Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Books Received

Wake of the Bloody Angel by Alex Bledsoe

Twenty years ago, a barmaid in a harbor town fell for a young sailor who turned pirate to make his fortune. But what truly became of Black Edward Tew remains a mystery—one that has just fallen into the lap of freelance sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse. 

 For years, Eddie has kept his office above Angelina’s tavern, so when Angelina herself asks him to find out what happened to the dashing pirate who stole her heart, he can hardly say no—even though the trail is two decades old. Some say Black Edward and his ship, The Bloody Angel, went to bottom of the sea, taking with it a king’s fortune in treasure. Others say he rules a wealthy, secret pirate kingdom. And a few believe he still sails under a ghostly flag with a crew of the damned. 

To find the truth, and earn his twenty-five gold pieces a day, Eddie must take to sea in the company of a former pirate queen in search of the infamous Black Edward Tew…and his even more legendary treasure.

The Gift of Fire / On the Head of a Pin: Two Short Novels from Crosstown to Oblivion by Walter Mosley

New York Times bestselling authorWalter Mosley delivers two speculative tales, in one volume, of everyday people exposed to life-altering truths.

The Gift of Fire 

In ancient mythology, the Titan Prometheus was punished by the gods for bringing man the gift of fire—an event that set humankind on its course of knowledge. As punishment for making man as powerful as gods, Prometheus was bound to a rock; every day his immortal body was devoured by a giant eagle. But in The Gift of Fire, those chains cease to be, and the great champion of man walks from that immortal prison into present-day South Central Los Angeles. 

On the Head of a Pin 

Joshua Winterland and Ana Fried are working at Jennings-Tremont Enterprises when they make the most important discovery in the history of this world—or possibly the next. JTE is developing advanced animatronics editing techniques to create high-end movies indistinguishable from live-action. Long dead stars can now share the screen with today’s A-list. But one night Joshua and Ana discover something lingering in the rendered footage…an entity that will lead them into a new age beyond the reality they have come to know.

Containment by Christian Cantrell

As Earth's ability to support human life begins to diminish, the Global Space Agency establishes a colony on Venus. When Arik Ockley, part of the first generation to be born and raised off-Earth, undertakes research on artificial photosynthesis to save the life of his unborn child, everything he has ever known is called into question.

Immobility by Brian Evenson

 When you open your eyes things already seem to be happening without you. You don't know who you are and you don't remember where you've been. You know the world has changed, that a catastrophe has destroyed what used to exist before, but you can't remember exactly what did exist before. And you're paralyzed from the waist down apparently, but you don't remember that either. 

A man claiming to be your friend tells you your services are required. Something crucial has been stolen, but what he tells you about it doesn't quite add up. You've got to get it back or something bad is going to happen. And you've got to get it back fast, so they can freeze you again before your own time runs out. Before you know it, you're being carried through a ruined landscape on the backs of two men in hazard suits who don't seem anything like you at all, heading toward something you don't understand that may well end up being the death of you.

Welcome to the life of Josef Horkai….

Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards

Many tales are told of the Syldoon Empire and its fearsome soldiers, who are known throughout the world for their treachery and atrocities. Some say that the Syldoon eat virgins and babies-or perhaps their own mothers. Arkamondos, a bookish young scribe, suspects that the Syldoon's dire reputation may have grown in the retelling, but he's about to find out for himself.

Hired to chronicle the exploits of a band of rugged Syldoon warriors, Arki finds himself both frightened and fascinated by the men's enigmatic leader, Captain Braylar Killcoin. A secretive, mercurial figure haunted by the memories of those he's killed with his deadly flail, Braylar has already disposed of at least one impertinent scribe . . . and Arki might be next. 

Archiving the mundane doings of millers and merchants was tedious, but at least it was safe. As Arki heads off on a mysterious mission into parts unknown, in the company of the coarse, bloody-minded Syldoon, he is promised a chance to finally record an historic adventure well worth the telling, but first he must survive the experience!

  Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that's not the problem. The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven. It's gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. 

Which doesn't leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what's really on her mind. Bonesaw. Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she's figured out just how to do it. She'll haunt him for the rest of his days. It'll be brutal . . . and awesome. 

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen's obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she's willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker. Velveteen can't help herself when it comes to breaking rules . . . or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

The Fire Ascending by Chris D'Lacey

 The much anticipated final book in Chris d'Lacey's NEW YORK TIMES bestselling Last Dragon Chronicles! On Earth, at the battle of Scuffenbury Hill, time has been suspended. Dragons and their natural enemies, the Ix, are trapped in a bitter, unresolved conflict. But at the dawn of history, something is working to change the past -- and the future.

A mysterious force is rewriting the timelines, turning what was once legend into startling reality. But is David Rain strong enough to save himself and those he loves from being written into a deadly new destiny? David, Zanna, Lucy, Alexa, and the Pennykettle dragons return, along with some new friends and enemies, to embark on their most dangerous, most thrilling, and most magical adventure yet. 

Bridging the magic of the first five books with the world and characters introduced in FIRE WORLD, this fiery and action-packed final installment of the Last Dragon Chronicles will have readers racing to the exciting conclusion.

Deadly Descendant by Jenna Black

An ancient evil is unleashed in the modern world— unless one fearless P.I. can hunt it down. . . . Nikki Glass, Immortal Huntress, returns in this new novel in the acclaimed series by Jenna Black. As a living descendant of Artemis the Huntress, private investigator Nikki Glass knows how to track someone down. But when an Oracle shows up, warning the Descendants about wild dog attacks in Washington, D.C., Nikki is afraid it might be a trap. The Olympians believe the “dogs” are really jackals, controlled by a blood-crazed descendant of the Egyptian death-god Anubis. 

Whatever. . . . If Nikki hopes to muzzle Dogboy, she’s got to catch him in the act. But when she stakes out a local cemetery, she ends up face-to-snout with a snarling pack of shadow-jackals whose bite is worse than their bark. These hellhounds are deadly—even for an immortal like Nikki. “Dog” spelled backward may be “god,” but that won’t stop Nikki from teaching these old gods some new tricks. Like playing dead.

Summoning the Night by Jenn Bennett


After narrowly escaping her fate as a sacrificial scapegoat, Arcadia Bell is back to normal. Or at least as ordinary as life can be for a renegade magician and owner of a tiki bar that caters to Earthbound demons. She’s gearing up for the busiest day of the year—Halloween—when a vengeful kidnapper paralyzes the community. The influential head of the local Hellfire Club taps Cady to track down the fiendish bogeyman, and now that she’s dating red-hot Lon Butler, the Club’s wayward son, she can hardly say no. 

Cady and Lon untangle a gruesome thirty-year trail of clues that points to danger for the club members’ children. But locating the person behind the terror will require some metaphysical help from Cady’s loyal bar patrons as well as her potent new Moonchild powers—and she’d better figure it out before the final victim disappears and her own darkest secret becomes her biggest enemy.

The Minority Council by Kate Griffin

 Matthew Swift, sorcerer, Midnight Mayor, is in charge. Or so he'd like to think. And London, being London, is having its issues. Drug use is rampant. Teenage vandalism is driving away business. Violent crimes are on the rise. Once upon a time, Matthew Swift wouldn't have given a toss. Now it's his mess to clean up. Especially when the new drug on the market is fairy dust and the production process involves turning humans into walking drug labs. And when the teenage vandals are being hunted by a mystical creature. And when the petty criminals of London start dying by magical means. It becomes clear that not only is this Swift's mess to clean up, but someone is trying to tell him how to do his job. 

Now he has to sort out who's behind the crime wave and who's interfering in his business. Swift has a lot of old enemies and few friends. If he's going to save London from a rising tide of blood — he's going to have to learn his lessons and fast.

Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells

 The epic conclusion to the amazing Sabina Kane urban fantasy series. Sabina Kane is on the hunt. Her prey: Cain, the father of the vampire race and the one who murdered her family and her friends. Unfortunately, Cain is hunting Sabina, too. The one man who holds the key to defeating Cain is, of course, Abel. A mage with secrets to spare and, hopefully, the power to match it. 

Unfortunately, for Sabina, he's in Rome and may not want to be found. Sabina sets out for Italy with her friends, Giguhl and Adam Lazarus, to track down the only man who can get her the revenge she hungers for. But will he help her or oppose her? And just who is Abel, really? Worst of all, when Sabina figures out the goddess Lilith has a plan for her-she realizes this trip is getting deadlier by the minute. As they say: when in Rome-SURVIVE.

Wizard Undercover (Rogue Agent) by K.E. Mills

There may be trouble ahead ... Wedding bells are ringing for the constantly battling nations of Splotze and Borovnik, and the upcoming royal nuptials could at last put an end to their dangerous hostilities. But in a development that hardly bodes well, one of Gerald's fellow janitors goes missing - after delivering a dire warning of danger surrounding the marriage treaty. 

So Gerald must embark on a dangerous mission to uncover the troublemakers, before wedded bliss becomes international war. But going undercover isn't as easy as it looks, even with Melissande and Emmerabiblia for camouflage. Soon Gerald finds himself fighting for his life as well as world peace.

Further: Beyond the Threshold by Chris Roberson

 The thirty-fourth century. Humankind is spread across three thousand light years in a myriad of worlds and habitats known as the Human Entelechy. Linked by a network of wormholes with Earth at its center, it is the world Captain RJ Stone awakens to after a twelve-thousand-year cryogenic suspension. Stone soon finds himself commanding the maiden voyage of the first spacecraft to break the light speed barrier: the FTL Further.

 In search of extraterrestrial intelligence, the landing party explores a distant pulsar only to be taken prisoner by the bloodthirsty Iron Mass, a religious sect exiled from the Entelechy millennia before. Now Stone and his crew must escape while they try to solve the riddle of the planet’s network of stone towers that may be proof of the intelligence they’ve come to find.

Last Rite by Lisa Desrochers

 In this final installment of the thrilling, edgy Personal Demons series, the battle between Heaven and Hell has become critical, and Frannie Cavanaugh is right at the center of it.

 With the help of the powerful angel Gabe and demon-turned-mortal Luc, Frannie has been able to stay one step ahead of the forces of Hell. But when the demons killed Frannie's best friend and destroyed her brother, they raised the stakes. If Frannie wants to keep her family and friends safe, she knows she has no choice but to go on the run.

 Their best defense is the power Frannie has been struggling to master, but her attempts to hone her skill go horribly awry. If Frannie doesn't learn fast, the consequences could be devastating—even apocalyptic.

Shadow Blizzard by Alexey Pehov

  After the loss of friends and comrades, after betrayal and battle, master thief Shadow Harold finally enters Hrad Spein — the dreaded underground complex where the object of Harold’s quest, the Rainbow Horn, is hidden. With nothing more than his wits, the advice of a goblin shaman, and a stolen map, he must succeed where battalions of soldiers and wizards have failed. On top of that, Harold must outwit an enemy within Hrad Spein who is working with a powerful sorceress in an attempt to find the Horn before he does. Before the master thief are many dangerous obstacles — including ghouls, long-dead armies of elves, orcs, and magical traps...and, he is sure, even more deadly obstacles that are yet unknown. Will Shadow Harold be able to pull off the greatest theft in history?

Unfortunately, even if he does, he’ll not be home free. The Forest of Zagrabia, through which Harold must make his way home, is controlled by the armies of orcs that have come to join The Nameless One. For the first time in centuries, they have united into a vast army about to cut a bloody swath through the lands of men. Another huge army collected by The Nameless One has already begun the titanic battle with King Stalkon, and the final war has begun, bringing bleak days of despair and devastation. Harold will have to use all his guile, cunning, and luck to find a way to escape the Labyrinth and get to Avendoom in time to save his world from destruction.

Rage of the Dragon by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

  Skylan Ivorson is the gods-chosen Chief of all Vindras clans. But the gods from whom the Vindrasi draw their earthdwelling power are besieged by a new generation of gods who are challenging them for the powers of creation. The only way to stop these brash interlopers lies within the Five Bones of the Vektia Dragon—the primal dragon forged during the creation of the world—which have been lost for generations. 

 With the Gods of the New Dawn amassing a vast army, Skylan finds allies in former enemies. Calling upon the ogres to fight their common foes, the Vindrasi soon find themselves in the middle of an even larger war. Skylan and his Vindrasi clan must sail the Sea of Tears into the heart of the Forbidden Empire of the Cyclops, to implement a cunning yet delicate plan that risks his life and leadership at every corner. But a new enemy lies deep in the sea, one who draws upon powers never harnessed by land dwellers.

Ghost Key by Trish Macgregor

 Dominica and her tribe of hungry ghosts were driven from Esperanza, that magical city high in the Andes, but they were not all destroyed. As a last devastating blow against Tess Livingston, Dominica seized Tess’s niece Maddie as a host, and fled to the United States. The evil bruja has settled in a small resort town in Florida and is cementing her power over a new tribe of unquiet dead.

 But she will not be able to take over Cedar Key, not without arousing the suspicion of the US government. And not without attracting the attention of Wayra, her oldest lover and most bitter enemy. Passion, terror, blood, and courage abound in this supernatural thriller that will take your breath away.

Grim by Anna Waggener

A fantastic debut from the winner of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards novel contest.
When Erika wakes up after a horrific car crash, she finds herself somewhere between earth and heaven, between life and death. She doesn't want to accept help from Jeremiah, who she's not sure she can trust, even as she finds herself drawn to him, following him into a grim city of souls. She's not sure who wants to help her and who wants to hurt her. And she's desperate to get back to her children.

Shawn's never thought about having to shoulder the responsibility of caring for his young sister Megan and his reckless older sister. And he never imagined that the three of them would find themselves in a haunted wood, sometimes chased, sometimes assisted, never sure where they're headed.

With Grim, the terrifically talented Anna Waggener delves into the place where myth becomes reality, where family can distort you as easily as it cares for you, where death and eternity meet.

Albert of Adelaide by Howard Anderson

 ALBERT OF ADELAIDE follows the story of a duck-billed platypus who escapes from Australia's Adelaide Zoo and embarks on a journey through the outback in search of 'Old Australia,' a land of liberty, promise and peace. Encountering a motley assortment of characters—a pyromaniac wombat, a pair of invariably drunk (and vaguely gay) bandicoots, some dingoes, a group of kangaroos and a wrestling Tasmanian devil—this unlikely hero discovers a strength and skill for survival he could not have known he possessed. 

At once an old-fashioned-buddy-novel-shoot-em-up and a work of deliciously imagined fantasy, ALBERT OF ADELAIDE is a haunting story of a world where something has gone horribly awry.


Elfy said...

I'm almost tempted to look at Albert of Adelaide see how the author explains a platypus living in what sounds like a desert environment when it's an aquatic mammal, and how a Tasmanian devil ended up the mainland, to the best of my knowledge they can't swim. Reading way too much into this, aren't I?

SQT said...

I'd be happy to send it your way (maybe in exchange for a short review) if you want to check it out.

And I'll admit, I'm also curious to see how an aquatic animal *would* do in the desert.