NOVELS OF THE ELDER RACES: The Tarot Card Novellas by Thea Harrison-a review
True Colors – an Elder Races novella by Thea Harrison
“True Colors” is a novella by Thea Harrison based on her Elder Races series. This short story focuses on Gideon Riehl and Alice Clark, whom are both Wyr’s. Gideon, who is a wolf shifter, is now one of Dragos’s top men, replacing Tiago, who left to be with Tricks. He is a detective with the Wyr police force and is currently involved looking for a serial killer. Receiving a clue, Gideon rushes to stop another murder, but is too late. As he surveys the scene, he scents someone hiding.
Alice, who is Wyr chameleon, is on the scene, as she just found her best friend murdered. She is devastated, but she hides as she hears someone rushing up the steps. When Gideon leaves, Alice shortly follows, only to see that Gideon was waiting for her. Immediately the two of them realize they are mates. But Alice is scared, and she runs away. As a chameleon she is very fast, but Gideon convinces her to meet him at the police force.
Though this is mystery, the romance between the two of them begins full force, as Gideon makes himself her protector. He questions her, as he is trying to find the murderer, and they end up helping each other. All three of the previous recent murders were Alice’s friends, and unbeknownst to her…she is the next intended victim. Gideon will not let anyone harm Alice. It doesn’t take long for them to have hot steamy sex, as they discover each other, confirming that they were destined as mates.
Gideon, for a tough guy, was so sweet with Alice. He never thought of himself finding someone, and being in love. Alice herself was shy, sweet, and never really cared to find someone to love. Being a Wry Chameleon was dangerous, as most of her kind were killed many years ago. So she and her friends kept to themselves. The story is fast, continual, and not a dull moment. We really do not get to see too many of our other favorites from the Elder Races. If you have not read any of the Elder Races, this book could be a standalone. However, Thea Harrison does a good job with this novella, and it is well worth it for you to read the entire series…it is that much fun.
Reviewed by Barb
NATURAL EVIL by Thea Harrison
NATURAL EVIL is the March 2012 release in Thea Harrison’s Elder Race TAROT CARD novella series. Like True Colors, Natural Evil departs from Thea’s Elder Race- Wyr storylines to focus on Luis, a 27 year old shapeshifter and Claudia a 40 year old woman with some telekinetic powers and the mysterious Tarot cards. Although Thea never does reveal the source of the heroine’s powers, it appears that she may have some psychic ability as well.
Claudia is a retired major in the Specials Forces, on her way to Vegas. Although she really had no destination in mind, driving along she finds a rather larger animal wounded and dying along the highway. With her telekinetic powers, Claudia lifts the injured animal into her car and drives forward, in search of help. But the help that is offered is not what she had expected. It becomes rather obvious, that more than one person is looking for the ‘wounded animal’ and the local law enforcement is more than willing to euthanize the animal ASAP. Claudia is soon suspicious about the real intent of the Nevada sheriff. And there are others who are not willing to relinquish the controls on the investigation surrounding the tortured animal.
Luis is a shapeshifter, who was sent by the Wyr to investigate the rumors of missing people and the Power of the silver being mined. But a miscalculation by Luis results in his capture, drugging and inability to shift back to human. Tortured and left for dead, Luis is rescued by Claudia and nursed by to health by a friendly retired veterinarian. Seeing intelligence in the animal’s eyes, Claudia soon recognizes the animal as a member of the ‘Wyr’ species and attempts to communicate telepathically. But it is with the information obtained from the doc that drives Claudia forward in an effort to save Luis life. Hoping to trap those responsible, Luis and Claudia return to the silver mine, in an effort to destroy the people involved in the discovery of the mine and its portal to the other side.
Once again, the Tarot Cards make an appearance, as they did in True Colors. When Luis questions the origins of the deck, Claudia remembers that a woman gave her the cards saying the ‘cards’ communicate and choose their owner. They have a Power of their own. And at the end of the storyline, the Tarot Cards will once again find themselves with a new owner.
The relationship between Luis and Claudia is slow to build. Luis remains in his shifted form throughout the first ½ of the storyline, therefore the romance is negligent, but there is a connection between the couple. Claudia is concerned, as their sexual relationship develops because of the age difference between she and Luis, and she will make an attempt to dissuade any physical contact, although both are highly aware of the attraction.
Natural Evil is not one of Thea’s best storylines. It was a quick read, like all novellas. The story was interesting until Luis and Claudia went to investigate the mine and its’ missing people. Here is where the writing changes. It becomes jumpy and the flow is not smooth. I found myself going back-wondering if I had missed some information.
Reviewed by Sandy
DEVIL’S GATE (Elder Races novella #3 (4.6)) by Thea Harrison
DEVIL’S GATE is the 3rd novella in Thea Harrison’s Novel of the Elder Races TAROT CARD series. Unlike the previous two novellas, Devil’s Gate stayed true to the Elder Race characters. Natural Evil and True Colors ventured down a different path, and one that was not as enticing or exciting, but with Devil’s Gate Thea has, once again, found her style. There is little reference to the ‘magical Tarot cards’ until the final couple of chapters and only then, with reference to their mystical powers.
Seremela Telemar is the heroine. We were first introduced to the medusa/medical examiner in Storm’s Heart and Serpent’s Kiss, but in Devil’s Gate Seremela has her own story to tell. With her niece Vetta missing and held captive in the magical encampment of Devil’s Gate, Seremela makes it her mission to, once again, set about rescuing her troubled niece. But her new position with Carling and Rune has yet to begin and she is already asking for a leave, knowing that this will probably not be the last time.
Duncan Turner vampire/lawyer will not let Seremela attempt a rescue of Vetta by herself. Working for Carling and Rune, he is aware of Seremela’s predicament and has asked that he be kept abreast of Seremela’s actions. His attraction to the beautiful medical examiner is known to Carling and it is with her permission that Duncan will aid Seremela in her search and rescue at Devil’s Gate. And when Vetta is safe, Duncan will make sure that Seremela knows that she will be his to claim.
Vetta has been charged with murdering one of the Powers at Devil’s Gate. But without a body to examine, there is no proof that Vetta’s medusa snakes poisoned the Dark Fae. And the Djinn running the illegal operations at the camp was willing to execute Vetta for the sins of another just to prove his position. But the appearance of Duncan and Seremela will change the stakes and force Malphas to bow to a higher authority. Duncan knows that Malphas’s past will not save him from the wrath of the Elders and it is with regret that Malphas must assume a position he did not want to take.
Thea brings back some of her previous characters, even if by way of a mention, including Rune/Carling, Tiago/Niniane, Julian, and the Djinn Soren and Khalil. With the inclusion of these characters, Devil’s Gate felt more connected to the Elder Race Novels than the previous two e-novellas. And her introduction of Malphas (a pariah Djinn) and the Dark Fae Xanthe (who takes possession of the magical Tarot cards) we will be seeing more of these characters in Thea’s next e-novella-Hunting Season.
Devil’s Gate is by far, the better of Thea’s 3 e-novellas. With the inclusion and mention of many of her Elder Race hero/heroines the novella felt like it belonged. A wonderful story, a great premise and another well-written chapter in the Novels of the Elder Races.
Reviewed by Sandy
HUNTER’S SEASON (Elder Races #4.7 or Tarot Card #4) by Thea Harrison
HUNTER’S SEASON is the 4th storyline (September 2012 release) in Thea Harrison’s Elder Races Tarot Card series of novellas. The powerful Tarot Cards have made their way through a series of mishaps and adventures, and in each storyline, the cards have either hindered or helped the immortal in question. Hunter’s Season will find the Dark Fae and assassin warrior Xanthe as she returns home to the Fae colony outside of Chicago. Having completed her most recent assignment at Devil’s Gate, Xanthe will come into possession of the Tarot deck and in each shuffle, the Major Arcana destines that she will find someone to care (for) and Xanthe thinks the kitten she has found is the one- only the someone in question is another Dark Fae with whom she has had feelings for a very long time.
Chancellor Aubrey Riordan’s life changed the day his wife tried to assassinate the new Queen of the Dark Fae –Niniane aka Tricks. And now a year has passed and the conspiracy and his wife’s betrayal continue to follow him like a shadow. When Niniane and her consort Tiago hire the assassin Xanthe as the Queen’s guardian, Aubrey is both concerned and delighted that the mysterious Dark Fae will continue to grace their lives. But an assassination attempt on Aubrey will find Xanthe as his new protector and a relationship developing between two people who never considered the possibilities.
Hunter’s Season is more of a romance storyline than action and adventure. We get a glimpse into Tiago’s friendship with Aubrey and his duties as the Dark Queen’s consort. Aubrey and Xanthe’s relationship begins as nurse and patient, and slowly develops into a friendship that will quickly turn to passion and love. As Aubrey’s wounds and ego begin to heal, we will discover that the investigation into the attempted murder of the Chancellor has long been over, and that the Queen had ulterior motives to keep her guardian and friend together.
HUNTER’S SEASON is a romantic storyline that concentrates on the growing relationship between two people. I enjoyed this particular novella more than the others. Perhaps I needed to cleanse my reading palette of some of the blood and war that so many of the recent paranormal storylines have focused. With the return of Tiago and Niniane, the storyline felt complete and part of the original Elder Race series. Sometimes a novella will introduce a new character(s) or side-story that is so disconnected from the original series, that they are best read as stand alones, but Hunter’s Season felt very connected and that was a major plus for Thea’s storyline.
Reviewed by Sandy