Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

What are we reading this week? “Hawkeye,” “Mark of the Thief,” and more!

Last week we started a spring cleaning of our giveaway shelves, and to enter you had to tell us what books you’re enjoying right now. We got a lot of really cool answers, so be sure to check them out:

Here’s what some of our staffers have been enjoying this week:

Emma

the great zoo of chinaI’m fairly new to comics and am always looking for the titles I can read without needing fifty years of backstory. So, this week I bowed to the collective wisdom of the internet and gave Matt Fraction’sHawkeye a try. It definitely was one of the best stand alone comics I’ve read, but I struggled with it a bit since I couldn’t quite get the comic Hawkeye and the movie Hawkeye who I met first to mesh. I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of the run though — if nothing else, Kate Bishop is probably the funniest comic character I’ve met yet.
I also read The Great Zoo of China. I’d be tempted to sum up this book with, “it’s Jurassic Park but with dragons,” but that really isn’t terribly accurate. For one thing, everyone in the book is very aware ofJurassic Park and does in fact bring up the startling similarities between it and the new zoo in a “who seriously thought this was a good idea” type way. Secondly, Crichton’s novel was actually heavily based in science. Reilly’s novel is much more fantasy driven. Because it’s not pretending pretending to beJurassic Park 2.0, The Great Zoo of China really succeeds at being a clever, modern day, thriller type novel. I highly recommend it!

Lauren

kiss of deceptionI listened to the audiobook for the first book in Jennifer A. Nielsen’s new series, Mark of the Thief. I adored The False Prince series, and this one sounded right up my alley, as it was about ancient Rome. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first series, which made me sad. It seemed to lull a bit in places for me. But I did find it overall interesting, and the magic in the story is really cool. Plus, there’s a gryphon, which is awesome.
I’m currently about 3/4 done with the audiobook of The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. So many of my book friends adored this book, and I am kicking myself for waiting so long. I cannot believe how much I love this story. It’s about a princess who runs away from her arranged marriage, and is followed by the prince and also an assassin from a rival kingdom. They both befriend her, and the way the story plays out between the three of them is soooo coooool. There’s really interesting talk of magic too, though we’ve only gotten tastes of it up to this point. But I can already say, just for the back and forth between the three main characters, I’ll definitely be recommending it. I cannot wait to see how it ends, and I’ve already lined up borrowing the ARC of book 2!

Diana

clementineI just finished CLEMENTINE, by Cherie Priest, a sort of sequel to BONESHAKER in The Clockwork Century series. But you can read both separately, because although CLEMENTINE has a few common characters with the other book, they didn’t have a lot of “screen time” there.
I loved so much about the previous book that this felt… flat, in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked it. Cherie Priest is a brilliant writer, and her imagery and descriptions are great (specially all the steampunk details), but since this is a sequel, even if just indirectly, I couldn’t help but compare it to BONESHAKER. And CLEMENTINE didn’t have a lot to make it stand out, to make me read hours without stopping, nothing that surprised me. The characters and setting are interesting, but the plot itself suffers from the small size of the book. It seems like the main conflict falls out of nowhere and ends up feeling anti-climatic, despite some epic airship battles. There was something missing. I felt like the story needed more time to be developed, so more chapters would definitely have made this better.
But I think I wouldn’t have skipped this book if I knew beforehand. It was still an entertaining read, and Priest is an amazing writer. The steampunk worldbuilding aspects of the story are still good, as they were in the other book, and they’re gritty and very well developed. It’s a good, quick adventure, and even though it doesn’t compare to the previous book, it’s still an interesting addition to the series.

We’re also on week two of our April spring cleaning giveaway! We’re doing both a US giveaway and an international giveaway, so there’s something for everyone!

We have so many cool James Dashner books right now that we wanted to share some of the Dashner love this week. For the US crowd we have four books: The movie tie-in cover of The Maze Runner, a Maze Runner movie guide, an ARC of The Eye of Minds, and a hardback of The Rule of Thoughts! 

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We’re also including another signed Paolini goodie, a signed bookmark with Glaedr on it!
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If you’re an international fan, you’re in luck, we have some Dashner/Paolini goodies for you too! We’re sending you the brand new James Dashner collector’s edition omnibus, which has The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials, plus some extra content!

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We’re also throwing in a Brisingr bookplate, signed by Christopher Paolini!

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REMEMBER: Only US residents can enter to win the four Dashner books, and only International can enter to win the omni. Make sure you enter in the correct giveaway!

 

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(***THE INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY IS FOR NON-US RESIDENTS ONLY. IF YOU’RE A US RESIDENT AND ENTER FOR THE OMNIBUS, IT WON’T COUNT! ***)

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Book Events, Book Interviews, Book Reviews, Books, Events, Interviews, Reviews

Lytherus Book Club: Interview with Cherie Priest and MAPLECROFT giveaway!

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Our book club book for the month of February was the amazing Maplecroft by the amazing Cherie Priest. We hope you joined us as we read along with this delightfully creepy book, and if you haven’t, be sure to check it out if you love the Victorian era, monsters, and things that are creepy.

Did you miss one of our summaries? Here they are for the first half and the second half.

Cherie and I sat down a few days ago to discuss this book, and it was one of the most interesting interviews I’ve ever done. The true story behind the book is absolutely fascinating and made the book even more awesome. Be sure to check it out, but beware, there are spoilers, as we discuss the book in detail.

We’re also giving away THREE COPIES of Maplecroft to North America. The contest runs until 11:59 EST on March 11th. Be sure to enter below the interview!

Thanks for joining us for Maplecroft, and be sure to join us in March as we tackle These Broken Stars and This Shattered World by Amie Kaufmann and Meagan Spooner!

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Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

Lytherus Book Club: Maplecroft by Cherie Priest, part 2

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Sorry I’m a few days late, but I am SO excited to talk about the second half of this book! I honestly think that Maplecroft is one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read, and I absolutely adored every bit of it. REMEMBER, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS in my review, as I’m assuming you’ve read this along with us.

Just to remind us, here’s the summary of the book:

maplecroftLizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks; and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one….

The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny.

But it is not far enough from the affliction that possessed my parents. Their characters, their very souls, were consumed from within by something that left malevolent entities in their place. It originates from the ocean’s depths, plaguing the populace with tides of nightmares and madness.

This evil cannot hide from me. No matter what guise it assumes, I will be waiting for it. With an axe.

Wow, does stuff hit the fan in the second half of this book (if you want to see where we’re at, here’s our coverage of the first half of the book). The second half kicks off with Nance breaking into the basement and finding the hidden stones. She goes catatonic, and Lizzie finds her and is in a panic. They summon Dr. Seabury, and the truth of the stones, and the situation, is revealed. Of course, as they’re trying to figure out what to do, Emma hears monsters outside. So out Lizzie goes, with Dr. Seabury following. We see the fight from his point of view, and he and Lizzie both have a pretty close encounter it before she manages to kill it. Off to the basement to burn it, and more truths for poor Dr. Seabury. Basically, in the middle of the book, the whole horrible situation becomes revealed to the Doctor through experience and stories. This is great, because the sisters aren’t baring it alone anymore, but they’re worried about trusting him, especially Emma. And it seems with good reason, as a few days later he brings inspector Wolf over to talk to them. The inspector has news about a killing spree and some crazy man coming to talk to the good biologist that is Emma’s pen name (which she told Dr. Seabury as well). There’s a seriously creepy letter left by Zollicoffer at one of the crime scenes, and he’s on his way.

All of these happenings are interspersed with news reports about horrible deaths and fires and other mayhem that marks Zollicoffer’s travels towards Emma. Emma decides to stay and wait it out. In the meantime the sisters and the doctor try and piece together all the different elements and symptoms, to try and make sense of just what’s happening. They also have Nance to study, who is getting no better. Dr. Seabury thinks it might be related to Tetanus in some way, as there are a lot of similar symptoms. I absolutely adored this part of the book, as it was connecting the impossible into something we can relate to, and Cherie did this wonderfully. The doctor contacts a colleague about getting some sort of vaccination to try and stave it off in Nance. He sends back both antibodies and a more concentrated toxin in hopes one might help.

In the interim while they’re waiting for the big monster Z, Nance wakes and slips into the tub, fully immersed in water. Lizzie thinks she’s drowned, until Nance looks at her. And Lizzie finds gills, and realizes that Nance was breathing under water. She’s transitioning, and has a hard time coming back, and goes comatose again once she’s removed from the tub. This might have been one of the creepiest parts of the  book for me. I could see it like a scary movie, and it was so vivid.

The rest of the book is a building climax that alternates between a bunch of points of view. The town is getting more and more people infected, and the Doctor doesn’t know what to do for them. Nance gets the antibodies, and it seems to make her a bit better, in the sense that she seems to become aware and battling in her mind with whatever’s trying to possess her. She ends up leaving to protect Lizzie from what’s inside her. Lizzie follows Nance into the ocean and is saved at the last minute by the Doctor.

Emma’s abandoned as the others chase after Nance, and Zollicoffer shows up while they’re gone, bringing lots of creepy monster minions with him. Emma manages the basement stairs and eventually Zollicoffer joins her down there, tempting her with his power and strength, as she’s so weak. We jump back to Lizzie and the Doctor as they rush back to Maplecroft, and the fight their way through the monsters into the house (there’s also more awesome science and really fun battle details), with Lizzie finally making her way down to her sister and the big baddie.

Emma has snagged one of the toxin bottles from the Doctor’s bag, and throws it on Zollicoffer. It weakens him, and Lizzie is able to wound him with her axe. She ends up cornering him and he falls into the cooker, where he’s melted by the acid.

The final chapter is like a post script from inspector Wolf, written a little over a year later. He sums up what he’s learned, which basically leaves a lot of open ends (but not in a way that leaves the reader wanting. It’s the story from the eyes of someone who wasn’t there, essentially). He also comments on Lizzie visiting the Doctor, who seems to have lost his mind.

WOW. I mean, this book does not let up! Until the final pages the tension remains, and is relentless. And as a reader, it was hard for me to never really find out what the creatures are, though we have a general idea. But that was the joy of the story, the mystery, the fear, the unknown. And it was wonderful discovering the progression through different eyes.

I’ve been raving about this book to all my book-loving friends, and I can’t say enough good things about it. Did you read along with us? What were your thoughts? I’d really love to hear what you have to say about it.

Also, stay tuned tomorrow when we post our interview with the lovely Cherie. We had a blast in the interview, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you (the back-story to the book is extremely interesting!). Don’t forget to stop back tomorrow!

Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

Lytherus Book Club: Maplecroft by Cherie Priest, part 1

book club header febWe’re half-way through February, so that means we’re also half-way through Cherie Priest’s amazingly creepy book Maplecroft. I can’t wait to delve into these characters and speculate on what’s happening. REMEMBER, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS in my review, as I’m assuming you’ve read this along with us.

Before we dig in, here’s the official summary:

maplecroftLizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks; and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one….

The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny.

But it is not far enough from the affliction that possessed my parents. Their characters, their very souls, were consumed from within by something that left malevolent entities in their place. It originates from the ocean’s depths, plaguing the populace with tides of nightmares and madness.

This evil cannot hide from me. No matter what guise it assumes, I will be waiting for it. With an axe.

Up to this point of the book, a little over a month passes (March and April 1894), with a few chapters interspersed from one character’s point of view a year prior. The book is written in an interesting way, in that the story is told to us (mostly through letters, or something like a letter), vs us watching it play out live. Lots of reflections and opinions mix in with what happens. It’s really cool, and it definitely adds a distinctive late 1800’s voice to the book.

Let’s delve into the cast of characters. The book is told from the point of view (so far) of five different characters: Elizabeth (Lizzie/Lizbeth)Borden, Emma Borden, Nance O’Neil, Dr. Owen Seabury, and Professor Phillip Zollicoffer. Here’s the basic background info we learn:

Lizzie and Emma Borden

Lizzie and Emma are sisters, ten years apart (Lizzie early 30s, Emma early 40s). Their father and step-mother (mom died when they were young) were murdered a few years prior to the telling of this story. Lizzie did it, though she wasn’t found guilty. After the deaths they moved into a house they named Maplecroft. Emma is sickly, weak, and pretty much house-bound. Dr. Seabury pays them regular visits to monitor her health.

Lizzie is a bit of a bad-ass. There are these creepy monsters that sort of look like pasty humanish things that try to break into their house, and she has to kill them to protect Emma. She’s killed seven at this point. She kills them with an ax. She then burns the bodies in a hard-core furnace in their basement, since the horrible smell of them seems to attract more. Lizzie also does all sorts of weird ritualistic things to their home to try and prevent them from coming in. (For example, inserting nails into the doorways of the house. The creatures seem hurt by iron, though they’re not really fairies, from what she’s gathered from research).

There are also, hidden in the basement, enclosed in a metal box and buried in dirt under the floor boards, a collection of greenish sea glass of varying sizes. They seem to call to people’s mind and are creepy and evil, and they’re connected to these monsters somehow (we don’t know how yet). Lizzie keeps them hidden away, because even she sometimes is distracted by their call.

Emma is big-time into science, and writes lots of scholarly journals under a pen name (that seems male). She befriended Professor Zollicoffer, and they share their interests of biology.

Lizzie is in a relationship with Nance, who is an actress in another city, but they both seem in love with each other, and Nance comes to visit on a seemingly regular basis (Lizzie doesn’t want to leave Emma). Emma’s not a fan of Nance, thinks she’s too young and after Lizzie’s inheritance.

Nance O’Neil

Nance tolerates Emma, but doesn’t really like her. She’s really into Lizzie it seems. She wishes Lizzie would trust her with secrets, because she knows she’s keeping them. Especially about what’s in the basement of Maplecroft, since Lizzie is determined to keep it from her.

Professor Phillip Zollicoffer

He’s a professor of biology at Miskatonic University. He’s been in communication back and forth with Emma (though he knows her by her pen name), and they often share stories and interesting samples of various fauna. A year prior to the story of the book (around March 1893) she sent him an unidentifiable sea creature for him to look at. It reeks, and it’s weird. It slowly starts to possess him, and by December of 1893 he’s killing his co-workers because he said the sample told him to.

Dr. Owen Seabury

He encountered Lizzie and Emma’s step-mom the night she died two years prior, and she was really sick and creepy looking (it had been coming on for a while, but he hadn’t seen her recent to then and it shocked him). He defended Lizzie from the murder charges, and his testimonial is part of what got her off the hook. But he’s always wondered if he was right.

He’s asked to care for a boy who’s acting weird, and as time passes he’s seeing similarities between the boy’s look and the look of Step-mom Borden. Eventually the boy kills his godmother (his caretaker), and the godfather shoots him. When the doctor inquires, the godfather tells him a horrifying tale of the boy making noises like a machine under water, of him floating in the middle of his room, and of water running down walls, over beds, and into floorboards. The doctor believes him. The bodies are also a mess, and confirm the crazy story.

Okay. So, where does the story leave us at the half-way point? Dr. Seabury approached Emma and then Lizzie about the similarities between the boy and their stepmother. They slowly start confiding in each other with what they know, though it’s more on a surface-level right now. Nance is visiting, and she’s getting possessed by the sea glass stones in the basement. She steals the basement key from Lizzie after a passionate romp, and she’s putting sleeping potion into Lizzie’s tea so she can investigate the basement. Emma’s seen her creeping around the basement door though, and definitely thinks something is amiss.  And we haven’t heard from Dr. Zollicoffer since the December incident where he followed the voice of the thing that’s possessing him and killed some people. It’s the end of April now, and Emma realizes she hasn’t talked to the good professor in quite some time, so she decides to drop him a line.

Guys, this book is CREEPY. What the heck are these things? How are the sea glass stones and the slimy sample sent to the professor and the monsters all connected? Why do they keep showing up at Maplecroft? And how/why are people getting possessed? I cannot wait to keep reading and find out what exactly is going on.

Stay tuned for the next post at the end of the month, where I’ll delve into the second half of Maplecroft. And don’t forget to submit any questions you might have for Cherie, as we’ll be interviewing her at the end of the month about the book!

 

Book Events, Book Interviews, Book Reviews, Books, Events, Interviews, Reviews

Lytherus Book Club: February- Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

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We’re so excited for the February book selection for the Lytherus Book Club: Maplecroft by Cherie Priest! We’ve been a fan of Cherie’s since Boneshaker, and this new book is creepy and fabulous!

We’ll be reviewing the book this month, and we want you to read along with us! We’ll break the book into two parts:

February 15th: beginning to around page 207* (chapter to stop at titled “Lizzie Andrew Borden, April 25th, 1894”)

February 28th: from chapter titled “Lizzie Andrew Borden, April 25th, 1894” (around page 207*) to the end.

*Page numbers may vary a bit from what’s listed here, depending on what edition you’re reading. We’re essentially splitting the book in half.

We will be reading along with you, and in each post will be a summary of what’s been read, theories, ideas, and general things we enjoyed. This is your chance to share those thoughts also: we want to hear what you have to say. Remember, the best questions will be presented to the author in our exclusive one-on-one interview at the end of the month! There also may be some goodies to give away, so don’t forget to stay tuned!

What’s it about? Here’s the Maplecroft blurb:

maplecroftLizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks; and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one….

The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny.

But it is not far enough from the affliction that possessed my parents. Their characters, their very souls, were consumed from within by something that left malevolent entities in their place. It originates from the ocean’s depths, plaguing the populace with tides of nightmares and madness.

This evil cannot hide from me. No matter what guise it assumes, I will be waiting for it. With an axe.

 

Book News, Books, News

Page-to-Screen News Overload!

Is it just me, or does it seem like there are a lot of movies and TV shows being made recently that are based off of books? Well, the trend isn’t ending any time soon. In the past month or two a lot of new titles have been added to that list, and we’re happy to bring them to you in a nice, neat all-in-one post!

(keep in mind that I’m not going to be reporting on things we’ve already covered, like The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, Divergent, or even the Pern movie.)

Boneshaker:

Hammer Films just acquired the rights to Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. This fantastic steampunk novel was one of the most fun books I’ve read in recent years, and it makes me really happy to hear this. Cross Creek Pictures and Exclusive Media Group are co-producing the film (they have teamed up for other films like Ides of March, Woman in Black, and Ron Howard’s upcoming Rush), so hopefully it will be in good hands!

 

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone:

This news is hot off the presses. Paramount is in talks to acquire the rights to Daughter of Smile and Bone, the amazing book written by Laini Taylor. Apparently the deal is in the $700,000 range – not too shabby! The deal isn’t done, and there is talk of two other movie studios interested, but it looks likely that the film adaptation of this book is a definite go. We’ll keep you updated!

Update: Universal Pictures has officially acquired the rights to this book, so it will definitely be turning into a film. Congrats Laini!

 

Eve:

Eve by Anna Carey came out in October, but before it was even on the shelves producers from the CW had snagged the rights to make it into a TV show.  They are currently in the process of developing a pilot based off the premise of the book, which goes as such: “Set in a world in which a virus has wiped out much of the population, 18-year-old Eve is among the survivors left in the confines of an all-girl school, where she’s been taught to fear boys. But when Eve discovers her true after-graduation fate, she runs away from the only home she’s ever known—and smack dab into dreamy Caleb, who slowly earns her trust. As she and Caleb begin to be hunted, though, Eve may have to sacrifice her life for the one she loves.” Lytherus has a copy of this book and will be reviewing it sometime in the near future. I hope it’s worth all the hype, because it sounds awesome.

Delirium:

Also another book I have but have yet to read (I know, I know, I’m working on it!), Delirium by Lauren Oliver has been acquired by Fox 2000 movie studios. They have also acquired the rights to her other book, Before I Fall. Go Lauren, that’s pretty huge. Production is still in the earliest stages, but I’m sure there’s going to be lots of news on the horizon for this project. Here’s a delicious little tidbit of Delirium, courtesy of Amazon: “Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.”

Zoo City:

Film producer Helena Spring has won the rights to Lauren Beukes’s novel Zoo City. Since the book was first published in South Africa, Spring (who is also South African) was determined to get her hands on this film. There was a furious bidding war, including producers from both the UK and the US, so there are high hopes for this awesome-sounding book-to-movie. Here’s the premise: “The urban fantasy is set in a futuristic, gritty and hard-core Johannesburg where the eponymous ghetto has been colonised by society’s outcasts – criminals, drug-dealers and psychopaths – and their animal companions. Zoo City slum inhabitant Zinzi is a shrewd, street-smart girl with the gift (or burden) of finding lost things, who wears her power animal, a sloth, on her back. When she is hired to find a missing teenybopper star, she hopes that it will be her ticket out of Hell’s waiting room.” As of now, Helena Spring is currently looking for directors. Click here for more info, if you’re curious.

Hourglass:

Producer John Davis and Fox have acquired the rights to Myra McEntyre’s debut time-travel novel Hourglass. Davis is set to produce, and Magnet Management’s Mitch Solomon and Brandy Rivers are on board as executive producers. What’s it about? Here’s a summary from Deadline: “It’s a time-slip romance about a teen girl plagued by visions of the past, who meets a handsome stranger who can see the future. Together they travel through time and find action, adventure and romance.” Apparently this book is becoming a big hit with teen female readers, so the fact that this might make a great movie doesn’t seem like a far-off thought!

Book News, Books, News

New Book Releases, Week of November 20th, 2011

Here are this week’s new fantasy, scifi, and horror book releases:

Released Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

 Hearts of Smoke & Steam (Society of Steam #2), by Andrew P. Mayer

Sir Dennis Darby has been murdered, the Automaton has been destroyed, and Sarah Stanton has turned her back on a life of privilege and comfort to try and find her way in the unforgiving streets of New York. But Lord Eschaton, the villain behind all these events, isn’t finished with her yet. His plans to bring his apocalyptic vision of the future to the world are moving forward, but to complete his scheme he needs the clockwork heart that Sarah still holds.

But she has her own plans for the Automaton’s clockwork heart—Sarah is trying rebuild her mechanical friend, and when she is attacked by The Children of Eschaton, the man comes to her rescue may be the one to make her dreams come true. Emelio Armando is a genius inventor who had hoped to leave his troubles behind when he and his sister left Italy for a life of anonymity in the New World. Now he finds himself falling in love with the fallen society girl, but he is rapidly discovering just how powerful the forces of villainy aligned against her are, and that fulfilling her desires means opening the door to a world of danger that could destroy everything he has built.

THE SOCIETY OF STEAM takes place in a Victorian New York powered by the discovery of Fortified Steam, a substance that allows ordinary men to wield extraordinary abilities, and grant powers that can corrupt gentlemen of great moral strength. The secret behind this amazing substance is something that wicked brutes will gladly kill for, and one that Sarah must try and protect, no matter what the cost.

Borderlands: The Fallen, by John Shirley

WHAT KIND OF MAN MAKES A LIVING IN HELL?

His name’s Roland. Soldier class, a former mercenary, he’s on a full-time mission to scrape a living out of the most dangerous planet in the galaxy.

Is he qualified? He’s well armed, he’s ruthless, and he’s tougher than skag hide. And, oh yeah—he’s strapped with some of the most exotic weaponry this side of the Vault, not to mention possessing fists like chunks of steel.

Zac Finn and his wife and young son had better get on the right side of Roland, because a stopover in orbit has turned into a nightmarish fall to the unforgiving landscape of the Borderlands. Zac hopes to find a strange new alien treasure in the Borderlands to turn his down-spiraling life around. But his wife, Marla, and his son, Cal, just want to survive, and reunite, because catastrophe has left them separated by hundreds of klicks. Their chances aren’t good . . . and Roland is all that stands between them and the planet’s kill-crazed Psychos and murderous bandits—not to mention the grotesque primals, giant wyrm squids, insane tunnel rats, voracious skags, brutal bruisers, and ruthless mercs. . . .

An original novel set in the universe of the Rated M for Mature video game created by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games.

Micro: A Novel, by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

Three men are found dead in the locked second-floor office of a Honolulu building, with no sign of struggle except for the ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies. The only clue left behind is a tiny bladed robot, nearly invisible to the human eye.

In the lush forests of Oahu, groundbreaking technology has ushered in a revolutionary era of biological prospecting. Trillions of microorganisms, tens of thousands of bacteria species, are being discovered; they are feeding a search for priceless drugs and applications on a scale beyond anything previously imagined.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, seven graduate students at the forefront of their fields are recruited by a pioneering microbiology start-up. Nanigen MicroTechnologies dispatches the group to a mysterious lab in Hawaii, where they are promised access to tools that will open a whole new scientific frontier.

But once in the Oahu rain forest, the scientists are thrust into a hostile wilderness that reveals profound and surprising dangers at every turn. Armed only with their knowledge of the natural world, they find themselves prey to a technology of radical and unbridled power. To survive, they must harness the inherent forces of nature itself.

An instant classic, Micro pits nature against technology in vintage Crichton fashion. Completed by visionary science writer Richard Preston, this boundary-pushing thriller melds scientific fact with pulse-pounding fiction to create yet another masterpiece of sophisticated, cutting-edge entertainment.

Lightspeed: Year One, by Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, George R. R. Martin, et al.

Lightspeed (www.lightspeedmagazine.com) is the critically-acclaimed, online science fiction magazine edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams. Lightspeed publishes all types of science fiction, from near-future, sociological soft sf, to far-future, star-spanning hard sf, and anything and everything in between. Each month, Lightspeed features a mix of originals and reprints, from a variety of authors – from the bestsellers and award-winners you already know to the best new voices you haven”t heard of yet. Now, in Lightspeed: Year One, you will find all of the fiction published in Lightspeed”s first year, from new stories such as Nebula Award finalists, Vylar Kaftan”s “I”m Alive, I Love You, I”ll See You in Reno” and “Arvies” by Adam-Troy Castro, and Carrie Vaughn”s Hugo Award-nominee “Amaryllis,” to classic reprints by Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, and more.

New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird, by Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Cherie Priest, et al.

For more than 80 years H.P. Lovecraft has inspired writers of supernatural fiction, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and gaming. His themes of cosmic indifference, the utter insignificance of humankind, minds invaded by the alien, and the horrors of history – written with a pervasive atmosphere of unexplainable dread – remain not only viable motifs, but are more relevant than ever as we explore the mysteries of a universe in which our planet is infinitesimal and climatic change is overwhelming it. In the first decade of the twenty-first century the best supernatural writers no longer imitate Lovecraft, but they are profoundly influenced by the genre and the mythos he created. New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird presents some of the best of this new Lovecraftian fiction – bizarre, subtle, atmospheric, metaphysical, psychological, filled with strange creatures and stranger characters – eldritch, unsettling, evocative, and darkly appealing.

Somewhere Beneath Those Waves, by Sarah Monette

The first non-themed collection of critically acclaimed author Sarah Monette”s best short fiction. To paraphrase Hugo-award winner Elizabeth Bear’s introduction: “Monette’s prose is lapidary, her ideas are fantastical and chilling. She has studied the craft of fantastic fiction from the pens of masters and mistresses of the genre. She is a poet of the awkward and the uncertain, exalter of the outcast, the outre, and the downright weird. There is nothing else quite like Sarah Monette’s fiction.”

 

 

 

Bad Blood (House of Comarre), by Kristen Painter

Samhain approaches, bringing with it the final melding of the mortal and othernatural worlds. No one knows just how much power the night holds…

Violent murders occur in Paradise City as counterfeit comarré are systematically hunted. The police and the Kubai Mata have more than enough trouble to keep themselves occupied. As war erupts at home, Malkolm and Chrysabelle head to New Orleans to recover the Ring of Sorrows. Chrysabelle is forced to make a life and death decision and will realize that her relationship to Malkolm may have fatal consequences.

The clock is ticking . . .

 

Saints Astray, by Jacqueline Carey

Fellow orphans, amateur vigilantes, and members of the Santitos, Loup Garron-the fugitive daughter of a genetically engineered “wolf man”-and Pilar Ecchevarria grew up in the military zone of Outpost 12, formerly known as Santa Olivia. But now they’re free, and they want to help the rest of the Santitos escape. During a series of escapades, they discover that Miguel, Loup’s former sparring partner and reprobate surrogate brother, has escaped from Outpost 12 and is testifying on behalf of its forgotten citizens-at least until he disappears from protective custody. Honor drives Loup to rescue Miguel, even though entering the U.S could mean losing her liberty. Pilar vows to help her.

It will take a daring and absurd caper to extricate Miguel from the mess he’s created but Loup is prepared to risk everything… and this time she has help.

Soul Screamers Volume One: My Soul to Lose, My Soul to Take, My Soul to Save, by Rachel Vincent

It starts with a scream….

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent’s compelling Soul Screamers series keeps getting better—here, for the first time, the original stories are compiled into one special volume….

My Soul to Lose

—The prequel: never before in print!—

Kaylee is just your average girl shopping at the mall with friends—until a terrified scream bursts from her that cannot be stopped. Taken to a hospital ward, will she be able to save her mind—and her life?

My Soul to Take

She’s always felt different, but now Kaylee discovers why. The screams that cannot be denied mean that someone near her will die—and she can never save them. Because saving one life means taking another….

My Soul to Save

Going on dates with her boyfriend is still new to Kaylee. But when the singer of the band they’re seeing dies onstage and Kaylee doesn’t scream, she knows something crazy is going on. Soon she discovers souls can indeed be sold….

Released Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations), by Michael J. Sullivan

THEY KILLED THE KING. THEY PINNED IT ON TWO MEN. THEY CHOSE POORLY.
Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles–until they are hired to pilfer a famed sword. What appears to be just a simple job finds them framed for the murder of the king and trapped in a conspiracy that uncovers a plot far greater than the mere overthrow of a tiny kingdom.

Can a self-serving thief and an idealistic swordsman survive long enough to unravel the first part of an ancient mystery that has toppled kings and destroyed empires in order to keep a secret too terrible for the world to know?

And so begins the first tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.

When author Michael J. Sullivan self-published the first books of his Riyria Revelations, they rapidly became ebook bestsellers. Now, Orbit is pleased to present the complete series for the first time in bookstores everywhere.

BOOKS IN THE RIYRIA REVELATIONS
Theft of Swords (The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha)
Rise of Empire (Nyphron Rising & The Emerald Storm)
Heir of Novron (Wintertide & Percepliquis)

Released Thursday, November 24th, 2011

In the Forests of the Night: The Goblin Wars Book 2, by Kersten Hamilton

The battle against goblinkind continues . . . but which side will Teagan be on?

Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have made it out of Mag Mell alive, but the Dark Man’s forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Tea’s goblin cousins show up at her school, sure she will come back to Mag Mell, as goblin blood is never passive once awoken. Soon she will belong to Fear Doirich and join them. In the meantime, they are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or kill Tea’s family and friends. Tea knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be tortured and killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her. But as long as she can hold on, she’s still Teagan Wylltson, who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick and hurting. The disease that’s destroying her—that’s destroying them all—has a name: Fear Doirich. And Teagan Wylltson is not going to let him win.

Unleashed (Wolf Spring Chronicles), by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie, the New York Times bestselling authors of the Wicked series, have created an entirely new trilogy with the passion of Twilight and the grandeur of Fallen. The Wolf Springs Chronicles introduces readers to a town of secrets and the new girl who’s about to start believing in werewolves.

 

 

 

 

Descriptions from Amazon.com

 

Book News, Books, News

Curious About Steampunk? Tor.com’s Steampunk Week Offers Three Top Steampunk E-Books For $2.99!

It is no secret that I love Steampunk, and if you’ve been curious what exactly this genre has to offer, here’s your chance to explore it for cheap! Tor.com is having Steampunk week this week, and in honor of the celebration they are offering three of their top Steampunk books for only $2.99 a piece!

The books are:

  • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
  • The Affinity Bridge by George Mann
  • Mainspring by Jay Lake

Since these are published by Tor, go to any ebook downloader and click on these books and they should come up at that amazing price (US only).  I’d recommend Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, as it was a remarkable book, and will give you a great feel for the Steampunk world!

[via Tor.com]

 

Book Events, Book News, Books, Events, News

Cherie Priest Tours for the Newest Clockwork Century Book

Cherie Priest, the author of the amazing Boneshaker, is touring at the end of the month to promote the fourth book in this series, Ganymede. 

Here’s the touring schedule:

Tuesday, September 27th – 7:00 PM
University Books, Seattle, WA

Thursday, October 13th – 7:00 PM
Powell’s Books, Beaverton, OR

Tuesday, October 18th – 7:00 PM
Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

Saturday, November 5th – 2:00 PM
Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA

Thursday, November 10th – 7:30 PM
Eagle Harbor Book Co., Bainbridge Island, WA

Saturday, November 12th – 1:00 PM
Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN

Tuesday, November 15th – 7:00 PM
Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

Wednesday, November 16th – 7:00 PM
Broadway Book Mall, Denver, CO

Thursday, November 17th – 7:00 PM
Rediscovered Books, Boise, ID

Curious about her books? Click here to check out the Lytherus review of Boneshaker. 

[via tor.com]

Book News, Books, News

Boneshaker Author Cherie Priest Interviewed in Podcast

Since there were so many fans of Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker, when I stumbled across this podcast tonight I had to post it.

i09.com has a podcast series called The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy, and they often have interesting people on there. It is a re-run, but since I posted the review on her book not that long ago, I thought I’d pass it on.

Here’s what i09.com had to say about what to expect in the interview:

Cherie Priest, author of Boneshaker, joins us to talk about Steampunk, theology, and Seattle’s Underground in this rerun of episode 6 of The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy. Plus Dave and John talk Sherlock Holmes.

I can only link to their page, so here you go! Scroll down a bit to find the player. Also, further down on the page you’ll find a summary in transcript form.

[via i09.com]