Sunday, January 27, 2013

Books in the Mail (W/E 2013-01-26)

A mixed bag of books arrived this week, a few of which are finished copies of ARCs I previously received.

The Eldritch Conspiracy (Blood Singer #5) by Cat Adams (Tor, Trade Paperback 01/28/2013) – Very nearly a year after the fourth book in the series published, the fifth hits bookshelves. Vampires and werewolves run rampant in California in this fifth installment featuring the half-human/half-vampire bodyguard Celia Graves.

Celia Graves was once an ordinary human, but those days are long gone. Now she strives to maintain her sanity and her soul while juggling both vampire abilities and the powers of a Siren.

Not every bride needs a bridesmaid who can double as a bodyguard. But Celia's cousin Adriana is no ordinary bride: she's a Siren princess, and she's marrying the king of a small but politically important European country. She's getting death threats from fanatics who want to see the whole Siren race wiped out—including Celia herself, who is half Siren.

Luckily, Celia is on duty when a trip to a bridal salon is interrupted by an assassination attempt, so everyone survives. When Adriana returns to the Siren homeland to try to prevent a coup, Celia is free to hunt for the terrorists and the vile mage who is helping them (while keeping her eyes open for the perfect maid-of-honor dress).

Assuming the bride and groom both live to see their wedding day, this will be one royal wedding no one will ever forget.


The Departure (The Owner Book One) by Neal Asher (Nightshade books Trade Paperback 02/15/2013) – Start of a new series, unrelated to his popular Polity saga which Mark reviewed upon UK release last year. The only book I’ve read from Neal is The Skinnerwhen it was the SFFWorld SF Book Club selection back inAugust 2005. .

TWO WORLDS, ONE ENEMY

Earth

An overpopulated world is under the brutal, high-tech thumb of the Committee. Towering robot shepherds, pain-inducers, and reader guns maintain control over masses of zero-asset citizens, but for the elite this not enough. Twelve billion must human beings must die before the Earth can be stabilized, and the Argus satellite laser network is almost ready.

Waking in a crate destined for an incinerator, Alan Saul remembers only pain and his torturer’s face. But he has company: Janus, a rogue AI inhabiting the forbidden hardware in his skull. Saul intends to stop Argus and get his revenge on the Committee–once he finds out who he used to be.

Mars.

Abandoned by the Committee, the Antares Base faces extinction. The colonists there will not be returning to Earth nor will they be receiving any additional supplies or support. Unless they are very ingenious, they will run out of resources and be dead within five years.

As if that’s not dire enough, Varalia Delex finds herself caught in a violent power struggle with the base’s ruthless political officers–who see everyone else as expendable. As spilled blood turns the Red Planet even redder, Var discovers that Mars holds very new and interesting ways to die . . . .


The Daylight War (Demon Cycle #3) by Peter V. Brett Del Rey, Hardcover 11/27/2012) – This is one of my most anticipated 2013 book releases, I really enjoyed the first two installments of the series The Daylight War and The Desert Spear

With The Warded Man and The Desert Spear, Peter V. Brett surged to the front rank of contemporary fantasy, standing alongside giants in the field such as George R. R. Martin, Robert Jordan, and Terry Brooks. The Daylight War, the eagerly anticipated third volume in Brett’s internationally bestselling Demon Cycle, continues the epic tale of humanity’s last stand against an army of demons that rise each night to prey on mankind.

On the night of the new moon, the demons rise in force, seeking the deaths of two men, both of whom have the potential to become the fabled Deliverer, the man prophesied to reunite the scattered remnants of humanity in a final push to destroy the demon corelings once and for all.

Arlen Bales was once an ordinary man, but now he has become something more—the Warded Man, tattooed with eldritch wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. Arlen denies he is the Deliverer at every turn, but the more he tries to be one with the common folk, the more fervently they believe. Many would follow him, but Arlen’s path threatens to lead to a dark place he alone can travel to, and from which there may be no returning.

The only one with hope of keeping Arlen in the world of men, or joining him in his descent into the world of demons, is Renna Tanner, a fierce young woman in danger of losing herself to the power of demon magic.

Ahmann Jardir has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia into a demon-killing army and proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer. He carries ancient weapons—a spear and a crown—that give credence to his claim, and already vast swaths of the green lands bow to his control.

But Jardir did not come to power on his own. His rise was engineered by his First Wife, Inevera, a cunning and powerful priestess whose formidable demon bone magic gives her the ability to glimpse the future. Inevera’s motives and past are shrouded in mystery, and even Jardir does not entirely trust her.

Once Arlen and Jardir were as close as brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity’s enemies rise, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all—those lurking in the human heart.



The Water Witch (The Fairwick Trilogy #2) by Juliet Dark (Ballantine Books, Mass Market Paperback 02/12/2013) – Second novel in a romance/history/fantasy series. Juliet Dark is the pseudonym of Carol Goodman.


Perfect for fans of Deborah Harkness and Elizabeth Kostova, The Water Watch is a breathtakingly sexy and atmospheric new novel of ancient folklore, passionate love, and thrilling magic.

After casting out a dark spirit, Callie McFay, a professor of gothic literature, has at last restored a semblance of calm to her rambling Victorian house. But in the nearby thicket of the honeysuckle forest, and in the currents of the rushing Undine stream, more trouble is stirring. . . .

The enchanted town of Fairwick’s dazzling mix of mythical creatures has come under siege from the Grove: a sinister group of witches determined to banish the fey back to their ancestral land. With factions turning on one another, all are cruelly forced to take sides. Callie’s grandmother, a prominent Grove member, demands her granddaughter’s compliance, but half-witch/half-fey Callie can hardly betray her friends and colleagues at the college. To stave off disaster, Callie enlists Duncan Laird, an alluring seductive academic who cultivates her vast magical potential, but to what end? Deeply conflicted, Callie struggles to save her beloved Fairwick, dangerously pushing her extraordinary powers to the limit—risking all, even the needs of her own passionate heart.


Exile (The First Book of the Seven Eyes) by Betsy Dornbusch (Nightshade Books Hardcover 01/08/2013) – Launch of an interesting looking fantasy series from a writer who has published a handful of short stories. .


Draken vae Khellian, bastard cousin of the Monoean King, had risen far from his ignominious origins, becoming both a Bowrank Commander and a member of the Crown’s Black Guard. But when he is falsely condemned for the grisly murder of his beloved wife, he is banished from the kingdom and cast upon the distant shore of Akrasia, at the arse-end of the world.

Compared to civilized Monoea, Akrasia is a forbidding land of Moonlings, magic, and restless spirits. It is also a realm on the brink of a bloody revolution, as a sinister conspiracy plots against Akrasia’s embattled young queen–and malevolent banes possess the bodies of the living.

Consumed by grief, and branded a murderer, Draken lives only to clear his name and avenge his wife’s murder. But the fates may have bigger plans for him. Alone in a strange land, he soon finds himself sharing the bed of an enigmatic necromancer and a half-breed servant girl, while pressed into the service of a foreign queen whose life and land may well depend on the divided loyalties of an exiled warrior . . .

Exile is the beginning of an ambitious fantasy saga by an acclaimed new author.


The Eye of the World (Graphic Novel, Volume 3) by Robert Jordan (story), Chuck Dixon (script) and Marcio Fiorito and Francis Nuguit (art) (Torc Hardcover 06/19/2012) – I was collecting this in single issues, I have the first 20 or so and thought it a pretty good adaptation. This here catches up with about where I left off, I think.

With the full permission and cooperation of the Jordan estate, adapted by well-known comics writer Chuck Dixon, The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel has been hailed as an exciting interpretation of Robert Jordan's classic fantasy novel. It features brilliant interior art by Marcio Fiorito and Francis Nuguit, and stunning covers by Jeremy Saliba and Seamus Gallagher. It collects issues thirteen to eighteen of the comic book.

Rand; his friends Mat, Perrin, and Egwene; the Aes Sedai Moiraine and her Warder, Lan Mandragoran; Thom the gleeman and Nynaeve, the village Wisdom, split into three groups while trying to escape the ancient, dead city of Shadar Logoth, where they are pursued by the deadly Mashadar. A disastrous river crossing leaves Perrin and Egwene on their own—until they meet a mysterious stranger who claims that he and Perrin share a remarkable ability. Meanwhile, Rand, Mat, pose as Thom’s apprentices as they sail downriver on a cargo ship.




Kalimpura by Jay Lake (Tor Hardcover 01/29/2011) – Sequel to Lake’s popular Green and Endurance…, this is the finished copy of the ARC I received back in July.

This sequel to Green and Endurance takes Green back to the city of Kalimpura and the service of the Lily Goddess.

Green is hounded by the gods of Copper Downs and the gods of Kalimpura, who have laid claim to her and her children. She never wanted to be a conduit for the supernatural, but when she killed the Immortal Duke and created the Ox god with the power she released, she came to their notice.


Now she has sworn to retrieve the two girls taken hostage by the Bittern Court, one of Kalimpura’s rival guilds. But the Temple of the Lily Goddess is playing politics with her life.







The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord (Del Rey, Hardcover 02/12/2013) – This is Lord’s second novel and looks to be a winner. In addition to the names listed in the blurb below, I’ll say that superficially, I get an Octavia Butler feel, specifically her marvelous Xenogenesis series.

Karen Lord’s debut novel, the multiple-award-winning Redemption in Indigo, announced the appearance of a major new talent—a strong, brilliantly innovative voice fusing Caribbean storytelling traditions and speculative fiction with subversive wit and incisive intellect. Compared by critics to such heavyweights as Nalo Hopkinson, China Miéville, and Ursula K. Le Guin, Lord does indeed belong in such select company—yet, like them, she boldly blazes her own trail.

Now Lord returns with a second novel that exceeds the promise of her first. The Best of All Possible Worlds is a stunning science fiction epic that is also a beautifully wrought, deeply moving love story.

A proud and reserved alien society finds its homeland destroyed in an unprovoked act of aggression, and the survivors have no choice but to reach out to the indigenous humanoids of their adopted world, to whom they are distantly related. They wish to preserve their cherished way of life but come to discover that in order to preserve their culture, they may have to change it forever.

Now a man and a woman from these two clashing societies must work together to save this vanishing race—and end up uncovering ancient mysteries with far-reaching ramifications. As their mission hangs in the balance, this unlikely team—one cool and cerebral, the other fiery and impulsive—just may find in each other their own destinies . . . and a force that transcends all.

“This fascinating and thoughtful science fiction novel breaks out of the typical conflict-centered narrative paradigm to examine adaptation, social change, and human relationships. I’ve not read anything quite like it, which it makes that rare beast: a true original.”—Kate Elliot, author of the Crown of Stars series and the Spiritwalker Trilogy


Blood’s Pride (Shattered Kingdoms #1) by Evie Manierie (Tor, Hardcover/eBook 02/19/2013) – Debut novel and series launch from Manieri. I’ll be posting a review of this around the pub date and Evie will have a guest blog here.

Rising from their sea-torn ships like vengeful, pale phantoms, the Norlanders laid waste to the Shadar under cover of darkness. They forced the once-peaceful fisher folk into slavery and forged an alliance with their former trading partners, the desert-dwelling Nomas tribe, cutting off any hope of salvation.
Now, two decades after the invasion, a rebellion gathers strength in the dark corridors of the city. A small faction of Shadari have hired the Mongrel, an infamous mercenary, to aid their fledgling uprising—but with her own shadowy ties to the region, she is a frighteningly volatile ally. Has she really come to lead a revolution, or for a more sinister purpose all her own?

This thrilling new epic fantasy is set in a quasi-Medieval Mediterranean region, drawing together the warrior culture of Vikings, the wanderlust of desert nomads, and the oracles of ancient Greece. Evie Manieri's Blood's Pride is an intricate, lush fantasy novel full of taut action, gut-wrenching betrayal, and soaring romance.

Ghost Spin by Chris Moriarty (Del Rey, Trade Paperback 04/03/2012) – Third in the connected trilogy which began with Spin State and continued with the Philip K. Dick award winning Spin Control. I get the sense; however, this novel can stand on its own.


Sometimes a ghost of a chance is all you get.

Award-winning author Chris Moriarty returns to a dazzling cyber-noir far future in this gritty, high-stakes thriller where the only rule is “Evolve . . . or die.”

The Age of Man is ending. The UN’s sprawling interstellar empire is failing as its quantum teleportation network collapses, turning once-viable colonies into doomed island outposts. Humanity’s only hope of survival is the Drift: a mysterious region of space where faster-than-light travel—or something far stranger—seems possible. As mercenaries and pirates flock to the Drift, the cold war between the human-led UN and the clone-dominated Syndicates heats up. Whoever controls the Drift will chart the future course of human evolution—and no one wants to be left behind in a universe where the price of failure is extinction.

When the AI called Cohen ventures into the Drift, he dies—allegedly by his own hand—and his consciousness is scattered across the cosmos. Some of his ghosts are still self-aware. Some are insane. And one of them hides a secret worth killing for. Enter Major Catherine Li, Cohen’s human (well, partly human) lover, who embarks on a desperate search to solve the mystery of Cohen’s death—and put him back together. But Li isn’t the only one interested in Cohen’s ghosts. Astrid Avery, a by-the-book UN navy captain, is on the hunt. So is William Llewellyn, a pirate who has one of the ghosts in his head, which is slowly eating him alive. Even the ghosts have their own agendas. And lurking behind them all is a pitiless enemy who will stop at nothing to make sure the dead don’t walk again.




The Mongoliad Book 3
(Foreworld Saga #3) by Neal Stephenson, Erik Bear, Greg Bear, Joseph Brassey, Cooper Moo,and Mark Teppo (47North, eBook &; Trade Paperback 03/26/2013) – Third installment of the multi-author/multi-volume historical fantasy science fiction epic.

history when a world in peril relied solely on the courage of its people.

The shadow of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II hangs over the shattered Holy Roman Church as the cardinals remain deadlocked, unable to choose a new pope. Only the Binders and a mad priest have a hope of uniting the Church against the invading Mongol host. An untested band of young warriors stands against the dissolute Khan, fighting for glory and freedom in the Khan’s sadistic circus of swords, and the brave band of Shield-Brethren who set out to stop the Mongol threat single-handedly race against their nemesis before he can raise the entire empire against them. Veteran knight Feronantus, haunted by his life in exile, leads the dwindling company of Shield-Brethren to their final battle, molding them into a team that will outlast him. No good hero lives forever. Or fights alone.


2 comments:

Bob Milne said...

The Departure looks interesting - might be my perfect opportunity to give Neal Asher a read.

Just finishing the last 100 pages of The Desert Spear right now, with the e-ARC of The Daylight War queued up next.

The Best of All Possible Worlds & Blood Pride are two I've been waiting for.

Nice haul!

RobB said...

One of the better hauls. I'm reading DAYLIGHT WAR right now and enjoying it. I'll be reading at least two more of these, maybe even four of the arrivals.