Sunday, January 17, 2010

Three from Harriet

Chloe Neill
Signet, $$6.99
ISBN: 9780451228864

She is unhappy that her parents are going to Germany to conduct research while she is being dumped at the elite Chicago boarding school St. Sophie's Academy. She has no choice in the matter, but becomes friendly with one of her new roommates Scout, who has a tendency to disappear in the middle of the night and return exhausted. Scout refuses to tell Lily Parker what she does during her nocturnal ramblings.

Worried about Scout, Lily follows her friend on one the evening ventures. Lily finds herself trapping a monster in one of the catacombs underneath the prestigious school. The newcomer learns that Scout is a magic user who must give up using her magic when she turns into her mid-twenties. She fights the Reapers spell casters who use magic as they age which turns them evil because they have to take the life essence from a person to survive. The Reapers believes it is okay to apply magic past the one of twenty something even if that means Adepts must die to fuel it. Lily learns first hand that Adepts protect normals from monsters and the Reapers. Although she might lose her life she cannot sit on the sidelines or hide in the sand especially as through a series of odd circumstances, Lily is caught in the crosshairs of the war although she has no magical powers; or does she?

Lily’s life radically changes from attending a middle class public high school living with her parents to an elite boarding school while her family is in Europe. That change soon proves minor as the teen heroine adapts as needed. Her best skill is adjusting to what happens t her although even she is unprepared for the circumstances she faces when she has the back of her BFF. She keeps the exciting teen urban fantasy focused as a heroine ready to fight monsters. Harriet Klausner

Born Of Fire
Sherrilyn Kenyon
St. Martin’s, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312942311

With the deaths of their parents, as the oldest Sharara “Shay” Dagan takes responsibility for her two younger sisters and brother. She has fed them and put roof over their heads by being a free-tracer bounty hunter. However, with bills still to pay and her sibling Tessa hospitalized, she needs to make money fast or the government will refuse medical treatment. She accepts a contact to bring in accused rapist killer C.I. Syn, a friend of her sister Caillen. They know each other and he has been kind to her family, but a job brings in needed cash.

Shay pursues Syn as only she can. He is on the lam struggling with the betrayal by his wife and his son and knows his pursuer is a legend in bringing in criminals. However, when Shay catches up to Syn, she fears her attraction to him may be coloring her belief he is innocent; but she prays she is right because she is taking a chance that could harm her sister.

The second Ichidian Universe League futuristic fantasy romance (see Born of Night) focuses on two people who know each other, but his past has made him a semi-loner as expected of an assassin while she remains responsible for her siblings. Fans will enjoy this rewriting of an e-book as this is the ultimate cat and mouse gender war between a take no prisoners tracer and an assassin felon as only Sherrilyn Kenyon can describe. Harriet Klausner

Mr. Shivers
Robert Jackson Bennett
Orbit, $19.99
ISBN: 9780316054683

During the Great Depression, Marcus Connelly lives for one thing only. Vengeance! He stalks the killer of his beloved daughter Mr. Shivers. Everyone in the homeless camps and on the rails knows of this serial killing fiend, but none alive know who he is.

As Marcus gets closer to his target while the Dust Bowl grows, he will find nothing is quite what it seems. He is beginning to understand simply killing a mortal murderer is not what will Happen. Mr. Shivers is much more lethal if Marcus believes the proof he has gathered about this killing machine is true. He also wonders if his grief has painted a super unnatural hell spawn from an amoral predator.

This historical horror tale will grip readers from the clever set up, through the switch from cat and mouse suspense into the paranormal, to the fabulous climax. The key throughout the super story line is the grim setting as the rails and the Dust Bowl are depressing and lonely in a stark environment even before the audience realizes Mr. Shivers is something besides a psychopathic serial killer. Robert Jackson Bennett sends shivers up and down the spine of this deep Depression Era thriller. Harriet Klausner

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