New Books (January)


The year’s flood of interesting new and upcoming releases continues! Most of these are high on my must-read (mental) list. Some of these are also not out for a very long time, so reviews won’t appear for a few months. Nevertheless, worth mentioning to whet others’ appetites for the year ahead’s biblio-offerings…

Featuring: Jami Attenberg, Paul Auster, David Bishop, JoAnn Chaney, Andy Clark, John Connolly, Liv Constantine, Ben Counter, Paul Crilley, Rene Denfeld, Alice Feeney, Neil Gaiman, Max Gladstone, L.J. Goulding, Jean Hanff Korelitz, Anthony Horowitz, Danya Kukafka, Victor LaValle, Mark Lawrence, Norman Ohler, B.A. Paris, Sarah Pinborough, Alastair Reynolds, Michael Rubens, Kieran Shea, Jon Skovron, Brian Staveley, James Swallow, Martha Wells


attenbergj-allgrownupusJami Attenberg, ALL GROWN UP (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Who is Andrea Bern? When her therapist asks the question, Andrea knows the right things to say: she’s a designer, a friend, a daughter, a sister. But it’s what she leaves unsaid — she’s alone, a drinker, a former artist, a shrieker in bed, captain of the sinking ship that is her flesh—that feels the most true. Everyone around her seems to have an entirely different idea of what it means to be an adult: her best friend, Indigo, is getting married; her brother — who miraculously seems unscathed by their shared tumultuous childhood — and sister-in-law are having a hoped-for baby; and her friend Matthew continues to wholly devote himself to making dark paintings at the cost of being flat broke.

But when Andrea’s niece finally arrives, born with a heartbreaking ailment, the Bern family is forced to reexamine what really matters. Will this drive them together or tear them apart? Told in gut-wrenchingly honest, mordantly comic vignettes, All Grown Up is a breathtaking display of Jami Attenberg’s power as a storyteller, a whip-smart examination of one woman’s life, lived entirely on her own terms.

The new novel from the author of the bestselling The Middlesteins and Saint Mazie. Looks like it could be interesting. Published in March by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in North America, and in April by Serpent’s Tail in the UK.

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Review copy received via Edelweiss


austerp-4321Paul Auster, 4 3 2 1 (Pub)

A sweeping story of birthright and possibility, of love and the fullness of life itself, in which we follow the four parallel lives, loves, and obsessions of one remarkable boy during a time of great change in America.

On March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four Fergusons made of the same genetic material, four boys who are the same boy, will go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Loves and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Chapter by chapter, the rotating narratives evolve into an elaborate dance of inner worlds enfolded within the outer forces of history as, one by one, the intimate plot of each Ferguson’s story rushes on across the tumultuous and fractured terrain of mid-twentieth-century America.

A boy grows up — again and again and again.

As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, 4 3 2 1 is an unforgettable tour de force, the crowning work of this masterful writer’s extraordinary career.

This sounds really interesting. I’ve also never read anything by Auster before, so I’m looking forward to rectifying that fact. Published by McClelland & Stewart in Canada, Henry Holt in the US, and Faber & Faber in the UK.

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thrillpoweroverloadDavid Bishop, THRILL-POWER OVERLOAD (2000 AD)

The definitive history of the most influential British comic ever! Updated, expanded and revised for 2000 AD’s 40th anniversary.

From 2000 AD’s humble and rocky beginnings to its current position as the Galaxy’s Greatest comic, Thrill-Power Overload charts the incredible history of this ground-breaking comic. With exclusive interviews, hundreds of illustrations and rarely-seen artwork, former 2000 AD editor, David Bishop and journalist Karl Stock, guide the reader through four decades of action, adventure, excitement and the occasional editorial nightmare!

Told by the people who were there, this is the definitive history of the comic that launched a thousand talents including legends such as John Wagner, Pat Mills, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Carlos Ezquerra, Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, Mick McMahon, Grant Morrison, Kevin O’Neill, Simon Bisley and continues with 21st Century breakthrough talents such as Jock, Rob Williams, Andy Diggle, Al Ewing, Henry Flint, Frazer Irving — and many many more.

I used to read 2000AD every week. I always enjoyed it, and with my new-found interest in comics again, I’m curious to read about the history of the comic. Published by Rebellion on February 9th, 2017.

Review copy received from publisher


chaneyj-whatyoudontknowusJoAnn Chaney, WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW (Flatiron Books)

He didn’t take their lives — but he ruined them.

The final victims of an infamous serial killer may be the ones he didn’t kill.

Hoskins cracked the case of one of the most infamous serial killers — and then it cracked him. He’s in cold cases, as is his career.

Sammie was the lead reporter who broke the story, but now she’s selling makeup at the mall. She wants back on page 1.

Gloria claims she was the unsuspecting wife. She didn’t know a thing.

And as new murders shake Denver, this is a final chance to get their lives back.

This sounds really interesting. (I’ve only recently discovered Flatiron’s list, and I must say it looks like I want to read pretty much everything they publish…) I’ll be reading this very soon. Published in February by Flatiron Books (US) and Mantle (UK).

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Review copy received via NetGalley


clarka-kingsbladeAndy Clark, KINGSBLADE (Black Library)

The Knight Houses of Adrastapol are both noble and righteous, and when the Imperial world of Donatos falls to the heresy of the Word Bearers, they are foremost in the vanguard to retake it. Led by High King Tolwyn Draconis, the Knights are peerless in battle and strike deep into the enemy’s ranks. But the war soon turns when a terrible tragedy strikes, casting the Imperial campaign into anarchy. As desperation grows, unblooded Knights Errant Danial and Luk must quickly learn the ways of war to prevent an unholy ritual or Donatos will be lost and all the noble Houses of Adrastapol with it.

Could be interesting. Out now, published by Black Library.

Follow the Author: Goodreads

Review copy received from publisher


connollyj-cp14-atimeoftormentukpbJohn Connolly, A TIME OF TORMENT (Hodder)

Parker is not like other men. He died, and was reborn. He is ready to wage war, will descend upon a strange, isolated community and face down a force of men who rule by terror, intimidation, and murder.

Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings and in doing so damned himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized.

But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death but was saved, of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade.

Parker is not like other men. He died, and was reborn. He is ready to wage war.

Now he will descend upon a strange, isolated community called the Cut, and face down a force of men who rule by terror, intimidation, and murder.

All in the name of the being they serve.

All in the name of the Dead King.

The fourteenth novel in Connolly’s best-selling Charlie Parker series. It’s still a series that is very high on my “Must Read” list, but I haven’t had the chance to get started just yet. Hopefully soon. Published by Hodder in the UK (paperback on February 9th), and Atria in North America. The next novel in the series, A Game of Ghosts, is due out in April.

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Review copy received from publisher


constantinel-lastmrsparrishusLiv Constantine, THE LAST MRS. PARRISH (Harper)

A mesmerizing debut psychological thriller full of delicious twists about a coolly manipulative woman who worms her way into the lives of a wealthy “golden couple” from Connecticut, befriending the wife and seducing the husband to achieve the privileged life she want.

Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more — a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted. To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne and her husband, Jackson — the beautiful philanthropist and the confident real estate mogul — are a golden couple straight out of a fairytale, blessed with two lovely young daughters.

Amber’s envy could eat her alive… if she didn’t have a plan. Determined to become the next Mrs. Parrish, Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life — the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrish family, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces.

Debut novel from two sisters, writing under a single pseudonym. Sounds like it could be quite interesting. Published in October 2017 by Harper in North America and the UK.

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Review copy received via Edelweiss


counterb-sml-cassiusBen Counter, CASSIUS (Black Library)

In the 41st millennium, the human Imperium must fight a constant battle for survival against a myriad enemies who seek to destroy it. At the forefront of this battle stand the Space Marines, genetically engineered superhumans whose sole purpose is to fight – and win. When a tyranid hive fleet is detected dangerously close to the Sol system, two entire companies of Ultramarines are sent to find and destroy the aliens. Led by their legendary Chaplain, Cassius, the Ultramarines must stop the tyranids, no matter the cost. With typical bravery, courage and honour, the Ultramarines set about their task, but faced with impossible odds, and Cassius’s impetuous nature, victory is far from certain.

A short novel about a Space Marine hero. Could be good — Counter’s a very good author. Published by Black Library.

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Review copy received from publisher


crilleyp-departmentzerousPaul Crilley, DEPARTMENT ZERO (Pyr)

Atticus Graves just wants to make sure his ex-wife doesn’t take away his visitation rights.

But when Graves stumbles through a portal, he finds himself in a world full of monsters and angels. There are thousands of these doors, thousands of different worlds. And now that he’s seen them, Graves is recruited to Department Zero. Graves and his crew clean up any and all supernatural crime scenes.

A secret society of Nazis from another reality, the Cult of Azathoth, have come to our world looking for the Spear of Destiny to bring back Azathoth and the Great Old Ones — among them Cthulhu Himself — from their prison in a timeless dimension.

Graves and Department Zero must travel between realities to a Britain where it’s always 1899, where Queen Victoria has ruled for 101 years. Here they will fight Nazi cultists with royal connections, demon-spawn mafia beneath the sewers of New York, and infiltrate the infamous Wewelsburg Castle in Germany.

All in time to say goodnight to his daughter.

Hadn’t heard much about this novel before a review copy arrived. Could be interesting. Crilley is also the author of the well-received Poison City, which was published last year by Hodder. Published by Pyr Books in North America and the UK.

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Review copy received from publisher


Rene Denfeld, THE CHILD FINDER (Harper)

“Where are you, Madison Culver? Flying with the angels, a silver speck on a wing? Are you dreaming, buried under snow? Or — is it possible — you are still alive?”

Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight-years-old by now — if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigatorwith an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as “the Child Finder,” Naomi is their last hope. 

Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl, too. 

As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?

Told in the alternating voices of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child The Child Finder is a breathtaking, exquisitely rendered literary page-turner about redemption, the line between reality and memories and dreams, and the human capacity to survive.

I enjoyed Denfeld’s previous novel, The Enchanted, so when I saw that this was available I jumped at the chance to read it. Published in September 2017 in North America, by Harper; and August 2017 in the UK, by W&N.

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Review copy received via Edelweiss


feeneya-sometimesilieukAlice Feeney, SOMETIMES I LIE (HQ)

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me.

1. I’m in a coma.

2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.

3. Sometimes I lie.

Not the most revealing of synopses… I’ll give it a try, though. Published by HQ in the UK, on March 23rd.

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Review copy received from publisher


gaimann-norsemythologyusNeil Gaiman, NORSE MYTHOLOGY (W.W. Norton)

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales.

In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki — son of a giant — blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Once, when Thor’s hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman — difficult with his beard and huge appetite — to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir — the most sagacious of gods — is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people.

Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerge these gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this ever since it was announced. Published by W.W. Norton in North America, and Bloomsbury in the UK.

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Max Gladstone, THE CRAFT SEQUENCE (Tor Books)


A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.

Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.

Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.

When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts?and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.

The whole series? Why yes, I did buy the whole series (just today, in fact) — after the recent announcement that new books in the series will be published by, instead of ‘regular’ Tor Books, the eBook prices have been dramatically reduced. For example, in the UK, it’s only £10.10 for the whole series! And, everyone keeps telling me to read the series, so now I really don’t have any excuse… Published by Tor Books.

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gouldinglj-slaughteratgiantscoffinL.J. Goulding, SLAUGHTER AT GIANT’S COFFIN (Black Library)

Mere days after the loss of their home world Sotha, the Scythes of the Emperor stagger to the Chapter outpost at Miral Prime to lick their wounds and formulate a campaign of vengeance against the tyranids of Hive Fleet Kraken. Devastated and leaderless, these Space Marines now look to their only surviving officer, the reluctant Captain Thracian, for guidance. But the psychic shadow of the xenos is growing in the warp once more, and the bastion atop the Giant’s Coffin mesa may yet become the site of a most ignoble last stand…

A new Space Marines Battles novel. Haven’t read anything featuring the Scythes of the Emperor, yet, but it sounds like it could be good. I’ve enjoyed other stories by Goulding, so have high hopes. Published by Black Library on February 20th, 2017.

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Review copy received from publisher


korelitzjh-devilandwebsterusJean Hanff Korelitz, THE DEVIL AND WEBSTER (Grand Central)

A twisty new novel about a college president, a baffling student protest, and some of the most hot-button issues on today’s college campuses.

Naomi Roth is the first female president of Webster College, a once conservative school now known for producing fired-up, progressive graduates. So Naomi isn’t surprised or unduly alarmed when Webster students begin the fall semester with an outdoor encampment around “The Stump” — a traditional campus gathering place for generations of student activists — to protest a popular professor’s denial of tenure. A former student radical herself, Naomi admires the protestors’ passion, especially when her own daughter, Hannah, joins their ranks. 

Then Omar Khayal, a charismatic Palestinian student with a devastating personal history, emerges as the group’s leader, and the demonstration begins to consume Naomi’s life, destabilizing Webster College from the inside out. As the crisis slips beyond her control, Naomi must take increasingly desperate measures to protect her friends, colleagues, and family from an unknowable adversary. 

Touching on some of the most topical and controversial concerns at the heart of our society, this riveting novel examines the fragility that lies behind who we think we are — and what we think we believe.

Looking forward to reading this. Published by Grand Central in North America on March 21st, 2017; and in the UK by Faber & Faber on April 4th, 2017.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

Review copy received via NetGalley


horowitza-magpiemurdersusAnthony Horowitz, MAGPIE MURDERS (Harper)

Weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective.

I’ve heard very good things about this. Hope to read it very soon. Published by Harper in North America, in June 2017; and out now in the UK, published by Orion.

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Review copy received via Edelweiss


kukafkad-girlinsnowusDanya Kukafka, GIRL IN THE SNOW (Simon & Schuster)

An addictive debut thriller about the mysterious death of a small-town golden girl and the secret lives of three people connected to her: the social misfit who loved her from afar, the rebellious girl who despised her, and the policeman investigating her death.

As morning dawns in a sleepy Colorado suburb, a dusting of snow covers high school freshman Lucinda Hayes’s dead body on a playground carousel. As accusations quickly spread, Lucinda’s tragic death draws three outsiders from the shadows.

Oddball Cameron Whitley loved — still loves — Lucinda. Though they’ve hardly ever spoken, and any sensible onlooker would call him Lucinda’s stalker, Cameron is convinced that he knows her better than anyone. Completely untethered by the news of her death, Cameron’s erratic behavior provides the town ample reason to suspect that he’s the killer.

Jade Dixon-Burns hates Lucinda. Lucinda took everything from Jade: her babysitting job, and her best friend. The worst part was Lucinda’s blissful ignorance to the damage she’d wrought.

Officer Russ Fletcher doesn’t know Lucinda, but he knows the kid everyone is talking about, the boy who may have killed her. Cameron Whitley is his ex-partner’s son. Now Russ must take a painful journey through the past to solve Lucinda’s murder and keep a promise he made long ago.

This sounds like it could be really good. Published in August 2017 by Simon & Schuster in North America, it looks like it’ll be available in the UK on import.

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Review copy received via Edelweiss


lavallev-changelingusVictor LaValle, THE CHANGELING (Spiegel & Grau)

One man’s thrilling journey through an enchanted world to find his wife, who has disappeared after seemingly committing an unforgiveable act of violence…

Apollo Kagwa has had strange dreams that have haunted him since childhood. An antiquarian book dealer with a business called Improbabilia, he is just beginning to settle into his new life as a committed and involved father, unlike his own father who abandoned him, when his wife Emma begins acting strange. Disconnected and uninterested in their new baby boy, Emma at first seems to be exhibiting all the signs of post-partum depression, but it quickly becomes clear that her troubles go far beyond that. Before Apollo can do anything to help, Emma commits a horrific act — beyond any parent’s comprehension — and vanishes, seemingly into thin air. Thus begins Apollo’s odyssey through a world he only thought he understood to find a wife and child who are nothing like he’d imagined. His quest begins when he meets a mysterious stranger who claims to have information about Emma’s whereabouts. Apollo then begins a journey that takes him to a forgotten island in the East River of New York City, a graveyard full of secrets, a forest in Queens where immigrant legends still live, and finally back to a place he thought he had lost forever. This dizzying tale is ultimately a story about family and the unfathomable secrets of the people we love.

I really enjoyed LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom, which was published last year by Shortly after reading that, I came across information for The Changeling, and I’ve been eager to read it ever since. I’ll be reading this very soon. Published by Spiegel & Grau in North America and the UK.

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Review copy received via NetGalley


lawrencem-rqw3-wheelofosheimuspbMark Lawrence, THE WHEEL OF OSHEIM (Ace)

The thrilling conclusion to the Red Queen’s War…

All the horrors of Hell stand between Snorri ver Snagason and the rescue of his family, if indeed the dead can be rescued. For Jalan Kendeth, getting out alive and with Loki’s key is all that matters. Loki’s creation can open any lock, any door, and it may also be the key to Jalan’s fortune back in the living world.

Jalan plans to return to the three w’s that have been the core of his idle and debauched life: wine, women, and wagering. Fate, however, has other plans, larger plans. The Wheel of Osheim is turning ever faster, and it will crack the world unless it’s stopped. When the end of all things looms, and there’s nowhere to run, even the worst coward must find new answers. Jalan and Snorri face many dangers, from the corpse hordes of the Dead King to the many mirrors of the Lady Blue, but in the end, fast or slow, the Wheel of Osheim always pulls you back. In the end, it’s win or die.

The conclusion to the Red Queen’s War series, I’m really looking forward to reading this. I still need to catch up and read The Liar’s Key, but I really enjoyed Prince of Fools, so I don’t know why I’ve taken so long to get to these novels… Weird. I’d also like to get caught up before reading Lawrence’s new series, which starts in April, with Red Sister. Published in paperback by Ace in North America (February 28th), and Voyager in the UK (February 23rd).

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Review copy received from publisher


ohlern-blitzedusNorman Ohler, BLITZED (HMH)

A fast-paced narrative that discovers a surprising perspective on World War II: Nazi Germany’s all-consuming reliance on drugs 

The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. But as Norman Ohler reveals in this gripping new history, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs. On the eve of World War II, Germany was a pharmaceutical powerhouse, and companies such as Merck and Bayer cooked up cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines, to be consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to millions of German soldiers. In fact, troops regularly took rations of a form of crystal meth — the elevated energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to explain certain German military victories. 

Drugs seeped all the way up to the Nazi high command and, especially, to Hitler himself. Over the course of the war, Hitler became increasingly dependent on injections of a cocktail of drugs — including a form of heroin — administered by his personal doctor. While drugs alone cannot explain the Nazis’ toxic racial theories or the events of World War II, Ohler’s investigation makes an overwhelming case that, if drugs are not taken into account, our understanding of the Third Reich is fundamentally incomplete. 

Carefully researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws surprising light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows.

This has been very well reviewed since its release in the UK, so I’m very happy to have a review copy. I’ll be reading this as soon as possible. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in North America, and Allen Lane in the UK.

Follow the Author: Goodreads

Review copy received via Edelweiss


parisba-breakdownB.A. Paris, THE BREAKDOWN (HQ)

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

Paris is the author of the bestselling Behind Closed Doors, which I somehow seem to have missed. The Breakdown is published by HQ in the UK, on February 9th; and by St. Martin’s Press in the US, on February 20th.

Follow the Author: Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher


pinboroughs-behindhereyesusSarah Pinborough, BEHIND HER EYES (Flatiron Books/Harper Collins)

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar… who says the kiss was a terrible mistake, but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend. But she also just happens to be married to David. And if you think you know where this story is going, think again, because Behind Her Eyes is like no other book you’ve read before.

David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife. But then why is David so controlling? And why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise can’t guess how wrong&mdashand how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

Really looking forward to reading this. It’s been getting amazing pre-publication buzz, and I’ve really enjoyed each of her previous novels that I’ve read. Published by Flatiron Books in North America, and Harper Collins in the UK.

Also on CR: Reviews of The Language of DyingMayhemThe Death House and 13 Minutes

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reynoldsa-revengerukAlastair Reynolds, REVENGER (Orbit)

The galaxy has seen great empires rise and fall. Planets have shattered and been remade. Amongst the ruins of alien civilizations, building our own from the rubble, humanity still thrives.

And there are vast fortunes to be made, if you know where to find them…

Captain Rackamore and his crew do. It’s their business to find the tiny, enigmatic worlds which have been hidden away, booby-trapped, surrounded by layers of protection — and to crack them open for the ancient relics and barely-remembered technologies inside. But while they ply their risky trade with integrity, not everyone is so scrupulous. 

Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest members of Rackamore’s crew, signed on to save their family from bankruptcy. Only Rackamore has enemies, and there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen in particular.

Revenger is a science fiction adventure story set in the rubble of our solar system in the dark, distant future — a tale of space pirates, buried treasure, and phantom weapons, of unspeakable hazards and single-minded heroism… and of vengeance…

This sounds great, and it’s been getting some great reviews. It’s very high on my priority TBR mountain. Published by Orbit in North America, on February 28th; and is out now in the UK, published by Gollancz.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

Review copy received from publisher


reynoldsa-slowbulletsukAlastair Reynolds, SLOW BULLETS (Gollancz)

An interstellar adventure of war, identity, betrayal, and the preservation of civilization itself.

A vast conflict, one that has encompassed hundreds of worlds and solar systems, appears to be finally at an end. A conscripted soldier is beginning to consider her life after the war and the family she has left behind. But for Scur — and for humanity — peace is not to be.

On the brink of the ceasefire, Scur is captured by a renegade war criminal, and left for dead in the ruins of a bunker. She revives aboard a prisoner transport vessel. Something has gone terribly wrong with the ship.

Passengers – combatants from both sides of the war — are waking up from hibernation far too soon. Their memories, embedded in bullets, are the only links to a world which is no longer recognizable. And Scur will be reacquainted with her old enemy, but with much higher stakes than just her own life.

A second book by Reynolds! And it’s another that sounds really good. Published in the UK by Gollancz, and in the US by Tachyon Publications, it’s out now.

Review copy received from publisher


rubensm-baddecisionsplaylistMichael Rubens, THE BAD DECISIONS PLAYLIST (Clarion Books)

A stranger rolls into town, and everything changes…

… especially for Austin Methune, when the stranger turns out to be his father, presumed dead, and his father turns out to be Shane Tucker, a bigtime musician — just the role Austin wants for himself.

Austin has a long history of getting himself into trouble, with the assistance of weed, inertia, and indifference. And he’s in deep trouble now — the deepest ever. He’s talented, though. Maybe his famous father will help him turn his life around and realize his musical dream.

But maybe Austin has inherited more than talent from Shane, who also does drugs, screws up, and drops out.

Austin is a tour guide to his own bad decisions and their consequences as he is dragged, kicking and screaming, toward adulthood.

Rubens has been a producer on many of my favourite shows — The Daily ShowLast Week Tonight and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. In addition, he wrote The Sheriff of Yrnameer, which I read back in 2009, which I rather enjoyed. This is his latest, and sounds like it could be fun. Out now, published by Clarion Books — it’ll be rereleased in the UK in October.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter


sheak-offrockKieran Shea, OFF ROCK (Titan)

In the year 2778, Jimmy Vik is feeling dissatisfied. 

After busting his back for assorted interstellar mining outfits for close to two decades, downsizing is in the wind, his ex-girlfriend/supervisor is climbing up his back, and daily Jimmy wonders if he’s played his last good hand. 

So when Jimmy stumbles upon a significant gold pocket during a routine procedure on Kardashev 7-A, he believes his luck may have changed — larcenously so. But smuggling the gold “off rock” won’t be easy. 

To do it, Jimmy will have to contend with a wily criminal partner, a gorgeous covert assassin, the suspicions of his ex, and the less than honorable intentions of an encroaching, rival mining company. As the clock ticks down, treachery and betrayal loom, the body count rises, and soon Jimmy has no idea who to trust. 

Part screwball comedy, part heist novel, and part homage to B-cinema sci-fi… Off Rock is a hilarious, lightning-fast adventure of the most entertaining and irreverent kind. 

This is a stand-alone novel from the author of Koko Takes a Holiday and Koko the Mighty. Sounds quite fun. Published by Titan Books, it’s out in April.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher


skovronj-2-baneshadowJon Skovron, BANE AND SHADOW (Orbit)

In a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, two young people from different cultures find common purpose.

Red is being trained as a cold-blooded assassin by the biomancers. As he becomes increasingly embroiled in palace politics, he learns that even life amongst the nobility can be deadly.

While terrorizing imperial ships as the pirate Dire Bane, Hope stumbles onto a biomancer plot of such horrifying scope that it makes even the massacre of her childhood village seem small in comparison.

With the biomancers tightening their grip of fear over the empire, Hope and Red struggle to fill their new roles and responsibilities, but the cost will be greater than any of them realize.

The sequel to Hope & Red, a strong start to the fantasy series, I’m looking forward to reading this. Published by Orbit Books in North America and the UK, in February 2017.

Also on CR: Guest Post on “Progressive World-Building: Screw Restoring Order to the Kingdom”; Review of Hope & Red

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher


staveleyb-skullswornukBrian Staveley, SKULLSWORN (Tor UK)

For one apprentice assassin, the clock is ticking…

Pyrre Lakatur doesn’t like the description skullsworn. It doesn’t capture the beauty of her devotion to Ananshael, God of Death. And she’s not an assassin, but a priestess. Or she will be, if she can pass her final trial. The problem isn’t killing, as Pyrre has spent her life training for this. The problem is love. To pass the trial, she will have fourteen days to kill seven people detailed in an ancient song, including one true love, ‘who will not come again’. However, Pyrre has never been in love, time is short, and if she fails she’ll be given to her god. 

Pyrre’s not afraid to die, but she hates to fail. So a month before the trial begins, she returns to the violent city of her birth, where she once offered an abusive father to the god. Here Pyrre hopes to find love – and end it with the edge of her knife.

Very much looking forward to reading this! Easily one of my most-anticipated novels of the year. I’ll read very soon, but hold off on the review until March. Published by Tor Books in the UK on April 20th, 2017, and in North America on April 25th, 2017.

Also on CR: Guest Post on “Fire Lookout, Monk, Water-Skier, Teacher: The Best Profession for a Writer”; Excerpt from The Providence of Fire; Reviews of The Emperor’s BladesThe Providence of Fire and The Last Mortal Bond

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher


swallowj-hh-garroJames Swallow, GARRO (Black Library)

From out of the shadows of the Silent War, a hero emerges. Clad all in grey, an errant warrior of the Legiones Astartes kneels before the Regent of Terra, and accepts a solemn new duty – Battle-Captain Garro, once commander of the Eisenstein, now Agentia Primus of Malcador the Sigillite. From the desolation of Isstvan to the halls of the Imperial Palace itself, he stands as a paragon of loyalty and protector of the innocent, ever ready to strike back at the traitorous allies of the Warmaster. But Garro is walking a path of his own, one that may lead him to question his own place in the Imperium… and what if he, too, should falter?

This book contains James Swallow’s complete saga of Nathaniel Garro in the Horus Heresy – the audio drama series is embellished and expanded in prose, with additional scenes to represent the author’s original vision. This all serves as prelude to the events of the novella Vow of Faith, bringing Garro closer to his inescapable destiny as the first true martyr of the Lectitio Divinitatus.

A collection of all of the Garro stories to date — very happy to get this, as he’s one of the most interesting characters in the Horus Heresy. I’ll be reading this very soon. Published by Black Library.

Also on CR: Guest Post on “The Nomad Soundtrack”; Excerpt from Nomad; Reviews of Nemesis and Fear to Tread

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher


wellsm-md1-allsystemsredMartha Wells, ALL SYSTEMS RED (

A murderous android discovers itself…

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

This sounds really good. I’ll be reading it very soon. Published by on May 2nd, in North America and the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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