Four centuries ago, Adam the water demon and Jasmine the vampire met in an explosive encounter that was different than anything either species had witnessed. Instead of open hostile combat, they were in love. However, his niece Leah child of Time fearing for the lives of her parents Jacob the enforcer and Isabella the Druid snatched him from his idyllic era top bring him forward four hundreds to keep his younger brother and sister-in-law safe. Jasmine has her heart broken as if her essence has been drained from her.
In the midst of a losing battle against Ruth the necromancer and her consort Nicodemus, Adam abruptly appears. Totally confused with the changes he failed to be part of including enemy bedfellows as cross species is acceptable unlike when he met Jasmine, Adam struggles to adapt. His side is still losing until he and Jasmine reconnect in love and hope.
The latest Nightwalkers romantic fantasy (see Damien and Noah) is a great refreshing entry due to the powerful cast on both sides of the front lines. Adam especially makes the thriller work as his bewilderment with changes add a sense of realism while his heart and soul still yearns for Jasmine. In some ways she is the more fascinating of the time-crossed lovers as she is sort of bipolar with her mood swing from euphoric mania to depressive to euphoric feeder. Jacquelyn Frank is at her best with Adam’s saga. Harriet Klausner
The Night Eternal
Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Two years ago the pandemic vampiric virus was deployed on an unsuspecting New York City (see The Strain). The toll turned devastatingly global as humanity fell from the top of the food chain with the vampires hunting mortals. Releasing a nuclear winter that turned the earth into almost total Night Eternal, the Master ancient vampire has his followers establish death camp ranches where his followers can breed humans in order to snack on the mortals.
There are few free humans who remain outside the cattle captivity; most of those hide in remote holes. A small defiant cell continues to rebel against the Master and his bloody horde. Doctors Eph Goodweather and Nora Martinez, Vasiliy Fet, and the Master’s hybrid offspring Mr. Quinlan have different motivations accentuated by the death of their spiritual leader Abraham Setrakian (see The Fall) in spite of the same goal to rid the planet of the bloodsuckers. One of the rebels has the answer to end the genocide killing of the Master and his species in what would be a suicide mission, but whose side is this individual on as the ancient vampire masterly manipulates his enemies into betraying their kind.
The final Strain post-apocalyptic urban fantasy is an exciting ending to an entertaining fresh modern spin to the mythos. Action-packed throughout the trilogy, readers will enjoy what looks like the final extermination of humanity except for those in the camps. Although the climax will not shock the audience and too much personal demons defang the human resistance (and slows the plot), fans will appreciate getting there; as before they become bloodless fodder Nora and others must discover man’s most beloved weapon against an amoral more powerful predator. Harriet Klausner
Fire Works in the Hamptons
Willow Tate has the unique ability as a Visualizer to draw essences from the Faerie realm into out world. However the graphic novelist has a tendency to get so involved in herself and her work, Willow forgets the byproduct consequences of what she can do (see Trolls in the Hamptons and Night Mares in the Hamptons).
Her current novel stars a fire wizard, which means the residents of Paumanok Harbor must contend with serial arson caused by lightning bugs from beyond. Willow’s neighbors want to burn her at the stake for what she has caused and its consequence of potentially revealing the town make up not found in any census. She also deals with a fire baby dumped on her and a psychic firefighter who wants to heat her body with his; as she muses just another few days on the Hamptons.
Although the heroine is too mellow with all the Fire Works in the Hamptons that threaten the South Fork, readers will enjoy the third island fantasy of the Visualizer whose drawings cause havoc. The story line is fast-paced and filled with twists as the locals deal with Willow’s latest mass destruction “creation”.
Better Off Undead
St. Martin’s, $7.99
The world of Thropirelem consists of 99+% paranormal (vampires, werewolves and gloms) and the rest mostly humans. FBI profiler Jace Valcek was dragged from our earth to capture the head of the Free Human Resistance Aristotle Stoker; her NSA handler Cassius the vampire swears she can go back to her Seattle once the mission is done.
Twice werewolf Dr. Pete saved Jace’s life but died in a third attempt. He is back as criminal Tair, which has Jace trapped in the claws of a werewolf mob war. However, in her efforts to keep the war cold, Jace is bitten and becomes infected with the thrope virus. Cassius explains the best way to prevent the Lycan change is conversion to vampire.
The latest Bloodhound Files (see Dying Bites, Death Blows and Killing Rocks) is an exhilarating fantasy with a great spin. The heroine has choices to make; none that she desires. However, though this is an excellent entry, it is the thought provoking overarching premises of de jure and de facto racism that Jace and other humans face every day and race wars between species seeking ethnic cleansing that makes this saga of an alternate Seattle (and elsewhere) consistently one of the best. Harriet Klausner