Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Follow-up

I've been working on the book proposal and have gotten positive feedback from my first submissions. I'll have to keep on writing and see how it comes out.

Had a follow-up interview for gainful employment today. I'll set in on the job next week to see if it is going to fit. Keep thinking good thoughts.

More reviews from Harriet follow. I'm working on some, but right now it's a slow go for me with the other things going on.

Sea Changes
Gail Graham
Jade Phoenix, May 01 2009, $15.99
ISBN: 9780692001004

In Australia, Felicity no longer comforts her mom Sarah; she insists her mother move on with her life instead of still grieving her late husband Charles as almost two years have passed since the heart attack killed him. She tells her mom Charles was her dad and even his mother has moved on beyond mourning. The daughter also coldly lectures her mom over the annuity she accepted in which Sarah took care of herself only and complains that her mom’s shrink Dr. Kahn holds her back.

Sarah feels isolated from her family and decides to end her life at Bondi Beach with a final drowning swim. Instead of dying she finds an underwater civilization in which the occupants especially Xaxanader welcome the surface dweller. She soon is back on the beach wondering if what she saw is real until she returns to the sea world; especially afterward when Bantryd of the sea moves into her home with her in order to search for her parents who came ashore years ago. This happens at a time when missing teen heiress Jennyfer Blanchard who resembles Bantryd vanishes. Everyone sees the videotape that shows Sarah with Jennyfer; so Felicity, Kahn and anyone in the Brisbane area believe she killed Jennyfer.

This is an intriguing character driven fantasy with a deep message pleading with the survivor to seek a new groove when a life mate dies. Sarah’s overwhelming depression drives away her loved ones. Ultimately after finding life underneath the sea, Sarah must decide between memories fueled by grief and starting a new life to build new memories. She is a terrific protagonist who holds the whimsical yet melancholy story line together although the support cast feels too stereotypical on land and at sea as they exist only in terms of her. Readers will enjoy Sarah’s sea saga as she struggles to move on in her life following Charles. She considers suicide as the only solution, but learns there is so much more out there. Harriet Klausner

The Demon’s Librarian
Lilith Saintcrow
ImaJinn, Mar 2009, $14.00
ISBN: 9781933417448

She is the librarian in Jericho City who found a secret room filled with books of magical instructions and information. When Francesca “Chess” Barnes sees a demon eating a child, she vows to do something about that. She reads the books written by the founder of the Order, an organization pledged to keep humans safe. Chess learns spells including casting a demon out and owns a magic knife called Fang that can kill hell’s spawn, which she uses to eliminate one of these ugly amoral creatures.

Two men claiming to be from the Order arrive and ask if the founder of the Order’s library is in her library and she denies it. They smell the use of sorcery and Paul the Malik,, a human mage with magical powers, and Ryan, the Drakul half demon, which makes him a second class citizen in the Order, are in the front line war with the demons. Ryan follows Chess while Paul turns to another human he believes is using magic. Ryan realizes that Chess is using magic, but is much more as a Golden almost pure Phoenicus practitioner who if she attains her full potential will be able to kill even the almost invincible demonic High Ones. To his shock, Ryan falls in love with Chess, which may be the only reason she might survive as a traitor inside the Order knowing who she is wants to give her to the Inkani demons as a sacrifice for a rare rite.

The outwardly prim and proper (and underpaid) librarian gets down and dirty when she realizes the lethal threat to schools kids as her library is a battle zone between the paranormal and the normal. Ryan is the more intriguing character as he always assumed he was tainted with bad blood and the Order enforced his lack of self esteem (outside of his fighting demons); but Chess soothes the troubled beast through love. Lilith Saintcrow has written an enjoyable romantic urban fantasy in which the book world will agree don’t mess with THE DEMON’S LIBRARIAN as she silences the evil ones. Harriet Klausner

The Empress Of Mars
Kage Baker
Tor, May 12 2009, $25.95
ISBN: 0765318903

After terraforming a moon colony into a mega profit, the British based Aerean Company has done likewise on Mars. However, unlike the great success on the moon, the Martian project has run into financial trouble as the profits have not been anywhere near the projections. Unable to retain the current workforce, Aerean downsizes many of the colonists, who have no alternatives once they are terminated.

Those unemployed must create work like Mary Griffith did as owner and brew-master of the only bar on the forth planet from the sun, The Empress of Mars. Others do likewise as Cochevelou forms an agricultural cooperative and Crosley establishes a casino-dental clinic. Others residing in the Martian Motel must find work as life on the aptly named Angry Red Planet for those discarded by the company is to generate a profit making cottage industry or die; Darwin is proving to be right as most of the stranded survivors know big business, Great Britain and mega religion except perhaps to the Ephesian Goddess worshippers are irrelevant.

With the Company taking a needed R&R, Kage Baker provides an intriguing look at a cast of outcasts struggling to survive, but those who do so throw away social convention (as defined by Aeran Company and Great Britain) in order to apply unconventional means. Rebellion seems impossible as the fired employees have no major market to buy weapons (this is not the Mexican cartels crossing into the United States and ironically applying their second amendment rights). The prime players have differing personalities yet share in common courage to make it; their mantra ought to be if I can make it on Mars I can make it anywhere even Manhattan. With a vast history hinted at like Luna terraforming and Great Britain winning the space race, fans will enjoy toasting these unlikely champions with a beer at the Empress of Mars. Harriet Klausner

Pleasure Dome
L.F. Hampton
ImaJinn, Mar 2009, $14.00
ISBN: 9781933417455

At thirty-eight years of age, Warship Captain Soledad Scott of the Icarus faces mandatory retirement. She travels to the Straits at the end of known space to visit the Pleasure Dome. Soledad is a maternity client who will be teamed up with a sex toy male with the DNA she wants for the sire who will make her pregnant. Due to worm-hole dyslexia, she misreads room 660 as 990; the hunk waiting in the wrong room is expecting a sterile female sex toy.

Sol acts as if half-breed Chakkra empath Commander Gabriel Merriweather is her sex toy and he acquiesces enjoying the role change. However, in the morning she learns of her mistake and sneaks out of his room. Most species believes that Chakkra are violent barbaric mercenaries who prefer to fight to the death than negotiate. The empath cannot forget Sol, but fears she will reject him because of the reputation for violence his Chakkra heritage has in spite of the irony that he works in the Diplomatic Corps. He uses his empath skills tring to find Sol but they fail him because his target is a tranq; a person with the ability to mute the emotions that empaths like Gabeare bombarded with. Still he is coming for the woman who ran away with his sperm and his heart.

This is a sizzling, energizing science fiction romance that takes place far into the future vividly described by L.F. Hampton to the point that readers will believe they are at the Pleasure Dome. The heroine is a brave combat veteran who displays vulnerability once she embarks on her first post-retirement deployment. Gabe is her wonderful counterpart showing the same leadership caring qualities along with a liability (in his mind) of being half-breed Chakkra. Together they bring to readers a pleasurable romantic outer space thriller. Harriet Klausner

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