Monday, August 27, 2012

Fair Game, Fear the Darkness, and Bloodsta: Star Corpsman reviews

Fair Game
Taylor Keating
Tor, Aug 28 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780765365491

The world is a terrible place to live with disease and fighting seemingly everywhere. Game designer River Weston uses her programming skills enhanced by her Fae magic to create the Hollow Man that keeps soldiers and other humans safe during combat. However, the program proves unsafe when it releases a virus that merges with a human virus into an unstoppable super-virus.

At the same time Guardian Chase “Hawk” Hawkins, having spent time on the astral plane, has returned to his body. He and his unit head to earth to destroy technology before technology destroys earth. Hawk also comes for his beloved former cell mate River who has inadvertently escalated the destruction pace.

The third Guardian dark urban fantasy is an exciting thriller that behooves the audience to have read the previous tales (see Mind Games and Game Over). The entertaining storyline focuses on combating a new threat to the decimated earth while initially placing Hawk and River on opposite sides of the save the earth either to technology or not to technology. Readers will enjoy the return of this pair as earth is Fair Game. Harriet Klausner

Fear the Darkness
Alexandra Ivy
Zebra, Aug 28 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9781420111378

Having spent much of her life incarcerated by a demon lord, Cassandra the prophetess struggles to cope with the visions that always leave her vulnerable as others want to use her skill for their purposes.

Caine the former drug dealer in his previous life has returned with an obsessive need to keep Cassie safe. He wants his charge, but vows not to act on his desire as Caine fears he would harm Cassie who he knows deserves better. Having needs she never felt before, Cassie refuses to allow Caine to ignore their attraction. When she jumps his bones, he cannot stop her. Soon afterward, based on a dire vision, Cassie, fearing for Caine’s life, runs away from her protector. He follows leading to the Dark Lord’s horde capturing both of them while their allies prepare to rescue them.

This Guardians of Eternity paranormal romance (see Bound by Darkness) is a super thriller starring two Weres dealing poorly with their relationship while confronting the Dark Lord’s malevolent minion. Fast-paced, series fans will enjoy the battle between the forces of good (including stars of previous entries, which behooves newcomers to read previous books first) and evil as the Dark Lord appears on the brink of crossing into this dimension. Harriet Klausner

Bloodstar: Star Corpsman
Ian Douglas
Harper Voyager, Aug 28 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061894763

The Salvationists colonized Bloodworld in the Bloodstar system as a perfect hell where the fundamentalist group can suffer penitence for mankind’s sins. However, the enigmatic Qesh make initial contact on this hostile volcanic planet when they attack the fanatics who are divided whether to fight the demons or except punishment.

Humans first learned about the existence of the nomadic Qesh several decades ago, but found very little information on these migratory race who devour planets. The interstellar Fleet Marine Force sends Bravo Company including the Black Wizards to Bloodworld to battle the hostile Qesh. Black Wizards Navy Medic Elliot Carlyle has not completed his training when he sent with the Black Wizards to Qesh where the rookie with no combat medicine experience becomes the salvation or extinction of mankind.

This is an excellent futuristic military science fiction as Ian Douglas provides several fascinating societal issues inside of an action-packed thriller. Readers will ponder over the prejudice against reanimated humans, the rights of an outside the mainstream religious sects’ right to sacrifice conflicting with the greater society sent to protect them, and first contact complexities. Elliot is a terrific protagonist who struggles to do his job and the right thing; though that at times seems impossible. Readers will appreciate the opening Bloodstar salvo that combines a fast-paced tale with thought provoking concepts. Harriet Klausner

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