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HOT OFF THE PRESS!

 

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From our January 2015 Newsletter:


Book List
$25.00
ISBN-13: 9780345539816
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Del Rey, 1/2015

Speculative Fiction

Bloody-gory-damn hell! Where does one begin? As anyone I’ve talked to in the past year knows, I loved Red Rising. So how in the seven hells could Pierce possibly top it? I won’t go into great detail here lest I ruin your surprise, but he did it. Really.

Imagine some mad genius managed to meld the magnificent bits and pieces that make classics like A Game of Thrones and Dune so damn spectacular into something that is at once similar and yet remarkably different. This, dear friends, is merely the beginning of Golden Son. Ever read a book so enthralling that you didn’t want to put it down to eat or sleep? This is such a novel.

In short and spoiler-free, our Darrow continues his quest to make Eo’s dream a reality, and no one, not even himself, nor any Machiavellian/Arrakeen/Westerosi plot, will stop him. Golden Son starts with a bang. Then the action builds and builds and builds, never letting up, page after relentless page. Just when you think you might get a breather, Pierce kicks it up a notch. Glorious. Laugh, cry, cheer, then curse the author for making you wait for the inevitable resolution/revolution. I’m sorry I can’t put this book in your hands this minute, and I envy you reading it for the first time. Gorydamn brilliant.

--Patrick

 


Pacific Fire (Hardcover)

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9780765328564
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Tor Books, 1/2015

Speculative Fiction

Ten years later. Ten years following the death of the Hierarch. Ten years after Daniel Blackland ate half of the Hierarch’s heart. Ten years after escaping with the Hierarch’s golem, a golem now known as Sam, and an osteomancer in his own right. He and Daniel have been on the run since then, never in one place long enough to be caught. Always on the lookout for those who would consume Sam for his power. But strange things are afoot in the Kingdom of Southern California and a quest is in the offing. Nothing will keep our young heroes from their appointed rounds. It seems that Daniel and Sam can no longer fight their destinies. Here there be dragon! I loved California Bones, the first in the series, and its sequel doesn’t disappoint. Yum! I can’t wait for number three. For fans of Jim Butcher, Ben Aaronovich, and Richard Kadrey.

--Patrick

 


Unbreakable (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780765375421
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Tor Books, 1/2015

Speculative Fiction

Comparisons to Starship Troopers are inevitable, so let’s get them out of the way. Yes, Unbreakable is quite similar to the Heinlein classic, less the bugs, but it is also so much more. Aside from the obvious gender swap, Promise Paen’s sensibilities are a bit deeper than those of Heinlein’s Johnny Rico, and her motivations are far more personal. After witnessing her father’s murder at the hands of raiders on the colony planet Montana, Promise joins the Republic of Aligned Worlds Marine Corp … and swiftly becomes a serious bad-ass, and a leader of marines. When duty takes her to her home planet, Promise is hailed as a hero, but she is not one to rest on any laurels, especially when she’s outnumbered and outgunned and in more than considerable harm’s way … and haunted by the ghost of her long-dead mother. Military science fiction at its best, with shades of Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and a dash of awesome tech … and a significant amount of mayhem.

--Patrick

 


$25.99
ISBN-13: 9781250052490
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Minotaur Books, 1/2015

Mystery & Suspense

A little bit of history, a tad of Downtown Abbey, and a smattering of the childhood game “Clue” combine to make this debut novel an entertaining adventure for the traditional mystery lover. Arlen’s “it’s the butler, in the library, with the candlestick” style is just plain fun. Set in England in 1912, the tale is of the privileged Montfort family, who at their annual summer costume ball find that their degenerate nephew has been murdered. Inspector Valentine has ordered all of the guests to remain at the estate as he interrogates them all. Lady Montfort, a bit ahead of her time in social etiquette, employs the help of her pragmatic housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, to solve the murder when she feels the police inquiry is being driven off track and could point toward her cherished son. Arlen provides a lesson in the class struggles of the Edwardian era, an insight into the struggle for women’s suffrage, and a deliciously gruesome murder with unlikely suspects.

– Bunny

 


Empty Rooms (Paperback)

$16.99
ISBN-13: 9781614752349
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: WordFire Press, 2/2015

Mystery & Suspense

The best suspense novels are often leavened with the writer’s sense of unease, a reflection of some of their darkest fears and imaginings. Jeffrey sets Empty Rooms in the bleakness of Detroit’s abandoned buildings and urban decay. The exterior landscape reflects the emotional psyches of the thriller’s antagonists, and even that of its troubled protagonists, as the latter seek to bring light to the case of a young woman reported missing years earlier. Michael Connelly and T. Jefferson Parker gave early praise to Jeffrey’s disturbing and evocative fictional exploration of topical concerns, touching on aging, the infrastructure, comics, and predators, and how we choose to respond.

--Maryelizabeth

 


The Magician's Lie (Hardcover)

$23.99
ISBN-13: 9781402298684
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark, 1/2015

Curated Fiction

The Magician’s Lie is a compelling old-fashioned story with a magical twist from debut author Greer Macallister. Told in two timelines set 13 years apart, the story draws readers into the lives of the most famous female illusionist of her day, The Amazing Arden, and Virgil Holt, a young policeman who is fighting for his livelihood after suffering the aftermath of being shot in the back. The story begins with Virgil attending the performance of the illusionist; shortly thereafter, Arden’s husband is found dead and Virgil encounters the performer just as he is leaving a neighborhood tavern. They proceed to his police station where through the course of one evening she tells him the story of her life, and he has to make a determination of her guilt or innocence. The Magician’s Lie is an intriguing, and engrossing journey beginning in 1892 New York that travels around turn of the century America at a hypnotic pace.

– Terry


Jackaby (Hardcover)

$16.95
ISBN-13: 9781616203535
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 9/2014

Y - Factor ... Young Adult Novels

You will be charmed by this initial entry into the world of magic and mayhem in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892. Abigail Rook’s travels abroad looking for adventure, far from her beginnings in England, bring her to this bustling American town. She is penniless and looking for a job when she sees an advertisement for an investigative assistant to R. F. Jackaby. But Jackaby is not your typical detective. He is a “seer” who has the ability to see supernatural beings no one else can see. Abigail’s adventuresome spirit is intrigued, and she begins her job immediately despite much grumbling from her new boss. This leads directly to her first case involving murder, Jackaby’s not very conventional home/office, and some new friends who are magical in their own right. All of the characters are charming and the setting is just right for high adventure, magic, mayhem, and more … for kids of all ages.

– Terry

 


$16.99
ISBN-13: 9780385753548
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1/2014

Y - Factor ... Young Adult Novels

When Ophelia, a girl who believes anything is possible “if you think scientifically,” stumbles upon a magical boy held prisoner in a museum, she must find her courage and open her heart up to magic in order to help free him and defeat the evil Snow Queen. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is an enchanting reshaping of the classic fairy tale, “The Snow Queen” and though it’s aimed at a middle grade audience, it does not disappoint even the well-seasoned fairy tale reader. With mysterious, intelligent characters and a well-paced plot, Karen Foxlee does a fantastic job of telling her own story. A delightful read for winter. Ages 8+.

– Kelly

 


When (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9781484700082
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion, 1/2015

Y - Factor ... Young Adult Novels

Laurie’s first entry into the world of young adults brings her trademark psychic sensibilities to a contemporary high school setting featuring a young teen who tries to stay under the radar, but instead finds herself a target for more than just the local school bullies. Madelyn (Maddie) Fynn is the sixteen year-old daughter of an alcoholic mother, whose father was killed on the job, but those are _ not her biggest problems. It is her ability to perceive “death dates” printed on people’s foreheads that cause her no end of distress. When she reads the death date of a child in a picture a visiting client shows her, and the child in the picture turns up murdered, her problems begin in earnest. When the body count rises and Maddie herself is a possible suspect, her life becomes even more unbearable.

Laurie’s breathless pacing will keep you glued to the pages as Maddie fights for her life and for who she is … in the midst of a sea of relentless odds stacked against her. This is a protagonist that you will root for … and feel for … and fear for … up until the very last page. And then you will miss reading her … and hope that she will return. A Fantastic First pick for January 2015.

– Terry

 


Seeker (Hardcover)

$18.99
ISBN-13: 9780385744072
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2/2015

Y - Factor ... Young Adult Novels

This may be the first book I have ever read with universal appeal for everyone.  It has elements that will attract any age group, both genders, and readers of all genres.  Like romance? Two boys and a girl in a classic triangle.  Like Steampunk?  Ancient weaponry such as swords or daggers mixed with guns and disrupters.  Horses versus flying fortresses.  Like action?  Battles?  Epic fantasy?  Time and space disruption?  Quin, Shinobu, and John are teenagers trained in the art of combat.  Trained to be Seekers, a legacy passed from generation to generation, they are scheduled to take their oaths.  Then comes betrayal.  Lies.  Murder. The teens realize nothing they learned about their families and legacy is true.  The real battle begins.  Father against child.  Family against family.  Boyfriend against girlfriend.  This book, the first in a trilogy, introduces readers to flawed characters who are frustrating, sympathetic, and likeable.  I couldn’t put the novel down, can’t wait for the second volume, and recommend it to everyone. 

– Sandra Hale, guest reviewer

 

 

 

From our November 2014 Newsletter:

 


Willful Child (Hardcover)

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9780765374899
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Tor Books, 11/2014

Speculate Fiction

The day after tomorrow an alien species Transcends on our doorstep and leaves their toys behind – loaded guns in the hands of a bunch of children who shouldn’t be trusted. Humans: from species on the way out one day, to intergalactic interlopers the next. A century or so later and … “These are the voyages of the starship A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life-forms, to boldly blow the…” Turns out the universe is just chock-full of idiots … and we fit right in. Herein lay the exploits of our intrepid captain and crew as they prove once and for all that fools can rush in, wreak havoc, and come out smelling like a rose. The author’s great love for a certain 60s television series is extremely evident in this farce.

– Patrick

 


$26.00
ISBN-13: 9780345545022
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Ballantine Books, 9/2014

Speculate Fiction

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Chrysler who loved to read and grew up to be a bookseller and an author. Another little girl named Maryelizabeth who loved to read and also grew up to be a bookseller read Chrysler’s debut, The Hawley Book of the Dead, and found it full of the special magic of storytelling. The titular Hawley Book of the Dead is part of magician and widow Revelation Dyer’s matriarchal family heritage of witchcraft, a part that holds both answers to the danger that pursues Reve and her daughters, but simultaneously presents a danger to her and the powerful women in her clan. An intricate and engaging book recommended for fans of thoughtful contemporary fantasy.

– Maryelizabeth 


$30.00
ISBN-13: 9780345547194
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Del Rey, 10/2014

Speculate Fiction

Once more into the Void, dear friends, and let slip the mods of war. The Void still threatens the Commonweath and it’s up to one of its founding fathers, Nigel Sheldon, to investigate … from within. But humans are not the only intelligent beings in the Void. The Fallers, mimics beyond compare, are also there, and they mean to destroy humanity utterly, and even Void-provided superpowers have little effect on their particular malevolence. The Fallers, however, do offer some hope. Unlocking their secrets may just lead to a means to destroy the Void … if Nigel can just uncover it on a world ruled by useless and corrupt leaders. Time to foment a bit of insurrection ... followed by the real challenge: Dominating the Void itself. Part one of a reported two, Peter Hamilton never fails to bring the awesome, thus cementing his status as one of my favorite authors.

--Patrick

 


$25.99
ISBN-13: 9781250050021
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Thomas Dunne Books, 8/2014

Speculative Fiction

In The Godless, Ben Peek develops a striking mythology, a world in which the gods are dying slowly over the span of millennia, yet continue to influence humanity during their long decline. Deeds done thousands of years in the past resound into the present, giving the narrative an almost vertiginous historical scope. Immortals mix with ordinary humans, their differing experiences of fate imbuing the characters with tragic depths. At the same time, the action is gritty, relentless, and exciting.  Characters fight, and die, desperately. The Godless is the perfect book for those who like their fantasy to be thoughtful and compulsively readable. Highly recommended! 

--David

 


Bad Country (Hardcover)

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9781250053541
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Minotaur Books, 11/2014

Mystery Suspense

The latest winner of the Tony Hillerman Prize, Bad Country is a lean, mean, noir western mystery as harsh and dry as the remote corner of Arizona known to locals as “El Hoyo” where our hero, Rodeo Garnet, lives. A former rodeo cowboy, Rodeo gets by as a private investigator, bounty hunter, and warrant server. Rodeo takes on a case involving an elderly Indian woman from his own Reservation who has hired him to help discover who murdered her grandson. Rodeo and his faithful old dog chase the twisted trail of clues in his trusty (and rusty) pick-up as he also tracks down information on related cases involving a series of murders, including one where the body was found in his own backyard. I suspect that fans of Craig Johnson and Michael McGarrity will want to check out Bad Country, making sure to have an icy beverage close by.

– Linda

 

From our October 2014 Newsletter:


War Dogs (Hardcover)

$25.00
ISBN-13: 9780316072830
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Orbit, 10/2014

Our Speculative Fiction Fantastic First for November.

War is Hell. War on Mars is Hell-times-Hellas. Master Sergeant Michael Venn is a veteran of this particular brand of Hell. As a Skyrine, a spacefaring Marine, he has survived many a drop on the Red. When the Gurus announced their presence and gave humanity many a present, they also gave us a warning: they were not the only extraterrestrial beings in our solar system. The Antags, short for antagonists, were also here, and Mars was their current objective. Now Venn and company have boots on the ground, little intel, and a whole lot of hurt on their doorstep. Their only hope may lie with the enigmatic humans who first settled Mars … and with a secret of galactic proportions. Military SF, action and adventure, and a whole lot of thought-provoking complexity make this one a real winner … even if it is only the first of a reported trilogy.   

– Patrick

 


$26.00
ISBN-13: 9780345545022
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Ballantine Books, 9/2014

Speculative Fiction

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Chrysler who loved to read and grew up to be a bookseller and an author. Another little girl named Maryelizabeth who loved to read and also grew up to be a bookseller read Chrysler’s debut, The Hawley Book of the Dead, and found it full of the special magic of storytelling. The titular Hawley Book of the Dead is part of magician and widow Revelation Dyer’s matriarchal family heritage of witchcraft, a part that holds both answers to the danger that pursues Reve and her daughters, but simultaneously presents a danger to her and the powerful women in her clan. An intricate and engaging book recommended for fans of thoughtful contemporary fantasy.

– Maryelizabeth


$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781476776521
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Simon & Schuster, 10/2014

Our Speculative Fiction Fantastic First for October.

India and Pakistan are on the brink of nuclear war; child psychologist Caitlin O’Hara is treating the daughter of India’s ambassador to the United Nations for her violent visions and speaking in tongues, while a thief steals a strange silvery stone relic from a lab aboard a survey ship in the South Atlantic. How do these occurrences relate to one another? These are the clues to an ancient lost world of human beings who lived on Antarctica before it became a frozen wasteland and before our species developed. Is there a connection between these souls of the past and possessed teenagers in our present? And what about those rats overrunning New York City? This fast-paced mystical thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last “wow!”

– Bunny and Linda


$25.99
ISBN-13: 9781250050021
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Thomas Dunne Books, 8/2014

Speculative Fiction

In The Godless, Ben Peeks develops a striking mythology, a world in which the gods are dying slowly over the span of millennia, yet continue to influence humanity during their long decline. Deeds done thousands of years in the past resound into the present, giving the narrative an almost vertiginous historical scope. Immortals mix with ordinary humans, their differing experiences of fate imbuing the characters with tragic depths. At the same time, the action is gritty, relentless, and exciting. Characters fight, and die, desperately. The Godless is the perfect book for those who like their fantasy to be thoughtful and compulsively readable. Highly recommended!

– David

 


$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780062313843
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Voyager, 9/2014

Speculative Fiction

One doesn’t need to be particularly invested in the steampunk genre to find a lot to like in this debut fantasy, which offers a fascinating medical / magical system; a world with conflicts between nature and faith and “scientific progress” as well as political alliances; and the mystical Lady, who is the source of healing, but whose powers also can hold a darker intent. When Medician Octavia Leaneder leaves the refuge of her training academy to make her way in the world, she does not realize she will be a focus for divergent forces, and a fulcrum for the fate of her land. Octavia displays admirable resilience and creativity in her encounters with the intriguing apprentice Clockwork Dagger (espionage agent) Alonzo Garret, and various allies and adversaries. I am eager to spend more time in their company.

– Maryelizabeth


Lock In (Hardcover)

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9780765375865
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Tor Books, 8/2014

Our Speculative Fiction Fantastic First for September.

Many great writers have themes (obsessions may be a better word) they return to in their work again and again. The late, great Roger Zelazny often considered immortality in his novels; the wonderful Czech novelist, Milan Kundera, deals regularly with the ideas of memory and forgetting; and John Scalzi’s novels often address the concepts of identity and free will. On the surface, Scalzi’s new novel, Lock In, is a murder mystery set in the near future. After a global pandemic leaves a significant minority of the population “locked in,” physically paralyzed but mentally functional, they use “threeps,” artificial, mechanical bodies (some would call them robots), controlled by embedded neural nets in their brains, to function more-or-less normally. A few Hadens, as the survivors are called, retain the use of their bodies and become “Integrators,” permitting their bodies to be used by other, locked in, Hadens. Several murders (or perhaps suicides) involving the locked-in are assigned to Chris Sane, a new FBI agent who also happens to be a Haden. The more he investigates, however, the more complex and convoluted the cases become. Isaac Asimov often dealt with these themes, incorporating corporate greed, politics, virtual realities, and what it means to be human. I think Scalzi may do it even better. This is a terrific, compelling novel by one of our most exciting young science fiction writers. 

– Guest Reviewer Terry Hertzler

 


$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780525427247
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Viking Adult, 10/2014

Our Mystery Suspense Fantastic First for October and the Ladies Lunch and Literacy Pick for November.

There is nothing not to love about this book! First Impressions is a mystery built around an obscure book from the late 1700s; almost every character reveres the written word; and one of the narrators is Jane Austen! It’s fun. It’s tender. It’s suspenseful. It’s the perfect book for almost every reader.

In the present day, Sophie Collingwood is an Austen scholar just out of Oxford who has taken a job in an antiquarian bookshop in London. When two different customers ask her to find a copy of a second edition of a book in which the first edition is unspectacular, Sophie accepts the challenge to find it and eventually learns that she may be the only person that can unravel the mystery of who really wrote the new parts of this second edition.

In 1796, Jane Austen is just beginning her writing career when she befriends an elderly cleric,  Richard Mansfield. As their touching friendship blooms, the connection between the past and the present become clearer. In both stories, love of books, love of writing, and a number of different love stories unfold. Priceless!

– Terry

 


$25.99
ISBN-13: 9781250041272
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: St. Martin's Press, 7/2014

Horror

Glassy-eyed antique dolls huddle in a Gothic parlor like dead children holding court at a mad tea party.  Marionettes with too-wide eyes wave their withered arms as animal armies created by a mad taxidermist fight eternal wars beneath a veil of dust. These are just some of the wonders Catherine encounters when she’s sent to appraise the holdings of Red House for auction. The offerings are priceless, but less so than her soul, which like her sanity is really on the table as the ghosts of the past place bids on her life. Catherine is every bit as haunted as the mansion, plagued by memories of a series of unsolved child abductions that left her with a chilling imaginary friend who may hold the key to escaping Red House. With every page the dread builds, the atmosphere weighs like lead, and the climax will grip your heart in an icy, porcelain hand.

– R.J. Crowther Jr.

 


Hyde (Hardcover)

$24.00
ISBN-13: 9780544191181
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Houghton Mifflin, 3/2014

Horror

Daniel Levine’s revisionist take on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is an enthralling feat of storytelling, which not only does justice to the classic tale, but explodes it to reveal darker, deeper truths. We meet Hyde sitting in Jekyll’s laboratory, gazing at the envelope containing Jekyll’s account of the drug induced schism that doomed them both. Disgusted with Jekyll’s sanitized apology, Hyde pens his confession of what really happened. We peer as voyeurs through Hyde’s eyes as he is wrenched into the world, a frightened, half-formed, shadow of a shadow, more akin to Frankenstein’s monster than a sociopath, and watch him grow more savage, trapped in Jekyll’s hide, gnashing at man’s hypocrisy as a domestic animal. Like us, Hyde is desperate to know, “Why am I here?” Is he just a pawn in a deadly chess game Jekyll plays with himself? Levine’s London is a sordid, soot-stained beast, rendered with magnificent historical detail, a mirror labyrinth of mind as much as stone and brick. Hyde will make your heart pound like a cornered animal and haunt you long after the book-serum wears off.

– R.J. Crowther Jr.