Many thanks to the publishers who sent me books for review this month. I've managed to read several of them already and have plans to read others soon.
The Coincidence Makers by Yoav Blum - I really enjoyed this book and have reviewed it already. It's got a similar premise to the movie The Adjustment Bureau (which is loosely based on a Philip K. Dick short story) but takes it in different directions. If you liked that film, you'll love this.
In this genre-bending novel, there is no such thing as chance and every action is carefully executed by highly trained agents. You'll never look at coincidences the same way again.
What if the drink you just spilled, the train you just missed, or the lottery ticket you just found was not just a random occurrence? What if it's all part of a bigger plan? What if there's no such thing as a chance encounter? What if there are people we don't know determining our destiny? And what if they are even planning the fate of the world?
Enter the Coincidence Makers-Guy, Emily, and Eric-three seemingly ordinary people who work for a secret organization devoted to creating and carrying out coincidences. What the rest of the world sees as random occurrences, are, in fact, carefully orchestrated events designed to spark significant changes in the lives of their targets-scientists on the brink of breakthroughs, struggling artists starved for inspiration, loves to be, or just plain people like you and me.
When an assignment of the highest level is slipped under Guy's door one night, he knows it will be the most difficult and dangerous coincidence he's ever had to fulfill. But not even a coincidence maker can see how this assignment is about to change all their lives and teach them the true nature of fate, free will, and the real meaning of love.
Archangel by Margaret Fortune - As this is book 2 of the series, and its synopsis contains spoilery information, I'm using the synopsis for book 1, Nova, here. I've reviewed Nova already and my review of Archangel will be up next week. Archangel has a more military SF feel than Nova, which felt more young adult. But they're both great books and I'm really looking forward to the next one.
The clock activates so suddenly in my mind, my head involuntarily jerks a bit to the side. The fog vanishes, dissipated in an instant as though it never was. Memories come slotting into place, their edges sharp enough to leave furrows, and suddenly I know. I know exactly who I am.
My name is Lia Johansen, and I was named for a prisoner of war. She lived in the Tiersten Internment Colony for two years, and when they negotiated the return of the prisoners, I was given her memories and sent back in her place.
And I am a genetically engineered human bomb.
Lia Johansen was created for only one purpose: to slip onto the strategically placed New Sol Space Station and explode.
But her mission goes to hell when her clock malfunctions, freezing her countdown with just two minutes to go. With no Plan B, no memories of her past, and no identity besides a name stolen from a dead POW, Lia has no idea what to do next. Her life gets even more complicated when she meets Michael Sorenson, the real Lia’s childhood best friend.
Drawn to Michael and his family against her better judgment, Lia starts learning what it means to live and love, and to be human. It is only when her countdown clock begins sporadically losing time that she realizes even duds can still blow up.
If she wants any chance at a future, she must find a way to unlock the secrets of her past and stop her clock. But as Lia digs into her origins, she begins to suspect there’s far more to her mission and to this war, than meets the eye. With the fate of not just a space station but an entire empire hanging in the balance, Lia races to find the truth before her time—literally—runs out.
Denver Moon #1: Murder on Mars and Denver Moon #2: Rafe's Revenge by Warren Hammond and Joshua Viola - These are the first 2 issues of a 3 issue prequel graphic novel for the novella The Minds of Mars. I've reviewed the first issue already.
A murderer stalks the botsie parlors of Mars, viciously dismembering prostitutes and salvaging their body parts. Denver Moon, P.I., is hired to solve the homicides, but when the victims are robots, can it really be called murder?
Denver Moon: The Minds of Mars by Warren Hammond and Joshua Viola - This is a novella that sounds like a great SF noir. It's out in June.
Once considered humanity’s future home, Mars hasn’t worked out like anybody hoped. Plagued by crime and a terraforming project that's centuries from completion, Mars is a red hell.
Denver Moon, P.I., works the dark underbelly of Mars City. While investigating a series of violent crimes linked to red fever—a Martian disorder that turns its victims into bloodthirsty killers—Denver discovers a cryptic message left by Tatsuo Moon, Mars City co-founder and Denver's grandfather. The same grandfather who died two decades ago.
Twenty-year-old revelations force Denver on a quest for truth, but Tatsuo's former friend, Cole Hennessy, leader of the Church of Mars, has other plans and will stop at nothing to keep Denver from disclosing Tatsuo's secrets to the world.
Hell-bent on reclaiming her grandfather's legacy, Denver—along with her AI implant, Smith, companion android, Nigel, and shuttle pilot, Navya—set out on a quest to find the answers they hope will shed light on the church's true agenda, the origin of red fever, and the mysteries surrounding Tatsuo's tragic death.
One Way by S. J. Morden - I finished this yesterday and it's quite a ride. The last few chapters were especially tense. The book - and my review - will be out on April 10.
When the small crew of ex cons working on Mars start getting murdered, everyone is a suspect in this terrifying science fiction thriller from bona fide rocket scientist and award winning-author S. J. Morden.
It's the dawn of a new era - and we're ready to colonize Mars. But the company that's been contracted to construct a new Mars base, has made promises they can't fulfill and is desperate enough to cut corners. The first thing to go is the automation . . . the next thing they'll have to deal with is the eight astronauts they'll send to Mars, when there aren't supposed to be any at all.
Frank - father, architect, murderer - is recruited for the mission to Mars with the promise of a better life, along with seven of his most notorious fellow inmates. But as his crew sets to work on the red wasteland of Mars, the accidents mount up, and Frank begins to suspect they might not be accidents at all. As the list of suspect grows shorter, it's up to Frank to uncover the terrible truth before it's too late.
Dr. S. J. Morden trained as a rocket scientist before becoming the author of razor-sharp, award-winning science fiction. Perfect for fans of Andy Weir's The Martian and Richard Morgan, One Way takes off like a rocket, pulling us along on a terrifying, epic ride with only one way out.
Dayfall by Michael David Ares - This book sounds very interesting. I'm hoping to get to it in April or May.
In the near future, patches of the northern hemisphere have been shrouded in years of darkness from a nuclear winter, and the water level has risen in the North Atlantic. The island of Manhattan has lost its outer edges to flooding and is now ringed by a large seawall.
The darkness and isolation have allowed crime and sin to thrive in the never-ending shadows of the once great city, and when the sun finally begins to reappear, everything gets worse. A serial killer cuts a bloody swath across the city during the initial periods of daylight, and a violent panic sweeps through crowds on the streets. The Manhattan police, riddled with corruption and apathy, are at a loss.
That's when the Mayor recruits Jon Phillips, a small-town Pennsylvania cop who had just single-handedly stopped a high-profile serial killer in his own area, and flies him into the insanity of this new New York City. The young detective is partnered with a shady older cop and begins to investigate the crimes amidst the vagaries of a twenty-four hour
nightlife he has never experienced before. Soon realizing that he was chosen for reasons other than what he was told, Jon is left with no one to trust and forced to go on the run in the dark streets, and below them in the maze of the underground. Against all odds he still hopes that he can save his own life, the woman of his dreams, and maybe even the whole city before the arrival of the mysterious and dreaded event that has come to be known as.. DAYFALL.
Good Guys by Steven Brust - This superhero novel sounds absolutely brilliant and very topical. Ah, so many great books and so little time. How many weeks does April have?
Donovan was shot by a cop. For jaywalking, supposedly. Actually, for arguing with a cop while black. Four of the nine shots were lethal-or would have been, if their target had been anybody else. The Foundation picked him up, brought him back, and trained him further. "Lethal" turns out to be a relative term when magic is involved.
When Marci was fifteen, she levitated a paperweight and threw it at a guy she didn't like. The Foundation scooped her up for training too.
"Hippie chick" Susan got well into her Foundation training before they told her about the magic, but she's as powerful as Donovan and Marci now.
They can teleport themselves thousands of miles, conjure shields that will stop bullets, and read information from the remnants of spells cast by others days before.
They all work for the secretive Foundation.for minimum wage.
Which is okay, because the Foundation are the good guys. Aren't they?