Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Moonstone and Miss Jones and Forge of Darkness reviews

The Moonstone and Miss Jones
Jillian Stone
Kensington Brava, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758268983

Phaeton Black has escaped from a succubus and who the hell knows what else only to be shanghaied in Shanghai. He escapes again and contacts America Jones, daughter of a Cajun witch, to meet him. Though she wants to hang the SOB blaming him totally for her delicate little pea of a condition, America shows up at the rendezvous point.

Professor Lovecraft assigns the duo to find the mysterious Moonstone he needs for his latest gizmo. Also seeking the Moonstone is a team of Nightshades. They join forces as apparently this mystical gem is the cause of the destruction of a parallel future London neighborhood. Others, some of whom have nefarious purposes, seek the gem too.

The second Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator (see The Seduction of Phaeton Black) is a zany late Victorian romantic investigative steampunk fantasy. The lighthearted fun combines a tongue in cheek steampunk venue with an exciting paranormal mystery. The Devil and Miss Jones make a wonderful pairing as they battle each other, wonder about little pea, and fight deadly adversaries in search of the Moonstone. Harriet Klausner

Forge of Darkness
Steven Erikson
Tor, $27.99
ISBN: 9780765323569

In in Kurald Galain, the Tiste people look forward to the peace after a brutal war against the Forulkan and the Jheleck. However, the militia having no external hostilities to fight refuses to give up power earned during the war and argue between themselves over leadership. Additionally, the three prime Tiste races (the Andii, Liosan and Edur) also are divided as the eight-Highborn noble families covet more affluence and influence.

In this hodgepodge of potential violence, Tiste ruler Mother Dark chose Draconus as a lover. This angers the other noble families who feel their ruler slapped them with picking Draconus; as in their minds the consort is a nonentity lesser Highborn while each of the other aristocratic houses expected one of their members selected. Even the commoners take issue with Draconus as they demand Mother Dark choose their hero Vatha Urusander. Civil was seems imminent.

The opening entry in The Kharkanas Trilogy prequel to the Malazan Book of the Fallen is a fascinating tale that occurs centuries before any event (including flashbacks) in the main saga. The engaging storyline focuses on how they got here questions from the series though there remain older historical events (including new references). Well-written for fans of the Malazan although there is no closure, readers will appreciate this epic prequel. Harriet Klausner

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