Friday, August 21, 2009

Sorry for not posting

Sorry for not posting. Been having eye problems and headaches the past few days. Almost back to normal.

Here are some reviews from Harriet to tide you over.

Semper Human
Ian Douglas
Eos, May 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 0061238643

Across the galaxy, all hell has exploded with many colonial planets and other orbital habitats in jeopardy; billions could die. The Galactive Associative has tried to maintain the peace and prevent internal hostilities from destroying much of humanity, but the leaders recognize they failed especially after the Xul Incursion in 4004. One year later they call for desperate measures to prevent the beginning of the end as rebels are springing up seemingly everywhere. They awaken General Garroway and his Star Marines from eight and a half centuries of deliberate cybernetic-hibernation sleep; a super squad who chose cybernation in 3152 in case they were ever needed again.

However, the almost millennia induced coma has left Garroway and his United States Marine Corps warriors unprepared for a society in which the rules of engagement they adhered to are considered obsolete by self interested politicians who have plans on manipulating the reanimated marines for personnel power gain as the common good is superseded. Still Garroway and his corps begin the counterattack only to realize the greater peril is not from within or even just the invincible Xul, though great threats to the well being of mankind. A hazard so insidious the past, present and future are simultaneously in danger of being eradicated by the unbeatable Xul and the Great Annihilator whose plan is eliminate any trace that humanity ever lived or lives.

This is the exciting finish to the Inheritance trilogy with the third book (see STAR STRIKE and GALACTIC CORPS) of the third saga (see the novels of the Heritage trilogy and the Legacy Trilogy). The story line is fast-paced and resolves much of what has occurred in the last twelve centuries; answering the key questions in an exhilarating way. Garroway and his unit are terrific, but Ian Douglas continues to show his scorn of politicians as once again cowardly politicos get in the way of the heroic marines so long term fans will finish the saga with the thoughts of well written and very entertaining, but a nagging sense of deja vu. Harriet Klausner

The Law of Nines
Terry Goodkind
Putnam, Aug 18 2009, $27.95
ISBN: 9780399156045

In Orden, Nebraska, artist Alex Rahl notices the woman in the path of a speeding plumbing truck with a dangling pirate flag. She seems ignorant of the fact that the pirates were bearing down on her. He grabs her arm and yanks her back as the vehicle misses her and then abruptly stops. One of the pirates steps out menacingly, but the police arrive at the scene. Alex apologizes to her for hurting her arm, but mentions the near incident; she mysteriously says it was probably no accident.

Jax further explains she has come for Alex from another realm. He is there only hope to save her United States from a magical coup d’etat. However, though attracted to this Jax, Alex says he just a downtrodden just turned twenty-seven year old artist whose recent inheritance should make him at least wealthy. She mentions her world’s technology is magic based rather than engineering-scientific centric. He doubts her tale as she cannot perform even an illusion let alone change the laws of physics until he soon learns the universal law of Good Samaritans to not get involved when Jax’s adversaries cross over with the intention of killing the rebel, her protector, and his loved ones.

THE LAWS OF NINE is a terrific fantasy thriller that stars off at a fast-pace, settles into an explanatory worlds' settings and incredibly accelerates into an action-packed speed of light tale. Alex is fabulous as a skeptic until he and his love ones are literally assaulted and tries to assist the kick butt heroine he just saved. All the action is on this side of reality so the thriller aspects supersede the fantasy elements that are for the most part implied and established for perhaps a sequel on Jax’s world. Terry Goodkind provides fans with a super opening act.
Harriet Klausner

Even Money
Dick Francis and Felix Francis
Putnam, Aug 2009, $26.95
ISBN: 9780399155918

The first day of the Royal Ascot horse races gala was like any other opening at the prestigious event and Ted Talbot, his co-worker Luca, and their assistant Betsy are taking book from the punters. Out of the crowd comes an elderly man demanding to speak with Ted. He insists that he is Peter James Talbot, Ted’s father. This is a shocker as Ted was raised by his paternal grandparents who claimed his parents died in a car crash.

Peter informs his still stunned son that he has two half-sisters living in Australia, but before they can get into a car, two thugs demand the older Talbot hand over the money. During the subsequent brawl, James is injured and rushed to the hospital where he dies. Ted goes to his dad’s hotel room and finds proof that his father was involved in an illegal activity. The thugs still demand their loot and the code used on chips that are imprinted and then inserted into the horses. Ted’s life is in jeopardy but he also wants justice for his father and the insurance these punks will not go after him or his loved ones in the future. He ignores the cops because the lead police officer investigating his father’s death assumes he is guilty of something.

Dick and Felix Francis once again affirm that a father-son writing team can provide quality mysteries. Readers are caught up in British horse racing (a trademark of father) and the shenanigans that occur away from the track including some instigated by Ted. Still he receives plenty of empathy as criminals are coming after him as the likely recipient of his father’s legacy, he has a mentally ill wife institutionalized, and a co-worker wanting to be his partner in the family business. With plenty of thrills, chills, and spills EVEN MONEY is a sure bet.
Harriet Klausner

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