Thursday, May 10, 2012

Vampires, Werewolves, and MIT

Forever Claimed
Rachel Lee
Harlequin Nocturne, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373618781

Vampire Luc St. Just has not been the same since his claimed mate Natasha died. Some of his kind insists he is insane and he would agree. However, his friend Messenger Investigations, Inc. private investigator Jude Messenger (see Claim The Night) thinks otherwise and has been there for Luc as he grieves his loss and thirsts for vengeance against rogue vampires.

He intrudes when four rogues leave a woman near death. Luc takes her with him, but is stunned when Dani Makar rapidly heals with no need of medical assistance. Dani fears the vampire as the natural enemy of werewolves, even one who cannot shift; but Luc acts differently towards her than what she always believed to be true about the bloodsuckers. As they fall in taboo love, the star-crossed pair must persuade their respective “clans” that each are trusted good guys, which goes against the natural order of life; while the evil rogues stalk Dani to finish the job and Jude for interfering.

The third Claimed Messenger romantic urban fantasy is a fabulous paranormal starring two courageous souls in forbidden love. Dani’s deep rooted instinctive and learned racism against the vampire species enhances a delightful thriller as evil stalks the duet who may find themselves with no allies due to the “unnatural” alliance between vamps and shifters. This is great work by a top gun author. Harriet Klausner

The Half-Breed Vampire
Theresa Meyers
Harlequin Nocturne, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373618798

In the Cascade Mountains, wolves attack hybrid vampire Slade Donovan. Game Warden Raina Ravenwing rescues him from a pack of werewolves; killing one of them. She explains she hunts this pack for abducting Robbie two weeks ago with a plan to transform the teen. He agrees to help her complete her mission because it coincides with what he is doing for the Cascade Vampire Clan who took him off the streets of Seattle.

Raina knows her instant attraction to her new teammate comes at a bad time as the task must come before her need. He feels the same though he also knows he offers nothing, not even his heritage to Raina. Complicating their pursuit, the rogue pack leader knows the officer is his mate.

The third Sons of Midnight Cascade Vampire Clan romantic urban fantasy (see The Truth About Vampires and The Vampire Who Loved Me) is a fresh tale with terrific twists including what the hero is. The storyline is fast-paced from the onset as the rogues prove to have unique power that places Slade and the other vampire security members in peril for their lives and Raina as the intended soul mate of the evil Bracken. Theresa Meyers provides a great thriller. Harriet Klausner

The Technologists
Matthew Pearl
Random House, $26.00
ISBN: 9781400066575

In 1868 Boston, recently established Massachusetts Institute of Technology sets its missions as using science to benefit mankind and accept any student who meets the difficult entrance criteria. As the first class of fifteen will soon graduate, in the harbor, ships collide when their instruments spin out of control while an unusual deep fog blankets the area. In the city center, glass liquefies leaving mass deaths and horrific injuries to those working in the business district.

The city police are baffled with the events, which may not even be criminal as it could be Mother Nature reacting to technology. They ask Harvard for help. Meanwhile MIT charity scholar student Marcus Mansfield and his friends (Beacon Hill Brahmin Robert Richards, genius Edwin Hoyt, and lone female Ellen Swallow) form a secret club to investigate the seemingly inexplicable tragedies using the scientific method.

Using real history anchored by the upstart insane MIT Today and an anti-technology fervor; fans obtain a strong Post Civil War alternate history thriller. The storyline showcases the beginning of the age of science and technology in which many groups prefer the status quo and oppose such concepts as Darwinism, chemistry teaching, and other innovations that we take for granted (or do we with challenges to Darwinism by supporters of Creationism as a science instead of a belief). Although perspective changes too frequently even if that adds depth to looking at 1868, the heroes are brave and amusing with Swallow being a real MIT student (and environmental scientist) as they set out to save Boston from natural or man-made disasters. Harriet Klausner

Fair Game
Patricia Briggs
Ace, $14.00
ISBN: 9780441020034

North American werewolf leader Bran Cornick brought his race out of hiding. However, he also understood by doing this, his pack needed stricter enforcement so as to avoid negative publicity of being out of control murderous beasts. His son Charles the alpha is his prime enforcer. However, execution of his kind (even murderers and being sanctioned by his dad) has disturbed Charles. Only his mate omega Anna Latham calms his raging demeanor (See "Alpha and Omega" in On the Prowl anthology for how they met). Recently he has rejected her.

The FBI asks for assistance with a serial killer case in Boston. Charles and Anna arrive in town and look at the evidence. Both realize that most of the victims were either fae or werewolves. An abduction has the werewolf couple and a law enforcement task force on a massive predatory hunt to prevent another homicide.

The latest super Alpha and Omega investigative urban fantasy (see Cry Wolf and Hunting Ground) is a fantastic thriller that plays out on two levels. First there is the paranormal police procedural as a hunt reminiscent of the Fritz Lang classic movie M occurs. Second there is the personal issue between the Alpha and the Omega as she refuses to allow him to stonewall her while he feels she deserves better since he is losing his mind to guilt and remorse. Overarching remains the X-Men theme of de facto and perhaps de jure racism. This is another winner by the fabulous fantasist Patricia Briggs. Harriet Klausner

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