Archive for January, 2013

Demon Hunting In A Dive Bar-Lexi George

January 24, 2013

Demon Hunting In A Dive Bar
Lexi George
Kensington Brava, Jan 29 2013, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758263131

In Hannah, Alabama, hybrid demon-human Rebekah “Beck” Damian own and runs a dive that employs the gamut of paranormal species serving the gamut of paranormal species; this includes allowing Wampus Kitty inside her establishment though she hurts business with her gloom and doomsday soliloquies frightening the patrons, staff and even somewhat Beck. However her open door policy becomes challenged when Conall Dalvahni demon hunter enters as his kind is at war against her paranormal half.

To their respective chagrin, Beck and Conall are attraced to each other though neither trusts the other. Allegedly Conall searches for a mega-powerful demon-possessed weapon which his prey supposedly possesses that the hunter believes would result in genocide of his kind. As the odd couple fall in love, both know their natural inclination is to kill their beloved and grieve afterward.

The third Demon Hunting urban fantasy (see Demon Hunting In Dixie and Demon Hunting In The Deep South) is a fabulous action-packed thriller due to Lexi George’s ability to make her paranormals appear genuine. The star-crossed lovers are beloved enemies as everyone knows that a demon hunter and a half demon make war not love. While the protagonists fall in love, the overarching theme also moves forward as Beck’s brother Tommy would testify. Filled with danger and jocularity, fans will enjoy stopping at an equal opportunity dive bar in Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd).

Harriet Klausner

Gates of Paradise-Melissa de la Cruz

January 19, 2013

Gates of Paradise
Melissa de la Cruz
Hyperion, Jan 15 2013, $16.99
ISBN: 9781423157410

As the London coven has little to celebrate the New Year, Lucifer begins his final assault on the gate of Paradise as he believes victory is now. Supporting him is the powerful sibling angels Abbadon and Azrael, respectively known as Jack and Mimi Force elsewhere, who are assigned by Lucifer to kill their loved ones.

While Lucifer continues his attack, former vampire Bliss Llewellyn and Lawson the wolf team up to liberate his people from hell; Abbadon and Azrael prepare for the right moment for a betrayal. At about the same time Schuyler Van Alen, worried about Jack who she last saw in Egypt, becomes a prisoner in Hell where she thinks the only hope for Heaven and earth resides with doing what Michel refused to do when faced with the same crisis in Ancient Rome.

The final Blue Bloods urban fantasy (see Lost In Time and Bloody Valentine) is a super climax to a strong good and evil saga as the prime subplots are tied up. The cast is powerful from the diabolical Prince of Hell to the Force angels who expect death regardless of the outcome to the heroic sacrificing Schuyler ready to die in hell for a heavenly cause.

Harriet Klausner

Blue Bloods-Melissa de la Cruz, Robert Venditti (adapter) and Alina Urusov (art)

January 17, 2013

Blue Bloods
Melissa de la Cruz, Robert Venditti (adapter) and Alina Urusov (art)
Hyperion, Jan 15 2013, $19.99
ISBN: 9781423134466

Only the elite Blue Bloods attend Manhattan’s ultra-exclusive Duchesne School. However though the students are a special breed as offspring of the movers and shakers, there is a caste system at Duchesne like any school. Below in the ooze underneath the hierarchal ladder is where Schuyler Van Alen and her friend Oliver Hazard-Perry reside or as far from superstar Jack Force or his twin sister Mimi is possible. That is until they change as their reincarnated vampire genes manifest with nightmarish looks as far back as seventeenth century Roanoke.

Duchesne student Augusta Carondolet dies at a nightclub; also there with her were the Force siblings, new pupil bad dude Dylan Ward, student Bliss Llewellyn and sneaking in for the first time Schuyler and Oliver. Soon after Aggie’s death, other Blue Bloods die. As she learns the truth about who she is, Schuyler also inquiries about a schism that goes back to the original Virginia colony as an avenging group the Silver Bloods have begun a killing spree.

This terrific graphic novelization of the first Blue Bloods young adult vampire thriller captures the essence of the original storyline and its high school age lead characters. Fans of the series will appreciate Robert Venditti’s wonderful adaptation enhanced by powerful Alina Urusov’s art as Melissa de la Cruz’s entertaining vampiric teen lit suspense (with two mysteries) comes vividly alive.

Harriet Klausner

My Lord Immortality-Alexandra Ivy

January 14, 2013

My Lord Immortality
Alexandra Ivy
Zebra, Dec 24 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9781420122725

Over two centuries ago, Nefri the most powerful vampire, used the magic of a Medallion to create the Veil that separates the world of mankind from the realm of the undead. Recently Nefri fears an undetermined threat that could destroy both planes. Knowing the Medallion is the avenue for the evil ones, she breaks it into three parts before hiding them amidst three young mortal ladies unaware of what they possess. However, Nefri also realizes three avaricious vampires plan to take the objects; so with the support of the Great Council, she sends trustworthy vamps to protect them.

Sebastian St. Ives protects amulet recipient Amelia Hadwell from Drake Ramone who will do anything to achieve his hedonistic objective of taking what he wants when he wants from the humans. Drake knows the way to Amelia’s piece of the amulet is through her family. She accepts her kind loving brother William is different but their parents want to lock him up so society never sees his gentle craziness. Two males from the other side with polar opposite objectives vie for her attention.

This reprint of the third Immortal Rogues vampire romance is an entertaining thriller starring a strong human female, a bewildered arrogant vampire, a vile villain, and a gentle-souled sibling. Fast-paced William brings freshness to the triangle that otherwise reads somewhat similar to the predecessors (see My Lord Vampire and My Lord Eternity).

Harriet Klausner

The Mongoliad: Book Three (The Foreworld Saga)-Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey, Nicole Galland, Mark Teppo, and Cooper Moo

January 14, 2013

The Mongoliad: Book Three (The Foreworld Saga)
Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey, Nicole Galland, Mark Teppo, and Cooper Moo
47North, Feb 26, 2013, $14.95
ISBN: 9781612182384

In 1241, the Mongol Empire horde continues their feral assault from the east on the European Christian countries. Only the Shield-Brethren company of warrior priests seems to offer any resistance to the Khagan Onghwe Khan and his invading army as the Holy Roman Church remains divided with Cardinals split into rival camps each claiming Jesus supports their quest for power. The resolute Shield-Brethren have doubts as they bury with honor fallen comrades like Finn.

From within the Mongol Empire, the desperate few surviving Shield Brethren holy knights (Raphael and Percival the initiates, Yasper the alchemist companion and exiled Old Man of the Rock knight master Feronantus) deploy a drastic dangerous plan to get to the Khagan. While each expects to die on the mission in the middle of the enemy’s ever expanding empire; in the Holy City of Rome the angrily splintered Cardinals turn to Father Rodrigo Bendrito who insists he has found the savior. In Hunern, the Shield Brethren led by Rutger the Quartermaster of the Rock Knight Master prepare for the war to come to them.

The Mongoliad: Book Three is an action-packed climax to an entertaining alternate historical saga. The storyline never slows down whether it occurs in the East, Rome or Hunern; yet also provides insight into thirteenth century beliefs as the forces of Christ are divided while the Mongols appear more monolithically in support of the Khan of Khans. Ironically, the myriad of subplots mostly are tied up in the 700 plus pages, but also several seem short-shifted. Still this entry and its Foreworld predesescors provide fans with a great epic.

Harriet Klausner

A Memory Of Light-Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

January 13, 2013

A Memory Of Light
Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Tor, Jan 8 2013, $34.99
ISBN: 9780765325952

The forces of the Light and the Darkness prepare for the final battle, which appears will occur north of the Mountains of Dhoom in Shayol Ghul. Meanwhile hostilities flare up elsewhere as Talmanes leads a depleted Band of the Red Hand in a fight against the Trollocs in Caemlyn; Elayne had taken much of their force especially the cavalry to the Field of Merrilor where the rulers will decide whether to support Rand al’Thor’s dangerous plan to free the Dark One or kill him before his insanity demoralizes the humans. Regardless of who stands victorious in the Last Battle, The Wheel of Time is moving to end this age.

This is an exciting finish to the two decade old Wheel of Time saga as Brandon Sanderson provides an action-packed final battle (and several precursor combats) in his third effort (see The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight). The battle scenes are top rate while making up the brunt of the 900 plus page tome, but also have a déjà vu sense after several war scenes occur. Not surprisingly, some of the numerous long-running subplots receive short shrift as do key characters and races. Still, this is a well-done climax as several fronts explode while the adversarial forces prepare and meet for the final battle that will determine the fate of humanity as the Wheel of Time turns.

Harriet Klausner

The Crossing-Mandy Hager

January 12, 2013

The Crossing
Mandy Hager
PYR, Jan 8 2013, $16.95
ISBN: 9781616146986

The islanders on Onewere in the middle of the Pacific survived the pandemic Tribulation that destroyed much of humanity. Trapped on the coral off their island is the Star of the Sea cruise ship. Residing on board this vessel are the revered Apostles of the Lamb deities who enforce the Holy Book Rules that the Onewere Chosen and other survivors must obey.

Marym believes in the Apostles and their scripture from the Holy Book. She is elated when she learns she is a Chosen to spread the Word of peace to other survivors. On board the Star of the Sea, Marym sees nothing close to the message of peace and harmony; instead she witnesses rape and murder of the darker skinned Chosen Islanders by the Caucasian Apostles in the name of the Lord; and betrayal including sacrifice of loved ones and neighbors by family and friends. Stunned Marym considers the Apostles are devils using the Holy Book to enslave her naïve believing people to do their bidding.

With a nod to Lord Acton’s wry commentary that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, this is an exciting profound dystopian post-apocalyptic thriller. The intense storyline looks deeply into organized religion propagandizing its message to further self-interests rather than that of the flock. The cast is developed and constantly changing as on-board death is the consistent final word for the Chosen. Readers will appreciate this extremely dark tale as the fabulous heroine concludes obeisance means rape and death and disobedience means rape and death.

Harriet Klausner

‘Til The World Ends-Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre and Karen Duvall

January 11, 2013

‘Til The World Ends
Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre and Karen Duvall
Luna, Jan 29 2013. $14.95
ISBN: 9780373803491

Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa. The Red Lung pandemic devastated much of the world. Kylie is a rare person immune to the horrible disease. As the lethal virus proves even more gruesome to the dead, Kylie finds a slight flicker of hope when she meets Ben. This prequel to the Blood Of Eden post-apocalyptic series (see The Immortal Rules) is an engaging tale due to the lead couple and the Kagawa world.

Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre. Following the toxic chemical spill that destroyed the United States, the affluent and their corporations established safe zones for those who could pay for sanctuary inside of fortresses. Others like Mari Thistle reside as scavengers in the dangerous Red Zone where a friend will kill you for your bottled water. Mari and Thorne Goodman meet and soon uncover a diabolical lethal plot to exterminate Red Zone survivors. The keys to this exhilarating post-apocalyptic thriller are the lead couple and the Aguirre environmentally devastated world.

Sun Storm by Karen Duvall. Sarah Daggot is a storm chaser who is outside when the worst solar flares ever recorded bombard the earth; leaving a devastated planet in its wake. She survives, but the immense radiant that blasted her changed Sarah into a Kinetic, who senses when storms from the sun and elsewhere are coming. When Sarah meets other Kinetics, they team up to prevent the final planetary destruction by the sun. However, to succeed, they need the only dissenter Ian Matthews to join them as they are one short. Sun Storm is an exciting doomsday thriller.

The three novellas contain strong protagonists, fabulous support characters and diverse dark earths.

Harriet Klausner

Sunset of the Gods-Steve White

January 11, 2013

Sunset of the Gods
Steve White
Baen, Jan 1 2013, $14.00
ISBN: 9781451638462

Temporal Regulatory Authority leader Kyle Rutherford asks his most experienced Ancient Greece time traveler Hesperian Colonial Rangers Commander Jason Thanou to lead an expedition to study the Battle of Marathon. The mission is to answer historical questions and to determine whether any alien Teloi survivors that escaped the Minoan entrapment were involved in the pivotal battle. Jason met the Teloi masquerading as gods like Zeus when he, geologist Dr. Deirdre Sadaka-Ramirez (who stayed behind with Perseus) and historian Dr. Sidney Nagel (who died heroically) traveled to three millennia ago (see Blood of the Heroes). Reluctantly, Jason agrees to lead the expedition consisting of historian Dr. Bryan Landry, soldier Alexandre Mondrago and xenologist Dr. Chantal Frey to 490 BC.

The quartet arrives in 490 BC weeks before the battle. They claim to be exiles from Macedon whose King Alexander I swore allegiance to the Persians. On the road top Athens, Jason and Alexandre see the mythological Pan. As they are given sanctuary by Themistocles, the budding Athenian democracy debates how to defend itself against the Persian military. They soon encounter Zeus and a stunning anomaly in which conspirators are using Pan and the Teloi to achieve their long term objective.

The clever second Thanou time travel science fiction is an exciting thriller that provides a deep look at the Battle of Marathon. The storyline uses too many passive explanations re the rules of time travel and 490 BC Athens though these explicatory soliloquies add a sense of scientific and historical genuineness to the plot. Still fans will enjoy learning the secret of Pan as Jason and his team must thwart a diabolical plot to influence the outcome of the key Battle of Marathon.

Harriet Klausner

‘Til The World Ends-Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre and Karen Duvall

January 11, 2013

‘Til The World Ends
Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre and Karen Duvall
Luna, Jan 29 2013. $14.95
ISBN: 9780373803491

Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa. The Red Lung pandemic devastated much of the world. Kylie is a rare person immune to the horrible disease. As the lethal virus proves even more gruesome to the dead, Kylie finds a slight flicker of hope when she meets Ben. This prequel to the Blood Of Eden post-apocalyptic series (see The Immortal Rules) is an engaging tale due to the lead couple and the Kagawa world.

Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre. Following the toxic chemical spill that destroyed the United States, the affluent and their corporations established safe zones for those who could pay for sanctuary inside of fortresses. Others like Mari Thistle reside as scavengers in the dangerous Red Zone where a friend will kill you for your bottled water. Mari and Thorne Goodman meet and soon uncover a diabolical lethal plot to exterminate Red Zone survivors. The keys to this exhilarating post-apocalyptic thriller are the lead couple and the Aguirre environmentally devastated world.

Sun Storm by Karen Duvall. Sarah Daggot is a storm chaser who is outside when the worst solar flares ever recorded bombard the earth; leaving a devastated planet in its wake. She survives, but the immense radiant that blasted her changed Sarah into a Kinetic, who senses when storms from the sun and elsewhere are coming. When Sarah meets other Kinetics, they team up to prevent the final planetary destruction by the sun. However, to succeed, they need the only dissenter Ian Matthews to join them as they are one short. Sun Storm is an exciting doomsday thriller.

The three novellas contain strong protagonists, fabulous support characters and diverse dark earths.

Harriet Klausner