Interview with MARK DE JAGER

deJagerM-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Mark de Jager?

He’s a long time fantasy fanboy who wishes he had more time to play games and spends his downtime re-reading dog eared paperbacks. The constraints of reality mean I work full time in the City and write whenever I can around that.

Your debut novel, Infernal, will be published in August by Del Rey UK. It looks rather interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

Thanks. I did try come up with the classic ‘elevator pitch’ for Infernal; I always liked ‘It’s Jason Bourne meets Lord of the Rings, except Jason Bourne is the Balrog’. Of course, that only works if the person I’m talking to knows the references!

If not, I’d say its a character driven fantasy thriller following the story of a demon with a fractured mind who’s only certain of one thing: that he’s being hunted. Continue reading

New Books (March)

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Featuring: Daniel Abraham, Jason Arnopp, Stephen Aryan, Madeline Ashby, Adrian Barnes, Terry Brooks, Steve Cavanagh, Catherine Cerveny, Curtis C. Chen, Jennifer Close, Brenda Cooper, John DeCure, Christopher Fowler, Neil Gaiman, Deena Goldstone, Jack Grimwood, Aidan Harte, Nathan Hill, L.S. Hilton, Roger Hobbs, Trevor Hoyle, Richard A. Knaak, Spencer Kope, Giles Kristian, Robert Kroese, Jason LaPier, Glenda Larke, James Lovegrove, Drew Magary, Gail Z. Martin, Malka Older, Melissa F. Olson, Stephanie Saulter, Jon Skovron, Sam Sykes, Laura van Den Berg, Dan Vyleta, David Wingrove, Ben H. Winters, John Wray

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Continue reading

Upcoming: INFERNAL by Mark de Jager (Del Rey)

deJagerM-InfernalI’m really interested in reading Infernal. Mark de Jager has been a Twitter-acquaintance for quite some time, and this is his debut fantasy novel. I don’t remember exactly when I first heard that it had been acquired by Del Rey UK, but I remember reading the synopsis and thinking, “That sounds pretty great.”

While I’m not wholly keen on the cover (I do like the flame-y sleeve, though), check out the synopsis to see what I mean:

Stratus wakes in an unfamiliar place, with nothing but the knowledge that he is not human, with no memories of his past but possessing great strength, a powerful sorcery and the burning instinct to survive at any cost.

Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, he sets out across a landscape torn apart by the ten year war between the Kingdoms of Krandin and Penullin, now reaching new levels of savagery as a dark magic drives the world to the brink of destruction. 

As his personality grows with each step he slowly uncovers the truth of what he has become and the unquenchable thirst for vengeance that has led him there.

Infernal is due to be published in the UK by Del Rey, on August 11th, 2016. Looking forward to it.

Upcoming: THE DEVIL’S EVIDENCE by Simon Kurt Unsworth (Doubleday/Del Rey UK)

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The Devil’s Detective, Simon Kurt Unsworth‘s debut novel, was a deliciously dark take on Heaven-and-Hell. Specifically, it focused on Fool, one of Hell’s Information Men — what passes for a detective in a place where the most brutal and depraved of crimes is everyday life. I thought it was an excellent, twisted and gripping thriller. This year, Fool returns in the sequel, The Devil’s Evidence. Here’s the synopsis:

Hell is burning out of control. Thomas Fool, Hell’s first Information Man tasked with investigating the endless stream of violence in Hell, has been promoted to the head of the newly expanded Information Office. Now in command of a legion of Information Men, his new position finds him hated by demons and almost revered by humans. He alone has survived the wrath of demon and angel alike, but he stands alone and at the center of a brewing crisis. New on the scene is the Evidence, a shadowy department whose officers do not investigate; they punish and spread fear. And its leader, Mr. Tap, is gunning for Fool.

Fool is ordered to accompany a political delegation to Heaven, and his arrival coincides with an impossible — and sinister — discovery. A dead body. Murder in Heaven. Violence, corruption, and fear are the currency of Hell, and how does one investigate a crime where these concepts are paradoxes? As the bodies pile up, Fool sees disturbing connections between Heaven and Hell. He must follow clues in a strange land where nothing is as it seems and danger can present itself in any form.

What follows is a phantasmagoric, mind-bending thriller as exciting and unsettling as anything in recent fiction. The Devil’s Evidence is an electrifying, provocative novel filled with stunning set pieces and characters who will live on in your deepest nightmares.

The Devil’s Evidence is published on July 5th in the US, by Doubleday; and on October 6th in the UK, by Del Rey. The Devil’s Detective is also published by Doubleday and Del Rey UK, and is out this month in paperback. Here are the covers:

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Excerpt: STARBOUND by Dave Bara (DAW)

BaraD-LC2-StarboundUSDave Bara‘s Starbound is the sequel to the author’s debut science fiction novel, Impulse. The author was one of the many hotly-tipped new science fiction authors of the past 12 months, and the novel seems to have clicked for a good number of SF fans. (There were so many interesting new series and SF novels published this past year.) I’ve not had a chance to read Impulse, yet (I do own it, though), but I’m certainly intrigued in the series. Here’s the synopsis for Starbound:

THE FIRST EMPIRE HAS RETURNED.

THE NEW GALACTIC UNION HANGS IN THE BALANCE…

The Lightship Impulse is gone, sacrificed while defeating First Empire ships the fragile new galactic alliance hoped it would never see again. 

For Peter Cochrane, serving as third officer on the Starbound and tasked with investigating a mysterious space station in a newly re-discovered system, the wounds of battle may have healed, but the battle is far from over.

Due to be published in North America by DAW Books in January 2016, the publisher has sent me this following excerpt to share. Continue reading

New Books (October-November)

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Featuring: Fiona Barton, Robert Jackson Bennett, Lee Bermejo, Mike Brooks, Nick Cole, Steve Coogan, Nate Crowley, David Dalglish, Matthew Dunn, Kate Elliott, Christopher Fowler, Alexander Freed, Teresa Frohock, Christopher Golden, Charlaine Harris, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Mark Hodder, Drew Karpyshyn, Julia Knight, Victor Lavalle, Peter Liney, Peter McLean, Claire North, Megan O’Keefe, Steven Rowley, Jane Smiley, Paul Starkey, Tom Toner, Ian Tregillis

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Excerpt: CHAOS UNLEASHED by Drew Karpyshyn (Del Rey)

KarpyshynD-C3-ChaosUnleashedUKToday, we have an excerpt from Chaos Unleashed, the third volume in Drew Karpyshyn’s Children of the Fire fantasy series. Here’s the synopsis:

The Legacy, a magical barrier protecting humanity from Chaos, has crumbled.

Four unlikely champions, each touched with Chaos magic at birth, are all that can stop the return of Daemron the Slayer. Armed with the Talismans of power the four champions, the Children of Fire, must find the Keystone, a fabled place where, or so it is said, the Legacy can be restored.

But even the noblest heart can be twisted by the tainted magic of Chaos…

Chaos Unleashed is published in the UK by Del Rey tomorrow. The first two volumes in the series — Children of Fire and The Scorched Earth — are also published by Del Rey UK, and available now.

Read on for the excerpt… Continue reading