Forge, Jan 5 2010, $25.99
College dropout turned waitress and amateur astronomer Abbey Straw believes she and her BFF Jackie saw a meteor crash near the Maine coast where she lives. The two young females agree to search the nearby barrier islands as Abbey using wave theory believes the meteor struck land. The plan is to sell the finds on E-Bay.
Meanwhile the president's science adviser Stanton Lockwood III asks former CIA filed operative Wyman Ford to investigate the sudden flooding of radioactive gemstones in Cambodia. At about the same time Stanton makes his request that seems more like an order to Wyman,on the West Coast, just before he is murdered Professor Jason Freeman sends a classified file containing proof of abnormal gamma ray activity on Mars to mission technician Mark Corso of the National Propulsion Facility. Soon these three diverse scenarios converge with sixty hours to countdown impact.
This is an engaging science fiction thriller that hooks the audience from the moment Wyman begins his inquiry and never slows down as California, Maine and Cambodia hook up. The story line is fast-paced as fans will welcome the return of Wyman (see Blasphemy), but in many ways the brilliant slacker with her naive innocence makes the tale fresh. Harriet Klausner
Twilight Times, Oct 2008, $19.95
In Ireland, the Mullah waits impatiently for the moment to strike as his aid the Crone cautions him. They plot to abduct eight year old Eva Connard, a chimera of sorts as Nova sapiens. Her eighteen years old step-brother Joshua “Magician” O’Donnell vows to keep her safe.
However, in spite of his efforts and that of their Uncle Hamilton O’Donnell, the Mullah abducts Eva as he wants to control the power of this new evolutionary line as some insist she is the new Messiah. Joshua tries to rescue his sibling, but his attempts prove futile. Instead of saving Eva from the “pious” Muslim cleric, he manages to rescue Elia. As they fall in love, Josh, with the help of “Unca Ham”, mounts a rescue mission only to have his beloved abducted.
The next generation offspring from the heroes of MONKEY TRAP make for a terrific romantic science fiction tale as the young precocious hybrid seeks a place in the world of Neanderthals while caught between ambitious modern day Lady Macbeths especially the psychopath Mullah. Although the villain is obvious early on unlike the first book, team Dennng keeps the suspense high with a strong cast starring in the middle Nova Sapiens thriller. Harriet Klausner
What I Wore to Save the World
Berkley Jam, Dec 2009, $9.99
Millenia ago Queen Titania of Faerie and a mortal produced a hybrid offspring. In the present Morgan Rawlinsonis a direct descendent of that long ago child; her DNA is half faerie Faerie although her parents are totally human. They pressure Morgan to choose a college although she has poor grades, a low SAT score, and no community service.
She is sent to a paying advisor who insists he can get her into Oxford on a full scholarship. While she prepares to go to England (not Mississippi); her Irish boyfriend Colin asks her to meet him at a resort in Wales. When she arrives, Colin swears he never sent her an email, but she soon learns the Oxford offer and the odd email has to do with Queen Titania lifting the veil between the two realms. She has to be stopped, but Colin believes she lied to him because she omitted to tell him she is a demi goddess. Between saving the world and her relationship, college has fallen to the bottom of Morgan’s agenda just after what she should wear to save the world.
The third Morgan teen fantasy (see Why I Let My Hair Grow Out and How I Found the Perfect Dress) is a fun fast-paced frolic that young adolescents will especially enjoy the wee bit of magic in the world of Maryrose Wood. The seventeen years old heroine is a down to earth and pragmatic with a touch of romance in her soul as she loves her Colin, but fears he will reject her once he learns of her bloodline. Colin is science so Mojo magic goes against his belief in physics; yet he must adapt if he wants to remain with the woman he loves as she tries to save the world from the actions of her great ancestor many generations removed. Harriet Klausner