New Books… (October/November)

SpikePhotoShoot

Featuring: David Annandale, Tim Baker, David Baldacci, Brett Battles, Matt Bell, M.L. Brennan, Jonathan Carroll, Jonathan Coe, Noah Hawley, Matt Hill, Michelle Latiolais, Tim Lees, Barbra Leslie, Jack McDevitt, Victor Milán, Clare Morrall, Jo Nesbo, Emma Newman, James Patterson, Susan Philpott, Rob Sanders, Ken Scholes, Maureen Sherry, Marc Turner, Matt Wallace, Robin Wasserman, Catherine Webb

AnnandaleD-HH-UnburdenedDavid Annandale, THE UNBURDENED (Black Library)

As the surface of Calth is consumed by fire, the caverns beneath the planet are host to vicious battles. Kurtha Sedd of the Word Bearers must set aside his doubts and embrace the darkness if they are to prevail.

One of a two-part series, covering the ongoing war on Calth during the Horus Heresy. Yes, more Calth — which seems to have taken over a good portion of the overall series, and I know some readers are getting a bit bored of the lack of forward momentum. They’re shorter novels, at just under 200 pages, and it didn’t take long to read this — I finished it a short while ago. It was good: not Annandale’s best, but this is more because it wasn’t as substantive as previous Horus Heresy novels. Given that it’s also a specific game-tie-in, too, meant it was a little bit less about character than other books in the series. Nevertheless, it was interesting and offered an interesting look into the war underground. The second book, from the Ultramarines’ perspective, is mentioned below (The Honoured). Published by Black Library.

*

BakerT-FeverCityUKTim Baker, FEVER CITY (Faber & Faber)

Nick Alston, a Los Angeles private investigator, is hired to find the kidnapped son of America’s richest and most hated man.

Hastings, a mob hitman in search of redemption, is also on the trail. But both men soon become ensnared by a sinister cabal that spreads from the White House all the way to Dealey Plaza.

Decades later in Dallas, Alston’s son stumbles across evidence from JFK conspiracy buffs that just might link his father to the shot heard round the world.

Violent, vivid, visceral: FEVER CITY is a high-octane, nightmare journey through a Mad Men-era America of dark powers, corruption and conspiracy.

This sounds really interesting. Published by Faber & Faber on January 21st, 2016; and by Europa Editions in the US, in May 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley

*

BaldacciD-WR4-GuiltyUSDavid Baldacci, THE GUILTY (Grand Central)

Will Robie is the government’s most professional, disciplined, and lethal assassin. He infiltrates the most hostile countries in the world, defeats our enemies’ advanced security measures, and eliminates threats before they ever reach our shores.

But now, his skills have left him. Sent overseas on a critical assignment, he fails, unable to pull the trigger. Absent his talents, Robie is a man without a mission, and without a purpose.

To recover what he has lost, Robie must confront what he has tried to forget for over twenty years: his own past.

The fourth novel in Baldacci’s excellent Will Robie series. Thoroughly enjoyed the first three novels and novella, and have been waiting for this book with considerable anticipation. I’ll be reading it very soon. Published in North America by Grand Central, and in the UK by Macmillan.

*

BattlesB-R2-DestroyerBrett Battles, DESTROYER (47North)

With the whole of human history altered, Denny Younger may be the last rewinder in existence — and the last person on earth with a chaser unit capable of time travel. While caring for his ailing sister, Denny must discover a way to recharge his device before he’s left with no defense against a past that wants him dead.

Before long, Denny notices a mysterious stranger following him — keeping tabs on Denny, his family, and his friends. Is Denny just paranoid? Or maybe he isn’t alone in this new reality after all…

When his chaser is stolen and his girlfriend is kidnapped, Denny risks everything to get both of them back. Launched into a high-stakes chase that spans continents and millennia, Denny’s responsibility to save our future isn’t over yet. It will take all of his cunning to stop a threat capable of steering the fate of the human race into disaster.

It’s a long while since I last read a novel by Brett Battles — I enjoyed his first two novels in the author’s Jonathan Quinn series, but then didn’t follow the series any further. For no apparent reason. Not sure why I dropped it. The author embraced self-publishing and Amazon publishing, and just kind of dropped off my radar. Destroyer is the second book in his two-part Rewinder series, and it sounds pretty interesting.

Review copy received via NetGalley

*

BellM-ScrapperUSMatt Bell, SCRAPPER (Soho Press)

Detroit has descended into ruin. Kelly scavenges for scrap metal from the hundred thousand abandoned buildings in a part of the city known as “the zone,” an increasingly wild landscape where one day he finds something far more valuable than the copper he’s come to steal: a kidnapped boy, crying out for rescue. Briefly celebrated as a hero, Kelly secretly avenges the boy’s unsolved kidnapping, a task that will take him deeper into the zone and into a confrontation with his own past and long-buried traumas.

A devastating reimagining of one of America’s greatest cities, its beautiful architecture, its lost houses, shuttered factories, boxing gyms, and storefront churches… What do we owe for our crimes, even those we’ve committed to protect the people we love?

I can’t remember when or where I first heard about this novel, but I spotted it again recently and decided to pick it up. Scrapper is published by Soho Press.

*

BrennanML-GV4-DarkAscensionM.L. Brennan, DARK ASCENSION (Pub)

After a lifetime of avoiding his family, Fort has discovered that working for them isn’t half bad — even if his mother, Madeline, is a terrifying, murderous vampire. His newfound career has given him a purpose and a paycheck and has even helped him get his partner, foxy kitsune Suzume, to agree to be his girlfriend. All in all, things are looking up.

Only, just as Fort is getting comfortable managing a supernatural empire that stretches from New Jersey to Ontario, Madeline’s health starts failing, throwing Fort into the middle of an uncomfortable and dangerous battle for succession. His older sister, Prudence, is determined to take over the territory. But Fort isn’t the only one wary of her sociopathic tendencies, and allies, old and new, are turning to him to keep Prudence from gaining power.

Now, as Fort fights against his impending transition into vampire adulthood, he must also battle to keep Prudence from destroying their mother’s kingdom — before she takes him down with it…

I’ve fallen a little behind on this series, but I think it’s a lot of fun. If you’re a fan of urban fantasy, then you should really check it out. Dark Ascension is out now, published by Roc Books.

Also on CR: Interview with M.L. Brennan; Reviews of Generation V and Iron Night

*

CarrollJ-BathingTheLionUSJonathan Carroll, BATHING THE LION (St. Martin’s Press)

Five people who live in the same New England town go to sleep one night and all share the same hyper-realistic dream. Some of these people know each other; some don’t.

When they wake the next day all of them know what has happened. All five were at one time “mechanics,” a kind of cosmic repairman whose job is to keep order in the universe and clean up the messes made both by sentient beings and the utterly fearsome yet inevitable Chaos that periodically rolls through, wreaking mayhem wherever it touches down—a kind of infinitely powerful, merciless tornado. Because the job of a mechanic is grueling and exhausting, after a certain period all of them are retired and sent to different parts of the cosmos to live out their days as “civilians.” Their memories are wiped clean and new identities are created for them that fit the places they go to live out their natural lives to the end.

For the first time all retired mechanics are being brought back to duty: Chaos has a new plan, and it’s not looking good for mankind…

I don’t remember when I first heard about this novel — probably when I was looking through a Macmillan catalogue — but I promptly forgot about it again until spotting it in stores. I’m intrigued. I’ll read it ASAP. Published by St. Martin’s Press in North America.

*

CoeJ-1-WhatACarveUpUKJonathan Coe, WHAT A CARVE UP! (Penguin)

It is the 1980s and the Winshaw family are getting richer and crueller by the year:

Newspaper-columnist Hilary gets thousands for telling it like it isn’t; Henry’s turning hospitals into car parks; Roddy’s selling art in return for sex; down on the farm Dorothy’s squeezing every last pound from her livestock; Thomas is making a killing on the stock exchange; and Mark is selling arms to dictators.

But once their hapless biographer Michael Owen starts investigating the family’s trail of greed, corruption and immoral doings, the time is growing ripe for the Winshaws to receive their comeuppance…

What A Carve Up was a Kindle Daily Deal when I bought it, and features some of the same characters that appear in Coe’s latest novel, Number 11, which I will eventually pick up as well. The novel is published in the UK by Penguin.

*

HawleyN-BeforeTheFallUSNoah Hawley, BEFORE THE FALL (Grand Central)

On a foggy summer night, eleven people — ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter — depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs — the painter — and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy and the backstories of the passengers and crew members — including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot — the mystery surrounding the crash heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy: Was it merely dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations — all while the reader draws closer and closer to uncovering the truth.

Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

I first noticed this novel from the cover, which caught my eye in a catalogue, I think. Since then, though, I’ve learned that Hawley is the created of the TV series Fargo, and the synopsis sounds pretty interesting. It’s due to be published in May 2016, by Grand Central, so I’m not sure how soon I’ll read it — probably soon, to be honest, but I’ll hold the review until maybe March or April 2016. (With mentions on Twitter in the meantime, of course.) I also picked up Hawley’s The Good Father.

Review copy received via NetGalley

*

HillM-GraftEBMatt Hill, GRAFT (Angry Robot)

Manchester, 2025. Local mechanic Sol steals old vehicles to meet the demand for spares. But when Sol’s partner impulsively jacks a luxury model, Sol finds himself caught up in a nightmarish trans-dimensional human trafficking conspiracy.

Hidden in the stolen car is a voiceless, three-armed woman called Y. She’s had her memory removed and undertaken a harrowing journey into a world she only vaguely recognises. And someone waiting in the UK expects her delivery at all costs.

Now Sol and Y are on the run from both Y’s traffickers and the organisation’s faithful products. With the help of a dangerous triggerman and Sol’s ex, they must uncover the true, terrifying extent of the trafficking operation, or it’s all over.

Not that there was much hope to start with.

A novel about the horror of exploitation and the weight of love, Graft imagines a country in which too many people are only worth what’s on their price tag.

This sounds pretty interesting. Due to be published by Angry Robot Books in February 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley

*

LatiolaisM-SheUSMichelle Latiolais, SHE (W.W. Norton)

A nameless fifteen-year-old runs away to Los Angeles, seeking life beyond the harsh constraints of her evangelical upbringing. She is the narrative of her passage, from her escape on a bus through her quiet, determined progress across the city’s unforgiving terrain.

The journey takes her into and around the lives of Angelinos from all walks: a dancer whose hyperactive sense of smell makes her fiance’s presence insufferable; a penniless botanist who earns her keep creating sugar-icing flowers to decorate glamorous wedding cakes she can never afford; a dentist lamenting the abuses done to the teeth of a patient for whom he has cared dutifully. Her odd encounters, set against the backdrop of Los Angeles’s flagrant wealth, cast into relief its eccentricities and the everyday trials faced by its collection of lost souls.

Together these stories reflect and refract one another, illuminating a poignant, unflinching portrait of loss and the search for identity in its wake.

Sounded potentially interesting. Published by W.W. Norton, in May 2016.

Review copy received via Edelweiss

*

LeesT-FO2-DevilInTheWiresTim Lees, DEVIL IN THE WIRES (Voyager Impulse)

“It’s a perfect circle, Chris. The god receives his audience, the grid receives the power — and we light up Chicago.”

After the perilous retrieval of a long-dormant god from Iraq, Chris Copeland — professional god hunter and company troubleshooter — is about ready to quit his job. But his employers at the Registry have other plans…plans to build a power facility on the shores of Lake Michigan. Adam Shailer, a rising star at the Registry, thinks he can cage the god, drain its energy, and power the city.

It’s Chris’s job to make sure nothing goes wrong. And at first, everything seems fine. Great, even. But when ecstatic devotees start leaving human sacrifices on the beach near the god-house, it quickly becomes clear that the god is not as contained as the Registry would have everyone believe. The devil’s in the wires, and there’s no turning back now.

This caught my eye — sounded like interesting urban fantasy. Published by Voyager Impulse, I also picked up The God Hunter (first in series).

*

LeslieB-DC1-CrackedUKBarbra Leslie, CRACKED (Titan)

Danielle Cleary is a nice middle-class girl with a bad habit. After her stormy marriage to the love of her life ends, the former personal trainer and amateur fighter jumps down the rabbit hole into a world of crack cocaine – delivered to her door by a polite but slightly deranged dealer – and endless game shows, with her best friend Gene. But when Danny’s twin sister Ginger is murdered, Danny and her rock musician brother fly to California to find their nephews – and the people who killed their sister. Fighting withdrawal, nosy cops and crazy drug dealers, she kicks ass and takes names, embracing her inner vigilante in a quest to avenge her sister and save her family.

Cracked is a darkly comic roller-coaster ride to redemption. From the streets of Toronto to the underbelly of Orange County; from private jets to the depths of the Maine wilderness, Danny struggles with bad guys and her own demons to find the killers.

This sounded pretty interesting. And it’s set (in part) in Toronto, so that made it more interesting. Out now, published by Titan Books.

*

McDevittJ-ThunderbirdUSJack McDevitt, THUNDERBIRD (Ace)

A working stargate dating back more than ten thousand years has been discovered in North Dakota, on a Sioux reservation near Devils Lake. Travel through the gate currently leads to three equally mysterious destinations: (1) an apparently empty garden world, quickly dubbed Eden; (2) a strange maze of underground passageways; or (3) a space station with a view of a galaxy that appears to be the Milky Way.

The race to explore and claim the stargate quickly escalates, and those involved divide into opposing camps who view the teleportation technology either as an unprecedented opportunity for scientific research or a disastrous threat to national — if not planetary — security. In the middle of the maelstrom stands Sioux chairman James Walker. One thing is for certain: Questions about what the stargate means for humanity’s role in the galaxy cannot be ignored.

Especially since travel through the stargate isn’t necessarily only one way…

This novel “returns to the world of Ancient Shores” (1996), which is a novel I’ve never read (I have picked it up, though, after I was advised to read that before this). Nevertheless, I’m quite intrigued by the synopsis, and am keen to give this a go. Published December 1st, 2015, by Ace Books.

Review copy received from publisher

*

MilanV-DinosaurLordsUSVictor Milán, THE DINOSAUR LORDS (Tor)

A world made by the Eight Creators on which to play out their games of passion and power, Paradise is a sprawling, diverse, often brutal place. Men and women live on Paradise as do dogs, cats, ferrets, goats, and horses. But dinosaurs predominate: wildlife, monsters, beasts of burden – and of war. Colossal plant-eaters like Brachiosaurus; terrifying meat-eaters like Allosaurus, and the most feared of all, Tyrannosaurus rex. Giant lizards swim warm seas. Birds (some with teeth) share the sky with flying reptiles that range in size from bat-sized insectivores to majestic and deadly Dragons.

Thus we are plunged into Victor Milán’s splendidly weird world of The Dinosaur Lords, a place that for all purposes mirrors 14th century Europe with its dynastic rivalries, religious wars, and byzantine politics… except the weapons of choice are dinosaurs. Where vast armies of dinosaur-mounted knights engage in battle. During the course of one of these epic battles, the enigmatic mercenary Dinosaur Lord Karyl Bogomirsky is defeated through betrayal and left for dead. He wakes, naked, wounded, partially amnesiac – and hunted. And embarks upon a journey that will shake his world.

It’s been a while since this came out, but I decided it was about time that I gave it a read. It sounds fantastic… Out now, published by Tor Books. The sequel, The Dinosaur Knights, is due out in July 2016, also via Tor.

*

MorrallC-WhenTheFloodsCameUKClare Morrall, WHEN THE FLOODS CAME (Spectre)

In a world prone to violent flooding, Britain, ravaged 20 years earlier by a deadly virus, has been largely cut off from the rest of the world. Survivors are few and far between, most of them infertile. Children, the only hope for the future, are a rare commodity.

For 22-year-old Roza Polanski, life with her family in their isolated tower block is relatively comfortable. She’s safe, happy enough. But when a stranger called Aashay Kent arrives, everything changes. At first he’s a welcome addition, his magnetism drawing the Polanskis out of their shells, promising an alternative to a lonely existence. But Roza can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to Aashay than he’s letting on. Is there more to life beyond their isolated bubble? Is it true that children are being kidnapped? And what will it cost to find out?

Don’t think I’d heard of this novel before it arrived. Sounds pretty interesting, though. Published by Sceptre on February 11th, 2016, in the UK.

Review copy received from publisher

*

NesboJ-BoS2-MidnightSunUSHCJo Nesbo, MIDNIGHT SUN (Pub)

Jon is on the run. he has betrayed Oslo’s biggest crime lord: The Fisherman.

Fleeing to an isolated corner of Norway, to a mountain town so far north that the sun never sets, Jon hopes to find sanctuary amongst a local religious sect.

Hiding out in a shepherd’s cabin in the wilderness, all that stands between him and his fate are Lea, a bereaved mother, and her son, Knut.

But while Lea provides him with a rifle and Knut brings essential supplies, the midnight sun is slowly driving Jon to insanity.

And then he discovers that The Fisherman’s men are getting closer…

This is the sequel to Blood on Snow, which I also picked up. I’ve never read anything by Nesbo, but I have always wanted to. Now I really have no excuse. Published by Random House in Canada and the UK; and by Knopf in the US in February 2016.

*

NewmanE-PlanetfallUSEmma Newman, PLANETFALL (Roc)

A novel of how one secret withheld to protect humanity’s future might be its undoing…

Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.

More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony’s 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.

Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart…

I’ve seen and heard a lot of people rave about this novel, so I decided to pick it up. Published by Roc Books.

*

PattersonJ-AC-CrossJusticeUSJames Patterson, CROSS JUSTICE (Little, Brown)

The toughest cases are the ones that hit close to home.

When his cousin is accused of a heinous crime, Alex Cross returns to his North Carolina hometown for the first time in over three decades. As he tries to prove his cousin’s innocence in a town where everyone seems to be on the take, Cross unearths a family secret that forces him to question everything he’s ever known.

Chasing a ghost he believed was long dead, Cross gets pulled into a case that has local cops scratching their heads and needing his help: a grisly string of socialite murders. Now he’s hot on the trail of both a brutal killer, and the truth about his own past–and the answers he finds might be fatal.

Latest novel in the bestselling Alex Cross series, all of which I’ve read and enjoyed. I’ll be reading this pretty soon — they never take long. Published by Little, Brown in North America, and Century in the UK, it’s out now.

*

PhilpottS-DarkTerritorySusan Philpott, DARK TERRITORY (Simon & Schuster)

In her newest assignment for the Line, Signy Shepherd embarks on a rescue mission to save Lizzy Stone and her baby boy in Susan Philpott’s heart-racing thriller, Dark Territory.

Cut off from the Line, what will Signy Shepherd do when the very people she protects become more dangerous than the threats they’re escaping?

Signy Shepherd has spent her career with the Line, a modern underground railroad, shepherding at-risk women out of peril. When Signy takes Lizzy, a young woman desperate to save her infant son, under her protection, the case appears to be like any other. With a severe winter storm on the horizon, Signy drives Lizzy and her son out of the city. Suddenly, she finds the police hot on their tail, and when Lizzy’s erratic behavior propels them into further danger, Signy begins to suspect that her new ward is not the victim she claims to be.

Meanwhile, Signy’s PTSD-stricken mentor, Grace, investigates Lizzy’s husband. But Lizzy’s husband is hiding secrets of his own, and soon Grace finds herself out of her depth. As the treacherous blizzard closes in, the entire operation spirals out of control. Isolated and relying on nothing but her instincts, Signy is confronted with a choice that will force her to risk not only her own life, but those of the people she cares about most.

This sounded interesting, when I was sent a press release, so I said yes to an ARC. Looking forward to trying it out. I’ll hopefully have an interview with the author up soon.

Review copy received from publisher

*

SandersR-HH-HonouredRob Sanders, THE HONOURED (Black Library)

The Battle for Calth is over, and the Underworld War has begun. Steloc Aethon and his Ultramarine brothers battle the treacherous Word Bearers in the darkness, but will they be consumed by vengeance?

The second part in the aforementioned two-part Calth series. I’ve enjoyed much of Sanders’s output, but sometimes in the past he has let the urge to over-detail Chaos-related things to get away from him. In The Honoured, he’s writing from the POV of the loyalist Ultramarines. I’m not sure when I’ll read the two novels (I still have to catch up on Nick Kyme’s Deathfire, which I have left unread for a surprisingly long time), or if I’ll read them back-to-back. Published by Black Library.

*

Ken Scholes, CANTICLE, ANTIPHON and REQUIEM (Tor)

ScholesK-PsalmsOfIsaac-2to4US

It is nine months after the end of the previous book. Many noble allies have come to the Ninefold Forest for a Feast in honor of General Rudolfo’s first-born child. Jin Li Tam, his wife and mother of his heir, lies in childbed.

As the feast begins, the doors of the hall fly open and invisible assassins begin attacking. All of Rudolfo’s noble guests are slain, including Hanric, the Marsh Queen’s Shadow. And on the Keeper’s Gate, which guards the Named Lands from the Churning Waste, a strange figure appears, with a message for Petronus, the Hidden Pope.

I picked up the first novel in Scholes’s Psalms of Isaac fantasy series, Lamentation, years ago. I hadn’t heard anything about it for some time, but then spotted Canticle, and decided I should pick up the rest. Maybe a bit extravagant, but I’m interested in reading it. Out now, published by Tor Books. Anyone else read the novels?

*

SherryM-OpeningBelleUSMaureen Sherry, OPENING BELLE (Simon & Schuster)

A whip-smart and funny novel told by a former Wall Street insider who reveals what it’s like for a working woman to balance love, ambition, and family in a world of glamorous excess, outrageous risk-taking, and jaw-dropping sexism.

In 2008, Isabelle — a self-made, thirty-something Wall Street star — appears to have it all: an Upper West Side apartment, three healthy children, a handsome husband, and a high-powered job. But her reality is something else. Her trading desk work environment resembles a 1980s frat party, her husband feels employment is beneath him, and the bulk of childcare and homecare still falls in Belle’s already full lap.

Enter Henry, the former college fiancé she never quite got over; now a hedge fund mogul. He becomes her largest client, and Belle gets to see the life she might have had with him. While Henry campaigns to win Belle back, the sexually harassed women in her office take action to improve their working conditions, and recruit a wary Belle into a secret “glass ceiling club” whose goal is to mellow the cowboy banking culture and get equal pay for their work. All along, Belle can sense the financial markets heading toward their soon-to-be historic crash and that something has to give — and when it does, everything is going to change: her marriage, her career, her world, and her need to keep her colleagues’ hands to themselves.

Opening Belle takes readers into the adrenaline-fueled chaos of a Wall Street trading desk, the lavish parties, the lunch-time rendezvous, and ultimately into the heart of a woman who finds it easier to cook up millions at work than dinner at home.

I thought this sounded interesting — everything I’ve read about Wall Street has, unsurprisingly, been written from a male-perspective (whether fiction or non-fiction). So, I thought this could be an interesting alternative perspective. Published by Simon & Schuster in February 2016, so I’ll probably read it either in December or January.

Review copy received via NetGalley

*

SoulsbyN-CobainOnCobainNick Soulsby (ed.), COBAIN ON COBAIN (Chicago Review Press)

Cobain on Cobain places the reader at the key moments of Kurt Cobain’s rollercoaster ride, telling the tale of Nirvana entirely through his words and those of his bandmates as they unleashed the whirlwind that would consume them for the last half of their five-year career. This is the most comprehensive compendium of interviews with the band ever released. Each interview is another knot in a thread running from just after the recording of their first album Bleach to the band’s collapse on the European tour of 1994 followed shortly by Cobain’s suicide.

Interviews have been cherry-picked to provide definitive coverage of the events of those five years from as close to the key moments as possible, so that the reader can see Cobain, rock’s last immortal icon, reacting to the circumstances of each tour, each new release, each public incident, all the way down to the end.

Including a huge number of interviews that have never before seen print, Cobain on Cobain will long remain the definitive source for anyone searching for Kurt Cobain’s version of his own story.

This sounds like it could be interesting, and I’ve never read a book about Cobain, so… Actually, I have sort-of: last week, I finished listening to Charles R. Cross’s Here We Are Now, which was pretty good (I think I’ll try to get his biography of Cobain, Heavier than Heaven, too). Published by Chicago Review Press in February 2016.

Review copy received via Ederweiss

*

TurnerM-2-DragonHuntersUSMarc Turner, DRAGON HUNTERS (Tor)

Once a year on Dragon Day the fabled Dragon Gate is raised to let a sea dragon pass into the Sabian Sea. There, it will be hunted by the Storm Lords, a fellowship of powerful water-mages who rule an empire called the Storm Isles.

Emira Imerle Polivar is coming to the end of her tenure as leader of the Storm Lords, but she has no intention of standing down graciously. As part of her plot to hold onto power, she instructs an order of priests known as the Chameleons to sabotage the Dragon Gate. There’s just one problem: that will require them to infiltrate an impregnable citadel that houses the gate’s mechanism — a feat that has never been accomplished before.

But Imerle is not the only one intent on destroying the Storm Lord dynasty. As the Storm Lords assemble in answer to a mysterious summons, they become the targets of assassins working for an unknown enemy. And when Imerle sets her scheme in motion, that enemy uses the ensuing chaos to play its hand.

I enjoyed Turner’s first novel, When the Heavens Fall, and have been looking forward to getting my hands on Dragon Hunters ever since finishing the first novel. Marc kindly asked his agent to pass on an ARC. I’ll hopefully be reading it in late December or January. Published by Tor Books in the US in February, and Titan Books in the UK (I’m guessing — they published the first book, but can’t find details for release of second).

Also on CR: Interview with Marc Turner; Review of When the Heavens Fall

Review copy received from author’s agent

*

WallaceM-SdJ2-LustlockedMatt Wallace, LUSTLOCKED (Tor.com)

The staff of New York’s premier supernatural catering company, has their work cut out for them in this outrageous follow-up to Envy of Angels.

Love is in the air at Sin du Jour.

The Goblin King (yes, that one) and his Queen are celebrating the marriage of their son to his human bride. Naturally the celebrations will be legendary.

But when desire and magic mix, the results can be unpredictable.

Our heroes are going to need more than passion for the job to survive the catering event of the decade!

Wallace’s latest Sin du Jour novella. Haven’t had a chance to read the first, yet, but I’m really interested in them — I also am really enjoying the Tor.com novellas, so I have high hopes. This is due to be published in January 2016.

Review copy received from publisher

*

WassermanR-GirlsOnFireUKRobin Wasserman, GIRLS ON FIRE (Little, Brown)

“This is not a cautionary tale about too much — or the wrong kind — of fucking. This is not a story of bad things happening to bad girls. I say this because I know you, Dex, and I know how you think. I’m going to tell you a story, and this time, it will be the truth.”

Hannah Dexter is a nobody, ridiculed at school by golden girl Nikki Drummond and bored at home. But in their junior year of high school, Nikki’s boyfriend walks into the woods and shoots himself. In the wake of the suicide, Hannah finds herself befriending new girl Lacey and soon the pair are inseparable, bonded by their shared hatred of Nikki.

Lacey transforms good girl Hannah into Dex, a Doc Marten and Kurt Cobain fan, who is up for any challenge Lacey throws at her. The two girls bring their combined wills to bear on the community in which they live; unconcerned by the mounting discomfort that their lust for chaos and rebellion causes the inhabitants of their parochial small town, they think they are invulnerable.

But Lacey has a secret, about life before her better half, and it’s a secret that will change everything…

This sounds kind of interesting. Published in the UK by Little, Brown in May 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley

*

WebbC-1-WaywalkersUKCatherine Webb, WAYWALKERS (Atom)

Sam Linnfer works part-time at a London university as a translator of obscure ancient texts. He’s a quiet chap with a few friends here and there, and an affection for cats. He’s also immortal and the Son of Time. In fact, you might know him better as Lucifer, the Devourer of Souls or the Devil. And with all the gods in Heaven about to go to war over ownership of Earth, you’re going to be extremely glad he’s not exactly the person legend makes him out to be – but that he does know how to handle a flaming sword…

The elder gods have risen.

The Firedancers have been called forth.

The armies of Heaven and Hell are stirring.

The ultimate battle has begun.

To survive, Earth will need more than just sympathy for the devil…

Not a new novel (originally published in 2003), but after reading and loving everything by Claire North (who is also Catherine Webb, who is also Kate Griffin), I decided to pick up this one, too, to try some of the author’s earlier work. It looks rather different to North’s novels, but interesting nevertheless. Published by Atom.

*

Anything catch your eye? Anything you think I should check out?

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “New Books… (October/November)

  1. I always have to open my Goodreads account when I read you blog, to be ready to add to my to-read list.

    I did not know that Nesbø has an upcoming equal to Blood on Snow. I enjoyed that book and his writing style. It was a quick read, closer to a novella. I added that Midnight Sun and Bathing the Lion to my list.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As someone who has read both The Honoured and The Unburdened, I would actually recommend to read The Honoured first. They both cover the same timeline but The Honoured offers a better understanding of the overall situation. The Unburdened is a bit more introspective in what it focuses on.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s