Another kind of slow week in new release-land this week, although there are some interesting titles—like the first in a new series from Jocelynn Drake and check out Portlandtown, a zombie steampunk magical western I just finished and will review as soon as I can find a free blog day.
What do you want to read? As always, leave a comment telling me the book you’d most like to win (or the first in its series), and maybe random.org will make your wishes come true. International? Of course! As long as Book Depository delivers to your country, please enter.
Here we go….
The deadliest assassin in the empire just got too close to her target…Azurha, a former slave turned deadliest assassin in the empire, has just been offered the ultimate challenge—seduce, then murder the new Emperor. But Titus is not the tyrant his forefathers were, and his radical ideas might be the glimmer of hope the empire needs. Titus Sergius Flavus has yet to master the powerful magic of his ancestors—magic he must wield if he’s to protect his people—but his father’s death has left him no choice. Rule the Deizian Empire and attempt to right his ancestors’ wrongs, or watch her fall to his greedy kin. More than just Titus’ ideas hold Azurha captive. Night after night, he awakens desires she thought lost, and uncovers the magic of her hidden lineage. As her deadline approaches, Azurha is forced to make an impossible decision—complete her job and kill the man she loves, or fail and forfeit both their lives.
Looking for a tattoo? Head to the quiet and mysterious Gage, the best skin artist in town. Using his unique potions he can fulfill any heart’s desire. But in a place like Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires happily walk among humanity, everything has its price. Turning his back on his own kind, Gage left the magical Ivory Tower where cruel witches and warlocks rule, a decision that cost him the right to practice magic. If he disobeys, his punishment, execution, will be swift. Gage can’t hide from powerful warlocks who want him dead, or the secrets of his own past. But with the help of his friends, Trixie, a gorgeous elf who hides her true identity, and a hulking troll named Bronx, Gage just might make it through this enchanted world alive.
Young Adult. Living in the aftermath of the Event means that seeing the dead is now a part of life, but Veronica wishes that the ghosts would just move on. Instead, the ghosts aren’t disappearing, they’re gaining power. When Veronica and her friend, Kirk, decide to investigate why, they stumble upon a more sinister plot than they ever could have imagined. One of Veronica’s high school teachers is crippled by the fact that his dead daughter has never returned as a ghost, and he’s haunted by the possibility that she’s waiting to reappear within a fresh body. Veronica seems like the perfect host. And even if he’s wrong, what’s the harm in creating one more ghost?
Young Adult. Incapable. Awkward. Artless. That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. Sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail. Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. She slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her, tonight. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast, to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. And one hour to escape. Once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.
Young Adult. Neferet’s true nature has been revealed to the Vampyre High Council, so Zoey and the gang might finally get some help in defending themselves and their beloved school against a gathering evil that grows stronger every day. And they’ll need it, because Neferet’s not going down without a fight.
Young Adult. The stakes are life or death. The summer after Joss failed to kill the vampire Vladimir Tod, he gets a second chance to prove himself as a Slayer. He is sent to New York City to hunt down a serial killer that the Slayer Society believes is a vampire. It is up to Joss to lead his Slayer team, and through their detective work, they discover that there are actually four vampire brothers who are on the killing rampage. Joss must use all his skill to save the innocent people of New York City from the murderers. Joss’s status as a Slayer depends on it.
Young Adult. Darcy Jones doesn’t remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child. She has never really belonged anywhere, but she couldn’t have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn’t happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the humans. Memories begin to haunt Darcy when a new boy arrives at her school, and he makes her feel both desire and desired in a way she hadn’t thought possible. Conn’s interest in her is confusing. It doesn’t line up with the way he first looked at her. When Conn betrays Darcy, she realizes that she can’t rely on anything. Darcy decides to infiltrate the Shadow Society and uncover the Shades’ latest terrorist plot. What she finds out will change her world forever.
The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury (The Governor Trilogy #2), by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga (October 16, Thomas Dunne Books)
The zombie plague unleashes its horrors on the suburbs of Atlanta without warning, pitting the living against the dead. Caught in the mass exodus, Lilly Caul struggles to survive. But the Walkers are multiplying. Lilly relies on the protection of good Samaritans, seeking refuge in a walled-in town known as Woodbury, Georgia. Woodbury seems like a perfect sanctuary. A self-proclaimed leader named Philip Blake keeps the citizens in line. But Lilly begins to suspect that all is not as it seems. Blake, who has recently begun to call himself The Governor, has disturbing ideas about law and order. Lilly and a band of rebels open up a Pandora’s box of mayhem and destruction when they challenge The Governor’s reign, and the road to Woodbury becomes the highway to hell.
Young Adult. When news reports start appearing of a zombie outbreak in Ireland, B’s racist father thinks it’s a joke, but even if it isn’t, he figures, it’s ok to lose a few Irish. B doesn’t fully buy into Dad’s racism, but figures it’s easier to go along with it than to risk the fights and abuse that will surely follow sticking up for Muslims, blacks, or immigrants. And when dodging his fists doesn’t work, B doesn’t hesitate to take the piss out of kids at school with a few slaps or cruel remarks. That is, until zombies attack the school. B is forced on a mad dash through the serpentine corridors of high school, making allegiances with anyone with enough gall to fight off their pursuers.
Welcome to Portlandtown, where no secret is safe, not even those buried beneath six feet of Oregon mud. Joseph Wylde isn’t afraid of the past, but he knows some truths are better left unspoken. When his father-in-law’s grave-digging awakens more than just ghosts, Joseph invites him into their home hoping that a booming metropolis and two curious grandtwins will be enough to keep the former marshal out of trouble. Unfortunately, the old man’s past soon follows, unleashing a terrible storm on a city already knee deep in floodwaters. As the dead mysteriously begin to rise, the Wyldes must find the truth before an unspeakable evil can spread across the West and beyond.
The aging prophet Devora bolts awake in terror, gasping for air. In her dream she heard her mother’s shrieks as the ravenous dead pulled her from the tent. Devora had been only a girl then, crying as she listened to her mother’s screams and the tearing of her flesh. And in the morning, when her mother rose, undead and hungering, Devora slew her. It is 1160 BC Israel as the walking corpses devour the tents and homesteads of the People. Four will stand against the dead: Devora, who sees what God sees. The slave girl Hurriya. Zadok, a legend among warriors. And the widower Barak, fighting to keep his vineyard free of this new peril. For the living fear each other, fear the strangers in the land, as much as they fear the hungry dead.
For nearly a century, H. P. Lovecraft’s tales of malevolent Great Old Ones existing beyond the dimensions of this world, beyond the borders of sanity, have captured and held the imaginations of writers and aficionados of the dark, the macabre, the fantastic, and the horrible. Now, because you demanded more, anthologist Ross E. Lockhart has risked all to dive back into the Cthulhu canon, combing through mind-shattering manuscripts and moldering tomes to bring you The Book of Cthulhu 2, with even more tales of tentacles, terror, and madness. Featuring monstrous stories by many of weird fiction’s brightest lights. The Cthulhu mythos. This year, the stars are right.
At the end of The Passage, the great viral plague had left a small group of survivors clinging to life amidst a world transformed into a nightmare. In the second volume of this epic trilogy, this same group of survivors, led by the mysterious, charismatic Amy, go on the attack, leading an insurrection against the virals: the first offensives of the Second Viral War. To do this, they must infiltrate a dozen hives, each presided over by one of the original Twelve. Their secret weapon: Alicia, transformed at the end of book one into a half human, half viral, but whose side, in the end, is she really on?
Shy South comes home to her farm to find a blackened shell, her brother and sister stolen, and knows she’ll have to go back to bad old ways if she’s ever to see them again. She sets off in pursuit with only her cowardly old step-father Lamb for company. But it turns out he’s hiding a bloody past of his own. None bloodier. Their journey will take them across the lawless plains, to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feuds, duels, and massacres, high into unmapped mountains to a reckoning with ancient enemies, and force them into alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, a man no one should ever have to trust.
Daniel X: Armageddon (Daniel X #5), by James Patterson andChris Grabenstein (October 15, Little, Brown and Company)
Young Adult. Daniel must face an alien whose origins appear nearer to the depths of Hell than the outer reaches of the galaxy. Number Two is an unstoppable criminal that’s slowly been amassing an underground army to help him enslave Earth’s population. It’s all in preparation for the arrival of Number One, the most powerful alien in the universe and Daniel’s arch-nemesis. To Daniel’s horror, thousands of humans defect to the alien’s side. For the first time in his life, Daniel isn’t alone in his fight. He’s connected with several military and intelligence groups, including the daughter of a prominent FBI agent, and is prepared to lead the ultimate showdown against the evil that has plagued planet Earth for so long.
Young Adult. Elysia is a clone, created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen year old girl with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of teenaged clone. Elysia’s purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. At first, Elysia’s new life on this island paradise is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne’s human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care. If anyone discovers that Elysia isn’t an unfeeling clone, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When Elysia’s one chance at happiness is ripped away from her, emotions she’s always had but never understood are unleashed. Elysia must find the will to survive.
The limits of wonder are redrawn once again as a human expedition to another star system is jeopardized by an encounter with an astonishingly immense artifact in interstellar space: a bowl-shaped structure half-englobing a star, with a habitable area equivalent to many millions of Earths, and it’s on a direct path heading for the same system as the human ship. A landing party is sent to investigate the Bowl, but when the explorers are separated, one group captured by the gigantic structure’s alien inhabitants, the other pursued across its strange and dangerous landscape, the mystery of the Bowl’s origins and purpose propel the human voyagers toward discoveries that will transform their understanding of their place in the universe.
2107 AD: A generation ago, Earth and the cislunar colonies banned genetic and cybernetic modifications. But out in the Asteroid Belt, anything goes. Dozens of flourishing space habitats are spawning exotic new societies and strange new varieties of humans. It’s a volatile situation that threatens the peace and stability of the entire solar system. Emerald Blair is a Troubleshooter. Inspired by the classic superhero comics of the twentieth century, she’s joined with other mods to try to police the unruly Asteroid Belt. But her loyalties are tested when she finds herself torn between rival factions of superhumans with very different agendas. Emerald wants to put her special abilities to good use, but what do you do when you can’t tell the heroes from the villains?