We catch a bit of a break this week—if you count more than twenty new releases as catching a break. With a few less to choose from this week, it should make selecting just one a bit easier.
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.
In the Black (Tales from the Edge) (Tales from the Edge #1), by Sheryl Nantus, (May 12, Carina Press)
When Sam Keller left the military, she ran to the far end of the galaxy. Now she captains the Bonnie Belle, a spaceship full of courtesans who bring a little pleasure to hard-up men on mining colonies. When one of her girls turns up dead, it’s Sam’s job to find out who killed her. Marshal Daniel LeClair is as tough as steel and quick on the draw. When his vacation gets replaced by an assignment to help find the killer, he can’t help angling for a little action with the saucy, hard-charging Sam. Sam, six months lonely, might just indulge him. The Guild that owns the Belle wants the case closed yesterday. Sam and her marshal clash over false leads and who’s on top. But when the killer threatens the Belle again, romance will have to wait. It’s a captain’s job to save her crew, no matter the cost. (ebook only)
Antitype: A Penguin Special from Dutton, by M.D. Waters, (May 13, Dutton Adult)
Antitype is the prequel to acclaimed novels, Archetype and Prototype. Before Emma appears in their lives, two men face four months that will change their lives forever. One has dreams outside Richmond and away from his family business. The other wants to make the business his only focus. In one summer, outside forces drive them both to make brash and irrevocable decisions that will render them at once supremely powerful yet emotionally vulnerable. How can these peers with identical pasts, as well as seemingly identical futures, reach a threshold where only one escapes with his integrity intact? (ebook only)
Bird Box: A Novel, by Josh Malerman, (May 13, Ecco Press)
Something is out there. Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from. A handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. The journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat, blindfolded, with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s ears. Malorie embarks on a trip that takes her to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of Tom, a motley group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror. When supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside, and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted? (U.S. Release)
Bloodwitch (The Maeve’ra Trilogy #1), by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, (May 13, Delacorte Press)
Vance Ehecatl was raised with every luxury he could imagine in a beautiful greenhouse within the powerful empire of Midnight. Vampires are the only guardians Vance has ever known since he was abandoned by his shapeshifter family as a baby quetzal. When an act of violence forces Vance from his sheltered home, he is startled to meet Malachi Obsidian, a fellow shapeshifter with conflicting ideas about Midnight and its leader, Mistress Jeshickah. Malachi claims Vance is a bloodwitch, who Jeshickah and her trainers, Jaguar and Taro, are trying to control. When his friends begin falling ill, Vance starts to realize his perfect world may not be as flawless as it seems. Vance must decide who to trust, the vampires he’s always relied upon, or the shapeshifters who despise them.
Defenders, by Will McIntosh, (May 13, Orbit)
When Earth is invaded by telepathic aliens, humanity responds by creating the defenders. They are the perfect warriors, seventeen feet tall, knowing and loving nothing but war, their minds closed to the aliens. The question is, what do you do with millions of genetically-engineered warriors once the war is won? A novel of power, alliances, violence, redemption, sacrifice, and yearning for connection.
Free to Fall, by Lauren Miller, (May 13, Harper Teen)
Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision making for the best personal results. Sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she’s accepted to an elite boarding school, her future happiness seems all the more assured. Once on campus, something feels wrong. She meets North, a townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Rory is going against Lux’s recommendations, listening to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore, a choice that leads her to uncover a truth she nor the world ever saw coming.
House of the Rising Sun (Crescent City) (Crescent City #1), by Kristen Painter, (May 13, Orbit)
Augustine lives the perfect life in the Haven city of New Orleans. He rarely works a real job, spends most of his nights with a different human woman, and resides in a spectacular Garden District mansion paid for by retired movie star Olivia Goodwin, who has come to think of him as an adopted son, providing him room and board and whatever else he needs. But when Augustine returns home to find Olivia’s been attacked by vampires, he knows his idyllic life has comes to an end. It’s time for revenge, and to take up the mantle of the city’s Guardian.
Motherless Child, by Glen Hirshberg, (May 13, Tor)
It’s the thrill of a lifetime when Sophie and Natalie, single mothers living in a trailer park in North Carolina, meet their idol, the mysterious musician known only as “the Whistler.” Morning finds them covered with dried blood, their clothing shredded and their memories hazy. Things soon become clear: the Whistler is a vampire and Natalie and Sophie are his latest victims. The young women leave their babies with Natalie’s mother and hit the road. Hunger and desire make a powerful couple. So do the Whistler and his Mother, who are searching for Sophie and Natalie with the help of Twitter and the musician’s many fans. The violent, emotionally moving showdown between two who should be victims and two who should be monsters will leave readers gasping in fear and delight.
Nebula Awards Showcase 2014 (Nebula Awards #15), edited by Kij Johnson, (May 13, Pyr)
The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published annually since 1966, reprinting the winning and nominated stories in the Nebula Awards, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America® . The editor selected by SFWA’s anthology committee (chaired by Mike Resnick) is American fantasy writer Kij Johnson, author of three novels and associate director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas. This year’s Nebula winners, and expected contributors, are Kim Stanley Robinson, Nancy Kress, Andy Duncan, and Aliette de Bodard, with E.C. Myers winning the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book.
Odin’s Ravens (The Blackwell Pages) (The Blackwell Pages #2), by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr, (May 13, Little, Brown Books)
Seven kids, Thor’s hammer, and a whole lot of Valkyries are the only things standing against the end of the world. When thirteen-year-old Matt Thorsen, a modern day descendant of the Norse god Thor, was chosen to represent Thor in an epic battle to prevent the apocalypse he thought he knew how things would play out. Gather the descendants standing in for gods like Loki and Odin, defeat a giant serpent, and save the world. The descendants’ journey grinds to a halt when their friend and descendant Baldwin is poisoned and killed and Matt, Fen, and Laurie must travel to the Underworld in the hopes of saving him. The must reunite, the challengers, find Thor’s hammer, and stop the apocalypse.
Of Neptune (Syrena Legacy) (The Syrena Legacy #3), by Anna Banks, (May 13, Feiwel & Friends)
Emma, half human and half Syrena, and her Syrena love, Galen, need time together alone. Away from the kingdoms of Poseidon and Triton. Emma s grandfather, the Poseidon king, suggests the two visit a small town called Neptune. Neptune is home to both Syrena and Half-Breeds alike. But Emma and Galen didn t sign up to be peacemakers between the ocean and the land-dwelling, freshwater Syrena. They didn’t bargain for meeting a charming Half-Breed named Reed, who can barely disguise his feelings for Emma. And they especially didn t expect to find themselves in the middle of a power struggle that threatens not only their love but their ocean kingdoms.
Queen of the Dark Things: A Novel (Dreams & Shadows #2), by C. Robert Cargill, (May 13, Harper Voyager)
Six months have passed since the wizard Colby lost his best friend to an army of fairies from the Limestone Kingdom, a realm of mystery and darkness beyond our own. But in vanquishing these creatures and banning them from Austin, Colby sacrificed the anonymity that protected him. Now, word of his deeds has spread, and powerful enemies from the past, including one Colby considered a friend, have resurfaced to exact their revenge. As darkness gathers around the city, Colby sifts through his memories desperate to find answers that might save him. With time running out, and few of his old allies and enemies willing to help, he is forced to turn for aid to forces even darker than those he once battled.
Raging Star (Dust Lands) (Dust Lands Trilogy #3), Moira Young, (May 13, Margaret K. McElderry)
Saba is ready to seize her destiny and defeat DeMalo and the Tonton, until she meets him and he confounds all her expectations with his seductive vision of a healed earth, a New Eden. DeMalo wants Saba to join him, in life and work, to create and build a healthy, stable, sustainable world, for the chosen few. The few who can pay. Jack’s choice is clear: to fight DeMalo and try to stop New Eden. Still uncertain, her connection with DeMalo a secret, Saba commits herself to the fight. Joined by her brother, Lugh, anxious for the land in New Eden, Saba leads an inexperienced guerilla band against the powerfully charismatic DeMalo, in command of his settlers and the Tonton militia. What chance do they have? Saba must act. And be willing to pay the price.
Rebel (Reboot) (Reboot #2), by Amy Tintera, (May 13, Harper Teen)
After coming back from death as Reboots and being trained by HARC as soldiers, Wren and Callum have finally escaped north, where they hope to find a life of freedom. But when they arrive at the Reboot Reservation, it isn’t what they expected. Under the rule of a bloodthirsty leader, Micah, the Reboots are about to wage an all-out war on the humans. Although Wren’s instincts are telling her to set off into the wilderness on their own and leave the battle far behind, Callum is unwilling to let his human family be murdered. When Micah commits the ultimate betrayal, the choice is made for them. But Micah has also made a fatal mistake, he’s underestimated Wren and Callum.
MILA 2.0: Renegade (MILA 2.0 #2), by Debra Driza, (May 13, Katherine Tegen Books)
There is no one left for Mila to trust. Except for a boy she barely knows. But Hunter has no idea who, and what, Mila really is. She can’t bear to reveal her secret, even though he’s unwittingly joined her search for Richard Grady, a man who may know more details of Mila’s complicated past. Yet the road to the truth is more dangerous than ever. With General Holland and the Vita Obscura scouring the earth for her whereabouts, Mila must rely on her newfound android abilities to protect herself and Hunter from imminent harm. Still, embracing her identity as a machine leads her to question the state of her humanity, as well as Hunter’s real motives.
Searching for Sky, by Jillian Cantor, (May 13, Bloomsbury USA Childrens)
Sky and River have always lived on Island, the only world they’ve ever known. Until the day River spots a boat. Across Ocean, in a place called California, Sky is separated from River and forced to live with a grandmother she’s just met. Here the rules for survival are different. People rely on strange things like cars and cell phones. They keep secrets from one another. And without River, nothing makes sense. Sky yearns for her old life where she was strong and capable, not lost and confused. She must find River so they can return to Island, but the truth behind how they ended up there in the first place will come as the biggest shock of all.
Starbounders #2: Rebellion, by Adam J. Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, (May 13, Harper Collins)
Zachary Night may have saved Earth, but back at Indigo 8, he’s still just a Starbounder-in-training. And unlike his fellow trainees, who are having a blast gearing up for the annual Indigo Games, Zachary has more important things on his mind. He has yet to decipher the cryptic warning Professor Olari left him, and it looks like someone is trying to beat him to it. When all the clues point to a larger conspiracy, Zachary and his friends must once again leave Indigo 8 behind and take matters into their own hands. Their investigation will lead them through the far reaches of space. Time is running out for Zachary to solve Professor Olari’s riddle. Trainee or not, Zachary is facing down a rebellion of unimaginable proportions, and the fate of the outerverse hangs in the balance.
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Eight (Best SF & Fantasy of the Year), edited by Jonathan Strahan, (May 13, Solaris)
The best, most original and brightest science fiction and fantasy stories from around the globe from the past twelve months are brought together in one collection by multiple award winning editor Jonathan Strahan. This highly popular series now reaches volume eight and will include stories from both the biggest names in the field and the most exciting new talents. Previous volumes have included stories from Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Cory Doctorow, Stephen Baxter, Elizabeth Bear, Joe Abercrombie, Paolo Bacigalupi, Holly Black, Garth Nix, Jeffrey Ford, Margo Lanagan, Bruce Sterling, Adam Robets, Ellen Klages, and many many more.
The Hydra Protocol: A Jim Chapel Mission (Jim Chapel Missions) (Jim Chapel #2), by David Wellington, (May 13, William Morrow)
On a routine mission involving a sunken Soviet submarine in Cuban waters, wounded Special Forces veteran Jim Chapel, back in action thanks to medical technology, unexpectedly meets Nadia, a beautiful Russian agent. Nadia shares shocking intel about HYDRA, a forgotten Cold War supercomputer that controls hundreds of nuclear missiles aimed at the U.S. Just one failsafe error, and America will be obliterated. And there have been glitches in its programming. To disarm HYDRA before it plunges the U.S. into nuclear winter, Nadia and Chapel must travel across Eastern Europe and infiltrate a secret base hidden deep in the steppes of Central Asia. But as these uneasy allies discover, not everyone wants the weapon out of commission.
The Kill Switch: A Tucker Wayne Novel (Sigma Force Novels) (Tucker Wayne #1), by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood, (May 13, William Morrow)
The mission seems simple enough: extract a pharmaceutical magnate from Russian soil, a volatile man who holds the secret to a deadly bioweapon. But nothing is as it appears to be. A conspiracy of world-shattering scope unravels as Tucker and Kane struggle to keep one move ahead of their deadly enemies. From the frozen steppes of Russia to the sun-blasted mountains of South Africa and Namibia, a biological threat millions of years in the making strikes out at the heart of America. All that stands in the way from a global apocalypse: one man and his dog. But can even Tucker and Kane thwart an ecological menace out of the ancient past to save the world’s future?
The Kraken Project (Wyman Ford) (Wyman Ford #4), by Douglas Preston, (May 13, Forge Books)
NASA is building a probe to be splashed down in the Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Saturn’s great moon, Titan. The surface is dangerous, requiring the probe to contain artificial intelligence software. Melissa Shepherd, a programmer, has developed “Dorothy,” a powerful, self-modifying AI. When miscalculations lead to a catastrophe during testing, Dorothy flees into the Internet. Former CIA agent Wyman Ford is tapped to help Melissa Shepherd track down the rogue AI. The AI is also being pursued by a pair of Wall Street traders, who want to capture her code and turn her into a high-speed trading bot. Dorothy has a revelation, and devises a plan. Ford must face the ultimate question: is rescuing Dorothy the right thing? Is the AI bent on saving the world, or on wiping out the cancer that is humankind?
The Last Illusion: A Novel, by Porochista Khakpour, (May 13, Bloomsbury USA)
In a rural Iranian village, Zal’s demented mother, horrified by the pallor of his skin and hair, becomes convinced she has given birth to a “White Demon.” She hides him in a birdcage and there he lives for the next decade. Zal eats birdseed and insects, and communicates only in the squawks and shrieks of the other pet birds around him. Zal awakens in New York to the possibility of a future. He strives to become human as he stumbles toward adulthood. Zal finds himself in a cast of fellow outsiders. A friendship with a famous illusionist who claims that he can fly and a relationship with a disturbed artist who believes she is clairvoyant send Zal’s life spiraling into chaos. Like the rest of New York, he is on a collision course with devastation.
The Lovely and the Lost (The Dispossessed) (The Dispossessed #2), by Page Morgan, (May 13, Delacorte Press)
Ingrid and Gabby Waverly moved to France expecting a quiet reprieve from London gossip. Paris is plagued by an underworld of demons and gargoyles who all seem to want something from the Waverly girls. Saving Ingrid’s twin, Grayson, from the fallen angel Axia nearly killed them. Ingrid’s blood is special: it bestows the power to command gargoyles. It’s an ability no other human has, and in the wrong hands, it could be used to send her cursed guardian, Luc, and his fellow Dispossessed to extinction. The Alliance has vowed to protect the Waverlys, and a new gargoyle has been assigned to guard their abbey home alongside Luc. No one can watch over Ingrid, Gabby, and Grayson all the time, which means the three must learn to fight for themselves. Darkness follows the Waverlys. And sometimes darkness comes in the form you trust the most.
Seven Wonders Book 3: The Tomb of Shadows (Seven Wonders #3), by Peter Lerangis, (May 13, Harper Collins)
Jack McKinley and his friends defeated the Colossus of Rhodes, unearthed the treasures of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and recovered two of the seven lost Loculi, only to find they’d been betrayed. With Babylon in ruins, Marco on the Massa side, and ancient secrets coming unraveled, the Select don’t know who to trust or where to turn. Their G7W powers are growing at a furious pace, their worlds have been turned upside down, and the Massa are hot on their heels. But Jack, Aly, and Cass have no choice but to fight on. The friends find the next stop on their quest, where they have to face down their own demons and engage in an epic battle with foes long gone. When promises are broken, blood is spilled, and the Select have to destroy the thing that might have saved them all.
The Very Best of Tad Williams, by Tad Williams, (May 13, Tachyon Publications)
Previously collected in multi-author anthologies and limited hardcover editions, these superlative talks of dragons, super-soldiers, wizards, cyberpunks, heroes, and fools are now available together for the first time in an affordable trade paperback edition. These stories showcase the exhilarating breadth of Williams’ imagination, in stories hearkening to the tales of such classic fantasists as J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, Ray Bradbury, and Peter S. Beagle. Included is an original tale written specifically for this volume. The Very Best of Tad Williams is a true delight to those who have imagined themselves in fantastic worlds beyond the everyday and mundane.
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!