Happy Monday! It’s that time again–
You probably know the drill, but if you’re new ’round these parts, you might wonder what Reader’s Choice is. Below are some of the new releases from this week that I thought would most interest readers of this site. Leave a comment as to which one of these you’d most like to read and one person will win it (or another book of their choice). International, as always. You also can pick any of my books if you wish.
Now, here’s what I considered the most interesting from among the new books releasing this week. Your mileage may vary.
A World Darkly (Wrath of the Old Gods #3), by John Triptych, July 12. A year has passed since the ancient gods of myth and legend returned and irrevocably changed humankind as we know it. All across the earth, survivors of the initial onslaught have now abandoned their faith in the modern world and have begun to worship the pagan deities once again. The United States hangs perilously close to ruin as the newly resurgent Aztec Empire begins its final assault against the country. In this maelstrom of chaos and destruction, a small of group of individuals holds the key to either stop or to aid this terrible menace. Across these devastated lands, Tara Weiss searches for her lost brother, aided by the trickster god and the vampire-like Patrick Gyle. Tyrone Gatlin, a US Army deserter, is guided by dreams of a great spirit as he makes a dangerous journey across the flooded areas of the Deep South. Tepiltzin, high priest of the flayed god Xipe Totec, is torn between devotion to his family and of his responsibilities in the new empire. Meanwhile, Detective Valerie Mendoza travels across the nightmarish landscapes of Hell in order to find and rescue the one man she loves, Dr. Paul Dane. The Wrath of the Old Gods series features a unique blend of multiple genres that encompasses mythology, real world politics, fantasy, horror, war, survival and high adventure, all wrapped up in a thrilling, post-apocalyptic setting
Arabella of Mars (Adventures of Arabella Ashby), by David D. Levine, July 12, TOR. Ever since Newton witnessed a bubble rising from his bathtub, mankind has sought the stars. When William III of England commissioned Capt. William Kidd to command the first expedition to Mars in the late 1600s, they proved that space travel was both possible and profitable. Now, one century later, a plantation in the flourishing British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby. A tomboy who shares her father’s deft hand with complex automatons. Being raised on the Martian frontier by her Martian nanny, Arabella is more a wild child than a proper young lady. Something her mother plans to remedy with a move to an exotic world Arabella has never seen: London, England. Arabella soon finds herself trying to navigate an alien world until a dramatic change in her family’s circumstances forces her to defy all conventions in order to return to Mars in order to save both her brother and the plantation. To do this, Arabella must pass as a boy on the Diana, a ship serving the Mars Trading Company with a mysterious Indian captain who is intrigued by her knack with automatons. Arabella must weather the naval war between Britain and France, learning how to sail, and a mutinous crew if she hopes to save her brother from certain death.
Buried and Shadowed (Branded Packs #3), by Alexandra Ivy and Carrie Ann Ryan, July 12. Buried: Gibson Barton knows his Pack is on the verge of something they will never be able to prepare for: a chance at freedom. Yet when he’s finally able to open his eyes to what might be his fate, it could be too late. As a submissive wolf of her Pack, Mandy Calhoun has always only watched Gibson from afar. Because of her fears, she hasn’t let her intentions toward him—or the other in her sights—be known. Oliver Dare is the Foreseer of the Ursine Pack, and knows with each vision, his death is that much closer. Yet he cannot see his own future—or that of the two wolves who have been thrust into his path. There is danger lurking in the den, and as the three learn to process their emotions and navigate their temptations, they’ll have to fight for something they never knew they had—or sacrifice it all for a purpose far greater than their own destinies. Shadowed: Sinclair, Alpha of the Unseen Pack, is determined to destroy the Shifter Accommodation Unit. He understands that his people will never be free until the truth is revealed and their enemies are brought out of the shadows and exposed to the public. Unfortunately, the human female who has been secretly working with him has disappeared, and his priorities must shift slightly. He’s resolved to track her down, and not just because she has the information he needs. Mira Reese isn’t stupid. She’s painfully aware that the sexy shifter she’s been working with has been using her fascination for him to gain access to the CDC computer system. But that doesn’t stop her from helping Sinclair. Not when it allows her to be close to him. But after the CDC kidnaps her, she realizes that this isn’t a game. She’s a potential savior for the future of the shifters—and perhaps especially the loner wolf who stirs her passions.
Darkness Rising (Endless War #2), by D.K. Holmberg, July 11. Jasn wanted nothing more than to hunt the draasin and obtain vengeance for what he’d lost in the Endless War. Time spent in the mysterious barracks revealed depths to the war—and his abilities—that he had never imagined. As he debates whether to continue his education with Alena, he follows her into the depths of Rens where a surprising discovery changes both of their fates, and entwines them more than either desires. Ciara returns from the waste changed, but her return is only a beginning. When her father demonstrates a powerful secret of his own, Ciara must once again leave her home on a journey for answers that will change not only her, but the fate of Rens and the future of the war.
Dragon Bonds (Return of the Darkening #3), by Ava Richardson, July 13. The Darkening has risen… Agathea Flamma and Sebastian Smith now face an overwhelming enemy. The rapid spread of the Darkening, a threat arising from the mists of legend, looms over the entire land. With both their families torn apart by the conflict and betrayal lurking around every corner, one mistake could doom the kingdom….They’ll have to decide where to put their faith: blood ties or newfound friends?…After the destruction of the Dragon Academy, it’s up to Thea and Seb to gather their loyal comrades—and forge uneasy new alliances—to quell the ancient menace and face the evil Lord Vincent. With civil war raging, the Dragon Riders must race against time to find the legendary Dragon Stone, the only tool they have to fight against the endless darkness that threatens to swallow them all.
Drowned Worlds, edited by Jonathan Strahan, July 12, Solaris. We stand on the brink of one of the greatest ecological disasters of our time – the world is warming and seas are rising, and yet water is life; it brings change. Where one thing is wiped away, another rises. Drowned Worlds looks at the future we might have if the oceans rise – good or bad. Here you’ll find stories of action, adventure, romance and, yes, warning and apocalypse. Stories inspired by Ballard’s The Drowned World, Sterling’s Islands in the Net, and Ryman’s The Child Garden; stories that allow that things may get worse, but remembers that such times also bring out the best in us all. Multi-award winning editor Jonathan Strahan has put together sixteen unique tales of deluged worlds and those who fight to survive and strive to live. Featuring fiction by Paul McAuley, Ken Liu, Kim Stanley Robinson, Nina Allan, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Christopher Rowe, Nalo Hopkinson, Sean Williams, Jeffrey Ford, Lavie Tidhar, Rachel Swirsky, James Morrow, Charlie Jane Anders, Sam J. Miller and Catherynne M. Valente.
Hound’s Bite (Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective #5), by E.J. Stevens, July 12, Sacred Oaks. Ivy Granger thought she left the worst of Mab’s creations behind when she escaped Faerie. She thought wrong. In a cruel twist of fate, Ivy has unleashed a powerful horde of Unseelie beasts upon her city, turning her homecoming into a potential slaughter of innocents. Now Ivy must gather her allies to fight a reputedly unstoppable force—The Wild Hunt. Will the training Ivy received in her father’s court be enough to save her city, or will Harborsmouth be forced to kneel before the Lord of the Hunt? She is willing risk her own life, but some sacrifices come at a cost worse than death. When an ally is bitten by one of The Wild Hunt’s hounds, Ivy must face the possibility that winning this battle may mean killing the one person she has come to love most.
Masks (Out of the Box #9), by Robert J. Crane, July 12, Revelen. What makes a hero? For years, Sienna Nealon has worked with the U.S. government to protect the world against other people with powers beyond those of a normal human. But after several clashes with the current administration, she finds herself with a new employer, an independent agency dedicated to helping stop threats to humanity. When a new hero and villain rise in New York City, Sienna can’t help but get involved, even as the U.S. government sends its own response team, led by an old friend…and a new enemy. Soon, Sienna finds herself once more against the odds, against the government, and wondering where the line is between hero and villain.
The Big Book of Science Fiction, edited by Jeff Vandermeer and Ann Vandermeer, July 12, Vintage. What if life was neverending? What if you could change your body to adapt to an alien ecology? What if the pope were a robot? Spanning galaxies and millennia, this must-have anthology showcases classic contributions from H. G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Octavia E. Butler, and Kurt Vonnegut, alongside a century of the eccentrics, rebels, and visionaries who have inspired generations of readers. Within its pages, you ll find beloved worlds of space opera, hard SF, cyberpunk, the New Wave, and more. Learn about the secret history of science fiction, from titans of literature who also wrote SF to less well-known authors from more than twenty-five countries, some never before translated into English. In “The Big Book of Science Fiction, “literary power couple Ann and Jeff VanderMeer transport readers from Mars to Mechanopolis, planet Earth to parts unknown. Immerse yourself in the genre that predicted electric cars, space tourism, and smartphones. Sit back, buckle up, and dial in the coordinates, as this stellar anthology has got worlds within worlds.
The Ghoul King (Dreaming Cities #2), by Guy Haley, July 12, Tor.com. The Knight, Quinn, is down on his luck, and he travels to the very edge of the civilized world – whatever that means, any more – to restock his small but essential inventory. After fighting a series of gladiatorial bouts against the dead, he finds himself in the employ of a woman on a quest to find the secret to repairing her semi-functional robot. But the technological secret it guards may be one truth too many…
The Great Ordeal (Aspect Emporor Trilogy #3), by R. Scott Bakker, July 12, Overlook. As Fanim war-drums beat just outside the city, the Empress Anasurimbor Esmenet searches frantically throughout the palace for her missing son Kelmomas. Meanwhile and many miles away, Esmenet’s husband’s Great Ordeal continues its epic march further north. But in light of dwindling supplies, the Aspect-Emperor’s decision to allow his men to consume the flesh of fallen Sranc could have consequences even He couldn’t have foreseen. And, deep in Ishuäl, the wizard Achamian grapples with his fear that his unspeakably long journey might be ending in emptiness, no closer to the truth than when he set out. The Aspect-Emperor series follows Bakker’s Prince of Nothing saga, returning to the same world twenty years later. The Great Ordeal follows The Judging Eye and The White-Luck Warrior, and delivers the first half of the conclusion to this epic story. Returning to Bakker’s richly imagined universe of myth, violence, and sorcery, The Aspect-Emperor continues to set the bar for the fantasy genre, reaching new heights of intricacy and meaning.
Time Siege, by Wesley Chu, July 12, Tor. Having been haunted by the past and enslaved by the present, James Griffin-Mars is taking control of the future. Earth is a toxic, sparsely inhabited wastelandthe perfect hiding place for a fugitive exchronman to hide from the authorities. James has allies, scientists he rescued from previous centuries: Elise Kim, who believes she can renew Earth, given time; Grace Priestly, the venerated inventor of time travel herself; Levin, James’s mentor and former pursuer, now disgraced; and the Elfreth, a population of downtrodden humans who want desperately to believe that James and his friends will heal their ailing home world. James also has enemies. They include the full military might of benighted solar system ruled by corporate greed and a desperate fear of what James will do next. At the forefront of their efforts to stop him is Kuo, the ruthless security head, who wants James’s head on a pike and will stop at nothing to obtain it.
So…what do you want to read? Which of these appeals to you most? Remember, regardless of what you say in your comment you also can pick a different book or any one of my books (except the two that are currently out of print, The Consort and Christmas in Dogtown), without regard to the $15 limit. If you’re in the U.S. or Canada, I will sign the books.