Sunday, April 27, 2014
A Dance In Blood Velvet Freda Warrington Titan Books, Apr 8 2014, $14.95 www.titanbooks.com ISBN: 9781781167069 Following A Taste of Blood Wine, Charlotte decides to unite for eternity with her beloved Karl by converting with his assistance from human to vampire. Though physically successful in her change, Charlotte struggles with mental issues as she feels schizoid with the blood lust that ecstatically quenches her needs but also leaves her with a remorseful bitter aftertaste. Still Charlotte rationalizes that being with Karl is worth giving up her humanity. After ages away, Karl’s former lover Katerina escapes from frozen Weisskalt into the Crystal Ring with one objective. She will do anything, including killing Karl’s present paramour, to get her ex-lover back at her side. Filled with anguish and believing she cannot compete with her beautiful and glamorous rival, Charlotte turns away from her vampire and towards mesmerizing Violette Lenoir the prima ballerina. However, as an ice maiden descendant of Lilith, Violette is a dangerous individual for human and vampire to associate with. The reprint of the second exciting Blood Wine Sequence romantic fantasy is an entertaining sequel though it lacks the briskness of the incredible opening act; which as an aside to newcomers should be read first. Character driven by the competing three strong paranormal females while on the other hand Karl the blood sucking hunk seems comparatively anemic in need of a transplant when being compared to this dynamic trio. Subgenre fans will enjoy Charlotte’s adventures as a vampire in love (and lust). Harriet Klausner
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Freehold Michael Z. Williamson Baen, May 6 2014, $25.00 ISBN: 9781476736341 UNPF Sergeant Second Class Kendra Pacelli looks forward to the end of her short-term admin assignment providing assistance to the Logistic Support Function stationed on Mtali. Besides cramped working conditions and lousy quarters, troops on eighteen month deployments loathe short termers like her. Her old lover MP Tom Anderson calls from his personal line to hers with a warning that the UN Bureau of Security pursues those named in the conspiracy of stealing millions in weapons to include an innocent auditor who reported the discrepancy named Pacelli. She realizes she may not survive the interrogation as the Bureau of Security does not allow innocence to get in the way of insuring the government is not embarrassed or scandalized and that only one planet would not expedite her back to the UN. Thus Pacelli flees to the independent twenty-third century old Freehold of Grainne Embassy requesting asylum. Soon after her arrival, Kendra obtains permission to travel to the independent planet. There she must adapt to an entirely different culture based on very limited government intrusion into people’s lives; her new BF Rob and her new BFF Marta help her. Still with her only skill being the military, Kendra enlists fearing that the powerful totalitarian empire will hunt her as no one lives who can humiliate the government. The special edition reprint of Freehold is a fascinating comparison between two polar opposite societies. Whereas the UN is a rigid totalitarian empire, Freehold is a libertarian former UN colony. Michael Z. Williamson pulls no punches as to which side he is on as the overall exciting storyline (except for some passive pontifications) is an entertaining good and evil human rights science fiction thriller.
Friday, April 25, 2014
New Watch Sergei Lukyanenko; Andrew Bromfield (translator) Harper, Apr 22 2014, $15.99 ISBN: 9780062310071 Young Innokentii Grigorievich Tolkov and Higher Other Anton Gorodetsky meet at the Moscow Airport. To the Light Magician’s shock, the child displays signs of being the extremely rare Prophet Other, who foresees his own future when Innokentii shouts at his mom Tamara that the plane they are about to board will crash. Anton intervenes by persuading Tamara that she left the iron on at home; so she and her son race back their abode to keep the place from burning down. Soon afterward the plane crashes. However, the child’s public hysteria also awakens a sleeping beast arising from the darkness. This predator targets the child-clairvoyant while Anton vows to protect the lad, his mom and keep his loved ones especially his tweener daughter Nadya the Absolute Enchantress safe; while the world stands on the brink of extinction. The fifth Watch urban fantasy novel (see Twilight Watch and The Last Watch) is a superb entry that combines end of the world danger with well-placed humor and wry musings. The hero struggles with decisions in which regardless with what he selects most likely beloved family, allies and civilians (including people he “influenced” to ignore their free will and heed his “advice”) will die. Readers will relish Sergei Lukyanenko’s powerful tale as Twilight may be falling if Anton, who knows the world is at risk but his concerns are personal re Nadya, and the Others fail at their mission. Harriet Klausner