Sunday, November 16, 2008

Books in the Mail (W/E 11/15/2008)

Here’s the latest batch of arrivals…

1942 by Robert Conroy (Ballantine Trade Paperback 3/24/2009)– What if Japan had taken over Hawai’i? That is the general premise of this Alternate History novel. All three of Conroy’s previous novels were alternate history, so he’s had some practice at it. This is the first of two Alternate History novels that arrived on my porch this week.

Catopolis edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Janet Deaver-Pack (Daw Mass Market Paperback 12/2/2008) – Another month, another themed anthology from Daw and Martin H. Greenberg. This time, the stories are all the hidden city of cats. I’m not big on cats, they don’t like me and I don’t like them, although this anthology is noteworthy for one reason – it contains a story by Matthew Woodring Stover, plus many of the same writers I've seen in other recent Greenberg-edited anthologies.

Shadowrealm Book 3 of The Twilight War by Paul S. Kemp (Wizards of the Coast, Mass Market Paperback 12/15/2008) – I read Kemp’s excellent Erevis Cale Trilogy last year and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the novels and thought they were good examples of not just tie-in fiction, but sword-and-sorcery with a very heavy dose of magic. I’ve had the first two books for a while and have been waiting for the third to come out before I jumped into them, so I’m ready now. Tie-in fiction gets a looked down upon too often, but like everything there is good and bad. Kemp’s an example of the better stuff.

Dragon Strike (Age of Fire book #4) by E.E. Knight (Roc Trade Paperback 12/2/2008) – I read the first in this series, Dragon Champion three years ago and I’m impressed (and surprised) how fast this series has been coming out, especially considering Knight’s been churning out Vampire Earth novels (which I thoroughly enjoy) as well. All of this reminds me that I really need to catch up with what Mr. Knight’s been publishing.

Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar edited by Mercedes Lackey (Ace Mass Market Paperback 12/2/2008) – Lackey has written a lot of books set in the Valdemar world, just take a look at what I received in September.

Dead Reign (Marla Mason Book #3) by T.A. Pratt (Bantam Spectra Mass Market Paperback 10/28/2008) – I bought this one because I enjoyed the first two books in the series so much, Blood Engines and Poison Sleep. These Urban Fantasy novels concern Chief Sorrceress of Felport, Marla Mason, and her efforts to protect her town. My high concept take on this is Dresden meets Sopranos meets Lovecraft meets Buffy.

Peacekeeper (An Ariane Kedros novel) by Laura A. Reeve (Roc Mass Market Paperback 12/2/2008) –This debut could be promising, even though the cover does continue the trend of hot-chick-with-a-gun-wearing-a-tanktop.

Fifteen years ago, Ariane Kedros piloted a ship on a mission that obliterated an entire solar system. Branded a war criminal, she was given a new identity and a new life in order to protect her from retribution. But now, twelve of Ariane's wartime colleagues are dead- assassinated by someone who has uncovered their true identities. And her superiors in the Autonomist army have placed her directly in the assassin's line of fire on a peacekeeping mission that will decide the fate of all humanity.

The United States of Atlantis by Harry Turtledove (Roc Hardcover 12/2/2008) – The second Alternative History novel I received this week is also the second in a series, the sequel to Turtledove’s Opening Atlantis. I actually read a story set in this milieu, Audobon in Atlantis in the Jonathan Strahan edited Best Short Novels 2006. As long as I've been reading in the genre and as much as Turtledove has published (seemingly 10 books a year), I've never read one of his novels.

The Flaxen Femme Fatale (A Zachary Nixon Johnson “Hair Color” seriesby John Zakour (DAW Mass Market Paperback 12/2/2008) - This is the sixth of a pulp-SF-Private Eye novel that originally was a trilogy. Regardless, the book and series looks like a fun read.

The last freelance P.I. on earth, Zach Johnson has been hired to track down a young beauty who happens to be a deadly secret weapon for the World Council. Figuring girls just want to have fun, he follows Natasha to various vacation destinations, but she eludes him, leaving a trail of destruction in her wake.

Zach, however, isn't surprised to discover that things aren't what they seem, and to save the world, he's going to have to find a way to team up with the woman he's supposed to destroy...

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