I’m Not Sam, Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee, Cemetery Dance, Dec 31 2012, $17.99, ISBN: 9781587673535, Harriet Klausner.
“I’m Not Sam.” Artist Patrick and forensic pathologist Samantha are a happily married couple deeply in love with one another. Both enjoy their respective work, each is very fond of Zoey the cat and still enjoy love-making after years together. Everything seems perfect in their shared world. In the middle of the night, Patrick awakens to a scream. He finds naked Sam in a corner crying and telling him not to touch her as he hurt her. However her other contention confuses and panics Patrick when his Sam insists she is Lily who knows Zoey but not Patrick while she wants her Teddy liberated from being locked amidst the Barbies. Patrick wants to know what happened to his Sam as the days pass and she continues to act like a young child.
“Who’s Lily?” She awakens knowing something is not right as she has a bandage on her foot though she knows not why, feels wet and sticky, and has two weeks of hair growth on her legs. She wakes up Patrick who calls her Lily. Sam asks him “Who’s Lily?”
I’m Not Sam is an exciting psychological thriller starring a perfect couple facing their first crisis. Fast-paced but character driven, readers will appreciate this dark novella; made even darker by the related stunning short story coda Who’s Lily?
Unnatural Acts, Kevin J. Anderson, Kensington, Dec 24 2012. $15.00, ISBN: 9780758277367, Harriet Klausner.
Residents of the Unnatural Quarter work dead end jobs trying to eke out a living especially during the graveyard shift. A golem, who like his compatriots cannot read, enters the office of Chambeaux and Deyer which includes African American lawyer Robin Deyer and her zombie private investigator partner Dan Shamble. He complains about sweatshop conditions at Smile Syndicate in order for Golems to make trinkets for the tourists to partners African American lawyer Robin Deyer and zombie private investigator Dan Shamble, and their office manager Cheyenne the tireless ghost. Learning his name is Bill as inscribed on his back, the golem demands human rights for the inhuman.
The Smiling Syndicate buys Goblin Tavern while a senator pushing the Unnatural Acts Act leads a crusade against the inhuman abominations with a protest against the production of Shakespeare in the Dark. While Robin works the rights issue and Cheyenne the office, Dan juggles his caseload between protection of an interracial couple and a madame mummy, and investigating something evil happening in the Unnatural Quarter; however his biggest concern is the renovation of Goblin Tavern.
The latest Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. (see Death Warmed Over) is a superb satirical paranormal thriller. Filled with jocularity, Kevin J. Anderson lampoons societal morality of discriminatory convenience with this delightful tale as the natural and the supernatural contain nasty unequal opportunity a-holes.
Luck of the Draw, Piers Anthony, Tor, Dec 24 2012, $25.99, ISBN: 9780765331359, Harriet Klausner.
Magic relocates ailing octogenarian widower Bryce from Mundania to Xanth where he becomes a twentyish person who can see the future. Princess Dawn informs the confused Bryce that Demons placed a bet on him and others over who will win the affection of sixteen years old Princess Harmony; he being a long shot. Furthermore she explains his quest is dangerous but he has no choice as he is compulsively spellbound to compete although he feels some remorse as an ex-geriatric with a young man’s bod but the mind of a geezer courting a teen.
Given the mighty weapon of a pen, Bryce on his mission with two allies; Rachel the talking German short-haired pointer and nineteen year old Mindy join him. However, as he enjoys his fountain of youth and loves to draw, the teen object of his desire rejects his and her other suitors.
The latest Xanth fantasy (see Well-Tempered Clavicle) is duh a fun pun filled entry. Fast-paced with amusing (and some awful) bon mots, fans of the series will enjoy the Luck of the Draw.
The Circle, Bentley Little, Cemetery Dance, Dec 2012, $19.99, ISBN: 9781587673009, Harriet Klausner.
“Helen” answers the knock at her door to find a strange child oddly dressed. The boy enters her house and goes to the bathroom where he releases a dump in the toilet. However, his excretion turns out to be diamonds. He enters her garage where he continues to drop gems from his butt to the exhilaration of his hostess and her spouse; until he begins releasing a horde of beetles.
“Frank” is an eighth grader whose family lives near Helen. He and his friend visit the backyard dump of a neighbor rumored to be a witch as allegedly her altar is there. They plan to make a request not understanding that the witch will demand remittance.
“Gil” is Frank’s father. A hysterical teen who accompanied Frank on their adventure tells him what happened. He goes to confront the obese lady professor who many believe is a witch.
This is a reprint of a dark graphic (you will never look at poop in the same way) horror thriller told in three related stories that flow in a Circle starting with the middle tale before shifting to how it began and ultimately climaxed.