Lori J. Schiel
ImaJinn, Mar 31 2011, $16.00
Before Celia, High Priestess of the Laurel Tree Coven, met Jen the veterinarian, she was unaware of how many strays are out there. Thus she agrees to help Jen catch feral felines. Leaving behind her familiar Gordy the dog, Celia is in the woods trapping when she hears a terrifying noise. Panicking she flees but the growl gets louder and her car is no where in sight. Calming herself down, Celia knows she went the wrong way deeper into the woods while peacefully waiting for whatever the beast is to come for her, but as the assault comes she screams in horror.
As she continues to dream of death recently, Alex Grisham wonders what that means even as she ponders whether she should continue to live with controlling Glenn. Jen calls her asking if she heard from Celia as she could not go trapping with their High Priestess due to babysitting issues. Leaving her Berkley’s Books, Alex goes to Celia’s house to find Gordy alone. She takes Gordy with her. Alex with her familiar Rune the Abyssinian, her Wiccan Sisters and mysterious animal control officer “call me Dan” Danielson search for Celia. An unknown adversary attacks Alex, she believes one of the two men in her life wants her dead though she is unaware that the motive is evil which has begun a doomsday scheme.
The key to this superb investigative urban fantasy is the background of the Wiccan Sisters who are moms, veterinarians, bookstore owners, etc.; this anchors the paranormal in a normal environs. The story line is fast-paced as Alex and crew hunt for Celia while the heroine is torn between love and death. The first Wiccan Sisterhood paranormal thriller is am entertaining tale. Harriet Klausner
Hunt the Moon
Signet, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
Cassandra Palmer abetted by Pritkin the Mage killed her maker Apollo (see Curse the Dawn) when the god caused trouble in his efforts to return to this realm. Cassie looks forward to R&R as she is mentally and physically exhausted from the war with her creator.
Her time with Master vampire Senator Mircea Basarab ends abruptly when supernatural Spartnoi assassins try to kill her. Cassie assumes the attacks are to prevent her from being crowned the Pythia as the world’s chief clairvoyant. However, a master mage hypothesizes that Apollo’s death has triggered the Ragnarok war of the gods. Either way, someone or thing rejects the concept of Cassie being crowned.
The latest Cassandra Palmer fantasy (see Embrace the Night) is an exciting entry as the heroine needs a breather, but her enemies keep the pressure on her. The story line is fast-paced but held together by the beleaguered heroine who battles against supernatural assassins and a fear that the first order effect of her and Pritkin killing Apollo is Ragnarok has begun. Readers will relish this thriller that uses ancient mythology as a strong foundation. Harriet Klausner
Signet, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
A decade ago in Denver, teenagers Snake "Dez" Mendez and Reese Montana met and fell in love while defeating Cobra. However, their relationship ends when insane winikin Louis Keban, who Dez had run away from before he hooked up with Reese, caught up to the teen. Keban cut him with a cursed blade that changed Dez, turning him into a demonic possessed felon.
The Nightkeepers recruit Dez and remove the shadow from his brain. He diligently works at fighting evil in New Mexico as he believes he has an IOU for all problems he caused as a criminal. However, recently Dez vanishes without a trace. In Cancun, Nightkeeper leader Strike hires private investigator Reese to find Dez who she thought was dead in an incident three years ago. Reese locates Dez; he explains to her that he searches for Keban, who is fulfilling a prophecy that will bring Lord Vulture from the underworld; what he fails to tell his beloved is his role in bringing hell to earth.
The latest Nightkeepers urban fantasy built from the Mayan end times (see Demonkeepers and Blood Spells) is a .superb thriller due to Dez’s convoluted and conflicting relationships with Reese and Keban. Fast-paced and character driven with perspectives changing, fans will relish this exhilarating tale as Dez is pulled in two directions which has an enthralled audience who will win his soul.
Signet, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
Savannah tattoo artist Riley Poe still recovers from her rescuing her younger brother Seth who released the strigoi vampires on a teen prank (see Afterlight). She owes guardian vampire Eli Dupre and his kin for their saving Seth and her from the vicious Strigoi Arcos siblings (Victorian and Valerian). The evil brothers injected her with their toxin. Although controlled somewhat by the intervention of Eli and his partners, Riley’s senses has been exponentially embellished including her need for sex, which Eli is glad to accommodate as he loves her and needs her unique special blood.
One other byproduct of the assault is she is psychically connected to maniacal Valerian as she witnesses the terror in the minds of his victims. Starting to understand the obsessive craving, Riley still needs help from an Undead expert; she knows the vamp she loves is the man for her. However, there is also a supernatural cleansing needed so she joins Eli and his team.
The second The Dark Ink Chronicles urban fantasy is an exhilarating thriller as vampires needing their fix run wild in the coastal southeast. Although over the top of Hartwell Dam as sex dominates the story line, fans will enjoy the changes in the life of Riley who has become sympathetic with the blood addiction of vampires.