These are the latest books that I have received.
As always, my thanks to the publishers and publicists for the books. I am always grateful for each and every book I receive and always slightly baffled too that people choose to send me books! Actually, I’m completely overwhelmed by the number of books that I have received recently, a very small amount compared to many but lots for me and it is such an honour and a privilege to be sent books!
Books received for review consideration:
Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon by James Lovegrove.
Published by Titan Books on October 22nd, 2019.
After I finished convulsing at the sight of the dreaded ‘c’ word. No, not the four-letter one many of you don’t like but that ‘c’ word where the dude in a red suit comes down your chimney! I thought that this sounded really good! 🙂 I have already read it and it was in fact really good, a cracking good mystery with a classic Holmes feel to it. You can find a link to my review – !!HERE!!
It is 1890, and in the days before Christmas Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson are visited at Baker Street by a new client. Eve Allerthorpe – eldest daughter of a grand but somewhat eccentric Yorkshire-based dynasty – is greatly distressed, as she believes she is being haunted by a demonic Christmas spirit.
Her late mother told her terrifying tales of the sinister Black Thurrick, and Eve is sure that she has seen the creature from her bedroom window. What is more, she has begun to receive mysterious parcels of birch twigs, the Black Thurrick’s calling card…
Eve stands to inherit a fortune if she is sound in mind, but it seems that something – or someone – is threatening her sanity. Holmes and Watson travel to the Allerthorpe family seat at Fellscar Keep to investigate, but soon discover that there is more to the case than at first appeared. There is another spirit haunting the family, and when a member of the household is found dead, the companions realise that no one is beyond suspicion.
A Time of Blood (Of Blood and Bone #2) by John Gwynne.
Published by Pan Macmillan on October 3rd, 2019.
I’m a massive fan of Gwynne and absolutely love his work. This is the paperback release and I never got around to reading the book when it was released in hardback earlier in the year. You know how it is, too many books and never enough time, reading slumps, genre slumps and the like. I was really surprised to receive this in the post and it could be the kick up the arse that I need to finally get around to reading the book!
Defy the darkness. Defend the light . . .
At the battle of Starstone Lake, Drem and his friends witnessed horrors they’ll never forget. They saw magic warping men into beasts and a demon rise from the dead, creating something new and terrifying. So they flee to warn the Order of the Bright Star. But the demons’ high priestess, Fritha, is determined to hunt them down.
Concealed in Forn Forest, Riv struggles to understand her half-breed lineage. It represents the warrior angels’ most dangerous secret, so when their high captain tracks her down, he aims to kill.
Meanwhile, demonic forces are gathering a mighty war-host, to crush their enemies and rule the world of man. And the angels are already fractured and facing betrayal. Like heroes of old, Riv, Drem and the Bright Star’s warriors must battle to save their land. But can the light triumph when the dark is rising?
The Name of All Things (A Chorus of Dragons #2) by Jenn Lyons.
Published by Tor on October 29th, 2019.
I enjoyed The Ruin of Kings, the first book in the series and I was really pleased when a surprise copy of the sequel The Name of All Things arrived in the post.
You can have everything you want if you sacrifice everything you believe.
Kihrin D’Mon is a wanted man.
Since he destroyed the Stone of Shackles and set demons free across Quur, he has been on the run from the wrath of an entire empire. His attempt to escape brings him into the path of Janel Theranon, a mysterious Joratese woman who claims to know Kihrin.
Janel’s plea for help pits Kihrin against all manner of dangers: a secret rebellion, a dragon capable of destroying an entire city, and Kihrin’s old enemy, the wizard Relos Var.
Janel believes that Relos Var possesses one of the most powerful artifacts in the world–the Cornerstone called the Name of All Things. And if Janel is right, then there may be nothing in the world that can stop Relos Var from getting what he wants.
And what he wants is Kihrin D’Mon.
Realm of Ash (The Books of Ambha #2) by Tasha Suri.
Published by Orbit on November 14th, 2019.
I have to say that I tried, a couple of times and failed to get into the first book in the series. I didn’t really even read enough to class the book as a DNF, I just found it rather boring and it didn’t grip me. Maybe the sequel will be different, who knows!
Some believe the Ambhan Empire is cursed. But Arwa doesn’t simply believe it – she knows it’s true.
Widowed by the infamous, unnatural massacre at Darez Fort, Arwa was saved only by the strangeness of her blood – a strangeness she had been taught all her life to suppress. She offers up her blood and service to the imperial family and makes common cause with a disgraced, illegitimate prince who has turned to forbidden occult arts to find a cure to the darkness hanging over the Empire.
Using the power in Arwa’s blood, they seek answers in the realm of ash: a land where mortals can seek the ghostly echoes of their ancestors’ dreams. But the Emperor’s health is failing, and a terrible war of succession hovers on the horizon, not just for the imperial throne, but for the magic underpinning Empire itself.
To save the Empire, Arwa and the prince must walk the bloody path of their shared past, through the realm of ash and into the desert, where the cause of the Empire’s suffering-and its only chance of salvation – lie in wait. But what they find there calls into question everything they’ve ever valued . . . and whether they want to save the Empire at all.
The Pursuit of William Abbey by Claire North.
Published by Orbit on November 14th, 2019.
I have already read this, really enjoyed it, highly recommend it and should have a review going live in the next couple of days..
South Africa, 1884. William Abbey, an English doctor, watches white colonists lynch a Zulu child. As the boy dies, his mother curses William: wherever he goes, the shadow of her son will follow him. It will never stop, never rest. It can cross oceans and mountains. And if it catches him, the person he loves most in the world will die . . .
But to those in power, William’s curse might be a blessing, and as the world slides towards war, William must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in order to survive.
The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H. G. Parry.
Published by Orbit on January 23rd, 2020.
I hadn’t heard of this book but it sounds like a really intriguing concept.
For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob – a young lawyer with an utterly normal life – hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other.
But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world, and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing. There’s someone else out there who shares his powers and it’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them – before anyone gets to The End.
Legacy of Ash (The Legacy Trilogy #1) by Matthew Ward.
Published by Orbit on November 7th, 2019.
This sounds awesome, it is also a signed limited edition! I honestly don’t know how fucking lucky I am to receive such books! It is massive too, probably take me the rest of the year to read! 🙂
A shadow has fallen over the Tressian Republic.
Ruling families – once protectors of justice and democracy – now plot against one another with sharp words and sharper knives. Blinded by ambition, they remain heedless of the threat posed by the invading armies of the Hadari Empire.
Yet as Tressia falls, heroes rise.
Viktor Akadra is the Republic’s champion. A warrior without equal, he hides a secret that would see him burned as a heretic.
Josiri Trelan is Viktor’s sworn enemy. A political prisoner, he dreams of reigniting his mother’s failed rebellion.
And yet Calenne, Josiri’s sister, seeks only to break free of their tarnished legacy; to escape the expectation and prejudice that haunts the Trelan name.
As war spreads across the Republic, these three must set aside their differences in order to save their homeland. However, decades of bad blood are not easily forgotten – victory will demand a darker price than any of them could have imagined.
The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates #1) by A. K. Larkwood.
Published by Tor Books on February 11th, 2020.
This sounds awesome!
What if you knew how and when you will die?
Csorwe does–she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.
But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin–the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.
But Csorwe will soon learn–gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.
The Infinite Noise (The Bright Sessions) by Lauren Shippen.
Published by Tor Teen on October 1st, 2019.
Not too sure that this is for me to be honest but, you never know as sometimes something that you wouldn’t normally read can be a nice change.
Caleb Michaels is your average sixteen-year-old. He goes to school, plays football, teases his little sister. But when Caleb starts experiencing mood swings that are out of the ordinary for even a teenager, his life moves beyond “typical.” Caleb is an Atypical, an individual with enhanced abilities. Which sounds pretty cool except Caleb’s ability is extreme empathy – he feels the emotions of everyone around him. Being an empath in high school would be hard enough, but Caleb’s life becomes even more complicated when he keeps getting pulled into the emotional orbit of one of his classmates, Adam. Adam’s feelings are big and all-consuming, but they fit together with Caleb’s feelings in a way that he can’t quite understand. Caleb’s therapist, Dr. Bright, encourages Caleb to explore this connection by befriending Adam. As he and Adam grow closer, Caleb learns more about his ability, himself, his therapist – who seems to know a lot more than she lets on – and just how dangerous being an Atypical can be.
Gamechanger by L. X. Beckett.
Published by Tor Books on October 1st, 2019.
Another book that sounds really cool.
First there was the Setback.
Then came the Clawback.
Now we thrive.
Rubi Whiting is a member of the Bounceback Generation. The first to be raised free of the troubles of the late twenty-first century. Now she works as a public defender to help troubled individuals with anti-social behavior. That’s how she met Luciano Pox.
Luce is a firebrand and has made a name for himself as a naysayer. But there’s more to him than being a lightning rod for controversy. Rubi has to find out why the governments of the world want to bring Luce into custody, and why Luce is hell bent on stopping the recovery of the planet.
Warrior of the Altaii by Robert Jordan.
Published by Tor Books on October 8th, 2019.
I have never read a Jordan book before, as a fantasy fan, I guess that I should hang my head in shame that I have never tried his Wheel of Time series. But, it is long, very long and sadly, he died before finishing it and Sanderson took over and I’m not a Sanderson fan. So, this could be just the ticket to try Jordan’s work. It is a stunning looking book, I like the cover but in the interior, there are full-colour maps of the land and it also came with a leather bookmark which was really cool.
Draw near and listen, or else time is at an end. The watering holes of the Plain are drying up, the fearsome fanghorn grow more numerous, and bad omens abound. Wulfgar, a leader of the Altaii people, must contend with twin queens, warlords, prophets and magic in hopes of protecting his people and securing their future. Elspeth, a visitor from another world, holds the answers, but first Wulfgar must learn to ask the right questions. But what if the knowledge that saves the Altaii will also destroy them?
Broken Stars by Ken Liu.
Published by Head of Zeus on November 14th, 2019.
Short story collections are something that I rarely dabble in but this sounds like it could be an interesting read.
Here are sixteen short stories from China’s groundbreaking SFF writers, edited and translated by award-winning author Ken Liu.
In Hugo award-winner Liu Cixin’s ‘Moonlight’, a man is contacted by three future versions of himself, each trying to save their world from destruction. Hao Jingfang’s ‘The New Year Train’ sees 1,500 passengers go missing on a train that vanishes into space. In the title story by Tang Fei, a young girl is shown how the stars can reveal the future.
In addition, three essays explore the history and rise of Chinese SFF publishing, contemporary Chinese fandom, and how the growing interest in Chinese SFF has impacted writers who had long laboured in obscurity.
Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky.
Published by Head of Zeus on October 3rd, 2019.
I’ve never read anything by the author before but this sounds really intriguing and like it could be a great read.
The sun is bloated, diseased, dying perhaps. Beneath its baneful light, Shadrapar, last of all cities, harbours fewer than 100,000 human souls. Built on the ruins of countless civilisations, Shadrapar is a museum, a midden, an asylum, a prison on a world that is ever more alien to humanity.
Bearing witness to the desperate struggle for existence between life old and new is Stefan Advani: rebel, outlaw, prisoner, survivor. This is his testament, an account of the journey that took him into the blazing desolation of the western deserts; that transported him east down the river and imprisoned him in the verdant hell of the jungle’s darkest heart; that led him deep into the labyrinths and caverns of the underworld. He will meet with monsters, madman, mutants.
The question is, which one of them will inherit this Earth?
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