Saturday, December 18, 2010

Time Travel, Fantasy and More

Kathy's doing better but still recovering from her surgery. My eyes are some better, but not back to normal yet. Hopefully things will be back to normal soon.

In Dreams Begin
Skyler White
Berkley, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425236956

On her wedding night, Laura Armstrong is haunted by powerful dreams focused on the late Irish freedom fighter Maud Gonne. She is bewildered when she learns the vividness of what she sees are not actually dreams.

A jealous Victorian occultist Ida Jameson uses her medium skills to bring forth from the future Laura who meets and falls in love with William Butler Yeats. Occupying Maud’s body Laura becomes a sort of muse for the poet. However, Ida has an agenda for transporting Laura into the past, which leaves the latter in peril as the former wants absolute power especially over the poet encouraged by the beast of love.

This is a fascinating complex time travel tale that enables the reader to learn much about Yeats and indirectly his beloved muse Maud. However, that is also the key issue complication as Laura’s modern day assertiveness (some will say aggressiveness) takes over the personality of her host body even when the woman from the future is unaware she is in the past. Thus the readers will struggle with what is considered historical fact and what is pure fiction. Still In Dreams Begin, Skyler White provides a whimsical lyrical salute to Eire through the bridge of love that crosses the barrier of time. Harriet Klausner

Spun by Sorcery
Barbara Bretton
Berkley, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425236826

In Sugar Maple, Vermont, half human Chloe Hobbs has a busy schedule. She is the unelected mayor of her town; receiving training in sorcery; running her Sticks and Strings yarn shop, and making time for her beloved town purebred human soul mate Police Chief Luke Mackenzie. However, stunningly as the pair plans their future together, Sugar Maple disappears taking her cats including Penelope and her Book of Spells with the vanishing.

Her friend Janice Meany accompanied by Penny the cat arrives in Chloe’s car. The three begins investigating what happened to the town. Clues implicate Isadora the Fae as Casting Spells and imply the answers are in Salem. However, an unknown adversary wants to prevent the two females and the feline from getting to Salem. When they overcome the obstacles to reach the city, they find their adventures in strangeness have just begun.

This super New England fantasy mystery follows the threads of Laced With Magic. The story line is fast-paced yet character driven by the courageous threesome who knit together what is going on in Salem (past and present) that has stolen away Sugar Maple. Readers will enjoy the return to Sugar Maple even with the town no longer listed in MapQuest. Harriet Klausner

Enemy Within
Marcella Burnard
Berkley, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425236857

The Chekydran capture Captain Alexandria “Ari” Idylle and torture her. Amazingly they not only fail to kill her, but they release her. She returns home, but not to a hero’s welcome; as everyone she knows and some in the shadows she does not know assume the enemy tinkered with her brain. Even her loved ones believe the Chekydran played with her mind and therefore feel unsafe near her. She realizes her military career is dead as her superiors assume she has been brainwashed and thus a security risk.

She is forced to remain on her father’s science ship as a sort of escape from the distrustful looks. However pirates led by Captain Cullin Seaghdh take over the vessel. However, she suspects there is more to the pirate than simple looting especially as they flee a Chekydran assault ship. In fact, he stalks her like others including her former military superiors who implanted a bomb in her head that can be detonated from a distance. Though attracted to him, she knows not trust no one.

This is a terrific romantic science fiction thriller that brings to life hostilities between two races fighting to dominate the galaxy with each side using nefarious tricks and willing to sacrifice loyal citizens to gain a check in the Outer Space game of chess that seems about to turn uglier. Although the climax contains repugnant sexual abuse that readers will insist is worse than to chewing on a Nurellan lemon berry, sub-genre fans will enjoy this strong space saga, which reminds the audience of the dirty tricks of the Cold War. Harriet Klausner

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