Archive for October, 2012

Holiday with a Vampire 4-Susan Krinard, Theresa Meyers, Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

October 31, 2012

Holiday with a Vampire 4

Susan Krinard, Theresa Meyers, Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

Harlequin Nocturne, Nov 13 2012, $5.50

ISBN: 9780373885596

 

“Halfway to Dawn” by Susan Krinard.  The hostilites between humans and vampires heat up while Special Forces Captain Fiona Donnelly and fugitive vampire slave Jonathan Kane team up to protect a negotiator trying to end the war.

 

“The Gift” by Theresa Meyers.  In Pennsylvania Vampire Cullen McCormack needs the locket that Angelica Edwards recently inherited and wears around her enticing neck if he wants his existence to continue.

 

“Bright Star” by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom. Heaven sends Dylan McCay to keep human astronomer Savannah Clark from finding the Christmas Star that will lead to the mortals learning immortal angels and fallen exist. 

 

Each tale is a refreshing romantic urban fantasy starring fascinating protagonists who make the paranormal seem real though the respective storylines end abruptly.  Additionally the anthology contains a short story “The Gatekeeper” by Heather Graham in which Elven detective Saxon Kirby and hybrid elf-werewolf dancer Calleigh McGowan hunt a killing werewolf as the prequel to the upcoming Keepers saga.

 

Harriet Klausner

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Sentinels: Kodiak Chained-Doranna Durgin

October 31, 2012

Sentinels: Kodiak Chained

Doranna Durgin

Harlequin Nocturne, Nov 13 2012, $5.50

ISBN: 9780373885602

 

“Kodiak Chained.”  Ruger James the Kodiak bear shifter was a Sentinel warrior and Healer.  When Atrum Core’s ambush leaves him severely wounded, he cannot heal himself quick enough before another attack will finish the assassination.  Using her olfactory sense, Sentinel black bear shifter Mariska Banks rescues him.  They team up in search of an experimental lab that conducts vicious tests on animals in order to discover the way to eradicate the Sentinels.  As they face an amoral enemy, each knows the other is his life mate, which in these dire circumstances may not be a good thing.  The latest Sentinels romantic fantasy (see Tiger Bound) is enjoyable entry due to lead pair as each has the other’s back while battling Core evil.

 

“The Gatekeeper” by Heather Graham.  In Las Vegas, Elven detective Saxon Kirby investigates which werewolf went rogue and left behind a chewed up corpse at a tourist attraction.  The inquiry leads to hybrid elf-werewolf dancer Calleigh McGowan, who hunts the same killer.  The short story prequel to the upcoming Keepers saga is an engaging investigative romance.

 

Harriet Klausner

Past Lives-Christopher Kokoski

October 30, 2012

Past Lives

Christopher Kokoski

BlackWyrm, Jul 23 2011, $15.95

http://www.blackwyrm.com

ISBN: 9781613181096

 

In Louisville, Kentucky, Police Detective James Wolfe takes Courier-Journal outbound sales representative Eric Shooter into custody as he was found unconscious next to murdered pregnant Rosalie Parker; his name carved into her body.  A stunned and confused Eric is show four photos of dead females.  He denies knowing anything about the brutal homicides.  On a lie detector test, he answers he never killed anyone, which registers as a lie.  The cops send him to hypnotherapist Dr. Samantha Jones who finds Eric has been a serial killer many times in previous lives.

 

When another murder occurs and a cop is severely hurt, Eric knows he must confront the killer before he fears his dark side takes over.  He soon learns of a connection in his previous psychopathic lives to the present day predator.  However, his apparent partner in many lifetimes proves diabolically clever.

 

With a strong reincarnation premise, Past Lives is an exhilarating paranormal mystery starring a beleaguered protagonist, the vigilant cop, an amazed doctor, and a vile villain.  The storyline grips the audience from the horrific opening murder until the final confrontation.  Although the short chapters (averaging 2 pages) causes abruptness and restricts depth, fans will enjoy this unique serial killer thriller.

 

Harriet Klausner

Iced-Karen Marie Moning

October 30, 2012

Iced

Karen Marie Moning

Delacorte, Oct 30 2012, $27.00

ISBN: 9780385344401

 

In Dublin, fourteen year old Dani “Mega” O’Malley lives in the abbey amongst other sidhe-seers and with the unseelie prince Cruces the powerful Sinsar Dubh frozen underneath the house.  Dani uses the Sword of Light to kill the fae. 

 

Ryodan, owner of Chester’s club, tells Dani he has a job for her.  She refuses as he caters to the fae.  He takes her to Chester’s taking Dani to a bottom level where a room is frozen with unseelie and human dead.  They flee when the room explodes.  He asks her to investigate before sending her back upstairs where she kills many fae.  An irate Ryodan considers executing her for murder in his neutral club.  Seelie-seer Jo makes a deal to serve as a waitress to keep Dani safe.  To keep Jo safe Dani signs a contract too.   Ryodan takes her to a frozen warehouse which explodes just after they enter.  Three more iced places are searched for clues; two explode.  A few days later he takes her to a frozen church; Dani stops to touch a baby, but endangers her life.  She is taken to Chester’s to heal.  Afterward she begins to investigate until Jayne takes her sword away. 

 

This is an exciting opening of a new Fever saga that focuses on the actions (sometimes moronic) of a fourteen years old individual with special skills who acts even at inopportune moments like she believes she is invincible.  Readers will enjoy that the prime Fever cast plays major roles and the introduction of two new unique dangerous Fae who widen the mythos.  Although there is no climax, saga fans will relish following the escapades of dangerous Dani.

 

Harriet Klausner

Daughter of the Spellcaster-Maggie Shayne

October 28, 2012

Daughter of the Spellcaster

Maggie Shayne

Mira, Nov 13 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780778313809

 

Magdalena “Lena” Dunkirk the witch has always been aware of what her soul mate looks like.  When they finally meet, she and affluent playboy Ryan McNally feels charmed by love.  However, their spell ends when a pregnant Lena flees for her home to raise her child as a single mom in a safe haven.

 

Several months later, Ryan arrives with a strong need to help raise their child.  At the same time Bahru the demon has plans for the baby in which history will repeat itself due to a curse.  Bonded by their love for each other, Lena and Ryan share dreams of being together in an ancient land, but remain ignorant of Bahru’s scheme.

 

The latest Portal romantic fantasy (see Mark of the Witch) is a fast-paced thriller starring a strong lead female, a protective male who will have a chance to prove his mettle or die, and a powerful diabolical demon.  Readers will feel Maggie Shayne put a spell on them as Daughter of the Spellcaster is nearly impossible to put down.

 

Harriet Klausner

Polterheist-Laura Resnick

October 28, 2012

Polterheist

Laura Resnick

Daw, Nov 6 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780756407339

 

Actress Esther Diamond obtains work as Dreidel the Jewish elf in Manhattan’s Fenster Department store.  She got the position because several people hired for the annual meet Santa display failed to return to work. 

 

Santa is running very late while a crowd becomes edgy.  Dreidel entertains them while Candy Cane the elf looks for him.  Finally Esther’s friend Big Satsy arrives screaming in terror with his Santa suit on fire.  A little boy Jonathan also starts screaming claiming a Santa with fangs tried to eat him.  At the same, the Fenster family fights over control of the retail giant and thieves hijack shipments.  When a tree attacks Dreidel, her on and off boyfriend NYPD Detective Connor Lopez claims mechanical failure, but Esther knows otherwise.  With Max the three century and a half old sorcerer at her side, they investigate supernatural happenings unaware that a malevolence is deploying a wicked scheme to make for a deadly Christmas.

 

The latest Esther Diamond satirical urban fantasy (see Vamparazzi, Unsympathetic Magic and Doppelgangster) lampoons the excesses of commercialized Christmas in a fun lighthearted farce.  Once again intrepid Esther proves fearless as she chooses fight rather than flight by facing danger on the freight elevator, the tree, a retired gangster and the Fenster family feud.  Laura Resnick writes a not so merry Christmas paranormal mayhem.

 

Harriet Klausner

A Feast Unknown-A Feast Unknown

October 27, 2012

A Feast Unknown

Philip José Farmer

Titan Books, Oct 9 2012 $12.95

http://www.titanbooks.com

ISBN: 9781781162880

 

In 1968 septuagenarian Lord Grandrith looks back at his life as he enjoys living in Africa looking like a thirty year old person.  He learned early on that he is the illegitimate son of Jack the Ripper and over the years has become almost as famous in his own right as the Apeman, Lord of the Jungle. 

 

Grandrith is also aware that he becomes aroused when he kills so he must control his urges to complete the opponent’s death.  His greatest adversary is legendary Doc Caliban, the Man of Bronze and Champion of Justice, who shares with Grandrith the secret of eternal life.  They know they will one day meet with only one of them walking away.  However, to the chagrin of both of them before they can have that ultimate climax that each desires, each obsesses over identifying who the third party foe(s) manipulating them into their coveted duel to the death.

 

This is a reprint of an exciting late 1960s satirical thriller that retains its controversial freshness with the ripping away of the goodness mythos of two pulp fiction heroes.  Filled with gore and more gore and with the twist of the Apeman’s sexual appetite, fans who appreciate something different will want to read Lord Grandrith’s engaging memoir.

 

Harriet Klausner

Renegade-J.A. Souders

October 27, 2012

Renegade

J.A. Souders

Tor Teen, Nov 13 2012, $17.95

ISBN: 9780765332455

 

In the underwater nation Elysium sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters feels her life is perfect as she trains to be Daughter of the People.  Thirteen years ago, Mother selected Evelyn for her position because her genes were perfect. 

 

Surface Dweller Gavin Hunter accidentally arrives in Elysium, shaking the core of the secluded haven as his appearance exposes the Utopia fabricated on lies.  Evelyn begins to reconsider all she believed as she realizes her perfect life is a sham.  Memories seem contradictory and Evie concludes her mind and even her body are controlled by someone else.  Worse is her beloved Mother is not kind and caring but a manipulative ogre with plans to destroy paradise.  As Evie considers fleeing with Gavin, she learns the worst secret of all; that her mind is a weapon of destruction ready to ignite.

 

Renegade is a super teen fantasy starring a wonderful heroine whose awakening makes the storyline work as she begins to question who Mother is and who her mother is.  Fast-paced, fans will enjoy the “low-life” Surface Dweller and Daughter of the People trainee as they learn the truth about this underwater Utopia.

 

Harriet Klausner

Black City-Elizabeth Richards

October 27, 2012

Black City

Elizabeth Richards

Putnam Juvenile, Nov 13 2012, $17.99

ISBN: 9780399159435

 

The horrific war in Black City left the humans and the Darklings devastated.  Each side blames the other for atrocities as hostilities remain stratospheric even with a high wall separating the enemy races.

 

Sixteen-year-old Ash Fisher the hybrid Half-Darkling and Natalie Buchanan the human meet and fall in love.  Their star-crossed love is the number one taboo of the humans.  Making matters worse for the couple is Natalie is the daughter of a murdered sentry (by a Darkling) and a high government Emissary; Ash possesses a realistic outlook of being a condemned pariah unaccepted or welcomed by both of his races even his human father hesitates as he knows firsthand the cost of a hybrid offspring.  Each knows their forbidden relationship means state execution, but neither wants to deny how they feel.

 

The first Black City Chronicles is a dark romantic thriller set in a world still reeling from a terrible war that settled nothing.  Though the plot can slow down at times, readers will appreciate this engaging character driven, tale as the lead teens know as star-crossed lovers their execution is imminent but each feels every moment together is worth the consequences as both expect to be caught.

 

Harriet Klausner

Sword of Queens-Joan Marie Verba

October 26, 2012

Sword of Queens

Joan Marie Verba

FTL Publications, Oct 16 2012, $15.95

www.ftlpublications.com

ISBN: 9781936881116

 

For over five centuries, Tashtalon the overlord has ruled the patriarchal kingdom of Somerlie with an evil iron fist.  No one has ever seen Tashtalon but everyone knows of his presence especially at night when sleeping is dangerous.  Each evening, Tashtalon puts his subjects to sleep two hours after sunset; and awakens them each morning two after sunrise with some vanishing overnight.  No one has any hope of overthrowing this invincible malevolent God.

 

Twentyish Gill is like everyone else living in fear of the evil ruler; wondering if she will disappear next and knowing how helpless it is as nothing can defeat Tashtalon.  Gill wonders why the overlord’s most enforced law is that no woman will yield a sword with the penalty of breaking his code instant death though she assumes it has to do with females being subservient to males.  As she begins her required quest year “To Find Herself”, Gill thinks of her elderly grandma’s tales of life before Tashtalon.  On her journey Gill learns that the magical Sword of Queens can destroy Tashtalon.

 

Sword of Queens is an excellent coming of age quest fantasy starring a likable heroine.  The vibrant Verba world of magic seems real while the vile villain is made even stronger and eviler by the fearful whispers of his subjects.  Sub-genre readers will enjoy Gill’s adventures in an engaging good and evil thriller.

 

Harriet Klausner