I've been busy working on a story for the Whortleberry Halloween Anthology, The Dead Can Dance, so I'm adding some more reviews by Harriet.
Roc, Jun 1 2010, $24.95
The reptilian Grik continue their assault using any sort of mass weapons of destruction against the Lemurians whose strongest supporter are the dimensionally displaced U.S. Navy Captain Matt Reddy and the crew of the USS Walker. The American navy desperately is trying to move forward the Bronze Age Lemurians into at least an Industrial Age and preferably past that too especially with their ship badly devastated in the last encounter (see Maelstrom). That is the only hope for the allies against the overwhelming superiority of the invading Grik.
Reddy and his unit make some progress using paddle-wheel steam frigates developed in New Britain as the Americans free cities in the west from the previously invincible conquerors and give new hope to their allies. However when word reaches Reddy that the enemy has captured New British Princess Rebecca Anne McDonald, he rushes back east on the renovated USS Walker to mount a rescue of a key symbol.
The latest Destroyermen science fiction thriller, Distant Thunders, is an action-packed entry with strong relevant moral questions about the rules of combat engagement running throughout the adrenalin pumping story line. Reddy ponders whether negotiations with a species apparently seeking genocide are feasible as the enemy seems resistant to a peaceful solution although the displaced hero recognizes some of the beliefs on both sides may be bogeyman propaganda. He also wonders whether are any weapons of mass destruction include biological, chemical or nuclear in their arsenal that will be used especially on the brink of perhaps extinction acceptable? Taylor Anderson is one of the best at military science fiction as his plots combine cerebral thought provoking issues within a great adventure tale; the alternate realm of the Destroyermen saga is worth the journey. Harriet Klausner
The Machinery of Light
David J. Williams
Spectra, May 25 2010, $15.00
In 2110, the assassination of the American President Harrison leads to a military takeover of the United States. Ignoring the Treaty of Zurich of 2105, the American Generals seize an opportunity and quickly launch an attack against the Eurasian Alliance led by the Russians and Chinese in an attempt to destroy their space-aerial defenses. WW III has been lunched (See The Mirrored Heavens and The Burning Skies).
The Eurasian Alliance launches the top secret mega-spaceships to destroy the enemy and its fleet. Meanwhile the Autumn Rain commando unit begins a seemingly suicidal desperate maneuver on Luna just ahead of the Eurasian joint fleet but behind the squad’s creator. At the same time super cyborg Claire Haskell the Manilishi post-human implements the programming of her designer-creator Matthew Sinclair. He is several steps closer to achieving his goal as he has deployed project Armageddon.
Fasten your seat belts as the latest dystopian military science fiction thriller starts at hyperspeed and accelerates from there. The action overwhelms the key characters, but no one (except bewildered stunned first time riders) will care as The Machinery of Light is an exhilarating action-packed futuristic twister in which reality is blurred at best. Readers will appreciate David J. Williams’ fast-paced but extremely grim twenty-second century earth-moon sphere of operations. Harriet Klausner
Tor, Jun 8 2010, $14.99
Los Angeles bodyguard Celia Graves protects her wealthy clients from the supernatural. Currently she guards Prince Rezza of Rusland, a small kingdom in between Poland, Ukraine and Czechoslovakia. Natural gas has made the tiny nation strategically significant to the apoplexy of the Russians. They are ambushed by vampires with Celia bitten and anticipating death with her last thought being dying sucks.
However, she survives the biting assault, but has become an Abomination as she has been partially converted. Celia knows she must understand the limitations of her new powers and not assume anything. However, at the top of her list is execution of the vampire who transformed her or become his unwilling slave. As she learns more about her new nature, Celia realizes that a conspiracy of epic proportions is going on with her being expendable.
This is a superb political urban fantasy that will have readers believing in vampires, ghouls, demons and alas Abominations. Celia keeps the story line focused while she also lightens the dark tale with her amusing often darker asides. Although kick butt female Noir heroines are flooding the market, fans will appreciate Celia’s grave quest to kill her master before he either finishes the job by sucking her dry or enslaving her. Harriet Klausner