New Books (October-November)

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Featuring: Fiona Barton, Robert Jackson Bennett, Lee Bermejo, Mike Brooks, Nick Cole, Steve Coogan, Nate Crowley, David Dalglish, Matthew Dunn, Kate Elliott, Christopher Fowler, Alexander Freed, Teresa Frohock, Christopher Golden, Charlaine Harris, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Mark Hodder, Drew Karpyshyn, Julia Knight, Victor Lavalle, Peter Liney, Peter McLean, Claire North, Megan O’Keefe, Steven Rowley, Jane Smiley, Paul Starkey, Tom Toner, Ian Tregillis

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BartonF-TheWidowUKFiona Barton, THE WIDOW (Transworld)

We’ve all seen him: the man – the monster – staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.

But what about her: the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the wife who stands by him?

Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming. 

Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.

But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.

Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

Thought this looked interesting, and I’m always looking forward to new thriller authors to discover. Published in the UK by Transworld, in January 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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BennettRJ-2-CityOfBladesUSRobert Jackson Bennett, CITY OF BLADES (Crown)

A generation ago, the city of Voortyashtan was the stronghold of the god of war and death, the birthplace of fearsome supernatural sentinels who killed and subjugated millions.

Now, the city’s god is dead. The city itself lies in ruins. And to its new military occupiers, the once-powerful capital is a wasteland of sectarian violence and bloody uprisings.

So it makes perfect sense that General Turyin Mulaghesh — foul-mouthed hero of the battle of Bulikov, rumored war criminal, ally of an embattled Prime Minister—has been exiled there to count down the days until she can draw her pension and be forgotten.

At least, it makes the perfect cover story.

The truth is that the general has been pressed into service one last time, dispatched to investigate a discovery with the potential to change the world – or destroy it.

The trouble is that this old soldier isn’t sure she’s still got what it takes to be the hero.

I loved the first novel in this series, City of Stairs, and I’m very happy to get my mitts on an ARC of City of Blades. I’ll be holding off posting a review until December, but I will probably be unable to wait before reading. I have very high hopes for this. Published in the US by Crown Publishing on January 26th, 2016; and in the UK by Jo Fletcher Books on January 7th, 2016.

Also on CR: Review of City of StairsThe Company Man; Interview with Robert Jackson Bennett; Guest Post

Review copy received from publisher

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BermejoL-Suiciders-Vol.1Lee Bermejo, SUICIDERS, Vol.1 (Vertigo)

“The Big One” has finally hit Los Angeles. After a devastating earthquake, the Southland has seceded from the union, leaving the city split in two: the walled-off, wealthy New Angeles and the criminal-run ghetto Lost Angeles. But what unifies them all is Suiciders: an extremely popular reality sport in which murder, mayhem and merciless brutality rule. Two of these fighters from very different backgrounds struggle to claw their way to the top. But in this new world order, what will it take to be the best?

Collects: Suiciders #1-6

I’m a huge fan of Bermejo’s artwork and also his graphic novels (Batman Noel, for example, is superb). This is his latest series, and the first collection. Published now by Vertigo, I bought it through ComiXology (available digitally next week).

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BrooksM-2-DarkSkyUKMike Brooks, DARK SKY (Del Rey UK)

For the crew of the Keiko, their stay at the Grand House casino on New Samara was supposed to be a well-deserved rest. 

It didn’t last.

Captain Ichabod Drift promised that the side-trip to the mining planet Uragan would be a quick in and out – a data retrieval job then back to the tables. 

He was wrong.

When the revolution comes, all you can do is choose a side and hope to get out alive.

Sequel to Dark Run, which I still need to catch up on (it’s a novel that got lost in the near-endless moving I did in 2013/14…). I really want to catch up on the series.

Also on CR: Interview with Mike Brooks

Review copy received from publisher

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BrodskyJM-TheImmortalsUSJordanna Max Brodsky, THE IMMORTALS (Orbit)

MANHATTAN HAS MANY SECRETS.

SOME ARE OLDER THAN THE CITY ITSELF.

Manhattan. 

The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone-just the way she likes it. She doesn’t believe in friends, and she doesn’t speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous. 

Murders.

In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago. To protect the innocent-and to punish those who stands in her way.

Gods.

With the NYPD out of its depth, Selene vows to hunt the killer on her own. But when classics professor Theo Schultz decodes the ancient myth behind the crime, the solitary Huntress finds herself working with a man who’s her opposite in every way. Together, they face a long-forgotten cult that lies behind a string of murders, and they’ll need help from the one source Selene distrusts most of all: the city’s other Immortals.

This is easily one of my most anticipated novels of next year. Published by Orbit on February 16th, 2016, I’m not going to wait to read it. In fact, I’ve already finished it. I’ll post a full review a little closer to release (end of December or January), but here are my thoughts in a snapshot: Outstanding — a near-as-damned-perfect blend of New York crime thriller and Greek Mythology, superbly plotted and written. The first must read of 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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ColeN-EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnewItNick Cole, THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNEW IT (Self-Pub’d)

In the future, an artist specializing in historical records creates a piece of art based on three separate accounts of the Pandemic. What follows is a patchwork tale of survival and horror as two lovers struggle to survive the undying dead and the collapse of an America turned charnel house. Told as memos from Ground Zero, and later in the journal of a Dark Tower-like quest by train and foot across a nightmare landscape of ruined cities and raving corpses, the three accounts reveal more than just the grim realities of society’s collapse. The Notebook meets The Walking Dead in this stained glass depiction of the end of the world as we knew it.

I learned of this book via a Tweet from BoingBoing (a great website, in case you have inexplicably never heard of it before). I promptly hopped on to Amazon and bought it. And then started reading it that same day. It’s an interesting read. Review here.

Nick Cole is also the author of The Wasteland Saga and Soda Pop Soldier.

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CooganS-EasilyDistractedSteve Coogan, EASILY DISTRACTED (Random House/Audible)

Steve Coogan was born and raised in Manchester in the 1960s, the fourth of six children. From an early age he entertained his family with impressions and was often told he should ‘be on the telly’. Failing to get into any of the London-based drama schools, he accepted a place at Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre and before graduating had been given his first break as a voice artist on the satirical puppet show Spitting Image.

The late eighties and early nineties saw Coogan developing characters he could perform on the comedy circuit, from Ernest Moss to Paul Calf, and in 1992 he won a Perrier award with John Thomson. It was around the same time, while working with Armando Iannucci and Patrick Marber on On The Hour and The Day Today, that Alan Partridge emerged, almost fully formed.

Coogan, once a tabloid fixture, is now a respected film actor, writer and producer. He runs his own production company, Baby Cow, has a raft of films to his name (from 24 Hour Party Peopleto Alpha Papa, the critically-acclaimed Partridge film), six Baftas and seven Comedy Awards. He has found huge success in recent years with both The Trip and Philomena, the latter bringing him two Oscar nominations, for producing and co-writing.

In Easily Distracted he lifts the lid on the real Steve Coogan, writing with distinctive humour and an unexpected candour about a noisy childhood surrounded by foster kids, his attention-seeking teenage years and his emergence as a household name with the birth of Alan Partridge.

I’m a big fan of Coogan’s — I don’t think I’ve seen anything of his that I didn’t like. Should be listening to this ASAP, and have a review up in a week or so. Published in the UK by Random House.

Review copy received from Audible

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CrowleyN-TheSeaHatesACowardNate Crowley, THE SEA HATES A COWARD (Abaddon)

Schneider Wrack was never a dissident. But since he’s serving the sentence anyway, he may as well become one.

Because in the city, the sentence for sedition is death. Death, and then reanimation, before being shipped out to Ocean to work until you fall apart – or something gets you. There’s always a need for fresh bodies in Ocean. In the 70 years the city has been under siege, it’s been the only place to get food, and so the whaling barges work night and day to haul in enough meat to keep three million people from the edge of starvation. Human labour isn’t an option – Ocean’s too big, too cruel, too full of monsters – so it’s the dead that man the whaleboats. They’re meant to be mindless, empty vessels, but the procedure isn’t perfect. Schneider has woken up months into his sentence, trapped in a living hell of meat and brine, and he’s not happy.

It’s going to take a lot to stir the workforce into revolt; few of them have all their original limbs, and fewer still can remember their own names. But you’ve got to do what you can with what you’ve got.

It’s time to bring hell back to the city.

This looks great — spotted it a while ago (that striking cover was a big draw), and I’ll be reading this soon, in conjunction with Paul Starkey’s novella (see below).

Also on CR: Interview with Nate Crowley

Review copy received from publisher

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DalglishD-S1-SkybornDavid Dalglish, SKYBORN (Orbit)

Six islands float high above the Endless Ocean, where humanity’s final remnants are locked in brutal civil war.

Their parents slain in battle, twins Kael and Brenna Skyborn are training to be Seraphim, elite soldiers of aerial combat who wield elements of ice, fire, stone and lightning.

When the invasion comes, they will take to the skies, and claim their vengeance.

The first in a new fantasy series. I had mixed feelings about the only thing of Dalglish’s that I’ve read (a prequel novella). Maybe, with this new series, it’ll click. Published by Orbit Books in the US and UK in mid-November 2015.

Review copy received from NetGalley

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DunnM-S5-SpyHouseUSMatthew Dunn, THE SPY HOUSE (William Morrow)

How did four international agents working on a super-secret mission die in a safe house bunker that was locked from the inside?

When the Israeli ambassador to France is shot dead in Paris by an unknown sniper, the Israeli government blames Hamas and begins planning a massive invasion to obliterate the terrorist organization once and for all. To avoid an all-out war, three members of the UN Security Council — the United States, France, and the United Kingdom — assemble a team of intelligence agents to uncover the truth behind the assassination.

But when the team stops responding and all four agents are found dead in a bunker locked from the inside, they turn to freelance intelligence operative Will Cochrane for answers. To find out what really happened in the Paris shooting and in the bunker and prevent an unwinnable war, Cochrane will use his years of knowledge and experience to unravel the truth… and maybe just keep himself alive. 

The fifth Spycatcher novel, I recently picked up the rest of the series, and hope to get through them pretty soon. Published by William Morrow in the US.

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ElliottK-1-BlackWolvesKate Elliott, BLACK WOLVES (Orbit)

SOME CHOICES CAN NEVER BE UNDONE.

The Hundred, once ruled by a tainted religion and demon court, is now a place of peace and prosperity. The Black Wolves, once the king’s most trusted guard, are disbanded and shamed with treason. Their captain, Kellas, finds himself standing at a crossroads where he must decide whom to serve and whom to betray. Faithful to the king’s memory but shut out from his legacy, Lady Dannarah fights for the rank she was denied, while three young outcasts leave their homes to find their own destiny.

As broken alliances are guardedly rekindled and old friendships put to the test, the Hundred’s past is called into question — and its very future is put at stake.

I’ve seen so many other reviewers mention how much they’re looking forward to this novel (if, that is, they haven’t read it already). I’m intrigued to read it, too, and hopefully will in the not-too-distant future.

Review copy received from publisher

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FowlerC-B&M-LondonsGloryUKChristopher Fowler, LONDON’S GLORY (Doubleday)

In every detective’s life there are cases that can’t be discussed, and throughout the Bryant & May novels there have been mentions of some of these such as the Deptford Demon or the Little Italy Whelk Smuggling Scandal.

Now Arthur Bryant has decided to open the files on eleven of these previously unseen investigations that required the collective genius and unique modus operandi of Arthur Bryant and John May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit – investigations that range from different times (London during the Great Smog) and a variety of places: a circus freak show, on board a London Tour Bus and even a yacht off the coast of Turkey. 

And in addition to these eleven classic cases, readers are also given a privileged look inside the Peculiar Crimes Unit (literally, with a cut away drawing of their offices), a guide to the characters of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, and access to the contents of Arthur Bryant’s highly individual library.

I only recently read my first novel by Fowler (The Sand Men), and I rather enjoyed it. It has made me more interested in this series, which seems to be rather popular. It’s out now, published in the UK by Doubleday.

Review copy received from publisher

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FreedA-SWBF-TwilightCompanyAlexander Freed, STAR WARS: BATTLEFRONT – TWILIGHT COMPANY (Century)

Star Wars: Battlefront – the game from EA DICE – is billed as the ultimate Star Wars battle experience in which players are soldiers on the front lines of the galaxy-spanning battle being fought between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance.

Star Wars: Battlefront: Twilight Company follows a squad of ordinary soldiers caught in the trenches of that galactic war, where the ideals of a free galaxy can seem light years away, where loyalty to one’s squad is paramount, yet every skirmish, every confrontation, every life or death decision can bring you closer to that ultimate struggle between good and evil.

Interesting, a novelization of a video game. When I read this, it’ll be my first of that kind of novel (as far as I can remember, anyway). As I’m sure I’ve mentioned previously on the blog, I’ve been cooling toward Star Wars fiction of late, but have yet to read anything from the new official canon (e.g. Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath). Maybe I’ll like this more than I did the fizzling tail-end of the Legends-era novels…?

Review copy received from publisher

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FrohockT-LN2-WithoutLightOrGuideTeresa Frohock, WITHOUT LIGHT OR GUIDE (Voyager Impulse)

The fate of mankind has nothing to do with mankind…

Always holding themselves aloft from the affairs of mortals, Los Nefilim have thrived for eons. But with the Spanish Civil War looming, their fragile independence is shaken by the machinations of angels and daimons… and a half-breed caught in-between.

For although Diago Alvarez has pledged his loyalty to Los Nefilim, there are many who don’t trust his daimonic blood. And with the re-emergence of his father — a Nefil who sold his soul to a daimon — the fear is Diago will soon follow the same path.

Yet even as Diago tries to prove his allegiance, events conspire that only fuel the other Nefilim’s suspicions — including the fact that every mortal Diago has known in Barcelona is being brutally murdered.

The second novella in the Los Nefilim series, following In Midnight’s Silence. I think I’ll read them both together at some point in the near future. Heard great things about this series, and loved everything else by Frohock that I’ve read. Published by Voyager Impulse.

Also on CR: Interview with Teresa Frohock; Reviews of Miserere and La Santasima

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GriffithC&S-VE4-GeomancerClay & Susan Griffith, THE GEOMANCER (Pyr)

The uneasy stalemate between vampires and humans is over. Adele and Gareth are bringing order to a free Britain, but bloody murders in London raise the specter that Adele’s geomancy is failing and the vampires might return. A new power could tilt the balance back to the vampire clans. A deranged human called the Witchfinder has surfaced on the Continent, serving new vampire lords. This geomancer has found a way to make vampires immune to geomancy and intends to give his masters the ability to kill humans on a massive scale.

The apocalyptic event in Edinburgh weakened Adele’s geomantic abilities. If the Witchfinder can use geomancy against humanity, she may not have the power to stop him. If she can’t, there is nowhere beyond his reach and no one he cannot kill.

From a Britain struggling to rebuild to the vampire capital of Paris, from the heart of the Equatorian Empire to a vampire monastery in far-away Tibet, old friends and past enemies return. Unexpected allies and terrible new villains arise. Adele and Gareth fight side-by-side as always, but they can never be the same if they hope to survive.

The first Gareth and Adele novel, a new series set in the same Vampire Empire universe as the authors’ previous trilogy.

Also on CR: Guest Post by Clay & Susan Griffith (on writing fourth novel in a series)

Review copy received from publisher

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HarrisGolden-CG2-InheritanceUKCharlene Harris & Christopher Golden, CEMETERY GIRL: INHERITANCE (Jo Fletcher Books)

She calls herself Calexa Rose Dunhill. She has been living — hiding out — in Dunhill Cemetery ever since someone left her there to die. She has no idea who wants her dead or why, but she isn’t about to hand around for her would-be-killer to finish the job.

Despite her self-imposed isolation among the deceased, Calexa’s ability to see spirits and the memories she receives from them guarantees she’ll never be alone. The only living people she interacts with are Kelner, the cemetery’s cantankerous caretaker, and Lucinda Cameron, an elderly woman who lives in an old Victorian house across the street. With their friendship, Calexa has regained a link to the world beyond tombstones and mausoleums. 

Until the night she witnesses a murder that shatters her life: a life now under a police microscope, as their investigation threatens to uncover Calexa’s true identity…

I rather enjoyed the first book in this series, The Pretenders, and I’ve been looking forward to reading this. Hopefully soon, and I’ll post a review in a week or so. Published in the UK by Jo Fletcher Books, and in the US by InkLit.

Review copy received from publisher

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HeuveltTO-HexUKThomas Olde Heuvelt, HEX (Hodder)

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she’s there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.

The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.

I’ve heard some great things about this novel — not least that it’s meant to be super-scary. Very happy this arrived in the mail. I’ll read it very soon, even though it’s not published in the UK until April 26th, 2016.

Review copy received from publisher

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HodderM-B&S-RiseOfAutomatedAristocratsUKMark Hodder, THE RISE OF THE  (Del Rey UK)

Burton and Swinburne return for their final thrilling adventure!

Sir Richard Francis Burton’s expedition has returned from the future, bringing with it knowledge of technologies which must remain secret for history to follow its natural course. 

Betrayed by one of their own, Burton and Swinburne watch in horror as the Empire’s elite use this knowledge to secure their positions for all eternity, branding any who oppose them as enemies of the State.

Can their band of hunted revolutionaries overthrow the ultimate automated autocrat – their King?. 

Betrayed by one of their own,Burton and Swinburne watch in horror as the Empire’s elite use this knowledge to secure their positions for all eternity, branding any who oppose them asenemies of the State. Can their band of hunted revolutionaries overthrow the ultimate automated autocrat – their King?

The final book in Hodder’s popular Burton & Swinburne steampunk series. None of which have I read… One day, I hope to do so. Published in the UK by Del Rey, and in North America by Pyr, it’s out now.

Review copy received from publisher

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KarpyshynD-C3-ChaosUnleashedUKDrew Karpyshyn, CHAOS UNLEASHED (Del Rey UK)

The Legacy, a magical barrier protecting humanity from Chaos, has crumbled.

Four unlikely champions, each touched with Chaos magic at birth, are all that can stop the return of Daemron the Slayer. Armed with the Talismans of power the four champions, the Children of Fire, must find the Keystone, a fabled place where, or so it is said, the Legacy can be restored.

But even the noblest heart can be twisted by the tainted magic of Chaos…

The third volume in Karpyshyn’s Children of Fire fantasy series. I have the first two, as well, but for some reason I haven’t got around to read them. I’ve heard good things, though. I’ll try to get to this ASAP.

Also on CR: Excerpt from Chaos Unleashed

Review copy received from publisher

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Julia Knight, LEGENDS & LIARS and WARLORDS & WASTRELS (Orbit)

KnightJ-Duellists2&3

Vocho and Kacha are brother and sister, and between them they’ve got quite a reputation. They were once know for the finest swordplay in the city of Reyes. The only problem is, ever since they were thrown out of the Duelist’s Guild for accidentally killing a man they were sworn to protect, it seems everyone wants them dead. Including a dark magician whose plans they recently thwarted…

Now Vocho and Kacha are in the midst of an uneasy truce, not sure whether to trust each other, or anyone else for that matter. What’s more, the sinister magician is rumored to have returned. Now he knows who was behind the failure of his last plan, he’s determined to put a stop to Vocho and Kacha permanently.

And this time, the flash of steel may not be enough to save them.

These are the second and third novels in Knight’s Duellist trilogy. I’ve dipped in to the first in the series, Swords & Scoundrels, and found it fun and fast-paced. I may end up reading the trilogy in one binge, I think. Both novels are published in the US and UK by Orbit — Legends & Liars in November, Warlords & Wastrels in December.

Review copy received from NetGalley

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LaValleV-BalladOfBlackTomUSVictor LaValle, THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM (Tor.com)

People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there.

Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.

A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?

Really intrigued by this novella. Haven’t heard of the author before, but the synopsis makes it sound pretty interesting. Published by Tor.com in February 2016.

Review copy received from publisher

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LineyP-D3-InConstantFearUKPeter Liney, IN CONSTANT FEAR (Jo Fletcher Books)

Pursued by the ruthless Nora Jagger, Clancy and the gang are constantly looking over their shoulder; but is there a new threat to be found in their peaceful valley?

Over a year has passed since Clancy and the gang managed to escape from the hell that was the City. Pursued by the ruthless leader of Infinity – the corporation behind the mass murders of thousands of ‘lower class’ citizens – they’ve been on the run ever since; constantly looking over their shoulders. 

Despite this, they have forged a new life working the land on an abandoned smallholding on the other side of the mountains. Hidden there, they are as close to happy as they can be. 

Until strange things start to happen in the valley: too many unlucky coincidences convince them that another power is rising against them, and there are many questions to be answered: what is the shadow maker? And who – or what – has begun to howl in the night?

I really need to read this series — for some reason, though, it keeps slipping by the wayside. Now that I have the whole trilogy, though, I think I should binge-read it over a week this winter (it’s bound to be bloody freezing, stay-inside-all-the-time in Canada). Jo Fletcher Books also publish the first two in the series: The Detainee and Into the Fire.

More on CR: Interview with Peter Liney; Guest Post “Seeds in the Desert”; Excerpt from The Detainee

Review copy received from publisher

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McLeanP-BM1-DrakePeter McLean, DRAKE (Angry Robot Books)

Hitman Don Drake owes a gambling debt to a demon. Forced to carry out one more assassination to clear his debt, Don unwittingly kills an innocent child and brings the Furies of Greek myth down upon himself.

Rescued by an almost-fallen angel called Trixie, Don and his magical accomplice The Burned Man, an imprisoned archdemon, are forced to deal with Lucifer himself whilst battling a powerful evil magician.

Now Don must foil Lucifer’s plan to complete Trixie’s fall and save her soul whilst preventing the Burned Man from breaking free from captivity and wreaking havoc on the entire world.

This is the first in McLean’s Burning Man trilogy. I hadn’t heard anything about it, until I spotted it on NetGalley yesterday morning. It sounds like it might belong in the same corner of the Urban Fantasy genre as Richard Kadrey’s superb Sandman Slim series. I’m certainly intrigued. And I love the cover. Published by Angry Robot Books in January 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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Claire North, THE GAMESHOUSE Trilogy (Orbit)

NorthC-GamehouseTrilogy

In seventeenth century Venice exists a mysterious establishment known only as the Gameshouse. 

There, fortunes are made and fortunes are broken over games of chess, backgammon and every other game under the sun.

But those whom fortune favours may be invited to compete in the higher league… a league where the games played are of politics and empires, of economics and kings. It is a league where Capture the Castle involves real castles, where hide and seek takes place on a scale as big as the British Isles.

Not everyone proves worthy of competing in the higher league. But one woman who is about to play may just exceed everyone’s expectations.

Though she must always remember: the higher the stakes, the more deadly the rules…

I have been so eagerly awaiting this trilogy of novellas! Pre-ordered them, and started reading as soon as they were delivered to my Kindle. Review very soon. The trilogy includes The Serpent (synopsis above), The Thief and The Master — they are all available now.

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OKeefeME-SC1-StealTheSkyMegan O’Keefe, TITLE (Angry Robot Books)

Detan Honding, a wanted conman of noble birth and ignoble tongue, has found himself in the oasis city of Aransa. He and his trusted companion Tibs may have pulled off one too many cons against the city’s elite and need to make a quick escape. They set their sights on their biggest heist yet – the gorgeous airship of the exiled commodore Thratia.

But in the middle of his scheme, a face changer known as a doppel starts murdering key members of Aransa’s government. The sudden paranoia makes Detan’s plans of stealing Thratia’s ship that much harder. And with this sudden power vacuum, Thratia can solidify her power and wreak havoc against the Empire. But the doppel isn’t working for Thratia and has her own intentions. Did Detan accidentally walk into a revolution and a crusade? He has to be careful – there’s a reason most people think he’s dead. And if his dangerous secret gets revealed, he has a lot more to worry about than a stolen airship.

I heard about this novel a while ago, and I think it sounds like an interesting new series and world. I’ll try to read it ASAP. Published in January 2016 by Angry Robot Books.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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RowleyS-Lily&TheOctopusUSSteven Rowley, LILY AND THE OCTOPUS (Simon & Schuster)

Combining the emotional depth of The Art of Racing in the Rain with the magical spirit of The Life of Pi, Lily and the Octopus is an epic adventure of the heart.

When you sit down with Lily and the Octopus, you will be taken on an unforgettable ride.

The magic of this novel is in the read, and we don’t want to spoil it by giving away too many details.

We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can’t live without.

For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog.

Lily and the Octopus reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all.

Remember the last book you told someone they had to read?

Lily and the Octopus is the next one.

That’s a rather vague synopsis — not to mention one that raises expectations rather high. Hopefully it’ll not disappoint. Published in North America by Simon & Schuster in June 2016.

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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Smiley-3-GoldenAgeUSJane Smiley, GOLDEN AGE (Publisher)

A lot can happen in one hundred years, as Jane Smiley shows to dazzling effect in her Last Hundred Years trilogy. But as Golden Age, its final installment, opens in 1987, the next generation of Langdons face economic, social, political — and personal — challenges unlike anything their ancestors have encountered before.

Michael and Richie, the rivalrous twin sons of World War II hero Frank, work in the high-stakes world of government and finance in Washington and New York, but they soon realize that one’s fiercest enemies can be closest to home; Charlie, the charming, recently found scion, struggles with whether he wishes to make a mark on the world; and Guthrie, once poised to take over the Langdons’ Iowa farm, is instead deployed to Iraq, leaving the land—ever the heart of this compelling saga — in the capable hands of his younger sister.

Determined to evade disaster, for the planet and her family, Felicity worries that the farm’s once-bountiful soil may be permanently imperiled, by more than the extremes of climate change. And as they enter deeper into the twenty-first century, all the Langdon women — wives, mothers, daughters — find themselves charged with carrying their storied past into an uncertain future. 

The concluding volume in Smiley’s critically-acclaimed Last Hundred Years trilogy — following Some Luck and Early Warning. I’m quite intrigued by this series, so I think I’ll start it pretty soon. Published in North America by Anchor and by Mantle in the UK, it’s out now.

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StarkeyP-LazarusConundrumPaul Starkey, THE LAZARUS CONUNDRUM (Abaddon)

In a world where the dead routinely return to life, the most shocking mystery is when someone doesn’t.

Detective Inspector Helen Ogilvy is called to the scene of a murder. A young woman named Trinity Brown has been shot in the chest, and she’s stayed dead.

The potential end to the zombie affliction should be a huge positive, but for a future UK teetering on the brink of becoming a police state, a country where healthcare has never been so well funded because lower mortality rates equal fewer zombies, the truth behind Trinity Brown’s non-resurrection has the potential to cause chaos, which is why a shadowy Government figure has persuaded Helen’s boss to keep a lid on what’s happened, at least for the moment.

Now Helen has two days to solve two mysteries. Who killed Trinity Brown, and why did she stay dead?

This sounded pretty interesting. I’ve also organized an interview with the author for the near future.

Review copy received from publisher

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TonerT-PromiseOfTheChildUKTom Toner, THE PROMISE OF THE CHILD (Gollancz)

In the far future man has spread out into the galaxy. And diversified. Some have evolved physically into strange new forms, some have become immortal. Some hark back to the old ways. We have built a glorious new future. One that stretches from the sleepy Old World, to new terraformed planets and Dyson spheres built around artificial suns. For as long as we can remember (and some have lived 12,000 years) we have delighted in a rich new existence. Yes there have been wars but we are content in our splendour. Art is revered, life is easy, death forgotten for many. But now there are rumours of a bid to oust the Emperor and a worrying story that our history is not as we remember it — not only man left Earth…

This has been on my radar for a while — and not only because of the unusual and eye-catching cover. Published in the UK by Gollancz, and in the US by Night Shade Books.

Review copy received from publisher

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Tregillis-AW2-RisingIan Tregillis, THE RISING (Orbit)

Jax, a rogue Clakker, has wreaked havoc upon the Clockmakers’ Guild by destroying the Grand Forge. Reborn in the flames, he must begin his life as a free Clakker, but liberation proves its own burden.

Berenice, formerly the legendary spymaster of New France, mastermind behind her nation’s attempts to undermine the Dutch Hegemony — has been banished from her homeland and captured by the Clockmakers Guild’s draconian secret police force.

Meanwhile, Captain Hugo Longchamp is faced with rallying the beleaguered and untested defenders of Marseilles-in-the-West for the inevitable onslaught from the Brasswork Throne and its army of mechanical soldiers.

The sequel to The Mechanical. I think I’m going to read them both together over the Christmas break. Published by Orbit in the US on January 12th, 2016, and UK on December 3rd, 2015.

Review copy received from NetGalley

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ReadingGetOutOfRoom

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2 thoughts on “New Books (October-November)

  1. Orbit unleashed armageddon on my TBR and NetGalley pile this week. They have so many books I want to read this winter. Also, you should definitely give the new Star Wars canon novels a try. You probably wouldn’t want to start with Battlefront though. I really highly recommend Claudia Gray’s Lost Stars. It’s YA but it’s great – so amazing that I don’t mind shamelessly raving about it whenever the topic of SW books come up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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