Friday, November 13, 2009

Fantasy, Werewolves and Vampires

Here are some of Harriet's reviews including one from my old friend Piers Anthony. Piers has been a supporter of Baryon since the beginning and I was the lucky one to receive his daughter's, Penny, first letter of comment. The Land of Xanth has been around for a long time and the adventures are still coming as are the puns.

Jumper Cable
Piers Anthony
Tor, Oct 2009, $24.99
ISBN: 9780765323514

A narrative hook drops the spider Jumper from one scene into another where meets a woodwife named Wenda (a woman made of wood with no back) who wants to be made flesh. They find a prophecy on Jumper’s carapace and decide to go to the Magician Humphrey to find out what it means. The pair also hopes that Humphrey returns Jumper to his scene and makes Wenda flesh and blood. Along the way they meet Maeve the Maenad who is avoiding the stork because she doesn’t want an infant. She decides to join them to see if Humphrey can get the stork to stop delivering her package.

Haughty Harpy meets the travelers and tells them that at night she turns into Hottie Harpy. She decides to join them to see if the magician can help her. Two more ladies join the troupe; Phaedra, who can turn into a host who is being stalked by Genghis the ghost and Olive Huie who has no friends; the former wants the stalking stopped and the latter wants a friend. When the group breaches the magician’s castle, Humphrey tells them he will give them what they want if they fix the broken cable that connects Mundania’s Internet to Xanth’s Outernet. They have plenty of enemies who want to stop them for various reasons.

Thirty three punster fantasy quests later, Xanth remains alive as if Chameleon was still seeking a spell. The hero is an innocent spider who learns to play and work with humans as he and the women march across some familiar locales and a several new spots on their misadventures. There is plenty of romance and action even with the typical thin plot as JUMPER CABLE is a fun lighthearted frolic. Harriet Klausner

To Tempt the Wolf
Terry Spear
Sourcebooks, Sep 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9781402219047

Wildlife photographer Tessa Anderson is taking pictures of an out of control California wildfire when the wolf rushes her; she escapes and thinks she best go back to Oregon for her brother’s murder trial. At the same time she drives by, twin sibling grey lupus garous Hunter and Meara Greymere leave the inferno to move to the cabin on the Oregon coast left them by their uncle who retired to the Everglades.

Soon afterward in Oregon, Tessa comes by, but Meara tells her to leave. Tess insists she was to have dinner with Uncle Basil as he told her to call him, but Meara remains unfriendly until Tess sarcastically says nice meeting you and goes, but makes it clear she will insure Uncle Basil is okay. Afterward Meara demands her brother find her a mate or she will join the others. While Hunter worries about his no longer compliant sister, he also finds himself wanting the human photographer. However as his pack deserts him, several beings attack Hunter. Wounded, he swims to the beach near Tess’ home. Tess helps him and soon she is a target of his enemies and of his wanting her.

The third werewolf romance (see DESTINY OF THE WOLF and HEART OF THE WOLF) is an enjoyable action-packed thriller from the fiery onset to the mystery of what is going on in Coastal Oregon. Fans of the series will enjoy the tale of the Gray Pack forced to relocate near a Red Pack (in Portland) as werewolves are territorial. Tessa is an intrepid human female who is not afraid of the big bad wolf while Hunter has found his soul mate ironically as he has tried for almost two centuries to find Meara’s alpha mate. Terry Spear provides an engaging paranormal romantic suspense as gold is the greedy lowest common denominator and love the highest common denominator. Harriet Klausner

Tall, Dark & Fangsome
Michelle Rowen
Forever, Sep 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780446505857

Sarah Dearly cannot believe how much her life has changed in just a few months. First she was changed into a vampire; then she became the Slayer of Slayers while learning to control the Nightwalker Curse by wearing the ugliest necklace ever created; and finally is the girlfriend of master vampire Thierry de Bennecoeur. Life as an undead has its rewards.

However one problem unresolved is somehow vampire hunter Gideon Chase did not burn to death (whatever death means) in hellfire as assumed by Sarah and others; instead he lives in limbo that needs him liberated within three days or else all hell will break loose starting with her beloved Thierry. To achieve this she must change evil Gideon into the most powerful vampire ever and dump her dearest Thierry; who does not sit idly by watching his girlfriend go to hell in a hand basket. Instead he “hires” vigilante justice guru the Red Devil to protect Sarah who believes she can bring the light of goodness into Gideon’s soul; that is if any remains.

Although somewhat similar in tone to the previous lighthearted Immortality Bites (see STAKES AND STILETTOS, BITTEN AND SMITTEN, and FANGED & FABULOUS), fans of the series will appreciate Sarah’s latest escapades as she tries to bring good to the bad. The story line is fast-paced, filled with amusing bits and bites, and never takes a breather as the heroine walks a thin line between hellfire damnation and B+ blood. Harriet Klausner

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