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From our February 2015 Newsletter:


Book List

Karen Memory (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780765375247
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Tor Books, 2/2015

Speculative Fiction

Karen Memery (like memory, but not spelt the same) ain’t your average seamstress. Oh, she sews, sure, (and oh what a sewing machine it is!) but most of her nightly work involves men and is more horizontal-like. When her normal life gets set all asunder by nefarious happenstance, she bucks tradition and takes life by the reins … and no bastard and his mind control machine, nor no murdering psychopath is gonna stop her from protecting hers. Life in Rapid City ain’t easy for a woman, especially one friends with a pants-wearing female liberator, a black marshal and his Indian (Comanche) posse man, and an Indian (from India) girlfriend.

 

Karen Memory (the novel) is quite a fun ride. A sort of Deadwood meets Jack the Ripper in a steam-powered gold rush old west era version of the Parasol Protectorate. And Karen Memery herself is a little piece of colorful awesomeness. – Patrick  


$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780765376459
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Tor Books, 2/2015

Speculative Fiction

Schwab imagines four Londons, that differ by their distance from magic’s dark heart. Farthest away is Grey London, of our 18th-century. Next is Red London, where magic proliferates, followed by White London, where magic is power, and the strong prey upon the weak. Finally there is Black London, an unimaginable horror the other worlds have shut out for their own safety.

The story follows Kell, a magician who can travel between Londons. When he is tricked into smuggling a stone originally from Black London via White London into Red London, a terrifying cascade of events follows, as black magic begins to pour across worlds. Kell’s only help is Lila, a wonderfully brave and resourceful thief. Together, they must face down the dark magic that threatens to destroy everything.

Featuring appealing main characters, splendidly wicked villains, and a horrifying conception of magic, Schwab’s fantasy will shock you and thrill you. Highly recommended! – David 


Alias Hook (Hardcover)

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9781250042156
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Thomas Dunne Books, 5/2014

Speculative Fiction

One of the most lush and lively retellings I’ve read in a long time. Alias Hook tells the story of Captain James Hookbridge, a man who sailed into Neverland one day destined to never leave—and never die. Trapped in Pan’s eternal game, Hook only wishes for escape. He seems hopelessly fated to forever stay in Neverland until one day he finds a woman aboard his ship, about whom Pan knows nothing. In a world where Pan’s will rules all, this woman just might be the key to Hook’s escape from Neverland.

Dark and dangerous faeries, magnificent but terrifying mermaids, and fresh characterization of Pan and Hook all make this an outstanding Peter Pan retelling. Jensen deftly weaves faerie with fairy tale, mortality with hope, children’s games and bitter reality, all the while moving elegantly between the present events of Neverland and Hook’s past. An interesting and thought-provoking novel from start to finish. – Kelly 


The Deep (Hardcover)

$26.00
ISBN-13: 9781476717739
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Gallery Books, 1/2015

Horror

What Ridley Scott did for outer space, Nick Cutter does for the ocean, in his iron lung of a horror novel, The Deep. A devastating plague is ravaging humanity, scarring its victims’ skin with ulcers like mold spots before eroding their minds like Alzheimer’s disease. Eight miles down in the Mariana trench, a research station built to harvest a “miracle cure” goes silent. A submersible rises to the surface, containing the partially regenerated body of a mutilated scientist. Luke Nelson takes the plunge to investigate what happened to the research team, which was headed by his brilliant, narcissistic brother. We descend with Luke into a permanent midnight of relentless claustrophobia, body horror and madness, hitting bottom in a monster maelstrom where regenerative medicine is the disease. Fans of hardcore horror—this grue is for you. (Warning: contains a few scenes of animal cruelty). – Robert 


$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780765378088
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Tor Books, 2/2015

Speculative Fiction

The Speculative Fiction Fantastic First for February.

Finn Gramaraye is a necromancer. And a Talker … he can talk to the dead. But, as everyone knows, all magic comes with a price. And before he could really even figure it all out, he was tossed into fey jail by the Arcana Ruling Council for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, twenty-five years later, he’s out, in trouble up to his third eye, and on the hunt to clear his name. No easy task. How does one conquer the modern world when one’s knowledge comes from the 80s? He’s going to need help and lots of it. Only trouble here is that help comes from his motley family, and a former Arcane Enforcer who doesn’t believe he’s innocent. Take a Harry Potter-like sub rosa magic world, sprinkle in a bunch of Harry Dresden, a pinch of Sandman Slim … and then add a dash of Ready Player One. A February Fantastic Firsts Pick. – Patrick 


Cat Out of Hell (Hardcover)

$24.95
ISBN-13: 9781612194424
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Melville House, 3/2015

Mystery and Suspense

Do cats have nine lives, and what does that really mean? Cat Out of Hell pursues this idea in a most unique way. Part Sherlock Holmes investigation, part gothic tale, a bit of Interview with a Vampire, Cat Out of Hell is a wickedly funny, creepy, can’t put down tale (tail?). Our story begins at a seaside cottage in England with a cat and a man facing each other across a kitchen table. The cat says “Shall we begin?” This is the story of Roger, who has become immortal by the paw of Captain, killed repeatedly until he becomes the companion Captain has been craving. Captain, a big black tomcat, can be a bit jealous of others, man and beast, who enter the pairs’ lives. Mysterious deaths occur. Lots of mysterious deaths. A thriller for both cat lovers and cat haters. Not for those who hate to read of murders of animals (and people). Definitely for those who will enjoy a wickedly funny, sarcastic, scary story full of quirky characters, both human and beast. Two paws up (‘cause I’d fall over if I tried to hold up four). Mewow! – Linda

 

 


Among Thieves (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9781250047243
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Minotaur Books, 2/2015

Mystery and Suspense

There are a bunch of very bad guys in and around New York City and the surrounding boroughs. “Our” bad guys met in prison serving time for a range of illegal activities which have prepared them to arm and protect themselves to ensure that they don’t return to a life behind bars. James Beck, Demarco Jones, Manny Guzman, and Ciro Baldassare live off the grid and on guard, as a close knit family in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. Their relatively peaceful existence comes to a grinding halt when Manny’s niece calls in for protection after she is threatened and fired from her job in a securities firm. At first it seems like a simple matter getting justice for her, but quickly turns into something quite different when a Russian arms dealer enters the picture. And then things get complicated and messy… and worse. Among Thieves is for fans of Lee Child, Ocean’s 11, and books with lots of action, and not a little bloodshed. This is a great kickoff for what we hope will become a series, with smart plotting and characters we would like to know better. – Terry 


$26.99
ISBN-13: 9780062237125
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: William Morrow & Company, 1/2015

Mystery and Suspense

 

This is an Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery that will satisfy all who love a historical British whodunnit. On Sunday, June twenty-eighth of 1914, three events occur: Ian Rutledge asks Jean Gordon to marry him; Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, are assassinated in Sarajevo; and Henry Dobson buries his mother, deciding that revenge is the only answer to his sadness. These three events unwind and entwine to present a marvelous murder mystery. With the first episodes of World War I rumbling in the background, Rutledge is struggling to convince Scotland Yard that the deaths of three older gentlemen are related and a serial killer might be on the loose; however, his engagement is hampering him and his superiors at the Yard are not listening. Meanwhile, a killer, bent on finishing what he started, is roaming about systematically accomplishing his goal. The clock is ticking on all fronts of this interesting story. – Bunny 


Lost & Found (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780525954682
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Dutton, 1/2015

Curated Fiction

Ladies Lunch and Literacy Fantastic First Pick for February. 

This is literally the story of life and death. Life following death. Death following life. It centers on seven-year-old Mille Bird who contemplates death … a lot. The death of her dog, Rambo, is only the first entry in her “List of Dead Things.” Unfortunately, her father is also on her list, which results in a journey that begins with abandonment, turns into an adventure (of sorts), and introduces her to Karl the Touch Typist and Agatha Pantha, two elderly citizens in her town who have suffered losses of their own.

As Millie tries to uncover the truth about death, she ultimately helps Karl and Agatha find more life in their lives. This promising debut has some life (and death) lessons for all of us.  – Terry 


Red Queen (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9780062310637
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Harper Teen, 2/2015

Y Factor... Young Adult Novels 

This YA debut (and Indies Introduce New Voices pick!) has everything I could possibly want in a dystopian fantasy: a rebellious heroine, a dangerous love triangle, and seemingly impossible odds. It all takes place in a world where the color of your blood determines your fate; the superhuman Silvers lord over the common Reds. 17-year-old Mare Barrows bleeds red. She’s a thief who, through a twist of fate, unleashes a power that shocks not only herself but an entire Silver court. Mare is forced to take on the identity of a long-lost Silver princess until the king and queen can figure out what to do with her. It’s a deadly game of double crossings as Mare finds herself caught between the Red rebellion and a Silver prince. Part love story and part revolutionary saga, this is the first in a trilogy with the sequel not coming out soon enough. – Sarah 

 

 

From Our January 2015 Newsletter:


$25.00
ISBN-13: 9780345539816
Availability: On Our Shelves 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: On Our Shelves 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: On Our Shelves 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: On Our Shelves 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: On Our Shelves 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: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
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: On Our Shelves Now!
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: On Our Shelves 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: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Delacorte Press, 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: On Our Shelves Now!
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: On Our Shelves Now!
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: On Our Shelves Now!
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: On Our Shelves Now!
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: