First off, I have a “Story Behind Elysian Fields” post out at the upcoming4me website
. Head over and check it out if you get a chance!
Now, forget December. October seems to be the month that just keeps on giving when it comes to new releases. Not quite as many this week as last week, but still more than enough to deplete a good book budget. Lots of YA this time out, and fantasy fans are abuzz at the long (long long long) awaited Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch (LOVE that cover!). Me? I’m going for either the Amanda Carlson or Nick Kaufman books.
What do you want to read this week? As always, leave a comment telling me the book you’d most like to win, and maybe random.org will make your wishes come true. Your choice of print or digital unless otherwise stated. International? Of course! As long as Book Depository delivers to your country, please enter. If you’d prefer the first book in a series listed here, that’s okay, too.
Thren Felhorn is the greatest assassin of his time. Marshalling the thieves’ guilds under his control, he declares war against the Trifect, an allegiance of wealthy and powerful nobles. Aaron Felhorn has been groomed since birth to be Thren’s heir. Sent to kill the daughter of a priest, Aaron instead risks his own life to protect her from the wrath of his guild. In doing so, he glimpses a world beyond poison, daggers, and the iron control of his father. Guilds twist and turn, trading allegiances for survival. The Trifect weakens, its reputation broken, its money dwindling. The players take sides as the war nears its end, and Thren puts in motion a plan to execute hundreds. Only Aaron can stop the massacre and protect those he loves. Assassin or protector; every choice has its consequences.
Having used his unique connection with the Heart of the Earth to terminate the use of psi, or telekinesis, in the secluded city of Deliverance, twelve-year-old Taemon bears the burden of responsibility for the fate of its people. With society in disarray, his family missing, and tensions looming with the mysterious Republik, Taemon confronts the startling discovery that he alone can still use psi, and that it comes with a price. In an attempt to find his father and prevent war, Taemon and his friend Amma set out on a dangerous journey to the Republik. But what they find there is far from what they expected, and Taemon’s understanding of the world is challenged. Will his psi and his courage be enough to conquer the obstacles standing in the way of peace?
At the moment Dan’s life ends, the Rider’s begins. Unwillingly tied to Dan, the Rider finds himself moving backwards in time, each day revealing more of the series of events that led to Dan’s suicide. Beyond the simple pleasures of a hot shower and the sun on his face, the Rider notices the people around Dan: his little sister, always disappointed by her big brother’s rejection, and his overwhelmed mom, who can never rely on Dan for help. The Rider notices Cat with her purple hair, artistic talent, and misfit beauty. Cat doesn’t want anything to do with Dan, paying attention instead to popular football player Finn. Cat becomes the center of the Rider’s world, until the Rider finds out the shocking reason why Cat is so angry with Dan. Can the Rider make things right before it’s too late?
Jules should be happy. She saved a lot of people’s lives and she’s finally with Sawyer. The nightmare’s not over, because she somehow managed to pass the psycho vision stuff to Sawyer. Excellent. Feeling responsible for what he’s going through and knowing that people’s lives are at stake, Jules is determined to help him figure it all out. Sawyer’s vision is so awful he can barely describe it. All he can tell her is there’s a gun, and eleven ear-splitting shots. Bang. Jules and Sawyer have to work out the details fast, because the visions are getting worse and that means only one thing: time is running out. But every clue they see takes them down the wrong path. If they can’t prevent the vision from happening, lives will be lost. And they may be among the casualties.
Avaline Hall has already buried her mother, survived a horrific factory fire, and escaped from an insane asylum. Now she’s on her way to Blythewood Academy. She’s afraid her high society classmates won’t accept a factory girl in their midst, Ava is desperate to unravel her family’s murky past, discover the identity of the father she’s never known, and perhaps finally understand her mother’s abrupt suicide. She’s also on the hunt for the identity of the mysterious boy who rescued her from the fire. Nothing could have prepared her for the dark secret of what Blythewood is, and what its students are being trained to do. Ava isn’t sure if she’s losing her mind or getting closer to the truth. The more rigorously Ava digs into the past, the more dangerous her present becomes.
Jessica arrives back in town to find her best friend missing and the most powerful witch in the country is blaming her for it. But before they can move to save her, the group is attacked. On the run, Jessica and Rourke head to the mountains. Several surprises await them, but in order to save her father they are forced to leave for New Orleans early. Arriving on the Vampire Queen’s doorstep unexpectedly, and bringing trouble on their heels, the Sects are thrown into an all out war. The vicious skirmish ends up forcing the vamps and Jessica to fight on the same team. The Vamp Queen ends up owing Jessica, but what Jessica doesn’t realize is just how soon she’ll have to cash it in.
The fate of the world is not something a girl wants on her shoulders, and that is especially true for Lorelei McAlister. Lorelei has seen firsthand the horrors that lie beneath our everyday world. She agrees to leave the sanctity of her hometown and is sent to a different world entirely. Someone knows what she is. What she carries inside her soul. She’s seeing visions. These visions: death, destruction, and the end of the world. Lorelei must face the fact that there are people who want her dead, and the lives of her friends and family are in mortal peril. Her friends and family include the handsome Angel of Death, a fiercely protective half-angel, and a ragtag group of loyal supporters who aren’t afraid to get a little dirty in the name of fighting pure evil.
The Mojave Desert was a million miles away from the plots and schemes of the Faerie Courts, and that’s exactly why Rika chose it as her home. The once-mortal faery retreated to the desert’s isolation after decades of carrying winter’s curse inside her body. But her seclusion, and the freedom of the desert fey, is threatened by the Summer King’s newfound strength. And when the manipulations of her trickster friend, Sionnach, thrust Rika into a new romance, she finds new power within herself—and a new desire to help Sionnach protect the desert fey and mortals alike. The time for hiding is over.
Given his line of work in the employ of a psychotic Brooklyn crime boss, Trent finds himself on the wrong end of too many bullets. Yet each time he’s killed, he wakes a few minutes later completely healed of his wounds but with no memory of his past identity. Sent to steal an antique box from some squatters in an abandoned warehouse, Trent soon finds himself stumbling into an age-old struggle between the forces of good and evil, revealing a secret world where dangerous magic turns people into inhuman monstrosities, where impossible creatures hide in plain sight, and where the line between the living and the dead is never quite clear. And when the mysterious box is opened, he discovers he has only twenty-four hours to save New York City from certain destruction.
At Ever After High, the children of fairytale legends prepare themselves to fulfill their destinies as the next generation of Snow Whites, Prince Charmings and Evil Queens, whether they want to or not. Each year on Legacy Day, students sign the Storybook of Legends to seal their scripted fates. The Village of Book End has whispered that refusing to sign means The End, both for a story and for a life. As the daughter of the Evil Queen, Raven Queen’s destiny is to follow in her mother’s wicked footsteps. The royal Apple White, daughter of the Fairest of Them All, has a happy ever after planned for herself, but it depends upon Raven feeding her a poison apple in their future. What if Raven doesn’t sign the Storybook of Legends? It could mean a happily never after for them both.
In the coming centuries the world’s population has exploded and covered the earth with cities. On this urban planet the only relief from overcrowding and the harsh rule of the big Agencies is the television in every living space, with its dreams of vanished waterfalls and the promise of virtual vacations in green spaces. It is an unwelcoming world for an orphan like Nadia Stepan. Nadia grows up dreaming of the vacation spot called Lighthouse Island. An opportunity for escape appears and Nadia takes it. She meets the man who changes the course of her life: James Orotov, mapmaker and demolition expert. Together they evade arrest and head north toward a place of wild beauty that lies beyond the megapolis-Lighthouse Island and its all-seeing eye.
Rafael Angelos just got handed the greatest gift any teenage boy could ever dream of. Upon arriving at his new boarding school for senior year, he discovered that he is the ONLY male student. But what should have been a godsend isn’t exactly heaven on Earth. Raffi’s about to learn that St. Mary’s is actually a hub for demons, and that he was summoned to the school by someone expecting him to save the day. Raffi knows he’s no angel, but it’s pretty hard to deny that there’s some higher plan at work when he wakes up one morning to discover a glowing circle around his head.
This new anthology of fifteen all-original science fiction stories, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, celebrates the Golden Age of Science Fiction, an era filled with tales of interplanetary colonization and derring-do. Before the advent of powerful telescopes and space probes, our solar system could be imagined as teeming with strange life-forms and ancient civilizations, by no means always friendly to the dominant species of Earth. And of all the planets orbiting that G-class star we call the Sun, none was so steeped in an aura of romantic decadence, thrilling mystery, and gung-ho adventure as Mars. Contributions from Michael Moorcock, Mike Resnick, Joe R. Lansdale, S. M. Stirling, Mary Rosenblum, Ian McDonald, Liz Williams, James S. A. Corey, and others.
This year at Suburban High School is just as troubling as the last. A curly-haired girl ghost is disrupting lives with dreaded “kiss notes,” and students are inexplicably sinking into depression. Bruno, the new kid on the block, finds himself at the center of the mystery when he discovers his natural map-reading abilities are actually supernatural. When the reluctant hero isn’t engaged in cosmic battles against evil, Bruno is swooning over the mesmerizing Celia (from The Suburban Strange) and navigating the goth sensibilities and musical obsessions of the Rosary, her über-chic clique. A hypnotic coming-of-age novel that chills and thrills.
Before dragon eggs landed on American soil. Before a Slayer camp existed. And before Tori discovered her powers, there was an island. Lush forests, jutting peaks, and sloping hills covered St. Helena, the single most remote island in the Atlantic. And it is here where Dr. B grew up, working each summer on the Overdrake plantation alongside his brother. All was well until the day something was discovered on the plantation and things went horribly wrong. (ebook Only)
Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather’s stories of parallel worlds, inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real, until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will. To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she’ll be trapped in another girl’s life forever. Sasha finds herself torn between two worlds, two lives, and two young men vying for her love, one who knows her secret, and one who believes she’s someone she’s not.
What if a woman as strong and as complex as Eva Perón began her life as a robot repair assistant threatened by a powerful peacekeeping force that wants to take all she has from her? The discovery ship, Creative Fire, is on its way home from a multi-generational journey. They have been gone for generations, and the system they return to is home to technologies and riches beyond their wildest dreams. But they are immediately oppressed and relegated to the lowest status imaginable, barely able to interact with the technologies and people of the star station where they dock, the Diamond Deep. Ruby Martin and her partner, Joel North, must find a way to learn what they need to know and to become more than they have ever been if they are to find a way to save their people.
Eerie new landscapes and fear-inducing creatures in a story sure to delight and frighten fans old and new. In the final book in the series, Adam’s brilliantly irreverent narrator leads readers through a fresh world of Grimm-inspired fairy tales, based on such classics as The Juniper Tree, the real story of Cinderella, and Rumpelstiltskin.
At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape? If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.
On the eve of Princess Sophia’s wedding, the Scandinavian city of Skyggehavn prepares to fete the occasion with a sumptuous display of riches. Beneath the veneer of celebration, a shiver of darkness creeps through the palace halls. A mysterious illness plagues the royal family, and a courtier’s wolfish hunger for the king’s favors sets a devious plot in motion. In the palace at Skyggehavn, things are seldom as they seem. When a single errant prick of a needle sets off a series of events that will alter the course of history, the fates of seamstress Ava Bingen and mute nursemaid Midi Sorte become irrevocably intertwined with that of mad Queen Isabel. Ava and Midi must carve out their own survival any way they can.
For nearly twenty-five years The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror has been the world’s leading annual anthology dedicated solely to showcasing the best in contemporary horror fiction. This newest volume offers outstanding new writing by masters of the genre, such as Joan Aiken, Peter Atkins, Ramsey Campbell, Christopher Fowler, Joe R. Lansdale, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Robert Silverberg, Michael Marshall Smith, Evangeline Walton, and many others.
Loch is seeking revenge. It would help if she wasn’t in jail. The plan: to steal a priceless elven manuscript that once belonged to her family, but now is in the hands of the most powerful man in the Republic. To do so Loch, former soldier, former prisoner, current fugitive, must assemble a crack team of magical misfits that includes a cynical illusionist, a shapeshifting unicorn, a repentant death priestess, a talking magical warhammer, and a lad with seemingly no skills to help her break into the floating fortress of Heaven’s Spire and the vault that holds her family’s treasure, all while eluding the unrelenting pursuit of Justicar Pyvic, whose only mission is to see the law upheld. What could possibly go wrong? (U.S. Release)
Having pulled off the greatest heist of their career, Locke and his trusted partner in thievery, Jean, have escaped with a tidy fortune. Poisoned by an enemy from his past, he is slowly dying. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmagi offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him, or finish him off once and for all. Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean’s imploring, and the Bondsmagi’s mention of a woman from Locke’s past, Sabetha. Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow. Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha, or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend.
Calling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn’t. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds. It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work…until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn’t want?
In this thrilling conclusion to the Wereworld saga, secrets are finally revealed, truths come to light, and alliances are tested. While the war between the Catlords and the Wolf embroils the Seven Realms in chaos, Drew must take his final stand against the man who has become Lyssia’s deadliest villain: his own best friend, the Boarlord Hector, whose powers of dark magick are raging out of control.
Jessica Moore thrives on misery. Literally. Thanks to a goblin s curse, she gets a magical high from humanity s suffering. A shameful talent like that could bury a girl in guilt, so to atone, she uses her dark power to hunt murderers, rapists and other scumbags until one of them frames her for his crimes. Jessica seeks refuge with the one person she trusts to not turn her in a satyr named Lucen. Lucen uses his lusty magic to control Boston s human population, and Jessica isn’t immune to his power. The murder victims belonged to a rival race, and when they discover Lucen is harboring Jessica, dodging the cops becomes the least of her problems. Jessica faces a danger far more serious than the brewing magical war. The danger of succumbing to Lucen s molten seduction. (ebook Only)
The small print: This contest is international to any place Book Depository ships. Contests end at midnight CDT U.S. on Saturday, and winners will be announced on Sunday’s blog. It’s the responsibility of the winner to contact me with their mailing info.
Now….go forth and comment!