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Review: Silver Wolf Clan by Tera Shanley

silverwolfclanHere is a confession. I am mad about Urban Fantasy. I suppose everyone has “that genre” that they simply can’t live without, and this is mine. So, starting from that point, I was very pleased to be offered Silver Wolf Clan by Tera Shanley for a read-and-review.

The issue with some UF books, especially those involving werewolves, is that I have read so many that I often find myself bored. Been there, done that, and didn’t even pick up my T-shirt on the way out. Tara Shanley skirts that edge in this volume, but at the same time she reaches somewhat outside the furry box into something that made it more interesting for me, and that is a good thing – something that encourages me to reach for her next book in the series when I get a moment.

We aren’t often offered books where we see what happens to a “Changed” when he is taken down and becomes wolf after being attacked by a rogue without pack to assist the victim into his or her new life. This is exactly what happens to Greyson Crawford. Camping in the forest, he responds to a woman’s screams, only to come upon a horrific sight. A huge wolf is attacking a woman who is standing over a tiny child as she tries to fight off the monster’s rage. Rushing to her assistance, Grey draws the attack onto himself, striking over and over with his boot knife in order to save the woman and child. With another woman lying dead on the ground from the attack, Grey knows that the only way to save the woman and child is to put himself at risk. And what happens is, of course, what one would expect. Changed, Grey has no support, less knowledge, and a horror of what he has become.

On his own for the last six months, trying desperately to control the Wolf inside him, Grey is lost, terrified of himself and the beast inside. A visit by two unknown were introduces him to something he didn’t even know existed – pack. As he comes to learn that he may just be able to deal with being what he considers a monster after all, he is still haunted by the face of the pixie-like woman whom he rescued from the rogue.

Due to a turn of fate, the beautiful woman he rescued, Morgan Carter, slips back into Grey’s life, opening up new thoughts and feelings, and bringing a bit of balance into his life. What happens next is to be expected in the telling, but is expanded upon and tweaked by an unusual thread which brought the fairly rote story line into a new and more interesting territory.

Overall, the book doesn’t fall within my “Oh, Wow!” mindset, but it is interesting enough that I will still follow along to see what happens next.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own and are not affected by this fact.

Review: Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis by Ceri London

Click cover to purchase the book. Do it! You KNOW you want to!!!!

Ceri London has written, in Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis one of the most powerful science fiction/fantasy novels I have read since Dune. Well, actually, it is better than Dune. More creative, with a wider range and depth of reality, that is approachable to all readers. This is, without doubt, a science fiction novel, but it also has strong ties to military-political intrigue in the present day which grounds the novel in a level of believability even when the “fiction” portion of the science asks you to stretch your mind into new levels of belief.

Some, I suppose, would lean more towards calling it ‘fantasy’ as there are no space ships and Earth colonies on other planets. If you are one of the ‘hard sci-fi geeks’ that some of my friends are, you might be disappointed by no space rockets blasting around, I suppose, but that should in no way deter you from reading this jewel of a book.

Unlike many, I have no problem stretching credulity to new levels. I don’t expect a science fiction or fantasy book to stay within the realm of ‘probability’. I expect to be taken to a new place, a new level of existence, while I expect that existence to still feel believable. I expect to be charmed into a new sense of reality for a short while. Something that Ms. London has done brilliantly in this, the first of a four-part series.

Niall Kearey is a very special person, with a very special family. As has been described by the blurb on the book, he can, with is mind, reach out across galaxies to what he thinks is a ‘dream world’ – a world “racing towards annihilation” – a world soon to pass into alignment with Earth, with unknown outcome. Here on Earth, there are power brokers, secret societies, power-hungry and amoral politicians, and a corrupt U.S. Military. A military and power structure that will do anything, including the destruction of Niall’s beloved family, to bring him under their control and use him for world domination. Of this, and possibly other worlds . . .

London, in my estimation, did a beautiful job of making me feel her characters. I actually understood, and admired, Niall. My admiration was not only for his special abilities, but also for his love of and deep commitment to his family. In the face of horrific circumstances, he stands by his family and continues to fight for them, when everyone around him is betraying his faith, his honour and his commitment to country. The very thing that Niall has fought for, and watched his friends die for, is pulled into the light, and that light shines upon a dark and venomous snarl of greed and xenophobia that would happily watch whole civilizations die, accepting only the technology and power that those cultures might provide. In all, humanity at it’s slimiest, humanity who would sentence millions to death, while gobbling up their scientists to live as virtual prisoners, slaves to the military-industrial complex. Yep. Humans all right. Humans who would imprison a decorated military man under “correct supervision”, using him as a lab rat to assure his “asset to this nation” status.

Yes, a lot of the book made me sick. I want to howl in despair at the horror of the reality of what humans truly are, what they are truly capable of.  Of human avarice, hatred, brutality and vicious self-aggrandizement, the truly black and horrific souls within. Sick, in that everything that London writes is so very gut-wrenchingly believable in so many ways. So real within the fictitious world that she creates. Amidst the black holes, space-time jumps, dark matter universes and other fascinating and well-researched portions of the book, London delves into the human psyche, and lays bare its soul. And proves, beyond a doubt, the very reasons that, even if there are other civilizations out there, my view of how they would view Earth is “That poor, beautiful orb, filled with the trailer trash of the universe, vicious, dangerous creatures to be avoided at any cost.”  I can see the signs hanging in space now:


Overall, if you are a lover of science fiction style fantasy, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It was on my back burner for a while, a lot longer than I had wished for it to be, but I am so very glad that I finally sat down and read it. It was well worth the time. More than worth it. This book needs a lot more attention than it is getting right now. Go out and buy it. I can guarantee you that you will be recommending it to your friends. It’s very creativity of concept makes it a standout in the field. That should draw you in. What will keep you there is the writing, the characterizations, and her deep understanding of the human psyche will keep you reading, and watching for the next in the series.

Highly recommended.

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