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.
Please feel free to use the links below to navigate to book reviews alphabetically, either by Author Name, or Book Title, or else use the main left-hand links to main genres, or most recent reviews.
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March 7, 2013
Harlequin Teen, Feb 26 2013, $9.99
In Trinity, New York teenager Samantha still seeks Stephen the Gray who stole her soul with his Dark Kiss turning her into the Gray Girl. At the same time Sam joined the Nightwatchers of angels (Bishop, Zach and Connor) and demons (Kraven and Roth) struggling to prevent the evil Gray Natalie deployed from destroying Trinity. Sam also needs to understand why the brothers from opposite poles Bishop and Kraven loathe each other. Cassandra the angel joins the Nightwatchers to Sam’s jealous chagrin as the newcomer and Bishop seem to hit off.
Deciding she is in the way with her hunger for soul gathering growing out of control, Sam leaves on a solo quest to regain her stolen soul. On her trek, further complicating Sam’s equilibrium is when she runs into the high school queen of mean Stephen’s ex-girlfriend Jordan who blames the Gray Girl for her losing her boyfriend. They team up to investigate a string of recent suicides, but conclude the Grays are not the cause but something as insidious.
The second Nightwatchers teen urban fantasy is an enjoyable thriller that explores the meanings of good and evil through the actions and thoughts of the fully developed team. The angst is cranked to high as several players show their immaturity by hiding key information until sh*t soils their underwear and too many Hail Mary miracles occur. Still Wicked Kiss is an exciting refreshing angels and demons thriller.
February 8, 2013
Daw, Feb 5 2013. $25.95
Trained at the Alimat Southron School, Tiger swore his allegiance to the sword-dancer code of honor. His mate Delilah comes from the north where vengeance led her to training as a sword-singer. They are considered the best at their respective skill; together they seem invincible as legends while outlaws in their respective lands.
However, Tiger’s adult son Neesha accuses him of becoming too “domesticated” and challenges him to prove the legend on a quest with the lad and Del. Irate at the affront, the sword-dance instructor insists they cannot leave because of his two years old daughter Sula. Neesha scoffs at his alibi claiming his dad had become a soft family man. As sword-dancers challenge the teacher to the death, Umir the Ruthless offers a reward for the capture of his enemy Tiger, who used magic to render useless his grimoire. Loved ones make perfect hostages.
The latest Tiger and Del fantasy (see Sword-Sworn and Sword-Born) is more a family affair as the twenty-something Neesha brings out the best and worst in his dad while Sula manipulates both her parents. Initially leisurely-paced, the storyline accelerates as Umir seeks revenge against his adversary, but never forgets forcing Tiger to deploy magic to free his tome of spells. Series fans will enjoy the superb Sword-Bound.
February 6, 2013
The Silent Dragon
Daw, Feb 5 2013, $7.99
In Coronnan, Dragon Crown King Darville and the Council of Provinces argue over allowing magic to return to the kingdom and over whether the monarch’s fourteen year old daughter Rosselinda should immediately marry in order to birth the male heir. Recently Darville has been beset by accidents that as a pattern indicate assassination attempts.
At the University of Magicians, Chancellor Jaylor refuses to promote his son Glenndon to journeyman in spite of the power the lad possesses because the apprentice is mute. Jaylor ignores that Glenndon’s telepathy is so powerful he does not need to speak to communicate. Darville orders Glenndon, the illegitimate son he had with Brevelan the witch, to come to court as the ruler names the lad his heir to protect his young daughter from an unwanted marriage. Confused as he always thought Jaylor was his sire, Glenndon arrives in Coronnan City greeted by raging councilors who loathe the outsider for his blood interferes with their plans. They barely understanding they and the citizens will turn deadly hostile if they learn of his magic or his silence.
The latest Dragon Nimbus tale (see The Glass Dragon, The Perfect Princess, The Loneliest Magician and The Wizard’s Treasure) is an engaging political fantasy. The interesting beleaguered hero becomes abruptly caught up in ugly court intrigue that makes the university in-fighting look tame. Although the theme of a naive youngster becoming overnight the successor to power has been used before, readers will enjoy Glenndon’s efforts to adapt as an unwanted stranger in a strange land.
December 29, 2012
Love, Lust & Pixie Dust
Intrepid Reads, Dec 20 2012, $8.99
Daisy le Fey is an ambitious pixie who craves becoming a licensed Tooth Fairy. She has an opportunity to prove herself worthy with her first assignment to snatch the Angus tooth.
In the Costa Rican rainforest anthropologist Trevor Masterson leads an excavation that he knows must succeed; failure denotes no funding for future digs. He falls asleep with his face on the specimen tray only to abruptly awaken when he spots an unknown female with wings stealing his prize find a fossilized tooth that falls off his chin. He thinks she is a bespectacled Victoria’s Secret model while she insists he go back to sleep or she will leave him no money. As Daisy tries to fly away with the tooth, Trevor tries to prevent her. One magical fumbled attempt after another leads to turning his T.A. Katrina into a smoking pumpkin and several kisses; Trevor and Daisy reconsider their respective life goals even as her superiors take action against her for her felonious behavior with a mortal.
The first Nether-Netherland romance is a fun lighthearted farce that lampoons the urban fantasy’s relationships between humans and paranormal as the course of True Love flows uneven. Fast-paced, fans, who enjoy an amusing storyline that never takes itself seriously, will want to read this jocular frolic.
November 28, 2012
The Doctor and the Rough Rider
PYR, Dec 4 2012, $17.95
In the summer of 1884, suffering from consumption, Doc Holliday expects to die shortly in a Leadville, Colorado sanitarium. Medicine man Geronimo arrives at the sanitarium wanting Doc’s help to protect a visitor from the United States. The Apache explains that Theodore Roosevelt, whom he expected would be one day calling, is heading to Tombstone.
The tribes know Geronimo plans to soon end the spell he created to prevent the United States from crossing the Mississippi. Several tribes oppose the American belief in their manifest destiny and want the barrier to remain. They have created a humongous beastly medicine man War Bonnet to insure United States remains on the other side of the mighty Mississippi. In turn, the invincible War Bonnet hires notorious gunfighter John Wesley Hardin to abet him in killing Roosevelt, Geronimo and any foolish allies they enlist.
The latest Weird West Tale (see The Doctor And The Kid and The Buntline Special) is a delightful steampunk mishmash that is entertaining fun. The action-packed storyline is faster than Hardin or Doc can draw a gun. Readers will appreciate this engaging entry in a continually appealing series.
November 27, 2012
The Conjurer’s Boy
Harvard Square Editions, Nov 1 2012, $15.95
Their father had them move five times in six years. However, as the Cuban Missile Crisis is the big news, high school student Thomas Faye learns from his mother that his dad deserted them. Stunned, Thomas wanders around smoking Salem while trying to comprehend why. Eventually he enters a second hand store filled with junk where he meets the owner Arthur Farrell the magician wounded WWII veteran with healing power and angry homeless Meyer the survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto atrocities.
They mentor Thomas who begins to open his eyes to the world few can see as he seeks to understand what normal is and why fate set in motion his trek back in 1962. He begins his solo journey using and discarding roles along the way with his only link being his two spirit guides and a disturbed Rachel.
This profound coming of age low keyed fantasy is an engaging thought provoking tale starring a fascinating lead character who, after meeting his mentors, needs to know why him. With a nod to the higher levels of the expanded Maslow’s Hierarchy, The Conjurer’s Boy is a delightful tale of the human need to achieve self-esteem and cognitive awareness, but first one must belong somewhere.
November 20, 2012
Touch of the Demon
Daw, Dec 31 2012, $7.99
Beaulac, Louisiana Police Detective Kara Gillian is a demon summoner who has a contract with demon Lord Rhyzkahl. However, Rhyzkahl’s apparent rival demon Lord Mzatal summons an uncooperative Kara into the demon realm. Kara expects Rhyzkahl will rescue her, but the Bayou cop is not waiting for that to happen; as she plans to free herself.
While Kara works on her extraction, she also wonders why her abductor wants to end her bond with Rhyzkahl as part of an end game she cannot fathom. She hypothesizes that Mzatal’s objective links with what she knows about FBI agent Ryan Kristoff, but not sure why and how she fits in the demon’s scheme.
The latest Kara Gillian Bayou fantasy (see Mark of the Demon) is a terrific entry that turns the Rowland mythos inside out as the heroine searches for answers to her questions but instead finds betrayal awaits her. Fast-paced, series fans will appreciate this stunning entry though newcomers need to read Sins of the Demon first as that storyline’s cliffhanging climax feeds Touch of the Demon
November 14, 2012
Kristine Kathryn Rusch
WMG, Dec 2012, $18.99
Six months ago on Anniversary Day, nineteen cities were bombed. Those who committed the atrocities got away as authorities have no idea who did the nefarious mass murdering of civilians or why. However, the leadership believes another wave is imminent.
Making no progress on her inquiry and fearing a second round of deadly terrorism, United Domes of the Moon Chief of Security Noelle DeRicci asks former Retrieval Artist Miles Flint to investigate. Though retired to spend time with his daughter Talia, Miles accepts the job. With the help of shady individuals and Talia, Miles begins to uncover an inconvenient truth as increasingly the evidence points to terrorists close to him.
The latest Retrieval Artist science fiction thriller (see The Possession of Paavo Deshin) is an engaging investigative whodunit starring popular Miles Flint on a comeback mission. The suspenseful storyline is fast-paced and filled with twists as the hero comes out of retirement to confront his worst nightmare.
November 2, 2012
ImaJinn, Oct 30 2012, $15.00
Though it may cost her the job she loves with the Feds due to insubordination, FBI Special Agent Kathryn Hunter defies her superior’s orders not to search for her missing brother Daniel the photographer. Instead Kathryn follows clues that lead to South Dakota’s home of Lucas Donlon.
Though the Lord Vampire wants to bite Kathryn all over her body, he has no time for the tasty morsel as he has a war brewing with rival vampire lord Klemens who craves adding Lucas’ Plains territory to his Chicago based empire. Lucas tells her to go back to working FBI cases, but a defiant Kathryn insists on finding her sibling, which places her in the crossfires of hostilities between two vampire clans and besides she wouldn’t mind dining on her delicious albeit reluctant host.
The latest Vampires in America romantic fantasy (see Sophia, Duncan, Rajmund, Jabril and Raphael) is a great thriller starring two kick butt protagonists as the female, used to competing in a men’s club, proves the equal to the vampire lord, unused to anyone competing at his level. Fast-paced, fans will enjoy this strong entry with a stunning fabulous late twist as D.B. Reynolds provides another winner.
October 28, 2012
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Daw, Nov 6 2012, $7.99
Actress Esther Diamond obtains work as Dreidel the Jewish elf in Manhattan’s Fenster Department store. She got the position because several people hired for the annual meet Santa display failed to return to work.
Santa is running very late while a crowd becomes edgy. Dreidel entertains them while Candy Cane the elf looks for him. Finally Esther’s friend Big Satsy arrives screaming in terror with his Santa suit on fire. A little boy Jonathan also starts screaming claiming a Santa with fangs tried to eat him. At the same, the Fenster family fights over control of the retail giant and thieves hijack shipments. When a tree attacks Dreidel, her on and off boyfriend NYPD Detective Connor Lopez claims mechanical failure, but Esther knows otherwise. With Max the three century and a half old sorcerer at her side, they investigate supernatural happenings unaware that a malevolence is deploying a wicked scheme to make for a deadly Christmas.
The latest Esther Diamond satirical urban fantasy (see Vamparazzi, Unsympathetic Magic and Doppelgangster) lampoons the excesses of commercialized Christmas in a fun lighthearted farce. Once again intrepid Esther proves fearless as she chooses fight rather than flight by facing danger on the freight elevator, the tree, a retired gangster and the Fenster family feud. Laura Resnick writes a not so merry Christmas paranormal mayhem.