Saturday, October 1, 2011

Update from me and reviews from Harriet

Getting used to a new computer with Windows 7. Hated to give up XP, but time marches on.

I'm running around getting things set up for the surgery on Thursday and time is moving too fast. Can't get in a reading mood cause my mind is wandering through my experiences and recalling a lot of things that have been forgotten for years.

Here are some reviews from Harriet. Hope something catches your interest.

Masters of Shadows
Angela Knight
Berkley, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425243671

For centuries La Belle Coeur understands her role is to help new vampire magekind to convert to their new lives by seducing them. Knight of the Round Table Tristan distrusts all females ever since his wife Isolde betrayed him (and his peers) ages ago.

A newly transformed vampire Davon Fredericks kills seventeen year old Jimmy Sheridan a Direkind werewolf, which ignites tension between the paranormal species to a point where a war seems likely. Davon claims King Arthur assigned him the sacred duty of executing the teen. Belle and Tristan team up on an investigation; as each suspects the sworn enemy of Arthur the evil werewolf wizard Warlock caused the lethal incident to provoke bloody combat that also would expose the magekind to humanity. While fighting their attraction to one another, Belle and Tristan try to prevent a war like none ever before.

The latest Mageverse romantic fantasy (see Master of Smoke and Master of Fire) is a terrific entry as Angela Knight provides a strong tale of a world on the brink. Warlock is at his diabolical best heating the growing rage of the Dire wolves who have had twelve dead at last count while Ms. Knight’s knights struggle to prevent the combat by seeking evidence to prove they are not the serial killers of werewolves. With a touching romance between a misanthrope and a whore, fans will relish Master of Shadows while also looking forward to what the warlock conjures next. Harriet Klausner

Monster Hunter Alpha
Larry Correia
Baen, $7.99
ISBN: 9781439134580

Monster Hunter International Chief Earl Harbinger conceals a secret from his subordinates. Born in 1900 as Raymond Earl Shackleford Jr.; a little under a hundred years ago, he became a werewolf. In spite of becoming a monster of sorts, Earl has dedicated his life to protect mankind just like his dad the greatest Hunter ever.

Earl becomes deeply concerned to learn former KGB werewolf Nikolai killed a deputy sheriff in Copper Lake, Michigan. He knows his long time adversary is ruthless and has nasty business for him to be in the States. The MHI leader also realizes that he and Stalin’s favorite agent must hunt each other until only one is left howling as the Monster Control Bureau will not be able to deal with this evil. However, Earl is unaware that the reason his deadly foe is in Michigan is the creation of a lethal werewolf species.

The third Monster Hunter urban fantasy (see Monster Hunter International and Monster Hunter Vendetta) is a fun thriller that is purposely hyperbolically over the top of Mount Arvon. The story line is fast-paced with the audience anticipating the confrontation between these former Cold war adversaries. Earl as a werewolf superhero holds the plot focused while Stalin’s Pet Nikolai is a fabulous supervillain enemy. Mano a Mano, fans will enjoy the fab High Noon combat in the aptly named Wolverine State. Harriet Klausner

C.E. Murphy
Del Rey, Sep 6 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780345516077

Dafydd ap Caerwyn the elf from the Faerie Barrow-lands sought in the mortal realm a Truthseeker, a person who could tell veracity from lies. He finds her in Boston; Lara Jansen agrees to help him determine who killed his brother Merrick. A witness says he committed fratricide, but he knows he is innocent. It turns out that Merrick was responsible and the witness saw an illusion. A severely injured Dafydd is sent back to his world in the hopes that the healers there who use magic an cure his injuries.

Lara follows him from earth and discovers he was near death and the healers couldn’t help him so he was placed in the Drowned Lands in the vague hope he might heal. Lara and Aerin the elf woman go there to ascertain whether Dafydd was healed. Before they reach him the sea god Lyr informs her she might find her beloved if she passes the trials and when they do they find Daffyd alive he learns Merrick will go to any lengths to get what he wants. The trio must get back to Dafydd’s father before Merrick reaches him, but instead they find themselves back on earth.

The direct sequel to the Truthseeker is an outstanding urban fantasy that effortlessly moves back and forth between the two planes. In the Barrow-lands, the Seelie and Unseelie are on the brink of a civil war due to the latter believing the former drowned their lands. The stay in Boston is disastrous but they can’t fix what was destroyed as time is running out with Barrow-land royal rules dictating the politics. C.E. Murphy provides a strong voice as the truth may set Daffyd free but at what cost? Harriet Klausner

The Brahms Deception
Louise Marley
Kensington, $15.00
ISBN: 9780758265678

The competition to go back in time to 1861 Tuscany to observe Johannes Brahms is fierce. Thus Frederica Bannister, who badly wanted to go so much s she had her father arrange her selection, is euphoric when she is picked over her rival Kristian North. The musicologist is excited over seeing the legend perform and to solve the mystery of his relationship with older concert pianist Clara Schumann.

However, once in 1861 Frederica ignores the rules for time traveling. She is besotted with her hero and envious of his secret lover. Unable to move on, Frederica makes a decision that has potential repercussions in her future time as well as in Brahms’ era. Raging over not being selected, Kristian is sent to find out what happened to Frederica as the eight hours allotted of study time in the past passed.

The second time travel musical history thriller (see Mozart's Blood) is an entertaining look at the relationship between Brahms and his “muse” Schumann. The story line provides the reader a glimpse at the legend inside of an exciting story line. Although understanding Frederica is difficult as she is obsessive compulsive; harping at being ugly and infatuating over Brahms who is dead over a century before she was born. Still even with the researchers having no contingency plan if something goes wrong in the visited past except to send the runner-up student, fans will enjoy the trip back to the classical musical romantic period.
Harriet Klausner

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