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US Books Received- 01/2018  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

Points of Impact (Frontlines #6) by Marko Kloos (47North 09 January 2018 / ) - Product Description: Humankind may have won the battle, but a new threat looms larger than ever before. Earth's armed forces have stopped the Lanky advance and chased their ships out of the solar system, but for CDC officer Andrew Grayson, the war feels anything but won. On Mars, the grinding duty of flushing out the twenty-meter-tall alien invaders from their burrows underground is wearing down troops and equipment at an alarming rate. And for the remaining extrasolar colonies, the threat of a Lanky attack is ever present.

Earth's game changer? New advanced ships and weapons, designed to hunt and kill Lankies and place humanity's militaries on equal footing with their formidable foes. Andrew and his wife, Halley, both now burdened with command responsibilities and in charge of more lives than just their own, are once again in humanity's vanguard as they prepare for this new phase in the war. But the Lankies have their own agenda…and in war, the enemy doesn't usually wait until you are prepared. As Andrew is once again plunged into the chaos and violence of war with an unyielding species, he is forced to confront the toll this endless conflict is taking on them all, and the high price of survival…at any cost.

(see review)

Ace

The Infernal Battalion (Shadow Campaigns) by Django Wexler (Ace 09 January 2018 / $28.00) - Product Description: The Beast, the ancient demon imprisoned beneath the fortress-city of Elysium for a thousand years, has been loosed on the world. It absorbs mind after mind, spreading like a plague through the north. The fell army it has raised threatens the heart of Vordan, and it is under the command of the Beast's greatest prize: legendary general Janus bet Vhalnich.

As Queen Raesinia Orboan and soldiers Marcus D'Ivoire and Winter Ihernglass grapple with the aftermath of a hard-fought military campaign, they soon discover a betrayal they never could have foreseen. The news arrives like a thunderbolt: Janus has declared himself the rightful Emperor of Vordan. Chaos grips the city as officers and regiments are forced to declare for queen or emperor.

Raesinia must struggle to keep her country under control and risks becoming everything she fought against. Marcus must take the field against his old commander, a man who has seemed an unbeatable strategist. And as Winter recovers from her injuries and mourns her losses, she knows the demon she carries inside her might be the only thing standing between the Beast and the destruction of everything in its path.

(see review)

The Lost Plot (Invisible Library) by Genevieve Cogman (Ace 09 January 2018 / $15.00) - Product Description: After being commissioned to find a rare book, Librarian Irene and her assistant, Kai, head to Prohibition-era New York and are thrust into the middle of a political fight with dragons, mobsters, and Fae.

In a 1920s-esque New York, Prohibition is in force; fedoras, flapper dresses, and tommy guns are in fashion: and intrigue is afoot. Intrepid Librarians Irene and Kai find themselves caught in the middle of a dragon political contest. It seems a young Librarian has become tangled in this conflict, and if they can't extricate him, there could be serious repercussions for the mysterious Library. And, as the balance of power across mighty factions hangs in the balance, this could even trigger war.

Irene and Kai are locked in a race against time (and dragons) to procure a rare book. They'll face gangsters, blackmail, and the Library's own Internal Affairs department. And if it doesn't end well, it could have dire consequences on Irene's job. And, incidentally, on her life.

Baen

Cobra Traitor #3 by Timothy Zahn (Baen 02 January 2018 / $16.00) - Product Description: Conclusion to the Cobra Rebellion Trilogy. Cobras: technologically enhanced warriors bred to fight an alien menace no ordinary human can withstand.

Once the Cobras fought the implacable alien invaders, the Trofts, to an uneasy stalemate. But in recent years they have faced an enemy more insidious, the oppressive regime known as the Dominion of Man. Now, the Cobra Worlds find themselves under the boot heels of the Dominion, forced into what amounts to slavery, living under martial law. But two clans of Cobras--the Moreaus and the Brooms--will not stand idly by and let the Dominion run roughshod over their homeworlds.

Now a threat from without looms. The alien Troft are again planning an attack. Before, they came to conquer. This time they've come to annihilate. If the Cobras are to survive, they may have to do the unthinkable: align themselves with the hated Dominion.

Cobras are not known for taking the easy path--and this may be the hardest path of all. But If the Cobras can manage to avoid complete destruction or abject slavery, a new day may finally dawn on the Cobra worlds. The day of Freedom.

Neogenesis (Liaden Universe®) by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (Baen 02 January 2018 / $25.00) - Product Description: Sequel to The Gathering Edge.

The Complex Logic Laws were the result of a war waged hundreds of years in the past, when two human powers threw massive AI navies at each other and nearly annihilated themselves. Being human, they blamed their tools for this near miss; they destroyed what was left of the sentient ships, and made it illegal to be, manufacture, or shelter an independent logic.

Strangely, however, the Free Ships and other AIs did not turn themselves in or suicide, they merely became wary of humans, and stayed under their scans. A clandestine support network grew up, including hidden yards where smart ships were manufactured, and mentors--humans specially trained to ease a new intelligence into the universe--socialized them, and taughtÂthem what they needed to know to survive.

Among those with a stake in the freedom of Independent Logics is Theo Waitley, who is somewhat too famously the captain of an intelligent ship Bechimo. Theo's brother, Val Con yos'Phelium, presides over a household that has for a generation employed an AI butler. Recently, he approved the "birth" of the butler's child, who was sent, with human mentor Tolly Jones, to rescue or destroy an orphaned AI abandoned at a remote space station.

Then there's Uncle, the shadowy mastermind from the Old Universe, whose many projects often skirt the boundaries of law, both natural and man-made, and the puppet-masters at the Lyre Institute, whose history is just as murky and a good deal less honorable.

All have an interest in the newly-awakening Self-Aware Logic that is rumored to have the power to destroy universes. The question is: Who will get to it first?

The Cackle of Cthulhu by (Baen 02 January 2018 / $16.00) - Product Description: Top authors poke fun and pay tribute to H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.

In 1928, Weird Tales debuted "The Call of Cthulhu" by H.P. Lovecraft, and the Cthulhu Mythos was born. In the 90 years since dozens of writers have dared play within HPL's mind-blowing creation--but never with such terrifyingly funny results. Now top authors lampoon, parody, and subvert Lovecraft's Mythos. See Cthulhu cut short his nap at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to invade North Korea! Watch the Unspeakable Eater of Souls solve crimes on the pulpy streets of Innsmouth! And speaking of largish Elder Gods, listen to a plastic Elvis doll dispense folksy advice straight from the heart of the Emperor of Dread! Again Ol' Tentacle-Face is confronted by frail humans who dare defy the Incarnation of Ultimate Evil--but this time not by brave monster hunters and terrified villagers, but by fan fiction writers, clueless college students, and corporate lawyers (okay, we realize it's hard to know who to root for in that confrontation).

Twenty-three mirthful manifestations within the Cthulhu Mythos from best-selling and award-winning authors Neil Gaiman, Mike Resnick, Esther Friesner, Ken Liu, Jody Lynn Nye, Laura Resnick, Nick Mamatas, David Vaughan, Keven Wetmore, Shaenon K. Garrity, Brian Trent, Alex Shvartsman, Rachael K. Jones, Yvonne Navarro, G. Scott Huggins, Gini Koch, Aidan Doyle, Konstantine Raradias, Amanda Helms, Matt Mikalatos, Laura Pearlman, and Lucy A. Snyder.

Guaranteed to leave you howling. Because if you look at it just right, there's nothing funnier than a soul writhing in cosmic horror before a tentacled maw of malevolence. As HPL himself saith: "From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent."

Flatiron Books

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (Flatiron Books 30 January 2018 / $16.99) - Product Description: Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice's life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice's grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away--by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: "Stay away from the Hazel Wood."

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother's cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Future Finalists Publishing

3rd and Starlight (Starlight Anthologies #3) by (Future Finalists Publishing 29 January 2018 / $14.99) - Product Description: THE STREET IS UNLIKE ANY OTHER

• An old rogue one last job from retirement, a young one seeking his fame. Just take the pearl from the cave. Easy - except for the monsters, magic, and mayhem.

• Darvolock is the potential Panama Canal of space, if only its inhabitants would share. But how do you negotiate a treaty with plants?

• Human females do not die in childbirth. How strange. How troubling. Ribolee's friend Siluone is about to die birthing many young oelene, a time of great celebration. And alone among her people, Ribolee feels a sense of loss.

• In the post-apocalyptic New West, Corporations enforce their control of the food supply with war machines; and a veteran priest, his western heroine dirigible AI, and their mechanical bees seek crops to pollinate and villagers to serve.

Fourteen tales by award-winning and nominated edgy new voices in science fiction and fantasy. Stories to amaze, delight, and touch the heart ... on the corner of 3rd and Starlight.

Harper Voyager

Destiny's Conflict: Sword of the Canon #2 (The Wars of Light and Shadow #10) by Janny Wurts (Harper Voyager 23 January 2017 / $26.06) - Product Description: The long-awaited second book of the fourth story arc - Sword of the Canon - in the epic fantasy series, the Wars of Light and Shadow.

Lysaer's unstable integrity lies under threat of total downfall, and as his determined protector, Daliana will face the most frightening decision of her young life. Arithon, Master of Shadow, is marked for death and still hunted when his critical quest to recover his obscured past entangles him in a web of deep intrigue and ancient perils beyond his imagining. Elaira's urgent pursuit of the Biedar Tribes' secret embroils her in the terrible directive of the Fellowship Sorcerers, while Dakar - the Mad Prophet - confronts the hard reckoning for the colossal mistake of his misspent past, and Tarens is steered by a destiny far from his crofter's origins. The penultimate volume of The Wars of Light and Shadow will touch the grand depths of Athera's endowment, and deliver the thrilling finale of arc IV, the Sword of the Canon. War, blood, magic, mystery - and the most hidden powers of all - will stand or fall on their hour of unveiling.

Markswoman (Asiana, #1) by Rati Mehrotra (Harper Voyager 23 January 2018 / $15.99) - Product Description: Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, a highly trained sisterhood of elite warriors armed with telepathic blades. Guided by a strict code of conduct, Kyra and the other Orders are sworn to protect the people of Asiana. But to be a Markswoman, an acolyte must repudiate her former life completely. Kyra has pledged to do so, yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her dead family.

When Kyra's beloved mentor dies in mysterious circumstances, and Tamsyn, the powerful, dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run. Using one of the strange Transport Hubs that are remnants of Asiana's long-lost past, she finds herself in the unforgiving wilderness of desert that is home to the Order of Khur, the only Order composed of men. Among them is Rustan, a young, disillusioned Marksman whom she soon befriends.

Kyra is certain that Tamsyn committed murder in a twisted bid for power, but she has no proof. And if she fails to find it, fails in her quest to keep her beloved Order from following Tamsyn down a dark path, it could spell the beginning of the end for Kyra--and for Asiana.

But what she doesn't realize is that the line between justice and vengeance is razor thin ... thin as the blade of a knife.

Sinless (Eye of the Beholder) by Sarah Tarkoff (Harper Voyager 09 January 2018 / $15.99) - Product Description: In Grace Luther's world, morality is physically enforced. Those who are "good" are blessed with beauty, while those who are not suffer horrifying consequences--disfigurement, or even death. When the cleric's daughter stumbles onto information that proves her world is more complicated than it seems, she finds herself at the center of an epic battle where good and evil are not so easily distinguished. Despite all her efforts to live a normal teenage life, Grace is faced with a series of decisions that will risk the lives of everyone she loves.

With each page, Sarah Tarkoff masterfully tightens the screws in this electrifying debut novel that plunges us into a nightmarish and all too plausible future. Full of high-drama and pulsating tension, Eye of the Beholder: Revelation explores essential questions teenagers wrestle with every day: What is beauty? What is faith? Where does friendship end and love begin? Do we take our world at face value and accept all that we have been taught—or do we question the mores of the society into which we are born?

Orbit

Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds (Orbit 23 January 2018 / ) - Product Description: Ten thousand city-state habitats orbit the planet Yellowstone, forming a near-perfect democratic human paradise. But even utopia needs a police force. For the citizens of the Glitter Band, that organization is Panoply, and the prefects are its operatives.

Prefect Tom Dreyfus has a new emergency on his hands. Across the habitats and their hundred million citizens, people are dying suddenly and randomly, victims of a bizarre and unprecedented malfunction of their neural implants. And these "melters" leave no clues behind as to the cause of their deaths.

As panic rises in the populace, a charismatic figure is sowing insurrection, convincing a small but growing number of habitats to break away from the Glitter Band and form their own independent colonies.

(see review)

Pink Narcissus Press

The Ramshead Algorithm: And Other Stories by KJ Kabza (Pink Narcissus Press 16 January 2018 / $15.00) - Product Description: In The Ramshead Algorithm and Other Stories, sand cats speak, ghost bikes roll, corpses disappear, and hedge mazes are more bewildering than you've ever imagined. These eleven fantasy and science fiction stories from KJ Kabza have been dubbed "Sublime" (Tangent), "Rich" (SFRevu), and "Ethereal" (Quick Sip Reviews) and will take you deep into other astonishing realities.

Subterranean Press

The Father of Lies by K.J. Parker (Subterranean Press 31 January 2018 / $40.00 / $6.99) - Book Description: Bringing together K.J. Parker's recent novellas with several new, never before seen, novelettes, The Father of Lies delves into the arcane as never before. Set amid the world of Parker's novels and stories this volume reveals a side rarely glimpsed in his other works. Contained herein are the tales of creatures that plucked the strings of existence, exposing the seedy underbelly of ultimate power as only Parker can.

It begins with love, as it often does. In All The Things We Do For Love, Parker demonstrates the age-old proverb "be careful what you wish for, you just might get it." It continues with a fall from grace, in Downfall of the Gods, where a daughter of heaven unwittingly pits herself against her divine family. Demonic pacts are everywhere with an iconic character who will finish what he started so many years ago. It ends with a beginning in No Peace for the Wicked, as a New Pope is chosen to push back the darkness.

Filled with Parker's hallmark wit and biting humor, The Father of Lies is an essential collection, not just for the dedicated fantasist, but for anyone committed to a great story well told. Like all of K.J. Parker's brilliant fiction, these stories whisper the truth.

Just ask yourself, can you trust the Father of Lies?

(see review)

Tachyon Publications

Starlings by Jo Walton (Tachyon Publications 30 January 2018 / $15.95) - Product Description: An intimate first flight of short fiction from award-winning novelist Jo Walton (Among Others, The King's Peace).

A strange Eritrean coin travels from lovers to thieves, gathering stories before meeting its match. Google becomes sentient and proceeds toward an existential crisis. An idealistic dancer on a generation ship makes an impassioned plea for creativity and survival. Three Irish siblings embark on an unlikely quest, stealing enchanted items via bad poetry, trickery, and an assist from the Queen of Cats.

With these captivating initial glimpses into her storytelling psyche, Jo Walton shines through subtle myths and wholly reinvented realities. Through eclectic stories, subtle vignettes, inspired poetry, and more, Walton soars with humans, machines, and magic--rising from the everyday into the universe itself.

Tor Books

Dark State (Empire Games) by Charles Stross (Tor Books 09 January 2018 / $25.99) - Product Description: Hugo Award-winning author Charlie Stross dives deep into the underbelly of paratime espionage, nuclear warfare, and state surveillance in this provocative techno-thriller set in The Merchant Princes multiverse. Dark State ups the ante on the already volatile situations laid out in the sleek techno-thriller Empire Games, the start to Stross' new story-line, and perfect entry point for new readers, in The Merchant Princes series.

In the near-future, the collision of two nuclear superpowers across timelines, one in the midst of a technological revolution and the other a hyper-police state, is imminent. In Commissioner Miriam Burgeson's timeline, her top level agents run a high-risk extraction of a major political player. Meanwhile, a sleeper cell activated in Rita's, the Commissioner's adopted daughter and newly-minted spy, timeline threatens to unravel everything.

With a penchant for intricate world-building and an uncanny ability to realize alternate history and technological speculation, Stross' writing will captivate any reader who's a fan hi-tech thrillers, interdimensional political intrigue, and espionage.

The Midnight Front (Dark Arts) by David Mack (Tor Books 30 January 2018 / $15.99) - Product Description: From author David Mack comes a visionary World War II-era adventure. The Midnight Front is the first novel in the Dark Arts series.

On the eve of World War Two, Nazi sorcerers come gunning for Cade but kill his family instead. His one path of vengeance is to become an apprentice of The Midnight Front--the Allies' top-secret magickal warfare program--and become a sorcerer himself.

Unsure who will kill him first--his allies, his enemies, or the demons he has to use to wield magick--Cade fights his way through occupied Europe and enemy lines. But he learns too late the true price of revenge will be more terrible than just the loss of his soul--and there's no task harder than doing good with a power born of ultimate evil.

World Weaver Press

The Continuum by Wendy Nikel (World Weaver Press 23 January 2018 / $9.99 / $2.99) - Book Description: Elise Morley is an expert on the past who's about to get a crash course in the future.

For years, Elise has been donning corsets, sneaking into castles, and lying through her teeth to enforce the Place in Time Travel Agency's ten essential rules of time travel. Someone has to ensure that travel to the past isn't abused, and most days she welcomes the challenge of tracking down and retrieving clients who have run into trouble on their historical vacations.

But when a dangerous secret organization kidnaps her and coerces her into jumping to the future on a high-stakes assignment, she's got more to worry about than just the time-space continuum. For the first time ever, she's the one out-of-date, out of place, and quickly running out of time.

(see review)

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