Sunday, 31 August 2014

Books Received in August, 2014

My sincerest thanks to the people at TOR for the following books. You'll be seeing several TOR reviews coming up as I try to work my way down the pile.

Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone - This book has jumped the queue as my next read.  I loved the previous 2 books (Three Parts Dead and Two Serpents Rise) and can't wait to see where Gladstone takes the series of roughly interconnected stand-alone novels with this one.

On the island of Kavekana, Kai builds gods to order, then hands them to others to maintain. Her creations aren't conscious and lack their own wills and voices, but they accept sacrifices, and protect their worshippers from other gods-perfect vehicles for Craftsmen and Craftswomen operating in the divinely controlled Old World. When Kai sees one of her creations dying and tries to save her, she's grievously injured-then sidelined from the business entirely, her near-suicidal rescue attempt offered up as proof of her instability. But when Kai gets tired of hearing her boss, her coworkers, and her ex-boyfriend call her crazy, and starts digging into the reasons her creations die, she uncovers a conspiracy of silence and fear-which will crush her, if Kai can't stop it first.

The Ultra Thin Man by Patrick Swenson - A new SF noir novel!  Sounds pretty cool.

In the twenty-second century, a future in which mortaline wire controls the weather on the settled planets and entire refugee camps drowse in drug-induced slumber, no one-alive or dead, human or alien-is quite what they seem. When terrorists manage to crash Coral, the moon, into its home planet of Ribon, forcing evacuation, it's up to Dave Crowell and Alan Brindos, contract detectives for the Network Intelligence Organization, to solve a case of interplanetary consequences. Crowell' and Brindos's investigation plunges them neck-deep into a conspiracy much more dangerous than anything they could have imagined.
The two detectives soon find themselves separated, chasing opposite leads: Brindos has to hunt down the massive Helkunn alien Terl Plenko, shadow leader of the terrorist Movement of Worlds. Crowell, meanwhile, runs into something far more sinister-an elaborate frame job that puts our heroes on the hook for treason.
In this novel from Patrick Swenson, Crowell and Brindos are forced to fight through the intrigue to discover the depths of an interstellar conspiracy. And to answer the all-important question: Who, and what, is the Ultra Thin Man?
Wolfsbane by Gillian Philip - This is the third book in the Rebel Angels series.  I really enjoyed the first one, Firebrand, but haven't had time to pick up the second, Bloodstone.  Ever wish you could read 5 books at once?

It's tough being the foretold savior of your race. Rory MacGregor, kept a virtual prisoner in his own father's dun and hunted by the Sithe queen, needs a break now and then-and what better fun than tearing the Veil no one else can tear and escaping to the Otherworld?
In that dangerous Otherworld, Hannah Falconer is as trapped by circumstance as the strange wild Sithe boy whose horse nearly kills her. When Rory tricks her into crossing the Veil and entering his world, she's sure it can't be any worse than her usual home life.
Meanwhile, Seth MacGregor is fighting to keep his clan safe from the malevolent queen Kate. When an attack comes after years of stalemate, he is shocked to discover who is leading it...and who else is conspiring against him.
Black Ice by Susan Krinard - This is the second book in an urban fantasy series that started with Mist.

Centuries ago, all was lost in the Last Battle when the Norse gods and goddesses went to war. The elves, the giants, and the gods and goddesses themselves were all destroyed, leaving the Valkyrie known as Mist one of the only survivors.
Or so she thought.
The trickster god Loki has reappeared in San Francisco, and he has big plans for modern-day Earth. With few allies and fewer resources-but the eyes of the gods and goddesses of an old world upon her-it's up to Mist to stop him before history repeats itself.

Echopraxia by Peter Watts - I'm honestly not sure I'm intelligent enough to understand this book, but it sure sounds... different.

Prepare for a different kind of singularity in Peter Watts' Echopraxia, the follow-up to the Hugo-nominated novel Blindsight.

It's the eve of the twenty-second century: a world where the dearly departed send postcards back from Heaven and evangelicals make scientific breakthroughs by speaking in tongues; where genetically engineered vampires solve problems intractable to baseline humans and soldiers come with zombie switches that shut off self-awareness during combat. And it's all under surveillance by an alien presence that refuses to show itself. Daniel Bruks is a living fossil: a field biologist in a world where biology has turned computational, a cat's-paw used by terrorists to kill thousands. Taking refuge in the Oregon desert, he's turned his back on a humanity that shatters into strange new subspecies with every heartbeat. But he awakens one night to find himself at the center of a storm that will turn all of history inside-out. Now he's trapped on a ship bound for the center of the solar system. To his left is a grief-stricken soldier, obsessed by whispered messages from a dead son. To his right is a pilot who hasn't yet found the man she's sworn to kill on sight. A vampire and its entourage of zombie bodyguards lurk in the shadows behind. And dead ahead, a handful of rapture-stricken monks takes them all to a meeting with something they will only call "The Angels of the Asteroids." Their pilgrimage brings Dan Bruks, the fossil man, face-to-face with the biggest evolutionary breakpoint since the origin of thought itself.

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