My TIVO was getting full of things I'd been saving to watch, so I watched all four episodes of the new V series. I'm not sure they are doing the right thing by showing four episodes and then waiting for March, 2010 to bring it back, but it is interesting. The plot is up to date and relevant with today's political scene.
Wild Magic, Ann Macela, Medallion, Oct 1 2009, $7.95, ISBN: 9781933836997
In Chicago, Irenee Sabel works as an event planner, but is also a witch who enforces the codes of magic usage especially those evil artifacts outlawed. She is assigned to destroy the cataclysm stone; her first solo major act.
Irenee attends a party thrown by an alleged ancient warlock Alton Finster whose safe supposedly contains an evil relic. She sneaks away from the gala using an invisibility spell to conceal her movement in order to break into the safe. However, she is caught by Department of Homeland Security Agent Jim Tylan, who is legally searching for financial records to attack Finster, the man he blames for his sister’s death. Somehow he sees her in spite of her cloaking. As they team up, she believes he has some magic skills and is her soul mate, but first they must make the world safe from a malevolent mage.
The latest Defends & Swords Magic romantic urban fantasy (see YOUR MAGIC OR MINE?) is an engaging tale as Irenee is as stunned as Jim is when he sees the “glowing” handbag and the invisible sorceress holding it. Filled with magical and romantic mayhem, fans of Ann Macela’s fun series will enjoy the latest entry as Chicago’s historical Gold Coast is the focus of WILD MAGIC. Harriet Klausner
Tempest Rising, Nicole Peeler, Orbit, Nov 1 2009, $7.99, ISBN: 9780316056588
Rockabill, Maine is a small town that is home to the local pariah Jane True. The townsfolk hold her culpable for the death of her lover Jason, but not as much as she blames herself. She never told him that she can swim in the icy water and not feel the cold. During one of her nocturnal swims, Jason saw her and tried to rescue her but died in the whirlpool Old Saw.
One night while swimming, she rescues a body from Old Saw. When she brings the body out of the water she realizes the dead victim is Peter who came to town to write a book. When she goes back to her place on the beach she meets Nell the gnome, a talking dog Anyan and a kelpie. They explain to Jane that her mom is a Selkie who after six years on land returned to the sea and her seal form. An outside investigator arrives in Rockabil to inquire into the drowning death of Peter, a halfling like Jane. When she meets Ryu the vampire, they fall into instant lust. His assignment gets complicated when a goblin arrives to take over his mission but the goblin is killed as is her superior. Peter apparently was working on a halfling project; which Ryu feels is tied to the Alfar elves who rule the supernatural world, but Jane never expected to be thrust into the center of an eerie schism that could kill her and tear asunder the supernatural realm.
Readers who enjoy the Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine and the Sookie saga by Charlaine Harris will want to read the misadventures of Jane True. The two decades or so heroine copes with an inner strength with one tragedy after another, but the serial murders of halflings frighten her like nothing before. Although perhaps too much paranormal is introduced in this fun first urban fantasy whodunit, fans will enjoy the terrific TEMPEST RISING in the Pine Tree State. Harriet Klausner
Seduced By Shadows, Jessa Slade, Signet, Oct 2009, $7.99, ISBN: 9780451228284
Her life was never that good especially after her mother committed suicide and her father proved pathetic while her brothers fled the family. However, Sera Littlejohn’s life became worse when she is crippled in an accident; now she lives every moment with unbearable pain and a struggle to get around.
Although she had not thought much of possession, the demon entices her with healing her battered body by taking it over, which also denotes damned. However, when she meets also possessed Ferris Archer, she finds her soul mate. He, in turn, has never met a demonic-possessed woman although he knows she is his if he does not have to kill her for what is inside her.
The key to the first marked Souls’ romantic urban fantasy is the belief that the demon-angel war fought inside the bodies of humans in places like Chicago is real. Everything else flows from the belief that the Slade realm is genuine with each soul a battlefield. Sera and Archer are a fabulous pairing as each comes into their relationship possessed by demonic baggage. Fans will want to join in the war of souls fought one person at a time except when love brings two souls together.
Riptide, Margaret Carroll, Avon, Oct 2009, $7.99, ISBN: 9780061652776
Alcoholic Christina Cardiff enters rehab in an exclusive facility in the Midwest to deal with her drinking problem. Her school age son Tyler is vacationing in France with his paternal grandparents and her spouse Jason fails to accompany her; instead he chose to remain in the Hamptons or Manhattan. She is not sure which. She is there for a few days when she learns her Wall St spouse Jason is dead found in the pool.
Forced out of rehab and back to East Hampton, she returns to alcohol and her lover Daniel Cunningham. As Daniel takes over much of her life, Christina receives a second shocker when the police suspect her of killing her husband. While she tries to remain sober, she also faces a real threat over custody of Tyler.
This is a powerful vivid character study with no engaging protagonists as the cast is hedonistic and selfish. The profound story line looks deep at a self-destructive individual who has plenty going for her yet seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. With a suspenseful final spin into a deadly RIPTIDE, Margaret Carroll provides the audience with a strong thriller. Harriet Klausner