Monday, July 14, 2014

The Resurrectionist--Sierra Woods

The Resurrectionist
Sierra Woods
Harlequin Nocturne, Jul 1 2014, $5.75
ISBN: 9780373886005

In Albuquerque, Dani Wright the resurrectionist understands her job is to right wrong though sometimes morality can confuse which is which.  Three years ago her husband Blake’s lover attacked her and cut out her unborn from her womb; she and her baby died, but the Other-siders sent her back to perform the miracles of a resurrectionist.  Though attracted to her APD protector Detective Sam Lopez, she distrusts males ever since Blake’s betrayal left her and their child dead; so she refuses to act on her desire.

After working the Ramirez missing child case, her otherworld contact Burton the street skateboarder a-hole informs her that the Others worry that the Dark malevolence is arising after centuries of dormancy.  Meanwhile Sam always has her back and even supplements her power on a difficult switch.  He admits to Dani he likes her a lot and that his grandmother was an underground illegal resurrectionist.  As the couple gets closer and falls in love, the Dark comes for Dani.

This is an entertaining urban fantasy noir.  Filled with graveyard humor and a slowly developing romance (which seems right for this fun thriller), readers will believe in Sierra Woods portrayal of The Resurrectionist bringing the enlightenment to New Mexico.

Harriet Klausner

Clockwork Dagger-Beth Cato

Clockwork Dagger
Beth Cato
Harper Voyager, Sep 16 2014, $14.99
ISBN: 9780062313843

In the kingdom of Caskentia where war with the Waste is a constant, orphaned healer Octavia Leander rides the airship to her new position of medician knowing to adhere to her mentor Miss Percival’s three rules of travel.  However, someone assaults her onboard roommate Mrs. Stout and almost immediately afterward Octavia.  Mrs. Viola Stout and Alonzo Garrett the steward help her thwart the attempt to kill her.

Confused over why anyone would stalk a non like her, Octavia learns the kingdom and the breakaway Dallows Province have placed her in the middle of a rebellion though she wonders why her.  Other violent incidents including murder occur in which Octavia survives more efforts to assassinate her as if she was important; while now also questioning who her two defenders truly are.

Clockwork Dagger is a great steampunk fantasy starring a tremendous bewildered heroine who holds the storyline focused.  Fast-paced and filled with action and dangerous intrigue (readers will think twice before riding an airship) yet with a strong support cast inside the vivid Cato magical world, subgenre fans will relish Octavia’s opening act while wanting more of her misadventures in Caskentia.

Harriet Klausner 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bloodshifted-Cassie Alexander

Cassie Alexander
St. Martin's Paperbacks, Jul 1 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9781250037954

Lovers Dr. Asher the shapeshifter and Nurse Edie Spence left County Hospital’s secret Y4 ward for paranormal patients on the Maraschino cruise ship bound for Hawaii.  However, a maniac released an infectious disease that killed most humans on board.  Pregnant Edie survived by drinking vampire blood that turned her into a daytimer.  The price Edie pays is that Raven the vampire whose blood saved her and her unborn owns her (see Deadshifted).

Forced to separate from beloved Asher, Edie, like her lover, struggles to find a cure that will liberate her from the vampire’s control or endure eight months protecting her son in hell.  Instead her Master Vampire Raven abducts the nurse and takes her underneath the Catacombs night club known for serving fresh blood cocktails.

The final Edie Spence paranormal (see Moonshifted, Nightshifted and Shapeshifted) is an exciting thriller that starts at hyperspeed and never slows down.  For the most part, the bloody exhilarating focus is on the beleaguered heroine’s efforts for her and her son to endure as she envisions the afterward as a family with her son and Asher (mindful of Dr. Viktor E. Frankl’s incredible memoir Man's Search for Meaning). 

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Born Of Fury-Sherrilyn Kenyon

Born Of Fury
Sherrilyn Kenyon
St. Martin’s, Jul 1 2014, $25.99
ISBN: 9781250042965

The war between the League and the Sentella Empire forces nonaligned groups to ally with one of the sides or face worse impact as neutrality means annihilation.  League Commander Zemin shows a tape of a prison rescue to top assassin Sumi Antaxas; and insists that one of the perpetrators is Dancer Hauk though the evidence is unclear.  Zemin orders Sumi to find or create proof that Hauk is a traitor or her daughter Kalea, held hostage by him, will suffer the consequences. 

Over the rage of his widow sister-in-law who loathes him for the death of her husband, Hauk takes his nephew Darice on his Endurance test; also with them in the remote area for the same reason is his friend’s daughter Thia.  When Sumi and Hauk meet, she is shocked by his caring nature towards the two young charges he mentors; as she expected a violent barbarian.  As admiration intensifies, Sumi feels torn between the two people she loves as one will be hurt by her choice and she assumes other hit contracts have been issued.

The latest League thriller (see Born Of Ice, Born Of Fire and Born Of Night) is an exciting entry that focuses on the anchoring impact of family (many of whom make unneeded but fascinating appearances) on two emotionally hurting souls.  Readers will quickly accept Sumi as Hauk’s equal while each struggles, perhaps more so mentally than physically (even with injuries), with threats to loved ones.  Fans will appreciate Sherrilyn Kenyon’s terrific tale.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Hunt For Pierre JNR-David M. Henley

The Hunt For Pierre JNR
David M. Henley
Harper Voyager, Jul 1 2014, $16.99
ISBN: 9780732295608

By the middle of the twenty-second century, a small segment of the twenty billion humans residing inside the domes evolved with extrasensory mental powers.  Derogatorily dubbed psionics by those who feared their superiority will allow dominance if unchecked; the World Union established the Services with a mission to control these dangerous mutants.  The Services aggressively capture, isolate and incarcerate psionics on remote islands in order to inhibit the impact of psi skills and prevent a revolt.

In 2151 an experiment mated registered Psionics Pierre Sandro and Mary Kastonovich; which leads to giving birth to Pierre Jnr.  Three months later, Pierre Jnr escapes and vanishes.  In spite of a massive manhunt by the Services, he is not found and assumed dead as he is a baby even with special kinetic skills never remotely recorded before. 

However, the worst nightmare of those in power surfaces in 2159 when a sighting of eight year old Pierre Jnr is confirmed by the Weave; as the legend of a psi with the uncanny ability to control others’ minds lives.  The Services assigns the best psi hunters of the Primacy military wing abetted by telepath Peter Lazarus who surrendered after three decades of freedom beneath the radar to prevent the most powerful psi ever, who he believed caused his sister to suicide, from killing the world.

The Hunt for Pierre Jnr is a superb science fiction thriller that extrapolates present day issues like the environment and related moral and amoral responses into the next century.  Rapidly changing points of view makes it initially difficult to follow who’s who, but also brings a fabulous frantic desperate pace to this character-driven yet action-packed futuristic thriller.

Harriet Klausner 

The Doppler Affect-Dr. Shawn Phillips

The Doppler Affect
Dr. Shawn Phillips
YBCoyote Press, May 19 2014, $13.99
ISBN: 9780982644607

In North Africa 50,000 years ago, Homo sapiens tribal chief Mulac leads the successful hunting party home only to find those waiting for them all dead.  Raging, they track the vicious killers who murdered their loved ones.  When they catch up, they retaliate massacring all except one female.  Mulac rapes her until she changes into him before killing him and the other men from his tribe.  This Homo erectus female has evolved into shapeshifting Homo adaptus as she gives birth to dozens of babies who within a month have grown to adulthood.  Over the millennium as Homo adaptus changed into different races, they remained concealed from their natural enemy humanity.  DNA testing changed the balance of power forcing the hidden species to deploy a plan to gain power rather than extinction.

In 1990, former banker turned convict Chris Sands learned the horrific truth too late for him to save his soul from the doppelgangers, who brilliantly framed him as he fights to the death in prison.  The Prima Maestra believes her minion found the information the dead Sands compiled about the dopplers, but he left behind a children’s book for his son Michael to hopefully one day in the future understand and save mankind from its diabolical enemy.

The Doppler Affect is a fantastic paranormal thriller that never slows down as the Sands family (and readers) meet different supernatural species.  Although appreciative fans will need to adapt (no pun intended) to the changing timeline; once we do this fast-paced, and filled clever plots and counterplots grips readers throughout.  Dr. Shawn Phillips cleverly deploys the Doppler Effect principle on human sensory reaction to the effect of dopplers residing like wolves in sheep clothing.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Rods And The Axe-Tom Kratman

The Rods And The Axe
Tom Kratman
Baen, Jul 1 2014, $25.00
ISBN: 9781476736563

After leading his adopted country Balboa in victory against the more powerful Tauran Union, Duque of the Legion del Cid Patricio Carrera knows the war is not over even if the enemy was forced to humiliatingly retreat.  He also accepts his side does not have the logistical capability to bring the combat to Tauran and expects the adversary to invade again within two months, but wants it on his terms.  Thus he and former general turned elected President Raul Parilla argue over what to do with the overwhelming number of POWs besides using the uninjured to dig anti-tank trenches.

Carrera believes Tauran will bring an ally with them in the next battle; but he wants to select who.  Based on the theory that “my friend’s enemy is my friend” he angers the Zhong Guo Empress so she deploys her troops as an unreliable ally of the Tauran.  The countdown to the final battle begins with the Zhong knowing they must seize the Isla Real fortress as the first step in their final solution.

With a nod to a premise of Reddington (Black List) that “…and sometimes the enemy of my enemy is just an enemy”, this exciting, action-packed Carrera military science fiction is an entertaining thriller.  In order to fight under his terms and thus reduce the chance of defeat, once again Carrera executes the same general principal he successfully used previously to bait foes; who never learned Einstein’s definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  Series fans will enjoy this entry while looking forward to the continuation of the latest battle in the next tale.

Harriet Klausner