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UK Books Received- 06/2012  Next Month / Last Month
In order to provide timely reviews, we prefer to receive Advance Reader Copies of books when possible. Send books to Gayle Surrette c/o SFRevu, 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

Corgi

Dragon's Time (The Dragon Books) by Todd McCaffrey (Corgi 07 June 2012 / £7.99) - The latest dynastic collaboration between the late and very much lamented Anne McCaffrey and her son, Todd. Dragon's Time is a sequel to Dragongirl, released last year and is now published in mass market paperback by Bantam Press.

"Although Lorana cured the dragons’ sickness so many died from the disease that there are no longer enough dragons to fight the deadly Thread, and more dragons and their riders die each Threadfall. With their numbers dwindling, Lorana made the decision to fly forward in time in a desperate bid to bring dragons from the future to fight Thread. She knew that jumping so far in time would result in her losing her baby, but without her jump all life on Pern is doomed.

Back at Telgar Weyr Fiona, Kindan and T'mar realise what Lorana has done. They are desperately sad, but two things give them hope. The first is that Fiona is expecting twins, and the second the fact that all the dragonriders are exhausted, a sign that they are Timing it - existing elsewhere in space and time – which gives them hope that Lorana has found a way through time to help them.

Sure enough, led by messages left for them by Lorana, they fly through space to the Dawn Sisters, the ships hanging in space that brought their ancestors to Pern. From there they look down at the beautiful planet and see a previously undiscovered continent – this is where they are Timing it and where they are reunited with Lorana. Now they can increase the number and strength of the dragons before going back to their own time to fight Thread. Although Lorana found she couldn’t break time, she has found a way to cheat it."

Doubleday

Half-Sick Of Shadows by David Logan (Doubleday 10 May 2012 / £14.99) - David Logan's Half-Sick of Shadows was the winner (joint winner, actually, along with Apocalypse Cow but Michael Logan - no relation!) of the inaugural 'Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here Anywhen But Now prize'. As well as the £20,00 prize money, Doubleday (Pratchett's publisher) are now publishing their novels in hardcover. Congratualtions to both Logans!

"On the eve of Granny Hazel's burial in the back garden, a stranger in his time machine visits five year old Edward with an odd request. Edward agrees to be his friend. Sophia, Edward's twin, brings future tragedy upon herself by misunderstanding a promise she makes to their dour father.

While Sophia stays at home, in The Manse, Edward is sent to boarding school where he encounters the strangest child, Alf, whose existence intimates universes of unlimited possibilities.

With its Gothic backdrop of rural - and institutional - isolation, Half Sick of Shadows is a comical tragedy, an evocative tale of childhood wonder, familial dysfunction, theoretical physics, poetry, and how men of vivid imagination get their ideas."

Gollancz

Empire of the Saviours by A J Dalton (Gollancz 17 May 2012 / £14.99) - Gollancz have a deservedly fine reputation for publishing some of the very best talent that can be found anywhere in the fantasy field. Some are home-grown talents - Joe Abercrombie, James Barclay, Elspeth Cooper for example - and some imported, Brandon Sanderson, Pat Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, to name but a few. There are many other names I could include in these lists. The point is, the Gollancz team have a truly great nose for talent when it comes to these areas of genre and so when they pick up a new writer, the chances are good that they will be too.

Take note then of one A.J. Dalton - an author who has actually done quite well on a smaller stage with a self-published trilogy called Necroacer's Gambit that he describes as a 'metaphysical fantasy'. Now Dalton has landed a deal with Gollancz and Empire of Saviors is now available in trade paperback. Congratulations to all!

"In the Empire of the Saviours, the People are forced to live in fortified towns. Their walls are guarded by an army of Heroes, whose task is to keep marauding pagans out as much as it is to keep the People inside. Several times a year, living Saints visit the towns to exact the Saviours' tithe from all those coming of age - a tithe often paid in blood.

When a young boy, Jillan, unleashes pagan magicks in an accident, his whole town turns against him. He goes on the run, but what hope can there be when the Saviours and the entire Empire decide he must be caught?

Jillan is initially hunted by just the soldiers of the Saint of his region, but others soon begin to hear of his increasing power and seek to use him for their own ends. Some want Jillan to join the fight against the Empire, others wish to steal his power for themselves and others still want Jillan to lead them to the Geas, the source of all life and power in the world. There are very few Jillan can trust, except for a ragtag group of outcasts.

His parents threatened, his life in tatters, his beliefs shaken to the core, Jillan must decide which side he is on, and whether to fight or run . . ."

The Legion of Shadow: DestinyQuest Book 1 by Michael J. Ward (Gollancz 17 May 2012 / £16.99) - A curious publishing choice from Gollancz which is both nostaligcally retro and experimentally forward thinking. The Legion of Shadow is the first of Michael J. Ward's Destiny Quest books, a series of role playing fantasy books which place the reader right at the heart of the action. I can certainly remember playing the Fighting Fantasy adventures of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone adventures back in the early 80s and loving them - indeed, they were formative in terms of setting my genre of choice, reading-wise ... but that was a long time a go, before Xbox and Imax and CGI and a million other things that have consigned our innocence to memory.

The press release states that "Ward's debut smashes into the 21st century with a modern edge" and if they can ignite in the modern reader, the self-same sense of wonder I remember experiencing back then, they're sure to be a winner!

"You have no memory of your past.

With only a sword and a backpack to your name, you must discover your destiny in an unfamiliar world full of monsters and magic.

As you guide your hero through this epic adventure, you will be choosing the danger that they face, the monsters that they fight and the treasures that they find. Every decision that you make will have an impact on the story - and, ultimately, the fate of your hero.

With hundreds of special items to discover in each book, you can completely customise your hero. You can choose their weapons, their armour, their special abilities - even the boots on their feet and the cloak on their back! No two heroes will ever be alike, which means your hero will always be unique to you. Welcome to a new world. Welcome to Valeron. Welcome to DestinyQuest."

The Science of Avatar by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz 03 May 2012 / £18.99) - Top drawer Science Fiction author Stephen Baxter explores the science of James Cameron's blockbuster Avatar movie in this cannily titled hard cover release from Gollancz.

"James Cameron's Avatar is the biggest movie of all time. Now the movie's legendary director has leant his support to an exploration of the world of Pandora with bestselling science-fiction author Stephen Baxter. From journeys into deep space to anti-gravity unobtanium, from Pandora's extraordinary flora and fauna to transferring consciousness, Baxter and Cameron reveal that we are often closer to world of Avatar than we might imagine. Stephen Baxter is the master of `what-if?' science fiction. In THE SCIENCE OF AVATAR he's written a book that will appeal to fans of both science-fiction and popular science. THE SCIENCE OF AVATAR will offer fans the unique opportunity to explore the spectacular world of Pandora, from the creator himself. "

Triggers by Robert J. Sawyer (Gollancz 26 April 2012 / £14.99) - The ever industrious and highly prolific Canadian author Robert J. Sawyer is seeing some long deserved top-tier success in the wake is the television serious Flashforward which was based on his 1999 novel of the same name. Here in the UK Gollancz have been publishing Sawyer's latest SF series, the "WWW" trilogy, and now offer up his latest 'high concept, high tech thriller' entitled Triggers.

"The president of the United States is shot in the head by a would-be assassin. Rushed to hospital and barely saved from death, he discovers that he has new memories - memories that are not his own. A scientific experiment has gone awry, and a small group of people now remember each other's lives. And when one of those people's lives involved access to the most secret and dangerous information in the world, everything will change."

Headline

Wintercraft: Legacy by Jenna Burtenshaw (Headline 10 May 2012 / ) - Jenna Burtenshaw's final voilume in her much lauded début Wintercraft series, published by Headline. Legacy is a mass market paperback release, the last in this excellent YA series, described by The Times as 'Hugely fun, and deliciously shivery.'

"The veil which marks the division between life and death is falling. Lost souls are seeping through to roam Albion's graveyard city of Fume.

Kate Winters' recent memory is lost. Relieved to be heading home to Albion, Kate can't shake the feeling that Dalliah Grey, the woman she's supposed to be working for, is not to be trusted.

Disgraced warrior Silas Dane plans to rescue Kate and save Albion from the advancing armies seeking to profit from the confusion. But the veil will not be easy to repair and Silas knows sacrifices have to be made.

Kate must return to the dark secrets detailed by her ancestors in the ancient book of WINTERCRAFT and learn from their mistakes to save herself.

Headline Review

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (Headline Review 07 August 2012 / £14.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: A very interesting looking debut novel due from Headline Review in August. Colorado based award winning non-fiction author, Peter Heller, offers up his first novel The Dog Stars, a post-apocalyptic tale, described as '...similar to Cormac McCarthy's The Road, but with hope'. I hope that means it's got more jokes!

"Hig, bereaved and traumatised after global disaster, has three things to live for - his dog Jasper, his aggressive but helpful neighbour, and his Cessna aeroplane. He's just about surviving, so long as he only takes his beloved plane for short journeys, and saves his remaining fuel.

But, just once, he picks up a message from another pilot, and eventually the temptation to find out who else is still alive becomes irresistible. So he takes his plane over the horizon, knowing that he won't have enough fuel to get back. What follows is scarier and more life-affirming than he could have imagined. And his story, THE DOG STARS, is a book unlike any you have ever read. "

Hodder & Stoughton

Juggernaut by Adam Baker (Hodder & Stoughton 21 June 2012 / £6.99) - The second novel from UK talent Adam Baker, whose debut novel Outpost made a nice splash for Hodder's new genre friendly list when it appeared earlier this year. Baker is making a name for himself as new voice in British horror, and Juggernaut a taut, dark thriller is now published in this mass market edition by Hodder.

"Iraq 2005.

Seven mercenaries journey deep into the desert in search of Saddam's gold. They form an unlikely crew of battle-scarred privateers, killers and thieves, veterans of a dozen war zones, each of them anxious to make one last score before their luck runs out.

They will soon find themselves marooned among ancient ruins, caught in a desperate battle for their lives, confronted by greed, betrayal, and an army that won't stay dead... "

Hodder Paperbacks

Low Town: The Straight Razor Cure: A Low Town Novel (Low Town 1) by Daniel Polansky (Hodder Paperbacks 24 May 2012 / £7.99) - The mass market paperback release of this brilliantly titled and executed début novel by US author Daniel Polansky, The Straight Razor Cure. Published in the US under the alternative title Low Town. I was very impressed with this when it came out last year and so we're running my review of one again! Read it - it's good!

"Here, the criminal is king. The streets are filled with the screeching of fish hags, the cries of swindled merchants, the inviting murmurs of working girls. Here, people can disappear, and the lacklustre efforts of the guard ensure they are never found.

Warden is an ex-soldier who has seen the worst men have to offer; now a narcotics dealer with a rich, bloody past and a way of inviting danger. You'd struggle to find someone with a soul as dark and troubled as his. But then a missing child, murdered and horribly mutilated, is discovered in an alley.

And then another.

With a mind as sharp as a blade and an old but powerful friend in the city, he's the only man with a hope of finding the killer... if the killer doesn't find him first."

Orbit

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit 24 May 2012 / £18.99) - Orbit add another impressive headline name to their roster with the publication of their first book by SF giant Kim Stanley Robinson. Stan's latest is 2312, described as '...a bold vision of humanity's future and compelling portrait of those who will shape its events....'. A suitably solid hard cover release from Orbit, who also publish in the US.

"The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity's only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present and its future.

The first event takes place on Mercury, on the city of Terminator, itself a miracle of engineering on an unprecedented scale. It is an unexpected death, but one that might have been foreseen. For Swan Er Hong, it is an event that will change her life. Swan was once a woman who designed worlds. Now she will be led into a plot to destroy them."

Blackout: The Newsflesh Trilogy: Book 3 by Mira Grant (Orbit 07 June 2012 / £7.99) - I speculated that Mira Grant's Feed might be the surprise hit of summer 2010, having heard such very good things about it on the grapevine. Given that it was soon thereafter short-listed for the 2011 Hugo award, I can smugly say I got that one right! (okay - it didn't win, but I wasn't far off!)

Having published a follow-up novel, Deadline last year Mira Grant - whom you may have encountered in her other guise as the very talented fantasy author Seanan McGuire now offers up the concluding volume in this near future trilogy entitled Blackout, (ironically, the very same title of the Connie Willis novel that pipped her to the Hugo!). Published by Orbit in B format.

"The year was 2014. The year we cured cancer. The year we cured the common cold. And the year the dead started to walk. The year of the Rising.

The year was 2039. The world didn't end when the zombies came, it just got worse. Georgia and Shaun Mason set out on the biggest story of their generation. The uncovered the biggest conspiracy since the Rising and realized that to tell the truth, sacrifices have to be made.

Now, the year is 2041, and the investigation that began with the election of President Ryman is much bigger than anyone had assumed. With too much left to do and not much time left to do it in, the surviving staff of After the End Times must face mad scientists, zombie bears, rogue government agencies-and if there's one thing they know is true in post-zombie America, it's this:

Things can always get worse."

Caliban's War: Book Two of the Expanse series by James S. A. Corey (Orbit 07 June 2012 / £13.99) - Follow up to the very highly acclaimed Leviathan Wakes, the Hugo nominated wide-screen space adventure by psuedonymous author James S.A. Corey, the writing name of the ubiquitous and brilliant Daniel Abraham and realtive newcomer, Ty Franck. Caliban's War is published in a hefty trade paperback fomat by Orbit.

"WE ARE NOT ALONE

On Jupiter's largest moon, a Martian marine watches as her platoon is slaughtered by a monstrous supersoldier. On Earth, a high-level politician struggles to prevent interplanetary war from reigniting. And on Venus, an alien protomolecule has overrun the planet, wreaking massive, mysterious changes and threatening to spread out into the solar system.

In the vast wilderness of space, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante have been keeping the peace for the Outer Planets Alliance. When they agree to help a scientist search war-torn Ganymede for a missing child, the future of humanity rests on whether a single ship can prevent an alien invasion that may have already begun..."

Cursed: An Alex Verus Novel by Benedict Jacka (Orbit 07 June 2012 / ) - Product Description:

Existence - Limited Edition 3D Cover by David Brin (Orbit 21 June 2012 / £13.99) - Orbit are wheeling out their big guns in he battle for our reading choices this summer. Alongside the new novel from Kim Stanley Robinson (see above), they also release the first novel in a decade from multi-award winning, marquee name author David Brin, best known for his Uplift series and also The Postman - which was made into a movie by Kevin Costner.

Brin returns to the market with Existence, a signature science fiction thriller which one hopes will return him to prominance. I will add that this impressive and eye-catching trade paperback release is very cool looking, with a lenticular 3D panel.

"Our continued existence was never a given.

We've always wanted to know our destiny. But when the end seems in sight, how will the world react?

An alien artefact plucked from Earth's orbit throws the world into chaos with both warning and a promise. For the prophet who dreams of new world order, survival means putting an end to democracy. For the movie mogul with a talent for spinning facts, the public doesn't know what's best for them. And for the reporter determined to discover the truth, the world needs to know what's at stake.

All are determined to hold off Armageddon.

All will play their part in what's to come."

The Killing Moon: Dreamblood: Book 1 by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit 03 May 2012 / £7.99) - With her fantastic debut series The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K Jemisin arrived on the scene in a hail of award nominations and critical acclaim, all of it thoroughly deserved. Such early and instant success can be daunting for an author, but Jemisin clearly has a lot more to come. Orbit now publish the first title of a new duology - The Killing Moon is released in paperback original and will be followed next month by The Shadowed Sun - see below.

"In the desert city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Along its ancient stone streets, there is no crime or violence. Priests of the dream-goddess, known as Gatherers, maintain order: harvesting the dreams of the citizens, healing the injured, and guiding the dreamers into the afterlife...

When Ehiru-the most famous of the city's Gatherers-is sent to harvest the dreams of a diplomatic envoy, he finds himself drawn into a conspiracy that threatens to drag the dreaming city into war."

The King's Blood: Book Two of The Dagger and the Coin by Daniel Abraham (Orbit 03 May 2012 / ) - Daniel Abraham has been around a for a while now, carving out an impressive career with the much applauded Long Price Quartet which Orbit published in two volumes a while back. It's clear he has yet to receive the recognition he deserves - but that would appear to be changing with his epic fantasy series entitled The Dagger and the Coin, the second title of which, The King's Blood Orbit have just released in trade paperback.

It's worth mentioning here also that Abraham's collaboration with writing partner Ty Frank, Leviathan Wakes, written under the name James S.A Corey was extremely well received by readers, as evidenced by its presence on a number of high profile awards shortlists, including this year's Hugo and LOCUS Awards.

It's a good year, it seems, to get into Daniel Abraham's work.

"War casts its shadow over the lands that the dragons once ruled. Only the courage of a young woman with the mind of a gambler and loyalty to no one stands between hope and universal darkness.

The high and powerful will fall, the despised and broken shall rise up and everything will be remade.

And an old, broken-hearted warrior and an apostate priest will begin a terrible journey with an impossible goal: destroy a Goddess before she eats the world."

The Outcast Blade: Act Two of the Assassini by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Orbit 03 May 2012 / £12.99) - Jon Courtenay Grimwood moved to Orbit with his stylish historical vampire fantasy, The Fallen Blade, the first "act" of The Assassini and something of a departure from the rather cerebral and eclectic genre thrillers he was producing as a Gollancz writer. This move to a more perceptibly commercial imprint resulted in a perceptibly more commercial novel, with The Fallen Blade drawing out something sharper and darker from this highly talented author. Orbit now publish the follow up, The Outcast Blade.

"As the Byzantine and German emperors plot war against each other, Venice's future rests in the hands of three unwilling people:

The newly knighted Sir Tycho. An ex-slave and trained assassin who defeated the Mamluk navy but cannot make the woman he loves love him back. Tortured by secrets, afraid of the daylight, he sees no reason to save a city he hates.

The grieving Lady Giulietta. Impossibly rich, deeply spoilt. A virgin, a mother, a widow . . . Both emperors want her hand for their sons in marriage. All she wants is to retire from the poisonous world of the Venetian court to mourn her husband in peace.

And finally a naked, mud-strewn girl who crawls from a paupers' grave on an island in the Venetian lagoon and begins by killing the men who buried her."

The Shadowed Sun: Dreamblood: Book 2 by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit 07 June 2012 / £7.99) - The second of acclaimed author N.K. Jemisin's Dreamblood novels, The Shadowed Sun is published in early June by Orbit, so if you liked the first (see above), which has been out only a matter of weeks, you can snap up this second volume straight away.

"Gujaareh, the city of dreams, suffers under the rule of the Kisuati Protectorate. A city once peaceful now knows only violence and oppression. And nightmares: a mysterious plague haunts the citizens of Gujaareh, dooming the infected to die screaming in their sleep. Trapped between dark dreams and cruel overlords, the people yearn to rise up - but Gujaareh has known peace for too long. Someone must show them the way.

Hope lies with two outcasts: the first woman ever allowed to join the dream goddess's priesthood, and an exiled prince who longs to reclaim his birthright. Together, they must resist the Kisuati occupation and uncover the source of the killing dreams . . . before Gujaareh is lost forever."

Pyr

A Guile of Dragons (Tournament of Shadows) by James Enge (Pyr 24 August 2012 / £16.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: Pyr has a knack of producing great quality, highly commercial fantasy. One of their best discoveries in recent years is James Enge, whose first novel Blood of Ambrose was nominated for this year's World Fantasy Awards. Follow up This Crooked Way was also very well received by reviewers. This new title A Guile of Dragons tells of the origins of Enge's signatuire character, the enchanter, Morlock Ambrosius and is a trade paperback release due this coming August.

"Before history began, the dwarves of Thrymhaiam fought against the dragons as the Longest War raged in the deep roads beneath the Northhold. Now the dragons have returned, allied with the dead kings of Cor and backed by the masked gods of Fate and Chaos.

The dwarves are cut off from the Graith of Guardians in the south. Their defenders are taken prisoner or corrupted by dragonspells. The weight of guarding the Northhold now rests on the crooked shoulders of a traitor's son, Morlock syr Theorn (also called Ambrosius).

But his wounded mind has learned a dark secret in the hidden ways under the mountains. Regin and Fafnir were brothers, and the Longest War can never be over. . . ."

Cuttlefish by David Freer (Pyr 24 July 2012 / £16.95) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: A new title from Pyr, whose Young Adult line is shaping up very nicely indeed. Cuttlefish is the latest addition, an involving adventure by Dave Freer, perhaps best known for his many collaborations with Eric Flint. Due next month

The smallest thing can change the path of history.

The year is 1976, and the British Empire still spans the globe. Coal drives the world, and the smog of it hangs thick over the canals of London.

Clara Calland is on the run. Hunted, along with her scientist mother, by Menshevik spies and Imperial soldiers, they flee Ireland for London. They must escape airships, treachery, and capture. Under flooded London's canals, they join the rebels who live in the dank tunnels there.

Tim Barnabas is one of the underpeople, born to the secret town of drowned London, place of anti-imperialist republicans and Irish rebels, part of the Liberty—the people who would see a return to older values and free elections. Seeing no farther than his next meal, Tim has hired on as a submariner on the Cuttlefish, a coal-fired submarine that runs smuggled cargoes beneath the steamship patrols, to the fortress America and beyond.

When the Imperial soldiery comes ravening, Clara and her mother are forced to flee aboard the Cuttlefish. Hunted like beasts, the submarine and her crew must undertake a desperate voyage across the world, from the Faeroes to the Caribbean and finally across the Pacific to find safety. But only Clara and Tim Barnabas can steer them past treachery and disaster, to freedom in Westralia. Carried with them—a lost scientific secret that threatens the very heart of Imperial power."

Lance of Earth and Sky (Chaos Knight) by Erin Hoffman (Pyr 01 August 2012 / £16.99) - Erin Hoffmans's Sword of Fire and Sea, the first book is a series entitled The Chaos Knight - is now followed by book two, Lance of Earth and Sky. A Pyr trade paperback.

"Vidarian Rulorat, a captain without a ship, faces the con­­sequences of opening the gate between worlds. Elemental magic is awakening across the planet after centuries of dormancy, bringing with it magically powered wonders including flying ships and ancient automata. After decades of peace, empires leap into war over long-disputed territory as their technologies shift—and on top of it all, Ariadel, Vidarian's one great love, isn't speaking to him. Called into service by the desperate young emperor of Alorea, Vidarian must lead skyships in a war against the neighboring southern empire, train the demoralized imperial Sky Knights to ride beasts that now shapeshift, master his own amplified elemental magic, and win back Ariadel—all without losing his mind.

Compounding his task is a political minefield laid by the Alorean Import Company, which may or may not be fomenting war across the world, and a shapeshifter that bonds to Vidarian during his early attempts to subdue the rogue birdlike seridi. And, as always, the Starhunter, goddess of chaos, is never far from Vidarian's heels, inexorably guiding him toward her own concern: the lance of earth and sky."

Strange Chemistry

Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings (Strange Chemistry 04 October 2012 / £7.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: One of the launch titles for the new Angry Robot YA imprint - Strange Chemistry. Poltergeeks is the new novel by Candian author Sean Cummings, the first of at least two books set against this back drop and will be published this coming October.

"15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it’s pretty obvious to Julie there’s a supernatural connection.

In fact, there’s a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie’s high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it’s a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won’t just lose her mother’s soul, she’ll lose her mother’s life"

The Assassins Curse (Strange Chemistry) by Cassandra Rose Clarke (Strange Chemistry 04 October 2012 / £7.99) - Unxcorrected Proof Copy: A debut novel from Clarion graduate Cassandra Rose Clarke due from Strange Chemistry in October.

"Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. And when Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn’t really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together. To break the curse, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks—all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic, and the growing romantic tension between them."

Titan Books

Eden Moore - Wings to the Kingdom by Cherie Priest (Titan Books 25 May 2012 / £7.99) - Titan have an excellent eye for quality commercial fiction. They recently added Cherie Priest to their growing stable of impressive genre names - an author who made a huge, huge splash with her award winning novel Boneshaker a couple of years ago.

Wings to the Kingdom is a second Eden Moore story and the follow up to Four and Twenty Blackbirds.

"At the Civil War battlefield at Chickamauga, Georgia, there have long been tales of sighting Old Green Eyes, said to be the guardian of the battle's dead, and now there's a new wrinkle. To wit, sightings of ghosts pointing frustratedly across the battlefield. The spirits need someone who can speak to them, and for them. Eden Moore is not interested. But the ghosts aren't taking no for an answer."

The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier--Invincible (Lost Fleet Beyond/Frontier 2) by Jack Campbell (Titan Books 25 May 2012 / £7.99) - They took a while to arrive on these shores, but having become best sellers over in the US, Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet books have been very visible in stores and selling well for UK publisher Titan.

This first class military SF series has concluded with the recent release of Victorious, but fear not, for Captain John 'Black Jack' Geary is back in a new series of books, the first of which was Lost Fleet - Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught, and which is now followed up with this release of Lost Fleet - Beyond the Frontier: Invincible. Published in the UK as a paperback original from Titan.

"Admiral John "Black Jack" Geary earned his rank after being revived from cryogenic sleep to lead the Alliance to victory against the Syndicate Worlds. But his superiors question his loyalty to the regime. Now in command of the First Fleet, Geary is tasked with exploring the frontier beyond Syndic space, a mission he fears deliberately puts the fleet--and himself--in harm's way.

An encounter with the alien Enigmas confirms Gear'y fears. Attacked without warning, he orders the fleet to jump star systems--only to enter the crosshairs of another hostile alien armada. Ignoring all of the First Fleet's attempts to communicate peaceful intentions, this system's species send their ships into battle on suicde runs, while guarding the exiting jump point with a fortress of incalculable power.

Now, with a faction of his officers determined to eliminate this new threat despite the cost, Geary must figure out how to breech the enemy's defenses so the fleet can reach the jump point without massive casualties--and knowing that the Enigmas are most likely waiting on the other side..."

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