Champion Jesse James Dawson doesn't get the vacation he was expecting in "A Shot in the Dark" by K.A. Stewart.
Jesse is a champion, fighting the forces of darkness for those stupid enough to make deals with them. After his last adventure, Jesse is ready to kick back and relax at his summer cookout and annual paintball retreat with his best friends. His wife insists he go with her blessing and have fun with his friends. So what's the problem?
First his barbecue is interrupted by an evil "friend" of Jesse's, Axel, who is warning that the forces of evil always come back and seems a bit too interested in Jesse's upcoming vacation. Then he keeps having nightmares of a monster he recently faced. And then his wife's best friend wants him to take her new boyfriend on his retreat.
Little does Jesse know that his vacation won't be in the least bit relaxing and will instead involve his nightmare monster, a pack of "zombies," more than a few death threats against his friends, a battle to the death and more than a few revelations and new questions about Axel. So much for getting away from it all...
I love Jesse's adventures, that of a modern-day samaurai mixed with the paranormal and a bit of mystery. And, a rarity in any genre, the hero of the story is a happily married man with a young child with no magic powers himself, just weapons and a strong will. And more than a few friends in high places (and low ones, too.) I can't wait to see what's in store for Jesse next!
"A Shot in the Dark" is published by Roc. It is $7.99 and is 320 pages long. Be sure to come back Monday to my blog on www.newsandsentinel.com to read an interview with Stewart!
New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison takes to a new format - the graphic novel - to tell the story of Rachel and Ivy's meeting in "Blood Work."
With illustrations by Pedro Maia and Gemma Magno, "Blood Work" is the story of the first case Rachel Morgan, a witch, and Ivy Tamwood, a vampire, worked together for the Inderland Security of a magical Cincinnati. Ivy is the seasoned detective who is tossed out of the homicide department and demoted to street detail after framing her work boss for murder for her real boss, the vampire Piscary, whom Ivy both loves and hates. She is given an intern to work with, the enthusiastic Rachel. Ivy is immediately captivated by Rachel's youthful exuberance and her power, which for a vampire means drinking her blood, but doesn't want to give in to her bloodlust, especially when she begins to suspect she's been "given" Rachel by Piscary to further keep her under his control. As the two women are drawn into an accidental case of someone murdering werewolves, Ivy must be careful to never let her guard down around Rachel, or else give in to temptation.
For longtime fans of Harrison, this is a chance to see how the main characters met and to get more insight into Ivy. For those new to Harrison's world, this a glimpse into it that may lead them to want to pick up the book series. And it's cool to get to see Rachel, Ivy, Kisten and Piscary in the flesh, so to speak.
"Blood Work" is published by Del Rey. It is $23.
Sarah and Dave are back with more zombie action in "Eat Slay Love" by Jesse Petersen.
When last readers left the couple, Dave had been bitten (and cured) and he and Sarah are trying to get the cure to the proper authorities. Heading east toward the supposed Wall that has been built to keep the zombies away from the rest of the world, they run into television tabloid journalist Nicole and rescue her. Together, the trio run into a horrifying small town who is really afraid of outsiders and meet a former rock star who's addicted to drugs and hiding out in a hospital. But all of that pales in comparison to the surprise they find once the get to the Wall - the government is not letting any survivors in and a rebellion has sprung up, helmed by some familiar faces. Since his cure, Dave's taken on some new abilities, some that the government will want to exploit. Is this the end of the line for Sarah and Dave?
This is an entertaining action-adventure series with a typical married couple who are caught in the midst of a zombie apocalypse and find their relationship strengthened and a new career as zombie exterminators. It's a bit like "28 Days Later" melded with "Mr. and Mrs. Smith."
"Eat Slay Love" is published by Orbit. It is $7.99 and is 261 pages long.
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