Sunday, August 05, 2012

Books in the Mail (W/E 2012-08-04)

A mixed bag of novels this week, with a good handful of Del Rey’s August 2012 releases arriving this week.

Wards of Faerie (The Dark Legacy of Shannara) by Terry Brooks (Del Rey Hardcover 8/21/2012) – I’ll repeat my little mantra about Brooks from previous times I’ve received his books: I find him a frustrating writer in that I like the concepts of what he wants to do, but my reading sensibilities don't always agree with his execution of those concepts. I really enjoyed The Scions of Shannara when I read it and think Brooks is one of the most important fantasy writers of the last 25-30 years. Every handful of novels I give Mr. Brooks another try and I think this will be the one.

Seven years after the conclusion of the High Druid of Shannara trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks at last revisits one of the most popular eras in the legendary epic fantasy series that has spellbound readers for more than three decades.

When the world was young, and its name was Faerie, the power of magic ruled—and the Elfstones warded the race of Elves and their lands, keeping evil at bay. But when an Elven girl fell hopelessly in love with a Darkling boy of the Void, he carried away more than her heart.

Thousands of years later, tumultuous times are upon the world now known as the Four Lands. Users of magic are in conflict with proponents of science. Elves have distanced their society from the other races. The dwindling Druid order and its teachings are threatened with extinction. A sinister politician has used treachery and murder to rise as prime minister of the mighty Federation. Meanwhile, poring through a long-forgotten diary, the young Druid Aphenglow Elessedil has stumbled upon the secret account of an Elven girl’s heartbreak and the shocking truth about the vanished Elfstones. But never has a little knowledge been so very dangerous—as Aphenglow quickly learns when she’s set upon by assassins.

Yet there can be no turning back from the road to which fate has steered her. For whoever captures the Elfstones and their untold powers will surely hold the advantage in the devastating clash to come. But Aphenglow and her allies—Druids, Elves, and humans alike—remember the monstrous history of the Demon War, and they know that the Four Lands will never survive another reign of darkness. But whether they themselves can survive the attempt to stem that tide is another question entirely.

Fable: Edge of the World by Christie Golden (Del Rey, Trade Paperback 08/21/2012) – Golden has been penning tie-in/franchise novels for years with good results. The Fable franchise switches to Del Rey (from Penguin) with this novel.

The official prequel novel to the Xbox 360 videogame, Fable:™ The Journey

It’s been almost a decade since the events of Fable 3, when the Hero vanquished the threat across the sea and claimed his throne. As king he led Albion to an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity. But on the night of his wedding to his new queen, ominous word arrives: The darkness has returned.

Beyond a harrowing mountain pass, the exotic desert country Samarkand has been overrun by shadowy forces. Within the walls of its capital city, a mysterious usurper known only as the Empress has seized control. To protect his realm, the king must lead his most trusted allies into a strange land unknown to outsiders. As they forge ahead along Samarkand’s ancient Great Road, populated by undead terrors and fantastic creatures once believed to be the stuff of legend, the king is drawn ever closer to his greatest challenge yet.

Chimera (The Subterrene War #3) by T. C. McCarthy (Orbit, Mass Market Paperback 07/31/2012) – McCarthy’s debut and the first in this series, Germline was excellent which was followed up in impressive fashion with Exogene so I’m really looking forward to reading how he finishes off the trilogy.  These Military SF novels are perhaps the the most realistic in their depiction of a near future war..

Escaped Germline soldiers need to be cleaned up, and Stan Resnick is the best man for the job. A job that takes him to every dark spot and every rat hole he can find.
Operatives from China and Unified Korea are gathering escaped or stolen Russian and American genetics, and there are reports of new biological nightmares: half-human things, bred to live their entire lives encased in powered armor suits.

Stan fights to keep himself alive and out of prison while he attempts to capture a genetic, one who will be able to tell them everything they need to know about this new threat, the one called "Project Sunshine."

Chimera is the third and final volume of The Subterrene War Trilogy which tells the story of a single war from the perspective of three different combatants. The first two volumes GERMLINE and EXOGENE are available now.

Fate of Worlds by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner (Tor, Hardcover 08/22/2012) – I really enjoyed Fleet of Worlds, the first of this Ringworld prequel series, but was very disappointed by the second book Juggler of Worlds and three books later, I haven’t continued with the series. This book; however, looks to tie up EVERYTHING in the Ringworld saga.

For decades, the spacefaring species of Known Space have battled over the largest artifact—and grandest prize—in the galaxy: the all-but-limitless resources and technology of the Ringworld. But without warning the Ringworld has vanished, leaving behind three rival war fleets.

Something must justify the blood and treasure that have been spent. If the fallen civilization of the Ringworld can no longer be despoiled of its secrets, the Puppeteers will be forced to surrender theirs. Everyone knows that the Puppeteers are cowards.

But the crises converging upon the trillion Puppeteers of the Fleet of Worlds go far beyond even the onrushing armadas:

Adventurer Louis Wu and the exiled Puppeteer known only as Hindmost, marooned together for more than a decade, escaped from the Ringworld before it disappeared. And throughout those years, as he studied Ringworld technology, Hindmost has plotted to reclaim his power …

Ol’t’ro, the Gw’oth ensemble mind—and the Fleet of World’s unsuspected puppet master for a century—is deviously brilliant. And, increasingly unbalanced …

Proteus, the artificial intelligence on which—in desperation—the Puppeteers rely to manage their defenses, is outgrowing its programming. And the supposed constraints on its initiative …

Sigmund Ausfaller, paranoid and disgraced hero of the lost human colony of New Terra, knows that something threatens his adopted home world. And that it must be stopped …

Achilles, the megalomaniac Puppeteer, twice banished—and twice rehabilitated—sees the Fleet of World’s existential crisis as a new opportunity to reclaim supreme power. Whatever the risks …

One way or another, the fabled race of Puppeteers may have come to the end of their days in this final installment to Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner's Fleet of Worlds series.

Trucker Ghost Stories edited by Annie Wilder (Tor Trade Paperback 08/07/2012) – Something I learned this week – there’s a market for a book about ghost stories involving truckers. .

In a uniquely entertaining book by a rising star, here are uncanny true tales of haunted highways, weird encounters, and legends of the road.

It may have happened to you; it’s happened to almost everyone who’s ever driven down a highway at night, or in the fog, or snow. Something suddenly appears: a flash of movement, a shadow...what was it? It could be, as the true stories in this book attest, a ghost.

These are true stories from the highways and byways of America. These firsthand accounts are as varied as the storytellers themselves—some are detailed and filled with the terror and suspense that made people feel they had to share what happened to them with others; others are brief and straightforward retellings of truly chilling events.

Here is a chupacabra attack on the desert highway between L.A. and Las Vegas; ghost trains and soldiers; UFOs; the prom girl ghost of Alabama; a demon in Texas, and other accounts of the creepy, scary things that truckers and other drivers and passengers told to editor Annie Wilder.

With so many different stories, Trucker Ghost Stories moves beyond the usual haunted house to offer stories to entice any ghost story reader...and anyone who’s ever wondered....

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