Monday, July 14, 2014
Flesh And Blood
At the hospital, Dr. John Harris explains to New York reporter Claire Hagen that her sister Amanda should remain under their medical watch at least until they can calm her down as the distraught twentyish woman suffers from either a severe nervous breakdown or schizophrenia. Harris furthermore explains Amanda’s deep delusional fear is of a vampire drinking her blood.
Although horrified with what mentally has happened to her younger sibling especially when she thinks back to the guilt of failing Mandy when they were little; Claire needs to know why this has happened to her. Soon Claire finds impossible evidence that vampires apparently are real and bloodthirsty while Mandy seems to be changing into something nonhuman. When Claire comes under attack, which she concludes is to silence her investigation, George Powell, a survivor of Nazi blood science research, saves her life. The pair forges an alliance to rescue Mandy while also being attracted to one another. Meanwhile powerful adversaries, some with the backing of the Vatican, target her for execution and him for further experimentation as the source to eradicate the unholy undead.
This is an exciting action-packed vampire thriller that for the most part never slows down (except for occasional overdrawn clarifying soliloquys) from the moment a shocked Claire learns from Harris that her sister suffers from delusional fear of vampires until the stunning climatic twist. The fast-paced storyline insures the feral vampires come across as genuine as does the Vatican demanding their extermination while the lead couple is caught in the middle. Harriet Klausner
Harper Voyager, Sep 16 2014, $14.99
In the kingdom of Caskentia where war with the Waste is a constant, orphaned healer Octavia Leander rides the airship to her new position of medician knowing to adhere to her mentor Miss Percival’s three rules of travel. However, someone assaults her onboard roommate Mrs. Stout and almost immediately afterward Octavia. Mrs. Viola Stout and Alonzo Garrett the steward help her thwart the attempt to kill her.
Confused over why anyone would stalk a non like her, Octavia learns the kingdom and the breakaway Dallows Province have placed her in the middle of a rebellion though she wonders why her. Other violent incidents including murder occur in which Octavia survives more efforts to assassinate her as if she was important; while now also questioning who her two defenders truly are.
Clockwork Dagger is a great steampunk fantasy starring a tremendous bewildered heroine who holds the storyline focused. Fast-paced and filled with action and dangerous intrigue (readers will think twice before riding an airship) yet with a strong support cast inside the vivid Cato magical world, subgenre fans will relish Octavia’s opening act while wanting more of her misadventures in Caskentia. Harriet Klausner
Harlequin Nocturne, $5.75
In Albuquerque, Dani Wright the resurrectionist understands her job is to right wrong though sometimes morality can confuse which is which. Three years ago her husband Blake’s lover attacked her and cut out her unborn from her womb; she and her baby died, but the Other-siders sent her back to perform the miracles of a resurrectionist. Though attracted to her APD protector Detective Sam Lopez, she distrusts males ever since Blake’s betrayal left her and their child dead; so she refuses to act on her desire.
After working the Ramirez missing child case, her otherworld contact Burton the street skateboarder a-hole informs her that the Others worry that the Dark malevolence is arising after centuries of dormancy. Meanwhile Sam always has her back and even supplements her power on a difficult switch. He admits to Dani he likes her a lot and that his grandmother was an underground illegal resurrectionist. As the couple gets closer and falls in love, the Dark comes for Dani.
This is an entertaining urban fantasy noir. Filled with graveyard humor and a slowly developing romance (which seems right for this fun thriller), readers will believe in Sierra Woods portrayal of The Resurrectionist bringing the enlightenment to New Mexico.