Mark of the Witch
Mira, Sep 18 2012, $7.99
Indira Simon was once a practicing Wiccan, but became a doubter. However, recently her dreams have become real as she wakes up from a nightmare to find bruises on her arms. Though her reaction to what is going on will remind her why she left, Indy contacts her former High Priestess Rayne for help.
Growing up, Father Thomas heard the tale of the three witches. Now he believes what he thought was mythos is real and that the trio is reborn to assist their master. Father Thomas believes he needs to be there to aid the witches; of which he thinks Indy is one. Mentored by Father Dom, Father Thomas risks everything to protect Indy; however, he was not expecting his heart was at risk too. As death seems imminent for both of them, they have their faith and their love.
The first Portal romantic urban fantasy is a superb tale that interweaves ancient Babylon into a contemporary thriller. Fast-paced and filled with twists, the key cast makes for a strong opening act as readers will believe in the magic of Maggie Shayne. Harriet Klausner
DAW, Oct 2 2012, $25.95
In Valdemar, Herald trainee Mags displays unique skills as he is fluent in Mindspeech and shows a penchant towards stealth. The King’s Own Herald Nikolas trains Mags as a royal spy.
His first assignment is to investigate the strangers who recently have arrived in Valdemar as his mentor needs to know who they are and more important why they entered the city. Unaware when he began spying on the newcomers, they are interested in him. When they kidnap him, Mags knows he needs to escape soonest or face death and perhaps something worse as he realizes these new arrivals targeted him from the onset.
The fourth Valdemar Collegium Chronicles (see Changes) is an entertaining fantasy starring a likable lead character who has come a long way from his Magpie slave days (see Foundation). Fans of the saga will enjoy the engaging storyline due to the 5-whys mystery, but Mags fails to assimilate as he does not move forward much even in captivity; he remains a stranger in a strange land though he learns more of who he is. Harriet Klausner
ImaJinn, Oct 1 2012, $14.00
CFFs Jacob Porter and Bobby Romano take a short cut home through an alley. Jacob is nervous while Bobby is fearless. Vampires attack the two tweeners. Bobby is killed while a female voice tells Jacob to run, which he does. A cat attacks the vampires killing three of them, but one Demarcus escaped though she clawed him and he bit her. The feline becomes Jacob’s pal but conceals from the child she protects that she is a shapeshifter; while he vows to slay the species who murdered his friend.
Sixteen years later Jacob and his kitty Alley follow a vampire blood bath from Baltimore to Louisville. Alley loves Jacob, but because of the bite has no hope for a future with him. Still she decides she needs to be in human form if she is to keep Porter safe as he goes after a deadly predator. Thus Nyla Katt the huntress appears. As they team up to assassinate Demarcus, he needs one of them to purify what the shapeshifter did to him; so to trap his adversaries, he has spread bloody breadcrumbs from Maryland to Kentucky.
The second Blood revelation romantic urban fantasy is a fabulous thriller starring two appealing protagonists and a stalking vampiric psychopath. Readers anticipate the High Midnight confrontation supplemented by an intriguing refreshing romantic subplot. Harriet Klausner