Archive for October, 2011

Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale-Christine Warren

October 31, 2011

Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale

Christine Warren

St. Martin’s, Nov 1 2011, $7.99

ISBN 9780312357221

 

Following the interspecies marriages of her BFFs, New York reporter Corinne D’Allesandro vows not her.  However, her editor assigns her on a paranormal investigative tale.  Her jaunt around Manhattan leads her to Queen Mab’s chief of the guards Luc Macinaw.  He searches for the missing royal nephew who is causing havoc that could endanger the Faerie realm.

 

Luc is stunned that his destined heart mate is human.  Corinne disregards her pledge to never date an Other, while her buddies tease her for joining their ranks after she proclaimed never her.  They team up on his quest and in the boudoir, but love may not be enough to counter the threat to both their lives.

 

This engaging Other urban fantasy is a fun investigative tale though the paranormal elements seem somewhat diminished in comparison to the previous entries (see The Big Bad Wolf and Black Magic Woman).  Corrine is a terrific heroine while Luc is her prefect mate even if she has to renege on her vow.  Fans of the saga will relish Corinne falling in love as she was adamant that never her. 

 

Harriet Klausner

 

Hearts of Smoke and Steam-Andrew P. Mayer

October 31, 2011

Hearts of Smoke and Steam

Andrew P. Mayer

PYR, Nov 22 2011, $16.00

ISBN 9781616145330

 

In New York, the murder by the Automation of Sir Dennis Darby has devastated the Paragons as he was their social compass (see The Falling Machine).  Without the moral guidance of Sir Dennis, the group falls apart as each of their superegos supersedes their superhero team.

 

Sarah “the Adventuress” Stanton possesses the clockwork heart of the late killing Automaton who was her friend.  She hopes to rebuild him while supervillain Lord Eschaton has other plans for the Paragons and society as a whole, but needs the clockwork heart to rebuild the Automaton.  When The Children of Eschaton assault Sarah, Italian immigrant Emelio Armando rescues her.  The genius inventor planned to live an invisible life with his sister in New York to avoid his troubles in the Old Country, but has fallen in love with Sarah, whose adversaries target him and his sibling to get at her.

 

The second The Society of Steam Steampunk Victorian fantasy is an exciting fresh tale starring a beleaguered heroine who gave up affluence in high society to join the poor Paragons of Sir Dennis.  The Fortified Steam concept serves as the base for this alternative nineteenth century New York.  However, Emelio’s choppy dialect may seem genuine but slows down the pace of an overall faster than the speed of steam pulp escapism thriller.

 

Harriet Klausner

11/22/63-Stephen King

October 30, 2011

11/22/63

Stephen King

Scribner, Nov 8 2011, $35.00

ISBN: 9781451627282

 

In Lisbon Falls, Maine, Al Templeton, owner of Al’s Diner, discovers a temporal portal that enables a traveler to go back fifty-three years to September 9, 1958 at 11:58 a.m.  Each time a person enters the time hole, they go to that same moment, but no matter how long they remain in the past, they return to the present having lost only two minutes while history is altered. 

 

High school English teacher Jake Epping tests Jake’s theory, but when he returns he finds his previously healthy friend dying from lung cancer and admitting he has gone back in time trying to prevent the JFK assassination.  With no family to speak of, a lonely Jake agrees to complete Al’s mission though he assumes Oswald did not work alone.  Jake tests the concept by intervening in the family of a night student of his who faced a tragedy back in 1958.  He soon learns history prefers to return to the original reality though he tries to prevent 11/22/63 from happening.

 

This is an engaging time travel thriller in which Stephen King makes a strong case that Oswald worked alone, a key element in the plot for conspiracy believer Jake to accept.  The story line is action-packed with the changes in history such as cigarette smoking attitudes cleverly devised.  Part of the fun is debating the possibility of the changes being reasonable as Mr. King provides an entertaining tale.

 

Harriet Klausner

Halo: Glasslands-Karen Traviss

October 30, 2011

Halo: Glasslands

Karen Traviss

Tor, Oct 25 2011, $15.99

ISBN: 9780765330406

 

By 2553, the war between the Sangheili Covenant and the Unified Earth left billions dead and planets destroyed, but the worst of the combat seems over.  The Covenant stands on the brink of civil war between the purist rebels of the Servants of Abiding Truth fundamentalists and the leaders who led the race the Covenant to collapse.  Unified Earth President Dr. Ruth Charet sends Office of Naval Intelligence Serin Osman accompanied by linguisitic Professor Evan Phillips to foster the internal hostilities of the enemy by dealing with the Sangheili insurrection leader the Arbiter Avu Med ‘Telcann.

 

OSI Admiral Parangocky dispatches a Kilo Five unit to Onyx, a planet destroyed during the hostilities.  The military want to capture scientist Dr. Catherine Halsey who broke the law when she created the Spartans.  She, Chief Mendez, Spartans and Spartans III survive in a Forerunner slipspace.  Meanwhile the threat to humanity comes from within the Unified Earth confederacy.

 

This is an exciting post Halo 3 science fiction thriller that grips fans of the game saga from start to finish.  Although there are too many major subplots going on as Karen Traviss sets in motion the opening act of a trilogy, readers will enjoy seeing another aspect of the Spartans who were created for war, but must either die or adapt to potentially peace.

 

Harriet Klausner

Mecha Corps-Brett Patton

October 30, 2011

Mecha Corps

Brett Patton

Roc, Dec 6 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780451464316

 

The Union and The Corsair Confederacy are on the brink of war, which makes decaying earth the perfect training ground for the biomechanical-riding mecha training ground. The trainees prepare to fight against their enemy: The Corsair Confederacy Matt Lowell has lived on colony ships all his life so he welcomes the respite of training on this hellhole planet.  He conceals his secret agenda for why he joined the Mecha corps as he plans to use the neural link inserted in his body which connects him to the Mecha vehicle to find and kill the Corsair Pirate who murdered his father.

 

Training is abruptly ended when the Corsairs attack a Union planet killing millions of civilians.  Matt and his training comrades in arms are deployed to the hidden Mecha world to train on the Demons, the latest generation of Mecha.  Matt recognizes the orb where the leader of the pirates is, but when they arrive with the coordinates, the unit finds the planet under Corsairs assault.  Desperate, Matt devises a counter-attack that either will destroy the Union or neutralize the vicious adversary. They also decide to go after the Corsair leader in a do or die mission.

 

Brett Patton has written a thrill a minute military science fiction starring a fascinating hero who learns in training to be part of a cohesive unit which requires him to give up for now his personal goal.  Readers also observe the politicians who use and sacrifice Black Ops agents to further their ambitions.  Filled with twists and secrets that are not all revealed in this action-packed story line, fans will enjoy sparing into combat with the Mecha Corps.

 

Harriet Klausner

Moonsinger’s Quest-Andre Norton

October 29, 2011

Moonsinger’s Quest

Andre Norton

Baen, Nov 1 2011, $12.00

ISBN: 9781451637564

 

“Flight to Yiktor.”  In the lawless slums of the Limits, Farree the hunchback alien has no friends except for Togger the war-beast he telepathically communicates with.  Lady Maelen the psychic Moonsinger asks his name and he replies Dung.  She insists he is Farree who has no idea how he ended up on this lethal planet.  Maelen and Free Trader Krip Vorland take Farree and Togger with them as they journey to her planet Yiktor while enemies pursue them.

 

“Dare to Go a-Hunting.”  Farree has come a long way since Lady Maelen rescued him as his wings came out of his misshapen body.  Krip has found wings like Farree’s in a marketplace.  With his friends, Farree begins his journey to find any of his species.

 

This is a reprint of the exciting books three and four in the super Moonsinger saga which focuses more on Farree than on the stars of the first two tales (see Moon of Three Rings and Exiles of the Stars) although they play key roles.  The fast-paced Flight in Yiktor feels like a transition tale that is enhanced by having the fascinating conclusion Dare to Go a-Hunting (with ties to some other Andre Norton outer space thrillers) in the same omnibus collection although that also shows a rather radical change in the hero’s personality.  Still these terrific two tales are entertaining thrillers.

 

Harriet Klausner

Immortal Rider-Larissa Ione

October 29, 2011

Immortal Rider

Larissa Ione

Grand Central, Nov 22 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780446574471

 

As the world turns ugly, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride once again.  One brother Reseph has turned into Pestilence as his agimortus broke his seal, but another Ares was saved by his fiancée Cara Thornhart (see Eternal Rider).  A third rider Limos, though she, Ares and Thanatos defeated Reseph-Pestilence for now, fears she will fall to the dark too as Satan demands she become his wife and her seal if broken frees Famine.  

 

U.S. Army R-XR solder Arik Wagner attends the engagement party of Ares and Cara.  He walks outside onto a beach to get away from super-powered a-holes, but the object of his penis follows him.  Limos challenges him to fight, which leads to a kiss.  His final thought was her shouting at him not to say her name.  The other two horsemen explain to human Aegis leader Kynan Morgan that an angry jealous Satan has captured Arik for kissing his bride and will torture him in Hell until he says her name, which will make him one of the lost minions.  Limos cuts a deal with Pestilence to save the world and Arik though her cost is her soul.

 

The second Lords of Deliverance romantic urban fantasy is a superb post apocalyptic thriller that grips the reader from the first apparently fatal kiss to the final confrontation.  The story line is fast-paced and contains the twist of a Horsewoman as Famine.  The cast is fully developed and the twisting story line is loaded with action at time fueled by betrayal.  However, it is the dark world of Larissa Ione that readers will want to ride alongside of the Horsemen (and horsewoman) of the Apocalypse,

 

Harriet Klausner

Destined-P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

October 29, 2011

Destined

P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

St. Martin’s Griffin, Oct 25 2011, $18.99

ISBN::9780312650254

 

Seventeen years old Zoey Redbird feels safe now that she is back in the Tulsa House of Night and being with her Guardian Warrior Stark.  She still reels from the Vampyre High Council condoning Neferet’s evil actions and allowing the malevolent one to return as the High Priestess at Tulsa’s House of Night.  Zoey and Neferet know it is not over between them.

 

Meanwhile after fallen guardian Kalona freed him, Nyx the Goddess has not just forgiven Rephaim the Raven-Mocker; she turned him into a human so he can be with the love of his life Stevie Rae at Tulsa’s House of Night.  As Neferet sets in motion a chaotic revenge plan against Redbird and the teen’s friends, she also has a new vendetta with her former ally Kalona.

 

This is a powerful entry as young adult fans better understand what motivates the good, the bad and the ugly.  Action-packed yet character driven (by much of the key cast) Zoey quickly realizes her hope for sanctuary in order to heal especially emotionally proves false as she is quickly caught in another Neferet monstrous scheme.

 

Harriet Klausner

Virtual Virgin-Carole Nelson Douglas

October 29, 2011

Virtual Virgin

Carole Nelson Douglas

Pocket, Nov29 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9781439167793

 

Paranormal investigator Delilah Street saved the life of her lover Ric Montoya, but apparently he obtained some of her silver skills in the process.  The former Fed Ric brought to life Maria, the silver robot from the classic sci fi movie Metropolis (see Silver Zombie).  Lilah feels for her rival for Ric’s affection as Maria the CinSim robot is a virgin and will remain a virgin forever.  Maria is the property of the owner of Metropolis, mysterious albino rock star Snow. 

 

Ric and his former FBI partner Leonard Tallgrass battle the Immortality Mob, who run a zombie commodity exchange.  At the same the powerful demonic drug lords see an opportunity to change Las Vegas into their image with Maria as the engine.  While dodging paranormal psychopaths, Lilah and Ric must prevent the demonic take over of Sin City.

 

The latest Delilah Street Paranormal Investigator is an exhilarating thriller as the heroine, her lover and his partner battle the wicked in Post-Millennium Revelation Las Vegas.  Although it behooves fans to read at least Silver Zombie, Virtual Virgin is a strong action-packed entry yet Carole Nelson Douglas also raises question of ethics and values.

 

Harriet Klausner

Under Attack-Hannah Jane

October 18, 2011

Under Attack

Hannah Jane

Kensington, Nov 1 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780758258939

 

Her new boss at the Underworld Detection Agency in San Francisco wants supes only so one Executive Assistant Sophie Lawson, the human immune to the paranormal, expects to receive the pink slip shortly although she wonders if EEOC will protect her rights against firing due to ethnic origin.  The thought of unemployment disturbs Sophie as she loves what she does.

 

Her sometimes boyfriend Alex Grace the fallen angels asks Sophie to help him obtain the Vessel of Souls before someone else obtains the relic that he believes will restore him his wings.  Ophelia the fallen angel also wants the artifact.  She believes the best way to win the prize is to cause issues for Sophie.  As the paranormal are murdered related to the search, Sophie distrusts the fallen angel or any other supe possessing the Vessel of Souls.  To her shock, Sophie finds the clues take her to her family’s history.

 

The second UDA urban fantasy (see Under Wraps) is a delightful amusing yet taut thriller.  The heroine struggles with the fear of losing her job while on the dangerous hunt for a relic in which she does not quite understand its significance but knows that fallen angels want it so she comprehends the implication.  The investigation is terrific across the streets of San Francisco while balanced by the satirical jocularity of life as a supe different from the Hollywood portrayal and no reader will look at a bathroom the same way.

 

Harriet Klausner