Friday, April 24, 2009

Mutant Chronicles

One of my satellite channels shows a movie before it is released. This month it was MUTANT CHRONICLES with Patrick Jane and Ron Perlman. It’s the story of war in the 28th century and am 10,000 year old machine has started creating mutants to take over the world. Perlman plays a Priest who has an old book with plans on how to stop it. It’s a bit strange in that the battle scenes are straight out of World War I and the machines are figments of a future steam punk’s imagination. It’s an interesting concept is worth the time spent watching it.

Still no luck on the job front. Local unemployment ranges from 10.5% to 18.3% and they aren’t looking for it to get better until the middle of next year. IRA’s and 401-ks are in the crapper and will never recover in time for retirement unless I work til I’m 90.

Here are some reviews from Harriet. Hopefully they are a bit brighter than my comments tonight.

Captive Of The Beast
Lisa Renee Jones
Silhouette Nocturne, May 2009, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373618101

On an island off the coast of Texas, Dr. Laura Johnson creates a vaccine to help young people control their special skills; something she understands first hand as her parents trained her to hide her extrasensory mental abilities to read, sense danger, and do telekinetic things. However, she is worried that the new boss Captain Walch is malevolent with plans to exploit the kids. Her reward is incarceration on her island as her skills prove right that he is a minion of the evil Darkland Beast demons.

Knights of White William Rinehart and his team arrive to rescue the research scientist and the kids. A demon warrior Rinehart finds himself with a new struggle beyond controlling the beast inside him; he is attracted to Dr. Laura, who he has sworn to keep safe yet wants to release the inner beast. However, the situation escalates for him when he realizes she has paranormal abilities and wants him too.

Though similar in tone to previous Knights of the White romantic fantasy (see BEAST OF DARKNESS, BEAST OF DESIRE and BEAST WITHIN), this is a terrific thriller due to the lead couple. She is a courageous dedicated heroine and he is a brave lost soul who knows his future is so bleak he cannot proclaim her as his. The story line is fast-paced, but the paranormal subplot takes a back seat to the relationship between the knight and his medical research scientist lifemate who shares his desire.

Harriet Klausner

Jaguar Night
Doranna Durgin
Silhouette Nocturne, May 2009, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373618118

Agents of the Atrum Core arrive near Meghan Lawrence's ranch seeking the evil tome the Liber Nex. Sentinel Jaguar shapeshifter Dolan Trevino also arrives at her ranch to protect Meghan and to insure the evil Atrium Core does not find and take the ancient book.

However, Meghan rejects Dolan’s offer of protection, as she holds his group culpable for the death of her mother, a Sentinel, two decades ago. In spite of her refusal to accept his safeguard offer, he remains diligent. As they fall in love, she keeps reminding herself her mom a Sentinel died protecting that book while the group failed to keep her safe as they promised.

Although the plot feels a bit thin, JAGUAR NIGHT is a terrific urban fantasy romance due to Meghan, who rejects anything Sentinel as her memory is they failed her mother. The story line is totally driven by the lead couple from the moment Dolan comes to Megan’s ranch to keep her safe and she tells him to leave. Fans will enjoy his efforts to keep the woman he loves safe and her efforts to keep the man she loves out of her life.

Harriet Klausner

Twilight of Avalon
Anna Elliot
Simon and Schuster, may 5 2009, $16.00
ISBN: 9781416589891

Morgan LeFay’s granddaughter Queen Isolde struggles with the powers she inherited from her infamous ancestor and her father Mordred. With the murder of her spouse, the king of England, she knows his loyal men will suspect her of sorcery due to her roots. She also knows there will be an ugly power struggle to initially determine who leads the army and subsequently fill the throne. She feels ill because she will see the bloody fights twice; before and during. Her advisors urge her to marry so she can be protected, but she abhors the idea especially since she still grieves her loss of three days.

The apparently most powerful of the warriors fighting for the crown is Cornwall King Marche, who plans to marry the queen to solidify his hold though he is also attracted to her. Isolde tries to end his courtship, but Marche refuses to listen. When the beleaguered queen meets mercenary prisoner Trystan, she learns she is unsafe from Marche, who forces her to marry him. However, Isolde and Trystan flee the castle with Marche in pursuit.

This is a fascinating Arthurian tale that retells the often retold story of Isolde and Trystan. The emphasis is on political intrigue though there are paranormal moments. Part of the intrigue is caused by Trystan who throughout remains an enigmatic shadowy champion; perhaps antihero might be more descriptive. However, Isolde comes across as either incompetent or a moron as she remains dense and oblivious that something is wrong in her inner circle while her loyal supporters keep getting assassinated. Still this is an interesting fantasy told from her perspective, which ironically affirms her enemies are right that someone else needs to be on the throne for the sake of the kingdom.

Harriet Klausner

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