Friday, 1 April 2016

Books Received in March, 2015

Many thanks, as always, to the authors and publishers that send me books for review.  I don't have time to read everything, but that doesn't mean I don't want to.  Several of the books below are sequels, so in the interests of not spoiling anything, I'll be posting the photo of the book I received but the synopsis of the first book in the series.

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab -  This series sounds VERY interesting and only time constraints have kept me from picking up Vicious, the first book.  I think it's time to remedy that.  My thanks to Angela for pointing out that A Gathering of Shadows is the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic, not Vicious, which is a different series.  Sorry for the confusion.  I avoided reading the cover copy for this book so as to avoid spoilers, and so got that wrong.  I've now got the synopsis for A Darker Shade of Magic below, which also sounds like a really fun series starter.

Kell is one of the last Travelers-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes, connected by one magical city.
There's Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad king-George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered-and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the rougish heir to a flourishing empire. White London-a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.

Conjurers by David Waid - I don't accept self-published titles for review often, but this one caught my eye and I really liked some of the blog posts on the author's website so I'm giving it a chance. It's out June 1st.


Orphaned in the year 1380, Eamon and Caitlin flee their home in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland. The siblings can pacify savage wolves and control forces of nature, but only the murderers hunting them know why.

As Eamon and Caitlin fight for survival, Teresa de Borjas, the spirited daughter of a Genovese nobleman, develops an inexplicable ability to move objects with her mind. When her brother is murdered and her father imprisoned through machinations of the reclusive alchemist, Maestro Lodovicetti, her sheltered life changes forever.

Journeys of discovery and the pursuit of blood vendetta bring Eamon, Caitlin and Teresa together across the stunning backdrop of medieval Europe. The three must master their powers and defeat a cabal of the world’s greatest magi or be killed as the Age of Kings comes to an end and a tyranny of sorcerers begins.

The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood - Todd Lockwood is one of my favourite fantasy artists, to the point that I own several prints of his work.  I'm really excited to read his first novel.

Maia and her family raise dragons for the political war machine. As she comes of age, she anticipates a dragon of her own to add to the stable of breeding parents. Her peaceful life is shattered when the Summer Dragon--one of the rare and mythical High Dragons--makes an appearance in her quiet valley. Political factions vie for control of the implied message, threatening her aspirations, her aerie, her entire way of life.

The bond between dragons and their riders is deep and life-long, and Maia's desire for a dragon of her own to train, ride, fly, and love drives her to take a risk that puts her life at stake. She is swept into an adventure that pits her against the deathless Horrors, thralls of the enemy, and a faceless creature drawn from her fear. In her fight to preserve everything she knows and loves, she exposes a conspiracy, unearths an ancient civilization, and challenges her understanding of her world--and of herself.
Transgalactic by James Gunn - I finished the first book Transcendental yesterday, and will have my review of it up soon.  Transgalactic picks up immediately where Transcendental leaves off.

Riley, a veteran of interstellar war, is one of many beings from many different worlds aboard a ship on a pilgrimage that spans the galaxy. However, he is not journeying to achieve transcendence, a vague mystical concept that has drawn everyone else on the ship to this journey into the unknown at the far edge of the galaxy. His mission is to find and kill the prophet who is reputed to help others transcend. While their ship speeds through space, the voyage is marred by violence and betrayal, making it clear that some of the ship's passengers are not the spiritual seekers they claim to be.

Like the pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, a number of those on the starship share their unique stories. But as tensions rise, Riley realizes that the ship is less like the Canterbury Tales and more like a harrowing, deadly ship of fools. When he becomes friendly with a mysterious passenger named Asha, he thinks she's someone he can trust. However, like so many others on the ship, Asha is more than she appears. Uncovering her secrets could be the key to Riley's personal quest, or make him question everything he thought he knew about Transcendentalism and his mission to stop it. 
James Gunn's Transcendental is a space adventure filled with excitement and intrigue that explores the nature of what unifies all beings.
Regeneration by Stephanie Saulter - As I said in yesterdays post, I loved the first two books of this series, Gemsigns and Binary and am really looking forward to reading this.

For years the human race was under attack from a deadly Syndrome, but when a cure was found--in the form of genetically engineered human beings, Gems--the line between survival and ethics was radically altered. Now the Gems are fighting for their freedom, from the oppression of the companies that created them, and against the Norms who see them as slaves. And a conference at which Dr Eli Walker has been commissioned to present his findings on the Gems is the key to that freedom. But with the Gemtech companies fighting to keep the Gems enslaved, and the horrifying godgangs determined to rid the earth of these "unholy" creations, the Gems are up against forces that may just be too powerful to oppose.


Angela said...

A Gathering of Shadows is not the sequel to Vicious, it is the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic. Vicious seems to be from an entirely different series that just happens to be by the same author.

Jessica Strider said...

Thanks for catching that Angela. I've updated the post with the synopsis for A Darker Shade of Magic.

Angela said...

You're welcome! At first I thought it must be an April fool's joke but the other blurbs seemed to be accurate. So I thought maybe I should say something.

I haven't read Vicious, but I did read both a A Darker Shade of Magic and its sequel and loved them. I may have to try Vicious at some point if time and opportunity allows.