Had a doctors visit yesterday and he adjusted my stress meds and added another one for my diabetes. Was a bit out of it for today. Enjoy the reviews from Harriey
PO Box 546
Montvale, NJ 07645
In 2003 Sopron, Transdanubia in Hungary, the vampyr bit into Emma's neck turning her from a hard working college freshman into a compulsive yet reluctant blood seeking Undead. After dining on a homeless girl, but not wanting to be alone, Emma visits her BFF Kati so that the “forever” becomes real. After converting Kati, they visit Gizi and Eszti to convert them too.
The quartet paint the town red though Emma also feels shame for subjecting people she has known for years to a bloody terrorist attack each night. At a ball at Frakno Castle, Emma meets genetic research scientist Zoltan. For the first time in her life, she understands why her three buddies enjoy the guys rather than the books. As they fall in love, her friends fights with her and each other over their nocturnal desires.
Predominantly told by Emma who speaks to the reader in a sort of memoir format, vampyr fans will enjoy her exploits and that of her three friends. In spite of their conversion into immortality, the four best friends act like the teens they are; arguing who knows best with Emma claiming she is not just their “mom”, but fifteen minutes older and so much smarter when it comes to Vampire 101 and advanced knowledge. Although Emma can over prattle re sidebar related topics like Hungarian history, teen readers will enjoy the battles between the four BFFs who differ on whether they want to go back or not. Harriet Klausner
City of Fire
Starscape (Tor), Sep 1 2009, $15.99
In 1941 twelve year old Mistress of Kles Scirye is angry to learn her older sister Nishke was killed trying to prevent a treasure from being stolen from the Hearn Museum in San Francisco. She plans to regain what was taken and kill her sibling’s murderer Badik the evil dragon though she is ignorant of the plan of the dragon’s even more evil partner Mr. Roland to possess the five Lost Treasures of Emperor Yu in order to change existence as Scirye knows it.
Fuming she sets out to avenge her sibling’s murder. Joining her on her trek is Bayang the dragon disguised as a human Pinkerton Agent, Leech the orphan, and his best friend Koko. Her three allies have secrets they keep from one another but share a common need to destroy Badik and his associate Mr. Roland. The trail leads to Houlani, the newest Hawaiian island created by magic, but even with Pele the Goddess of volcanoes abetting their cause they are too late to prevent a second theft as they pursue the malevolent duo into the frozen north.
This is a fast-paced alternate historical fantasy as one episode follows another. The story line is loaded with a horde of mythological creatures, beasts, cretins, and Gods, but it is the unlikely teammates led by a tweener who fight the forces of evil. Although at times the discussions between the good guys slows down the plot especially during dangerous incidents, middle school fans will root for Scirye and her squad against the enemy who seems several steps ahead of them; setting up a sequel or two. Harriet Klausner
L. Jagi Lamplighter
Tor, Sep 2009, $24.95
Contrary to how that Elizabethan author distorted the truth with his Tempest in a teapot drama, Prospero the Sorcerer did not burn his tomes or shatter his staff. He has nothing against the Bard as truth does not set you free; it gets you executed. Instead Prospero lived; having more children besides his famous daughter Miranda (that Shakespeare is worse than a tabloid writer as he cannot keep the family out) even if he made his daughter the heroine of his outrageous popular fabrication.
They live in modern society quite comfortably as the family patriarch formed Prospero Inc. whose corporation mission is to negotiate deals with elementals to prevent natural disasters; Miranda is the overworked CEO never taking a break. However, their idyllic lifestyle is disturbed when Miranda realizes her father has vanished into Hell and the Three Shadowed Ones are after the family magic. Miranda, Mag the air spirit possessing a hard-boiled private eye, and her certifiable brother Mephistopheles begin a quest to rescue Prospero and warn her dysfunctional siblings to beware the Three Shadowed Ones while she also fails to avoid Ferdinand the jilted one.
Using humor, L. Jagi Lamplighter cleverly pays homage to Shakespeare and to a degree John Milton’s Paradise Lost and maybe Found in this wonderful modern day satire. Miranda tries to play the heroine by warning her siblings, but they loathe her for being the Bard’s pet and jealous for her fame treating her as a pariah. Their mistreatment of their renowned sister makes none of the siblings likable even as she once again is the responsible one trying to save their lives. Ironically they assume some new Bard will write her story. Fans who enjoy a comedic urban fantasy will relish the return of Miranda the workaholic as she attempts to battle the Three Shadowed Ones, rescue her dad and warn her family who ignore her as they believe she is just a glory hound. Harriet Klausner