A couple of quick housekeeping notes: I was late getting back from New Orleans so I didn’t get the blog winners announced yesterday–I’ll do two weeks next week. AND: I’m over at Lady Scribes today with a “name that character” contest. AND: I’m over at Romance Magicians today talking about an amazing realization I made about myself at last week’s conference. (Well, it amazed me; it might not surprise anyone else.)
The first full week of April brings us yet another huge, honking list of new releases. I think the publishers are on crack.
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.
A side quest novella in the bestselling Geekomancy urban fantasy series, when D&D style adventures go from the tabletop to real life, look out. Ree Reyes, urban fantasy heroine of Geekomancy, is working her regular barista/drink-slinger shift at Grognard’s when it all goes wrong. Everything. As with Geekomancy (pop culture magic!) and its sequel Celebromancy (celebrity magic!), Attack of the Geek is perfect for anyone who wants to visit a world “where all the books and shows and movies and games [that you] love are a source of power, not only in psychological terms, but in practical, villain-pounding ones”. (ebook only)
Cass knows it was her telekinetic gift that killed a college classmate five years back. She’s lived in hiding from her fellow shadowminds ever since, plagued by guilt and suppressing her abilities with sedatives. Her past walks back into her life in the form of sexy Shane Tanner, the ex-boyfriend who trained her, and the one she left without saying goodbye. When Shane tells her that his twin sister, Mina, Cass’s childhood friend, is missing, Cass vows to help, which means returning to New Orleans. As Cass and Shane race to learn who is targeting shadowminds, they find themselves drawn to each other. Just as their powerful intimacy reignites, events take a terrifying turn, and Cass realizes that to save the people she loves, she must embrace the powers that ruined her life. (ebook only)
The balance point of interplanetary Cold War II between Earth and monolithic Yavet tips unexpectedly toward peace. Covert ops Captain Jazen Parker and his sharp shooting lover and partner Kit Born slide from world saving hazardous duty to escorting a telepathic alien monster home from Earth to mate. The two of them are forced to consider a quiet domestic future together. When old enemies’ thirsts for power and revenge, Jazen’s problematic past, and his former girlfriend, upset Jazen and Kit’s personal balance point, the two cold warriors find their relationship, and their very survival, tested as never before. They must each penetrate Yavet, the universe’s most insular and repressive world, then foil a plot that could turn Cold War II hot and nuclear, or die trying.
One of the last survivors in Earth’s final years, Tora Reynolds yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns “red giant,” but discovers her fellow survivors are even more deadly than the hostile environment. When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take their weapons by force, Tora’s fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus including a smart but quiet soldier named James. She’d felt a strange pull to James from the start. Tora must quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father’s request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.
The Mesan Alignment: a centuries-old cabal that seeks to impose its vision of a society dominated by genetic rank onto the human race. Now the conspiracy stands exposed by spies Anton Zilwicki and Victor Cachat. The outing of the Alignment has turned the galaxy’s political framework topsy-turvy. The long and hard-fought war between the Republic of Haven and the Star Empire of Manticore is not only over, but these bitter enemies have formed a new pact. Defying the odds and relying on genetic wizardry themselves for a disguise, Zilwicki and Cachat return to Mesa. Soon they are on the run in Mesa’s underworld. If Zilwicki and Cachat succeed in rooting out the ancient conspiracy, an evil may be finally removed from the galaxy, and freedom may dawn.
No one hates being a witch quite like Malcolm. But if there’s one thing worse than being a witch, it’s being a Moonset witch. There are very few things in his life that he can control, and after a fight with his siblings, he’s losing his grip on what he’s got left. A creature as old as Hamelin has crept out of the Abyss, and its siren song has infected the teenagers of Carrow Mill compelling them, at first, to simply be swept away in love. But love soon turns dangerous, as passion turns to violence and an army of sociopaths is born. The Pied Piper isn’t just a story, and he’s got his eyes set on Malcolm, promising a life of freedom from magic and the shackles of the Moonset bond. As Carrow Mill burns, Malcolm must make the hardest choice of his life: family? Or freedom?
Denae Lacroix is a beautiful MI5 agent on a deadly mission. Sent to the Scottish Highlands to spy on the mysterious Dreagan Industries, she discovers too late that she’s been set up, as human bait. She is an irresistible lure for a man who has not seen or touched a woman for centuries. He is a man with a destiny, and a desire, that could destroy them both. It’s been twelve hundred years since Kellan has walked among humans, and there’s no denying the erotically charged attraction he feels for Denae. But as a Dragon King, he is sworn to protect his secrets. Yet the closer he gets to this smart, ravishing woman, the more her life is in danger. All it takes is one reckless kiss to unleash a flood of desire, the fury of dragons, and the fiercest enemy of all. (ebook only)
Empress Celene of Orlais rose to the throne of the most powerful nation in Thedas through wisdom, wit, and ruthless manipulation. The empire she has guided into an age of enlightenment is threatened from within by imminent war between the templars and the mages. Grand Duke Gaspard has won countless battles for the empire and the empress. Gaspard begins to doubt that Celene’s diplomatic approach Orlais’ problems will keep the empire safe. Briala has been Celene’s handmaid since the two of them were children, using her position to help improve the lives of elves in Orlais. She is Celene’s confidante, spymaster, and lover. When politics force the empress to choose between the rights of the elves and the Orlesian throne, Briala must decide where her true loyalties lie.
When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. There are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz, something is happening. Massive stains are spreading from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world. From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?
14-year-old Heath Lambert is spending his summer at Camp Harmony in the Cascade Mountain Valley. The camp offers distractions: his friends, Cricket and Dunbar, always up for trouble; his reluctant crush on Emily, and hulking bullies Thumper and Floaties. No one rattles Heath like his cabin mate, Will Stringer. Brilliant, cold and calculating, Will views the world as one big chess game. Heath learns there’s a much bigger threat to contend with. Something’s wrong with the animals in the surrounding forest. Wolves, bears, mountain lions and the chipmunks are infected, spurred on in droves by one goal: hunt and kill every human they find. Heath and a ragtag band of campers are faced with a choice: follow Will’s lead and possibly survive, or follow the camp staff and die.
Aluna and Hoku, Kampii from the City of Shifting Tides, and their friends, Equian Dash and winged Aviar Calli, are determined to stop a war. The maniacal ex-scientist Karl Strand is planning to conquer the world with his enormous army of tech-enhanced soldiers, unless the four friends can get to Strand first. Aluna’s plan is dangerous: pose as Upgraders and infiltrate the army. The enemy isn’t what they expected and the strategy begins to crumble. When the friends are torn apart by conflicting allegiances, their slim chance of avoiding war seems to disappear completely. For Aluna and Hoku, what began as a quest to save their own people has become a mission to save the world. But do Aluna and her friends have any hope of defeating Strand if they can’t take him on together?
Listen: Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t. Now he’s alive again. Simple as that. The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too. Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars. Oh well, you only live twice.
Cassandra discovered that the technology that created her has been misused in her former home and now threatens all humanity with catastrophe. Returning home to Callay, she finds that Federation member worlds are unwilling to risk the confrontation that a solution may require. Some of these forces will go to any lengths to avoid a new conflict, including threatening the removal by force of Cassandra’s own branch of the Federal Security Agency. Sandy has brought back to Callay three young children, whom she met on the mean streets of Droze. Can she reconcile her duty as a soldier, including what she must do as a tactician, with the dangers that those decisions will place upon her family, the one thing that has come to mean more to her than any cause she now believes in?
Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge, a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece, a day dweller, or Ray, she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray. Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.
Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. After a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts. Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him, and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.
The year is 2095. Gifted teens known as Remnants have been chosen and trained to act as humanity’s last hope to rectify the horrors that are now part of everyday life. The Community has trained these teens as warriors and assigned them Knights of the Last Order as protectors. Together, they are a force that will be difficult to bring down. But the Sons of Sheol, of course, are determined to do just that. As the Remnants begin their mission to course-correct humanity by saving and protecting key individuals, their enemies move to stop them, placing the entire world in peril.
There is nowhere left to run. In the wake of the deadly plague that virtually annihilated the human race, a vast red jungle teeming with alien creatures and lethal plants is devouring Earth, swallowing buildings whole and ruthlessly decimating what life remains. A witness to the terrifying transformation, survivor Emily Baxter thinks the odds against humanity can’t get any worse. She is wrong. The thrilling conclusion to the bestselling Extinction Point series, Revelations takes a humanity on the brink of devastation, and throws it over the edge.
Humans beware. As the robotic revolution continues to creep into our lives, it brings with it an impending sense of doom. What horrifying scenarios might unfold if our technology were to go awry? From self-aware robotic toys to intelligent machines violently malfunctioning, this anthology brings to life the half-formed questions and fears we all have about the increasing presence of robots in our lives. With contributions from a mix of bestselling, award-winning, and up-and-coming writers, and including a rare story by “the father of artificial intelligence,” Dr. John McCarthy, Robot Uprisings meticulously describes the exhilarating and terrifying near-future in which humans can only survive by being cleverer than the rebellious machines they have created.
They hear the spirits. They must obey. In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned. Only this year, the souls will not be quieted. Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court, one that will alter the balance of their world forever.
After witnessing her husband’s brutal murder, Brenna Baudouin lost control of her Shadow Bearer powers and wreaked havoc on her home world. She’s on a routine exorcism run when she learns she’s been assigned a new partner. There’s something about this Shadow Bearer that sparks her suspicions. Particularly when people closest to her start turning up as piles of ash. Gray Warlow holds tight to the glamour that allows him to get close to the woman on whom he plans to wreak vengeance for betraying his people. He begins to see her not as the heartless monster he was led to believe, but a strong, vulnerable woman. An attraction deeper than blood and bone flares between them. And they must reveal their deepest secrets to avoid becoming the final targets. (ebook only)
The thrilling adventure of a human expedition to another star system that is jeopardized by an encounter with an astonishingly immense artifact in interstellar space: a bowl-shaped structure cupping a star, with a habitable area equivalent to many millions of Earths. And which, tantalizingly, is on a direct path heading toward the same system the human ship is to colonize. Investigating the Bowl, or Shipstar, the human explorers are separated, one group captured by the gigantic structure’s alien inhabitants, the other pursued across its strange and dangerous landscape, while the mystery of the Shipstar’s origins and purpose propel the human voyagers toward discoveries that transform their understanding of their place in the universe.
Re Temur, legitimate heir to his grandfather’s Khaganate, has finally raised his banner and declared himself at war with his usurping uncle. With his companions, the Wizard Samarkar, the Cho-tse Hrahima, and the silent monk Brother Hsiung, he must make his way to Dragon Lake to gather in his army of followers. But Temur’s enemies are not idle; the leader of the Nameless Assassins, who has shattered the peace of the Steppe, has struck at Temur’s uncle already. To the south, in the Rasan empire, plague rages. To the east, the great city of Asmaracanda has burned, and the Uthman Caliph is deposed. All the world seems to be on fire, and who knows if even the beloved son of the Eternal Sky can save it?
Long ago, in a kingdom, well, not that far from here really, young Cullin traveled the countryside as squire to brave Sir Dalbry, along with Dalbry’s trusted sidekick Reeger, selling dragon-protection services to every kingdom with a coffer. There were no dragons, of course, but with a collection of severed alligator heads and a willingness to play dirty, the trio of con men was crushing the competition. Then along came Princess Affonyl. Tomboyish and with a head for alchemy, Affonyl faked a dragon of her own, escaped her arranged marriage, and threw in with Cullin and company. But with her father sending a crew of do-gooder knights to find her, the dragon business just got cutthroat.
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, by Claire North, (April 8, Redhook)
Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. ‘I nearly missed you, Doctor August,’ she says. ‘I need to send a message.’ This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.
This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time, a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins. Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.
They’re known as Firestarters. Boomers. Skychangers. The government calls them Illegals, children with inexplicable abilities, and detains them in menacing facilities so that society is kept out of harm’s way. Ashala Wolf and her Tribe of fellow Illegals have taken refuge in the Firstwood, where they do their best to survive and where they are free to practice their abilities. When Ashala is compelled to venture outside her territory, she is betrayed by a friend and captured by an enemy. Ashala is forced to succumb to a machine that will pull secrets from her mind. It’s only a matter of time before the machine ferrets out the location of the Tribe. Her betrayer, Justin Connor, is ever-present, saving her life when she wishes to die and watching her every move. (U.S. Release)
In a far distant future, Tucker Feye and the inscrutable Lia find themselves atop a crumbling pyramid in an abandoned city. In present-day Hopewell, Tucker’s uncle Kosh faces armed resistance and painful memories as he attempts to help a terrorized woman named Emma, who is being held captive by a violent man. And on a train platform in 1997, a seventeen-year-old Kosh is given an instruction that will change his life, and the lives of others, forever. Tucker, Lia, and Kosh must evade the pursuit of maggot-like Timesweeps, battle Master Gheen’s cult of Lambs, all while they puzzle out the enigmatic Boggsians as they search for one another and the secrets of the diskos. Who built them? Who is destroying them? Where, and when, will it all end?
Everyone in Moorvale believes the legend: The brave knight Tristan and the wizard Vithric, in an epic battle decades ago, had defeated the evil Nethergrim and his minions. Songs are sung and festivals held in the heroes’ honor. Something dark has crept over the village. First animals disappear, their only remains a pile of bones licked clean. Then something worse: children disappear. The Nethergrim has returned. Edmund’s brother is one of the missing, and Edmund knows he must do something to save his life. A student of magic, he struggles to cast even the simplest spell. He and his friends swallow their fear and set out to battle an ancient evil whose powers none of them can imagine. They will need to come together, and work apart, in ways that will test every ounce of resolve.
In the future, the “death of print” has become a reality. We spend our time glued to handheld devices called Memes that not only keep us in constant communication but also have become so intuitive that they hail us cabs before we leave our offices and even create and sell language itself in a marketplace called the Word Exchange. Anana Johnson works with her father, Doug, at the North American Dictionary of the English Language (NADEL), where Doug is at work on the last edition that will be printed. Doug disappears from the NADEL offices, leaving a single written clue: ALICE. It’s a code word he devised to signal if he ever fell into harm’s way. Anana penetrates the mystery of her father’s disappearance and a pandemic of decaying language called “word flu” spreads.
A city in flames. A trust betrayed. A perfect love destroyed. Has Aria lost Hunter, her one true love? Ever since rebellion broke out in Mystic City, pitting the ruling elite against the magic-wielding mystics, Aria has barely seen her boyfriend. Not surprising, since Hunter is the leader of the mystic uprising, and he’ll do whatever it takes to win freedom for his people, even if that means using Aria. But Aria is no one’s pawn. She believes she can bring the two warring sides together, save the city, and win back the Hunter she fell in love with. Before she can play peacemaker, though, Aria will need to find the missing heart of a dead mystic. The heart gives untold powers to whoever possesses it, but finding it means seeking out a fierce enemy whose deepest desire is for Aria to be gone, forever.
The Discworld, as everyone knows, is a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the shell of the giant star turtle, the Great A’Tuin, as it slowly swims through space. There’s a lot of Discworld to keep track of, more than most fans can manage without magic. Turtle Recall is the ultimate authority on the most heavily populated, certainly the most hilarious, setting in fantasy literature and includes a guide to Discworld locales from Ankh-Morpork to Zemphis, as well as information to help you distinguish Achmed the Mad from Jack Zweiblumen and the Agatean Empire from the Zoons. Plus much, much more. Covering everything from The Colour of Magic, the first Discworld novel, through Snuff!. (U.S. Release)
B Smith and the other Angels are relieved to finally receive their first mission – to safely escort a group of human survivors from the zombie-infested streets of London to New Kirkham, a barricaded safe haven in the country. After battling through crowds of undead monsters, B discovers that the survivors of the town don’t necessarily represent the best of humanity. And when evil influences make their way to New Kirkham, unearthing demons from B’s past, the humans will be forced to choose between being honorable and being safe. Darren Shan continues his adventures of a teenage zombie trying to right the wrongs of a flawed human life, exploring the morality and ills of society through the lens of an apocalypse gone wrong, and a terrifying hell on earth reigning.
From the Hugo-winning, bestselling author of The Guns of thye South, a tale of love, parasitism, and loss. (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 tell me what you want to read!