Monday, 30 September 2013

Books Received in September 2013

These are the books I was privileged to receive from publishers this month.  With the exception of The Hangman's Replacement, which is from Amazon, all synopses are from the Indigo website.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl - The sales rep from Penguin Random House compared it to Ira Levin's work.

On a damp October night, the body of young, beautiful Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. By all appearances her death is a suicide--but investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. Though much has been written about the dark and unsettling films of Ashley's father, Stanislas Cordova, very little is known about the man himself. As McGrath pieces together the mystery of Ashley's death, he is drawn deeper and deeper into the dark underbelly of New York City and the twisted world of Stanislas Cordova, and he begins to wonder--is he the next victim? In this novel, the dazzlingly inventive writer Marisha Pessl offers a breathtaking mystery that will hold you in suspense until the last page is turned.

More Than This by Patrick Ness - I loved his other books so I'm hoping to make time for this one soon.

A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What's going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this.
MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood - I haven't read the other two books in this series, but now that it's finished, maybe it's time to start.  I've heard good things about these books.

Months after the Waterless Flood pandemic has wiped out most of humanity, Toby and Ren have rescued their friend Amanda from the vicious Painballers. They return to the MaddAddamite cob house, which is being fortified against man and giant Pigoon alike. Accompanying them are the Crakers, the gentle, quasi-human species engineered by the brilliant but deceased Crake. While their reluctant prophet, Jimmy -- Crake's one-time friend -- recovers from a debilitating fever, it's left to Toby to narrate the Craker theology, with Crake as Creator. She must also deal with cultural misunderstandings, terrible coffee, and her jealousy over her lover, Zeb.

Meanwhile, Zeb searches for Adam One, founder of the God's Gardeners, the pacifist green religion from which Zeb broke years ago to lead the MaddAddamites in active resistance against the destructive CorpSeCorps. Now, under threat of an imminent Painballer attack, the MaddAddamites must fight back with the aid of their newfound allies, some of whom have four trotters.

At the centre, is the extraordinary story of Zeb's past, which involves a lost brother, a hidden murder, a bear, and a bizarre act of revenge.

The Hangman's Replacement by Taona Dumisani Chiveneko - Speaking of diverse SFF, science fiction/horror set in Africa?  Oh yeah.  I've started this one and so far it's fantastic.

Zimbabwe’s last hangman retired in 2004. As the nation drifted towards abolition, no determined effort was launched to find a replacement. However, the discovery of carnivorous flame lilies at the Great Zimbabwe monument triggered a spirited search for a new executioner. Those who know why this discovery energized the recruitment effort refused to talk.
The frantic attempts to find a new hangman were impeded by the lack of suitable candidates. Well-placed sources confirmed that the fear of ngozi was a deterrent. According to this traditional belief, the spirit of a murdered person torments the killer and his family for generations. However, this is only half the story. Several promising applicants did come forward. None met the minimum requirements for the job. The selection criteria were designed to exclude the mentally ill, the vindictive, and the sadistic. However, they did not rule out the desperate.
The Sprout of Disruption (Book 1) introduces the universe of characters whose lives have been set alight by the plant which sparked the recruitment effort. It tells the story of the aspiring hangman who was obsessed with securing the job, the sympathizers who fought to protect him from his prize, and the anxious men who believed that emptying death row would end their horror before the meat-eating plants constricted around their necks.

The Lost Prince by Edward Lazellari - The second book in a series I've had my eye on but haven't had time to pick up yet.
In Lazellari's debut fantasy, Awakenings, New York City cop Cal MacDonnell and photographer Seth Raincrest found themselves stalked by otherworldly beings intent on killing them. The two had to accept the aid of a mysterious woman to unlock their hidden pasts, and what they discovered changed their lives.

Everything they knew about their lives was an illusion. They had in fact travelled to our dimension from the medieval reality of Aandor to hide their infant prince from assassins, but upon arriving, a freak mishap wiped their memories. Cal, Seth, and the rest of their party were incapacitated, and the infant prince was lost.
Thirteen years later, that prince, Daniel Hauer, is unaware of his origins--or that he has become the prize in a race between two powerful opposing factions. Cal and Seth's group want to keep Daniel safe. The other wants Daniel dead--by any means necessary.

From the streets of New York City to the back roads of rural North Carolina, the search for the prince sets powerful forces against each other in a do-or-die battle for the rule of the kingdom of Aandor.

The Third Kingdom by Terry Goodkind - I have to admit I didn't like the first book enough to read all the ones I'd need to in order to properly enjoy this one.

The bloodthirsty Jit is dead, and against all odds Richard and Kahlan have survived. But a new menace has attacked them in the Dark Lands. Infected with the essence of death itself, robbed of his power as a war wizard, Richard must race against time to uncover and stop the infernal conspiracy assembling itself behind the wall far to the north. His friends and allies are already captives of this fell combination, and Kahlan, also touched by death''s power, will die completely if Richard fails. Bereft of magic, Richard has only his sword, his wits, his capacity for insight -- and an extraordinary companion, the young Samantha, a healer just coming into her powers.

The Broken Hearted by Amelia Kahaney - This one sounds pretty interesting.

Some kinds of Heartbreak aren't temporary.
High in her tower above Bedlam City, prima ballerina Anthem Fleet has lived her whole life by her parents' strict rules, never leaving the sparkling, pristine North Side. Until she meets Gavin. An artist from the dangerous South Side of town, Gavin is like no one Anthem has ever met-and she falls for him suddenly and completely.
But Gavin's world is as dangerous as it is intoxicating, and their romance crashes down around them one terrible night when they are attacked on the South Side and Gavin is kidnapped. When she wakes in a dark, blood-soaked lab, Anthem has a jagged scar down her chest . . . and an experimental bionic heart ticking inside her. 
As Anthem will soon realize, her new mechanical heart didn't just save her life-it left her with a strange and terrifying new strength. A strength that she''s going to need if she has any chance of rescuing Gavin and mending the scattered pieces of her broken heart.

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

"I bought the milk," said my father. "I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: T h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road."
"Hullo," I said to myself. "That's not something you see every day. And then something odd happened."
Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal.

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