Sunday, June 12, 2011

Books in the Mail (W/E 2011-06-11)

After meeting the Solaris/Abaddon folks at BEA a couple of weeks ago, they were kind enough to send me some of their books for review, five of which arrived on Monday, plus a couple of other odds and ends.

Necropath (Bengal Station #1) by Eric Brown (Mass Market Paperback 10/03/2008 Solaris Books) – Brown is one of Solaris’s top writers/authors and this book is the first of a trilogy of future psychic-detective novels. I loved Helix when I read it a couple of years ago and have been meaning to catch up with Brown’s work since.

Science fiction meets crime noir, as Jeff Vaughan, jaded telepath, employed by the spaceport authorities on Bengal Station, discovers a sinister cult that worships a mysterious alien god. There, he discovers a sinister cult that worships a mysterious alien god. The Church of the Adoration of the Chosen One uses drugs to commune with the Ultimate, and will murder to silence those who oppose their beliefs. The story follows Vaughan as his mistrust of his fellow humans is overturned by his love for the Thai street-girl Sukura, while he attempts to solve the murders and save himself from the psychopath out to kill him.

The Plain Man by Steve Englehart (The Timeless Man, Max August #3) (Tor Hardcover 06/21/2011) – Englehart has written some of the most popular characters in comics, and their most acclaimed stories. This book is the third in his urban fantasy/mystery/thriller.

Magick and reality collide in a new, fast-paced Max August thriller

Max August is not invulnerable, but he never ages—a gift he earned while studying under the legendary alchemist Cornelius Agrippa. August, now an alchemist himself, is using his magickal abilities to fight the right-wing conspiracy known as the FRC, which seeks to control all aspects of society. At the top of the FRC is a nine-member cabal, each member of which is a powerful force in one area of society, such as media, politics, finance…and wizardry.

When Max learns that two members of the cabal are en route to Wickr, a Burning Man–like festival held in the American Southwest, he stages a plan to gather information from them and, he hopes turn one member against the others. Max has been careful not to leave a trail, but the cabal sees all, and an “accident” at a nuclear waste facility just 100 miles from the festival would send a clear message to those who oppose the FRC. Max may be timeless, but he is running out of time to stop the FRC and save millions of lives.

Dark Side (A Pax Britannia novel) by Jonathan Green (Abaddon Books Trade Paperback 11/2010) – In the closing years of the 20th century the British Empire's rule is still going strong. Queen Victoria is about to celebrate her 160th birthday, kept alive by advanced steam technology. London is a fantastical sprawling metropolis where dirigibles roam the skies, robot bobbies enforce the law and dinosaurs are on display in London zoo. Welcome to Magna Britannia, a steam driven world full of fantastical creations and shady villains. Here dashing dandies and mustachioed villains battle for supremacy while below the city strange things stir in the flooded tunnels of the old London Underground.

START A NEW LIFE ON THE MOON! Yes, incredible opportunities await you on Earth’s most popular emigration destination. Let us bring you to the moon in style. Our weekly flights depart from all the major London spaceports. From the architectural splendor of Luna Prime to Serenity City, there really is something for everyone. Or if it’s adventure you’re looking for, why not seek out old enemies and win new allies as you hunt for the killer of your nearest and dearest? So what are you waiting for? Murder and mayhem await you on the dark side of the moon. But remember, in space no one can hear you hullabaloo!

Hammered (The Iron Druid Chronicles #3) by Kevin Hearne (Del Rey, Mass Market Paperback 07/05/2011) – Third in the continuing adventures of the last living Druid. I read the first book, Hounded, loved it and posted the review, last week and will post the review of the second, Hexed later this week.

Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is worse than a blowhard and a bully—he’s ruined countless lives and killed scores of innocents. After centuries, Viking vampire Leif Helgarson is ready to get his vengeance, and he’s asked his friend Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, to help take down this Norse nightmare.

One survival strategy has worked for Atticus for more than two thousand years: stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. But things are heating up in Atticus’s home base of Tempe, Arizona. There’s a vampire turf war brewing, and Russian demon hunters who call themselves the Hammers of God are running rampant. Despite multiple warnings and portents of dire consequences, Atticus and Leif journey to the Norse plain of Asgard, where they team up with a werewolf, a sorcerer, and an army of frost giants for an epic showdown against vicious Valkyries, angry gods, and the hammer-wielding Thunder Thug himself..

Song of the Dragon (The Annals of Drakis #1) by Tracy Hickman (DAW, Mass Market Paperback 07/05/2011) –My first forays into the world of fantasy were through the works of Tracy Hickman (and Margaret Weis), specifically Darksword and DragonLance. This book seems to have a lot of the similar ingredients: elves, dwarves, magic, prophecy, and of course, dragons. I might try this since it ticks some of the buttons I like in fantasy.

Once humans had magic and an alliance with dragons. Now they and the other races have been enslaved by the Rhonas Empire-the elves-and can't even remember the world the way it used to be. But thanks to the intervention of one determined dwarf and the human slave warrior known as Drakis, all of that is about to change.

The Snow Queen’s Shadow (Princess Series #4) by Jim C. Hines (DAW Books, Mass Market Paperback 07/05/2011) – I still have Jim’s first book in this series The Stepsister Scheme staring at me from the unread shelf, so I better get cracking.

A broken mirror. A stolen child. A final mission to try to stop an enemy they never dreamed they would face.

When a spell gone wrong shatters Snow White's enchanted mirror, a demon escapes into the world. The demon's magic distorts the vision of all it touches, showing them only ugliness and hate. It is a power that turns even friends and lovers into mortal foes, one that will threaten humans and fairies alike.

And the first to fall under the demon’s power is the princess Snow White.

Age of Zeus (The Pantheon Saga#2) by James Lovegrove (Solaris Books, Mass Market Paperback 04/05/2010) – I read and thoroughly enjoyed Age of Odin (third in the Pantheon Saga) earlier in the year and this book focusing on the Greek pantheon is the second of the thematically-connected saga..

The Olympians appeared a decade ago, living incarnations of the Ancient Greek gods on a mission to bring permanent order and stability to the world. Resistance has proved futile, and now humankind asunder the jackboot of divine oppression. Then former London police officer Sam Akehurst receives an invitation too tempting to turn down, the chance to join a small band of guerilla rebels armed with high-tech weapons and battlesuits. Calling themselves the Titans, they square off against the Olympians and their ferocious mythological monsters in a war of attrition which not all of them will survive!

My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland (DAW Mass Market 7/05/2011)– Mystery + humor + horror + zombies = A new book (and potential series) from Diana Rowland.

Teenage delinquent Angel Crawford lives with her redneck father in the swamps of southern Louisiana. She's a high school dropout, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and has a police record a mile long. But when she's made into a zombie after a car crash, her addictions disappear, except for her all-consuming need to stay "alive"...

The Black Chalice (A Malory’s Knights of Albion novel) by Steve Savile (AbaddonTrade Paperback 07/05/2011) – First in the new Arthurian series from Abaddon. Steve hunt out in the SFFWorld forums for a bit, but his writing career has taken off, with some well-received Warhammer and Primeval novels under his belt.

Son of a knight and aspirant to the Round Table, Alymere yearns to take his place in the world, and for a quest to prove his worth. He comes across the foul Devil's Bible – written in one night by an insane hermit – which leads and drives him, by parts, to seek the unholy Black Chalice. On his quest he will face many obstacles and cunning enemies, but the ultimate threat is to his very soul.

The Noise Within by Ian Whates, (Solaris Books, Mass Market Paperback 04/27/2010) – Space Opera plus Artificial Intelligence in this debut from Whates.

On the brink of perfecting the long sought-after human/AI interface, Philip Kaufman finds his world thrown into turmoil as a scandal from the past returns to haunt him and dangerous information falls into his hands. Pursued by assassins and attacked in his own home, he flees. Leyton, a government black-ops specialist, is diverted from his usual duties to hunt down the elusive pirate vessel The Noise Within, wondering all the while why this particular freebooter is considered so important. Two lives collide in this stunning space-opera from debut novelist Ian Whates!.


Anonymous said...

Rob, I really hope you get around to Necropath soon as it's the start of one of my favourite series. I think Eric is grossly under read and the Bengal Station books are awesome. I read them again recently and they were even better second time round :)

Also look forward to seeing what you think of The Noise Within - I thought it was a great start to the series. I really must move the sequel up the pile...

RobB said...

I'm reading Kings of Eternity right now, and liking it so far. I will be cycling Necropath into the schedule soon.

I think Helix is one of the more overlooked SF novels of the past few years.