Upcoming: THE LAST WATCH by J.S. Dewes (Tor Books)

DewesJS-D1-LastWatchUSFirst spotted this when the cover was revealed earlier this week. Then I did some digging, and think The Last Watch by J.S. Dewes sounds rather interesting. The first novel in the Divide series, it’s pitched as a space adventure that is like “The Expanse meets Game of Thrones“, I’m looking forward to giving it a try:

The Divide.

It’s the edge of the universe.

Now it’s collapsing — and taking everyone and everything with it.

The only ones who can stop it are the Sentinels — the recruits, exiles, and court-martialed dregs of the military.

At the Divide, Adequin Rake, commanding the Argus, has no resources, no comms — nothing, except for the soldiers that no one wanted.

They’re humanity’s last chance.

J.S. Dewes’s The Last Watch is due to be published by Tor Books in North America and in the UK, on April 20th, 2021.

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Interview with MARIE BRENNAN

BrennanM-AuthorPicWelcome back to CR! It’s been a little while, so let’s start with an introduction for new readers: Who is Marie Brennan?

Well, at one point I wound up calling myself “an anthropological compost heap from which stories sprout,” which might be as good a description of my writing as any. I’m a fantasy novelist and short story writer (and occasional game writer, too), with an academic background in anthropology, archaeology, and folklore, which leaves its fingerprints all over my work.

Your new novel, Driftwood, will be published soon by Tachyon. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

The tagline is “where worlds go to die,” but that sounds a little grim, doesn’t it? Driftwood is a setting composed of the fragments of broken worlds, brought together by some unknown force. Driftwood the novel is a fix-up of short stories previously written in that setting, with a new novelette and a frame story to link all the pieces together. If you feel like there might be a thematic connection between the setting and the form of the novel, well, you’re not wrong! Continue reading

Interview with K.A. DOORE

DooreKA-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is K.A. Doore?

Three gators in a plaid twirly dress. With pockets, of course.

Aside from that – and a ton of moisturizer – I’m a mom, a runner, a reader, a weightlifter, an eLearning designer, a random facts generator, a coffee aficionado, an occasionally comforting voice from the Void, an erstwhile Classicist, a spider wrangler, and – yes, of course – a writer.

I also yell about queer books on Twitter. A lot. God, I love queer books.

The third novel in your Chronicles of Ghadid series, The Unconquered City is due to be published by Tor Books in June. How would you introduce the series to a potential reader? And what can fans of the series expect from the new novel?

The Chronicles of Ghadid are three books of non-stop queer assassins saving the day. It begins with quiet and bookish Amastan trying to solve a hometown murder and ends with an invasion of a country and the end of the world (as we know it). Continue reading

Upcoming: THE ECHO WIFE by Sarah Gailey (Tor Books)

GaileyS-EchoWifeUSSarah Gailey is already well-known for their interesting genre-mash-ups: the weird-west novellas published by Tor.com (the American Hippo duology and Upright Women Wanted), and the urban fantasy-noir-mystery novel Magic for Liars. Populated with interesting and engaging characters, intriguing twists on genre staples, and well-written, I’ve enjoyed everything of theirs that I’ve read so far (although, I’ve fallen a bit behind on my reviews…).

In February, Tor Books is due to publish the author’s next genre-straddling novel, The Echo Wife. This novel, which is pitched as “perfect for fans of Big Little Lies and Killing Eve” has a little bit of sci-fi thrown in as well, and I think it sounds fascinating:

Evelyn Caldwell’s husband Nathan has been having an affair — with Evelyn Caldwell.

Or, to be exact, with Martine, a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn’s own award-winning research.

But that wasn’t even the worst part.

When they said all happy families are alike, I don’t think this is what they meant…

Really looking forward to reading this! The Echo Wife is due to be published by Tor Books in North America and in the UK, on February 16th, 2021.

Also on CR: Interview with Sarah Gailey (2017); Review of River of Teeth

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Quick Review: BY FORCE ALONE by Lavie Tidhar (Tor Books/Head of Zeus)

Tidhar-ByForceAloneUSThe Shites of the Round Table…?

A retelling of Arthurian myth for the age of Brexit and Trump…

Everyone thinks they know the story of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table.

The fact is they don’t know sh*t.

Arthur? An over-promoted gangster.
Merlin? An eldritch parasite.
Excalibur? A shady deal with a watery arms dealer.
Britain? A clogged sewer that Rome abandoned just as soon as it could.

A savage and cutting epic fantasy, equally poetic and profane, By Force Alone is at once a timely political satire, a magical adventure, and a subversive masterwork.

Lavie Tidhar is one of the most interesting storytellers writing today. Never shy of tackling sensitive topics and subjects (Hitler and Osama bin Laden to name but two recent-ish subjects), in By Force Alone he turns his attention to the Arthurian myth — in many ways, the closest the United Kingdom has to a founding mythology. This is not the Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere, and Lancelot you may know from other popular interpretations: This is an entirely new beast. It is a grim, grubby version of Camelot and post-Roman Britain. It is also very funny, engaging, and gritty. I really enjoyed this. Continue reading

Interview with S.A. HUNT

HuntSA-AuthorPic (Kate Pierce)Let’s start with an introduction: Who is S.A. Hunt?

S.A. Hunt is… a hillbilly, a witch, a soldier, a wanderer, a rock chick, a gunslinger, a lover, a dreamer, a doer…

… Good God, that all sounds pretentious, doesn’t it? But I feel like at this point I’ve earned the right to editorialize my life a little bit. I’m Samara Hunt, but my friends call me Salem. I’m a horror author living on the shores of Lake Michigan, a transplant from the Appalachian hills of Georgia. I love dogs and bicycles. I’m 80% Irish, 10% coffee, and 10% nightmares.

Your next novel, the brilliantly-titled I Come With Knives, is due to be published by Tor Books in May. The sequel to Burn the Dark, it looks really cool. How would you introduce it to a potential reader? And what can fans of the first novel expect from the sequel?

If you liked where things were going in Burn the Dark, the story continues in I Come With Knives, and everything gets turned up to eleven. I can’t wait for y’all to read the vineyard scene and the new, expanded ending. There’s at least two car accidents, dismemberment, and lots of running from cat-possessed people. Continue reading

Upcoming: TROUBLE THE SAINTS by Alaya Dawn Johnson (Tor)

JohnsonAD-TroubleTheSaintsUSThe cover and synopsis for Alaya Dawn Johnson‘s upcoming new novel, Trouble the Saints were met with quite a bit of excitement and anticipation. That cover is certainly gorgeous and is bound to grab attention. I was reminded of it when it appeared on NetGalley earlier today. A cover isn’t everything, of course, and so if you do happen to pick it up, spot the great blurb from N.K. Jemisin, and read the back cover copy, I think your interest will be cemented (mine certainly was):

Amid the whir of city life, a young woman from Harlem is drawn into the glittering underworld of Manhattan, where she’s hired to use her knives to strike fear among its most dangerous denizens.

Ten years later, Phyllis LeBlanc has given up everything — not just her own past, and Dev, the man she loved, but even her own dreams.

Still, the ghosts from her past are always by her side — and history has appeared on her doorstep to threaten the people she keeps in her heart. And so Phyllis will have to make a harrowing choice, before it’s too late — is there ever enough blood in the world to wash clean generations of injustice?

Trouble the Saints is a dazzling, daring novel — a magical love story, a compelling exposure of racial fault lines — and an altogether brilliant and deeply American saga.

Described as “The dangerous magic of The Night Circus meets the powerful historical exploration of The Underground Railroad” the “unsettling” novel is “set against the darkly glamorous backdrop of New York City, where an assassin falls in love and tries to fight her fate at the dawn of World War II.” I think this sounds fantastic, and I can’t wait to read it.

Trouble the Saints is due to be published by Tor Books in North America and in the UK, on June 2nd, 2020.

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Quick Q&A with JENN LYONS

LyonsJ-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Jenn Lyons?

I’m a writer, artist, and gaming nerd with a love of all manner of esoteric fields. I have previously worked as a video game producer and as a graphic designer.

Your debut novel, The Ruin of Kings, will soon be published in paperback by Tor Books. How would you introduce the series to a potential reader?

It would tell a reader that this was my chance to twist the “Chosen One” trope, because what if you were “chosen” to be something actively terrible? And also: there’s a volcanic dragon and a kraken. Continue reading

Upcoming: BLOOD OF AN EXILE by Brian Naslund (Tor)

NaslundB-DoT1-BloodOfAnExile

Blood of an Exile by Brian Naslund is one of the debut fantasy novels I’ve been most looking forward to. The first in the Dragons of Terra series, it has been described as “a fast-paced adventure perfect for comic readers and fans of heroic fantasy”. The novel is due to be published in August by Tor Books in North America (6th) and in the UK (8th).

Bershad was supposed to die…

When he was caught trying to assassinate a fellow noble, Flawless Bershad was given a death sentence. Fight monsters so that he would die serving the kingdom. But Bershad can’t die.

He’s never lost a fight, the most successful dragon slayer in history but marked as a doomed man, Bershad stands apart from the world. But that is about to change.

The man who sentenced Bershad to his fate has just given him an out. Kill a king and walk free forever. But Bershad could care less about the fates of kings and kingdoms, until, that is, he discovers he is the only person able to save an innocent child and, possibly, the life of every creature in Terra.

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Upcoming: FATE OF THE FALLEN by Kel Kade (Tor Books)

KadeK-1-FateOfTheFallenUSKel Kade‘s upcoming Fate of the Fallen is one of the many upcoming Tor Books releases that are on my Most Anticipated list. The novel has been generating some enthusiastic buzz already, even though it’s not due to be published until November. The first in the Shroud of Prophecy series, here’s the synopsis:

Not all stories have happy endings.

Everyone loves Mathias. Naturally, when he discovers it’s his destiny to save the world, he dives in head first, pulling his best friend Aaslo along for the ride.

However, saving the world isn’t as easy, or exciting, as it sounds in the stories. The going gets rough and folks start to believe their best chance for survival is to surrender to the forces of evil, which isn’t how the prophecy goes. At all. As the list of allies grows thin, and the friends find themselves staring death in the face they must decide how to become the heroes they were destined to be or, failing that, how to survive.

Kel Kade’s Fate of the Fallen is due to be published by Tor Books in North America (it’ll be available in the UK, too).

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