I got some really exciting books this week - extremely pleased with my haul! Some expected and some lovely surprises. As is the norm, check them out and let me know which of them you are most interested in!
Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong
Columbus is a small, fading town, untouched by the twenty-first century. But when three young women are found dead - victims of what appear to be ritual murders - things start to get very dark, and very dangerous ...Private investigator Savannah Levine can handle 'dark and dangerous'. As the daughter of a black witch, she has a lot of power running through her veins, and she's not afraid to use it. But her arrival in Columbus has not gone unnoticed. Savannah may think she's tracking down a murderer, but could she be the killer's next target? Of course she could always ask her old friend (and half-demon) Adam Vasic for back up. But Savannah has her own - very personal - reasons for keeping Adam well away from Columbus. And in any case, she can rely on her own powers. Can't she...?
Despite the fact that this is the latest in a long-running series by Kelley Armstrong - Women of the Otherworld - it is actually one that I have managed to vaguely keep up with. And I was there at the beginning, reading Bitten when it was first released and loving the tale of Elena and Clay. I do think it is high time I got back on top of this series and read the latest instalments, because I think it's one of the more superior urban fantasy series. Also, I am intrigued by this tale being from the POV of Savannah, since I saw her last as a rather snotty teenager.
Published by Orbit on 27th July 2010
Death Most Definite by Trent Jamieson
Steve knew something was wrong as soon as he saw the dead girl in the Wintergarden food court. Nothing new - he saw dead people all the time - but this one was about to save his life ...Steve is a necromancer in the family firm, tasked with easing spirits from this dimension to the next after death. And he's kind of OK with that, until someone high up the corporate hierarchy makes a bid to be Australia's new Regional Death. This means killing all of the current Death's staff. After his parents, relatives and pretty much every other necromancer he ever knew has been killed, Steve is left to make a reluctant stand. But to do this he must stay alive. Threatened at every turn, Steve and the perilously attractive (and dead) Lissa go on the run to save what's left of their world.
An amusing take on necromancers? The first in what has the potential to become a series? Yep, I'm getting on board here. It looks really good fun!
Published by Orbit on 5th August 2010
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
ZINZI DECEMBER FINDS PEOPLE. Even if they don't want to be found - like missing pop starlet Songweza. Trouble is, when you go turning over stones and digging up secrets it isn't long before the real truth comes to light. A truth the local crime lord, dark magician and beast master, will kill to keep hidden. In Lauren Beukes' shattered city, magic is horribly real and the criminal classes sport symbiotically linked animals. A stunningly original urban fantasy.
This one is receiving some real buzz right now across the blogosphere, helped by a successful visit to the UK by South African based Lauren Beukes. Those in the know think that this has real potential to be a classic urban novel of the future. I'm excited to read it, and agree with the blurb that it does sound extremely original.
Published by Angry Robot on 2nd September 2010.
The Digital Plague by Jeff Somers
Avery Cates, criminal 'king' of New York, has climbed his way to the top of a heap of trouble. On his knees in the snow, with a gun to his head, Avery thinks this must finally be it. Instead, he is injected with nanotech and left confused but alive. Then everyone around him starts dying. With every moment bringing humanity closer to extinction, Cates finds he will be either executioner or saviour of an entire world.
The Electric Church by Jeff Somers
The story of the wily Avery Cates, being chased by the sinister Monks and the System Police is non-stop and action packed with lots of rollicking twists and turns. In the bleak and poverty stricken near-future, the population walks around lost and purpose-less. Everyone either seems to be a thief or a gunner. The fastest growing religion is The Electric Church, and their army of Monks and assassins slowly convert the populus. Unknown to them, this is actually a death sentence. When hit man Avery Cates is tapped for "conversion" he must find a way to slip under the Church's all-encompassing radar. The characterisations and unexpected personalities are not to be missed. Whether they are machines with human qualities and flaws, or humans who consider technology their God, Somers is a master at upping the ante through his compelling characters.
I received a lovely surprise last week. After announcing that I had received book four in Jeff Somers series and bemoaning the fact I had book three but not the first two, the inestimable author himself contacted me via Twitter and asked if he could send me them for review. How lovely is that? So unexpected, and such a treat. As a consequence, expect to see these shooting up my TBR pile - kindness begets kindness, after all!
Both published by Orbit and available now.
Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
For centuries, treasure hunters have been eager to possess the stones, undeterred by their corrupting nature. The list is long -- Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, to name a few. Now the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire, adding himself to this rogues' gallery of power seekers. He's an uncommonly dangerous man, with a hunger for the forbidden, and a set of abilities that are way beyond ordinary. Abilities that he feels entitle him to possess anything he might desire.
That would include Elizabeth Tucker, the woman he needs to find the Stones. She's freshly transplanted from New York City to Boston's North Shore. With a new job as pastry chef at Dazzle's bakery and an old house inherited from her Aunt Ophelia, her life is pretty much on track …until it's suddenly derailed by a guy named Diesel, a rude monkey, and a ninja cat.
Lizzy can handle the monkey and the cat. She's not sure about Diesel. He's offering up his own set of unusual talents, promising to protect her from Grimoire. The kind of protection that Lizzy suspects might involve guarding her body day and night.
The Seven Deadly Sins are pride, greed, lust, envy wrath, sloth and gluttony. That pretty much covers everything that is wicked. Diesel thinks it also pretty much covers everything that's fun. And Lizzy thinks Diesel and the Seven Deadly Sins cover everything her mother warned her about.
I have heard nothing but good things about Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series and would rather like to try it (although it's a large reading commitment, stretching to something like sixteen books now), so I was mega excited to see the first in a new series by her dropping through the door. And doesn't this sound excellent? I want to dive in immediately!
Published by Headline on 1st September 2010
Well, what think you? Good haul? Bad haul? (although it is books - how bad can it be??)