Authors Showcase: Real and Unreal Worlds
April 11, 2013
The Book: HYCLOS
The Author: Angela Mortimer
The Story: In spite of being regarded by her race as a misfit and a rogue, Doella is asked to secretly save her home planet from powerful foes once more. While doing so she receives another gift that has been waiting for her for aeons, guarded by a hidden horror. In saving Varan again, she loses that which she loves most. But she must still fulfil her promise to discover what has happened to the Hyclos.
It is a story that might start on our Earth or it might not, for many Earths have been created by the Varan. The Varan assemble us from whatever genetic material they can find on suitable worlds. They try to make their creatures perfect, but as they themselves are far from perfect, this is rarely achieved. It is even rarer for us to achieve our desires when the Varan withdraw their guidance from us.
One Varan anthropologist cares more than most, and this is her story. Doella is flawed and she knows it. She is a rebel who disagrees with her race’s treatment of humans and their Earths. She feels estranged from her people even when she is surrounded by loving friends and family. Doella is unsure exactly what kind of future she wants for herself, but she has no desire to settle on Varan and forget about the struggling Earth projects in the comfort of her complacent world.
Doella’s destiny is not of her own choosing – nor is it controlled by the creators of her people, despite their attempts to influence her future. They know that she is destined to be the mother of many races, but even they cannot identify the nature of the force that urges their plans for Doella’s future.
The first book introduces us to Doella’s many friends and lovers. We also meet the most unlikely dragon named Wylar (for Doella will become a dragon mother too). Doella realises that Creation is more than just a process begun by the Varan and their originators. The origin of Creation is forgotten, but it will be found … or remembered.
The dragons have a secret too, but they say they have forgotten it Cael, the oldest dragon, still remembers it; and one day Doella will remember it too.
In this, the second book of a four part series, she finds a home for her family far away from the restrictions of Varan life. She has yet to encounter evil and goodness in her brood; and later she will discover other individuals who are genetically enhanced like herself. And eventually she will come to understand that she is the Mother of All …
Review by C. Michael Bennis: Angela Mortimer has penned a masterpiece with her second book HYCLOS in the Flawed God’s Series. This is a tour de force with the imagination of Isaac Asimov and the renaissance of Star Trek. Expect sexy adventure through inter lamina with rocket-like page turning.
I am in awe of the detail, the descriptions, the excitement, the vocabulary and the complexity of this author’s brilliant mind. The narrative begins where Flawed Gods left off, and races to discover the origin of the species. I predict this will be the beginning of a reader’s cult. Gene Roddenberry trekkies, are you out there?
The Book: Assassination of a Dignitary
The Author: Carolyn Arnold
The Story: Raymond Hunter’s dark past has returned and demands one final favor. Now fifteen years later, settled as an accountant and family man, he assumed life would be calm. He thought wrong. The Italian Mafia wants him back.
The directions were simple: Kill Governor Behler and be out for good.
In order to protect his family and guard them from the truth, he has no choice but to accept the job. He picks the date and location—Niagara Falls, New York—two hundred and forty miles away. But by the time he returns home, he finds out the assassination attempt failed, his family has been kidnapped, and he has twenty-four hours to set things right if he wants to see them again.
With time running out, Raymond discovers the real reason they wanted Behler dead and finds out he’s placed himself and his family right in the middle of a mafia power struggle. What he doesn’t realize is that law enforcement is also closing in.
Review by Barb Thereadingcafe: Assassination of a Dignitary by Carolyn Arnold is a suspense thriller. The story revolves around the mafia, and a man who got away, only to be pulled back in years later. Raymond Hunter is a family man, married with a wife he loves, and children. He used to be a hit man for the Russo family, and when he saved the Don’s son, he was allowed to leave the family, as he wished to live a normal life.
Fifteen years later, he is forced to by the Don’s son, Christian to perform a final job. Raymond must kill a Governor, under the order from the Don. Raymond finds that hard to believe, since the mafia usually will never touch dignitaries. But Christian Russo threatens Raymond, and promises to pay him an exorbitant amount to do the job, and then he will leave him and his family alone. Raymond has no choice, he must do the job, and is shocked to find out that the target is someone he knows.
What follows is an exciting adventure of Raymond trying to perform his task, saving his family from the mob, and trying to be one step ahead of the law, as well as Christian’s men. There were many twists and turns, and Raymond has no one to trust, and he is faced with a deadline to finish the job, or those he loves will suffer the consequences.
The story is done mostly in two pov’s, following Raymond each step of the way, and the Detective on the case, Clinton. Carolyn Arnold weaves an exciting thriller, with so many different elements and twists, as well as key players who have ties with the mob. Much of the book is tense, as the Mafia cares nothing about who they hurt. The key points…Did Raymond perform his final job? Is his family safe? Will Raymond survive, and will he ever be free?
I found this to be an exciting and interesting story, with not a dull moment, as there was action the entire way. There were some moments during the course of the book I did not enjoy, mainly some deaths or torture, but in this type of story, it did fit. Carolyn Arnold is an excellent writer, and knows how to tell a story that flows so perfectly.
Review by Katie Jennings: Assassination of a Dignitary is not my first Carolyn Arnold novel, though I think it says a lot about the quality of her storytelling that I came back eagerly for more. She is excellent at telling a fantastic cop tale, so much so that even real police officers have commended her on her attention to detail.
In Assassination of a Dignitary, the detectives may be secondary characters, but Arnold has proven she can take on an expansive and intricate cast and still weave a splendidly tricky web around them. There’s the great deception embodied in the character Ray, the assassin, and shown in his secret life with the Italian Mafia that his perfect suburban family is unaware of. Then there’s the twisted and disturbed Mafia Don’s son, and his insatiable lust for power…which he’ll kill, torture, and taunt to achieve. Throw in a kidnapped family, corrupt politicians, hidden agendas, dirty bribes, and a lot of spilled blood, and you have an ex-assassin’s worst nightmare.
It’s a spectacular blend of The Godfather meets Léon: The Professional, with a good dose of gritty detective work thrown in. If you love a nail-biting thriller that’ll keep you on your toes all the way to the end, then I highly suggest you get this book. At the very least, it’ll have you breaking out your mafia movies!