Fantasy/SF Book Reviews

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Seduced by Moonlight by Laurell K. Hamilton

Ballantine, February, 2004
Hardcover, 372 pages
ISBN: 034544356X
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Seduced by Moonlight
by Laurell K. Hamilton Meredith Gentry is a Princess of the Unseelie Court of Faerie who has been living in the United States after she fled the cruel Unseelie Court. Despised because she is part human, Merry is one of the potential heirs to the Unseelie throne, now held by Andais, the Queen of Air and Darkness and Merry's aunt. The Unseelie Court is a dangerous and violent place, filled with court intrigue that would do the de Medicis proud. Vying with her cousin Cel for the right to be the heir apparent, Merry deals daily with assassination attempts from the many parties who don't wish to see a human on the throne. As the competition for the throne heats up, Merry and her bodyguards (all of whom are vying for her affections and to be the father of her future children) travel to the Unseelie Court where they will face a maddened queen in the throws of bloodlust, hostile and dangerous courtiers and head-spinning political intrigue. Their visit is further complicated by Merry's growing magical powers: she now has the ability to restore some of the godlike powers that the Sidhe lost long ago. But the magic is unpredictable and the consequences of her using it are often violent.

This is the third book in the bestselling erotic fantasy series, following A Kiss of Shadows (2000) A Caress of Twilight (2002). With her handsome and sexy Sidhe bodyguards, Merry faces the challenges that come her way with wit and humor. And although one might wish that Merry never, ever has to speak to the ghastly goblin king and queen again via mirror (or any other way), other than that there is little to complain about in this intense, violent, funny and very risqué series which is absolutely addictive.

Veiled Alliances (Saga of the Seven Suns) by Kevin J. Anderson, Illustrations by Robert Teranishi

Windstorm/DC Comics, January, 2004
Graphic Novel, 96 pages
ISBN: 1563899019
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Veiled Alliances (Saga of the Seven Suns)
by Kevin J. Anderson, Illustrations by Robert Teranishi In a publishing first, bestselling novelist Kevin J. Anderson presents readers with a beautifully illustrated graphic novel, as the next entry in his hardcover Saga of the Seven Suns series which began with Hidden Empire (Warner Books) and A Forest of Stars (Warner Books). Veiled Alliances is a prequel to those two books. In the year 2100, humanity is ready to reach for the stars and sends out slow-moving generational ships. Benevolent advanced aliens, the Ildirans, discover the ships and share faster than light travel with the humans. But not all the generational ships are so lucky. Humanity finds that the universe is inhabited by alien races both benevolent and evil, and those interactions set the stage for the cosmos-spanning epic SF series which begins with Hidden Empire.

Robert Teranishi has outdone himself with the drawing for Veiled Alliances. The first Green Priest on the forest planet of Theroc, the puppet government headed by the figurehead King Ben on old Earth, the hardy pioneers who take over gas giant mining operations from the Ildirans, the beautiful architecture of the Ildirans and the mysterious Klikiss robots are all drawn with energy and force. Wendy Fouts-Broome does a fantastic job with the colors, from the rich, lush greens of Theroc to the reds, rusts and ochres of the gas giant being mined for ekti. Steven Youll provides truly vibrant and beautiful cover art.

The Saga of the Seven Suns is an SF epic with the scope and ingenuity of Dune; condensing the storyline into a length suitable for a graphic novel had to have been a difficult task. But Kevin Anderson is well up to the challenge, providing a fast-moving and exciting plot which nicely explains the origins of the relationships and worlds described in the first two books in the series. This exciting prequel is an extra treat for fans of the books. Those who aren't familiar with the books will be intrigued enough to grab a copy of Hidden Empire.

--Claire E. White

Captain's Blood by William Shatner

Pocket Books, December, 2003
Hardcover, 335 pages
ISBN: 067102129X
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Captain's Blood
by William Shatner Captain's Blood is set in the time period just after the events of the feature film, Star Trek: Nemesis. The Romulan Empire is in chaos, after most of its Senators were assassinated by Captain Picard's clone. With the slaves of Remus ready to revolt against their Romulan masters, the Federation is worried about the effect of a civil war on interstellar trade and interplanetary relations. While giving a speech about the unification of the Vulcans and the Romulans, Ambassador Spock appears to be assassinated in front of hundreds of witnesses. Captain Kirk, his five year-old son Joseph, Dr. McCoy and Jean Luc Picard are sent on an unofficial mission to the Romulan system to investigate Spock's murder. What they find is a conspiracy that makes the threat Shinzon posed pale in comparison. Now Kirk will have to fight for the life of his young son, his best friend in the universe, and the survival of Romulan Empire.

Joined by veteran Trek writing team, Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, William Shatner turns out his best book since The Return. There is plenty of action, a good plot and appearances by everyone from Admiral Janeway to Voyager's EMH. With a cliffhanger ending, Shatner perfectly sets fans up for his next book, Captain's Glory.

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