Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Genetics, Weres and Shapeshifters, oh my

T.C McCarthy
Orbit, $7.99
ISBN: 9780316128179

The Subterrene War is over (see Germline and Exogene) and the victors begin a sweep of those Germline genetically engineered female soldiers who refuse to accept termination. Stan Resnick is the best at hunting and executing runaway Germline; so why many celebrate the end of the hostilities, he remains on the job.

Resnick’s current assignment is locating a religiously revered figure in Thailand. He knows how difficult her status makes it for him to even get near her as the government protects her. Stan not only must reach this Germline, he needs to obtain her cooperation in his hunt for Dr. Chen; the scientist allegedly tampering with Germlines' expiration measures to expand the lifespan of these genetically engineered females beyond the protocol of two years. Resnick, Lucy and Jihoon Kim begin their quest while rumors abound that the Chinese-Korean "Project Sunshine" has created much worse engineered monsters.

The third Subterrene War urban fantasy continues the profound look at what a human is and what faith is as the Germline believe they belong to God with their "faith and death" imprint while their creators are atheists (except in a foxhole) whose creations are killing machines in God’s name. The cast is solid as once again Germlines seem real and the even more way out results of Project Sunshine does too. Ironically Kim used to monitor psychos like Resnick who eat and breathe war as the team up to prevent an engineered combat escalation. However, it is the thought provoking questions about organized governments and religions need to kill in God's name as a stairway to heaven for expendable soldiers that make this trilogy a winner.
Harriet Klausner

Willow Rose
CreateSpace, $16.08
ISBN: 9781477662397

In 1983 after completing three years of med school at a university in his home country Denmark, twenty-two year old Christian Langaa is unhappy that his dad arranged with a friend Dr. Kirk for his son to stay in St. Augustine while attending med school there. He would prefer to stay home until he sees the country club opulence he will reside in for the next year and meets Maria the maid who will do his laundry and cooking unlike back in Odense since his mom died. Making it even tastier to the Dane is his host’s daughter Heather and her friends.

Christian, Heather and others go on a trek to show him a live alligator in the swamps. However, he soon finds himself in a deadly situation until a jaguar appears out of nowhere to pull him from the alligators to safety before vanishing. Confused, Christian begins having visions that include his feline rescuers and wondering about the beautiful neighbors who seem to possess supernatural powers. When he meets Aiyana from next door residents, Christopher falls in love but the jaguar haunts him.

The first Daughters of the Jaguar thriller is a terrific romantic urban fantasy starring a male who seems to have it all and knows it. The character driven storyline narrated by the Danish medical student grips the audience from the moment the arrogant Christian finds the swamp too wild for his tastes and never slows down as he learns lessons in humility while obsessing over mysterious Aiyana. Harriet Klausner

Enchanting The Lady
Kathryne Kennedy
Sourcebooks, $7.99
ISBN: 9781402269820

In 1882 London, duchess-of-honor Felicity Seymour is worried that she legally will lose her inheritance as she lacks the magical gifts of her parents; Prince Albert's rule states that no magic equates to no duchy. Lion shapeshifter Sir Terence Blackwell enjoys finding ancient relics, but also is a close friend of the Prince, who asked him to participate in the test of Felicity. She ignominiously fails, but Terence feels something was not right as he experiences a trace of relic-magic in use, which makes no sense.

Terence decides to court Felicity somewhat because he is attracted other; somewhat because he feels sorry for her as she is now a pariah like he is as a shapeshifter; and somewhat because what he believes destroyed her test is too similar to what killed his brother. He needs to know whether Felicity is the user or the victim of dark magic. However, Terence never expected to fall in love with her.

The Relics of Merlin’s Enchanting The Lady is a reprint of a fantastic late Victorian romantic fantasy that casts a magic spell on the audience from the moment the heroine expects to fail her test and never let's go until the final magical revelation. The story line is fast-paced with an underlying paranormal mystery that enhances the prime romantic plot; the fantasy elements provide a unique look at 1882 England as Kathryne Kennedy provides her readers with a wonderful thriller. Harriet Klausner

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