Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Concrete Savior, The Night Circus, The Good & the Ghastly, and Everlasting reviewed
Pocket, May 31 2011, $7.99
Brynna Malak the Fallen Angel wants to go home, which in her mind is Heaven. Thus, she goes out of her way to save mortals. However, her miraculous rescue efforts prove futile because everyone she saves is brutally murdered by Lucifer’s minion who wants her to return to their side.
Brynna realizes she needs help so she turns to her human boyfriend Chicago police detective Eran Redmond though she has doubts about turning to him. She trusts no one except perhaps the Creator, but especially a male of any species; as men cannot control themselves when she, even in human garb, is near them. As Eran demonstrates restraint and a willingness to help her, they investigate who is murdering her saved ones.
The latest Dark Redemption urban fantasy (see High Born) is a terrific tale that contains much more than just Brynna’s efforts for redemption though she is the focus of the Navarro mythos filled with angels, demons, nephilim and humans (some are Quislings). The whodunit is clever and the cast powerful as fans will relish a walk on the dark side of Chicago. Harriet Klausner
The Night Circus
Doubleday, Sep 13 2011, $26.95
Five year old Celia is an untrained psychokinetic. Her father Hector Bowen who performs for Le Cirque des Reves as Prospero the Entertainer is unaware of her existence until his daughter is dropped off. He realizes his daughter has incredible innate magical skill and decides to deploy her ability in a death match against an adversary: Alexander’s tyro magician Marco. The loser will die.
Celia and Marco are unaware that the outcome of their contest is death. However, their respective handlers failed to anticipate the two young mages as they grow up will fall in love. All bets are off as to how this power game will end as the puppeteers struggle to get their marionettes to perform the death duet not the love tango.
This excellent gripping historical thriller is a character driven tale with a paranormal element. The four participants in The Night Circus forge a fighting rectangle that turns into a perilous perfect square as the avaricious handlers want power and domination while the mentees want love. Fans will enjoy a night at the Erin Morgenstern’s circus wondering whether years of negative nurturing overcome tender naturing. Harriet Klausner
The Good and the Ghastly
Scribner, Jun 14 2011, $25.00
It took centuries but the world has somewhat recovered from the global nuclear war. Now the thirty-fourth century has caught up to life in the early twenty-first century though there are some differences; for instance history and science texts praise Sarah Palin for her theory of natural selection and deer is the pet of choice.
However, in spite of the heritage of mass destruction wars back in the twentieth and twenty-first, hate remains a viable option. While VISA owns the world now as it did then, Adoranso Horater pushes for the final solution as he blames the Jews for the nuclear holocaust. At the same time Alvarez rules the mobs with an iron fist, a victim’s mother stalks and murders gangster and human sacrifices to the statue of the cat God Garfield is practiced. Soon the former Good and the forever Ghastly will confront one another.
The Good and the Ghastly is an engaging satire that rips into twenty first century values by extrapolating how the future will look at this era of phony hypocritical compassion. The story line is overall fun but the mocking of present day decisions by sound bites keeps the plot thin. Still readers who relish thought provoking lampooning will want to read the thirty-fourth century equivalent to Bill Mahler’ “New Rules” interpretation of Palinism. Harriet Klausner
St. Martin’s Griffin, Jun 7 2011, $17.99
Ever and Damen have one mission left before they can spend eternity as immortals in love. To save Ever’s life; Damon changed her into an Immortal and contains lingering poison in his body. Thus they cannot touch one another as has an allergic reaction to his beloved.
Their quest is to find the cure to the toxin. They also have to resolve a difference on location. Ever wants to complete her destiny and unravel the remaining secrets including why something seems to want to keep her and her beloved apart. To do this they must enter the darkest region of Summerland; while Damen prefers to continue his current lifestyle that her trek would end.
Everlasting is a strong finish to the Immortals saga (see Shadowland and Dark Flame) after a slight letdown with Night Star’s earth shattering secret. The story line combines a wonderful story line re the heroine’s destiny with the continuation of the relationship issues between her and Damen. Series fans will enjoy the end to the Ever tales as Alyson Noel soars with this one.