Ghosts And Echoes
Ace, Apr 272010, $7.99
Miami based private investigator Sylvie Lightner continues to grieve deaths she caused like that of Michael even if she simply saved the world (see Sins and Shadows). She knows she needs to get back to work handling paranormal cases, but that is easier said than done when you are responsible for the death of others.
Still she goes to her South Beach store Shadows Inquiries to see what havoc her partner Alexandra Figueroa-Smith caused even as her backbrain snipes at her. Sylvie rejects as clients witches, werewolves, demons and others as she has pissed off enough of them for several lifetimes. However, she reluctantly agrees to handle the case of Chicago police officer Adam Wright who shows up while she is doing surveillance. A husband and father of a six year old son, he says he is either possessed or crazy as he died but came back with an otherworld hitchhiker. She explains not her thing as she is good at breaking and destroying not surgically removing parasites from a host as her approach is kill the host and the parasite is gone. Still she agrees to help him after he mentions Anna D the succubus who hates her referred him.
The key to this terrific urban fantasy is the world of Benedict seems genuine as the heroine works the Magicus Mundi cases. Fast-paced, fans will relish Sylvie’s efforts to send that other soul back to the beyond. Readers will enjoy this fine paranormal private investigate thriller with a great late twist as the tough detective works the abnormal beat. Harriet Klausner
Honeymoon Of The Dead
Berkley, May 4 2010, $14.00
Married couple bookselling witch Garnet Lacey and vampire Sebastian leave Wisconsin for the Twin Cities' airport as they plan to fly to Transylvania for their honeymoon. However, while waiting for their plane to take off, Garnet sees a frost giant sitting on the wing. Her efforts to warn authorities lead to the pair removed from the jet while Homeland Security looks at them like their crazy and perhaps dangerous.
Garnet suggests they stay in Minneapolis-St. Paul where his wife once lived. She reluctantly agrees although she left town in a hurry after stealing the boyfriend of her BFF; that guy still has her love spell haunting him. Garnet is abducted while an anti-vampire group stakes out Sebastian. This is a honeymoon in separate hells.
The key to this superb urban fantasy is Garnet’s transgressions as a youthful witch makes the heroine and, by extrapolation as the prime player of the Hallaway mythos, this book feel plausible. As her past catches up with her Sebastian has his own woes. With a great twist to the ending, fans of the saga (see Dead If I Do, Romancing the Dead, Tall, Dark & Dead and Dead Sexy) will relish Honeymoon of the Dead, forlorn and forgotten. Harriet Klausner
Song of Scarabaeus
Eos, Apr 27 2010, $7.99
The ultra top secret government agency the Crib deploys a "biocyph" technology to terraform the planet Scarabaeus. However, something goes terribly wrong and the planet is dying. Leadership of the Crib has no idea why and besides deploying the cover-up seeks explanations. The Crib raised orphan Edie Sha'nim because she possesses the innate talent and augmented with appropriate training and brainwashing to program biocyph seeds. Edie knows what caused the genocidal snafu.
The Rebel Fringe colonies seek their freedom from the iron fist of the Crib's clutches know of her. Agents kidnap Edie and link her “telepathically” to Finn even as they want her to help them prevent the biocyph seeds annual deactivation. Edie fears telling Finn and the Rebels what she knows as she inadvertently played a key role in the destruction of Scarabaeus.
Song of Scarabaeus is a terrific outer space science fiction romance with the emphasis on the science extrapolated from current trends. The planets add to that feeling of being out in deep space with their strange extraterrestrial surfaces while the lead coupling leashed together mentally is attracted to one another but each has to find a way to separate what their leaders programmed from what their hearts demand. Sara Creasy provides a winner with the lamenting haunting Song of Scarabaeus. Harriet Klausner