A Kiss of Shadows

By Laurell K. Hamilton

Place: Publisher, Year: New York : Ballantine Books, 2000 & 2006

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, dark fantasy, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, mystery, occult fiction, erotic fiction, horror

Series: Meredith Gentry series ; 1

ISBN: 0345490657, 0345423402

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 435

Setting: Los Angeles, CA and the Unseelie Court at Cahokia, IL

Time period: Contemporary

Plot Summary: Meridith Gentry, or Merry, is a sidhe princess posing as a human and hiding in Los Angeles.  She works as a private investigator for the Grey Detective Agency which specializes in magical and supernatural cases.  Merry is hiding from her relatives in both the Seelie and Unseelie courts.  Even though she is sidhe, her powers have not yet come to her, which makes it very dangerous for her to live at home in the Unseelie court where she is challenged to duels regularly.  In the past, Queen Andais, Merry’s aunt, made it clear that she was not concerned enough about Merry’s well being to provide her any extra protection, so Merry ran away.  However, when Merry becomes involved in the agency’s latest case, Merry’s cover is blown and before she can run again,she finds herself being brought back to Cahokia where she must confront her aunt and her other sidhe relatives. Continue reading

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Hard Truth

By Nevada Barr

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2005

Genre: Mystery

Series: Anna Pigeon mysteries; 13

ISBN: 0399152415

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 324

Setting: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Time period: early 2000’s

Plot summary: In Rocky Mountain National Park, three girls disappeared during a church retreat at Fern Lake.  Weeks later, Heath Jarrod, a climber turned paraplegic finds two of the girls one night lost in the woods at the campground at Sprague Lake.  The girls are clothed in nothing but their underwear and are covered in mud, blood, and grime.  They are also terrified, but cannot tell anyone where they have been.  This is the situation in which Ranger Anna Pigeon becomes entangled her first night on call in her new position at Rocky.  One girl is still missing, and the chances that she is still alive grow smaller each day. Continue reading

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

By Nahoko Uehashi [translated by Cathy Hirano]

Illustrated by Yuko Shimizu

Place: Publisher, Year: New York : Arthur A. Levine Books, 2008

Genres: Fantasy, adventure, mythic fiction

ISBN: 9780545005425, 0545005426

Series: Moribito; 1

Intended audience: Tweens, young adults

Number of pages: 248+

Setting: Reminiscent of ancient Japan

Time period: Medieval time period

Plot summary: As Balsa crosses the commoner’s bridge over the Aoyumi River, her life takes an interesting turn.  At the same time she is crossing, so is a royal procession crossing the Yamakage Bridge just upstream.  Balsa witnesses the royal carriage tip over, dumping the young Second Prince into the raging river.  Without stopping to think, Balsa clips her rope to her spear and sends it flying into the river, rope in hand, to save the prince.  However, once she has rescued the prince, she finds herself bound to his fate, which will require many more rescues of the young boy. Continue reading