Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Books Received

Chicks Kick Butt by Rachel Caine and Kerrie L. Hughes (Editors)

Chicks are awesome—and never more so than when they are kicking some serious vampire/werewolf/demon/monster butt.
Chicks Kick Butt is an anthology that features one of the best things about the urban fantasy genre: strong, independent, and intelligent heroines who are quite capable of solving their own problems and slaying their own dragons (or demons, as the case may be).
Edited by Kerrie Hughes and Rachel Caine, Chicks Kick Butt features original stories from thirteen authors, eleven of whom are New York Times bestsellers:
- Rachel Caine (with a story from her bestselling Weather Wardens universe)
- L.A. Banks
- Rachel Vincent
- Karen Chance
- Lilith Saintcrow
- Cheyenne McCray
- Susan Krinard
- Jeanne Stein
- Jenna Black
- Susan Krinard
- Jeanne Stein
- Jenna Black
- Elizabeth Vaughan
- Carole Nelson Douglas
- P.N. Elrod
- Nancy Holder


The Chaos Crystal by Jennifer Fallon

The magical Tide has turned and the Immortal Lords once again have their full power. The Immortal Lord Cayal welcomes this power as a means to an end--his end, preferably. Cayal has wanted to cease his existence for longer than human history and it looks like he might finally get his wish. Rumors swirl that the Chaos Crystal, the mysterious prism that brought the Immortals to the world, has been found. Cayal is determined to seize the gem.

Among those who search for this long-lost object is Cayal’s former lover, the very mortal Lady Arkady. She’s been captured by Jaxyn, a Tide Lord who is decidedly against Cayal and is seeking the Crystal for his own nefarious schemes. Arkady escapes, and is off on her desperate search…for if the gem falls into the hands of the Immortals, what will become of humanity?

The stakes are high, with mortal and immortal fighting to grasp this ultimate prize. Whoever holds the Crystal can decide the fate of the world.


Hunt the Moon by Karen Chance

Cassandra Palmer recently defeated a god, which you'd think would buy a girl a little time off. But it doesn't work that way when your job description is Pythia-the world's chief clairvoyant. Cassie is busier than ever, trying to learn about her power, preparing for her upcoming coronation, and figuring out her relationship with the enigmatic sexy master vampire, Mircea.

But someone doesn't want Cassie to become Pythia, and is willing to go to any lengths to make sure the coronation ceremony never happens- including attacking her mother before Cassie is even born.





Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers

Luc Cain was born and raised in Hell, but he isn’t feeling as demonic as usual lately—thanks to Frannie Cavanaugh and the unique power she never realized she had. But you can’t desert Hell without consequences, and suddenly Frannie and Luc find themselves targeted by the same demons who used to be Luc’s allies.

Left with few options, Frannie and Luc accept the protection of Heaven and one of its most powerful angels, Gabe. Unfortunately, Luc isn’t the only one affected by Frannie, and it isn’t long before Gabe realizes that being around her is too…tempting. Rather than risk losing his wings, he leaves Frannie and Luc under the protection of her recently-acquired guardian angel.

Which would be fine, but Gabe is barely out the door before an assortment of demons appears—and they’re not leaving without dragging Luc back to Hell with them. Hell won’t give up and Heaven won’t give in. Frannie’s guardian exercises all the power he has to keep them away, but the demons are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell’s grasp.

And not everyone will get out of it alive.



I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells

Dan Wells introduced us to John Wayne Cleaver in the chilling novels I Am Not a Serial Killer and Mr. Monster. In I Don't Want to Kill You, Cleaver faces his toughest challenge yet.
John Wayne Cleaver has called a demon---literally called it on the phone---and challenged it to a fight. He’s faced two monsters already, barely escaping with his life, and now he’s done running; he’s taking the fight to them. As he wades through the town’s darkest secrets, searching for any sign of who the demon might be, one thing becomes all too clear: in a game of cat and mouse with a supernatural killer, you are always the mouse.

In I Am Not a Serial Killer we watched a budding sociopath break every rule he had to save his town from evil. In Mr. Monster we held our breath as he fought madly with himself, struggling to stay in control. Now John Wayne Cleaver has mastered his twisted talents and embraced his role as a killer of killers. I Don't Want to Kill You brings his story to a thundering climax of suspicion, mayhem, and death.

It’s time to punish the guilty.
And in a town full of secrets, everyone is guilty of something.



Honeyed Words by J.A. Pitts

Sarah Beauhall is a blacksmith, has a night job as a props manager for a low-budget movie, and spends her free time fighting in a medieval re-enactment group. Her world falls apart when she discovers that dragons are real and live among us as shapeshifters; in fact, it is they who have been the secret masters of our world from time immemorial. On top of all this, it appears that Sarah has managed to reforge an ancient sword that everyone suddenly wants...and those who don’t want the weapon want Sarah to take on her destiny and become humanity’s saviour.

As Sarah tries to make her way in this new world, she discovers just how little she knows of reality. Fairies and dwarves and giants abound, the fault line of the Pacific Northwest is rife with ancient Norse magic. Odin himself appears with ravens at his side and cryptic advice for the fledgling heroine. And the cherry on the sundae? The discovery that Sarah’s girlfriend is from a family that has been battling these forces for generations and they look to Sarah as their last best hope.

What’s a girl to do when the powers of the world decide that you’re responsible for cleaning up the magical mess?


Children of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy

The crib is everywhere . . .

Edie Sha'nim believes she and her bodyguard lover, Finn, could find refuge from the tyranny of the Crib empire by fleeing to the Fringe worlds. But Edie's extraordinary cypherteck ability to manipulate the ecology of evolving planets makes her far too valuable for the empire to lose. Recaptured and forced to cooperate—or else she will watch Finn die—Edie is shocked to discover the Crib's new breed of cypherteck: children. She cannot stand by while the oppressors enslave the innocent, nor can she resist the lure of Scarabaeus, the first world she tried to save, when researchers discover what appears to be an evolving intelligence.

But escape—for Edie, for Finn, and for the exploited young—will require the ultimate sacrifice . . . and a shocking act of rebellion.



Shadow Raiders by Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes

A new epic military fantasy series-by New York Times bestselling author Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes.

The known world floats upon the Breath of God, a thick gas similar to Earth's oceans, with land masses accessible by airship. The largest of these land masses are ruled by the rival empires of Freya and Rosia. Magic is intrinsic to the functioning of these societies, and is even incorporated into their technological devices. But now a crucial scientific discovery has occurred that could destroy the balance of power-and change the empires forever.



All the Lives He Led by Frederik Pohl

The year is 2079. In the shadow of Mount Vesuvius a virtual reality theme park has been erected for Il Giubelo — the celebration honoring the 2000th anniversary of the volcano’s great eruption. Tens of thousands of tourists from around the world have converged on the site for the occasion. But trouble is brewing in Pompei. . . .

Brad Sheridan, an indentured servant from a post-disaster United States, has been hired to work as an “authentic” ancient Pompeian wine seller for the event. Brad already has his hands full — with the woman of his dreams, and with troubling events that threaten to cost him his job. But as the fateful day draws near, he uncovers a much bigger nightmare: A terrorist cell is devising a plot to draw attention to their cause by creating a disaster — one so massive it could wipe out humanity.

With his trademark eye for humanity, Frederik Pohl has created a multi-layered story about a group of people caught in the shifting current of political unrest. All the Lives He Led is gripping science fiction — a new masterwork from the Grand Master.



Shadowborn by Alison Sinclair

From the author of Lightborn, the third book in a Regency- flavored fantasy series of magic and manners.

Magic dies with the mage, or so the Darkborn believe. That's why Lady Telmaine Hearne has been condemned to death for sorcery. She's escaped but is now bound with her mageborn allies for the Borders and war. Meanwhile, her husband, Balthasar, has learned of his family connection to the Shadowborn-and is fighting for survival and sanity as magic turns him against everything he holds dear.




The Crippled God by Steven Erikson

Savaged by the K’Chain Nah’Ruk, the Bonehunters march for Kolanse, where waits an unknown fate. Tormented by questions, the army totters on the edge of mutiny, but Adjunct Tavore will not relent. One final act remains, if it is in her power, if she can hold her army together, if the shaky allegiances she has forged can survive all that is to come. A woman with no gifts of magic, deemed plain, unprepossessing, displaying nothing to instill loyalty or confidence, Tavore Paran of House Paran means to challenge the gods – if her own troops don’t kill her first.

Awaiting Tavore and her allies are the Forkrul Assail, the final arbiters of humanity. Drawing upon an alien power terrible in its magnitude, they seek to cleanse the world, to annihilate every human, every civilization, in order to begin anew. They welcome the coming conflagration of slaughter, for it shall be of their own devising, and it pleases them to know that, in the midst of the enemies gathering against them, there shall be betrayal.
In the realm of Kurald Galain, home to the long lost city of Kharkanas, a mass of refugees stand upon the First Shore. Commanded by Yedan Derryg, the Watch, they await the breaching of Lightfall, and the coming of the Tiste Liosan. This is a war they cannot win, and they will die in the name of an empty city and a queen with no subjects.

Elsewhere, the three Elder Gods, Kilmandaros, Errastas and Sechul Lath, work to shatter the chains binding Korabas, the Otataral Dragon, from her eternal prison. Once freed, she will rise as a force of devastation, and against her no mortal can stand. At the Gates of Starvald Demelain, the Azath House sealing the portal is dying. Soon will come the Eleint, and once more, there will be dragons in the world.



Betrayer by C.J. Cherryh

The twelfth book in Hugo Award winner C.J. Cherryh's epic Foreigner series.
The civil war among the alien atevi has ended. Tabini-aiji, powerful ruler of the Western Association, along with Cajeiri his son and heir, and his human paidhi, Bren Cameron, have returned to the Bujavid, their seat of power.
But factions that remain loyal to the opposition are still present, and the danger these rebels pose is far from over.



The Shining City by Fiona Patton


With the three children of prophecy-the seers Spar and Graize, and the warrior Brax-now grown, and the young God Hisar ready to stake his claim to a place in the pantheon of Anavatan, a time of chaos and change is fast approaching. For only if sworn enemies Spar and Graize can come together as Hisar's priests will the God stand any chance of surviving the coming battles with both the hungry spirits seeking to devour him, and the war with the mortal invasion fleet, which is even now sailing for Anavatan.



Eureka: Road Less Traveled by Cris Ramsay

A Global Dynamics researcher has a breakthrough on her project visualizing another dimension. And since GD's experiments have a bad tendency to affect the entire town, Sheriff Jack Carter heads over to check it out. What he sees blows him away. The project has revealed a parallel universe, complete with another Eureka-one in which Carter doesn't exist! But as the two worlds begin to bleed into each other and residents confront their alternate selves, Carter may be the one man who can keep both Eurekas from being destroyed.



Waking Nightmares by Christopher Golden


Peter Octavian, once a vampire, now a powerful mage, has been living a quiet life in San Francisco. But when the barrier that used to prevent demons and monsters from entering the world have fallen, Octavian is compelled to do what he can to hold back the darkness.



Shady Lady by Ann Aguirre


Whenever Corine Solomon touches an object, she immediately knows its history. But the future concerns her more when former ally Kel Ferguson wlaks through her door with a warning for her: the Montoya cartel is coming for her-but they don't just pack guns. They use warlocks, shamans and voodoo priests. And Corine has become enemy number one...


Element Zero by James Knapp


Technologically reanimated corpses are frontline soldiers engaged in a neverending war. Agent Nico Wachalowski uncovered a conspiracy that allowed Samuel Fawkes, the scientist who created them, to control them beyond the grave. And now Fawkes has infected untold thousands with new technology, creating an undetectable army that will obey his every command-a living army that just might represent the future of humanity...


A Magic of Dawn by S.L. Farrell


Kraljica Allesandra sits on the Sun Throne of a much-diminished Holdings empire, while her son Jan rules the rival Coalition of Firenzcia. The schism between them threatens to tear apart the realm when they need solidarity the most. Facing powerful threats, from the rising influence of the Numetodo sect to the fundamentalist preacher Nico Morel-as well as the army of Tehuantin from across the sea- Allesandra and Jan must each find a pathway to survival for themselves and their people.


Deceiver by C.J. Cherryh

The civil war among the alien Atevi has ended and Tabini-aiji, the ruler of the Western Association, has returned to power. Bren Cameron, Tabini's human paidhi, decides to return to his recovered home on the coast, but when Tabini's son Cajeiri, desperate for adventure, flees his responsibilities to join Bren, Tabini sends the boy's great-grandmother to find him.
Even though the war is over, the opposition is still present, and a district once thought to be safe could now be a trap. With Bren, Cajeiri, and his great-grandmother under one roof...a trap is baited.



Alien in the Family by Gini Koch

Super-Being Exterminator Kitty Katt and the Alpha Centaurian she loves, Jeff Martini, should be finalizing their wedding plans. But that was before she discovers Jeff is in line to become Emperor back on his home world. Kitty knows she is everything a royal family wouldn't approve of, and is bracing herself for the worst. As it turns out, the royal family is just the beginning. Especially when extraterrestrial Amazonian terrorists are determined to start and end Kitty and Jeff's nuptial festivities with a bang.


Lady Protector by L. E. Modesitt Jr.

A new novel of Mykella, the young woman introduced in The Lord-Protector’s Daughter. Though a bloody coup has made Mykella ruler of her land, it has left her and her two sisters bereft of family and uncertain of their friends. Worse, an examination of the nation’s accounts reveals that their country is almost destitute. Plus, there are rumblings of war along the borders. With no money and few allies, Mykella is faced with the difficult prospect of rebuilding her nation while trying to hold off a potentially devastating invasion.

Fortunately for Mykella, an old magic has awakened in her; a power that gives her the ability to read the emotions of others and to spy on the movements of her enemies. But the resurgence of this power might herald the return of an ancient enemy, one that Mykella isn’t sure how to face.

L.E. Modesitt, Jr. returns to the world of The Corean Chronicles with a novel filled with politics, adventure, magic, and romance.



Dark Jenny by Alex Bledsoe

Alex Bledsoe’s novels featuring detective Eddie LaCrosse have drawn rave reviews for their ingenious blend of classic fantasy and hard-boiled detective fiction. Now with Dark Jenny, Bledsoe returns with an all-new tale of intrigue and murder. . . .

For twenty-five gold pieces a day, plus expenses, Eddie LaCrosse will take on most any case. But the unexpected delivery of a coffin in the dead of winter forces LaCrosse to look back at a bygone chapter in his past—and the premeditated murder of a dream.

Ruled by the noble King Marcus Drake, the island kingdom of Grand Braun is an oasis of peace and justice in an imperfect world. At least until the beautiful Queen Jennifer is accused of adultery and murder. In the wrong castle at the wrong time, Eddie finds himself drafted at sword’s point to solve the mystery. With time running out, and powerful nobles all too eager to pin the murder on Eddie himself, he must untangle a tangled web of palace intrigues, buried secrets, and bewitching women—before the entire kingdom erupts into civil war.
Murder, mystery, and magic—just another day on the job for Eddie LaCrosse.



For Heaven's Eyes Only by Simon R. Green


The fifth Eddie Drood novel from the New York Times bestselling author.

After the murder of the Drood Matriarch, the family finds itself vulnerable to evil. This time, it's a Satanic Conspiracy that could throw humanity directly into the clutches of the Biggest of the Bads...




The Council of Shadows by S. M. Stirling

New from the New York Times bestselling author of A Taint in the Blood.

Adrian Brézé defied his own dark heritage as a near-purebred Shadowspawn for years, until his power-hungry sister Adrienne kidnapped his human lover Ellen.

Now, Adrienne is dead, and the Council of Shadows is gathering its strength. To stop the Council from launching an apocalypse, Adrian and Ellen must ally with the Brotherhood, a resistance group dedicated to breaking the Council's hold on humankind...by any means necessary.
In the coming confrontation, Adrian must fight not only the members of the Council but also his own nature-and, as he will come to suspect, traitors within the Brotherhood itself...


The Neon Court by Kate Griffin

War is coming to London. A daimyo of the Neon Court is dead and all fingers point towards their ancient enemy - The Tribe. And when magicians go to war, everyone loses.

But Matthew Swift has his own concerns. He has been summoned abruptly, body and soul, to a burning tower and to the dead body of Oda, warrior of The Order and known associate of Swift. There's a hole in her heart and the symbol of the Midnight Mayor drawn in her own blood. Except, she is still walking and talking and has a nasty habit of saying 'we' when she means 'I.'
Now, Swift faces the longest night of his life. Lady Neon herself is coming to London and the Tribe is ready to fight. Strange things stalk this night: a rumored 'chosen one,' a monster that burns out the eyes of its enemies, and a walking dead woman. Swift must stop a war, protect his city, and save his friend - if she'll stop trying to kill him long enough for him to try.



Other Kingdoms by Richard Matheson

For over half a century, Richard Matheson has enthralled and terrified readers with such timeless classics as I Am Legend, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Duel, Somewhere in Time, and What Dreams May Come. Now the Grand Master returns with a bewitching tale of erotic suspense and enchantment.…

1918. A young American soldier, recently wounded in the Great War, Alex White comes to Gatford to escape his troubled past. The pastoral English village seems the perfect spot to heal his wounded body and soul. True, the neighboring woods are said to be haunted by capricious, even malevolent spirits, but surely those are just old wives’ tales.
Aren’t they?

A frightening encounter in the forest leads Alex into the arms of Magda Variel, an alluring red-haired widow rumored to be a witch. She warns him to steer clear of the wood and the perilous faerie kingdom it borders, but Alex cannot help himself. Drawn to its verdant mysteries, he finds love, danger…and wonders that will forever change his view of the world.
Other Kingdoms casts a magical spell, as conjured by a truly legendary storyteller.


Demon Song by Cat Adams

In a world where magic is real and the supernatural is almost normal, bodyguard Celia Graves has survived a vampire attack which made her a half-vampire and awakened her latent Siren abilities. She’s battled a Siren Queen and twice faced down a demon that wants to kill her—slowly. She’s also had her heart broken—twice—by her old flame, magician Bruno DeLuca. Now the demon’s coming back for round three, determined this time to destroy Celia and those sworn to protect her.


Hellhole by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Only the most desperate colonists dare to make a new home on Hellhole. Reeling from a recent asteroid impact, tortured with horrific storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and churning volcanic eruptions, the planet is a dumping ground for undesirables, misfits, and charlatans…but also a haven for dreamers and independent pioneers.

Against all odds, an exiled general named Adolphus has turned Hellhole into a place of real opportunity for the desperate colonists who call the planet their home. While the colonists are hard at work developing the planet, General Adolphus secretly builds alliances with the leaders of the other Deep Zone worlds, forming a clandestine coalition against the tyrannical, fossilized government responsible for their exile.

What no one knows is this: the planet Hellhole, though damaged and volatile, hides an amazing secret. Deep beneath its surface lies the remnants of an obliterated alien civilization and the buried memories of its unrecorded past that, when unearthed, could tear the galaxy apart.




Home Fires by Gene Wolfe

Gene Wolfe takes us to a future North America at once familiar and utterly strange. A young man and woman, Skip and Chelle, fall in love in college and marry, but she is enlisted in the military, there is a war on, and she must serve her tour of duty before they can settle down. But the military is fighting a war with aliens in distant solar systems, and her months in the service will be years in relative time on Earth. Chelle returns to recuperate from severe injuries, after months of service, still a young woman but not necessarily the same person—while Skip is in his forties and a wealthy businessman, but eager for her return.

Still in love (somewhat to his surprise and delight), they go on a Caribbean cruise to resume their marriage. Their vacation rapidly becomes a complex series of challenges, not the least of which are spies, aliens, and battles with pirates who capture the ship for ransom. There is no writer in SF like Gene Wolfe and no SF novel like Home Fires.



A Kingdom Besieged by Raymond Feist

After nearly thirty years and more than two dozen novels, Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar Cycle has become one of the most iconic, beloved, and enduring sagas in modern fantasy. The Riftwars—including the original Riftwar, the Serpentwar, the Darkwar, and the Demonwar—were epic battles between Good and Evil whose ramifications have echoed through generations. The latest entry in the epic, A Kingdom Besieged, ushers in the most fearsome threat the Kingdom has yet faced—the Chaoswar—a magic apocalypse with cataclysmic results.

A Kingdom Besieged

Years ago, the Empire of Great Kesh failed in its attempt to conquer Krondor after the Serpentwar, thanks to the bravery, cunning, and magic of the sorcerer Pug and the Conclave of Shadows. Since then, peace has benefitted both nations, and the Kingdom has been free from the threat of another Keshian invasion. Yet now, the dark clouds of war gather again. . . .

From the Far Coast in the west to the frontier with the Eastern Kingdoms, rumors, uncertainty, and political instability are rampant. Spies have gone missing—some were murdered while others have turned traitor. Factions are rising, powerful legions from the Keshian Confederacy have been mobilized, and an attack on the kingdoms of the Isles and Roldem is all but certain.
As the men of the Western Realm begin to mount a defense, Martin conDoin, the middle son of Lord Henry, Duke of Crydee, finds himself leading the charge against the invaders—like his legendary ancestor, Prince Arutha, who stood firm to the death against the Tsurani invasion. But Arutha had an entire army at his command. Martin has just a ragtag force comprised of a few old men and young boys.

As Kesh's invading hordes once again descend upon the Kingdom, no one is safe—not experienced masters of intrigue Lord James Dasher Jamison and the beguiling and deadly Lady Franciezka; not the brave warrior Knight-Adamant Sandreena and a new generation of loyal yet untested defenders; not even the great Pug himself, the most powerful magician the world of Midkemia has ever known. A threat far more terrifying has arisen, an evil whose burgeoning power portends Midkemia's demise. And soon even the Kingdom's enchanted defender will find himself questioning everything he's ever held abiding, true, and treasured . . . including the loyalty and desires of his beloved son, Magnus.



WWW: Wonder by Robert J. Sawyer

Webmind-the vast consciousness that spontaneously emerged from the infrastructure of the World Wide Web-has proven its worth to humanity by aiding in everything from curing cancer to easing international tensions. But the brass at the Pentagon see Webmind as a threat that needs to be eliminated.

Caitlin Decter-the once-blind sixteen-year-old math genius who discovered, and bonded with, Webmind-wants desperately to protect her friend. And if she doesn't act, everything-Webmind included-may come crashing down.

2 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Wow, there's a years worth of reading.

scooper said...

There are some great books on your list.