Upcoming: THE DESERT PRINCE by Peter V. Brett (Voyager/Del Rey)

PrettPV-1-DesertPrinceUKThis August, the highly-anticipated new novel by Peter V. Brett is due to arrive on shelves. The Desert Prince is set in the same world as his best-selling Demon Cycle series — only, 15 years later, and is the start of an as-yet-untitled new series. It’s UK and North American covers were unveiled recently, so I thought I’d share them here. If you haven’t yet had the chance to read any of Brett’s novels, then I’d highly recommend them: The Painted Man (UK)/The Warded Man (US) is one of the best fantasy debuts I’ve ever read.

Here’s the synopsis for The Desert Prince:

Fifteen years have passed since the end of the war with demons, creatures of darkness who have hunted the night and plagued humanity for time out of mind. The heroes of mankind’s hour of need have become legend, and those that remain struggle to escape their shadows.

Olive Paper and Darin Bales have grown up in this new, peaceful world. Demons have all but been destroyed, but dangers still lurk for the children of heroes.

PrettPV-1-DesertPrinceUSOlive, Princess of Hollow, has her entire life planned out by her mother, Duchess Leesha Paper. A steady march on a checklist to prepare her for succession. The more her mother writes the script, the more Olive rails against playing the parts her mother assigns.

Darin faces challenges of a different kind. Though free to choose his own path, the weight of legacy hangs heavy round his shoulders. It isn’t easy being the son of the man people say saved the world. Everyone expects greatness from Darin, but the only thing he’s ever been great at is hiding.

But when Olive and Darin step across the wards one night, they learn the demons are not all gone, and those that remain hunger for revenge. Events are set in motion that only Prophecy can foresee as Olive and Darin seek to find their own places in the world in time to save it again.

Peter V. Brett’s The Desert Prince is due to be published by Voyager in the UK and Del Rey in North America, on August 3rd, 2021.

Also on CR: Reviews of The Painted/Warded ManThe Great Bazaar & Brayan’s GoldThe Desert SpearThe Daylight War, and Messenger’s Legacy

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Upcoming: THIEF OF SOULS/CITY OF ICE by Brian Klingborg (Minotaur/Headline)

KlingborgB-LF1-ThiefOfSoulsUSI spotted Brian Klingborg‘s upcoming novel in a catalogue a little while ago, and have been looking forward to reading it ever since. Earlier this week, I found the UK cover, so I decided to share the details here. Published in North America as Thief of Souls, and in the UK as City of Ice, it looks like an intriguing start to a new Chinese crime/mystery series. Here’s the synopsis:

The brutal murder of a young woman in a rural village in Northern China sends shockwaves all the way to Beijing — but seemingly only Inspector Lu Fei, living in exile in the small town, is interested in justice for the victim.

KlingborgB-LF1-CityOfIceUKLu Fei is a graduate of China’s top police college but he’s been assigned to a sleepy backwater town in northern China, where almost nothing happens and the theft of a few chickens represents a major crime wave. That is until a young woman is found dead, her organs removed, and joss paper stuffed in her mouth. The CID in Beijing — headed by a rising political star — is on the case but in an increasingly authoritarian China, prosperity and political stability are far more important than solving the murder of an insignificant village girl. As such, the CID head is interested in pinning the crime on the first available suspect rather than wading into uncomfortable truths, leaving Lu Fei on his own.

As Lu digs deeper into the gruesome murder, he finds himself facing old enemies and creating new ones in the form of local Communist Party bosses and corrupt business interests. Despite these rising obstacles, Lu remains determined to find the real killer, especially after he links the murder to other unsolved homicides. But the closer he gets to the heart of the mystery, the more he puts himself and his loved ones in danger.

Brian Klingborg’s first Inspector Lu Fei novel is due to be published on May 4th, 2021, in North America by Minotaur Books, as Thief of Souls; and in the UK by Headline as City of Ice.

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Upcoming: ADVANCED TRIGGERNOMETRY by Stark Holborn (Rattleback Books)

HolbornS-T2-AdvancedTriggernometryIn addition to the hotly-anticipated Ten Low, Stark Holborn has another great-looking book out this year: Advanced Triggernometry! A return to the world of Triggernometry, which I really enjoyed, it’s another Weird West novella that blends Wild Western gunslinging and mathematics. I’m really looking forward to reading this. Here’s the synopsis:

That gold you stole will burn a hole in your heart…

After pulling off the heist of the century, Professor Malago Browne and Pierre de Fermat are determined to hang up their protractors for good. But once you’ve been the most dangerous mathematician in the west, peace doesn’t come easy…

When three women approach Browne with a proposition, she can’t help but listen. Terrorised by a corrupt sheriff and his posse, the town need to hire the quickest and deadliest fighters they can find: in other words, mathmos.

Together with six unlikely allies, Browne once again finds herself facing incalculable odds in a battle for the town, its people, and the fate of every mathematician in the Western States.

And seven isn’t always a lucky number…

Stark Holborn’s Advanced Triggernometry is due out on April 8th, published by Rattleback Books in North America and in the UKTen Low is due to be published by Titan Books in North America and in the UK, on June 1st.

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Upcoming: CERTAIN DARK THINGS by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Tor Nightfire)

MorenoGarciaS-CertainDarkThings2021Next month, Tor Books are reissuing Silvia Morena-Garcia‘s The Beautiful Ones; in August, Del Rey are due to publish Velvet Was the Night. Fans of Moreno-Garcia’s work can look forward to yet another new book this year: in September, Certain Dark Things is also due to be re-issued! The stunning North American cover for this “pulse-pounding neo-noir that reimagines vampire lore” was unveiled earlier today by Night Worms. Really looking forward to reading this. Here’s the synopsis:

Welcome to Mexico City, an oasis in a sea of vampires. Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is just trying to survive its heavily policed streets when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life. Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, is smart, beautiful, and dangerous. Domingo is mesmerized.

Atl needs to quickly escape the city, far from the rival narco-vampire clan relentlessly pursuing her. Her plan doesn’t include Domingo, but little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his undeniable charm. As the trail of corpses stretches behind her, local cops and crime bosses both start closing in.

Vampires, humans, cops, and criminals collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive? Or will the city devour them all?

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Certain Dark Things is due to be published on September 7th, by Tor Nightfire (North America), and Jo Fletcher Books (UK — I’ll add the cover when it’s available).

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Upcoming: A MAN LIES DREAMING by Lavie Tidhar (Head of Zeus)

Tidhar-AManLiesDreamingUK2021smOk, this is actually a re-issue, but look at that stunning new cover! Next month, Head of Zeus are due to re-issue Lavie Tidhar‘s provocative award-winning novel A Man Lies Dreaming. This is a great opportunity for people to give this a read if they missed it the first time. Here’s the synopsis:

1939: Adolf Hitler, fallen from power, seeks refuge in a London engulfed in the throes of a very British Fascism. Now eking a miserable living as a down-at-heels private eye and calling himself Wolf, he has no choice but to take on the case of a glamorous Jewish heiress whose sister went missing.

It’s a decision Wolf will very shortly regret.

For in another time and place a man lies dreaming: Shomer, once a Yiddish pulp writer, who dreams lurid tales of revenge in the hell that is Auschwitz.

Prescient, darkly funny and wholly original, the award-winning A Man Lies Dreaming is a modern fable for our time.

Lavie Tidhar’s A Man Lies Dreaming is due to be published by Head of Zeus in the UK, on April 15th, 2021. A Man Lies Dreaming is published in North America by Melville House and JABberwocky.) Head of Zeus also publishes Lavie’s superb re-imagining of the King Arthur mythology, By Force Alone (check out my review, here.)

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Upcoming: NOTES FROM THE BURNING AGE by Claire North (Orbit)

NorthC-NotesFromTheBurningAgeA new novel from Claire North is always something to cheer. This year, Orbit are due to publish the author’s latest novel, Notes From the Burning Age, which is “a story set in an age after the world has burned, which explores whether humankind can change the paths we seem fated to follow”. The publisher unveiled the cover earlier today. Really looking forward to this. Check out the synopsis:

Once, we lived through the Burning Age — the time when we cared so little for the world that it went up in flames. It was a punishment. But it was also a gift, and centuries of peace followed.

Once, Ven was a holy man, studying texts from the ashes of the past, sorting secrets from heresies. But when he gets caught up in the political scheming of the Brotherhood, he finds himself in the middle of a war, fuelled by old knowledge and forbidden ambition.

There was a time when the world burned. Now, some want to set the fire again…

Claire North’s Notes From the Burning Age is due to be published by Orbit Books (July 6th) in North America and in the UK (July 8th).

Also on CR: Reviews of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry AugustTouchThe Gameshouse, The Sudden Appearance of Hope, and Sweet Harmony

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Upcoming: THE DISAPPEARING ACT by Catherine Steadman (Ballantine/Simon & Schuster)

SteadmanC-DisappearingActUSA little while ago, I spotted The Disappearing Act in a catalogue: the latest novel by best-selling author and actress Catherine Steadman, it’s about a British actress who heads to Los Angeles to try to find her big break. But, of course, things go quite wrong after a chance encounter. Given my fondness for novels (especially crime/mystery) set in Los Angeles, this one caught my attention. Here’s the synopsis:

A British actress discovers the dark side of Hollywood when she is the only witness to the sudden disappearance of a woman she meets at an audition…

Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio looking to fill the rosters of their new shows enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls, anxious, desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

SteadmanC-DisappearingActUKBritish star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the hoard of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive and faceless world of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily is friendly and genuine and reassuringly doesn’t seem to be taking any of it too seriously. She stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor turns dark when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her, and the woman who knocks on Mia’s door the following day claiming to be her new friend isn’t the woman Mia remembers at all.

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once… and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity as the truth goes beyond anything she could ever have imagined.

The Disappearing Act is due to be published by Ballantine in North America (June 8th) and Simon & Schuster in the UK (June 24th). Really looking forward to reading this.

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Upcoming: THE WOOD BEE QUEEN by Edward Cox (Gollancz)

CoxE-WoodBeeQueenMany moons ago (well, late-2012), I was sent a manuscript to read and provide a critique for. I was living in New York at the time, interning at a news magazine, and I started reading on my commutes into Manhattan. On a number of times, I got so sucked into the book that I missed my stop. That novel was The Relic Guild by Edward Cox. Ed has since published three novels in the Relic Guild series and also The Song of the Sycamore. This year, he has another interesting-looking new novel coming out: The Wood Bee Queen. Check out the synopsis:

Somewhere in England, in a small town called Strange Ground by the Skea, Ebbie Wren is the last librarian and he’s about to lose his job. Estranged from his parents, unable to make connections with anyone except the old homeless lady who lives near the library, Ebbie isn’t quite sure what he’s supposed to do next. His only escape from reality is his deep interest in local folklore, but reality is far stranger than Ebbie can dream.

On the other side of the sky and the sea, the Queen of House Wood Bee has been murdered. Her sister has made the first move in a long game, one which will lead her to greatness, yet risk destruction for the entire Realm. She needs the two magical stones Foresight and Hindsight for her power to be complete, but no one knows where they are. Although the sword recently stolen by Bek Rana, small time thief and not very good at it, might hold a clue to their location… and to stopping the chaos. But all Bek wants is to sell the sword and buy herself a better life. She’s not interested in being a hero, and neither is Ebbie.

But someone is forcing their hand and playing for the heart of the Realm. Ebbie and Bek are destined to unite. They must find a way to stop the destruction of House Wood Bee, save the Realm, and just maybe save themselves in the process. All victories come at a price. The Oldungods are rising. And they are watching…

The Wood Bee Queen is due to be published by Gollancz in the UK, on June 10th, 2021.

Also on CR: Interviews with Edward Cox — 2014 and 2015; Guest Post on “Writes & Wrongs”; Review of The Relic Guild

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Upcoming: SLEEPING BEAR by Connor Sullivan (Atria/Emily Bestler Books)

SullivanC-SleepingBearUSI’ve been a fan of the political thriller genre since I discovered Kyle Mills and Vince Flynn (many years ago). I am always, therefore, on the look out for new authors to try. Connor Sullivan‘s debut novel, Sleeping Bear, has caught my attention this year. The novel “follows a former Army veteran seeking solitude in the Alaskan wilderness after her husband’s death — only to find herself a pawn in a deadly game with Russia” — crazy as it sounds, I haven’t noticed many books in the (sub-)genre that feature a female protagonist. Coupled with a compelling premise, I’m really looking forward to giving this a try. Here’s the synopsis:

After her young husband’s untimely death, Army veteran Cassie Gale decides to take a few days of solitude in the Alaska wilderness before she starts her new job. But when she fails to show up on her first day and her dog is discovered injured at her wrecked campsite, her father knows that this is much more than a camping trip gone awry.

As it turns out, Cassie’s not the first person to disappear without a trace in Alaska’s northern interior. Bears. Wolves. Avalanches. Frostbite. Starvation. There are many ways to die in here. But not all disappearances can be explained. Cassie’s is one of them, along with a number of other outdoor enthusiasts who have vanished in recent years.

Regaining consciousness in a Russian prison, Cassie finds herself trapped in a system designed to ensure that no one ever escapes alive. It will require all her grit and skills to survive. Meanwhile, her father rushes to outrun the clock, scouring thousands of acres, only to realize she’s been taken by a far more nefarious adversary — one with the power of the Eastern Bloc behind it. Ties to his past life, one full of secrets, threaten to surface. He knows there’s a price to be paid, but he’s determined it won’t be his daughter.

Sleeping Bear is due to be published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books in North America and in the UK, on July 6th, 2021.

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Upcoming: ALWAYS CRASHING IN THE SAME CAR by Matthew Specktor (Tin House)

SpecktorM-AlwaysCrashingInTheSameCarUSBack in 2013, I read and enjoyed Matthew Specktor‘s American Dream Machine — a novel about Hollywood, fathers, and the ways in which the entertainment industry has evolved over the decades. This year, Specktor has a new book coming out: Always Crashing in the Same Car. It’s pitched as a blend of memoir and criticism that “explores family legacy, the lives of artists, and a city that embodies both dreams and disillusionment”. I’m really looking forward to giving this a read. Here’s the synopsis:

In 2006, Matthew Specktor moved into a crumbling Los Angeles apartment opposite the one in which F. Scott Fitzgerald spent the last moments of his life. Fitz had been Specktor’s first literary idol, someone whose own passage through Hollywood had, allegedly, broken him. Freshly divorced, professionally flailing, and reeling from his mother’s cancer diagnosis, Specktor was feeling unmoored. But rather than giving in or “cracking up,” he embarked on an obsessive journey to make sense of the mythologies of “success” and “failure” that haunt the artist’s life and the American imagination.

Part memoir, part cultural history, part portrait of place, Always Crashing in the Same Car explores Hollywood through a certain kind of collapse. It’s a vibrant and intimate inspection of failure told through the lives of iconic, if under-sung, artists — Carole Eastman, Eleanor Perry, Warren Zevon, Tuesday Weld, and Hal Ashby, among others — and the author’s own family history. Through this constellation of Hollywood figures, he unearths a fascinating alternate history of the city that raised him and explores the ways in which curtailed ambition, insufficiency, and loss shape all our lives.

At once deeply personal and broadly erudite, it is a story of an art form (the movies), a city (Los Angeles), and one person’s attempt to create meaning out of both. Above all, Specktor creates a moving search for optimism alongside the inevitability of failure and reveals the still-resonant power of art to help us navigate the beautiful ruins that await us all.

Matthew Specktor’s Always Crashing in the Same Car is due to be published by Tin House in North America and in the UK, on July 27th, 2021.

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