New Books (February)

newbooks-20170303

Featuring: Dan Abnett, David Annandale, Col Buchanan, John Connolly, Kris D’Agostino, N.S. Dolkart, C.Z. Dunn, Ben Galley, Guy Haley, Joseph Helmreich, Darius Hinks, Gabe Hudson, Stephen Graham Jones, George Mann, Brian McClellan, David Mealing, Megan E. O’Keefe, Liza Palmer, M.L. Rio, Roslund & Hellström, Adam Sternbergh, Anthony Tambakis, Matt Wallace, Keith Yatsuhashi

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abnettd-titanitcusspedDan Abnett, TITANICUS (Black Library)

When the vital forge world of Orestes comes under attack by a legion of Chaos Titans, the planet is forced to appeal for help. The Titans of Legio Invicta, although fresh from combat and in desperate need of refit and repair, respond, committing their own force of war engines to the battle. As the god-machines stride to war, the world trembles, for the devastation they unleash could destroy the very world they have pledged to save.

The classic WH40k novel is getting the special edition treatment. I received an eBook edition for review, which I’m pretty happy about — I didn’t read this when it was first released. Titanicus is set during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, the epic backdrop to Abnett’s best-selling, superb Gaunt’s Ghosts series (which I highly recommend).

Also on CR: Interview with Dan Abnett & Nik Vincent (2011); Reviews of

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

Review copy received from publisher

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annandaled-hh-binarysuccessionDavid Annandale, THE BINARY SUCCESSION (Black Library)

Even as the Imperium faces the renegade Legions of the Warmaster, the ruling Council of Terra is becoming paralysed from within by increasingly petty bureaucracy. Fabricator General Kane has seen his fellow Mechanicum adepts dismissed again and again by the High Lords – with his traitorous predecessor Kelbor-Hal still at large on the Red Planet, the political status of the tech-priesthood remains ambiguous. New alliances must be forged from the old, if Mars and Terra are to survive the final battle.

More titan-related fiction, this time an audiodrama set during the Horus Heresy. I was looking forward to listening to this, and I’m happy to report that it lived up to my expectations. Full review soon. This weekend or early next week, hopefully. Annandale has a fair bit of titan fiction coming out this year; for example, Gates of the Devourer and Warlord: Fury of the God-Machine

Also on CR: Interview with David Annandale (2012); Guest Post on “My Favourite Novel”;

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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buchananc-hotw4-fiercegodsCol Buchanan, FIERCE GODS (Tor UK)

A time of reckoning has begun.

For ten years the Free Ports held their own against the despotic empire of Mann — but the empire is now poised to destroy them. The crucial fortress city of Bar-Khos is under attack and its freedom depends on a few unsteady hands.

Betrayal could come from any side, at any moment. While chaos reigns, Nico will search for his captive mother and attempt to defend his people. And Shard the Dreamer will hunt for legendary charts, which could yet save the city. However, a Red Guard officer gone rogue could bring about the end, and a visitor from another world has a hidden agenda.

With the war entering its darkest hours, will any of them survive?

This is the fourth and final instalment in Buchanan’s Heart of the World series. It’s been a long time since the first book, Farlander, came out (2010). I still have The Black Dream to read, and now that I have Fierce Gods I should be able to read them back-to-back and see how it all ends. Published by Tor Books in the UK. (The first two novels in the series were also published in the US by Tor Books.)

Also on CR: Interviews with Col Buchanan, 2011 and 2016; Reviews of Farlander and Stands A Shadow

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

Review copy received from publisher

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connollyj-cp15-agameofghostsukJohn Connolly, A GAME OF GHOSTS (Hodder)

It is deep winter. The darkness is unending.

The private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished, and Charlie Parker is dispatched to track him down. Parker’s employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found.

Eklund is no ordinary investigator. He is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker will be drawn into Eklund’s world, a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts…

This is the fifteenth novel in Connolly’s Charlie Parker series. A Game of Ghosts is published by Hodder in the UK, on April 6th, 2017; and in North America by Atria/Emily Bestler Books, in July 2017.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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dagostinok-antiquesusKris D’Agostino, THE ANTIQUES (Scribner)

An irresistible, incisive, fast-paced comedic drama about a family who reunites after the death of its patriarch, just as a hurricane tears through town.

On the night of a massive hurricane, three estranged siblings learn that their father is dying. For the first time in years, they convene at their childhood home in Upstate New York, where the storm has downed power lines, flooded houses, and destroyed the family’s antique store.

The Westfalls are no strangers to dysfunction. But never have their lives felt so out of control. Armie is living in their parents’ basement. In Manhattan, Josef, a sex-addicted techie, is struggling to repair his broken relationship with his daughters. Their sister, Charlie, who works in Hollywood as a publicist for a wayward young actress, just learned that her son has been expelled from preschool. Amid the storm, they come together to plan their father’s memorial service, only to learn his dying wish — they must sell his priceless Magritte painting. As their failures are laid bare, they discover that hope often lurks in the darkest of places. And so, too, can hilarity.

Complete with an irresistible plot and deeply flawed, affectionately rendered characters, Kris D’Agostino’s breakout novel charts the unexpected epiphanies that emerge in chaos. A rollicking tableau of life in all its messy complexity, The Antiques is a heartbreaking, nimble, laugh-out-loud funny send-up of modern family life.

This has been described as great for fans of Jonathan Tropper (which I am), Emma Straub, and Karen Joy Fowler. So, I picked it up on a whim. I’ll probably be reading it soon. Published by Scribner in North America and the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

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dolkartns-gs2-amongthefallenN.S. Dolkart, AMONG THE FALLEN (Angry Robot)

The Gods are Drawing Battle Lines

In the wake of the battle of Silent Hall, the city of Ardis is reeling, its leaders frightened and disorganized. The remaining oracle of the god Ravennis has resurfaced there and is spreading a new gospel – one in which Ravennis is the new Lord of the Underworld. Narky is swept up in the promotion of his religion, even while the prevailing church of Magor tries to put down its upstart rivals.

In the meantime, Criton and Bandu discover a community of Dragon Touched that has survived in hiding, and with Criton’s leadership, they begin a campaign to retake their former territories with the power of God Most High at their backs.

Left to their own devices, Phaedra and Hunter go on a quest to rediscover the secrets of academic wizardry. But they soon discover that all five islanders are needed to prevent a true worldwide catastrophe. If only Criton and Narky weren’t already on opposing sides of a regional war…

This is the sequel to Silent Hall, and is due to be published by Angry Robot Books in the UK and US in April 2017. Looks really interesting, and I’ll have to get caught up on the first book, too. Hopefully very soon.

Also on CR: Excerpt from Silent Hall

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via NetGalley

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dunncz-smb-eyeofezekielC.Z. Dunn, THE EYE OF EZEKIEL (Black Library)

When the Adeptus Mechanicus invokes an ancient pact with the Dark Angels, Ezekiel, Grand Master of the Librarians, must lead the 5th Company to liberate the planet of Honoria from a vast ork army. Even reinforced by the regiments of the Astra Militarum, the Dark Angels face a tremendous challenge, and the Adeptus Mechanicus appear to have their own reasons for becoming involved in this conflict…

I haven’t read many Space Marine Battles novels. Dunn is a very good author, though, so I might give this a try. Published by Black Library in March 2017.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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galleyb-heartofstoneBen Galley, THE HEART OF STONE (Self-Pub’d)

Merciless. Murderer. Monster. He has been called many names in his time.

Built for war and nothing else, he has witnessed every shade of violence humans know, and he has wrought his own masterpieces with their colours. He cared once, perhaps, but far too long ago. He is bound to his task, dead to the chaos he wreaks for his masters.

Now, he has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm, Hartlund tears itself in two over coin and crown. This time he will fight for a boy king and a general bent on victory.

Beneath it all he longs for change. For something to surprise him. For an end to this cycle of warfare.

Every fighter has a last fight. Even one made of stone.

This sounds pretty cool. Also, that cover is pretty striking. The Heart of Stone is due out at the end of March 2017, and will be available in the UK.

Also on CR: Guest Post on “Fantasy in Colour”

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from author

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grayherbison-ghostlineGray & Herbison, TITLE (Tor.com)

The Martian Queen was the Titanic of the stars before it was decommissioned, set to drift back and forth between Earth and Mars on the off-chance that reclaiming it ever became profitable for the owners. For Saga and her husband Michel the cruise ship represents a massive payday. Hacking and stealing the ship could earn them enough to settle down, have children, and pay for the treatments to save Saga’s mother’s life.

But the Martian Queen is much more than their employer has told them. In the twenty years since it was abandoned, something strange and dangerous has come to reside in the decadent vessel. Saga feels herself being drawn into a spider’s web, and must navigate the traps and lures of an awakening intelligence if she wants to go home again.

But the Martian Queen is much more than their employer has told them. In the twenty years since it was abandoned, something strange and dangerous has come to reside in the decadent vessel. Saga feels herself being drawn into a spider’s web, and must navigate the traps and lures of an awakening intelligence if she wants to go home again.

This sounds really interesting. It’s published in July 2017 by Tor.com, but I think I’ll be reading it pretty soon. (But will hold off on the review until closer to the release date.)

Follow the Author: Websites — Gray & Herbison, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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haleyg-sml-danteGuy Haley, DANTE (Black Library)

Dante is Chapter Master of one of the noblest but most troubled Chapters of Space Marines in the Imperium: the Blood Angels. From the time of his birth in the rad-scarred wastes of Baal Secundus, he was destined for glory and strife. From his apotheosis to Scout, to the hive cities of Armageddon and the alien menace of the Cryptus system, Dante has waged war against all the enemies of the Imperium. He has witnessed the divine, and struggled against the darkness within all sons of Sanguinius. Longer lived than any other Chapter Master, this is his chronicle, his great and storied legend.

The Blood Angels have featured prominently in a recent WH40k campaign series (Black Crusade), so they’re getting a lot of Black Library love at the moment (see Mephiston, below). Haley’s a very good author, so I have pretty high hopes for this novel. I’ll try to get to this ASAP. Dante is out now, published by Black Library.

Also on CR: Interview with Guy Haley (2015); Reviews of Pharos and The Emperor’s Railroad

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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helmreichj-returnusJoseph Helmreich, THE RETURN (Thomas Dunne)

During a live television broadcast on the night of a lunar eclipse, renowned astrophysicist Andrew Leland is suddenly lifted into the sky by a giant spacecraft and taken away for all to see. Six years later, he turns up, wandering in a South American desert, denying ever having been abducted and disappearing from the public eye.

Meanwhile, he inspires legions of cultish devotees, including a young physics graduate student named Shawn Ferris who is obsessed with finding out what really happened to him. When Shawn finally tracks Leland down, he discovers that he’s been on the run for years, continuously hunted by a secret organization that has pursued him across multiple continents, determined to force him into revealing what he knows.

Shawn soon joins Leland on the run. Though Leland is at first reluctant to reveal anything, Shawn will soon learn the truth about his abduction, the real reason for his return, and will find himself caught up in a global conspiracy that puts more than just one planet in danger.

This sounds really interesting, so I’ll be reading it pretty soon. Published by Thomas Dunne on March 14th, 2017, and will be available in the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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hinksd-mephiston-bloodofsanguiniusDarius Hinks, MEPHISTON: BLOOD OF SANGUINIUS (Black Library)

The shrine world of Divinatus Prime has become lost to the light of the Astronomican and no ship can piece its veil. Only the Lord of Death himself, Blood Angels Chief Librarian Mephiston, has any hope of discerning the fate of this once pious world. After enacting a powerful blood ritual, Mephiston and an honour guard of his fellow Blood Angels reach the stricken shrine world to find it seized by religious civil war. Each faction fights for dominance of a potent artefact, the Blade Petrific, said to be wrought by the Emperor Himself. Yet there is more at work here than a mere ideological schism, for Mephiston believes Divinatus Prime could offer answers to how he became the Lord of Death, he who resisted the Black Rage, and possibly even a way to end the curse of ‘the Flaw’ in all Blood Angels.

I’m a fan of Hinks’s fiction. He doesn’t seem to write very much, but everything of his that I’ve read I’ve enjoyed. Mephiston is a really interesting Blood Angels character, too, so I’m looking forward to giving this a try. It’s very high up on my TBR mountain. Published by Black Library, it’s out now.

Also on CR: Interview with Darius Hinks (2011)

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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hudsong-gorktheteenagedragonusGabe Hudson, GORK, THE TEENAGE DRAGON (Knopf)

Gork isn’t like the other dragons at WarWings Military Academy. He has a gigantic heart, two-inch horns, and an occasional problem with fainting. His nickname is Weak Sauce and his Will to Power ranking is Snacklicious — the lowest in his class. But he is determined not to let any of this hold him back as he embarks on the most important mission of his life: tonight, on the eve of his high school graduation, he must ask a female dragon to be his queen. If she says yes, they’ll go off to conquer a foreign planet together. If she says no, Gork becomes a slave.

Vying with Jocks, Nerds, Mutants, and Multi-Dimensioners to find his mate, Gork encounters an unforgettable cast of friends and foes, including Dr. Terrible, the mad scientist; Fribby, a robot dragon obsessed with death; and Metheldra, a healer specializing in acupuncture with swords. But finally it is Gork’s biggest perceived weakness, his huge heart, that will guide him through his epic quest and help him reach his ultimate destination: planet Earth.

A love story, a fantasy, and a coming-of-age story, Gork the Teenage Dragon is a wildly comic, beautifully imagined, and deeply heartfelt debut novel that shows us just how human a dragon can be.

I wasn’t really sure what to think of this, when I first read the synopsis. I’ll admit to still being cautious (humorous fiction can so easily fail, after all), but I’m intrigued by the premise. And I kind of love the cover. Due to be published by Knopf in July 2017, it looks like it’ll be available in the UK at least on import.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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jonessg-mappingtheinteriorStephen Graham Jones, MAPPING THE INTERIOR (Tor.com)

Blackfeet author Stephen Graham Jones brings readers a spine-tingling Native American horror novella.

Walking through his own house at night, a fifteen-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew. 

The house is the kind of wrong place where you can lose yourself and find things you’d rather not have. Over the course of a few nights, the boy tries to map out his house in an effort that puts his little brother in the worst danger, and puts him in the position to save them… at terrible cost.

This sounds rather good. I also have Jones’s Mongrels, which has been getting some great reviews. Mapping the Interior is due to be published by Tor.com in June 2017, and will be available in the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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manng-sml-shrikeGeorge Mann, SHRIKE (Black Library)

Vaunted warrior of the Raven Guard, Shrike has ascended the ranks of this most mysterious and deadly brotherhood all the way to Chapter Master. He is a legend amongst his battle-brothers, one that began humbly enough in the wilds of Kiavahr. Shrike has fought and bested many foes, but one in particular, the Ork Warlord Gorkrusha, dogged him throughout many campaigns. From veteran to Shadow Captain, Shrike clashed with his old nemesis time and again, determined to bring about a final reckoning and bloody vengeance to the greenskin.

The Horus Heresy series has done wonders for the Raven Guard Space Marines. I don’t think I’d read much at all about them before, but now they seem to be growing in popularity. Gav Thorpe’s Heresy stories about them have all been great, so I’m very much looking forward to reading Mann’s 40k-era novel. Out in March, published by Black Library.

Also on CR: Review of Helion Rain

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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sins type5Brian McClellan, SINS OF EMPIRE (Orbit)

Enter a war-torn world where gunpowder and magic collide

The nation of Fatrasta is a haven for criminals, rebels, adventurers and sorcerers seeking relics of the past. As insurrection grows, only the iron will of the Lady Chancellor holds the capital city of Landfall together.

Yet an ancient power as old as time is rising, and the fate of this young nation now rests in the hands of a spy, a disgraced war hero and a mercenary general with a past as turbulent as Landfall’s present.

The first novel in a new series set in McClellan’s excellent fantasy world. I loved the first two novels in his debut Powder Mage trilogy, and have the third to catch up on before reading Since of Empire. It’s very high up on my TBR pile, though, so expect reviews soon. Published by Orbit Books in the UK and North America in March 2017.

Also on CR: Interview with Brian McClellan (2013); Guest Posts on “My Favourite Novel” and “Protagonist Ages in Epic Fantasy”; Excerpt from The Autumn Republic; Reviews of

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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mealingd-souloftheworldDavid Mealing, SOUL OF THE WORLD (Orbit)

It is a time of revolution. in the cities, food shortages stir citizens to riots against the crown. In the wilds, new magic threatens the dominance of the tribes. and on the battlefields, even the most brilliant commanders struggle in the shadow of total war. Three lines of magic must be mastered in order to usher in a new age, and three heroes must emerge. 

Sarine is an artist on the streets of New Sarresant whose secret familiar helps her uncover bloodlust and madness where she expected only revolutionary fervor.

Arak’Jur wields the power of beasts to keep his people safe, but his strength cannot protect them from war amongst themselves.

Erris is a brilliant cavalry officer trying to defend New Sarresant from an enemy general armed with magic she barely understands. 

Each must learn the secrets of their power in time to guide their people through ruin. But a greater evil may be trying to stop them.

This is the first novel in Mealing’s debut series, the Ascension Cycle. Looking forward to giving it a try. Published by Orbit Books in North America and the UK, in June

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via NetGalley

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okeefem-sc3-inherittheflameMegan E. O’Keefe, INHERIT THE FLAME (Angry Robot)

Detan Honding is determined to survive this war, even when caught between not one but two besieging armies! After rescuing the renowned engineer Nouli from the clutches of the empire, the valiant rogue has returned to his aunt’s city – to find it under siege by Thratia’s army. With Nouli’s help, they manage to turn back the tide, at least until imperial forces descend, prepared to hammer the Thratian force against the anvil of the city’s walls. Worse yet, the imperial advance is aided by an elite force of dark magicians.

His aunt is forced to forge an uneasy alliance with Thratia to keep the city from falling back under imperial control – but Detan’s wary. While Thratia and his aunt bring their forces to bear against the new threat, Detan puts his own plans into motion – to ensure that when the final blow is dealt, Thratia and her army will find themselves on the other side of the city’s walls.

The third novel in O’Keefe’s Scorched Continent series, following Steal the Sky and Break the Chains. Due to be published by Angry Robot Books in North America and the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via NetGalley

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palmerl-thefwordusLiza Palmer, THE F WORD (Flatiron)

Olivia Morten is perfect. Maybe she’s constantly hungry, but her body is to die for. Maybe her high-flying publicist job has taken over her life, but her clients are L.A.’s hottest celebrities. Maybe her husband is never around, but he is a drop-dead-gorgeous doctor. And maybe her past harbors an incredibly embarrassing secret, but no one remembers high school… right? 

When Ben Dunn, Olivia’s high school arch nemesis and onetime crush, suddenly resurfaces, all of her hard-won perfection begins to unravel. As she finds herself dredging up long-suppressed memories, she is forced to confront the most painful truth of all: sometimes who we become isn’t who we really are.

This sounds like it could be interesting. Published by Flatiron Books in North America and the UK, in April 2017.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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pinboroughs-behindhereyesusSarah Pinborough, BEHIND HER EYES (Flatiron)

Only two can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

David and Adele seem like the ideal pair. He’s a successful psychiatrist, she is his picture-perfect wife who adores him. But why is he so controlling? And why is she keeping things hidden?

As Louise, David’s new secretary, is drawn into their 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 — and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

The highly-anticipated new novel from Sarah Pinborough. It’s already received a metric shit-ton (technical measurement) of advance praise, and I’m very eager to get to it ASAP. Out now in North America (Flatiron Books) and the UK (Harper Collins).

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

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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rioml-ifwewerevillainsusM.L. Rio, IF WE WERE VILLAINS (Flatiron)

Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail – for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.

As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingénue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.

This has been spoken of in similar terms as Donna Tartt’s excellent Secret History, so I was pretty interested as soon as I learned of this novel. Will hopefully read very soon. If We Were Villains is due to be published in North America in April 2017, by Flatiron Books; and in the UK by Titan Books, in June 2017.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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roslundhellstrom-eg6-3minutesukRoslund & Hellström, 3 MINUTES (Riverrun)

INFILTRATOR

One-time Swedish government agent Piet Hoffmann is on the run: both from the life prison sentence he escaped, and from the Polish drug mafia he double-crossed. Only Hoffmann’s handler, Erik Wilson, knows he now hides in Calí, Colombia, living under a false identity with his wife Zofia and sons Rasmus and Hugo.

INFORMANT

But life on the run is precarious. And so when Hoffmann, in order to survive, accepts employment as a bodyguard and hit man for the Colombian cocaine mafia, and is simultaneously approached by the US DEA to infiltrate the same cartel, he chooses to say yes to both. Hoffmann has a new, lucrative double life.

IN TOO DEEP

However, Hoffmann’s successful balancing act is short lived. When Timothy D. Crouse, Chairman of the US House of Representatives, is kidnapped while on a trip to Colombia, US forces settle on a new enemy for their next War on Terror. This gives the cartel and the US government the same problem. Piet Hoffmann.

Condemned and hung out to dry, Hoffmann is stranded, and marked. Yet Erik Wilson will find him help from the most unlikely of figures – the stubborn, acerbic Swedish detective who has never forgotten Piet Hoffmann’s face. DCI Ewert Grens – the enemy who Hoffmann once tricked – will now become the only ally he can trust.

The latest novel in the Ewert Grens series, published by Riverrun in the UK in July 2017.

Follow the Author: Website, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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sternbergha-blindsusAdam Sternbergh, THE BLINDS (Ecco)

Imagine a place populated by criminals — people plucked from their lives, with their memories altered, who’ve been granted new identities and a second chance. Welcome to The Blinds, a dusty town in rural Texas populated by misfits who don’t know if they’ve perpetrated a crime, or just witnessed one. What’s clear to them is that if they leave, they will end up dead.

For eight years, Sheriff Calvin Cooper has kept an uneasy peace — but after a suicide and a murder in quick succession, the town’s residents revolt. Cooper has his own secrets to protect, so when his new deputy starts digging, he needs to keep one step ahead of her — and the mysterious outsiders who threaten to tear the whole place down. The more he learns, the more the hard truth is revealed: The Blinds is no sleepy hideaway. It’s simmering with violence and deception, aching heartbreak and dark betrayals.

This sounds like it could be quite interesting. Due to be published by Ecco in North America, on August 1st, 2017.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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tambakisa-swimmingwithbridgeportgirlsusAnthony Tambakis, SWIMMING WITH BRIDGEPORT GIRLS (Simon & Schuster)

An uproarious romantic comedy about a charismatic gambler who loses everything and sets off on a misguided quest (based on a misremembering of how The Great Gatsby ends) to win back his ex-wife.

Ray Parisi is in trouble. Fired from his anchor job at ESPN after one too many public humiliations, Ray is holed up in a motel and in dire need of a break. His ex is engaged and shacking up with another guy in his old house, a Cambodian bookie wants to kill him, and he’s wanted by the New York State Police. A few days before the Fourth of July, he unexpectedly receives an inheritance from his long-lost father, and it seems like all of his problems might be solved. Determined to get his life back together, Ray hatches an imaginative but highly suspect plan to win back his wife, dashing from Connecticut to Las Vegas to Memphis in an attempt to secure his future before the past runs him down.

This looked like it might be interesting. It’s been described as, “If a Richard Russo protagonist went on a bender in Vegas”, and a book that should appeal to Russo and Richard Ford fans, so I have high hopes for it. Published by Simon & Schuster in North America and the UK in July 2017.

Follow the Author: Goodreads

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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TchaikovskyA-Bear&TheSerpentUKAdrian Tchaikovsky, THE BEAR AND THE SERPENT (Tor UK)

As the south is in turmoil, an old terror emerges in the north…

Maniye, child of both Wolf and Tiger clans, has been named Champion of her people. But they’re unsure if she’s an asset – or a threat. To buy time, she joins Prince Tecuman’s warband of outcasts and heads south, to help him gain his crown. She wants to discover her true place in the world, but instead heads into the jaws of a fierce new conflict.

Civil war threatens as Tecuman and his twin sister battle for the throne, for only one can rule. Yet whoever triumphs will carry a heavy burden, as a great doom has been foreseen that will fall across their whole world. And soon Maniye finds herself at the heart of a political storm.

Danger is also shadowing her old home, where Lord Thunder and his bear clan are attempting to unite the northern tribes. But only extreme peril will end age-old rivalries. An adversary from the most ancient of times is preparing to strike, putting their lands and their very souls in danger. And neither north nor south will be spared the terror to come.

This is the second novel in Tchaikovsky’s Echoes of the Fall series, and sequel to The Tiger and the Wolf, and is out now — published in the UK by Tor Books.

Also on CR: Interview with Adrian Tchaikovsky (2012); Guest Posts on “Nine Books, Six Years, One Stenwold Maker”, “The Art of Gunsmithing – Writing Guns of the Dawn“Looking for God in Melnibone Places: Fantasy & Religion”, “Eye of the Spider”; Excerpt from Guns of the Dawn; Reviews of

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

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wallacem-sdj5-greedypigsMatt Wallace, GREEDY PIGS (Tor.com)

The Sin du Jour crew caters to the Shadow Government in Greedy Pigs, Matt Wallace’s fifth Sin du Jour Affair

“I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.” 

Politics is a dirty game. When the team at Sin du Jour accidentally caters a meal for the President of the United States and his entourage, they discover a conspiracy that has been in place since before living memory. Meanwhile, the Shadow Government that oversees the co-existence of the natural and supernatural worlds is under threat from the most unlikely of sources.

It’s up to one member of the Sin du Jour staff to prevent war on an unimaginable scale.

Between courses, naturally.

The fifth instalment in Wallace’s popular Sin du Jour series. Sounds like fun. Published by Tor.com in May 2017, in the US and UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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yatsuhashik-kokoroKeith Yatsuhashi, KOKORO (Angry Robot)

On the planet of Higo, without the guidance of the Great Spirits, its people are descending into religious civil war. Baiyren Tallaenaq, Prince of Higo, is exiled after causing the death of his mother.

Freed from his responsibilities and the looming war, he steals their greatest weapon – a giant, sentient, armoured suit – and uses it to open a Portal to a world he never knew existed. A world called “Earth”… home of a magical young woman called Keiko.

This is the sequel to Kojiki — both of these novels sound really interesting. I’ll have to get to them ASAP. Published by Angry Robot Books in the US and UK, in April 2017.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via NetGalley

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perf6.000x9.000.inddVarious, BEHIND THE MASK (Meerkat Press)

Behind the Mask is a multi-author collection with stories by award-winning authors Kelly Link, Cat Rambo, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Lavie Tidhar, Sarah Pinsker, Keith Rosson, Kate Marshall, Chris Large and others. It is, partially, a prose nod to the comic world — the bombast, the larger-than-life, the save-the-worlds and the calls-to-adventure. But it’s also a spotlight on the more intimate side of the genre. The hopes and dreams of our cape-clad heroes. The regrets and longings of our cowled villains. That poignant, solitary view of the world that can only be experienced from behind the mask.

This could be interesting. Due to be published by Meerkat Press in May 2017, it will also be available in the UK.

Review copy received via NetGalley

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