Douglas R. Brown
Rhemalda Publishing, Jan 26 2012, $13.99
Bernard Henderson found his pet project on Sandalil Island off Costa Rica. He and his mercenaries catch one male though they lose part of the crew and kill other tribal members. He and his surviving team take him back to the States to begin a breeding program. Now he sells wergs as popular pets that he insists are safe and loyal to their owners in spite of these tamed animals more commonly known as werewolves. His WereHouse firm struggles to keep the supply equal to the demand.
Columbus, Ohio Fire Department emergency medical technicians Christine Alt and Billy are on call one day when a loose werg assaults them. Billy vanishes while badly cut up Christine goes to the hospital. The werg’s blood entered her system through her mouth so Christine begins to change, and now knows the truth about WereHouse’s commodity; Henderson and his crew stalk her.
Tamed is a fascinating, action-packed urban fantasy that grips readers from the opening scene off Costa Rica (mindful of Jurassic Park’s locale) and never slows down until the final confrontation. Along the way, Douglas R. Brown provides strong societal messages on consumer protection against the big bad capitalist werewolves and their advertisers who can sell dreck as the outcome of healthy nutrition to people, the prevention of animal and human cruelty. Although the entertaining storyline turns from a fresh take on the werewolf mythos into a more standard hunt theme, readers will enjoy werewolves as pets. Harriet Klausner
Girl of Nightmares
Tor Teen, Aug 7 2012, $17.99
Six months ago on mortal time, Anna Korlov dragged the lethal Obeahman through a portal to Hell she opened. Thus she saved the lives of her former boyfriend teenage ghost hunter Cas Lowood and his friends Thomas and Carmel, but sacrificed herself as to accomplish the feat of yanking the monster into Hell she had to go there too (see Anna Dressed In Blood).
Grief enhanced by survivor guilt and her sacrifice has Cas unable to accept Anna’s death. Cas believes his Anna deserves heaven, but fears she is trapped for eternity in Hell unless he can rescue her but has no idea how. Adding to his sense of trepidation is he sees and hears Anna when he dreams and even when he is awake. Persuading Thomas and Carmel to assist him, Cas begins a quest to free his Anna even though that means he will “march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause” (The Impossible Dream).
This sequel is a great horror thriller that deploys a radically different approach from the bump in the night Anna Dressed in Blood; as this time the storyline simmers with atmospheric psychological tension as Anna comes across (through Cas’ filter) frightened instead of infantry brave. Cas holds the tale together with his obsession that has his BFFs fearing for his emotional state and readers wondering whether he is projecting as a defense mechanism his fears about Anna leading to his seeing her. This is a deep thriller that fans will appreciate.
Signet, Sep 4 2012, $7.99
Residents of serene Fontana, North Carolina are shocked by the hideous activity of the Anti-Paranormal League. The APL has invoked a campaign of hate crimes against the paranormal and terrorist attacks against human civilians who live in harmony with the supernatural residents of Fontana.
The APL target human December McIntyre for her acceptance of shifters although she still struggles with what one of them did to her sibling and with her attraction to Liam Armstrong; he realizes at first sight she is his mate. Knowing she needs protection from these home-grown terrorists, December turns to the shifter pack number two Liam. As they fall in love, Liam risks his life to keep his December safe.
The latest Moon Shifter romantic urban fantasy (see Alpha Instinct) is a superb take that makes the paranormal seem normal through the actions of the APL and several local allies. Action-packed, readers will empathize with December as her traumatic memory of what a shifter did to her family and other fears of their kind battle with her love and feeling safe with him. Katie Reus writes a wonderful winning thriller.