Avon, Dec 28 2010, $7.99
After vampires murdered his brother Rap, Utah vowed vengeance. His quest is to kill many vampires. His vendetta has caused serious problems for Fin and the Eleven as he was one of them and his vigilantism has left a strain with the local vampires they need on their side in order to prevent Zero and his minion from destroying Portland.
Lia yells at Utah who she considers a prehistoric beast. She is also his human contact. Before her death Lia’s mother Katherine was the chief of the Northeast vampires. Although she detested many horrific decisions her mom made as Katherine thought humans were lower than vampires on the food chain, Lia still plans to convert to being a vampire soon. Utah and Lia soon find convoluted loyalties, betrayals, and broken alliances interfere with their attempt to stop Zero.
The exciting third Gods of the Night Mayan urban fantasy (see Eternal Pleasure and Eternal Craving) continues the count to the 12-20-12 meltdown. Utah is a distraught berserker who meets his match in more ways than one in courageous Lia. Fast-paced, fans will believe in the Big Bang universe as Zero time is fast approaching. Harriet Klausner
666 Park Avenue
For the past two years in Paris, Jane Boyle works at Atelier Antone boutique architectural design. A month ago she and affluent Malcolm Doran meet while bidding over the same vase at an antiquities auction. They quickly fell in love; he proposes and accepts.
Jane takes him to meet her grandmother who raised her in fear and isolation of losing her after her daughter and son-in-law died in a North Carolina car crash that left the little girl an orphan. When they arrive, they find Gran dead. She left behind for her granddaughter a ring and a note explaining they are witches who must trust no one. She also apologizes for not telling her beloved granddaughter earlier, but promised Jane’s mother she would not. Jane believes her as she looks back on her luck. Still she accompanies Malcolm to New York where she meets his family only to find hostility from her in-laws who covet her magical powers just like Gran warned her in that au revoir note.
Though 666 Park Avenue starts slow, once the lead couple go to Manhattan, the story line accelerates faster than a jet. Character driven, Jane faces the mother-in-law from hell who has plans for her power. Gabriella Pierce provides a strong urban horror thriller as readers will wonder or bewitching wife. Harriet Klausner
Fire Raven Press, Oct 26 2010, $16.95
On Atlantis, Artemis arranges a hunting party to initiate her friend Hera as a Huntress. Hera’s parents do not believe in hunting as a sport or ritual. However, her mother has one of her dreams that are taken seriously by anyone who knows her; in reaction to the vision Hera’s father gives their daughter a knife to use in defense. Hera performs the ritual that ends with going after the boar. Instead the creature is full grown and charges at her until Artemis’ arrows distract the humongous beast. The boar hammers Artemis but Hera leaps on the creature with the knife. Artemis is gravely injured while Hera blames herself as the animal was too big and she should have led it to Apollo. Hera and her Mother begin healing the seemingly dying Artemis.
In the dream realm Hecate escorts Hera to the Emerald Temple High Priestess Rhea. However, Rhea is stunned to find Hecate has brought her the daughter of her beloved Sofia to protect and train. Her destiny lies in her past and future bones as her awakening awakens Zeus’ knowledge of her since she will birth the heir just like Sofia did.
Hera narrates her exhilarating Book One of the Goddess Chronicles. The above paragraphs are just the opening of a strong rendition of the Greek Mythos from the perspective of Hera. Julien Longo reminds readers that those in power write the history books (and mythologies) so that this insightful, fast-paced winner enables the reader to see the female side of the saga. Especially fascinating on Hera’s journey to being the Queen is how she perceives over time her relationship with Zeus. Mythology readers will relish this strong entry as Hera pulls no punches on her journey from being a dutiful daughter to the queen of Mt. Olympus. Harriet Klausner
Finding the Way and Other Tales of Valdemar
Mercedes Lackey (editor)
As with previous anthologies set in the Valdemar realm, (see Sword of Ice and Other Tales of Valdemar, and Crossroads and Other Tales of Valdemar); this fifteen story collection targets fans of the Mercedes Lackey world. Each tale is well written as the focus is predominately on heralds and Companions. The bar of excellence opens high with “Finding the Way,” by Ms. Lackey and Larry Dixon as the unique Shera the Hertasi uses her pathfinder skill in the treacherous Gripping Mire swamp. At the coronation of Queen Alliana, King Nabeth of Karse sends his envoy with an offer to join them in worship of Vikandis Sunlord and then she can marry his heir; a year later his army invades the heathen Valdemar from the east (“In Burning Zones We Build Against the Sun by Rosemary Edghill and Denise McCune). In the “Education of Evita (by Mickey Zucker Reichert) and in “The Groom’s Price,” (Michael Z. Williamson and Gail Sanders) the leads must learn to use their magic properly. “A Bard by Any Other Name” (Fiona Patten) and “Healing in White” (Kristen Schwengel) showcase bards and healers as Finding the Way and Other Tales of Valdemar is filled with plenty of heart that fans of the Lackey realm will relish. Harriet Klausner