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Raven's Heart
Jennifer Dunne
New Concepts Publishing, 162 pages

Raven's Heart
Jennifer Dunne
Jennifer Dunne has sold short fiction to Romantic Hearts, Fantastic Worlds, Dream Forge, Afterthoughts, and Jackhammer. She is the editor of Science Fiction Romance newsletter and she wrote the section "What is Science Fiction Romance?" for the newest edition of Kathryn Falk's How to Write a Romance and Get It Published. A member of Romance Writers of America, she helped found her local chapter, where she served two terms as President.

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New Concepts Publishing

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steve Lazarowitz

I've never been much for love stories. That this particular love story takes place in a wonderfully detailed future didn't change the fact that I began the book with certain reservations. I have learned two things from reading it: 1) A romance can have as much action as any other SF adventure; and 2) Jennifer Dunne is an author of no small talent.

The book takes place about 25 years in the future, after the Earth has been struck by a comet that was supposed to have burned up in the atmosphere. What scientists were unable to predict was that there was a compound introduced by the comet which surrounded the entire planet, producing a wide range of effects. For one thing, the increase in heat radiation caused 75% of the of the ice caps to melt. Floods, famine and riots followed.

Clouds of the compound saturated the atmosphere. Not everyone could see it, but those who could ended up possessing a number of unique talents. These people were called Aurics. Their powers could be used defensively as a shield or an invisibility screen, or offensively to stop a heart or knock the breath out of an opponent. Many even had the ability to heal wounds.

Enter the heroine. Raven Armistead is an Auric and the daughter of Marcus Armistead, head of the Auric Rights League. Raven is beautiful, totally devoted to her cause, and dangerous when she has to be.

Of course, no heroine would be complete without a knight in shining armour, if one whom she consistently beats at his own game. Val Tarrent is an officer of the ICP, the inter-continental police. Following the panic of the asteroid disaster there was a renewed interest in religion, and from that grew the ICP. Imagine them as fundamentalist Christians with guns. At least, some of them are that way. Tarrent on the other hand, is a genuine believer. The ICP is his life, until Raven Armistead saves his. That's when things begin to go awry.

Tarrent must somehow uphold his vows, while trying to apprehend the beautiful Raven, who is guilty of sabotaging an ICP installation. Meanwhile, splinter factions in both the ICP and the Auric Rights League play a dangerous game of their own.

Raven's Heart, which won Second Place in the Sapphire Awards, is a love story, a political intrigue, a science fiction novel and an action/adventure all in one.

Will Tarrent and Raven be able to trust each other long enough to prevent a violent revolution?

You'll just have to read it to find out.

Copyright © 1999 Steve Lazarowitz

Steve Lazarowitz reads and writes fantasy and SF. His work has been published in a number of online 'zines and he is the editor of the Dragonclaw Showcase. His short story anthology A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation is due out from Domhan Books in 1999.

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