Archive for September, 2012

Savage Hunger-Terry Spear

September 29, 2012

Savage Hunger

Terry Spear

Sourcebooks, Oct 2 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9781402266928

 

In the Amazon Rain Forest drug cartel operatives kill five members of a US Army team and capture the solo survivor Captain Kathleen McKnight who they plan to bring to their chief Carlos Gonzales.  Though he knows better and can picture his sister Maya yelling at him for getting involved, jaguar-shifter Connor Anderson intercedes saving her life.

 

One year later in the Columbian Amazon Rain Forest, Connor still dreams of Kathleen.  She returns seeking the man accompanied by a jaguar who saved her life.  When they meet while he is the jaguar, Connor knows Kathleen is his mate.  Now all he has to do is persuade his woman that the jaguar and the man are the same person sharing a Savage Hunger for her.

 

Shifting (pun intended) from wolves (see Dreaming of the Wolf andWolf Fever) to jaguars, Terry Spear provides an entertaining paranormal jungle romance.  The lead couple forges a delightful triangle between the beast, the man and their woman.  With a strong supporting Spear mythos, fans will enjoy visiting the Amazon Rain Forest and wondering what trouble Maya can get into when she seeks her mate.

 

Harriet Klausner

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Quantum Coin-E.C. Myers

September 29, 2012

Quantum Coin

E.C. Myers

PYR, Oct 2 2012, $16.95

ISBN: 9781616146825

 

Summerside High student Ephraim “Eph” Scott found the coin that when flipped seemingly granted wishes.  However, the quarter proved much more complex than simple magic as he learns basic multiverse physics since the coin is a cosmic traveling machine that sent him into alternate realities (see Fair Coin). 

 

One year has passed since he stopped an evil version of his best friend Nathan from destroying his loved ones.  The coin no longer works as he used its power to repair the evil Nathan’s destruction of the alternate universes.  He gave it to his girlfriend Jena as part of a necklace.  However, Zoe, a Jena counterpart from another realm arrives needing his help.  Nathanial has sent an SOS.  Unsure how Zoe got to his plane of existence since his coin died, Eph, accompanied by the two identical yet different girls he likes, investigates.  They learn the multiverse is slowly committing suicide.

 

The second Coin science fiction is a terrific young adult thriller that makes great use of chaos theory and teen romantic angst.  At times frantic-paced, yet the key triangle thrives and insures that Quantum Coin stays anchored.  E.C. Myers provides a fabulous tale as seemingly heads the multiverse dies and tails the multiverse dies.

 

Harriet Klausner

London Eye-Tim Lebbon

September 29, 2012

London Eye

Tim Lebbon

PYR, Oct 2 2012, $16.95

ISBN: 9781616146801

 

In 2017, the terrorist arrack turned thriving London into Toxic City.  The assumption by British citizens outside the great metropolitan is that everyone inside the wasteland died on Doomsday.  The Choppers special forces guard the perimeter of the city allegedly to not let anyone enter and unbeknownst to the outside world experiment on surviving Londoners.

 

Two years later teenage Jack and his younger sister Emily still mourn the deaths of their parents on Doomsday when the siblings, his girlfriend Lucy Anne, their buddy Sparky and true believer Jenna meet Rosemary the elderly healer.  The woman calmly says she just came out of London via tunnels as the media and the government lied as to what has happened since the lethal assault.  Jenna stabs Jack forcing Rosemary to prove her claim of being a healer.  As she heals Jack, Rosemary explains there are other survivors who like her are gaining extrasensory powers.  Jack proclaims that since there is a chance his mom lives, he must go inside to bring her out.  His sibling and friends insist on going with him while Rosemary offers to guide them. 

 

The first Toxic City dystopian urban fantasy is a superb conspiratorial thriller as Tim Lebbon establishes his wasteland London with its strange denizen as genuine.  Making the Lebbon lure seem real are the reactions of Jack and his crew with awe and fear as they trek the city they no longer fully recognize.  Filled with action fans will relish trekking the deadly London Eye wondering what wonder will we next meet.

 

Harriet Klausner

 

 

Wicked Whisper-Nina Bangs

September 28, 2012

Wicked Whisper

Nina Bangs

Berkley, Oct 2 2012, $15.0

ISBN: 9780425253137

 

At the Castle of Dark Dreams on Galveston Island, guest Murmer the demon informs his friend Bain that he needs to find an isolated place to release his music power before he harms someone when he loses control due to his ability if turning into an internal torture.  On a beach with no one in sight, he begins his tune. 

 

Newly hired personal assistant to Sparkle Stardust whom she has not yet met, Ivy Lowe is on the beach when she hears the music.  She cannot stop herself from dancing until Murmer joins her before freeing her.  Ivy dreams of Murmer in spite of her efforts to focus on the job only.  Holgarth the Wizard warns her to stay away from the dangerous Murmer whose music leaves others dead.  Neither the dark Underworld soulless one nor the innocent human can avoid their attraction.  However, Bain needs Murmer’s talent and has plans for Ivy involving the rescue of his love trapped with the Slaugh Sidhe Unseelie horde.

 

The latest erotic Castle of Dark Dreams romantic urban fantasy (see Wicked Fantasy and My Wicked Vampire) is an enjoyable wicked entry tale starring an intriguing demon whose power leaves fear in just about everyone; yet this nonentity holds her own with him.  Though the lead couple’s relationship seems similar to that between the virginal angel and the sinful demon, fans will enjoy this fast-paced star-crossed lovers’ thriller.

 

Invasion of the Appleheads: Deadtime Stories-Annette and Gina Cascone

September 28, 2012

Invasion of the Appleheads: Deadtime Stories

Annette and Gina Cascone

Starscape/Tor, Jul 3 2012, $14.99

ISBN: 9780765330680

 

The Lawrence family is divided by generation as to their feelings towards their new hometown Appleton.  The parents love the time warp cozy village while the two children (Katie and Andy) are bored. 

 

On Halloween minus one night, the adults take the kids on a haunted hayride at an apple orchard; once allegedly owned by a witch who created a potion to change the apples so that kids taking a bite would become zombies.  Katie and Andy notice their peers acting weird as if they are zombies and also observe adults including their parents changing into applehead dolls.  Frightened, the pair concludes witches have spiked the cider with an evil potion.  They must save their parents and the townsfolk from the wicked witches of Appleton as time ticks away.

 

This Twisted Sisters’ Deadtime Stories provides a fast-paced scary tale that middle school readers will relish; especially the premise that adults are blind to the threat while kids must save the night.  The siblings make a terrific team as they hold the storyline focused while preparing to combat evil.  Horrifically vivid (to the delight of fans) the Cascone siblings entertain their audience with a taut horror thriller.

 

Harriet Klausner

Darkwater-Catherine Fisher

September 27, 2012

Darkwater

Catherine Fisher

Dial, Sep 27 2012, $16.99

ISBN: 9780803738188

 

Trevelyan gambled away Darkwater Hall and lost all his money.  He and his sixteen year old Sarah reside with their former servant Martha in her dilapidated cottage.  Her dad remains domicile depressed even as the villagers scorn and humiliate Sarah; while her employer schoolmistress Mrs. Hubbard is even crueler.  When Mrs. Hubbard canes Emmeline Rowney, Sarah intercedes; only losing her position.  Observing her and seemingly impressed by her courage, Darkwater Hall owner Lord Azrael offers her a chance to regain her family home and atone for the hideous misdeeds of her ancestors.  She accepts his demand of her soul, which he will collect in a century.

 

One-hundred years later, fifteen years old Tom and his mom live in Martha’s Cottage.  His mother works as a cleaner at Darkwater Hall School.  Tom wants to attend the school where his great-grandmother was once a student, but knows he has no chance.  Professor Azrael offers him a deal that has Sarah trying to prevent from happening as she does not want the teen to make the same mistake she made when she sold her soul to Azrael.

 

This is a superb young adult Faustian thriller told in two parts: Victorian England and the late twentieth century.  The storyline is fast-paced yet the key cast members are fully developed.  With several stunning twist especially a great climatic spin, fans will root for brave Sarah to keep Tom safe and find a loophole in her damning contract with mysterious Azrael.

 

Harriet Klausne

Little Magic Shop of Horrors: Deadtime Stories-Gina Cascone and Annette Cascone

September 27, 2012

Little Magic Shop of Horrors: Deadtime Stories

Gina Cascone and Annette Cascone

Starscape/Tor, Sep 4 2012, $14.99

ISBN: 9780765330758

 

The school hosts a talent contest with the prize being a twenty-one-speed mountain bike that student Peter Newman covets.  Making matters worse is Mary Margaret looks like a sure shot winner.  While the girl did her act during the preliminaries, Peter’s BFF Bo Olson sling shots an M&M causing a fiery debacle that Janitor Bob puts out.  Janitor Bob tells the two boys that this is strike three.

 

Peter, accompanied by Bo, visits the Little Magic Shop of Horrors where he buys a $9.95 magic kit to include a special amulet.  He changes from Peter Newman to “Peter the Great”, who can perform magic that no master magician has ever done before.  However, his tricks are real and as far as Peter knows from the fine print permanent.  Still he enters and wins the contest with his incredible final curtain call, removing Bo’s head.

 

The latest Twisted Sisters’ Deadtime Stories once again targets the middle school children with a fast-paced scary tale based on sometimes you get what you wished for.  Peter is terrific as he holds the storyline focused while critiquing other acts, using magic, and finally wondering how to undo what he wrought.  On the other Bo is obnoxious with his not so harmless pranks, which Peter condones by omission.  Fans will answer the Lovin’ Spoonful question “Do You Believe In Magic?” with a yes when reading the Cascone siblings’ latest horror thriller.

 

Harriet Klausner

Merge /Disciple: Two Short Novels from Crosstown to Oblivion

September 27, 2012

Merge /Disciple: Two Short Novels from Crosstown to Oblivion

Walter Mosley

Tor, Oct 2 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780765330093

 

“Merge.”  Lottery winner Raleigh Redman finds an alien in his home.  He calls the ET Wood since the creature arrived on earth as a dead tree branch who, like others from their homeworld, needs to merge on earth to survive. 

 

“Disciple.”  Data entry minion Trent Tryman hates his tedious job.  His life changes when he finds himself saving civilization.

 

The second double Crosstown to Oblivion novellas (see The Gift of Fire/On the Head of a Pin) contains two engaging science fiction tales though both themes have been used before.

 

Harriet Klausner

Ironskin-Tina Connolly

September 27, 2012

Ironskin

Tina Connolly

Tor, Oct 2 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780765330598

 

Several years ago, humans and the forest dwelling fey fought The Great War to end all wars.  Now, everyone is trying to return to normal.  A victim of a fey curse that forces her to wear an iron mask to prevent the scar on her face from causing others to go into a rage, Jane Eliot answers an ad for a governess in a “delicate situation.”

 

The child’s father Edward Rochart the enigmatic mask-maker hires Jane to work with his son Dorie, whose late mother was “taken over” by a fey while she carried the lad.  Dorie possesses telekinetic powers that Jane hopes she can teach him to control.  However, to her horror and fear, Jane concludes the hostility with the fey apparently is not over.

 

This is a super Victorian gothic fantasy that provides a paranormal take on Jane Eyre.  Fast-paced with a growing sense of foreboding built on what has already happened to the lead triangle, fans will relish the survivors struggling, in a war ravaged alternate Victorian world, to cope with their personal cursed PTSD.

 

Harriet Klausner

Dodger-Terry Pratchett

September 27, 2012

Dodger

Terry Pratchett

HarperCollins, Sep 25 2012, $17.99

ISBN: 9780062009494

 

In London, two thugs beat up a young woman when Dodger the thieving tosher jumping out of a drain intervenes.  She begs him to help her escape as her assaulters want to take her back to the monster she has run away from whose  battering of her led to a miscarriage.  As he lives up to his name with his snake like speed, Charlie Dickens the author and Henry Mayhew the social reformer arrive at the scene causing the brutes to flee.  Charlie and Henry call Dodger Galahad.

 

Calling the mystery girl he rescued Simplicity, Dodger tries to help this woman he is attracted to; while also trying to prove he is worthy of her.  Dodger soon meets Benjamin Disraeli, Queen Victoria and Sweeney Todd in his quest to live up to the reputation of Sir Galahad.

 

Dodger is an enjoyable historical fiction tale that brings to life Victorian England.  The key to this entertaining thriller is Terry Pratchett capturing the vernacular of the era and the tone of several real historical personas though mostly through their interplay with the title character.  Although the mystery of Simplicity is more a device to propel the plot forward and there is not a disc in sight, fans will feel they are touring London with Dodger as their guide.

 

Harriet Klausner