Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Three from Harriet

Dark Warrior Unbroken
Alexis Morgan
Pocket, Jul 28 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9781416563440

Arson investigator Lena Wilson missed the funeral of her mentor and father figure Maynard Cooper because of the breach between them. The dispute seems inane to her as she stands at his gravesite crying that they never reconciled and vowing to uncover the identity of his killer in spite of the cops insisting they have no leads; she has special skills that enable her to find things the police would never notice.

Talion Warrior Chief Enforcer Sandor Kearn regrets doing his job when he was forced to kill his best friend, Bradan. He not only has doubts he has the stomach for this work; he has the added problem of obsessive persistent Lena who keeps digging. Sandor wants to tell her that he killed her mentor’s murderer already, but cannot reveal that or anything about his people the Kyth. He tracks a Kyth rogue killer in Seattle while she tracks him as Lena believes Sandor killed Maynard.

The second Talion thriller (see DARK WARRIOR UNLEASHED) reads somewhat like the first novel, but the clash between the lead couple brings freshness to the exhilarating story line. Lena knows in her heart Sandor is the one for her but believes in her brain based on what she has learned he is the one she must kill to complete her vow. Sandor, who plays a key role in the previous tale, is caught between a hard place and a rock as he wants to pour out his heart to his obstinate pursuer and give her closure and more; but he understands his imprint is indirectly all over the death of Maynard. Alexis Morgan provides a tense thriller as the vigilante goes after the enforcer. Harriet Klausner

Storm of Visions
Christina Dodd
Signet, Aug 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451227638

Jacqueline Vargha rejects the idea that she is one of the magnificent seven Chosen Ones; instead she insists she has no paranormal skills. However, her her adoptive mother psychic Zusane knows better and forces a reluctant Jacqueline to join with the other six special Chosen.

The team is shocked when their selected mentors die in a bombing. The reluctant untrained Chosen One and Zusane’s bodyguard Caleb, who was once Jacqueline’s lover, accompanied by two unskilled elderly assistants with no extrasensory skills hunt the assassin while dodging their natural enemies the Others and struggling with an attraction neither want but both desire.

STORM OF VISIONS is an action-packed paranormal romantic suspense that sets the stage for what looks like will be a terrific series, but also insures the opening act contains a strong story line. Caleb is an interesting male lead, but Jacqueline is the more fascinating protagonist as she prefers to pretend she has no paranormal abilities just like she prefers to ignore her feelings for the bodyguard. Although the romance is more like a light switch being turned on and off throughout the plot, fans of Christina Dodd will enjoy her suspense laden paranormal thriller. Harriet Klausner

North! Or be Eaten: Wild escapes. A Desperate Journey. And the ghastly Grey Fangs of Dang.
Andrew Peterson
WaterBrook, Aug 18 2009, $13.99
ISBN: 9781400073870

The reptilian Fangs of Dang crossed the Dark Sea of Darkness, conquered the Skree and instituted brutal martial law based on their bite that slowly and painfully kills (see ON THE EDGE OF THE DARK SEA OF DARKNESS: ADVENTURE, PERIL, LOST JEWELS, AND THE FEARSOME TOOTHY COWS OF SKREE).

In the town of Glipwood had lived the Igiby family of Mother Nia with her father and her three children (sons Janner and Tink, and handicapped daughter Leeli). An incident at the Sea Dragon Festival caused by Leeli’s beloved dog Nugget led to the three siblings learning the truth as to who they are; the Lost Jewels of the legendary Kingdom of Anniera. Fang General Khrek knows the prophecy of the Jewels of Anniera and wants to prevent it from occurring by killing the three heirs. Others want them dead also. Their only hope for safety is the frozen tundra of the Ice Prairies that the fangs cannot acclimate to. Besides avoiding Fangs who have a massive alert out for them; they must cross Glipwood Forest filled with monsters who enjoy dining on children; elude the East Bend Stranders who would steal the clothes off their moms while their moms would steal their clothes; and if they are still breathing the horrific Fork Factory, who they fear will use them as part of the manufacturing process.

Fans of the Chronicles of Narnia will enjoy the second super young adult fantasy while older readers will appreciate this too as this saga runs on several levels. The three Igiby children have plenty of adventures as they head to tundra that the fangs cannot enter, but once again it is the amazing allegedly handicapped Leeli who wins the hearts of the audience with her courage and optimistic outlook. Fans will ponder what escapades Andrew Peterson will come up with next for the three Igiby children to confront. Harriet Klausner

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