Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Reviews

Messenger’s Angel
Heather Killough-Walden
Signet, Jun 5 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451237316

Four loyal archangels (Uriel, Michael, Gabriel and Azrael) were rewarded for their faithfulness with the granting of a female archess 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 until Uriel meets Eleanore Granger (see Avenger’s Angels).

Like his peers, Gabriel had lost all hope, but now with Uriel’s success has a new belief. He heads to Rodel, Scotland as he has for centuries as a getaway. Only this time in a pub he meets American Juliette Anderson who is researching her doctoral thesis due to a grant from media mogul Samuel Lambent; the same CEO who offered Eleanore a deal she couldn’t refuse. As Juliette struggles with her sanity, Adarian Abraxos want to drink the blood of the four archess.

The second Lost Angels romantic urban fantasy (see Avenger’s Angels) is a fast-paced thriller that is fun because Gabriel is pathetic as a fated lover who does nothing right when he first meets his archess; he fumbles it so badly he needs the evil enemy to serve as matchmaker. Once again the enigmatic Samael steals the show as Mr. Lonely rather than the wicked Fallen One. Harriet Klausner

China Mieville
Del Rey, May 15 2012, $18.00
ISBN: 9780345524522

Sham Yes ap Soorap the orphan has obtained an apprentice position working for a doctor on the Medes moletrain that rides the railsea with hunters seeking the giant moldywarpes that live beneath the dirt as these beasts are worth a fortune on the mainland. Sham appreciates the contests between the harpoonists and the moles, but wonders if riding the railsea for a lifetime is what he wants to do. He quickly realizes to never mention his doubts to Medes Captain Naphi as she obsesses over killing Mocker Jack the ivory mole who took her arm.

The Mede comes across the wreckage of a train. Amidst the mess, Sham finds several pictures of something that could not be. As he follows the clues; his captain, other train mates, pirates, monsters and salvagers pursue him.

This is a superb young adult fantasy that pays homage to Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. The story line is fast-paced and exciting with a strong cast including the prairie as a metamorphic ocean of land with monsters under the “sea.” China Mieville provides a wonderful refreshing coming of age allegorical adventure. Harriet Klausner

L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
Tor, May 22 2012, $27.99
ISBN: 9780765330956

In Tilbor, Quaeryt prevented the coup attempt against Lord Bhayar. As his reward for preventing a bloody civil war from occurring, Quaeryt is named Princeps and ordered by Bhayar to marry his sister Vaelora. In his new position, Quaeryt plans on rebuilding the land, but he is unaware that his wife is unhappy with the disrespect the High Holders show toward them because of her husband’s birth class.

A volcano destroys the old capital of Telaryn in Extela killing the governor and others. Bhayar names his brother-in-law as the interim governor of the battered province and sends him to restore order and provide sustenance to the populace in a place where official corruption has always been an acceptable norm but now looting has begun too. At the same time nearby Bovaria sees an opportunity with what the volcano wrought so they mobilize. Knowing he needs Quaeryt’s unique secret imaging skills, Bhayar places him in charge of a special imaging unit.

The second Imager Portfolio (see Scholar) continues the exciting prequel saga that occurs centuries before the tales of Rhennthyl. Filled with action, the keys to this engaging fantasy are the fully developed social and economic systems that seem plausible. L.E. Modesitt, Jr. provides a fabulous thriller as his hero needs to be in two places at the same time. Harriet Klausner

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