Monday, March 29, 2010

Vampires, Dragons and Werewolves


Werewolf Smackdown
Mario Acevedo
Eos, Mar 9 2010, $14.99
ISBN: 9780061567186

Denver private investigator Felix Gomez is a Latino vampire who works for the Araneum a vampire group that polices its own.  He is an enforcer who goes after rogue vampires who break their laws; especially the ones who threaten to expose the Great Secret that supernatural species exist.

In Charleston, clan alpha Eric Bourbon wants to hire Felix to kill his rival Randolph Colburn for control of the Lowcountry Territory. Bourbon explains his predecessor died in a plane crash ordered by Colburn.  Before he can act, Felix is abducted by Colburn who tells his side of the story.  Regardless, Felix knows a civil war is coming that will impact all supernatural species even the neutrals.

Felix meets to prevent the hostilities from igniting because if they do then the humans will know that they exist.  Vampires try to kill Felix who believes his enemy Julius Paxton has surfaced to take advantage of the pending disaster.  Julius wants to reveal the Great Secret in order to work with mortals to form a great society even though humans will be below on the food chain..  As Paxton’s minions attack Felix and cause other problems, Paxton remains in hiding causing incidents that will lead to a werewolf civil war and Felix’s death. The sleuth has to risk his life in order to stop a nasty war from occurring.

The latest Felix Gomez’s serio-comedic urban fantasy noir (see Jailbait Zombie, X-Rated Bloodsuckers, The Nymphos Of Rocky Flats and The Undead Kama Sutra) is as zany as his previous Noir thrillers, but is the best yet.  Readers obtain a profound in depth look at werewolf society especially the alpha leadership.  Ironically, Felix obtains more allies amongst the were and more enemies amidst his own kind as the tongue in cheek hero risks his undead life for his convictions. Harriet Klausner

Secret of the Dragon
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Tor, Mar 16 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780765319746

The power of the old gods led by Torval is waning and new gods led by Aelon and worshipped by the Sinarians and the Gods of Raj are challenging them for power.  To regain their supremacy, the old gods must have the Five Bones of the primal Vektia Dragons, hidden and scattered across the world by the dragon goddess Vindrash during creation.  One is owned by the Sinarions; one in the land of the ogres; and three are unknown.  Whoever has the bones possesses the power of creation.

On the mortal plane, Skylan Ivorson and his sea raiding crew inclding the Bone Goddess Treia, and her sister Aylean are betrayed by Raegar, a Vindraisi turned warrior priest of  Aelon who leads the enemy Sinarians to them.  The crew is captures and sold into slavery while Treia who is Raegar’s lover will do anything for him.  They become the slaves of Lord Acronis and are expected to battle in Para Dix games in an arena especially built for the warrior battles.  Skylan discovers how deep Raegar’s treachery goes and luckily he finds where the dragon bone is interred foils his plan. Unfortunately Skylane may not be able to do anything to stop him permanently even with his knowledge because he needs the aid of the vanished dragon Kahg and the gods.

This book picks up where Bones of the Dragon ended so it behooves the audience to read the previous tale first, but also be aware that the climax of this thriller is a cliffhanger too that will require the next entry to resolve how the hero gets out of his predicament; if he does.  Skylan is a sort of Indiana Jones character landing in one dangerous escapade after another with no chance to breath in between his adventures.  He relies on his instincts and his crew to achieve their mission and stay alive.  Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman provide another superb Bones epic fantasy. Harriet Klausner

The Vampire And The Virgin
Kerrelyn Sparks
Avon, Mar 9 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061667862

Vampire Robby MacKay heads to the Greek isle of Patmos to recover from his captivity by the Malcontents before seeking vengeance on those who held him prisoner.  At the same time, FBI psychologist Olivia Satiris travels to Patmos to spend time with her grandmother and avoid a stalker.

Olivia and Robby meet with her stunned that her psychic skill of sensing emotions fails with him and he shocked to fall in love at first sight.  However, her stalker has followed Olivia to Greece, which makes her wonder if Robby is her predator.  As he vows to keep his true love safe, Robby knows he must reveal what he conceals from her though once he does he assumes she will flee from him out of fear of love at first bite.

The eighth sparkling Love at Stake urban fantasy romance is fast-paced and filled with plenty of action, but belongs to the PTSD embittered Robby.  He refreshes the story line from the onset with his need to avenge his torture by the Russians and with his falling in love with the virgin shrink.  Fans will enjoy the latest entry (see Forbidden Nights With a Vampire and Secret Life Of A Vampire) though readers will wonder why Dr. Satiris as a shrink and a Fed so easily assumes the worst re Robby. Harriet Klausner

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