is a science fiction and fantasy book review site, written and published by accomplished reviewer Harriet Klausner. For more information, please check the About page.
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June 15, 2013
Sleeping With The Entity
St. Martin’s, Jun 4 2013, $7.99
In Chicago, Danielle Delaney plans to open up Heavenly Cupcakes, but the neighborhood business association led by bar and grill owner Nick St. George oppose Little Miss Cup Cake. Danielle cannot fathom why, as Nick hides his real reason from her. He and his clan of vampires want to stay below the radar and she would be the first crack in their concealment.
He tries to compel her to obey his order to leave, but shocking Nick and his clan she ignores his efforts. Instead Danielle uses her red velvet cupcakes to win support, but shocking her no one seems to have a sweet tooth for her sugary concoctions as this group prefers liquid red. As she opens up Heavenly Cupcakes, Nick becomes her protector only wondering who will keep her safe from his desire to taste her.
Sleeping With the Entity is a fun lighthearted vampire romance. The protagonists are a delightful coupling while the support cast is eccentric. The storyline cleverly uses irony to add humor (for instance, Danielle tells her friend that “all the good men are taken … the rest are vampires.”) to an engaging paranormal romance.
May 13, 2013
Harper Voyager, Apr 30 2013, $7.99
Two decades have passed since the truce agreement with the Sh’daar ended hostilities and led to a cold war rivalry. The earth hero of that war (see Singularity), then Admiral Alexander Koenig is now president; so remains diligently alert for further combat especially in disputed areas as the enemy is known for its bellicose attitude towards other races.
Lately Sh’daar attacks on the Earth Confederation outposts and vessels have begun. Neither President Koenig or other leaders know why the hostilities have started again though most expected it to occur at some time; nor who the alien ally of their feral foe is as the Sh’daar, who trusts no other species, has deployed advanced weaponry they did not previously possess. Trevor Grey commands the Koenig’s old ship the CVS America as he heads into what appears to be the second war zone with neither side cognizant of the Black Rosette.
The fourth exciting Star Carrier science fiction saga (see Center Of Gravity) is an engaging Deep Space thriller as 2424 comes alive in Ian Douglas’ entertaining series of two species at each other’s throat. The storyline focuses on outer space race relationships and what has happened to key participants in the last war. Although there is too much repetitiveness of events especially slowing down the early storyline, fans will enjoy the heating up of the cold war conflict.
May 2, 2013
Kensington Aphrodisia, Apr 30 2013, $15.00
Alex Aragut calls his best friend Lily Cheval to tell her another raped and murdered victim was found near the Chanku Pack home in Montana. Living in San Francisco, Lily knows that makes five in her home state and three in her adopted city. She fears the rogue ripping out throats like a wolf will bring the humans agitated by Aldo to hunt her Chanku.
Sebastian and Lily attend the same gala. She wonders if he is shifter and evil like his father. He believes her aura is incredible. Lily is attracted to Sebastian but senses a dark magic yet it is not malevolent like his father. They run as wolves together, but abruptly he acts possessed and goes to rape her. Lily gets Sebastian back to normal. Sebastian is ashamed with what he did though he does not remember it. She shocks him when she invites him to her place for sex as both knows there is a connection beyond heat. However, evidence mounts that he is the rapist-killer.
The first Spirit Wild next generation Chanku romantic fantasy stars a nice surprising pairing as fans expected the two oldest offspring (Alex and Lily) to mate; instead each found a different mate (his being another pack offspring). The underlying premise of whether Sebastian is a murderer-rapist is deftly handled. Although the Chanku leaders failure to follow up on rogue military shifters seem out of character for these extremely cautious individuals, readers will appreciate Kate Douglas continuing her fabulous saga with a super twisting thriller.
February 28, 2013
How To Seduce An Angel In 10 Days
Kensington Brava, Feb 26 2013, $9.95
Irate Falcon Cherrywood believes his punishment does not fit the crime. He admits he shot that pest Cupid in the butt with a fireball, injuring the pink-winged angel. However, he feels replacing Cupid is cruel and anti-angelic punishment since he does not believe in love. To make matters worse, he also is assigned Parole Officer duty.
His criminal is Drusilla “Tally” Tallow, who was sentenced for ten days for knocking the temporary love angel off his broom out of frustration of always finding love in the wrong places with the worst heavenly misanthropes. As Falcon and Tally fall in love, she fears the replacement Cupid will prove a pain in the ass; she’s just not sure whose.
The latest amusing “How to … in 10 Days” romantic fantasy (see How to Marry a Warlock in 10 days) is an amusing madcap tale. A lighthearted frolic, fans will laugh at the antics of Tally and Falcon; as each has strong reasons to ignore their attraction.
February 23, 2013
The Office Of Mercy
Viking, Feb 21 2013, $14.99
Three centuries ago in reaction to Malthus proven right by 59 billion residents, domed biospheres like America-Five were created. Soon after those who went inside, the Alpha release the Storm that causes pandemic destruction reducing the planet’s population to a few hundred thousand and making the surface hostile. Inside, there is abundance. To achieve their merciful vision of World Peace, Eternal Life, and All Suffering Ended, America Five established the Office of Mercy. Their mission to perform mercy killing sweeps of the starving tribes just outside their dome in order to end the suffering of these plighted poor souls.
Twentyish Citizen Natasha Wiley an Epsilon is assigned to the Office of Mercy as a tracker of the tribes who venture within fifty miles of the dome. Her boss and love interest Jeffrey a Gamma assigns her to reset monitoring sensors on her first venture outside the dome while reminding her that the key to stepping outside is to adhere to the Ethics Code especially no rapport with the tribes. However, her trek outside the dome does not go according to procedure.
This futuristic dystopian thriller is an exciting plausible tale in which the heroine finds the beliefs that she and all of Epsilon and those Generations before them has grown up with contain false premises (sort of like learning the Ten Commandments were a Genesis hoax). Somewhat a coming of age story inside a somewhat muted action storyline, readers will appreciate the 1984 logic of the America Five’s “burden” of saving the external masses by mass mercy murders.
January 19, 2013
Gates of Paradise
Melissa de la Cruz
Hyperion, Jan 15 2013, $16.99
As the London coven has little to celebrate the New Year, Lucifer begins his final assault on the gate of Paradise as he believes victory is now. Supporting him is the powerful sibling angels Abbadon and Azrael, respectively known as Jack and Mimi Force elsewhere, who are assigned by Lucifer to kill their loved ones.
While Lucifer continues his attack, former vampire Bliss Llewellyn and Lawson the wolf team up to liberate his people from hell; Abbadon and Azrael prepare for the right moment for a betrayal. At about the same time Schuyler Van Alen, worried about Jack who she last saw in Egypt, becomes a prisoner in Hell where she thinks the only hope for Heaven and earth resides with doing what Michel refused to do when faced with the same crisis in Ancient Rome.
The final Blue Bloods urban fantasy (see Lost In Time and Bloody Valentine) is a super climax to a strong good and evil saga as the prime subplots are tied up. The cast is powerful from the diabolical Prince of Hell to the Force angels who expect death regardless of the outcome to the heroic sacrificing Schuyler ready to die in hell for a heavenly cause.
January 17, 2013
Melissa de la Cruz, Robert Venditti (adapter) and Alina Urusov (art)
Hyperion, Jan 15 2013, $19.99
Only the elite Blue Bloods attend Manhattan’s ultra-exclusive Duchesne School. However though the students are a special breed as offspring of the movers and shakers, there is a caste system at Duchesne like any school. Below in the ooze underneath the hierarchal ladder is where Schuyler Van Alen and her friend Oliver Hazard-Perry reside or as far from superstar Jack Force or his twin sister Mimi is possible. That is until they change as their reincarnated vampire genes manifest with nightmarish looks as far back as seventeenth century Roanoke.
Duchesne student Augusta Carondolet dies at a nightclub; also there with her were the Force siblings, new pupil bad dude Dylan Ward, student Bliss Llewellyn and sneaking in for the first time Schuyler and Oliver. Soon after Aggie’s death, other Blue Bloods die. As she learns the truth about who she is, Schuyler also inquiries about a schism that goes back to the original Virginia colony as an avenging group the Silver Bloods have begun a killing spree.
This terrific graphic novelization of the first Blue Bloods young adult vampire thriller captures the essence of the original storyline and its high school age lead characters. Fans of the series will appreciate Robert Venditti’s wonderful adaptation enhanced by powerful Alina Urusov’s art as Melissa de la Cruz’s entertaining vampiric teen lit suspense (with two mysteries) comes vividly alive.
January 11, 2013
‘Til The World Ends
Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre and Karen Duvall
Luna, Jan 29 2013. $14.95
Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa. The Red Lung pandemic devastated much of the world. Kylie is a rare person immune to the horrible disease. As the lethal virus proves even more gruesome to the dead, Kylie finds a slight flicker of hope when she meets Ben. This prequel to the Blood Of Eden post-apocalyptic series (see The Immortal Rules) is an engaging tale due to the lead couple and the Kagawa world.
Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre. Following the toxic chemical spill that destroyed the United States, the affluent and their corporations established safe zones for those who could pay for sanctuary inside of fortresses. Others like Mari Thistle reside as scavengers in the dangerous Red Zone where a friend will kill you for your bottled water. Mari and Thorne Goodman meet and soon uncover a diabolical lethal plot to exterminate Red Zone survivors. The keys to this exhilarating post-apocalyptic thriller are the lead couple and the Aguirre environmentally devastated world.
Sun Storm by Karen Duvall. Sarah Daggot is a storm chaser who is outside when the worst solar flares ever recorded bombard the earth; leaving a devastated planet in its wake. She survives, but the immense radiant that blasted her changed Sarah into a Kinetic, who senses when storms from the sun and elsewhere are coming. When Sarah meets other Kinetics, they team up to prevent the final planetary destruction by the sun. However, to succeed, they need the only dissenter Ian Matthews to join them as they are one short. Sun Storm is an exciting doomsday thriller.
The three novellas contain strong protagonists, fabulous support characters and diverse dark earths.
December 13, 2012
Harlequin Teen, Dec 18 2012, $9.99
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.
November 19, 2012
Next Page »
James F. David
Forge, Dec 24 2012, $27.99
Eighteen years have passed since time as a linear concept ended when the prehistory age of the dinosaur surfaced at the end of the twentieth century. Urban jungles were buried beneath the Cretaceous rainforest (see Footprints of Thunder and Thunder of Time) while hordes of various dinosaur species roam places like Manhattan. Director of the Office of Security Science Nick Paulson led the struggle to end the time wave invasion and apparently succeeded as the intrusion ended, but too late; as war for dominant species between human religious purebred fanatics and dinosaur descendants seems imminent.
On the moon, shocked astronauts find a T. Rex. Paulson concludes another timeline exists. He uses this to go back to the prehistoric era where he finds displaced contemporary humans in a losing lethal situation. Finally, the asteroid that changed time is returning.
The third Thunder alternate time science fiction is an exciting thriller that fans will enjoy as the perils of Paulson action never slow down. With a nod to Michael Crichton in spite of the science not appearing reasonable, readers will enjoy this fun tale.