Home Made Haunting
After years of teaching high school English, Charlie Walker, with his wife Rachel’s consent, quits. They sell their house in Boulder and accompanied by their kids move into a run down rental in Castle Rock. Charlie plans to write a horror novel. His first few chapters come quickly, but the next few fail to gel.
He realizes that like a method actor, he needs to feel first hand his subject that he knows nothing about. An atheist when it comes to the paranormal, Charlie buys an Ouija board not expecting anything to occur. Thus he is shocked when it works as he writes the next few passages. When Charlie hits another wall, he turns to the board again. He soon sees writings on the mirror in his bathroom. When he shouts out asking if anyone else is here, Rachel is thrilled to be living in a haunted house and delves onto the supernatural more deeply. He tries to stop, but the Dark has come and taken over his family. With a guardian angel at his back and a demon at his soul, the war between heaven and hell has brought the latest combat to a run down rental in Castle Rock.
The engaging story line switches in tone from humorous to poignant to frightening as immortal combat has come to disbelieving Charlie who never forgave God for ignoring his prayers to save his mom. It is only when he realizes that evil has attacked his loved ones, like soldiers in a foxhole, he turns to the Lord asking for a saving miracle for those he cherishes above his own soul. Rob Stennett provides a powerful inspirational thriller as heaven and hell fight over battlefield Homo sapiens. Harriet Klausner
To The Galactic Rim
The Road to the Rim. Recently graduated Federation Junior Lieutenant John Grimes begins his career amidst the Rim Worlds. He plans to follow orders so he can advance. However, John learns the best laid plans of mice and Grimes often go astray when a beautiful damsel in distress is involved while he is directed to ignore the Waldegrenese Navy piracy.
To Prime the Pump. On El Dorado, men have become infertile though the reason is unknown. The women demand action, preferably of a sexual encounter. The Space Cruiser Ares arrives to provide humanitarian aid to this race that has gone from near immortality to near extinction. With Lieutenant Grimes and his horny naval mates on a mercy mission all is not lost.
The Hard Way Up. These seven short stories ("With Good Intentions", "The Subtracter", "The Tin Messiah", "The Sleeping Beauty", "The Wandering Buoy", "The Mountain Movers" and "What You Know") continue the maturing of John Grimes. The hero matures as he ignores orders from a distant bureaucrat who has no idea how to survive and complete the appropriate mission on the Galactic Rim.
The Broken Cycle. Grimes and police officer Una Freeman are lost in space. He is unconcerned as she is pretty; but she is frantic as she has a job to perform. Both are surprised to meet an essence claiming to be God and insisting the couple populate the Garden of Eden. Though he wants some R&R with Freeman, he is unprepared to battle serpents in a convoluted and complicated universe.
These are entertaining reprints of three novels and seven short stories from the 1960s and 1970s. Though aptly labeled as a Captain Horatio Hornblower sailing the Galactic Rim, Grimes is also a swashbuckling James Bond in space. Harriet Klausner
In the Hollows, an Order of Sheason wizard and a beautiful elven Far order two orphans (Tahn, and his sister Wendra) and their friend (Sutter) to undergo a dangerous quest. Than is the key, but his sibling and his buddy are needed to protect his back if he to succeed on the dangerous impossible mission. None of the trio understands why they were chosen as they have no skills or experience and never been outside the Hallows. Although each doubts their worthiness they set forth on their mission.
They have hardly begun when a malevolent god sends his evil horde to kill them. Surprising themselves, Tahn, Wendra and Sutter survive assault after assault from the odious minion. At the same time an invasion adds to the chaos.
This is an entertaining coming of age quest fantasy starring a strong young trio. Although the story line is exciting, it comes across somewhat as standard sub-genre fare. However, what makes the plot brisk and fun is the changing relationships between the heroic threesome. Fans who relish an enjoyable epic adventure will want to join Tahn and his cohorts as they fight overwhelming evil in the first Vault of Heaven thriller. Harriet Klausner
At the Subterranean Club for werewolves, a homicide occurred. Sabastiani Security Lukas Sabastiani the Incubus is very concerned as changes to the ruling Council is happening and homicides could derail the presenting of other species to the humans. Making it worse, the victim is Were Andi Woolf, daughter of the Council’s biggest opposition to coming out to humanity, Krispin Woolf. However, Andi still lives barely.
Meanwhile rock star Scarlett Fontaine the Siren is worn out from an extended tour with her band. However, the assault on Andi and other deadly attacks on the band and those associated with the band places her at risk; especially as the daughter of a Council member Claudette. Lukas is assigned to protect Scarlett, the female he knows owns his soul; she feels the same way about him. Neither realizes who the serpent is destroying their Eden.
This is an exciting and spellbinding second chance at paranormal love urban fantasy. Readers will believe that the other species exist as sirens, incubus, weres and oh! my! seem genuine. Although the set up of the Hogan universe starts a bit slow, sub-genre fans will enjoy clubbing with Scarlett and Sebastian while wondering who the psychopath is and the motives for the killings and the attempted murders. Harriet Klausner