Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Quotes

Posted by Simcha 4:47 AM, under | 3 comments

I didn't come across that many book quotes this week worth sharing, so I've thrown in some Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy quotes, since I like to interject those where ever I possible. I've also included some Dr. Seuss, because he just comes up with the craziest fun stuff (andI actually did read it this week, quite a few times) as well as a few author quotes, one of which is from an interview with Patricia Briggs, from this past week, over at Maybe Tomorrow.


The Lightening Thief (Rick Riordan)

Once I got over the fact that my Latin teacher was a horse, I had a nice tour, though I was careful not to walk behind him...I did not trust Chiron's back end the way I trusted his front.

The Girl with the Glass Feet (Ali Shaw)

It didn’t take tragedy or war to derail a man. It took only a memory.

Patricia Briggs (from an interview at Maybe Tomorrow)

I believe that, as in real life, a happy ending is something you snatch out of the crazy chaos around you. An unhappy person will never have a happy ending -- a happy person will find good things in miserable circumstances. ...

That being said -- happy people don't make for good books. Happy people have no motivation to go out and do anything. So I have to rip happy away from her at the beginning of each book.

George Barnard Shaw:

Some men see things as they are and say, "Why?" I dream of things that never were and say, "Why not."

Douglas Adams

The history of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is now so complicated that every time I tell it I contradict myself, and whenever I do get it right I'm misquoted. So the publication of this omnibus edition seemed like a good opportunity to set the record straight--or at least firmly crooked.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series (Douglas Adams)

  • (Arthur) leapt to his feet like an author hearing the phone ring.
  • Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
  • Arthur hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction there and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.
  • A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
  • Arthur: If I asked you where the hell we were, would I regret it?

    Ford: We're safe.

    Arthur: Oh good.

    Ford: We're in a small galley cabin in one of the spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet.

    Arthur: Ah, this is obviously some strange use of the word safe that I wasn't previously aware of.
  • Please relax," said the voice pleasantly, like a stewardess in an airliner with only one wing and two engines, one of which is on fire, "you are perfectly safe
  • One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continuously stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you all right?

Dr. Seuss

  • The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.
  • Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Today's Big News & a Question About Book Loyalty

Posted by Simcha 4:19 PM, under | 13 comments

Today's big news, which has been circulating throughout the SFF world, is Patrick Rothfuss's long-awaited announcement of the publication date for The Wise Man's Fear, the sequel to The Name of The Wind.

Rothfuss fans have been waiting almost three years for this book, which had an initial release date in 2008, but they may be disappointed to learn that it will still be another year before The Wise Man's Fear will actually be available. While Rothfuss is certain he will be able to finish by September, the book won't be hitting stores until March 1st, 2011.

So that’s part of the news, that I’ll be finished writing The Wise Man’s Fear by September.

But here’s the rest of the news: that means that the book can’t come out until March of 2011.

Why? Well, for a bunch of reasons. Mostly because there are a lot of things that have to happen before a mass of text becomes a printed book on a shelf. It needs to be copy edited. The edits need to be confirmed. It needs to be proofed, checked for consistency, fiddled with. Fonts need to be chosen. It needs to go through layout. Then it needs to be proofed again. Marketing needs to happen. It needs to be sent to reviewers, and the reviewers need to have time to read it before they write the reviews. It needs to be put into catalogs of to-be-published-books so people who run bookstores can learn about it and order copies for their stores. It needs to be printed, boxed, warehoused, shipped. We need to sacrifice a black she-goat and pray to strange and terrible gods. Then we need to proofread again.

A lot of these steps are going to take longer than normal because my book is 2-3 times longer than most ordinary novels. Other things are going to take longer because this book is kinda important to a lot of people, and we want to make sure everything gets done just right.

While I loved The Name of the Wind and am eager to read its sequel, I just can't get excited about a book that doesn't come out for almost a whole year. I understand that writing a book is a difficult task and I don't think authors should sacrifice the quality of writing in order to rush their books to publication, but still, four years between books is a really long time. And I believe there is supposed to be another book after this one, which means that with the current time table the trilogy won't be completed until 2015.

Back in my pre-book blogging days I would have lost interest in an author whose series took so long to complete. I never even finished Kate Elliotts Crown of Stars series, which I had loved, because by the time the last book was released I had forgotten all the details of the story and I didn't have the inclination to read the whole series again. There are a few other book series that I can think of which ran for so long that I never ended up finishing them.

While I'm not one to give an author a hard time about their writing schedule, I am curious as to how Rothfuss manages to maintain a steady following when the only book he published came out years ago. I'm also surprised with his popularity as an author with only one published book to his name. It think this is unusual, no?

So while I loved The Name of the Wind, I'll probably end up putting off reading The Wise Man's Fear until the whole trilogy is complete, just so that I don't have to keep waiting between books. And right now, I don't even mind. It's right after I finish a book that I feel the overwhelming desire to immediately read the sequel. But this desire fades over time until the urgency has dulled, which is fine for me but I can't imagine it's good for the author.

How do you feel about long-running book series? Do you maintain your loyalty to authors and series of books even when you have to wait a substantial amount of time between books?

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

Posted by Simcha 4:12 PM, under | 9 comments

I usually like to write my own synopsis of each book that I review, but in the case of Gardens of the Moon I’m not even going to try it.

So here is the blurb from the book’s back cover:

The Malazan empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Anomander Rake, Lord of Moon’s Spawn, and his Tiste Andii. Even the imperial legions yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Lasseen’s rule – enforced by her feared Claw assassins – remains absolute.
For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving sorceress of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to pause, to mourn the many dead. But the imperial gaze has fallen upon the ancient citadel of Darujhistan. This, the last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet dares to hold out.
However, the empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces gather as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand.

I will admit from the start that Gardens of the Moon was not an easy book for me to read. The first time that I had tried to read it I only got through a couple of chapters before putting it aside. I would probably not have given the book another chance if I didn’t keep seeing it praised by so many other book bloggers, and referenced frequently in fantasy book reviews. It took me two more tries, and even an attempt at the audio version, before I finally succeeded in reading the whole book.

The main obstacle for me, in reading Gardens of the Moon, is that I’m not a very patient reader. When I start a book I like to be immediately caught up in the story, and if takes me too long to understand what is transpiring then my attention drifts and I lose interest in the book. But Gardens of the Moon is a book that requires patience, as it slowly weaves together the story, one thread at a time, and it’s not until almost halfway through that I was able to see the tapestry that was being created. There is also a very large cast of characters, with each character being gradually added into the mix, but it takes a while for it to become clear what role each of them plays.

Another reason that I struggled with Gardens of the Moon is because of the strong focus on political plots and military campaigning, two subjects that I have no interest in at all. I usually avoid books with these themes, which makes Gardens of the Moon a very unlikely book for me. The fact that there were so many different characters involved only intensified my confusion, though eventually I did come to understand enough of what was taking place to relax into the story.

Though when I did finally manage to get a good grasp on what was going on (at least to the extent that it was possible) I found that I had become completely riveted by the story and its characters, without even noticing it.

Although Gardens of the Moon was not the easiest book for me to read, I have to say that Erikson did a brilliant job in creating a vast and intricate world and an elaborate labyrinth of a story. While it was difficult to really get to know any individual character particularly well, because there were so many of them, each one still came across as unique and compelling, and very real. The reader gets the opportunity to see the story unfold from the perspective of each character, thereby getting an understanding of the motive of every player involved. In this way, the reader comes to relate in some way to each of the characters, including those who appear at times to be the villains of the tale .

I admit that I had pushed myself to read Gardens of the Moon because “everyone was doing it” and I was curious as to what the appeal of this book was. But I ended up being really glad that I had made the effort and read this book, which is so far outside of my comfort zone, because I did come to enjoy it, and I hope it will help open me up to other books which I might have otherwise shied away from. Plus, I too can now pepper my reviews with references to Erikson and his books (well, at least one, so far), which will help give my reviews some real authority.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Changeless by Gail Carriger

Posted by Simcha 8:29 PM, under | 12 comments

Less than a year after the publication of her debut novel, Soulless, Gail Carriger has already provided readers with the second book in her Parasol Protectorate series, thereby firmly placing her high on my list of favorite authors. It also helps that these book are so delightfully fun to read, offering a fresh take on the world of vampires, werewolves and the supernatural, all within the setting of Victorian London.

Alexia is enjoying her new status as Lady Woolsey, with all the perks it has to offer (especially those that take place in the bedroom) when her new husband begins exhibiting strange behavior, culminating with his sudden disappearance to Scotland. At the same time, a strange new phenomenon has suddenly affected London’s supernatural creatures with mortality, and it’s Alexia’s job as Muhjah to get to the bottom of this new threat. Alexia’s investigation leads her to Scotland, where she makes some new discoveries about her husband, her absent father, and her own powers as a preternatural.

First off I want to say that based on the blurb on the back of the book, I was expecting certain events to take place which never actually do, and at first this distracted me somewhat from the story itself. The description of
Changeless makes it sound like the plot centers on Alexia’s search for her missing husband, which it does not, so I just wanted to begin with a warning that the description on the back cover is not an accurate portrayal of the events in the book.

Changeless does start off a bit slow, as we accompany Alexia on her errands and listen in on her interactions with various friends and acquaintances. In this manner we learn about the current threat to London’s supernatural and we meet some new interesting characters who will accompany Alexia on her adventures. Though it’s when Alexia sets of to Scotland that the story really picks up, and the reader discovers the extent of the mystery in which Alexia is now involved.

Changeless offers readers the same wonderful writing and witty humor which were present in Soulless, though this book discusses in a bit more depth some of the steampunk elements in this world, particularly the aethographer, a contraption used to relay messages over far distances. We also get more of an insight as to what Alexia’s soulless status might mean for her, as well as for others. And I was particularly pleased that Changeless provided an explanation for the relevance of goggles to steampunk, which is something that I've been wondering about for a while

I had just finished a couple of rather heavy fantasy novels when I started on
Changeless, and it was just what I needed. It was a fun and fast read that was thoroughly engrossing, but also provided enough depth and ingenuity to give it substance. And towards the end, the story rushes to a climatic finish which had me tightly gripping the book’s pages, and which was only forgivable because the third installment of the series will be available in just a few months. Otherwise, I would not have been at all happy.

Changeless was a very satisfying sequel to Soulless, and I can barely contain my eagerness for the final installment in the series. I will admit that I assume that these books will generally appeal more to female readers than male, due to the strong focus on romance, though I do know of some men that have enjoyed them as well. But if you are someone who enjoys books with strong female characters, humorous dialogue, romance and some light steampunk, then I highly suggest you give this book a try. Though if you have not yet read Soulless, I recommend you do so first.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Releases: Week of April 25

Posted by Simcha 3:22 AM, under | 10 comments

There are a lot of great new releases this week, including Neil Gaiman's children's book, Instructions; Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay and Ares Express by Ian McDonald. Another interesting looking book is Zoo City, by Lauren Beukes,. While I'm not familiar with this author, the book looks like it would be worth checking out.

How about you? Any of this week's releases that you are particularly excited about?

Hope you have a great reading week!


Ghosts and Echoes
Title: Ghosts and Echoes
by Lyn Benedict
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Penguin
Description: Chicago cop Adam Wright has picked up a spiritual hitchhiker, the ghost of a dead man who desperately wants to live again. So he turns to supernatural P.I. Sylvie Lightner to rid him of the spirit-a spirit she finds strangely familiar

Title: Song of Scarabaeus
by Sara Creasy
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Eos
Description: Trained since childhood in advanced biocyph seed technology by the all-powerful Crib empire, Edie's mission is to terraform alien worlds while her masters bleed the outlawed Fringe populations dry. When renegade mercenaries kidnap Edie, she's not entirely sure it's a bad thing . . . until they leash her to a bodyguard, Finn - a former freedom fighter-turned-slave, beaten down but never broken. If Edie strays from Finn's side, he dies. If she doesn't cooperate, the pirates will kill them both.

But Edie's abilities far surpass anything her enemies imagine. And now, with Finn as her only ally as the merciless Crib closes in, she'll have to prove it or die on the site of her only failure . . . a world called Scarabaeus.

The Lost Fleet
Title: The Lost Fleet: Victorious
by Jack Campbell
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Penguin
Description: As war continues to rage between the Alliance and Syndicate Worlds, Captain "Black Jack" Geary is promoted to admiral-even though the ruling council fears he may stage a military coup. His new rank gives him the authority to negotiate with the Syndics, who have suffered tremendous losses and may finally be willing to end the war. But an even greater alien threat lurks on the far side of the Syndic occupied space.

The Amazon Queen
Title:Amazon Queen
by Lori Devoti
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Pocket
Description: Being an Amazon ruler just became a royal pain.Amazon queen Zery Kostovska has never questioned tribe traditions. After all, these rules have kept the tribe strong for millennia and enabled them to live undetected, even in modern-day America. Zery is tough, fair, commanding—the perfect Amazon leader.At least, she was. A new high priestess with a penchant for secrecy and technology is threatening Zery’s rule. Plus, with the discovery of the Amazon sons, males with the same skills as their female counterparts, even Zery can’t deny that the tribe must change. But how? Some want to cooperate with the sons. Others believe brutal new leadership is needed—and are willing to kill to make it happen.Once, Zery’s word was law. Now, she has no idea who to trust, especially with one powerful Amazon son making her question all her instincts. For Zery, tribe comes first, but the battle drawing near is unlike any she’s faced before . . . and losing might cost her both the tribe and her life.

Stealing Kathryn
Title: Stealing Kathryn ( Gatherers #2)
by Jacquelyn Frank
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Zebra
Description: New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank invites you to explore a strange and sensuous world of darkest desire ruled by an extraordinary being who is about to meet his earthly match. . .
Sandman. Angus. Morpheus. He is known by many names, except his true one, Adrian. When he departs his world, it is to enter the sacred space of sleep, and he is not there to sow sweet dreams. Adrian's mission is to reap the dark energy of nightmares, work that has twisted his soul as well as his once-handsome face. Now, he lives only to await the day darkness finally overcomes him. . .and to collect exquisite reminders of what he's lost. . .
But there is one treasure that stands apart. Having risked everything to obtain her, Adrian soon realizes his mistake. For Kathryn has a wholly unexpected power over him, not only for what she represents, but for what for she is: a soul with desires as strong as his own, tempered by compassion that could save Adrian from his self-made hell--or condemn them both. . .

Title: The Gods of Amyrantha
by Jennifer Fallon
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Tor
Description: How do you go about killing yourself when you are an immortal? Is it even possible? Jennifer Fallon explores this tantalizing puzzle in The Gods of Amyrantha, the second in her Tide Lords series.
The Tide is turning and the Tide Lords’ powers are returning with it. Cayal, the Immortal Prince, hero of legend, was thought to be only a fictional character.

Cayal sure wishes that he was a piece of fiction—anything that would help him shuffle off this mortal coil. But even though he longs for a final death, things in the world keep pulling him back. Such as Arkady Desean, an expert on the legends of the Tide Lords who has discovered the truth about Cayal…and captured his heart.
Yes, the Tide Lords will walk upon the earth once more and, with the power that surges through the cosmos, stand poised to wreak havoc on all that humans hold dear. Cayal will have to decide if he wants to go on living just a little longer and if he is willing to risk his fellow immortals’ wrath in order to save the world.

Title: Wild Fire (Leopard People, Bk, 4)
by Christine Feehan
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 27
Description: Conner Vega, physically and emotionally scarred by his past, has returned to the lush, exotic landscape of the Panama rainforest - his birthplace, and hopefully an escape from the guilt that consumes him. Free to roam at last, the leopard in him longs to take control, but knowing how dangerous that would be, Connor must resist. However, there are more serious issues to deal with. Connor's been brought back for a specific purpose: to help save his people from an evil threatening their existence, and to avenge his mother's brutal murder. And this time he means to take care of business.

by Mira Grant
Genre: Postapocalypse
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Orbit
Description: The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

NOW, twenty years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives-the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.

Chaos Bites (Phoenix Chronicles , Bk 4)
by Lori Handeland
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Description: It's not the end of the world - yet. But Doomsday once again lies in wait for demon-slayer Elizabeth Phoenix. Several weeks ago she had no choice but to kill a man she loved. Sawyer was a witch and shape-shifter, a sorcerer of incredible strength. And now he's started to invade her the most dangerous and sensuous ways imaginable.

Through her nighttime visits with Sawyer, Liz has acquired a new set of paranormal powers. She has also received a special new gift in the form of Sawyer's baby. Now nothing is as it seems as Liz combs through the chaos of her new life while trying to outrun death at every turn. She's going to need all the help she can get - even if that means dealing with her embittered ex-lover Jimmy Sanducci. He may be the only one left she can trust.since every other demon on earth is hell-bent on her destruction.

Title: Fall of Light
Author: Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Description: Opal LaZelle turned her magical gift to alter people's features into a career as a make-up artist. But when the actor portraying the "Dark God" remains in character off set, Opal realizes something supernatural has taken possession of him.

Title:Blood Born
by Linda Howard & Linda Jones
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Description: When the living and undead worlds collide, there will be hell to pay.

Luca Ambrus is a rare specimen of his breed: He is a vampire from birth, begotten by a mortal and a vampire, blood born. He is also an agent of the Council - the centuries-old cabal that governs vampirekind, preserving their secrecy and destroying those who betray them.

When a cryptic summons leads him to the scene of the brutal killing of a powerful Council member, Luca begins the hunt for an assassin among his own people. But instead of a lone killer he discovers a sinister conspiracy of rogue vampires bent on subjugating the mortal world.

All that stands in their way are the conduits, humans able to channel spirit warriors into the physical world to protect mankind. Chloe Fallon is a conduit - and a target of the vampire assassin who's killing them. When Luca saves her life, an irresistible bon of trust - along with more passionate feelings - is forged between them. As more victims fall, Chloe and Luca have only each other to depend on to save the world from the reign of monsters - and salvage their own future together.

Title: Sandman Slim
by Richard Kadrey
Genre: Dark fantasy
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Eos
Description: When he was 19, James Stark was considered to be one of the greatest natural magicians, a reputation that got him demon-snatched and sent downtown - to Hell - where he survived as a gladiator, a sideshow freak entertaining Satan's fallen angels. That was 11 years ago. Now, the hitman who goes only by Stark has escaped and is back in L.A. Armed with a fortune-telling coin, a black bone knife, and an infernal key, Stark is determined to destroy the magic circle - led by the conniving and powerful Mason Faim - that stole his life.

Though nearly everything has changed, one constant remains: his friend Vidocq, a 200-year-old Frenchman who has been keeping vigil for the young magician's return. But when Stark's first stop saddles him with an abusive talking head that belongs to the first of the circle, a sleazy video store owner named Kasabian, Stark discovers that the road to absolution and revenge is much longer than he counted on, and both Heaven and Hell have their own ideas for his future. . .

Title: Under Heaven
Author: Guy Gavriel Kay
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Alternate History
Description: It begins simply. Shen Tai, son of an illustrious general serving the Emperor of Kitai, has spent two years honoring the memory of his late father by burying the bones of the dead from both armies at the site of one of his father's last great battles. In recognition of his labors and his filial piety, an unlikely source has sent him a dangerous gift: 250 Sardian horses.

You give a man one of the famed Sardian horses to reward him greatly. You give him four or five to exalt him above his fellows, propel him towards rank, and earn him jealousy, possibly mortal jealousy. Two hundred and fifty is an unthinkable gift, a gift to overwhelm an emperor.

Wisely, the gift comes with the stipulation that Tai must claim the horses in person. Otherwise he would probably be dead already...

by Phoebe Kitanidis
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Description: Joy is used to Hearing Whispers. She's used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people's deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good—to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people's lives—especially Joy's—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears Jessica Whisper I want to kill my Hearing dead, and kill me too if that's what it takes, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car, and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.
Whisper is an exhilarating debut novel from talented newcomer Phoebe Kitanidis.

Title: The Unincorporated Man
by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Tor
Description: The incredible has happened. A billionaire businessman from our time, frozen in secret in the early 21st century, is discovered in the far future and resurrected, given health and a vigorous younger body. He awakens into a civilization in which every individual is formed into a legal corporation at birth, and spends many years trying to attain control over their own life by getting a majority of his or her own shares. Life extension has made life very long indeed.

Justin Cord is the only unincorporated man in the world, a true stranger in this strange land. Justin survived because he is tough and smart. He cannot accept only part ownership of himself, even if that places him in conflict with a civilization that extends outside the solar system to the Oort Cloud.

The Unincorporated Man is a provocative social/political/economic novel that people will be arguing about for decades.

Title: The Sweet Scent of Blood
By Suzanne McLeod
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Penguin
Description: Genevieve Taylor is a Sidhe-one of the noble fae-and she's unusual, even in a London where celebrity vampires, eccentric goblins, and scheming lesser fae mix freely with humanity. But she's about to learn that some magive isn't all its cracked up to be.

Title: Haze
by L. E. Modesitt, Jr
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Tor
Description: What lies beneath the fog of the millions of orbiting nanotech satellites that shroud the world called Haze?
Major Keir Roget’s mission is to make planetfall in secret, find out, and report back to his superiors in the Federation, the Chinese-dominated government that rules Earth and the colonized planets.

Now, scouting Haze, he finds a culture both seemingly familiar, yet frighteningly alien, with hints of a technology far superior to that of the Federation. Yet he is not quite certain how much of what he sees is real–or how to convey a danger he cannot even prove to his superiors, if he can escape the planet...

Title:Ares Express
by Ian McDonald
Genre:Science Fiction
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Pyr
Description: A Mars of the imagination, like no other, in a colourful, witty SF novel; Taking place in the kaleidoscopic future of Ian McDonald's Desolation Road, Ares Express is set on a terraformed Mars where fusion-powered locomotives run along the network of rails that is the planet's circulatory system and artificial intelligences reconfigure reality billions of times each second. One young woman, Sweetness Octave Glorious-Honeybun Asiim 12th, becomes the person upon whom the future - or futures - of Mars depends. Big, picaresque, funny; taking the Mars of Ray Bradbury and the more recent, terraformed Marses of authors such as Kim Stanley Robinson and Greg Bear, Ares Express is a wild and woolly magic-realist SF novel, featuring lots of bizarre philosophies, strange, mind-stretching ideas and trains as big as city blocks.

by Elizabeth Naughton
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Love Spell
Description: As unrest in the Underworld threatens, seven warriors descended from the greatest heroes in all of Ancient Greece may just be mankind's last hope.
THERON - Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He's the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.
From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn't exist in real life--silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.
She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron's duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendent of Hercules, he wasn't strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.
As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice. (added by author)

Title:Teeth of Beasts
by Marcus Pelegrimas
Genre: Urban Fanasy
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Eos
Description: Horrible things move through the shadows of our world—bloodsuckers, Full Bloods and mongrel beasts, shapeshifters and minor freaks. For centuries creature hunters known as Skinners have protected humankind. But who protects the Skinners . . . from madness?
Unbeknownst to the human population, a pestilence is raging through an unseen community of low-level monstrosities. What seems, at first glance, a boon for the mortal cause has horrific connotations—as the Skinner team of Cole Warnecki and Paige Strobel races across the Midwest to uncover the shocking secret of the “Mud Flu.” For a nightmare of destruction and blood sacrifice is looming—one born of an unholy meeting nearly two centuries ago—that will pit man against beast, and Skinner against Skinner.

Title: Black Blade Blues
by J.A Pitts
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Tor
Description: Sarah Beauhall has more on her plate than most twenty-somethings: day job as a blacksmith, night job as a props manager for low-budget movies, and her free time is spent fighting in a medieval re-enactment group.
The lead actor breaks Sarah’s favorite one-of-a-kind sword, and to avoid reshooting scenes, Sarah agrees to repair the blade. One of the extras, who claims to be a dwarf, offers to help. And that’s when things start to get weird. Could the sword really be magic, as the "dwarf" claims? Are dragons really living among us as shapeshifters?
And as if things weren’t surreal enough, Sarah’s girlfriend Katie breaks out the dreaded phrase… “I love you.” As her life begins to fall apart, first her relationship with Katie, then her job at the movie studio, and finally her blacksmithing career, Sarah hits rock bottom. It is at this moment, when she has lost everything she has prized, that one of the dragons makes their move.
And suddenly what was unthinkable becomes all too real…and Sarah will have to decide if she can reject what is safe and become the heroine who is needed to save her world.

Title:Bewitched & Betrayed ( Raine Benares #4)
By Lisa Shearin
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Penguin
Description: Raine Benares is a seeker. She finds lost things and missing people- usually alive. But now she's been bonde with the Saghred, a soul- stealing stone of unlimited power, and must hunt down its escapees. Especially since one of them is also hunting her...

Title: Instructions
by Neil Gaiman
Genre: Childrens Books
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: Harper Collins
Description: Trust Dreams.
Trust your heart,
and trust your story.
A renowned storyteller whose words have transported readers to magical realms and an acclaimed illustrator of lushly imagined fairy-tale landscapes guide a traveler safely through lands unknown and yet strangely familiar . . .
. . . and home again.

Title: Lover Mine (Brotherhood of the Black Dagger #8)
by J.R Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 27
Publisher: NAL Hardcover
Description: In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - vampire warriors, defenders of their race...John Matthew has been through his vampire transition and taken to the life of the Brotherhood with a vengeance, but he still can't shake the nightmare of his past and is unsure of his future as a warrior hero. He's made a promise to honour the Brotherhood and their fight with the slayers at all costs, until the love of his life is kidnapped and he is forced to make a choice that could change his life and the Brotherhood's forever...

Zoo City
Title:Zoo City
by Lauren Beukes
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: April 29
Publisher: Angry Robot
Description: Zinzi has a talent for finding lost things. To save herself, she's got to find the hardest thing of all: The truth.

Title:The Leaping
by Tom Fletcher
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Release Date: April 29
Publisher: Quercus
Description: Jack finished university three years ago, but he's still stuck in a dead-end job in a sinister call-centre in Manchester. When the beautiful (and rich) Jennifer comes into his life he thinks he has finally found his ticket out of there. Trouble is that his boss is interested in Jennifer as well, and there's something strangely bestial about him...So when Jennifer buys Fell House, a mysterious old mansion out in remote Cumbria, a house party on a legendary scale seems like the perfect escape. But as the party spins out of control on a seemingly neverending night, they must face up to the terrifying possibility that not all their guests may be human - and some of them want to feed. An astonishing and innovative blend of horror, folktale and disturbing realism, The Leaping is the first instalment in what is shaping up to be a genre-defining series.

Damage Time
Title: Damage Time
by Colin Harvey
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: April 29
Publisher: Angry Robot
Description: Rock-hard SF Thriller from the author of Winter Song: no-one here gets out alive. It's 2050 and sea-levels have swamped today's coastal regions. New York City is protected by tidal barriers and the USA is bankrupt. Detective Pervez (Pete) Shah serves with the NYPD's Web Crimes Division as a Memory Association Specialist. When he's accused of murdering a glamorous woman in a bar, he must find the killer, save himself ! and the world.

Title: Soul Stealers
by Andy Remic
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: April 29
Publisher:Angry Robot
Description: The sequel to Kell's Legend -- more blood-soaked, action-packed, vampire-laced dark epic fantasy. Kell is being hunted. The vampires are fighting back against him, and the mighty hero finds himself the prey of two beautiful but deadly vampire assassins. Their bronze fangs are coming for him. He will strike back.


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