Saturday, March 28, 2009


Kathy and I are still taking all manner of pills and breathing treatments to try and knock out the bugs in our systems. Maybe things will work out this weekend.

They are predicting some really bad weather, but hopefully it won't be too rough here.

I'll have Baryon 111 ready to mail this week. Send me your email address if you would like to receive a copy. Contact me at

Here are some more reviews by Harriet.

Undead on Arrival, L.A. Banks, St. Martin’s, Mar 31 2009, $7.99, ISBN: 0312949138, reviewed by Harriet Klausner.

The United Council of Entities exiled the vampires from their position of power and brokered a peace between the Weres who change only at the full moon and the Shadow clans who change at will. US Military squad leader of the Paranormal Containment Unit shadow wolf Sasha Trudeau, her team, and her mate Max Hunter were involved at the conference, but Hunter is now in a bad way and it seems the pair is heading for an unhappy ending as Max is demon infested and a double dose of anti-toxins is not working.

Any moment he can turn violent and eat humans. Shadow wolves are supposed to have a natural immunity to the demonization, but his antibody system is failing to produce the antitoxin. Afraid to make love and even more fearful of hurting his beloved, Max disappears. Soon afterward, a human is found half eaten with the evidence pointing to Max as the killer. Sasha refuses to believe that her Max would kill, but her efforts to prove otherwise are thwarted by other wolves.

UNDEAD ON ARRIVAL is L.A. Banks at her best, which is claiming a lot as the author’s urban fantasies are always exciting and refreshingly unique. The story line continues to build up on Crimson Moon world (see BITE THE BULLET and BAD BLOOD) especially the political intrigue and backstabbing within and between species. Although the plot is somewhat more complex than usual, fans will enjoy the character driven entry as lethal mysteries abound throughout.

Keeper of Light and Dust, Natasha Mostert, Dutton, Apr 2009, $25.95, ISBN: 9780525951001, reviewed by Harriet Klausner.

Like her mother and grandmother before her, Mia Lockheart is a Keeper; a person who uses Chi life energy to heal and protect others. She also knows that practitioners of the Book of Life and Death can drain the Chi from a victim. In her case only South London fighters belong to her keep, but she makes them safe just before they enter the ring. One of her fighters failed to tell her he was entering the ring; he died from unknown causes a few days after his bout.

A fighter Nick Duffy is someone Mia could easily love, so she has not marked him as hers. When she asks him about her fighter who died, Patrick mentions other battlers have also died in the same way in the past five years. Patrick hires Adrian Ashton as his trainer for a championship match. Adrian gets his new fighter prepared, but hides his real agenda from Patrick. Mia knows what it is and plans to stop him anyway she can, but can you stop someone who does not comes out of the shadows to reveal what he truly is.

Natasha Mostert has written an enthralling supernatural thriller that combines science, metaphysics, and Asian martial arts to forge a system that can either heal or kill. Mia is a strong woman who comes a from a long line of strong women; she is a warrior and healer. Adrian is the enigma who brings the freshness to the tale as Mia wonders if her attraction to him is because he may be her yang even as she is falling in love with Nick. KEEPER OF LIGHT AND DUST is a magical metaphysical Mostert masterpiece.

Blood Magic, Jennifer Lyon, Ballantine, Mar 2009, $6.99, ISBN: 9780345506344, reviewed by Harriet Klausner.

Funeral director Darcy MacAlister finds arranging her beloved mom’s funeral is a catharsis of sorts although hearing some speak of the deceased as if she was evil bothers her enough that her Special Forces cousin Joe notices and tells her to ignore the fools. At about the same time that she buries her mom, witch hunter Wing Slayer Hunter leader Axel Locke is worried that his sister Hannah has been attacked by a death curse. He knows only two ways to save her: either the curse is lifted or a witch must die. Axel knows if he kills an innocent witch his soul will burn, but those witches who broke their sacred vow to protect humans from demons by switching sides are another matter as their former guardians like him are obsessed with killing the traitors.

Axel abducts a terrified Darcy whom he recognizes as an earth witch. He hopes to gain her cooperation by having her lift the spell. However though she commiserates with Hannah's dilemma, she never knew that witch blood flowed in her veins. Time is running out although she agrees to try to break the curse.

This is a fabulous opening act of a wonderful urban romantic fantasy starring two intriguing protagonists with an unwanted attraction pushing them towards each other and a blood curse pulling them apart. The story line is fast-paced, but owned by the lead pair as they “naturally” squabble while struggling to save his sibling. Jennifer Lyon bewitches sub-genre fans with this terrific thriller.

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