The Thirteen Hallows
Michael Scott and Colette Freedman
Tor, Dec 6 2011, $24.99
Twentyish Londoner, Sarah Miller hates her life. Her tedious job goes nowhere, but she cannot afford to quit as Sarah supports her widowed mom while living together.
Having heard of the murder of her long time friend Millie and an apparent Good Samaritan, septuagenarian Judith Walker fears what the old man warned them seven decades ago not to bring the Hallows together is happening. Millie, Tommy, Georgie, Nina and Bea have been tortured and murdered for the artifacts they protected as Keepers. She expects to be next as she possesses Dyrnwyn, the broken sword of Rhydderch. She is proven right when Skinner assaults her. However, Sarah intervenes and between them they batter her mugger. She pleads with Sarah to deliver her Hallow sword to her American nephew, Owen. The Dark Man is furious with his first setback, but takes his fight to Sarah with a gas leak explosion. He will soon realize she is not just a minor irritant as an angry Sarah with Owen at her side prepare to fight the evil Dark Man and his malevolent mistress while the cops seek her and the Yank for questioning in a string of murders.
As Nicholas Flamel takes a deserving respite, Michael Scott and Colette Freedman provide a strong exhilarating urban fantasy. This tale is fast-paced from the moment Judith defends herself and never slows down and fans will enjoy the adventures of the newly drafted Keepers against an amoral psychopath with paranormal powers and no compunctions to use them. Filled with twists and a vile villain, readers will enjoy touring London with Sarah and Owen as their guides.
Sisterhood of Dune
Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
Tor, Jan 3 2012, $27.99
Over eight decades ago, humanity defeated the tyrannical sentient cybernetics at the key Battle of Corrin. Debate rages over the use of safe machines in the everyday lives of people.
First Reverend Mother of the Sisterhood Raquella Berto-Anirul opens the Bene Gesserit School on the rainforest planet of Rossak as a place to teach women to use technology to improve their lot. The Venport descendants deploy mutated Navigators to fly early versions of Heighliners. On the other side of the argument is the Butlerian opposition, led by Manford Torondo and Swordmaster Anari Idaho, against technology as being dangerous. Soon everyone will have to pick a side as a human civil war over machinery seems imminent.
This is an exciting, fast-paced but thin //as in not long enough// Dune science fiction thriller as two diametrically opposite visions of the future surface even eighty plus years since the war against the machines. With what is going on in DC, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson provide a timely tale built on the premise that idealism without pragmatism can turn into uncompromising tyranny. Harriet Klausner
//This is a wonderful and fantastic addition to the saga. I've wondered for many years how the Bene Gesserit started and became the controlling power of the original series. Can't wait to see the next installment. Barry Hunter//