Sunday, September 11, 2011

Soul Thief and others

Soul Thief
Jana Oliver
St. Martin’s Griffin, Aug 30 2011, $9.99
ISBN: 9780312614799

In 2018 Atlanta, Riley Blackthorne knows first hand what it’s like to be the “popular” teen as demons know her by name and as the only female trapper. She, like much of the city, still struggles with recent deadly events as many of her male peers suffered fatalities and crippling injuries in the combat; her boyfriend Simon heals from his injuries and her late dad’s buried remains are stolen by a necromancer.

The residents no longer feel safe from the brutal demon assaults battering the city and what happened to the so-called protectors. The Vatican sends rival Demon Hunters to cleanse Atlanta while the demon Trappers try to figure out who betrayed them. What the newcomers fail to understand is the focus of this activity is the only female demon hunter and the evil targeting her is Grade Five.

The sequel to The Demon Trapper's Daughter, Soul Thief is a complex near futuristic urban fantasy with a beleaguered heroine who is learning that death by demon is easier to accept than death by brokenhearted. The cast makes paranormal Atlanta seem real; for instance demons touring the zoo anchor the paranormal in normal environs. Readers will relish Riley’s struggles to find her dad and to avoid a one way ticket to hell while the two anti-demon fighting groups battle each other in an unhealthy rivalry to be coroneted as the top gun. Harriet Klausner

Darkness Unbound
Keri Arthur
Dell, Sep 27 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780440245728

Hybrid Helki werewolf (her mom’s side) Aedh (her dad’s side) Australian Risa Jones has always been able to see reapers. However she never expected a reaper to follow her and accost her with a demand to see her father. Risa laughs at the reaper as she has never met dear misty dad.

Risa soon learns that a soul stealer is trying to open the gates of hell. She knows she must prevent this from happening and learn what the key to the gates mean. She is stunned when the reaper insists the soul stealing Aedh is her sire. Soon with seemingly the entire paranormal population trailing her, Risa turns to her aunt “Riley Jenson for guidance and Lucian the Aedh for assistance and more to prevent hell’s gate from opening.

This Dark Angels tale begins the next generation Riley Jenson Guardian urban fantasy with a strong tough female whose mission is to save the world. Fast-paced, readers will be swept along side of Risa as she struggles to keep hell’s gate closed and strop the soul stealer. Readers will enjoy this entertaining thriller starring a new heroine in the Jenson universe. Harriet Klausner

Mercedes Lackey
DAW, Oct 4 2011, $24.95
ISBN: 9780756406929

Valdemar has Companions shaped like horses but are much more as they can talk to their riders, can create magical spells, and intelligently defend against enemies. Mags was an orphan who was rescued from the slavery of the mines and was chosen by the Companion Dallen to be his Rider. Right now, the teammates work for the King’s Own Herald Nikolas in a blighted neighborhood.

Nikolas pretends to be a pawn broker and Mags is his deaf mute son. They search for anyone who abetted the assassins when they failed to kill Mags or the King. The head Herald figures out that the throwaway children living in a dumpy apartment had contact with the four killers who were killed. Mags learns what the children know and Nikolas shuts him out of the case. The lad finds out more assassins plan to kidnap Nikolas’ daughter who is the love of Mags' life.

The third Collegium Chronicles (see Intrigues and Foundation) continues the coming of age fantasy saga of Mags, Bardic Trainee Lena and Healing Trainee Bear with the emphasis on the rookie Herald. The exciting story line contains a partial cliffhanger as the readers know who deploys the assassins but not why. The key cast is fully developed with background interwoven into the plot as for instance Mags is almost obsessed with a need for information about his parents; this anchors the Mercedes Lackey world of Valdemar. Harriet Klausner

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