From Hell With Love
Simon R. Green
Roc, Jun 1 2010, $24.95
Eddie Drood reflects on the changes in his life since becoming family head as he wallows is self pity, but sill leads the charge of protecting humanity from creatures mankind prefers to pretend do not exist. The ingrates treat the Droods like mental lepers. Currently Eddie’s prime assignment as the temp in charge is to discover who killed his predecessor the family Matriarch though he knows the Drood broods bet on either him or his girlfriend Molly to figure it out; Eddie’s wager is on Molly as he knows he did not kill the old hag.
Eddie attends a minor auction of priceless magical artifacts when Doctor Delirium steals and escapes with the Apocalypse Door. The portal can be used to enable the denizens of hell to enter this world. Eddie must prevent this from happening because once the beasts cross, it will prove impossible to end the apocalypse. However, he soon concludes that diabolical dastardly Doctor Delirium decrees death to Droods so he and his violent volatile malevolent allies can cross over and destroy the world.
The fourth Secret Histories save the earth urban fantasy (see The Spy Who Haunted Me, The Man With The Golden Torc and Daemons Are Forever) is a fun thriller; as Eddie raps to the only person who listens to him (himself) and that Kermit is almost right as it is not easy being Drood. The story line is fast-paced in spite of a series of battles that have an interchangeable sameness feel to them. However, it is Eddie’s introspection on Marmalade Reflections of My Life that make for a deep satirical spin skewing espionage and supernatural thrillers as only a Drood could and would. Harriet Klausner
Ace, May 25 2010, $7.99
Kate Daniels pays her lost bet to the Beast Lord Curran with a meal she prepares. However, when he fails to collect, Kate becomes outraged by his affront and humiliated as she wanted to see him. Fuming, she declares war on Curran; leading to not talking, emailing or twittering one another.
However, a truce is needed when a “Steel Mary” plague carrier arrives in Atlanta planning to kill shapeshifters; collateral damage of the innocent being acceptable. The Order of Merciful Aid assigns Kate to hunt down the lethal Steel Mary using whatever force is necessary to end the deadly plague. However, as Kate, with Curran’s reluctant help, closes in on the deadly visitor, she fears she knows who macabre murdering Mary is.
The latest marvelous “Magic” urban fantasy (see Magic Bites, Magic Burns, and Magic Strikes) is a terrific entry filled with a deadly dangerous inquiry balanced by jocular domestic pandemonium. Kate is kissable and killable as she works the Steel Mary plague case as well as her personal hostility with Curran. She and readers will wonder which side is the more dangerous combat to the heroine as Ilona Andrews provides another powerful Magical Mystery Tour of Atlanta. Harriet Klausner
Darkling Fields of Arvon
James G. Anderson and Mark Sebanc
Baen, May 11 2010, $14.99
The world of Ahn Norvys is turning increasingly dark as a tyrant runs the nation with an evil iron hand. The serenity and prosperity of the Harmonic Age of King Ardiel is practically over.
The only hope of dethroning the usurper and returning to the affluence of the Harmonic Age rests with the recently deigned High Bard Kalaquinn Wright and his rebellious band of miscreants. However, though he keeps the faith in what hew must do, Kal has doubts as he feels he is too young for the mantle of savior and his team too odd to succeed against the growing malevolence sweeping across the land. Still they know what must be done and set out to do so in spite of their lack of confidence. They seek the missing rightful heir to the ancient throne the missing Prince of Starigan and relight the Sacred Fire. To achieve this they must first find the Talamadh magical harp that maintains the peace across Arvon.
The second entry in the Legacy of the Stone Harp (see The Stoneholding) is an entertaining quest fantasy that sub-genre fans will fully enjoy. The story line offers nothing new and the champions are never fully developed beyond their fear of failure. Yet Kal and company are likable with their youthful energy at times leading to mistakes but also surmounting their deficiency in experience and belief in themselves. Darkling Fields of Arvon will hook the reader throughout as it is a fun tale in which the audience will join Kal and his team on the save the world mission. Harriet Klausner