Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Books Received in May, 2018

Many thanks as always to the publishers who sent me books for review in May.

New Worlds, Year One: A Writer's Guide to the Art of Worldbuilding by Marie Brennan - This is a book on worldbuilding comprised of short essays posted to Brennan's patreon. I've already reviewed it. Note, I got this as part of the early reviewers program at LibraryThing.

Step into a world of your own making . . .
Worldbuilding is one of the great pleasures of writing science fiction and fantasy -- and also one of its greatest challenges. Award-winning fantasy author Marie Brennan draws on her academic training in anthropology to peel back the layers of a setting, going past the surface details to explore questions many authors never think to answer. She invites you to consider the endless variety of real-world cultures -- from climate to counterfeiting, from sumptuary laws to slang --and the equally endless possibilities speculative fiction has to offer.
This volume collects essays from the first year of the New Worlds Patreon.

By Fire Above by Robyn Bennis - The first book, The Guns Above, is still on my reading list. Not sure when I'll get to these but they do sound fun.

"All's fair in love and war," according to airship captain Josette Dupre, until her hometown of Durum becomes occupied by the enemy and her mother a prisoner of war. Then it becomes, "Nothing's fair except bombing those Vins to high hell."
Before she can rescue her town, however, Josette must maneuver her way through the nest of overstuffed vipers that make up Garnia's military and royal leaders in order to drum up support. The foppish and mostly tolerated Mistral crew member Lord Bernat steps in to advise her, along with his very attractive older brother.
Between noble scheming, under-trained recruits, and supply shortages, Josette and the crew of the Mistral figure out a way to return to Durum-only to discover that when the homefront turns into the frontlines, things are more dangerous than they seem.

The Military Science of Star Wars by George Beahm - Not really my thing, but I can imagine this book being popular with certain subgroups of fandom.

George Beahm, a former U.S. Army major, draws on his experience to discuss the military science of the sprawling Star Wars universe: its personnel, weapons, technology, tactics and strategy, including an analysis of its key battles to explain how the outmanned and outgunned rebels ultimately prevailed against overwhelming forces.
Contrasting the military doctrine of the real world with the fictional world of Star Wars, the author constructively criticizes the military strengths and weaknesses of Darth Vader's Galactic Empire and Kylo Ren's First Order...
From Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) to Rogue One (2016), this timely book demystifies the operational arts in an accessible and entertaining way for military personnel and civilians.
Replete with a glossary of military terms, this book is supplemented with an annotated bibliography.

Summerland by Hannu Rajaniemi - A standalone spy novel with a twist, I really enjoyed this book and will post my review in June when it's released.

Loss is a thing of the past. Murder is obsolete. Death is just the beginning.
In 1938, death is no longer feared but exploited. Since the discovery of the afterlife, the British Empire has extended its reach into Summerland, a metropolis for the recently deceased.
Yet Britain isn't the only contender for power in this life and the next. The Soviets have spies in Summerland, and the technology to build their own god.
When SIS agent Rachel White gets a lead on one of the Soviet moles, blowing the whistle puts her hard-earned career at risk. The spy has friends in high places, and she will have to go rogue to bring him in.
But how do you catch a man who's already dead?

Guardian by A. J. Hartley - Another June release, this is the third book in the Steeplejack series, and it's quite an ending. I loved this series and I'm surprised more people aren't reading these. Here's my review of the first book if you're interested.

In A. J. Hartley's thrilling and intriguing 19th-century South African-inspired fantasy world, which started with the Thriller Award-winning Steeplejack, Anglet Sutonga is a teenage detective fighting in a race against time as her beloved city is pushed to the brink.
This is what Ang knows:
A dear friend is accused of murdering the Prime Minister of Bar-Selehm.
A mysterious but fatal illness is infecting the poor.
A fanatical politician seizes power, unleashing a wave of violent repression over the city.
This is what Ang must do:
Protect her family.
Solve a murder.
RESIST, no matter what, before it's too late.

The Empire of Ashes by Anthony Ryan - Book three of the Draconis Memoria series. I'm reading it now and the action's really ramping up again. Here's my review of book 1, if you haven't started these.

For hundreds of years, the Ironship Trading Syndicate was fueled by drake blood--and protected by the Blood-blessed, those few who could drink it and wield fearsome powers. But now the very thing that sustained the corporate world threatens to destroy it.

A drake of unimaginable power has risen, and it commands an army of both beasts and men. Rogue Blood-blessed Claydon Torcreek, Syndicate agent Lizanne Lethridge, and Ironship captain Corrick Hilemore, spread to disparate corners of the world, must rely upon the new powers and knowledge they have gained at great price to halt its forces--or face the end of all they know.

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