Sunday, May 10, 2015

Books in the Mail (W/E 2015-05-09)

A huge haul this week at the O' Stuff, many of these look very appealing to me.

Nightborn (Book 2 of Thrones and Bones) by Lou Anders (Randon House Kids 07/14/2015) – Second installment in what is turning out to be a very popular and acclaimed fantasy series for younger readers. Lou’s a smart guy and it shows in his writing. This will be reviewed for SF Signal, where I reviewed book one, Frostborn.

From the author of Frostborn comes Book 2 in the acclaimed Thrones and Bones fantasy-adventure trilogy for fans of Lloyd Alexander and Brandon Mull.

Karn Korlundsson is a gamer. Not a riddle solver. But in order to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn, he will need to travel to the faraway city of Castlebriar (by wyvern), learn how to play a new board game called Charioteers (not a problem), decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with mysterious elves.

Meet Desstra. She’s in training to join the Underhand—the elite agents of the dark elves. When she crosses paths with Karn, she is not all that she appears to be.

Everyone is chasing after the horn of Osius, an ancient artifact with the power to change the world. The lengths to which Karn will go in the name of friendship will be sorely tested. Who knew that solving a riddle could be so deadly?

The novel includes instructions for playing the board game Charioteers. Visit for additional games, maps, character profiles, and more!

Zero World by Jason M. Hough (Del Rey Hardcover 08/11/2015) – Hough’s trilogy earned him some very good sales and acclaim and graduated him to Hardcover for this release.

Published in rapid succession, Jason M. Hough’s first three novels, The Darwin Elevator, The Exodus Towers, and The Plague Forge; earned mountains of praise and comparisons to such authors as James S. A. Corey and John Scalzi. Now Hough returns with a riveting near-future spy thriller that combines the adrenaline of a high-octane James Bond adventure with mind-blowing sci-fi speculations worthy of Christopher Nolan’sInception. 

Technologically enhanced superspy Peter Caswell has been dispatched on a top-secret assignment unlike any he’s ever faced. A spaceship that vanished years ago has been found, along with the bodies of its murdered crew—save one. Peter’s mission is to find the missing crew member, who fled through what appears to be a tear in the fabric of space. Beyond this mysterious doorway lies an even more confounding reality: a world that seems to be Earth’s twin. 

Peter discovers that this mirrored world is indeed different from his home, and far more dangerous. Cut off from all support, and with only days to complete his operation, Peter must track his quarry alone on an alien world. But he’s unprepared for what awaits on the planet’s surface, where his skills will be put to the ultimate test—and everything he knows about the universe will be challenged in ways he never could have imagined.

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley (Harper Voyager / William Morrow Hardcover 04/28/2015) – This is Headly’s first foray into the Young Adult market and it looks like a solidly entertaining novel

Based on an obscure legend, MAGONIA is a wholly original story about a girl caught between two worlds, two races, and two destinies.

Aza Ray Boyle has been drowning in thin air since she was a baby, suffering from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe – and to live. So when she catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a side effect of her medication. But Aza can hear someone on the ship calling her name and it doesn’t seem like a hallucination.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, she’s lost to our world – and found by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of ships, Aza can breathe for the first time. Better, she has power that can change the world. But as she navigates her new life in the sky, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. The fate of all humanity – including the boy who loves her – lies in Aza’s hands. Where do her loyalties lie?

ALIVE (Generations Trilogy #1) by Scott Sigler (Del Rey Hardcover 07/14/2015) – I listened to Scott’s first podcast two novel Infected and Contagious. This is one; however, seems poised to be an explosive next-level type of novel for Scott. I saw Myke Cole mention the book on twitter with an infectious level of positivity so I’m looking forward to getting my grubby hands on a copy of this one closer to the summer.

For fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Red Rising comes a gripping sci-fi adventure in which a group of teenagers wake up in a mysterious corridor with no knowledge of who they are or how they got trapped. Their only hope lies with an indomitable young woman who must lead them not only to answers but to survival.

“I open my eyes to darkness. Total darkness. I hear my own breathing, but nothing else. I lift my head . . . it thumps against something solid and unmoving. There is a board right in front of my face. No, not a board . . . a lid.”

A teenage girl awakens to find herself trapped in a coffin. She has no idea who she is, where she is, or how she got there. Fighting her way free brings little relief—she discovers only a room lined with caskets and a handful of equally mystified survivors. Beyond their room lies a corridor filled with bones and dust, but no people . . . and no answers.

She knows only one thing about herself—her name, M. Savage, which was engraved on the foot of her coffin—yet she finds herself in charge. She is not the biggest among them, or the boldest, but for some reason the others trust her. Now, if they’re to have any chance, she must get them to trust each other.

Whatever the truth is, she is determined to find it and confront it. If she has to lead, she will make sure they survive. Maybe there’s a way out, a rational explanation, and a fighting chance against the dangers to come. Or maybe a reality they cannot comprehend lies just beyond the next turn.

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (William Morrow Hardcover 06/02/2015) – Tremblay’s a pretty big deal in the horror genre, he’s been shortlist for the Bram Stoker Award twice and is on the jury for the Shirley Jackson Award

A chilling thriller that brilliantly blends domestic drama, psychological suspense, and a touch of modern horror, reminiscent of Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In, and Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface—and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

Bombs Away: The Hot War by Harry Turtledove (Del Rey Hardcover 07/14/2015) – If I had to guess, this might be the 50th Turtledove book (inclusive of all editions – Finished, ARC, Hardvover, Mass Market Paperback) I’ve received over the years here at the O’ Stuff.

In his acclaimed novels of alternate history, Harry Turtledove has scrutinized the twisted soul of the twentieth century, from the forces that set World War I in motion to the rise of fascism in the decades that followed. Now, this masterly storyteller turns his eyes to the aftermath of World War II and asks: In an era of nuclear posturing, what if the Cold War had suddenly turned hot? 

Bombs Away begins with President Harry Truman in desperate consultation with General Douglas MacArthur, whose control of the ground war in Korea has slipped disastrously away. MacArthur recognizes a stark reality: The U.S. military has been cut to the bone after victory over the Nazis—while China and the USSR have built up their forces. The only way to stop the Communist surge into the Korean Peninsula and save thousands of American lives is through a nuclear attack. MacArthur advocates a strike on Chinese targets in Manchuria. In actual history, Truman rejected his general’s advice; here, he does not. The miscalculation turns into a disaster when Truman fails to foresee Russia’s reaction. 

Almost instantly, Stalin strikes U.S. allies in Europe and Great Britain. As the shock waves settle, the two superpowers are caught in a horrifying face-off. Will they attack each other directly with nuclear weapons? What countries will be caught in between? 

The fateful global drama plays out through the experiences of ordinary people—from a British barmaid to a Ukrainian war veteran to a desperate American soldier alone behind enemy lines in Korea. For them, as well as Truman, Mao, and Stalin, the whole world has become a battleground. Strategic strikes lead to massive movements of ground troops. Cities are destroyed, economies ravaged. And on a planet under siege, the sounds and sights of nuclear bombs become a grim harbinger of a new reality: the struggle to survive man’s greatest madness.

The Prince of Valor by Django Wexler (Roc July 2015) – I read the first two Shadow Campaigns novels last year and thought The Shadow Throne was awesome.

In the latest Shadow Campaigns novel, Django Wexler continues his "epic fantasy of military might and magical conflict" following The Shadow Throne and The Thousand Names, as the realm of Vordan faces imminent threats from without and within.

In the wake of the King’s death, war has come to Vordan.

The Deputies-General has precarious control of the city, but it is led by a zealot who sees traitors in every shadow. Executions have become a grim public spectacle. The new queen, Raesinia Orboan, finds herself nearly powerless as the government tightens its grip and assassins threaten her life. But she did not help free the country from one sort of tyranny to see it fall into another. Placing her trust with the steadfast soldier Marcus D’Ivoire, she sets out to turn the tide of history.

As the hidden hand of the Sworn Church brings all the powers of the continent to war against Vordan, the enigmatic and brilliant general Janus bet Vhalnich offers a path to victory. Winter Ihernglass, newly promoted to command a regiment, has reunited with her lover and her friends, only to face the prospect of leading them into bloody battle.

And the enemy is not just armed with muskets and cannon. Dark priests of an ancient order, wielding forbidden magic, have infiltrated Vordan to stop Janus by whatever means necessary...

Updraft by Fran Wilde (Tor 09/01/2015) – This is Wilde’s debut novel and it looks like it will be a lot of fun. Just look at that awesome cover!!

Welcome to a world of wind and bone, songs and silence, betrayal and courage. 
Kirit Densira cannot wait to pass her wingtest and begin flying as a trader by her mother's side, being in service to her beloved home tower and exploring the skies beyond. When Kirit inadvertently breaks Tower Law, the city's secretive governing body, the Singers, demand that she become one of them instead. In an attempt to save her family from greater censure, Kirit must give up her dreams to throw herself into the dangerous training at the Spire, the tallest, most forbidding tower, deep at the heart of the City.

As she grows in knowledge and power, she starts to uncover the depths of Spire secrets. Kirit begins to doubt her world and its unassailable Laws, setting in motion a chain of events that will lead to a haunting choice, and may well change the city forever-if it isn't destroyed outright.

No comments: