Spent the day doing mostly nothing. Body went into collapse state. Harriet's reviews keep on coming, so here are some to keep you going.
Grand Central, Jun 24 2009, $26.99
From the time she was a young girl in Alba, Moirin of the Maghuin Dhonn, an isolated clan of the Brown Bear worshippers, Moirin heard the voices and saw the faces of other deities. Although she did not know it, other Gods were worshipped in Terre d'Ange. She conducts a quiet inquiry and learns her unknown father was a D'Angeline priest serving Naamah, the goddess of desire. As a mage with power, Moirin also begins to explore and upon maturity travels into the spirit world where she will either be fully accepted or totally rejected by the Maghuin Dhonn
She accepts her and the divine spark, the diadh-anam stays in her essence. Moirin learns she has a destiny to fulfill. She goes to Terre d'Ange to meet her father, but is run over by Raphael de Mereliot whose lover is Jerhanne, the queen of the city of Eula. Moirin learns she has the power to heal people even from death though that drains her. Jehanne and Morin become lovers as the newcomer is the first person the queen has trusted in years; she would like to stay with her lover, but Moirin is asked by her mentor Lord Bo to return home with him to Ch’in because the emperor’s daughter and heir is demon possessed. In Ch’in, Moirin realizes what the problem is and asks Snow Tiger, the emperor’s heir to trust her. Neither was prepared for a coup d’etat by an evil sorcerere.
NAAMAH’S KISS takes place in the same world as the Kushiel saga only decades later. Once again Jacqueline Cary shows her skill at world-building in this super cerebral yet action-packed fantasy. The cast is solid especially the mages and the characters with supernatural powersl, but anchored in time and place by everyday people and political leaders. In many ways a coming of age thriller as the heroine learns of her illustrious roots (not just dad), the story line belongs to the vivid descriptions especially of the dark sides of Ch’in and Terre d’Ange as Morin explores both with energy and love. Harriet Klausner
Black and White
Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittridge
Bantam, Jun 2 2009, $15.00
The extrahumans attend the Academy where they obtain intensive training learning how to control their super powers before going out amongst civilians to stop crime. Five years after graduating from the Academy, Joannie “Jet” Greene tries to catch her former school roommate Callie “Iridium” Bradford for dealing with unsanctioned (by the ruling Corps) criminals. The pair was once best friends, but their differences over brainwashing by the Academy and the Corps abuse of extrahumans led to a dispute. Jet believed what she was told while Iri saw a dark commercial purpose behind the institutions. This acrimonious split might be a legacy of their fathers with Jet’s dead and Iri’s jailed or more to the point could be their powers as Jet uses shadows and Iri the light.
The former BFFs separately begin to uncover a dangerous conspiracy in New Chicago. Meanwhile Jet meets and teams up with normal human Bruce Hunter who brings a metaphoric light to her heart while she thinks Iri is part of the treachery. Iri meets and teams up with vigilante Taser who brings a bit of the dark into her heart while she deems Jet is part of the treachery. Soon these two BFFs and their new sidekicks will learn that neither is all light or all dark as the universe has an abundance of colors and shades; that is they will learn if they stop fighting one another and live long enough.
Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittridge provide a fun super friends fantasy that blends elements of romance, thriller, and science fiction into an exciting BFF (in this case BFF was best friend forever but has become best enemy forever) superhero tale. The cast is solid as Jet and Iri begin to understand that the whole is greater than either part. Although fast than a speeding bullet story line lacks depth, graphic comic book fans will enjoy the action-packed quarrel between two former super friends. Harriet Klausner
Edge of Desire
Harlequin HQN, Jun 2009, $7.99
Sheriff Riley Buchanan left his home in Henning, Colorado to come the Pacific as he fears what he is becoming due to the Merrick blood flowing through him. In Purity, Washington, he knows his gut insists he needs a woman, any female; but his heart and head only wants Hope Summer whom he lost years ago. Ironically what he needs is on her land.
Watchman Kellen Scott has accompanied Riley to the Northwest to ostensibly keep an eye on the sheriff who is losing control. They believe the third marker is interred on Hope’s property. Riley had wanted to come and go without intruding on Hope, but he has failed as she will know about his darkening nature and loathe him. However, Hope is also concealing her inner nature and hiding from her ruthless former spouse obsessed with destroying his ex wife and her kind.
The third Primal Instinct tale (see EDGE OF DANGER and EDGE OF HUNGER) ends the current trilogy with an excellent urban fantasy second chance romantic suspense. The story line is action-packed from the opening moment when Riley reaches Purity and never slows down while the overall theme takes a few wonderful spins. However, as in the previous two entries, the edgy characters make for a great finish and perhaps set up some more Primal Instinct Edge of novels. Harriet Klausner