Thursday, April 5, 2012

Unusual tales

Emperor Mollusk Vs. The Sinister Brain
A. Lee Martinez
Orbit, Mar 5 2012, $19.99
ISBN: 9780316093521

Throughout the solar system and beyond, Emperor Mollusk is perhaps the most hated creature ever with one exception; that inane third planet’s so called sentient species worship the retired former Warlord of Terra. However, the evil genius cannot relax in his retirement due boredom that rivaled his ennui when he ruled Earth.

Meanwhile assassins want to kill him and Venusian Intelligence sends Commander Zala and his guard to arrest Mollusk for crimes against Venusians when he invaded their planet. Realizing the Venusians provide a fascinating scenario, Mollusk cooperates with the arrest, but soon leads his captorrs on a bloody romp as he, his pet Snarg, and his new “allies” follow a trail set up by a brainy sinister enemy who takes no prisoners.

This is an amusing satirical spin on the save the universe science fiction thrillers. The storyline has a 1950s pulp fiction feel, but done so with a humorous wink. Fast-paced and entertaining even with knowing the twisted ending relatively early, fans will enjoy touring the solar system with the obnoxiously superior evil Neptunian emperor and the dedicated Venusian Commander. Harriet Klausner

Night Games
Crystal Jordan
Kensington Aphrodisia, Feb 28 2012, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758261564

Dedicated Seattle Police Department’s Magickal Task Force officer Selina Grayson is a centuries old elf who remains haunted with the death of her cousin by a still out there serial killing bloodsucker. Her superior assigns Selina the investigation into a serial killer drinking blood from the Magickal and from the Normal aware of the Magickal. The FBI Magickal Crimes Unit assigns human agent Jack Laramie to work with Selina.

The elf and the human are attracted to one another immediately. They begin a heated tryst while working the case. As they fall in love, he wants more, but she chooses less. However, both agree that ending the blood-draining reign of terror comes first, but Selina and Jack fail to realize they fit the profile of a diabolical malevolence.

The second Night urban fantasy police procedural (see Embrace The Night) is an exciting serial killer thriller that deftly blends a tense investigation with heated multispecies sex. The storyline starts slow as Crystal Jordon goes over the ground rules of her mythos, but that also enables fans to believe in witches, vampires, werewolves and Normals (who mostly unaware of the paranormal). Once completed, the plot accelerates into a fast-paced arousing whodunit. Harriet Klausner

Wanted: Undead Or Alive
Kerrelyn Sparks
Avon, Mar 27 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061958069

Celebrity Vampire Phineas “Love Doctor” McKinney has become famous for his TV commercial on the Digital Vampire Network selling Blardonnay, a blood and Chardonnay concoction. Since good vampires saved his life, Phin has adjusted well to being a blood diner after the initial shock of being converted by having his throat ripped open by an evil Malcontent. While his stunned human brother Freemont takes him to the Brooklyn studio of DVN, MacKay S and I works on capturing Corky Courrant, the de facto new leader of the Malcontents following the death of Casimir whose head was cut off.

Not long afterward, Phin goes undercover in Wyoming to help catch Corky. The city slicker feels out of place in the mountainous state except that he shares a cabin with his obsession Brynley Jones the werewolf who to his chagrin loathes all vampires. She is his day bodyguard while her father Caddoc demands she marry one of their kind.

The latest Love At Stake romantic urban fantasy continues the post Casmir Malcontent era (see Vampire Mine and Sexiest Vampire Alive) with Phin’s tale. The plot focuses mostly on the dysfunctional love story between the only known female alpha and Dr. Phang the Love Doctor though a second subplot involves the Malcontents. Although the Love Doctor is persona is somewhat muted and a late twist abates some of the tension, fans will appreciate this entertaining entry.
Harriet Klausner

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