Monday, October 4, 2010
The Mists of Time, Queen of Shadows and The Waters Rising reviewed
The Mists Of Time
St. Martin’s, Aug 31 2010, $7.99
San Francisco romance writer Diana Dearborn meets a stranger who gives her an ancient tome. Somehow the old book propels her to Dark Ages Camelot. She returns to the present with no time elapsing, but has brought forward with her severely injured Medraught of Orkney.
Diana feels no desire towards the hunk she brought into his future. Instead she feels an attraction to a stranger who she has noticed in the shadows seemingly stalking her or her guest. His father ordered Gawain to keep Diana safe, but he arrived in San Francisco a few years later than he needed to be there; as he learns her trip in time periled her. To begin correcting the scenario they must return Medraught to the past, but he refuses to go willingly as he loves the modern world.
The Mists of Time is a well written complex time travel Camelot romance that grips the audience from the moment a feral teen Diana is in lock up and never slows down as the readers learn what happened to her. The story line is fast-paced with intriguing paradoxes and a wonderful link between San Francisco and Camelot while the lead pairing and the knight they need to send home seem real though their flaws are reiterated too frequently. Fans will admire Susan Squires as she refreshes the Camelot legend. Harriet Klausner
Queen Of Shadows
Ace, Aug 31 2010, $7.99
In Austin, Miranda Grey fears she is going insane with only alcohol numbing her mind and playing the guitar in front of an appreciative audience giving her satisfaction. She soon realizes she has the skill of playing with the emotions of her fans as the “magic is in the music and the music is in” her (Lovin’ Spoonful). However, not long after that, Miranda learns the cost as her audience can do likewise to her and she has no defense mechanism to prevent the mental rape of her mind leading to her mental breakdown.
Following a show and a nasty assault on her, vampiric lord David Solomon rescues Miranda. He knows she is an untrained empath and gives her a remedial education into the world of vampires and much more that she always thought were fiction. As David tries to save Miranda, he prays she reciprocates and saves him from his emotional demons ripping at his soul.
This is a well written but not easy to read romantic urban fantasy as Dianne Sylvan pulls no punches as rape and the healing from sexual (and emotional) assaults are described. The relationship between the empath and the vampire make for a strong Shadow World thriller that will enthrall the audience with a sense of awe as supernatural Austin comes across realistic though the filters of the flawed lead protagonists. Harriet Klausner
The Waters Rising
Sheri S. Tepper
Eos, Aug 31 2010, $26.99
The Big Kill has left the earth shattered as most life died during the pandemic mass murders by the unseen Slaughterers. However, the survivors of the onslaught have no respite as a second potentially deadly threat has arisen. In places like Norland, the sea is overwhelming land masses with decreasingly safe places to stay.
Young Xulai is a no more than a superfluous gnat in the scheme of those struggling with surviving the rising waters. When she meets an apparent Slaughterer apparition, she flees for her life. However, unlike her species who feels she is a throwaway to disregard, that deadly beast recognizes her potential as the only person who could save mankind. To insure the extinction of humanity this predator goes after Xulai planning to kill her.
Returning to the Plague of Angels realm, The Waters Rising is a clever enjoyable post apocalyptic thriller that deftly uses a Noah like tale to disparage current societies for their disregard and abuse of the planet. The cautionary story line is fast-paced as a frightened heroine arises amidst the shrinking livable land. Readers (except for deniers) will relish Xulai’s coming of age escapades as she and her idealistic cohorts simply hope and pray they can save mankind though some of them doubt whether humanity deserves a third chance. Harriet Klausner