As we head into the last full week of September for new releases, the number drops just a bit to around twenty new titles. Enjoy the “lighter” week because October is going to be just as much fun!
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 Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Non-fiction, by Terry Pratchett, (September 23, Doubleday)
A collection of essays and other non fiction from Terry Pratchett, spanning the whole of his writing career from his early years to the present day. In recent years he has become equally well-known and respected as an outspoken campaigner for causes including Alzheimer’s research and animal rights. A Slip of the Keyboard brings together examples of Pratchett’s non fiction writing, both serious and surreal: from musings on mushrooms to what it means to be a writer (and why banana daiquiris are so important); from memories of Granny Pratchett to speculation about Gandalf’s love life, and passionate defences of the causes dear to him.
Afterworlds, by Scott Westerfeld, (September 23, Simon Pulse)
Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings. Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack. The Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved, and terrifying, stories need to be reconciled. When a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.
Daring (Pax Arcana #2), by Elliott James, (September 23, Orbit)
Something is rotten in the state of Wisconsin. Werewolf packs are being united and absorbed into an army of super soldiers by a mysterious figure who speaks like an angel and fights like a demon. And every Knight Templar, keepers of the magical peace between mankind and magickind, who tries to get close to this big bad wolf winds up dead. No knight can infiltrate a group whose members can smell a human from a mile away, no knight except one. John Charming. Ex knight. Current werewolf. Hunted by the men who trained him, he now might be their only salvation. But animal instincts are rising up to claim John more powerfully than ever before, and he must decide if this new leader of wolves is a madman, or a messiah.
Fading Light (Shadow Born #2), by Angela Dennis, (September 23, Samhain)
Her hundred-year penance lifted, Shadow Bearer Brenna Baudouin returns to the Earthly plane with her partner, Gray Warlow, to keep the peace between humans and supernatural creatures and to prevent another apocalyptic war from happening. The attraction between them is nearing a critical point, but their checkered history has left Brenna unable to trust either her heart or her instincts. It s business as usual until humans begin turning to statues of dust. The humans are convinced it s the work of a deviant supernatural faction. Brenna and Gray agree the deaths have a former comrade-turned-rogue stamped all over them. They are forced to come to terms with their past and decide, once and for all, whether they will come together or fall apart. (ebook only)
Fearie Tales, edited by Stephen Jones, (September 23, Jo Fletcher)
In the grand tradition of the Brothers Jacob and Wilhelm, some of the today’s finest fantasy and horror writers have created their own brand-new fairy tales, but with a decidedly darker twist. A fantastical mix of spellbinding retelling of classic stories such as Cinderella, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, and Rumpelstiltskin, along with unsettling tales inspired by other children’s classics, all interspersed with the original tales of their inspiration. These modern masterpieces of the macabre by Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, Ramsey Campbell, Joanne Harris, Markus Heitz, John Ajvide Lindquist, Angela Slatter, Michael Marshall Smith, and many others, and are illustrated by artist Alan Lee. (U.S. Release)
Firebug (Firebug #1), by Lish McBride, (September 23, Henry Holt & Co.)
Ava is a firebug, she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren’t caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She’s one of their main hitmen, and she doesn’t like it one bit. Not least because her boss, Venus, killed Ava’s mother. When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can’t say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum.
Lark Rising (Guardians of Tarnec #1), by Sandra Waugh, (September 23, Random House)
Sixteen-year-old Lark Carew is happiest close to home, tending her garden and gathering herbs for medicines. When her Sight warns her that monsters called Troths will soon invade her village, Lark is summoned on a journey to seek help from the legendary Riders of Tarnec. Little does she suspect that one of the Riders, Gharain, is the very man who has haunted her visions. Or that the people of Tarnec have called her there for another reason: Lark is the Guardian of Life, the first of four Guardians who must awaken their powers to recover four stolen amulets. The amulets, Life, Death, Dark, and Light, keep the world in Balance. To take back the Life amulet, Lark will have to discover her true inner strength and give in to a love that she swears will be her downfall.
Messenger of Fear (Messenger of Fear #1), by Michael Grant, (September 23, Katherine Tegen Books)
Mara wakes in a field of dead grass. She is terrified, afraid that she is dead. There is a boy in that mist, a beautiful young man dressed in black and able to move effortlessly through space and time. He is the Messenger of Fear. The Messenger sees the darkness in human hearts. He sees the evils done. If the world does not bring justice to those who do evil, the Messenger will. He offers the wicked a game. If they win, they go free. If they lose, they will live their greatest fear. Their sanity will be challenged. It is a world of fair but harsh justice. Of retribution and redemption. Why was Mara chosen to be the Messenger’s apprentice? What has she done to deserve this terrible fate? She won’t find out until three of the wicked receive justice. And when she does, she will be shattered. (U.S. Release)
On a Clear Day, by Walter Dean Myers, (September 23, Crown Books)
It is 2035. Teens, armed only with their ideals, must wage war on the power elite. Dahlia is a Low Gater: a sheep in a storm, struggling to survive completely on her own. The Gaters live in closed safe communities, protected from the Sturmers, mercenary thugs. And the C-8, a consortium of giant companies, control global access to finance, media, food, water, and energy resources, and they are only getting bigger and even more cutthroat. Dahlia, a computer whiz, joins forces with an ex-rocker, an ex-con, a chess prodigy, an ex-athlete, and a soldier wannabe. Their goal: to sabotage the C-8. But how will Sayeed, warlord and terrorist, fit into the equation?
Rooms, by Lauren Oliver, (September 23, Ecco)
Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His family, bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna, have arrived for their inheritance. The Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. They observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself, in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb. The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide, with cataclysmic results.
Salt and Storm, by Kendall Kulper, (September 23, Little, Brown Books)
Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she’s to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself. Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane, a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.
Silvern (Gilded #2), by Christina L. Farley, (September 23, Skyscape)
Jae Hwa Lee has destroyed Haemosu, the dangerous demi-god that held her ancestors captive, and now she’s ready to forget about immortals and move on with her life. Then the god of darkness, Kud, sends an assassin to kill her. Jae escapes with the knowledge that Kud is seeking the lost White Tiger Orb, and joins the Guardians of Shinshi to seek out the orb before Kud can find it. But Kud is stronger and more devious than Haemosu ever was. Jae is soon painfully reminded that by making an enemy of Kud, she has placed her closest friends in danger, and must decide how much she can bear to sacrifice to defeat one of the most powerful immortals in all of Korea.
Survival Colony Nine, by Joshua David Bellin, (September 23, Margaret K. McElderry)
In a future world of dust and ruin, fourteen-year-old Querry Genn struggles to recover the lost memory that might save the human race. Querry is a member of Survival Colony Nine, one of the small, roving groups of people who outlived the wars and environmental catastrophes that destroyed the old world. The commander of Survival Colony Nine is his father, Laman Genn, who runs the camp with an iron will. There are also the Skaldi. Monsters with the ability to infect and mimic human hosts. No one knows where they came from or what they are. If they’re not stopped, it might mean the end of humanity. Six months ago, Querry had an encounter with the Skaldi, and now he can’t remember anything that happened before then. If he can recall his past, he might be able to find the key to defeat the Skaldi. If he can’t, he’s their next victim.
Tabula Rasa, by Kristen Lippert-Martin, (September 23, Egmont USA)
Sarah starts a crazy battle for her life within the walls of her hospital-turned-prison when a procedure to eliminate her memory goes awry and she starts to remember snatches of her past. Was she an urban terrorist or vigilante? Has the procedure been her salvation or her destruction? The answers lie trapped within her mind. To access them, she’ll need the help of the teen computer hacker who’s trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, and a pill that’s blocked by an army of mercenary soldiers poised to eliminate her for good. If only she knew why.
The Hawley Book of the Dead, by Chrysler Szarlan, (September 23, Ballantine)
Revelation “Reve” Dyer grew up with her grandmother’s stories, stretching back centuries to Reve’s ancestors, who founded the town of Hawley Five Corners, Massachusetts. Few know that an ancient magic runs in the Dyer women’s blood. Reve and her husband are Las Vegas illusionists. Reve’s world is shattered when an intruder alters her trick pistol and she accidentally shoots and kills her husband onstage. Reve flees with her daughters to the place she has always felt safest, a farmhouse in the forest of Hawley Five Corners. Reve discovers The Hawley Book of the Dead, an ancient journal holding mythic power. Reve will have to shield herself and her daughters against an increasingly dangerous fate. It becomes clear that the stranger who upended Reve’s life in Las Vegas has followed her to Hawley, and that she has something he wants.
The Prophecy Con (Rogues of the Republic #2), by Patrick Weekes, (September 23, 47North)
Who would have thought a book of naughty poems by elves could mean the difference between war and peace? If stealing the precious volume will keep the Republic and the Empire from tearing out each other’s throats, rogue soldier Isafesira de Lochenville, “Loch”, is willing to do the dishonest honors. She’ll match wits and weapons with dutiful dwarves, mercenary knights, golems, daemons, an arrogant elf, and a sorcerous princess. Getting their hands on the prize means Loch and company must battle their way from a booby-trapped museum to a monster-infested library, and from a temple full of furious monks to a speeding train besieged by assassins. Are a few pages of bawdy verse worth waging war over? Or does something far more sinister lurk between the lines?
The Seventh Sigil (The Dragon Brigade #3), by Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes, (September 23, Tor)
Five hundred years ago, a clan of rebels was banished to the bottom of the enchanted world of Aeronne; ever since, these Bottom Dwellers have sought revenge, and now they are waging all-out war on humanity. Their deadly “contramagic” beams destroy buildings and attack naval airships, and their demonic drumming brings terrible storms and disrupts the magic of the people and dragons Above. Captain Stephano de Guichen leads the Dragon Brigade, taking the fight to the Bottom. As the Bottom Dwellers’ blood magic eats away at the world, those Above realize their only possible defense lies in the heretical secrets of contramagic. Only the Dragon Brigade can prevent an endless dark age. Their epic battle will test the mettle of those thrown into the breach, and determine the fate of this magical world.
Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy #3), by Sarah Rees Brennan, (September 23, Random House)
Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town. Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility, and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.
The Witch and Other Tales Re-Told, by Jean Thompson, (September 25, Blue Rider Press)
Great fairy tales are not always stories designed for children. The lurking wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood,” the gingerbread house that lures Hansel and Gretel, the beauty asleep in her castle, these fables represent some of our deepest, most primeval fears and satisfy our longing for good to win out over evil. This captivating new collection takes the classic fairy tale and brings it into the modern age with stories that capture the magic and horror in everyday life. The downtrodden prevail, appearances deceive, and humility and virtue triumph in The Witch, as lost children try to find their way home, adults cursed by past unspeakable acts are fated to experience their own horror in the present, and true love, or is it enchantment, conquers all.
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!