Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reviews

Do Unto Others
Michael Z. Williamston
Baen, Aug 3 2010, $22.00
ISBN: 9781439133835


Minors Bryan Prescot and his family invented technology that enabled the mining of planets in the most inhospitable places. The invention made him and his kin the richest people in the universe. On the down side, many unscrupulous people see the Prescot brood as targets to be mined.

To keep his daughter Caron safe, Bryan hires the Ripple Creek Security firm whose guiding vision is protect the client at all costs. The magnificent six (Jason, Artemis, Alex, Bart, Shaman, and Elke) guard Caron with their lives; each vows to remain vigil as they pledge no harm will come to her. . However, an unknown adversary has sent a horde to kill the girl and her protectors. She has the sextet who doesn’t feel too concerned that they face an army that could take a planet but only need to take out one person. To the six keeping Caron safe is their business even if they have to nuke their way to keeping their client safe.

This is a wild outer space caper as the odds are overwhelming in favor of the thugs kidnapping Caron and killing all on her side. However, the magnificent six plus the miners defend her so don’t bet against Caron and her protective cronies. Over the top with nothing new as Michael Z. Williamston takes the honorable mercenary Magnificent Seven from Mexico into Outer Space (with six) to fight amoral ruthless outlaws. Yet knowing this going in, readers will enjoy every page of the confrontation as Mr. Williamston will not need to beg forgiveness from his fans with this entertaining thriller. Harriet Klausner

After America
John Birmingham
Del Rey, Aug 17 2010, $26.00
ISBN: 9780345502919


Several years have passed since the catastrophic wave of energy destroyed the United States in 2003 that came like a tsunami Without Warning. Scientists remained baffled with what caused it, why it abruptly vanished a year later and how to prevent a return. In the meantime the White House moved to Seattle where American President James Kipper is frustrated with no answers and as is the case with the traumatized people struggling to endure, he fears what will happen if another such wave assaults the continent. Still he pushes forward with the greatest reconstruction project in the history of the world.
President Kipper visits the Declared Security Zone of New York where militia and pirates rule the city and the burbs, but is greeted by an assassination attempt. At the same time in the breakaway republic of Texas, farmer Miguel Pieraro follows the path to citizenship in the New America until an ethnic cleansing campaign led by a rogue army officer destroys his family. In England, American army officer Caitlin Monroe struggles to survive an assault on her life. Finally, in the wasteland of the Middle East comes a major threat to what is left of the world. Between lawlessness on the eastern seaboard and what is occurring overseas and in Texas, Kipper, a builder by heart, needs to find his warrior fortitude as he is reluctant to confront anyone with America still reeling; but ignoring the threats to local security will destroy the United States permanently.

The sequel to Without Warning is a terrific exhilarating thriller that grips the audience from start to finish. Heroes are everywhere from every walk of life whether they are city engineers turned POTUS, a Mexican-American farmer, an overseas officer and others risking their lives against ruthless lethal fully armed adversaries. Readers will enjoy this exhilarating post-apocalyptic tale that stands alone, but enhanced by reading what the wave caused first. Harriet Klausner

Black Swan Rising
Lee Carroll
Tor, Aug 3 2010, $14.99
ISBN: 9780765325976


In her New York City neighborhood jewelry designer Garet James walks into a curio shop that she never noticed before. Owner John Dee notices the swan design on her ring is identical to that on an antique silver box that he cannot open. He asks her to open the box. Shortly afterward, three men with no whites in their eyes enter ner father’s art gallery and then her apartment. They take the box and her father is shot; he informs Garet they are demons who tried to take him over. Garet returns to the store, but it is shut and looks like it has not been used in years.

Garet sees a picture of billionaire Will Hughes and his home which has the same swan design on the arch as that of the ring and box. When they meet, he explains she is a guardian watchtower standing between two worlds fighting evil. Garet visits the Cloisters in the Bronx; where a manticore comes alive and bites her. Will tells her he is a vampire; his bite will rid her body of the deadly manticore toxin. He further explains he is tracking the demons Despair and Discord who came to this plane when the box was opened and are in the process of forming. Will wants to prevent them from spreading their malevolence and needs her help starting with her meeting King Oberon of the fairies.

Garet’s metamorphosis from designer to arcane warrior make for a fun urban fantasy as she sees fey on the city streets. Garet adapts to her new world order rather too easily as the heroine meets demons, elementals, air sprite, a mermaid, a dragon, a gnome and others while falling in love with a vampire. Fans will enjoy touring the streets of Manhattan and the Bronx with Garet as our guide. Harriet Klausner

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