New Books (February #2)


Featuring: Nick Aires, Jesse Armstrong, David Baldacci, Adam Christopher, Sebastien de Castell, David Downing, Mark Andrew Ferguson, Matthew Glass, Daryl Gregory, Austin Grossman, Randy Henderson, Antonia Honeywell, Kameron Hurley, Ben Kane, Dennis Lehane, Evie Manieri, D.J. Molles, Benjamin Percy, Tamora Pierce, Christopher Reich, Loren Rhoads, Anthony Ryan, V.E. Schwab, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Simon K. Unsworth, Jen Williams, Jonathan Wood

AiresN-ArrowHeroesVillainsNick Aires, ARROW: HEROES AND VILLAINS (Titan)

Arrow: Heroes and Villains is a companion to the hit Warner Bros. TV show Arrow, to be airing its third season on The CW network. Based on the DC Comics character, the American TV series Arrow follows billionaire Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell – Heartland, Private Practice) who, after spending five years marooned on a remote island, returns home and secretly creates the persona of Arrow to right the wrongs of his family and fight the ills of society.

Arrow: Heroes and Villains is a comprehensive character guide to the hit Warner Bros. TV show Arrow. Featuring in-depth character breakdowns of Oliver Queen – the billionaire turned hooded vigilante, Laurel Lance – attorney and former girlfriend of Oliver, Slade Wilson – the character based on DC Comics’ Deathstroke – and many, many more.

I have enjoyed Arrow a great deal. I’m quite far behind at the moment, but this is an interesting accompaniment.

Review copy received from publisher


ArmstrongJ-LoveSex&OtherFPGoalsUKJesse Armstrong, LOVE, SEX AND OTHER FOREIGN POLICY GOALS (Jonathan Cape)

It’s 1994 and the former Yugoslavia is being torn apart. In England, a gang of good-hearted young people are about to set off in a Ford Transit van armed with several sacks of rice and a half-written play. A play which will light a beacon of peace across the Balkans and, very probably, stop the war. 

Andrew would love to stop the war. He has one of the most comprehensively developed personal foreign policies of anyone working on a building site in the Greater Manchester area. He feels everyone should have a foreign policy, really. What sort of person doesn’t have a foreign policy? But what he’d like to do – maybe even more than stopping the war – is sleep with Penny, who he is pretty sure might be the love of his life.

But does Penny like him? Or does she love Simon, his rival, an irritatingly authentic Geordie poet? Or Shannon, the fierce, inspiring American leader of the troupe? Who exactly loves who? And what’s the safest way to make it out of a minefield should you accidentally wander into one? And what do you talk to a mercenary about? And is a bad thing really a bad thing if it maybe leads to a good thing?

Jesse Armstrong is one of the writers of Peep Show. However, it was the title that caught my eye. Sounds interesting, so I hope to read it pretty soon.

Review copy received via NetGalley


BaldacciD-AD1-MemoryManUSDavid Baldacci, MEMORY MAN (Grand Central)

Amos Decker’s life changed forever — twice.

The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect — he can never forget anything. 

The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare — his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered.

His family destroyed, their killer’s identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. He leaves the police force, loses his home, and winds up on the street, taking piecemeal jobs as a private investigator when he can.

But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

I am a big fan of Baldacci’s novels (I’ve reviewed 11 of his books since starting CR). Memory Man is the intriguing-sounding first in a new series, one that sounds very promising. Memory Man is due to be published in late April 2015, but I’ll probably read it much sooner (maybe even next-but-one). The novel is published by Grand Central in North America and Macmillan in the UK.

Review copy received from publisher


ChristopherA-Elementary-GhostLineAdam Christopher, ELEMENTARY: THE GHOST LINE (Titan)

A brand-new novel tie-in for the popular Elementary TV series.

A summons to a body found riddled with bullets in a Hell’s Kitchen apartment is the start of a new case for Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson. The victim is a subway train driver with a strange Colombian connection and a mysterious pile of money, but who would want to kill him? The search for the truth will lead the detectives into the hidden underground tunnels of New York City, where more bodies may well await them.

love Elementary. It’s a fantastic, entertaining, quirky and intelligent TV series. It’s also the only new/modern iterations of the character that I really enjoy (there are otherwise way too many people churning out Sherlock Holmes material at the moment – I have more thoughts on that, but they don’t belong here). The BBC Sherlock and the Robert Downey Jr. movies were good, too. Anyway, while I haven’t read any of Christopher’s novels, yet, this one I am very much looking forward to. If you haven’t seen any of the TV series, yet, I strongly urge you to give it a try.

Also on CR: Interview with Adam Christopher

Review copy received from publisher


deCastell-2-KnightsShadowUKSebastien de Castell, KNIGHT’S SHADOW (Jo Fletcher Books)

Tristia is a nation overcome by intrigue and corruption. The idealistic young King Paelis is dead and the Greatcoats – legendary travelling magistrates who brought justice to the Kingdom – have been branded as traitors. But just before his head was impaled on a spike, the King swore each of his hundred and forty-four Greatcoats to a different mission.

Falcio Val Mond, First Cantor, with the help of fellow Greatcoats Kest and Brasti, has completed his King’s final task: he has found his Charoites – well, one at least, and she was not quite what they expected. Now they must protect the girl from the many who would see her dead, and place her on the throne of a lawless kingdom. That would be simple enough, if it weren’t for the Daishini, an equally legendary band of assassins, getting in their way, not to forget the Dukes who are determined to hold on to their fractured Kingdoms, or the fact that the heir to the throne is only thirteen years old. Oh, and the poison that is slowly killing Falcio.

That’s not even mentioning the Greatcoat’s Lament…

I really enjoyed Traitor’s Blade, and have been eagerly awaiting this sequel ever since. I’ll be reading this very soon.

Also on CR: Interview with Sebastien de Castell; Guest Post on “Where Writers Get Their Groove”; Review of Traitor’s Blade

Review copy received from publisher


DowningD-RedEaglesUKDavid Downing, THE RED EAGLES (Old Street/Soho Crime)

World War II is nearly over. For the Russians, the enemy is no longer Nazi Germany, but the American behemoth that threatens to topple the Communist revolution. Deep within the walls of the Kremlin, Stalin’s top man hatches a brilliant plan that will alter the course of postwar history—and it’s all based on a deception as simple as the shell game. Five years later, an atomic bomb detonates deep within the borders of the Soviet Union, stunning the experts who had predicted that Russian science could not produce such a devastating weapon for at least another generation.

The Red Eagles traces the adventures of two spies, Jack Kuznetsky and Amy Brandon, as they track down the most deadly force in the world while hiding their true allegiances and intentions from their compatriots. They are the “red” eagles, sent to America by one of its enemies to steal the greatest secret of all: the key to producing the atomic bomb.

Sounds interesting, so I picked it up. Still have to read Jack of Spies, too, now that I think about it… Published by Old Street Publishing in the UK and Soho Crime in the US.


FergusonMA-LostBoysSymphonyMark Andrew Ferguson, THE LOST BOYS SYMPHONY (Little, Brown)

After Henry’s girlfriend Val leaves him and transfers to another school, his grief begins to manifest itself in bizarre and horrifying ways. Cause and effect, once so reliable, no longer appear to be related in any recognizable manner. Either he’s hallucinating, or the strength of his heartbreak over Val has unhinged reality itself.

After weeks of sleepless nights and sick delusions, Henry decides to run away. If he can only find Val, he thinks, everything will make sense again. So he leaves his mother’s home in the suburbs and marches toward the city and the woman who he thinks will save him. Once on the George Washington Bridge, however, a powerful hallucination knocks him out cold. When he awakens, he finds himself kidnapped by two strangers–one old, one middle-aged–who claim to be future versions of Henry himself. Val is the love of your life, they tell him. We’ve lost her, but you don’t have to.

In the meantime, Henry’s best friend Gabe is on the verge of breakdown of his own. Convinced he is somehow to blame for Henry’s deterioration and eventual disappearance, Gabe is consumed by a potent mix of guilt and sadness. When he is approached by an enigmatic stranger claiming to be an older version of his lost friend, Gabe begins to fear for his own sanity. With no one else to turn to, he reaches out to the only person who can possibly help him make sense of it all: Val.

This started popping up in my various book-related feeds and then I spotted it on NetGalley. Looks interesting.

Review copy received via NetGalley


GlassM-FishbowlUKMatthew Glass, FISHBOWL (Corvus)

When you’re the next big thing in Silicon Valley, the whole world is watching.

As a gifted Ivy League student, Andrei Koss hit upon an idea that would revolutionise social networking and move it on by a generation. Enlisting the help of his best friends, Ben and Kevin, he turned their dorm room into an operations base, where fl ashes of creative brilliance and all-night-coding sessions led to the creation of Fishbowl. He is now the 21-year-old CEO of a multi-billion-dollar empire. His creation reaches into every corner of the planet. But its immense power has many uses, and some will stop at nothing to get a piece of it.

Matthew Glass writes some really interesting-looking novels. I now have all of them. And yet, they’ve remained unread on my Kindle. I don’t know why I’m not better at keeping on top of Book I Have On My Kindle. (I’ve now made a list…) Fishbowl sounds particularly interesting, so I think I’m going to get started on his work here.


GregoryD-H1-HarrisonSquaredUSDaryl Gregory, HARRISON SQUARED (Tor)

Harrison Harrison — H2 to his mom — is a lonely teenager who’s been terrified of the water ever since he was a toddler in California, when a huge sea creature capsized their boat, and his father vanished. One of the “sensitives” who are attuned to the supernatural world, Harrison and his mother have just moved to the worst possible place for a boy like him: Dunnsmouth, a Lovecraftian town perched on rocks above the Atlantic, where strange things go on by night, monsters lurk under the waves, and creepy teachers run the local high school.

On Harrison’s first day at school, his mother, a marine biologist, disappears at sea. Harrison must attempt to solve the mystery of her accident, which puts him in conflict with a strange church, a knife-wielding killer, and the Deep Ones, fish-human hybrids that live in the bay. It will take all his resources — and an unusual host of allies — to defeat the danger and find his mother.

I’m a big fan of Daryl Gregory’s work (prose and comics). This is his first YA novel, and I’ve already dipped in and read the first few pages. It’s very good. I expect to finish it off ASAP. Published in March in the US by Tor Books and in the UK by Titan Books. I believe Gregory’s novella We Are All Completely Fine features the same Harrison, but years in the future…

Received via NetGalley


GrossmanA-CrookedAustin Grossman, CROOKED (Mulholland)

Richard Milhous Nixon lived one of the most improbable lives of the twentieth century. Our thirty-seventh president’s political career spanned the button-down fifties, the Mad Men sixties, and the turbulent seventies. He faced down the Russians, the Chinese, and ultimately his own government. The man went from political mastermind to a national joke, sobbing in the Oval Office, leaving us with one burning question: how could he have lost it all?

Here for the first time is the tale told in his own words: the terrifying supernatural secret he stumbled upon as a young man, the truth behind the Cold War, and the truth behind the Watergate cover-up. What if our nation’s worst president was actually a pivotal figure caught in a desperate struggle between ordinary life and horrors from another reality? What if the man we call our worst president was, in truth, our greatest?

In Crooked, Nixon finally reveals the secret history of modern American politics as only Austin Grossman could reimagine it. Combining Lovecraftian suspense, international intrigue, Russian honey traps, and a presidential marriage whose secrets and battles of attrition were their own heroic saga, Grossman’s novel is a masterwork of alternative history, equal parts mesmerizing character study and nail-biting Faustian thriller.

I’m a relative newcomer to Grossman’s novels – I read You only last year, and have yet to read Soon I Will Be InvincibleCrooked sounds exactly like the type of novel I will enjoy. It’s not out until July 2015, so I will attempt to resist reading it immediately, but I will probably not be able to hold off for long. Really looking forward to reading this one.

Review copy received from publisher


HendersonR-FinnFancyNecromancyUKRandy Henderson, FINN FANCY NECROMANCY (Titan)

Found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit in 1986, 15-year-old Finn Gramaraye was exiled to the Other Realm for 25 years. But now he’s back in the mortal world and is disappointed to discover that he’s middle-aged, DeLoreans can’t fly, and he’s been framed for murdering someone with dark necromancy—again. He has three days to clear his name and win back his high-school crush, but his nuclear family is something of a disaster: his father has gone mad, his mother’s a ghost, his sister is allergic is magic, one brother thinks he’s a werewolf, and the other is busy running the family necrotorium business, andseems most disappointed that Finn is back on the scene…

Who can he trust to help him? Forced to team up with the ex-partner of the enforcer he’s accused of killing, Finn encounters a host of supernatural creatures as he struggles to regain his memories and figure out who wants him gone, before it’s too late.

This sounds like a lot of fun, so I hope to get to it ASAP.

Review copy received from publisher


HoneywellA-TheShipAntonia Honeywell, THE SHIP (W&N)



Oxford Street burned for three weeks. The British Museum is occupied by ragtag survivors. The Regent’s Park camps have been bombed. The Nazareth Act has come into force. If you can’t produce your identity card, you don’t exist.

Lalla, sixteen, has grown up sheltered from the new reality by her visionary father, Michael Paul. But now the chaos has reached their doorstep. Michael has promised to save them. His escape route is a ship big enough to save five hundred people. But only the worthy will be chosen. 

Once on board, as day follows identical day, Lalla’s unease grows. Where are they going? What does her father really want?


This has been described as a blend of Hunger Games and The Handmaid’s Tale – I don’t know anyone else who has read it (or maybe even heard of it, actually…). So, I decided to buy it and have a read. Hopefully very soon. Published by W&N/Orion in the UK, and it’s out now.


HunterS-IRipperUSStephen Hunter, I, RIPPER (Simon & Schuster)

The electrifying new thriller from New York Times bestseller Stephen Hunter takes you deep inside the mind of the most notorious serial killer of all time: Jack the Ripper.

In the fall of 1888, Jack the Ripper slaughtered five prostitutes in London’s seamy Whitechapel District. He did not just kill—he ripped with a butcher’s glee—and then, after the particularly gruesome slaying of Mary Jane Kelly, he disappeared. For 127 years, Jack has haunted the dark corners of our imagination, the paradigm of the psychotic killer. We remember him not only for his crimes, but because, despite one of the biggest dragnets in London history, he was never caught.

I, Ripper is a vivid reimagining of Jack’s personal story entwined with that of an Irish journalist who covered the case, knew the principals, charted the investigation, and at last, stymied, went off in a bold new direction. These two men stalk each other through a city twisted in fear of the madman’s blade, a cat-and-mouse game that brings to life the sounds and smells of the fleshpot tenderloin of Whitechapel and all the lurid acts that fueled the Ripper headlines.

An odd thing to confess for a novel I requested: I am very much over the Jack the Ripper rewrite… So why did I request this? Well, Hunter’s written nothing like this in the past, so I am rather intrigued to see if he may come up with something interesting and original. It’s not at the top of my TBR (e-)mountain, but hopefully I’ll get to it in the not-too-distant future. I, Ripper is published by Simon & Schuster in May 2015.

Received via Edelweiss


HurleyK-BD3-RaptureUKKameron Hurley, RAPTURE (Del Rey UK)

Nyx is back, alongside the bel dame sisterhood of assassins.

Although the centuries-long war is over, civil unrest is rife, and the fate of one kidnapped politician could be the catalyst for a bloody regime change.

With aliens in the sky and a hint of revolution in the air, Nyx and her team of mutant shape-shifters, torturers and bio-tech magicians have a new mission: save a life to save a country.

It wasn’t so long ago that I read God’s War (which I thought was very good). Since then, though, I have been moving around so much that the second novel in the series, Infidel, seems to have slipped by me. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up and get it read in a timely manner. The series was published in the US by Night Shade Books.

Also on CR: Guest Post on “Gritty vs. Classic/Traditional Heroes”; Review of God’s War

Review copy received from publisher


KaneB-EaglesAtWarUKBen Kane, EAGLES AT WAR (Preface/RHUK)

In the summer of 9 CE, Publius Varus, the Roman governor of Germania, and Lucius Tullus, a centurion garrisoned on the Rhine, march east with three legions. As they prepare to return to their winter quarters, they are lured off the road and ambushed by German warriors.

The Germans are led by Arminius, a chieftain who is a trusted ally of Rome – and a man who has been secretly planning to betray the empire since childhood. 

Trapping Varus’ legionaries between a hillside and a marsh, and thereby preventing them from forming up or using their artillery, Arminius and his warriors wreak a terrible slaughter.

The Roman defeat is overwhelming, but it is not until the third day of the massacre that the scale of Arminius’ victory becomes clear. Three legions, upwards of fourteen thousand men have been annihilated, and three treasured Eagle standards have been lost. Just a few hundred legionaries, including Tullus, manage to escape.

Nor is the survivors’ ordeal over. Pursued to the last Roman fort east of the Rhine, they are besieged by thousands of bloodthirsty tribesmen. Only the gods can save them now…

Ben Kane’s series of historical fiction has been hugely popular. This is his latest, due out in the UK through Preface Publishing on April 23rd, 2015. (Details from the Random House New Zealand site, as it wasn’t up on the UK’s page at the time of writing).

Also on CR: Interview with Ben Kane; Guest Post “On the Romani Walk”

Review copy received from publisher


LehaneD-WorldGoneByUKDennis Lehane, WORLD GONE BY (Little, Brown)

A psychologically and morally complex novel of blood, crime, passion, and vengeance, set in Cuba and Ybor City, Florida, during World War II, in which Joe Coughlin must confront the cost of his criminal past and present.

Ten years have passed since Joe Coughlin’s enemies killed his wife and destroyed his empire, and much has changed. Prohibition is dead, the world is at war again, and Joe’s son, Tomás, is growing up. Now, the former crime kingpin works as a consigliore to the Bartolo crime family, traveling between Tampa and Cuba, his wife’s homeland.

A master who moves in and out of the black, white, and Cuban underworlds, Joe effortlessly mixes with Tampa’s social elite, U.S. Naval intelligence, the Lansky-Luciano mob, and the mob-financed government of Fulgencio Batista. He has everything—money, power, a beautiful mistress, and anonymity.

But success cannot protect him from the dark truth of his past—and ultimately, the wages of a lifetime of sin will finally be paid in full.

This sounds really interesting. Hopefully get to it ASAP. World Gone By is published in the UK by Little, Brown and in the US by William Morrow.

Received via NetGalley


ManieriE-SK2-FortunesBlightUSEvie Manieri, FORTUNE’S BLIGHT (Tor Books/Jo Fletcher Books)

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….

The second novel in Manieri’s Shattered Kingdoms series, I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I finished the author’s debut, Blood’s Pride back in 2012. It was a really interesting new fantasy series, set in an interesting world. Fortune’s Blight is out now in the US published by Tor Books and in the UK published by Jo Fletcher Books.

Also on CR: Interview with Evie Manieri; Guest Post on “Why I Write Fantasy”; Review of Blood’s Pride


MollesDJ-R5-AllegianceUKD.J. Molles, ALLEGIANCE (Orbit)

When a devastating plague turns most of population into frenzied killers, a lone soldier is on a mission to rebuild his ruined world

This is the fifth, never-before-published, novel in the action-packed series following Special Forces Captain Lee Harden. Lee and a group of survivors struggle to survive while rebuilding an America devastated by a bacterium – one that has turned 90% of the population into a ravenous horde.

Through an overwhelming storm of pain and adversity Captain Lee Harden has fought and survived. But his mission continues.

Recovering from his wounds, mental and physical, he must rally his companions at Camp Ryder and push back against the still swarming hordes of the infected that threaten to extinguish an already devastated society.

The fifth instalment in Molles’s Remaining series, and the first not previously available as self-published. It sounds like an interesting series, and one I do still intend to read. I’m sure I’ll be in the mood for some apocalyptic/dystopian fiction in the near future, so I’ll be sure to put it in the running. It’s due to be published on March 25th, 2015, in the UK.

Review copy received from publisher


PercyB-TheDeadLandsUSBenjamin Percy, THE DEAD LANDS (Grand Central)

A post-apocalyptic reimagining of the Lewis and Clark saga.

A super flu and nuclear fallout have made a husk of the world we know. A few humans carry on, living in outposts such as the Sanctuary-the remains of St. Louis-a shielded community that owes its survival to its militant defense and fear-mongering leaders.

Then a rider comes from the wasteland beyond its walls. She reports on the outside world: west of the Cascades, rain falls, crops grow, civilization thrives. But there is danger too: the rising power of an army that pillages and enslaves every community they happen upon.

Against the wishes of the Sanctuary, a small group sets out in secrecy. Led by Lewis Meriwether and Mina Clark, they hope to expand their infant nation, and to reunite the States. But the Sanctuary will not allow them to escape without a fight.

Easily one of my top five Most Wanted books of 2015, I have already finished reading it, and you can find my review here.

Review copy received from publisher


Tamara Pierce, THE IMMORTALS SERIES (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)


Thirteen-year-old DaIne has always had a knack with animals, but it’s not until she’s forced to leave home that she realizes it’s more than a knack — it’s magic. With this wild magic, not only can Daine speak to animals, but also she can make them obey her. Daine takes a job handling horses for the Queen’s Riders, where she meets the master mage Numair and becomes his student.

Under Numair’s guidance, Daine explores the scope of her magic. But she begins to sense other beings too: immortals. These bloodthirsty monsters have been imprisoned in the Divine Realms for the past four hundred years, but now someone has broken the barrier. It’s up to Daine and her friends to defend their world from an immortal attack.

I have been told by so many people that Tamora Pierce was such an important author to their introduction to fantasy when they were younger. The Immortals series – including Wild Magic, Wolf-Speaker, Emperor Mage and The Realm of the Gods – will be re-issued by Atheneum Books/Simon & Schuster in September 2015. Seemed like a good time to give the author’s work a try.

Review copies received via Edelweiss


ReichC-InvasionOfPrivacyUSChristopher Reich, INVASION OF PRIVACY (Doubleday)

One woman’s quest to discover the truth behind her husband’s death will pit her against a new generation of cutting-edge surveillance technology and the most dangerous conspiracy in America… 

On a remote, dusty road forty miles outside of Austin, Texas, FBI agent Joe Grant and a confidential informant are killed in a deadly shootout. Left to pick up the pieces is Mary Grant, Joe’s young wife and mother of their two daughters. The official report places blame for the deaths on Joe’s shoulders… but the story just doesn’t add up and Mary has too many troubling questions that need answers. How did Joe’s final voice mail—containing a cryptic warning for Mary, recorded moments before the fatal shooting—disappear without a trace from her phone?

Stonewalled by the FBI, Mary will be drawn into a deadly conspiracy that puts her in the crosshairs of the richest and most powerful men in America… and the newest and most terrifying surveillance system known to man.

Your privacy is for sale.

Reich is an author I’ve been aware of for a long time, but for some reason have never managed to get around to reading. I recently picked up Reich’s previous novel, The Prince of Risk, which I may read before Invasion of Privacy, but I’m eager to get around to them both. This is due to be published by Doubleday in the US, on June 16th, 2015.

Review copy received via Edelweiss


RhoadsL-WT1-DangerousTypeLoren Rhoads, THE DANGEROUS TYPE (Night Shade Books)

Set in the wake of a galaxy wide war and the destruction of a human empire, The Dangerous Type follows the awakening of one of the galaxies most dangerous assassins and her quest for vengeance. Entombed for twenty years, Reana has been found and released.

Thallian has been on the lam for the last fifteen years; a wanted war criminal whose entire family has been hunted down and murdered for their role in the galaxy wide genocide of the Templars. His name is the first on Reana’s list, as he’s the one that enslaved her, made her his assassin, and ultimate put her in a tomb. But Thallian is willing to risk everything—including his army of cloned sons—to capture her. Now it’s a race to see who kills who first.

Alternatively, Gaven has spent the last twenty years trying to forget about Reana, who he once saved and then lost to the clutches of Thallian. Reana’s adopted sister, Ariel, has been running from the truth: the one about Reana, about her and Gavin, and doesn’t know if she’ll be able to face either of them.

Spotted the cover for this on Twitter, and then noticed it was available via Edelweiss. It sounded pretty interesting, so requested it. Could be fun.

Review copy received via Edelweiss


RyanA-2-TowerLordUKAnthony Ryan, TOWER LORD (Orbit)

The Realm Burns.

Vaelin Al Sorna is tired of war. He’s fought countless battles in service to the Realm and Faith. His reward was the loss of his love, the death of his friends and a betrayal by his king. After five years in an Alpiran dungeon, he just wants to go home. 

Reva intends to welcome Vaelin back with a knife between the ribs. He destroyed her family and ruined her life. Nothing will stop her from exacting bloody vengeance – not even the threat of invasion from the greatest enemy the Realm has ever faced.

Yet as the fires of war spread, foes become friends and truths turn to lies. To save the Realm, Reva must embrace a future she does not want – and Vaelin must revisit a past he’d rather leave buried.

I still need to read the first novel in this series, Blood Song. It has been hugely popular among many of the other SFF bloggers. I started reading the first book last year, but… it failed to ignite my interest. True, I was going through a distinct fantasy funk at the time (which I think I’ve managed to overcome, thanks in large part to Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades and The Providence of Fire).

Review copy received from publisher


SchwabVE-ViciousUSV.E. Schwab, VICIOUS (Tor)

A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates — brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find — aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge — but who will be left alive at the end?

A world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

I’ve wanted to read this for quite some time, now. I decided to finally pick it up at Bakka Phoenix in Toronto, and I will have started it by the time this post goes live (maybe even finished it). It’s published by Tor Books in North America and Titan Books in the UK, and is out now.


TchaikovskyA-GunsOfTheDawnAdrian Tchaikovsky, GUNS OF THE DAWN (Tor UK)

Denland and Lascanne have been allies for generations, but now the Denlanders have assassinated their king, overthrown the monarchy and marched on their northern neighbour. At the border, the war rages; Lascanne’s brave redcoats against the revolutionaries of Denland.

Emily Marshwic has watched the war take her brother-in-law and now her young brother. Then comes the call for more soldiers, to a land already drained of husbands, fathers and sons. Every household must give up one woman to the army and Emily has no choice but to join the ranks of young women marching to the front.

In the midst of warfare, with just enough training to hold a musket, Emily comes face to face with the reality: the senseless slaughter; the weary cynicism of the Survivor’s Club; the swamp’s own natives hiding from the conflict.

As the war worsens, and Emily begins to have doubts about the justice of Lascanne’s cause, she finds herself in a position where her choices will make or destroy both her own future and that of her nation.

I have featured this novel before on the site – it is easily one of my most anticipated of the year. Can’t wait to start reading it. Guns of the Dawn was published in the UK by Tor on February 12th, 2015.

Also on CR: Interview with Adrian Tchaikovsky (2012); Guest Posts on “Nine Books, Six Years, One Stenwold Maker” and “The Art of Gunsmithing – Writing Guns of the Dawn”; Reviews of Empire in Black and Gold and The Bloody Deluge

Review copy received from publisher


UnsworthSK-1-DevilsDetectiveUKSimon K. Unsworth, THE DEVIL’S DETECTIVE (Del Rey UK)

Welcome to hell…

… where skinless demons patrol the lakes and the waves of Limbo wash against the outer walls, while the souls of the Damned float on their surface, waiting to be collected.

When an unidentified, brutalised body is discovered, the case is assigned to Thomas Fool, one of Hell’s detectives, known as ‘Information Men’. But how do you investigate a murder where death is commonplace and everyone is guilty of something?

I’ve actually already read this novel – quite a while ago, too. It is very good. You can read my review here. If you like crime fiction, horror or just dark storytelling of any kind, then this is a must-read. I’m really looking forward to the sequel. The Devil’s Detective is due out in the UK on March 12th. It is published in the US by Doubleday.

I really like the UK cover, too. So I used it as inspiration for my Hallowe’en pumpkin this year:


Review copy received from publisher


WilliamsJ-2-IronGhostUKJen Williams, THE IRON GHOST (Headline)

Beware the dawning of a new mage…

Wydrin of Crosshaven, Sir Sebastian and Lord Aaron Frith are experienced in the perils of stirring up the old gods. They are also familiar with defeating them, and the heroes of Baneswatch are now enjoying the perks of suddenly being very much in demand for their services.

When a job comes up in the distant city of Skaldshollow, it looks like easy coin – retrieve a stolen item, admire the views, get paid. But in a place twisted and haunted by ancient magic, with the most infamous mage of them all, Joah Demonsworn, making a reappearance, our heroes soon find themselves threatened by enemies on all sides, old and new. And in the frozen mountains, the stones are walking…

This is the sequel to The Copper Promise, which I rathe enjoyed – if not as much as many others did. It’s a fun take on epic fantasy, and has a lot to offer. The first novel was originally released episodically, which may have accounted for the niggles I experienced. I’m hoping this one addresses all of these minor things, which would make it a very good novel. The Iron Ghost is due to be published on February 26th, 2015, in the UK.

Also on CR: Interview with Jen Williams; Review of The Copper Promise

Review copy received from publisher


WoodJ-3-AntiHeroJonathan Wood, ANTI-HERO (Titan)

Another day. Another zombie T-Rex to put down. All part of the routine for Arthur Wallace and MI37—the government department devoted to battling threats magical, supernatural, extra-terrestrial, and generally odd. Except a zombie T-Rex is only the first of his problems…

Before he can say, “But didn’t I save the world yesterday?” a new co-director at MI37 is threatening his job, middle-aged Russian cyborg wizards are threatening his life, and his co-workers are threatening his sanity.

Anti-Hero, the third novel in Wood’s series, is due to be published in March 2015. The fourth novel in the series, Broken Hero, is due out in January 2016.

Also on CR: Interview with Jonathan Wood; Guest posts on “Living With the Consequences”, “Videogames & Storytelling” and “Writing in the Devastating Wake of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Review copy received from publisher


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