Friday, November 13, 2009

Busy Day and Reviews from Harriet

Busy day at the doctors office and unemployment service. I'll try to get some reading time in this weekend.

Cursed to Death
L.A. Banks
St. Martin’s, Sep 29 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312942991

Black Ops agent Sasha Trudeau is a shadow wolf who unlike werewolves can change at any time. She uses the shadows to go to the Shadowlands and from there to any point on earth in an instant. Currently, she and her mate Max Hunter are in New Orleans to attend the Seelie King Sir Rodney’s’s full moon Midsummer Night Ball. Instead of having fun, Sasha investigates the death of a phoenix who after the flame burned out she sayed as ash instead of turningd into a beautiful human woman; her sister died in the same way including the identical black magic signature.

Sasha and Max pick up a sexual wolf scent at the site of the killings, but always lose the trail. A pixie tells them that the glamour of the Fae is faltering and members of the Shadow Wolf Federation sense the dark anomalies negatively affecting them and of course Sasha and Max. The Fae dark sorcery spell is becoming increasingly stronger while seemingly sapping the essence of everyone; if it is not stopped by the ball, war will explode.

The forth crimson Moon urban fantasy (see BAD MOON, BITE THE MOON and UNDEAD ON ARRIVAL) is as strong, evocative and action-packed as its predecessors are. L.A. Banks combines various genres to create a unique paranormal vision that grips readers from the opening corpse and never slows down as the inquiry affirms all hell is coming during the next full moon especially since it appears the vampires, the Unseelie, renegade werewolves and rogue shadow wolves might be temporally uniting to throw over the current order before infighting with one another. Ms. Banks makes each species different but believable as Sasha feels CURSED TO DEATH by all of them. Harriet Klausner

Karen Marie Moning
Delacorte, Aug 2009, $26.00
ISBN: 9780385341653

MacKayla "Mac" Lane came to Dublin from a small American town to find her sister Alina’s murderer (see DARKFEVER). However, Mac has become a key Sidhe mage in the Fae war that she previously was ignorant of its existence (see BLOODFEVER and FAEFEVER). She still seeks the ancient Sinsar Dubh that she has seen as this tome in the wrong hands could mean more than just the Wall tumbling down in entirely breached dark Dublin.

However, in spite of strong enigmatic allies and possessing the immortal Fae killing Spear of Luin, her enemy who murdered her sibling, the Lord Master has her captured at his feet. He plays on her magical naivety and grows her sexual hunger. Her hope for satiation, salvation and retribution lies with two males; neither of which she understands nor trusts, Jericho Barrons and Fae Prince V’lane with her back. Meanwhile in Georgia, her parents are missing, but much of the truth about her past and that of her sister and her ties to Barrons lie in the red clay while something even more malevolent than losing Dublin to the dark forces of the Lord Master and his allies awaits her homecoming on two planes.

The fourth urban fantasy “Fever” thriller is a fast-paced action-packed tale that feels more like a set up book for the next novel even with the battles against the Lord Master and the “monster” as little progress is made to the overarching plot in spite of some revelations. Still DREAMFEVER is a well written entry as fans of the saga will believe Mac has come a long way in a short time especially piling up males in her expanded quest that changed from finding her sister’s killer to saving the world. Fans will enjoy this entry even with glacier progress while newcomers need to start with DARKFEVER to fully comprehend and savor the enchantingly deepening darkening Moning universe. Harriet Klausner

Skin Medicine
Tim Curran
Severed Press, Aug 2009, $14.95
ISBN: 9780980606515

In 1882, former confederate soldier turned bounty hunter, Tyler Cabe, has come to Whisper Lake in the Utah Territory in search of a gruesome serial killer, the Sin City Strangler who brutally murders prostitutes. The bounty hunter is unhappy to learn the town’s sheriff is former Union soldier Captain Jackson Dirker who committed atrocities against POWs including Cabe.

Also coming to town by wagon is James Lee Cobb, who rides inside a coffin. He and his minion brutally massacre the townsfolk of the nearby mining town Sunrise. Cobb has the Skin Magic power of the Indians enhanced by the curse of the Wendigo. In Whisper Lake he begins his murder spree as the two Civil War enemies who do not trust one another must unite if they want Deliverance stopping the invincible killer from hell before a second town is eradicated.

SKIN MEDICINE is a fast-paced and entertaining western horror thriller that hooks the audience with the opening coach scene that has some nods towards Stoker. The graphic gory story line is fast-paced yet contains a strong fully developed cast, especially the good (Cabe), the bad (Dirker), and the ugly (Cobb); which leads to the reader anticipating a paranormal High Noon in Whisper Lake. Harriet Klausner

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