Saturday, November 13, 2010

The perfect example of a life-changing book

Posted by Simcha 2:36 PM, under | 9 comments

Last month I had done a post about life-changing books and what it really means for a book to be life changing. And so, when I read this letter, which Neil Gaiman had posted on his blog, I just had to share it as a perfect example of a real life-changing book.

A woman wrote to Gaiman telling him how her son, who has a has a visual processing disorder, taught himself to read with Coraline. He figured out how to translate the words in the book to auditory sounds that he could remember, and was then able to read in a way that made sense to him.

Over the years, this has given him the confidence to overcome a number of hurdles. He simply thinks back to teaching himself to read, after several adults had told him he never would, and he is reminded of how remembering you reading aloud gave him the idea to 'translate' written words into sounds... and he thinks outside the box to figure out a way around whatever he's having trouble with.

As I said, he's 12 now, and reading "Grey's Anatomy", the medical school textbook, for fun! He has decided to be a trauma surgeon.

I honestly don't think his life would have turned out this way if we hadn't taken him to your book reading.

So, thank you again for writing, for reading, and for changing my child's life.

Now that is the perfect example of a life-changing book.

You can read the full letter to Gaiman here

Thursday, November 11, 2010

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

Posted by Simcha 6:57 PM, under | 5 comments

I've heard really good things about Naomi Novik's Temeraire series and have been curious to try the books myself. An alternate history novel with dragons sounded interesting though the strong military themes didn't excite me quite as much, leaving me doubtful if these books would appeal to me. But when my father-in-law presented me with a box of books that included the first three novels in the Temeraire series, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to finally read them.

To Will Laurence the navy is his life and he has worked hard to earn his captaincy on the HMS Reliant. But when a dragon egg is captured in a battle against a French ship, Laurence must give up everything he has worked towards in order to take charge of the newly hatched dragon.

Laurence's life as a navy man is now over and instead he must train in the Aerial Corp as a dragon handler. The dragons are Britain's strongest defense against the French army and Laurence must now learn to fight for his country from the back of a dragon.

Although Laurence would never have chosen for himself the solitary life of an aerial man, he quickly develops a close relationship with his dragon, Temeraire. As Tameraire grows and matures Laurence also grows into his new role as an aviator, and the two will soon get the chance to defend Britain against Bonaparte's invasion.

His Majesty's Dragon was an enjoyable book to read even though it was largely military, as I had suspected. Novik introduces some interesting ideas with her dragons and makes it all seem pretty credible, especially in the midst of her vivid battle scenes. In Novik's world dragons are used in place of aircrafts and are able to lift hundreds of soldiers in the air, ferrying them quickly from one destination to another.

While I found His Majesty's Dragon entertaining enough I will say that it's not the kind of book I would normally choose to read. I would have liked to read more about the characters' interactions with each other, and watch relationships between them develop, than read about combat training and battle plans. I also didn't really warm up to the story's protagonist, Laurence, who was too stiff and humorless for my taste. In addition, I found it strange the way Laurence so easily accepted the idea of giving up everything, including a family life, for his dragon, with so little regret. His relationship with his dragon, Temeraire, also struck me as a little odd. And the way Laurence kept calling Temeraire "my dear," creeped me out just a bit.

While reading the book I actually kept thinking that the story would be so much more interesting if told from the point of view of one of the female aviators. There was one character in particular who seemed like she would have an interesting story to tell, especially since the position of a female aviator was so out of the ordinary, and I do wonder why Novik had chosen to go with Laurence instead.

There was one other thing that didn't quite sit right with me, although it's probably ridiculous, but I just couldn't used to the idea of dragons that speak just like humans. I have no problems with telepathic communications between dragons and humans, which actually seems more appropriate to me, but a dragon hatching right out of the egg and initiating an intelligent conversation just bugged me. I know, this probably makes no sense because if you are going to envision a dragon why not envision a talking one, but I just think it seems unnatural.

His Majesty's Dragon serves up pretty much what it promises on the back cover. There are dragons and aerial battles and the occasional heated interaction between characters. If this appeals to you than you will likely enjoy the book. As for me, I found it entertaining and easy to read but I don't feel particularly driven to read the sequel, even though I already it on my shelf. As I said, it's just not my kind of book. But I am glad that I finally read it and was able to satisfy my curiosity about it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Things I Love as Much As Books...

Posted by Simcha 5:13 AM, under | 5 comments

Things I Love as Much As Books

Books are awesome and I totally love them. In fact, I spend hours each week reading them and then writing about them. But I decided it would be fun to dedicate one post each week to talking about some of the other things in my life that I love just as much as books, and this week I'm going to talk about...


OK, I know, who doesn't love presents? But I'm excited to have just signed up for the annual blogger gift swap and so I have presents on my mind. I had a lot of fun participating in the gift swap last year and have been looking forward to doing it again. Last year I received four fantastic books from my wishlist from the lovely blogger at Raging Bibliomania, along with a beautiful card. I also really enjoyed putting together a package for the blogger whose name I was given, which included some cute Israeli knickknacks and a couple of books that I personally enjoyed reading.

I don't receive presents very often, now that I'm and adult (yeah, being an adult can be kind of a drag), and so it was exciting knowing that I had a present coming to me from a mysterious stranger...(OK, not so mysterious since she told me who she was, but still a stranger).

While there are several different gift swaps going on, the one I participate in is The Book Blogger Holiday Swap which I like because it's not limited to just books, as some of the other ones are, and therefore the gift is not as predictable. I also wasn't comfortable signing up for anything with the word "Santa" in it because it felt a bit treacherous to my Jewish roots. Holiday Swap, on the other hand, sounds nice and neutral and can encompass all holidays.

So if you have a blog (and it's never too late to start one) and like presents, I highly suggest that you join up as well. Maybe I'll even get your name, which would be so awesome for you (because Israeli knickknacks are the BEST)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cold Magic by Kate Elliott

Posted by Simcha 5:49 AM, under | 6 comments

It's magic versus science in Kate Elliot's newest fantasy novel, Cold Magic.

In an alternate 19th century Europe, the Industrial Revolution has begun and its development is encouraged by the local British Princes. But the Cold Mages, whose powerful magic keeps the populace under their control, are determined to put a halt to the scientific advances, claiming they are a danger to the country. A rebellious atmosphere has begun to stir the citizens who resent the rulership of both the Cold Mages and the Princes and begin to demand the right to govern themselves.

Nineteen-year old Catherine Hassi Barahal, or Cat, has been living in the home of her aunt and uncle ever since the tragic death of her parents, when she was a young child. Cat feels secure in the affection of her extended family, and is as close to her cousin Beatrice as if they were twins. Still, Cat longs to know more about her own parents whom, for some reason, her aunt and uncle refuse to speak about. All that Cat knows about them is what she has learned from the famous journals that her father had written during his travels.

One evening, as Cat and Beatrice prepare to attend the viewing of a recently landed airship, a Cold Mage arrives at the house unannounced and demands to be given the oldest Hassi Barahal daughter. To Cat's confusion and dismay, she is handed over to the arrogant man who, her aunt informs her, is now her husband. In exchange, the Cold Mage gives Cat's uncle a document, which he immediately burns, and Cat is rushed out of the house and into a waiting carriage.

As Cat travels alongside the stranger who is now her husband, to the palace of the Cold Mages, the truth about herself and her family is slowly revealed. And when Cat's eyes are open to the complete truth, she realizes the extent of the danger that she is now in, and she must find a way to save both herself and her cousin from the hands of the ruthless Cold Mages.

I've been reading Kate Elliot's fantasy books since I was teenager and I find it interesting that each of her series that I've read so far are written in a completely different style. While Crown of Stars is a very intense and heart-pounding series of books, the Crossroad series is told in a more distant manner with a wider view of events. Unlike those two series (and haven't yet read the Jaren one) Cold Magic is told in a first person narrative that felt very personal and had me easily connecting to the main character, Cat. And while certainly exciting, Cold Magic was far less intense than Crown of Stars which made it a lot easier for me to read. I really like the fact that Elliott is willing to try different story-telling styles and so each series feels completely different and unique, even to her regular readers.

I loved reading Cold Magic. Cat's voice quickly drew me into the story and I was easily kept captive by the story, the creative world building and, most particularly, by the wonderful characters. It was really the characters that made me wish the book would never end and for days after I finished Cold Magic I would eagerly reach for the book only to remember, with regret, that I had already finished it.

Cat is my favorite kind of heroine, strong, intelligent and brave. Her cousin, Beatrice,is similarly strong and intelligent though she often hides these traits behind superficial prattle and flirtatious behavior. The Cold Mage, Andevai, is a character whose true personality is slowly revealed throughout the course of the book. While he begins as a villain, he eventually does win readers over to his side. Elliott's method of making Andevai likable is not particularly original, though it works, and I kept rooting for some real romance between him and Cat. Another one of my favorite characters doesn't make an appearance until half-way through the book, so I won't say too much about him, but he was a wonderful addition to the story and I loved the way his relationship with Cat develops.

I was also interested to see that there were a number of Jewish elements incorporated into Cold Magic, such as the description of Cat's immersion in a pool of water, similar to what takes place at a Jewish mikve. And Cat's family, the Hassi Barahal, are Pheonicians who refer to themselves by the Hebrew term, Kena'ani. While I know that Kate Elliott is Jewish I've never noticed any of her other books making Jewish references and enjoyed seeing them here.

While I very much enjoyed Cold Magic I can't say that the book was without its faults. Some of the writing was not up to the standards that I have come to expect from a seasoned writer such as Elliott and left me a little disappointed. The dialogue between Cat and Andevai was not very impressive, especially when Cat keeps repeating the same complaints to Andevai about his treatment of her. I just wish the dialogue had sounded wittier and less nagging. Also, Cat's eyes were constantly filling up with tears, which started to annoy me after a while. While her circumstances would certainly permit Cat a good cry or two, I don't need to hear about her eyes filling up with tears because she is hungry, or because she is finally eating, or because she is cold, tired or scared. Cat's eyes were tearing-up so often that it was starting to distracting me from the story.

But what bothered me the most was the very last line of the book which I think is meant to sound mysterious and full of meaning but is really just a statement that doesn't reveal anything we don't already know. I actually read it a few times just to see if I had somehow missed something, but I don't think I had. While I really had no complaints about the ending itself, the last line was just very anti-climatic and I think Elliott could have come up with something a lot more impressive.

While I admit that Cold Magic did have some flaws they were all relatively minor ones and didn't effect my overall pleasure in the book.
In fact, while I don't usually reread books I'm now tempted to sneak into the pages of Cold Magic again because I had enjoyed it so much and don't want to wait for the next book before revisiting Cat, Bee, and the rest of the characters. I highly recommend Cold Magic to all fantasy readers, but especially to those who enjoy stories of alternate history and strong female characters.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Scifi & Fantasy Releases: Week of November 7

Posted by Simcha 3:29 PM, under | 3 comments

Somehow I seem to have missed out on the fact the Jasper Fforde released a new book last week, The Last Dragonslayer, and so I've added it to this week's listing. This is Fforde's first young adult novel and I look forward to seeing how his unique writing style will extend to this genre.

Hope you have a great reading week!


The Last Dragonslayer
Jasper Fforde
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: Nov 4

In the good old days, magic was powerful, unregulated by government, and even the largest spell could be woven without filling in magic release form B1-7g.

Then the magic started fading away.

Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for soothsayers and sorcerers. But work is drying up. Drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and even magic carpets are reduced to pizza delivery.

So it’s a surprise when the visions start. Not only do they predict the death of the Last Dragon at the hands of a dragonslayer, they also point to Jennifer, and say something is coming.

Big Magic . . .

Bitten in Two
Jennifer Rardin
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: Nov 8

Jaz Parks here. I. Am. Pissed. Just as Vayl and I arrive in Morocco to secure an ancient artifact, he wakes up calling me by another woman’s name. And it’s not even a good one. But since any form of argument transforms him into an unholy terror, I’m forced to play along until the gang and I can figure out what kind of power has so vastly altered his perceptions.
So it’s time for me to do what any well-trained assassin in my position might do. I attack. What follows is a hair-raising, breath-taking bullet train ride to the finish as the crew battles on multiple fronts. I now know what I have to do – I must return to hell one last time.

Doctor Who: Coming of the Terraphiles
by Michael Moorcock
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: B B C Worldwide Americas
Release Date: Nov 9

Miggea - a world on the very edge of reality. The cusp between this universe and the next. A point where space-time has worn thin, and is in danger of collapsing. And the venue for the grand finals of the competition to win the fabled Arrow of Law. The Doctor and Amy have joined the Terraphiles - a group obsessed with all aspects of Earth's history, and dedicated to re-enacting ancient sporting events. They are determined to win the Arrow. But just getting to Miggea proves tricky. Reality is collapsing, ships are disappearing, and Captain Cornelius and his pirates are looking for easy pickings. Even when they arrive, the Doctor and Amy's troubles won't be over. They have to find out who is so desperate to get the Arrow of Law that they will kill for it. And uncover the traitor on their own team. And win the contest fair and square. And, of course, they need to save the universe from total destruction.

Empress of Eternity
L.E Modesitt Jr.
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: Nov. 9

I n the far future, an indestructible and massive canal more than 2,000 miles long spans the mid-continent of Earth. Nothing can mar it, move it, or affect it in any fashion. At its western end, where it meets the sea, is an equally indestructible structure comprising three levels of seemingly empty chambers.

Scientists from three different civilizations, separated in time by hundreds of thousands of years, are investigating the canal. In the most distant of these civilizations, religious rebellion is brewing. A plot is hatched to overthrow the world government of the Vanir, using a weapon that can destroy anything-except the canal. If used at full power it might literally unravel the universe and destroy all life forever. The lives and fates of all three civilizations become intertwined as the forces behind the canal react to the threat, and all three teams of scientists find their lives changed beyond belief.

Full Dark, No Stars
Stephen King
Genre: Horror/Short Story Anthology
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: Nov 9

A new collection of four never-before-published stories from Stephen King.

"I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger . . ." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922," the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.

In "Big Driver," a cozy-mystery writer named Tess encounters the stranger along a back road in Massachusetts when she takes a shortcut home after a book-club engagement. Violated and left for dead, Tess plots a revenge that will bring her face-to-face with another stranger: the one inside herself.

"Fair Extension," the shortest of these tales, is perhaps the nastiest and certainly the funniest. Making a deal with the devil not only saves Dave Streeter from a fatal cancer but provides rich recompense for a lifetime of resentment.

When her husband of more than twenty years is away on one of his business trips, Darcy Anderson looks for batteries in the garage. Her toe knocks up against a box under a worktable and she discovers the stranger inside her husband. It’s a horrifying discovery, rendered with bristling intensity, and it definitively ends a good marriage.

Like Different Seasons and Four Past Midnight, which generated such enduring films as The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me, Full Dark, No Stars proves Stephen King a master of the long story form.

Heavy Metal Pulp: Money Shot
Christopher Rowley
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: Nov 9

Detective Rook Venner was a successful investigating officer for the Hudson Valley Police Department—until the General Sangacha murder case came across his desk and his world exploded.

Now after being dragged through hell and back, Rook is on the run with Plesur, a Pleasure Model who is the one eyewitness to the murder. Plesur carries a secret in her brain that terrifies the powers-that-be. A secret that they will do anything to destroy—even bring in a Tactical Robotic Regiment to track Rook and Plesur down and annihilate them.

The only choice the two have is to locate the coordinates that were planted in the pleasure mod’s head to the isolated mountain ridge where it all began. Deep underground, in a warren of machine halls and ice caves, something so horrific is happening that just knowing three code words is enough to get you killed: Operation Taste Imperative.

Rook and Plesur have no way back and no way out. If they want to survive and have any kind of life together, they must uncover the terrifying secret that lies deep inside the mountain.

Muse and Reverie
Charles de Lint
Genre: Urban Fantasy Anthology
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: Nov 9

From the master of contemporary urban fantasy, a new collection of “Newford” stories

The city of Newford could be any city in North America, bursting with music, commerce, art, love, hate, and, of course magic. Magic in the sidewalk cracks, myth at the foundations of its great buildings, enchantment in the spaces between its people.

In novels like Moonheart, Forests of the Heart, The Onion Girl, and The Mystery of Grace, and in a series of story collections, urban fantasy master Charles de Lint has explored that magic and those spaces, bringing to life a tapestry of people from all walks of life, each looking for a spark of the miraculous to shape their lives and transform their fate.

Here, in the fifth of the story collections, we reencounter old friends such as Jilly, Sophie, and the Crow Girls. We breathe in intimations of the world beyond death, and of magic beyond time. Longtime readers and newcomers alike will find themselves under Charles de Lint’s unique spell.

Phantom Prospect
by Alex Archer
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: Nov. 9

Intrepid treasure hunters believe they have discovered the final resting place of Fantome, a legendary warship that wrecked off Nova Scotia almost two hundred years ago. She was rumored to have gone down with an extraordinary treasure. But circling beneath the ocean's surface waits something unbelievable… and terrifying. Some unfortunate divers have encountered a massive, thought-to-be-extinct shark known as the megalodon.

Archaeologist Annja Creed has always had a healthy respect for sharks. But when a researcher friend asks for her help, Annja braves the deep, cold waters of the Atlantic, determined to discover the truth. Instead she finds herself hunting an unknown traitor on a sabotaged ship. With death waiting both above and below the ocean's surface, Annja must battle her most dangerous enemy yet.

Pirate Sun
Karl Schroeder
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: Nov 9

This is the third novel, afterSun of Suns and Queen of Candesce, to be set in Virga, a bubble universe artificially separated from our own future universe. “Schroeder's Virga series is highly reminiscent of the Golden Age of SF, when A. E. van Vogt, Isaac Asimov, and E. E. “Doc” Smith were all mixing the pulp heritage with high adventure and innovative scientific projections to create interesting worlds, peoples, and stories.” (The Sacramento Book Review).

Chaison Fanning, the admiral of a fleet of warships introduced in the first book, has been captured and imprisoned by his enemies, but is now rescued and set free. He must flee to his home city to confront the ruler who betrayed him. Perhaps while there he will also regain his lovely, powerful, and subversive wife, Venera. He has not seen her since she fled, careening off into the air of Virga, with the key to the artificial sun, Candesce, at the center of Virga. In Pirate Sun, Schroeder sets a whole new standard for hard SF space opera.

Seed Seeker
Pamela Sargent
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: Nov 9

Several hundred years ago, Ship, a sentient starship, settled humans on the planet Home before leaving to colonize other worlds, promising to return one day. Over time, the colony on Home divided into those who live in the original domed buildings of the colony, who maintain the library and technology of Ship, and those who live by the river, farming and hunting to survive. The Dome Dwellers consider themselves the protectors of “true humanity” and the River People “contaminated,” and the two sides interact solely through ritualized trade: food and goods from the River People in exchange for repairs and recharges by the Dome Dwellers.

Then a new light appears in the night sky. The River People believe it might be Ship, keeping its promise to return, but the Dome Dwellers, who have a radio to communicate with Ship, are silent. So Bian, a seventeen-year-old girl from a small village, travels upriver to learn what they know. As she travels through the colony of Home, gaining companions and gathering news, Bian ponders why the Dome Dwellers have said nothing. Has Ship commanded them to be silent, in preparation for some judgment on the River People? Or are the Dome Dwellers lying to Ship, turning Ship against their rivals?

Whatever the answer, life is about to change radically on both sides of the divide.

The Flock
James Robert Smith
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Forge
Release Date: Nov 9

A remote Florida swamp has been targeted for theme-park development, and the swamp’s inhabitants are none too happy. It doesn’t help that the residents are a colony of intelligent, prehistoric, dinosaur-like birds. This flock of beasts has escaped the mass extinction that killed off the dinosaurs, relying on stealth, cunning, and killer instinct. The creatures have been living in secret, just outside our developed world.

As the developers push to have the recently-discovered animals exterminated, a billionaire rogue environmentalist step in to protect these rare, predatory creatures. A naïve young Fish and Wildlife officer finds himself caught in between these two incredibly powerful forces, and may find out the hard way that man is the most dangerous predator of them all . . .

The Flock is a contemporary eco-thriller about what can happen when man violates nature, and when nature fights back.

The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror: 21
Stephen Jones
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Running Press
Release Date: Nov 9

This is the world’s premier annual showcase of horror and dark fantasy fiction, representing the most outstanding new short stories and novellas. It remains the world’s leading anthology dedicated solely to presenting the best in contemporary horror fiction.

The Marbury Lens
Andrew Smith
Genre: YA
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: Nov 9

Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.

There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.

Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.

Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.

But it’s not.

Andrew Smith has written his most beautiful and personal novel yet, as he explores the nightmarish outer limits of what trauma can do to our bodies and our minds.

The Morning Star
Andre Schwarze-Bart
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Overlook Press
Release Date: Nov 11

This story begins in the aftermath of a nuclear war that has reduced our world to ashes. Luckily, a few found their way to the stars and into immortality. In the year 3000, nostalgic for the past, they return to earth in an effort to reconstruct the loves of the people who lived there.
The Morning Star flows between the poetic, the fantastic and the realistic as it weaves the tale of the Jewish people from Abraham to the Holocaust and into the future.

The Painted Boy
Charles de Lint
Genre: YA
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Release Date: Nov 11

Jay Li should be in Chicago, finishing high school and working at his family's restaurant. Instead, as a born member of the Yellow Dragon Clan—part human, part dragon, like his grandmother—he is on a quest even he does not understand. His journey takes him to Santo del Vado Viejo in the Arizona desert, a town overrun by gangs, haunted by members of other animal clans, perfumed by delicious food, and set to the beat of Malo Malo, a barrio rock band whose female lead guitarist captures Jay's heart. He must face a series of dangerous, otherworldly—and very human—challenges to become the man, and dragon, he is meant to be. This is Charles de Lint at his best!

Trio of Sorcery
Mercedes Lackey
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: Nov 9

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mercedes Lackey presents three exciting short urban fantasy novels featuring three resourceful heroines and three different takes on the modern world and on magics both modern and ancient.

Arcanum 101: Diana Tregarde, practicing witch, romance novelist, Guardian of the Earth. Studying at Harvard, Diana is approached by Joe O’Brian, a young cop who has already seen more than one unusual thing during his budding career. The distraught mother of a kidnap victim is taking advice from a “psychic” and interfering in the police investigation. Will Diana prove that the psychic is a fake? Unfortunately, the psychic is not a fake, but a very wicked witch—and the child’s kidnapper.

Drums: Jennifer Talldeer, shaman, private investigator, member of the Osage tribe. Most of Jennie’s work is regular PI stuff, but Nathan Begay brings her a problem she’s never seen before. His girlfriend, Caroline, is Chickasaw to his Navaho, but that’s not the problem. Somehow, Caroline has attracted the attention of an angry Osage ghost. Thwarted in love while alive, the ghost has chosen Caroline to be his bride in death.

Ghost in the Machine: Ellen McBridge: computer programmer extraordinaire, techno-shaman. The programmers and players of a new MMORPG find that the game’s “boss,” a wendigo, is “killing” everyone—even the programmers’ characters with their god-like powers. A brilliant debugger, Ellen discoveres that the massive computing power of the game’s servers have created a breach between the supernatural world and our own. This wendigo isn’t a bit of code, it’s the real thing . . . and it’s on the brink of breaking out of the computers and into the real world.

Wicked City: The Scarlet Clan (Wicked City, Bk 3)
Hideyuki Kikuchi
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: Nov 9

The child conceived by the mortal Taki and the demoness Makie, fellow Black Guard agents whose job it is to preserve the peace between human and demonkind, is about to be born. Many see the upcoming birth as a sign of hope that the child will bring together the demon and human worlds in a new era of lasting peace. For the Shu family, however, which thrives on chaos and destruction, this is the last thing they desire. The infamous demon mob, silent for thousands of years, will stop at nothing to prevent this child from entering the world. With magic snake handlers and fire-spitting demons at their beck and call, the Shus throw everything they have at Taki and the Black Guard in order to stop an event that has been predicted for centuries.

The Wolf Age
James Enge
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Pyr
Release Date: Nov 9

"Spear-age, sword-age:
shields are shattered.
Wind-age, wolf-age:
before the world founders
no man will show mercy to another."

Wuruyaaria: city of werewolves, whose raiders range over the dying northlands, capturing human beings for slaves or meat. Wuruyaaria: where a lone immortal maker wages a secret war against the Strange Gods of the Coranians. Wuruyaaria: a democracy where some are more equal than others, and a faction of outcast werewolves is determined to change the balance of power in a long, bloody election year.
Their plans are laid; the challenges known; the risks accepted. But all schemes will shatter in the clash between two threats few had foreseen and none had fully understood: a monster from the north on a mission to poison the world, and a stranger from the south named Morlock Ambrosius.


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