Books Received (September-October)

NewBooks-201701008

Featuring: Guy Adams, K.C. Alexander, Kurt Andersen, Stanley Bing, Stefan Merrill Block, Lila Bowen, A.F. Brady, Chris Brookmyre, Miles Cameron, Hillary Clinton, Myke Cole, Curtis Craddock, Matthew de Abaitua, Cara Delevingne, Jonathan de Shalit, Jeffrey Eugenides, Eric Scott Fischl, William Gibson, Christopher Golden, Kathryn Harkup, Sophie Hénaff, Steve Israel, Tyrell Johnson, Stephen King, Tim Lebbon, Ben Loory, Ken MacLeod, Caitlin Macy, Aaron Mahnke, Seanan McGuire (x2), Simon Sebag Montefiore, Louisa Morgan, Annalee Newitz, Nnedi Okorafor, Jane O’Reilly, K.J. Parker, Andreas Pflüger, James Rollins, Peter Swanson, Gav Thorpe, Reed Tucker, Jean M. Twenge, Jo Walton

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Guy Adams, THE CHANGE, 4-6 (Solaris)

AdamsG-Change-4to6

London: There’s a new drug finding favour in this Post Change world and the roots of it are growing thick and fast beneath Kew Gardens. When Howard and Hubcap fall foul of Milo Shandler and his private militia they discover that, in the end, we’re all just compost.

New York: Grace and friends are making their way along the Hudson. It should be an easy enough journey but time – and The Change – have other ideas. U-Boats, the hooks of the Fishermen, and the horrendous Lizabeth Fforde lie just around the bend.

Tokyo: HA/HA wants what’s best for you. HA/HA is your friend. HA/HA is your mother.
Obey. Behave. And never, ever, run…

The final three episodes in Adams’s Change series, once more to London and New York, and a new foray to Tokyo. These sound great. Think I’ll try to blitz through them all in short order. Published by Solaris, all six novellas are out now.

Also on CR: Guest Post on “Influences and Inspirations”

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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AlexanderKC-S2-NanoshockK.C. Alexander, NANOSHOCK (Angry Robot)

Being a mercenary isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Especially when Riko’s hard-won reputation has taken a hard dive into fucked. Now she’s fair game for every Tom, Dick and Blow looking to score some cred.

In this city, credibility means everything – there’s no room for excuses. She still doesn’t know what she did to screw up so badly, and chasing every gone-cold lead is only making it worse. Without help and losing ground fast, Riko has a choice: break every rule of the street on her search for answers… or die trying.

Nanoshock is the sequel to the critically-acclaimed Necrotech. I’ve heard great things about this series, but have yet to give it a try. Maybe I’ll read the two novels back-to-back in the near future. Published by Angry Robot Books in the UK and US, on November 2nd.

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Review copy received via NetGalley

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AndersenK-FantasylandUSKurt Andersen, FANTASYLAND (Random House)

How did we get here?

In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today — this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through — is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.

Over the course of five centuries — from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials — our love of the fantastic has made America exceptional in a way that we’ve never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies — every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails.

Fantasyland could not appear at a more perfect moment. If you want to understand Donald Trump and the culture of twenty-first-century America, if you want to know how the lines between reality and illusion have become dangerously blurred, you must read this book.

Andersen is one of my favourite American journalists, and while I already had my eye on this book pre-publication, my interest in it piqued dramatically after reading his cover story for The Atlantic: “How America Went Haywire.” The book is published by Random House in North America, and is due out next week in the UK, published by Ebury Press. As an aside, I also picked up Andersen’s latest novel, True Believers.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

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BingS-ImmortalLifeUSStanley Bing, IMMORTAL LIFE (Simon & Schuster)

An ancient mogul has bought the power to live forever, but the strong young body he plans to inhabit has other ideas. The battle for immortal life begins.

Immortal Life. A fantasy. An impossible dream. For now, maybe. But as we speak the moguls of Big Tech are pouring their mountain of wealth into finding a cure for death. Don’t tell them they won’t succeed.

None of these titans is richer than Arthur Vogel. This inventor, tech tycoon, and all-round monster has amassed trillions (with a T) and rules over a corporate empire stretching all the way to Mars. The newest — and most expensive — life extension technology has allowed him to live to 127 years, but time is running out. His last hope to escape the inevitable lies with Gene, a human being specifically created for the purpose of housing Arthur’s consciousness. The plan is to discard his used-up old carcass and come to a second life in a young, strong body with all appropriate working parts. But there’s a problem: Gene. He may be artificial, but he is a person. And he has other ideas.

As Arthur sets off to achieve his goal of world domination, Gene hatches a risky plan of his own. The forces against him are very, very rich, extremely determined, and used to getting what they pay for. The battle between creator and creation is joined as the two minds wrestle for control of one body.

This story is real. The tech is in development. The sponsors are the titans of industry well known to you. Eternal life may very soon be at the fingertips of those who can afford it. Mixing brisk action, humor, and wicked social commentary, Immortal Life imagines a day just around the corner. Welcome to a brave new world that is too familiar for comfort — and watch the struggle for humanity play out to the bitter end.

Thought this sounded interesting — and I was intrigued by the blurb from Stephen Colbert. Immortal Life is published by Simon & Schuster in North America and the UK, in December 2017.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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BlockSM-OliverLovingUSStefan Merrill Block, OLIVER LOVING (Flatiron)

A family in crisis, a town torn apart, and the boy who holds the secret has been cocooned in a coma for ten years.

One warm, West Texas November night, a shy boy named Oliver Loving joins his classmates at Bliss County Day School’s annual dance, hoping for a glimpse of the object of his unrequited affections, an enigmatic Junior named Rebekkah Sterling. But as the music plays, a troubled young man sneaks in through the school’s back door. The dire choices this man makes that evening — and the unspoken story he carries — will tear the town of Bliss, Texas apart.

Nearly ten years later, Oliver Loving still lies wordless and paralyzed at Crockett State Assisted Care Facility, the fate of his mind unclear. Orbiting the stillpoint of Oliver’s hospital bed is a family transformed: Oliver’s mother, Eve, who keeps desperate vigil; Oliver’s brother, Charlie, who has fled for New York City only to discover he cannot escape the gravity of his shattered family; Oliver’s father, Jed, who tries to erase his memories with bourbon. And then there is Rebekkah Sterling, Oliver’s teenage love, who left Texas long ago and still refuses to speak about her own part in that tragic night. When a new medical test promises a key to unlock Oliver’s trapped mind, the town’s unanswered questions resurface with new urgency, as Oliver’s doctors and his family fight for a way for Oliver to finally communicate — and so also to tell the truth of what really happened that fateful night.

I think this will be really interesting. Will read very soon. Oliver Loving is due out in January, published by Flatiron Books in North America and Atlantic Books in the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

Review copy received via NetGalley

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BowenL-S3-MaliceOfCrowsLila Bowen, MALICE OF CROWS (Orbit)

The Ranger known as Rhett has shut down a terrible enterprise running on the blood of magical folk, but failed to catch the dark alchemist behind it. And now the Shadow refuses to let him rest.

Rhett must make the ultimate transformation if he has any hope of stopping the alchemist or fulfilling his destiny; he must become the leader of a new Rangers outpost.

But to save his friends, and the lives of countless others, Rhett will first have to lead the Rangers on a mission more dangerous than anything they’ve ever faced.

This is the third novel in Bowen’s critically-acclaimed Shadow series. Malice of Crows is published by Orbit Books in the US and UK, on October 31st.

Also on CR: Interview with Lila Bowen (2016)

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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BradyAF-BlindUKA.F. Brady, THE BLIND (HQ)

Every morning, psychiatrist Sam James gets up at six forty-five. She has a shower, drinks a cup of coffee, then puts on her make-up.

She ignores the empty bottles piling up by her door.

On this particular morning, Sam is informed of a new patient’s arrival at Manhattan’s most notorious institution. Reputed to be deranged and dangerous, Richard is just the kind of impossible case Sam has built her reputation on. She is certain that she is the right doctor to treat such a difficult patient.

But then Sam meets Richard. And Richard seems totally sane.

Let the mind games begin.

Hadn’t heard about this novel before it arrived. Could be interesting. The Blind is published in the UK by HQ, and in the US by Park Row Books.

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Review copy received from publisher

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BrookmyreC-PlacesInTheDarknessChris Brookmyre, PLACES IN THE DARKNESS (Orbit)

Hundreds of miles above Earth, the space station Ciudad de Cielo – The City in the Sky – is a beacon of hope for humanity’s expansion into the stars. But not everyone aboard shares such noble ideals.

Bootlegging, booze, and prostitution form a lucrative underground economy for rival gangs, which the authorities are happy to turn a blind eye to until a disassembled corpse is found dancing in the micro-gravity.

In charge of the murder investigation is Nikki “Fix” Freeman, who is not thrilled to have Alice Blake, an uptight government goody-two-shoes, riding shotgun. As the bodies pile up, and the partners are forced to question their own memories, Nikki and Alice begin to realize that gang warfare may not be the only cause for the violence.

The first (I believe) sci-fi novel by best-selling Chris Brookmyre, Places in the Darkness sounds really interesting. I’ll read it very soon. Places in the Darkness is published by Orbit in early November, in the US and UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via NetGalley

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CameronM-TSC5-FallOfDragonsUSMiles Cameron, THE FALL OF DRAGONS (Orbit)

In the climax of the Traitor Son Cycle, the allied armies of the Wild and the Kingdoms of men and women must face Ash for control of the gates to the hermetical universe, and for control of their own destinies. But exhaustion, treachery and time may all prove deadlier enemies.

In Alba, Queen Desiderata struggles to rebuild her kingdom wrecked by a year of civil war, even as the Autumn battles are fought in the west. In the Terra Antica, The Red Knight attempts to force his unwilling allies to finish the Necromancer instead of each other.

But as the last battle nears, The Red Knight makes a horrifying discovery…all of this fighting may have happened before.

This fifth novel in Cameron’s Traitor Son Cycle. Now that I have all five, I really should read them… I seem to have a wonderful talent for dithering, when it comes to big fantasy novels and series. I shall try to remedy this weakness. The Fall of Dragons is published by Orbit in the US, and Gollancz in the UK.

Also on CR: Guest Post on “How I Do Research”

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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ClintonHR-WhatHappenedUSHillary Clinton, WHAT HAPPENED (Simon & Schuster)

“In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down.”

For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.

In these pages, she describes what it was like to run against Donald Trump, the mistakes she made, how she has coped with a shocking and devastating loss, and how she found the strength to pick herself back up afterward. With humor and candor, she tells readers what it took to get back on her feet — the rituals, relationships, and reading that got her through, and what the experience has taught her about life. She speaks about the challenges of being a strong woman in the public eye, the criticism over her voice, age, and appearance, and the double standard confronting women in politics.

She lays out how the 2016 election was marked by an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a foreign adversary. By analyzing the evidence and connecting the dots, Hillary shows just how dangerous the forces are that shaped the outcome, and why Americans need to understand them to protect our values and our democracy in the future.

The election of 2016 was unprecedented and historic. What Happened is the story of that campaign and its aftermath — both a deeply intimate account and a cautionary tale for the nation.

Does this book really need an introduction? Started reading it right away, and read it pretty quickly, despite a pretty full-on work schedule. A lot of great content, not as much about the election (or, specifically, the author) as I’d expected. Overall, definitely recommended. What Happened is published in North America and the UK by Simon & Schuster.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

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ColeM-ST1-ArmoredSaintMyke Cole, THE ARMORED SAINT (Tor.com)

A story of religious tyrants, arcane war-machines, and underground resistance that will enthral epic fantasy readers of all ages.

In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.

This is the first novella in Cole’s new Sacred Throne trilogy, and easily one of my most-anticipated books of next year. I started reading pretty soon after I received the ARC. The Armored Saint is due to be published by Tor.com on February 20th, 2018, in the US and UK.

Also on CR: Interview with Myke Cole (2011); Guest Post on Influences & Inspirations; Reviews of Control PointFortress Frontier and Breach Zone

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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CraddockC-RK1-AlchemyOfMasques&MirrorsUSCurtis Craddock, THE ALCHEMY OF MASQUES AND MIRRORS (Tor)

In a world of soaring continents and bottomless skies, where a burgeoning new science lifts skyships into the cloud-strewn heights, and ancient blood-borne sorceries cling to a fading glory, Princess Isabelle des Zephyrs is about to be married to a man she has barely heard of, the second son of a dying king in an empire collapsing into civil war.

Born without the sorcery that is her birthright but with a perspicacious intellect, Isabelle believes her marriage will stave off disastrous conflict and bring her opportunity and influence. But the last two women betrothed to this prince were murdered, and a sorcerer-assassin is bent on making Isabelle the third. Aided and defended by her loyal musketeer, Jean-Claude, Isabelle plunges into a great maze of prophecy, intrigue, and betrayal, where everyone wears masks of glamour and lies. Step by dangerous step, she unravels the lies of her enemies and discovers a truth more perilous than any deception.

This is the first novel in Craddock’s Risen Kingdoms fantasy series. I hadn’t heard much about it before it arrived in the mail. Could be interesting. Published in North America by Tor Books, it’s out now.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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deAbaituaM-TheRedMenMatthew de Abaitua, THE RED MEN (Angry Robot)

Once, Nelson was a radical journalist, but now he works for Monad, the corporation that makes the Dr Easys, the androids which police London’s streets. They also make the Red Men, versions of real people imagined by a shadowy artificial intelligence… and they’re looking to expand the program.

Nelson creates Redtown, a digital version of a suburb, where the deepest secrets and desires of its citizens can be catalogued and studied. But the project’s goals are increasingly authoritarian and potentially catastrophic. As the boundaries between Redtown and the real world break down and revolution against the Red Men is imminent, Nelson is forced to choose between the corporation and his family.

This is a new edition of de Abaitua’s novel, with a stunning new cover to match his other Angry Robot novels. The Red Men is published by Angry Robot Books on November 7th in the UK and US.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via NetGalley

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deShalitJ-TraitorUSJonathan de Shalit, TRAITOR (Atria/Emily Bestler)

When a young Israeli walks into an American embassy and offers to betray his country for money and power, he has no idea that the CIA agent interviewing him is a Russian mole.

Years later, that young man has risen in the ranks to become a trusted advisor to Israel’s Prime Minister and throughout his career, he’s been sharing everything he knows with the Kremlin.

Now, however, a hint that there may be a traitor in the highest realms of power has slipped out and a top-secret team is put together to hunt for him. The chase leads the team from the streets of Tel Aviv to deep inside the Russian zone and, finally, to the United States, where a most unique spymaster is revealed.

The final showdown — between the traitor and the betrayed — can only be resolved by an act of utter treachery that could have far-reaching and devastating consequences.

This has been described as a thriller in the tradition of I Am Pilgrim, which has been very widely, near-unanimously praised (and which I shamefully have not yet read — the book glares at me accusingly whenever I see it on the shelf…). This was enough to pique my interest, though, and Simon & Schuster US were kind enough to approve my review request. The novel is due to be published by Simon & Schuster in North America and in the UK, in January 2018.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

Review copy received via NetGalley

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DelevingeC-MirrorMirrorUSCara Delevingne & Rowan Coleman, MIRROR, MIRROR (Harper)

When one of their friends mysteriously disappears, a group of teens are forced to confront the challenges and secrets of their lives in this edgy and suspenseful coming-of-age tale…

Among the students of Pimlico Academy, Red, Leo, Rose, and Naomi are misfits — outsiders who have found a safe haven in music and their band, Mirror, Mirror. For these sixteen year olds, fitting in at school is nearly as difficult as navigating their complicated home lives. Red has an alcoholic mother and a father who’s never around. Leo’s brother is in prison. Rose uses sex and alcohol to numb the pain of a brutal attack. Naomi’s punk rock princess persona gives her the freedom to be her true self.

When Naomi mysteriously vanishes and then is found unconscious, her friends are shaken and confused. Could it have been an accident — or did someone deliberately try to hurt Naomi? If she was in trouble, why didn’t she turn to them? How well do they really know their bandmate — and each other? If Naomi wakes up from her coma, will she ever be the same?

To understand what happened to Naomi, Red, Leo, and Rose must ultimately face their own dark secrets and fears, and reconcile the difference between what they feel inside and what they show to the world.

I have no idea what to expect from this novel, but it could be quite fun/interesting. Will read soonish. Mirror, Mirror is published in North America by Harper, and Trapeze in the UK.

Follow the Author: Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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EugenidesJ-FreshComplaintUKJeffrey Eugenides, FRESH COMPLAINT (Pub)

The first collection of short fiction from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides

Jeffrey Eugenides’s bestselling novels have shown him to be an astute observer of the crises of adolescence, self-discovery, family love, and what it means to be American in our times.

The stories in “Fresh Complaint” explore equally rich­­ — and intriguing ­— territory. Ranging from the bitingly reproductive antics of “Baster” to the dreamy, moving account of a young traveler’s search for enlightenment in “Air Mail” (selected by Annie Proulx for Best American Short Stories), this collection presents characters in the midst of personal and national emergencies. We meet a failed poet who, envious of other people’s wealth during the real-estate bubble, becomes an embezzler; a clavichordist whose dreams of art founder under the obligations of marriage and fatherhood; and, in “Fresh Complaint,” a high school student whose wish to escape the strictures of her immigrant family lead her to a drastic decision that upends the life of a middle-aged British physicist.

Narratively compelling, beautifully written, and packed with a density of ideas despite their fluid grace, these stories chart the development and maturation of a major American writer.

I’ve never read anything by Eugenides (which surprises me, now that I think about it). This could be a good way to try his work. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the US, Fourth Estate in the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

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FischlES-TrialsOfSolomonParkerEric Scott Fischl, THE TRIALS OF SOLOMON PARKER (Angry Robot)

1916, Butte, Montana: City of the Copper Kings. Solomon Parker is old, broken, and deep in debt to some very bad people. He’s always managed to stay one step ahead of his last bad decision, but more than anything, he wishes life had turned out differently. Little does he know that for him and his young protégé, Billy Morgan, that wish is about to come true.

The Above Ones, the gods of the People, are bored. Their servant, Marked Face is coming, and he’s bringing his dice…

I haven’t read Fischl’s debut novel, Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show, but I think that and this new novel sound pretty cool. The Trials of Solomon Parker is out now, published by Angry Robot Books in the UK and US.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via NetGalley

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GibsonW-ArchangelHCWilliam Gibson, ARCHANGEL (IDW)

The U.S. political leaders of 2016 abandon the radioactive planet they’ve destroyed and harness the power of humanity’s last hope: The Splitter, a colossal machine designed to manufacture a bright new reality for them to infiltrate and corrupt.

William Gibson’s first graphic novel! Really looking forward to reading this. Published by IDW Publishing in North America and the UK, it’s out now.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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GoldenLebbon-BloodOfTheFourUSChristopher Golden & Tim Lebbon, BLOOD OF THE FOUR (Voyager)

A dark fantasy of gods and mortals, fools and heroes, saviors and destroyers with a brilliant beam of hope at its core.

In the great kingdom of Quandis, everyone is a slave. Some are slaves to the gods. Most are slaves to everyone else.

Blessed by the gods with lives of comfort and splendor, the royal elite routinely perform their duties, yet some chafe at their role. A young woman of stunning ambition, Princess Phela refuses to allow a few obstacles — including her mother the queen and her brother, the heir apparent — stand in the way of claiming ultimate power and glory for herself.

Far below the royals are the Bajuman. Poor and oppressed, members of this wretched caste have but two paths out of servitude: the priesthood… or death.

Because magic has been kept at bay in Quandis, royals and Bajuman have lived together in an uneasy peace for centuries. But Princess Phela’s desire for power will disrupt the realm’s order, setting into motion a series of events that will end with her becoming a goddess in her own right… or ultimately destroying Quandis and all its inhabitants.

This looks interesting. I’m also very pleased by the fact that it’s a stand-alone novel. (I frequently find myself wondering why there aren’t more stand-alones in fantasy.) Due to be published by Voyager in the US and UK in March 2018.

Also on CR: Interview with Christopher Golden (2013); Interview with Tim Lebbon (2012)

Follow the Author, Christopher Golden: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Follow the Author, Tim Lebbon: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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HarkupK-AIsForArsenicUKPBKathryn Harkup, A IS FOR ARSENIC (Bloomsbury)

Fourteen novels. Fourteen poisons. Just because it’s fiction doesn’t mean it’s all made-up…

Agatha Christie revelled in the use of poison to kill off unfortunate victims in her books; indeed, she employed it more than any other murder method, with the poison itself often being a central part of the novel. Her choice of deadly substances was far from random – the characteristics of each often provide vital clues to the discovery of the murderer. With gunshots or stabbings the cause of death is obvious, but this is not the case with poisons. How is it that some compounds prove so deadly, and in such tiny amounts?

Christie’s extensive chemical knowledge provides the backdrop for A is for Arsenic, in which Kathryn Harkup investigates the poisons used by the murderer in fourteen classic Agatha Christie mysteries. It looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with the body, the cases that may have inspired Christie, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering and detecting these poisons, both at the time the novel was written and today. A is for Arsenic is a celebration of the use of science by the undisputed Queen of Crime.

I picked this up because Alyssa loved it, and it sounds fascinating. Published by Bloomsbury in the UK and US.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

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HenaffS-AwkwardSquadSophie Hénaff, THE AWKWARD SQUAD (Maclehose)

A new crime series with a difference: a brilliant police officer joins forces with a team of misfits to investigate decades-old unsolved crimes.

Suspended from her job as a promising police officer for firing “one bullet too many”, Anne Capestan is expecting the worst when she is summoned to H.Q. to learn her fate. Instead, she is surprised to be told that she is to head up a new police squad, working on solving old cold cases.

Though relieved to still have a job, Capestan is not overjoyed by the prospect of her new role. Even less so when she meets her new team: a crowd of misfits, troublemakers and problem cases, none of whom are fit for purpose and yet none of whom can be fired.

But from this inauspicious start, investigating the cold cases throws up a number of strange mysteries for Capestan and her team: was the old lady murdered seven years ago really just the victim of a botched robbery? Who was behind the dead sailor discovered in the Seine with three gunshot wounds? And why does there seem to be a curious link with a ferry that was shipwrecked off the Florida coast many years previously?

This looked like it could be quite fun and interesting. Published by MacLehose Press in the UK and US.

Follow the Author: Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via NetGalley

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IsraelS-BigGunsUSSteve Israel, BIG GUNS (Simon & Schuster)

A comic tale about the mighty firearm industry, a small Long Island town, and Washington politics.

When Chicago’s Mayor Michael Rodriguez starts a national campaign to ban handguns from America’s cities, towns, and villages, Otis Cogsworth, the wealthy chairman and CEO of Cogsworth International Arms worries about the effects on his company. In response he and lobbyist Sunny McCarthy convince an Arkansas congressman to introduce federal legislation mandating that every American must own a firearm. Events soon escalate.

Asabogue’s Mayor Lois Leibowitz passes an ordinance to ban guns in the town — right in Otis Cogsworth’s backyard. Otis retaliates by orchestrating a recall election against Lois and Jack Steele, a rich town resident, runs against her. Even though the election is for the mayor of a village on Long Island, Steele brings in the big guns of American politics to defeat Lois: political consultants, Super PACs, and celebrities. Soon, thousands of pro-gun and anti-gun partisans descend on Asabogue, along with an assortment of heavily armed rightwing militias and the national news media. Bucolic Asabogue becomes a tinderbox. Meanwhile, Washington politicians in both parties are caught between a mighty gun lobby whose support they need for reelection and the absurdity of requiring that every American with waivers for children under age four carry a gun. What ensues is a discomfiting, hilarious indictment of the state of American politics.

I hadn’t heard of Steve Israel before I spotted this available on Edelweiss. It’s possible I came across his name as a Congressman, however. I just never made the connection. Big Guns is his new novel, after the well-received The Global War on Morris (which I also decided to pick up). is due to be published in April 2018, by Simon & Schuster in North America and the UK.

Follow the Author: Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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JohnsonT-WolvesOfWinterUSTyrell Johnson, THE WOLVES OF WINTER (Scribner)

As the old world dies, we all must choose to become predators. Or become prey.

The old world has been ravaged by war and disease, and as far as Lynn McBride is concerned, her family could be the last one left on earth. For seven years, the McBrides have eked out a meagre existence in the still, white wilderness of the Yukon. But this is not living. This is survival on the brink.

Into this fragile community walk new threats, including the enigmatic fugitive, Jax, who holds secrets about the past and, possibly, keys to a better future. And then there’s Immunity, the pre‑war organization that was supposed to save humankind from the flu. They’re still out there, enforcing order and conducting experiments — but is their work for the good of humankind or is something much more sinister at play? In the face of almost certain extinction, Lynn and her family must learn to hunt as a pack or die alone in the cold.

Breakout debut novelist Tyrell Johnson weaves a captivating tale of humanity stretched far beyond its breaking point, of family and the bonds of love forged when everything else is lost.

This has been described as “Station Eleven meets The Hunger Games“, which is a potentially interesting mix. (Rather different dystopian novels, however.) I requested this on a whim, and I’ll read it pretty soon. The Wolves of Winter is published in January 2018, by Scribner in North America, and HQ in the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via NetGalley

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LooryB-Falling&FlyingUSBen Loory, TALES OF FALLING AND FLYING (Penguin)

Ben Loory returns with a second collection of timeless tales, inviting us to enter his worlds of whimsical fantasy, deep empathy, and playful humor, in the signature voice that drew readers to his highly praised first collection. In stories that eschew literary realism, Loory’s characters demonstrate richly imagined and surprising perspectives, whether they be dragons or swordsmen, star-crossed lovers or long-lost twins, restaurateurs dreaming of Paris or cephalopods fixated on space travel.

In propulsive language that brilliantly showcases Loory’s vast imagination, Tales of Falling and Flying expands our understanding of how fiction can work and is sure to cement his reputation as one of the most innovative short-story writers working today.

I can’t remember how I first heard about this collection, but I spotted it in Bakka Phoenix in Toronto, and decided to buy it. I ended up reading it right away, and I found the book to be alternatively entertaining, thought-provoking, inventive, but also, ultimately somewhat repetitive. This anthology is published by Penguin in North America, and is available in the UK.

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MacLeodK-CW3-EmergenceKen MacLeod, CORPORATION WARS: EMERGENCE (Orbit)

The enemy is out in the open. The Reaction has seized control of a resource-rich moon. Now it’s enslaving conscious robots – and luring the Corporations into lucrative deals.

Taransay is out in the jungle. Her friends are inside a smart boulder on the slope of an active volcano. The planet is super-habitable – for its own life, not hers. But soon, the alien infestation growing on her robot body is the least of her problems.

Carlos is out of patience. With the Reaction arming for conquest, the Corporations trading with the enemy and the Direction planning to stamp out the rebel robots and their allies for good, he has to fight fire with fire.

Seba is out of time. Deep inside the enemy stronghold, the free robots have to spark a new revolt before the whole world falls in on them.

As battle looms, the robots must become their own last hope.

The conclusion to MacLeod’s Corporation Wars. Looking forward to reading the entire trilogy (I have inadvertently been saving them up, apparently). Emergence is published by Orbit in the US and UK.

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Review copy received from publisher

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MacyC-MrsUSCaitlin Macy, MRS. (Lee Boudreaux Books)

In the well-heeled milieu of New York’s Upper East Side, coolly elegant Philippa Lye is the woman no one can stop talking about. Despite a shadowy past, Philippa has somehow married the scion of the last family-held investment bank in the city. And although her wealth and connections put her in the center of this world, she refuses to conform to its gossip-fueled culture.

Then, into her precariously balanced life, come two women: Gwen Hogan, a childhood acquaintance who uncovers an explosive secret about Philippa’s single days, and Minnie Curtis, a newcomer whose vast fortune and frank revelations about a penurious upbringing in Spanish Harlem put everyone on alert.

When Gwen’s husband, a heavy-drinking, obsessive prosecutor in the US Attorney’s Office, stumbles over the connection between Philippa’s past and the criminal investigation he is pursuing at all costs, this insulated society is forced to confront the rot at its core and the price it has paid to survive into the new millennium.

This novel has been described as “a modern-day House of Mirth, not for the age of railroads and steel but of hedge funds and overnight fortunes, of scorched-earth successes and abiding moral failures.” Could be quite interesting. Mrs. is published by Lee Boudreaux Books in North America and the UK, in February 2018.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

Review copy received via NetGalley

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MahnkeA-WorldOfLore1-MonstrousCreaturesUKAaron Mahnke, THE WORLD OF LORE, Vol.1: MONSTROUS CREATURES (Wildfire)

A fascinating, beautifully illustrated guide to the monsters that are part of our collective psyche, from the host of the hit podcast Lore

They live in shadows — deep in the forest, late in the night, in the dark recesses of our mind. They’re spoken of in stories and superstitions, relics of an unenlightened age, old wives’ tales, passed down through generations. And yet, no matter how wary and jaded we have become, as individuals or as a society, a part of us remains vulnerable to them. Werewolves and wendigos, poltergeists and vampires, angry elves and vengeful spirits.

In this beautifully illustrated volume, the host of the hit podcast Lore serves as a guide on a fascinating journey through the history of these terrifying creatures, and explores not only the legends but what they tell us about ourselves. Aaron Mahnke invites us to the desolate Pine Barrens of New Jersey, where the notorious winged, red-eyed Jersey Devil dwells. Mahnke delves into harrowing accounts of cannibalism-some officially documented, others the stuff of speculation… perhaps. He visits the dimly lit rooms where séances take place, the European villages where gremlins make mischief, and Key West, Florida, home of a haunted doll named Robert.

The monsters of folklore have become not only a part of our language but a part of our collective psyche. Whether these beasts and bogeymen are real or just a reflection of our primal fears, we know, on some level, that not every mystery has been explained, and that the unknown still holds the power to strike fear deep in our hearts and souls.

As Aaron Mahnke reminds us, sometimes the truth is even scarier than the lore…

I had never heard of this book before it arrived in the mail. Nor had I ever heard of the podcast, Lore. I think I’ll give it a try. The World of Lore, Vol.1 is published next week by Wildfire in the UK. The podcast has also been adapted into an Amazon exclusive anthology series, starting on October, Friday 13th…

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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GrantM-IntoTheDrowningDeepMira Grant (Seanan McGuire), INTO THE DROWNING DEEP (Orbit)

Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves.

But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

This sounds really interesting. Looking forward to reading it ASAP. McGuire’s Into the Drowning Deep is published by Orbit in the US and UK, in early November 2017.

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McGuireS-WC3-BeneathTheSugarSkySeanan McGuire, BENEATH THE SUGAR SKY (Tor.com)

Return to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children in a standalone contemporary fantasy for fans of all ages. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the “real” world.

When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save! (Much more common than one would suppose.)

If she can’t find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests…

A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do.

Warning: May contain nuts.

Apparently, McGuire is one of the hardest-working authors currently on the scene — it seems like there’s barely a couple of months that go by without a new novel, novella and/or short story. It’s very impressive. Also a little intimidating. Beneath the Sugar Sky is the third standalone novella in McGuire’s critically-acclaimed Wayward Children series. I really need to get caught up. Beneath the Sugar Sky is due to be published by Tor.com in January 2018, in the US and UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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MontefioreSS-RedSkyAtNoonUSSimon Sebag Montefiore, RED SKY AT NOON (Pegasus)

An epic cavalry ride across the hot grasslands outside Stalingrad during the darkest times of World War II. 

“The black earth was already baking and the sun was just rising when they mounted their horses and rode across the grasslands towards the horizon on fire…” Imprisoned in the Gulags for a crime he did not commit, Benya Golden joins a penal battalion made up of Cossacks and convicts to fight the Nazis. He enrolls in the Russian cavalry, and on a hot summer day in July 1942, he and his band of brothers are sent on a suicide mission behind enemy lines — but is there a traitor among them? The only thing Benya can truly trust is his horse, Silver Socks, and that he will find no mercy in onslaught of Hitler’s troops as they push East. Spanning ten epic days, between Benya’s war on the grasslands of southern Russia and Stalin’s intrigues in the Kremlin, between Benya’s intense affair with an Italian nurse and a romance between Stalin’s daughter and a war correspondent, this is a sweeping story of passion, bravery, and survival — where betrayal is a constant companion, death just a heartbeat away, and love, however fleeting, offers a glimmer of redemption.

I haven’t read anything by Montefiore, yet. I’ve always thought his novels sounded interesting, though. This is the third novel in the author’s Moscow Trilogy, following Sashenka and One Night in Winter (I’m not sure if they have to be read in order, or if they just share Moscow as a setting — I think the latter). I’ll hopefully read this pretty soon. Red Sky At Noon is due to be published in the US by Pegasus Books, in February 2018. It is already out in the UK, published by Century.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via NetGalley

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MorganL-ASecretHistoryOfWitchesLouisa Morgan, A SECRET HISTORY OF WITCHES (Redhook)

A sweeping historical saga that traces five generations of fiercely powerful mothers and daughters – witches whose magical inheritance is both a dangerous threat and an extraordinary gift.

Brittany, 1821. After Grand-mere Ursule gives her life to save her family, their magic seems to die with her.

Even so, the Orchires fight to keep the old ways alive, practicing half-remembered spells and arcane rites in hopes of a revival. And when their youngest daughter comes of age, magic flows anew. The lineage continues, though new generations struggle not only to master their power, but also to keep it hidden.

But when World War II looms on the horizon, magic is needed more urgently than ever – not for simple potions or visions, but to change the entire course of history.

I first heard about this novel quite some time ago. Sounds pretty interesting. Will read soon. Published by Redhook in the US and UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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NewitzA-AutonomousUSAnnalee Newitz, AUTONOMOUS (Tor)

When anything can be owned, how can we be free

Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scrips for poor people who can’t otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.

Hot on her trail, an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack’s drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understand.

And underlying it all is one fundamental question: Is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned?

This novel enjoyed a lot of pre-publication buzz, so I’m looking forward to reading it. Published by Tor Books, it’s out now.

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OkoraforN-Binti-NightMasqueradeNnedi Okorafor, BINTI: THE NIGHT MASQUERADE (Tor.com)

Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse.

Far from her village when the conflicts start, Binti hurries home, but anger and resentment has already claimed the lives of many close to her.

Once again it is up to Binti, and her intriguing new friend Mwinyi, to intervene — though the elders of her people do not entirely trust her motives — and try to prevent a war that could wipe out her people, once and for all.

The third novella in Okorafor’s critically-acclaimed Binti series. Due to be published in January 2018 by Tor.com, in the US and UK.

Also on CR: Review of Lagoon

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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OReillyJ-SS1-BlueShiftUKJane O’Reilly, BLUE SHIFT (Piatkus)

The Earth is cold, dead and divided. The rich hide away from reality while the rest will do anything to survive. Humanity have only one hope: reaching a habitable planet. But getting there means travelling in large numbers through alien-held space, something that’s politically nearly impossible. Yet for some, fighting their way through space is just a way of life…

Jinnifer Blue is a rich girl on the run. An expert pilot, she apprehends criminals on behalf of the government and keeps her illegal genetic modifications a closely guarded secret. But when a particularly dangerous job goes south, leaving her stranded on a prison ship with one of the most ruthless criminals in the galaxy, Jinn realises that the rich and the powerful are hiding more than she’d ever guessed. Now she must decide if she can trust her co-prisoner — because once they discover what the prison ship is hiding, she definitely can’t trust anyone else

Hadn’t heard about this series before the book arrived in the mail. Could be quite interesting. It’s been described as “space opera for fans of Elizabeth Moon and Rachel Bach”, so that’s a pretty good sign (if true). Published by Piatkus in the UK, it’s out now.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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ParkerKJ-TwoOfSwords-Vol.01K.J. Parker, THE TWO OF SWORDS, Vol.1 (Orbit)

“Why are we fighting this war? Because evil must be resisted, and sooner or later there comes a time when men of principle have to make a stand. But at this stage in the proceedings,” he added, with a slightly lopsided grin, “mostly from force of habit.”

A soldier with a gift for archery. A woman who kills without care. Two brothers, both unbeatable generals, now fighting for opposing armies. No one in the vast and once glorious United Empire remains untouched by the rift between East and West, and the war has been fought for as long as anyone can remember. Some still survive who know how it was started, but no one knows how it will end. Except, perhaps, the Two of Swords.

The first collected volume in Parker’s long-running, episodic fantasy epic. Published by Orbit in the US and UK.

Also on CR: Reviews of The Devil You Know and The Last Witness

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

Review copy received from publisher

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PflügerA-InTheDarkUKAndreas Pflüger, IN THE DARK (Head of Zeus)

Jenny Aaron was a government assassin, part of an elite unit tracking Germany’s most dangerous criminals. She was one of the best, until a disastrous mission ended with her abandoning a wounded colleague and losing her sight forever.

Now, five years later, she has learnt to navigate a darkened world, but is haunted by her betrayal. When she is called back to the force to trace a ruthless serial killer, she seizes the opportunity to solve the case and restore her honour.

Strong-willed, fearless – but vulnerable too – Jenny Aaron is a character to stand side by side with Clarice Starling and Lisbeth Salander.

I found mention of this in a Head of Zeus catalogue (I haven’t been browsing publisher catalogues in some time, weirdly), and thought it sounded very interest. It’s out now in the UK.

Follow the Author: Goodreads, Twitter

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RollinsJ-SF13-DemonCrownUSHCJames Rollins, THE DEMON CROWN (William Morrow)

To save mankind’s future, the members of Sigma Force must make a devil’s bargain as they join forces with their most hated enemy to stop a primordial threat…

A construction project beneath the National Mall unearths a terrifying secret dating back to the Civil War. It is a cache of bones preserved in amber and buried more than a century ago by a cabal of scientists to protect humankind. The scientists, led by Alexander Graham Bell, who helped found the Smithsonian Institution, were safeguarding a wonder like no other: the very secret of life after death. But this prize is linked to a horror from the ancient past, a horror that has remained dormant yet all too frighteningly alive in the marrow of those bones — and has now been freed again to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting world.

From a crystalline lab atop Mount Fuji to a verdant island off of Hawaii teeming with the “dark matter of life,” Sigma Force must unlock a deadly mystery that winds back eons, to the very origins of life on Earth. But with each discovery Sigma Force makes, the menace they hunt is spreading, changing, growing, adapting — surviving every attempt to stop it from reconquering a world it once ruled.

With time running out, Commander Grayson Pierce will be forced to make an impossible choice. To eradicate this ancient threat and save humankind’s future he will have to team up with Sigma’s greatest enemy — the newly resurrected Guild — even it if means sacrificing one of his own.

The thirteenth Sigma Force novel! I’m still a little behind on this series, but I fully intend to catch up ASAP. They’re a lot of fun, action- and adventure-filled stories. Published by William Morrow in North America, on December 5th; and possibly in the UK by Orion in 2018.

Also on CR: Reviews of The Judas Strain, The Last Oracle, The Doomsday Key and The Devil Colony

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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SwansonP-AllTheBeautifulLiesUSPeter Swanson, ALL THE BEAUTIFUL LIES (William Morrow)

A diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder — a sly and brilliant guessing game of a novel in the vein of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Patricia Highsmith.

Harry Ackerson has always considered his stepmother Alice to be sexy and beautiful, in an “otherworldly” way. She has always been kind and attentive, if a little aloof in the last few years.

Days before his college graduation, Alice calls with shocking news. His father is dead and the police think it’s suicide. Devastated, Harry returns to his father’s home in Maine. There, he and Alice will help each other pick up of the pieces of their lives and uncover what happened to his father.

Shortly after he arrives, Harry meets a mysterious young woman named Grace McGowan. Though she claims to be new to the area, Harry begins to suspect that Grace may not be a complete stranger to his family. But she isn’t the only attractive woman taking an interest in Harry. The sensual Alice is also growing closer, coming on to him in an enticing, clearly sexual way.

Mesmerized by these two women, Harry finds himself falling deeper under their spell. Yet the closer he gets to them, the more isolated he feels, disoriented by a growing fear that both women are hiding dangerous — even deadly — secrets… and that neither one is telling the truth.

The latest thriller/mystery from Peter Swanson. Really looking forward to reading it. All the Beautiful Lies is due to be published in April 2018 by William Morrow in North America, and Faber & Faber in the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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ThorpeG-HHP5-LorgarGav Thorpe, LORGAR (Black Library)

On the world of Colchis, mighty religions rule a decaying society in the name of absent gods – until the arrival of Lorgar. Primarch, prophet, leader of destiny, the Golden One is raised by Kor Phaeron, priest of the Covenant, to be his weapon in a quest for power. As religious war spreads across the planet, spearheaded by the Brotherhood of Lorgar, the primarch is plagued by visions of the future and the coming of the Emperor. To find his place in this new order, he must reach balance between the teachings of his adopted father Kor Phaeron, and the fate that he knows awaits him among the stars.

As the main Horus Heresy series draws closer to its long-awaited end, the Primarch’s companion series hits (almost) its 1/3 mark. Lorgar is one of the more interesting Primarchs, in my opinion, and I’ve been enjoying his story and fall from grace especially since Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s The First Heretic (I’d also highly recommend his novella Aurelian and novel Betrayer for more on Lorgar’s fall and corrupting influence). Thorpe’s one of the best authors working on BL titles, so I have high hopes for this novel. Lorgar is out now, published by Black Library.

Also on CR: Interviews with Gav Thorpe 2011 and 2016; Reviews of Deliverance Lost and Angels of Caliban

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

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TuckerR-SlugfestDC&MarvelReed Tucker, SLUGFEST (Da Capo Press)

The most bruising battle in the superhero world isn’t between spandex-clad characters; it’s between the publishers themselves. For more than 50 years, Marvel and DC have been locked in an epic war, tirelessly trading punches and trying to do to each other what Batman regularly does to the Joker’s face. Slugfest, the first book to tell the history of this epic rivalry into a single, juicy narrative, is the story of the greatest corporate rivalry never told. It is also an alternate history of the superhero, told through the lens of these two publishers.

Slugfest will combine primary-source reporting with in-depth research to create a more fun Barbarians at the Gate for the comic book industry. Complete with interviews with the major names in the industry, Slugfest reveals the arsenal of schemes the two companies have employed in their attempts to outmaneuver the competition, whether it be stealing ideas, poaching employees, planting spies, ripping off characters or launching price wars. Sometimes the feud has been vicious, at other times, more cordial. But it has never completely disappeared, and it simmers on a low boil to this day.

The competition has spilled over to the even the casual fans, bisecting the world into two opposing tribes. You are either a Marvel or a DC fan, and allegiance is hardly a trivial matter. Perhaps the most telling question one can ask of a superhero fan is, Marvel or DC? The answer often reveals something deeper about personality, and the reason is wrapped up in the history of both companies.

This could be really interesting. The standard on long-form writing about Marvel has been set by Sean Howe, but I’m hoping that this does a great job on the dual story of DC-vs.-Marvel. Due to be published by Da Capo Press in North America, and Sphere in the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via NetGalley

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TwengeJM-iGenUSJean M. Twenge, iGEN (Atria)

A highly readable and entertaining first look at how today’s members of iGen — the children, teens, and young adults born in the mid-1990s and later — are vastly different from their Millennial predecessors, and from any other generation, from the renowned psychologist and author of Generation Me.

With generational divides wider than ever, parents, educators, and employers have an urgent need to understand today’s rising generation of teens and young adults. Born in the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s and later, iGen is the first generation to spend their entire adolescence in the age of the smartphone. With social media and texting replacing other activities, iGen spends less time with their friends in person — perhaps why they are experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

But technology is not the only thing that makes iGen distinct from every generation before them; they are also different in how they spend their time, how they behave, and in their attitudes toward religion, sexuality, and politics. They socialize in completely new ways, reject once sacred social taboos, and want different things from their lives and careers. More than previous generations, they are obsessed with safety, focused on tolerance, and have no patience for inequality. iGen is also growing up more slowly than previous generations: eighteen-year-olds look and act like fifteen-year-olds used to.

As this new group of young people grows into adulthood, we all need to understand them: Friends and family need to look out for them; businesses must figure out how to recruit them and sell to them; colleges and universities must know how to educate and guide them. And members of iGen also need to understand themselves as they communicate with their elders and explain their views to their older peers. Because where iGen goes, so goes our nation — and the world.

I picked this up after reading Twenge’s article in the September 2017 issue of The Atlantic: “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” (It was a very good issue, as it turned out.) Hopefully I’ll like the book as much as the article (it was pretty fascinating). iGen is published by Atria in North America and the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

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WaltonJ-StarlingsUSJo Walton, STARLINGS (Tachyon)

An strange Eritrean coin travels from lovers to thieves, gathering stories before meeting its match. Google becomes sentient and proceeds toward an existential crisis. An idealistic dancer on a generation ship makes an impassioned plea for creativity and survival. Three Irish siblings embark on an unlikely quest, stealing enchanted items via bad poetry, trickery, and an assist from the Queen of Cats.

With these captivating initial glimpses into her storytelling psyche, Jo Walton shines through subtle myths and wholly reinvented realities. Through eclectic stories, subtle vignettes, inspired poetry, and more, Walton soars with humans, machines, and magic — rising from the everyday into the universe itself.

“Google becomes sentient and proceeds toward an existential crisis” is what caught my attention, in case anyone’s wondering. Looking forward to reading this. Published by Tachyon Publications in the US and UK, in January 2018.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via Edelweiss

 

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