Yet another week with over thirty new books as we wrap up the last full week of September. While this might be the last full week of the month, September isn’t over just yet.
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 Crucible of Souls (Sorcery Ascendant #1), by Mitchell Hogan, (September 22, Harper Voyager)
After Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, the boy is raised by monks who initiate him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery. Caldan vows to discover who his parents were, and why they were killed. The search will take him beyond the walls of the monastery, into the unfamiliar and dangerous chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to become apprenticed to a guild of sorcerers. The world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths he does not fully understand. As a shadowy evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into a conflict that will bring the world to the edge of destruction. He must choose a side, and face the true cost of uncovering his past.
Battlemage (Age of Darkness #1), by Stephen Aryan, (September 22, Orbit)
BALFRUSS is a battlemage, sworn to fight and die for a country that fears his kind. VARGUS is a common soldier – while mages shoot lightning from the walls of his city, he is down on the front line getting blood on his blade. TALANDRA is a princess and spymaster, but the war will force her to risk everything, and make the greatest sacrifice of all.
Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2), by William Ritter, (September 22, Algonquin BYR)
In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer R. F. Jackaby are called upon to investigate the supernatural. First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.
Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor, (September 22, Tor.com)
Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs. Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach. If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself, but first she has to make it there, alive.
Bits & Pieces (Rot & Ruin #5), by Jonathan Maberry, (September 22, Simon & Schuster BYR)
Benny Imura’s zombie-infested adventures are well-chronicled in the gripping novels Rot & Ruin, Dust & Decay, Flesh & Bone, and Fire & Ash. But what else was happening while he was on his quest? Who were the others navigating the ravaged landscape full of zombies? Bits & Pieces fills in the gaps about what we know about First Night, surviving the plague, and traveling the land of Rot & Ruin. Eleven all-new short stories from Nix’s journal and eleven previously published stories, including “Dead & Gone” and “Tooth & Nail,” are now together and in print for the first time, along with the first-ever script for the Rot & Ruin comic books.
Blood and Salt, by Kim Liggett, (September 22, G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR)
“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in, blood and salt.” These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped. When Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits in this village lost to time. Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own. As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight to save her mother, and herself, and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in, blood and salt.
Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate, (September 22, Feiwel & Friends)
Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again. Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything? Proving in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.
Deadlands: Ghostwalkers, by Jonathan Maberry, (September 22, Tor)
Welcome to the Deadlands, where steely-eyed gunfighters rub shoulders with mad scientists and dark, unnatural forces. Where the Great Quake of 1868 has shattered California into a labyrinth of sea-flooded caverns, and a mysterious substance called “ghost rock” fuels exotic steampunk inventions as well as plenty of bloodshed and flying bullets. In Ghostwalkers, a gun-for-hire, literally haunted by his bloody past, comes to the struggling town of Paradise Falls, where he becomes embroiled in a deadly conflict between the besieged community and a diabolically brilliant alchemist who is building terrible new weapons of mass destruction, and an army of the living dead.
Dreamland, by Robert L. Anderson, (September 22, HarperTeen)
Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person’s dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them. Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not?
Followed by Frost, by Charlie N. Holmberg, (September 22, 47North)
Seventeen-year-old Smitha has the wealth, status, and beauty that make her the envy of her town, until she rejects a strange man’s marriage proposal and disastrous consequences follow. Smitha becomes cursed, and frost begins to encompass everything she touches. Banished to the hills, hunted by villagers, and chilled to the very core of her soul, she finds companionship with Death, who longs to coax her into his isolated world. But Smitha’s desire for life proves stronger than despair, and a newfound purpose gives her renewed hope. Will regrets over the past and an unexpected desire for a man she cannot touch be enough to warm Smitha’s heart, or will Death forever still it?
Gestapo Mars, by Victor Gischler, (September 22, Titan)
Carter Sloan is a trained assassin, the best there is, pulled out of cryogenic sleep whenever an assignment demands his skills. So when he’s kept in the deep freeze for 258 years, he’s seriously pissed off. Yet his government needs him, to hunt down the enemy known as the Daughter of the Brass Dragon. The future of the galaxy-spanning Reich depends on it, so Sloan is off, screwing, swearing, and shooting his way across interstellar space.
Half a Creature from the Sea: A Life in Stories, by David Almond, (September 22, Candlewick Press)
May Malone is said to have a monster in her house, but what Norman finds there may just be the angel he needs. Joe Quinn’s house is noisy with poltergeists, or could it be Davie’s raging causing the disturbance? Fragile Annie learns the truth about herself in a photograph taken by a traveling man near the sea. Set in the northern English Tyneside country of the author’s childhood, these eight short stories evoke gritty realities and ineffable longings, experiences both ordinary and magical. In autobiographical preludes to each story, the writer shows how all things can be turned into tales, reflecting on a time of wonder, tenderness, and joy. (U.S. Release)
Heirs of Empire, by Evan C. Currie, (September 22, 47North)
The Scourwind family legacy brought the empire to the height of its power and prosperity and defended it against all enemies. One man’s machinations aim to shift the balance of power. When the trusted General Corian launches a coup against Emperor Scourwind, he hurls the planetary kingdom into chaos. To secure his claim as ruler, Corian will need the strength of the Scourwind name behind him, and he will stop at nothing to bring under his grasp the young Scourwind heirs, twins Lydia and Brennan. Barely into adulthood, the two are thrust into the crossfire. They eventually find refuge with Mira Delsol, pirate and former member of the elite empire forces. Loyalists, mercenaries, and political opportunists rally around the heirs in a bid to unseat the usurper. If their risky gambit fails, will the empire crumble into oblivion?
Lightless, by C.A. Higgins, (September 22, Del Rey)
Serving aboard the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft launched by the ruthless organization that rules Earth and its solar system, computer scientist Althea has established an intense emotional bond with the ship’s electronic systems, which speak more deeply to her analytical mind than human feelings do. A pair of fugitive terrorists gain access to the Ananke. While one of the saboteurs remains at large somewhere on board, his captured partner, Ivan, may prove to be more dangerous. As the ship’s systems begin to malfunction and the claustrophobic atmosphere is increasingly poisoned by distrust and suspicion, it falls to Althea to penetrate the prisoner’s layers of intrigue and deception before all is lost. But when the true nature of Ivan’s mission is exposed, it will change Althea forever, if it doesn’t kill her first.
Luna: New Moon, by Ian McDonald, (September 22, Tor)
The Moon wants to kill you. Maybe it will kill you when the per diem for your allotted food, water, and air runs out, just before you hit paydirt. Maybe it will kill you when you are trapped between the reigning corporations, the Five Dragons, in a foolish gamble against a futuristic feudal society. On the Moon, you must fight for every inch you want to gain. And that is just what Adriana Corta did. As the leader of the Moon’s newest “dragon,” Adriana has wrested control of the Moon’s Helium-3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family’s new status. Adriana finds her corporation, Corta Helio, confronted by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana’s five children must defend their mother’s empire from her many enemies, and each other.
Nightfall, by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski, (September 22, G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR)
On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours, it comes every twenty-eight years. The sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long. Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night. Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their parents ready the house for departure. The rituals are puzzling, but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way. Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing, the twins’ friend Line. Marin and Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. Night is falling. Their island is changing. It may already be too late.
Nomad, by William Alexander, (September 22, Margaret K. McElderry Books)
When we last left Earth’s Ambassador, Gabe Fuentes, he was stranded on the moon. When he’s rescued by Kaen, another Ambassador, things don’t get better: The Outlast, a race of aliens that has been wiping out all other creatures, are coming. Enter Nadia. She was Earth’s Ambassador before Gabe, but left her post in order to stop the Outlast. Nadia has discovered that the Outlast can conquer worlds by travelling fast through lanes created by the mysterious Machinae. No one has communicated with the Machinae in centuries, but Nadia is determined to try. The Outlast have discovered what they are doing, and have sent assassins to track them down. As Nadia heads deeper into space to find the Machinae, Gabe and Kaen return to Earth, where Gabe is trying to find another type of alien, his father. The three Ambassadors race against time to save their worlds in this exciting, funny, mind-bending adventure.
Not on Fire, but Burning, by Greg Hrbek, (September 22, Melville House)
Twenty-year-old Skyler saw the incident out her window: Some sort of metalic object hovering over the Golden Gate Bridge just before it collapsed and a mushroom cloud lifted above the city. She ran, but she couldn’t outrun the radiation, with her last thoughts being of her beloved baby brother, Dorian, safe in her distant family home. Flash forward to a post-incident America, where the country has been broken up into territories and Muslims have been herded onto the old Indian reservations in the west. Twelve-year old Dorian dreams about killing Muslims and about his sister, even though Dorian’s parents insist Skyler never existed. Dorian’s neighbor adopts a Muslim orphan. It will set off a series of terrifying incidents that will lead to tragedy or redemption for Dorian, as he struggles to prove that his sister existed.
Sound (Salvage #2), by Alexandra Duncan, (September 22, Greenwillow)
As a child, Ava’s adopted sister Miyole watched her mother take to the stars, piloting her own ship from Earth to space making deliveries. Now a teen herself, Miyole is finally living her dream as a research assistant on her very first space voyage. If she plays her cards right, she could even be given permission to conduct her own research and experiments in her own habitat lab on the flight home. But when her ship saves a rover that has been viciously attacked by looters and kidnappers, Miyole, along with a rescued rover girl named Cassia, embarks on a mission to rescue Cassia’s abducted brother, and that changes the course of Miyole’s life forever.
The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow, by Mark A. Latham, (September 22, Osprey)
Amidst the blood and carnage of battle, the barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead grows thin, and, occasionally, something slips through. Although usually dismissed as fantasy or fairy tale, history contains numerous stories of violent warriors, decapitated in battle, who return from the dead to terrorize the living. The ancient Irish called these malevolent spirits dullahan, but in English they are generally called headless horsemen. This book presents the history of these rare and dangerous undead warriors, explaining how and why they were created, describing their strengths and limitations, and finally revealing how they can be defeated. It also examines the best-documented encounters with these spirits, including the most famous and enduring manifestation, the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.
The Murdstone Trilogy, by Mal Peet, (September 22, Candlewick Press)
Award-winning YA author Philip Murdstone is in trouble. His star has waned. The world is leaving him behind. His agent, the ruthless Minerva Cinch, convinces him that his only hope is to write a sword-and-sorcery blockbuster. Unfortunately, Philip, allergic to the faintest trace of Tolkien, is utterly unsuited to the task. In a dark hour, a dwarfish stranger comes to his rescue. But the deal he makes with Pocket Wellfair turns out to have Faustian consequences. (U.S. Release)
The Promise of the Child (Amaranthine Spectrum #1), by Thomas N. Toner, (September 22, Night Shade)
Lycaste is a lovesick recluse living in a forgotten Mediterranean cove who is renowned throughout the distorted people of the Old World for his beauty. Sotiris Gianakos is a 12,000-year-old Cypriote grieving the loss of his sister, a principled man who will change Lycaste’s life forever. Their stories, and others, become darkly entwined when Aaron the Longlife, the Usurper, a man who is not quite a man, makes a claim to the Amaranthine throne that threatens to throw the delicate political balance of the known galaxy into ruin. Set against an epic backdrop ranging from 14th-century Prague, to a lonely cove near the Mediterranean Sea, to the 147th-century Amaranthine Firmament.
The Science-Fiction and Fantasy Quiz Book, by Joseph McCullough, (September 22, Osprey)
What character did Peter Cushing portray in Star Wars: A New Hope? Who was Arwen Evenstar’s mother? According to Isaac Asimov, what is third law of robotics? Which barbarian hero carried a sword called ‘Graywand’? Do you dare face the ultimate test of science fiction and fantasy knowledge? This fun-filled book offers the chance to prove your expertise, with questions ranging from easy to nearly impossible, drawn from the greatest novels, movies, comic books, video games and television shows in the history of the genre.
The Sleeper and the Spindle, by Neil Gaiman, (September 22, HarperCollins)
In this captivating and darkly funny tale, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell have twisted together the familiar and the new as well as the beautiful and the wicked to tell a brilliant version of Snow White’s (sort of) and Sleeping Beauty’s (almost) stories. This story was originally published (without illustrations) in Rags & Bones (Little, Brown, 2013). This is the first time it is being published as an illustrated, stand-alone edition, and the book is a beautiful work of art.
The Tattooed Heart (Messenger of Fear #2), by Michael Grant, (September 22, Katherine Tegen)
Mara has learned to punish the wicked as the Messenger’s apprentice. Those who act out of selfishness and greed, and others who become violent because of prejudice and hate, pay the ultimate price. But Mara is constantly reminded that Messengers are serving their own kind of punishment, for every person who is offered justice, they wear a tattoo that symbolizes the heart of the crime. As Mara delves deeper into her harsh reality, she will discover that in spite of all the terror she and Messenger inflict, caring in this world is the hardest part of all.
The Unquiet, by Mikaela Everett, (September 22, Greenwillow)
For most of her life, Lirael has been training to kill, and replace, a duplicate version of herself on a parallel Earth. She is the perfect sleeper-soldier. But she’s beginning to suspect she is not a good person. Fans of eerily futuristic and beautifully crafted stories such as Never Let Me Go, Orphan Black, and Fringe will find themselves haunted by this unsettling debut. The two Earths are identical in almost every way. Two copies of every city, every building, even every person. But the people from the second Earth know something their duplicates do not, two versions of the same thing cannot exist. They, and their whole planet, are slowly disappearing. Lira has been trained mercilessly since childhood to learn everything she can about her duplicate, to be a ruthless sleeper-assassin who kills that other Lirael and steps seamlessly into her life.
This Monstrous Thing, by Mackenzi Lee, (September 22, Katherine Tegen Books)
In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits. His brother, Oliver, dead. His sweetheart, Mary, gone. His chance to break free of Geneva, lost. Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead. Putting back together a broken life is difficult. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship. Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay.
Ungodly (Goddess War #3), by Kendare Blake, (September 22, Tor Teen)
For the Goddess of Wisdom, what Athena didn’t know could fill a book. That’s what Ares said. So she was wrong about some things. So the assault on Olympus left them beaten and scattered and possibly dead. So they have to fight the Fates themselves, who, it turns out, are the source of the gods’ illness. And sure, Athena is stuck in the underworld, holding the body of the only hero she has ever loved. But Hermes is still topside, trying to power up Andie and Henry before he runs out of time and dies, or the Fates arrive to eat their faces. And Cassandra is up there somewhere too. On a quest for death. With the god of death. Just because things haven’t gone exactly according to plan, it doesn’t mean they’ve lost. They’ve only mostly lost. And there’s a big difference.
Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1), by Rae Carson, (September 22, Greenwillow)
Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home, until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety?
Zom-B Fugitive (Zom-B #11), by Darren Shan, (September 22, Little, Brown BYR)
After learning the dark secrets hidden in Mr. Dowling’s twisted mind, B is on the run. She escapes the clown’s clutches and weaves her way through London’s abandoned Underground, only to find that Mr. Dowling has laid siege to the Angels’ base in County Hall. And when B learns of the history between Mr. Dowling and someone she trusted, she realizes that she can’t rely on anyone, B, and B alone, is the only one who can save humanity. (U.S. Release)
Zom-B Chronicles II (Zom-B #4-6), by Darren Shan, (September 22, Little, Brown BYR)
This bind-up of Zom-B Angels, Zom-B Baby, and Zom-B Gladiator leads B through the underground networks of London, straight to terrors more horrifying than her worst nightmares. With over 500 pages of gripping adventure through a zombie-infested hell on earth and gory illustrations, this bind-up is sure to thrill even the most insatiable of horror fans. (omnibus)
Clash (The Natural Huntress #1), by Cady Vance, (September 24, Sagan Press)
Phoebe Grayson’s “perfect” life as a normal college student in Manhattan is finally about to begin. After eighteen years of being forced to train as a huntress, she’s ready to live her life on her own terms. Getting a college degree is the only way she can get out of the family business: hunting dark sorcerers. When a clan of sorcerers shows up in Manhattan, along with a stranger who seems to know more about her powers than he should, Phoebe comes face to face with a startling truth, one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Phoebe’s power could threaten the very city she’s come to love. Phoebe is the number one target for every dark sorcerer in the five boroughs, and the ones who don’t want to usurp her power want her dead. Phoebe realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it might just lie within herself. (ebook only)
The Broken World (The Ballad of Sir Benfro #4), by J.D. Oswald, (September 24, Penguin)
Queen Beulah has killed one sister and ordered the assassination of another. The Inquisitor Melyn journeys though the north-lands of Llanwennog in a merciless bid to overthrow King Ballah. Now in possession of Brynceri’s ring, his power seems indestructible. Captured by the travelling circus, Sir Benfro cannot shake their control, more powerful than Magog’s malign influence. Errol Ramsbottom follows the trail of his friend’s captors, only Benfro holds the key to Errol’s beloved Martha’s whereabouts. But both sides are set on a path of destruction, dragon against dragon, king against queen, man against man. As the ancient spell that split Gwlad begins to unravel, it may be easier for Benfro and Errol to travel to Gog’s world now. But what will happen when the barriers between the two worlds fail entirely. (ebook only)
Alpha Unleashed (Alpha Girl #5), by Aileen Erin, (September 25, Ink Monster)
Tessa McCaide has had it up to here with supernaturals. As the only half witch/half alpha werewolf around, she’s the obvious choice for ambassador to the humans. Vampire attacks are all over the news as the power-hungry witches play with dark magic and Tessa can’t promise any human safety when she and her friends are so busy battling for their lives. Luciana leads the corrupt witches, and she’s just getting started on her crusade for magical domination. Countless covens are turning dark. Tessa’s allies, including her mate Dastien, are ready to fight, but they’re no match for Luciana’s power. A little help (and ancient Inca mojo) from Tessa’s cousin, Claudia, may give the side of good a chance if she can make it home in time. When witches and wolves fight, no one wins. Only time will tell who will still be standing after the last spell is cast. (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!