Archive for March, 2012

Hunted-Rebecca Zanetti

March 30, 2012

Hunted

Rebecca Zanetti

Kensington Brava, Apr 24 2012, $14.0

ISBN: 9780758259271

 

Moira Dunne the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter witch deploys quantum physics to move around in time and space.  One century ago she had a one night stand, but though she immensely enjoyed the tryst that was in the “past”. 

 

However, Moira is unaware that her rendezvous with Connlan Kayrs turned out to be much more when he marked her as his mate.  He has patiently waited decades for her to mature before Conn can claims Moira as his.  Now Conn is back in a stunned Moira’s life as he insists he needs her and by the way her family’s support against a vampire clan creating a customized virus to attack the mates of the undead.

 

The third Dark Protectors romantic urban fantasy (see Fated and Claimed) is an engaging thriller that moves forward the overarching theme of a pending war; which is a two edged sword as the motive for the paranormal hostilities is not very lucid.  The action-packed storyline is fast-paced as Conn claims the witch he is fated to mate with while betrayal leaves their relationship and their family and friends in peril.  Sub-genre fans will enjoy Rebecca Zanetti’s exciting novel as the vampire and the witch prove absence makes the heart (and other body parts) grow fonder.

 

Harriet Klausner

 

Blue Magic-A.M. Dellamonica

March 30, 2012

Blue Magic

A.M. Dellamonica

Tor, Apr 10 2012, $14.99

ISBN: 9780765319487

 

In Indigo Springs, Oregon, arrested Sahara Knax is on trial for treason.  Her former best friend, Astrid Letherwood struggles to end the wild spread of magic into the mundane world caused by her discovery and subsequent abuse by Sahara of the underground blue Vitauga River.  Astrid understands why her late father hid his use of magic and his source though she was his apprentice; as she saw how easily power corrupted Sahara; turning her ex buddy into a megalomaniac.  Others, including the government, demand to use the enchantments for their personal desires and needs. 

 

As she attempts to return the world to its natural balance, Astrid has only one person she can rely on to help her.  Ironically hostage negotiator Will Forest was her jailer, but now is her biggest ally as love and understanding changed their relationship.  Now all they have to do is first rebuild the world and then rebuild a family.

 

The sequel to Indigo Springs is a profound psychological urban fantasy that explores the impact of a new source of power, magic, into a technological world previously governed by the laws of physics.  The heroine is superb as she tries to make things right but finds second and third order effects that convolute her efforts.  Readers will appreciate A. M. Dellamonica’s thought-provoking thriller as magic may be one person’s nirvana but someone else pays the price (sounds like the American corporacy).

 

Harriet Klausner

Chicory Up-Irene Radford

March 30, 2012

Chicory Up

Irene Radford

Daw, May 1 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780756407247

Pixies are alive and well with a tribe residing in Ten Acre Wood.  Many of the nearby human townsfolk of Skene Falls know Pixies exist and are responsible for their beautiful gardens.  The Pixies banished Thistle Down from their community and soon afterward a magical spell changed her into a human.  She and Dick Carrick fell in love and will marry as soon as a judge issues Thistle a birth certificate.

While the couple waits, there is trouble amongst the Pixies as the tribes are at war against each other egged on by the magic of the fairies who still want possession of Ten Acres Wood that hybrid Haywood Wheatland failed to obtain for them (see Thistle Down).  Though young and inexperienced, Chicory knows a civil war will lead to the destruction of the Pixies replaced in the woods by the fairies.  He and his followers form their own tribe living in the attic of Dick mother.  Thistle Down returns to Pixie to end the belligerency, abate the out of control energy, and insure a new king is selected.  Dick fears he is losing his beloved so he turns in to a Pixie due to Chicory’s magic.  He enters the fray to insure Thistle Down’s back is covered.

Human or pixie, Thistle Down is a wise conscientious person who fulfills her obligations by going the extra kilometers.  The Pixies bring plenty of amusing havoc unless you happen to be the human whose life is disrupted by the mischievous tribe.  Filled with magic, intrigue and romance, readers will enjoy the latest entertaining lighthearted Pixie Chronicles woodland fantasy. Irene Radford is one of my favorite authors.

Harriet Klausner

The Impossible Cube-Steven Harper

March 29, 2012

The Impossible Cube

Steven Harper

Roc, May 1 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780451464507

 

By 1857, the “clockwork plague” disease turned people into brainless zombies.  A few of the inflicted become short-lived mechanical geniuses creating technological advances.  England and China emerged from the calamity as superpowers, with both using clockwork geniuses to push their country to the top.  However, in England a cure for the clockwork plague zombie syndrome was discovered but the government’s top secret Third Ward rationalizes that deploying it to save lives will destroy the kingdom as China would still have its mechanical gurus.  They try to hide the cure in The Doomsday Vault, but Lady Alice Michaels and Gavin Ennock steal the elixir and begin releasing it while agents of the now defunct Third Ward led by Lieutenant Susan Phipps chase them in France.

 

Phipps and her goons (Glenda Teasdale and Simon D’Arco) catch Gavin who has caught the plague thanks to Alice’s late Aunt Edwinna.  Alice, Click the Cat, Feng and Dr. Clef rescue Gavin.  They flee to Luxembourg for supplies while on their way to China where they hope to find a cure for the clockwork mechanical genius syndrome before Gavin and Clef die.  Using the new wireless communication technology invented by a clockwork genius, Phipps pursues the traitors.

 

The second Clockwork Empire steampunk alternate historical is an exciting adventure thriller that starts off with action and never slows down until a confrontation in the Ukraine.  Fast-paced, readers will enjoy the escapes of the Bostonian and the lady as she is apt to rescue him even more than he does her.  With a nod to Jules Verne’s Five Week in a Balloon (though an African crossing), readers will appreciate Steven Harper’s exhilarating trek across the European continent.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Master of Heathcrest Hall-Galen Beckett

March 29, 2012

The Master of Heathcrest Hall

Galen Beckett

Spectra, Mar 27 2012, $16.00

ISBN: 9780553807608

 

The old king of Altania is dead, and the coronation of his heir has been delayed by competing political and mage leaders coveting power.  The Ashen see the chaos as an opportunity to overwhelm the kingdom, but the power brokers squabble over their role in the new government rather than insuring what is best for the country.

 

Ivy Quent feels euphoric over her husband the mage’s recent endeavors and her own in Evengrove.  However, she will soon conclude her optimism is an illusion when her extended family is in peril from those willing to cause a civil war while an external threat intensifies; all for a little more power.  Pregnant, Ivy tries to keep her family safe while dealing with betrayal.  She finds allies in the mage Rafferdy and illusionist Garrit of the Theatre of the Moon. 

 

The third Quent dark fantasy (see The House On Durrow Street, and The Magicians and Mrs. Quent) super thriller with several stunning bit plausible twists.  The key to this entry and its predecessors is the Beckett mythology feels genuine due to the fascinating eccentric cast and the title abode.  Ivy is a brave fabulous heroine who earns the respect of the audience.  Galen Beckett scores the hat trick with her third entertaining Mrs. Quent quirky thriller.

 

Harriet Klausner

Blood Secret-Sharon Page

March 28, 2012

Blood Secret

Sharon Page

Kensington Aphrodisia, Mar 27 2012, $14.00

ISBN: 9780758250957

 

Though irate at her foolish brother, Lucy Drake knows his gambling debts are a family obligation requiring repayment.  Lucy has no money to make remittance, but has one item of value, her virginity.  She offers her body to the man holding her brother’s markers Sinjin, the Duke of Greystone.  He accepts her terms of a fortnight but conceals his real agenda from her.

 

Greystone has two causes, which Drake unwittingly abets.  A vampire, he plans to seduce the information as to the whereabouts of kidnapped nephew taken by her father.  Once he rescues his blood, he will fulfill his vow to kill shapeshifting dragons like Lucy Drake.  Fourteen nights later, Greystone finds he craves more with Lucy.

 

The latest Blood Deep heated historical romantic urban fantasy (see Blood Deep, Blood Red and Blood Rose) is a fabulous paranormal thriller as the male protagonist hates that he thinks “I love Lucy.”  He must decide between his heart’s oath and his heart’s desire.  Fans will enjoy this fine entry as the vampire and the dragon shifter face dilemmas that could end tragic.

 

Harriet Klausner

Shadow And Betrayal-Daniel Abraham

March 28, 2012

Shadow And Betrayal

Daniel Abraham

Orb, Mar 27 2012, $17.99

ISBN: 9780765331649

 

A Shadow In Summer.  The city-state Saraykeht depends on the magic of detained Andat spirit, Seedless, compelled to do the biddings of the sorcerer Heshai-kyo as long as his owner lives, but once his possessor perishes, he dies too. The Galts Empire conquers everything in its path except for Saraykeht in spite of the powerful thrusts of the invincible military. Using trade as a means to get small forces inside the city, the Galts plot the murder of Heshai-kyo, which subsequently would lead to the demise of Seedless and ultimately Saraykeht.  Teacher Milah-Kvo catches student Otah Machi sneaking out of the city and suggests his pupil become a black robe bodyguard to an andat and its owner. As Otah learns about the assassination, Seedless works to destroy the mind of Heshai-kyo.

 

A Betrayal In Winter.  In Machi the realm is ruled by the Khai and when a new leader is needed the ruler’s sons fight to the death to win the throne. The last one standing is the new Khai. The Khai has more than three sons; he has given them to the poets who keep the cities at peace and bring in wealth from other countries. Otah Machi, the sixth son, refused to take the brand, rejected the post, and has made a life for himself as Itani Naygu a courier loved by inn keeper Kiyan.  When the eldest son is murdered, the two younger sons go into hiding while the people (commoner and noble) believe Otah was behind the assassination.

 

This omnibus collection reprints the first two terrific tales in the superb Long Price Quartet fantasy saga.  Fifteen years apart, the powerful cast makes everything in this strange magical world seem plausible and exciting.

 

Harriet Klausner

Fated-Alyson Noel

March 27, 2012

Fated

Alyson Noel

St. Martin’s Griffin, May 22 2012, $18.99

ISBN: 9780312664855

 

Daire Santos struggles with being different.  Animals follow her while crows mock her.  Glowing strangers stalk her.  Finally there is the boy with the blue eyes who stars in her dreams.  Her widow mom Jennika is beside herself with worry.  However, not as much as Daire’s paternal grandmother Paloma Santos who knows the danger to the last of her line.

 

Sent to visit her grandma in Enchantment, New Mexico, Paloma explains to Daire that like her and her late dad, she is a Soul Seeker who travels between the mundane world of the living and the surreal world of the dead.  Fated to either save or destroy the world of the living, Daire trains to control her paranormal skills.  However, as her grandma mentors her, she adapts reasonably well until she meets Dace, the star of her dreams.  Although attracted to him even before they met, she wonders if he is her soulmate or her Judas.

 

The first Soul Seekers urban fantasy is a superb thriller starring a “troubled” young lady who learns she holds the fate of the world in her hands.  The key to this absorbing tale is the heroine who makes the Noel mythos seems genuine as she enters the underworld in a soul searching rescue mission while wondering whom does she trust.  Filled with twists, this is a winning opening act.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Blood of Heroes-Joseph Nassise

March 27, 2012

The Blood of Heroes

Joseph Nassise

Harper Voyager, May 1 2012, $14.99

ISBN 9780062048752

 

The war fought in the trenches was the most brutal in history as men died to move the front inches.  It became even more vicious when deadly gas was released onto the battlefield.  However, the Germans, knowing they are losing, turn the combat evil when they deploy the ultimate weapon T Leiche; the “corpse gas” that reanimates dead soldiers to return to the western front.  By late 1917, the Kaiser and his army of dead appear heading to victory.

 

His superior officers assign American Expeditionary Force Captain Michael “Madman” Burke with his artificial “clockwork” arm to rescue his estranged half-brother, legendary American ace Major Jack Freeman; captured behind the lines.  Burke assembles a small team consisting of his top aide Sergeant Moore, big-game hunter Clayton Manning and Tesla protégé and supernatural expert Professor Dan Richards.  To reach the prison where Freeman is held, the quartet must travel across land controlled by the shamblers, undead soldiers and other monstrous German creations.  If they miraculously reach the prison, they will learn why the brass sent them on a suicide mission. 

 

The first Great Undead War historical urban fantasy is a fabulous fast-paced thriller that never slows down throughout.  Filled with action, readers will wonder what harrowing stuff Joseph Nassise will next toss at his heroes.  The military gadgets enhance the fun of a terrific steampunk paranormal historical military thriller mindful of Lester dent’s Doc Savage.

 

Harriet Klausner

Last Rites-Lisa Desrochers

March 26, 2012

Last Rites

Lisa Desrochers

Tor, May 8 2012, $9.99

ISBN: 9780765328106

 

Still raging over Luc Cain the demon turning traitor and becoming human (see Personal Demons), King Lucifer continues to send Hell’s minion to collect the soul of Frannie Cavanaugh.  However, she has some powerful protectors from Heaven as well as Luc formerly from Hell; Gabe the angel came to collect her soul, but defends her fiercely.  She also has a guardian angel, her twin brother Matt who died in childhood.

 

Lilith killed her BFF Taylor and did something to Luc; Matt has also been destroyed.  Before more family and friends die; Fannie must gain control over her magic.  Time is running out on the teen who just wants to matriculate at UCLA instead of being the foci of a war between Heaven and Hell.

 

The third Personal Demons young adult romantic urban fantasy (see ORIGINAL SIN) is a terrific thriller as the heroine remains the rope in a swaying soulful tug of war.  Action-packed with a cheeky protagonist keeping the exciting paranormal romantic storyline focused as she struggles with who to trust since Lilith entered the fray.  Readers of all ages will enjoy Frannie’s frantic fight to keep her soul on earth until she collects social security for a few decades.

 

Harriet Klausner