Ace, Mar 1 2011, $26.95
The werewolves outed themselves and while humans debate the politics of the species living in their midst, car mechanic Mercy Thompson is a walker who can turn into a coyote at will. She is busy trying to elope with Adam the alpha werewolf of the Columbia Basin Poole. Her friends and family want to throw a wedding for the couple before they depart on their honeymoon along the banks of the Columbia River.
When Mercy finds out the Fae gave them a luxurious camper; she is upset because the Fae do not do favors without an exorbitant price. The fae wants her to investigate the disappearance of several people along the river. What they find is that there is an essence known as the river devil that is in a symbiotic relationship with the fae otterkin that looks human but is a deadly predator. She distances herself from the river devil who has marked her. The God Coyote informs Mercy about her parentage and she has a role to play as part of her heritage to end the river devil’s reign of terror while a frustrated Adam must back away.
River Marked is a wonderful urban fantasy that has characters who touch the souls of readers especially the lead couple; a loving duet who lives for today as they may not see the morrow. Coyote the Trickster and the other gods of native American mythology enhances the Mercy mythos. With a strong cast including other walkers and a terrific malevolence, fans of the saga will relish Mercy’s honeymoon. Harriet Klausner
Equations of Life
Orbit, Apr 1 2011, $7.99
In the future, globally the world has radically changed, but not for the better. Japan no longer exists and Britain might as well not exist. Most other places are not better off. For instance America the land of the free has turned its back on the Founding Fathers’ First Amendment by becoming a theocracy and much of Russia was nuked.
Ph.D. candidate Samuil Petrovitch lives in the rotting London Metrozone. Though the Russian knows better than to get involved as the only known survivor of the St. Petersburg nuking, he intervenes in an abduction attempt preventing the kidnapping of woman who thanks him saying she is Sonja; daughter of a dangerous person. Alongside of police officer Harry Chain and Madeleine the violent nun, Samuil soon learns what happens to Good Samaritans when he is caught in the crosshairs of a lethal street war between Russian gangsters, an even deadlier business tycoon Yakuza and a new even more lethal Jihad. He muses his problems came about because he broke the first rule of survival of the fittest: don’t get involved.
This is an exciting futuristic science fiction starring an antihero who knows the Equations of Life logically mean stay out of everyone else’s life; yet he begins emotionally to comprehend that may be life bit that is not living. Samuil and the cast make for wonderfully dark future although some of the escapades seem a bit over the top of Big Ben, still ticking after all these bombs. Readers will enjoy what happens to the logical man who makes his first illogical decision since before he survived the annihilation of St. Petersburg. Harriet Klausner