Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Sword Of Michael-Marcus Wynne

The Sword Of Michael
Marcus Wynne
Baen, Nov 4 2014, $15.00
ISBN: 9781476736891

As the dead man he killed twice chases him into a cemetery, Shaman Marius Winter muses the story of his life is in his hands as he holds the sacred power of Christ’s rosary beads and the profane worldly Glock.  He fires shots into the knees and elbows of the zombie, preventing it from moving before sprinkling holy water on the Dark Force and asking Michael of the Light to cleanse this evil.  Marius now knows the Dark Forces are back and he is a prime target probably because of his Depossession success rate

Hell’s Dark God Belial sends a sorcerer to destroy Marius starting with possessing the souls of those his adversary loves; like his girlfriend Jolene, Avatar to the Goddess.  When Marius learns the fate of Jolene and others he cares about, guided by his triad of spiritual advisors (First In Front medicine man, Tigre the spirit tiger and Burt the spirit raven); he accepts the risks associated with his undertaking to save their souls.  Accompanied by his guides, Marius initially must deal with the hellish sorcerer and, if successful, traverse the circles of Hell to confront Belial in the innermost; losing at any point means the Dark possesses his soul.

With a nod to Dante, the first Depossessionist urban fantasy is filled with plenty of action-packed fighting scenes and some religious philosophizing.  The storyline is at its best when the plot stays focused on the war, but loses momentum with unnecessary, odd power hungry groups joining the fray.  Although the cast, even the hero, is never developed beyond their prime reason for existence, The Sword Of Michael is an entertaining Forces of the Light vs. Minion of The Dark thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Empire of Dust-Jacey Bedford

Empire of Dust
Jacey Bedford
DAW, Nov 4 2014, $7.99
ISBN 9780756410162

Psi-tech telepath Cara Carlinni is on the run from Alphacorp because she is aware her former boss and one time lover Ari van Blaiden will kill her once his goons catch up to her; as he wants no witnesses to the pirate attack he arranged on a colony.  Desperate to avoid mind to mind detection and aware of withdrawal torment that will probably kill her anyway, Cara still shut down the implant that the firm financed in exchange for her being their indentured servant. 

So far Cara eluded her ruthless pursuers on El Arish and Shalla where an off the grid psi-much suggested she go Station Mirrimar 14, a place with allegedly psi-tech rebels.  Not only has she failed to find her peers, Alphacorp arrives.  Cara meets Reska Benjamin who agrees to take her with his team of psi-techs to Olyanda to assist with colonization.  Adding tension is many of the client Ecolibrians loathes psi-techs and the discovery of mineral deposits places Olyanda on pirate looting list.

The first Psi-Tech science fiction is an action-packed outer space thriller in which the Bedford galaxy seems real.  Filled with plenty of escapades mostly on a world that comes across as genuine and starring a beleaguered woman in peril, a haunted hero and a ruthless villain; readers will want to journey to Olyanda where several rivals compete for control. 

Harriet Klausner