It’s Monday, so it must be Reader’s Choice day, and spring is the busiest time of year for book releases! You know how it works. Just let me know in the comments which of these sounds most promising to you, and you could win it—or any other book of your choice up to US$15! I will post the winner on Sunday.
And now for the new releases…(not ALL of them, mind you, but the ones I thought might be of most interest to readers of this blog!)
A Burden Shared, by Jo Walton
No information available. This appears to be a digital-only short story or novelette.
Aliens: Bug Hunt, edited by Jonathan Maberry
When the Colonial Marines set out after their deadliest prey, the Xenomorphs, it’s what Corporal Hicks calls a bug hunt—kill or be killed. Here are fifteen all-new stories of such “close encounters,” written by many of today’s most extraordinary authors. Set during the events of all four Alien™ films, sending the Marines to alien worlds, to derelict space settlements, and into the nests of the universe’s most dangerous monsters, these adventures are guaranteed to send the blood racing—
One way or another. Stories by Jonathan Maberry, Heather Graham, Scott Sigler, Rachel Caine, David McFarland, Larry Correia.
Change Agent, by Daniel Suarez
In 2045 Kenneth Durand leads Interpol’s most effective team against genetic crime, hunting down black market labs that perform “vanity edits” on human embryos for a price. These illegal procedures augment embryos in ways that are rapidly accelerating human evolution—preying on human-trafficking victims to experiment and advance their technology….With the worlds of genetic crime and human trafficking converging, Durand and his fellow Interpol agents discover that one figure looms behind it all: Marcus Demang Wyckes, leader of a powerful and sophisticated cartel known as the Huli jing….But the Huli jing have identified Durand, too. After being forcibly dosed with a radical new change agent, Durand wakes from a coma weeks later to find he’s been genetically transformed into someone else—his most wanted suspect: Wyckes….Now a fugitive, pursued through the genetic underworld by his former colleagues and the police, Durand is determined to restore his original DNA by locating the source of the mysterious—and highly valuable—change agent. But Durand hasn’t anticipated just how difficult locating his enemy will be. With the technology to genetically edit the living, Wyckes and his Huli jing could be anyone and everyone—and they have plans to undermine identity itself.
Dark Alpha’s Lover (Reaper #4), by Donna Grant
There is no escaping a Reaper. I am an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I am coming for you…I answer to no one but Death. I am impenetrable, impervious, immortal. I exist to do Death’s bidding and no one–not Reaper nor human nor Fae–can stand in my way. Except for the bewitching half-Fae, Catriona. She swears the magic in her family passed her by, but I know better. This woman is strong. This woman is powerful. And when her abilities surge forth, no one will be able to stop the Dark Fae from coming for her. Except for me. I want to keep her close. I want to keep her safe. I want lose myself to her, again and again…
Fairy Bite (Dragons of Wendal #3), by Maria Schneider
Shunned and ridiculed ever since a fairy mistakenly bit her, Ally leaves her village knowing it’s the only way her family can resume their normal lives and be respected. She heads to Wendal, hoping the shifters there won’t care about the little problems associated with the effects of a fairy bite….Before she is even halfway there, she discovers that the fairies may not be finished ruining her life. If she wants to leave Birk, she’ll first have to contend with the little people, a very ornery gargoyle, more than one prince and, of all things, an enraged dragon.
Legend Has It (Pax Arcana #5), by Elliott James
For John Charming, living the dream just became a nightmare….Someone, somewhere, is reading a magic book that is reading them right back. Real life is becoming a fairytale: high school students are turning, quite literally, into zombies, subway workers into dwarves, drug addicts into vampires….John Charming and his motley band of monster hunters are racing to find the villain of this story, following the yellow brick road through a not so wonderful wonderland. And if they can’t find Reader Zero before the book is closed, there won’t be a happily ever after again.
Magnolia Mystic: Sentinels of Savannah (Magnolias and Moonshine #10), by Lisa Kessler
Skye Olson is a psychic like her mother, and her grandmother before her, but a bad break up with the man she thought was her soulmate has left her confidence in her abilities shaken. While she’s in crisis, a real estate tycoon from Atlanta swoops in with his eyes on her shop….Colton Hayes spent his mortal life plundering royal ships with his pirate crew, but one holy relic changed everything. Now he and the rest of the crew protect the port of Savannah from their captain who traded his cutlass for a fountain pen….When Colton discovers the captain wants to build a hotel in the heart of historic Savannah, he sets out to stop him, but nothing could prepare him for the violet eyes of the Magnolia Mystic….Love is a dangerous game for a pirate.
Phoenix Rising (Storm’s Quarry #2), by Rebecca Harwell
The Iron Phoenix, the masked vigilante of Storm’s Quarry, has not been seen since the solstice and the tragedy it brought. Haunted by nightmares and striving for control over her powers, Nadya Gabori watches from afar as the city struggles to heal, and Kesali, the woman she loves, works to rebuild their dream of peace….A new masked figure has arrived in Storm’s Quarry, the Shadow Dragon, one who can conjure blades of light. Nadya feels a powerful connection to her and begins to question if Kesali is the future she wants. When the neighboring Kingdom of Wintercress takes advantage of the city’s weakness, it will take the strength of both young women to defend Storm’s Quarry against invasion and save everyone they hold dear.
The Book of Joan, by Lidia Yuknavitch
In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet’s now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: the surviving humans have become sexless, hairless pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin….Out of the ranks of the endless wars rises Jean de Men, a charismatic and bloodthirsty cult leader who turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule—galvanized by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her and communes with the earth. When de Men and his armies turn Joan into a martyr, the consequences are astonishing. And no one—not the rebels, Jean de Men, or even Joan herself—can foresee the way her story and unique gift will forge the destiny of an entire world for generations….A riveting tale of destruction and love found in direst of places—even at the extreme end of post-human experience—Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan raises questions about what it means to be human, the fluidity of sex and gender, and the role of art as means for survival.
The City Builders, by Sean Monaghan
Desra Parker loves investigating strange planets. But when missiles shoot her ship down over Mackelle, Desra and her crew find themselves in a desperate race for survival. Battling the elements and relentless building-sized robots, Desra needs to unravel the mysteries of Mackelle’s endless city if she’s going to keep anyone alive. And figure out a way to get home.
The Dastardly Miss Lizzie (Electric Empire #3), by Viola Carr
Dr. Eliza Jekyll must turn to her dark side, Miss Lizzie Hyde, to stop a madman targeting London’s most important scientists and sorcerers terrorizing the city with dark magic in this third Electric Empire novel—a dazzlingly original steampunk fantasy set in the gritty world of alternate Victorian London, with echoes of H G. Wells classic, The Time Machine…Being two people in one body isn’t easy. Metropolitan Police crime scene physician Eliza Jekyll is trying to maintain a semblance of control, even as her rebellious second self, Lizzie, grows increasingly wild—threatening the respectable Eliza’s reputation and her marriage to Remy Lafayette, the Royal Society investigator and occasional lycanthrope. With England on the brink of war, Remy’s away in sorcery-riddled Paris on a secretive mission that grows ever more sinister. Has he been an enemy agent all along? Or is coping with Eliza’s secret divided self finally driving her mad?….Eliza needs her mind clear and sharp if she’s to catch an evil genius who is killing eminent scientists. The chase uncovers a murky world of forbidden books, secret laboratories, and a cabal of fanatical inventors whose work could change the world—or destroy it—and who may hold answers to Eliza’s past….As sorcery-wielding terrorists attack London, Eliza discovers her own enemies are closing in, driving her to desperate measures—enlisting the aid of the wily, resourceful, mercurial Lizzie—to thwart the killer. But Lizzie’s got her own life now, and true to her nature, will resort to the devious and diabolical to keep it. Even if it means throwing Eliza to the wolves, and letting the world burn. . The Dragon’s Legacy (Dragon’s Legacy #1), by Deborah A. Wolf
The last Aturan King is dying, and as his strength fades so does his hold on sa and ka. Control of this power is a deadly lure; the Emperor stirs in his Forbidden City to the East, while deep in the Seared Lands, the whispering voices of Eth bring secret death. Eight men and women take their first steps along the paths to war, barely realizing that their world will soon face a much greater threat; at the heart of the world, the Dragon stirs in her sleep. A warrior would become Queen, a Queen would become a monster, and a young boy plays his bird-skull flute to keep the shadows of death at bay.
The Drowned Tower, by Nicholas Rinth
Freedom is out of the question for practitioners of the Institute, and any supporters otherwise are dealt with violently. A system Sylvie Sirx neither refutes, nor endorses–born from an enviable family, talented in her skills, and entirely too content with her position, her path has always been a straight one… until now….Her qualifications backfire when an elder from the north descends upon her home for a Choosing. He calls upon the Drowned Tower’s most sought after practitioners for a simple job that ends in blood, and then Sylvie’s blissful world erupts. She finds herself in the company of the Elementalist, Jacques Dace, an insufferable but deadly enthusiast of personal reform. Together, they’re swept into a spiral of powerful magic and ancient grudges. Where truth bends, stones whisper secrets of the past, and their home lies at the heart of what could very well be Ferus Terria’s next recorded war….And for once, she is forced to choose a side, learning for herself what it means to master fate.
The Horn King (The Cursed Blood Chronicles #1), by Alaric Longward
In the land of Aldheim, the Jewel of the Nine Worlds, the elven houses stand in eternal battle for power over the inheritance of god Freyr; the power over the entire elven world. The Nine Worlds have been sundered from each other in Hel’s War, the gods haven’t been seen since, and the mortal races have been left to their own devices. Aldheim is ruled by the Five Houses, and intrigue and war are as frequent solution to trouble, as is diplomacy. The Regent Bardagoon, far in the north has little power over his rivals, and the humans who live in Aldheim amongst the elves, are the least of the worries for the Heads of the Houses. And yet, every now and then, a human, often despised for their short lives, and lack of skills in art, war, and magic, decide on the matters of the great. …Gutty and Oxam, men and former pirates are agents of the Company, a guild of thieves and killers, and they have duty in Trad, the capital of House Vautan. Though they do not know it, that duty is going to shake entire houses to their core. It is up to them to retrieve a mysterious item for a client, and such dangerous duty is often given to the Murder and Loot, their band of criminals. Successful in their job Gutty finds himself hired again, this time for a job far more dangerous and deadly, by an elven lady of the House Vautan, Diniss, who is going to retrieve an item from the lands of House Daxamma, their bitter enemies. Gutty has little choice in the matter, and yet, for once in his life, is promised a prize that truly intrigues him; his lost past, and a kingdom his family once held. …Thrust on the road with elves he loathes and distrusts, Gutty soon finds things are not to his liking. There is something very odd about the whole party, and events that follow suggest something far bigger than a mere treasure hunt is shaping up.
Veiled Menace (Veiled Magic), by Deborah Blake
Witch and police officer Donata Santori is no stranger to magical mayhem, but lately her life has been unexpectedly charmed. Her job as a Ghost Yanker now includes the occasional paranormal investigation, and she’s advancing her magical abilities with the help of an ancestor’s treasured spell book. And while both of her former love interests—reclusive half-Dragon art forger Peter Casaventi and disgraced Shapechanger Magnus Torvald—are nowhere to be found, she’s not averse to being wined and dined by wealthy businessman Anton Eastman….But Eastman isn’t what he seems, and what he wants from Donata is far more than she’s willing to give. When a mysterious relic, the Pentacle Pentimento, resurfaces, along with Peter’s Dragon father and a shocking Santori family secret, Donata must fight to save herself, her friends, and just maybe the fate of the world from a magic as old as it is dangerous…
Now, what do you want to win this week? Leave a comment, and I’ll announce the winner on Sunday.