Archive for the ‘Science Fiction Romance’ Category

Cold Light-Traci L. Slatton

February 9, 2013

Cold Light
Traci L. Slatton
Parvati Press, Jun 27 2012, $14.99
http://www.parvatipress.com
ISBN: 9780984672684

The white miasma Mists burned except chlorophyll. Billions died when the Mists sucked out metals from humans and other beings on the planet during the Day. Arthur saved Emma, her young daughter Mandy and seven lost little orphans attached to her when he dispatched the Mists and brought them into his safe camp. Emma assumed her husband Haywood and their oldest daughter Beth are dead. She and Arthur become an entry while leading their settlement. However, Haywood found his wife and child in France and brought them home to Edmonton leaving Arthur behind despondent from his loss (see Fallen).

In Canada, raiders abduct Beth. She and Haywood search for their child. Clues lead them to Arthur and his townsfolk; all of whom are angry at their former first lady for leaving them. Still everyone joins in on the quest to find and rescue Beth; while Haywood and Arthur demand she choose between them as neither will voluntarily leave her. At the same time, everyone mentally prepares for the confrontation with the Mists knowing many of their loved ones will die in the final battle for survival.

The second exciting “After” post-apocalyptic thriller moves forward on two fronts: Emma’s relationships and the anticipated suicidal Armageddon Mists war as Traci L. Slatton deftly blends both subplots into a superb dystopian tale through her quality cast. The triangle participants fear the repercussions on the young at a time when nightmares are prevalent yet none of them can leave. Readers will wonder who will quote Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.”

Harriet Klausner

Darkship Renegades-Sarah A. Hoyt

December 22, 2012

Darkship Renegades
Sarah A. Hoyt
Baen, Dec 4 2012, $14.00
ISBN: 9781451638523

Kit the Jarl mule clone and the daughter of wealth Athena know they are fortunate to escape Earth and her past. They leave with a price on Thena’s head are going to Eden to live together in love and peace. Instead they face treasonous charges as a powerful individual uses the duo as fodder to manipulate his way into becoming Eden’s first dictator.

The couple accompanied by his sister mule Zen and another mule Doc Bartholomew team up with their mission to learn how to grow powertrees so that Eden no longer depends on harvesting earth tree powerpods, which as a byproduct will free the solar system. However, the quest starts badly when Kit is injured before they depart. Bartholomew tries a dangerous medical procedure to save his life. The method seemingly works, but as Kit recuperates, he increasingly does not behave like her beloved husband. Instead he has the memories of his “sire” Jarl reengineered to rule Earth. With their mission on the brink of failure, Thena knows she must prevent the transformation of her husband and will do whatever it takes including killing him; while she also understands her only out if they do not succeed on their original mission is her death.

The second Darkship space opera (see Darkship Thieves) is an entertaining science fiction thriller that continues the adventures of Thena. There are too many reflective treatises by Thena that slow down the pace of the overall exciting storyline. However, these interludes also provide insight into the historical, political, economic, science and technology. Fans will enjoy traveling on a Darkship piloted by Athena and her mates exploring the believable Hoyt galaxy.

Harriet Klausner

Indigo Awakening-Jordan Dane

December 13, 2012

Indigo Awakening

Jordan Dane

Harlequin Teen, Dec 18 2012, $9.99

ISBN: 9780373210763

 

In Los Angeles, Mia arrives at the apartment of her younger emancipated seventeen year old sister Rayne with a cop demanding her sibling hand over their brother Lucas.  Mia insists Lucas is sick and needs drugs while Rayne believes Mia’s Church of Believers hunt people like her sibling.

 

The meds have finally left his body so that Lucas can hear the voices and the music that was muted too long.  He vanishes into the Sunset Boulevard area after cautioning Rayne not to look for him as she would place herself in danger from the Believers who hunt the “Indigo” teens like Lucas.  Rayne rejects her troubled brother’s warning as she searches for him on the mean streets of the city.  There she meets mysterious loner Gabriel Stewart, who she feels compelled to protect though he frightens her; she scares him with her belief that deep down he cares and worse how much he wants to protect her.  Reluctantly Gabe assists Rayne in her quest while the Believers stalk them.

 

The first Hunted teen romantic fantasy is a great thriller as Jordan Dane makes her world if special power teens and a Church hunting them down seem believable in an X-Men way.  The lead characters and Lucas seem genuine, but it is the fanatics (though somewhat stereotyped) like Mia who make the tale work as they recognize what the Indigo mean to the present dominant species.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Hollow City-Dan Wells

July 3, 2012

The Hollow City

Dan Wells

Tor, Jul 3 2012, $25.95

ISBN: 9780765331700

 

Delusional Michael Shipman suffers from hallucinations as he is schizophrenic.  Because he is paranoid Michael also suffers from the obsessive belief that The Faceless Men pursue him.  Awakening in a hospital, he wants to know where his girlfriend Lucy is while the medical staff assumes there is no Lucy or girlfriend as he is mentally divergent (in layman’s terms – crazy).  However, Dr. Murray becomes concerned beyond the patient’s well-being when Michael mentions the Faceless men.  The doctor asks him if he knows about Chicago’s Red Line Killer who leaves victims without their visage.

 

Reporter Kelly Fischer sneaks into his room to get an exclusive.  When she mentions the Children of the Earth; Michael reacts by saying their leader Milos Cerny killed his mother after he was born so he will kill them.  Stunned she says almost all the victims belong to the Children of the Earth.  To his horror, Michael is taken to Powell, a psychiatric hospital that he has been sent to before.  There he observes The Faceless Men hunting him.  Michael flees the hospital with a plan to uncover the identity of the Red Line Killer, learn the truth about the Children of the Earth, and locate The Hollow City that has haunted his memories seemingly forever.

 

John Wayne Cleaver was a fascinating refreshing protagonist, but Michael Shipman as a paranoid schizophrenic suffering from some amnesiac has an even more unique voice as he even he distrusts his memories and his ability to distinguish realoty from fantasy.  Think of the movie A Beautiful Mind but instead of a university the venue is a serial killer.  Fans will appreciate this exciting thriller wondering what the truth is and whether Michael is the Red Line Killer.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Danger That Is Damian-Lisa Renee Jones

April 28, 2012

The Danger That Is Damian

Lisa Renee Jones

Sourcebooks, May 1 2012, $6.99

ISBN 9781402251627

 

GTECH Renegades soldier Damion Browne keeps reminding himself to remain focused on his current mission in the war against the Zodius.  Instead the woman in the bikini keeps distracting him. 

 

His assignment goes wrong, but Damion escapes with the bikini woman Lara Martin.  He takes her to his apartment where he is stunned when he realizes she is a female GTECH.  He is unaware she is one of a newly engineered super woman soldier Serenity whose mission is to end the Renegades.  Although he soothes her headaches and has her heart pumping, Lara’s customized brainwashing is to destroy her beloved who has doubts about his beloved’s loyalty.

 

Once again with a nod to Captain America, Lisa Renee Jones provides a great romantic military fantasy.  The action-packed story line grips the reader from the moment Damion’s mission fails and never slows down as readers will wonder whether love can supersede intense brainwashing.   Fans will enjoy this Project Zodius (see The Legend of Michael) as the two adversarial groups of Super Soldiers bring a deadlier female element into the war. 

 

Harriet Klausner

Captivated-Lauren Dane

April 12, 2012

Captivated

Lauren Dane

Heat, May 1 2012, $15.00

ISBN: 9780425247365

 

For almost a year, the Imperium imprisoned and tortured Hannah Black.  She barely survives by constantly repeating who she is.  Still they nearly break her as her hope to escape diminishes over the long captivity.  Federated Universes military officer Vincenz Cuomo liberates Hannah.

 

She begins the mental and physical rehabilitation while Vin and his lover Julian Marsters encourage her.  As Hannah heals she becomes their lover too.  Refusing to hide in the shadows, she joins her two men on a mission to an outlying lab where she proves her worth by decrypting code that warns them war is about to heat up even as she learns who her rescuer truly is.

 

The latest Phantom Corps entry (see Insatiable and Mesmerized) military romantic science fiction is an action-packed thriller (in space and on the bed) starring an intriguing ménage a trois.  This exciting tale contains a fast-paced plot from the opening rescue, sexual interludes, and fabulous twists including a late stunner.  Series readers will be Captivated by the Relentless trio who battle a repressive vicious adversary who is after the blood of especially one of them.

 

Harriet Klausner

Dolled Up for Murder-Jane K. Cleland

March 8, 2012

Dolled Up for Murder

Jane K. Cleland

Minotaur, Mar 27 2012, $24.99

ISBN 9781250001849

 

In Rocky Point, New Hampshire, antiques dealer Josie Prescott is showing her friend financial investor Alice Michaels her latest acquisition, a doll collection estimated at $40K.  Alice tells Josie she is worried that she and others at ADM Financial Advisors, Inc. will soon be arrested by the DA for running a Ponzi’s scheme.  Not long afterward Alice leaves Prescott’s Antiques and Auctions only to be shot to death in the parking lot while Josie watches in horror.

 

Not long after the homicide, a kidnapper abducts Josie’s employee Eric.  They demand Josie turn over her new doll collection if she wants her assistant back.  Inside a classic Chatty Cathy doll with the mini-phonograph removed Josie finds a rare Civil War currency.  Police Chief Ellis Hunter investgates the murder while reporter Wes Smith, who broke the Ponzi scheme accusation, does likewise; as does Josie. 

 

The latest Josie Prescott antiques mystery (see Deadly Threads) is a superb whodunit with competing inquiries.  Fast-paced from the opening murder scene until the final confrontation, the twisting storyline grips the reader throughout as Josie is reminded of her late dad’s advice on trust.

 

Harriet Klausner

A Rising Thunder-David Weber

March 8, 2012

A Rising Thunder

David Weber

Baen, Mar 6 2012, $26.00

ISBN: 9781451638066

 

Though the war against the People’s Republic of Haven is over, the Star Empire of Manticore knows peace is fragile.  The Mesan Alignment proves this with a vicious assault in the Manticoran sector.  In reaction to the hostilities, Manticore informs the Solarian League that they no longer will do business with them.  The Royal Manticoran Navy escorts their merchant ships home and disallows any outside traffic in their sector; they place warships near vulnerable wormholes.  Stunned the Solarian League takes the Manticore actions as a declaration of war and reacts accordingly.

 

Manticore Eighth Fleet Admiral Honor Harrington leads the navy against two threats.  The Mesan Alignment has an advanced technology that gives them an edge while puppet masters behind the scenes manipulate the different sides in a scheme to turn humans into slaves.  At the same time, the Solarian League has deployed its largest armada in its glorious history with plans to seize the strategic wormholes and more in the Manticore sector.

 

The latest Honor Harrington military science fiction (see Mission of Honor) is an entertaining tale though the action is muted compared to the past entries as A Rising Thunder feels like a set up book with the various factions preparing for war.  Still this enables readers to see the political intrigue that goes on behind the scenes though that also means some repetition.  Not as exciting as normal, Harrington fans will enjoy the Manticore actions as they prepare for a two front war.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Job-Cramer Louis Jackson

March 1, 2012

The Job

Cramer Louis Jackson

Outskirts Press, Jan 30 2012, $8.95

WWW.OutskirtsPress.com

ISBN: 9781432784584

 

Joe’s search for employment has turned into a frustrating full time job as he checks want ads, sends out résumés and shows up for announced vacancies; only to return to his walk up dumpy small apartment unemployed with his self-esteem dropping.  After his latest humiliation, he opens the mail, which adds to his debasement with overdue bills. 

 

However, the last letter is from a firm he never heard of, who offers him an interview.  Instructions were sent to him by e-mail as this company provides no address or phone number.  He goes on line, thankful he did not hock his computer, to obtain directions.  Joe arrives for the interview and learns that if he takes the job, Joe Jamieson will no longer exist as he will have a new identity and compensation is one million annual.  He agrees to become Zann  General Morgan briefs him that his position and new identity ties back to 1947 Roswell and soon finds another perk when he rescues the other selectee Layone from some nasty folks who have other plans for the pair.

 

There is plenty of action in this thought provoking science fiction romantic novella.  The story line starts with a depressed everyman struggling to pay his bills and keep a dilapidated ceiling over his head before the plot moves into an exciting thriller with its Life Energy connection to Roswell.  Encouraging people to take a radically fresh look at their options reminds me of my husband’s reengineering teaching and mentoring position in which he destroyed a zillion paper cups claiming they were not half full or half empty if you slice off the top the cup is filled.  The Job is a quick engaging thriller.

 

Harriet Klausner

Assassins In Love-Kris DeLake

February 26, 2012

Assassins In Love

Kris DeLake

Sourcebooks, Mar 6 2012, $6.99

ISBN: 9781402262821

 

Rogue Assassin Rikki struggles to toss dead Elio Testrial out an airlock when Guild Assassin Misha intrudes by taking charge of the situation but sets off alarms while disposing of the corpse.  He pretends to be intoxicated and takes her with guard escort to the B Deck where he has a room. 

 

He thinks she is an out of control amoral person; she thinks he is fool for adhering to the Guild’s rules.  His goal is to get her to join the Guild; her goal is to get away from him.  Rikki soon concludes the lone wolf is very ethical as she only hunts down those who are evil; Misha soon concludes he may be by the book, but stretches the rules with his antics.  They begin to fall in love until she realizes who her fellow assassin is even as they get entangled with the Guild

 

The key to this entertaining Assassins Guild romantic science fiction tale is the generally accepted concept by society that assassinations are normal.  The storyline is fast-paced and the diabolical scheme to set up Rikki brilliantly deployed.  Readers will enjoy a visit to the Assassins Guild as Kris DeLake provides a fun thriller.

 

Harriet Klausner