Saturday, September 4, 2010

Free Audio Book: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Posted by Simcha 9:30 PM, under | 5 comments

I know if it's kind of late but if you are lucky enough to catch this post before going to bed then you will have enough time to download for yourself a free audio book version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I am certainly excited about this discovery, as I've been wanting to read this book for a while, and it makes up for the fact that at 4:30 in the morning I'm still fooling around on the computer instead of going to sleep.

So apparently the UK papers, The Guardian and the Observer, have teamed up with Audible to give away a free audio book each day this week. Saturday's book is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, and since I just downloaded my copy it's still not to late for you to do the same.

Although it's not made clear, this offer does appear to be available to UK residents only (although it says it for all readers of The Guardian, so that doesn't seem very fair) but just a bit of editing to your Audible account setting should make this possible. This offer is even available to those who already have audible accounts.

To get your free audio version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo visit here

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Cheaper Alternative for Audio Book Listeners

Posted by Simcha 4:44 PM, under | 1 comment

If you enjoy listening to audio books but can't afford to buy them on a regular basis, or you want a more flexible and affordable service than what offers, than you might want to try the Kelso Public Library.

The Kelso Library offers members access to the NetLibrary's entire catalog of over 3,000 audio books, which can be downloaded from anywhere. But even nonresidents can benefit from this service by becoming a member of the Kelso Library, for $70 a year. This service allows members to get out over 10 titles at one time, for a period of three weeks. Compared to Audible's price of $14.95 a month for just one book, this a real deal.

Read more at or visit the Kelso Library Website

The Book Challenge: Discover A Diamond in the Rough

Posted by Simcha 2:38 PM, under | 2 comments

I was sitting in front of my computer, trying to thing about something to write, when I noticed my name mentioned on one of the blogs on my Google Reader. I clicked on it and discovered a link to my site in a post about a book challenge that I had signed up for but have forgotten to follow up on.
Oops. I'm feeling a bit sheepish here.
But the challenge has only just started and so I'm going to jump into it now.

In case you are a regular reader of my blog you might remember that I have sworn off of book challenges (several times) because I never end up finishing them, and in some cases I don't even get started. And than I just feel like a failure. But when Bryce, from Seak's Stamp, approached me about this one I quickly signed up because it sounded like a challenge that I could actually enjoy and complete.

So what's the challenge?

In Bryce's words..

    I was thinking not too long ago about what if I just grabbed a random book from the bookstore and tried it out. One whose author I've never heard of before and maybe just because the cover strikes me in a certain way.

    This challenge is particularly poignant for me because I'm normally one who has to research every purchase, especially books. Why don't I give that many bad reviews? Because I look up multiple blogs, forums, etc. to find something I'm almost 100% positive I will like.

    Hence a challenge.

    So, we're trying to find those "diamonds in the rough". And while we know this won't work out best for everyone, as a collective, maybe we can find some really good stuff that no one has read.

    Consider yourself challenged.

    If you have a blog, let us know and we'll link to you when you get a review up of your challenge book. If not, give us a comment or an email and we'll post about it.

So for this challenge you just have to select a random book that you are don't know anything about, and read it. Simple, no? Well, I guess it depends on the book. But I am fully confident that I can achieve it. And the reason that I am particularly excited about this challenge is that I have a room full of scifi and fantasy books, most of which I have never read. These books are actually the inventory for my online bookstore but while sorting through them I will often come across a book that sounds good, and which I will want to read, but I never actually do it.

So now I'm going to go over and select one book at random, from my stock of books (and don't worry, most of these books I am not familiar with) to read for the challenge

OK, I'm back, and that was a lot harder than I had expected. While I came across a number of interesting looking books I didn't want one that was too long in case it turns out to be really awful. I'm also not brave enough to try a random scifi book. So the book I will be reading for the challenge is...

The Three Sisters by Rebecca Locksley

As one, they are destiny...

Once Tari ruled in the land of Yarmar – a mysterious race of visionaries and healers whose power has since faded to legend. Then the armies of Mir came to destroy and enslave. Now, in their relentless drive for domination, the despised Mirayan Prince Scarvan and his loyal duke, Wolf Madraga, have both claimed a prize beyond compare. She is called Elena Starchild, the bewitching wife of a newly slain woodlands leader. She is Tari, possessing a "fatal beauty" that confounds and obsesses her lustful captors. And she will not be abandoned.

Drawn from their island sanctuary by a sister's plight, a warrior and a sorceress return to an oppressed land, carrying with them the magic of hope, spirit, and glorious rebellion. But there are shadows in their own hearts that first must be conquered before a prisoner is freed... and a mighty destiny can come to pass.

I've never heard of Rebecca Locksley before but the book sounds like it could be good and the cover is very atmospheric, so..we'll see....

And here are some of the other bloggers participating in the challenge:

Melissa at My World... in Words and Pages

Amanda at Floor to Ceiling Books

Bryce at Seak's Stamp of Approval

Tyson at Speculative Book Review

Ryan at Battle Hymns

If you would like to participate as well just choose a random book to read and leave me a link with your review.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett

Posted by Simcha 5:22 PM, under | 5 comments

I had never heard of The Magicians and Mrs. Quent or of it's author, Galen Beckett, before I saw the book on a library shelf, while on vacation in the US. Something about it, though, drew my attention and so I added it to my teetering stack of library books. And because this wasn't a book I was familiar with, and had never even read a single review of, it was unfortunately relegated to the bottom of the pile of books, where it remained.

As my three week stay in America drew to an end, I started collecting all the books that needed to go back to the library, and I suddenly remembered this book, which had completely slipped my mind. I decided that I might as well crack the book open while I rested a bit from my packing, which was a foolish mistake. From the moment I began reading it I was completely sucked into the story and I suddenly found myself in a race against time to finish this book before I had to leave it behind. All my last minute preparations were forgotten as I spent every available minute of my last day in the US trying to finish The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, despite the fact that I knew I had no chance. The book had to be pried from my hands as I got dropped off at the airport, with still a quarter of the book left to be read. There was really only one thing I could do about it, and that was get a hold of the book as soon as I got home so that I could finish it. This little story is just meant to illustrate for you how much I enjoyed reading The Magicians and Mrs. Quent.

Of the three Lockwell sisters—romantic Lily, prophetic Rose, and studious Ivy—all agree that it’s the eldest, the book-loving Ivy, who has held the family together ever since their father’s retreat into his silent vigil in the library upstairs. Everyone blames Mr. Lockwell’s malady on his magickal studies, but Ivy alone still believes—both in magick and in its power to bring her father back.

But there are others in the world who believe in magick as well. Over the years, Ivy has glimpsed them—the strangers in black topcoats and hats who appear at the door, strangers of whom their mother will never speak. Ivy once thought them secret benefactors, but now she’s not so certain.

After tragedy strikes, Ivy takes a job with the reclusive Mr. Quent in a desperate effort to preserve her family. It’s only then that she discovers the fate she shares with a jaded young nobleman named Dashton Rafferdy, his ambitious friend Eldyn Garritt, and a secret society of highwaymen, revolutionaries, illusionists, and spies who populate the island nation of Altania.

In The Magicians and Mrs. Quent Beckett has created an alternate world reminiscent of Victorian London, where magic exists alongside tea rooms, balls, strict social classes and husband-hunting debutantes. Though unlike in London, here each day and night are of a different length, due to long and short umbrals and lumenals, and so no social events may be planned without consulting an almanac first (lest an enjoyable party suddenly gets caught off by an unplanned night).

The book is divided into three sections, the first of which is very similar to Pride and Prejudice, in both plot and writing style
. Ivy is the eldest of three sisters, and the most responsible, and it is to her that the general care of her sick father has fallen, as well as the worry about the family's failing finances. Ivy's father had, at one time, been a successful magician but something had caused him to suddenly fall ill and withdraw from the outside world. Ivy is convinced that her father's illness is due to magic and she is determined to discover what had caused it so that she may find a cure. The fact that women are not allowed to practice magic does not stop Ivy from reading every book that she can get a hold of, in search of an answer.

The story also follows a young nobleman, Dashton Rafferdy, who prides himself on being careless and irresponsible, until he meets Ivy and for the first time begins to believe that he might be capable of more. There is also Rafferdy's friend, Eldyn, who is forced to leave school after his father drinks away all of their money and then dies. Eldyn struggles to support himself and his sister but in an act of desperation ends up getting involved with a dangerous criminal who is also a member of a group dedicated to overthrowing the king.

The first section of the book introduces each of these characters and weaves together their stories in a light-hearted narrative, similar to that of a Victorian romance novel. Towards the end of the first section the story gets a little darker and ends with a tragedy that leads into the second section of the book, which has a more gothic feel to it. In an interesting twist, the narrative switches from third person to the first, and the story is now told solely from Ivy's perspective.

Due to difficult circumstances at home Ivy has been forced to become employed as a governess for
a forbidding widower and the two orphaned children he has taken in. While living in Heathcrest, Ivy discovers that something sinister is going on, involving the ancient woods nearby and the young women who have been disappearing from the village. The children also claim to see a white figure calling to them from the woods, and despite her original disbelieve soon Ivy is forced to admit that something unnatural is going on, of which she is determined to get to the bottom of it.

In the third section of the book the story resumes its third person narrative, bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion while leaving a few lose threads, which are sure to be picked up in the sequel.

There is a little of everything in this book, from romance and magic to mystery and politics and it's all seamlessly blended together to create this delightful fantasy novel that completely took me by surprise. I also really liked the writing, which was both and enchanting and witty, and which frequently had me reaching for my pen to copy down quotes or passages that I particularly enjoyed.

“For a man who reads so little, you read very well,” she told him as he turned a page. She sat in a chair by the fireplace, wrapped in a shawl. “I don’t know why you don’t read more often.”
“What use is there in doing something one is already good at? The practice can bring no possible improvement.”
“It is said there is pleasure in doing something one excels at.”
“Which is precisely why you will so often find me doing nothing at all."

“If it is the most minute of things that demands my cousin’s attention,” she said, “what is it that captures yours, Mr. Rafferdy?”
“Very little, I confess. If Mr. Wyble’s interest is held rapt by the tiniest of matters, I am quite his opposite in that even the grandest of things cannot maintain a grip on mine...”
“Rafferdy excels at being bored,” Mr. Garritt said.
“Oh, how delightful that must be!” Mrs. Lockwell exclaimed. “I say, I should be very glad to be bored of fine things. For it can only mean you have everything you could possibly wish for and that you never waste a moment’s thought fretting over some thing you must but cannot have. I say, you must be exceedingly content, Mr. Rafferdy!”

After finishing The Magicians and Mrs. Quent I did check out some reviews of the book and I saw a number of criticisms of Beckett for heavy handedly pilfering so much of the plot and characters from Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte novels. Since it's been years since I've read either Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice and I can barely recall what either books is about, this didn't matter to me at all but many other readers seemed to have been bothered by it. I do remember though that I didn't particularly care for Jane Eyre, while this book I very much enjoyed.

While reading through some reviews of The Magicians and Mrs. Quent I discovered that Galen Beckett is actually a pen name for author Mark Anthony, who has written several other books, which I'm now curious to try out. Though my first priority is getting a hold of this book's sequel, The House on Durrow Street, which I can't wait to read.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Land of Flourishing Bookstores

Posted by Simcha 4:35 PM, under | 2 comments

While running some errands in Jerusalem today I was surprised to come across a second-hand bookstore which I had somehow not known about, even though it's been open since April. I pride myself on knowing all the bookstores in downtown Jerusalem (and there are quite a few) and so it was strange that this one had managed to sneak past me somehow. And since I can't bring myself to pass a bookstore without stopping in, no matter how many unread books I have waiting for me at home, I went inside and was pleased to discover that it was actually quite a lovely store.

Most bookstores in Israel have a very utilitarian feel to them, as if you are meant to do no more than step in, purchase your books and leave. It's not uncommon to hear Anglos in Israel fancifully remarking on how they would love to open a bookstore here like the ones back in America, where you can
unhurriedly peruse through stacks books while sipping coffee on a comfortable couch. But this store had a nice, relaxed atmosphere, which I enjoyed (and which might have had to do with the hippy looking guy manning the store). Upstairs, where the English books were shelved, there was a carpeted alcove where the walls were lined with paintings and a couple was playing chess together on a low table on the floor. I believe there was even a sign saying that coffee was available for purchase, but I didn't follow up on it. There was a just a really good vibe to it all.

I did find a number of books that interested me but none of them were of the Must-Have-Now variety so I managed to refrain from buying anything. As I headed out, the hippy-shop guy asked me if I found anything I liked and we had a short conversation about books, which was nice. One of my pet peeves is bookstore owners, or workers, who have no interest in books. Unfortunately this seems to be pretty common in Israel and really bugs me. Why would someone choose to have a bookstore if it's not something they are passionate about? It's certainly not a money-making business. When I sold books at conventions, or while I was working at a book store, my favorite part was getting to talk to customers about books. So the fact that this guy made an effort to engage me in a conversion about books impressed me, though I was less impressed when he cut me off suddenly for a phone conversation with a friend. Not cool. But I'll probably still be coming back, when the pile of books on my nightstand begins to dwindle.

But what I really thought was interesting about all of this was the fact that new bookstores keep cropping up, here in Israel, while in America (and perhaps other places as well), many bookstores are going out of business. While I have been hearing for a while now about the sad state of bookstores and libraries in America, it wasn't until I was actually there a couple of weeks ago that I really got a sense of what was going in. While visiting in Philadelphia I kept looking out for a bookstore to go to but it took me a week to finally find one. All the small, second-hand shops that I remembered frequenting, were now gone.

So I find it surprising that in Israel bookstores appear to be flourishing because I don't actually notice people here reading that much. When on a bus or at the playground with my kids, I rarely see anyone, besides myself, with a book. Though I can't say I'm complaining because I love bookstores and seeing how they are slowly becoming extinct in other places makes me really glad to be living here, when new bookstores are opening up all the time. I just I hope that someday I'll get to have my own bookstore - coffee, couches and all -where I can talk about books for hours with other book loving readers.

So that's my rambling post about bookstores, which might or might not have had a point. I'll leave it up to you to decide. And if you'd like to read an interesting post about Japanese bookstores stop by Brizmus Blogs Books where you can read about a Tokyo bookstore that Audrey recently visited.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Scifi & Fantasy Releases: Week of August 29

Posted by Simcha 1:53 PM, under | 7 comments

So this is the week I have been waiting for all year, when Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings will finally be released. A year never seems so long as when you are waiting to get your hands on a particular book. And ever since reading Gail Carriger's Changeless, which ended in that agonizing cliffhanger, I've been impatiently counting down the days until Blameless would finally become available (author's can be so cruel that way).

While these are the two books I have been particularly waiting for there are many other awesome books hitting the bookshelves this week though I'm sure I probably have overlooked some of them as this list was already getting unwieldy. One book that I have never heard of before but sounds like it could be really good is The Native Star by M.K Hobson, and I hope I'll get a chance to give that book a try.

Meanwhile, I have over fifty books that I lugged back home with me from my visit to the US and should keep me busy for a while so I'm not sure when I'll actually have a chance to read any of these new releases (except for Blameless and The Way of Kings, which I will attack as soon as I receive them). I just finished a book I really enjoyed called The Magicians and Mrs. Quent (review will be coming soon) and I plan on starting Justin Cronin's The Passage next, which I am really excited about.

So how about you? Will you be running out to get any of this week's new releases?

Hope you have a great reading week!


The Way of Kings
The Way of Kings
Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: August 31

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths,

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.

The Waters Rising
The Waters Rising
Sheri S. Tepper
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Eos
Release Date: August 31

Long ago was the Big Kill, a time when the slaughterers walked the earth unseen, killing, departing, returning to kill again and again. Since then mountains have risen, deserts have fallen, the last of humankind has scattered; myth, superstition, and legend have replaced knowledge; and the great waters rising are changing the world.
In the west, the people of Norland live in small kingdoms, unaware that a hideous evil from ages past has been revived. Powers are being used. Curses are being laid . . . and the waters are rising as never before.
As forests drown, swamps become lakes, and roads disappear, houses—whole towns—are hitched to teams of oxen and moved upward. Misery is compounded when the Sea King declares war. No ships may sail on the new, growing oceans, and refugees from sunken islands continue to arrive.
And in Norland a cursed princess fights death, awaiting the one who can save not her, but perhaps humanity. She is tended by one fearful young girl, her servant and soul carrier, Xulai, a child of her own kind from the mystical kingdom of Tingawa. Upon her mistress's death, Xulai must return to their homeland to fulfill a sacred mission.
Accompanied by her protectors, Great Bear and Precious Wind, and guided by the mysterious wanderer Abasio and his talking horse, Big Blue, the band begins a journey to this land across the western sea where the waters' rising has long been expected. Their odyssey, fraught with peril and wonder, is long enough for plans to be made that are so strange, so audacious, that they are instantly dismissed; plans so potentially successful that an ancient killer must be awakened to stop their fulfillment.

The Usurper by Rowena Corey Daniels
The Usurper
Rowena Corey Daniels
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Solaris
Release Date: August 31

Now a slave, Piro finds herself in the Merofynian Palace where, if her real identity is discovered, she will be executed. Meanwhile, Fyn is desperate to help his brother, Bryen, who is now the uncrowned King. Bryen never sought power but now he finds himself at the centre of a dangerous resistance movement as the people of Rolencia flee vicious invaders. How can Byren defeat the invaders, when half his warriors are women and children, and the other half are untrained boys and old men?

A Star Shall Fall
A Star Shall Fall (Onyx Court, Bk 3)
Marie Brennan
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: August 31

The Royal Society of London plays home to the greatest minds of England. It has revolutionized philosophy and scientific knowledge. Its fellows map out the laws of the natural world, disproving ancient superstition and ushering in an age of enlightenment.

To the fae of the Onyx Court, living in a secret city below London, these scientific developments are less than welcome. Magic is losing its place in the world—and science threatens to expose the court to hostile eyes.

In 1666, a Great Fire burned four-fifths of London to the ground. The calamity was caused by a great Dragon—an elemental beast of flame. Incapable of destroying something so powerful, the fae of London banished it to a comet moments before the comet’s light disappeared from the sky. Now the calculations of Sir Edmond Halley have predicted its return in 1759.

So begins their race against time. Soon the Dragon’s gaze will fall upon London and it will return to the city it ravaged once before. The fae will have to answer the question that defeated them a century before: How can they kill a being more powerful than all their magic combined? It will take both magic and science to save London—but reconciling the two carries its own danger…

The Sky That Wraps by Jay Lake
The Sky That Wraps
Jay Lake
Genre: Short Story Anthology
Publisher: Subterranean
Release Date: August 31

This collection of short fiction from award winning-author Jay Lake represents his favorites of his own work, both current and classic. With an emphasis on recent publications since his last short fiction collection in 2007, The Sky That Wraps showcases his reach in fantasy, science fiction, and the ambiguous territory in between. This volume includes two all-new stories, 'Coming for Green' and 'To Their Late Escape', as well as previously uncollected fan favorites 'The American Dead' and 'The Sky That Wraps The World Round, Past the Blue and Into the Black.' Twenty other stories round out this wide-ranging survey of Lake's work.

The Native Star
The Native Star
M.K. Hobson
Genre: Fantasy/Alternate History
Publisher: Spectra
Release Date: August 31

In the tradition of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, this brilliant first novel fuses history, fantasy, and romance. Prepare to be enchanted by M. K. Hobson’s captivating take on the Wild, Wild West.

The year is 1876. In the small Sierra Nevada settlement of Lost Pine, the town witch, Emily Edwards, is being run out of business by an influx of mail-order patent magics. Attempting to solve her problem with a love spell, Emily only makes things worse. But before she can undo the damage, an enchanted artifact falls into her possession—and suddenly Emily must flee for her life, pursued by evil warlocks who want the object for themselves.

Dreadnought Stanton, a warlock from New York City whose personality is as pompous and abrasive as his name, has been exiled to Lost Pine for mysterious reasons. Now he finds himself involuntarily allied with Emily in a race against time—and across the United States by horse, train, and biomechanical flying machine—in quest of the great Professor Mirabilis, who alone can unlock the secret of the coveted artifact. But along the way, Emily and Stanton will be forced to contend with the most powerful and unpredictable magic of all—the magic of the human heart.

Noise by Darin Bradley
Darin Bradley
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Spectra
Release Date: August 31

In the aftermath of the switch from analog to digital TV, an anarchic movement known as Salvage hijacks the unused airwaves. Mixed in with the static’s random noise are dire warnings of the imminent economic, political, and social collapse of civilization—and cold-blooded lessons on how to survive the fall and prosper in the harsh new order that will inevitably arise from the ashes of the old.

Hiram and Levi are two young men, former Scouts and veterans of countless Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. Now, on the blood-drenched battlefields of university campuses, shopping malls, and gated communities, they will find themselves taking on new identities and new moralities as they lead a ragtag band of hackers and misfits to an all-but-mythical place called Amaranth, where a fragile future waits to be born.

The Skin Map
The Skin Map
Stephen R. Lawhead
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: August 31

It is the ultimate quest for the ultimate treasure. Chasing a map tattooed on human skin. Across an omniverse of intereing realities. To unravel the future of the future.
Kit Livingston's great-grandfather appears to him in a deserted alley during a tumultuous storm. He reveals an unbelievable story: that the ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legend or the weekend hobby of deluded cranks, but pathways to other worlds. To those who know how to use them, they grant the ability to travel the multi-layered universe of which we ordinarily inhabit only a tiny part.
One explorer knew more than most. Braving every danger, he toured both time and space on voyages of heroic discovery. Ever on his guard, and fearful of becoming lost in the cosmos, he developed an intricate code--a roadmap of symbols--that he tattooed onto his own body. This Skin Map has since been lost in time. Now the race is on to recover all the pieces and discover its secrets.
But the Skin Map itself is not the ultimate goal. It is merely the beginning of a vast and marvelous quest for a prize beyond imagining.
The Bright Empires series--from acclaimed author Stephen Lawhead--is a unique blending of epic treasure hunt, ancient history, alternate realities, cutting-edge physics, philosophy, and mystery. The result is a page-turning, fantastical adventure like no other.

The Lucifer Code by Charles Brokaw
The Lucifer Code
Charles Brokaw
Publisher: Forge
Release Date: August 31


A sacred brotherhood has sworn, generation after generation, to protect this terrifying truth from those who would use it to unleash doomsday upon mankind.

When the unthinkable happens, and the holy scroll is uncovered, the race is on to reveal the true meaning of the cryptic language. Only one man, Dr. Thomas Lourds, the world's foremost scholar of ancient languages, who we first met in the bestselling novel The Atlantis Code, can safely decipher this most deadly scripture.

Lourds soon becomes the bait in the most lethal manhunt -- knowing he must confront the true face of evil if the world is to be saved

Blameless by Gail Carriger
Gail Carriger
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: August 31

Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London's vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires -- and they're armed with pesto.

Game of Cages (Twenty Palaces, Bk 2)
Game of Cages (Twenty Palaces, Bk 2)
Harry Connolly
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: August 31


As a wealthy few gather to bid on a predator capable of destroying all life on earth, the sorcerers of the Twenty Palace Society mobilize to stop them. Caught up in the scramble is Ray Lilly, the lowest of the low in the society—an ex–car thief and the expendable assistant of a powerful sorcerer. Ray possesses exactly one spell to his name, along with a strong left hook. But when he arrives in the small town in the North Cascades where the bidding is to take place, the predator has escaped and the society’s most powerful enemies are desperate to recapture it. All Ray has to do is survive until help arrives. But it may already be too late.

Sacrifice by Dakota Banks
Sacrifice (Mortal Path, Bk 2)
Dakota Banks
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Eos
Release Date: August 31

A demon's enslaved executioner—a ravager of lives and souls—Maliha Crayne has been reborn, willing to sacrifice her immortality for a chance at freedom . . . and salvation. Now she has an opportunity to prevent the death of thousands—perhaps tens of thousands—to make up for the countless lives she has obliterated over the centuries. To do so, she must locate and destroy an evil cabal of madmen in possession of a weapon of unspeakable power—and survive the immortal assassins who are now after her blood. But it means reverting to the old ways and surrendering once more to the darkness. And if Maliha dies before the mission is accomplished, the hell she once knew will seem like a picnic compared to the eternal torments awaiting her.

The Clockwork Angel
The Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Bk 1)
Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: August 31

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
Alexandra Adornetto
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: August 31

Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. But she is the most human, and when she is romantically drawn to a mortal boy, the angels fear she will not be strong enough to save anyone—especially herself—from the Dark Forces.
Is love a great enough power against evil?

Mysterium Robert Wilson
Robert Charles Wilson
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Orb Books
Release Date: August 31 (Reprint).

In a top-secret government installation near the small town of Two Rivers, Michigan, scientists are investigating a mysterious object discovered several years earlier. Late one evening, the local residents observe strange lights coming from the laboratory. The next morning, they awake to find that their town was literally cut off from the rest of the world...and thrust into a new one!

Soon the town is discovered by the bewildered leaders of this new world--at which point, the people of Two Rivers realize that they’ve arrived in a rigid theocracy. The authorities, known as the Bureau de la Covenance Religieuse, have ordered Linneth Stone, a young ethnologist, to analyze the arrivals and report her findings to the Lieutenant in charge.

What Linneth finds will challenge the philosophical basis of her society and lead inexorably to a struggle for power centering on the mysterious object that Two Rivers’s government scientists were studying when the town slipped between worlds.

Dark Peril by Christine Feehan
Dark Peril
Christine Feehan
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: August 31

Dominic of the Dragonseeker Carpathians is on a desperate mission, in the very heart of enemy territory. Solange Sangria is one of the last of the jaguar people. She has long been fighting to save women who are able to shift from the hands of the man who slaughtered her family and everyone she loved-her own father. They are two warriors who have lived their lives alone. Now, a the end of their time, they find each other, a complication neither saw coming.

The Darkest Edge of Dawn
The Darkest Edge of Dawn (Charlie Madigan. Bk 2)
Kelly Gay
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket
Release Date: August 31

It takes a strong woman to keep the peace in a city of endless night. . . .
Deep beneath Underground, a cunning bid for power and revenge has begun—one that threatens to make Atlanta the new battleground in the ultimate confrontation between good and evil. The powers of hellish Charbydon have the upper hand after plunging the city into primordial night. And under the cover of darkness, a serial killer targets the most powerful Elysians in the city, the angelic Adonai. For Detective Charlie Madigan and her siren partner Hank, tracking deadly predators is all in a day’s work . . . but this case will test the limits of their strength and friendship as it draws them into a deadly world of power plays, ancient myths, explosive secrets, and a race against time that risks all that Charlie holds dear.

Radiance by Alyson Noel
Alyson Noel
Genre: YA
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: August 31

Riley Bloom died, aged twelve, in a car crash with her parents and her beloved dog Buttercup. Her sister Ever survived - but that's another story. Riley must let go of Ever and all the things that tied her to life and discover what she's meant to be in the afterlife. Riley is a soul catcher. That means helping the unhappy lost souls who stick around in the human realm to move on - and find their own place, over the bridge, in the great hereafter. With her spirit guide, Bodhi, and Buttercup by her side, Riley embarks on an adventure that will take her around the world - sending ghosts back where they belong, until she can finally make it there herself

Born to Bite
Born to Bite
Lynsay Sands
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: August 31

Legend has it that Armand Argeneau is a killer in the bedroom . . .
But with all three of his late wives meeting unfortunate and untimely ends, is this sexy immortal a lover or a murderer? That's what Eshe d'Aureus intends to find out. As an enforcer, it's her job to bring rogue vampires to justice, even if the rogue in question makes her blood race red hot.
Armand knew she was trouble the moment Eshe roared into town on her motorcycle, clad in tight black leather. She claims she's hiding from dangerous fiends, though he suspects something more. But after three wives who've all had trouble remaining, well, undead, Armand is reluctant to open his heart again. Then strange accidents start to happen, each deadlier than the last, and Armand realizes he may not have much time to prove he's a lover, not a slayer.

Unraveled by Gena Showalter
Gena Showalter
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: August 31

Since coming to Crossroads, Oklahoma, former outcast Aden Stone has been living the good life. Never mind that one of his best friends is a werewolf, his girlfriend is a vampire princess who hungers for his blood, and he's supposed to be crowned Vampire King—while still a human! Well, kind of.
With four—oops, three now—human souls living inside his head, Aden has always been "different" himself. These souls can time-travel, raise the dead, possess another's mind and, his least favorite these days, tell the future.
The forecast for Aden? A knife through the heart.
Because a war is brewing between the creatures of the dark, and Aden is somehow at the center of it all. But he isn't about to lie down and accept his destiny without a fight. Not when his new friends have his back, not when Victoria has risked her own future to be with him, and not when he has a reason to live for the first time in his life….

Chosen (Anna Strong, Bk 6)
Jeanne Stein
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: August 31

Anna Strong's primitive vampire instincts are getting harder to control. And a new enemy wants to take advantage of that fact, for Anna has been chosen to shape the destiny of all vampires-and all humans.

The Haunted (The Hollow, Bk 2)
Jessica Verday
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: August 31

After a summer spent reclaiming her sanity and trying to forget the boy she fell in love with--the boy who must not exist, cannot exist, because she knows that he is dead--Abbey returns to Sleepy Hollow, ready to leave the ghosts of her past behind. She throws herself into her schoolwork, her perfume-making, and her friendship with Ben, her cute and funny lab partner, who just might be her ticket to getting over Caspian once and for all.
But Abbey can never get over Caspian, and Caspian has no choice but to return to her side, for Caspian is a Shade, and Abbey is his destiny. They are tied not only to each other, but also to the town of Sleepy Hollow, and to the famous legend that binds their fates--a legend whose dark truths they are only beginning to guess....

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Kelly Creagh
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Atheneum
Release Date: August 31

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.
Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
His life depends on it.

By The Mountain Bound
Elizabeth Bear
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: August 31

For five hundred years the immortal Children of the Light, einherjar and valkyrie, have lived together in the North of Valdyrgard. They were born out of the Sea, each with a shining crystal sword in his or her hand; they are Angels of Light created in the formation of a new world. But three have come before them, from the death-throes of the old world, Midgard: the world-girdling Serpent, Bearer of Burdens; the Wolf Fenris, eater of the Sun, who now takes the form of an einherjar; and his demon sister, stealer of souls.

The Children spend their days feasting, fighting, hunting, and guarding their human charges. But one dreadful day a woman is washed up from the sea, a Lady who is no mortal, though she is not valkyrie either. Thus begins the breaking of the Children of the Light, the tarnishing of their power, and the death of Valdyrgard.

By the Mountain Bound is a prequel to Elizabeth Bear’s highly acclaimed All the Windwracked Stars, and tells the painful tale of love and betrayal, sorcery and battle, that led up to the day when Muire was left alone in the snow at the end of the world.

R. Scott Bakker
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: August 31

It all begins and ends with The Argument: Free will is an illusion. The soul? Merely neurons firing.

Someone is determined to prove the truth of The Argument, no matter who has to die.

Psychology professor Tom Bible is surprised to find the FBI on his doorstep, asking for help analyzing the prime suspect in a series of gruesome murders. That’s not what Tom does—he’s just a teacher, not a profiler. But in this case, the FBI feels Tom has special knowledge.

The suspect is his best friend Neil Cassidy.

Using the neuroscience he developed at the NSA, Neil can control the human brain. With just the flip of a switch, he can manipulate pain, pleasure, faith, morality....even love. He taunts the FBI with videos, forcing them to watch as his victims destroy themselves at the direction of their captor. He leaves no clues and the FBI cannot predict his next victim. Only Tom Bible has insight into his mind.

Lucienne Diver
Genre: Young Adult PNR
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: September 1

Gina's Rules for Surviving Super Spy Club Training:

1. First, the dirt and sweat are just too horrible to contemplate.

2. Unless you enjoy cold showers, be the first one to the bathroom in the morning.

3. Cargo pants make you look hip-py.

4. Making out on missions, unless it's part of your cover, is totally grounds for extra

5. When going goth, you've totally got to strike words like totally, awesome, and
phat from your vocabulary.

6. Who's actually running the Super Spy Club, you ask? I could tell you, but then
I'd have to kill you.

Spy Glass
Snyder, Maria
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: September 1

After siphoning her own blood magic in the showdown at Hubal, Opal Cowan has lost her powers. She can no longer create glass magic. More, she's immune to the effects of magic. Opal is now an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference in the world.

Until spying through the glass becomes her new power. Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makes flash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that someone has st olen some of her blood—and that finding it might let her regain her powers. Or learn if they're lost forever…

Truthseeker by C.E Murphey
C.E Murphey
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: August 31

Gifted with an uncanny intuition, Lara Jansen nonetheless thinks there is nothing particularly special about her. All that changes when a handsome but mysterious man enters her quiet Boston tailor shop and reveals himself to be a prince of Faerie. What’s more, Dafydd ap Caerwyn claims that Lara is a truthseeker, a person with the rare talent of being able to tell truth from falsehood. Dafydd begs Lara to help solve his brother’s murder, of which Dafydd himself is the only suspect.

Acting against her practical nature, Lara agrees to step through a window into another world. Caught between bitterly opposed Seelie forces and Dafydd’s secrets, which are as perilous as he is irresistible, Lara finds that her abilities are increasing in unexpected and uncontrollable ways. With the fate of two worlds at stake and a malevolent entity wielding the darkest of magic, Lara and Dafydd will risk everything on a love that may be their salvation—or the most treacherous illusion of all.


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