Tag Archives: The Legend of Banzai Maguire

[REVIEW] The Legend of Banzai Maguire – Susan Grant

Susan Grant
The Legend of Banzai Maguire (2176, Book 1)
Dorchester Love Spell (US: April 2004)
Buy (US)

I love futuristics, and bought this series when I heard about Liz Maverick’s The Shadow Runners. Australia in the year 2176? I’m so there! But that’s the third book in this series.

First up is Susan Grant’s The Legend of Banzai Maguire. In 2006, US fighter pilot Bree Maguire is shot down, captured, and put in bio-stasis. Cryonics is one of my most-wished things to read about, so I love this bit.

170 years later, life on this planet is different in 2176. Geographically, some countries have disappeared from rising sea levels, whilst others have been bombed to pieces. Then there’s Australia, which is the world’s waste dump. Yes, business as usual…

Prince Kyber, the Emperor of Asia, is hosting Banzai in one of his palaces. She’s treated like royalty, but still wants to find her lost wingman. I adore the prince, who’s alpha male WITHOUT being a d-bag. The two unfortunately tend to go hand in hand, so Kyber is a welcome difference. And he’s a hot Asian. So he’s kind of awesome.

But as for Banzai’s love interest, the commander…he’s creepy. Sweet, perhaps, but creepy. Back when he was a boy, he learned about Banzai in a military history book, and she was his dream woman. And now he meets his dream woman, and loves her all the more. I’m all for meeting your idols, but shagging them? Kind of weird.

What’s more uncomfortable is the international unease. Country against country. US v North Korea (in 2006). When specific countries are named, and the word “patriot” is thrown around, I get terribly nervous. I don’t like war in real life, and I don’t like it in fiction. I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that.

Nevertheless, with fascinating world-building, conceivable technology, and the smell of an uprising on the wind, this novel won me over, but the teaser in the back gives me the impression that I’ll love Book 2 more. And Book 3, which I’m dearly looking forward to…

In Praise of ARRC09

As I’ve told you often enough, or in case you’ve forgotten, the Australian Romance Readers Convention (aka ARRC09) will run from February 20-22 here in my own Melbourne. Thanks to all attendees, sponsors, attendees-at-a-distance, organisation committee, and everyone who’s pitched in to make this event happen, and who’ve helped publicise it.

I’m looking forward to this more than I can tell you. I do get rather jealous when my North American and European peeps talk of attending cons, meeting authors, hanging out with writer/reader pals in facetime… Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy that you have all this. I just wish I had it, too 😉

Maybe it’s the whole location thing, but even though I follow book news on the Internet as closely as I can (without forking out for a Publisher’s Marketplace membership), I still feel so separated from the book world and the various writing cliques.

So to have a special gathering such as this, in my own country, in my own state…it’s really brilliant. I don’t even have to pay for accommodation, though I will have to use public transport for better or worse 😉 And since the con’s on a weekend (I won’t be there for Friday’s events), the train will only cost me $2.50 for each day. Weekend Saver tickets, y’all.

MaryJanice Davidson, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Stephanie Laurens may pull the crowds, and I’ll be the embarrassed one in the crowd because I haven’t read their work, and aren’t sure that their books will suit my tastes. Nevertheless, it’s wonderful they all will be attending, and MJD will even be bringing her kids. You’re never too young to start learning about the world at large, and not just your little corner. Here’s hoping you enjoy your time here and take home some nice memories, kids 🙂

But really the other major headliners are why I’ll be attending: Liz Maverick and Susan Grant. I’ve been keeping an eye on Liz since the launch of Dorchester’s SHOMI imprint. And though I’ve only read three of the books so far (Michele Lang’s Netherwood, Eve Kenin’s Hidden and Michelle Maddox’s Countdown), I’ve bought the others, and they’re all waiting patiently on my shelf to be read.

Last year I looked up Liz’s backlist, to see what other books of hers I might like to try. And I found that perfect one: The Shadow Runners. It’s a futuristic – SET IN AUSTRALIA. This was at the time I was realising how awesome futuristic fiction is, and I’ll admit it: when I learned of this book’s existence, I started thinking about writing my own futuristic Australia novel. I’ve never had a muse, or whatnot, but in this case Liz unintentionally provided inspiration. So even though I haven’t read the book yet (though I own it), it’s very special to me. Now I just need Liz to sign it (and personalise it, let’s not forget) to cement its awesomeness. I WILL TRACK HER DOWN! 😉

The Shadow Runners is actually the third novel in a 5-book miniseries…created by Susan Grant. She also wrote the first and last stories: The Legend of Banzai Maguire and The Scarlet Empress. The series is set in the year 2176, and since it’s Susan’s brainchild…it makes her awesome. If she wasn’t already awesome, but she already was 😉

I own signed and personalised copies of these two books, but since she created the whole series, Susan will hopefully deign to sign the other three as well. Such is the responsibility of the author – if you’re in my city, you may as well be useful 😉

Then there’s Keri Arthur, of course. It’s no secret that not every urban fantasy series is to my liking. But I’ve stuck with the Riley Jenson series because it works for me. It’s set in my Melbourne. The investigations often deal with things I haven’t come across in fiction before, so Keri has fab originality. I have a scene each from Embraced by Darkness and The Darkest Kiss still in my mind, even though I read them last year – and believe me, my memory’s terribly shoddy, so this is a marvellous achievement.

And then there’s the matter of the Wolfsbane and Mistletoe anthology I’m currently reading. So far Keri’s contribution has been the only story to properly hold my attention. I quickly gave up on the preceding stories after a few pages each, because they just didn’t work for me. This one is. So this proves that not only can Keri write a cracking novel, but she’s far and above other short story writers, too. Well, in this anthology at least. Much applause. Anthologies on a whole are often disappointing, but stories like Keri’s are the reason I at least try to give anthologies a chance.

And Tracey O’hara will be there 🙂 I only learned of her recently – she’s a Canberra-based urban fantasy author whose first novel, Night’s Cold Kiss, will be released in September 2009 by Harper Eos. So she’s sharing a publisher with the likes of Kim Harrison, Vicki Pettersson and Jocelynn Drake – and she shares an agent with Jocelynn, too. Tracey clearly has great credentials, and she’s a nifty person too – she’s replied to my emails and blog comments 😉 Seriously. Often I’m too intimidated or whatever to comment or email an author, so when I do, that’s when I’m comfortable.

I’ll be travelling to the con alone, and won’t know anyone (in person) there, so to anyone who’s attending: say hi 🙂 I think we’ll all be wearing name tags, so I’ll be the Tez with frizzy brown hair and no make-up. And a deer-in-headlights facial expression. And if it’s skirt weather, bruised knees 😉 (Keep banging them on the table I work at. Dude, I so need an ergonomic desk-and-chair combo. And a hard drive and working monitor in the same machine, as opposed to the laptop system and computer monitor I currently use.)

Respect, admiration and love to ARRC09, and have a lovely day! 🙂

Cat with Books

Not so much a “nightwalker” as an “afternoon napper”, but still…

Manny with:

*Susan Grant’s The Legend of Banzai Maguire and The Scarlet Empress
*Kathleen Nance’s Day of Fire
*Liz Maverick’s The Shadow Runners
*Patti O’Shea’s The Power of Two
*Jocelynn Drake’s Nightwalker

Eye on 2176

There’s a particular book on my shelf I’m avoiding reading – because it has things in common with my story (whose synopsis I still need to work on). There’re both futuristic, and both set in the same part of the world. In fact, those two things are probably what inspired me to create my story in the first place. So I’m afraid to read in case there are similarities, or (more likely) this other writer’s ideas will be so much better than mine that I’ll lose all interest in my story 😉

I’m talking about Liz Maverick’s The Shadow Runners. It’s book 3 in the multi-authored five-part 2176 series. I was reminded of the series today, and decided to research. And the books sound totally up my alley.

Susan Grant
The Legend of Banzai Maguire (2176, Book 1)
Dorchester Love Spell (April 2004)
Buy

The year: 2006. The mission: routine. Or so U.S.A.F. pilot Bree “Banzai” Maguire thinks. Then she’s shot down over enemy airspace, captured and put in bio-stasis. When she wakes, everything’s changed. It’s one hundred and seventy years later. 2176: the world is in crisis, and she’s a hotly contested prize. Once, Banzai’s job was to protect democracy; now a mysterious voice claims she must bring it back. Two men vie for her heart. Kyber, her captor, the rich, ruthless Emperor Prince of Asia, has all a man could desire. Then there’s U.C.E. SEAL commander and would-be rescuer Ty Armstrong. He has all the right moves. With two such choices, Banzai regrets she has but one heart to give for her country.

Kathleen Nance
Day of Fire (2176, Book 2)
Dorchester Love Spell (May 2004)
Buy

Canada: For over a century it’s been closed off, quarantined. Now, in 2176, its people thrive. The country still needs peacekeepers, though – and the Mounties are there. Be It All. Do It All. Those are the high-tech police force’s twin mottos. They’re Day Daniels’s mottos, too. But things are heating up. Someone or something called the Shadow Voice is broadcasting treason, and Day’s determined to stamp it out. Seeking the source of the threat, she meets Lian Firebird, an enigmatic government operative. He offers – no, insists – upon joining her trek to the legendary Citadel. Well, Day decides, Mounties work alone, but she can still do and be it all – even with this hunk at her heels.

Liz Maverick
The Shadow Runners (2176, Book 3)
Dorchester Love Spell (June 2004)
Buy

Newgate, Australia: In the 22nd century, history repeats itself. Part penal colony, part dumping ground for toxic waste, the land is controlled by “the Parliament,” a gang of dissipated self-styled aristocrats. To survive here, you have to know the tricks. Like Jenny Red. She’s been Down and made it out to tell the tale. But D’ekkar Han Valoren – the bastard son of the Emperor that Jenny’s family was accused of destroying – knows Jenny escaped, and he wants her to take him back in. Okay, maybe she’ll help Deck’s team of rebels, his Shadow Runners, like he asks. But not because he’s holding anything over her. No, she’ll do it because of what was once between them. Because of the revolution of her heart.

Patti O’Shea
The Power of Two (2176, Book 4)
Dorchester Love Spell (2nd November 2004)
Buy

The U. C. E.: In the 21st and 22nd centuries, the United States changed and grew. Now the “United Colonies of Earth” dominate the globe. But a mysterious voice is broadcasting treason, inciting revolution and referring to an enigmatic figure named Banzai Maguire. To find Banzai, the U.C.E. assigns Cai, whose neural implants allow her to sit back in a control chair and feed information to her partner, the dark-souled Jacob Tucker. He’s as rigid as he is deadly…or handsome. But this time, Cai needs Jake to trust her completely. Whether he likes it or not, she can’t sit back while he fights the bad guys. Wherever this mission takes her, Cai is gonna be the one kicking a little tail.

Susan Grant
The Scarlet Empress (2176, Book 5)
Dorchester Love Spell (7th December 2004)
Buy

Shot down over Korea, modern-day U.S.A.F. fighter pilot Cameron “Scarlet” Tucker is put in bio-stasis. She wakes 170 years later to find her best friend survived, too – the “legendary” Banzai Maguire is being held for treason in the country that was once her beloved United States. Cam has her own problems. She’s in the masterful hands of Kyber, the emperor prince whom Banzai just escaped. And he won’t get fooled again. With a mysterious Shadow Voice urging world revolution, and her friend in chains, Cam wants the sexy dictator on her side – and maybe even closer. But her role in the thrilling mission to save her country must come first. It’s time to give a royal butt-kicking, and Cam knows just where to start.