Friday, October 7, 2011

Flip by Martyn Bedford

Posted by Simcha 4:08 AM, under | 7 comments

One December night, 14-year-old Alex goes to  bed. He wakes up to  find himself in the wrong bedroom, in an unfamiliar house, in a different part of the country, and it's the middle of June. Six months have disappeared overnight. The family at the breakfast table are total strangers.
And when he looks in the mirror, another boy's face stares back at him.  A boy named Flip. Unless Alex finds out what's happened and how to get back to his own life,  he may be trapped forever inside a body that belongs to someone else. 
Questions of identity, the will to survive, and what you're willing to sacrifice to be alive make this extraordinary book impossible to put down.

Before you read this book let me just warn you that this not a book to start on before you go to sleep.

1.You will end up reading late into the night and then wake up grumpy and tired (and possibly late) in the morning, snapping at everyone around you.

2.When you do go to sleep you will have crazy dreams about having your body being switched with someone else.

I know, because this is what happened to me.

But you can avoid this by starting the book early in the day, which will give you plenty of time to finish it and get all the crazy thoughts and speculations out of your system (like, if you did switch bodies, who would you want to switch with? And if you've never wondered this before, now you will).

Given my warnings you can probably tell that this is a book that I very much enjoyed reading, and had a hard time putting down. It's one of those books that I just had to know how it ended after reading only the first paragraph, and I just couldn't bare to stop reading until I found out . And since I'm not one to spoil a book for myself by skipping to the end, I just had to sit down and read through it all (which lead to the aforementioned late bedtime and crazy dreams).


Alex is a compelling character who readers will easily sympathize with. Finding himself among strangers who think he is someone else, Alex is naturally scared and confused and wants only to return home. But his efforts to make that happen only make the situation worse and lead Alex to fear that there may be no going back. At the same time, Alex can't help but enjoy the experience of being someone so different from his usual self; someone confident, popular and good looking. As Philip, he has gorgeous girls throwing themselves at him and guys vying to be his friend.

Despite the grave situation that Alex finds himself in there are some humerous moments, such as his reluctance to “handle” the unfamiliar body he is in, which makes showering and going to the bathroom somewhat difficult. And when Alex tries to take advantage of having beautiful girls wanting him, his inexperience at kissing makes for an awkward situation.

I also enjoyed getting to know the secondary characters, such as Philip's sister who Alex finds himself liking, despite her obvious disdain for her brother, and Alex's new friend Rob, who is in a similar situation as Alex and does his best to help him acclimate.There is also a girl at school who Alex really wants to get to know, but since the real Flip would never have given her the time of day, she only responds with suspicion.

The only small disappointment for me was that we don't get to find out anything about what Philip went through, which is something I had been hoping for. While I was satisfied with the way the story played out I would have liked it to have gone on just a bit further in some ways.

Overall Flip was a very enjoyable young adult novel that makes for a quick but satisfying read.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Interesting SFF Book News

Posted by Simcha 4:47 AM, under | 7 comments

Noteworthy news from the SFF publishing world...

New Series from Gail Carriger



Gail Carriger has announced that she will be coming out with a new steampunk series which will take place in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate. The first book will be titled Prudence and the second Imprudence. From the description below it sounds like the protagonist will be the daughter of Alexia and Lord Maccon.

    My intention with the Parasol Protectorate Abroad books is to explore the wider ramifications of my Steampunk British Empire, not just how technology has altered but how vampires and werewolves have evolved differently in other parts of the world. I'm not going to tell you too much, as Timeless will give you some set up for this series. But sufficient to say, that the Prudence currently in my head has much of her mother's go-get-em attitude mixed with a bit of her father's temper and a certain love of fashion the result of a particularly colorful upbringing. She and her crack dirigible team lark about performing Leverage-like infiltration and rescue missions at the behest of (but if asked they will deny everything) Queen Victorian and her shadow council. It is going to be so very fun!
With the Parasol Protectorate series coming to a close, after just one more book, I was really happy to hear that this won't be the last that we'll be seeing of the book's characters. Though, unfortunately, it sounds like we might have to wait until 2014 to get our hands on this new series. But in the meantime Carriger will be releasing a YA novel that sounds like it will be quite a bit of fun and I am certainly looking forward to reading it.

You can find more information about Gail Carriger's books at her blog.

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New Brandon Sanderson Novella



Somehow, in between finshing up Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Series and working on the sequel to The Way of Kings and releasing a new book in the Mistborn series, Sanderson has found the time to whip up a novella (I hear that he actually writes while sleeping).

Infinity Blade: Awakening is based on an iphone/ipad game Infinity Blade and is available for purchase at all major ebook retailer.
On his blog Sanderson talks a little about the novella and why he decided to write it.

    I've often said that interesting limitations make for interesting magic systems in books. Well, I've also found that interesting limitations in writing can force me to grow and stretch in different ways as a writer. I took on the project partially because the guys I was working with were so much fun, but also because—as a gamer—I've always had a bit of an itch to be involved in video games in one way or another. (I've always envied Orson Scott Card, for example, who worked on the original MONKEY ISLAND, one of the great games of all time.) This story was just plain FUN to write. I had a blast with it, and it turned out quite well. I got to play with the idea of blending entertainment media—the story is for sale in-game, and together with the game, blends storytelling with gameplay. I think our world is going to change in interesting ways as books, video games, and cinema meld together.

I am not familiar with this game and would normally have no interest in reading a story based on a game, but this is Brandon Sanderson, and I'll take anything he has to offer.

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Free short story from Michael J. Sullivan


Thanks to Melissa of My World in Words and Pages for bringing this to my attention.

Michael Sullivan, the author of The Riyria Chronicles just a released a short story that takes place in the same world and recounts how the protagonists of the series, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwate, first met.

    Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team. In this standalone first installment of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his naive partner a lesson about good deeds. Join Royce and Hadrian in this short story (5,400 words) about one of their earliest adventures..


I've only read the first book in the series so far, The Crown Conspiracy, but I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading the rest of the series, and I definitely intend to read this story as well. For those who have not yet read Sullivan's books this short story could be a good way to give his writing a try.

The Viscount and the Witch is available for purchase online though it's also available for free download through Sullivan's website.

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Blake Charlton on Tour
Blake Charlton recently completed a book tour to help promote the release of this new fantasy novel, Spellbound, the sequel to Spellwright. On his blog Charlton posted a video of a reading that he did in Seattle, which I just watched and very much enjoyed. In addition to talking about the book and reading from it a little Charlton also discussed how some of his experiences as a medical student shaped the book and its characters. He also spoke a bit about how his difficulty with words, due to dyslexia, led him to create a villain who inflicts the book's characters with a similar sense of confusion

It was a really interesting talk and if you have a bit of free time I would recommend that you check it out, even if you haven't yet read any of Charlton's books.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto

Posted by Simcha 6:26 PM, under | 7 comments


I don't think I've ever felt as anxious to to reach the end of a book as I did while reading Before Ever After. Almost from the very beginning I could tell that my enjoyment of the story as a whole would end up depending on how it was concluded.

After three years of mourning for her deceased husband Shelley is finally ready to accept her loss and live again, and that's when she receives the shock of her life. A young man, looking remarkably like her husband, shows up at her door claiming the impossible. Not only is Max still alive, but Shelley's youthful looking husband is this man's grandfather, which he manages to prove with a series of family photographs. Paolo had thought his grandfather had died many years ago only to discover that he was somehow still among the living, and the proprietor of a small cafe in the Philippines.

Not knowing what to believe, Shelley agrees to travel with Paolo to this cafe in order to confront the man that he claims is her dead husband. During the long flight Shelley relates to Paolo how she came to know Max while participating in one of his unconventional tour groups across Europe. She also recounts for him the various stories that Max had shared with the group about the tumultuous history of a particular family. While telling these stories Shelley comes to understand Max's own connection with the family and the possibility that the impossible may be true.

Two chapters into the book and I knew how I wanted it to end. We are introduced to Shelley right before she finds out about her husband's death in a bombing and then we see her again, three years later, still buckling under the pain of that grief. After Paolo appears at Shelley's door, claiming that her husband was still alive, I proceeded to rush through the book in the hope of an ending that would provide a satisfying explanation for Max's absence and a romantic reunion, to make up for the pain and loss that Shelley had suffered. As I read through the stories that Shelly recounts to Paolo, I came to know Max, and fall-in love with his rakish but lovable personality, much as Shelley did five years ago. 

After Shelley concludes each of the stories that she remembers from the tour, from that of a 17 year old girl executed in the 1871 siege of Paris, to that of a family torn apart by a volcano eruption in 79 A.D, her and Paolo sift through the details in order to understand how Max was involved in each event. And as the flight nearers its end Shelley's fear of what she will find at the end begins to escalate. If it is indeed her husband running that cafe in the Philippines, how would she face the pain of his abandonment? And if it's not actually Max, then Shelley would be mourning the loss of her husband all over again.

Much as Shelley's anxiety increased as her plane began its landing so did my worry increase about the upcoming ending. I had come to care for Max and had been caught up in the stories of his complex and painful past, but if the book did not provide the answers that I had been anticipating than I was going to be sorely disappointed.


Leaving aside the issue of the ending for now, I'll tell you a bit about my reaction to other aspects of the book. The writing was somewhat inconsistent in that sometimes it was wonderfully evocitive and poetic and other times it was strange and confusing. The dialogue wasn't very good, and the conversations between Shelley and Paolo in particular seemed to me unnatural and overly theatrical.

Before Ever After is a story, or several stories, within a story. Shelley is describing her time in Max's tour and telling over the stories that he had told their group as they traveled across Europe, while stopping off at various locations whose history has been forgotten by everyone but him. I enjoyed both parts of the story, the tour and the historical anecdotes. Max's stories were fascinating, providing a glimpse of historical events from the perspective of a single individual in a personal manner. And each of these stories can be traced back to the teenage girl who died in 1871, whose grave the group visited at the very beginning of the tour. Pretty quickly we discover that not only are these historical characters all related to each other but they are all connected to Max as well.

Max is a remarkable character that I really came to care for and feel connected with. We get to know him in variety of guises and to see behind the confident and playful exterior to the uncertainty and vulnerability hiding behind it. As someone who keeps losing everyone that he cares about to the ravages of time, Max has begun questioning what it means to get old and what is left for him to live for. Though it's only in hindsight that Shelley realizes all of this about Max. On the other hand, Shelley was far less interesting or complex and I had trouble seeing what it was about her that Max found so compelling. We are frequently told that due to her father's death when she was a child, and her mother's reaction to being widowed, Shelley has always run from any possibility of romantic entanglements. This is brought up much too often to explain Shelley's feelings about Max, but it didn't really make me feel anything for her or understand her any better.

So, the ending. Well, I really can't tell you much about it without spoiling it but I will say that I did not find the satisfying conclusion that I was hoping for and, as I expected, this kind of spoiled the whole book for me. The explanations that I had been looking forward to receiving are never offered. Some explanations are given but not the most obvious ones. Shelley's reaction also disappointed me and the actual ending of the story is not even clear, but left open-ended so it could be viewed as either happy or tragic. I did not like this. I felt like after all the emotional buildup there should have been a clear ending. But others seem to appreciate this open-ended conclusion, so I suppose it's different for each reader. Though I can tell you that if I had jumped to the end of the book just to see how it ended, as I was sorely tempted to do several times, it wouldn't have meant very much to me, without my having gone through the whole journey first. But after giving it much thought I decided, just so I can have some peace of mind, that the book ends happily and therefore my last few hours of frenzied reading have not been for naught.


Monday, October 3, 2011

New Scifi & Fantasy Releases: Week Of October 2

Posted by Simcha 4:05 PM, under | 6 comments

Happy October everyone!

No time to chat today but I hope you enjoy this week's New Releases list and perhaps find something good here to entice you.


Have a great week!

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A Beautiful Friendship (Stephanie Harrington #1)
David Weber
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publisher: Baen
Release Date: October 4

Stephanie Harrington absolutely hates being confined inside her family’s compound on the pioneer planet of Sphinx, a frontier wilderness world populated by dangerous native animals that could easily tear a human to bits and pieces. Yet Stephanie is a young woman determined to make discoveries—and the biggest discovery of all awaits her: an intelligent alien species.
Treecats are creatures that resemble a cross between a bobcat and a lemur (but with six legs and much more deadly claws). Not only are they fully sentient, they are also telepathic, and able to bond with certain gifted humans such as the genetically-enhanced Stephanie. But Stephanie’s find, and her first-of-its-kind bond with a treecat, brings on a new torrent of danger. An assortment of highly-placed enemies with galactic-sized wealth at stake is determined to make sure that the planet of Sphinx remains entirely in human hands—even if this means the extermination of another thinking species. Stephanie and Lionheart are about to undergo the greatest test two alien species can ever face together: how to survive first contact and win a future with liberty and justice for all!
The first entry in the Star Kingdom teen series and the origin saga for the incredibly-popular, multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling Honor Harrington adult science fiction adventures. Young Stephanie Harrington is none other than the founder of a pioneering family dynasty that is destined to lead the fight for humanity’s freedom in a dangerous galaxy.

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A Touch of Crimson
Sylvia Day
Genre: Urban fantasy/ Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Signet Book
Release Date: October 4

Adrian Mitchell is a powerful angel leading an elite Special Ops unit of Seraphim. His task is to punish the Fallen-angels who have become vampires-and command a restless pack of indentured lycans. But Adrian has suffered his own punishment for becoming involved with mortals- losing the woman he loves again and again. Now, after nearly two hundred years, he has found her-Shadoe-her soul once more inhabiting a new body, with no memory of him. And this time, he won't let her go.

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A Web of Air (The Hungry City Chronicles Prequel, #2)
Philip Reeve
Genre: YA
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: October 1

Two years ago, Fever Crumb escaped the war-torn city of London in a travelling theatre. Now she arrives in the extraordinary crater city of Mayda, where buildings ascend the cliffs on funicular rails, and a mysterious recluse is building a machine that can fly. Fever is the engineer he needs - but ruthless enemies will kill to possess their secrets. This is the fabulous sixth book in the "Mortal Engines" series, from the brilliant and award-winning Philip Reeve.

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Angel Arias (Night Creatures #2)
Marianne de Pierres
Genre: YA Dystopia
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: October 3

Retra - now called Naif - has escaped from Ixion, the island of ever-night. She doesn't know if her friends on the island survived the battle between the Ripers and the rebels. But she does know that she must return home, behind the sealed walls of Grave, to find out why the Ripers have been seen there talking to the councillors. What links the two worlds?

First she must convince Ruzalia to help her. The fierce pirate captain saves those who face terrible fates on Ixion, but that doesn't guarantee their gratitude. Instead, she faces a revolt - and Naif is caught in the middle.

Naif will need all her courage to survive. For Lenoir, who wants to keep her safe, for her friends Suki and Rollo, if they live, for Markes, who has secrets of his own, and for the new friends she will make on this journey.

The fate of worlds depends on it.

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Angels of Darkness
Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook & Sharon Shinn
Genre: Urban Fantasy Anthology
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: October 4

Tales of alpha angels...from four alpha authors.
They soar through the night, unearthly creatures of legends and lore. Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance explore the rapture of the heavens above, and the darkness below in four all-new stories of angels and guardians, and good and evil. 


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Better Off Undead (The Bloodhound files, Bk 4)
D.D. Barant
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Release Date: October 4

Dark magic, unknown enemies, monsters of every stripe—FBI profiler Jace Valchek has seen it all. In this bizarre parallel universe, shape-shifting werewolves and blood-thirsty vampires don’t even warrant a raised eyebrow. That is, until Jace has to face what life might look like as one of them …
It starts off as just another run-of-the-mill assignment: to track down the rogue don of a mafia werewolf family before he upsets the delicate balance of the underworld. But Jace wasn’t counting on being bitten…and soon she’s fighting the growing wolf inside her with a startling antidote—vampirism. Stopping a bloody gangland war won’t be easy when Jace is feeling some new, and very inhuman, desires …

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Black Light
Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Release Date: October 5

Private investigator Buck Carlsbad's psychic abilities place him in high demand among those looking for quick solutions to supernatural problems. But for Buck, each case is only a link in the chain of a lifelong obsession: to locate the long departed spirits of his mother and father, killed in an unsolved murder when he was only a child.

Then Buck gets a call from a reclusive billionaire with a very strange request, and finds himself on a bullet-fast train headed straight to hell.

BLACK LIGHT is the explosive debut that combines a noir sensibility with supernatural suspense and high concept action, as Buck leads the reader through an underworld of exotic darkness and adventure.

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Changes (The Collegium Chronicles, #3)
Mercedes Lackey
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: October 4

In Mercedes Lackey's classic coming-of-age story, the orphan Magpie pursues his quest for his parent's identity with burning urgency-while also discovering another hidden talent and being trained by the King's Own Herald as an undercover agent for Valdemar. Shy Bardic Trainee Lena has to face her famous but uncaring father, one of Valdemar's most renowned Bards. And Healing Trainee Bear must struggle against his disapproving parents, who are pressuring Bear to quit the Healers' Collegium because he lacks the magical Healing Gift.

Each of the three friends must face his or her demons and find their true strength as they seek to become the full Heralds, Bards, and Healers of Valdemar.

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Chosen by Fate (Para-Ops, Bk 2)
Virna DePaul
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: October 4

Although he keeps company with a vampire and a were, human Shaman Caleb O'Flare can definitely hold his own. But neither his psychic ability nor his healing powers can help his sexy-as-hell teammate, Wraith-a ghost with no memory of her human existence, who cannot experience touch without pain. No wraith has managed to exist past its tenth year, so her time is about to run out. She wants only two things before accepting her fate: to learn her human identity, and experience one night with Caleb..

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Context
Cory Doctorow
Genre: Collection
Publisher: Tachyon
Release Date: October 1, 2011

One of the internet’s most celebrated hi-tech culture mavens returns with this second collection of essays and polemics. Discussing complex topics in an accessible manner, Cory Doctorow shares visions of a future where artists control their own destinies and where freedom of expression is tempered with the view that creators need to benefit from their own creations. From extolling the Etsy marketverse to excoriating Apple for dumbing-down technology while creating an information monopoly, each unique piece is brief, witty, and at the cutting edge of tech. Now a stay-at-home dad as well as an international activist, Doctorow writes as eloquently about creating internet real-time theater with his daughter as he does in lambasting the corporations that want to limit and profit from inherent intellectual freedoms.

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Darkfall (Healing Wars, Bk 3)
Janice Hardy
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: October 4

War has come.

Nya’s the one who brought it. And the people love her for it.

With Baseer in shambles and Geveg now an impenetrable military stronghold, Nya and the Underground have fled to a safer location—without Tali. Nya is guilt-ridden over leaving her sister behind and vows to find her, but with the rebellion in full swing and refugees flooding the Three Territories, she fears she never will.

The Duke, desperate to reclaim the throne as his own, has rallied his powerful army. And they are on the move, destroying anyone who gets in the way.

To save her sister, her family, and her people, Nya needs to stay ahead of the Duke’s army and find a way to build one of her own. Past hurts must be healed, past wrongs must be righted, and Nya must decide: Is she merely a pawn in the rebellion, a symbol of hope—or is she ready to be a hero?

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Dead Mann Walking
Stefan Petrucha
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Roc
Release Date: October 4

The good news: Hessius Mann was cleared of murdering his wife. The bad news: He had already been executed. As a newly undead private investigator, he tackles his first major case, a mysterious disappearance that quickly becomes linked to several dismembered zombies. The launch of a promising new sci-fi series.

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Down These Strange Streets
edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois
Genre: Urban Fantasy Anthology
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: October 4

All new strange cases of death and magic in the city by some of the biggest names in urban fantasy.
In this all-new collection of urban fantasy stories, editors George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois explore the places where mystery waits at the end of every alley and where the things that go bump in the night have something to fear...
Includes stories by New York Times bestselling authors Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Diana Gabaldon, Simon R. Green, S. M. Stirling, and Carrie Vaughn, as well as tales by Glen Cook, Bradley Denton, M.L.N. Hanover, Conn Iggulden, Laurie R. King, Joe R. Lansdale, John Maddox Roberts, Steven Saylor, Melinda Snodgrass, and Lisa Tuttle.

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Eve
Anna Carey
Genre: YA Dystopia
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: October 4

The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

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Firestorm
Taylor Anderson
Genre: Alternate history
Publisher: Roc
Release Date: October 4

Lieutenant Commander Matthew Reddy and the crew of the USS Walker find themselves caught between the nation they swore to defend and the allies they promised to protect. For even as the Allies and the Empire of New Britain Isles stand united against the attacks of both the savage Grik and the tenacious Japanese, the "Holy Dominion"-a warped mixture of human cultures whose lust for power overshadows even the Grik-is threatening to destroy them both with a devastating weapon neither can withstand. 

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Frail (Dust, Bk 2)
Joan Frances Turner
Genre: Horror/ Post Apocolypse
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: October 4

Being human is a disadvantage in post-apocalyptic America...

Now that the Feeding Plague has swept through human and zombie societies, it seems like everyone is an "ex" these days. Ex-human. Ex- zombie. Except for Amy, that is. She's the only human survivor from her town-a frail. And if the feral dogs, the flesh-eating exes, and the elements don't get her, she just may discover how this all began. Because in this America, life is what you make it...

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The Goblin King
Shona Husk
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: October 1

Cursed by a Druid millennia ago, Roan lives a bleak existence in the Shadowlands, desperately trying to retain his soul and not succumb to the goblin horde. When a beautiful human summons him to grant a wish, he sees a glimmer of hope. But will she ever agree to be his queen?

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Heirs of the Blade
Adrian Tchaikovsky
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: October 7 (UK)

She remembered how it felt to lose Salma, first to the wiles of the Butterfly-kinden girl, then to hear the news of his death, abandoned and alone in the midst of the enemy. She remembered how it felt to see her father hacked to death before her eyes. But of her murder of Achaeos, of the bite of her blade into his unsuspecting flesh, the wound that had sapped him and ruined him until he died, she remembered nothing, felt nothing. In such a vacuum, how could she possibly atone? Tynisa is running, but she cannot escape the demons of her own mind. Amidst the fragmenting provinces of the Dragonfly Commonweal her past will at last catch up with her. Her father's ghost is hunting her down. At the same time, the Wasp Empress, Seda, is on the move, her eyes on the city of Khanaphes, the fallen jewel of the ancient world. Whilst her soldiers seek only conquest, she sees herself as the heir to all the old powers of history, and has her eyes on a far greater prize.

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Icefall
Matthew J. Kirby
Genre: Middle Grade fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: October 1

Trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen sea, Solveig, along with her brother the crown prince, their older sister, and an army of restless warriors, anxiously awaits news of her father's victory at battle. But as winter stretches on, and the unending ice refuses to break, terrible acts of treachery soon make it clear that a traitor lurks in their midst. A malevolent air begins to seep through the fortress walls, and a smothering claustrophobia slowly turns these prisoners of winter against one another.
Those charged with protecting the king's children are all suspect, and the siblings must choose their allies wisely. But who can be trusted so far from their father's watchful eye? Can Solveig and her siblings survive the long winter months and expose the traitor before he succeeds in destroying a kingdom?

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In Charm's Way (A Bewitching Mystery #8)
Madelyn Alt
Genre: Paranormal mystery
Publisher:Berkley
Release Date: October 4

When a real corpse is discovered among the props of a Halloween haunted house, Maggie O'Neill- resident witch of Stony Mill, Indiana- must use her charms to prove her friend innocent of the crime and get to the bottom of the mystery.


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Infidel (Bel Dame Apocrypha #2)
Kameron Hurley
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Release Date: October 4

Nyx is a bodyguard in Mustallah, the capital city of Nasheen. The centuries-long holy war between Nasheen and Chenja is taking its toll, with shortages and rationing causing the Queen to lose power and popularity. While protecting the daughter of a Ras Tiegan Diplomat, Nyx is attacked by a group of assassins. Nyx survives, but begins to suffer from a strange, debilitating condition that nobody can identify. Caught up in a whirl-wind of intrigue involving Bel Dam Assassins plotting against the Queen, Nyx must learn who the rouge Bel Dam is, and find a cure for her illness, while avoiding the wrath of the queen she is trying to protect. The danger that swirls around her may have finally become to much, and Nyx''s colleagues and friends began to die. Will Nyx be next?

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Magebane
Lee Arthur Chane
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: October 4

Four centures ago, the world changed. A devastating war swept the lands, and the MageLords, who had long ruled by virtue of their spell powers, were driven to a distant place, separated from those they had ruled by a magical Barrier. With magic banished from the rest of the world, the MageLords became mere legend and people turned to science to improve their lives. But if one man has his way, all that is about to change...

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Manhattan In Reverse
Peter F. Hamilton
Genre: Science Fiction story collection
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: October 7

This is a collection of short stories from the master of space opera. Peter F Hamilton takes us on a journey from a murder mystery in an alternative Oxford in the 1800s to a brand new story featuring Paula Mayo, Deputy Director of the Intersolar Commonwealth's Serious Crimes Directorate. Dealing with intricate themes and topical subject this top ten bestselling author is at the top of his game.

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Much Ado About Vampires (Dark Ones #9)
Katie MacAlister
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: October 4

Bitter at first bite…

Corazon Ferreira is one heck of a jaded woman. Not only did her husband dump her for a pretty, vivacious blonde, but her sister has lost her mind and married a vampire. Worse, it turns out that Cora herself was a vampire’s mate in a past life…the very same vampire she witnessed killing someone.

If only Cora hadn’t inadvertently been caught up in the ill-laid plans of a reanimated corpse and its master, she could deal with the distractingly gorgeous vampire. But it’s only Alec who stands between her and those who threaten her existence, and there’s only so much temptation a woman can bear before she starts taking her heart as seriously as her head…

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Necropolis
Michael Dempsey
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Release Date: October 4

In a world where death is a thing of the past, how far would you go to solve your own murder? NYPD detective Paul Donner and his wife Elise were killed in a hold-up gone wrong. Fifty years later, Donner is back: revived courtesy of the Shift. Supposedly the unintended side-effect of a botched biological terrorist attack and carried by a ubiquitous retrovirus, the Shift jump-starts dead DNA and throws the life cycle into reverse, so reborns like Donner must cope with the fact that they are not only slowly youthing toward a new childhood, but have become New York''s most hated minority. With New York quarantined beneath a geodesic blister, government and basic services have been outsourced by a private security corporation named Surazal. Reborns and infected norms alike struggle in a counterclockwise world, where everybody gets younger, you can see Elvis every night at Radio City Music Hall, and nobody has any hope of ever seeing the outside world. Lost in a sea of nostalgia, NYC becomes an inwardly focused schizophrenic culture of alienation and loss. In this backwards-looking culture where only some of the dead have returned, Donner is haunted by revivers guilt, and becomes obsessed with finding out who killed him and his non-returning wife. Little does he know, strange forces have already begun tracking him. Donner isn''t the only one obsessed with the past.

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Palace of the Damned
Darren Shan
Genre: YA
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 3

Before Madame Octa...

Before the Cirque... 

Before Darren Shan...

Larten Crepsley was a young man.

After failing his mentor and killing the entire crew of a ship in a bout of revenge for the death of his assistant, Larten is bereft with guilt. He no longer has the drive to live the vampiric life, and hides out in Paris, masquerading as a human. There, he finds some happiness, even falling in love with a girl. But the darkness inside him is too great for humanity, and he is forced to make a choice: hide in the shadows of the human world, or take his place among the vampire clan and protect those weaker than himself. But enemies are waiting, traps are laid, and Larten's path is bound to be strewn with bodies.
This is his story.

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Radiant Desire (Handmaid’s Seduction #1)
Inara Scott
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: October 4

The object of every man’s fantasy just lost her wings…

Kaia Verde is one of the four Faerie Handmaids of Zafira, Queen of the Fey. To redress an ancient wrong done to Zafira by a human king, the Handmaids make sport of mortal men, seducing and humiliating them. When Kaia sets out to seduce Garrett Jameson, but ends up being the one surrendering to pleasure, Zafira is furious. Kaia’s punishment is simple: make Garrett fall in love with her by the summer solstice, then break his heart, or face eternity without her wings—or her soul. To make the task harder, Zafira tells Kaia she cannot use her faerie magic or charm to lure Garrett into her bed.

…and now she’s losing her heart…

Kaia thinks her task will be relatively easy—as a faerie, she understands lust, and can love be much different? But once she is living among the humans, Kaia discovers the race she once disparaged is far more complex and beautiful than she imagined. She learns before she can break Garrett’s heart, she must find a way to heal it. And eventually, discovers that losing her wings may be a far easier price to pay than losing her heart.

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The Sacred Band (Acacia, Bk 3)\
David Anthony Durham
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Doubleday
Release Date: October 4

With the first two books in the Acacia Trilogy, Acacia and The Other Lands, David Anthony Durham has created a vast and engrossing canvas of a world in turmoil, where the surviving children of a royal dynasty are on a quest to realize their fates—and perhaps right ancient wrongs once and for all. As The Sacred Band begins, one of them, Queen Corinn, bestrides the world as a result of her mastery of spells found in the ancient Book of Elenet. Her younger brother, Dariel, has been sent on a perilous mis­sion to the Other Lands, while her sister, Mena, travels to the far north to confront an invasion of the feared race of the Auldek. Their separate trajectories will converge in a series of world-shaping, earth-shattering battles, all ren­dered with vividly imagined detail and in heroic scale.
David Anthony Durham concludes his tale of kingdoms in collision in an exciting fashion. His fictional world is at once realistic and fantastic, informed with an eloquent and dis­tinctively Shakespearean sensibility.

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Silence (Hush Hush, Bk 3)
Becca Fitzpatrick
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: October 4

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

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The Traitor's Daughter
Paula Brandon
Genre: Fantasy/ alternate History
Publisher: Spectra
Release Date: October 4


On the Veiled Isles, ominous signs are apparent to those with the talent to read them. The polarity of magic is wavering at its source, heralding a vast upheaval poised to alter the very balance of nature. Blissfully unaware of the cataclysmic events to come, Jianna Belandor, the beautiful, privileged daughter of a powerful Faerlonnish overlord, has only one concern: the journey to meet her prospective husband.  But revolution is stirring as her own conquered people rise up against their oppressors, and Jianna is kidnapped and held captive at a rebel stronghold, insurance against what are perceived as her father’s crimes. The resistance movement opens Jianna’s eyes―and her heart. Despite her belief in her father’s innocence, she is fascinated by the bold and charming nomadic physician and rebel sympathizer, Falaste Rione—who offers Jianna her only sanctuary in a cold and calculating web of intrigue. As plague and chaos grip the land, Jianna is pushed to the limits of her courage and resourcefulness, while virulent enemies discover that alliance is their only hope to save the human race.

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The Twilight of Lake Woebegotten
Harrison Geillor
Genre: Paranormal/Humor
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Release Date: October 4

A small town... a plucky heroin, a shiny vampire, and a hunkey Native American rival with a secret. But all is not as it seems in Lake Woebegotten. Let Harrison Geillor reveal what lies beneath the seemingly placid surface. You''ll Laugh. We promise.
When Bonnie Grayduck relocates from sunny Santa Cruz California to the small town of Lake Woebegotten, Minnesota, to live with her estranged father, chief of the local two-man police department, she thinks she''s leaving her troubles behind. But she soon becomes fascinated by another student - the brooding, beautiful Edwin Scullen, whose reclusive family hides a terrible secret. (Psst: they''re actually vampires. But they''re the kind who don''t eat people, so it''s okay.) Once Bonnie realizes what her new lover really is, she isn''t afraid. Instead, she sees potential. Because while Bonnie seems to her friends and family to be an ordinary, slightly clumsy, easily-distracted girl, she''s really manipulative, calculating, power hungry, and not above committing murder to get her way - or even just to amuse herself. This is a love story about monsters... but the vampire isn''t the monster.

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Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth
Christopher Golden
Genre:
Publisher: Del Rey.
Release Date: October 4

In the ancient world there was a myth about a king, a treasure, and a hellish labyrinth. Now the doors to that hell are open once again.
Nathan Drake, treasure hunter and risk taker, has been called to New York City by the man who taught him everything about the “antiquities acquisition business.” Victor Sullivan needs Drake’s help. Sully’s old friend, a world-famous archaeologist, has just been found murdered in Manhattan. Dodging assassins, Drake, Sully, and the dead man’s daughter, Jada Hzujak, race from New York to underground excavations in Egypt and Greece. Their goal: to unravel an ancient myth of alchemy, look for three long-lost labyrinths, and find the astonishing discovery that got Jada’s father killed. It appears that a fourth labyrinth was built in another land and another culture—and within it lies a key to unmatched wealth and power. An army of terrifying lost warriors guards this underground maze. So does a monster. And what lies beyond—if Drake can live long enough to reach it—is both a treasure and a poison, a paradise and a hell.

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Utterly Charming
Kristine Grayson
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: October 1

This time when Sleeping Beauty wakes up, she wants nothing to do with the man who kissed her. Consoling Alex Blackstone, the rejected suitor who is a brilliant magician but inept when it comes to women, falls to modern career woman and lawyer, Nora Barr. Nora now has to deal with Beauty's evil stepmother, and the discovery that Alex just might be her own personal Prince Charming...


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Vamparazzi (Esther Diamond, Bk 4)
Laura Resnick
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: October 4

Playing a scantily clad vampire victim in an off-Broadway play, struggling actress Esther Diamond now may be the target of someone who claims to be a genuine bloodsucker...


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Variant
Robison Wells
Genre: YA Dystopia
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: October 4

Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.
He was wrong.
Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.
Where breaking the rules equals death.
But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.
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Werewolf in the North Woods (Wild About You #2)
Vicki Lewis Thompson
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: October 4

When she used to walk around her grandfather’s property out­side Portland, Abby Winchell loved the idea that Bigfoot was somewhere out there too. Now her grandfather swears he’s seen two creatures that fit the legendary description—and he has evidence. Sort of. Grandpa Earl may be a bit dotty, but when his neighbors invite a renowned anthropologist to disprove his theory, Abby decides to send the man packing...until she sees how hot he is.

Anthropology professor Roark Wallace can’t risk news be­ing made of a Bigfoot sighting in the north woods—not with a local pack of werewolves to protect. Disproving the evidence should be easy, but ignoring Abby is not. Her fiery red hair makes him want to sit up and beg, and this obvious attraction is making the pack suspicious.…

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Wolf at the Door
MaryJanice Davidson
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Release Date: October 4

Rachel, a werewolf/accountant, is asked to keep one eye on Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor and the other peeled for a rogue werewolf who's itching to start a war. But her attention is mostly on a sexy, mysterious stranger she wishes she could trust.


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Visions of Skyfire (The Awakening #2)
Regan Hastings
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Signet Book
Release Date: October 4

Teresa Santiago has awakened her abilities to summon lightning but is unable to control her power-or her attraction to Rune, her Eternal protector and destined partner. Now, Teresa and Rune must locate a missing artifact of unimaginable power before it unleashes the forces of darkness on the world. But with enemies both mortal and magical on their trail, Teresa and Rune discover that only through sacrifice will love conquer all...

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