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US Books Received- 08/2017  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

Baen

Monster Hunter Siege by Larry Correia (Baen 01 August 2017 / $25.00) - Product Description: When Monster Hunter International's top hunter,†Owen Zastava Pitt, was given a tip about some hunters who had gone missing in action, he didn't realize their rescue mission would snowball into the single biggest operation in MHI's†history. Their men are being held prisoner in a horrific nightmare dimension, and the only way to reach them is through the radioactive ruins of a monster-infested war zone.

As if that wasn't bad enough,†it's also the home base of the powerful creature behind the devastating attacks on the Last Dragon and Copper Lake. It turns out ancient gods of chaos†really†hate trespassers.†But this†god†picked a fight with the¬†wrong crew, and now MHI wants payback. Calling on their allies, a massive expedition is formed, and with the odds stacked against them, a legion of hunters goes to war.

It's D-Day at the City of Monsters.

DAW

Halls of Law (Faraman Prophecy) by V.M. Escalada (DAW 01 August 2017 / ) - Product Description: The Faraman Polity was created by the first Luqs, and has been ruled for generations by those of the Luqs bloodline. It is a burgeoning empire maintained by the combined efforts of the standing military force and the Talents of the Halls of Law. While the military preserves and protects, it is the Halls' Talents--those gifted from birth with magical abilities--who serve as the agents and judges of the Law. For no one can successfully lie to a Talent. Not only can they read people by the briefest of physical contacts, but they can also read objects, able to find information about anyone who has ever come into direct contact with that object. Thanks to the Talents and the career military, the Polity has long remained a stable and successful society. But all that is about to change.

Seventeen-year-old Kerida Nast has always wanted a career in the military, just like the rest of her family. So when her Talent is discovered, and she knows she'll have to spend the rest of her life as a psychic for the Halls of Law, Ker isn't happy about it. Anyone entering the Halls must give up all personal connection with the outside world, losing their family and friends permanently. Just as Kerida is beginning to reconcile herself to her new role, the Polity is invaded by strangers from Halia, who begin a systematic campaign of destruction against the Halls, killing every last Talent they can find.

Kerida manages to escape, falling in with Tel Cursar, a young soldier fleeing the battle, which saw the deaths of the royal family. Having no obvious heir to the throne, no new ruler to rally behind, the military leaders will be divided, unable to act quickly enough to save the empire. And with the Halls being burned to the ground, and the Talents slaughtered, the Rule of Law will be shattered.

To avoid the invaders, Kerida and Tel are forced to enter old mining tunnels in a desperate attempt to carry word of the invaders to Halls and military posts that have not yet been attacked. But the tunnels hide a dangerous secret, a long-hidden colony of Feelers--paranormal outcasts shut away from the world for so long they are considered mythical. These traditional enemies of the Halls of Law welcome Kerida, believing she fulfills a Prophecy they were given centuries before by the lost race of griffins. With the help of these new allies, Kerida and Tel stand a chance of outdistancing the invaders and reaching their own troops. However, that is only the start of what will become a frantic mission to learn whether any heir to the throne remains, no matter how distant in the bloodline. Should they discover such a person, they will have to find the heir before the Halian invaders do. For if the Halians capture the future Luqs, it will spell the end of the Faraman Polity and the Rule of Law.

Del Rey

Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore (Del Rey 22 August 2017 / ) - Product Description: First we live. Then we die. And then ... we get another try? Ten thousand tries, to be exact. Ten thousand lives to "get it right". Answer all the Big Questions. Achieve Wisdom. And Become One with Everything.

Milo has had 9,995 chances so far and has just five more lives to earn a place in the cosmic soul. If he doesn't make the cut, oblivion awaits. But all Milo really wants is to fall forever into the arms of Death. Or Suzie, as he calls her.

More than just Milo's lover throughout his countless layovers in the Afterlife, Suzie is literally his reason for living--as he dives into one new existence after another, praying for the day he'll never have to leave her side again.

Harper Voyager

Call of Fire (Blood of Earth) by Beth Cato (Harper Voyager 15 August 2017 / $14.99) - Product Description: A resourceful young heroine must protect the world from her enemies--and her own†power--in this thrilling sequel to the acclaimed Breath of Earth, an imaginative blend of alternative history, fantasy, science, magic, and adventure.

When an earthquake devastates San Francisco in an alternate 1906, the influx of geomantic energy nearly consumes Ingrid Carmichael. Bruised but alive, the young geomancer flees the city with her friends, Cy, Lee, and Fenris. She is desperate to escape Ambassador Blum, the cunning and dangerous bureaucrat who wants to use Ingrid's formidable powers to help the Unified Pacific--the confederation of the United States and Japan--achieve world domination. To stop them, Ingrid must learn more about the god-like magic she inherited from her estranged fatheróthe man who set off the quake that obliterated San Francisco.

When Lee and Fenris are kidnapped in Portland, Ingrid and Cy are forced to ally themselves with another ambassador from the Unified Pacific: the powerful and mysterious Theodore Roosevelt. But even TR's influence may not be enough to save them when they reach Seattle, where the magnificent peak of Mount Rainier looms. Discovering more about herself and her abilities, Ingrid is all too aware that she may prove to be the fuse to light the long-dormant volcano ... and a war that will sweep the world.

Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter (Harper Voyager 01 August 2017 / $15.99) - Product Description: With nods to Arthur C. Clarke's Rama series and the real science of Neal Stephenson's Seveneves, a touch of Hugh Howey's Wool, and echoes of Octavia Butler's voice, a powerful tale of space travel, adventure, discovery, and humanity that unfolds through a series of generational vignettes.

In 2088, humankind is at last ready to explore beyond Earth's solar system. But one uncertainty remains: Where do we go?

Astrophysicist Reggie Straifer has an idea. He's discovered an anomalous star that appears to defy the laws of physics and proposes the creation of a deep-space mission to find out whether the star is a weird natural phenomenon or something manufactured.

The journey will take eons. In order to maintain the genetic talent of the original crew, humankind's greatest ambition--to explore the furthest reaches of the galaxy--is undertaken by clones. But a clone is not a perfect copy, and each new generation has its own quirks, desires, and neuroses. As the centuries fly by, the society living aboard the nine ships (designated Convoy Seven) changes and evolves, but their mission remains the same: to reach Reggie's mysterious star and explore its origins--and implications.

A mosaic novel of discovery, Noumenon--in a series of vignettes--examines the dedication, adventure, growth, and fear of having your entire world consist of nine ships in the vacuum of space. The men and women, and even the AI, must learn to work and live together in harmony, as their original DNA is continuously replicated and they are born again and again into a thousand new lives. With the stars their home and the unknown their destination, they are on a voyage of many lifetimes--an odyssey to understand what lies beyond the limits of human knowledge and imagination.

Pyr

The Castle in Cassiopeia (Dead Enders) by Mike Resnick (Pyr 22 August 2017 / $17.00 / $9.99) - Product Description: A crisis has arisen. On their first mission as a team, †Pretorius and his Dead Enders kidnapped the real General Michkag and substituted a clone who had been raised and trained in the Democracy. But now they find that the clone likes being the most powerful man in the hundred-world Traanskei Coalititon--and having been raised on Earth, he knows how humans think and react.

This becomes a many-layered problem for Pretorius and what is left of his Dead Enders. As the only humans on a totally militarized alien world, they must first find where the best-guarded member of the enemy's military--Michkag--is hiding and how many aliens, or regiments, or divisions, are guarding him, and then they must find a way past all his lines of defense to kill or capture him.

Subterranean

Golden Age and Other Stories by Naomi Novik (Subterranean 31 August 2017 / $25.00) - Product Description: Naomi Novik ended her acclaimed, beloved nine-volume Temeraire series last year with a stunning finale, League of Dragons. Fans missing their favorite series can now rejoice: Novik returns with an original Temeraire collection as unique as the world she has created, with each tale inspired by an accompanying piece of fan art.

The Temeraire novels provide a window into an alternate nineteenth century populated with Novik's own richly human and unforgettably draconic characters as they adventure alongside well-known historical figures. That tradition continues here. Readers will delight at appearances by fan-favorite characters from the series and historical figures like the famed explorer Matteo Ricci. In "Planting Season," Novik shows us an early glimpse of American dragon John Wampanoag at Boston Harbor. "Golden Age" finds a dragon who believes he remembers being called Celeste hatch from a shipwreck-tossed crate onto an island where he meets others of his kind. But other famous fictional characters are to be discovered here as well. Readers will certainly recognize a certain Miss Bennet (here Captain Bennet) and her suitor, Mr. Darcy, in "Dragons and Decorum."

Filled with the inventive world-building, rich detail, sparkling wit, and deep emotion that readers have come to expect from Novik's work, Golden Age and Other Stories is a treasure at home on any Temeraire-lover's bookshelf.

Subterranean Press

The Crow's Dinner by Jonathan Carroll (Subterranean Press 31 August 2017 / $40.00) - Book Description: The Crow's Dinner is Jonathan Carroll's debut essay collection, and that is very good news. Gathering together hundreds of entries that initially appeared on the website Medium, The Crow's Dinner is at once a wide-ranging spiritual autobiography and an annotated guide to what Carroll calls "The Map of Me".

Beginning with an appreciation of "The Invisibles", those insignificant moments we overlook at our peril, The Crow's Dinner encompasses an extraordinary range of incidents, ideas, and images that cumulatively illuminate the inner and outer weather of a major American artist. This generous volume contains fragments of autobiography, reflection on the nature of creativity, vivid recreations of chance encounters, and provocative meditations on the complexity--and unpredictability--of human relationship. It is a book filled with colorful vignettes, unexpected bursts of whimsy, and observations filter through an utterly unique sensibility. Witty, compassionate, open at all times to the "momentary magic" of existence, it is a work of singular beauty that is unlike anything you have ever read.

Since the publication of his first novel, The Land of Laughs, in 1980, Jonathan Carroll has repeatedly offered us new and startling ways of looking at our familiar world. With The Crow's Dinner, he speaks to us in direct, unmediated fashion about the things that matter most: love, lust, books, dogs, food, friendship--and the transforming power of the imagination. The result is an intimate, one-of-a-kind tour of a lively, unfettered mind. Like the best of Carroll's fiction, The Crow's Dinner is a book that matters.

Tachyon Publications

The New Voices of Fantasy by (Tachyon Publications 08 August 2017 / $16.95) - Product Description: The New Voices of Fantasy spotlights nineteen breakout writers who are reinventing fantasy right now. Usman T. Malik, Sofia Samatar, Eugene Fischer, E. Lily Yu, Ben Loory, Maria Dahvana Headley, Ursula Vernon, Max Gladstone, and other emerging talents have been hand-picked by fantasy legend Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn) and genre expert Jacob Weisman (The Treasury of the Fantastic).

International, cross-cultural, and fearless, many of these rising stars have just or are about to publish their first novels and collections. They bring you childhood stories gone wrong, magical creatures in heat, a building that's alive and full of waiters, love, ducks, and a new take on a bloodsucking fiend.

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