Born to Darkness
Ballantine, Mar 20 2012, $26.00
The United States is spiraling into third world status as the Great Depression II wreaks havoc on most people due to policies that legalized unfair practices leading to the wealthiest doing great while everyone paid the price. For much of the increasing poor there is only one commodity they can sell: their preteen daughters. The Organization has created Destiny from the hormones of pre-puberty females; the affluent love the elixir that allows those with money to buy the perfect physical specimen at the cost of their mind.
The Obermeyer Institute opposes the sale of girls as a commodity and by extrapolation are against the use of Destiny. However, groups like the Organization own the media and the politicians so Obermeyer is considered by most a place for crackpots. With nowhere to turn, banished former Navy SEAL Shane Laughlin joins OI though he believes the media portrayal of lunatics especially the “Greater-Thans” philosophy to deploy otherworldly powers for the common good. He changes his mind when female Greater Than scientists half his size kicks his butt in. Shane and Greater Than Michelle “Mac” Mackenzie had shared a one night stand before he joined OI as a test subject. In Boston, they attempt to rescue a young girl sold for her hormones who appears to be a Greater Than.
Noted for Breaking the Rules of romantic suspense with her Troubleshooters saga, Suzanne Brockmann provides a powerful enthralling and dark paranormal thriller as the extraction of young female hormones is a capitalist commodity exchange item. The gripping premise extrapolates trends in economics, politics, journalism and pharmaceutical to paint a dark soulless future. The prime romance between the protagonists and a gay relationship enhance an exciting fast-paced rescue mission.
Signet, Mar 6 2012, $7.99
To earn his wings as a League of Talyan Bookkeeper, Sidney Westerbrook leaves London to study why Chicago contains an exorbitant level of otherworldly combat. Though he preferred research from a distance, he knows field work is an inconvenient truth of his mission. However, the Chicago League Chief Liam Niall refuses to allow him to join their night patrol on his first evening in the city; suggesting he adapt to the time change first.
Thus Sidney goes out on the town alone. However, Westerbrook realizes the stupidity of his actions when two feralis attack him. His shoulder injured, he expects to be a mangled corpse only a female talya warrior intercedes as Alyce Carver is not bound by strict League rules as a rogue battling evil ferales solo. They are attracted to one another, but Sid is a London based Bookkeeper, and Alyce is a rogue unaffiliated talyan and is expected to mate with one of her kind.
The fourth Marked Souls romantic urban fantasy (see Seduced by the Shadows, Forged in Shadows and Vowed in Shadows) is an exciting paranormal with a fascinating unexpected but plausible twist. The story line is fast-paced with the well done gender spin of the heroine saving the helpless male in distress. Although Alyce garners much respect for her dedication and empathy for her loneliness, Sid fails to do likewise as understanding him comes late. Still this is another dynamic thriller in the super Slade mythos. Harriet Klausner
Berkley, Mar 6 2012, $15.00
The Council of Justice finds Passion the angel guilty of too much impish behavior as her appeal is that she just wanted to bring life to their tedious existence fails to move the judgment board. Passion can deal with her punishment to wander the Earth as a mortal in order to save human souls; however, she feels the Council was cruel and non-angelic when they made Hope the whiner her heavenly contact as once a day having this irritant in her mind can make anyone consider evil thoughts.
Her assignment takes the “human” Passion to the Castle of Dark Dreams where any form of sexual fantasy occurs. However, the virginal temporarily fallen angel meets Edge playing the role of a demon. She realizes how wicked he truly is by his aura, but rationalizes even a demon can be redeemed while Edge insists he just wants to bang the virgin demonic style.
The fifth erotic Castle of Dark Dreams romantic fantasy (Wicked Edge, Wicked Fantasy Wicked Pleasure and My Wicked Vampire) is an enticing wicked tale starring an interesting pair; as she is a virginal angel and he is the sinful demon. Their forbidden romance makes for a terrific paranormal star-crossed lovers’ thriller.
Bridge of Dreams
Roc, Mar 6 2012, $26.95
Siblings Lee and Glorianna Belladonna along with Michael the Musician and others removed the darkness of The Eater of the World from Ephemera (see Belladonna). However, though Ephemera is balanced now, the world remains a perilous place as affirmed when bellicose wizards arrive. Lee stops their threat to disrupt the balance, but ends up in an asylum in Vision, a city also facing dark peril.
The Vision Shamans fail to prevent the dark plague from spreading. Lee understands what they face and offers his assistance and those of his family in Ephemera, Glorianna and their cousin Sebastian. However, the proud protectors of Vision eventually may acquiesce to his offer, but time is running out.
The third Ephemera fantasy is an entertaining tale with an incredible vivid description of the Bishop mythos and a wonderful self-sacrificing hero who risks his life again to save a city of strangers. The storyline starts slow with an inordinate amount of time on what happened in the previous entries (see Sebastian). However, once the protagonist jumps into the frying pan to save Ephemera and then into the fire to save Vision, Bridge of Dreams accelerates into a super-fast-paced exciting thriller. Harriet Klausner