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US Books Received- 03/2016  Next Month / Last Month
In order to provide timely reviews, we prefer to receive Advance Reader Copies of books when possible. Send books to Gayle Surrette / Editor c/o SFRevu 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

Ace

Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs (Ace 08 March 2016 / $27.00) - Product Description: Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

(see review)

Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer (Ace 01 March 2016 / ) - Product Description: Sawyar explores the thin line between good and evil that every human being is capable of crossing.

Experimental psychologist Jim Marchuk has developed a flawless technique for identifying the previously undetected psychopaths lurking everywhere in society. But while being cross-examined about his breakthrough in court, Jim is shocked to discover that he has lost his memories of six months of his life from twenty years previously--a dark time during which he himself committed heinous acts.

Jim is reunited with Kayla Huron, his forgotten girlfriend from his lost period and now a quantum physicist who has made a stunning discovery about the nature of human consciousness. As a rising tide of violence and hate sweeps across the globe, the psychologist and the physicist combine forces in a race against time to see if they can do the impossible--change human nature--before the entire world descends into darkness.

(see review)

Aqueduct Press

Two Travelers by Sarah Tolmie (Aqueduct Press 01 March 2016 / ) - Book Description: A contemporary woman wakes up on a stone staircase in a baroque palace, not speaking the language of the place and lacking the chemical signature that allows people to identify each other within the complex social hierarchy. She is both dumb and invisible. Unable to communicate in words, she resorts to dance....

A man runs a diner in present-day America; he is also a freedom fighter in the northern, courtly realm of Dinesen. He has slipped between these two worlds for thirty years without knowing how or why, becoming an exile even among exiles. His people are abused foreigners at home, the servants of strangers, yet he cannot bring them away with him. They are bound, not by their overlords, but by their world itself, through a ritual known as the burning of the furrows. Only he and his family are free--for a time. Now that time is ending.

(Source: Aqueduct Press)

Baen

Grantville Gazette VII (The Ring of Fire) by (Baen 29 March 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: The seventh anthology of tales set in Eric Flint's phenomenal Ring of Fire universe--all selected and edited by Flint.

A cosmic accident sets the modern West Virginia town of Grantville down in war-torn seventeenth century Europe. It will take all the gumption of the resourceful, freedom-loving up-timers to find a way to flourish in the mad and bloody beginning of the Renaissance. Are they up for it? You bet they are.

Edited by Eric Flint, and inspired by his now-legendary 1632, this is the fun stuff that fills in the pieces of the Ring of Fire political, social and cultural puzzle as supporting characters we meet in the novels get their own lives, loves and life-changing stories. The future and democracy have arrived with a bang.

(see review)

His Father's Eyes (Case Files of Justis Fearsson) by David B. Coe (Baen 29 March 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Book #2 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective battles dark sorcerers in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a weremyste. He wields potent magic, but every month, on the full moon, he loses his mind. He's also a private detective, who can't afford to take time off from his latest investigation while his sanity goes AWOL.

A legion of dark sorcerers has descended on Phoenix, wreaking havoc in the blistering desert heat. With the next moon phasing approaching, Jay has to figure out what connects a billionaire financier and a vicious drug kingpin to an attempted terrorist attack, a spate of ritual killings, and the murder of a powerful runemyste. And he has to do it fast. Because these same dark sorcerers have nearly killed the woman he loves and have used their spells to torment Jay's father. Now they have Jay in their crosshairs, and with his death they intend to extend their power over the entire magicking world. But Jay has other plans, and no intention of turning his city, or those he loves, over to the enemy.

The Case Files of Justis Fearsson: Spell Blind and His Father's Eyes.

(Source: Baen)

Imperative (Starfire) by Steve White and Charles E. Gannon (Baen 01 March 2016 / $16.00) - Product Description: Steve White joins with Charles E. Gannon to carve another notch in the Starfire adventure saga.

The war with the Arduans--profoundly alien invaders who originally arrived in STL ships--is over. Most of those attackers are now probationary (and very productive) citizens of the Rim Federation.

However, many among the Arduans' warrior caste have neither accepted defeat, nor the personhood of any of the other intelligence races. Their leader, the ruthless admiral of the second Arduan exodus--Amunsit--is in firm control of the Zarzuela system. Along with a fifth column among the peaceable Arduans, she hopes to find allies in subsequent refugee fleets that abandoned their race's now-dead home system long ago.

But as the victors' diplomats attempt to soothe tensions with these warlike neighbors, two heroes of the last war—veteran Admiral Ian Trevayne and young trouble-shooter Ossian Wethermere--suspect they have stumbled upon a deeper Arduan plot: one which could shatter the Pan-Sentient Union, and perhaps interstellar civilization itself.

(Source: Baen)

Phoenix Ascendant (Balanced Sword #3) by Ryk E. Spoor (Baen 01 March 2016 / $16.00) - Product Description: Phoenix and her companions take on the King of All Hells in a final showdown with the fate of multiple worlds in the balance.

The King of All Hells Awaits
Kyri, Tobimar, and Poplock had managed--barely--to thwart the plans of the mad alchemist-mage Master Wieran, and defeat the monstrous Elderwyrm Sanamaveridion, saving the secret country of Kaizatenzei from the evil hidden at its core. Now they believe they have discovered the true architect of not just the fall of the Justiciars of Myrionar--god of Justice and Vengeance--but the unleashing of the forces of the Hells themselves against the other countries of Zarathan. They begin their journey back to Kyri's home, Evanwyl, to confront the being their new ally Miri calls Viedraverion, first son of the King of All Hells.

But behind that name lies an even more terrible secret, and a plan centuries in the making, a plan that depends on Kyri being who and what she is. Even if the three adventurers can escape the spies and traps within their own adventuring party, their final adversary awaits them eagerly. For with them they carry the key to their enemy's victory--a victory which will destroy not only Kyri, her friends, and her country, but also the gods themselves!

Yet Kyri and her allies have a hidden strength themselves. They are fighting for the right, and there are ancient gods and powers who may come to the aid of a  true warrior's heart in the time of greatest need.

(Source: Baen)

The Road to Hell (Hell's Gate #3) by David Weber and Joelle Presby (Baen 01 March 2016 / $28.00) - Product Description: The war between magically-gifted Arcana and psionically talented Sharona continues to rage. The dragon-borne Arcanan assault across five universes has been halted at Fort Salby by a desperate defense, but at atrocious cost. One of those costs was the life of Crown Prince Janaki, heir to the newly created Sharonian Empire, who went knowingly to his death in the tradition expected of the House of Calirath. And another price will be the sacrifice of his younger sister, Grand Imperial Princess Andrin, now heir of Sharona, for the accords creating the Sharonian Empire require the marriage of the heir to the Crown to wed a Uromathian prince.

Andrin bears her family's Talent, the Glimpses, which show flashes of events yet to come. She knows the accords must be secured ... and like her brother, she will pay any price, make any sacrifice for her duty to her people.

Sharona's soldiers dig in, facing the Arcanans in a tense standoff which cannot last long. Both sides continue rushing reinforcements towards the front, but how do armies fight wars when they can reach one another only through the portals which join the universes? And far, far behind the front, carried by dragons, a young Voice name Shaylar and her husband Jathmar hurtle deeper and deeper into Arcanan captivity, their only protection the fierce personal honor of the Andaran officer whose men massacred all of their companions in the horrendous misunderstanding which began the entire conflict.

Men and women of honor on both sides must grapple with the terrible costs and deadly secrets of the spreading cataclysm, and in the shadows, those who will balk at neither treason nor murder drive the conspiracies which pour fuel into the furnace. The stakes are high and the pieces are in motion, but there are factors known not even to the conspirators and not even a Calirath can Glimpse the final outcome.

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

(see review)

The Seer by Sonia Orin Lyris (Baen 01 March 2016 / $15.00) - Product Description: A poor, young woman rises to the heights of a crumbling empire, where she must speak hard truth to power in order to save a world from chaos.

Everybody Wants Answers. No One Wants the Truth.
The Arunkel empire has stood a thousand years, forged by wealth and conquest, but now rebellion is stirring on the borders and treachery brews in the palace halls. Elsewhere, in a remote mountain village, a young mother sells the prophesies of her sister, Amarta, in order to keep them and her infant child from starving. It's a dangerous game when such revelations draw suspicion and mistrust as often as they earn coin.

Yet Amarta's visions are true. And often not at all what the seeker wishes to hear.

Now in a tapestry of loyalty, intrigue, magic, and gold, Amarta has become the key to a ruler's ambitions. But is she nothing beyond a tool? As Amarta comes into her own as a seer, she realizes she must do more than predict the future. She must create it.

(see review)

Trail of Evil (Tau Ceti Agenda) by Travis S. Taylor (Baen 29 March 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Book #4 in the Tau Ceti Agenda series. Humanity takes to interstellar space to face conflict and an extermination threat from an evil artificial intelligence, and a possible menace from beyond.

A century and a half after the Martian Separatist Wars, and the final defeat of insane terrorist leader El Ahmi, Alexander Moore returns to the stars with the Sienna Madira, a United States Navy supercarrier spacecraft outfitted with advanced FTL and endlessly strange, extremely effective, quantum-based weapons and remote sensing technology. And, of course, he's brought Marines, and lots of them. These are troops superbly trained for space battle, and equipped with advanced powered armor and artificial intelligence backup.

Moore's task: hunt down remnant weaponry platforms left by the brilliant, mad artificial intelligence known as Copernicus, the being ultimately responsible for the Solar System wide civil war. Yet Moore is about to uncover something far more sinister: before his destruction, Copernicus had established multiple mecha-warrior defended bases with the intent of resuming the destruction of humanity. Worse, an a.i. presence even more dangerous, evil, and clever than Copernicus may have formed an alliance with something else out there with a similar goal: wipe humanity from the galaxy forever.

But those enemies will have to face a fully armed and equipped military task force led by a resolute general and his soldiers who know they are all that stand between human life, freedom, and progress—and the total annihilation of mankind.

(Source: Baen)

Cosmic Egg Books

The Art and Science of Intergalactic Warmongery by Field Marshal S. Myrston (Cosmic Egg Books 25 March 2016 / $14.95) - Product Description: As a young cadet, Private Myrston led troops against the Victoriana rebellion where he earned a reputation as a fearless soldier and cunning tactician. His meteoric rise to Emperor of the Molagrian Empire was paved with sound battle strategies, a winning smile and clever assassinations of several superior officers. As emperor, he sought out and engaged in countless conflicts with a multitude of sentient lifeforms during his reign. It was during this period that he mastered several forms of invasion, administration and religious manipulation for profit. In this text, Myrston has plagiarized wildly from Molagrian and Nebraxian classic texts infinitely better than this one to provide a concise set of tenants guaranteeing intergalactic success. Learn how to take control of the planet, establish a government that suits your needs and then seek out and annihilate exotic, intelligent lifeforms throughout the galaxy.

Del Rey

Eagle in Exile (Clash of Eagles #2) by Alan Smale (Del Rey 22 March 2016 / $28.00) - Product Description: Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell, Steve Berry, Naomi Novik, and Harry Turtledove, Alan Smale's gripping alternate history series imagines a world in which the Roman Empire has survived long enough to invade North America in 1218. Now the stunning story carries hero Gaius Marcellinus deeper into the culture of an extraordinary people—whose humanity, bravery, love, and ingenuity forever change his life and destiny.

In A.D. 1218, Praetor Gaius Marcellinus is ordered to conquer North America and turning it into a Roman province. But outside the walls of the great city of Cahokia, his legion is destroyed outright; Marcellinus is the only one spared. In the months and years that follow, Marcellinus comes to see North America as his home and the Cahokians as his kin. He vows to defend these proud people from any threat, Roman or native.

After successfully repelling an invasion by the fearsome Iroqua tribes, Marcellinus realizes that a weak and fractured North America won't stand a chance against the returning Roman army. Worse, rival factions from within threaten to tear Cahokia apart just when it needs to be most united and strong. Marcellinus is determined to save the civilization that has come to mean more to him than the empire he once served. But to survive the swords of Roma, he first must avert another Iroqua attack and bring the Cahokia together. Only with the hearts and souls of a nation at his back can Marcellinus hope to know triumph.

(see review)

Morning Star by Pierce Brown (Del Rey 03 March 2016 / ) - Exposed as a rebel, Darrow is tortured and broken. He is rescued, but must regain his shattered nerve and rediscover his purpose, even as the civil war against the Gold caste comes to a boil.

Gallery Books

New Blood (HALO) by Matt Forbeck (Gallery Books 15 March 2016 / $9.99) - Product Description: The New York Times bestselling series based on the blockbuster Xbox® games continues with the acclaimed story (originally published as a digital-first edition) of Spartan Edward Buck--first seen in HALO: ODST and reappearing in 2015's HALO 5: GUARDIANS!

While Spartans get all the glory, no soldier--not even the legendary Master Chief--wins a war on his own. Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck and his team of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODSTs) played a major role in saving Earth from all-out invasion at the end of the Covenant War--acts of bravery and ingenuity that did not go unnoticed by the United Nations Space Command.

Now, after many Spartans have been killed in battle and the Master Chief is listed as MIA, the UNSC decides to create a new generation of Spartans to defend humanity from threats both outside--and within. When they come to Buck with an extraordinary proposition, he is forced to make a life-altering decision. With the Covenant War finally over, is it time for him to retire to the sidelines for a life he could only dream about…or is he prepared to step up and become part of the military's new blood? (Source: Gallery Books)

Helvetic House

The Story Traveler by Max Candee (Helvetic House 28 March 2016 / ) - Product Description: Stories aren't real ... or are they?

Fifteen-year-old Haley Spade is enrolled in an exclusive boarding school in Connecticut. This school has a grim mythology: Everyone believes that the angry ghosts of six students who committed suicide decades ago still haunt its halls.

On a dare, Haley spends a night wandering through the "haunted" building. But she takes a wrong turn into a dizzying adventure of stories made real, stories within stories, worlds within worlds. She encounters magical creatures like the King of the Cats, a shapeshifting crow, elves—and a menace far more terrifying than any ghost.

Suspenseful, fast and rooted in several fairy tales, The Story Traveler captures our yearning to be more than what we are. Haley's bizarre journey will leave her and the reader wondering: What is reality? (see review)

Pyr

Black City Saint by Richard A. Knaak (Pyr 01 March 2016 / $18.00) - Product Description: For more than sixteen hundred years, Nick Medea has followed and guarded the Gate that keeps the mortal realm and that of Feirie separate, seeking in vain absolution for the fatal errors he made when he slew the dragon. All that while, he has tried and failed to keep the woman he loves from dying over and over.

Yet in the fifty years since the Night the Dragon Breathed over the city of Chicago, the Gate has not only remained fixed, but open to the trespasses of the Wyld, the darkest of the Feiriefolk. Not only does that mean an evil resurrected from Nick's own past, but the reincarnation of his lost Cleolinda, a reincarnation destined once more to die.

Nick must turn inward to that which he distrusts the most: the Dragon, the beast he slew when he was still only Saint George. He must turn to the monster residing in him, now a part of him...but ever seeking escape.

The gang war brewing between Prohibition bootleggers may be the least of his concerns. If Nick cannot prevent an old evil from opening the way between realms...then not only might Chicago face a fate worse than the Great Fire, but so will the rest of the mortal realm.

(see review)

Saga Press

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu (Saga Press 08 March 2016 / $24.99) - Product Description: Ken Liu selects his science fiction and fantasy tales for a groundbreaking collection--including a brand-new piece exclusive to this volume.

With his debut novel, The Grace of Kings, taking the literary world by storm, Ken Liu now shares his finest short fiction in The Paper Menagerie. This mesmerizing collection features all of Ken's award-winning and award-finalist stories, including: "The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary" (Finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards), "Mono No Aware" (Hugo Award winner), "The Waves" (Nebula Award finalist), "The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species" (Nebula and Sturgeon award finalists), "All the Flavors" (Nebula award finalist), "The Litigation Master and the Monkey King" (Nebula Award finalist), and the most awarded story in the genre's history, "The Paper Menagerie" (The only story to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards).

A must-have for every science fiction and fantasy fan, this beautiful book is an anthology to savor.

(see review)

Story Plant

Insistence of Vision by David Brin (Story Plant 22 March 2016 / $26.95) - Product Description: What may we become? How will we endure? The future is a daunting realm, filled with real and imagined perils. So enter it prepared! Here are vivid tales about possible tomorrows, from the keen eye and colorful pen of David Brin, a modern master of speculative fiction. Visit a chillingly plausible tomorrow, when prisoners may be sent to asteroidal gulags. Or might prisons vanish and felons roam, seeing only what society allows? Suppose, amid lavish success, we gain the superpower to fly! Will we even appreciate it… or will we find new reasons to complain? In "Mars Opposition", you'll experience an alien invasion like no other, confronting humanity with a stark and terrible choice... followed by several more tales of conquest from beyond, each of them wildly different.

On the other hand, might fantastically potent new beings emerge out of ourselves, as revealed in "Chrysalis"? Featuring guest appearances by Gregory Benford, Jules Verne, and Galileo, this adventure takes you beyond the very singularity in "Stones of Significance," pondering what could happen after humans are like gods. And "Reality Check" asks one of you readers – just one of you – to wake up! Tomorrow awaits. We can face it and prevail. So long as our stance is brave INSISTENCE OF VISION.

(see review)

Subterranean

DJsturbia by David J. Schow (Subterranean 31 March 2016 / $40.00) - Book Description: DJSturbia is home to monsters. All kinds of monsters, from skyscraper sized Godzilla (twice) to the microscopic space germ known as the Andromeda Strain. Monsters human and inhuman, from fictional psycho killers to the real-life terrorists of 9/11. Lovecraftian horrors. Extraterrestrial insects. Giant serpents. Gargoyles and ghosts. Gunfighters and assassins. The battlefield monstrosities known as Warbirds, the alien invaders called Black Widowers, and--oh, yes--a little critter named Bob.

Classic monsters luck here, too: That Creature from That Lagoon. That Thing from Another World. Monsters living, monsters dead...and in between.

David J. Schow's newest collection features his usual lucky thirteen short stories--shoot 'em ups, horror noir, and surprises aplenty--plus, for the first time, a poison candy sampler of thirteen additional essays covering everthing from The Crow to live snake handling.

(Source: Subterranean)

Downfall of the Gods by K.J. Parker (Subterranean 31 March 2016 / $40.00) - Product Description: If you visit the Temple and ask nicely for forgiveness, you might get it—assuming you aren't Lord Archias and you haven't killed the Goddess's favorite musician, Lysippus. But even goddesses are expected to follow certain rules, and as much as she wants to punish Lord Archias it seems her troublesome, all-powerful father forbids it. So the Goddess will just have to get around that by forgiving Lord Archias if he can manage some simple—or, rather, seemingly impossible—tasks. A Goddess has to do what a goddess has to do.

And in World Fantasy Award winner K.J. Parker's sharply inventive new novella Downfall of the Gods that means everything from soothing supernatural egos to accompanying the argumentative Lord Archias on an epic quest to save his soul...and get her own way. As the Goddess and her mortal charge make their way across the world to the Land of the Dead, a host of divine surprises await them. Could what they find at the end be the downfall of the gods themselves? Only time will tell. This is a story Parker fans won't want to miss.

(see review)

Subterranean Press

This Year's Class Picture by Dan Simmons (Subterranean Press 31 March 2016 / $20.00) - Product Description: Ms. Geiss is the most dedicated fourth-grade teacher imaginable. She goes to extraordinary lengths to make sure her students are presented with every opportunity—showing them slides from her summer vacations during Geography, reading to them from the classics of children's literature after lunch, and providing them with the kinds of learning rewards that they will truly respond to—bite-sized nuggets of human flesh. Because Ms. Geiss' students are pint-sized zombies, and the main tool of her peculiar version of the teaching trade is her trusty Remington .30-06 rifle.

Ms. Geiss is firm but fair, and keeps a disciplined classroom. She has far more trouble from the adults shambling through what's left of town than she does from her students, though a well-bulldozed killing field and the gasoline-filled moat encircling the school usually keeps the worst of the undead marauders at bay. But even the hardest working educators let their guard down sometimes, and after the Tribulations, just one mistake can mean school's out forever.

Bestselling, acclaimed author Dan Simmons' story "This Year's Class Picture" is a zombie tale that could itself be described as best in class, honored by the Stoker, Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Awards.

NOTE: This story is already available in Kindle format from Subterranean Press via Amazon -- just in case you can't wait.

(Source: Subterranean Press)

Thomas Dunne Books

The Blood Red City (The Never War) by Justin Richards (Thomas Dunne Books 29 March 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: The Vril are here. The war for humanity has begun. The Germans have lost control of their most deadly discovery. The alien Vril have awakened and are scouring the Earth for ancient relics. From the Hollywood lights of LA to the bloody devastation of Stalingrad, Major Guy Pentecross and the team at Station Z must uncover the mystery and stop the Vril and Nazis alike. Failure will mean the end of life as we know it.

(Source: Thomas Dunne Books)

Tor Books

Alien Hunter: Hunters by Whitley Strieber (Tor Books 01 March 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Whitley's Strieber's breathtaking thriller is coming to TV: Hunters--an original Syfy series--is executive produced by Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead) and Natalie Chaidez (12 Monkeys) and premieres in April 2016.

When police investigator Flynn Carroll's wife disappears, he discovers that someone is abducting people and then framing the abductees as runaways. While Flynn's case files grow, Special Agent Diana Glass, a member of the most secret police unit on the planet, surreptitiously watches him work. Her agents are investigating the same enigmatic abductions and she wants Flynn on her team. Will Flynn's desperate search for his wife come up empty? Or will it expose a conspiracy that reveals the most dangerous terrorists of all may not even be of this world?

(Source: Tor Books)

Arkwright by Allen Steele (Tor Books 01 March 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: Written by a highly regarded expert on space travel and exploration, Allen Steele's Arkwright features the precision of hard science fiction with a compelling cast of characters. In the vein of classic authors such as Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke, Nathan Arkwright is a seminal author of the twentieth century. At the end of his life he becomes reclusive and cantankerous, refusing to appear before or interact with his legion of fans. Little did anyone know, Nathan was putting into motion his true, timeless legacy.

Convinced that humanity cannot survive on Earth, his Arkwright Foundation dedicates itself to creating a colony on an Earth-like planet several light years distant. Fueled by Nathan's legacy, generations of Arkwrights are drawn together, and pulled apart, by the enormity of the task and weight of their name.

This is classic, epic science fiction and engaging character-driven storytelling, which will appeal to devotees of the genre as well as fans of current major motion pictures such as Gravity and Interstellar.

(see review)

Battlestorm (Midgard) by Susan Krinard (Tor Books 29 March 2016 / $15.99) - Product Description: A new urban fantasy from Susan Krinard, author of Mist and Black Ice.

Centuries ago, the Norse gods and goddesses fought their Last Battle with the trickster god Loki and his frost giants. All were believed lost, except for a few survivors...including the Valkyrie Mist, forgotten daughter of the goddess Freya.

But the battle isn't over, and Mist--living a mortal life in San Francisco--is at the center of a new war, with the fate of the Earth hanging in the balance. As old enemies and allies reappear around the city, Mist must determine who to trust, while learning to control her own growing power.

It will take all of Mist's courage, determination, and newfound magical abilities to stop Loki before history repeats itself.

(Source: Tor Books)

The Brotherhood of the Wheel by R.S. Belcher (Tor Books 01 March 2016 / $27.99) - Product Description: R.S. Belcher, the author of The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana launches a gritty new urban fantasy series about the mysterious society of truckers known only as, The Brotherhood of The Wheel.

In 1119 A.D., a group of nine crusaders became known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon--a militant monastic order charged with protecting pilgrims and caravans traveling on the roads to and from the Holy Land. In time, the Knights Templar would grow in power and, ultimately, be laid low. But a small offshoot of the Templars endure and have returned to the order's original mission: to defend the roads of the world and guard those who travel on them.

Theirs is a secret line of knights: truckers, bikers, taxi hacks, state troopers, bus drivers, RV gypsies--any of the folks who live and work on the asphalt arteries of America. They call themselves the Brotherhood of the Wheel.

Jimmy Aussapile is one such knight. He's driving a big rig down South when a promise to a ghostly hitchhiker sets him on a quest to find out the terrible truth behind a string of children gone missing all across the country. The road leads him to Lovina Hewitt, a skeptical Louisiana State Police investigator working the same case and, eventually, to a forgotten town that's not on any map--and to the secret behind the eerie Black-Eyed Kids said to prowl the highways.

(see review)

The Last Mortal Bond (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne) by Brian Staveley (Tor Books 15 March 2016 / $27.99) - Product Description: The trilogy that began with The Emperor's Blades and continued in The Providence of Fire reaches its epic conclusion, as war engulfs the Annurian Empire in Brian Staveley's The Last Mortal Bond.

The ancient csestriim are back to finish their purge of humanity; armies march against the capital; leaches, solitary beings who draw power from the natural world to fuel their extraordinary abilities, maneuver on all sides to affect the outcome of the war; and capricious gods walk the earth in human guise with agendas of their own.

But the three imperial siblings at the heart of it all--Valyn, Adare, and Kaden--come to understand that even if they survive the holocaust unleashed on their world, there may be no reconciling their conflicting visions of the future.

(see review)

The Lyre Thief (Hythrun Chronicles) by Jennifer Fallon (Tor Books 08 March 2016 / $27.99) - Product Description: Her Serene Highness, Rakaia, Princess of Fardohnya, is off to Hythria, where her eldest sister is now the High Princess, to find herself a husband, and escape the inevitable bloodbath in the harem when her brother takes the throne.

Rakaia is not interested in marrying anyone, least of all some brute of a Hythrun Warlord she's never met, but she has a plan to save herself from that, too. If she can just convince her baseborn sister, Charisee, to play along, she might actually get away with it.

But there is trouble brewing across the continent. High Prince of Hythria, Damin Wolfblade, must head north to save the peace negotiated a decade ago between the Harshini, Hythria, Fardohnya, Medalon and Karien. He must leave behind an even more dangerous conflict brewing between his wife and his powerful mother, Princess Marla.

...And in far off Medalon, someone has stolen the music.

Their quest for the tiny stolen lyre containing the essence of the God of Music will eventually touch all their lives, threaten everything they hold dear and prove to be far more personal than any of them can imagine.

(Source: Tor Books)

Transgalactic by James Gunn (Tor Books 22 March 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: When Riley and Asha finally reached the planet Terminal and found the Transcendental Machine, a matter transmission device built by an ancient race, they chose to be "translated". Now in possession of intellectual and physical powers that set them above human limitations, the machine has transported them to two, separate, unknown planets among a possibility of billions.

Riley and Asha know that together they can change the galaxy, so they attempt to do the impossible--find each other.

(see review)

World's End (Pendulum Trilogy) by Will Elliott (Tor Books 22 March 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: When Eric Albright, a luckless London slacker, and his pal Stuart Casey went through a battered red door under a railway bridge, the last thing they expected to find was another world. There lay the strange, dark realm of Levaal, whose tyrant lord Vous has ascended to godhood. The great wall which has divided the land has been brought down, setting loose a horde of demonic Tormentors. In their sky prisons, the dragons are stirring, set to defy their slumbering creator and steal humanity's world.

Shilen, a dragon cloaked in human form, has convinced Eric and Aziel, Vous's daughter, to help free the dragons from their sky-prison, or Earth will be destroyed. She promises great power, and safety for all Eric's favoured people, but Shilen has an ulterior motive, for the dragons wish to control humankind completely.

In Will Elliott's World's End, the third volume in The Pendulum Trilogy, Levaal is facing the final battle in this age-old war between worlds and forces more ancient than any human, god, or dragon.

(Source: Tor Books)

Written Backwards

Chiral Mad 3 by (Written Backwards 29 March 2016 / ) - Book Description: The third entry in Chiral Mad anthology series edited by Michael Bailey. Featuring an original introduction by Chuck Palahniuk (FIGHT CLUB), the first Stephen King story published by Dark Regions Press and over 40 original interior illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne, Chiral Mad 3 is a stunning anthology and must-own for horror fans.

Table of contents listed on the publisher's book page, see link at the top of this review.

(see review)

ZMOK

The Great Martian War: Invasion by Scott Washburn (ZMOK 07 March 2016 / $14.99) - Product Description: Following the initial Martian invasion on England, President Theodore Roosevelt tries to prepare the United States for the potential of another Martian incursion. As the possibility of another, stronger invasion is increasingly clear; The U.S. government tries to mobilize nations to share information and technology to defend humanity. Newly minted ordinance officer Andrew Comstock has been placed in charge of developing new technology that has to be tested on the fly in a race against time if humanity is to survive.

(Source: ZMOK)

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