PM Press, Nov 2 2011, $14.95
Julia Hernandez leaves her husband City College Professor Raymond before murdering Peter Neads Fisherman and then vanishing. Since she left him, Raymond rationalizes her dumping him without warning as a “penis panic” attack on her part.
He spots Julia in public near where they lived in Lower Manhattan. The first time was at a grocer she never shopped in buying items she never ate when they were married. The second encounter is in Times Square in which Raymond chose flight rather than confront Julia with why. His running saves his life from an observer ready to push him into traffic. A distraught Raymond will soon learn why Julia committed murder and fled. He finds out about the insect eggs in her arm and the Simulacrum where anarchist wasps and a super genius spider hive that collectively is a “man” ready to shove the professor into traffic. These two insecticide species battle to steer or crash humanity.
Sensation is an entertaining modern day parable that looks at the accumulative stress of minor annoyances in a world in which the individual has no wiggle room alternative. Told by the spiders, Nick Mamatas looks at the Butterfly Effect of chaos in an absolute controlled environment that makes independent thought that breaks away from one’s profile impossible. Although the two intelligent insect species are underdeveloped leaving readers with a void; fans will enjoy this allegorical look at New York, in which Seinfeld is right that as Queen sings in Bohemian Rhapsody “Nothing really matters, anyone can see nothing really matters ….”
Darker After Midnight
Delacorte, Jan 24 2012, $24.00
The Ancients came to earth to rape, pillage and conquer; but their manifest destiny fails when their sons lead a rebellion that eliminated all of the invaders except for one survivor. Dragos the Breed megalomaniac believes his brethren should rule the earth with humans as their slaves. He forces the Ancient One to mate with the Breedmates in order to raise a super powerful army of first generation warriors under his command.
Disgraced enforcer Sterling Chase sacrifices himself to buy time for his Order vampire comrades to escape exposure. In a human prison, Sterling sees Tavia Fairchild, aid to US Senator Robert Clarence; she picks him up in a line-up after he tried to kill a guest at the Senator’s party. Sterling thinks her employer, who is not what he seems, wants her dead, but also believes she is not human. When he realizes what species she is he is shocked. The Order takes both of them to a safe house but the same time the pair falls in love he struggles to control his bloodlust and must prepare for the civil war with Dragos and his soldiers. As Dragos brings a sea of red to the streets, the Order leader Lucan Thorne and his warriors including Sterling and Taviagear up for the last battle.
The final Midnight Breed urban fantasy is a great finish to a super saga. Sterling has a chance for redemption due to his mate while Tavia is much more than she first seems. With major threads tied up and the return of Breed Mates from previous entries (see Kiss of Midnight, Kiss of Crimson, Taken by Midnight, and Deeper than Midnight), fans will enjoy Midnight in the world of Adrian. A superb writer pens a fantastic tale. Harriet Klausner
Demon Does It Better
Sourcebooks, Jan 1 2012, $14.99
In Inderman, Dr. Lili Carter the witch takes a staff position at Crying Souls Hospital. She conceals from the hospital administration her real reason for returning to the asylum where she worked ages ago. Lili searches for her friend Sera who worked here before vanishing without a trace.
The physician is stunned by the poor conditions of the facility and the haphazard care of the staff. She is especially shocked by the mistreatment of Jared the demon Patient 1172. Dr. Mortimer incarcerated 1172 for what the patient thinks is forever. However, he may have found his miraculous cure with the new doctor as he and Lili are attracted to one another. They team up to learn the insidious truth of what is going down at Crying Souls Hospital.
This romantic fantasy is an exciting thriller due to a strong unique support cast from a feline complaining that Minneapolis is not Inderman to Dragon nurses to the return of the “Hellion Guard” (see Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend). The protagonists are an interesting forbidden (not for medical relationship reasons) pairing of a patient and a doctor while the villain is as vile as they come. Although the romantic subplot at times distracts from the taut suspense, fans will enjoy visiting the Wisdom magical realm. Harriet Klausner
Hold Me If You Can
Sourcebooks, Jan 1 2012, $14.99
Nigel Aquarian prefers painting to swordplay. However, after a century and a half of imprisonment with his warrior in arms brothers (see Blaine Underhill in Kiss At Your Own Risk and Jarvis Swain in Touch If You Dare) by an evil witch, he remains vigil though he believes the stroke of the brush is mightier than the sword.
Nigel realizes a more lethal threat has arisen. He puts aside the brush and palette to confront the evil. However, he believes chocolatier Natalie Fleming, who he is attracted to, is the key as the vortex of this deadly danger due to a Faustian gift.
The third Warrior urban fantasy is an entertaining paranormal romance starring a reluctant unique hero and a caught in the crosshairs heroine. The story line is fast-paced and filled with tense action yet also has some amusing moments ( a trademark of Stephanie Rowe). Readers will enjoy the adventures in love and danger between Nigel the artist and Natalie the Chocolatier. Harriet Klausner