Summer's a pretty quiet time for review copies, which is great as it gives me time to get some of the backlog out of the way. I didn't start that until August, unfortunately, but I'm well on my way to reading through these new releases. Many thanks again to the publishers and authors who offer me books for review. I recognize how privileged I am and only wish I had time to read everything.
Artemis Invaded by Jane Lindskold - I recently finished the first book in this series, Artemis Awakening, which I enjoyed more than I expected to (I thought it was going to be a straight up SF romance, which isn't my favourite subgenre, but the romance elements were very limited and the protagonists were well fleshed out and fun to read). To avoid spoilers, I'm giving the synopsis for Artemis Awakening here.
The distant world Artemis is a pleasure planet created out of bare rock by a technologically advanced human empire that provided its richest citizens with a veritable Eden to play in. All tech was concealed and the animals (and the humans brought to live there) were bioengineered to help the guests enjoy their stay.but there was always the possibility of danger so that visitors could brag that they had "bested" the environment.
The Empire was shattered in a horrific war; centuries later humanity has lost much of the advanced technology and Artemis is a fable told to children. Until young archeologist Griffin Dane finds intriguing hints that send him on a quest to find the lost world. Stranded on Artemis after crashing his ship, he encounters the Huntress Adara and her psych-linked companion, the puma Sand Shadow. Their journey with her will lead Dane to discover the planet's secrets.and perhaps provide a key to give unimagined power back to mankind.
Bots: Emergent Behavior by Nicole Taylor - I've already finished this book and my review of it will go up tomorrow. It's the first of a 6 book series from the new Epic Press imprint.
A robotics genius, Edmond West has developed a plan to create the world's first Artificial Intelligence truly indistinguishable from a human being. His Bots will eradicate global slavery and allow humanity to channel its darkest impulses safely, harming only these soulless machines. His greatest success, however, may also be his undoing. He's finally created the perfect humanoid robot; perfectly intuitive, perfectly emotive… and perfectly unpredictable.
The Godforsaken by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro - I'm almost done this book and... wow. It starts slow, but builds such a layer of dread that my shoulders keep tensing up when I read the book. I'm so close to the end...
In the dark days of the Inquisition, a cursed Spanish prince must wrestle with the ravenous demon that lives inside him
At the height of Europe’s bloody 16th century, as Spain suffers under the iron cruelty of the Inquisition, a different sort of horror plagues the royal house of King Alonzo. A witch’s curse directed at the heartless liege has borne bitter fruit, damning the innocent offspring of el rey. The brooding and sensitive son and heir to the throne, Don Rolon, wanders the great halls of the ancestral home carrying the weight of his unloving father’s crimes in his bones and blood. Torn between his deeply felt religious beliefs and a gnawing hunger, he must somehow deal with a looming threat far more powerful than his murderously jealous brother and the manipulations of a corrupt and self-serving officer of a malevolent church. For when the full moon rises, Don Rolon will be forced to surrender to his unholy needs as the beast within him is unleashed once more.
Saturn Run by John Sandford and Ctein - This book sounds pretty interesting. John Sandford is a well known thriller writer, trying his hand at science fiction for the first time. Ctein is a photographer with degrees from Caltech in English and physics.
The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate. Spaceships do.
A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: Whatever built that ship is at least one hundred years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out.
The race is on, and an remarkable adventure begins—an epic tale of courage, treachery, resourcefulness, secrets, surprises, and astonishing human and technological discovery, as the members of a hastily thrown-together crew find their strength and wits tested against adversaries both of this earth and beyond. What happens is nothing like you expect—and everything you could want from one of the world’s greatest masters of suspense.