Friday, February 3, 2012

Reviews from Harriet

Day by Day Armageddon: Origin to Exile
J.L. Bourne
Gallery/Pocket, $18.00
ISBN: 9781451633030

“Day by Day Armageddon.” He is stationed in San Antonio. As he starts a diary, he is unprepared for the Dead attacking cities around the world. The soldier must decide on survival of the deadest with his friend John as his only trusted ally.

“Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile.” He continues keeping his log having survived three months. With other humans he stays at the Hotel 23 where he fought against fellow breathers but suffers from PTSD. However, he must leave the relatively safety of Hotel 23 on a mission that will take months in which he doubts he will return as the zombie infestation has crippled the world.

“If You Can Read This...” Texas like the rest of the country is gone. Twins Brook and Eugene struggle with the deaths of their parents and younger brother, but take hope in a radio transmission they receive at the local fire station of a person claiming to be at Matagorda Island.

This is an omnibus reprinting of the first two Armageddon journals and a very short story. The novels employ a refreshing technique of a survivor in a post-apocalyptic America overrun by zombies. This diary technique is two edged as the audience sees what the hero encounters and knows his demons, but also the first person account is a filter for what others believe and somewhat passive especially when the protagonist muses. Still these are enjoyable horror tales that is summed up by Eugene in seven words when he says “If You Can Read This...” Harriet Klausner

Supervolcano: Eruption
Harry Turtledove
Roc, Dec 6 2011, $25.95
ISBN: 9780451464200

In the Los Angeles suburb San Atanasio, livid police lieutenant Colin Ferguson needs to get over the fact that his wife divorced him for a younger man. Bitter and ready to erupt in a meltdown, Colin decides to take a trip to Yellowstone Park. There he meets geologist Kelly Birnbaum who is studying unusual seismic activity when an earthquake hits. She tells him the possibility of a Supervolcano: Eruption is high.

They exchange phone numbers and email addresses; as Colin intends to call her as he wants to date her. Her predictions prove correct when she is flying away from the area: the sky is dark and particles mess up the engines and everything on the ground. All the nearby states are devastated with Wyoming obliterated and the rest of the lower 48 impacted. As the skies remain perpetually dark, while the romance between Colin and Kelly heats up, he keeps track of his three adult children spread across the country. Rob and his band members Squirt Frog and the Evolving Tadpoles are stranded in Northern Maine where gas is unavailable. Vanessa got out of Nevada only to stop at a Kansas FEMA relief camp which she calls is another world for hell. Perpetual student Marshall, on the verge of a degree after a couple of almost a decade at school, is trapped at home in Southern California.

Although life dramatically changes due to the impact of a Supervolcano: Eruption, this engaging tale is not a post apocalyptic thriller at least in the grand scale. Instead the entertaining story line focuses on a family before and after the blast so that the reader feels they have been in several states across the nation. With a nod to Krakatoa but on a continental scale rather than an island, known for his alternate history sagas, Harry Turtledove writes a fabulous near future survival tale (of the Ferguson family). Harriet Klausner

Courting Darkness
Yasmine Galenorn
Jove, $7.99
ISBN: 9780515150070

Camille the witch has just returned home bone weary from frozen escapades in the Northlands when her half-sister Menolly (see Blood Wyne for her last lead) accosts her to tell her a demon is in a stand off with werebadger bartender Derrick at the Wayfarer Bar and Grill demanding to speak with her only. The demon is actually a daemon with a message from Trytian the daemon Camille does not trust. His message is a white dragon is in the Demon Underground is seeking Camille. She shows the note to one of her husbands Smoky the white-silver mixed dragon. They both know that his father Hyto hunts them with the intent to kill his son who has shamed him with this abomination marriage and slay his daughter-in-law who led his offspring astray.

A new crisis arises when something at Tangleroot Park sucks friend Chase Johnson through an otherworld energy portal. Camille and her half sister Delilah the werecat/werepanther (see Harvest Hunting for her last lead) attempt to rescue Chase. However, Hyto captures Camille. He plans to break her soul before ripping apart her body.

The tenth D’Artigo Sisters Otherworld urban fantasy is a terrific entry as this time Camille (see Bone Magic for her last lead) is the one going through emotional and physical challenges as the lead role returns to her. The tense story line grips the reader from the moment the two half sisters mount the recue and only intensifies when the father-in-law from hell caches up with Camille. Although the overarching war against the Shadow Wing does not move forward much, the dysfunctional family dragon subplot does so readers need to set aside time with another great Yasmine Galenorn thriller. Harriet Klausner

Avenger’s Angel
Heather Killough-Walden
Signet, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451235220

Four loyal archangels (Uriel, Michael, Gabriel and Azrael) were rewarded for their faithfulness with a female angel soulmate. To insure no jealousy occurs amongst the remaining archangels, the quartet is sent to earth to find their soulmate. Their brother, angry Samael leads a revolt against the “old man”, but is exiled as The Fallen One in defeat.

For too many countless millennia they sought their mate, but now each believes it was a cruel cosmic joke. That is until Uriel, currently movie star Christopher Daniels, meets Eleanore Granger in a bookstore. She is on the run from militia who want to use her paranormal skills so has no time for a Hollywood star. Meanwhile media mogul Samuel Lambert offers her a deal she cannot refuse.

The first Lost Angels romantic urban fantasy is an exciting thriller starring a fascinating cast. The protagonists are an engaging duet as the heroine rejects she is his destiny. The villain is intriguing as he comes across more as Mr. Lonely than the evil Fallen One. Although the romance depends on fate’s mates too much with limited development between the pair, readers will enjoy the Avenger’s Angel. Harriet Klausner

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