Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Books from Susan Sizemore, Rob Thurman, and Kate Elliott

Primal Instincts
Susan Sizemore
Pocket, Aug 31 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9781416562146

Her Matris demands her daughter Francesca “Flare” Reynard continue their vampire line by carrying the next generation. Flare knows she has little choice but to obey. However, she plans to take advantage of modern technology and use artificial insemination.

Her mother rejects the concept of in-vitro. Instead she selects Prime Tobias Strahan as the sire of her grandchildren. The Matris directs Tobias to seduce her daughter and make her pregnant. The Prime argues that he has no time for Flare as he must keep his supernatural horde safe, but knows when to shut up, he plans to take his annoyance out on Flare. He never expected the flare of attraction that explodes between them as he once had a deep love and has a daughter while she now feels as artificial insemination is coldly clinical.

The latest Primal vampire romance (see Primal Needs, Primal Desires and Primal Heat) is exhilarating tale of two individuals who would like to ignore the Matris, but knows better and worse would prefer to pay no heed to their desire for one another. The story line is loaded with action on several subplot fronts. However, the prime plot holding the complicated tense novel together is the relationship between the protagonists. With a late wonderful twist that hopefully sets up the next Primal thriller as readers will to know the tale of “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold”. Harriet Klausner

The Grimrose Path
Rob Thurman
Roc, Sep 7 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451463494

To look at Las Vegas bar owner Trixa Iktomi, one would assume she is a beautiful female human. They would be wrong as she is a shapeshifting trickster who is not immortal but witnessed Pompeii die. Her partner is Leo, better known as Loki the Trickster God. Now this couple is human ever since Trixa used an artifact to kill the being who murdered her brother (see Trick of the Light). The artifact The Light of Life took their powers as it thought Loki might being with Trixa who needs four years to recharge her powers so she can use them again..

The demon Eli calls on Trixa to find out who are mass murdering demons. Angels, demons and Trixa and her friend Zeke the angel who left heaven and Gabriel the demon who left hell (the latter seeks redemption) map out the massacre of nine hudred and fifty-six demons in six months. If one thousand demon wings are put together they will form a map to where Lucifer hides in hell and the entity that is doing this will gain hell’s power. Trixa’s friends and enemies expect her to find out who is doing this and take the deity down.

The second Trixa the Trickster urban fantasy is a terrific thriller as twists and questionable alliances make for an enjoyable entreating tale. Some angels believe Trixa is evil and needs to be destroyed with the end justifying the means in this case as betrayal and lies are acceptable to achieve the mission; ironically some demons logically understand they need Trixa to uncover the identity of the serial killer so pragmatically keep her safe. Rob Thurman is at his best with Trixa the trickster caught in the middle of a supernatural Vegas. Harriet Klausner

Cold Magic
Kate Elliott
Orbit, Sep 9 2010, $14.99
ISBN: 9780316080859

By 1837 Augustan Year, Europa is divided between the old and the new. At a time when the continent faces an ice age, the battle for the hearts of society pits the cold mages against the industrial revolutionists as the detested former argue that the scientists are destroying the world while the welcomed latter claim they are making life better for the less fortunate.

Near Londun in the port city of Adurnam, young Catherine Hassi Barahal shares a bed with her cousin Beatrice as she lives with her aunt and uncle. She wants to know more about her parents; intrepid explorers who apparently died, but has no avenue to begin until she finds a tome her father apparently wrote about The Lies the Romans Told. Soon afterward a cold mage from the Diarisso Lineage of the Four Moon House arrives claiming a magical contract in which the oldest Barahal will marry him unless she is already twenty. Right there at the house of her aunt and uncle, Cat is bound in marriage to the old cold mage. They begin a journey across the icy tundra to a place she knows nothing of, but must learn fast if she is to survive.

This alternate historical Europe is a great opening act as the readers will believe in this world of Kate Elliot. The conflict between the cold mages and the industrialists mirrors in many ways Dickensian England. Cat is a strong protagonist who holds the vivid story line together, but it is the nineteenth century vision of Kate Elliot as seen mostly through her heroic teenager’s eyes that makes for a stirring thriller. Harriet Klausner

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