Sunday, February 06, 2011

Books in the Mail (W/E 2011-02-05)

Lots and lots of books this week. Oddly enough, the book by Barclay and the book by Trussoni arrived on the same day. Once you read through the post you'll see the titular irony. Additionally, two series closers by Elizabeth Bear and (seemingly) all of the Black Library's March output.

Demonstorm (Legends of the Raven #3) by James Barclay (Pyr Trade Paperback 1/15/2011) – Third installment of The Legends of the Raven the second trilogy of James Barclay’s mercenary heroes. Like the previous two volumes, this one will have awesome cover art by Raymond Swanland and is the final copy of the ARC I received late last year.

THIS IS THE END.... The dragons have gone home, the elves are safe. The Raven have kept their promises. But fate has not finished with them. As the war between the colleges rages on, an old enemy senses that his chance to revenge a bitter defeat has come. Tessaya, Lord of the Paleon Tribes, has waited patiently for his moment and now, with Balaia in flames, he makes his move and unleashes the Wesmen hordes. In Xetesk, his forces scattered, Dystran, Lord of the Mount, faces certain defeat by the Wesmen unless he unleashes the horrfying power of dimensional magics. And Dystran has not come this far to be beaten at the last by a rabble of ignorant tribesmen. And so the veil between dimensions is torn.... And beyond, a predatory evil stirs. Demons catch the scent of countless souls in Balaia. Can even The Raven prevail when the world is coming to an end? A fantasy milestone is reached. James Barclay brings his sensational saga of The Raven to a heart-stopping conclusion.

Grail (Jacob’s Ladder #3) by Elizabeth Bear (Spectra, Mass Market Paperback 02/22/2011) – This is the first of two closing books in trilogies I’ve received from Bear this week.

Rife with intrigue and betrayal, heroism and sacrifice, Grail brings Elizabeth Bear’s brilliant space opera to a triumphant conclusion.

At last the generation ship Jacob’s Ladder has arrived at its destination: the planet they have come to call Grail. But this habitable jewel just happens to be populated already: by humans who call their home Fortune. And they are wary of sharing Fortune—especially with people who have genetically engineered themselves to such an extent that it is a matter of debate whether they are even human anymore. To make matters worse, a shocking murder aboard the Jacob’s Ladder has alerted Captain Perceval and the angel Nova that formidable enemies remain hidden somewhere among the crew.

On Grail—or Fortune, rather—Premier Danilaw views the approach of the Jacob’s Ladder with dread. Behind the diplomatic niceties of first-contact protocol, he knows that the deadly game being played is likely to erupt into full-blown war—even civil war. For as he strives to chart a peaceful and prosperous path forward for his people, internal threats emerge to take control by any means necessary.

The Sea Thy Mistress (The Edda of Burdens #3) by Elizabeth Bear (Tor, Hardcover 02/15/2011) – Bear is one of the most consistent, both in quality and quantity, of output in the genre. This one wraps up her turn on Norse myth.

This direct sequel to Elizabeth Bear’s highly acclaimed All the Windwracked Stars picks up the story some fifty years after Muire went into the sea and became the new Bearer of Burdens.

Beautiful Cathoair, now an immortal warrior angel, has been called back to the city of Eiledon to raise his son—Muire’s son as well, cast up on shore as an infant. It is seemingly a quiet life. But deadly danger approaches…the evil goddess Heythe, who engineered the death of Valdyrgard, has travelled forward in time on her rainbow steed. She came expecting to gloat over a dead world, the proof of her revenge, but instead she finds a Rekindled land, renewed by Muire’s sacrifice.

She will have her revenge by forcing this new Bearer of Burdens to violate her oaths and break her bounds and thus bring about the true and final end of Valdyrgard. She will do it by tormenting both Cathoair and his son Cathmar. But Mingan, the gray wolf, sees his old enemy Heythe’s return. He will not allow it to happen again.

The Remembering (Book 3 of The Meq) by Steve Cash (Del Rey Trade Paperback 02/21/2011) – I read the second book in this trilogy, The Time Dancers, this book finishes of the series:

For thousands of years the Meq have existed side by side with humanity—appearing as twelve-year-old children, unsusceptible to wounds and disease, dying only by extraordinary means. They have survived through the rise and fall of empires and emperors, through explorations, expansions, and war. Five sacred stones give a few of them mystical powers, but not the power to understand a long-destined event called the Remembering.

In the aftermath of the nuclear bombing of Japan in 1945, Zianno Zezen finds himself alone, while the fate of the other Meq and his beloved Opari, carrier of the Stone of Blood, is unknown. But Z’s archenemy, the Fleur-du-Mal, survives. In the next half century Z will reunite with far-flung friends both Meq and human, as American and Soviet spies vie to steal and harness the powers and mysteries of the timeless children. With the day of the Remembering rapidly approaching, Z must interpret the strange writing on an ancient etched stone sphere. In those markings, Z will discover messages within messages and begin a journey to the truth about his people and himself.

Lyrical and mesmerizing, The Remembering spans the world and history, from the first humans to a secret that has never been told before. The Remembering is the moving saga of the Meq—their purpose, past, and future among us.

Broken Honour by Robert Earl Paperback 03/25/2011 Black Library) – A Warhammer Fantasy novel featuring the EMPIRE and BEASTS of CHAOS

The armies of Hochland are at breaking point. Beset on all sides by the feral beastmen, the safety and prosperity of the province is shattered. These are desperate times. Mercenary Captain Eriksson looks to capitalise on the conflict, buying the freedom of a group of prisoners to form a new free company. The criminals are delighted to be released, but this comes at a terrible price – to fight and die in the upcoming conflict. Eriksson must lead his makeshift company into one bloody conflict after another, putting his faith in those who gave up on honour long ago. On the battlefields of Hochland, either damnation or redemption awaits them.

Savage Scars (A White Scars) Novel by Andy Hoare (Black Library , Mass Market Paperback 03/11/2011) – A Space Marines novel that seems to be the first of a new sub-series:

Dal’yth. The forces of the Greater Good have established a strangehold on the planet, and the time has come for the Imperium to move against them. The White Scars lead the ground assault against the tau, launching into combat with speed and fury, shedding blood as they gain ground against their enemies. Meanwhile, the members of the Crusade Council are determined to pursue their own agendas, and their politicking and back-stabbing will place the entire war effort in jeopardy. But little do they know that Inquisitor Grand has more extreme measures in mind, and the White Scars must achieve victory quickly or the cost to Dal’yth will be devastating.

Thirteen Years Later (The Danilov Quintet #2) by Jasper Kent (Bantam Spectra, Trade Paperback 02/07/2011) – The venerable Hobbit has reviewed this one for SFFWorld earlier in the year and is a big fan of the writer. He and Pat (he of the Fantasy Hotlist) conducted an interview with Mr. Kent about a month ago. Here’s the back cover copy of the book:

Aleksandr made a silent promise to the Lord. God would deliver him – would deliver Russia – and he would make Russia into the country that the Almighty wanted it to be. He would be delivered from "the pestilence that walketh in darkness ... " and "the destruction that wasteth at noonday ... the terror by night..."

1825, Europe – and Russia – have been at peace for ten years. Bonaparte is long dead and the threat of invasion is no more. For Colonel Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov, life is peaceful. Not only have the French been defeated but so have the twelve monstrous creatures he once fought alongside, and then against, ten or more years ago. His duty is still to serve and to protect his tsar, Aleksandr the First, but now the enemy is human.

However the Tsar knows that he can never be at peace. Of course, he is aware of the uprising fermenting within the Russian army – among his supposedly loyal officers. No, what troubles him is something that threatens to bring damnation down upon him, his family, and his country. The Tsar has been reminded of a promise: a promise born of blood, a promise that was broken a hundred years before.

Now the one who was betrayed by the Romanovs has returned to exact revenge for what has been denied him. And for Aleksei, knowing this chills his very soul. For it seems the vile pestilence that once threatened all he believed in and all he held dear has returned, thirteen years later…

Hammer of the Emperor by Steve Lyons, Steve Parker, and Lucien Soulban (Black Library, Trade Paperback 03/11/2011) – This is one of those omnibii The Black Library puts together, moreso on a thematic link, than an actual series

Across the war-torn galaxy, the Imperial Guard stand strong, a bastion against the enemies of mankind. From the punishing heat of Tallarn's deserts to the bonechilling tundras of Valhalla, these soldiers give their lives in the Emperor's name. Whether charging forward on foot or crushing the enemy with their vast machines of war, they are unwavering in their devotion to duty. On worlds unnumbered, they repel the forces of Chaos and stand fast against the threat of the alien and the heretic in a conflict without end. This omnibus collects three tales of savage warfare and heroism on the frontlines. Contents
  • Mercy Run by Steve Parker
  • Gunheads by Steve Parker
  • Ice Guard by Steve Lyons
  • A Blind Eye by Steve Lyons
  • Desert Raiders by Lucien Soulban
  • Waiting Death by Steve Lyons

Deus Ex: Icarus Effect by James Swallow (Del Rey Trade Paperback 02/22/2011) – Swallow is a workhorse, he churns out bestsellers for Black Library/Warhammer, among other genre tie-in properties.:


In the near future, with physical augmentation gaining ground and nano-cybernetics only years away, the dawn of limitless human evolution is just beyond the horizon, and a secret corporate cabal of ruthless men intends to make sure that humankind stays under its control. But two people on opposite sides of the world are starting to ask questions that could get them killed.

Secret Service agent Anna Kelso has been suspended for investigating the shooting that claimed her partner’s life. Anna suspects that the head of a bio-augmentation firm was the real target, and against orders she’s turned up a few leads concerning a covert paramilitary force and a cadre of underground hackers. But the cover-up runs deep, and now there’s a target on her back. Meanwhile, Ben Saxon, former SAS officer turned mercenary, joins a shadowy special ops outfit. They say they’re a force for good, but Saxon quickly learns that the truth is not so clear-cut. So begins a dangerous quest to uncover a deadly secret that will take him from Moscow to London, D.C. to Geneva, and to the dark truth—if he lives that long.

The year is 2027; in a world consumed by chaos and conspiracy, two people are set on a collision course with the most powerful and dangerous organization in history—and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni (Penguin Trade Paperback 02/22/2011) – Angels are real, but secretly so. This book was both a NY Times Bestseller in hardcover and a NY Times notable book in 2010.

A thrilling epic about an ancient clash reignited in our time- between a hidden society and heaven's darkest creatures There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Genesis 6:5 Sister Evangeline was just a girl when her father entrusted her to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in upstate New York. Now, at twenty-three, her discovery of a 1943 letter from the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior of Saint Rose Convent plunges Evangeline into a secret history that stretches back a thousand years: an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim. For the secrets these letters guard are desperately coveted by the once-powerful Nephilim, who aim to perpetuate war, subvert the good in humanity, and dominate mankind. Generations of angelologists have devoted their lives to stopping them, and their shared mission, which Evangeline has long been destined to join, reaches from her bucolic abbey on the Hudson to the apex of insular wealth in New York, to the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria. Rich in history, full of mesmerizing characters, and wondrously conceived, Angelology blends biblical lore, the myth of Orpheus and the Miltonic visions of Paradise Lost into a riveting tale of ordinary people engaged in a battle that will determine the fate of the world.

The Raven Queen by Jules Watson (Spectra Trade Paperback 02/22/2011) – This is a sequel to a book I haven’t read or received, and the finished copy of the ARC I received in November 2010.

In this dazzling retelling of one of Ireland’s most stirring legends, acclaimed author Jules Watson brings to life the story of Maeve, the raven queen, who is as fierce as she is captivating.

She was born to be a pawn, used to secure her father’s royal hold on his land. She was forced to advance his will through marriage—her own desires always thwarted. But free-spirited Maeve will no longer endure the schemes of her latest husband, Conor, the cunning ruler of Ulster. And when her father’s death puts her homeland at the mercy of its greedy lords and Conor’s forces, Maeve knows she must at last come into her own power to save it.

With secret skill and daring, Maeve proves herself the equal of any warrior on the battlefield. With intelligence and stealth, she learns the strategies—and sacrifices—of ruling a kingdom through treacherous alliances. And to draw on the dangerous magic of her country’s oldest gods, Maeve seeks out the wandering druid Ruan, whose unexpected passion and strange connection to the worlds of spirit imperil everything Maeve thought true about herself—and put her at war with both her duty and her fate.

Blood Gorgons (Bastion Wars Book 3) by Henry Zou (Black Library Mass Market Hardcover 03/01/2011) – Zou seems to be yet another rising star in the Black Library’s ranks of writers. This is his third novel featuring the Chaos Space Marines.

The Blood Gorgons Chaos Space Marines are called to one of their recruiting worlds as the populace is struck down by a plague of mutation. Sargaulis one of few survivors of the first expeditionary force, and is determined to uncover the mysteries on Haute Bassiq. Facing a hostile environment, shadowy xenos enemies and treachery from within his own forces, Sargaul must dig deep into his hatred and determination to leave the planet alive.


Screamo Angel said...

I seed your reading 'The Black Prism' by Brent Weeks. Have you read the Night Angel Trilogy? If you have, is it any good?

RobB said...

I really liked NIGHT ANGEL, but just put down BLACK PRISM, which didn't connect with me.

Screamo Angel said...

I fathom. I've seen the Night Angel books in stores and they seem really interesting, but I'm trying to fuse my writing time with reading time. Sorry, it's just I LOVE to write and I LOVE being creative, so I'm trying out a book. Hope people like it!!!!