Sunday, February 08, 2015

Books in the Mail (W/E 2015-02-07)

After a few slow weeks, things blew up this week, with a bulk of these books arriving on Friday. Some of these I specifically asked the publisher to send me, so I’ll be reading those.

Empire (Book Two of The Chronicles of the Invaders) by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard (Emily Beslter Books / Simon & Schuster Hardcover 02/24/2014) – A year later and here we have the second in the author duo’s series about an alien invasion. .

Empire continues the journey of Syl and Paul as they fight to regain planet Earth from a ruthless alien species, in this next installment of a stunning new science fiction trilogy that “should not to be missed” (The Guardian).

She is the trophy of a civilization at war with itself.

He is its rebel captive.

Separated by millions of light years, they will fight to be united…

Earth has been conquered and occupied. The war is lost.

The Resistance still fights the invaders, but they are nothing more than an annoyance to the Illyri, an alien race of superior technology and military strength.

When caught, the young rebels are conscripted. Part soldiers, part hostages, they join the Brigades, sent to fight at the edges of the growing Illyri Empire.

Paul Kerr is one such soldier—torn from his home and his beloved Syl Hellais. She is the first alien child born on Earth, a creature of two worlds—and a being possessed of powers beyond imagining. Now both must endure the terrible exile that Syl’s race has deemed just punishment for their love.

But the conquest of Earth is not all it seems.

There is another species involved, known only as the Others, and the Illyri will kill to keep their existence secret.

Light years from Earth and millions of miles apart, Paul and Syl must find a way to reveal the horrifying truth behind the Empire, and save all that they hold dear from the hunger of the Others.

Even at the cost of their own lives…




The Well’s End by Seth Fishman (Speak (Penguin) Trade Paperback 01/08/2015) – Fishman’s debut sounds like it could be a lot of fun. I met Seth at a couple of Tor.com events. He’s also a literary agent so I suspect he has a pretty good idea of what makes a fine story



Panic grips sixteen-year-old Mia Kish’s boarding school, Westbrook Academy, when a mysterious quarantine is suddenly enforced by a small army of soldiers who shoot first and ask questions later. The quarantine makes no sense—but then students and faculty inexplicably begin to break down. Their illness is an aggressive virus that ages its victims years in only a matter of hours. The end result? Death.


No one can explain what’s going or has any idea what to do. Except Mia.

Because she knows something that no one else does. And she knows the only place to escape to get answers...But what she finds may be even more horrific than anything that came before.





The Dark Water (A Well’s End novel) by Seth Fishman (Speak (Penguin) Trade Paperback 01/08/2015) – Sequel to the book just above this one, it appears the design the publisher used on this one ret-conned the design of the previous book when it published as trade paperback.



To escape Blake Sutton’s army at the end of the enthralling The Well’s End, Mia and her friends jump into the newly gurgling fountain of youth and swim to its very bottom. When they resurface, an astounding world awaits them—an entire underground civilization of humans, the Keepers of the Well.


But instead of finding a safe haven, Mia and her gang are quickly embroiled in a dangerous, high-stakes battle royale. If Mia wants to save everyone she loves and make it back home alive, she’s got to get to the water’s Source before Sutton and his troops, who are still hot on her trail.

With new characters and new threats, Seth Fishman has upped the ante fantastically and delivers another tense, fast-paced adventure in a richly imagined world just below our feet.




The Grace of Kings (Dandelion Dynasty #1) by Ken Liu (Saga Press Hardcover 04/07/2015) – This is quite possibly the most anticipated debut of 2015, Liu has written quite a few award winning stories and this opens a big fat epic fantasy saga.




Two men rebel together against tyranny—and then become rivals—in this first sweeping book of an epic fantasy series from Ken Liu, recipient of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards.


Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.

Fans of intrigue, intimate plots, and action will find a new series to embrace in the Dandelion Dynasty.




Fortune’s Blight (Shattered Kingdoms #2) by Evie Manieri (Tor, Hardcover/eBook 02/17/2015) – Two years after her debut and launch of this series, Manieri’s second book hits bookshelves.



Victory for the Shadari rebels has come at a terrible price. Hardship, superstition, and petty feuds poison King Daryan’s young reign, and entire families are vanishing without a trace. Help is nowhere to be found, for their Nomas allies have troubles of their own and the Mongrel, plagued by the sins of her violent past, has disappeared.


While Daryan struggles to maintain the peace, Eofar and Rho are racing to their northern homeland to plead—or fight—for the Shadar’s independence. But Norland has changed, and they soon find themselves embroiled in the court politics of an empire about to implode.

Meanwhile, the Mongrel’s path carries her deep into Norland’s frozen wastes to redeem a promise—one that forces her into the heart of the growing conflict.

As the foundations of the two far-flung countries begin to crack, an enigmatic figure watches from a tower room in Ravindal Castle. She is old, and a prisoner, but her reach is long, and her patience is about to be rewarded....



Madness in Solidar (Imager Portfolio #9) by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (Tor Hardcover 03/03/2015) A little over a year since Modesitt’s last novel, he gives us another Imager novel, set a few centuries after the most recent one Rex Regis



Four centuries after its founding, Solidar’s Collegium of Imagers is in decline, the exploits of its founder, the legendary Quaeryt, largely forgotten. The Collegium is so lacking in leadership that the dying Maitre must summon Alastar, an obscure but talented senior imager from Westisle far to the south who has little knowledge of politics in the capital, as his successor.

When Alastar arrives in L’Excelsis and becomes the new Maitre, he finds disarray and lack of discipline within the Collegium, and the ruler of Solidar so hated by the High Holders that they openly refer to him as being mad. To make matters worse, neither Rex Ryen, ridiculed as Rex Dafou, nor the High Holders have any respect for the Collegium, and Alastar finds himself in the middle of a power struggle, with Ryen demanding that the Collegium remove the strongest High Holders and the military leadership in turn plotting to topple Ryen and destroy the Collegium.

At the same time, Ryen is demanding the High Holders pay a massive increase in taxes while he initiates a grandiose building project. And all that, Alastar discovers, is only a fraction of the problems he and the Collegium face.


The Red by Linda Nagata (Saga Press Paperback June 2015), Paperback 12/09/2014) – This one has been on my radar since initially being nominated for a Nebula and the great things my pal <Paul Weimer has said about the book.




Reality TV and advanced technology make for high drama in this political thriller that combines the military action of Zero Dark Thirty with the classic science fiction of The Forever War.


Lieutenant James Shelley, who has an uncanny knack for premeditating danger, leads a squad of advanced US Army military tasked with enforcing the peace around a conflict in sub-Saharan Africa. The squad members are linked wirelessly 24/7 to themselves and a central intelligence that guides them via drone relay—and unbeknownst to Shelley and his team, they are being recorded for a reality TV show.

When an airstrike almost destroys their outpost, a plot begins to unravel that’s worthy of Crichton and Clancy’s best. The conflict soon involves rogue defense contractors, corrupt US politicians, and homegrown terrorists who possess nuclear bombs. Soon Shelley must accept that the helpful warnings in his head could be AI. But what is the cost of serving its agenda?



Trial of Intentions (Vaults of Heaven #2) by Peter Orullian (Tor Trade Paperback 05/12/2015) – This is a long-time gestating and damn is the ARC a thick brick of a book I will likely circle back to the reissue/author’s definitive edition of the first book .

The Unremembered before diving into this one.



The gods who created this world have abandoned it. In their mercy, however, they chained the rogue god—and the monstrous creatures he created to plague mortalkind—in the vast and inhospitable wasteland of the Bourne. The magical Veil that contains them has protected humankind for millennia and the monsters are little more than tales told to frighten children. But the Veil has become weak and creatures of Nightmare have come through. To fight them, the races of men must form a great alliance to try and stop the creatures.


But there is dissent. One king won’t answer the call, his pride blinding him even to the poison in his own court. Another would see Convocation fail for his own political advantage. And still others believe Convocation is not enough. Some turn to the talents of the Sheason, who can shape the very essence of the world to their will. But their order is divided, on the brink of collapse.

Tahn Junell remembers friends who despaired in a place left barren by war. One of the few who have actually faced the unspeakable horde in battle, Tahn sees something else at work and wonders about the nature of the creatures on the other side of the Veil. He chooses to go to a place of his youth, a place of science, daring to think he can find a way to prevent slaughter, prevent war. 

And his choices may reshape a world . . . .

The second title in the Vault of Heaven series, Peter Orullian's Trial of Intentions is a mesmerizing fantasy epic that turns the conventions of the genre on its head




Pacific Fire by Greg van Eekhout (Tor Hardcover 01/27/2015) – Sequel to California Bones published in June 2014….six months between books one and two, not bad.



He’s Sam. He’s just this guy.


Okay, yeah, he’s a golem created by the late Hierarch of Southern California from the substance of his own magic. With a lot of work, Sam might be able to wield magic himself. He kind of doubts it, though. Not like Daniel Blackland can.

Daniel’s the reason the Hierarch’s gone and Sam is still alive. He’s also the reason Sam has lived his entire life on the run. Ten years of never, ever going back to Los Angeles. Daniel’s determined to protect him. To teach him.

But it gets old. Sam has got nobody but Daniel. He’ll never do anything normal. Like attend school. Or date a girl.

Now it’s worse. Because things are happening back in LA. Very bad people are building a Pacific firedrake, a kind of ultimate weapon of mass magical destruction. Daniel seemed to think only he could stop them. Now Daniel’s been hurt. Sam managed to get them to the place run by the Emmas. (Many of them. All named Emma. It’s a long story.) They seem to be healing Daniel, but he isn’t going anyplace soon

Does Sam even have a reason for existing, if it isn’t to prevent this firedrake from happening? He’s good at escaping from things. Now he’s escaped from Daniel and the Emmas, and he’s on his way to LA.

This may be the worst idea he’s ever had.

1 comment:

Bob R Milne said...

Grace of Kings & Fortune's Blight both look great - I've got Trial of Intentions cued up for a read too.

Here's how I'm Stacking the Shelves