Sunday, February 10, 2013


Three Parts Dead
Max Gladstone
Tor, $24.99
ISBN: 9780765333100

The residents of Alt Coulumb are shocked when the fire god Kos, who kept the city going, dies. The city leaders fear the lack of their deity’s power will destroy Alt Coulumb from within. Thus, these leaders employ necromancer Elayne Kevarian to bring their god back to life before dangerous disorder ensues. Assisting Kevarian are her apprentice associate craftswoman Tara Abernathy and priest Abelard.

The trio starts with investigating the death of Kos. They are shocked when evidence mounts that their deity was murdered. This requires someone with incredible power to have slain the fire god. As the trio continues their inquiry, vampires and gargoyles attack them but Blacksuits’ warrior protects them.

Three Parts Dead is a great fantasy that will make many readers’ best of the year short list. The Gladstone realm is filled with intricate sometimes tongue-in-cheek details like legal contracts between gods and their followers that as a whole make the environs seem plausible. Filled with taut suspense, fans will enjoy this investigative thriller as brave fully developed women escort fans throughout Alt Coulumb in search of a killer. Harriet Klausner

This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It
David Wong
Dunne, 25.99
ISBN: 9780312546342

In the Undisclosed Midwestern town twenty-five year old John Dies at the End, not. Though he prefers a constant state of sauce high, John, his and his one-handed fiancee Amy, his only friend David and Molly the dog find themselves either inhaling too much soy sauce or combating monsters.

This time the beasts get into the mouths of people before taking control of the victims’ bodies. As zombies threaten Undisclosed, John turns to soy sauce as the weapon of choice to ignore the contagion in a purple haze of illusions. At the same time, Feds led by David’s therapist threaten John and his one degree of contacts, but the only abomination he and his teammates fear is Carlos the anus tunneler.

The sequel to John Dies at the End is once again a zany horror thriller as This Book Is Full of Spiders and much worse. Loaded with slapstick humor and not so subtle jocular mocking of the genre, fans will enjoy this fast-paced zombie tale as drug and monster induced paranoia rules the minds of John, David, Amy and even Molly while they protect their asses. Harriet Klausner

The Greatcoat: A Ghost Story
Helen Dunmore
Atlantic Monthly, $24.00
ISBN: 9780802120601

In 1952, Great Britain still digs out of the horrors of WWII. Newlyweds Isabel and Philip Carey move to rural Yorkshire where he takes over a medical practice. Philip dives into his work as a country doctor while Isabel suffers from loneliness and a sense she does not belong here rusticating.

On a lonely night, Isabel finds an RAF greatcoat buried in the top of a cupboard by apparently their landlady Mrs. Elizabeth Atkinson. To keep warm on this freezing evening, Isabel puts on the coat and falls asleep. Not long afterward, the ghost of the owner of the coat Alec, a late RAF officer, taps from the outside on the flat’s window. The isolated woman and the dead pilot begin a tryst.

This is an exciting 1950s ghost story that switches between the “present” (1952) and WWII as Isabel obsesses over her new “friend”. Although none of the triangle protagonists are fully developed beyond their prime role, fans will appreciate the tale of the Greatcoat. Harriet Klausner

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