Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Some Great Reviews
Dead of Night
Charlaine Harris and Amanda Stevens
“Dancers In The Dark.” Dancer Rue May answers an ad for job dancing with vampires at Blue Moon Entertainment and Black Moon Productions. Rue gets the job. Vampire Sean O'Rourke finds he is attracted to the mortal, but believes she is hiding something. As he tries to learn the truth about Rue, they fall in love, but her actions leave her in danger from an unknown person who is part of the troupe.
“The Devil’s Footprints.” The cloven footprints first appeared in Adamanet, Alabama in 1922 during a freak snowstorm; nothing further was found. Seven decades later, the battered mutilated corpse of seventeen year old Rachel DeLaune is found in the same area with those same devil's footprints nearby. Her younger sister Sarah thinks Ashe Cain killed her sibling, but no one else believes he exists. Fourteen years later in New Orleans, Sarah remains disturbed by her sister's death. Two mutilated corpses are found near her home with those same telltale cloven footprints. Her ex-lover, New Orleans Detective Sean Kelton leads the homicide investigation; he asks Sarah to interpret strange etchings on the bodies. She immediately thinks of Ashe and wonders if he is coming for her.
These reprints of two taut thrillers grip the reader throughout though Dancers In The Dark is a romantic paranormal and The Devil’s Footprints keeps readers guessing whether it is horror or psychological suspense. Harriet Klausner
The Demon’s Wife
In Portland, Maine, lonely and bored Claire McMullen works as a purchasing agent for Montressor; her time spent inside her broom closet-sized office is listening to a Philadelphia radio station streaming over the internet and checking out social media sites. She shares an apartment with Sally Lewis, who persuades Claire to stop at the Margarita Grille before they see The Economy perform.
At the Grille, Sally flirts with Samael, but he focuses on Claire. When someone assaults her just outside, Samael rescues Claire. She goes to the hospital, but once released Samael takes her home. When they finally make love, Claire is stunned by his lack of the usual male tools and by how sensational his tail proves to be. However, Claire fears he wants her soul for some nefarious purpose besides love’s redemption. As Samael makes his case that they belong together, raging demons believe this coupling is a sinful transgression of the natural order and must end with the human banished for eternity.
The Demon’s Wife is an engaging romantic urban fantasy starring two fascinating characters falling into a taboo love that shakes the eternal cold war order of Heaven and Hell. Fast-paced with plenty of action and strange bedfellows; the demons mount a campaign to end this immoral horror and the angels reluctantly protect the partnering. Samael’s reformation never feels right as he recognizes his nasty history though love enables him to say Honest to God. Still fans will appreciate the late Rick Hautala’s wicked relationship drama; summed up by Milton in Paradise Lost: “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” Harriet Klausner
St. Martin's, $27.99
In tenth century BC, twin brothers Acheron and Styxx were separated as young children. Their sire King Archon preferred their deaths but feared the Oracle’s prophecy especially re Acheron. Over the millenniums both sons faced endless torture. When Acheron died, the omen proved true as horror came to devastate the world. Though he did not want to return to save those who spurned him when he lived especially his distrusting twin and raging sire, Archon saved the world.
Years after Archon’s heroism, Prince Styxx still struggles to retain his humanity after over a hundred centuries of torment at the hands of his insane father and his sire’s wrathful followers. When Styxx and blind Bethany meet they fall in love. As the Goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany must right the wrong Acheron caused and dispatch him to hell’s pantheon of dead deities. However, Styxx changes the dynamics as he risks his life to prevent the malevolence that Acheron once faced from destroying the world.
This epic fantasy is a profound Dark Hunter companion piece to Acheron; as more than half of the book follows a similar timeline but this tale is from the older twin’s anguished perspective. The abuse and rage Styxx’s received for eleven millennia (and hundreds of pages) are persistently atrocious and graphic as the protagonist is a victim of his father’s psychotic paranoia. The romance is a secondary but is a critical subplot as Bethany brings to the angry adult a chance for something wonderful though she remains fixated on killing the twin he learned from his father to hate; yet ironically love mellows him but a lifetime of loathing is hard to ignore. Harriet Klausner