The Thieves of Genesis
William I. Levy
BlackWyrm, Sep 15 2012, $11.95
Irv is driving in Iowa when distracted by boring Heartland music; he fails to see the Hole. In Nexus the Crossroads of the Universe, City Father Timez and his apprentice Calla worry about disappearing humans who are coming home minus a heart. As the pair fight Zarthok “the Merciless” and his gang, Irv and his car drops through a Hole landing on Timez. Calla, after slicing Merciless’ hands, attacks Irv who shocks himself when he uses magic to stop her. Timez comes out of the rubble and assigns Calla and her protector Bumper the assassin to escort Irv to a safe-house.
On their journey, the trio travels through a Hole but fail to reach their destination as someone with power changed the Hole. Instead they land in Post Tarnum earth where the two males become prisoners while Callas is left behind. That changes when a tormentor threatens to capture and torture Calla, which leads Irv into a rage induced magical attack that injures his hands but frees the pair. When they catch up to Calla, she likes her skinny hero being protective of her, but Bumper wonderwhy this nobody seems be the most powerful mage in the land even if her Irv cannot control his magic.
William I. Levy’s exciting romantic fantasy stars an unlikely hero and a kick butt female warrior. The action-packed storyline is fast-paced throughout while Weng Shu’s words of wisdom at the start of each chapter adds humorous commentary. Although the extremely short chapters (averaging just over four pages per chapter) keeps the cast thin (even Rubensque Calla), readers will have a great time following the misadventures of The Thieves of Genesis. Harriet Klausner
BlackWyrm, Jul 31 2012, $19.95
United Bay Autonomies Lieutenant Dr. Macintyre knows his side lost the war that truly ended war as was previously known as the seeming victors Northwest Alliance was left with an apocalypse. Still he drives behind enemy lines seeking to help any survivors of the doomed Lost Patrol and also gives aid to others. The Medic Macintyre battles Seeker robots who kill randomly due to lacking ethical codes and insane fanatics still are fighting a war in which everyone lost except perhaps war lords; at the same time he brings health care to those in need.
He comes across severely injured UBA Corporal Jacob Markowitz who says he and five others hid in a bunker for three years. He admits he killed his captain as he felt her order was suicide. Macintyre executes Markowitz as enforcement is his other duty. Though an AI red ambulance, Macintyre remains wary yet optimistic that humans will come out of the ruins stronger though he also fears the brutal suppressors remain violently in charge.
This is an exhilarating post-apocalyptic thriller starring an intriguing AI who sees life in a stark black and white code; as he is prepared to provide medical care to the ailing yet also mete out justice to those who deserve punishment in his mind. The thrilling storyline takes too long to deliver the prime premise; yet fans will appreciate the non-stop action and the Hardoc landscape vividly bleak as readers will believe they ride the Macintyre ambulance tour guided by the Medic! Harriet Klausner
Tor, Nov 27 2012, $25.99
For millennia, the Dragonlord dragon-human shape-shifters have ruled the world with a caring kindness. However, in this paradise evil ambition emerges.
Years ago, a loved one’s death left the heart of Master Bard Leet filled with rage and loathing as he vowed vengeance against those he blamed including his brother-in-law. He became adept at dark magic until he deployed his plan by using a blood-drinking harp that musically enslaves listeners to do anything even murder. Evidence overwhelmingly proclaims horse breeding Bard Raven Redhawkson of a homicide though he swears he does not recall killing anyone. Dragonlord Linden Rathan believes his friend would never commit murder so he investigates the homicide; even as the human leaders prepare to execute Raven.
The first Dragonlords fantasy in years (see The Last Dragonlord, Dragon and Phoenix) is an engaging investigative thriller that enables the audience to see close up the Bertin world enhanced by the concept that the music is the magic. Although the storyline is low-keyed as Leet’s scheming seems minor (unless you are the victim or the accused), fans will enjoy Rathan’s magical murder mystery tour. Harriet Klausner