Here's three from Harriet
Roadkill, Rob Thurman, Roc, Mar 2010, $7.99, ISBN: 9780451463197
The Auphe are dead and their home a wasteland; no one is more pleased with their demise than hybrid human-Auphe Cal Leandros and his purebred human brother Niko. Best friends as well as half-siblings, they no longer have to run and hide. In the open, they run their private investigation business without worry of an Auphe attack.
Both sleuths are shocked when the ancient gypsy granddame Abelia-Roo wants to hire them to find a coffin stolen from them that contains Suyolak the Plague of the World who if released causes horrific diseases. As much as the brothers prefer doing nothing for the backstabbing gypsy queen, they fear what Suyolak can do so follow the trail of Hevas. Rafferty the healer, his cousin Catcher, a were trapped in wolf form, Robin Goodfellow in between thoughts of monogamy and Cal’s sex buddy Delilah join the Leandros on their quest; albeit though Cal and Niko have doubts about each of their teammates epically Delilah who might be trying to kill them. The trail is filled with death as even a trapped Suyolak can kill.
Readers will continue to feel empathy towards Cal who due to his genetic make up as no friends within the preternatural community. His only loving contact remains his brother as both fears what will happen if his Auphe side overwhelms his human DNA. Only those who have a Deathwish would set out on this trek to capture and deal with a mass murderer. Readers will relish this roller coaster ride filled with danger, sharp Madhouse spins and twists as the unexpected is the norm in this urban fantasy. Harriet Klausner
Chill, Elizabeth Bear, Spectra (Random House), Feb 23 2010, $7.99, ISBN: 9780553591088
The survivors on board the Jacob's Ladder know they are fortunate to be alive following the supernova destruction of their sun. However, as the injured like Tristen Conn learn from Angel their world dropped to 43 percent intact due to the explosion. There are areas of the space vessel that are beyond repair while the known zone suffers from all types of catastrophic deterioration. Newly appointed Captain Perceval struggles with the remaining rebels led by Arianrhod, who has fled to unknown areas and personal doubts about the right course of action.
Tristen and Benedick pursue Arianrhod through regions of the world they've never visited before. What they observe shakes both of them up while Arianrhod tries to find time to regroup the rebels. Neither pursuer realizes the danger to their way of life that surfaces.
The second Jacobs Ladder parable is a fabulous fast-paced space odyssey that fans of Elizabeth Bear will relish though newcomers must read the previous tale Dust to understand how the populace got to the point of the explosion. The reactions of Tristen and Benedick make the story line fun to read as they visit locations never seen before by either of them; observations that shake their belief system. The audience will relish a visit to the exciting Great Bear universe where the impossible is possible. Harriet Klausner
Blood of the Demon, Diana Rowland, Bantam, Feb 23 2010, $7.99, ISBN: 9780553592368
Beaulac, Louisiana police detective Kara Gillian fears for the life of her beloved Aunt Tessa who remains comatose as the cop’s othersight showed her a part of her "essence" has vanished. Having once before summoned demon Lord Rhyzkahl (see the Mark of the Demon) and survived the mystical calling, she considers doing it again to ask for his help with her aunt. Rhyzkahl has reasons for wanting the mortal to summon him again.
Kara realizes the suicide of police officer Brian Roth who apparently murdered his wife was caused by the arcane as her oversight sees evidence that something dined on his essence. She vows to learn what committed this atrocity, but her inquiry leads to FBI agent Ryan Kristoff who does not want her to ask Rhyzkahl for help.
The second Gillian police procedural Bayou fantasy is a great thriller that grips the audience the moment the heroine stops at Roth’s house to wake him up and never slows down as she works the case of the essence eater. Kara holds the arcane investigation together while her convoluted relationships with the demon and the fed enhance the strong saga in which forensics takes quite a paranormal twist.