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US Books Received- 07/2014  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 / Editor c/o SFRevu 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

Ace

Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels) by Ilona Andrews (Ace 29 July 2014 / $25.95) - Product Description: No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there's trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it.

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate's connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe--especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland's long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she'll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear.
Includes the bonus Kate Daniels story Magic Tests. (Source: Ace)

Tower Lord (A Raven's Shadow Novel) by Anthony Ryan (Ace 01 July 2014 / $28.95) - Product Description: In Blood Song, Anthony Ryan introduced readers to "a fascinating world of conflicting religions and the wars fought in the name of those faiths" (Library Journal). Now Ryan's epic tale continues as Vaelin Al Sorna discovers that there is no escape from the call of destiny.

Vaelin Al Sorna, warrior of the Sixth Order, called Darkblade, called Hope Killer. The greatest warrior of his day, and witness to the greatest defeat of his nation: King Janus's vision of a Greater Unified Realm drowned in the blood of brave men fighting for a cause Vaelin alone knows was forged from a lie. Sick at heart, he comes home, determined to kill no more. Named Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches by King Janus's grateful heir, he can perhaps find peace in a colder, more remote land far from the intrigues of a troubled Realm.

But those gifted with the blood-song are never destined to live a quiet life. Many died in King Janus's wars, but many survived, and Vaelin is a target, not just for those seeking revenge but for those who know what he can do. The Faith has been sundered, and many have no doubt who their leader should be. The new King is weak, but his sister is strong. The blood-song is powerful, rich in warning and guidance in times of trouble, but is only a fraction of the power available to others who understand more of its mysteries. Something moves against the Realm, something that commands mighty forces, and Vaelin will find to his great regret that when faced with annihilation, even the most reluctant hand must eventually draw a sword. (Source: Ace)

Angry Robot

The Buried Life by Carrie Patel (Angry Robot 29 July 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: The gaslight and shadows of the underground city of Recoletta hide secrets and lies. When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a renowned historian, she finds herself stonewalled by the all-powerful Directorate of Preservation – Recoletta's top-secret historical research facility.

When a second high-profile murder threatens the very fabric of city society, Malone and her rookie partner Rafe Sundar must tread carefully, lest they fall victim to not only the criminals they seek, but the government which purports to protect them. Knowledge is power, and power must be preserved at all costs. (Source: Angry Robot)

Avon

The Winter King by C.L. Wilson (Avon 29 July 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: After three long years of war, starkly handsome Wynter Atrialan will have his vengeance on Summerlea's king by taking one of the man's beautiful, beloved daughters as his bride. But though peace is finally at hand, Wynter's battle with the Ice Heart, the dread power he embraced to avenge his brother's death, rages on.

Khamsin Coruscate, Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms, has spent her life exiled to the shadows of her father's palace. Reviled by her father, marriage to Wintercraig's icy king was supposed to be a terrible punishment, but instead offers Kham her first taste of freedom--and her first taste of overwhelming passion.

As fierce, indomitable Wynter weathers even Khamsin's wildest storms, surprising her with a tenderness she never expected, Kham wants more than Wynter's passion--she yearns for his love. But the power of the Ice Heart is growing, dangerous forces are gathering, and a devastating betrayal puts Khamsin and Wynter to the ultimate test. (Source: Avon)

Baen

Death of Sleep by Anne McCaffrey and Jody Lynn Nye (Baen 29 July 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: The reissue a classic tale from international best-selling author Anne McCaffrey and Jody Lynn Nye. All new cover art.

Like every other citizen of the Federation of Sentient Planets, Lunzie Mespil believed that no harm would come to her, but when the planet pirates attack the space liner on which she is a passenger, she might have to suffer more than just inconvenience. (Source: Baen)

Eight Million Gods by Wen Spencer (Baen 29 July 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: A new urban fantasy saga by the creator of the popular Tinker contemporary fantasy/SF series. A young American expat writer in Japan suffering from OCD tries to figure out if she's crazy or not while solving a murder that may be part of a war among Japanese deities.

One Saturday afternoon, Nikki Delany thought, "George Wilson, in the kitchen, with a blender." By dinner, she had killed George and posted his gory murder to her blog. The next day, she put on her mourning clothes and went out to meet her best friend for lunch to discuss finding a replacement for her love interest.

Nikki is a horror novelist.  Her choice of career is dictated by an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that forces her to write stories of death and destruction.  She can't control it, doesn't understand it, but can use it to make money anywhere in the world. Currently "anywhere" is in Japan, hiding from her mother who sees Nikki's OCD as proof she's mentally unstable.  Nikki's fragile peace starts to fall apart when the police arrest her for the murder of an American expatriate. Someone killed him with a blender.

Reality starts to unravel around Nikki. She's attacked by a raccoon in a business suit.  After a series of blackouts, she's accompanied by a boy that no one else can see, a boy who claims to be a god. Is she really being pursued by Japanese myths—or is she simply going insane?

What Nikki does know for sure is that the bodies are piling up, her mother has arrived in Japan to lock her up for the rest of her life, she's written herself into her new book—and her novels always end with everyone dead. (Source: Baen)

Ghosts of Time by Steve White (Baen 01 July 2014 / $15.00) - Product Description: Book #4 of the Jason Thanou Time Travel series. Jason and his team travel to the latter days of the American Civil War to combat a transhumanist threat. Sequel to Pirates of the Timestream.

Special operations officer Jason Thanou of the Temporal Regulatory Authority must once again plunge into Earth's blood-drenched past to combat the plots of the Transhumanist underground to subvert that past and create a secret history leading up to the fulfillment of their mad dream of transforming humanity into a race of gods and monsters.

The transhumanists are attempting to use the chaos of the American Civil War to escape the Observer Effect: the immutable law that recorded history cannot be changed. If any should attempt it, time has a way of dealing with those transgressors in a very brutal, very final fashion. Now it is the last days of the Confederacy, and the Fall of Richmond looms.  In the Shenandoah Valley, in the region later known as Mosby's Confederacy, insurgency brews, and the time travelers must join the raiders to prevent a transhumanist trap from dooming the mission from the start.

Yet human freedom is ultimately on the line in both the past and the future, and the leader of a secret slave underground fighting for liberty possesses an incredible secret that may change Jason's fate--and that of the future itself--forever. (Source: Baen)

Hope Renewed (The General) by David Drake and S.M. Stirling (Baen 01 July 2014 / $14.00) - Product Description: The Empire of Man has fallen and a new Dark Age is upon the stars. With planets cut off and reduced to subsistence and ignorance, humanity has nearly forgotten its past greatness. But one battle computer has survived the Collapse. He is Center. And Center is determined to find and aid leaders who can return a star-faring republic to the galaxy. The first of these leaders is Raj Whitehall, a man born to be a general, and molded to retake civilization itself from the jaws of barbarism.

The Sword: For five years Raj Whitehall has led his men across the face of the planet Bellevue. With saber and bayonet he has conquered one barbarian nation after another. Now his greatest enemy is his own overlord, Barholm Clerett, who's so paranoid of Raj's victories that he is reduced to only one thought: Raj Whitehall must die.

The Chosen: Planted by interstellar probes on hundreds of human-occupied worlds, the downloaded personalities of Raj Whitehall and the ancient battle computer known as Center work together for planetary unity. On Visager, a nation-state of vicious militarists is about to start the final war that will bring their fatal racist infection to the stars. Now two young men once at odds in war must unite and, with the aid of the disembodied voices of their mentors from the stars, stand against exporting eternal tyranny to the galaxy itself. (see review)

Monster Hunter Nemesis by Larry Correia (Baen 01 July 2014 / $25.00) - Product Description: #5 in Larry Correia's Monster Hunter series. Agent Franks of the U.S. Monster Control Bureau is a man of many parts--parts from other people, that is. Franks is nearly seven feet tall and all muscle. He's nearly indestructible. Plus he's animated by a powerful alchemical substance and inhabited by a super-intelligent spirit more ancient than humanity itself. Good thing he's on our side. More or less.

Sworn to serve and protect the United States of America from all monsters by one of the country's founding fathers, Franks has only one condition to the agreement: no matter what the government learns of him, no matter what is discovered concerning his odd physiology or the alchemy behind the elixir that made him, the government is never, ever allowed to try and make more like him. Such is absolutely forbidden and should the powers-that-be do so, then the agreement is null and void.

Project Nemesis: in a secret location, using sophisticated technology and advanced genetic engineering, the director of the very agency Franks works for is making more like him. And the director is not content with making one. Nope, he's making thirteen.

Now all bets are off, and Hell hath no fury like a monster betrayed. Particularly if that monster happens to be an undying killing machine capable of taking out vampires and werewolves with one hand tied behind his back. (see review)

The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters) by Mercedes Lackey (Baen 01 July 2014 / $15.00) - Product Description: Beauty Meets Beast in San Francisco. Accepting employment as a governess after hard times hit her family, medieval scholar Rosalind Hawkins is surprised when she learns that her mysterious employer has no children, no wife, and she is not to meet with him face to face. Instead, her duties are to read to him, through a speaking tube, from ancient manuscripts in obscure, nearly forgotten dialects.

A requirement for the job was skill in translating medieval French, and she now understands the reason for that requirement, and assumes her unseen employer's interest in the descriptions of medieval spells and sorcery is that of an eccentric antiquary. What she does not realize is that his interest is anything but academic. He has a terrible secret and is desperately searching for something that can reverse the effects of the misfired spell which created his predicament. (Source: Baen)

The Rods and the Axe (Carerra) by Tom Kratman (Baen 01 July 2014 / $25.00) - Product Description: Books #6 in the popular Carrera military science fiction series.

Tarawa. Iwo. Normandy. Names that shine in the military history of two worlds, places where brave men stormed ashore and fought their way to victory no matter the odds. But then there are other names: Marathon. Malta. Gallipoli.

Balboa's Patricio Carrera has driven the Tauran Union from his adopted country, driven them out with appalling loss and worse humiliation. That's not enough though.  To finally finish his enemies, Carrera needs to draw them back for a more telling defeat. He cannot take the battle to them because, beyond some long range bombardment capability, he cannot reach them. But when they return, they don't plan to come alone; they insist on having someone else do most of the bleeding for them.

Carrera understands this. And that's why he's provoked the Zhong Guo mercilessly, infuriating their ruling Empress.  He needs the Zhong in the war, to buck up the Taurans to continue the war to its bitterest end. But to get to Carrera, the Zhong must take the Isla Real, the strongest island fortress on two worlds. In the process, they'll learn why Marines never forget those other names.

Carrera's enemies are about to learn why the expression "blood-stained water" is not just a literary allusion. (Source: Baen)

Wolf in Shadow by John Lambshead (Baen 29 July 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Contemporary fantasy adventure.  An ordinary young woman finds a dangerous world of demons and shapeshifters on the streets of modern day London--and gets tangled up with the government organization that fights them.

Rhian, a girl from the Welsh valleys on the run from tragedy and herself, finds a new home in the modern East End of London, where the world's largest financial center spins a web of money and power from glistening towers of chrome and glass. Beneath the modern façade lurks the old East End where the layers of two thousand years of dramatic and violent history slide over one another like glaciers, spilling out in avalanches that warp the real world.

As bodies begin to litter the East End streets, The Commission dispatches its best enforcers to deal with the situation: Karla is not human, and Jameson left his humanity behind in pieces in Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. Rhian makes new friends, dangerous friends; and where Rhian goes, the wolf is always in her shadow, just a heartbeat away.

Among the bankers and traders of the East End walk demons in human form and who is to say which are the monsters? London is a magical bomb waiting to explode and somewhere a fuse is hissing. (Source: Baen)

DAW

Elisha Magus by E.C. Ambrose (DAW 01 July 2014 / $24.95) - Product Description: Elisha, a barber-surgeon from the poorest streets of benighted fourteenth-century London, has come a long way from home. He was always skilled at his work--but skill alone could not protect him, on the day that disaster left his family ruined and Elisha himself wrongly accused of murder. With no way out, Elisha accepted the offer of Lucius, a haughty physician, to avoid a trial by serving under Lucius as a battle surgeon of the king's army at the front lines of an unjust war.

Elisha worked night and day, both tending to the wounded soldiers and protecting them from the physician's experiments. Even so, he soon found that he had a talent for a surprising and deadly sort of magic, and was drawn into the clandestine world of sorcery by the enchanting young witch Brigit--who had baffling ties to his past, and ambitious plans for his future. But even Brigit did not understand the terrible power Elisha could wield, until the day he was forced to embrace it and end the war...by killing the king.

Now, Elisha has become a wanted man--not only of those who'd hate and fear him, but of those who'd seek to woo his support. Because beneath the politics of court and castle are those of power in its purest form: magic. And the players in that deeper game are stranger and more terrifying than Elisha could ever have imagined.

There are the magi, those who have grasped the secrets of affinity and knowledge to manipulate mind and matter, always working behind the scenes. There are indivisi, thought mad by the rest of the magical world: those so devoted to their subject of study that they have become "indivisible" from it, and whose influence in their realm is wondrous beyond even the dreams of "normal" magi. And then there are--there may be--the necromancers, whose methods, motives, and very existence remain mysterious, except to know that where the rumors of their passing go, death follows. But death follows Elisha, too.

First with his exceptional medical skill, and then with something more, Elisha has always fought against the darkness of his world. Yet as he begins a journey to help rebuild the country he shattered, will he be able to overcome the darkness inside himself? (see review)

Shattering the Ley by Joshua Palmatier (DAW 01 July 2014 / ) - Product Description: Erenthrall--sprawling city of light and magic, whose streets are packed with traders from a dozen lands and whose buildings and towers are grown and shaped in the space of a day.

At the heart of the city is the Nexus, the hub of a magical ley line system that powers Erenthrall. This ley line also links the city and the Baronial plains to rest of the continent and the world beyond. The Prime Wielders control the Nexus with secrecy and lies, but it is the Baron who controls the Wielders. The Baron also controls the rest of the Baronies through a web of brutal intimidation enforced by his bloodthirsty guardsmen and unnatural assasins.

When the rebel Kormanley seek to destroy the ley system and the Baron's chokehold, two people find themselves caught in the chaos that sweeps through Erenthrall and threatens the entire world: Kara Tremain, a young Wielder coming into her power, who discovers the forbidden truth behind the magic that powers the ley lines; and Alan Garrett, a recruit in the Baron's guard, who learns that the city holds more mysteries and more danger than he could possibly have imagined ... and who holds a secret within himself that could mean Erenthrall's destruction -- or its salvation. (see review)

Del Rey

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie (Del Rey 08 July 2014 / $26.00) - Product Description: "I swore an oath to avenge the death of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath."

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

The deceived will become the deceiver. -- Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

The betrayed will become the betrayer. -- Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

Will the usurped become the usurper? -- But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy. (Source: Del Rey)

The High Druid's Blade: The Defenders of Shannara by Terry Brooks (Del Rey 08 July 2014 / $28.00) - Product Description: Legend has it that Paxon Leah is descended from the royals and warriors who once ruled the Highlands and waged war with magical weapons. But those kings, queens, and heroes are long gone, and there is nothing enchanted about the antique sword that hangs above Paxon's fireplace. Running his family's modest shipping business, Paxon leads a quiet life--until extraordinary circumstances overturn his simple world . . . and rewrite his destiny.

When his brash young sister is abducted by a menacing stranger, Paxon races to her rescue with the only weapon he can find. And in a harrowing duel, he is stunned to discover powerful magic unleashed within him--and within his ancestors' ancient blade. But his formidable new ability is dangerous in untrained hands, and Paxon must master it quickly because his nearly fatal clash with the dark sorcerer Arcannen won't be his last. Leaving behind home and hearth, he journeys to the keep of the fabled Druid order to learn the secrets of magic and earn the right to become their sworn protector.

But treachery is afoot deep in the Druids' ranks. And the blackest of sorcery is twisting a helpless innocent into a murderous agent of evil. To halt an insidious plot that threatens not only the Druid order but all the Four Lands, Paxon Leah must summon the profound magic in his blood and the legendary mettle of his elders in the battle fate has chosen him to fight. (see review)

Harper

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (Harper 08 July 2014 / $26.99) - Product Description:

Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother's throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen's Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea's kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.

This book will be a beautifully designed package with illustrated endpapers, a map of the Tearling, and a ribbon marker.

(Source: Harper)

iUniverse

The Darkest Side of Saturn: Odyssey of a Reluctant Prophet of Doom by Tony Taylor (iUniverse 07 July 2014 / $25.95) - Product Description: It’s 1997 at a mountaintop observatory in Southern California where spacecraft navigator Harris Mitchel and astronomer Diana Muse-Jones discover a dangerous asteroid which may hit the earth within two decades. As the asteroid tumbles through space towards an uncertain impact, Harris and Diana fight bitterly over how to announce their discovery.

When Harris goes public to a skeptical world—at the cost of his and Diana’s careers—he sends their already turbulent relationship into a blaze of conflicting passions. As his fame and notoriety builds, a fanatical preacher and his unhinged followers stalk him while an obnoxious radio personality provides disruptive help. Harris becomes an unwilling Pied Piper for his own unhinged followers hungry for belief and eager for guidance into an uncertain and tumultuous future.

In this science fiction drama the characters battle each other in contests of Damn your world view! against a background of hard science, religion, romance, metaphysical speculation, and the forces of nature versus human passions and dreams. Meanwhile an asteroid hurtles through the solar system and global salvation or disaster hangs in the balance.

(Source: iUniverse)

Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Tales of the Hidden World by Simon R. Green (Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy 08 July 2014 / $14.99) - Product Description: Seventeen delightfully unexpected stories from Simon R. Green--including a brand-new adventure of the Droods--take us deep into the Darkside, embroil us in the Secret Histories, and lead us into the shadowy places where monsters and demons roam.

Welcome to the worlds of Simon R. Green. In this wide-ranging collection, the New York Times–bestselling urban fantasist opens doors into hidden places: strange realms bordering our own mundane existence and prowled by creatures of fancy and nightmare. Here are the strange, frequently deadly--and sometimes even dead--things that lurk in garbage-strewn city alleyways and grimy subway stations after midnight, visible only to the most perceptive human or inhuman eye.

In these tales, Green revisits the ingenious worlds within worlds that he created for his wildly popular novels. Take a stroll on the Darkside with a jaded street wizard, an underpaid government functionary responsible for keeping demons, vamps, and aliens in line. Enter the hidden recesses of Drood Hall, where the aging family member who creates powerful weapons that protect humankind recalls his long and bloody career. Join a squad of no-longer-human soldiers dispatched to combat the all-consuming jungle on a distant planet. Visit a house at the intersection of two realities that serves as a sanctuary from the evil of all worlds. Confront the unstoppable zombie army of General Kurtz in a brilliant homage to Apocalypse Now. And whatever you do, never forget that there are monsters out there. Really.
(Each story includes a new afterword by the author.) (see review)

Paizo Publishing

Pathfinder Tales: The Crusader Road by Michael A. Stackpole (Paizo Publishing 15 July 2014 / $9.99) - Product Description: When the aristocratic Vishov family is banished from their native Ustalav due to underhanded politics, they're faced with a choice: fade slowly into obscurity, or strike out for the nearby River Kingdoms and establish a new holding on the untamed frontier. For Lady Tyressa Vishov, the decision is simple. Together with her children and loyal retainers, she'll forge a new life in the infamous Echo Wood, and neither bloodthirsty monsters nor local despots will stop her from reclaiming her family honor. Yet the shadow of Ustalavic politics is long, and even in a remote and lawless territory, there may be those determined to see the Vishov family fail... From New York Times bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole comes a new novel of frontier adventure set in the world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the new Pathfinder Online massively multiplayer online roleplaying game. (Source: Paizo Publishing)

Penguin Books

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker (Penguin Books 29 July 2014 / $16.00) - Product Description: During a miserable weekend at a friend's wedding, eager to forget about her disastrous breakup and stalled dissertation, Nora Fischer wanders off and somehow finds herself in another realm. There, she meets glamorous Ilissa--who introduces Nora to a decadent new world--and her gorgeous son Raclin. But when the elegant veneer of this dreamland shatters, Nora finds herself in a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. And the only way she can survive is by learning real magic herself.

Read our review of The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic in our September 2013 issue. (Source: Penguin Books)

Pink Narcissus Press

The Birthday Problem by Caren Gussoff (Pink Narcissus Press 01 July 2014 / $15.00) - Book Description: In the year 2060, the next plague has arrived. MaGo bots, the nanotechnology used for everything from fighting the common cold to radical life extension, have begun to malfunction, latching onto the brain's acetylcholine receptors to cause a permanent state of delirium.

The Birthday Problem follows four Seattle survivors: Chaaya Gopal Lee, great-granddaughter of the MaGo programmer, whom the pandemic turns into a killer; 40-something ex-rock star and pharmacy technician Greystone Toussaint, the "King of Seattle"; Alastair Gomez-Larsen, forced to become a blood-smuggler to treat his father’s liver disease; and Didi VanNess, a lovesick former-WNBA center and CNA, who tries to win back her wife's heart against a backdrop of madness, death and 30 cats, all named Ira. (Source: Pink Narcissus Press)

Pyr

The Return of the Discontinued Man (A Burton & Swinburne Adventure) by Mark Hodder (Pyr 08 July 2014 / $18.00) - Product Description: Explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton and poet Algernon Swinburne return in a new series of wildly imaginative steampunk adventures.

It's 9 p.m. on February 15, 1860, and Charles Babbage, the British Empire's most brilliant scientist, performs an experiment. Within moments, blood red snow falls from the sky and Spring-heeled Jack pops out of thin air in London's Leicester Square. Though utterly disoriented and apparently insane, the strange creature is intent on one thing: hunting Sir Richard Francis Burton!

Spring-heeled Jack isn't alone in his mental confusion. Burton can hardly function; he's experiencing one hallucination after another--visions of parallel realities and future history. Someone, or something, is trying to tell him about ... what?

When the revelation comes, it sends Burton and his companions on an expedition even the great explorer could never have imagined--a voyage through time itself into a twisted future where steam technology has made a resurgence and a despotic intelligence rules over the British Empire! (see review)

Roc

The Seat of Magic: A Novel of the Golden City by J. Kathleen Cheney (Roc 01 July 2014 / $15.00) - Product Description: Magical beings have been banned from the Golden City for decades, though many live there in secret. Now humans and nonhumans alike are in danger as evil stalks the streets, growing more powerful with every kill.

It's been two weeks since Oriana Paredes was banished from the Golden City. Police consultant Duilio Ferreira, who himself has a talent he must keep secret, can't escape the feeling that, though she's supposedly returned home to her people, Oriana is in danger.

Adding to Duilio's concerns is a string of recent murders in the city. Three victims have already been found, each without a mark upon her body. When a selkie under his brother's protection goes missing, Duilio fears the killer is also targeting nonhuman prey.

To protect Oriana and uncover the truth, Duilio will have to risk revealing his own identity, put his trust in some unlikely allies, and consult a rare and malevolent text known as The Seat of Magic. (Source: Roc)

The Shadow Throne: Book Two of the Shadow Campaigns by Django Wexler (Roc 01 July 2014 / $25.95) - Product Description: Anyone can plot a coup or fire an assassin's bullet. But in a world of muskets and magic, it takes considerably more to seize the throne.

The ailing King of the Vordan lies on his deathbed. When he dies, his daughter, Raesinia Orboan, will become the first Queen Regnant in centuries--and a ripe target for the ambitious men who seek to control her. The most dangerous of these is Duke Orlanko, Minister of Information and master of the secret police. Having meticulously silenced his adversaries through intimidation, imprisonment, and execution, Orlanko is the most feared man in the kingdom. And he knows an arcane secret that puts Raesinia completely at his mercy.

Exposure would mean ruin, but Raesinia is determined to find a way to break herself--and her country--out of Orlanko's iron grip. She finds unlikely allies in the returning war hero Janus bet Vhalnich, fresh from a brilliant campaign in the colony of Khandar, and his loyal deputies, Captain Marcus d'Ivoire and Lieutenant Winter Ihernglass.

As Marcus and Winter struggle to find their places in the home they never thought they would see again, they help Janus and Raesinia set in motion events that could free Vordan from Orlanko's influence--at the price of throwing the nation into chaos. But with the people suffering under the Duke's tyranny, they intend to protect the kingdom with every power they can command, earthly or otherwise. (see review)

Silence in the LIbrary

Athena's Daughters: Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy Vol. 1 by (Silence in the LIbrary 01 July 2014 / $25.00) - Book Description: From a young girl facing a life-threatening crisis at Lunar Camp to a crew of elderly women graced with the power of Greek Gods, you’ll find an engaging and diverse range of science fiction and fantasy stories by women, about women.

Authors: Mary Robinette Kowal, Sherwood Smith, C.A. Verstraete, Alma Alexander, Cleolinda Jones, Kelly Swails, Nisi Shawl, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Cynthia Ward, Janine Spendlove, Vicki Johnson-Steger, Tricia Barr, D.L. Stever, Tera Fulbright, Conley Lyons, Jean Rabe, Tanya Spackman, Jennifer Brozek, Maggie Allen, Gail Z. Martin, Diana Peterfreund, and Jean Marie Ward.

Also available as an ebook. (see review)

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Starbreak (The Starglass Sequence) by Phoebe North (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 08 July 2014 / $17.99) - Product Description: Alien foes, forbidden romance, and uneasy alliances await in the sequel to Starglass.

The Asherah has finally reached Zehava, the long-promised planet. There, Terra finds harsh conditions and a familiar foe--Aleksandra Wolff, leader of her ship's rebel forces. As Terra and Aleksandra lock horns about how best to reach the alien city, they encounter violent beasts--and dangerous hunters. It's only when they're taken to the city as prisoners that Terra finally discovers Vadix, the boy who has haunted her dreams. But Vadix has a dark past of his own, and Aleksandra is intent on using violence to lead their tiny band to freedom. When the rebel leader gets humanity expelled from the planet, it's up to Terra, with Vadix by her side, to unite her people--and to forge an alliance with the alien hosts, who want nothing more than to see humanity gone forever. (Source: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Spencer Hill Press

Elements of Mind by Walter Hunt (Spencer Hill Press 08 July 2014 / $7.95) - Product Description: In Victorian India, a Scottish doctor, Dr. James Esdaile, finds a way to use the power of mesmerism to aid him in performing surgeries, using a remarkable artifact that enhances his abilities. The revocation of the promise to bring the artifact to Rev. William Davey, the head of the secret Committee of English mesmerists leads him to commit suicide in the center of the Crystal Palace...but that is only the beginning of the story. Davey's pursuit of the object leads him across two continents, unfolding the story that has its origins two decades before - and reveals the secret world of the chthonoi, the elemental spirits that were banished from human lands in antiquity, and now want to find a way to open the Glass Door and reassert themselves in the world of men. (Source: Spencer Hill Press)

Subterranean

Beautiful Blood by Lucius Shepard (Subterranean 31 July 2014 / $40.00) - Product Description: Lucius Shepard's Beautiful Blood is something both special and long awaited: the first novel-length exploration of the world of the Dragon Griaule. It's a subject that has preoccupied Shepard since the publication of '"The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule" in 1984, and he has returned to it repeatedly over the years, though never before in such a mesmerizing, all-encompassing fashion.

Like the initial tale, Beautiful Blood begins in the 1850s in the town of Teocinte, in a world "separated from our own by the thinnest margin of possibility". It is a landscape whose dominant feature is the massive, long-dormant body of an ancient dragon that has lain there, motionless, for millennia, exerting a powerful but mysterious influence on the surrounding area. The novel tells the story of Richard Rosacher, an ambitious young medical student who becomes fascinated by the properties inherent in the dragon's blood. His exploitation of those properties launches him on a career that leads him from the shabbiest quarter of Teocinte to a morally ambiguous position of power, wealth, and influence. Beautiful Blood takes us though the entire length of that career, which is marked throughout by the invisible agency of Griaule, who may well be the driving force behind Rosacher's astonishing ascension.

The novel also encapsulates the events of the initial Griaule story, events that dovetail neatly with the current tale. Meric Cattanay, the eponymous protagonist of "The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule", makes a welcome reappearance here. Meric's decades-long involvement with the dragon begins at roughly the same time as Rosacher's. Their stories proceed along parallel but independent lines that occasionally intersect, providing us with a view of familiar events wider and deeper than any we have had before. The result is a colorful, involving narrative with profound metaphysical overtones, one that raises--but does not answer--significant questions. Is the dragon merely a bizarre but entirely natural phenomenon? Or is he/it the manifestation of some divine purpose? And to what extent are the actions of men like Meric and Rosacher the reflections of its implacable but enigmatic will? Questions such as these animate the narrative at every turn, adding an extra level of resonance to one of the most original and important fictional creations of recent years. (see review)

Dust by Hugh Howey (Subterranean 31 July 2014 / $60.00) - Product Description: What would you do if the fate of everyone you know rested in your hands?

And the choices you make could lead to their salvation, or be the death of us all?

This is how the story ends. This is the return to Dust. (Source: Subterranean)

Equoid: a Laundry Novella by Charles Stross (Subterranean 31 July 2014 / $35.00) - Product Description: For Bob Howard, a working day tends to alternate between desperately trying not to fall asleep in committee meetings and being menaced by tentacular horrors from beyond spacetime. That's because Bob works for the Laundry, the secret British government agency tasked with protecting the realm from occult nightmares. So when his manager Iris sends him off to the countryside to liaise with a veterinary inspector from the Department of the Environment, Fisheries, and rural Affairs, at first he takes it as a pleasant vacation. But why is Edgebaston Farm's livery stable buying a hundred kilos of raw meat per day? Why does his briefing file contain the death-bed confession of that old fraud, H.P. Lovecraft? And why is his contact from DEFRA so deathly afraid of unicorns...? (Source: Subterranean)

Shift by Hugh Howey (Subterranean 31 July 2014 / $60.00) - Product Description: What would you do if you were forced to survive when everyone you cared about was dead?

And the only place you could live was in a closed-off world buried deep below ground?

This is the start of the silo. This is Shift. (Source: Subterranean)

Wool by Hugh Howey (Subterranean 31 July 2014 / $60.00) - Product Description: What would you do if the world outside was deadly, and the air you breathed could kill?

And you lived in a place where every birth required a death, and the choices you made could save lives or destroy them?

This is Jules's story. This is the world of Wool. (Source: Subterranean)

Subterranean Press

Academic Exercises by K.J. Parker (Subterranean Press 31 July 2014 / $40.00) - Book Description: Academic Exercises is the first collection of shorter work by master novelist K.J. Parker, and it is a stunner. Weighing in at over 500 pages, this generous volume gathers together thirteen highly distinctive stories, essays, and novellas, including the recent World Fantasy Award-Winner, "Let Maps to Others". The result is a significant publishing event, a book that belongs on the shelf of every serious reader of imaginative fiction.

The collection opens with the World Fantasy Award-winning "A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong", a story of music and murder set against a complex mentor/pupil relationship, and closes with the superb novella "Blue & Gold", which features what may be the most beguiling opening lines in recent memory. In between, Parker has assembled a treasure house of narrative pleasures. In "A Rich, Full Week", an itinerant wizard undergoes a transformative encounter with a member of the restless dead. "Purple & Black", the longest story in the book, is an epistolary tale about a man who inherits the most hazardous position imaginable: Emperor. "Amor Vincit Omnia" recounts a confrontation with a mass murderer who may have mastered an impossible form of magic.

Rounding out the volume--and enriching it enormously--are three fascinating and illuminating essays that bear direct relevance to Parker's unique brand of fiction: "On Sieges", "Cutting Edge Technology", and "Rich Men's Skins".

Taken singly, each of these thirteen pieces is a lovingly crafted gem. Together, they constitute a major and enduring achievement. Rich, varied, and constantly absorbing, Academic Exercises is, without a doubt, the fantasy collection of the year. (see review)

Thomas Dunne Books

Overlord (Event Group) by David L. Golemon (Thomas Dunne Books 15 July 2014 / $26.99) - Product Description: In Overlord, the stunning conclusion to the trilogy within the Event Group series that began with Event and continued with Legacy (fans' favorite titles), a time of war is upon humanity. The plans of a million years are finally ready for what has always been coming--Armageddon.  Finally, the first move is set in motion and the assassinations begin, eliminating the leadership and consolidating military control of the seas and airspace of the world's most powerful nations. Only one element in the arsenal of the world can possibly give the Earth a fighting chance at survival---a tiny being that has already saved the world once in the Arizona desert is now called upon to outthink his former masters.

The one entity on the planet that refuses to accept the inevitable defeat of humankind, The Event Group, is suffering from losses of military personnel and being torn apart by internal conflict. The Group also faces a threat that may be far more dangerous to Earth's survival than the attacks from deep space--their old enemies have returned to take revenge and the worst fears of Department 5656 are realized--a breach in security allows intruders to get at the secrets inside the complex in Nevada. As the war wages on, countries fall, nations fight to the last man, and the fate of planet depends on a few good men and women. (Source: Thomas Dunne Books)

Seeders by A.J. Colucci (Thomas Dunne Books 15 July 2014 / $26.99) - Product Description: George Brookes, a 75-year old recluse on a small Canadian island, is plagued by guilt, afraid that his botany experiments have released a monster upon the world. He climbs to the top of a cliff and jumps to his death.

Several weeks later, six people arrive on the island, heirs to George's estate: his daughter, Isabelle, and her three teenagers, Jules Beecher, a friend and fellow botanist, and Ginny Shufflebottom, a contentious Englishwoman who funded George's research. They will be isolated on the frigid island for two weeks, until the next supply boat arrives.

In the laboratory, Jules reads over piles of notes and realizes that George may have achieved the most monumental breakthrough in the history of modern science: communication between humans and plants. Jules knows that the idea of plant intelligence has long been regarded as quackery among conventional scientists, but George's experiments could prove the theories that Jules has been working on all his life. However, the notes are incomplete, and it's unclear whether George's findings are real or the ramblings of a madman. In the woods, Jules begins to have disturbing visions. A fierce storm hits, the power goes out, and a night of terror begins. Isabelle and the others are stalked by Jules and his crossbow, and plagued by the feeling that something on the island does not want them there.

(see review)

Tor Books

A Plunder of Souls (Thieftaker Chronicles) by D.B. Jackson (Tor Books 08 July 2014 / $26.99) - Product Description: Boston, 1769: Ethan Kaille, a Boston thieftaker who uses his conjuring to catch criminals, has snared villains and defeated magic that would have daunted a lesser man. What starts out as a mysterious phenomenon that has local ministers confused becomes something far more serious.

A ruthless, extremely powerful conjurer seeks to wake the souls of the dead to wreak a terrible revenge on all who oppose him. Kaille's minister friends have been helpless to stop crimes against their church. Graves have been desecrated in a bizarre, ritualistic way. Equally disturbing are reports of recently deceased citizens of Boston reappearing as grotesquely disfigured shades, seemingly having been disturbed from their eternal rest, and now frightening those who had been nearest to them in life. But most personally troubling to Kaille is a terrible waning of his ability to conjure. He knows all these are related...but how?

When Ethan discovers the source of this trouble, he realizes that his conjure powers and those of his friends will not be enough to stop a madman from becoming all-powerful. But somehow, using his wits, his powers, and every other resource he can muster, Ethan must thwart the monster's terrible plan and restore the restless souls of the dead to the peace of the grave. Let the battle for souls begin in Plunder of Souls, the third, stand-alone novel in Jackson's acclaimed Thieftaker series. (Source: Tor Books)

Full Fathom Five (Craft Sequence) by Max Gladstone (Tor Books 15 July 2014 / $25.99) - Product Description: On the island of Kavekana, Kai builds gods to order, then hands them to others to maintain. Her creations aren't conscious and lack their own wills and voices, but they accept sacrifices, and protect their worshippers from other gods--perfect vehicles for Craftsmen and Craftswomen operating in the divinely controlled Old World. When Kai sees one of her creations dying and tries to save her, she's grievously injured--then sidelined from the business entirely, her near-suicidal rescue attempt offered up as proof of her instability. But when Kai gets tired of hearing her boss, her coworkers, and her ex-boyfriend call her crazy, and starts digging into the reasons her creations die, she uncovers a conspiracy of silence and fear--which will crush her, if Kai can't stop it first. (see review)

Hurricane Fever by Tobias S. Buckell (Tor Books 01 July 2014 / $24.99) - Product Description: Prudence "Roo" Jones never thought he'd have a family to look after—until suddenly he found himself taking care of his orphaned teenage nephew. Roo, a former Caribbean Intelligence operative, spends his downtime on his catamaran dodging the punishing hurricanes that are the new norm in the Caribbean. Roo enjoys the simple calm of his new life—until an unexpected package from a murdered fellow spy shows up. Suddenly Roo is thrown into the center of the biggest storm of all.

Using his wits--and some of the more violent tricks of his former trade--Roo begins to unravel the mystery that got his friend killed. When a polished and cunning woman claiming to be murdered spy's sister appears, the two find themselves caught up in a global conspiracy with a weapon that could change the face of the world forever. (Source: Tor Books)

New Frontiers: A Collection of Tales About the Past, the Present, and the Future by Ben Bova (Tor Books 22 July 2014 / $25.99) - Product Description: Fourteen startling visions of yesterday, today, and tomorrow from the six-time winner of the Hugo Award. Frontiers can be found in all directions. Frontiers of time and space, as well as frontiers of courage, devotion, love, hate, and the outer limits of the human spirit. This outstanding collection of stories by one of science fiction's premier talents spans the length and breadth of history and the universe, while exploring thought-provoking new ideas and dilemmas.

From the Baghdad of the Arabian Nights to a vast interstellar empire thousands of years in the future, from the Vatican to a one-man vessel drifting in the vast emptiness of the Asteroid Belt, from virtual reality duels to the subtle intricacies of time travel and a golf tournament on the Moon, here are tales of scoundrels and heroes, scientists and explorers, aliens and artificial intelligences, and even a young Albert Einstein. Each of them stands at the border of a new frontier and must venture out into unexplored territory—thanks to the limitless imagination of Ben Bova. (Source: Tor Books)

The Little Green Book of Chairman Rahma by Brian Herbert (Tor Books 08 July 2014 / $25.99) - Product Description: A revolution has taken over the government of the United States and the environment has been saved. All pollution has been banned and reversed. It's a bright, green new world. But this new world comes with a great cost. The United States is ruled by a dictatorship and the corporations are fighting back. Joining them are an increasing number of rebels angered by the dictatorship of Chairman Rahma. The Chairman's power is absolute and appears strong, but in The Little Green Book of Chairman Rahma by Brian Herbert, cracks are beginning to show as new weapons are developed by the old corporate powers, foreign alliances begin to make inroads into America's influence...and strange reports of mutants filter through the government's censorship. (Source: Tor Books)

The Wurms of Blearmouth: A Malazan Tale of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach (Malazan Book of the Fallen) by Steven Erikson (Tor Books 08 July 2014 / $24.99) - Product Description: A new novella from New York Times bestselling author Steven Erikson, set in the world of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, The Wurms of Blearmouth.

Tyranny comes in many guises, and tyrants thrive in palaces and one-room hovels, in back alleys and playgrounds. Tyrants abound on the verges of civilization, where disorder frays the rule of civil conduct and propriety surrenders to brutal imposition. Millions are made to kneel and yet more millions die horrible deaths in a welter of suffering and misery.

But leave all that behind and plunge into escapist fantasy of the most irrelevant kind, and in the ragged wake of the tale told in Lees of Laughter's End, those most civil adventurers, Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, along with their suitably phlegmatic manservant, Emancipor Reese, make gentle landing upon a peaceful beach, beneath a quaint village at the foot of a majestic castle. There they make acquaintance with the soft-hearted and generous folk of Spendrugle, which lies at the mouth of the Blear River and falls under the benign rule of the Lord of Wurms in his lovely keep.

Make welcome, then, to Spendrugle's memorable residents, including the man who should have stayed dead, the woman whose prayers should never have been answered, the tax collector everyone ignores, the ex-husband town militiaman who never married, the beachcomber who lives in his own beard, and the now singular lizard cat who used to be plural, and the girl who likes to pee in your lap. And of course, hovering over all, the denizen of the castle keep, Lord—Ah, but there lies this tale. (Source: Tor Books)

Unwept (The Nightbirds, #1) by Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman (Tor Books 01 July 2014 / $22.99) - Product Description: Unwept -- the beginning of a spellbinding new trilogy by Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman bestselling co-creators of Dragonlance and Ravenloft.

Gamin, Maine, is a remote seaside town where everyone seems to know Ellis Harkington better than she knows herself--but she doesn't remember any of them.

Unknown events have robbed Ellis of her memory. Concerned individuals, who claim to be friends and loved ones, insist that she simply needs to recuperate, and that her memories may return in time. But, for her own sake--so they claim--they refuse to divulge what has brought her to this state.

Ellis finds herself adrift in a town of ominous mysteries, cryptic hints, and disturbingly familiar strangers. The Nightbirds, a clique of fashionable young men and women, claim her as one of their own, but who can she truly trust? And what of the phantom suitor who visits her in her dreams? Is he a memory, a figment of her imagination, or a living nightmare beyond rational explanation?

Only her lost past holds the answers she seeks--if she can uncover its secrets before she falls prey to an unearthly killer. (see review)

Wolfsbane (Rebel Angels) by Gillian Philip (Tor Books 01 July 2014 / $24.99) - Product Description: It's tough being the foretold savior of your race. Rory MacGregor, kept a virtual prisoner in his own father's dun and hunted by the Sithe queen, needs a break now and then--and what better fun than tearing the Veil no one else can tear and escaping to the Otherworld?

In that dangerous Otherworld, Hannah Falconer is as trapped by circumstance as the strange wild Sithe boy whose horse nearly kills her. When Rory tricks her into crossing the Veil and entering his world, she's sure it can't be any worse than her usual home life.

Meanwhile, Seth MacGregor is fighting to keep his clan safe from the malevolent queen Kate. When an attack comes after years of stalemate, he is shocked to discover who is leading it...and who else is conspiring against him.

Wolfsbane, the third novel in Gillian Philip's Rebel Angels series is enthralling and suspenseful, with a range of characters appealing to every age. (Source: Tor Books)

Wildside Press

Ithanalin's Restoration by Lawrence Watt-Evans (Wildside Press 08 July 2014 / $13.99) - Product Description: Kilisha, an apprentice wizard, returns home to find her master, Ithanalin the Wise, transformed into a statue. A tax collector interrupted Ithanalin while working on a spell, a magic mirror tells her, with the result that the wizard's soul has been distributed among various household objects. "The dish ran away with the spoon" is literally the case, as all the furnishings have become animated and escaped out the door.

In her efforts to track down the runaway objects and restore her petrified master to his former self, Kilisha seeks help from the Wizards' Guild with little success. Ultimately she must rely on the few spells she knows, her master's spell book--and her own imaginations, initiative, and ingenuity. (see review)

Red As Blood: Tales from the Sisters Grimmer (Expanded Edition) by Tanith Lee (Wildside Press 15 July 2014 / $12.99) - Product Description: What if Snow White were the real villain and the "wicked queen" just a sadly maligned innocent? What if awakening Sleeping Beauty would be the mistake of a lifetime - of several lifetimes? What if the famous folk tales were retold with an eye to more horrific possibilities? Only Tanith Lee could retell the world-famous tales of the Brothers Grimm (and others) as they might have been told by the Sisters Grimmer! This special edition, conjured together for the 30th Anniversary of the original edition, adds a new Grimmer fairy tale written especially for this volume. (Source: Wildside Press)

William Morrow

The Arrivals: A Novel by Melissa Marr (William Morrow 29 July 2014 / $14.99) - Product Description: Chloe walks into a bar and blows five years of sobriety. When she wakes, she finds herself in an unfamiliar world, The Wasteland. She discovers people from all times and places have also arrived there: Kitty and Jack, a brother and sister from the Wild West; Edgar, a prohibition bootlegger; Francis, a one-time hippie; Melody, a mentally unbalanced 1950s housewife; and Hector, a former carnival artist.

None know why they arrived there--or if there is way out of a world populated by monsters and filled with corruption.

Read our review of The Arrivals in our April 2014 issue. (Source: William Morrow)

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