The Shadowman as a dark fae resides in the Twilight between mortal life and the Afterlife. As a watcher he cannot enter either locale. He diligently remains at his lonely outpost as an observer who can watch but not leave.
However though a shadow fae, he is still a man. When he falls in love with human Kathleen O’Brien he would move heaven and hell for her. She reciprocates and becomes pregnant carrying his hybrid daughter. When Death comes for her even as she gives birth to Talia whom she cannot hold, Kathleen vows to find a way back to the two loves of her life while her weeping sister Maggs vows to take care of her newborn niece. However, their breaking of the rules with their forbidden love and his trespass rips an opening in the veil allowing evil creatures to enter realms banned to them.
The third dark fae Shadow romantic urban fantasy (see Shadow Fall and Shadow Bound), Shadowman is a superb thriller as the refreshing different look at the paranormal laws of physics makes for an entertaining read. Fans will learn a lot about Shadowman obsessed with love and the woman he cherishes who obstinately refuses to blithely cross over as she fixates over remaining because she needs to be with the fae and hybrid she loves with all her soul. Shadowman will be on the short list of best romantic urban fantasies of the year. Harriet Klausner
Resistance: A Hole in the Sky
William C. Dietz
Del Rey, $7.99
In 1948, the alien Chimera landed in Russia. A year later Europe is overrun. By 1952, 160 million Americans are dead with survivors living underground. In July 1953, the President of the United States, former Undersecretary of Agriculture, Tom Voss and a small unit are in New York. They need to take out a tower that cools down the atmosphere enabling the ruthless adversaries to acclimate and escort Russian expatriate Dr. Maliken to a safe house as he has created a vaccine against the Chimera toxin that either kills humans or turns them into monsters.
In Deep Home, Colorado, Alvin Locke hires former Army Lieutenant turned runner Joseph Capelli to escort him to his sister’s home in Haven, Oklahoma. Considered a traitor for assassinating hero Nathan Hale, Capelli believes he did the right thing as his mentor was turning. However, Hale is inside his mind making Capelli believe he is a head case. Capelli, his dog Rowdy and Locke begin a suicidal journey in which the chimera, their human monsters and humans are lethal.
In the Lucky Buckle Mine, Colorado, inmate 26301 has a plan to rescue other convicts trapped inside a cave in. Her overseer Boss Cooper takes her to the top gun vicious Brewster who tells Inmate Susan Farley to see him after she finishes her rescue mission. Farley plans to kill him and escape.
The novelization prequel to the Resistancetm 3 videogame is a terrific alternate historical thriller that obviously ties to the game, but reads like an independent novel with three major subplots. Besides the clever post-apocalyptic landscape filled with destruction, there is romance that brings hope. Loaded with action, game fans and other readers will relish the Resistance. Harriet Klausner
Real Vampires Don’t Wear Size Six
In Austin, the Vampire Council wants vampire Glory St. Clair to leave town as she has caused issues for the secretive species. First her Vintage vamp’s Emporium puts a light on vampires and worse a demon possessed her. Ancient vampire Damian “Casanova” Sabatini, brother to Glory’s BFF recently married artist Florence da Vinci, offers her a chance to redeem herself. Since the shapeshifter Rafe Valdez has moved out of her place but not before her angry boyfriend Jeremy Blade ended their relationship, Damian suggests she mentor a rookie vampire like she did rock star Israel “Ray” Caine.
She agrees to take on Penny Patterson though her first impression of the scowling brilliant female makes her want to leave Texas. Meanwhile Lucifer wants Glory and her special blood collecting souls for him in exchange for a size six figure and Ray needs her to help him deal with addiction. Finally there is Jeremy and a killing goddess for her to deal with.
Although the heroine’s centuries’ old obsession over her weight has become a bit weary, fans of the real Vampire adventures of Glory (see Real Vampires Have More to Love) will enjoy her latest Texas tornado as she is the epicenter of paranormal tsuris. The fun tongue in cheek story line is loaded with action from the visits of Lucifer, Damian, Ray and Penny to Glory hoping to start anew with Jeremy. Harriet Klausner
Lisa T. Bergren
David C. Cook, $9.99
For years teenagers Gabriella and Evangelia Betarrini accompanied their parents on archeological digs. However recently the pair has seen the ruins in their original state as they have traveled back on the River of Time to a few years ago in which they saved their father’s life (see Waterfall) and to 1332 Siena, Italy (see Cascade).
Gabi loves Lord Marcello Forelli and Lia loves Captain Luca Palmucci. As such the Betarrini family of four returns to 1333 Siena in which the war continues even with Rossi exposed as a traitor and Marcello now a member of the Nine. The family from the future also knows the plague is coming soon to Siena and the rest of the Italian Peninsular. If they find their men alive, Lia and Gabi have decisions to make about their future; if not they consider going back a year to intervene.
The final tale in the entertaining young adult River of Time allegory is a superb entry as decision time is upon the teens. The story line is cleverly anchored in the past with little things like when dad tries to understand how and when his pacifist wife became a warrior and his first awkward meeting with Marcello. There are also big events from the annals of history as well. The cast is strong especially the three prime couples and Father Tomas as Lisa T. Bergren provides a suspenseful taut thriller in which she makes a case that time flows like a river gently soothing even when turning into a Cascade or a Waterfall, but that same mild flow can become violent when it turns into a raging Torrent. Harriet Klausner