Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Frm Werewolves to Star Wars

Blood Law
Karin Tabke
Heat, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425240922

Brothers Lucien and Rafael were ten years old when the Fenrir Slayers led by Thomas Corbett attacked the Vulkasin Lycan pack killing many including the twin’s parents and kidnapped Layla the medicine woman. Thomas is enthralled by his captive.

Years later, the siblings rule their Lycan pack but Lucien has found his chosen mate; Rafael, retuning after a year away, knows she is the enemy Slayer infiltrating their clan. Lucien kills her leading to a schism between the brothers who through the Gods share one body with one dominating the day and the other the night until the Blood Law of a mate for a mate is avenged.

In Sacramento Rafael saves a human female from Viktor the rogue Slayer. He wants to know why a Slayer would assault a human so he tries to learn the truth even as he heals Falon Corbett the orphan who Rafael soon marks her as his mate.

Blood Law is a super urban fantasy with a deep Lycanthropic background interwoven into the exciting story of rival siblings at war with one another. Readers will feel Lucien’s rage and frustration towards his brother while Rafael struggles with his own feelings. With a great climatic twist, sub-genre fans will relish the Tabke universe as Lycan struggle to survive in a world in which the Slayers stalk them. Harriet Klausner

The Girl in the Steel Corset
Kady Cross
Harlequin Teen, $17.99
ISBN: 9780373210336

In 1897 London, the Machinist has taken control of humanoid robotic servants and turned them from obedient help into dangerous maniacs. At the same time Finley Jayne knock out an odious aristocrat sexually assaulting her. Knowing she would be in trouble with the law, she flees. Teenage ducal orphan Griffin King and Sam Morgan the hybrid robot find her bleeding and unconscious. Griffin sees the darkness inside of the sixteen year old girl and takes her with him. When she awakens he offers her an opportunity to join his team of magical misfits.

However, Griffin’s other strays disagree with his bringing Finley into the fold. Sam, Emily O’Brien and Jasper Renn the expatriate American cowboy fail to see the magical thing inside of Finley that Griffin knows exists as his new recruit has a soft outside but when riled turns into a titan. He believes she will help in the investigation into the Machinist who plots to destroy the young group making inquiries into his robotic odyssey. Complicating the unit’s cohesiveness as they prepare to hunt down the Machinists is internal attractions detract from a team of one

This is an engaging late Victorian steampunk fantasy with a strong romantic undercurrent that at times turns into a tidal wave. The story line is fast-paced except at times when the focus is on science and technology not quite interwoven into the otherwise entertaining plot. Readers, including DC comic book fans, will enjoy the Harlequin Teen Titans as Kady Cross provides a terrific thriller. Harriet Klausner

Anne Osterlund
Speak, $8.99
ISBN: 9781101514153

Princess Aurelia travels the Kingdom of Tyralt to meet people and to get away from her murderous ambitious stepsister and her father the monarch who could not care which royal daughter lived or died as long as one of them remained his heir. Her friend Robert, who loves Aurelia, and select guards join her on her trek.

She wished she could just go about as a commoner, but understands her position prevents her from doing so. When an assassin tries to kill her, Aurelia learns you sometimes get what you wish for. She and Robert flee for their lives wearing the disguise of a common couple. When they encounter bandits, Aurelia meets her mother who is protected by the band. She is offered a chance to remain with her mom hidden from her father’s world or continue her journey.

The sequel to Aurelia is a terrific high school age thriller as the heroine seeks to get away from her deadly home and meet her subjects. Robert is her most loyal follower as danger is everywhere from paid assassins to outlaws. The encounter between mother and daughter is incredible passionate; however the heroine’s inner moral compass will determine what she will do as she has a strong ethical value system (must be maternal DNA). Harriet Klausner

Star Wars Fate of the Jedi #7: Conviction
Aaron Allston
Del Rey, $27.00
ISBN: 9780345509109

Over forty years after A New Hope, on Coruscant the ruthless regime of the Galactic Alliance Chief of State Natasi Daala ends; the Jedi Knights and their allies take charge (see Fate of the Jedi #6 Vortex by Troy Denning). While the Jedi leadership including grandparents Han and Leila Solo put together a new government, Daala supporters begin a counterinsurgency. They demand the execution of former Jedi and Sith Tahiri Veila convicted of killing Galactic Alliance officer Gilad Pellaeon; at Armand Isard Maximum Correctional Facility she fights the other convicts like the Hutt and the Wookie.

Near Almania, traveling on the Jade Shadow, Luke and Ben Skywalker accompanied by Sith apprentice Vestara Khai pursue Abeloth. At Meliflar Station they witness first hand the dark power of Abeloth who is stronger and much darker than the Sith. The pursuit continues until the two Jedi and the Sith trap their adversary on Nam Chorios. As they deploy their final assault against this monster, a Sith death squadron attacks the Skywalkers at the same Abeloth begins her countermeasure.

Aaron Allston returns to the Fate of the Jedi (see Outcast and Backlash) as the two prime subplots of this saga continues. On Coruscant, the Jedi and their allies try to bring back the “new hope” they fostered four decades ago but Daala has loyal backers who prefer her iron fisted regime over the Force. At the same time the Skywalker team faces peril from the Sith while lurking for them is the vile Abeloth. Although an action-packed transition book to the final arc of this series as a new alliance forms, Star Wars fans who have read the previous Fate of the Jedi entries will relish this tale while Ascension and Apocalypse awaits readers. Harriet Klausner

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