Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Through the Looking-Glass: Five Upcoming Book Releases


Good day, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you're keeping well.

Now, if you're still reading this, let me say that I'm excited to share this new section of the Blog with you. As the title suggest, it will focus on upcoming book titles, maybe a week from now, or a month from now, or six months from now. I'll try to feature a diverse selection of authors and titles in more than just one genre.

Another goal is that this becomes a weekly section of the Blog, posted somewhere around Wednesday. Not specific enough for you? I promise I'll do better in the future.

Without further ado, here are a few books that I'm looking forward to reading in the coming months!

The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher
First book in the upcoming Steampunk series, The Cinder Spires.


Synopsis:

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…

About the author:

Jim Butcher, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera novels, conjures up a new series set in a fantastic world of noble families, steam-powered technology, and magic-wielding warriors…

Personal note:

A new novel by Jim Butcher is always a cause of excitement. A new novel by Jim Butcher, which is set in a Steampunk world? Yes, please!

Iron and Blood by Gail Z. Martin & Larry Martin
The first Jake Desmet Adventure


Synopsis:

A Steampunk adventure novel set in the fictional city of New Pittsburgh.

New Pittsburgh in 1898, a crucible of invention and intrigue, the hub of American industry at the height of its steam-driven power. Born from the ashes of devastating fire, flood and earthquake, New Pittsburgh is ruled by the shadow government of The Oligarchy. In the abandoned mine tunnels beneath the city, supernatural creatures hide from the light, emerging to feed in the smoky city known as 'hell with the lid off.' 

Jake Desmet and Rick Brand, heirs to the Brand & Desmet Import Company, travel the world to secure treasures and unusual items for the collections of wealthy patrons, accompanied by Jake's cousin, Veronique 'Nicki' LeClercq . Smuggling a small package as a favor for a Polish witch should have been easy. But when hired killers come after Jake and a Ripper-style killer leaves the city awash in blood, Jake, Rick and Nicki realize that dark magic, vampire power struggles and industrial sabotage are just a prelude to a bigger plot that threatens New Pittsburgh and the world. Stopping that plot will require every ounce of Jake's courage, every bit of Rick's cunning, every scintilla of Nicki's bravura and all the steampowered innovation imaginable.

About the authors:

Gail Z. Martin is the bestselling author of The Chronicles of The Necromancer series from Solaris Books,  The Fallen Kings Cycle from Orbit Books, the Ascendant Kingdoms series from Orbit Books, and the Deadly Curiosities series from Solaris Books.

Larry N. Martin fell in love with fantasy and science fiction when he was a teenager. After a twenty-five year career in Corporate America, Larry started working full-time with his wife, author Gail Z. Martin and discovered that his writing and editing skills transitioned well to fiction and that he had a knack for storytelling, plotting and character development as well. While Iron and Blood is their first official collaboration, readers have benefited from Larry's contributions on several earlier works. On the rare occasions when Larry isn't working on book-related things, he enjoys pottery, cooking and reading.

Personal note:

Just like with Jim Butcher, I'm always eager for the next novel by Gail Z. Martin. Her first series, The Chronicles of the Necromancer, is among my personal favourites. A Steampunk adventure with a dashing and daring hero? Seriously, I can't think of anything that sounds better!

Shower of Stones by Zachary Jernigan
The second Novel of Jeroun


Synopsis:

At the moment of his greatest victory, before a crowd of thousands, the warrior Vedas Tezul renounced his faith, calling for revolt against the god Adrash, imploring mankind to unite in this struggle.

Good intentions count for nothing. In the three months since his sacrilegious pronouncement, the world has not changed for the better. In fact, it is now on the verge of dying. The Needle hangs broken in orbit above Jeroun, each of its massive iron spheres poised to fall and blanket the planet's surface in dust. Long-held truces between Adrashi and Anadrashi break apart as panic spreads.

With no allegiance to either side, the disgraced soldier Churls walks into the divided city of Danoor with a simple plan: murder the monster named Fesuy Amendja, and retrieve from captivity the only two individuals that still matter to her—Vedas Tezul, and the constructed man Berun. The simple plan goes awry, as simple plans do, and in the process Churls and her companions are introduced to one of the world’s deepest secrets: A madman, insisting he is the link to an ancient world, offering the most tempting lie of all... Hope.

Concluding the visceral, inventive narrative begun in No Return, Shower of Stones pits men against gods and swords against civilization-destroying magic in the fascinatingly harsh world of Jeroun.

About the author:

Zachary Jernigan is a science fiction and fantasy writer whose work has been featured in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Crossed Genres, and Escape Pod, among others. Shower of Stones is follow-up to his critically-acclaimed literary debut No Return. Jernigan lives in Arizona.

Personal note:

If you haven't read Zachary Jernigan's debut novel No Return, you should. Right now. I won't be exaggerating if I say that it's one of the best debut novels I've read, period, and my personal favourite since Gail Carriger's Soulless came out in 2009. 

Malice at the Palace by Rhys Bowen
The ninth Royal Spyness Mystery


Synopsis:

Lady Georgiana Rannoch won’t deny that being thirty-fifth in line for the British throne has its advantages. Unfortunately, money isn’t one of them. And sometimes making ends meet requires her to investigate a little royal wrongdoing.
 
While my beau Darcy is off on a mysterious mission, I am once again caught between my high birth and empty purse. I am therefore relieved to receive a new assignment from the Queen—especially one that includes lodging. The King’s youngest son, George, is to wed Princess Marina of Greece, and I shall be her companion at the supposedly haunted Kensington Palace.
 
My duties are simple: help Marina acclimate to English life, show her the best of London and, above all, dispel any rumors about George’s libertine history. Perhaps that last bit isn’t so simple.
 
George is known for his many affairs with women as well as men—including the great songwriter Noel Coward. But things truly get complicated when I search the Palace for a supposed ghost only to encounter an actual dead person: a society beauty said to have been one of Prince George’s mistresses.
 
Nothing spoils a royal wedding more than murder, and the Queen wants the whole matter hushed. But as the investigation unfolds—and Darcy, as always, turns up in the most unlikely of places—the investigation brings us precariously close to the prince himself.

About the author:

Rhys Bowen, a New York Times bestselling author, has been nominated for every major award in mystery writing, including the Edgar, and has won many, including both the Agatha and Anthony awards. She is also the author of the Molly Murphy Mysteries, set in turn-of-the-century New York, and the Constable Evans Mysteries, set in Wales. She was born in England and now divides her time between Northern California and Arizona.

Personal note:

I'm pretty new to Rhys Bowen's works, but ever since I discovered her Royal Spyness Mysteries I haven't been able to get enough of them. The writing is humerus and fast-paced and enjoyable, and the setting is gorgeous. Also, the series reminds me of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. The novels, that is. Not the (gloriously fun) TV show. 

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
The newly discovered novel by the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird


Synopsis:

An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.

About the Author:

Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She attended Huntingdon College and studied law at the University of Alabama. She is the author of two novels, To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman. Harper Lee has been awarded numerous literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


Personal note:

It's Harper Lee. She wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. Need I say more? I didn't think so.

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