Thursday, 29 December 2011

Books Received in December, 2011

As a thank you to the publishers and authors who sent me books in December, here's the last 'books received' post of the year.  With the exception of A Class Apart, all the synopsis are from the Indigo website.

First up is A Class Apart by Stephen Henning. From the book's website:

Teenage twins James and Samantha Blake are caught up in a seemingly random terrorist bombing while on a school trip. Many of their friends are killed. When the twins wake up in hospital, their lives have changed forever.

The first book in the Class Heroes series.

  Next is Sabrina Benulis's gothic drama Archon.

There are some things worse than death . . .

For years, Angela Mathers has been plagued by visions of a supernatural being--an angel with beguiling eyes and magnificent wings who haunts her thoughts and seduces her dreams. Newly freed from a mental institution where she had been locked away for two years, Angela hopes that attending Westwood Academy, the Vatican's exclusive university, will bring her peace and a semblance of normality.

But Angela isn't normal. With her stain of dark red hair and alabaster skin, she is a blood head--a freak, a monster, and the possible fulfillment of a terrifying prophecy. Blessed with strange, mystical powers, blood heads hold a special place in the Academy. Among them, one special blood head is more powerful than them all: the Archon, the human reincarnation of the dead angel Raziel. And when the Archon arises as foretold, it will rule the supernatural universe.

Barely in control of her own life, Angela has no ambition to conquer an entire universe, not when she's suddenly contending with a dangerous enemy who is determined to destroy her and a magnetic novitiate who wants to save her. But the choice might not be her own . . .

Torn between mortal love and angelic obsession, the young blood head must soon face the truth about herself and her world. It is she who holds the key to Heaven and Hell--and both will stop at nothing to possess her.

 In "Archon," Sabrina Benulis has created a dazzlingly imaginative tale set in a lush, vivid supernatural world filled with gargoyles and candlelight, magic and murder, in which humans, angels, demons, and those in between battle for supremacy--and survival.

Endurance by Jay Lake is the continuation of Green. As the second book in the series, the synopsis for Endurance contains spoilers for Green.

Green is back in Copper Downs. Purchased from her father in sunny Selistan when she was four years old, she was harshly raised to be a courtesan, companion, and bedmate of the Immortal Duke of Copper Downs. But Green rebelled. Green killed the Duke, and many others, and won her freedom. Yet she is still claimed by the gods and goddesses of her world, and they still require her service. Their demands are greater than any duke's could have been.

Godslayers have come to the Stone Coast, magicians whose cult is dedicated to destroying the many gods of Green's world. In the turmoil following the Immortal Duke's murder, Green made a God out of her power and her memories. Now the gods turn to her to protect them from the Slayers.

Jay Lake brings us an epic fantasy not "in the tradition of Tolkien," but, instead, sensual, ominous, shot through with the sweat of fear and the intoxication of power.

In Stands A Shadow Col Buchanan continues the story he began in Farlander.  Again, the synopsis has some spoilers, so only read it if you've read the first book in the series.

In Farlander, the first book of the Heart of the World series, readers met Ash, an aging master assassin of the famed order of Roshun, and his apprentice Nico, a boy who always managed to be in the wrong place at the right time. Ash and Nico, one with failing health and the other with little training, were sent on a suicidal mission to fulfill a contract against the favored son of the Holy Matriarch, the ruler of Mann. The assassination of the Matriarch''s son maintained the honor and reputation of the Roshun, but further destabilized a nation already beset by strife. For Ash, fulfilling the contract came at an enormous personal cost.

Now in Stands a Shadow, driven by grief and anger, Ash embarks on a journey that takes him through the Free Ports and towards the embattled city of Bar-Khos. He arrives at the city as the Holy Matriarch of Mann orders her forces to breach the walls of Bar-Khos and bring it under her control. Renouncing the ways of the Roshun, Ash disguises himself among the Mannian soldiers, determined to go to any lengths to have his revenge against the Matriarch. . . .

The Heart of the World series is an epic adventure that, through the lens of its vibrant and unique world and engaging characters, asks intriguing questions and illuminates the humanity at the core of both hero and villain. Stands a Shadow is the second book in the series.

 Last but not least is Megan Crewe's dystopian YA The Way We Fall.

Sixteen-year-old old Kaelyn challenges her fears, finds a second chance at love, and fights to keep her family and friends safe as a deadly new virus devastates her island community.

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