Tag Archives: #Paranormal

dePierres, Marianne: Chaos Space (The Sentients of Orion II) (2008)

The Sentients of Orion - Marianne dePierres
Cover art by Wayne Haag

The end of Dark Space has left Mira pregnant, raped by Trin so he could ensure his progeny with a pure-blood noble from Araldis. Rast states it so well

“Women get raped,” said Rast harshly, her pale skin flushed with emotion. “Sometimes in war, sometimes just for the hell of it. That’s what happens.” She gripped Mira’s wrist and pulled her close. Then she hugged her tightly for a long moment.

“We’ll get your world back for you, Baronessa. But tell me something: are you sure you really want it?”

Not only did Trin rape Mira and send her off-planet to get help. While staying behind he makes certain to besmirch Mira’s reputation by claiming that she has run off. For Trin does not want Mira to become more popular than he. After all, that might endanger his own shot at becoming Principe after the war.

War, ambition, greed, death.

Trin is more concerned with saving his men than with saving the population of Araldis. Cass Mulravey sees that he has no clue that if he wishes to rebuild his world, he will need women to bear children. The two of them are at odds through all of Chaos Space. Only Djeserit’s attempts to broker a peace between them keeps them from open dispute. Until Trin has managed to finagle the loyalty of the women who have followed Cass, he has to at least give the appearance of working for the greater good. Perhaps all of this pretending will turn to true behavior eventually???

We find out who Djeserit’s mother is. Oh, dear! Poor girl. None of us choose our own parents, but some of us are left with worse parents than others. Bethany Farr is no ideal mother. She seems to have repented of sending Djeserit off and now wants to save Djeserit and thereby Aldaris. But will Bethany carry through or perhaps only work towards the redemption of her daughter until her next “love” comes along??

Insignia, the biozoon carrying Mira, turns out to have an agenda of its own. The vessel has repeatedly tried to get Mira to understand that it does not care about humanesques in general, only the ones with which it can communicate. When its contract with the Fedor clan runs out in the middle of an escape, Mira fully comes to understand how true and real that is.

Mira is one severely traumatized person who is thrown from one chaotic episode to the next. Needing to make decisions pronto goes against her socialization, and tearing herself loose from that socialization is incredibly painful for her. In Dark Space Mira learned to handle a gun, something that was forbidden to the upper-class women. In Chaos Space she has to learn to see through the fallacies of her traditions. Having worked my way out of fundamentalism, makes it easy for me to relate to what Mira must have gone through. Being brought up in a society where women are taught from a young age that they are less and also taught how to internalize this tradition and accept it as right and proper makes the reach through the fog of indoctrination severely painful and self-actualizing. Mira is forced to grow once she makes the choice to make her way through her fog and grow she does.

Asking for help is more complicated than Mira had thought. Naively, Mira had expected that explaining her planet’s situation to OLOSS would bring OLOSS to the rescue. But OLOSS is concerned with what is in it for them and want to get hold of Insignia so they can study it. Having read something about the history of our own world this concern with profit in the face of aid is nothing new. In fact, I wonder if the need to profit from another person’s tragedy is embedded in the human psyche?

DePierres’ writing is as riveting in Chaos Space as it was in Dark Space. Again I found myself struggling to stop reading.


Reviews:


Chaos Space on Amazon US


My review of Dark Space

Summers, Jordan: Red (Dead World I) (2008)

Cover design by Christian McGrath
Cover design by Christian McGrath

I generally do some research before writing about a book. When the blurb began:

“What if Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf turned out to be the same person?”

I went off on one of my curiosity sprees. Roald Dahl has a wonderful version of Little Red Riding Hood (below) that resembles the version of Little Red Riding Hood that Jordan Summers writes about.

Red has three Riding Hoods that are eaten by the big bad wolf while their grandmothers are left alone. Our Were-theme is discovered in the first chapter when the murderer describes being wracked with the pain of being ripped apart and put back together again. Then he mauls and eats his murder victim. Summers’ description of the mauling and eating is just as descriptive as her description later on in the novel of sex and its prelude – pretty explicit.

The mystery part of Red is pretty straight-forward. As a reader I know everything long before Red and Morgan do. When Renee Forrester, Lisa Salomon and Moira Collins turn up dead, I  draw conclusions faster than the couple-to-be. Embroiled as they are in the action and full of fear of being discovered, fear of the other not liking them, fear of the other person liking them, and being horny to the degree that the two of them are probably slows them down.

Red is full of the non-existent, exterminated Others. These people were supposed to have been wiped out. Instead they are turning up all over the place. Some of them do not even know that they are an Other. Discovering what they are might just mean the difference between life and death for themselves and others.

We are all Others of some sort. It isn’t my Asperger side that defines me as an Other but rather the Beast in me that might rear its head at some point in my life. We sure see a lot of the Beast types in the world without needing to genetically tinker one into us.

I liked Red.


Reviews:


Red on Amazon.com


Red Riding Hood, 2014; by LessThanHuman
Red Riding Hood, 2014;
by LessThanHuman

Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf

As soon as Wolf began to feel
That he would like a decent meal,
He went and knocked on Grandma’s door.

When Grandma opened it, she saw

The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin,
And Wolfie said, “May I come in?”
Poor Grandmamma was terrified,
“He’s going to eat me up!” she cried.

And she was absolutely right.
He ate her up in one big bite.
But Grandmamma was small and tough,
And Wolfie wailed, “That’s not enough!
I haven’t yet begun to feel
That I have had a decent meal!”
He ran around the kitchen yelping,
“I’ve got to have a second helping!”
Then added with a frightful leer,
“I’m therefore going to wait right here
Till Little Miss Red Riding Hood
Comes home from walking in the wood.”
He quickly put on Grandma’s clothes,
(Of course he hadn’t eaten those).
He dressed himself in coat and hat.
He put on shoes, and after that
He even brushed and curled his hair,
Then sat himself in Grandma’s chair.
In came the little girl in red.
She stopped. She stared. And then she said,

“What great big ears you have, Grandma.”
“All the better to hear you with,” the Wolf replied.
“What great big eyes you have, Grandma.”
said Little Red Riding Hood.
“All the better to see you with,” the Wolf replied.

He sat there watching her and smiled.
He thought, I’m going to eat this child.
Compared with her old Grandmamma
She’s going to taste like caviar.

Then Little Red Riding Hood said, “But Grandma,
what a lovely great big furry coat you have on.”

“That’s wrong!” cried Wolf. “Have you forgot
To tell me what BIG TEETH I’ve got?
Ah well, no matter what you say,
I’m going to eat you anyway.”
The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
She wimps a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature’s head
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.
A few weeks later, in the wood,
I came across Miss Riding Hood.
But what a change! No cloak of red,
No silly hood upon her head.
She said, “Hello, and do please note
My lovely furry wolfskin coat.”

Roald Dahl, Revolting Rhimes (audioversion)


Cane, Laken: Obsidian Wings (Rune Alexander IV)

Obsidian Wings

The birds annoyed me. Not because they are were-birds/shapeshifters but because Cree carried a person as large as Shad. My asperger soul was triggered to the point of obsession and that set me off in research mode. That is when it became fun. I adore digging into stuff. While increasing my knowledge on the requirements for flight vs. weight vs. mass vs. pain tolerance vs. … I discovered a couple of things (at least that was the way all of this information was put together inside my head). There is a theoretical possibility of humans being able to fly. For flight to happen the human’s form would have to change drastically making us more like the flying creatures we know and less like humans. Were-birds or genetic tinkering are the only alternatives. Whether this would make Cree able to carry Shad is another matter altogether, and not knowing is now something I feel comfortable with.

I feel I need to thank Laken Cane for handing me this chance to look at the possibility of humans and flight.

Much later, she lay wrapped in his arms and realized she’d never felt more at peace than when she was with the berserker.

It was not a wholly comforting thought.

Sometimes knowing that another person’s presence brings a sense of completion can frighten us. I happen to be married to a man who brings me that sense. Allowing the peace he brought to set roots in my life was incredibly complicated and perhaps even worrying. What would happen to me if my heart gave up that piece of me? Personally, I do not have words for what his entry into my heart brought.

For a person like Rune, with the frightening and lonely background she has had filled with self-harm, self-disgust and self-fear, letting go of part of herself would be an even greater challenge. Yet a choice needs to made sooner or later. And it will be made eventually and during Obsidian Wings.

In the meantime Shad is driving Rune crazy with his over-protectiveness and willingness to fight Owen for her. I have no idea what Owen’s obsession is with Rune. Nor do I understand why Cruikshanks thinks he is unable to stay away from Rune. Three men driving Rune insane with their need for her while all (hah, hah) she wants is for her world to become whole again, Z to live and the twins to be back in the group, giving Ellis his Levi back and Lex her anchors.

I liked the second demon that turns up on the scene. Well, really it is the first demon but in a way it ends up being the second one for a lot of people. That is about as confusing as I can make this statement in my attempt to avoid giving anything away.

So, yes! Once I had resolved my issues with the birds I was a happy one myself and finished Obsidian Wings in no time.



My review of:

  1. Shiv Crew
  2. Blood and Bite
  3. Strange Trouble

Shaman shapeshifting into a bird
Shaman shapeshifting into a bird; By Susan Seddon Boulet

Birds of Paradise project (Cornell University)

If a human were to have wings? (SciFi Forums)

On Shapeshifting (Sarah Ann Lawless)

Shapeshifting (Wikipedia)

Shapeshifting (World of Warcraft)

Tengu: Guildwars (Wikipedia)

Voluntary shapeshifting (TV Tropes)

Why can’t humans fly like birds? (Rhett Allain)

Brand, RyFT: Crash Down (Jazz, MC: Earth’s Lament I) (2010)

Cover art: TA Cuce
Cover art: TA Cuce’

Earth’s Lament is a serial that is both fantasy and science fiction. I love it when an author defies convention and writes the way they want not the way tradition demands.

Old Earth and the one with all of the fantasy creatures are somehow conjoined through an inter-dimensional bridge. This joining of the two earths has created a unit called Mirth.

The people from old Earth seem to have willingly had their memories replaced – except for a few rebellious humans like Jazz.

Jazz is a Monster Collector. It would be unfair to say that she does her job on her own. Her helper is a demon she calls Ship because a demon possesses her ship. Without Ship, Jazz would be toast – burned at that in this short story called Crash Down.

When Jazz utters these words:

“Besides, what could be more boring, self-effacing, and eventless than tracking a lost dog for one of the Welmont elite?”

you know something is bound to happen. Guaranteed!

Off Jazz and Ship go on a tail chasing, ship shooting, dragon, and pirate filled adventure.


Published: May 28, 2011
Words: 6,160
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452486970

Barant, D.D.: Dying Bites (The Bloodhound Files) (2009)

 

Dying_Bites
Cover artist: ??? (help!)

Don DeBrandt is a Canadian author who also writes under the pen-names Donn Cortez and DD Barant.”

The Bloodhound Files was created by Mr. Barant as a social satire. I had no idea of that when I bought the novel. In fact it was not until creating this review that I discovered that fact. However, the feeling of social criticism was there throughout Dying Bites.

No doubt about it, Dying Bites is an action-filled mystery with a whole lot of dark fantasy/science fiction to it. We are talking about a parallel world with an alternate history and lots of paranormal creatures and magic.

Jace Valchek fits into the gung-ho main protagonist mold without all of the gooey romance that some fantasy/science fiction novels glory in – the kind that I never seem to understand. The closest we get to romance would be a couple of thoughts about Cassius and Dr. Pete and some action with Tanaka.

DD Barant uses vampires, werewolves, golems and humans to create a world where racism is based on races rather than silly things like color. In my head it becomes easier to understand the concept of racism. Several of the scenes where Mr. Barant shows us the less pleasant sides of our world become incredibly clear. Two of those scenes are the post-sex scene with Tanaka and the nazi-camp. I found that dialogue well-done.

Other dialogue that I enjoyed greatly was between Jace and Charlie, her partner, and any conversation including Eisfanger. Eisfanger is a wonderfully nerdy person whose greatest assistant is a rat skull called Wittgenstein. I found myself wanting to sit down with Eisfanger and have a chat. Being a nerd myself along with being married to one and having two sons who are nerds makes me predisposed toward nerdy characters – if they are well-written.

Dying Bites was great entertainment with a serious undertone and lots of humour.


Reviews:


Sherman, David: Hungering Shadows (Bounty Hunter Case Files) (2013)

Hungering Shadows
Cover image by Jason Baxter

26 pages of fast-paced urban fantasy is what we get in Hungering Shadows. Short stories can be really fun.

Hungering Shadows is a great action story about a guy who just will not give in to the demonic influences in his life. Instead he hunts them down and brings them in for their reward (with the sometimes help of Father Ralph Lawrence). In this story Alex is on the hunt for two skin walkers (demons who kill a host’s spirit and take over their body).

Bounty hunter central is on/in Haven, a place accessed through a warehouse portal. All bounties are delivered there and rewards picked up. Catching your bounty, though, can be quite challenging. Other bounty hunters can and do get in your way and Alex is no exception to that rule. But Alex lets nothing stop him and his quest for what he feels is right.

Hope you enjoy Hungering Shadows as much as I did.


Hoyt, Sarah A.: Draw One in the Dark (Shifter) (2006)

Draw One in the Dark
Cover art by Veronica Casas

Draw One in the Dark made me think about what it must be like to be a foster-kid and a homeless kid in the US. I haven’t been a foster-kid anywhere. Nor have I worked with foster-children and am therefore unqualified to speak about its reality. But I have wondered what it must be like. That and being homeless. I’ve read books and articles about both but that doesn’t show me the way the minds of people who have been in the foster-system and living on the street work. How would this affect a person’s ability to deal with situations? Let’s say you throw in being a shape-shifter on top of that. And on top of that you aren’t really sure if you are a shape-shifter or if you are just having psychotic episodes that leave you covered in blood every once in a while.

This is the point that Kyrie Smith and Tom Ormson are both at when Draw One in the Dark begins. Some months after meeting each other they both receive revelations about their nature and are thrown together into one dangerous situation after the other. This means that life becomes even more chaotic for the two of them but they soldier on as best they can.

That tells me something about resilience. For regular people soldiering on can be difficult enough but for kids with an atypical background soldiering on must be even more of a struggle.

To my way of thinking Draw One in the Dark is partly about resilience and partly about bravery. It is also about messed up people making messed up decisions and living with the consequences of those. Trying to make amends as best we can is one of life’s major lessons. What has been done can never be fixed, but maybe/hopefully some of the pain we inflict can be lessened.

Draw One in the Dark is an easy to read young adult urban fantasy novel that is of pretty average quality. But it spoke to me and helped me clear up a couple of things in my head. Oh, and I really liked the cover art (roar, my name is dragon).


Reviews:


  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; First Edition edition (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416520929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416520924
  • Shop: Amazon (US)