Sunday, June 28, 2015

Books in the Mail (W/E 2015-06-27)

A steady stream of books this week, have a look, won’t you?

Ascendance (Dave Vs. The Monsters #3) by John Birmingham (Del Rey Mass Market Paperback 06/30/2015) – This is the third in the series Birminghams urban fantasy/horror series in the Jonathan Maberry and Larry Correia vein.

Kids, there are no monsters under the bed. They’re in the front yard.

As a hardworking monster-slayer, Dave Hooper tries not to bring his work home with him. But nowadays it’s hard to keep them separate. Email, cellphones, empath daemons, they never let a guy rest.

The Horde has been raising hell and leveling cities from New York to Los Angeles, keeping Dave and his fellow monster-killer, Russian spy Karin Varatschevsky, very busy. But when the legions of hell invade the small seaside town his boys call home, Dave has to make a call. Save the world? Or save his family?

Not as easy a choice as you’d think, since Dave’s ex-wife expects to be saved too. And there’s no convincing her that the supersexy Russian spy isn’t his girlfriend. She’s just his sidekick—and an assassin.

Departure by A.G. Riddle (HarperVoyager Hardcover 10/20/2015) – Riddle is the latest self-published sensation (having sold over one million copies) to make the jump to traditional publishing. This one, as the tag line indicates, has some resonance with Lost .

Flight 305 took off in 2014...
But it crashed in a world very different from our own...

With time running out, five strangers must unravel why they were taken...
And how to get home.

Harper Lane has problems. In a few hours, she'll have to make a decision that will change her life forever. But when her flight from New York to London crash-lands in the English countryside, she discovers that she's made of tougher stuff than she ever imagined.

As Harper and the survivors of Flight 305 struggle to stay alive in the aftermath of the crash, they soon realize that this world is very different from the one they left. Their lives are connected, and some believe they've been brought here for a reason.

In addition to Harper, several other passengers seem to hold clues about why Flight 305 crashed. There's:

Nick Stone, an American on his way to a meeting with The Gibraltar Project, an international group dedicated to building a dam across the Strait of Gibraltar and draining the Mediterranean.

Sabrina Schröder, a German scientist who has unknowingly sealed the fate of half the flight's passengers.

Yul Tan, a Chinese-American computer scientist who has just made the breakthrough of a lifetime: a quantum internet capable of transmitting more data, farther, faster than ever thought possible. His invention, however, does much more than he ever dreamed possible.

With time running out to save the survivors of Flight 305, Harper and Nick race to unravel the conspiracy that crashed their plane. As they put the pieces together, they discover that their decisions have already doomed one world and will soon determine the future of ours.

DEPARTURE is the first new novel from A.G. Riddle since he completed The Origin Mystery, the trilogy that has sold a million copies in the US, is being translated into 18 languages, and is in development at CBS Films to be a major motion picture.

DEPARTURE continues to establish Riddle's standard for fast-paced, high-concept thrillers with twists and big ideas that leave readers thinking long after they turn the last page.

Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit Books 07/07/2015) – I have made multiple attempts at reading novels by KSR and I’ve never been able to connect with them, but I think I’m in the minority since many other genre readers seem to enjoy his work. This is a long departure for him, in that the story leaves our immediate solar system.

A major new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful voices, AURORA tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system

Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.

Our voyage from Earth began generations ago.

Now, we approach our destination.

A new home.


The Annihilation Score (A Laundry Files novel) by Charles Stross (Ace Hardcover 07/07/2015) – The only Laundry novel I read wasThe Jennifer Morgue which I enjoyed, but never managed to circle back to these books, this is the sixth in the series.

Hugo Award-winning author Charles Stross presents the next case in The Laundry Files, “a weirdly alluring blend of super-spy thriller, deadpan comic fantasy, and Lovecraftian horror” (Kirkus Reviews). 

Dominique O’Brien—her friends call her Mo—lives a curious double life with her husband, Bob Howard. To the average civilian, they’re boring middle-aged civil servants. But within the labyrinthian secret circles of Her Majesty’s government, they’re operatives working for the nation’s occult security service known as the Laundry, charged with defending Britain against dark supernatural forces threatening humanity.

Mo’s latest assignment is assisting the police in containing an unusual outbreak: ordinary citizens suddenly imbued with extraordinary abilities of the super-powered kind. Unfortunately these people prefer playing super-pranks instead of super-heroics. The Mayor of London being levitated by a dumpy man in Trafalgar Square would normally be a source of shared amusement for Mo and Bob, but they’re currently separated because something’s come between them—something evil. 

An antique violin, an Erich Zann original, made of human white bone, was designed to produce music capable of slaughtering demons. Mo is the custodian of this unholy instrument. It invades her dreams and yearns for the blood of her colleagues—and her husband. And despite Mo’s proficiency as a world class violinist, it cannot be controlled…

The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton (Tor , Hardcover 06/30/2015) – Sequel/Second book in the sequence which began in The Just City earlier this year. I seem to have been one of the few people who didn’t connect with it.

From acclaimed, award-winning author Jo Walton: Philosopher Kings, a tale of gods and humans, and the surprising things they have to learn from one another. Twenty years have elapsed since the events of The Just City. The City, founded by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, organized on the principles espoused in Plato's Republic and populated by people from all eras of human history, has now split into five cities, and low-level armed conflict between them is not unheard-of.

The god Apollo, living (by his own choice) a human life as "Pythias" in the City, his true identity known only to a few, is now married and the father of several children. But a tragic loss causes him to become consumed with the desire for revenge. Being Apollo, he goes handling it in a seemingly rational and systematic way, but it's evident, particularly to his precocious daughter Arete, that he is unhinged with grief.

Along with Arete and several of his sons, plus a boatload of other volunteers--including the now fantastically aged Marsilio Ficino, the great humanist of Renaissance Florence--Pythias/Apollo goes sailing into the mysterious Eastern Mediterranean of pre-antiquity to see what they can find--possibly the man who may have caused his great grief, possibly communities of the earliest people to call themselves "Greek." What Apollo, his daughter, and the rest of the expedition will discover…will change everything.

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