Its been a little quieter than normal here on Mad Hatter's since my vacation as I came back to a avalanche of work, but not to worry I'm back on track. Right now I'm working on two interviews that will both go up in the near future. And I've loads of books to finish reviewing with the foremost being Gardens of the Sun. Also, Larry has an interesting challenge going for bloggers that I just may take up.
"Wet towel under the door," said Barry. "It's what you do when you're smoking weed in a hotel and you don't want everyone calling security. Your always supposed to have a towel. I read about it in a guide for hitchhiking through the galaxy."I just finished Christopher Moore's newest and probably last entry into his vampire series Bite Me, which just released this week. I probably won't do a full review on it so here are my thoughts. It had to be the shortest book of his yet and it felt that way in many respects. The first 75 pages or so was basically a recap of the previous books that I could have done without, which was mostly voiced by Abby Normal the teen goth minion of the main characters from the first two books. Abby's voice was a bit of a roller coaster ride for me. She was definitely funny and snarky in a good way, but too repetitive with her dialogue and actions. Still, Bite Me was a hilarious Moore novel that probably ranks in the middle of all his books with Lamb being him in top form and Fluke near the bottom for me. The ending also felt too rushed, but there are plenty of vampire kitties and enjoyable dialogue to push all the right buttons. Bite Me also made me realize how much I missed the Emperor of San Francisco.
Anyway that's enough of my blathering. Below are the books I've gotten over the last few weeks, which is a little lighter than the last couple of months, but quality is sky-high in terms of books I've been counting the days for and more than half of them were purchases. Also not pictured below as I literally just came back from the bookstore is Changeless by Gail Carriger. My wife and I greatly enjoyed her debut Soulless. Plus I snagged A. Lee Martinez's latest comic fantasy Divine Misfortune with the last of my Christmas gift cards, which sports another winning cover by Will Staehle who also has done the last few Moore covers and Martinez's Monster.
Farlander by Col Buchanan - A part of my BookDepository haul. So far this book has received some very solid praise, which I hope to get to in the near future.
Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton - Charan's debut had the blogs teeming with praise last year putting him near the class of China Mieville, which means this summer release will definitely be gotten to very soon .
The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett - I finally bought the just released mass market edition after hearing so much. I'll see for myself in the next month or so if it lives up to the considerable good things said thus far. I've been tempted to pick-up Brett's recent novella, which has a story excised from The Warded Man as it looks like Sub Press is running out and I'd hate to love this series and not to have everything. Ahh, the completest in me rears its ugly yet somehow sensible head again. Also, for those who are raleady fans of Brett be sure to stop by his blog as he is giving away signed bookplates for those buying the sequel The Desert Spear, which comes out next month.
Bite Me by Christopher Moore - An instant purchase for me. As you saw from above I've already read it as a new Chris Moore release is a drop everything and enjoy it moment, which might only be trumped by a new GRRM or Dresden Files book.
Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky - A Sci-Fi apocalyptic debut, which is translated from Russian. This came through Book Depository since no US date has been announced and is only the start to what will probably be a long running series. A video game based on this world also just came out, which has been getting good marks as well.
The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct. The half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boundaries, they say, lie endless burned-out deserts and the remains of splintered forests. Survivors still remember the past greatness of humankind. But the last remains of civilisation have already become a distant memory, the stuff of myth and legend. More than 20 years have passed since the last plane took off from the earth. Rusted railways lead into emptiness. The ether is void and the airwaves echo to a soulless howling where previously the frequencies were full of news from Tokyo, New York, Buenos Aires. Man has handed over stewardship of the earth to new life-forms. Mutated by radiation, they are better adapted to the new world. Man's time is over. A few score thousand survivors live on, not knowing whether they are the only ones left on earth. They live in the Moscow Metro - the biggest air-raid shelter ever built. It is humanity's last refuge. Stations have become mini-statelets, their people uniting around ideas, religions, water-filters - or the simple need to repulse an enemy incursion. It is a world without a tomorrow, with no room for dreams, plans, hopes. Feelings have given way to instinct - the most important of which is survival. Survival at any price. VDNKh is the northernmost inhabited station on its line. It was one of the Metro's best stations and still remains secure. But now a new and terrible threat has appeared. Artyom, a young man living in VDNKh, is given the task of penetrating to the heart of the Metro, to the legendary Polis, to alert everyone to the awful danger and to get help. He holds the future of his native station in his hands, the whole Metro - and maybe the whole of humanity.
Speak to the Devil by Dave Duncan - I must confess to never having read one of Duncan's books before, but this ARC certainly sounds interesting.
In the Kingdom of Jorgary, the days of feudal chivalry are fading as national armies are formed. But Ottokar Magnus is still baron, and his host of brothers include Anton, an ambitious young soldier, and Wulfgang, an amiable teenager. Unable to seek his fortune as a knight errant, Anton has enlisted with the royal Jorgarian hussars and taken Wulf along as his servant.
There is magic in Jorgary, but it is regarded as Satanism, rituals performed by Speakers who are in contact with the Devil. The Speakers, though, believe that the Voices they hear belong to saints. Anton is not a Speaker...but Wulf is.
Anxious to impress the court, Anton exhibits spectacular horsemanship at a royal hunt, with a little boost from Wulf. Two nights later he is dragged before Cardinal Zdenek, the king’s chief minister. Zdenek offers him an earldom and anything else he could dream of if he will ride at once to a strategic fortress at Cardice and take command there. The count and his son have died, victims of both treason and witchcraft. The cardinal thinks that neighboring enemies are preparing to invade, using “modern” arms to capture the fort. Mortal resources alone will not suffice, but Zdenek knows that Anton’s improbable jump at the hunt was aided by supernatural power.
Anton wants nothing to do with this mission, but Wulf’s Voices tell him that they should accept the charge. The result is a harrowing ride through limbo with astonishing results.
Shadow's Son by Jon Sprunk - This ARC is a Fantasy debut that has been on my personal want list since I saw the awesome cover. I'll definitely be reviewing it around the release date. I've already interviewed Sprunk, which I believe is his first, but am holding it until a little closer to publication. The series has already been sold into a lot of other languages so things are looking good.
The Office of the Shadow by Matthew Sturges - I thought Sturges novel debut Midwinter was a blast so I'm hoping the comic scribe's follow-up continues the characters well. It also changes focus to another character from Midwinter, which should give it a fresh perspective. This ARC will be reviewed around the release date.
Midwinter has gone, but that cold season has been replaced by a cold war in the world of Faerie, and this new kind of war requires a new kind of warrior.
Seelie forces drove back Empress Mab at the Battle of Sylvan, but hostilities could resume at any moment. Mab has developed a devastating new weapon capable of destroying an entire city, and the Seelie have no defense against it. If war comes, they will almost certainly be defeated.
In response, the Seelie reconstitutes a secret division of the Foreign Ministry, unofficially dubbed the "Office of Shadow," imbuing it with powers and discretion once considered unthinkable. They are a group of covert operatives given the tasks that can't be done in the light of day: secretly stealing the plans for Mab's new weapon, creating unrest in the Unseelie Empire, and doing whatever is necessary to prevent an unwinnable war.
The new leader of the "Shadows" is Silverdun. He's the nobleman who fought alongside Mauritane at Sylvan and who helped complete a critical mission for the Seelie Queen Titania. His operatives include a beautiful but naïve sorceress who possesses awesome powers that she must restrain in order to survive and a soldier turned scholar whose research into new ways of magic could save the world, or end it.
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