Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Shifters, Fated, and Wanted Undead or Alive reviews

The Shifters
Alexandra Sokoloff
Harlequin Nocturne, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373618460

In New Orleans, a potential epidemic has spread across the city. Spirits without bodies are occupying humans and paranormal entities until they burn out their host leaving behind a dead person or other.

Shapeshifter guardian Caitlin MacDonald is assigned to end the lethal possession practice. She works closely with bounty hunter shifter Ryder Mallory over her objection as she does not trust his species. However, he is the one who has trailed these Walk-Ins to New Orleans so she has no choice but to team up with the expert. In spite of her overt scorning of him and their mutual attraction that he embraces and she loathes, when she becomes a target, he has more than her back. Neither is prepared for what they find when they reach the ephemeral ground zero.

Though a bit over the top with the ultimate source, readers will be hooked with this terrific urban romantic fantasy starring a bigot who has classified all shifters as shiftless evil until Ryder rocks her world with honesty and compassion. Fast-paced from the moment Caitlin angrily muses over a latte that her BFF is an idiot for loving a despicable Other until the final confrontation fans will enjoy this super thriller. Harriet Klausner

S. G. Browne
NAL, $15.00
ISBN: 9780451231284

For several millennia Fabio Delucci has been Fate responsible with assigning the misfortunates that betwixt just under a mean plus one standard deviation of the human race. This 83% are the classic losers who seem to screw up sure hands. He is tired and envious of his distant hands off lover Destiny who has fewer clients but those are elite Nobel Prize winners while his are drug addicts and the worse dregs of society politicians.

His superior Jeremiah counseled him over his recent poor performance. He can deal with a bad rating and his no touch romance with Destiny or even the schmuck clients. However, he has broken the Fate SOPs when he falls in love with purebred human Sara Griffen. When he reveals to his beloved who he is Fabio causes a shift in the cosmic, which could lead to the death of this immortal and his love.

This is an amusing fun romantic fantasy as Fabio feels Fated to be with his Sara though that is original sin since it breaks the immortal rules of behavior with mortals. Using a tongue in cheek story line, S.G. Browne provides an insightful look at the disaster of love as people will do all sorts of insane things when caught in that debilitating disease. Yet also takes a clever glimpse at the pitfalls of immortality though ennui has been written in many vampire tales and The Wellstone by Wil McCarthy provides a wonderful well written concept that the heir to the throne remains the heir and not the king for eternity. Mr. Browne is Fated for acclaim (and sales) with this engaging thriller. Harriet Klausner

Wanted Undead or Alive: Vampire Hunters and Other Kick-Ass Enemies of Evil
Jonathan Maberry and Janice Gable Bashman
Citadel (Kensington), $16.95
ISBN: 9780806528212

What is paranormal evil and who are the good fighting against these abominations? Those are the questions that Jonathan Maberry and Janice Gable Bashman analyze in this self help tome that looks at books, movies and TV to provide advice to readers on when to use holy water, silver bullets, or a garlic necklace worn to the school prom. Readers will learn when to join the arson mob chasing a vampire or to run faster than Bolt (the Olympic champ not the Marvel character). With interviews of some of the masters like Marvel’s Stan Lee and director John Carpenter, fans learn how to be a superhero or a super runner as the “Root of Good and Evil” is explored. Set up like an encyclopedia, horror fans will learn the evil can track back several millennia before that Stone Age practitioner Lovecraft. This is a fun tongue in cheek reference guide worth reading over several weeks and this work is made stronger with illustrations and pictures that bring out the ancient war of good and evil. Simply put a superhero needs a supervillain (what is Superman without Lex? mild mannered Clark or Ali and Frazier); and you will no longer be afraid of ghosts or need the busters charging an exorbitant fee to rid you of these apparitions as you now can do it yourself. Harriet Klausner

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