Archive for the ‘Futuristic’ Category

Healer’s Choice-Jory Strong

August 19, 2010

Healer’s Choice

Jory Strong

Berkley, Sep 7 2010, $15.00

ISBN: 9780425236536

Rebekka spends a lot time healing patrons and employees of the shapeshifter brothels a place where she was born and loosely raised.  Her unique skill is to save a shapeshifter caught trapped between their two forms.  However, by doing this, the victim must choose one shape because the cure includes no more shapeshifting between the beast and the human forms.

Aryck the Jaguar were enforcer learns of Rebekka’s healing skills.  To prevent a tragedy of five cubs dying from a man-made plague, he searches for her to bring her back to Were held territory to help the ailing youngsters. It is a place where humans and half-breeds are not allowed.  Attracted to each other, Rebekka agrees to help, but both soon realize the plague is the first step in a larger genocide plan.

This is a Strong post-apocalyptic urban fantasy as a race war seems imminent in a world torn apart by de facto violence.  As in Ghostland, the story line is action-packed but it is the profound look at the purebreds and mixed breeds that make this a powerful tale.  Star-crossed lovers, Rebekka knows she is an expendable pawn in a world gone mad in which long dead ancestors punish their descendents for crossing taboo lines as the healer is doing yet she knows she has no choice.

Harriet Klausner

City of Night-Michelle West

December 25, 2009

City of Night

Michelle West

Daw, Feb 2 2010, $25.95

ISBN: 9780756405984

In the capital city of Essalieyam Empire Averalaan  lies the under city beneath the streets.  Very few of the surface dwellers know that life below ground exists.  Rath, estranged from his family, seeks valuables from the land below to sell to those above.  Also seeking valuables from the undercity in order to survive are the nomadic, street urchins led by Jewell “Jay” Markess.  She is a grateful to Rath for taking her off the streets and mentoring her on how to live off the undercity treasures.

Life inside of Averalaan is getting harder.  Children are disappearing without a trace including some from Jay’s den.  There’s a demon dissonance hovering over the city and Rath investigates what is going on.  His inquiries lead to Lord Cordufar and his mistress; bot of whom are not human and dangerous to Rath, Jay and others.  He also learns that a demon can take over the body of a person and retain their memories.  Jay is a seer who has three identical visions of Cordufar’s mistress.  This is significant as it spells out danger especially when Jay also has visions that Rath will die unless he takes precautions to prevent a demon from subsuming him  Jay tries to keep Rath safe while he attempts to insure her future if he dies.

This is a super action oriented investigative fantasy in an incredible world as Michelle West makes her empire and capital seem as if it comes from ancient history books rather than her imagination.  The cast is strong especially the lead couple who are clearly devoted to one another with each wanting to keep the other safe.  However, , it is the city and its undercity that spellbinds the audience as no one knows what is coming to the surface from below.

Harriet Klausner

Summa Elvetica: A Casuistry of the Elvish Controversy-Theodore Beale

October 30, 2009

Summa Elvetica: A Casuistry of the Elvish Controversy

Theodore Beale

Marcher Lord, Oct 2009, $12.99

www.marcherlordpress.com

ISBN: 9780982104927

 

Amorran Church noble scholar Marcus Valerius is part of a delegation traveling from the Republic to Elebrion to end the heated argument between church scholars whether elves have souls.  The delegates know how complex the issue will prove without the threat of a holy war lingering depending on their decision, but each plans to do the right thing religiously regardless.

 

On the trek to the kingdom of the elves, Marcus becomes friends with the scornful Bishop Claudo and Father Aestus, and especially his new dwarf bodyguard.  He also enjoys his time spent with the elf accompanying the delegation.  In Elebrion, the monarch King Caerwyn throws a welcoming gala, but Marcus soon uncovers a seditious betrayal as he thinks of his Uncle Magnus’ warning before he set forth on the trek.

 

This is a terrific fantasy that uses the premise of Anatole France’s Penguin Island in a Tolkien like Holy Roman Empire.  The story line is mostly told from the viewpoint of the young brilliant yet naive scholar as he learns so much about life and faith in the light of betrayal yet keeps his hope and belief high.  Fans will enjoy Marcus’ adventures in the kingdom of the elves.

 

Harriet Klausner

 

Dark Light-Jayne Castle

July 1, 2008

Dark Light

Jayne Castle

Jove, Sep 2008, $7.99

ISBN: 9780515145199

 

Earth has colonized the world of Harmony but they were not the final sentient species to do so.  A mysterious alien race built underground catacombs filled with psi energy that over time manifested among the earthy colonists with each generation growing is psi skill.  The mysterious aliens are gone leaving only their infrastructure.

 

Tabloid reporter Sierra McIntyre is interviewing new Ghost Hunter Guild Chief John Fontana, who can manipulate psi energy so that it doesn’t hurt anyone. Sierra is worried about former and homeless Guild member addicted to ghost juice and believes Fontana should tale care of the problem. She is also concerned that former impoverished hunters have disappeared without a trace and demands John investigate.  Less than an hour after they meet, John proposes a marriage of convenience so they can combine their resources to investigate the issues that he feels generate from within the guild and to protect Sierra who is in danger from those shadows behind the disappearances.  On their first night as husband and wife, someone using an alien artifact breaks into John’s property with nasty intent.  They escape into the catacombs for now, but traps and danger await them on every turn as the conspirators need to kill Mr. and Ms. Fontana to avoid discovery and disclosure.

 

It is always great to visit Harmony where Jayne Castle escorts readers through great romance and compelling mystery in an alien combo sci-fi fantasy world.  The latest thriller is exciting and fast-paced as the alien objects are used by avaricious people to gain more power.  The pairing of Sierra and John enhances their inquiry into what is going on inside the Guild as fans of the saga will relish this strong paranormal romantic whodunit.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Bad Boys Guide to the Galaxy- Karen Kelley

June 12, 2008

The Bad Boys Guide to the Galaxy

Karen Kelley

Kensington Brava, Jul 2008, $14.00

ISBN: 0758217692

 

Texas police officer Sam Jones sort of knows what to expect from a Nerakian so he wants to say no, but he reluctantly agrees to escort Lara to his cabin.  In spite of his expectations, Sam is stunned by his reaction to Lara and her nakedness.

 

Lara has come to Earth on a mercy mission; she seeks the cure for a beloved sick elder; her planet is unused to illness having none.  Before arriving on earth she was aware of the temptations, she vowed to ignore all especially chocolate.  However, she is unprepared for spending a weekend with Sam especially since she believes Nerakians are superior beings.

 

The latest Nerakian ET invasion is like its predecessors (see CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF A SEXY KIND) a humorous science fiction romance.  The zany story line is fun to follow as the earth cop and the “medical” alien are unable to adhere to their personal pledges due to the magnetic attraction of opposites being stronger than the greatest force in the universe: chocolate.  Fans of the series will especially enjoy this fine entry as Karen Kelley provides insider information re planet Nerak.

 

Harriet Klausner