Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Protector-C.J. Cherryh

April 11, 2013

Protector
C.J. Cherryh
Daw, April 2 2013, $24.95
ISBN: 9780756407988

The heir to the Atevi leader of the Western Association Tabiniaiji, eight years old Cajerji celebrates his birthday with his people and select human friends he made. Meanwhile the Assassins’ Guild, responsible for security, is divided with many opposed to Tabini’s rule, preferring traditionalists like Ilisidi and others.

Not knowing who to trust, Tabini asks his friend human diplomat Bren Cameron to work with his aiji-dowager grandmother Ilisidi to protect his child and other guests. Tabini and Bren believe the enemies of the Atevi leader will use the gala to make a deadly statement with both of them, the heir and specific guests as the targets.

The latest Foreigner Universe thriller (see Intruder, Betrayer and Deceiver) is an entertaining tale with somewhat limited action, as once again C.J. Cherryh deeply develops political and ethnic themes with young Cajerji as the focus of opposing forces with diverse motives. Few besides his father and Ben care about his well-being as most see the lad as a pawn to further personal agendas. Fans will enjoy Cajerji’s happy birthday bash with unwanted fireworks part of the gala.

Harriet Klausner

The Chosen-Theresa Meyers

March 19, 2013

The Chosen
Theresa Meyers
Zebra, Mar 5 2013, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420121261

“The Chosen.” In 1883 Arizona, as the Chosen Darkin hunters, attorney Remington Jackson and his brothers, Winchester (see The Slayer) and Colt (see The Hunter) grew up being trained to fight evil. Currently they each must find a segment of the Book of Legend in order to combine the tome needed to prevent Hell from invading earth. In the Bisbee Mining Camp, Remy enlists the help of incarcerated shapeshifting thief China McGee whose skills he needs to steal his part of the tome. The Darkin, who has worked with Colt, agrees to assist him in return for her freedom, but China has plans for the relic that do not include Remy. In the Aztec jungle, as they fight for their lives, China widens her options to partner with Remy long after the mission is done, if they survive.

“The Inventor.” In 1868 London Sir Marley Turlock works on his invention in order to obtain membership in the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain by impressing Queen Victoria though he has hit a glitch. Lady Persephone Hargrieve works alongside of him and soon afterward her father Lord Hargrieve asks Marley to join in the fight against Darken. Skeptical, the inventor joins the battle against demons, vampires and those even more lethal evil.

The Chosen, the third Legend Chronicles, is an exciting Wild West urban romantic fantasy starring the last Jackson sibling and a master Darkin thief who Colt insists can steel rail from underneath a train. Action-packed throughout with a strong cast, readers will enjoy the rumble in the jungle as time has run out on the Jackson brothers. Additionally, the bonus prequel the Inventor looks at a key series support character Sir Marley’s introduction to the Darkin.

Harriet Klausner

Edge of Dawn-Lara Adrian

March 8, 2013

Edge of Dawn
Lara Adrian
Delacorte, Feb 26 2013, $25.00
ISBN: 9780345532602

Mira witnessed her beloved Breed Kellan die in a warehouse explosion. The veiled child, whose eyes prophesize the gazer’s future, grew up that day with a loathing of the rebels. Over the next eight years, she became a warrior and now is a captain in the Order who believes in killing first.

When Mira crosses the line of acceptance on an assignment, her superior punishes her with a fluff task that her boss knows she will hate but do well. Mira serves as bodyguard to award winning human inventor-scientist Jeremy Ackmeyer while he attends the GNC Summit. However, the task goes wrong when rebels abduct her and Jeremy while scheming to blow up the conference. Seeking a way to expedite herself and her charge, Mira is stunned when she meets the leader of the kidnappers.

Two decades have passed since the human masses became aware of the Breed (see Darker After Midnight); Lara Adrian refreshes her romantic urban fantasy saga with new issues of surviving the coming out party. Yet the threats from rebels and humans, who both demand the top rung of the food chain, remain palatable. Readers will enjoy watching how the children as adults become the warriors still led by Lucan as the Order’s next generation takes over though the paradox of prophesy means the journey not the outcome matters. Lara Adrian is one of this reviewer’s top ten authors.

Harriet Klausner

A Turn of Light-Julie E. Czerneda

March 3, 2013

A Turn of Light
Julie E. Czerneda
Daw, Mar 5 2013, $20.00
ISBN 9780756407070

Marrowdell lies at the vortex of two worlds. The townsfolk recognize the uniqueness of their village belonging to both the magic and mortal realms yet also not part of either. Amongst the unique villagers, Jenn Nalynn stands out. She yearns to leave her hometown to see the worlds, but having been born in the Verge where the two realms overlap at A Turn of Light sunset, she cannot venture forth; a “turn-born” like her is the anchor to keeping the magic and the mortal from converging into releasing forces that would end two realms.

Though her father Radd, older sister Peggs and the rest of her family try to be there for her, she feels alone as she has all her life except for an invisible friend Wisp; sent there to keep Jenn from taking even one step outside of Marrowdell. As the Great Turn occurs, Jenn approaches her nineteenth birthday with the objective of seeking true love as she believes a husband will show her the world outside the Verge. She tries to create a mate only her invisible friend Wisp becomes the solid man Wyll. Then there is the other newcomer who has come to the village.

This is a terrific fantasy due to a strong cast and a deeply created location. Jenn’s dilemma brings a coming of age premise, but the superb storyline is much more as dreams may be misplaced but never totally gone especially when spring brings new hope after a dismal winter. Readers will relish visiting Marrowdell as Julie E. Czerneda deftly moves from science fiction to fantasy.

Harriet Klausner

The Children of Kings-Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah Ross

March 1, 2013

The Children of Kings
Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah Ross
Daw, Mar 5 2013, $24.95
ISBN: 9780756407971

Mentored by his renowned grandmother Linea Storn-Hastur, the Keeper of Comyn Tower, Prince Gareth Elhalyn fears he will never live up to the accomplishments of his teacher or his famous grandfather Regis Hastur. However, his biggest worry comes from his concern that his inheritance is the legendary Elhalyn insanity.

Dreaming of freedom, he talks with his grandmother who encourages him to travel as a trader. Gareth heads to the feral Dry Towns where few will recognize a powerful Comyn lord. As a trader in Cathon, Gareth hears rumors of Dry Towners beyond Shainsa armed with Compact forbidden deadly Terran blasters. Gareth knows this is plausible even though the Terran Federation withdrew from their planet after a bloody interstellar war (see THE ALTON GIFT); as the outsiders considers the lost colony part of their empire and will arm enemies of the ruling party. He also concludes his mission is to verify this at a risk to his life as he heads to the most dangerous area of the most outlawed sector on Darkover; Dry Towners never pledged adherence to the Compact or the laran Comyn Lords.

The Children of Kings is a fresh Darkover tale due to the protagonist’s venture into a rarely mentioned location (see The Shattered Chain by the late Marion Zimmer Bradley) as the Dry Towns and their residents want nothing to do with the Comyn lords. Gareth is a terrific though somewhat typical Darkover hero as he struggles with his fears going insane while trying to learn the truth and if substantiated to find a way to prevent a deadly disaster. Darkover fans will relish Deborah Ross’ strong saga into a lawless lethal land.

Harriet Klausner

Midnight Blue-Light Special-Seanan McGuire

February 27, 2013

Midnight Blue-Light Special
Seanan McGuire
DAW, Mar 5 2013, $7.99
ISBN: 9780756407926

Though generations of her family have studied the Cryptid population and kept these “monsters” safe from the humans and visa-versa, cryptozoologist Verity Price is not a chip off the DNA block as she prefers ballroom dancing. However, Verity still proves Price blood flows through her veins when she came to Manhattan to competitively dance only to get sidetracked with the family vocation due to the snake cult (see Discount Armageddon). Still her recent caper led her to meet her maybe boyfriend Dominic De Luca although it is a star-crossed relationship as he is a monster-hunter for her family’s enemy the Covenant of St. George.

Dominic warns Verity that his bosses are coming to New York to inspect the progress he made in species cleansing and to finish the eradication of the Cryptid species from Manhattan. Putting aside her love of dance, Verity needs to prevent a bloodbath by concealing the monsters from the hunters including a traitorous blood relative seeking vengeance.

The superb second InCryptid urban fantasy is an incredibly fast-paced New York tale that except for an intrusive sidebar involving a psychic cousin never slows down as monsters, protectors, hunters and collateral damage humans converge for a Manhattan Midnight Blue-Light Special. Verity adds humor with her asides as she tries to keep a bloodbath from overwhelming the city. Sub-genre fans will enjoy this faster than the speed of light thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Three Sisters-Susan Mallery

February 25, 2013

Three Sisters
Susan Mallery
Mira, Feb 26 2013, $14.95
ISBN: 9780778314349

Besides humiliation and pain of standing alone at the altar in front of 300 friends and family including both moms, Andi Gordon is also left paying the bills and returning the gifts. Thus three months later, Andi decides she needs a major makeover so buys one of the Queen Anne historical “Three Sisters” houses on Blackberry Island in Puget Sound with plans to open up a pediatric practice in her new home.

She meets her neighbor artist Boston King, whose husband Zeke she already met. Boston and Zeke struggle to move on after the death of their baby, but increasingly they appear to be moving on separately.

Also residing in one of the Three Sisters’ homes are Deanna Phillips, her husband Colin and their five daughters. Deanna fears Colin is having an affair. When she confronts him, he confesses but blames her; sadly she agrees with him.

The return to Blackberry Island (see Barefoot Season) focuses on three women with emotional issues bonding like the Three Musketeers with each believing in “All for one, one for all” mantra; as the trio knows they have “sisters” who have their back during their personal crisis. The ensemble cast is fully developed due in part to the rotating storyline and mostly because of the “Three Sisters” sharing their tsuris with each other and readers.

Harriet Klausner

How To Catch A Prince-Leanne Banks

February 22, 2013

How To Catch A Prince
Leanne Banks
Harlequin Special Edition, Feb 19 2013, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373657292

Sophie Taylor argues with her boss Max Carter that he should meet his royal family and is previously unknown sister Coco Jordan (see A Home for Nobody’s Princess); both offspring of Prince Edward of Chantaine. Unimpressed by the uproar, he insists he is too busy designing roads to visit his biological family at the Royal House of Devereaux even with his being in country on a project.

Still a reluctant Max listens to his assistant’s advice and meets the royals. His regal half-sisters know that their new sibling and his assistant are in love with each other though they also conclude he is in denial and she gave up on his inability to commit. Thus the royals play matchmaker.

The latest Royal Babies (see The Princess and the Outlaw) is an entertaining contemporary romance. The relationship premise between the protagonists has been used frequently (see the movie The Duchess of Idaho), but made fresh by the royals especially the matchmakers.

Harriet Klausner

Neferet’s Curse-P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

February 18, 2013

Neferet’s Curse
P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
St. Martin’s Griffin, Feb 19 2013, $12.99
ISBN: 9781250000255

In 1893 not every resident of Chicago enjoys the World’s Fair. Sixteen-year-old Emily Wheiler has no time for the Ferris wheels since her Mother Alice died in childbirth along with the male baby. Her angry martinet Father, Barrett, head of the First National Bank of Chicago, loathes his late wife for leaving him no male heir. He demands his daughter ignore her grief and teen girl fantasies to take over her Mother’s hostess duties to the city’s affluent and participate as a member of the General Federation Women’s Club feeding the homeless; as expected of the Lady of Wheiler House.

Frightened by her sire’s rage, she obeys her patriarch and begins the transition to replace her Mother. Emily also realizes something is wrong with her Father as he refers to her as frigid Alice. At her first hosted gala, Emily hits it off with Arthur Simpton but Father forbids her to see him or any male. Fearful of her increasingly abusive Father, she flees Wheiler House when he goes too far; only to have the Goddess of the Night Nyx, Marked her as a vampyre.

The latest House of Night Novella (see Lenobia’s Vow and Dragon Oath) uses Emily’s 1893 journal to tell the tale of her transition from female teenager to Neferet. The journey from coddled teen to Queen of the Night is well written as the Cast team enables readers to feel Emily’s changing myriad of emotions mostly depressingly pessimistic until the sly optimistic climax when she takes action. In spite of fans knowing what happens to Emily as Neferet over a century later, series fans will appreciate her “sweet sixteen” conversion as she finally reacts to her Father’s abuse.

Harriet Klausner

That Night on Thistle Lane-Carla Neggers

January 28, 2013

That Night on Thistle Lane
Carla Neggers
Mira, Jan 29 2013, $7.99
ISBN 9780778314202

In Knights Bridge, Massachusetts, librarian Phoebe O’Dunn lends vintage dresses she found in in the library’s attic to her sister Maggie and their BFF Olivia Frost so she can attend a charity ball in Boston. Phoebe will not attend though Olivia’s fiancé, Dylan McCaffrey, invited her too.

Dylan’s BFF San Diego based NAK CEO Noah Kendrick calls Loretta Wrentham about a stalker, but she knows nothing. He goes to the ball dressed as a swashbuckler where he meets Phoebe who changed her mind. They dance and kiss though neither knows who the other is; she is his princess and he is her swashbuckler. When Noah takes a call, she leaves but overhears someone on a cell talking about her and her swashbuckler. Later Noah asks Dylan and Olivia if they know who his princess is. Instead of flying home as he planned, Noah remains in town seeking his princess. When they meet again, she realizes he is her swashbuckler and he knows she is his princess. As they and others identify who stalks him and research who left the dresses and more in the library, Phoebe and Noah fall in love.

The latest Knights Bridge tale (see Secrets of the Lost Summer) is an enjoyable romance due to the fully developed ensemble cast enabling a close look at relationships in a small New England town (and to a lesser degree Southern California). The resolution of the dress making mystery is brilliant yet simple while the stalker suspense fizzles. Contemporary fans will enjoy spending that night and much more on Thistle Lane.

Harriet Klausner