Along side the human race live vampires - humanoids who became extinct during the Pleistocene era and have been resurrected by modern science. Their p...moreAlong side the human race live vampires - humanoids who became extinct during the Pleistocene era and have been resurrected by modern science. Their predatory habits are kept in check, but their special DNA and vast intelligence aids humanity as it ventures into space.
On Feb. 13, 2082, a shower of lights fills Earth’s sky. The media dubs them Fireflies. They prove to be a signal from an alien source. An exploratory ship is prepared and sent to search for its origin. A crew assembles and includes the story’s narrator the synthesist Siri, a scientist decked out with extensions so grand he hardly looks human, Communications expert Susan James whose brain carries 4 personae, Major Bates the only military member, and the vampire Sarasti, commander of the mission. No one dares challenge his authority! Except for one at a crucial moment.
Their ship Theseus takes them past the edge of our solar system to meet up with a species both belligerent and smart. The crew is on their own. There is no contact with earth from this distance, But their is contact with the nightmarish alien ship which Siri, describes thusly, Imagine a crown of thorns, twisted, dark and unreflective, grown too thickly tangled to ever rest on any Human head. Put it in orbit around a failed star whose own reflected half-light does little more than throw its satellites into silhouette. Occasional bloody highlights glinted like dim embers from its twist and crannies; they only emphasized the darkness everywhere else. It is huge, and it is growing fueled by particles from the giant, dying sun it orbits.
Susan James uses her communication skills to ping the other ship. It quickly answers and dubs itself Rorschach. A friendly exchange turns ugly as Theseus approaches. Rorschach warns - stay away! Sarasti ignores the warnings, and as soon as it is feasible he has the crew takes a shuttle down to Rorschach. The nightmare escalates.
Watts's descriptions of the most technical subjects is sheer poetry. Each character is fully formed and reacts believably to the most bizarre situations. Siri makes difficult but important changes within himself in order to survive ever changing scenarios. The author has crafted an imaginative first contact, space adventure all the while educating the reader with a fascinating blend of philosophy, psychology, evolution, quantum mechanics, astronomy, and so much more. Quite a feat, Mr. Watts!
James Schellenberg & David M. Switzer have an in depth interview with Peter Watts on their Challenging Destiny site. At the time of this interview Watts was working on Blindsight. (less)
In the Urban Fantasy genre brimming with tales of kick butt heroines, Sharon Ashwood has managed to create something unique with the Dark Forgotten se...moreIn the Urban Fantasy genre brimming with tales of kick butt heroines, Sharon Ashwood has managed to create something unique with the Dark Forgotten series. Yes, her heroines know how to strongly motivate others, but so do her heroes. Each book has a paranormal hero and heroine but never the same main characters twice. Primary characters become secondary in succeeding stories which means each book can stand on its own, but, as with most series, you get a better taste of the author's imaginary world and its populace by reading the novels in order.
Lore is the Alpha male leader of the Hellhounds. These half demon creatures bred to protect and serve can assume the hound or human form. They also have another special trait. It is impossible for any one of them to tell a lie. To help out in tight conversational situations Lore has learned the art of dissembling.
To insure good behavior on the part of the nonhuman population of Fairview, aka supernatural central the handsome vampire Alesandro Caravelli (Ravenous) was named sheriff. Now, however, Lore has been temporarily deputized to take Alesandro's place while he, his witchy wife Holly, and their baby daughter take a much needed vacation. Naturally this is the time when anything that can go wrong does. A freak snowstorm hits town closing all the roads; tensions are already high because for the first time a nonhuman (in this case a vampire) is running in the municipal elections; worst of all is the appearance of a necromancer who has used a blood sacrifice to carry out his malevolent plan.
A beautiful, young (human) woman who lives in Lore's building is brutally murdered by decapitation. The main suspect is Talia Rostova, the woman's look-alike cousin who happens to be a vampire. To prove her innocence Talia reluctantly agrees to accept Lore's help in tracking down the killer. But she also keeps from him a dark secret from her past that might be linked to the killing.
Magic plays an important part in many of the strange manifestations (even for the supernaturally charged town of Fairview) that occur.
Lore and Talia have an immediate attraction for each other although neither wants to admit it. Soon enough in the midst of solving a tangled mystery they fall in love. There aren't a lot of bedroom scenarios in Ashwood's books, but those that appear definitely sizzle. The lovemaking between Lore and Talia is no exception.
Frostbound is a wonderful blend of adventure, mystery and romance. I have enjoyed all the books in the Dark Forgotten series. I truly hope there will be many more.(less)
Once Bitten by Kalayna Price. Bell Bridge Books (January 9, 2009)
On the run from the hunters of her father's world which lies beyond the portal, Kita...moreOnce Bitten by Kalayna Price. Bell Bridge Books (January 9, 2009)
On the run from the hunters of her father's world which lies beyond the portal, Kita almost losses her life in the town of Haven. When she regains consciousness she realize that she can no longer summon the power that allows her to shift into her other form - that of a kitten. It seems the vampire Nathanial had found her in trouble and saved her. However, in order to do that, he had to give her some of his own blood. So now she has joined the ranks of the undead which has, at least temporarily, affected her shifter abilities.
It begins with an especially vicious hoodoo murder. Not only did the victim suffer terrible anguish during his death throws, but when his body died so...moreIt begins with an especially vicious hoodoo murder. Not only did the victim suffer terrible anguish during his death throws, but when his body died so did his soul. Such hoodoo soul eating magic has come from a strong practitioner. Who could it be and more importantly why was it done? The man who died was Kallie Riviere's lover. Fairly soon it becomes clear that she was the intended target. Could it have something to do with her hoodoo family connections and her dark, tragic past?
Hell Can Wait by Theodore Judson EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy; 1st edition (October 15, 2010)
Have you ever wondered what happened to Maternus, a Rom...more Hell Can Wait by Theodore Judson EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy; 1st edition (October 15, 2010)
Have you ever wondered what happened to Maternus, a Roman soldier who led a failed rebellion against the Emperor Commodus in 186 AD? Well, neither have I, but fortunately for readers Theodore Judson did and has written a brilliant, humorous fantasy about the bonds of friendship and the eternal nature of love.
Maternus has literally gone through Hell. A bureaucratic screw up kept him in this most undesirable place for close to 2,000 years. Eventually the mistake was caught, and Matt finds himself in the 21st Century where Mr Worthy, an angel, has decided that even though Matt was a thuggish, brutal Roman soldier he had also shown qualities of decency - like sparing the innocent and feeling a special love for a saucy young lady. It's therefore possible, says Mr. Worthy that Matt can earn redemption. The demon adversary Mr Banewell, not wishing to lose a resident, challenges this assumption. With some acrimony the two finally agree that Matt must pass three tests before entering the pearly gates.
As for locale these are the parameters: "He has to be among the unfamiliar, in some nation that could not have existed in his lifetime. There have to be independent women who are able to stand up to him, and lots of bothersome children to distress him. Put him in an affluent place, somewhere that would not know or pardon his type of violence.”
To help Maternus (now known as Matthew August) make his way in this new world he is given the gift of literacy, however, his references are still to the 2nd century. Thus Mr. Worthy shows him a building with a cross on it and Matt assumes it must be a place of execution. While applying for a job as janitor at a middle school he is asked about previous employment. Matt answers honestly that he was in the army. His numerous scars attest to combat. Where did he fight?. Mesopotamia he answers and his educated audience nod in understanding. Matt is surprised to discover that war still rages in the area.
Because of his strange mannerisms and odd way of speaking Mr Worthy advices him, if asked, to say he is from Montana. This works.
It's tough going at times but Matt, with the help of a library card, educates himself, by reading all the great books. He even makes friends which is a new concept for him. These friends unwittingly help him with the difficult tasks assigned by his supernatural watchers.
This was a thoroughly delightful book that believably portrays Matt's fish-out-of-water experience in a modern day American suburb. Judson gets everything exactly right. I can't recommend this book highly enough!
A terrible trauma marks Jane Williams' early childhood. A horrific event at her home causes her death when she is six years old, but just as emergency...moreA terrible trauma marks Jane Williams' early childhood. A horrific event at her home causes her death when she is six years old, but just as emergency personnel appear she revives. All her memories of her life have vanished.
Jane has no family and must enter the difficult world of the state foster system. Her tough spirit and the friendship of another foster child, Hosea, combine to show her a way out. With great determination Jane pours all her energy into her school work and shows herself and others that she has a brain. She sees herself progress and get the excellent grades she never thought possible. Eventually she comes to the attention of the headmistress of Birch Grove Academy for Girls and is offered a full scholarship at this elite school. A terrific opportunity, or so it seems, but is it too good to be true? Not at first anyway. She makes friends with a fun group of girls and Mrs Radcliffe, who runs the school, invites her to become like a member of her family. Jane, who believes herself to be as plain as her name, finds younger son Lucky Radcliffe very attractive. In return he is attentive to her at times, and at others practically ignores her. Older son Jack has a wild side but knows how to be a true friend.
On most levels things look good for Jane, but there is something menacing about the atmosphere at Birch Grove, and Jane becomes the target of someone or something that wants her gone.
What is so appealing about Jane is her strength in the midst of terrible hardship. She learns that persistence pays off and despite the sinister undercurrent Jane finds a place where she can belong and feels the courage to overcome whatever life throws her way.
Although it isn't initially apparent the vampire theme does play a part in this story. Fans of Marta's Casa Dracula series will recognize the enigmatic Ian Ducharme who plays a small but important role..
Dark Companion is a powerful, mesmerizing coming of age novel with dark mystery, romance, and magic. Teens of all ages will find this story inspiring! (less)
We can all sleep better knowing that in this new century there is an intrepid band of detectives who hunt down the occult monsters - demons, werewolve...moreWe can all sleep better knowing that in this new century there is an intrepid band of detectives who hunt down the occult monsters - demons, werewolves, vampires,etc - that are out to get us.
Justin Gustainis has assembled an entertaining group of fourteen stories where the bad guys/gals/things never stand a chance. Many of the authors - including Gustainis - will be familiar to readers and so will many of their characters. Besides visiting old friends in new situations this terrific volume is a great introduction to writers and series you may have missed. Read the full review on Patricia's Vampire Notes(less)
Friedman is a terrific writer and I have enjoyed many of her books. I basically liked this one although the plot and characters seemed less complex an...moreFriedman is a terrific writer and I have enjoyed many of her books. I basically liked this one although the plot and characters seemed less complex and compelling than in other works such as The Coldfire Trilogy - fantasy at its best! I'm not sure if I'll read the next 2 books in the Magister series or not, So many books. So little time.