Sunday, 13 June 2010

Books I Adopted This Week

All the books that came into the house this week were review copies, and I had one of those weeks where a flood come all at once (mostly thanks to my regular goodie box from Black Library with some fun tie-in pulp fiction that dropped into the mailbox this week). I anticipate receiving none this coming week in a reverse of fortunes!

Shades of Night by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge

When Jet and Iridium - best friends turned enemies - came together to bring down a supervillain, they inadvertently destroyed the secret Corp-Co transmitter, whose frequency kept the New Chicago's heroes of in-line - and sane. Now the city is plunged into chaos as these heroes are suddenly the biggest threat. Corp-Co brings in a new Squadron from India - but when heroes are tied into a system of sponsorship, only money, and not a sense of duty, can persuade them to save the day. As they haggle, Everyman sets out to destroy the powers with a group of enhanced super-soldiers, and the mysterious villain Doctor Hypnotic is lulling heroes and supervillains alike into his seductive web - a dream-world where everything is perfect, but nothing is real. Once again Jet and Iridium are forced to set aside their hatred of each other to do what they were born to do: save the world.

This is the sequel to Black and White, which received warm reviews on its release. I have a copy of the first book as well, so I think I shall be picking these two up sooner rather than later. I believe they will be a nice combination of light read with high concept. Does anyone who has read Black and White agree with this thought?

Published by Piatkus on 1st July 2010

Enforcer by Matthew Farrer

Enforcer Shira Calpurnia maintains a tough line on law and order in the Hydraphur system. Home to Imperial warfleets, this area of space is riven with violence and corruption. Calpurnia's duty is to protect the innocent and punish the guilty - with extreme prejudice. This omnibus collects the novels Crossfire, Legacy and Blind as well as new content from the author.

I like the fact this is an omnibus edition and makes it much more likely that I will pick it up - although, having said that, the Warhammer 40k long-running series are written in such a way that new readers can join partway through (one of the many reasons I've been enjoying them). But it is a lovely change to realise I have all the books in one handy volume! As with all these Black Library books I am about to list, I will be picking this up when I need a quick read, heavy on the entertainment factor.

Published by Black Library on 8th July 2010

Grimblades by Nick Kyme

When orcs and goblins invade the Empire, the Emperor Dieter IV does nothing. While the other elector counts bicker, Prince Wilhelm is left to defend the Reikland alone. The Grimblades are among his brave army that opposes the greenskins. Amidst desperate war across the Empire and a plot to kill the prince, can the Grimblades survive the orc invasion and be victorious?

Hmm. I'm not as enthused about this one, but I think that might be a matter of personal gaming taste - over the last few years I've been so much more interested in 40k than WFB (those would be the two major gaming systems run by Games Workshop, for those not in the know), and so WFB books just don't seem as much fun. However, I have not tried any of the WFB books from Black Library, so I'm willing to make that my first (especially since it is a nice standalone volume!)

Published by Black Library on 5th August 2010

Nemesis by James Swallow

In the shadows of the Emperor's Palace, powerful figures convene. Their plan - to send a team of assassins to execute the arch-traitor Horus and end the war for the galaxy of mankind before it's even begun. But what they cannot know is that another assassin is abroad already, with his sights firmly set on killing the Emperor.

Oooh, a new Horus Heresy book! I do love this series enormously. Sure, they're hit and miss - some of them I have loved and some of them I have been less fond of - but overall I think the Horus Heresy is a quality series of pulp science fiction. I haven't yet read any of the other books by Swallow, so I'm keen to see what he can bring to the table and add to the mythos.

Published by Black Library on 5th August 2010

Sword of Justice by Chris Wraight

Fresh from the slaughter of the Emperor's enemies in the north, Ludwig Schwarzhelm, Emperor's Champion, is sent to Averland to oversee the inauguration of a new elector count. Beset by greenskins, and hampered on all sides by the ambitions of rival magnates, he is soon fighting to keep the fractious province together. But the rot runs deep. Powerful forces in Altdorf seem determined to see him fail, and suspicion falls on even his most trusted allies. When all is at its bleakest, the mark of Chaos and the full horror of his task is finally revealed. Alone, doubted by those closest to him, this will be Schwarzhelm's greatest ever challenge, one on which the destiny of the Empire itself depends.

Have to say, I love the cover! I have the same issues with this as with Grimblades - it being set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe - but I do like the look of this one much more. It sounds better from the blurb than Kyme's effort, so is probably higher on my reading list.

Published by Black Library on 8th July 2010

Path of the Warrior by Gav Thorpe

The ancient eldar are a mysterious race, each devoting their life to a chosen path which will guide their actions and decide their fate. Korlandril abandons peace for the Path of the Warrior. He becomes a Striking Scorpion, a deadly fighter skilled in the art of close-quarter combat. But the further Korlandril travels down this path, the closer he gets to losing his identity and becoming an avatar of war.

This one gets my interest for four reasons - it is 40k; it is a standalone (or, at the least, the first book in a series); it is about Eldar, one of the more mysterious xenos races in the 40k universe; and Gav Thorpe sounded *so* excited when I spoke to him about the book at Alt:fiction yesterday. I am actually quite keen to see what he has done with the Eldar, especially considering his love for them and his work on the codex.

Published by Black Library on 8th July 2010

The Ragged Man by Tom Lloyd

Continuing the powerful epic that started with THE STORMCALLER; the Lord Isak is dead, his armies and entire tribe in disarray. It falls to King Emin to continue the war alone, and the Menin are only too happy to meet his challenge. In Byora, Ruhen is developing his 'Saviour' persona. The Harlequins start preaching in his name and many of the pilgrims who flock to him are recruited to be 'Children', disciples who spread Ruhen's message. All over the Land people are starting to see Ruhen as the answer to their troubles. A showdown is coming: battle lines are finally drawn and the atrocities quickly mount. The spectre of the Great War looms, but in this age the Gods cannot and will not come to King Emin's aid. With the peoples of the Land turning against Emin and his few remaining allies, their only chance for survival lies in the hands of a dead man.

This is the fourth book in the Twilight Reign series by Tom Lloyd. I have the first one on my bookshelves, but never did get around to reading it, knowing that it was the start of a new fantasy series that could go on for years. Happily Lloyd seems to be proceeding with them at a snappy pace, so I am now tempted to pitch into this series. Some of my esteemed blogger colleagues - Liz from My Favourite Books amongst them - talk highly of Lloyd's prose and say it is a series well worth picking up, and I'm starting to want to. Plus, the cover to this book is so glorious!

Published by Gollancz on 19th August 2010

Undead and Unfinished by MaryJanice Davidson

Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor is fed up of trying to decipher the strange things prophesied in The Book of the Dead. At the end of her tether, she strikes a deal with Satan who promises to help - if she and her half-sister Laura pay a visit to Hell. Hell, it would seem, is more terrifying than Betsy could have ever imagined - a waiting room with bad carpeting, re-runs of 70s TV shows and ancient Good Housekeeping magazines. But when Betsy and Laura find themselves catapulted back and forth through time, they realise they could seriously screw everything up for good...

I read the first two or three Betsy books and enjoyed them as light, fluffy reading. I felt they were quite up and down in the quality of humour. This book I have been sent is the 9th book in the series - I would be quite happy to read all of the previous books as holiday reading or a break from something a little more serious, so at some point (and definitely after my book buying embargo!) I shall buy the first eight.

Published by Piatkus on 8th July 2010

Cursed by David Wellington

Revenge in the face of bloodlust is seldom sweet...There's one sound a woman doesn't want to hear when she's lost and alone in the Arctic wilderness: a howl. For Cheyenne Clark, there's a bad moon on the rise. When a strange wolf's teeth slash her ankle to the bone, her old life ends, and she becomes the very monster that has haunted her nightmares for years. Worse, the only one who can understand what Chey has become is the man - and wolf - who's doomed her to this fate. He also wants her dead. Yet, as the line between human and beast blurs, so too does the distinction between hunter and hunted...for Chey is more than just the victim she appears to be. But once she's within killing range, she may find that - even for a werewolf - it's not always easy to go for the jugular.

I was offered a very early proof of this book (and do look out for a Q&A session with David Wellington after I have read the novel!) and I feel very excited about reading it. The premise is dark and makes me wonder whether Wellington is taking back werewolves from being the cutesy big dog versions found in the Twilight novels.

Published by Piatkus on 27th August 2010 (and cover forthcoming once released)

Bullet by Laurell K Hamilton

I am back in St Louis and trying to live a normal life -- as normal as possible for someone who is a legal vampire executioner and a US Marshal. I have my lovers, my friends and their children, school programs to attend. In the midst of all this ordinary happiness a vampire from my past reaches out. She was supposed to be dead, killed in an explosion, but the Mother of All Darkness is the first vampire, the dark creator, and it's hard to kill a god. She has reached out to me here -- in St Louis, home of everyone I love most. She has decided she has to act now or never, to control me, and all the vampires in America. The Mother of All Darkness believes that the triumvirate created by master vampire Jean-Claude with me and the werewolf Richard Zeeman has enough power for her to regain a body and to emigrate to the New World. But the body she wants to possess is already taken; I'm about to learn a whole new meaning to sharing my body, one that has nothing to do with the bedroom. And if the Mother of All Darkness can't succeed in taking over my body for herself, she means to see that no one else has the use of it, ever again. Even Belle Morte, not always a friend to me, has sent word: 'Run if you can...'

Book 19 in Laurell K Hamilton's very long-running series about Anita Blake. I read up to book 14 not long ago, so I now have a little bit of a catch-up to perform to get all 19 read. Unlike other people, I don't *totally* abhore the series since the switch and bait around about book 10, but I certainly don't enjoy the more recent books compared to the early part of the series. However, I still find a lot to appreciate in the books and use them as light relief, rather than required reading. Looking forward to doing a full series re-read!

Published by Headline on 1st June 2010

So that were my books this week! Anybody have any opinions at all on this little lot? Fancy speaking up in favour of Tom Lloyd? Encouraging me to read the Undead books by MaryJanice Davidson as soon as possible? Any comments more than welcome!


  1. Finished Bullet yesterday and reviewed it on my blog. Really disappointed after the actual job story of Flirt we're back to more single night sex marathons

  2. If Wellington's book is anything like what his vampire series is like, there will be no cutesy, cuddly werewolves.

  3. @LizSara - Ooh, interesting! *rushes over to your blog to take a look at the review* To be honest, these days my start-off point when opening a new Anita Blake book is to feel vaguely disappointed. That way, I never feel deflated when I am proved right!

    @WonderBunny - good to hear about Wellington! I am looking forward to reading that one very much.

  4. Warhammer books! I might want to steal those from you, after all you are in an embargo ;D