Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tanya Huff, J Barton Mitchell, and Sam Neace reviews

The Silvered
Tanya Huff
DAW, $24.95
ISBN: 9780756407438

The powerful Kresentian Empire invades the Aydori Kingdom with brutal force as they loathe their enemy’s ruling species, werewolves. The Aydori and its allies expect their were-prowess accentuated by the mages to defeat the invaders. Instead, the Kresentian military use silver weapons to kill the courageous werewolves.

With the Kingdom falling into chaos and a genocide campaign underway, the Kresentian know only one thing could defeat them based on the prophecy of an unborn child leading the counterattack. To prevent this from happening, they capture five high-ranking Aydori women including the wife of the Mage Pack leader. Untested were Tomas Hagen the leader’s younger brother and underachieving mage Mirian Maylin who begin a rescue mission inside the Kresentian Empire to rescue the females.

This is an exciting romantic quest fantasy starring two individuals in a coming of age entertaining storyline while the prophecy will remind readers of Moses. Though the impossible odds are so overwhelming against their success that Vegas would refuse to take bets, fans will enjoy the trek of the werewolf and the mage into the heart of the enemy. Harriet Klausner

Midnight City
J. Barton Mitchell
St. Martin's Griffin, $17.99
ISBN: 9781250009074

Eight years ago the Assembly arrived and abducted almost every American adult. The new world order has the aliens controlling most of the country while human teen outlaw bands prey on the struggling survivors, mostly young children.

In this nightmarish landscape, persistent bounty hunter Holt Hawkins and his partner Max the dog hunt fugitive Mira Toombs while eluding the Assembly patrols and the teen gangs. As the diligent pair locates Toombs, they become distracted with the need to rescue Zoey, who the Assembly covets for her magical skills. The unlikely quartet heads to Midnight City; seeking to find out who Zoey is and why the Assembly want her.

Midnight City is an enjoyable young adult post-apocalyptic thriller starring likable protagonists. The storyline is fast-paced, but goes down the anticipated path of the Tuckman's Model of Group Development, betrayals and hostile enemies everywhere in pursuit. Still this is a fun fast-paced novel. Harriet Klausner

Sugarland Melting
Sam Neace
BlackWyrm, $11.95
ISBN: 9781613181072

In Eastern Kentucky ninety-nine years old multimillionaire RJ Rockhouse constructs Sugarland, a thirteen trailer park in the shape of a cross. He soon expands his original concept to fifty trailers. Rockhouse selects families living below the poverty line to reside in the trailers rent free.

The nearby townsfolk wonder why he used this form of philanthropy when the affluent Rockhouse could donate to causes that would help many more people. Five years ago, RJ’s beloved wife Lola died. At her funeral he apparently lost his mind. Now the townsfolk believe his latest action affirms his insanity. Instead, RJ, who believes in the magic of 100, has a plan to transfer his soul and that of Lola into the bodies of his Sugarland residents.

Sugarland Melting is an engaging thriller that keeps readers guessing whether the storyline is a necromancy horror or a psychological suspense. Once readers know the path the entertaining plot goes, the excitement ebbs. Still this is a strong character driven tale of a desperate person trying to regain paradise lost at any cost. Harriet Klausner

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