It’s another kind of slowish week in the world of speculative fiction releases, but some interesting titles. Might be a good week to pick a new author to try! (But next week, get ready!) I think my pick this week would be to choose the first book in Ian Tregillis’ Triptych series. The second one comes out this week but it’s a new series to me and it sounds interesting. Seed also sounds interesting, if creepy.
First, the commercial interruptions. The giveaway at Dark Faerie Tales continues for another week. I’m unloading a big Sentinels of New Orleans prize pack, which includes an ARC of River Road, an “I (heart) Jean Lafitte” T-shirt, a “Swamp Wizards” poster, magnets, jewelry, etc. Head on over, and enter to win!
And my alter-ego Susannah Sandlin is over at Romance Book Junkies
talking about paranormal romance and heroes with flaws. (A color-blind vampire, anyone?) You can also log another entry in Susannah’s blog tour giveaways.
Now…Reader’s Choice! As always, leave a comment telling me the book here you’d most like to win, and maybe random.org will make your wishes come true. International? Of course!
Now, here we go….
Seed, by Ania Ahiborn (July 17, 47North)
Jack Winter has spent his entire life running from something no one else can see. His childhood is his darkest secret, but after a near fatal accident along a deserted road, the darkness he was sure he’d escaped rears its ugly head and smiles. But this time, he isn’t the only one who sees the soulless eyes of his past. This time, his six-year-old daughter Charlie leans into his ear and whispers: Daddy, I saw it too. And then she begins to change. Faced with reliving the nightmares of his childhood, Jack watches his daughter spiral into the shadows that had nearly consumed him twenty years before. But Charlie isn’t the only one who’s changing. Jack never outran the darkness. It’s been with him all along. And it’s hungrier than ever.
The Unquiet, by Jeannine Garsee (July 17, Bloomsbury)
Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: she’s bipolar and she killed her grandmother. After a suicide attempt, and now her parents’ separation, Rinn and her mom move to rural Ohio. Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn’s bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends, Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be “touched” by Annaliese or if Annaliese even exists. Young adult.
21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology, edited by Christopher Golden (July 17, St. Martin’s)
The Stoker-award winning editor of the acclaimed, eclectic anthology The New Dead returns with 21st Century Dead, and an all-new lineup of authors from all corners of the fiction world, shining a dark light on our fascination with tales of death and resurrection… with zombies. The stellar stories in this volume includes a tale set in the world of Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse, the first published fiction by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, and a tale of love, family, and resurrection from Orson Scott Card. This new volume also includes stories from Simon R. Green, Chelsea Cain, Jonathan Maberry, Duane Swiercyznski, Caitlin Kittredge, Brian Keene, Amber Benson, John Skipp, S. G. Browne, Thomas E. Sniegoski, Hollywood screenwriter Stephen Susco, National Book Award nominee Dan Chaon, and more.
Ripper (Event Group Series), by David L. Golemon (July 17, Dunne)
The real Jack the Ripper is loose, and this time he’s brought friends. Ripper is the latest in a series about the nation’s most secret agency—The Event Group. In 1887, the British Empire contracted brilliant American professor Lawrence Ambrose to create a mutant gene to turn an ordinary person into an aggressive fighting machine. But all too quickly, Ambrose was found to be behind a streak of vicious murders, and in a cover-up of massive proportions, Queen Victoria ordered the project, and Ambrose, terminated. Thus the legend of Jack the Ripper was born. The killings stopped as suddenly as they had begun—but not because Ambrose was caught. Instead, he escaped and returned home to America where he and his formula faded into history. But in 2012, a raid against a Mexican drug lord uncovers a small cache of antiquated notebooks containing long-buried instructions to create blind killers out of normal men.
The Coldest War (The Milkweed Triptych, Book 2), by Ian Tregillis (July 17, Tor)
In Ian Tregillis’ The Coldest War, a precarious balance of power maintains the peace between Britain and the USSR. For decades, Britain’s warlocks have been all that stands between the British Empire and the Soviet Union—a vast domain stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the English Channel. Now each wizard’s death is another blow to Britain’s national security. Meanwhile, a brother and sister escape from a top-secret facility deep behind the Iron Curtain. Once subjects of a twisted Nazi experiment to imbue ordinary people with superhuman abilities, then prisoners of war in the immense Soviet research effort to reverse-engineer the Nazi technology, they head for England. Because that’s where former spy Raybould Marsh lives. And Gretel, the mad seer, has plans for him.
Earth Unaware (The First Formic War, Book 1), by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston (July 17, Tor)
The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador’s telescopes pick up a fast-approaching massive object, it’s hard to know what to make of it. El Cavador has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big for the ship. There are claim-jumping corporate ships bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship doesn’t seem important. But it’s the most important thing that has happened to the human race in a million years.
Energized, by Edward M. Lerner (July 17, Tor)
A geopolitical miscalculation tainted the world’s major oil fields with radioactivity and plunged the Middle East into chaos. Any oil that remains usable is more prized than ever. No one can build solar farms, wind farms, and electric cars quickly enough to cope. The few countries, chiefly Russia, still able to export oil and natural gas have a stranglehold on the world economy. And then, from the darkness of space, came the onrushing asteroid Phoebe, which America captures in Earth orbit. NASA engineer Marcus Judson is determined to make the Solar power satellites demonstration project a success although nothing in his job description mentions combating an international cabal, or going into space.
Shine Shine Shine, by Lydia Netzer (July 17, St. Martin’s)
Sunny Mann has masterminded a life for herself and her family in a quiet Virginia town. Her house and her friends are picture-perfect. Even her genius husband, Maxon, has been trained to pass for normal. But when a fender bender on an average day sends her coiffed blonde wig sailing out the window, her secret is exposed and her facade begins to unravel. As children, the bald, temperamental Sunny and the neglected savant Maxon found an unlikely friendship no one else could understand. Now, as Sunny and Maxon are at each other’s throats with blame and fear of how they’ve lost their way, Maxon departs for the new moon colony. Just as the car accident jars Sunny into an awareness of what she really needs, an accident involving Maxon’s rocket threatens everything they’ve built.
Spark (Sky Chasers, Book 2), by Amy Kathleen Ryan (July 17, St. Martin’s Griffin)
After a desperate escape from the enemy ship, Waverly has finally made it back to the Empyrean. The memory of home has been keeping her alive for the past months… but home is nothing like she left it. Forced to leave their captive parents behind on the New Horizon, she’s returned only to find that Kieran has become a strict leader and turned the crew against Seth. What happened to the Kieran she thought she knew? Now Waverly’s not sure whom she can trust. And the one person she wants to believe in is darkly brilliant Seth, the ship’s supposed enemy. Young adult.
Queen’s Hunt (River of Souls, Book 2), by Beth Bernobich (July 17, Tor)
Ilse Zhalina has left to start a new life in a garrisoned fort, leagues from her estranged lover, Raul Kosenmark. By faking a violent quarrel the couple hope to mislead Kosenmark’s enemies so that he can continue to influence the politics of the kingdom, while keeping Ilse safe from royal assassins. Ilse is set on her own quest to find one of the three fabled jewels of Lir. One of the jewels is held by King Dzavek, sworn enemy of Veraene, who has used the jewel’s power to live for centuries. Ilse seeks one of the other stones to counterbalance Dzavek’s efforts to destroy her country. In her search, she encounters a shipwrecked prisoner from another land, a woman who has a secret of her own and the second jewel in her keeping. The two women become allies in their quest for the third jewel, because finding and controlling these stones could mean salvation for both of their nations.
Sharps, by K.J. Parker (July 17, Orbit)
For the first time in nearly forty years, an uneasy truce has been called between two neighboring kingdoms. The war has been long and brutal, fought over the usual things: resources, land, money. Now, there is a chance for peace. Diplomatic talks have begun and with them, the games. Two teams of fencers represent their nations at this pivotal moment. When the future of the world lies balanced on the point of a rapier, one misstep could mean ruin for all.
The Girl with Borrowed Wings, by Rinsai Rossetti (July 19, Dial)
Controlled by her father and bound by desert, Frenenqer Paje’s life is tediously the same, until a small act of rebellion explodes her world and she meets a boy, but not just a boy — a Free person, a winged person, a shape-shifter. He has everything Frenenqer doesn’t. No family, no attachments, no rules. At night, he flies them to the far-flung places of their childhoods to retrace their pasts. But when the delicate balance of their friendship threatens to rupture into something more, Frenenqer must confront her isolation, her father, and her very sense of identity, breaking all the rules of her life to become free. Young adult.
Now…what do you want to read? Leave a comment and tell me, and I’ll draw one name to win his or her choice. International, as always. And if the book is in a series you haven’t started, you can always pick the first one in the series instead. If there’s a new release in another genre this week you’d like to read, leave that in your comment. If I’ve missed a speculative fiction release, leave it in the comments and I’ll add it in—it’s eligible for giveaway.
As always, four entries possible: +1 for comment to tell me what book (any book) you want, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for a Tweet or RT about the contest. This contest is international to any place Book Depository ships. Contests end at midnight CDT U.S. on Saturday, and winners are announced on Sunday’s blog. It’s the responsibility of the winner to contact me with their mailing info. Books unclaimed after a month will go into a general giveaway pile.