New Books (April-May)

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Featuring: Gillian Anderson, Neal Asher, James Bennett, Ezekiel Boone, Brom, Terry Brooks, Lily Brooks-Dalton, Karl Brown, Caleb Carr, Blake Charlton, Paul Cornell, Paul Crilley, Jan Fedarcyk, Jenni Fagan, Mike French, Teresa Frohock, Frank Gardner, Claudia Gray, Grady Hendrix, Lindsey Lee Johnson, Jo Jordan, Richard Kadrey, Guy Gavriel Kay, Paul Kearney, Taylor Larsen, Edward Lazellari, Yoon Ha Le, Ava Marsh, Michael J. Martinez, Imbolo Mbue, Andy McNab, Graham McNeill, Sylvain Neuvel, Paige Orwin, Daniel Polansky, Terry Pratchett, Tarn Richardson, Gene Riehl, Jeff Rovin, John Sandford, Yvonne Sewall-Ruskin, Anne Valente, Ben Winters, Chris Wraight

Above Picture: Crop of Saga #36, by Fiona Staples (Image)

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AndersonRovin-EE3-SoundOfSeasUSGillian Anderson & Jeff Rovin, THE SOUND OF SEAS (Simon 451)

A wild story involving time travel, ghosts, alien technology, and strange spiritual powers…the perfect combination for X-Files fans.

After discovering the secrets to the Gaalderkhani tiles — ancient computers that house not just memories, but untold destructive force — Caitlin O’Hara’s son gets accidentally thrust back in time. In order to save him she must master the power of the tiles and figure out what the Gaalderkhani’s modern relatives are searching and killing for. Can she put the pieces together and bring her son back home again?

The third novel in Anderson & Rovin’s well-received sci-fi thriller. I now have three of them waiting to be read… Not sure why I’m dragging my heels. Maybe a prolonged bout of SFF fatigue (which, thankfully, seems to be letting up). The Sound of Seas is published by Simon 451 in North America in September 2016, and Simon & Schuster in the UK

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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AsherN-WarFactoryUKNeal Asher, WAR FACTORY (Tor UK)

One seeks judgement, another faces damnation and one man will have his revenge…

Thorvald Spear is losing his mind as he drowns in dark memories that aren’t his own. Penny Royal, rogue artificial intelligence, has linked Spear with the stored personalities of those it’s murdered. And whether the AI seeks redemption or has some more sinister motive, Spear needs to destroy it. He feels the anger of the dead and shares their pain.

As Spear tracks the AI across a hostile starscape, he has company. Sverl, an alien prador, has been warped by Penny Royal and hungers to confront it. But will the AI’s pursuers destroy each other or hunt it together? Sverl’s prador enemies aren’t far behind either. They plan to use his transition to prove human meddling, triggering a devastating new war.

Clues suggest Penny Royal’s heading for the defective war factory that made it. So allies and enemies converge, heading for the biggest firestorm that sector of space has ever seen. But will Spear secure vengeance for his unquiet dead?

Out now, published in the UK by Tor Books.

Review copy received from publisher

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BennettJ-1-ChasingEmbersJames Bennett, CHASING EMBERS (Orbit)

Behind every myth there is a spark of truth…

There’s nothing special about Ben Garston. He’s just a guy with an attitude in a beaten-up leather jacket, drowning his sorrows about his ex in a local bar. 

Or so he’d have you believe.

What Ben Garston can’t let you know is that he’s also known as Red Ben. He can’t let you know that the world of myth and legend isn’t as make-believe as you think, and it’s his job to keep that a secret. And there’s no way he can let you know what’s really hiding beneath his skin…

But not even Ben knows what kind of hell is about to break loose. Because the delicate balance between his world and ours is about to be shattered.

Something’s been hiding in the heart of the city — and it’s about to be unleashed.

My mother nabbed this ARC before I could read it, and she blitzed through it — “one of the best books of yours I’ve borrowed,” she said. Certainly a good omen. I’m looking forward to getting to this one (or, more accurately, getting it back…). Published by Orbit Books on September 8th, 2016.

Review copy received from publisher

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BooneE-HatchingUKEzekiel Boone, THE HATCHING (Gollancz)

Deep in the jungle of Peru, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist party whole. FBI agent Mike Rich investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Indian earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. The Chinese government “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. The first female president of the United States is summoned to an emergency briefing. And all of these events are connected. 

As panic begins to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at Melanie Guyer’s Washington laboratory. The unusual egg inside begins to crack. Something is spreading…

The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An virulent ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake. But this is only the beginning of our end…

I’ve been hearing good things about this one. I was very much looking forward to reading it, so started soon after it arrived. It is certainly entertaining. But not actually as creepy as I’d expected (the pacing is too fast to really generate much horror-tension). Published in the UK by Gollancz, on July 5th, 2016; published in the US by Atria, also in July.

Review copy received from publisher

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Brom-LostGodsBrom, LOST GODS (Voyager)

A young man descends into Purgatory to save his wife and unborn child in this gorgeous, illustrated tale of wonder and terror from the mind of master storyteller and acclaimed artist Brom.

Fresh out of jail and eager to start a new life, Chet Moran and his pregnant wife, Trish, leave town to begin again. But an ancient evil is looming, and what seems like a safe haven may not be all it appears…

Snared and murdered by a vile, arcane horror, Chet quickly learns that pain and death are not unique to the living. Now the lives and very souls of his wife and unborn child are at stake.To save them, he must journey into the bowels of purgatory in search of a sacred key promised to restore the natural order of life and death. Alone, confused, and damned, Chet steels himself against the unfathomable terrors awaiting him as he descends into death’s stygian blackness. 

With Lost Gods, Brom’s gritty and visceral prose takes us on a haunting, harrowing journey into the depths of the underworld. Thrust into a realm of madness and chaos, where ancient gods and demons battle over the dead, and where cabals of souls conspire to overthrow their masters, Chet plays a dangerous game, risking eternal damnation to save his family.

What caught my eye about this title was not only that it was by Brom, but also some of the illustrations that have circulated in connection with the story — they’re wonderfully dark. I’ll hopefully be reading this ASAP. Lost Gods is due to be published by Voyager, on October 25th, 2016.

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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BrooksT-S-SorcerersDaughterUKTerry Brooks, THE SORCERER’S DAUGHTER (Orbit UK)

Blood and magic will collide…

Leofur is the daughter of Arcannen — a power-hungry sorcerer prepared to use the blackest of magic to get what he wants. 

But she is also devoted to Arcannen’s nemesis, Paxon Leah — sworn protector of the Druids who defend the Four Lands against evil. 

When the Druids are forced to flee, having been framed for a murderous rampage which leaves many dead, Paxon knows that the evil sorcerer Arcannen is behind it. As the Druids seek sanctuary, Leofur sets out on a perilous quest to thwart her father’s desires to destroy them all…

Brooks seems to be publishing a lot of novels, recently. It’s impressive, to be sure. And, having not read any Shannara novels for a loooooong time (decades, actually), I’m kind of interested in giving the series another try. Published by Orbit Books.

Review copy received from publisher

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BrooksDaltonL-GoodMorningMidnightUSLily Brooks-Dalton, GOOD MORNING, MIDNIGHT (Random House)

The unforgettable story of two outsiders — a lonely scientist in the Arctic and an astronaut trying to return to Earth — as they grapple with love, regret, and survival in a world transformed.

Augustine, a brilliant, aging astronomer, is consumed by the stars. For years he has lived in remote outposts, studying the sky for evidence of how the universe began. At his latest posting, in a research center in the Arctic, news of a catastrophic event arrives. The scientists are forced to evacuate, but Augustine stubbornly refuses to abandon his work. Shortly after the others have gone, Augustine discovers a mysterious child, Iris, and realizes that the airwaves have gone silent. They are alone.

At the same time, Mission Specialist Sullivan is aboard the Aether on its return flight from Jupiter. The astronauts are the first human beings to delve this deep into space, and Sully has made peace with the sacrifices required of her: a daughter left behind, a marriage ended. So far the journey has been a success. But when Mission Control falls inexplicably silent, Sully and her crewmates are forced to wonder if they will ever get home.

As Augustine and Sully each face an uncertain future against forbidding yet beautiful landscapes, their stories gradually intertwine in a profound and unexpected conclusion. In crystalline prose, Good Morning, Midnight poses the most important questions: What endures at the end of the world? How do we make sense of our lives?

This only caught my attention recently, but it sounds great. I’ll be reading it very soon. Published in North America by Random House, on August 9th; and in the UK by W&N, on August 11th.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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CarrC-SurrenderNewYorkUSCaleb Carr, SURRENDER, NEW YORK (Random House)

In the small town of Surrender in upstate New York, Dr. Jones, a psychological profiler, and Dr. Michael Li, a trace evidence expert, teach online courses in profiling and forensic science from Jones’s family farm. Once famed advisors to the New York City Police Department, Trajan and Li now work in exile, having made enemies of those in power. Protected only by farmhands and Jones’s unusual “pet,” the outcast pair is unexpectedly called in to consult on a disturbing case.

In rural Burgoyne County, a pattern of strange deaths has emerged: adolescent boys and girls are found murdered in gruesome fashion. Senior law enforcement officials are quick to blame a serial killer, yet their efforts to apprehend this criminal are peculiarly ineffective.

Jones and Li soon discover that the victims are all “throwaway children,” a new state classification of young people who are neither orphans, runaways, nor homeless, but who are abandoned by their families and left to fend for themselves. Two of these throwaways, Lucas Kurtz and his older sister, Ambyr, cross paths with Jones and Li, offering information that could blow the case wide open.

As the stakes grow higher, Jones and Li must not only unravel the mystery of how the throwaways died but also defend themselves and the Kurtz siblings against shadowy agents who don’t want the truth to get out. Jones believes the real story leads back to the city where both he and Dr. Kreizler did their greatest work. But will Jones and Li be able to trace the case to New York before they fall victim to the murderous forces that stalk them?

Caleb Carr is a great author, and I’m very much looking forward to reading this. Published by Random House, on August 23rd, 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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CharltonB-SpellbreakerUSBlake Charlton, SPELLBREAKER (Tor)

Leandra Weal has a bad habit of getting herself in dangerous situations.

While hunting neodemons in her role as Warden of Ixos, Leandra obtains a prophetic spell that provides a glimpse one day into her future. She discovers that she is doomed to murder someone she loves, soon, but not who. That’s a pretty big problem for a woman who has a shark god for a lover, a hostile empress for an aunt, a rogue misspelling wizard for a father, and a mother who — especially when arguing with her daughter — can be a real dragon.

Leandra’s quest to unravel the mystery of the murder-she-will-commit becomes more urgent when her chronic disease flares up and the Ixonian Archipelago is plagued by natural disasters, demon worshiping cults, and fierce political infighting. Everywhere she turns, Leandra finds herself amid intrigue and conflict. It seems her bad habit for getting into dangerous situations is turning into a full blown addiction.

As chaos spreads across Ixos, Leandra and her troubled family must race to uncover the shocking truth about a prophesied demonic invasion, human language, and their own identities — if they don’t kill each other first.

The long-awaited third novel in Charlton’s Spellwright trilogy. I really enjoyed the first two novels in the series — Spellwright and Spellbound. It’s been a long time since I read them, though, so I’m not sure how much I’ll remember… Luckily, Spellbreaker is set some time after the events of the second book, which might make this less of an issue. Spell breaker is published on August 23rd by Tor Books (US) and Voyager (UK).

Also on CR: Interview with Blake Charlton; Reviews of Spellwright and Spellbound

Review copy received from publisher

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CornellP-SP3-WhoKilledSherlockHolmesUKPaul Cornell, WHO KILLED SHERLOCK HOLMES? (Tor UK)

The ghost of Sherlock Holmes is dead, but who will solve his murder?

The Great Detective’s ghost has walked London’s streets for an age, given shape by people’s memories. Now someone’s put a ceremonial dagger through his chest. But what’s the motive? And who — or what — could kill a ghost?

When policing London’s supernatural underworld, eliminating the impossible is not an option. DI James Quill and his detectives have learnt this the hard way. Gifted with the Sight, they’ll pursue a criminal genius – who’ll lure them into a Sherlockian maze of clues and evidence. The team also have their own demons to fight. They’ve been to Hell and back (literally) but now the unit is falling apart…

The third novel in Cornell’s Shadow Police urban fantasy series — a series that I really need to get caught up on (well, start…). Out now, published in the UK by Tor Books.

Also on CR: Interview with Paul Cornell; Guest Post on “Stuck in the Middle with Sherlock”

Review copy received from publisher

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CrilleyP-1-PoisonCityUKPaul Crilley, POISON CITY (Hodder)

The name’s Gideon Tau, but everyone just calls me London. I work for the Delphic Division, the occult investigative unit of the South African Police Service. My life revolves around two things — finding out who killed my daughter and imagining what I’m going to do to the bastard when I catch him.

I have two friends. The first is my boss, Armitage, a fifty-something DCI from Yorkshire who looks more like someone’s mother than a cop. Don’t let that fool you. The second is the dog, my magical spirit guide. He talks, he watches TV all day, and he’s a mean drunk.

Life is pretty routine — I solve crimes, I search for my daughter’s killer. Wash, rinse, repeat. Until the day I’m called out to the murder of a ramanga — a low-key vampire — basically, the tabloid journalist of the vampire world. It looks like an open and shut case. There’s even CCTV footage of the killer.

Except… the face on the CCTV footage? It’s the face of the man who killed my daughter. I’m about to face a tough choice. Catch her killer or save the world? I can’t do both.

It’s not looking good for the world.

This has been described as “Rivers of London meets Zoo City“, which is certainly intriguing. Due to be published by Hodder on August 11th, 2016.

Review copy received from publisher

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FedarckyJ-KM1-FidelityJan Fedarcyk, FIDELITY (Simon & Schuster)

Kay Malloy always knew hers would be a life of service. Following the tragic death of her humanitarian parents, Kay and her brother, Christopher, were raised in a world of wealth and culture by their godparents. With ambition and selflessness, Kay joins the FBI to honor her parent’s legacy, even while Christopher’s life grows increasingly aimless.

Paramilitary and male-dominated, the FBI could be an intimidating employer to anyone less confident, devoted, and insightful than Kay. But after early success in the Violent Crime Program in Baltimore she struggles working counterintelligence in New York. When Kay is assigned to investigate the loss of Russian government double agents, she sees this as her chance to prove herself. As pressure mounts and conflicting leads cloud the investigation, Kay discovers she must make the impossible choice between those she loves and the country she’s sworn to protect.

A new FBI-focused series. Almost always interested in finding new authors to check out. Published by Simon & Schuster in October 2016.

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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FaganJ-SunlightPilgrimsUSJenni Fagan, THE SUNLIGHT PILGRIMS (Hogarth)

It’s November of 2020, and the world is freezing over. Each day colder than the last. There’s snow in Israel, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to drift just off the coast of Scotland. As ice water melts into the Atlantic, frenzied London residents evacuate by the thousands for warmer temperatures down south. But not Dylan. Grieving and ready to build life anew, he heads north to bury his mother’s and grandmother’s ashes on the Scottish islands where they once lived.

Hundreds of miles away, twelve-year-old Estella and her survivalist mother, Constance, scrape by in the snowy, mountainous Highlands, preparing for a record-breaking winter. Living out of a caravan, they spend their days digging through landfills, searching for anything with restorative and trading value. When Dylan arrives in their caravan park in the middle of the night, life changes course for Estella and Constance. Though the weather worsens, his presence brings a new light to daily life, and when the ultimate disaster finally strikes, they’ll all be ready. 

Fagan’s Panopticon was pretty widely praised when it came out. I never got around to reading it, unfortunately, but when I saw The Sunlight Pilgrims was available for review, I decided to request it, to see if the author’s work lives up to the praise. Published by Hogarth on July 19th, 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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FrenchBrown-AnAndroidAwakesMike French & Karl Brown, AN ANDROID AWAKES (Elsewhen)

Your world is manipulated by computer coding, search engines and social networks. It’s just a matter of time before everything you watch, read and listen to will be created by autonomous machines.

An Android Awakes : The struggle for survival and the fate of a story teller.

In the future some of us will become great writers, renowned artists, visionary filmmakers and talented photographers. Most of us though will just have more sex. Go forward a few more generations and none of us are creative save that of our procreation. Our culture is shaped by machines. The novel has become a 1000 words.

Android Writer PD121928 is part of the Android Publishing Program. To replicate their idea of a writer’s life, his wife has been forcibly removed and he lives in solitude with an allowance for drugs and state prostitutes.

He also has just had his novel The Eating of Citizen Kane rejected. He has 14 more attempts to get a story accepted by the Program or he will be deactivated.

Can one of his characters and their story save him?

This sounds kind of interesting.

Also on CR: Guest Post “On Location”

Review copy received from author

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FrohockT-LosNephilimPBTeresa Frohock, LOS NEFILIM (Harper Voyager)

Collected together for the first time, T. Frohock’s three novellas — In Midnight’s Silence, Without Light or Guide, and The Second Death — bring to life the world of Los Nefilim, Spanish Nephilim that possess the power to harness music and light in the supernatural war between the angels and daimons. In 1931, Los Nefilim’s existence is shaken by the preternatural forces commanding them… and a half-breed caught in-between.

Diago Alvarez, a singular being of daimonic and angelic descent, is pulled into the ranks of Los Nefilim in order to protect his newly-found son. As an angelic war brews in the numinous realms, and Spain marches closer to civil war, the destiny of two worlds hangs on Diago’s actions. Yet it is the combined fates of his lover, Miquel, and his young son, Rafael, that weighs most heavily on his soul.

Lyrical and magical, Los Nefilim explores whether moving towards the light is necessarily the right move, and what it means to live amongst the shadows.

Really looking forward to reading this. Hopefully a review will go up soon. The paperback edition of Los Nefilim is due to be published by Voyager, on June 4th, 2016.

Also on CR: Interview with Teresa Frohock; Reviews of MiserereLa Santisima and The Broken Road

Review copy received from publisher

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GardnerF-CrisisUKHCFrank Gardner, CRISIS (Bantam)

Introducing Luke Carlton — ex-Special Boat Service commando, and now under contract to MI6 for some of its most dangerous missions.

Sent into the steaming Colombian jungle to investigate the murder of a British intelligence officer, Luke finds himself caught up in the coils of a plot that has terrifying international dimensions. Hunted down, captured, tortured and on the run from one of South America’s most powerful and ruthless drugs cartels and its psychotic leader thirsting for revenge, Luke is in a life-or-death race against time to prevent a disaster on a truly terrifying scale: London is the target, the weapon is diabolical and the means of delivery is ingenious.

Drawing on his years of experience reporting on security matters, CRISIS is Frank Gardner’s debut novel. Combining insider knowledge, up-to-the-minute hardware, fly on the wall insights with heart-in-mouth excitement, CRISIS boasts an irresistible, visceral frisson of authenticity: smart, fast-paced and furiously entertaining, here is a thriller for the 21st century.

This looked interesting — I think I spotted this a while ago in a catalogue, but I can’t be sure. Published in the UK by Bantam Press, on June 2nd, 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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GrayC-SW-BloodlineClaudia Gray, STAR WARS: BLOODLINE (Century)

WITNESS THE BIRTH OF THE RESISTANCE

When the Rebellion defeated the Empire in the skies above Endor, Leia Organa believed it was the beginning to a lasting peace. But after decades of vicious infighting and partisan gridlock in the New Republic Senate, that hope seems like a distant memory.

Now a respected senator, Leia must grapple with the dangers that threaten to cripple the fledgling democracy — from both within and without. Underworld kingpins, treacherous politicians, and Imperial loyalists are sowing chaos in the galaxy. Desperate to take action, senators are calling for the election of a First Senator. It is their hope that this influential post will bring strong leadership to a divided galaxy. 

As the daughter of Darth Vader, Leia faces with distrust the prospect of any one person holding such a powerful position — even when supporters suggest Leia herself for the job. But a new enemy may make this path Leia’s only option. For at the edges of the galaxy, a mysterious threat is growing…

I’m quite interested in reading this novel — as I’ve mentioned quite a few times on the blog (perhaps bordering on a broken record), I haven’t enjoyed many recent Star Wars novels. This sounds like it could be pretty good, though. I’ll give it a try ASAP. Published in the UK by Century, and in the US by Del Rey.

Review copy received from publisher

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HendrixG-MyBestFriendsExorcismGrady Hendrix, MY BEST FRIEND’S EXORCISM (Quirk)

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers.

But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act… different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend.

With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

This has been getting some good buzz, recently (as did Hendrix’s previous book, Horrorstor), so I’m quite looking forward to reading this. My Best Friend’s Exorcism is out now.

Also on CR: Guest Post on “Childhood Inspirations”

Review copy received from publisher

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JohnsonLL-MostDangerousPlaceOnEarthUSLindsey Lee Johnson, THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE ON EARTH (Pub)

Unleashes an unforgettable cast of characters into a realm known for its cruelty and peril: the American high school.

In an idyllic community of wealthy California families, new teacher Molly Nicoll becomes intrigued by the hidden lives of her privileged students. Unknown to Molly, a middle school tragedy in which they were all complicit continues to reverberate for “her” kids: Nick, the brilliant scam artist; Emma, the gifted dancer and party girl; Dave, the B student who strives to meet his parents’ expectations; Calista, the hippie outcast who hides her intelligence for reasons of her own.

Theirs is a world in which every action may become public — postable, shareable, indelible. With the rare talent that transforms teenage dramas into compelling and urgent fiction, Lindsey Lee Johnson makes vivid a modern adolescence lived in the gleam of the virtual, but rich with the sorrow, passion, and beauty of life in any time, and at any age.

Sounds interesting.. Published by Random House on January 3rd, 2017(!) — so it may be a little while before a review appears.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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KadreyR-S8-PerditionScoreUSRichard Kadrey, THE PERDITION SCORE (Voyager)

The request from Thomas Abbot, the Augur of the Sub Rosa council, couldn’t come at a better time for James Stark, aka Sandman Slim. For a man who’s most recently met Death — and death’s killer — a few months of normal life is more than he can handle. He needs a little action, and now Abbott wants Stark and Candy to investigate the disappearance of a young boy — and help uncover council members who might be tied to Wormwood’s power brokers.

Stark’s plans change when he meets a dying angel who gives him a vial of a mysterious black liquid that could be a secret weapon in the ongoing war between angels who want to allow human souls into Heaven and rebel angels willing to die to keep them out. When one of Stark’s closest friends is poisoned with the black liquid, Stark and Candy have to go to the only place where they might find a cure: Hell.

But standing in their way are the damned souls who, even after death, still work for Wormwood. The secret deal they’ve struck with the rebel angels is darker than anything Stark has encountered. Not only does the fate of the world hang in the balance, but also the souls of everyone in it. Stark has to find a way to break the stalemate in the angel war, score the Perdition cure for the black poison, and make it back to LA in one piece — where an old enemy waits to finish him once and for all.

The eighth instalment of one of my favourite series! If you haven’t tried the Sandman Slim series, I strongly recommend it — it’s a blast. Due to be published by Voyager, on June 28th, 2016.

Also on CR: Sandman SlimKill the DeadAloha From HellDevil in the DollhouseDevil Said BangKill City Blues

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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KayGG-ChildrenOfEarth&SkyUKGuy Gavriel Kay, CHILDREN OF EARTH AND SKY (Hodder)

From the small coastal town of Senjan, notorious for its pirates , a young woman sets out to find vengeance for her lost family. That same spring, from the wealthy city-state of Seressa, famous for its canals and lagoon, come two very different people: a young artist traveling to the dangerous east to paint the Grand Khalif at his request — and possibly to do more — and a beautiful oman, posing as a doctor’s wife in her role of a spy.

The trading ship that carries them is commanded by the clever younger son of a merchant family — with ambivalence about the life he’s been born to live. And farther east a boy trains to become a soldier in the elite infantry of the khalif — to win glory in the war everyone knows is coming.

As these lives entwine, their fates-and those of many others — will hang in the balance, when the khalif sends out his massive army to take the great fortress that is the gateway to the western world…

The highly-anticipated new novel by Kay. It sounds pretty interesting, and I hope to get to it soon. Out now, published in the UK by Hodder.

Review copy received from publisher

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Paul Kearney, THE WOLF IN THE ATTIC (Solaris)

KearneyP-WolfInTheAttic

1920s Oxford: home to C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien… and Anna Francis, a young Greek refugee looking to escape the grim reality of her new life. The night they cross paths, none suspect the fantastic world at work around them.

Anna Francis lives in a tall old house with her father and her doll Penelope. She is a refugee, a piece of flotsam washed up in England by the tides of the Great War and the chaos that trailed in its wake. Once upon a time, she had a mother and a brother, and they all lived together in the most beautiful city in the world, by the shores of Homer’s wine-dark sea.

But that is all gone now, and only to her doll does she ever speak of it, because her father cannot bear to hear. She sits in the shadows of the tall house and watches the rain on the windows, creating worlds for herself to fill out the loneliness. The house becomes her own little kingdom, an island full of dreams and half-forgotten memories. And then one winter day, she finds an interloper in the topmost, dustiest attic of the house. A boy named Luca with yellow eyes, who is as alone in the world as she is.

That day, she’ll lose everything in her life, and find the only real friend she may ever know.

It feels like we’ve been waiting a long time for this one, so I’m glad I finally have my mitts on a review copy. Published by Solaris Books in the UK and US.

Review copy received from publisher

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KruegerP-LastCallAtTheNightshadeLoungePaul Krueger, LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE (Quirk)

College grad Bailey Chen has all of the usual new-adult demons: no cash, no job offers, and a rocky relationship with Zane, the only friend still around when she moves back home. But her demons become a lot more literal when Zane introduces Bailey to his cadre of monster-fighting bartenders. It turns out supernatural creatures are stalking the streets of Chicago, and they can be hunted only with the help of magically mixed cocktails: vodka grants super-strength, whiskey offers the power of telekinesis, and tequila lets its drinker fire blasts of elemental energy.

But will these supernatural powers be enough for Bailey and a ragtag band of mixologists to halt a mysterious rash of gruesome deaths?

Includes 13 cocktail recipes from an ancient book of cocktail lore.

This came with a small bottle of Smirnoff vodka. Which is a very good way of making a reviewer take notice… The novel looks pretty interesting, too. And so I will mix myself a cocktail and read this soon. Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge is published by Quirk Books, on June 7th, 2016.

Review copy received from publisher

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LarsenT-StrangerFatherBelovedTaylor Larsen, STRANGER, FATHER, BELOVED (Gallery)

When Michael sees his wife Nancy chatting with a stranger at a party, his intuition tells him that he’s watching her with the man she should have married. He quickly begins a campaign to replace himself within his own family with this other man — who, to him, is worthier, better, and kinder — all so his faithful wife Nancy, his beautiful teenage daughter Ryan, and his young son Max can live the lives they deserve.

While Michael pursues this man’s friendship, Ryan goes through a period of sexual awakening and rebellion and distances herself from her family, and the quiet, weak Nancy becomes increasingly befuddled and frustrated by the behaviors of her husband and daughter. As tension and uncertainty build in their home, the James family slowly unravels.

With the quiet intensity of the film American Beauty and the emotional sensitivity of Lorrie Moore, Taylor Larsen creates a powerful and moving story about the fracturing of a family and its descent into chaos.

The publicist emailed me, and I thought this looked rather interesting. Due to be published in Canada by Gallery, in July 2016.

Review copy received from publisher

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LazellariE-1-AwakeningsUSPBEdward Lazellari, AWAKENINGS (Tor)

Cal MacDonnell is a happily married New York City cop with a loving family. Seth Raincrest is a washed-up photographer who has alienated even his closest friends. The two have nothing in common — except that they both suffer from retrograde amnesia. It’s as if they just appeared out of thin air thirteen years ago, and nothing has been able to restore their memories. Now their forgotten past has caught up to them with a vengeance.

Cal’s and Seth’s lives are turned upside down as they are stalked by otherworldly beings who know about the men’s past lives. But these creatures aren’t here to help; they’re intent on killing anyone who gets in their way. In the balance hangs the life of a child who might someday restore a broken empire to peace and prosperity. With no clue why they’re being hunted, Cal and Seth must accept the aid of a strange and beautiful woman who has promised to unlock their secrets. The two must stay alive long enough to protect their loved ones, recover their true selves — and save two worlds from tyranny and destruction.

I missed this novel when it first came out. I must have still been in the UK, with limited access to US titles. It sounds interesting, and I’ve always liked that cover. I’ll hopefully read this very soon. Published by Tor Books, Awakenings and The Lost Prince are out now. A third novel in the series is on its way. (I’ll be interviewing Edward on the site soon.)

Also on CR: Interview with Edward Lazellari

Review copy received from author

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LeeYH-NinefoxGambitYoon Ha Lee, NINEFOX GAMBIT (Pub)

To win an impossible war Captain Kel Cheris must awaken an ancient weapon and a despised traitor general.

Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics. Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake. If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.

Cheris’s best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress.

The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own. As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao–because she might be his next victim.

There has been a lot of interesting buzz surrounding this novel. I’ll be reading it soon (also working on an interview with the author, so keep your eyes peeled for that). Published by Solaris on June 14th, 2016.

Review copy received from publisher

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MarshA-ExposureUKAva Marsh, EXPOSURE (Transworld)

Kitty Sweet isn’t like anyone you’ve ever met before.

She’s an infamous porn star, imprisoned for double murder. As damaged as she is charismatic, as dangerous as she is charming.

But once no different from you or I.

Kitty’s past is full of heartbreak and desperation, of adulation and glamour. Of ruin. She’s descended to an underworld most people can only imagine, and lived to tell the tale…

This is her story.

I caught some of the buzz about this novel on Twitter, and then spotted it on NetGalley. It looks pretty interesting. Due to be published in the UK by Transworld, on June 15th, 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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MartinezMJ-MJ12-InceptionMichael J. Martinez, MJ-12: INCEPTION (Night Shade Books)

A team of superhuman covert operatives emerges from the ashes of World War II in a Cold War-era paranormal espionage thriller

It is a new world, stunned by the horrors that linger in the aftermath of total war. The United States and Soviet Union are squaring off in a different kind of conflict, one that’s fought in the shadows, where there are whispers of strange and mysterious developments…

Normal people across the United States have inexplicably gained paranormal abilities. A factory worker can heal the sick and injured. A schoolteacher bends emotions to her will. A car salesman alters matter with a simple touch. A former soldier speaks to the dying and gains their memories as they pass on.

They are the Variants, controlled by a secret government program called MAJESTIC-12 to open a new front in the Cold War.

From the deserts of Nevada to the palaces of Istanbul, the halls of power in Washington to the dark, oppressive streets of Prague, the Variants are thrown into a deadly game of shifting alliances. Amidst the seedy underbelly of nations, these once-ordinary Americans dropped in extraordinary circumstances will struggle to come to terms with their abilities as they fight to carve out a place for themselves in a world that may ultimately turn against them.

And as the MAJESTIC-12 program will soon discover, there are others out there like them, some with far more malevolent goals…

This sounds like fun. Published by Night Shade Books on September 6th, 2016.

Also on CR: Interview with Michael J. Martinez (2013)

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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MbueI-BeholdTheDreamersImbolo Mbue, BEHOLD THE DREAMERS (Random House)

A debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream — the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy.

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty — and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job — even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

I spotted this in a Random House catalogue a while back, and it caught my eye. I then saw it available on Edelweiss and NetGalley, and one of my requests was approved. Published by Random House, on August 23rd, 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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McNabA-TB3-StateOfEmergencyUKPBAndy McNab, STATE OF EMERGENCY (Corgi)

On a freezing winter’s night, a small craft skims the Thames towards London’s most exclusive riverside hotel. On board is a lone assassin, his target — Britain’s most powerful new politican.

In a nation threatened by extremists, billionaire businessman Vernon Rolt’s plans for a zero-tolerance crackdown have touched a popular nerve.

MI5 operative Tom Buckingham is undercover inside Rolt’s organisation, from where he must neutralise the rogue assassins out to kill his boss.

All too soon, Tom gets caught up in a far more devastating plot which will change the political landscape of Europe, for ever…

This is the third Tom Buckingham thriller. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to read the first two — Red Notice and Fortress. Published in the UK by Corgi, it’s out now in paperback.

Also on CR: Interview with Andy McNab (2015)

Review copy received from publisher

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McNeillG-HH-SeventhSerpentGraham McNeill, THE SEVENTH SERPENT (Black Library)

Since the near-destruction of the Iron Hands, Raven Guard and Salamanders on Isstvan V, scattered warbands from these ‘shattered Legions’ have waged a guerrilla war on Horus’ forces across the galaxy. Now, the crew of the Sisypheum are drawn into a covert assault on a hidden Alpha Legion outpost – an assault orchestrated by none other than the infamous warleader Shadrak Meduson himself. But what does Meduson really hope to make from such a bold move against the sons of Alpharius, arguably the undisputed masters of deception…?

A recent Horus Heresy novella, set… somewhere in the overall chronology. (For some reason, it’s not included in the Reading Order page, despite being released quite some time ago.) I hesitated when this was released, because of the price (given its length, and the fact that it is no longer a limited edition, it was quite pricey). It’s out now, published by Black Library.

Also on CR: Interview with Graham McNeill; Guest Post on “BL Expo Canada”; Reviews of A Thousand SonsThe Outcast DeadAngel ExterminatusVengeful Spirit

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NeuvelS-SleepingGiantsUSSylvain Neuvel, SLEEPING GIANTS (Del Rey)

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved — its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery — and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

There has been a lot of buzz and hype surrounding this novel. Looking forward to seeing if it was all justified (I’m confident it is). Published in North America by Del Rey, and in the UK by Michael Joseph.

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OrwinP-InterminablesPaige Orwin, THE INTERMINABLES (Angry Robot Books)

It’s 2020, and a magical cataclysm has shattered reality as we know it. Now a wizard’s cabal is running the East Coast of the US, keeping a semblance of peace.

Their most powerful agents, Edmund and Istvan — the former a nearly immortal 1940s-era mystery man, the latter, well, a ghost — have been assigned to hunt down an arms smuggling ring that could blow up Massachusetts.

Turns out the mission’s more complicated than it seemed. They discover a shadow war that’s been waged since the world ended, and, even worse, they find out that their own friendship has always been more complicated than they thought. To get out of this alive, they’ll need to get over their feelings, their memories, and the threat of a monstrous foe who’s getting ready to commit mass murder…

Thought this looked interesting (the cover caught my attention first). Due to be published by Angry Robot Books, on July 7th, 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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PolanskyD-ACityDreamingUSDaniel Polansky, A CITY DREAMING (Regan Arts)

M is an ageless drifter with a sharp tongue, few scruples, and the ability to bend reality to his will, ever so slightly. He’s come back to New York City after a long absence, and though he’d much rather spend his days drinking artisanal beer in his favorite local bar, his old friends — and his enemies — have other plans for him. One night M might find himself squaring off against the pirates who cruise the Gowanus Canal; another night sees him at a fashionable uptown charity auction where the waitstaff are all zombies. A subway ride through the inner circles of hell? In M’s world, that’s practically a pleasant diversion.

Before too long, M realizes he’s landed in the middle of a power struggle between Celise, the elegant White Queen of Manhattan, and Abilene, Brooklyn’s hip, free-spirited Red Queen, a rivalry that threatens to make New York go the way of Atlantis. To stop it, M will have to call in every favor, waste every charm, and blow every spell he’s ever acquired — he might even have to get out of bed before noon.

Enter a world of Wall Street wolves, slumming scenesters, desperate artists, drug-induced divinities, pocket steampunk universes, and demonic coffee shops. M’s New York, the infinite nexus of the universe, really is a city that never sleeps — but is always dreaming.

New Polansky, always of interest. This one sounds really good, too. Hopefully get a review up soon. Published by Regan Arts in the US and Hodder in the UK, in September 2016.

Also on CR: Interview with Daniel Polansky; Reviews of Straight Razor Cure/Low TownTomorrow the KillingShe Who Waits and The Builders

Review copy received from publisher

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PratchettT-SeriouslyFunnyUKTerry Pratchett, SERIOUSLY FUNNY: THE ENDLESSLY QUOTABLE TERRY PRATCHETT (Doubleday)

‘I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it.’

The most quotable writer of our time, Terry Pratchett’s unique brand of wit made him both a bestseller and an enduring, endearing source of modern wisdom. This collection is filled with his funniest and most memorable words about life, the universe and snoring.

A book of Pratchett quotations? Who wouldn’t want one of these?! Published by Doubleday in the UK, it’s out now. And it’s marvellous — I read it immediately. The only thing I would say is that there weren’t enough of Death’s quotations in there. But then, they could probably fill an entirely volume of their own.

Review copy received from publisher

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RichardsonT-FallenTarn Richardson, THE FALLEN (Duckworth Overlook)

1915. As the second battle of the Isonzo Front rages on the Italian Austro-Hungarian border, war threatens to engulf the Inquisition as dark forces muster amongst the most fanatical servants of the Catholic Church.

Prior to his murder, a desperate priest sends a secret letter to his brother serving in the Italian Army. Now this young soldier, destined for the horrors of a frontline high above the clouds, carries with him a letter which holds the key as to why terrible satanic rituals are being committed and by whom.

Drawn into this conspiracy and hunted by agents of The Darkest Hand, old rivals must put aside their differences to discover the contents of the letter before it’s too late. But unity comes at a price for this unholy alliance. While the war rages, old enemies return from the dead and conspiracies weave tighter and deeper still into the heart of the Vatican. Only Poldek Tacit, the most determined and unhinged inquisitor of them all, can hope to push back the forces of evil and unite those for good. But what happens when Tacit finds that the path he walks has already been prophesised and that where it leads threatens the very future of a world already on the edge of the abyss?

This is the second novel in Richardson’s Darkest Hour series, following The DamnedThe Fallen is out now, published by Duckworth Overlook in the UK.

Review copy received from publisher

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RiehlG-1-QuanticoRulesGene Riehl, QUANTICO RULES (Open Road Media)

FBI agent Puller Monk and his Special Inquiries (SPIN) squad figure their latest assignment — a background check on the 1st African American female Supreme Court nominee — will be a routine investigation. But when verifying information about Federal Judge Brenda Thompson, it becomes clear that she’s lying about a 3-week gap in her past that occurred between college and law school. Her old roommate could provide answers, but she’s missing.

Soon, Monk has a dead body on his hands, and he and Special Agent Lisa Sands are plunged into a maelstrom of deceit, corruption, and murder that reaches the highest levels of government. Monk is determined to blow the lid off a massive cover-up, but he may not be able to contain the fallout as the truth starts to emerge. Amid escalating violence, the FBI agent orchestrates a sting that will force a killer from the shadows — a cunning adversary who has his own plan for taking out Monk.

Looked like it might be interesting. Published in eBook by Open Road Media, who also publish the second novel in the series, Sleeper.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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SandfordJ-P26-ExtremePreyUSJohn Sandford, EXTREME PREY (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

After the events in Gathering Prey, Lucas Davenport finds himself in a very unusual situation — no longer employed by the Minnesota BCA.

His friend the governor is just cranking up a presidential campaign, though, and he invites Lucas to come along as part of his campaign staff. “Should be fun!” he says, and it kind of is — until they find they have a shadow: an armed man intent on killing the governor… and anyone who gets in the way.

The latest (26th!) Lucas Davenport/Prey novel. There was really no way I wasn’t interested in reading this ASAP. It is a bit slower to get going than past instalments, but is nevertheless a satisfying thriller/crime investigation. The series is taking itself in a more political direction, which I think has a lot of potential (especially given Extreme Prey‘s ending…).

If you’ve never tried the series, then I strongly recommend it! Readers in the UK won’t find the first few books easily (they weren’t published in the UK), but it’s perfectly fine to start with the novels released by Simon & Schuster (that’s where I started). Great characters, writing and stories. Extreme Prey is published in North America by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Also on CR: Reviews of Phantom PreyWicked PreyStorm PreyBuried PreyStolen PreySilken PreyField of PreyDark of the Moon

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SewallRuskinY-HighOnRebellionYvonne Sewall-Ruskin, HIGH ON REBELLION (Open Road Media)

With a foreword by Lou Reed: The definitive oral history of Max’s Kansas City, favorite hangout of the most outrageous and notorious characters of New York’s 1960s and ’70s underground cultural scene

From its opening in December 1965 on Park Avenue South, Max’s Kansas City, a hybrid restaurant, bar, nightclub, and art gallery, was the boisterous meeting spot for famous — or soon-to-be-famous — figures in New York’s underground art, music, literary, film, and fashion scenes. Max’s regulars included Andy Warhol (and his superstars such as Viva, Ultra Violet, Edie Sedgwick, Gerard Malanga, Holly Woodlawn, and Candy Darling), Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, Jane Fonda, and dozens more. A hotbed of drugs, sex, and creative collaboration, Max’s was the place to see and be seen among the city’s cultural elite for nearly two decades.

With reminiscences from the likes of Alice Cooper, Bebe Buell, Betsey Johnson, Leee Black Childers, Holly Woodlawn, and John Chamberlain, along with Max’s owner Mickey Ruskin and several waitresses and bartenders, this vivid oral history evokes an unforgettable place where a spontaneous striptease, a brawl over the meaning of art, and an early performance by the Velvet Underground were all possibilities on any given night. High on Rebellion dazzles with rare photos and other Max’s memorabilia, and firsthand accounts of legendary nights, chance encounters, romances sparked and extinguished, and stars being born.

The history of a portion of the music scene that could be pretty interesting. Published by Open Road Media.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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ValenteA-OurHeartsWillBurnUsDownUSAnne Valente, OUR HEARTS WILL BURN US DOWN (William Morrow)

As members of the yearbook committee, Nick, Zola, Matt, and Christina are eager to capture all the memorable moments of their junior year at Lewis and Clark High School — the plays and football games, dances and fund-drives, teachers and classes that are the epicenter of their teenage lives. But how do you document a horrific tragedy — a deadly school shooting by a classmate?

Struggling to comprehend this cataclysmic event — and propelled by a sense of responsibility to the town, their parents, and their school — these four “lucky” survivors vow to honor the memories of those lost, and also, the memories forgotten in the shadow of violence. But the shooting is only the first inexplicable trauma to rock their small suburban St. Louis town. A series of mysterious house fires have hit the families of the victims one by one, pushing the grieving town to the edge.

Nick, the son of the lead detective investigating the events, plunges into the case on his own, scouring the Internet to uncover what could cause a fire with no evident starting point. As their friend pulls farther away, Matt and Christina battle to save damaged relationships, while Zola fights to keep herself together.

A story of grief, community, and family, of the search for understanding and normalcy in the wake of devastating loss, Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down explores profound questions about resiliency, memory, and recovery that brilliantly illuminate the deepest recesses of the human heart.

I thought this sounded interesting. Published by William Morrow, on October 4th, 2016.

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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Ben Winters, UNDERGROUND AIRLINES (Mulholland/Century)

WintersBH-UndergroundAirlines

It is the present-day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: the Civil War never occurred.

A gifted young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshall Service. He’s got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called “the Hard Four.” On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn’t right — with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself.

A mystery to himself, Victor suppresses his memories of his childhood on a plantation, and works to infiltrate the local cell of a abolitionist movement called the Underground Airlines. Tracking Jackdaw through the back rooms of churches, empty parking garages, hotels, and medical offices, Victor believes he’s hot on the trail. But his strange, increasingly uncanny pursuit is complicated by a boss who won’t reveal the extraordinary stakes of Jackdaw’s case, as well as by a heartbreaking young woman and her child who may be Victor’s salvation. Victor himself may be the biggest obstacle of all — though his true self remains buried, it threatens to surface.

Victor believes himself to be a good man doing bad work, unwilling to give up the freedom he has worked so hard to earn. But in pursuing Jackdaw, Victor discovers secrets at the core of the country’s arrangement with the Hard Four, secrets the government will preserve at any cost.

This I have been very much looking forward to ever since I first saw it mentioned in a catalogue. I love the premise, and I’ve heard good things from early readers. I’ll get to this as soon as I can. Published in North America by Mulholland on July 5th, 2016; and in the UK by Century on July 14th, 2016.

Review copy received from publisher and via NetGalley
(Strangely, at almost the same time, from both the US and UK publishers)

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WraightC-HH-PathOfHeavenChris Wraight, THE PATH OF HEAVEN (Black Library)

For too long had the Vth Legion ranged out beyond the sight of the wider Imperium, remaining ignorant of the Warmaster’s rebellion and the war that inevitably followed. Only once their primarch, Jaghatai Khan, had satisfied himself that the path before them was just and true did the White Scars choose a side, taking the fight to the traitors on every front. But, four years later, the Legion’s unfettered spirit has been broken by relentless attritional warfare against the Death Guard and the Emperor’s Children – the Khan’s Stormseers must find a clear route to Terra if they are to take part in the final, apocalyptic battle.

The 36th book in the Horus Heresy series. (Frustratingly, books 31, 33, 35 and 37 are anthologies of already-published short stories and novellas, in a clear attempt by Black Library to pick up the pace and get it over with.) I am still interested in reading and finishing the series, but… It’s getting rather long-winded. I’m basically tired of the goings-on at/around Calth. It is definitely time to move on.

Maybe they shouldn’t have stated at the outset that they were planning 50 books. If they’d given themselves some wiggle-room, they could have wrapped it up more easily. Instead, we have another 14 books — no guarantee that they will all be novels, and at this point I’d say it was more than likely that there will be a handful of anthologies included in that 14. Angels of Caliban should be out soon, and Black Library have posted a “teaser” for the next four: The Either (novel), Praetorian of Dorn (novel), Echoes of Imperium (anthology), Corax (novella/novel/anthology).

Anyway, The Path of Heaven (which is out now) is the direct follow-up to Scars, which was a pretty good novel. Wraight is one BL’s best, most-established authors still producing work at a decent clip (another is David Annandale).

I’m a little worried about the Horus Heresy, actually. Not only has the series be stretched out, but there have apparently also been departures (or quasi-departures) of some of the authors who have written the best instalments. Black Library is also now publishing the year-long Beast Arises series (shorter novels, same price point), further drawing authors away from the Heresy series. And, further, they have announced a multi-year plan to release 18 novels focused on the Primarchs (one each) — set during the early years of the Great Crusade, which came before the Heresy… Why not just get one finished, before moving on to another? [End grumble.]

Also on CR: Interview with Chris Wraight (2011); Reviews of Brotherhood of the StormDaemonologyThe Sigillite

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