Sunday, September 02, 2012

Books in the Mail (W/E 2012-09-01)

Only a couple of books arrived this week and one of those is as thick as all the others combined.

This Case is Gonna Kill Me by Phillipa Bornikova (Tor Trade Paperback 08/29/2012) – First in a new series by Bornikova (pen name for Melinda Snodgrass) about a Vampire Law firm.

What happens when The Firm meets Anita Blake? You get the Halls of Power—our modern world, but twisted. Law, finance, the military, and politics are under the sway of long-lived vampires, werewolves, and the elven Alfar. Humans make the best of rule by “the Spooks,” and contend among themselves to affiliate with the powers-that-be, in order to avoid becoming their prey. Very loyal humans are rewarded with power over other women and men. Very lucky humans are selected to join the vampires, werewolves, and elves—or, on occasion, to live at the Seelie Court.

Linnet Ellery is the offspring of an affluent Connecticut family dating back to Colonial times. Fresh out of law school, she’s beginning her career in a powerful New York “white fang” law firm. She has high hopes of eventually making partner.

But strange things keep happening to her. In a workplace where some humans will eventually achieve immense power and centuries of extra lifespan, office politics can be vicious beyond belief. After some initial missteps, she finds herself sidelined and assigned to unpromising cases. Then, for no reason she can see, she becomes the target of repeated, apparently random violent attacks, escaping injury each time through increasingly improbable circumstances. However, there’s apparently more to Linnet Ellery than a little old-money human privilege. More than even she knows. And as she comes to understand this, she’s going to shake up the system like you wouldn’t believe….

A Guile of Dragons (A Tournament of Shadows #1) by James Enge (Pyr Trade Paperback 08/22/2012) – I two of the three novels featuring the adult Morlock, (The Blood of Ambrose and The Wolf Age), and enjoyed them but felt some connection missing. This one looks interesting, too

It’s dwarves vs dragons in this origin story
for Enge’s signature character, Morlock Ambrosius!

Before history began, the dwarves of Thrymhaiam fought against the dragons as the Longest War raged in the deep roads beneath the Northhold. Now the dragons have returned, allied with the dead kings of Cor and backed by the masked gods of Fate and Chaos.

The dwarves are cut cut off from the Graith of Guardians in the south. Their defenders are taken prisoner or corrupted by dragonspells. The weight of guarding the Northhold now rests on the crooked shoulders of a traitor’s son, Morlock syr Theorn (also called Ambrosius).

But his wounded mind has learned a dark secret in the hidden ways under the mountains. Regin and Fafnir were brothers, and the Longest War can never be over...

The Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton. (Del Rey Hardcover 12/26/2012) – Hamilton’s latest epic is a standalone (much like his superb Fallen Dragon).  The book is out in the UK and Mark/Hobbit had some good things to say.

New York Times bestselling author Peter F. Hamilton’s riveting new thriller combines the nail-biting suspense of a serial-killer investigation with clear-eyed scientific and social extrapolation to create a future that seems not merely plausible but inevitable.

A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family—composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone “brothers” have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies.

Or maybe not so friendly. At least that’s what the murder of a North clone in the English city of Newcastle suggests to Detective Sidney Hurst. Sid is a solid investigator who’d like nothing better than to hand off this hot potato of a case. The way he figures it, whether he solves the crime or not, he’ll make enough enemies to ruin his career.

Yet Sid’s case is about to take an unexpected turn: because the circumstances of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to a killing that took place years ago on the planet St. Libra, where a North clone and his entire household were slaughtered in cold blood. The convicted slayer, Angela Tramelo, has always claimed her innocence. And now it seems she may have been right. Because only the St. Libra killer could have committed the Newcastle crime.

Problem is, Angela also claims that the murderer was an alien monster.

Now Sid must navigate through a Byzantine minefield of competing interests within the police department and the world’s political and economic elite . . . all the while hunting down a brutal killer poised to strike again. And on St. Libra, Angela, newly released from prison, joins a mission to hunt down the elusive alien, only to learn that the line between hunter and hunted is a thin one.

Ghost Key by Trish J. MacGregor (Tor Hardcover 08/29/2012) – Sequel to the author’s 2010 debut Esperanza

Dominica and her tribe of brujos, hungry ghosts, were driven from Esperanza on the summer solstice of 2008. In this great battle, most of Dominica's tribe was annihilated - freed to move on in the afterlife. But Dominica managed to survive the destruction of her tribe and in retaliation for Tess Livingston's role in the destruction of her tribe, she seizes Maddie, Tess's 19-year-old niece, and flees Esperanza.

Dominica ends up in the U.S., on the island of Cedar Key, off Florida's Gulf coast. Here, she tries to rebuild her tribe by recruiting new ghosts. But in attempting to take over Cedar Key, she arouses the suspicion of the U.S. government when a remote viewer, Nick Sanchez, glimpses the island - and Dominica's host, Maddie - in connection with thirteen unexplained deaths. The government believes the deaths were the result of a biological terrorist weapon and that Cedar Key is the perfect place for such a weapon, isolated, small, containable.

Meanwhile, Dominica is being pursued by Wayra, a shape shifter from Esperanza, Dominica's oldest lover and most bitter enemy, who is intent on freeing Maddie. Dominica hasn't taken into account the fierce independence of the island locals, in particular that of a single mother and bartender, Kate, who will fight to the death to protect her teenaged son- and the island she loves.

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