You all know the drill, here's this week's version of Books in the Mail...
Shadow of Empire (Far Star Trilogy #1) by Jay Allan (Harper Voyager 11/10/2015) – Allan makes the jump from small press/self-published to one of the Big SF publishers. This launches a Space Opera trilogy to be published over the course of three months. That is proof of a publisher showing confidence in a writer. This is the final coy of the ARC I received in August.
The first installment in the Far Star series, a swashbuckling space saga that introduces the daring pirate Blackhawk and the loyal crew of the Wolf’s Claw, from the author of the bestselling Crimson Worlds saga.
Smuggler and mercenary Arkarin Blackhawk and the crew of the ship Wolf’s Claw are freelance adventurers who live on the fringe of human society in the Far Stars. A veteran fighter as deadly with a blade as he is with a gun, Blackhawk is a man haunted by a dark past. Even his cynicism cannot banish the guilt and pain that threaten his sanity.
Sent to rescue the kidnapped daughter of his longtime friend Marshal Augustin Lucerne, Blackhawk and his crew find themselves drawn into one deadly fight after another. When the Wolf’s Claw is damaged, they are forced to land on a remote planet subsumed by civil war. Pulled unwittingly into the conflict, they uncover disturbing information about secret imperial involvement that could upset the plans of Lucerne.
For the Marshal is determined to forge a Far Stars Confederation powerful enough to eliminate all imperial influence and threats in the sector. He needs a skilled warrior like Blackhawk on his side, but the mercenary, plagued by dark memories from the past, refuses to join the cause. All too soon, though, he and his crew will have to take a stand.
Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom (Harper Voyager 10/27/2015) – This is a trade-paperback reissue of the Hardcover originally published in 2012. I read this about a year or two ago and LOVED it.
Santa Claus, my dear old friend, you are a thief, a traitor, a slanderer, a murderer, a liar, but worst of all you are a mockery of everything for which I stood. You have sung your last ho, ho, ho, for I am coming for your head. . . . I am coming to take back what is mine, to take back Yuletide . . .
The author and artist of The Child Thief returns with a modern fabulist tale of Krampus, the Lord of Yule and the dark enemy of Santa Claus
One Christmas Eve in a small hollow in Boone County, West Virginia, struggling songwriter Jesse Walker witnesses a strange spectacle: seven devilish figures chasing a man in a red suit toward a sleigh and eight reindeer. When the reindeer leap skyward, taking the sleigh, devil men, and Santa into the clouds, screams follow. Moments later, a large sack plummets back to earth, a magical sack that thrusts the down-on-his-luck singer into the clutches of the terrifying Yule Lord, Krampus. But the lines between good and evil become blurred as Jesse's new master reveals many dark secrets about the cherry-cheeked Santa Claus, including how half a millennium ago the jolly old saint imprisoned Krampus and usurped his magic.
Now Santa's time is running short, for the Yule Lord is determined to have his retribution and reclaim Yuletide. If Jesse can survive this ancient feud, he might have the chance to redeem himself in his family's eyes, to save his own broken dreams . . . and to help bring the magic of Yule to the impoverished fold of Boone County.
Star Wars: Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed (Star Wars Books / Del Rey, Hardcover 09/04/2015) – Inspired by the Game based on the Star Wars universe. Freed has extensive experience writing for Star Wars – 6 years on the The Old Republic game in addition to numerous comics. Nice to see him get a “promotion” to writing one of the big SW novels. Hardcover/final version of the ARC I received about a month ago
A companion novel inspired by the hotly anticipated videogame Star Wars: Battlefront, this action-packed adventure follows a squad of soldiers caught in the trenches of the ultimate galactic war between good and evil.
The bravest soldiers. The toughest warriors. The ultimate survivors.
Among the stars and across the vast expanses of space, the Galactic Civil War rages. On the battlefields of multiple worlds in the Mid Rim, legions of ruthless stormtroopers—bent on crushing resistance to the Empire wherever it arises—are waging close and brutal combat against an armada of freedom fighters. In the streets and alleys of ravaged cities, the front-line forces of the Rebel Alliance are taking the fight to the enemy, pushing deeper into Imperial territory and grappling with the savage flesh-and-blood realities of war on the ground.
Leading the charge are the soldiers—men and women, human and nonhuman—of the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry, better known as Twilight Company. Hard-bitten, war-weary, and ferociously loyal to one another, the members of this renegade outfit doggedly survive where others perish, and defiance is their most powerful weapon against the deadliest odds. When orders come down for the rebels to fall back in the face of superior opposition numbers and firepower, Twilight reluctantly complies. Then an unlikely ally radically changes the strategic equation—and gives the Alliance’s hardest-fighting warriors a crucial chance to turn retreat into resurgence.
Orders or not, alone and outgunned but unbowed, Twilight Company locks, loads, and prepares to make its boldest maneuver—trading down-and-dirty battle in the trenches for a game-changing strike at the ultimate target: the very heart of the Empire’s military machine.
This is the Night by Jason Hough (Little A Hardcover 11/01/2015) – Hough’s trilogy earned him some very good sales and acclaim and graduated him to Hardcover for this release.
In a world at war, four youths try to determine what’s really worth fighting for.
For more than twenty years, the Homeland has been immersed in a brutal, unwinnable war. Young men are drafted and sent to fight in a faraway jungle. Those who come back are scarred in body and mind. Lance, two weeks shy of turning eighteen, has watched his older brothers leave and his mother fall apart when they fail to return. He’s never imagined a different future for himself—until he meets an idealistic young woman named Lorrie and impulsively flees town with her.
In Western City North, on the edge of the Homeland, Lance and Lorrie move into the same building as Benny and Joe, two friends up for induction. Along with Alan, a young runaway, they frantically evade Registry agents intent on tracking down draft dodgers. With induction day looming and paranoia rampant, the only way for any of them to stay free is to uncover the truth about their uncertain world—and the forces seeking to control it. Jonah C. Sirott’s breathtaking debut is about hope, survival, and the challenge of pushing past the limits our world draws around us.