Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blood of the Wicked, The Neon Graveyard, Sinful Magic, Changling Moon, and Hexed

Blood of the Wicked
Karina Cooper
Avon, May 31 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780062046857

Holy Order warrior Silas Smith is a true believer in the cause of hunting down and killing witches before they turn what is left of civilization that they original destroyed even deeper into the cesspool of hell. Jess Leigh tries to remain below the grid as a person who has done nothing wrong except be a witch.

In New Seattle at the Pussycat Perch strip jaunt, the hunter and the hunted meet. They are attracted to each other, but she knows his kind burn her kind at the stake. As Jess conceals her witch heritage, Silas reenlists her help as he goes after his target Caleb, a witch who happens to be her brother.

The first visit to the Dark Mission alternate earth is an exciting dark romantic urban fantasy in which Karina Cooper deftly constructs her mythos inside of the fast-paced and action-packed story line. The lead couple is a terrific taboo pairing as he hunts and kills her kind as being the Blood of the Wicked who destroyed the world; now as he falls in love Silas targets her sibling in Operation Echo Location. This is a superb first act as hot romance and dangerous adventure delightfully merge in the Cooper world. Harriet Klausner

The Neon Graveyard
Vicki Pettersson
Avon, May 31 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061456794

In Las Vegas, Zodiac Troop member Joanna Archer was the Kairos savior prophesized to win the war between the Light and Dark. Now she is a pregnant shell of herself lacking her paranormal powers and even her beloved Hunter Lorenzo, who sired her unborn; is one of many who she loved and trusted betrayed her.

Still she refuses to quit as she fears never seeing her beloved Hunter imprisoned in Midheaven by Solange the demented goddess.She has become a member of the Greys shadow warriors ready to take the battle to evil including her father the Tulpa who wants to control his grandchild when the kid is born. As Solange tortures Hunter for betraying her, the insane goddess schemes to destroy what is left of Joanna’s soul perhaps through the former Kairos’ child. In Vegas, Warren, the Light Troop Leader has determined that Joanna is evil and must die along with her allies, but he wants the child who he claims is the true Kairos; innocent lives dying is acceptable to him.

The Neon Graveyard
is a great finish to the strong Signs of the Zodiac urban fantasy. The story line is loaded with action, but it is the vivid contrasting descriptions of Vegas and Midheaven that makes the thriller enticing as the audience will want to know how it ends for Joanna and the Greys as the eternal enemies Light and Dark have a common cause to extinct these upstarts. Newcomers will not get the full savor of this terrific tense ending as it behooves the readers to have followed the five signs of the Zodiac before perusing the “Final Sign”. Harriet Klausner

Sinful Magic
Jennifer Lyon
Ballantine, May 31 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780345520081

Having watched her mother the fertility witch use sex as a power enhancer Roxy Banfield rejects deploying her heritage as she prefers to be a polar opposite of her mom. Her preference is to live a simple loving life as a mortal. To achieve her objective seems simple enough to Roxy; as all she has to do is avoid her personal generator; the man who would ignite her fertility bewitching sexual skills that most likely would kill her bed mate.

In the Illusions bar, her concept is devastated when she meets fantasy comic book writer Wing Slayer Hunter Kieran “Key” DeMicca, who drew her as a witch before this encounter. He carries a dormant essence of Dyfyr the dragon who is the star of his comic books. Both are aroused by the encounter, but he learns that Liam his evil half-brother seeks the Dragon Tear which can kill the Wing Slayer god while Dyfyr awakens. Key and Roxy team up as the powers of each flow to the point of potentially killing them if they do not channel it properly.

The newest Wing Slayer urban romantic fantasy (see Blood Magic, Night Magic and Soul Magic) is a fabulous dark thriller loaded with action and romance. The Key to this engaging tale is the relationship between the witch and the artist as she fears her sex drive will kill her beloved while he fears that he will not live up to her sex drive. With an evil brother, awakening the dragon, and love; fans of the magical world of Jennifer Lyon will appreciate this superb entry. Harriet Klausner

Changeling Moon
Dani Harper
Kensington Brava, Jun 1 2011, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758265142

Psychic Zoey Tyler moves to freezing Northern Canada when she accepts the position of editor of the Dunvegan Herald Weekly. Besides struggling to adapt to the icy weather and avoiding her otherworldly skills, Zoey has a new issue. Rogue werewolf Bernie Gervais attacks her.

However, his assault is part of diabolical master plan to destroy the local Changeling pack; besides which he wants control of the newcomer’s psychic power. The town’s veterinarian and pack member Connor Macleod rescues her, but must prevent her transformation at the next full moon or else Gervais’ scheme may happen. The only hole in Gervais’ logic is the loving bond between his enemy and the psychic whose blood he craves.

This engaging Canadian romantic fantasy is a great thriller due to the readers believing in the Harper paranormal realm. Zoey is terrific as she holds the plot focused while the two males make her the focus of their attention; this lead triangle makes for an exciting time as the audience anticipates the confrontation. The story line is fast-paced, but it is the strong cast in a believable realm that makes for a powerful opening act. Harriet Klausner

Kevin Hearne
Del Rey, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780345522498

Over two millennia old Atticus O'Sullivan hid in Tempe, Arizona behind soccer and the Third Eye Books and Herbs store as he knew Celtic God Aenghus Og wanted him dead; However instead the Druid did the impossible, killing two Tuatha De Danann and survived his battle with the God Aenghus Og though Atticus needs time to heal (see Hounded) and train his new mentee Granuaile. Instead he is in demand by a horde of people who want him to kill a God or two, or sell him life insurance.

Making matters more complicated is the arrival of Nazi witches and their demons he knew from his WWII in Europe days. They come to kick his butt while his pact with the local coven is in trouble. Finally there is the matter of the Fallen Angel dining on the locals and the Celtic Goddess wanting to dine on Atticus.

The second Iron Druid urban fantasy is a tongue in cheek fast-paced frolic as the hero wonders what happened to his nice safe world. His asides are amusing as he watches all the paranormal activity that suddenly has surfaced in Tempe. Fans of satirical wise ass heroes will want to join Atticus as he feels Hexed with the brewing battle against the horde of illegal aliens. Harriet Klausner

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