Thursday, August 3, 2017

Promising Sci-fi, Horror, Mystery & Fantasy - June 2017

June it turns out is a month with some varied releases that cater to my taste. And I do hope that these books live up to the promises.

"Mapping the Interior" by Stephen Graham Jones from

Walking through his own house at night, a fifteen-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew.
The house is the kind of wrong place where you can lose yourself and find things you'd rather not have. Over the course of a few nights, the boy tries to map out his house in an effort that puts his little brother in the worst danger, and puts him in the position to save them . . . at terrible cost.

[ The synopsis makes it sound weird enough to make me interested and the publishers helps too. ]

"The Rebellion’s Last Traitor" by Nik Korpon from Angry Robot

In a dystopian world ravaged by war and environmental collapse, one man fights history to discover the truth about his wife and child.
After decades of war, the brutal Tathadann Party restored order toshattered Eitan City by outlawing the past and rewriting history. Memory is a commodity bought and sold, and experienced like a drug. Henraek works as a Tathadann memory thief, draining citizens memories.
Everything changes when Henraek harvests a memory of his own wife s death, in the hidden rebellion that once tore apart their city. Now he will do whatever it takes to learn the truth even ifit means burning Eitan City to the ground.

[ I got this as an ARC from Angry Robot and am quite intrigued about the setting. ]

"Tyrant’s Throne (Greatcoats #4)" by Sebastien deCastell from Jo Fletcher Books

After years of struggle and sacrifice, Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats, is on the brink of fulfilling his dead king's dream: Aline, the king's daughter, is about to take the throne and restore the rule of law once and for all.
But for the Greatcoats, nothing is ever that simple. In the neighboring country of Avares, an enigmatic new warlord is uniting the barbarian armies that have long plagued Tristia's borders--and even worse, he is rumored to have a new ally: Trin, who's twice tried to kill Aline to claim the throne of Tristia for herself. With the armies of Avares at her back, led by a bloodthirsty warrior, she'll be unstoppable.
Falcio, Kest, and Brasti race north to stop her, but in those cold and treacherous climes they discover something altogether different, and far more dangerous: a new player is planning to take the throne of Tristia, and with a sense of dread the three friends realize that the Greatcoats, for all their skill, may not be able to stop him.
As the nobles of Tristia and even the Greatcoats themselves fight over who should rule, the Warlord of Avares threatens to invade. With so many powerful contenders vying for power, it will fall to Falcio to render the one verdict he cannot bring himself to utter, much less enforce. Should he help crown the young woman he vowed to put on the throne, or uphold the laws he swore to serve?

[ I read the first book in this series which was very good. Been waiting for the series to end before delving into these characters and their world again. ]

"Beren and Luthien" by J.R.R. Tolkien / Christopher Tolkien from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The tale of Beren and Lúthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year.
Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Lúthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Lúthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril.
In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father's own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.

[ I have read the shorter version of this story included in 'The Simarillion' and found it to be quite fun. Should be even better reading this full version of the tale. ] 

"You Die When You Die (West of West #1)" by Angus Watson from Orbit

You can't change your fate - so throw yourself into battle, because you'll either win or wake up drinking mead in the halls of your ancestors. That's what Finn's tribe believe.
But when their settlement is massacred by a hostile tribe and Finn and several friends, companions and rivals make their escape across a brutal, unfamiliar landscape, Finn will fight harder than he's ever fought in his life. He wants to live - even if he only lives long enough to tell Thyri Treelegs how he feels about her.
The David Gemmell Award nominated author of Age of Iron returns with You Die When You Die - in which a mismatched group of refugees battle animals and monsters, determined assassins, depraved tribes, an unforgiving land and each other as they cross a continent to fulfil a prophecy.

[ I have read a lot of good things about 'Angus Watson' on various sites and one of my friend (who kind of got me into epic fantasy) recommended his writings to me. I guess this new series might be the opportunity I was waiting for to start. ] 

"Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2)" by Seanan McGuire from

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
This is the story of what happened first…
Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.
Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you've got.
They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.
They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

[ I have only read two books from 'Seanan Mcguire' so far, and both were quite good. Need to check out this series as well I guess. ]

"The Legion of Flame (Draconis Memoria #2)" by Anthony Ryan from Ace

Empires clash and a fell power stakes its claim in the second in a new series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Raven's Shadow Trilogy.
For centuries, the vast Ironship Trading Syndicate relied on drake blood—and the extraordinary powers it confers to those known as the Blood-blessed—to fuel and protect its empire. But now, a fearsome power has arisen—a drake so mighty that the world will tremble before it.
Rogue Blood-blessed Claydon Torcreek, Syndicate agent Lizanne Lethridge, and ironship captain Corrick Hilemore embark upon perilous quests to chase down clues that offer faint hopes of salvation. As the world burns around them, and the fires of revolution are ignited, these few are the last hope for the empire, and all of civilization.

[ I haven't read anything from this author yet, but he has been on my tbr list for awhile now. ]

"The Witchwood Crown (The Last King of Osten Ard #1)" by Tad Williams from DAW

New York Times-bestselling Tad Williams’ ground-breaking epic fantasy saga of Osten Ard begins an exciting new cycle! • Volume One of The Last King of Osten Ard
The Dragonbone Chair, the first volume of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, was published in hardcover in October, 1988, launching the series that was to become one of the seminal works of modern epic fantasy. Many of today’s top-selling fantasy authors, from Patrick Rothfuss to George R. R. Martin to Christopher Paolini credit Tad with being the inspiration for their own series.
Now, twenty-four years after the conclusion of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Tad returns to his beloved universe and characters with The Witchwood Crown, the first novel in the long-awaited sequel trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard.
Thirty years have passed since the events of the earlier novels, and the world has reached a critical turning point once again. The realm is threatened by divisive forces, even as old allies are lost, and others are lured down darker paths. Perhaps most terrifying of all, the Norns—the long-vanquished elvish foe—are stirring once again, preparing to reclaim the mortal-ruled lands that once were theirs....

[ Return to the world of a beloved series after so many years. I am torn between whether to start with this new one or the original series. ]

"Forever and a Death" by Donald E. Westlake by Hard Case Crime

A formerly rich businessman thrown out of Hong Kong when the Chinese took over from the British decides to fix his dire financial problems and take revenge on the Chinese by tunneling under Hong Kong's bank vaults and stealing all their gold, then using a doomsday device to set off a "soliton wave" that will turn the ground to sludge, causing the whole city to collapse. Only the engineer on his staff who designed the soliton wave technology (intending it for good purposes, to help with construction projects) can stop him, working together with a beautiful young environmental activist who gets caught up in one of the soliton tests and nearly killed. From the deck of a yacht near the Great Barrier Reef to Australia and Singapore and finally Hong Kong itself, it's a deadly game of cat-and-mouse as our heroes first struggle to escape the villain's clutches and then thwart his insanely destructive plan.

 [ New book from 'Hard Case Crime', a book that was meant to be a James Bond movie, count me in. ]

"The Crimson King (The Horus Heresy #44)" by Grahamn McNeill from Black Library / Games Workshop

Broken by the destruction of their home world Prospero at the hands of the Space Wolves Legion, Magnus the Red and the Thousand Sons retreat into the Eye of Terror. Is there any way for the Crimson King to rise again?
After the razing of Prospero, Magnus the Red spirited the Thousand Sons away to the Planet of the Sorcerers, deep within the Eye of Terra. Removed from the concerns of the galaxy at large and regarding the Warmaster’s unfolding Heresy with cold detachment, Magnus has dedicated his hollow existence to the preservation of all the knowledge once held in the great libraries of Tizca, should mankind ever seek such enlightenment again. But his sons can see the change in their primarch – he is a broken soul, whose mind and memories are slipping away into the tumult of the warp. Only by returning to the scenes of his greatest triumphs and tragedies can they hope to restore him, and allow the Crimson King to be crowned anew by the Ruinous Powers.

[ Magnus is a character that has always interested me and 'The Horus Heresy' is coming closer to its end as well, should be a blast to read. ]