A Wild Light
Marjorie M. Liu
Ace, Jul 27 2010, $7.99
Every year, demon hunter Maxine Kiss kills a zombie on her birthday; the anniversary day of her mom’s murder. In Seattle, this year Maxine wakes up in bed next to Grandfather Jack Meddle’s bloody corpse. She recalls nothing about the previous evening, not even Jack wishing her happy birthday. Maxine soon finds other gaps in her memory as she has no idea who her soul mate, the Lightbringer Grant is. Adding to her trepidations, her five demons residing as tattoos on her epidermis are mute. Her worst fear is that she gone dark and killed her beloved grandpa.
Still Maxine needs to fill the holes in her head and get the “boys” communicating. She begins making inquiries and uncovers a potential calamity if not resolved yesterday; as the inner ring containing the demon horde inside is crumbling with Reaper Kings prepared to glean the harvest of souls.
The third Hunter Kiss urban fantasy (see The Iron Hunt and Darkness Calls) is a terrific entry that contains a powerful story line while also moving forward on the overarching theme. Readers will learn much about the heroine’s heritage as she investigates what happened to her and Jack. With a late great twist, fans will enjoy Marjorie M. Liu’s dark A Wild Light. Harriet Klausner
Roc, Aug 3 2010, $7.99
Weather warden Joanne Baldwin and her husband Djinn David defeated their enemy former weather warden Bad Bob (see Cape Storm), but at a price that she knows was too high. Besides her friends like Lewis becoming ill, she and David are stripped of their power, Djinn are dead in mass numbers, and the Black Corner of the planet no longer contains earth’s natural pulse. Their victory at all costs has come with an even greater price as Mother Nature is waking up from a long nap; outraged by the pollution that has destroyed much of the planet’s magic.
With the Djinn gone, no one can intercede to persuade Mother Nature to give mankind one more chance; her inclination is extinction of humanity and all other living essences. Leaving “Gilligan’s Island” (as she has no gowns anyway) to save the world, Joanne accompanied by her man David, her BFF Cherise and Cherise’s soul mate Kevin set out on a quest to prevent the end of times though they have no power beyond that of humans.
The ninth tale in the Weather Warden urban fantasy saga is a great finish that showcases why Rachel Caine is a master wizard. The story line is simple: save the world from a rightfully righteous fuming Mother Nature without any otherworldly powers. Fans of the long running series will relish the climax as Joanne and company find themselves in dire straits with no hope of success; however as she understands to hit a home run one must swing the bat and risk striking out; as not trying means out anyway. Harriet Klausner
Cast In Chaos
Luna, Aug 1 2010, $14.95
The City of Elantra’s influential are stunned when the powerless charlatans on Elani Street suddenly possess magical skills. Alarm spreads even by some of the new practitioners. This trepidation turns to abject fear when rains of blood come down from the sky and abnormal births become the norm.
The Oracles are confused as the leaders at the Dragon Court declare a homeland security emergency. The leadership concludes that something from outside is trying to penetrate the barriers between worlds. They also believe their response to prevent this from happening rests with Hawk elite force Private Kaylin Neya whose mysterious skin markings is postured to have the answers. Unintentionally somehow Kaylin enters a void that has been opened between worlds; here she meets the dark trying to crash through to the light of Elantra.
The sixth Cast “police procedural” fantasy continues the growth as a person of Kaylin who has a come a long way since her early days as a prejudicial cop on the Shadow beat. Although the story line is character driven by the courageous heroine, her efforts (and the prime plot) is to simply save the world. Fans of Elantra will want to soar with the heroine as her latest case takes several twists and spins. Harriet Klausner