a millennium as seen in flashbacks.  To continue to do so he needs an army and thus must charm throwaway children to voluntarily come with him.  They always do, but Nick changes the equation when one dares to say he wants off the island.  Well written, but extremely bleak and filled with gore, blood, , and violence throughout, this trip to Never-Neverland spins the classic fairy tale into a realm in which war is hell.

Harriet Klausner

The Darkest Whisper Gena Showalter

August 1, 2009

The Darkest Whisper

Gena Showalter

Harlequin HQN, Sep 2009, $7.99

ISBN: 9780373773923

Like his comrades, Sabin hosts a demon he and the others released from Pandora’s Box; his being Doubt.  He knows unless a miracle occurs as has happened to some of his brothers in arms recently, he will remain eternally alone as he fears Doubt will destroy anyone he cherishes.

He leads an expedition in Egypt for one of the ancient artifacts that could help him and his dark warrior teammates reconstruct Pandora’s Box and contain the demons.  They find their enemy the Hunters, who believe killing the Lords of the Underworld will destroy the demons, have captured immortal women locking them in hidden cells.  One of the prisoners is incarcerated in a glass container.  Over the fears and warnings of the Hunters, he frees Gwendolyn the Timid, who unlike the other harpies does not enjoy the kill though she rips out the throat of the Hunter who imprisoned her for the past year.  She fears her dark side is free so she wants to return to Alaska to hide from mortals.  Instead Sabin takes her to Budapest with him.  He wants her and she wants him, but Doubt wants her blood to flow.

The latest Lords of the Underworlds saga (see THE DARKEST PLEASURE, THE DARKEST KISS and THE DARKEST NIGHT) is once again an extremely dark exciting tale in which Gena Showalter’s mythos laden earth seems genuine.  The hero is a fascinating brooding protagonist who for the first time since his fall has a sliver of hope although his demon leaves him with doubts while the harpy is ready to kill the demon inside her beloved if it gets in the way of love.  Though a stand alone as are the other entries starring different “Lords”, romantic fantasy fans who appreciate a modernization of ancient myths should read the previous three novels; not only are they excellent, they provide depths to this strong gory read.

Harriet Klausner

Lord Of Sin-Susan Krinard

August 1, 2009

Lord Of Sin

Susan Krinard

Harlequin HQN, Sep 2009, $7.99

ISBN: 9780373773985

Nuala, Lady Charles was a powerful witch whose mission like all her ancestors before her was to help lovers come together.  However, her last project led to the death of her beloved Charles and the loss of her bewitching powers.  She joined the Widow’s Club, vowing to never marry again and knowing her magic is interred with her husband.

In 1889, Nuala meets Sinjin Ware, the Earl of Donnington, who belongs to the Forties confirmed bachelor club.  They are attracted to one another; her first since Charles died and even her powers resurface.  He wants her too, but should loath her.  Still he wants her fiercely and plans to have the widow his way, which means stripped of clothing, inhibitions, and paranormal power.  Others have nefarious plans for the bewitching witch.

The latest “Lord of” (see LORD OF LEGENDS) is an engaging historical romantic fantasy starring a lead couple who have doubts about their relationship.  The support cast is very powerful (a list in the back helps) especially his buddy Leo and her friend Deborah.  With plenty going on that weave cohesively together into a fast-paced tale, fans will want to read the adventures of the witch, the bachelor and the Fane (Fair Folk).

Harriet Klausner

Chasing the Dragon-Justina Robson

August 1, 2009

Chasing the Dragon

Justina Robson

Pyr, Aug 25 2009, $15.98

ISBN 9781591027461

In 2015 the release of the quantum bomb destroyed the dimensional divides enabling humans to cross into other realms; and the occupants (elves, demons, and ghosts, etc.) of those worlds to enter the mortal realm.  Otopian Secret Service Special Agent Lila Black understands the danger having been magically tortured but “saved” by humans who turned her into an android of sorts.  She is married to the demon Teazle and in love with a dead elf Zal.

Her superiors order her to execute her missing spouse, accused of mass murder killings.  Lila knows the evidence is overwhelming but refuses to believe her husband would commit atrocities.  She is determined to prove his innocence and catch the real culprit before other innocents die.  However, her biggest objective is to find a way to bring her beloved back from the dead.  Her efforts lead her to uncover a plot by an ancient evil who is manipulating the suspicions between species with diabolical plans to become the multi-dimensional God.

The latest Quantum Gravity is a terrific entry as the heroine with her sentient dress and sword is mightier than the pen investigates the crimes her husband allegedly comitted under the guise of searching and destroying Teazle the demon.  The story line is fast-paced with plenty of action and gore as is the norm of this thrilling sci-fi fantasy.  In some ways this is more of a Noir as kick butt Lila stalks the mean cold (it is winter) streets of Bay City barefoot, fans will enjoy her escapades while newcomers could read this entry by itself, but reading previous tales provides a better sense of how the world changed.

Harriet Klausner