Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Werewolves, Vampires, Gargoyles and Humans
The Frenzy War
Medallion, Jun 1 2012, $14.95
NYPD Captain Tony Mace risked his life before finally killing psychopathic werewolf Janus Farel, who terrorized the city (see The Frenzy Way). His award from his superiors for ending this brutal predator’s serial killing spree is he kept his rank, but for the two years since Tony has worked in the office in support of the K-9 unit.
The Vatican sends it top secret, highly trained and armed Brotherhood of Torquemada unit to New York with the objective to eradicate these wicked werewolves as the only good shifter is a dead shifter. These elite Christian warriors attack the werewolf population in the name of God. They abduct teenage Lycan Rhonda Wilson and assassinate several werewolves using silver bullets and the Blade of Salvation. Pack alpha Gabriel Domini has lost his hold as his pack wants to rip the throats of their stalkers. Take out of mothballs as the NYPD werewolf expert, Mace and a select law enforcement teal hunt the hunters to end the Torquemada terrorism while continuing to hide the existence of werewolves from the public while his wife Cheryl the reporter believes the people have a right to know.
This is an exhilarating gory police procedural urban fantasy as the death scenes are not for those with a queasy stomach, but enhance the overall war is hell theme. The action on the mean streets of the Big Apple grips readers, but also never allows any of the characters including the hero to be fully developed. In spite of the emaciated cast, readers will enjoy this bloody entertaining thriller. Harriet Klausner
Guardian of the Night
Harlequin Nocturne, May 22 2012, $5.50
A Blood Knights Guardian created centuries ago to protect the purity of vampires in order to keep humans safe from his species; Mason LanVal has remained faithful to his pledge. Miami surgeon Dr. Faith James arrives in France seeking her missing sister Hope. To do so she must find Mason who has no phone. However, she foolishly falls into a vampire trap. Mason rescues her but not before she is injured.
She asks Mason for help, but is confused with what she has learned so far especially her being a no longer dormant trueborn Lycan thanks to his kiss of blood and Hope is an innate werewolf hunter adopted by their parents. For the first time in his centuries of existence, Mason struggles with his pledge of remaining a pureblood as he wants his worst taboo.
The latest Vampire Moons romantic urban fantasy (see Golden Vampire) is a thrilling entry from the moment Faith arrives in South France and never slows down until the final confrontation. Readers will relish this well written thriller due to a wonderful Midi location and a s strong cast as the werewolf and the vampire commit seemingly the worst sin possible by falling in love.
The Enemy’s Kiss
Harlequin Nocturne, May 22 2012, $5.50
New York auction gallery owner Nicholas Drakon is elated that he no longer turned into a gargoyle at daybreak every day; as his Romanian clan’s centuries-old curse was lifted (see Heiress To A Curse for his brother Marius’ tale). Master cat burglar Daniela Ferreira knows of the successful siblings as she plans to rob an amulet from them for a client. However, she is unaware that this relic and a companion piece will bring back the curse on the Drakon family.
Nicholas vows to regain the priceless artifact while Daniela’s client abducts her younger sister to insure she cooperates and steals the second amulet. When the thief and the once cursed man meet, each is stunned by the attraction. As he reluctantly teams up with her to rescue Elaina, Nicholas fears he will soon have to choose between his family and his heart.
The second Drakon romantic urban fantasy is a superb suspense thriller. The lead couple is a dynamic pairing as neither can afford love at this time with family members from both sides in potential peril depending upon what they do. Fast-paced from the moment the heroine conducts surveillance of the auction gallery and never slowing down, readers will relish this terrific tense thriller with a fabulous climatic twist. Harriet Klausner
Steve White and Charles E. Gannon
Baen, Apr 24 2012, $7.99
The telepathic Arduans fled their galaxy as their sun went nova. They traveled for centuries until they reached their destination Bellerophon. However, they are unhappy to find a sentient race recently colonized the planet. Still after what they have been through to reach their new home, the Arduans believing they are supreme as the only sentient race see the humans as a minor irritant.
Adding to their manifest destiny belief is the feebleness of human existence. Whereas the humans live one short life as telepathic mutes, Arduans live numerous lives while recalling each. The warrior caste wants to cleanse the orb and the rest of the galaxy using stolen technology from humans and their allies (Orions, Ophiuchi and Gorm) of these nothing species while Ankaht the scientist-philosopher tries to find a peaceful solution to benefit both species as well the indigenous population.
This reprint (co-authored by Charles E. Gannon) in Steve White's Starfire saga collaborating with David Weber (see The Stars at War) and Shirley Meier (see Exodus) is a terrific military science fiction that is at its best during the non-combat scenes. The battles are entertaining, but it is the philosophical debate on belief systems, species profiling and ethics especially from the alien perspective that make for a powerful timely thriller with applications in our society. Harriet Klausner