Sunday, June 17, 2018

Promising Horror, Sci-fi & Fantasy - May 2018

May has some very strong releases to be honest, and it was really hard for me to make this list with just seven books in it.

"Black Helicopters"
Author - Caitlín R. Kiernan
Publisher - Publishing

A dark jewel of a novella, this definitive edition of Caitlín R. Kiernan’s Black Helicopters is the expanded and completed version of the World Fantasy Award-nominated original.
Just as the Signalman stood and faced the void in Agents of Dreamland, so it falls to Ptolema, a chess piece in her agency’s world-spanning game, to unravel what has become tangled and unknowable.
Something strange is happening on the shores of New England. Something stranger still is happening to the world itself, chaos unleashed, rational explanation slipped loose from the moorings of the known. Two rival agencies stare across the Void at one another. Two sisters, the deadly, sickened products of experiments going back decades, desperately evade their hunters.
An invisible war rages at the fringes of our world, with unimaginable consequences and Lovecraftian horrors that ripple centuries into the future.

[ Well, this is a reissue to be fair, but I was so impressed by the authors 'Agents of Dreamland' (my review). I have been waiting for this definitive edition actually. ]

"The Outsider"
Author - Stephen King
Publisher -Scribner / Hodder & Stoughton

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.
An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.
As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

[ The latest novel by the master 'Stephen King' seems to have a very interesting concept. Count me interested. ]

"Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2)"
Author - Martha Wells
Publisher - Publishing

It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.
Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.
What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…

[ I loved the first novella in the series (my review), so obviously I have high hopes for the sequel. ] 

"Dragon Road (The Drifting Lands #2)"
Author - Joseph Brassey
Publisher - Angry Robot

A murderous plot aboard a city-sized flying ship must be averted before a crazed cult sends a million people to their deaths
When portal-mage Harkon Bright and his apprentice are asked to help select a new captain for the immense skyship Iseult, they quickly find themselves embroiled in its Machiavellian officer's court. Meanwhile, their new recruit, Elias, struggles to adapt to his unexpected gift of life while suffering dark dreams of an ancient terror.
As the skies darken and storm-clouds gather on the Dragon Road, the crew of the Elysium come face to face with deadly intrigues, plots from beyond death, and a terrible darkness that lurks in the heart of a thousand-year storm.

[ I was so interested in the first novel of this series that I bought the hard copy of the book. I am yet to read it, but I am still interested in the sequel. ]

"The Poppy War"
Author - R.F. Kuang
Publisher - Harper Voyager

When Rin aced the Keju, the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies, it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan, was even more surprising.
But surprises aren’t always good.
Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.
For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .
Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

[ Yet another interesting Asian fantasy, and this one seems to be grimdark as well. Can't wait to dive in. ] 

"King of Ashes (The Firemane Saga #1)"
Author - Raymond E. Feist
Publisher - Harper Voyager
The first volume in legendary master and New York Times bestselling author Raymond E. Feist’s epic heroic fantasy series, The Firemane Saga—an electrifying tale of two young men whose choices will determine a world’s destiny.
For centuries, the five greatest kingdoms of North and South Tembria, twin continents on the world of Garn, have coexisted in peace. But the balance of power is destroyed when four of the kingdoms violate an ancient covenant and betray the fifth: Ithrace, the Kingdom of Flames, ruled by Steveren Langene, known as "the Firemane" for his brilliant red hair. As war engulfs the world, Ithrace is destroyed and the Greater Realms of Tembria are thrust into a dangerous struggle for supremacy.
As a Free Lord, Baron Daylon Dumarch owes allegiance to no king. When an abandoned infant is found hidden in Daylon’s pavilion, he realizes that the child must be the missing heir of the slain Steveren. The boy is valuable—and vulnerable. A cunning and patient man, Daylon decides to keep the baby’s existence secret, and sends him to be raised on the Island of Coaltachin, home of the so-called Kingdom of Night, where the powerful and lethal Nocusara, the "Hidden Warriors," legendary assassins and spies, are trained.
Years later, another orphan of mysterious provenance, a young man named Declan, earns his Masters rank as a weapons smith. Blessed with intelligence and skill, he unlocks the secret to forging King’s Steel, the apex of a weapon maker’s trade known by very few. Yet this precious knowledge is also deadly, and Declan is forced to leave his home to safeguard his life. Landing in Lord Daylon’s provinces, he hopes to start anew.
Soon, the two young men—an unknowing rightful heir to a throne and a brilliantly talented young swordsmith—will discover that their fates, and that of Garn, are entwined. The legendary, long-ago War of Betrayal has never truly ended . . . and they must discover the secret of who truly threatens their world.

[ 'Raymond E. Feist' was one of the authors who introduced me to epic fantasy. So many years later, now he has started a new series. Hopefully this will bring back those fond memories. ]

"Wrath of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder #2)"
Author - Brian McClellan
Publisher - Orbit

The country is in turmoil. With the capital city occupied, half a million refugees are on the march, looking for safety on the frontier, accompanied by Lady Flint's soldiers. But escaping war is never easy, and soon the battle may find them, whether they are prepared or not.
Back in the capital, Michel Bravis smuggles even more refugees out of the city. But internal forces are working against him. With enemies on all sides, Michael may be forced to find help with the very occupiers he's trying to undermine.
Meanwhile, Ben Styke is building his own army. He and his mad lancers are gathering every able body they can find and searching for an ancient artifact that may have the power to turn the tides of war in their favor. But what they find may not be what they're looking for.

[ Latest by 'Brian McCleallan, should be phenomenal. ] 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Promising Sci-fi & Fantasy - April 2018

I will start this post by admitting of the huge blunder I did on the monthly list of fiction for March. The last three books; namely 'Grey Sister' by Mark Lawrence, 'Season of Storms' by Andrzej Spakowski and 'I Met a Traveler in an Antique Land' by Connie Willis were actually published in April.

Moreover, I totally missed some big fantasy releases from March. So I will attempt at redeeming my mistakes by adding those books in my list for April.
Author - Madeline Miller
Publisher - Little, Brown & Company

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

[ A very interesting novel dealing with Greek mythology. This seems like a book I would enjoy, since I enjoy any mythology I come around quite a lot. ] 

"Space Opera"
Author - Catherynne M. Valente
Publisher - Saga Press

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Eurovision in an over-the-top science fiction spectacle from bestselling author Catherynne Valente has galaxies competing for glory in a universe-wide musical contest—where the stakes are as high as the fate of planet Earth.
A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented—something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.
Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for Galactivision—part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.
This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick, and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny—they must sing.
A band of human musicians, dancers, and roadies have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock.

[ Quite an interesting concept, mixing music and humor with sci-fi. Could be very fun. ]

"Head On (Lock In #2)"
Author - John Scalzi
Publisher - Tor Books

John Scalzi returns with Head On, the standalone follow-up to the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed Lock In. Chilling near-future SF with the thrills of a gritty cop procedural, Head On brings Scalzi's trademark snappy dialogue and technological speculation to the future world of sports.
Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent’s head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are “threeps,” robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden’s Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real and the crowds love it.
Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.
Is it an accident or murder? FBI Agents and Haden-related crime investigators, Chris Shane and Leslie Vann, are called in to uncover the truth―and in doing so travel to the darker side of the fast-growing sport of Hilketa, where fortunes are made or lost, and where players and owners do whatever it takes to win, on and off the field.

[ 'John Scalzi' has always been someone with high expectations whenever he releases a new novel for me. ]

Books I missed from March

"Imposter Syndrome (The Arcadia Project #3)"
Author - Mishell Baker
Publisher - Saga Press

In the third book of the Nebula Award–nominated Arcadia Project series, which New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire called “exciting, inventive, and brilliantly plotted,” Millie Roper has to pull off two impossible heists—with the fate of the worlds in the balance.
Three months ago, a rift between agents in London and Los Angeles tore the Arcadia Project apart. With both fey Courts split down the middle—half supporting London, half LA—London is putting the pieces in place to quash the resistance. But due to an alarming backslide in her mental health, new LA agent Mille Roper is in no condition to fight.
When London’s opening shot is to frame Millie’s partner, Tjuan, for attempted homicide, Millie has no choice but to hide him and try to clear his name. Her investigation will take her across the pond to the heart of Arcadia at the mysterious and impenetrable White Rose palace. The key to Tjuan’s freedom—and to the success of the revolution—is locked in a vault under the fey Queen’s watchful eye. It’s up to Millie to plan and lead a heist that will shape the future of two worlds—all while pretending that she knows exactly what she’s doing…

[ The third part of 'The Arcadia Project', although I am yet to read the previous books, I know I will love this series. ]

"A Veil of Spears (The Song of the Shattered Sands #3)"
Author - Bradley P. Beaulieu
Publisher - Gollancz / DAW

The third book in The Song of Shattered Sands series—an epic fantasy with a desert setting, filled with rich worldbuilding and pulse-pounding action.
Since the Night of Endless Swords, a bloody battle the Kings of Sharakhai narrowly won, the kings have been hounding the rebels known as the Moonless Host. Many have been forced to flee the city, including Çeda, who discovers that the King of Sloth is raising his army to challenge the other kings' rule.
When Çeda finds the remaining members of the Moonless Host, now known as the thirteenth tribe, she sees a tenuous existence. Çeda hatches a plan to return to Sharakhai and free the asirim, the kings' powerful, immortal slaves. The kings, however, have sent their greatest tactician, the King of Swords, to bring Çeda to justice for her crimes.
But the once-unified front of the kings is crumbling. The surviving kings vie quietly against one another, maneuvering for control over Sharakhai. Çeda hopes to use that to her advantage, but whom to trust? Any of them might betray her.
As Çeda works to lift the shackles from the asirim and save the thirteenth tribe, the kings of Sharakhai, the scheming queen of Qaimir, the ruthless blood mage, Hamzakiir, and King of Swords all prepare for a grand clash that may decide the fate of all.

[ Yet another epic fantasy series I have yet to sink my teeth into. ]

Thursday, June 7, 2018

New Comic Review - Justice League: No Justice #4

Name - Justice League: No Justice #4 (of 4)
Published by - DC Comics
Written by - Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV & Joshua Williamson
Art by - Francis Manapul
Coloring by - Hi-Fi
Letters by - AndWorld Design
Release Date: May 30, 2018

'Justice League: No Justice #4' does a commendable job of wrapping up this gem of a series. And this superstar creative team also sets the stage for what is to come from the DC universe in the near future. on the drawing front Francis Manapul is and along with Hi-Fi he handles the massive stage of story elegantly while skillfully giving this huge cast enough screen-time with his unique style.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Author Interview - Cameron Johnston (The Traitor God)

Well, it's been a log time since my last interview on this blog (more than 2 years as a matter of fact). I guess it's time I do a few of this.

So I'll start with interviewing 'Cameron Johnston', the author of 'The Traitor God'  which is his debut being published today from 'Angry Robot'.

Without further ado -

1) Would you please start by telling us a bit more about yourself?

Hi, I'm Cameron Johnston, author of The Traitor God. I live in Scotland, with my wife and an extremely fluffy cat. I'm an enthusiast of archaeology, history and mythology and love exploring ancient sites and camping out under the stars by a roaring fire. I am also one of those people who have more books than shelves - clearly the answer is to acquire yet more shelves.

2) So, 'The Traitor God' is your debut novel. How does it feel to see your words in print for the first time?

It's a surreal and wonderful thing to hold your own book in your hands and know it will be in bookshops and libraries all over the world. The library-going kid me from many years ago would be incredibly happy with me right now.

3) Among a sea of epic fantasy novels out there, what would you say makes 'The Traitor God' different?

It's part blood-soaked murder mystery and part grimdark urban fantasy Lovecraftian apocalypse. Big magic, bigger monsters, and the unfortunate magician landed right in the middle of it. It's something that little bit different.

4) Care to divulge a bit more info about your protagonist 'Edrin Walker' beyond the info we got from the book blurb? What do you think will make the readers root for him?

Most of the magi who rule the city hail from the nobles houses and come from old money and power. When Walker's Gift for magic was discovered he was living as a gutter-rat running the streets of the slums, and he has never forgotten his lowly origins. Nor have the other magi. What true friends he ever made he is utterly loyal to, and he would do anything to protect them, or avenge them...

5) Can you tell us a bit about some of your influences regarding this novel?

I would say there are three main streams of influence melded into The Traitor God: old pulp swords and sorcery fantasies like Conan, Elric and Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Hellblazer's John Constantine and film noir, and the cosmic horror of writers like HP Lovecraft and Arthur Machen.

6) From your author bio on Goodreads, we get that you are a student of Historical European Martial Arts, can you tell us a bit about this vocation of yours?

Mostly, I get to play with swords. A large part of it involves going back to the surviving period manuscripts and using those to practice and learn the old swordplay and techniques and why they worked so well. I have done german longsword, Scottish broadsword and a also little quarterstaff work.

7) Read any good books lately?

I've had a really good run with reading great books recently. Some of my highlights have been Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames, The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams, Blackwing by Ed McDonald, Age of Assassins by RJ Barker and Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

8) As a new writer, publishing from a major publisher, would you please say something to the aspiring writers out there?

This will be a long one!

Firstly, a while back I was exactly where many aspiring writers are right now, writing away and sending stories out and not getting anywhere fast. It’s not enough to just keep on writing the same old thing in the same old way. I kept on writing new things and tried different points of view and techniques to improve my skills, got feedback from other writers and readers and used that to improve still further as I got a few short stories published in small magazines. Don't get disheartened if you are just starting out or deep in the slog of submissions - like any other art it takes time to learn and online writing forums like are a great resource.

Secondly, if you want your novel trade/traditionally published then it is not always enough to have a good book, you need to have something different or a fresh take to make it stand out. If twenty people are offering chocolate cake for sale on a table and you rock up with yet another chocolate cake, customers are not exactly going to be enthused even if it is a perfectly good cake. It's exactly the same if you are writing another Lord of The Rings or A Song of Ice and Fire. Having an editor really like your book is not enough, you also need to interest the marketing team who quite possibly won't have read it all. If they can't figure out how to sell and advertise your book then they won't pick it up. Think up an easy sales pitch to go with your novel if you can, something like The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán is a great example of a golden pitch that makes editors sit up and the marketing team's eyes gleam: Jurassic Park meets Game of Thrones. Knights riding dinosaurs! Now that's a chocolate cake with added sparkly sprinkles.

9) Please do tell us about your future projects? May I expect more books featuring 'Edrin Walker'?

Funnily enough, right about now Angry Robot have given me the go-ahead to say that there will indeed be a book two! It will end Edrin Walker's duology with some world-shattering revelations, dastardly tricks, and epic magical confrontations.

About 'The Traitor God' -

A city threatened by unimaginable horrors must trust their most hated outcast, or lose everything, in this crushing epic fantasy debut.
After ten years on the run, dodging daemons and debt, reviled magician Edrin Walker returns home to avenge the brutal murder of his friend. Lynas had uncovered a terrible secret, something that threatened to devour the entire city. He tried to warn the Arcanum, the sorcerers who rule the city. He failed. Lynas was skinned alive and Walker felt every cut. Now nothing will stop him from finding the murderer. Magi, mortals, daemons, and even the gods - Walker will burn them all if he has to. After all, it wouldn't be the first time he's killed a god...

The books is being published on June 5, 2018 from Angry Robot.

About Cameron Johnston -

Cameron Johnston is a Scottish writer of speculative fiction (usually a mix of fantasy and horror) and a member of the Glasgow Science Fiction Writers' Circle since 2010.

He is also a swordsman, gamer, enthusiast of archaeology and history, a fine ale drinker, builder of LEGO, a cat-slave, and owns far too many books to fit on his shelves. 

Links - Website, Twitter, Goodreads

Thursday, May 31, 2018

New Book Review - 'Blackwing' by Ed McDonald

Book - Blackwing  
Writer - Ed McDonald 
Series - Raven's Mark #1    
Published By - Gollancz / Ace Books

Well, it seems last year had lots of good debut in the field of fantasy fiction. 'Blackwing' is yet another one, which can be termed as a post apocalyptic grimdark fantasy. This tell was very entertaining as the author used the first person narrative to approach the despair of an exhaustive struggle for survival, and created an interesting world and magic system to play with in the future.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Promising Mystery, Sci-fi & Fantasy - March 2018

March seems much more promising compared to the last two months, both in terms of content as well as variety. 

"The Last Stand"
Author - Mickey Spillane
Publisher - Hard Case Crime / Titan Books

When legendary mystery writer Mickey Spillane died in 2006, he left behind the manuscript of one last novel he'd just completed: THE LAST STAND. He asked his friend and colleague (and fellow Mystery Writers of America Grand Master) Max Allan Collins to take responsibility for finding the right time and place to publish this final book. Now, on the hundredth anniversary of Spillane's birth, his millions of fans will at last get to read THE LAST STAND, together with a second never-before-published work, this one from early in Spillane's career: the feverish crime novella A BULLET FOR SATISFACTION.
A tarnished former cop goes on a crusade to find a politician's killer and avoid the .45-caliber slug with his name on it. A pilot forced to make an emergency landing in the desert finds himself at the center of a struggle between FBI agents, unsavory fortune hunters, and members of the local Indian tribe to control a mysterious find that could mean wealth and power - or death. Two substantial new works filled with Spillane's muscular prose and the gorgeous women and two-fisted action the author was famous for, topped off by an introduction from Max Allan Collins describing the history of these lost manuscripts and his long relationship with the writer who was his mentor, his hero, and for much of the last century the bestselling author in the world.

[ I loved what I read from both 'Mickey Spillane' and 'Max Allan Collins'. So I had to jump in when I came to know about this one. ]

"Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach"
Author - Kelly Robson
Publisher - Publishing

Discover a shifting history of adventure as humanity clashes over whether to repair their ruined planet or luxuriate in a less tainted past.
In 2267, Earth has just begun to recover from worldwide ecological disasters. Minh is part of the generation that first moved back up to the surface of the Earth from the underground hells, to reclaim humanity's ancestral habitat. She's spent her entire life restoring river ecosystems, but lately the kind of long-term restoration projects Minh works on have been stalled due to the invention of time travel. When she gets the opportunity take a team to 2000 BC to survey the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, she jumps at the chance to uncover the secrets of the shadowy think tank that controls time travel technology.

[ 'A Human Stan' is definitely one of the best short stories I read last year. And this one promises to be even better as far as I can deduce from the blurb. ] 

"Void Black Shadow (Voidwitch Saga #2)"
Author - Corey J. White
Publisher - Publishing

Mars Xi is a living weapon, a genetically-manipulated psychic supersoldier with a body count in the thousands, and all she wanted was to be left alone. People who get involved with her get hurt, whether by MEPHISTO, by her psychic backlash, or by her acid tongue. It's not smart to get involved with Mars, but that doesn't stop some people from trying.
The last time MEPHISTO came for Mars they took one of her friends with them. That was a mistake. A force hasn't been invented that can stop a voidwitch on a rampage, and Mars won't rest until she's settled her debts.

[ Another promising little sci-fi novella from the trusted publishing. ]

"Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2)"
Author - Mark Lawrence
Publisher - Ace / HarperVoyager

In Mystic Class Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of Sweet Mercy Nona must choose her path and take the red of a Martial Sister, the grey of a Sister of Discretion, the blue of a Mystic Sister or the simple black of a Bride of the Ancestor and a life of prayer and service.
All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the ambition of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a blade, and the vengeance of the empire’s richest lord.
As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she has sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pull of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty.
And in all this only one thing is certain.
There will be blood.

[ Well, new novel from 'Mark Lawrence'. I don't think there is any need for me to say anything more. ]

"Season of Storms (Witcher Series)"
Author - Andrzej Sapkowski
Publisher - Orbit

The New York Times bestselling series that inspired the Witcher video games.
Geralt of Rivia. A witcher whose mission is to protect ordinary people from the monsters created with magic. A mutant who has the task of killing unnatural beings. He uses a magical sign, potions and the pride of every witcher -- two swords, steel and silver. But what would happen if Geralt lost his weapons?
In this standalone novel, Geralt fights, travels and loves again, Dandelion sings and flies from trouble to trouble, sorcerers are scheming ... and across the whole world clouds are gathering - the season of storms is coming...

[ Latest 'Witcher' title to get translated. I already have two books from this series as physical copies. A massively entertaining epic fantasy series (and the video games are even better). ]

"I Met a Traveler in an Antique Land"
Author - Connie Willis
Publisher - Subterranean Press

Jim is in New York City at Christmastime shopping a book based on his blog—Gone for Good—premised on the fact that “being nostalgic for things that have disappeared is ridiculous.” Progress decides for people what they need and what’s obsolete. It’s that simple. Of course, not everyone agrees. After Jim bombs a contentious interview with a radio host who defends the sacred technology of the printed, tangible book, he gets caught in a rainstorm only to find himself with no place to take refuge other than a quaint, old-fashioned bookshop.
Ozymandias Books is not just any store. Jim wanders intrigued through stacks of tomes he doesn’t quite recognize the titles of, none with prices. Here he discovers a mysteriously pristine, seemingly endless wonderland of books—where even he gets nostalgic for his childhood favorite. And, yes, the overwhelmed and busy clerk showing him around says they have a copy. But it’s only after Jim leaves that he understands the true nature of Ozymandias and how tragic it is that some things may be gone forever…
From beloved, multiple-award-winning, New York Times best-selling author Connie Willis comes I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land, a novella about the irreplaceable magic of books.

[ Should be a short and fun read. ]

Friday, May 25, 2018

Promising Sci-fi & Fantasy - February 2018

February is a month which is kind of bleak in terms of content in fiction. Only four releases that I could find which made me interested.

"Blood Binds The Pack (Hob #2)"
Author - Alex Wells
Publisher - Angry Robot

Join the fight for the people and power of Tanegawa’s world in this thrilling sequel to 'Hunger Makes the Wolf '.
War is coming to Hob Ravani's world. The company that holds it in monopoly, TransRift Inc, has at last found what they're looking for--the source of the power that enables their Weathermen to rip holes in space and time, allowing the interstellar travel all of human society now takes for granted. And they will mine every last grain of it from Tanegawa's World no matter the cost.
Since Hob Ravani used her witchy powers to pull a massive train job and destroy TransRift Inc’s control on this part of the planet, the Ghost Wolves aren’t just outlaws, they’re the resistance. Mag's miner collective grows restless as TransRift pushes them ever harder to strip the world of its strange, blue mineral. Now Shige Rollins has returned with a new charge--Mr Yellow, the most advanced model of Weatherman, infused with the recovered mineral samples and made into something stranger, stronger, and deadlier than before. And Mr Yellow is very, very hungry.

[ Second book in a series that I am yet to read, but have high hopes for. The setting and the protagonist seem quite promising to me. ]

"Child of a Mad God (Coven #1)"
Author - R.A. Salvatore
Publisher - Tor Books

From R. A. Salvatore, the legendary creator of Drizzt Do’Urden, comes the start of abrand new epic journey.
When Aoleyn loses her parents, she is left to fend for herself among a tribe of vicious barbarians. Bound by rigid traditions, she dreams of escaping to the world beyond her mountain home.
The only hope for achieving the kind of freedom she searches for is to learn how to wield the mysterious power used by the tribe’s coven known as the Song of Usgar. Thankfully, Aoleyn may be the strongest witch to have ever lived, but magic comes at price. Not only has her abilities caught the eye of the brutish warlord that leads the tribe, but the demon of the mountain hunts all who wield the Coven’s power, and Aoleyn’s talent has made her a beacon in the night.

[ New series from the creator of 'Drizzt'. Should be quite good, I think. ]

"Blood of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom #2)"
Author - R.J. Barker
Publisher - Orbit

The assassin Girton Club-foot and his master have returned to Maniyadoc in hope of finding sanctuary, but death, as always, dogs Girton’s heels. The place he knew no longer exists.
War rages across Maniyadoc, with three kings claiming the same crown – and one of them is Girton’s old friend Rufra. Girton finds himself hurrying to uncover a plot to murder Rufra on what should be the day of the king’s greatest victory. But while Girton deals with threats inside and outside Rufra’s war encampment, he can’t help wondering if his greatest enemy hides beneath his own skin.

[ I really loved the first book in the series and reviewed it for fantasy-faction (review link). Very strong characters and original magic system. This sequel should be even better than the original, I hope. ]

"The Armored Saint (The Sacred Throne #1)"
Author - Myke Cole
Publisher - Publishing

In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.

[ Ah, if you know me, you know I am a huge fan of 'Myke Cole', I loved all I read from him and have bought physical copies of several books by him as well. This new series is definitely something I really have high hopes for. ]