More reviews from Harriet. I spent most of the day at the hospital with Scott. His wife Carey had surgery. All went well and she should be home shortly.
Lili St. Crow
Razorbill, May 14 2009, $9.99
Sixteen years old Dru Anderson is used to traveling around; never staying in any place for more that a couple of months. Her father trained her as his sidekick killing deadly supernatural creatures and once the mission is accomplished the pair would pack up and move to the next monster nest; some of these otherworldly beasts have no English word. Her Granmama taught her mostly in dreams and occasional rare visits how to be spiritually psychically stout. As for her mom, there are the curls.
Everything changed for Dru in the Dakotas the night her Granmama died. Dad acts strange as he goes out on the mission alone. When he fails to come back alive, Dru has to confront realities. The only two people in her life are dead within twenty-four hours of each other; and though she thought she was a pro at hunting, she realizes she knows nothing about what they hunted beyond her extrasensory gift of the “Touch” and even less about surviving in the mundane world. First she must live through the night as she knows mortal teen boys and creatures from beyond have caught her scent; she is not sure which is more dangerous to her existence, but then again there is her dad’s killer stalking her too.
The key to this terrific young adult fantasy is the supernatural creatures seem genuine with the representatives of a variety of species possessing differing personalities beyond just their basic “natural” needs. Dru is fabulous holding the story line together in a first person viewpoint as she is a typical teen with a special skill and a radically different childhood than the norm. Fans will admire Dru and her two new associates Christophe and Graves who risk all in a battle against deadly foes who should not exist in the wintry Dakotas. Harriet Klausner
Baen, May 2009, $23.00
The Allied Worlds of Earth, The Eubian Concord Trader Empire, and Skolian Imperialate make up the human empires in the distant future. The Skolian Imperialate and the Trader Empire went to war, but neither won. Hostilities remain with another flare up possible. Earth provided sanctuary to some of the Skolian Imperialate Ruby Dynasty. When the war ended with the Trader Empire, the Skolians brought home everyone except Prince Del- Kurj who was separated from his off-world people.
Del is frustrated and outraged as earth politicians are making it difficult for him to go home even with immense pressure from the Skolians. Mac Tyler takes him to a studio where he is seen and heard by producer Ricki Varento. He receives a recording contract, which he hopes will prove successful as he knows his family thinks he is worthless. Dal is a powerful empath, but is surprised when the crowds adore him and admire his talent as they love his music. Within a year, he is number one. However when a friend is abducted and tortured by an Aristo Trader, he sings a song that brings three civilizations to the brink of all out war.
DIAMOND STAR is a fresh excellent addition to the Skolian Empire saga due to mostly Del, a prince who prefers to be a music star. All of the action occurs on earth where an innocent man must adapt to a new challenge. Readers see the world through his Skolian eyes. There are several major subplots tied together by Del as fans will understand how his producers, band members, fans, and even the Aristo Trader see the expatriate Skolian royal. Somewhat tongue in cheek, Catherine Asaro provides a thoughtful tale of a star is born as the prince believes the magic is in the music instead of the purple reign. Harriet Klausner
Doomsday Can Wait
St. Martin’s, Apr 28 2009, $7.99
Elizabeth Phoenix used use her psychic skills with the Milwaukee police, but soon learns what her horrific visions mean when monsters murder her foster mother Ruthie and left her unconscious; now she can see the monsters (see ANY GIVEN DOOMSDAY). Because of her skills, she has become a federation leader fighting the dark. She actually wins her first battle though many of her soldiers die in the confrontation as she learns the difficult responsibility of a general as she deploys people she knows she is sending to die even though success delays Doomsday for now.
Liz has numerous enemies now including the Navaho witch woman of smoke Naye'I, mother of her skinwalking ally Sawyer. She is unsure she can trust her former lover Jimmy Sanducci; as she and he recently learned he is a dhampire who feels he is losing his restrain to not turn to his sire’s enticing malice. To defeat Naye'i, Liz knows she needs two allies, Sawyer and Jimmy, but one is the son of her adversary and the other has walked the dark side next to his purebred malevolent father.
The second Phoenix Chronicles urban fantasy has the world even darker and grittier in spite of insuring DOOMSDAY CAN WAIT for a future engagement. Liz is terrific as the story line focuses on her inner doubts re sending people to certain death and trusting Sawyer and Jimmy while trying to understand the enormous visions that shake her core as all she sees is bleakness. The apocalypse is here as Lori Handeland provides a powerful gloomy world with little hope for humanity’s survival as the sinister minions of wickedness march forward seeking a second battle. The constant war of attrition is on the side of evil. Harriet Klausner