Sunday, 3 July 2011

Books I Adopted This Week

This is going to be an absolutely bumper edition, because it is actually three weeks worth of books received (for review, competition wins, and books I have brought myself). I will do my usual analysis of the titles received into Floor to Ceiling Books HQ this week, and then a list of everything else - with all links going to for my Amazon Associates.

Without further ado...

Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx by James Rollins

An ancient and priceless ruby - the Eye of Ra - has been found beneath the Egyptian sands in the Valley of the Kings. Legend has it the jewel holds immense power, but it has fallen into the wrong hands - which means trouble for Jake and Kady Ransom, and a new action-packed adventure as the pair are catapulted into an ancient land of shifting sands, dark magic and dangerous enemies ...Can Jake and Kady survive and outwit the Skull King himself?

Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx will be published by Orion on 7th July 2011.

I'm unsure about this one on two counts - firstly, it is the second in a series, so necessitates me buying the first because I can't bear diving into a series late. The second reason is that I believe James Rollins also writes under the pseudonym James Clemens and I have a distinct hate relationship with his writing thanks to the Wi'tch series...

Always on my Mind by Colette Caddle

Old flames, new temptations ...With only a few weeks to go until her Dublin wedding, Molly Jackson is happily anticipating married life with Declan, her boyfriend of four years. Her sister Laura has all the arrangements firmly in hand, from the designer dresses to the prestigious venue; and if Molly would have been happier with something a little more low-key, she can hardly complain. She's got everything she ever wanted: her perfect job, as an agony aunt for online magazine Teenage Kix; Declan, the love of her life; and, in Belle, Oliver, Rory and Laura, a loving and warm, if slightly eccentric family. Then Declan drops his bombshell: he has to go abroad, on business. The wedding must be postponed. Hurt, and reeling from the shock, Molly is seeing Declan off at the airport when she bumps into Luke Fortune. Luke, her childhood sweetheart, left the country when they were both eighteen. It's been almost twelve years, and Molly thought she had moved on. But, seeing Luke again, she realises that she has a window of opportunity, while Declan is away, to put a few of the ghosts in her past to rest.

Always on my Mind will be published by Simon & Schuster on 7th July 2011.

I've not read any Colette Caddle, which is a surprise since I've tried most of the Irish authors writing in the chick lit arena. I am keen to give this a try - and, I have to say, the sudden burst of English summer weather only makes me more eager to sit and read it on a lazy afternoon in the garden!

The Fear Institute by Jonathan L Howard

Beyond the wall of sleep lie the Dreamlands, a whole world formed by dreams, but not a dream itself. For countless millennia, it has been explored only by those with a certain detachment from the mundane realities of our own world, its strange seas navigated, and its vast mountains climbed by philosophers, and mystics, and poets.

Well, those halcyon days are over, beatniks.

Johannes Cabal is coming.

Cabal, a necromancer of some little infamy, is employed by the mysterious Fear Institute to lead an expedition into the Dreamlands, an expedition whose goal is nothing less than to hunt and destroy the dread Phobic Animus, the font of terrors, the very source of all the world̢۪s fear. They will enter exotic lands where magic is common and monsters abound, see wonders, and suffer dreadful hardships. Cabal will encounter witches, vile abominations, and far too many zebras.

And, when they finally come close to their goal, Cabal will have to face his own nightmares, but for a man who communes easily with devils and the dead, there is surely nothing left to fear.

Is there?

The Fear Institute will be published by Headline on 1st September 2011.

OH BOY! Did I jump around when this tumbled out of the envelope! I LOVE the Johannes Cabal novels and have been waiting with baited breath for the third. I sincerely hope that this lives up to my insanely high expectations. If you haven't started out on your Johannes Cabal journey yet, then go now and buy!

Whisper of Scandal by Nicola Cornick

London, May 1811. Widow Lady Joanna Ware has no desire to wed again but that doesn't stop the flurry of suitors knocking on her door. Desperate to thwart another proposal, Joanna brazenly kisses Arctic explorer Alex, Lord Grant. Unable to deny the blazing attraction that flares, Joanna knows she's just set the gossip mill turning.

Whisper of Scandal was published by MIRA books on 17th June 2011.

This one is a little disappointing, but only because I have won a copy of Whisper of Scandal from Book Chick City, so it's now a duplicate. However, the fact that I entered the competition for it shows that I am keen to try some historical romance!

The Cardturner by Louis Sachar

When Alton's ageing, blind uncle asks him to attend bridge games with him, he agrees. After all, it's better than a crappy summer job in the local shopping mall, and Alton's mother thinks it might secure their way to a good inheritance sometime in the future. But, like all apparently casual choices in any of Louis Sachar's wonderful books, this choice soon turns out to be a lot more complex than Alton could ever have imagined. As his relationship with his uncle develops, and he meets the very attractive Toni, deeply buried secrets are uncovered and a romance that spans decades is finally brought to conclusion. Alton's mother is in for a surprise!

The Cardturner will be published by Bloomsbury on 9th August 2011.

This one sounds beautifully sweet and heart-warming. Although it was a surprise to me and not one I'd even heard of before receiving it, I would very much like to give it a try.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Sixteen-year-old American girl Rory has just arrived at boarding school in London when a Jack the Ripper copycat-killer begins terrorising the city. All the hallmarks of his infamous murders are frighteningly present, but there are few clues to the killer's identity. "Rippermania" grabs hold of modern-day London, and the police are stumped with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. In an unknown city with few friends to turn to, Rory makes a chilling discovery! Could the copycat murderer really be Jack the Ripper back from the grave?

The Name of the Star
will be published by Harper Collins on 29th September 2011.

Jack the Ripper! Again! I have seen a number of books recently that turn to the Jack the Ripper mythos - hell, I recently finished editing one - and I'm wondering why sometimes these trends arise. Regardless, the description sounds amazing and I will be reading this in September.

Path of the Seer by Gav Thorpe

The ancient eldar are a mysterious race and each devotes their life to a chosen path that will guide their actions and decide their fate. Thirianna abandons her simple existence to embark upon the mysterious Path of the Seer. She will tread a dark and dangerous road that leads her to the otherrealm of the warp, where daemons are made flesh and nightmares are manifest, for only there can she realise her psychic abilities. After unleashing her powers in battle and communing with the spirits of her craft world, Thirianna turns her skills to discerning the future amidst the myriad strands of fate. Her visions reveal a great threat descending on Alaitoc, and both the living and the dead will march to war to defend it.

Path of the Seer will be published by Black Library on 1st September 2011.

I read Path of the Warrior, the first novel in this sequence, and I wasn't terribly impressed. However, I do like reading about the Eldar, so I have no doubt that at some point I will find myself picking this one up.

Defenders of Ulthuan by Graham McNeill

This is a story of war, betrayal and redemption that explores the magical world of the elves. Two brothers fight for the love of the same woman against a backdrop of war as the dark elves launch a massive invasion of the elf homeland, Ulthuan. Can the high elves drive back their evil kin before the forces of magic are unleashed and rip the world apart?

Defenders of Ulthuan
will be published by Black Library on 1st September 2011.

This one looks to be a re-release of a novel previously published in 2007? I didn't read it then, but I want to read it now. I like Graham McNeill's writing (am currently reading Fulgrim!) and I want to read more Warhammer fantasy, so this seems ideal. Plus, y'know, High Elves were my first WHF army *grins*

Sons of Ellyrion by Graham McNeill

Ulthuan is a land at the verge of destruction. At Lothern, a fell army marches against the elven defenders of Prince Imrik and Prince Tyrion. In Averlorn, two brothers fight for forgiveness and their right to defend their people. But at Tor Elyr, the conflict will be lost and won. The druchii army, led by Morathi and Issyk Kul, battles the gathered might of the high elves in a vast, destructive conflict. But Morathi has even grander plans than this – to destroy the vortex that holds Ulthuan together, plunging the island into a nightmare domain of Chaos. The noble elves must overcome their dark cousins, or else face the end of their race.

Sons of Ellyrion
will be published by Black Library on 1st September 2011.

Sons of Ellyrion is the sequel to Defenders of Ulthuan, and...err...see above!

Echo City by Tim Lebbon

Surrounded by a vast, toxic desert, the inhabitants of labyrinthine Echo City believe there is no other life in their world. Some like it that way, so when a stranger arrives he is anathema to powerful interest groups. But Peer Nadawa found the stranger and she is determined to keep him and the freedom he represents alive. A political exile herself, she calls on her ex-lover Gorham, now leader of their anti-establishment network. Then they recruit the Baker, whose macabre genetic experiments seem close to sorcery. However, while factions prepare for war, an ancient peril is stirring. In the city's depths something deadly is rising, and it will soon reach the levels where men dwell.

Echo City will be published by Orbit on 7th July 2011.

I had no real interest in Echo City UNTIL I checked out the cover and saw the quote from Steven Erikson. Who is A GOD. So.... yes please on this one!

Hell Ship by Philip Palmer

The Hell Ship hurtles through space. Inside the ship are thousands of slaves, each the last of their race. The Hell Ship and its infernal crew destroyed their homes, slaughtered their families and imprisoned them forever. One champion refuses to succumb. Sharrock, reduced from hero to captive in one blow, has sworn vengeance. Although Sai-as, head of the alien slave horde, will ruthlessly enforce the status quo. But help is close. Jak has followed the Ship for years and their battles have left Jak broken, a mind in a starship's body, focussed only on destroying the Ship. Together, can hunter and slave end this interstellar nightmare?

Hell Ship will be published by Orbit on 7th July 2011.

Poor Philip Palmer. Each time a novel of his gets published, I am sent it and I always thinks 'ooh, I must get around to reading that' and then somehow it gets pushed down the pile. It's definitely time for me to try a Palmer book!

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

Meet Harry Dresden, Chicago's first (and only) Wizard PI. Turns out the 'everyday' world is full of strange and magical things - and most of them don't play well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. But he's forgotten his own golden rule: magic - it can get a guy killed. Which didn't help when he clashed with unknown assailants with his murder in mind. And though Harry's continued existence is now in some doubt, this doesn't mean he can rest in peace. Trapped in a realm that's not quite here, yet not quite anywhere else, Harry learns that three of his loved ones are in danger. Only by discovering his assailant's identity can he save his friends, bring criminal elements to justice, and move on himself. It would just be easier if he knew who was at risk. And had a (working) crystal ball. And access to magic. Instead, he is unable to interact with the physical world - invisible to all but a select magical few. He's also not the only silent presence roaming Chicago's alleys. Hell, he put some there himself. Now, they're looking for payback.

Ghost Story will be published by Orbit on 28th July 2011.

I've read up to book four in the Dresden series and really loved all of them - with Ghost Story coming soon (and hotly anticipated!) I think I need to catch up. Liz from My Favourite Books mentioned a summer challenge to get up to speed and I might well take her up on that.

Baby Be Mine by Paige Toon

'He's not mine, is he?' That's the question I fear the most. You see, I have a secret. My son is not fathered by my boyfriend, but by one of the most famous rock stars that ever lived. And he doesn't even know it. One-time celebrity personal assistant to wild boy of rock Johnny Jefferson, Meg Stiles is now settled and living in the south of France with her doting boyfriend Christian and their son Barney. But they're living a lie - a lie that will turn their lives upside down and inside out - because as Barney reaches his first birthday, Meg can no longer deny that her son is growing to look more and more like his rock star father every day, and less and less like Christian, and sooner or later, the world is going to realise...

Baby Be Mine will be published by Simon & Schuster on 21st July 2011.

Oh, this one is HUGE. I love Paige Toon's work, and everyone who knows chick lit has marked out their calendars with this release date. I feel hugely privileged to receive this one early, and will enjoy reading it soon.

So the above were all those books received this week.

Here are those received for review over the previous two weeks to that:

Shadow's Lure by Jon Sprunk
Snapshot by Craig Robertson
The Look of Love by Judy Astley
Taboo by Casey Hill
The Falling Machine by Andrew P. Mayer
Mozart's Last Aria by Matt Rees
Hereward by James Wilde
Dead of Veridon by Tim Akers
Sympathy for the Devil by Justin Gustainis
Lost Temple by Tom Harper
The Lazarus Vault by Tom Harper
The Book of Secrets by Tom Harper
Dragon's Time by Anne & Todd McCaffrey
The Quarry by Johan Theorin
Exile by Rebecca Lim
Far From Home by Na'ima B Robert
Daughters of Rome by Kate Quinn
Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
Wolf Blood by N M Browne
Gamerunner by B R Collins
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Concrete Grove by Gary McMahon
Dangerous Waters by Juliet E McKenna
Heartless by Gail Carriger
The Lovers by Vendela Vida
The Key to Creation by Kevin J Anderson
Egypt by Nick Drake

Here are the books I have bought myself:

Summer Holiday by Penny Smith
To My Best Friends by Sam Baker
Breaking the Silence by Diane Chamberlain
About Last Night by Adele Parks
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
Passion by Lauren Kate
The Map of Time by Felix J Palma
Blackveil by Kristen Britain
Re:Wired by Alex Keller
Matched by Ally Condie
Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg
The Single Girl's To-Do List by Lindsey Kelk
There Goes The Bride by Holly McQueen

Phew! That's your lot!

Although.... now I think about it, I've not touched the books received to my Kindle... Maybe that'll be another post *grins*

Which of the above look most exciting to you?


  1. Some cool stuff there!

    I did my Alt Fiction reading with Jonathan L. Howard. He read from the first Johannes Cabal book, and it sounded great - I quickly bought the two books off him! He's also a lovely guy :)

    Hell Ship is top of my to-read list. I loved Philip's previous two novels - Red Claw is great, but Version 43 is amazingly great. One of those rare novels that is a proper 10/10 rating. It was original, action-packed, beautifully written, and exceedingly dirty! His books are not linked together, so I'm sure Hell Ship is a great place to start - but, honestly, grab Version 43 and read that when you get the chance!

  2. If I were you, I'd avoid the Jake Ransom book. I read the first one (Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow) when it was free on the HarperCollins website, and I found it pretty, well, bad. The plot itself was interesting enough for a mid-grade book, and the pacing was decent, but it had more than its fair share of sexism, and it seemed like half the time females only existed as a way of raising up the main male character. I got bored with it pretty fast, and I can't see the sequel being much better.

    But that's just my two cents on the matter.

    Otherwise, that looks like a pretty awesome bookhaul! I'll have to contain my jealousy! :)

  3. I also thought that the Jake Ransom was only so-so. It wasn't up to par with his adult books. I haven't read the Wi'ch series so I'm not sure on how those are but his James Rollins books are cool.

  4. Was originally impressed by the cover and relatively different sounding setting of Echo City by Tim Lebbon. Had a very quick read of the first few paras though and the writing seems a little bit on the dull and functional side. Plus, I found the publishers' decision not to publish in hardcover massively offputting: either it's too different to appeal to mainstream masses (which is a good thing) or they just don't have confidence in their product (which is a bad thing). Whichever it is, I avoid buying paperbacks if at all possible.