A pretty decent week of arrivals here. Oddly, three books arrived with authors whose last name begins with the letter “B”
Emergence (Dave Vs. The Monsters #1) by John Birmingham (Del Rey Mass Market Paperback 06/09/2015) – Birmingham makes a slight switch from his alternate history Military SF novels into Military SF mixed with Horror, treading into the Jonathan Maberry and Larry Correia territory. Silly (and I suspect intentionally silly) series title aside, this looks like it could be a fun series. Way back in the early days of my reviewing I read and enjoyed Birmingham’s Weapons of Choice
For fans of Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne comes an action-packed new urban fantasy series featuring a tough, bleakly funny, down-on-his luck oil rig worker with an unlikely destiny as a monster-slayer and savior of the planet.
“Monsters,” said Vince Martinelli. “There are monsters on the rig, Dave.”
Dave Hooper has a hangover from hell, a horrible ex-wife, and the fangs of the IRS deep in his side. The last thing he needs is an explosion at work. A real explosion. On his off-shore oil rig.
But this is no accident, and despite the news reports, Dave knows that terrorists aren’t to blame. He knows because he killed one of the things responsible.
When he wakes up in a hospital bed guarded by Navy SEALs, he realizes this is more than just a bad acid trip. Yeah, Dave’s had a few. This trip is way weirder.
Killing a seven-foot-tall, tattooed demon has transformed the overweight, balding safety manager into something else entirely. A foul-mouthed, beer-loving monster slayer, and humanity’s least worthy Champion.
Marie Brennan (Tor Hardcover 03/31/2015) – Third installment in Brennan’s been remarkably well-received series placing the discovery of Dragons in Victorian times. These are gorgeous looking books with Todd Lockwood’s fantastic art.
The thrilling adventure of Lady Trent continues in Marie Brennan's Voyage of the Basilisk . . .
Devoted readers of Lady Trent's earlier memoirs, A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents, may believe themselves already acquainted with the particulars of her historic voyage aboard the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk, but the true story of that illuminating, harrowing, and scandalous journey has never been revealed--until now.
Six years after her perilous exploits in Eriga, Isabella embarks on her most ambitious expedition yet: a two-year trip around the world to study all manner of dragons in every place they might be found. From feathered serpents sunning themselves in the ruins of a fallen civilization to the mighty sea serpents of the tropics, these creatures are a source of both endless fascination and frequent peril. Accompanying her is not only her young son, Jake, but a chivalrous foreign archaeologist whose interests converge with Isabella's in ways both professional and personal.
Science is, of course, the primary objective of the voyage, but Isabella's life is rarely so simple. She must cope with storms, shipwrecks, intrigue, and warfare, even as she makes a discovery that offers a revolutionary new insight into the ancient history of dragons.
The Darkling Child (Defenders of Shannara #2) by Terry Brooks (Del Rey Hardcover 06/09/2015) – It’s been quite some time since I read and enjoyed a Terry Brooks novel, but Aidan’s review of The Wards of Faerie in the previous Shannara series, as well as this, has me seriously considering giving Mr. Brooks another try.
From New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks comes a thrilling stand-alone novel in his legendary Shannara series—the perfect place for new readers to begin.
After taking up his enchanted sword against the dark sorcerer Arcannen, Paxon Leah has become the sworn protector of the Druid order. Now a critical hour is at hand, as a beloved High Druid nears the end of her reign and prepares to pass from the mortal world to the one beyond. There is little time for Paxon to mourn his friend and benefactor before duty summons him. For in a distant corner of the Four Lands, the magic of the wishsong has been detected. Paxon must accompany a Druid emissary to find its source—and ensure the formidable power is not wielded by the wrong hands.
But danger is already afoot in the village of Portlow. Gentle traveling minstrel Reyn Frosch possesses the uncanny gift, and curse, of the wishsong. And now his coveted abilities have captured the malevolent interest of none other than Arcannen—whose quest for power is exceeded only by his thirst for vengeance. The lone survivor of a brutal assault on a notorious pirate city, the sorcerer is determined to retaliate against the Federation’s elite military guard—and use the devastating power of the wishsong as his ultimate weapon.
The Left-Hand Way by Tom Doyle (Tor, Hardcover 08/11/2015) – Doyles’ second novel and follow up to American Craftsmen .
Poe's Red Death returns, more powerful than ever. Can anyone stop him before he summons an apocalyptic nightmare even worse than himself?
In The Left-Hand Way, the second book of Tom Doyle's contemporary fantasy series, the American craftsmen are scattered like bait overseas. What starts as an ordinary liaison mission to London for Major Michael Endicott becomes a desperate chase across Europe, where Endicott is both hunted and hunter. Reluctantly joining him is his minder from MI13, Commander Grace Marlow, one of Her Majesty's most lethal magician soldiers, whose family has centuries of justified hostility to the Endicotts.
Meanwhile, in Istanbul and Tokyo, Endicott's comrades, Scherie Rezvani and Dale Morton, are caught in their own battles for survival against hired assassins and a ghost-powered doomsday machine. And in Kiev, Roderick Morton, the spider at the center of a global web, plots their destruction and his ultimate apotheosis. After centuries of imprisonment, nothing less than godlike power will satisfy Roderick, whatever the dreadful cost.
The Warring States (The Wave Trilogy #2) by Aidan Harte (Jo Fletcher Books Hardcover 04/07/2015) –Very nearly an exact year after the release of the first book in the series publishes in the US, book 2 publishes.
Interzone raved that "Harte is a brilliant new voice is historical fantasy." In The Warring States, Aidan Harte continues his high fantasy adventure began in Irenicon.
After the rout at Rasenna, Concord faces enemies on all fronts, and nobody believes that the last surviving Apprentice is equal to these crises--but Torbidda didn't become Apprentice by letting himself be manipulated.
While Sofia is struggling to understand her miraculous pregnancy, the City of Towers grows wealthy. But it's not long before the people of Rasenna start arguing again, and as the city falls apart once more, Sofia realises she must escape Etruria to save her baby. When prophecy leads her to another cesspit of treachery, the decadent Crusader kingdom of Oltremare, Sofia begins to despair, for this time she can see no way out.
Three Moments of an Explosion by China Miéville (Del Rey, Hardcover 08/04/2014) – This is Miéville’s second collection of short fiction after the well-received first collection Three Moments of an Explosion which Hobbit reviewed.
The fiction of multiple award–winning author China Miéville is powered by intelligence and imagination. Like George Saunders, Karen Russell, and David Mitchell, he pulls from a variety of genres with equal facility, employing the fantastic not to escape from reality but instead to interrogate it in provocative, unexpected ways.
London awakes one morning to find itself besieged by a sky full of floating icebergs. Destroyed oil rigs, mysteriously reborn, clamber from the sea and onto the land, driven by an obscure but violent purpose. An anatomy student cuts open a cadaver to discover impossibly intricate designs carved into a corpse’s bones—designs clearly present from birth, bearing mute testimony to . . . what?
Of such concepts and unforgettable images are made the twenty-eight stories in this collection—many published here for the first time. By turns speculative, satirical, and heart-wrenching, fresh in form and language, and featuring a cast of damaged yet hopeful seekers who come face-to-face with the deep weirdness of the world—and at times the deeper weirdness of themselves—Three Moments of an Explosion is a fitting showcase for one of literature’s most original voices.