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US Books Received- 01/2015  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

47North

Marked (Servants of Fate Book 1) by Sarah Fine (47North 01 January 2015 / $14.95) - Product Description: In a broken landscape carved by environmental collapse, Boston paramedic Cacia Ferry risks life and limb on the front lines of a fragile and dangerous city. What most don't know--including her sexy new partner, Eli Margolis--is that while Cacy works to save lives, she has another job ferrying the dead to the Afterlife. Once humans are "Marked" by Fate, the powerful Ferrys are called to escort the vulnerable souls to either eternal bliss or unending fire and pain.

Unaware of Cacy's other life, Eli finds himself as mesmerized by his fierce and beautiful partner as he is mistrustful of the influential Ferry clan led by the Charon—who happens to be Cacy's father. Cacy, in turn, can no longer deny her intense attraction to the mysterious ex-Ranger with a haunted past. But just as their relationship heats up, an apparent hit takes the Charon before his time. Shaken to the core, Cacy pursues the rogue element who has seized the reins of fate, only to discover that Eli has a devastating secret of his own. Not knowing whom to trust, what will Cacy have to sacrifice to protect Eli—and to make sure humanity's future is secure?

(Source: 47North)

Ourselves (The Nahan Series) by S.G. Redling (47North 27 January 2015 / $14.95) - Product Description: An ancient, enigmatic race, the Nahan have protected their secret world by cultivating the myths of fanged, bloodsucking monsters that haunt legends. Yet they walk through our world as our coworkers and our neighbors, hiding in plain sight and coexisting in peace. They survive...and they prosper.

A shy young dreamer, Tomas wanders through his life with help from his good friends and influential family on the ruling Council. Now, he's decided his future lies with the Nahan's most elite class: the mysterious Storytellers. But his family is troubled by his new choice--and by his new girlfriend, Stell, a wild, beautiful, and deadly outcast from a fanatical Nahan sect.

As Tomas descends into the dark wonders of the Nahan's most powerful culture, Stell answers her own calling as an exceptional assassin. But when a lethal conspiracy threatens their destinies, Tomas and Stell must unite their remarkable talents against the strongest--and most sinister--of their kind.

(Source: 47North)

Ace

Gemini Cell: A Shadow Ops Novel by Myke Cole (Ace 27 January 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Myke Cole continues to blow the military fantasy genre wide open with an all-new epic adventure in his highly acclaimed Shadow Ops universe--set in the early days of the Great Reawakening, when magic first returns to the world and order begins to unravel.

US Navy SEAL Jim Schweitzer is a consummate professional, a fierce warrior, and a hard man to kill. But when he sees something he was never meant to see on a covert mission gone bad, he finds himself--and his family--in the crosshairs. Nothing means more to Jim than protecting his loved ones, but when the enemy brings the battle to his front door, he is overwhelmed and taken down.

That should be the end of the story. But Jim is raised from the dead by a sorcerer and recruited by a top secret unit dabbling in the occult, known only as the Gemini Cell. With powers he doesn't understand, Jim is called back to duty--as the ultimate warrior. As he wrestles with a literal inner demon, Jim realizes his new superiors are determined to use him for their own ends and keep him in the dark--especially about the fates of his wife and son. (see review)

Tales from the Nightside (A Nightside Book) by Simon R. Green (Ace 06 January 2015 / $25.95) - Product Description: Welcome to the Nightside. It's the secret heart of London, beating to its own rhythm, pumping lifeblood through the veins of its streets and alleys hidden in eternal darkness, where creatures of the night congregate and where the sun is afraid to shine. It's the place to go if you're looking to indulge the darker side of your nature—and to hell with the consequences.

Tales from the Nightside presents ten macabre mysteries that shine a dim beam into the neighborhood's darkest corners to reveal things that should never come to light. Take a walk with such deadly and dangerous denizens of the Nightside as Razor Eddie, Dead Boy, and Larry Oblivion as they encounter things even more inhuman and inhumane than they are. And join John Taylor, the PI with a knack for finding lost things, as he confronts Sir Francis Varney, King of the Vampires, in a never-before-published novella-length adventure.

There may be nothing to be afraid of in the dark, but there's plenty to be afraid of in the Nightside. Includes "The Big Game", a Never-Before-Published Nightside Novella and Nine Other Favorite Nightside Stories

(see review)

Anchor

The Globe: The Science of Discworld II by Terry Pratchett with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen (Anchor 20 January 2015 / $15.95) - Product Description: Roundworld, aka Earth, is under siege. Are three wizards and an orangutan Librarian enough to thwart the Elvish threat?

When the wizards of Unseen University first created Roundworld, they were so concerned with discovering the rules of this new universe that they overlooked its inhabitants entirely. Now, they have noticed humanity. And humanity has company. Arriving in Roundworld, the wizards find the situation is even worse than they'd expected. Under the elves' influence, humans are superstitious, fearful, and fruitlessly trying to work magic in a world ruled by logic. Ridcully, Rincewind, Ponder Stibbons, and the orangutan Librarian must travel through time to get humanity back on track and out of the dark ages.

The Globe goes beyond science to explore the development of the human mind. Terry Pratchett and his acclaimed co-authors Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen combine the tale of the wizards rewriting human history with discussions of the origins and evolution of culture, language, art, and science, offering a fascinating and brilliantly original view of the world we live in.

(Source: Anchor)

Baen

Carousel Seas (Archers Beach) by Sharon Lee (Baen 06 January 2015 / $15.00) - Product Description: Welcome to Archers Beach in the Changing Land, the last and least of the Six Worlds, where magic works, sometimes, and the Guardian husbands the vitality of the land and everyone on it -- earth spirit and plain human alike.

Kate Archer, Guardian and carousel-keeper, has been busy making some changes of her own, notably beginning a romantic relationship with Borgan, the Guardian of the Gulf of Maine, Kate's opposite number, and, some would say, her natural mate.

Oh, and she's been instrumental in releasing the prisoners that had been bound into the carousel animals -- which she's inclined to think is a good thing.

Until a former sea goddess sets up housekeeping in the Gulf of Maine, challenging Borgan's authority; endangering Kate and everything she holds precious. ...because the goddess has fallen in love in Borgan; and she'll stop at nothing to possess him.

Archers Beach is about to suffer a sea-change -- and the question is whether Kate can survive it. (see review)

Come and Take Them (Carerra) by Tom Kratman (Baen 27 January 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Number five in the Carerra military science fiction series that started with A Desert Called Peace. Miltary leader Carrera faces down a threat from progressive totalitarians and wins the freedom of his country on a frontier planet.

The Carrera saga continues with entry number five, and the sequel to The Amazon Legion. Carrera. Relentless. Machiavellian. Without compunction. Victorious. Pity his enemies. Be thankful he is on the side of freedom from totalitarian domination.

On the colony planet of Terra Nova, soldier turned political leader Carrera has achieved his revenge, destroying those who killed his wife and children in a terrorist strike, and helping to establish a free country. But Carrera's fight is not over. War with the Tauran Union is inevitable. Carrera has been preparing his new country for this all-out conflict for years, intending to drive out the last vestige of foreign imperialism in Balboa, the Tauran Union Security Force. He doesn't care that he's outnumbered one hundred to one. He doesn't care that the Taurans are one thousand times wealthier. A true Machiavellian, Carrera is convinced that gold cannot always find good soldiers, but that good soldiers can always find gold. After all, his good soldiers have already found quite a bit. Moreover, he's been preparing for the war he intends to start and fight on his own terms, while the TU has been preparing for a progressive fantasy.

But then his own government calls a halt even as the commander of the United Earth Peace Fleet, High Admiral Marguerite Wallenstein, injects a dose of realism and spine into the Tauran Union. Any other government, giving similar orders, Carrera would overthrow without hesitation. But this is his own creation; he must follow these orders.

But the Taurans are provoking Balboa mercilessly, and Carrera knows that sooner or later, he must fight--only now the task will be more difficult and more bloody. No matter. When that time comes, Carerra knows he will do whatever it takes to win. He is, after all, Carrera. (Source: Baen)

Slavers of the Savage Catacombs (Shadow Warrior) by Jon F Merz (Baen 06 January 2015 / $15.00) - Product Description: Ninjas versus Slave Drivers! Book 2 in the Shadow Warrior saga. A young ninja in an Asian-flavored fantasy land of dreams and nightmares must save a beautiful captive.

When Ran, the Shadow Warrior, is dispatched to investigate rumors of an invasion massing to the north, he signs on as protection for a trade caravan. But once underway, the caravan is attacked by an overwhelming force of slavers who take Ran and several others captive. Dragged into the bowels of the earth as slave labor for a despot-in-exile eager to reclaim his throne, Ran must make a desperate escape with his friends if he has any hope of uncovering the truth about the invasion above ground. But there's more at play than a mere power struggle in the catacombs, and the earth does not give up its secrets easily--even for Ran, the Shadow Warrior. (Source: Baen)

Spell Blind (Case Files of Justis Fearsson) by David B. Coe (Baen 06 January 2015 / $25.00) - Product Description: Book #1 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a new contemporary fantasy series from fantasy all-star David B. Coe. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective hunts a serial killer in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a private investigator on the trail of a serial killer in Phoenix, Arizona. Justis is also a weremyste--a person with a wizard's gifts and the ability to see into the paranormal world. Unfortunately, weremystes also tend to go crazy on the full moon--which is why Justis is no longer a cop.  Hard to explain those absences as anything but mental breakdown. But now an old case from his police detective days has come back to haunt him, literally, as a serial killer known as the Blind Angel strikes again. His signature stroke: burning out the victims' eyes with magic.  Now the victims are piling up, including the daughter of a senator, and Justis must race to stop the Blind Angel before he, she, or it kills again. There's only one clue he's got to go on: the Blind Angel is using the most powerful magic Justis has ever encountered, and if he doesn't watch his own magical step, he may end up just as dead as the other vics.

(Source: Baen)

Strands of Sorrow (Black Tide Rising) by John Ringo (Baen 06 January 2015 / $25.00) - Product Description: BOOK 4 AND CONCLUSION OF THE BLACK TIDE RISING SERIES FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR. Sequel to Islands of Rage and Hope, To Sail a Darkling Sea, and Under a Graveyard Sky. A hardened group of survivors fights back against a zombie plague that has brought down civilization.

With the world consumed by a devastating plague that drives humans violently insane, what was once a band of desperate survivors bobbing on a dark Atlantic ocean has now become Wolf Squadron, the only hope for the salvation of the human race. Banding together with what remains of the U.S. Navy, Wolf Squadron, and its leader Steve Smith, not only plans to survive--he plans to retake the mainland from the infected, starting with North America.

Smith's teenage daughters have become zombie hunters of unparalleled skill, both at land and on the sea, and they may hold the key to the rebirth of civilization on a devastated planet. (Source: Baen)

The Sea Without a Shore (RCN) by David Drake (Baen 27 January 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: LEARY AND MUNDY RETURN in the RCN SERIES. #10 in the nationally best-selling Republic of Cinnabar Navy space adventure series.

Cinnabar's chief spymaster is a mother also--and her son is determined to search for treasure in the midst of a civil war. Who better to hold the boy's hand—and to take the blows directed at him--than Captain Daniel Leary, the Republic of Cinnabar Navy's troubleshooter, and his friend the cyberspy Adele Mundy?

The only thing certain in the struggle for control of the mining planet Corcyra is that the rival parties are more dangerous to their own allies than to their opponents. Daniel and Adele face kidnappers, hijackers, pirates and a death squad--even before they can get to their real business of ending the war on Corcyra. Only with planetary peace can the boy they're escorting get on with his mission.

The boy thinks the treasure he's looking for is a thousand years old. Daniel and Adele know that it's probably a dream. But if the treasure is real, it just might be tens of thousands of years older than anyone imagines, and incalculably more valuable! (Source: Baen)

Berkley

Drifters (An Omega Days Novel) by John L. Campbell (Berkley 06 January 2015 / $16.00) - Product Description: The survivors of the Omega Virus make a desperate effort to find the living. But the walking dead aren't done with them yet.

Helicopter pilot Vladimir Yurish is a man of his word. The last thing he wants is to abandon the safety of the U.S.S. Nimitz and his newly adopted son Ben. Still, a promise is a promise, no matter how close to death it brings him.

Angie West has fought hard to keep strangers alive, but now it's time to tend to her own. Only, when she finds her family missing and their hideout burned and looted, she realizes the threat to her family isn't just the undead—the living can do so much worse.

Halsey has done well for himself, given the circumstances. Between his secluded ranch and precise shooting, the plague hasn't touched him. Until a Black Hawk crashes on his property, bringing the war to his front door.

Amid the chaos of a destroyed civilization, the survivors encounter a new threat. And these new monsters can't be outrun--or outwitted.

(Source: Berkley)

Del Rey

Golden Son: Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown (Del Rey 06 January 2015 / $25.00) - Product Description: With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender's Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown's genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom.

As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow's kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds--and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.

A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind's destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo's principles of love and justice to free his people.

He must live for more.

(see review)

Delacorte Press

Burned: A Fever Novel by Karen Marie Moning (Delacorte Press 20 January 2015 / $27.00) - Product Description: It's easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing. MacKayla Lane would do anything to save the home she loves. A gifted sidhe-seer, she's already fought and defeated the deadly Sinsar Dubh--an ancient book of terrible evil--yet its hold on her has never been stronger.

When the wall that protected humans from the seductive, insatiable Fae was destroyed on Halloween, long-imprisoned immortals ravaged the planet. Now Dublin is a war zone with factions battling for control. As the city heats up and the ice left by the Hoar Frost King melts, tempers flare, passions run red-hot, and dangerous lines get crossed. Seelie and Unseelie vie for power against nine ancient immortals who have governed Dublin for millennia; a rival band of sidhe-seers invades the city, determined to claim it for their own; Mac's former protégé and best friend, Dani "Mega" O'Malley, is now her fierce enemy; and even more urgent, Highland druid Christian MacKeltar has been captured by the Crimson Hag and is being driven deeper into Unseelie madness with each passing day. The only one Mac can depend on is the powerful, dangerous immortal Jericho Barrons, but even their fiery bond is tested by betrayal.

It's a world where staying alive is a constant struggle, the line between good and evil is blurred, and every alliance comes at a price. In an epic battle against dark forces, Mac must decide who she can trust, and what her survival is ultimately worth.

(Source: Delacorte Press)

Firefight (The Reckoners) by Brandon Sanderson (Delacorte Press 06 January 2015 / $18.99) - Product Description: A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Brandon Sanderson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Words of Radiance, coauthor of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, and creator of the internationally bestselling Mistborn Trilogy, presents the second book in the Reckoners series: Firefight, the sequel to the #1 bestseller Steelheart.
   Newcago is free.
   They told David it was impossible, that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet Steelheart--invincible, immortal, unconquerable--is dead. And he died by David's hand.
   Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life simpler. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And no one in Newcago can give him answers.
   Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic Regalia, Babylon Restored is flooded and miserable, but David is sure it's the path that will lead him to what he needs to find. Entering a city oppressed by a High Epic despot is risky, but David's willing to take the gamble. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David's heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic--Firefight. And now he will go on a quest darker and even more dangerous than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

Praise for the Reckoners series

"The suspense is relentless and the climax explosive."—James Dashner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series
 
"Another win for Sanderson . . . he's simply a brilliant writer. Period."—Patrick Rothfuss, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller The Name of the Wind
 
[STAR] "Snappy dialogue, bizarre plot twists, high-intensity action, and a touch of mystery and romance…leaves [readers] panting for the sequel."-Booklist, starred
 
"An absolute page-turner."—Publishers Weekly
 
"Compelling. . . . Sanderson uses plot twists that he teases enough for readers to pick up on to distract from the more dramatic reveals he has in store."—The A.V. Club (see review)

Disney-Hyperion

When by Victoria Laurie (Disney-Hyperion 13 January 2015 / $17.99) - Product Description: Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father's premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client's young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she's unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.

Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie's whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it's too late? (see review)

Escape Publishing - Harlequin Enterprises, Australia Pty Ltd

The Lost Souls Dating Agency by Suneeti Rekhari (Escape Publishing - Harlequin Enterprises, Australia Pty Ltd 01 January 2015 / ) - Product Description: Shalini started out as just an ordinary university student, but the sudden and unexpected inheritance of an unused warehouse on the industrial side of town throws her life plan askew.

Drawing from her strengths, she decides to set up a matchmaking business, helping the lonely to find a soulmate. But something unusual happens, something unexpected--her first client doesn't fit the regular profile. Victor is dark, handsome, emotionally available...and a vampire.

Suddenly Shalini's already disrupted world becomes a place where rules no longer apply. She must learn to adapt to her new occupation of finding The One for a prospective clientele of vampires, shape-shifters, and other beings more likely to bite first and ask questions later. And there are those out there who are less than happy with her entrepreneurial spirit.

But just as Shalini begins to think she can cope with anything, she discovers that she has bitten off more than she can chew, and played with powerful forces that have the potential to not only destroy the Lost Souls Dating Agency--but Shalini herself.

(see review)

Gallery Books

The Deep by Nick Cutter (Gallery Books 13 January 2015 / $26.00) - Product Description: A strange plague called the 'Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget--small things at first, like where they left their keys...then the not-so-small things like how to drive, or the letters of the alphabet. Then their bodies forget how to function involuntarily...and there is no cure. But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Marianas Trench, an heretofore unknown substance hailed as "ambrosia" has been discovered--a universal healer, from initial reports. It may just be the key to a universal cure. In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab, the Trieste, has been built eight miles under the sea's surface. But now the station is incommunicado, and it's up to a brave few to descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths...and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine.

Part horror, part psychological nightmare, The Deep is a novel that fans of Stephen King and Clive Barker won't want to miss--especially if you're afraid of the dark.

(Source: Gallery Books)

Harper Voyager

Gideon by Alex Gordon (Harper Voyager 06 January 2015 / $14.99) - Product Description: When Lauren's father dies, she makes a shocking discovery. The man she knew as John Reardon was once a completely different person, with a different name. Now, she's determined to find out who he really was, even though her only clues are an old photograph, some letters, and the name of a town--Gideon.

But someone--or something--doesn't want her to discover the truth. A strange man is stalking her, appearing everywhere she turns, and those who try to help her end up dead. Neither a shadowy enemy nor her own fear are going to prevent her from solving the mystery of her father—and unlocking the secrets of her own life.

Making her way to Gideon, Lauren finds herself more confused than ever. Nothing in this small Midwestern town is what it seems, including time itself. Residents start going missing, and Lauren is threatened by almost every townsperson she encounters. Two hundred years ago, a witch was burned at the stake, but in Gideon, the past feels all too chillingly present.

(see review)

Jo Fletcher Books

Blood Will Follow by Snorri Kristjansson (Jo Fletcher Books 06 January 2015 / $24.99) - Product Description: The Valhalla Saga, a fantasy adventure set in Viking Norway began in Swords of Good Men and now continues with Blood Will Follow, where plundering and pillaging are a way of life and creature comforts rarely exceed a mug of sour mead.

Ulfar Thormodsson and Audun Arngrimsson are battered, having barely survived the battle for Stenvik, waged between King Olav and the followers of the White Christ, and those whose allegiance remains to the gods of the Norse pantheon. Alas, the two Vikings' encounter with a mysterious witch just before escaping the town over the city's walls have left them without the one thing that made them human: their mortality.

While Ulfar heads home to Sweden, hoping to find a safe haven where he can come to grips with his newfound inability to die, Audun travels by foot to the south, searching for answers on the open road. But both men are about to discover that they cannot run from their destiny. King Olav has left the conquered town of Stenvik in the hands of his lieutenant so he can journey north, following the advice of the scheming healer Valgard, to hunt for the source of the Vikings' power.

Soon, Ulfar and Audun will realize they have important roles to play in the battle for supremacy between those seeking to spread the gospel of the White Christ and those who keep to the old ways of Odin, Thor, and Loki.

(Source: Jo Fletcher Books)

MIDNIGHT INK

The Accidental Alchemist (An Accidental Alchemist Mystery) by Gigi Pandian (MIDNIGHT INK 01 January 2015 / ) - Product Description: Unpacking her belongings in her new hometown of Portland, Oregon, herbalist and reformed alchemist Zoe Faust can't help but notice she's picked up a stowaway. Dorian Robert-Houdin is a living, breathing three-and-half-foot gargoyle—not to mention a master of French cuisine—and he needs Zoe's expertise to decipher a centuries-old text. Zoe, who's trying to put her old life behind her, isn't so sure she wants to reopen her alchemical past ... until the dead man on her porch leaves her no choice.
Includes recipes! (Source: MIDNIGHT INK)

NAL

The Flight of the Silvers: The Silvers Series by Daniel Price (NAL 06 January 2015 / $16.00) - Product Description: Without warning, the world comes to an end. The sky looms frigid white. The electric grid falters. Airplanes everywhere crash to the ground.

Within moments, the sky comes down in a crushing sheet of light, and everything and everyone are gone—except for Hannah and Amanda Given. Saved from destruction by three fearsome and powerful beings, the Given sisters suddenly find themselves elsewhere: a strange new Earth where restaurants move through the air like flying saucers and the fabric of time is manipulated by common household appliances.

Soon Hannah and Amanda are joined by four other survivors from their world—a mordant cartoonist, a shy teenage girl, a brilliant young Australian, and a troubled ex-prodigy. Hunted by enemies they never knew they had, and afflicted with temporal abilities they never wanted, the sisters and their companions begin a cross-country journey to find the one man who can save them--before time runs out. (Source: NAL)

Night Shade Books

Evensong by John Love (Night Shade Books 06 January 2015 / $15.99) - Product Description: The future is a dangerous place. Keeping the world stable and peaceful when competing corporate interests and nation-states battle for power, wealth, and prestige has only gotten harder over the years. But that's the United Nations' job. So the UN has changed along with the rest of the world. When the UN's "soft" diplomacy fails, it has harder options. Quiet, scalpel-like options: The Dead--biologically enhanced secret operatives created by the UN to solve the problems no one else can.

Anwar Abbas is one of The Dead. When the Controller-General of the UN asks him to perform a simple bodyguard mission, he's insulted and resentful: mere bodyguard work is a waste of his unique abilities. But he takes the job, because to refuse it would be unthinkable.

Anwar is asked to protect Olivia del Sarto, the host of an important upcoming UN conference. Olivia is head of the world's fastest-growing church, but in her rise to power she has made enemies: shadowy enemies with apparently limitless resources.

Anwar is one of the deadliest people on earth, but her enemies have something which kills people like him. And they've sent it for her. It's out there, unstoppable and untraceable, getting closer as the conference approaches.

As he and Olivia ignite a torrid affair, Anwar must uncover the conspiracy that threatens to destroy her, the UN, and even The Dead. (Source: Night Shade Books)

Paizo Publishing

Pathfinder Tales: Pirate's Promise by Chris A. Jackson (Paizo Publishing 06 January 2015 / $9.99) - Product Description: Torius Vin is perfectly happy with his life as a pirate captain, sailing the Inner Sea in search of plunder with a bold crew of buccaneers and Celeste, his snake-bodied navigator and one true love. Yet all that changes when his sometimes-friend Vreva - a high-powered courtesan and abolitionist spy in the slaver stronghold of Okeno - draws him into her shadowy network of insurgents. Caught between the slavers he hates and a navy that sees him as a criminal, can Torius continue to choose the path of piracy? Or will he sign on as a privateer, bringing freedom to others - at the price of his own? (Source: Paizo Publishing)

Pocket Books/Star Trek

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Takedown by John Jackson Miller (Pocket Books/Star Trek 27 January 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: An all-new novel of Star Trek: The Next Generation--one of the most popular Star Trek series of all-time, featuring the adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise!

When renegade Federation starships begin wreaking destruction across the Alpha Quadrant, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are shocked to discover that the mastermind behind this sudden threat is none other than Picard's protégé and friend: Admiral William T. Riker. The newly minted admiral is on board the U.S.S. Aventine as part of a special assignment, even as the mystery deepens behind his involvement in the growing crisis. But the Aventine is helmed by Captain Ezri Dax--someone who is no stranger to breaking Starfleet regulations--and her starship is by far the faster vessel...and Riker cannot yield even to his former mentor. It's a battle of tactical geniuses and a race against time as Picard struggles to find answers before the quadrant's great powers violently retaliate against the Federation. (Source: Pocket Books/Star Trek)

Pyr

Originator: A Cassandra Kresnov Novel by Joel Shepherd (Pyr 06 January 2015 / $18.00) - Product Description: A quarter of a million people die in the destruction of the moon Cresta. The League civil war is accelerating out of control, but projections indicate that as their technologically induced sociological dysfunction continues, all of humanity may face a similar fate. In the aftermath of Cresta's destruction, Sandy Kresnov discovers the alien Talee operative Cai in Tanusha, there to learn just how far the technologically-induced insanity has gone. The Talee have seen this before, and they are terrified of anything threatening a recurrence.

Meanwhile, Sandy's old nemesis Renaldo Takewashi, the self-proclaimed "father" of synthetic intelligence, comes to the Federation seeking asylum. Talewashi may even have a cure--previously unknown Talee technology implanted into a human child subject--Sandy's little boy, Kiril. But it is exactly this technology that the Talee fear, and they will exterminate anyone caught using it.

Now, Sandy must fight to save her family from a terrible new threat, but doing so may plunge humanity into another destructive war between humans, or worse, against the massively-advanced Talee. And what final secret are the Talee protecting about the origins of synthetic humans like Sandy that could either liberate Sandy's fellow synthetics from bondage or spell disaster for all humanity?
(Source: Pyr)

Roc

Half-Resurrection Blues (Bone Street Rumba) by Daniel José Older (Roc 06 January 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: "Because I'm an inbetweener--and the only one anyone knows of at that--the dead turn to me when something is askew between them and the living. Usually, it's something mundane like a suicide gone wrong or someone revived that shouldn'ta been."

Carlos Delacruz is one of the New York Council of the Dead's most unusual agents--an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that's missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind--until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death.

One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He's summoned a horde of implike ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they're spreading through the city like a plague. They've already taken out some of NYCOD's finest, leaving Carlos desperate to stop their master before he opens up the entrada to the Underworld--which would destroy the balance between the living and the dead.

But in uncovering this man's identity, Carlos confronts the truth of his own life--and death. (see review)

Speak

The Well's End by Seth Fishman (Speak 08 January 2015 / $9.99) - Product Description: Panic grips sixteen-year-old Mia Kish's boarding school, Westbrook Academy, when a mysterious quarantine is suddenly enforced by a small army of soldiers who shoot first and ask questions later. The quarantine makes no sense--but then students and faculty inexplicably begin to break down. Their illness is an aggressive virus that ages its victims years in only a matter of hours. The end result? Death.

No one can explain what's going or has any idea what to do. Except Mia. Because she knows something that no one else does. And she knows the only place to escape to get answers...But what she finds may be even more horrific than anything that came before.

(Source: Speak)

Strange Particle Press

The Far Frontier by William Rotsler (Strange Particle Press 06 January 2015 / $2.99) - Product Description: Raider had wandered for years from world to world through the voids of the final frontier. Now, at last, in its farthest realms, he had found a world he wanted to call home. To a war-weary starman like Rader, the planet Zikkala was paradise. Unfortunately, Zikkala had two drawbacks: The indigenous stone age level population had a long tradition of proving their mettle by attacking each other in duels to the death; and with the arrival of Terrans, they had transferred that tradition to attacking outworlders. Meanwhile, a megacorporation from the Earth had targeted Zikkala for acquisition. They had their own army — and if they couldn't buy they planet, they planned to conquer it. And, if that weren't bad enough, Alena, the one woman he cared for, ran the best cathouse in town, and the megacorp had targeted it for a take over. Raider wanted to help, but he was outnumbered, out gunned — and on the wrong side of the law. Failure meant a quick trip to an interplanetary boothill! (Source: Strange Particle Press)

Subterranean

Jacaranda: A Novella of the Clockwork Century by Cherie Priest (Subterranean 31 January 2015 / $25.00) - Product Description: The Ranger. On the island of Galveston, off the coast of southeast Texas, lies a hotel called the Jacaranda. In its single year of operation, two dozen people have died there. The locals say it's cursed. The Rangers say that's nonsense, but they know a man who might be willing to investigate. Horatio Korman crosses the water from the mainland, and hopes for the best.

The Nun. But the bodies pile up, and a hurricane is brewing up fast. One of the Jacaranda's guests sees time running out, so she seeks an authority of a different sort: a priest from El Huizache who is good at solving problems and keeping secrets. Eileen Callahan has a problem to solve, and a secret to keep. She crosses her fingers, and sends a message that could save them all.

The Padre. Juan Miguel Quintero Rios broke a promise to the Virgin, and so he was punished...but his intentions were pure, so he was also blessed. Now he walks the southwest with second sight and a tattoo across his back: "Deo, non Fortuna"--By God, not chance. The former gunslinger crosses himself, and makes for the Jacaranda Hotel. (see review)

Subterranean Press

Forsaken by Kelley Armstrong (Subterranean Press 31 January 2015 / $28.00) - Book Description: Three years after being named Alpha of the North American pack, Elena Michaels is in London battling for respect from the British pack. When it becomes apparent she won’t get it, she heads home, expecting a much-needed rest on her family vacation, only to discover a battle brewing of a very different kind.

One of her eight-year-old twins has disappeared, and all evidence points to Malcolm Danvers. It seems as if the psychotic former Pack member they’ve been tracking for the past year has brought the fight to them, setting the bait he knows Elena can’t afford to ignore.

(see review)

Tor Books

Inside a Silver Box by Walter Mosley (Tor Books 27 January 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: Walter Mosley's talent knows no bounds. Inside a Silver Box continues to explore the cosmic questions entertainingly discussed in his Crosstown to Oblivion series. From life's meaning to the nature of good and evil, Mosley takes readers on a speculative journey beyond reality.

In Inside a Silver Box, two people brought together by a horrific act are united in a common cause by the powers of the Silver Box. The two join to protect humanity from destruction by an alien race, the Laz, hell-bent on regaining control over the Silver Box, the most destructive and powerful tool in the universe. The Silver Box will stop at nothing to prevent its former master from returning to being, even if it means finishing the earth itself.

(Source: Tor Books)

Kushiel's Dart (Kushiel's Legacy) by Jacqueline Carey (Tor Books 13 January 2015 / $17.99) - Product Description: "When Love cast me out, it was Cruelty who took pity on me."

In a kingdom born of angels, Phedre is an anguisette, cursed or blessed to find pleasure in pain. Sold to the Court of Night Blooming Flowers, her fate as a beautiful but anonymous courtesan was sealed. Her bond was purchased by the nobleman Anafiel Delauney, who recognized the scarlet mote in Phedre's eye as the rare mark of one touched by a powerful deity. Under Delauney's patronage she is trained in history, politics, language, and the use of body and mind as the ultimate weapon of subterfuge in a dangerous game of courtly intrigue.

Guided into the bed chambers of Terre D'Ange's most influential nobles, Phedre uncovers a conspiracy against the throne so vast that even her teacher cannot see the whole of it. As her nation is besieged by invading hordes from the north, the most unthinkable threat to her beloved home comes from traitors within. Betrayed and blindsided by her own longings, only Phedre and her trusted bodyguard Josselin are left to cross borders and warring armies in a race to stop the final blow from falling.

(Source: Tor Books)

Pacific Fire by Greg van Eekhout (Tor Books 27 January 2015 / $24.99) - Product Description: I'm Sam. I'm just this guy. Okay, yeah, I'm a golem created from the substance of his own magic by the late Hierarch of Southern California. With a lot of work, I might be able to wield magic myself. I kind of doubt it, though. Not like Daniel Blackland can.

Daniel's the reason the Hierarch's gone and I'm still alive. He's also the reason I've lived my entire life on the run. Ten years of never, ever going back to Los Angeles. Daniel's determined to protect me. To teach me. But it gets old. I've got nobody but Daniel. I'll never do anything normal. Like attend school. Or date a girl.

Now it's worse. Because things are happening back in LA. Very bad people are building a Pacific firedrake, a kind of ultimate weapon of mass magical destruction. Daniel seemed to think only he could stop them. Now Daniel's been hurt. I managed to get us to the place run by the Emmas. (Many of them. All named Emma. It's a long story.) They seem to be healing him, but he isn't going anyplace soon.

Do I even have a reason for existing, if it isn't to prevent this firedrake from happening? I'm good at escaping from things. Now I've escaped from Daniel and the Emmas, and I'm on my way to LA. This may be the worst idea I ever had. (see review)

The Just City by Jo Walton (Tor Books 13 January 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: "Here in the Just City you will become your best selves. You will learn and grow and strive to be excellent."

Created as an experiment by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community, populated by over ten thousand children and a few hundred adult teachers from all eras of history, along with some handy robots from the far human future--all set down together on a Mediterranean island in the distant past.

The student Simmea, born an Egyptian farmer's daughter sometime between 500 and 1000 A.D, is a brilliant child, eager for knowledge, ready to strive to be her best self. The teacher Maia was once Ethel, a young Victorian lady of much learning and few prospects, who prayed to Pallas Athene in an unguarded moment during a trip to Rome--and, in an instant, found herself in the Just City with grey-eyed Athene standing unmistakably before her.

Meanwhile, Apollo--stunned by the realization that there are things mortals understand better than he does--has arranged to live a human life, and has come to the City as one of the children. He knows his true identity, and conceals it from his peers. For this lifetime, he is prone to all the troubles of being human.

Then, a few years in, Sokrates arrives--the same Sokrates recorded by Plato himself--to ask all the troublesome questions you would expect. What happens next is a tale only the brilliant Jo Walton could tell.

(see review)

The Providence of Fire (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne) by Brian Staveley (Tor Books 13 January 2015 / $27.99) - Product Description: The conspiracy to destroy the ruling family of the Annurian Empire is far from over. Having learned the identity of her father's assassin, Adare flees the Dawn Palace is search of allies to challenge the coup against her family. Few trust her, but when she is believed to be touched by Intarra, patron goddess of the empire, the people rally to help her retake the capital city. As armies prepare to clash, the threat of invasion from barbarian hordes compels the rival forces to unite against their common enemy.

Unknown to Adare, her brother Valyn, renegade member of the empire's most elite fighting force, has allied with the invading nomads. The terrible choices each of them has made may make war between them inevitable.

Between Valyn and Adare is their brother Kaden, rightful heir to the Unhewn Throne, who has infiltrated the Annurian capital with the help of two strange companions. The knowledge they possess of the secret history that shapes these events could save Annur or destroy it. (see review)

The Whispering Swarm: Book One of The Sanctuary of the White Friars by Michael Moorcock (Tor Books 13 January 2015 / $26.99) - Product Description: Almost anyone who has read or written Science Fiction or fantasy has been inspired by the work of Michael Moorcock. His literary flair and grand sense of adventure have been evident since his controversial first novel Behold the Man, through the stories and novels featuring his most famous character, Elric of Melniboné, to his fantasy masterpiece, Gloriana, winner of both the Campbell Memorial and World Fantasy, awards for best novel. Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and Michael Chabon all cite Moorcock as a major influence; as editor of New Worlds magazine, he helped launch the careers of many of his contemporaries, including Harlan Ellison, Philip K. Dick, and J.G. Ballard.

Tor Books now proudly presents Moorcock's first independent novel in nine years, a tale both fantastical and autobiographical, a celebration of London and what it meant to be young there in the years after World War II. The Whispering Swarm is the first in a trilogy that will follow a young man named Michael as he simultaneously discovers himself and a secret realm hidden deep in the heart of London.

(see review)

Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers (Tor Books 13 January 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: The colonists of the planet Montana are accustomed to being ignored. Situated in the buffer zone between two rival human empires, their world is a backwater: remote, provincial, independently minded. Even as a provisional member of the Republic of Aligned Worlds, Montana merits little consideration--until it becomes the flashpoint in an impending interstellar war.

When pirate raids threaten to destabilize the region, the RAW deploys its mechanized armored infantry to deal with the situation. Leading the assault is Marine Corps Lieutenant and Montanan expatriate Promise Paen of Victor Company. Years earlier, Promise was driven to join the Marines after her father was killed by such a raid. Payback is sweet, but it comes at a tremendous and devastating cost. And Promise is in no way happy to be back on her birthworld, not even when she is hailed as a hero by the planet's populace, including its colorful president. Making matters even worse: Promise is persistently haunted by the voice of her dead mother.

Meanwhile, the RAW's most bitter rival, the Lusitanian Empire, has been watching events unfold in the Montana system with interest. Their forces have been awaiting the right moment to gain a beachhead in Republic territory, and with Promise's Marines decimated, they believe the time to strike is now.

(see review)

Unbreakable (Chronicles of Promise Paen) by W.C. Bauers (Tor Books 13 January 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: The colonists of the planet Montana are accustomed to being ignored. Situated in the buffer zone between two rival human empires, their world is a backwater: remote, provincial, independently minded. Even as a provisional member of the Republic of Aligned Worlds, Montana merits little consideration--until it becomes the flashpoint in an impending interstellar war.

When pirate raids threaten to destabilize the region, the RAW deploys its mechanized armored infantry to deal with the situation. Leading the assault is Marine Corps Lieutenant and Montanan expatriate Promise Paen of Victor Company. Years earlier, Promise was driven to join the Marines after her father was killed by such a raid. Payback is sweet, but it comes at a tremendous and devastating cost. And Promise is in no way happy to be back on her birthworld, not even when she is hailed as a hero by the planet's populace, including its colorful president. Making matters even worse: Promise is persistently haunted by the voice of her dead mother.

Meanwhile, the RAW's most bitter rival, the Lusitanian Empire, has been watching events unfold in the Montana system with interest. Their forces have been awaiting the right moment to gain a beachhead in Republic territory, and with Promise's Marines decimated, they believe the time to strike is now.

(see review)

Wild Cards IV: Aces Abroad by Wild Cards Trust (Tor Books 13 January 2015 / $15.99) - Product Description: Wild Cards IV: Aces Abroad -- book four of the original Wild Cards series now in trade paperback--featuring two brand-new stories.

The action-packed alternate fantasy returns for a new generation, featuring fiction from #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin, Michael Cassutt, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Lewis Shiner, and more--plus two completely new stories from Kevin Andrew Murphy and bestselling author Carrie Vaughn. Forty years after the Wild Card Virus's release, the World Health Organization decides it's time to take a delegation of Aces, Jokers, politicians, and journalists on a fact-finding mission to learn how other countries are dealing with the virus that reshaped humanity. Leading the team is Gregg Hartmann, a senator with presidential aspirations and a dangerous ace up his sleeve. Joining him is a menagerie of some of the series' best and most popular Wild Cards, including Dr. Tachyon, aces Peregrine and Golden Boy, and jokers Chrysalis, Troll, and Father Squid.

From the jungles of Haiti and Peru to the tumultuous political climate of Egypt, from a monastery in Japan to the streets of the most glamorous cities of Europe, the Wild Cards are in for an eye-opening trip. While some are worshiped as actual gods, those possessing the most extreme mutations are treated with a contempt that's all too familiar to the delegates from Jokertown. New alliances will be formed, new enemies will be made, and some actions will fulfill centuries-old prophecies that make ripples throughout the future of the Wild Cards universe. (see review)

WMG Publishing

A Murder of Clones (Retrieval Artist) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (WMG Publishing 01 January 2015 / ) - Book Description: A deadly conspiracy...

The Anniversary Day bombings on the Moon sent shockwaves throughout the Earth Alliance. No one knows who created the clones responsible and turned them into ruthless killers. No one knows where or when they’ll strike next.

The bombings compel Earth Alliance Frontier Marshall Judita Gomez to launch an unauthorized investigation into a case from her past involving the murder of clones. An investigation that might cost Judita not only her career but the lives of her crew.

This third book of the Anniversary Day Saga sheds further light on the Anniversary Day events, and introduces several new key characters.

(see review)

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