I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Hot Zone by Jayne Ann Kretnz writing as Jayne Castle

This book is one of Jayne Ann Krentz's science fiction Harmony books,  when a group of humans left earth and landed on the planet Harmony and set up a base there.  But the curtain between the planet and earth would close and these colonist would be stuck with each other, for better or worse.  Aliens had once lived on this planet long ago and left it.  They are believed to have lived underground in the catacombs that are made of some kind of green mineral.  Over the years, the humans began to develop psi abilities which allowed them to use amber to "rez up" things such as cars, microwaves, cell phones, locks, etc... Some would develop particularly strong psi talents that required the use of amber to do, such as tuning amber (it has a unique frequency and if you go into the catacombs without tuned amber you will wander around until you go mad and die), read auras, handle and create "ghosts", or UDEMs (electrical energy that manifests in the form of a ghost) in the catacombs, music talents, botany talents, the ability to find and handle minerals, the ability to use alien technology.  The list is pretty endless. There are also dust bunnies, mysterious creatures with an endless apatite, who come and go as they please, collect the oddest things, and form attachments with humans. They have the loyalty of a dog who always knows when you need him and the independent streak and the insistence that you take care of his needs first of a cat. They're adorable.

This is the latest Harmony book that takes place on Rainshadow Island, where a dangerous Alien Preserve exists that people go in and are either never seen again, or come back changed forever.  Rainshadow Island is an island of misfit toys.  The people who live there don't seem to fit in anywhere else.  They have recently discovered a catacomb that may connect to the Preserve where dinosaur-like animals are being killed by something.  Cyrus Jones, a Ghost Hunter Guild Boss is sent in to send a team into the catacombs, while those who police the Preserve go into it to try to find out what is going on.  Cyrus, known as Dead Zone Jones, has a power that damps others powers and can form a shield around himself as a protector against danger.  Like Sedona, he has a hard time finding someone who can handle his talent.

Sedona Snow, recently escaped from a mad scientist who experimented on her in a secret catacomb, is a gate opener, closer, and creator, and is now a fire controller.  She goes to Rainshadow Island to get away from everyone.  But everyone seems to want Sedona now, including her ex-Marriage of Convenience partner, who didn't look for her when she went missing and soon had his secretary living with him, when Sedona goes to his door after her escape.

Also, her family on the Snow side have been trying to contact her.  Sedona is the illegitimate daughter of two prominent family members who died when she was young.  By law, the families have to provide for her until she is of age, which they did, then dropped her.  Now, her grandfather wants to set up a trust for her and wants to see her at his birthday party.

When a teen gets caught in a new catacomb filled with quartz and blue quartz, Sedona and a team of ghost hunters, including Cyrus, go down to rescue him.  While she is able to open the gate and get everyone out, she is unable to get herself out, and Cyrus jumps back in to be with her and her dust bunny Lyle.  A storm is raging, which is good, because it is keeping the monsters in the tunnels from getting to them.  They weather it out in a cave and manage to barely escape.

But Sedona is not safe by far.  The evil scientist still wants her, because the formula only worked on her and no one else.  Also, Sedona placed a gate on the formula in the lab where she was being held.  What are her relative's true reasons for wanting her back and will the scientist get her again?  Not if Cyrus has anything to say about it.


Any day is a good day so long as you survive to play another day.
--Jayne Castle (Hot Zone p 189)
Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hot-Zone-Rainshadow-Jayne-Castle/dp/0515154725/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471444208&sr=1-3&keywords=Hot+zone


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