Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Baen, Sep 4 2012, $22.00
Theo Waitley was expelled from the Academy due to Liadan Luck as the focus of violence (see Ghost Ship). Currently she pilots the Bechmio with a crew of one Boss Clarence O'Berin and her dying lover Win Ton surviving so far a deadly nano-virus because of the on-board medical technology. Clan Korval commissions Theo to find a trade route. However, she finds the Bechmio AI is independent as they forge a symbiotic relationship while battling for the dominant role.
At the same Theo pilots the Bechmio, Kamele journeys to Surebleak with plans to rescue Jen Sar Kiladi, who happens to be Theo’s dad. However her efforts to free her lover from the Korval are distracted from what greets her on Surebleak.
Although it behooves the audience to have read Ghost Ship, preferably recently, Dragon Ship is an exciting Liaden entry starring a heroine who knows that if she did not have bad luck she would have no luck as the heroine is the Joe Btfsplk of space opera. In fact her luck is so bad the Bechmio with a personality developed over the ages once again steals the show from Theo. The storyline starts slow as the symbiotic relationship merges, but accelerates once the pair moves past the storming and forming stages (of the Tuchman Model). Fans will enjoy this science fiction thriller although several major themes fail to move forward. Harriet Klausner
Boyfriend from Hell
Pocket, Sep 25 2012, $7.99
Law student Justine Clancy works for Andre Legrande in the chemically contaminated Zone of South Baltimore to pay her student fees. She has a record after an arrest while leading a protest that turned into a riot at the undergraduate school in Pennsylvania. As she goes to deliver the day’s receipts to the bank, someone knocks her down and robs her while a limo runs a light hammering crossing students. Liebowitz the reporter refuses to state the Senator ran over the kids and claims no one was near Tina. Her boyfriend Max accelerates her vehicle aiming to kill her as stunned Tina wishes he was in hell. Her wish comes true.
Tina as the Daughter of Saturn finds dormant powers awakening that require her to deal out justice. Meanwhile Max haunts her mirror, insisting to her that he is innocent. Max also warns her someone wants to harm her. With Milo the kitten who leads with a paw, a thief with the perfect M.O of invisibility, Cora of Discreet Detection and Andre, Tina investigates several recent situations as she concludes she is Queen and with her team “We are the champions.”
This is an exhilarating urban fantasy starring a beleaguered heroine who has doubts about the impact of her new powers as she fears for each use, a piece of her soul peels away (think of the puzzle of the owner in the movie Major League). With references to Support Your Local Sheriff adding to the fun, fans will appreciate this brisk, at times amusing thriller as the first Daughter of Saturn is a winner.
The Undead In My Bed
Katie MacAlister, Molly Harper and Jessica Sims
Pocket, Sep 25 2012, $7.99
“Shades of Gray” by Katie MacAlister. Noelle the Guardian protects humans from the denizen of Otherworld. While on the set of a ghost-busting reality show in a Czech Republic haunted castle, she meets Grayson the vampire. They team up to stop a Master Demon from killing everyone on location.
“Undead Sublet” by Molly Harper. In Chicago, executive chef Tess goes berserk from fatigue. She rents a house in Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky to get away from the kitchen for a month. However, Sam the vampire occupies the home for the next three months although his ex-wife let the place to Tess. They argue, fuss and fight while falling in love.
“Out with a Fang” by Jessica Sims. Depressed over being alone, were-jaguar Ruby tries the paranormal dating service Midnight Liaisons. Her date is Michael the vampire, whom she knows intimately from when he was the human that she loved but dumped because of her pre-existing condition.
These are three amusing action-packed paranormal romances starring solid leads.