This week’s list of new releases is quite a bit smaller than last week. As in, there are not quite twenty books on the list this week as compared to more than seventy last week. But there are still some interesting choices for you.
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.
Lifeless (Words Made Flesh #2), by AdriAnne Strickland, (August 8, Flux)
When Tavin Barnes escaped Eden City with Khaya, the Word of Life, he became the most-wanted fugitive overnight. But he never expected his flight would end with the ultimate curse: becoming the next Word of Death. Now he’s a prisoner inside the Athenaeum, where his new life under the Godspeakers’ control has begun. As the Word of Death, Tavin can kill with a touch, an ability he must learn to harness or risk hurting the people he cares for. But Ryse, the Godspeaker charged with Tavin’s training, is pushing him to be as ruthless as she is. Her goal: make Tavin an elite assassin, whether he wants to be or not. His first target: the Chinese ambassador to Eden City, and that’s just the beginning.
Chasing the Phoenix, by Michael Swanwick, (August 11, Tor)
In the distant future, Surplus arrives in China dressed as a Mongolian shaman, leading a yak which carries the corpse of his friend, Darger. The old high-tech world has long since collapsed, and the artificial intelligences that ran it are outlawed and destroyed. Or so it seems. Darger and Surplus, a human and a genetically engineered dog with human intelligence who walks upright, are a pair of con men and the heroes of a series of prior Swanwick stories. They travel to what was was once China and invent a scam to become rich and powerful. Pretending to have limited super-powers, they aid an ambitious local warlord who dreams of conquest and once again reuniting China under one ruler. And, against all odds, it begins to work, but it seems as if there are other forces at work behind the scenes.
Falling in Love with Hominids, by Nalo Hopkinson, (August 11, Tachyon Publications)
Presents over a dozen years of Nalo Hopkinson’s new, uncollected fiction, much of which has been unavailable in print. Her singular, vivid tales, which mix the modern with Afro-Carribean folklore, are occupied by creatures unpredictable and strange: chickens that breathe fire, adults who eat children, and spirits that haunt shopping malls.
Fearless (Pax Arcana #3), by Elliott James, (August 11, Orbit)
Someone, somewhere, has declared war on Kevin Kichida, and that someone has a long list of magical predators on their rolodex. The good news is that Kevin lives in a town where Ted Cahill is the new sheriff and old ally of John Charming. The attacks on Kevin seem to be a pattern, and the more John and his new team follow that thread, the deeper they find themselves in a maze of supernatural threats, family secrets, and age-old betrayals. The more John learns, the more convinced he becomes that Kevin Kichida isn’t just a victim, he’s a sacrifice waiting to happen. And that thread John’s following? It’s really a fuse.
Fool’s Quest (The Fitz and The Fool Trilogy #2), by Robin Hobb, (August 11, Del Rey)
Fitz and the Fool changed the world, bringing back the magic of dragons and securing both the Farseer succession and the stability of the kingdom. The Fool is near death, maimed by pale-skinned figures whose plans for world domination hinge upon the powers the Fool may share with Fitz’s own daughter. Distracted by the Fool’s perilous health, Fitz lets down his guard, and in a horrible instant, his world is undone and his beloved daughter stolen away by those who would use her as they had once sought to use the Fool, as a weapon. FitzChivalry Farseer is not without weapons of his own. An ancient magic still lives in his veins. He may have let his skills as royal assassin diminish over the years, such things are not so easily forgotten. Enemies and friends are about to learn that nothing is more dangerous than a man who has nothing left to lose.
Indexing: Reflections (Indexing #2), by Seanan McGuire, (August 11, 47North)
The struggle against not-so-charming storybook narratives isn’t the only complicating factor in Henrietta “Henry” Marchen’s life. As part of the ATI Management Bureau team protecting the world from fairy tales gone awry, she’s juggling her unwanted new status as a Snow White, dealing with a potentially dangerous Pied Piper, and wrangling a most troublesome wicked stepsister, along with a budding relationship with Jeff, her teammate. But when a twisted, vicious Cinderella breaks out of prison and wreaks havoc, things go from disenchanted to deadly. And once Henry realizes someone is trying to use her to destroy the world, her story becomes far from over, and this one might not have a happily ever after. (ebook only; Print available January, 2016)
Jubilee Manor (Landry Park #2), by Bethany Hagen, (August 11, Dial)
Madeline turned her back on her elite family, friends, and estate to help the Rootless. Now, Madeline struggles to bring the Gentry and the Rootless together. But when Gentry heirs, Madeline’s old friends, are murdered, even she begins to think a Rootless is behind it, putting her at odds with the boy she loves and the very people she is trying to lead. If she can’t figure out who is killing her friends and bring them to justice, a violent war will erupt and even more will die, and Madeline’s name, her estate, and all the bonds she’s forged won’t make any difference.
Power Surge, by Ben Bova, (August 11, Tor)
Dr. Jake Ross came to Washington, D.C., to make a difference. As the science advisor to a newly-elected freshman senator, Jake has crafted a comprehensive energy plan that employs innovative new technologies to make America the world’s leader in energy production while simultaneously boosting the economy and protecting the environment. The facts, and the science, are on Jake’s side, but his plan soon runs afoul of entrenched special interests, well-funded lobbies, and one very powerful U.S. Senator. To keep his plan alive and secure a sustainable future for America, Jake needs a crash course in the way Washington really works. Everyone keeps telling him that his plan has no hope of succeeding, but Jake is determined to prove them wrong even if it kills him, something that certain hostile parties may be all too happy to arrange.
Reawakened (The Reawakened #1), by Colleen Houck, (August 11, Delacorte Press)
When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification. And she really can’t imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe. But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world.
The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Seven, edited by Ellen Datlow, (August 11, Night Shade)
A sin-eater plies the tools of her dangerous trade; a jealous husband takes his rival on a hunting trip; a student torments one of his teachers; a cheap grafter is selling artifacts form hell; something is haunting the departure lounge of an airport. The Best Horror of the Year showcases the previous year’s best offerings in short fiction horror. This edition includes award-winning and critically acclaimed authors Laird Barron, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Nathan Ballingrud, Genevieve Valentine, and more. With each passing year, science, technology, and the march of time shine light into the craggy corners of the universe, making the fears of an earlier generation seem quaint. But this “light” creates its own shadows. This is a catalog of terror, fear, and unpleasantness, as articulated by today’s most challenging and exciting writers.
The Dark Forest (Three Body #2), by Cixin Liu, (August 11, Tor)
Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion, in just four centuries’ time. The aliens’ human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information, means that Earth’s defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy. Only the human mind remains a secret. This is the motivation for the Wallfacer Project, a daring plan that grants four men enormous resources to design secret strategies, hidden through deceit and misdirection from Earth and Trisolaris alike. Three of the Wallfacers are influential statesmen and scientists, but the fourth is a total unknown. Luo Ji, an unambitious Chinese astronomer and sociologist, is baffled by his new status. All he knows is that he’s the one Wallfacer that Trisolaris wants dead. (U.S. Release)
The Dragon Round, by Stephen S. Power, (August 11, Simon & Schuster/Simon451)
Jeryon has been the captain of the Comber for over a decade. He knows the rules. He follows the rules. He likes the rules. Not everyone on his ship agrees. When a monstrous dragon attacks the Comber, his surviving crew, vengeful and battle-worn, decide to take the ship for themselves and give Jeryon and his self-righteous apothecary “the captain’s chance:” a small boat with no rudder, no sails, and nothing but the shirts on their backs to survive. Jeryon and his companion discover that the island they’ve landed on isn’t quite as deserted as they originally thought. They find a rare baby dragon that, if trained, just might be their ticket off the island. But as Jeryon and the dragon grow closer, he begins to realize that even if he makes it off the island, his life will never be the same again. In order for justice to be served, he’ll have to take it for himself. (ebook only)
The End of All Things (Old Man’s War #6), by John Scalzi, (August 11, Tor)
Humans expanded into space, only to find a universe populated with multiple alien species bent on their destruction. Thus was the Colonial Union formed. The Colonial Union used the Earth and its excess population for colonists and soldiers. The Colonial Union is living on borrowed time, a couple of decades at most, before the ranks of the Colonial Defense Forces are depleted and the struggling human colonies are vulnerable to the alien species who have been waiting for the first sign of weakness. A group, lurking in the darkness of space, playing human and alien against each other, and against their own kind, for their own unknown reasons. CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson and the Colonial Union diplomats he works with race to discover who is behind attacks on the Union and on alien races, to seek peace with a suspicious, angry Earth, and keep humanity’s union intact, or else risk oblivion, and extinction, and the end of all things.
The Last Necromancer (The Ministry of Curiosities #1), by C.J. Archer, (August 11, Amazon Digital)
Victorian London: For five years, Charlotte (Charlie) Holloway has lived as a boy in the slums. When one theft too many gets her arrested, her only means of escape lies with a dead man. Charlie hasn’t raised a spirit since she first discovered she could do so five years ago. People are now hunting Charlie all over London, but only one man succeeds in capturing her. Lincoln Fitzroy is the mysterious head of a secret organization on the trail of a madman who needs a necromancer to control his newly “made” creatures. Lincoln captures the willful Charlie in the hopes the boy will lead him to Charlotte. What happens when he discovers the boy is the young woman he’s been searching for? Will she agree to work for the man who held her against her will? Lincoln and his ministry might be just as dangerous as the madman they’re hunting. (ebook only)
The Left-Hand Way (American Craftsmen #2), by Tom Doyle, (August 11, Tor)
The American craftsmen are scattered like bait overseas. What starts as an ordinary liaison mission to London for Major Michael Endicott becomes a desperate chase across Europe, where Endicott is both hunted and hunter. Reluctantly joining him is his minder from MI13, Commander Grace Marlowe, one of Her Majesty’s most lethal magician soldiers, whose family has centuries of justified hostility to the Endicotts. In Istanbul and Tokyo, Endicott’s comrades, Scherie Rezvani and Dale Morton, are caught in their own battles for survival against hired assassins and a ghost-powered doomsday machine. And in Kiev, Roderick Morton, the spider at the center of a global web, plots their destruction and his ultimate apotheosis. After centuries of imprisonment, nothing less than godlike power will satisfy Roderick, whatever the dreadful cost.
The Lightning Stones, by Jack Du Brul, (August 11, Doubleday)
Sinking thousands of feet below the surface of the earth in the Leister Deep copper mine in Minnesota, Philip Mercer rides a series of heavy-duty elevators to visit his old friend and mentor, Abraham Jacobs. Jacobs has led a research team to the deepest section of the mine for a groundbreaking study into climate change and cosmic rays. But as Mercer approaches the bottom, he is stunned to hear the unmistakable report of automatic gunfire in the massive underground chambers. He can’t stop the inevitable: by the time Mercer finds his way to them, his dear friend, and the entire research team, have been efficiently executed. Mercer is left seeking answers, and revenge. Mercer is thrust into an international hunt for the murderers, and the frightening secret of what they were looking for.
The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats (Burton & Swinburne #6), by Mark Hodder, (August 11, Pyr)
Sir Richard Francis Burton’s expedition has returned from the future, bringing with it knowledge of technologies that must remain secret if history is to proceed as it should. However, when one of his colleagues turns rogue, the secret falls into the hands of the very people most likely to misuse it. Betrayed, Burton and Swinburne watch in horror as the Empire’s elite employ the technology to secure their positions of privilege. When London’s parks are transformed into concentration camps, artists and philosophers are declared enemies of the State, and propaganda proliferates, the king’s agent finds himself on the wrong side of, the king. Can Burton and his band of hunted revolutionaries overthrow an apparently indestructible and immortal autocrat … and if so, at what personal cost?
Graynelore, by Stephen Moore, (August 13, Harper Voyager)
Graynelore is a brutal, lawless world, where a man’s only loyalty is to his grayne (his family). Murder, blackmail, theft and blood-feud are all part of daily life. Faerie tales are myths, strictly for the children. Why then is Rogrig Wishard, a hardened fighting-man who likes to solve problems with his sword, suddenly hearing voices and seeing faeries for real? What makes him embark upon a seemingly ridiculous quest to restore a Faerie Isle to the world? Is he mad or simply faerie-touched? If he’s going to make any sense of it he’s going to have to go right to the source, the faeries themselves. But that’s easier said than done when the only information he has to go on is from bards and myth. (ebook only; print available Feb. 2016)
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!