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Books for Review should be sent to: Don D'Ammassa, 323 Dodge Street,  East Providence, RI 02914

Last Update 7/17/19

The Toll by Cherie Priest, Tor, 2019

This is one of those books where I can't say much about the plot without spoiling it. The premise is that a newly married couple are driving through a remote swamp area in the South when a strange phenomenon leaves the husband unconscious and the wife missing. He eventually makes his way  to a small, dying town to seek help, but the mysteries just grow rather than get solved. The town is filled with a nice array of strange characters, not all of them alive and not all of them human. This is an extraordinarily good book with lots of little touches that hint at other mysteries as well as those that are revealed. In some ways I think this may well be the author's best novel so far. 7/17/19

City Of by Nancy Holder, Pocket, 1999  

An Angel novel. This is actually just a novelization of the first show in the series. Angel relocates to Los Angeles and meets the half-demon Doyle, whose psychic visions show him people in danger. Although Angel is too late to protect a young woman from a predatory vampire, the killerís next target is Cordelia, who has also moved out of Sunnydale. Angel kills the vampire inside the building that houses Wolfram and Hart, the evil law firm he battles for the rest of the series. 7/12/19

Vengeance by Scott Ciencin and Dan Jolley, Simon, 2002  

An Angel novel. Angel has to take on the original Lilith in this tie-in. She has a magical necklace that will give her supreme power if she corrupts one thousand innocent souls and she is only two short when Angel steals it. But even he is vulnerable to its magical corruption as he battles both Lilith and a horde of demonic minions, while keeping the grasping hands of Wolfram and Hart at bay. Pretty good story though it goes on a bit longer than it probably should have. 7/8/19

In the Woods by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel, Tor, 2019, $17.99, ISBN 978-0-7653-3655-2

I know that present tense narration is all the rage and that it is supposed to present a greater sense of immediacy. It does not, particularly in stories that are supposed to be suspenseful. "I am being chased" does not ring true. Stop talking and run. That said, this is a moderately entertaining novel about something that is making people in a small town disappear. I'll put a spoiler alert here, although I thought it was obvious very early that it was some kind of werewolf. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if the authors had not constantly made me aware of their presence. 7/7/19

Shakedown by Don DeBrandt, Simon, 2000   

An Angel novel, set before Doyle has passed on his ability to experience visions to Cordelia. A new breed of underground demons decides to eradicate the surface world in order to bring order to the universe. They begin abducting humans and killing surface dwelling demons in order to prepare to use earthquakes as a weapon and already Los Angeles is beginning to experience destructive tremors. Angel and company are hired by the nonviolent demons to protect them, and find themselves instead protecting the entire word. Thereís quite a bit of cute dialogue in this one. 7/1/19

 

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