Monday, November 7, 2011

More Reviews and Health Update

Good Doctors visit today. Everything healing on schedule. Hopefully everything will be back to normal soon.

Blood Bound
Rachel Vincent
Mira, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778312550

The four friends (Liv, Anne, Kori and Elle) swore an oath to never ask one another for help because if requested, the one asked would be compelled to do anything to accomplish the mission. Now despite the written pact Anne burned the document so she can make Liv Warren the bloodhound tracker locate the killer of her late thirty-four year old Asian husband Shen Liang; father of their five years old daughter Hadley.

Liv the lone wolf has no choice due to that childhood blood oath, on which refusal means horrible death. When Hadley goes missing she has a more endearing reason to investigate. Liv and her former boyfriend Cam Caballero team up on the hunt in which his agenda is to learn why she ended their relationship.

Blood Bound is superb first romantic urban fantasy investigative thriller as Rachel Vincent creates a fascinating dangerous world in which people are Skilled or Unskilled. The story line is fast-paced but held together by dynamic Liv whose convicted history impacts her big time today with the oath, her relationship with Cam, and her insistence she is not a blood splatterer anymore. Readers will enjoy the new paranormal Vincent world as fascinating Liv escorts fans around the deadly bloody landscape. Harriet Klausner

Low Town
Daniel Polansky
Doubleday, $25.95
ISBN: 9780385534468

Of the Thirteen Cities, Rigus is by far the grandest. However, while that magnificent city shines, a suburb Low Town is the diametrically opposite with violent crime and rampant drug addiction and prostitution on every block corner of the rundown precinct.

Low Town
is run with an iron fist by the distrusting Warden. He was once a hero during the Great War only a few years ago and was a member of the Black House police before he was disgraced and sent into exile. An addict Warden has even nastier rivals that he keeps at bay because he expects the worst in people. The Warden has one ally of sorts in Crane the magician. When kids in his precinct disappear, the Warden wants to ignore them. However, the first corpse he discovers alarms him and forces him to ally with his former law enforcement compatriots the Black House to insure a proper investigation occurs.

Although somewhat difficult to delineate the recent past with the present, Low Town is a gritty post-apocalyptic investigative noir starring a vicious antihero. The dystopian story line is at it best during the inquiry that besides providing a good murder mystery enables readers to picture the slummy precinct and understand the helplessness of the impoverished. This is an engaging first tale as Daniel Polansky paints a draconian future. Harriet Klausner

The Magic of Recluse
L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
Tor, $15.99
ISBN: 9780765331120

The world is torn between order and chaos. On the island Recluce, order rules to the absolute degree superseding individual liberties. Teenage Lerris bounces between undesirable ennui and unhealthy questioning. His skeptical interrogation for truth has the Brotherhood black wizards believing he has the potential of becoming a high level wizard or otherwise permanent exile.

Though doubting his skills, he accepts the mission of learning the chaos in the worlds outside of his homeland. Lerris leaves the island content for war ravaged chaotic Candar where in Freetown he is pronounced as a rogue wizard subject to assassination. Antonin the white chaos wizard tries to kill the stunned teen, but he escapes using his black order magic. Justen the grey wizard mentors the lad but he flees when he learns the grey wizards steal souls. He reaches Fenard where he becomes an apprentice to an ailing incompetent but kind woodworker Destrin and takes over making the business successful for his teacher and the family. As his skills develop, Lerris knows he must go home.

This is a twentieth anniversary reprinting of the first Saga of Recluce fantasy. The story line holds up well as the Modesitt magical system remains logical between the whites of chaos, the black of order and the greys of chaos and order. The coming of age adventure stars a young hero who learns life lessons in accountability and responsibility for others. Although an anticipated final wizards’ duel between Lerris and Antonin never quite achieves the expected level, fans will appreciate the opening act of order vs. chaos vs. order-chaos. Harriet Klausner

Body of Sin
Eve Silver
Harlequin HQN, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373775927

The Underworld god Sutekh brutally killed his youngest son soul reaper Lokan Krayl who allowed his father to torture and kill him to keep his daughter Dana safe. Lokan’s stunned three brothers (Dagan, Alastor and Mal) diligently worked to bring their sibling’s lost soul back into his body (see Sins of the Heart, Sins of the Soul and Sins of the Flesh). They succeed, but though alive Lokan remains trapped inside of purgatory.

Dana’s other parent Bryn Carr fears for her daughter’s life. She, like Lokan did with her, hid her paranormal skills from him. Now she needs Lokan to protect Dana from her vicious paternal grandfather. Bryn enters purgatory to escort Lokan through the 12 Gates to earth.

The latest Otherkin “Sin” fantasy continues deftly to deploy the Egyptian mythology that is the base of the superb saga. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Lokan fails to escape purgatory and never slows down. The engaging tale works with multiple subplots pushing to conclusion the overarching theme; whether it is the present in which his siblings work on freeing their soulmates, he and Bryn team up; or the past look at when the lead couple met. Although the romance takes a back seat to the action, fans will enjoy the final brother’s epic tale. Harriet Klausner

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