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US Books Received- 07/2015  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

Master of Formalities by Scott Meyer (47North 28 July 2015 / $14.95) - Product Description: Even when finding oneself engaged in interstellar war, good form must be observed. Our story is set thousands of years after the Terran Exodus, where two powerful, planet-dominating families--the elegant House Jakabitus and the less refined Hahn Empire--have reached a critical point in their generations-long war. Master Hennik, the Hahn ruler's only son, has been captured, and the disposition of his internment may represent a last and welcome chance for peace.

Enter Wollard, the impeccably distinguished and impossibly correct Master of Formalities for House Jakabitus. When he suggests that Master Hennik be taken in as a ward of the House, certain complications arise. Wollard believes utterly and devotedly in adhering to rules and good etiquette. But how does one inform the ruler of a planet that you are claiming his son as your own--and still create enough goodwill to deescalate an intergalactic war?

(see review)

Ace

Queen of Fire (Raven's Shadow) by Anthony Ryan (Ace 07 July 2015 / $28.95) - Product Description: In the thrilling conclusion to the "deftly and originally executed" (Booklist) New York Times bestselling trilogy, Vaelin Al Sorna must help his Queen reclaim her Realm. Only his enemy has a dangerous new collaborator, one with powers darker than Vaelin has ever encountered.

"The Ally is there, but only ever as a shadow, unexplained catastrophe or murder committed at the behest of a dark vengeful spirit. Sorting truth from myth is often a fruitless task."

After fighting back from the brink of death, Queen Lyrna is determined to repel the invading Volarian army and regain the independence of the Unified Realm. Except, to accomplish her goals, she must do more than rally her loyal supporters. She must align herself with forces she once found repugnant—those who possess the strange and varied gifts of the Dark—and take the war to her enemy's doorstep.

Victory rests on the shoulders of Vaelin Al Sorna, now named Battle Lord of the Realm. However, his path is riddled with difficulties. For the Volarian enemy has a new weapon on their side, one that Vaelin must destroy if the Realm is to prevail—a mysterious Ally with the ability to grant unnaturally long life to her servants. And defeating one who cannot be killed is a nearly impossible feat, especially when Vaelin's blood-song, the mystical power which has made him the epic fighter he is, has gone ominously silent.

(Source: Ace)

Redzone (Mutant Files) by William C. Dietz (Ace 28 July 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: The year is 2065, almost thirty years since a bioterrorist attack decimated the population. The world has been divided, and new nations have formed. Those mutated from exposure inhabit the red zones, while "norms" live in the green zones.

In the nation of Pacifica, Los Angeles detective Cassandra Lee is in charge of investigating a disturbing case, tracking a cop killer dubbed the Bonebreaker. But strange new murders have occurred, falling outside the normal pattern and leaving Lee and her team wondering if the serial killer has become unpredictable--or if he's no longer acting alone.

To make matters worse, Lee's attention is diverted after she receives a letter from her long-lost mother. Now she must venture into the red zone, a lawless land where might makes right--and where the biggest danger may be her own family.

(Source: Ace)

The Annihilation Score (A Laundry Files Novel) by Charles Stross (Ace 07 July 2015 / $26.95) - Product Description: Hugo Award-winning author Charles Stross presents the next case in The Laundry Files, "a weirdly alluring blend of super-spy thriller, deadpan comic fantasy, and Lovecraftian horror" (Kirkus Reviews). 

Dominique O'Brien—her friends call her Mo—lives a curious double life with her husband, Bob Howard. To the average civilian, they're boring middle-aged civil servants. But within the labyrinthian secret circles of Her Majesty's government, they're operatives working for the nation's occult security service known as the Laundry, charged with defending Britain against dark supernatural forces threatening humanity.

Mo's latest assignment is assisting the police in containing an unusual outbreak: ordinary citizens suddenly imbued with extraordinary abilities of the super-powered kind. Unfortunately these people prefer playing super-pranks instead of super-heroics. The Mayor of London being levitated by a dumpy man in Trafalgar Square would normally be a source of shared amusement for Mo and Bob, but they're currently separated because something's come between them—something evil.  

An antique violin, an Erich Zann original, made of human white bone, was designed to produce music capable of slaughtering demons. Mo is the custodian of this unholy instrument. It invades her dreams and yearns for the blood of her colleagues—and her husband. And despite Mo's proficiency as a world class violinist, it cannot be controlled… (see review)

Aqueduct Press

The Weave by Nancy Jane Moore (Aqueduct Press 01 July 2015 / $19.00) - Book Description: The Weave is a first-contact story in which humans, seeking to exploit the much-needed resources of a system inhabited by creatures they assume are "primitive" and defenseless, discover their mistake the hard way. Human Caty Sanjuro, a seasoned marine and dedicated xenologish, and native Sundown, a determined astronomer, struggle to establish communication across the many barriers that divide their species, at first because they share a passionate interest in alien species, but finally because they know that only they can bridge the differences across species threatening catastrophe for both sides.

(see review)

Baen

1636: The Cardinal Virtues (The Ring of Fire) by Eric Flint and Walter H. Hunt (Baen 07 July 2015 / $26.00) - Product Description: Book #19 in the Ring of Fire series. After carving a free state for itself in war-torn 17th century Europe, citizens of the modern town of Grantville, West Virginia must contend with France's infamous Cardinal Richilieu, who is determined to keep his grip on power no matter what history says.

France, 1636 ... It has been twenty years since King Louis took Aña Maria Mauricia, daughter of Spain's King Philip III, as his wife, and their union has not yet produced an heir. Under the guidance of his chief minister, Cardinal Richelieu, a plan is developed to remedy that situation. Once she is with child, Queen Anne goes into seclusion to guard her health and protect her from those who would prefer that the child is never born--France's foreign enemies as well as schemers such as Monsieur Gaston d'Orleans, the King's younger brother and heir. When the Crown's opponents make their move, factions inside and outside France must choose sides and help determine the future and fate of the Kingdom.

(see review)

Chicks and Balances (Chicks in Chainmail) by (Baen 07 July 2015 / $15.00) - Product Description: Original anthology featuring rollicking, tongue-in-cheek tales of women warrior fighting against the stodgy and in the name of freedom of expression, Chicks in Chainmail style!

Continuing a great tradition, Chicks and Balances is not what you might think (or it is what you think, depending on which way your mind runs). What we have here is a bunch of perfectly healthy women who happen to be of the brass-bra-wearing and chain-link bikinis sort. Each is fighting in her own way for the freedom to express herself--often by thrusting sword through a censor's black heart! Be glad, the chicks in chainmail are back, and they will not be oppressed, repressed, or depressed!

All new adventures of fearless women warriors by Eric Flint, creator of the Ring of Fire alternate history series; Nebula-winning author Harry Turtledove; Jody Lynn Nye, co-author of the national best seller The Ship Who Won; Campbell Award-winner Wen Spencer, and many more, including the inimitable Esther Friesner herself, as fantasy adventure takes a turn for the lighter side.

Contributors: Esther Friesner; Jody Lynn Nye; Jim C. Hines; Elizabeth A. Vaughan; Harry Turtledove; Kerrie L. Hughes; Steven Harper Piziks; Wen Spencer; Julie S. Mandala; Esther Friesner; Jean Rabe; Alex Shvartsman; Sarah A. Hoyt; Robin Wayne Bailey; Laura Resnick; Lee Martindale; P.C. Hodgell; Dean Wesley Smith; Laura Frankos; Louisa Swann; Elizabeth Ann Scarborough; and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

The Series: Chicks in Chainmail, Turn the Other Chick, The Chick's in the Mail, Chicks 'n Chained Males, Chicks Ahoy, Did You Say Chicks?!, and Chicks and Balances.

(Source: Baen)

Hell's Gate by David Weber and Linda Evans (Baen 07 July 2015 / $16.00) - Product Description: #1 in the Hell's Gate science fiction/fantasy series returns! Matched with new hardcover entry The Road to Hell, a popular series by internationally best-selling author David Weber continues!

They Thought They Knew How The Universes Worked--THEY WERE WRONG. In the almost two centuries since the discovery of the first inter-universal portal, Arcana has explored scores of other worlds ... all of them duplicates of their own. Multiple Earths, virgin planets with a twist, because the explorers already know where to find all of their vast, untapped natural resources. Worlds beyond worlds, effectively infinite living space and mineral wealth.

And in all that time, they have never encountered another intelligent species. No cities, no vast empires, no civilizations and no equivalent of their own dragons, gryphons, spells, and wizards.

But all of that is about to change. It seems there is intelligent life elsewhere in the multiverse. Other human intelligent life, with terrifying new weapons and powers of the mind ... and wizards who go by the strange title of "scientist".

The Hell's Gate Series: Hell's Gate, Hell Hath No Fury, The Road to Hell.

(see review)

Liberty: 1784 by Robert Conroy (Baen 28 July 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: A compelling alternate history novel by the breakout author of WW II era alternate history Himmler's War and Rising Sun.

The British win the American Revolutionary War, and a desperate Washington and the American founders must make a last stand in an enclave called Liberty.

In 1781, George Washington's attempt to trap the British under Cornwallis at Yorktown ends catastrophically when the French fleet is destroyed in the Battle of the Capes. The revolution collapses, and the British begin a bloody reign of terror. A group of rebels flees westward and sets up a colony near what is now Chicago. They call it Liberty. The British, looking to finish what they started, send a very large force under Burgoyne to destroy them. Burgoyne is desperate for redemption and the Americans are equally desperate to survive.

Had the Battle of the Capes gone differently, a changed, darker, New World would have been forced into existence. But even under those dire circumstances, Liberty may still find a way! (see review)

Prisoners of Tomorrow by James P Hogan (Baen 07 July 2015 / $14.00) - Product Description: Two SF novels in one volume: Endgame Enigma and Voyage from Yesteryear.

Endgame Enigma: In the near future, Russia has built Valentina Tereshkova, a space station a mile in diameter, a shining city in space. Its builders claim that the orbiting space city is a peaceful Utopian experiment, but American intelligence reports raise the ominous possibility that the space colony is actually a weapon built by the last heirs of the Soviet dictators.When scientist Paula Bryce and trained agent Lew McCain travel to the station to investigate, they become prisoners in the station's high-tech prison facilities. Escape seems impossible but if they can't escape, Armageddon is inevitable.

Voyage from Yesteryear:: Late in our century, as nuclear war loomed, Americans sent a colonization spaceship manned by robots to an Earthlike planet in the Alpha Centauri system. On arrival, the robot crew used recorded DNA information to bring forth a generation of infants, whom they educated in accordance with the principles enunciated by the founders of the American government. Generations later, Earth has rebuilt after the war, unfortunately with authoritarian governments which now can send manned starships with more colonists to the new worlds. They'll show their distant relatives "help." But the robots educated their pupils much too well--the colonists are actually serious about all that life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the inalienable rights of the individual stuff.

(Source: Baen)

Treasure Planet (Man-Kzin Wars) by Hal Colebatch and Jessica Q. Fox (Baen 28 July 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: A stand-alone novel in the best-selling Man-Kzin War anthology series created by multiple Larry Niven. A young man and his Kzin friend seek technological bounty on a forbidden planet while in a race with Kzin space pirates willing to kidnap and kill to make the treasure their own.

A thrilling stand-alone novel addition to the long-running, popular Man-Kzin Wars series created by New York Times multiple best seller, Larry Niven.

"Ah, the wealth o' the treasure planet be beyond the dreams of Man or the hopes o' Kzin!"

On Wunderland, a generation after Liberation, memories of the bloody kzin conquest and Occupation have faded, and men and kzin live largely in peace. But the fabulous treasure of the kzin pirates, hidden on a distant world, remains a magnet for freebooters. Young Peter Cartwright and his kzinrett friend Marthar receive information and map from a most unlikely source and soon themselves fighting the most ruthless pirates in Known Space for an unimaginable prize.

(Source: Baen)

Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George (Bloomsbury USA Childrens 07 July 2015 / $17.99) - Product Description: As spoiled society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about their mysterious Romanian relatives, the Florescus. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their family, find proper husbands, and--most terrifyingly--learn the secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, bound by a centuries-old tradition to do the bidding of the royal Dracula family and it is time for Dacia and Lou to take their place among the ranks. But when the devilish heir, Mihai Dracula sets his sights on Dacia as part of his plan to secure power over all of Europe, the girls choose to fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might. Only the dashing Lord Johnny Hardcastle and the mysterious Theophilus Arkady--members of a secret society charged with ridding the world of monsters--can help Dacia and Lou, but breaking the shackles of their upbringing will require more courage than the girls ever imagined.

The thrilling start to a richly drawn, romance-filled series, this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives will have readers coming back for more.

(see review)

Crown

Armada: A Novel by Ernest Cline (Crown 14 July 2015 / $26.00) - Product Description: Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he's spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there's nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don't get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he's staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.  

No, Zack hasn't lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he's seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what's about to befall it.

It's Zack's chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can't help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn't something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you've ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon. (see review)

Del Rey

Bombs Away: The Hot War by Harry Turtledove (Del Rey 14 July 2015 / $28.00) - Product Description: In his acclaimed novels of alternate history, Harry Turtledove has scrutinized the twisted soul of the twentieth century, from the forces that set World War I in motion to the rise of fascism in the decades that followed. Now, this masterly storyteller turns his eyes to the aftermath of World War II and asks: In an era of nuclear posturing, what if the Cold War had suddenly turned hot?

Bombs Away begins with President Harry Truman in desperate consultation with General Douglas MacArthur, whose control of the ground war in Korea has slipped disastrously away. MacArthur recognizes a stark reality: The U.S. military has been cut to the bone after victory over the Nazis--while China and the USSR have built up their forces. The only way to stop the Communist surge into the Korean Peninsula and save thousands of American lives is through a nuclear attack. MacArthur advocates a strike on Chinese targets in Manchuria. In actual history, Truman rejected his general's advice; here, he does not. The miscalculation turns into a disaster when Truman fails to foresee Russia's reaction.

Almost instantly, Stalin strikes U.S. allies in Europe and Great Britain. As the shock waves settle, the two superpowers are caught in a horrifying face-off. Will they attack each other directly with nuclear weapons? What countries will be caught in between?

The fateful global drama plays out through the experiences of ordinary people—from a British barmaid to a Ukrainian war veteran to a desperate American soldier alone behind enemy lines in Korea. For them, as well as Truman, Mao, and Stalin, the whole world has become a battleground. Strategic strikes lead to massive movements of ground troops. Cities are destroyed, economies ravaged. And on a planet under siege, the sounds and sights of nuclear bombs become a grim harbinger of a new reality: the struggle to survive man's greatest madness.

(see review)

Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy, #2) by Pierce Brown (Del Rey 07 July 2015 / $15.00) - 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)

Half a War (Shattered Sea) by Joe Abercrombie (Del Rey 28 July 2015 / $26.00) - Product Description: Words are weapons: Princess Skara has seen all she loved made blood and ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. She must conquer her fears and sharpen her wits to a lethal edge if she is to reclaim her birthright.

Only half a war is fought with swords: The deep-cunning Father Yarvi has walked a long road from crippled slave to king’s minister. He has made allies of old foes and stitched together an uneasy peace. But now the ruthless Grandmother Wexen has raised the greatest army since the elves made war on God, and put Bright Yilling at its head – a man who worships no god but Death.

Sometimes one must fight evil with evil: Some – like Thorn Bathu and the sword-bearer Raith – are born to fight, perhaps to die. Others – like Brand the smith and Koll the wood-carver – would rather stand in the light. But when Mother War spreads her iron wings, she may cast the whole Shattered Sea into darkness.

(Source: Del Rey)

Ecco

Speak by Louisa Hall (Ecco 07 July 2015 / $27.99) - Product Description: A thoughtful, poignant novel that explores the creation of Artificial Intelligence--illuminating the very human need for communication, connection, and understanding.

In a narrative that spans geography and time, from the Atlantic Ocean in the seventeenth century, to a correctional institute in Texas in the near future, and told from the perspectives of five very different characters, Speak considers what it means to be human, and what it means to be less than fully alive.

A young Puritan woman travels to the New World with her unwanted new husband. Alan Turing, the renowned mathematician and code breaker, writes letters to his best friend's mother. A Jewish refugee and professor of computer science struggles to reconnect with his increasingly detached wife. An isolated and traumatized young girl exchanges messages with an intelligent software program. A former Silicon Valley Wunderkind is imprisoned for creating illegal lifelike dolls.

Each of these characters is attempting to communicate across gaps--to estranged spouses, lost friends, future readers, or a computer program that may or may not understand them. In dazzling and electrifying prose, Louisa Hall explores how the chasm between computer and human--shrinking rapidly with today's technological advances--echoes the gaps that exist between ordinary people. Though each speaks from a distinct place and moment in time, all five characters share the need to express themselves while simultaneously wondering if they will ever be heard, or understood.

(Source: Ecco)

Harper Voyager

Killing Pretty (Sandman Slim) by Richard Kadrey (Harper Voyager 28 July 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: Sandman Slim investigates Death's death in this hip, propulsive urban fantasy through a phantasmagoric LA rife with murder, mayhem, and magic.

James Stark has met his share of demons and angels, on earth and beyond. Now, he's come face to face with the one entity few care to meet: Death.

Someone has tried to kill Death--ripping the heart right out of him--or rather the body he's inhabiting. Death needs Sandman Slim's help: he believes anyone who can beat Lucifer and the old gods at their own game is the only one who can solve his murder.

Stark follows a sordid trail deep into LA's subterranean world, from vampire-infested nightclubs to talent agencies specializing in mad ghosts, from Weimar Republic mystical societies to sleazy supernatural underground fight and sex clubs. Along the way he meets a mysterious girl--distinguished by a pair of graveyard eyes--as badass as Slim: she happens to be the only person who ever outwitted Death. But escaping her demise has had dire consequences for the rest of the world ... and a few others.

For years, Slim has been fighting cosmic forces bent on destroying Heaven, Hell, and Earth. This time, the battle is right here on the gritty streets of the City of Angels, where a very clever, very ballsy killer lies in wait.

(see review)

The Devil's Bag Man (Jess Galvan) by Adam Mansbach (Harper Voyager 21 July 2015 / $24.99) - Product Description: Locked in a Mexican jail for a crime he didn't commit, Jess Galvan made a devil's bargain to escape and make it back home. Now, he's trapped in his own personal hell, his mind and body inhabited by the soul of Cucuy, a fearsome, five-hundred-year-old Aztec priest and major crime kingpin determined to bring about hell on earth. Estranged from his daughter, Sherry, and now his own body, Galvan's every moment is a battle to keep the evil priest at bay. But there is a silver lining--his presence has endowed Galvan with superhuman strength and endurance.

Meanwhile, in the bowels of Ojos Negros prison, Cucuy's second-in-command, Domingo Valentine, is trying to run the empire Cucuy left behind when he vanished, but the drug cartels they once controlled are at war with one another. Desperate for answers, Valentine springs the imprisoned leader of a deadly biker gang and now they're on the hunt for Galvan--who must find a way to exorcise his inner demon and save the world from annihilation.

(Source: Harper Voyager)

Henry Holt and Co.

The Flicker Men by Ted Kosmatka (Henry Holt and Co. 21 July 2015 / $27.00) - Product Description: A quantum physicist shocks the world with a startling experiment, igniting a struggle between science and theology, free will and fate, and antagonizing forces not known to exist.

Eric Argus is a washout. His prodigious early work clouded his reputation and strained his sanity. But an old friend gives him another chance, an opportunity to step back into the light.

With three months to produce new research, Eric replicates the paradoxical double-slit experiment to see for himself the mysterious dual nature of light and matter. A simple but unprecedented inference blooms into a staggering discovery about human consciousness and the structure of the universe.

His findings are celebrated and condemned in equal measure. But no one can predict where the truth will lead. And as Eric seeks to understand the unfolding revelations, he must evade shadowy pursuers who believe he knows entirely too much already.

(see review)

Knopf Books for Young Readers

Outrage (The Singular Menace, 2) by John Sandford and Michele Cook (Knopf Books for Young Readers 14 July 2015 / $18.99) - Product Description: Shay Remby and her gang of renegades have struck a blow to the Singular Corporation. When they rescued Shay's brother, Odin, from a secret Singular lab, they also liberated a girl. Singular has been experimenting on her, trying to implant a U.S. senator's memories into her brain—with partial success. Fenfang is now a girl who literally knows too much.

Can the knowledge brought by ex-captives Odin and Fenfang help Shay and her friends expose the crimes of this corrupt corporation? Singular has already killed one of Shay's band to protect their secrets. How many more will die before the truth is exposed? (see review)

LucasBooks

Dark Disciple: Star Wars by Christie Golden (LucasBooks 07 July 2015 / $28.00) - Product Description: Based on unproduced episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this new novel features Asajj Ventress, former Sith apprentice turned bounty hunter and one of the great antiheroines in Star Wars history. The only way to bring down the Sith's most dangerous warrior may be to join forces with the dark side.

In the war for control of the galaxy between the armies of the dark side and the Republic, former Jedi Master turned ruthless Sith Lord Count Dooku has grown ever more brutal in his tactics. Despite the powers of the Jedi and the military prowess of their clone army, the sheer number of fatalities is taking a terrible toll. And when Dooku orders the massacre of a flotilla of helpless refugees, the Jedi Council feels it has no choice but to take drastic action: targeting the man responsible for so many war atrocities, Count Dooku himself.

But the ever-elusive Dooku is dangerous prey for even the most skilled hunter. So the Council makes the bold decision to bring both sides of the Force's power to bear—pairing brash Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos with infamous one-time Sith acolyte Asajj Ventress. Though Jedi distrust for the cunning killer who once served at Dooku's side still runs deep, Ventress's hatred for her former master runs deeper. She's more than willing to lend her copious talents as a bounty hunter—and assassin—to Vos's quest.

Together, Ventress and Vos are the best hope for eliminating Dooku—as long as the emerging feelings between them don't compromise their mission. But Ventress is determined to have her retribution and at last let go of her dark Sith past. Balancing the complicated emotions she feels for Vos with the fury of her warrior's spirit, she resolves to claim victory on all fronts—a vow that will be mercilessly tested by her deadly enemy ... and her own doubt.

(see review)

Night Shade Books

No Time Like the Past (Chronicles of St. Mary's) by Jodi Taylor (Night Shade Books 01 July 2015 / $11.99) - Product Description: Jodi Taylor's best-selling series The Chronicles of St Mary is back with a bang...St Mary's has been rebuilt and it's business as usual for the History department. But first, there's the little matter of a seventeenth-century ghost that only Mr Markham can see. Not to mention the minor inconvenience of being trapped in the Great Fire of London...and an unfortunately-timed comfort break at Thermopylae leaving the fate of the western world hanging in the balance. Re-join Max's madcap journey through time in Jodi Taylor's fifth inter-dimensional instalment No Time Like the Past. (see review)

Orbit

Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit 07 July 2015 / $26.00) - Product Description: A major new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful voices, AURORA tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system.


Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.

Our voyage from Earth began generations ago.

Now, we approach our new home.

AURORA.
(see review)

Pyr

The Chart of Tomorrows: A Gaunt and Bone Novel by Chris Willrich (Pyr 07 July 2015 / $18.00) - Product Description: The poet Persimmon Gaunt and the thief Imago Bone had sought only to retire from adventuring and start a family, but they never reckoned on their baby becoming the chosen vessel of the mystical energies of a distant Eastern land. With their son Innocence hunted by various factions hoping to use him as a tool, they kept him safe at the cost of trapping him in a pocket dimension of accelerated time.

Now free, the thirteen-year-old Innocence has rejected his parents and his "destiny" and has made dangerous friends in a barbaric Western land of dragon-prowed ships and rugged fjords. Desperately, Gaunt and Bone seek to track him down, along with their companion Snow Pine and her daughter A-Girl-Is-A-Joy, who was once trapped with Innocence too.

But as the nomadic Karvaks and their war-balloons strike west, and a troll-king spins his webs, and Joy is herself chosen by the spirit of the very land Innocence has fled to, Gaunt and Bone find themselves at the heart of a vast struggle -- and their own son is emerging from that conflict as a force of evil. To save him and everything they know, they turn to a dangerous magical book, The Chart of Tomorrows, that reveals pathways through time. Upon the treacherous seas of history, Gaunt and Bone must face the darkness in each other's pasts, in order to rescue their future.

(Source: Pyr)

Roc

Splintered (Arcane Underworld) by Jamie Schultz (Roc 07 July 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: The author of Premonitions continues his Arcane Underworld saga... Anna Ruiz is on a mission: Help her friend and partner-in-crime Karyn Ames break free of the tangle of hallucinations and premonitions that have cut her off from reality. With the aid of her crew—ex-soldier Nail and sorcerer Genevieve--she'll do whatever it takes to get Karyn help, even if it means tracking down every lowlife informant and back alley magic practitioner in the occult underworld of Los Angeles.

But since a magical heist went to hell, the crew has been working for crimelord and doomed magus Enoch Sobell. Between fighting Sobell's battles with some seriously scary demonic forces and tangling with a group of violent fanatics who want to manipulate Karyn's abilities for their own gains, Anna, Nail, and Genevieve are beginning to realize they're in way over their heads.

And now that Karyn's secret about seeing the future is out, even more unpleasant parties—human and otherwise--are about to come knocking.

(see review)

The Price of Valor (Shadow Campaigns, #3) by Django Wexler (Roc 07 July 2015 / $26.95) - Product Description: In the latest Shadow Campaigns novel, Django Wexler continues his "epic fantasy of military might and magical conflict"* following The Shadow Throne and The Thousand Names, as the realm of Vordan faces imminent threats from without and within.

In the wake of the King's death, war has come to Vordan.

The Deputies-General has precarious control of the city, but it is led by a zealot who sees traitors in every shadow. Executions have become a grim public spectacle. The new queen, Raesinia Orboan, finds herself nearly powerless as the government tightens its grip and assassins threaten her life. But she did not help free the country from one sort of tyranny to see it fall into another. Placing her trust with the steadfast soldier Marcus D'Ivoire, she sets out to turn the tide of history.

As the hidden hand of the Sworn Church brings all the powers of the continent to war against Vordan, the enigmatic and brilliant general Janus bet Vhalnich offers a path to victory. Winter Ihernglass, newly promoted to command a regiment, has reunited with her lover and her friends, only to face the prospect of leading them into bloody battle.

And the enemy is not just armed with muskets and cannon. Dark priests of an ancient order, wielding forbidden magic, have infiltrated Vordan to stop Janus by whatever means necessary…


*Library Journal
  (see review)

Signet

Wicked Embers: A Souls of Fire Novel by Keri Arthur (Signet 07 July 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Keri Arthur presents the thrilling new Souls of Fire Novel featuring Emberly Pearson, a phoenix that can transform into a human--and is haunted by the ability to foresee death.

Crimson Death, the plague like virus spawned from a failed government experiment to isolate the enzymes that make vampires immortal, continues to spread. Emberly and her partner, Jackson Miller, are desperately seeking the stolen research for a cure before the virus becomes a pandemic.

But their mission is jeopardized by another threat uncovered in Emberly's prophetic dreams. A creature of ash and shadow has been unleashed on a murdering spree. Now Emberly must summon all her gifts and investigative knowledge to put an end to this entity's brutal rampage--even if it means placing herself in harm's way.

(Source: Signet)

St. Martin's Griffin

The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Second Annual Collection by (St. Martin's Griffin 07 July 2015 / $22.99) - Product Description: In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Second Annual Collection the very best SF authors explore ideas of a new world. This venerable collection brings together award winning authors and masters of the field such as Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Damien Broderick, Elizabeth Bear, Paul McAuley and John Barnes. And with an extensive recommended reading guide and a summation of the year in science fiction, this annual compilation has become the definitive must-read anthology for all science fiction fans and readers interested in breaking into the genre. (see review)

Subterranean

Savages by K.J. Parker (Subterranean 31 July 2015 / $40.00) - Product Description: An unnamed man wakes to find himself facing the loss of everything that matters most to him. Against all odds, he escapes with his life and heads out into the turbulence of the wider world, recreating himself, step by step, as he goes along.

That wider world is dominated by an empire that has existed for decades in a state of near perpetual war. A host of colorful characters will help to shape the destiny of the empire, and its constantly shifting array of allies and adversaries; among them, a master military strategist, a former pacifist who inherits his father's moribund arms business, a beautiful forger and a very lucky counterfeiter. Each of them, together with corrupt bureaucrats and the nomadic 'savages' of the title, plays a part in a gradually unfolding drama of conflict and conquest played for the highest of stakes.

A story of war, politics, intrigue, deception, and survival, Savages is a hugely ambitious, convincingly detailed novel that is impossible to set aside. Filled with schemes, counter-schemes, sudden reversals of fortune, and brilliantly described accounts of complex military encounters, it is, by any measure, an extraordinary entertainment, the work of a writer whose ambition, range, and sheer narrative power have never been more thoroughly on display.
(NOTE: There's an excerpt on the Publisher's Book Page.) (see review)

Teaching the Dog to Read by Jonathan Carroll (Subterranean 31 July 2015 / $40.00) - Product Description: Since the appearance of his first novel, The Land of Laughs, in 1980, Jonathan Carroll has been one of the most compelling, consistently versatile storytellers in modern imaginative literature. His extraordinary new novella, Teaching the Dog to Read, is quintessential Carroll: surprising, funny, and filled with unexpected moments and astonishing revelations.

The story opens when mid-level office drone Tony Areal receives an extravagant gift: the Lichtenberg wristwatch he has always coveted. Shortly afterward, he receives an even grander gift: the luxurious--and expensive--Porsche Cayman that has always been the car of his dreams. Accompanying the car is the mysterious Alice, who knows more about Tony's dreams and desires than Tony himself. This encounter opens the door to a rich and unexpected universe: the world behind the world.

Teaching the Dog to Read is set at the intersection of the mundane and the miraculous, a place where reality itself shifts and shimmers with disconcerting suddenness. It begins in the realm of recognizable things and ends in a room where a bizarre--and invisible--reunion takes place. Along the way, it offers both grand entertainment and a visionary meditation on the complex connections between our dreaming and waking selves. The result is a master class in the art of narrative and a permanent addition to Jonathan Carroll's remarkable body of work.

(see review)

Thomas & Mercer

Weavers by Aric Davis (Thomas & Mercer 07 July 2015 / $15.95) - Product Description: Nine-year-old Cynthia Robinson's life was perfectly normal until the day she knew, without being told, of her parents' impending divorce. From there, things got stranger, and now not only does she have premonitions, but she can also read and influence the minds of those around her.

Cynthia is not the only one with the ability to "weave"--all over the country, people with similar abilities struggle to balance their lives with their powers. Some with this gift are weavers with dark motives and grisly appetites who want to use people like Cynthia for their own purposes.

Meanwhile, a top-secret government organization, the Telekinetic Research Center, has been looking for telekinetics to use for its own clandestine agenda. When TRC agents learn of Cynthia and her dangerous pursuers, will they come to her rescue? Or will they capture her and take her power for themselves?

(Source: Thomas & Mercer)

Tor Books

Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Tor Books 14 July 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: Reports of a strange, new habitable planet have reached the Twenty Planets of human civilization. When a team of scientists is assembled to investigate this world, exoethnologist Sara Callicot is recruited to keep an eye on an unstable crewmate. Thora was once a member of the interplanetary elite, but since her prophetic delusions helped mobilize a revolt on Orem, she's been banished to the farthest reaches of space, because of the risk that her very presence could revive unrest.

Upon arrival, the team finds an extraordinary crystalline planet, laden with dark matter. Then a crew member is murdered and Thora mysteriously disappears. Thought to be uninhabited, the planet is in fact home to a blind, sentient species whose members navigate their world with a bizarre vocabulary and extrasensory perceptions.

Lost in the deep crevasses of the planet among these people, Thora must battle her demons and learn to comprehend the native inhabitants in order to find her crewmates and warn them of an impending danger. But her most difficult task may lie in persuading the crew that some powers lie beyond the boundaries of science.

(see review)

Dead Man's Reach (Thieftaker Chronicles) by D.B. Jackson (Tor Books 21 July 2015 / $28.99) - Product Description:

Let the battle for souls begin in Dead Man's Reach, the fourth, stand-alone novel in D.B. Jackson's acclaimed Thieftaker series.
Boston, 1770: The city is a powder keg as tensions between would-be rebels and loyalist torries approach a breaking point and one man is willing to light the match that sets everything off to ensure that he has his revenge.
The presence of the British Regulars has made thieftaking a hard business to be in and the jobs that are available are reserved for Sephira Pryce. Ethan Kaille has to resort to taking on jobs that he would otherwise pass up, namely protecting the shops of Torries from Patriot mobs. But, when one British loyalist takes things too far and accidentally kills a young boy, even Ethan reconsiders his line of work. Even more troubling is that instances of violence in the city are increasing, and Ethan often finds himself at the center of the trouble.
Once Ethan realizes why he is at the center of all the violence, he finds out that some enemies don't stay buried and will stop at nothing to ruin Ethan's life. Even if that means costing the lives of everyone in Boston, including the people that Ethan loves most.

(Source: Tor Books)

Last First Snow (Craft Sequence) by Max Gladstone (Tor Books 14 July 2015 / $26.99) - Product Description: Last First Snow: the fourth novel set in Max Gladstone's compellingly modern fantasy world of the Craft Sequence.

Forty years after the God Wars, Dresediel Lex bears the scars of liberation--especially in the Skittersill, a poor district still bound by the fallen gods' decaying edicts. As long as the gods' wards last, they strangle development; when they fail, demons will be loosed upon the city. The King in Red hires Elayne Kevarian of the Craft firm Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao to fix the wards, but the Skittersill's people have their own ideas. A protest rises against Elayne's work, led by Temoc, a warrior-priest turned community organizer who wants to build a peaceful future for his city, his wife, and his young son.

As Elayne drags Temoc and the King in Red to the bargaining table, old wounds reopen, old gods stir in their graves, civil blood breaks to new mutiny, and profiteers circle in the desert sky. Elayne and Temoc must fight conspiracy, dark magic, and their own demons to save the peace--or failing that, to save as many people as they can.

(see review)

Midian Unmade: Tales of Clive Barker's Nightbreed by (Tor Books 28 July 2015 / $24.99) - Product Description: An all-original horror anthology set in the world of Clive Barker's cult film masterpiece, Nightbreed, and including stories by Seanan McGuire, Amber Benson, Karl Alexander, Nancy Holder, and more.

Clive Barker's Nightbreed has been controversial since the moment it was released in a version edited by the studio and roundly condemned by Barker, who wrote and directed the film. A virtually instant cult film, Nightbreed--based on Barker's novella, Cabal--was nominated for three Saturn Awards and won several prizes at European film festival.

The impact of Nightbreed goes beyond the screen; along with Cabal and Barker's seminal The Books of Blood, it has inspired many horror writers, some of whom have gathered in this tribute anthology.

Midian Unmade tells the stories of the Nightbreed after the fall of their city, Midian. Driven from their homes, their friends and family members slain before their eyes, the monsters become a mostly-hidden diaspora. Some are hunted; others, hunters. Some seek refuge. Others want revenge.

Contributors to Midian Unmade include: Karl Alexander, author of the classic novel Time After Time; actor, writer, and director Amber Benson (Tara Maclay on Buffy the Vampire Slayer); New York Times bestselling author Nancy Holder; Hugo and John W. Campbell Award-winner Seanan McGuire; Bram Stoker Award winner Weston Ochse, David J. Schow, winner of the World Fantasy Award, writer of the screenplay for The Crow; New York Times bestselling writer Stephen Woodworth; and many more--23 stories in all. With an introduction by Clive Barker, this is an outstanding collection of original horror short stories in a dazzling variety of styles.

(Source: Tor Books)

The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán (Tor Books 28 July 2015 / $26.99) - Product Description: A world made by the Eight Creators on which to play out their games of passion and power, Paradise is a sprawling, diverse, often brutal place. Men and women live on Paradise as do dogs, cats, ferrets, goats, and horses. But dinosaurs predominate: wildlife, monsters, beasts of burden-and of war. Colossal plant-eaters like Brachiosaurus; terrifying meat-eaters like Allosaurus, and the most feared of all, Tyrannosaurus rex. Giant lizards swim warm seas. Birds (some with teeth) share the sky with flying reptiles that range in size from bat-sized insectivores to majestic and deadly Dragons.

Thus we are plunged into Victor Milán's splendidly weird world of The Dinosaur Lords, a place that for all purposes mirrors 14th century Europe with its dynastic rivalries, religious wars, and byzantine politics…except the weapons of choice are dinosaurs. Where vast armies of dinosaur-mounted knights engage in battle. During the course of one of these epic battles, the enigmatic mercenary Dinosaur Lord Karyl Bogomirsky is defeated through betrayal and left for dead. He wakes, naked, wounded, partially amnesiac-and hunted. And embarks upon a journey that will shake his world.

(see review)

The Unnoticeables by Robert Brockway (Tor Books 07 July 2015 / $24.99) - Product Description: From Robert Brockway, Sr. Editor and Columnist of Cracked.com comes The Unnoticeables, a funny and frightening urban fantasy.

There are angels, and they are not beneficent or loving. But they do watch over us. They watch our lives unfold, analyzing us for repeating patterns and redundancies. When they find them, the angels simplify those patterns and remove the redundancies, and the problem that is "you" gets solved.

Carey doesn't much like that idea. As a punk living in New York City, 1977, Carey is sick and tired of watching strange kids with unnoticeable faces abduct his friends. He doesn't care about the rumors of tar-monsters in the sewers or unkillable psychopaths invading the punk scene--all he wants is to drink cheap beer and dispense ass-kickings.

Kaitlyn isn't sure what she's doing with her life. She came to Hollywood in 2013 to be a stunt woman, but last night a former teen heartthrob tried to eat her, her best friend has just gone missing, and there's an angel outside her apartment. Whatever she plans on doing with her life, it should probably happen in the few remaining minutes she has left.

There are angels. There are demons. They are the same thing. It's up to Carey and Kaitlyn to stop them. The survival of the human race is in their hands. We are, all of us, well and truly screwed.

(Source: Tor Books)

Time Salvager by Wesley Chu (Tor Books 07 July 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: Time Salvager: a fast-paced time travel adventure from Wesley Chu, the award-winning author of The Lives of Tao.

In a future when Earth is a toxic, abandoned world and humanity has spread into the outer solar system to survive, the tightly controlled use of time travel holds the key maintaining a fragile existence among the other planets and their moons. James Griffin-Mars is a chronman--a convicted criminal recruited for his unique psychological makeup to undertake the most dangerous job there is: missions into Earth's past to recover resources and treasure without altering the timeline. Most chronmen never reach old age, and James is reaching his breaking point.

On a final mission that is to secure his retirement, James meets an intriguing woman from a previous century, scientist Elise Kim, who is fated to die during the destruction of an oceanic rig. Against his training and his common sense, James brings her back to the future with him, saving her life, but turning them both into fugitives. Remaining free means losing themselves in the wild and poisonous wastes of Earth, and discovering what hope may yet remain for humanity's home world. (see review)

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