Gator Growl tickets will go on sale to students, alumni, faculty and staff of the University of Florida on Thursday, Sept. Student coupons go on sale Monday, Sept. Twenty-six thousand reserved seats are set aside for University of Florida students, more than in any previous year. Groups of 15 or more students who wish to sit together at Growl can submit applications now. Application forms for bloc seating must include the exact number of seats needed in the bloc.
Dead Harvest by Chris F. Most soul collectors possess living human bodies, but Sam prefers to possess the newly dead.
His is a world filled with demons and angels who battle, respectively, for the bad and the good—or at least that's the way it's supposed to be. Both demons and angels can possess human hosts, but when this happens, their souls—along with their minds and memories—can be irretrievably damaged.
Unfortunately, not all of the possessed are sinners; some innocents are possessed as well, which is the point of this book. As the story opens, Sam is assigned to collect the soul of Kate MacNeil, a young girl who allegedly slaughtered her family.
Kate is lying unconscious in a Manhattan hospital, and when Sam reaches into her chest to grab her soul, the darkness that he is accustomed to finding is just not there. Instead, he finds blinding, beautiful light, convincing him that Kate is innocent—that somehow she has been framed.
He believes that the murderer is a supernatural being who possessed Kate, but he has no idea who would do that or what the motive might be. As the story unfolds, Sam and Kate along with two street kids they pick up along the way run, hide, fight, and run again from various demons and police officers who are pursuing them.
Because Sam defied his order to collect Kate's soul, both the demons and the angels are now on the verge of an apocalyptic war.
Sam himself is a great character who is neither good nor evil.
Instead, he's a stubborn pragmatist who doesn't worry too much about collateral damage. Sam comes across as a gritty, chain-smoking Bogart-esq ue character straight out of hardboiled pulp fiction.
The supporting characters are not nearly as well developed. Kate goes from an unconscious victim to a suicidal wretch to a fearless, battle-ready partner too quickly to be believed.
The two street boys Anders and Pinch—very Dickensian and the demon Merihem are the most engaging of the supporting cast. This book starts out strong, with a well-constructed mythology, an interesting hero, and terrifically gritty scenic descriptions, but after awhile I wanted more complexity and less mindless run-hide-fight.
Through most of the story, Sam blindly runs from place to place, getting badly beaten up every step of the way.
Although Sam veers from one demonic information source to another as he crisscrosses the city looking for information, he never finds any solid clues about Kate's situation. In fact, he and we must wait until the climactic ending to get the lowdown on what is actually going on—and then everything is dumped on us all at once.
Perhaps the problem is that Holm has been primarily a short story writer and has not quite worked out his novelistic techniques. Recommended for all libraries. Contains: graphic violence and gory descriptions Reviewed by: Patricia O. Anderson Kensington; First Edition edition, ISBN Available: Paperback, e-book and Audio In this alternate New Orleans, life has changed drastically since the Big Uneasy, a fundamental shift in the natural order of things that occurred ten years ago, unleashed ghosts and goblins, vampires and werewolves, zombies, ghouls, and all manner of monsters.
Instead of the French Quarter, human tourists aka naturals stream into the Unnatural Quarter to get a look at the bizarre community of supernatural beings who live there. In this world, one in 75 dead people returns as a zombie, while one in 30 returns as a ghost.
The series hero, Dan Chambeaux, was a human private investigator in New Orleans for a long time, but now he's a newbie zombie, having been shot in the head in a dark alley just a month ago. Since Dan became a zombie, people have begun calling him "Shamble" instead of "Chambeaux.
The series opener is constructed like an overlapping set of sit-com episodes as Dan moves from one oddball case to the next.
Then, there's Dan's ongoing feud with the owner of Jekyll Lifestyle Products and Necroceuticals, who still holds a grudge against Dan for infiltrating his manufacturing facility and proving that he was putting garlic in vampire hair products..
All of these cases mean that Dan moves from one case-specific scene to another in quick succession. That makes the story line humorously cluttered, but not really complicated. Anderson concocts a humorous description and back-story for each quirky character.
This is light-hearted urban fantasy at its best. I listened to several chapters of the audiobook, and Phil Gigante does a great job with the various voices. He's got them all down perfectly, especially Dan's New Orleans drawl and Sheyenne's sexy purr.
Contains: coarse language, profanity, and some not-too-graphic violence. Reviewed by: Patricia O.