The Demon Hunt
St. Martin’s, Aug 2010, $7.99
Gabriel Redfeather just wants to go back to being a computer-bookworm geek, but he knows he can never go home to that existence ever since the former Hunter student met hybrid demon De Mona Sanchez and she introduced him to the attacking demon horde. The slaughter was horrific (see The Dark Storm) as they and their allies need a new sanctuary to regroup, but he surprised his kick his butt mentor and her allies with his use of Nimrod the ancient trident and thwarted attempts by the weapon’s former possessor, the insane and soul trapped Bishop, from taking it.
However, there is no respite for the war weary as Redfeather’s grandfather and Lucy the witch are kidnapped at a time a chasm has ripped open the barrier between dimensions. Titus the Betrayer and Goblin Prince Orden pursue mankind’s last hope with diligence and vigor. At the same time NYPD deems Redfeather as a person of interest when two of his friends from Hunter are murdered as all hell has broken loose on the streets of Manhattan
The adventures of computer role player Gabriel continues in Central Park and the nearby neighborhoods in an action-packed urban fantasy; though it helps to have read the previous book The Dark Storm to learn how the least likely hero is humanity’s last hope. Gabriel is terrific as the reluctant champion of humanity while his “sidekick” keeps kicking his butt when he feels sorry for himself. The story line is fast-paced and filled with plenty of street drama, but the overarching theme barely budges as the demonic horde begins pouring through the hole between worlds. Harriet Klausner
Sins of the Heart
Harlequin HQN, Aug 1 2010, $7.99
As the offspring of Sutekh, the four demi-god Krayl brothers are soul reapers. When the youngest brother Lokan is murdered, his soul vanishes, which means he cannot come back from the dead without his essence. His siblings are outraged by the double affront. Each one of his brothers demand retribution, but also each knows they must move out if they are to resurrect Lokan.
Otherkin Asetian Guard Roxy Tam is part of an elite unit that defends humanity from other worldly threats. She and Dagan Krayl have a past together that includes attraction and repellant. However, as once again, an inferno ignites when they meet, they must put aside their desire and their mistrust because someone has placed the Underworld in peril.
This is a super opening Krayl sibling romantic fantasy as Lokan and his family investigate the homicide that should have been almost impossible, search to find the lost soul in time to save him, and in Dagan’s case fall in love with his partner. Fast-paced, the key to this wonderful thriller is the supernatural beings seem genuine especially the Krayl extended family, the villains, and the Guard. Readers will fully appreciate Eve Silver’s golden first act as the hybrid and the kick butt fall in love. Harriet Klausner
Ballantine, Jul 27 2010, $7.99
In 2010 history professor Alison Carter is the expert on the feud between legendary Marshal Silas Quinn and notorious outlaw James "Kid" Gallagher of the brutal Kelly Gang; the Kid kidnapped and murdered the lawman’s wife, Melody. In 1898 in the Red Rock Saloon in Jubilation, Arizona Quinn and the Kelly Gang faced off. Alison knows she has come a long way from growing up the daughter of an alcoholic as now she is the consultant to the Hollywood film Quinn.
Having served in the Bush senior’s Gulf War, A. J. Gallagher came home suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. For several years he depended on alcohol to numb the ghosts of war. Sober, he wants to exorcize the ghost of his great-grandfather The Kid. However, the Kid refuses to go to hell; instead demanding his descendent clear his name as he insists the legend is false since he and his beloved Melody ran away to Alaska to escape from abusive Quinn. A.J. confronts Alison, but though his evidence is the word of mouth from a spirit, the veteran and the professor are attracted to each other. When deadly felons go after his woman, A.J. vows to keep her safe.
This is a great paranormal romance mindful of Who Shot Liberty Valance and Robert Wuhl’s presentation in Assume the Position on “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” Fast-paced, the story line is at its best when the focus is on the Kid challenging A.J. to sell the facts to the so called expert while A.J. wants to sell himself to his beloved expert. When the plot takes a suspense spin, it loses some of the charm and underlying insight that the winners write the history to make them heroes and their adversaries’ villains. Harriet Klausner