Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Update and Reviews

Three doctors visits this week. Not doing my best.

Here's some new ones from Harriet. Got one I need to write. I'll get it up soon.

Midnight Riot
Ben Aaronovitch
Del Rey, Feb 1 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780345524256

Because rookie British police officer Peter Grant can see ghosts, his superior at the Metropolitan Police Department, Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, switches him from the tedious clerical Case Progression Unit to assist on paranormal cases. Thus he sends the probationer new kid on the magical block to school for wizard training.

Nightingale investigates a horrific serial assault case in which the violent attackers usually have their face fall off, but he has made no progress. The violence expands with fears that an epidemic will overwhelm the city and ultimately the nation. He knows he needs Grant who accelerates his formal magic education so he can help solve an ugly case that has it roots in the nation’s rivers.

This is a terrific urban fantasy police procedural in which the two cops make the unbelievable believable; especially the inexperienced Grant. The fast-paced yet meandering story line is loaded with action from the onset as the mentor and mentee work a challenging investigation in which an ancient has arisen to stir the troubled waters. Sub-genre fans will enjoy Ben Aaronovitch’s view of London in this witty well written riot. Harriet Klausner

Blood Challenge
Eileen Wilks
Berkley, Jan 4 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 978425239193

Two separate assassination attempts on Lupi FBI agent Lily Yu and Ruben Brooks fail, but place the group on the highest alert. Most believe the assaults and other hate actions are due to the recent announcement that Lily and Prince Rule Tanner will marry. They assume Humans First leader Robert Friar sanctioned the attack.

Lupi royal Widower Benedict Turner conducts surveillance of Friar’s heavily secured compound. He meets half-breed sidhe Arjenie, who explains she is on a mission for someone forced to assist Friar. Benedict is stunned because his chosen mate died, but he realizes the Lupi goddess has granted him a wonderful rare second chance as he knows Arjenie is his mate. She wants to help her newly found mate, but Arjenie is unable to tell him all she knows due to some sort of spell. Without her information, Benedict and the Lupi will fail to prevent Friar’s latest terrorist plan as all hell breaks out in Tennessee.

This is a fresh Lupi urban fantasy as the lead couple in most of the novels takes a back seat to his sibling, a secondary player in the saga. Action-packed with the attacks assumed to be hate crimes until Tennessee turns Lupi bloody, fans of the series will relish meeting Benedict’s mate in this exciting twisting thriller, which also moves forward the overarching theme. Harriet Klausner

Night School
Mari Mancusi
Berkley, Jan 4 2011, $9.99
ISBN: 9780425240427

Recently the twins Sunny and Rayne McDonald saved the butts of Magnus the vampire and his Blood Coven (see Bad Blood); well Sunny actually saved the day as Rayne was a bit busy being in Vegas. The sisters also learned the truth about their heritage; that they are fairy princesses. Both struggle with the knowledge as they each have vampire boyfriends.

The fairies want the royal sisters to come home. They especially want to crown Sunny as their ruler since Dark Court Agents assassinated their grandma the Queen of the Light Court. Other fairies want the siblings and their mom dead. When fairies attack the family, Rayne saves her mom and sister. For their safety, the girls go to Riverdale Prep vampire Slayer, Inc. in Switzerland, but instead of the school proving a safe-house, the enemy keeps on coming after them.

This engaging teen urban fantasy (see Boys That Bite and Stake That) takes a bloody darker twist, but uses campy humor to lighten the bite. Fast-paced, the twins must choose between complex scenarios knowing regardless of whatever they do someone they care about will be hurt. Harriet Klausner

Blood Justice
David Burton
By Light Unseen Media, $26.00
ISBN: 978193530310

Raging Justine Kroft vows vengeance against those who gang-raped and murdered her teenage daughter, Justine's first attack on one of the perpetrators fails. In fact the culprit is about to kill her when French vampire Simone Gireaux intercedes and saves her life.

Realizing she will never avenge her daughter in her present body and envious of her savior’s strength and speed, the distraught Justine begs Simone to convert her to an undead. Reluctantly, understanding first hand the angst, she agrees. Changed she begins her vendetta while also praying she can find the missing daughter of her mortal BFF Teresa Diaz and ignoring the sad loving eyes of detective Harry Frazier. With Simone at her side, she murders a few miscreants, but their actions make them known to evil vampire Stephan Sinakov Master of the Sinakov Family who sees an opportunity to set in motion a greater power grab.

Blood Justice is a super amateur sleuth urban fantasy with a strong cast especially the raging single mom. Fast-paced, sub-genre fans will appreciate Justine taking a bite out of crime though she is more a rabid dog than she is a fan of McGruff. Although the villainous vampire is stereotyped, readers will cheer on Justine who turns immortal yet has a Death Wish to rival Bronson’s character Paul Kersey.
Harriet Klausner

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