Wednesday, January 27, 2010

IN SEARCH OF NEW READS, PART II

All right, now, confess. You love science fiction. You love romance. You’ve got some pretty kinky fantasies going on in your head, don’t you? Yeah, that’s right. Don’t try to deny it.

Some of us dream of being the captains of our own starships. Whatever happens on the bridge of that ship—or in the cabin or on the zero-G deck—is nobody’s business but our own. Some of us wield lightswords in the armies of the galactic rebellion or seduce pirate leaders to protect our home planets (or, hell, just for the fun of it!). Some of us just like to hang out at places like Spacefreighters Lounge or TenForward and see who, or what, turns up.

And some of us wait here on Earth for that special one to come and find us and recognize that we, above all others in the galaxy, are unique, the key to the survival of his planet. Well, gals, be careful what you wish for. Because, according to the premise of Deidre Knight’s PARALLEL ATTRACTION, you could end up either 1) the beloved queen of an entire people, 2) dead, or 3) both, depending on the timeline.

Deidre Knight is, of course, well known as a literary agent (The Knight Agency) and paranormal writer. PARALLEL ATTRACTION is the first book in her first series (MIDNIGHT WARRIORS), and it’s pure SFR—an intergalactic war between alien worlds is being fought covertly here on Earth. Kelsey Wells is the unwitting keeper of a secret to the mystery of time travel that could mean either an end to the war or destruction on an unimaginable scale. Kelsey not only holds the key to victory for the good guys in the fight, she holds the key to their leader’s heart. For years exiled king Jareshk has held on to the barest scrap of a memory of her from a stolen moment they had together as teenagers. When he sees her again . . . well, you know how it goes.

The series weaves a number of subplots around the main SF theme, while it introduces and follows new couples through their own romantic journeys. Deidre does a convincing job of worldbuilding, though the universe she creates is right under our noses. The element of time travel ramps up the suspense, with characters appearing with warnings from the future or the past, sometimes about themselves! In lesser hands all this would be enough to give us a headache, but Deidre manages things deftly enough to keep us coming back for more of her brand of hot SFR.

Fantasies are one thing. Nightmares are completely another. It’s not bad enough we have aliens fighting over our little ball of dirt. Author Alexis Morgan has them pouring through a rift in the natural barrier between universes. Yeah, you heard me. In Alexis’ PALADINS series, the aliens are from an alternate universe—a very dark place, since they’re running out of light.

The state of affairs in the alien universe seems to be causing a kind of madness in some of the Others, who leap through the Barrier ready to slaughter anyone in their path. So the places where the Barrier runs thin and prone to collapse are patrolled by the Paladins, an elite army of genetically unique men with kickass fighting skills and the usual tortured alpha personalities (and need for love) to match.

You can’t blame them really. Alexis lays it out for us in the blurb for the first book in the series, DARK PROTECTOR: Devlin Bane: Born a Paladin, his is a member of an ancient band of warriors locked in a centuries-old war against evil. His destiny: To die over and over again to protect mankind from the Others, only to be revived each time by his mortal Handler.

Did we mention there’s a limit on the number of times you can do the whole Lazarus thing before you start to go a little nuts? Yeah, I’d say the boy could use some lovin’. He finds it with his Handler, of course, Doctor Laurel Young.

In the rest of the series, Alexis explores love on both sides of the Barrier (the Others come over here, we go over there, we all get to know each other in all kinds of ways) with a great mix of both science fiction and hot romance. My personal favorites in the series are those that delve deepest into the clash of cultures. IN DARKNESS REBORN and REDEEMED IN DARKNESS offer adventures on opposites sides of the Barrier in which the Other brother and sister pair Barak and Lusahn each find their own human lovers.

Alexis' latest series is skewed more toward the paranormal with the TALIONS. She even has a popular Western series out there (PAT PRITCHARD). But if you haven’t checked out her SFR PALADINS, you’re missing out on some good (ahem) fantasy material.

Cheers, Donna




6 comments:

  1. Fabulous article, Donna. And the Deidre Knight book sounds fascinating...but also has some strong parallels to one of mine, so I best shelf that in my "to read once my WIP reaches market draft" stack.

    Some of us just like to hang out at places like Spacefreighters Lounge or TenForward and see who, or what, turns up. I love surprises.

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  2. Well, you could wait to read the series, or potentially save yourself some work by looking at it now. I've had that stomach-dropping feeling of reading the bones of "my" idea on the back cover of some novel, but it turned out to be REALLY different when I got into the book. Whew! That ole common consciousness thing can be a bear!

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  3. It really is like a free-fall when you see that, isn't it? Honestly sometimes it makes me afraid to read new releases.

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  4. Nice to find you all! I'm putting you guys on my Google reader so I can keep up.

    Your list of SFRs approximates my existing list, so a few to add is nice.

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  5. *waves to Marva*

    I didn't know you were a fan of SFR. Cool! Thanks for your comment and stopping by our blog. :)

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Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.