The Golem and the Jinni
by Helene Wecker
N/App (Audiobook)
My Rating: 8/10
Amazon Rating: 4.5/5
LibraryThing Rating: 4.21/5
Goodreads Rating: 4.09/5
 

(Note: Hi! I’m John. Not Kristen. Sorry. I used to contribute to this site a while ago, but then grad school happened. And then grad school happened again. Now they’ve run out of degrees to give me, so I’m back to having some time to write here! It probably won’t be very often, but I’ll pop in from time to time.)

The Golem and the Jinni is a melting pot-era urban fantasy released in 2013 and Helene Wecker’s debut novel, which makes it all the more remarkable that it was nominated for this year’s best novel Nebula as well as many other honors. I would describe it as a gentle story, well-crafted and familiar, and in this case marvelously performed by George Guidall on audiobook.

The Golem Chava’s first vision of the world was from the inside of a crate, deep in the hold of an ocean liner steaming toward America. Her master, gravely ill, had woken her well before they and the rest of the ship full of immigrants were to make land in New York City. By the time the ship arrived Chava was alone, masterless, and without any experience of the world or idea what to do with herself; she only knew the one thing her master had told her, that nobody could ever learn she was a golem. Though she looked human she could not act human and was quickly identified by a New York rabbi who–presented with the choice of destroying a dangerous creature or saving an innocent mind–decided to teach her how to live.

The Jinni Ahmad also arrived in New York City at around the same time, though his history went back far further than Chava’s. Trapped in an anonymous lamp for a thousand years, he was accidentally released by a tinsmith who thought he was just patching an old heirloom. Though Ahmad was freed from the lamp he was shocked to find he was not truly freed: he remained bound in human form by an artifact and a wizard of whom he had no memory. Like Chava, Ahmad had to be taken in by the tinsmith and taught the ways of the world he hadn’t seen for centuries.

The Golem and the Jinni is a well-crafted tale that has earned the accolades that have been lauded upon it over the last year. I do mean crafted, too; the writing is beautiful and incredibly appropriate for the story being told. The writing style adds to the level of immersion in both the turn of the century (er, last century) setting and the mythological nature of urban fantasy. It is a story that is meant to be comfortable, and it would not have worked nearly so well without Wecker’s excellently polished language.

Since I listened to the audio book I also had the privilege of listening to George Guidall read Wecker’s words. Here again, the performance was so good and so fitting to the content of the story that it made the entire experience of the book better. I don’t listen to that many audio books, but some of the ones I have heard have been dragged down by a poor reading that masked the quality of the story itself. If anything, the opposite was true in this case. Guidall’s reading was so masterful that I keep wondering if my impression of Wecker’s writing has been artificially boosted by his voice and that maybe I’d think it less well crafted if I’d read it on the page. Either way, the presentation of the story as I heard it was great, and one of the strongest parts of the book.

I’d say that the story itself was somewhat less developed than the presentation, though. Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with it, but it was what I assume it was meant to be: comfortable, familiar, and non-threatening. Those are all valid choices that resulted in a good book, and not every book needs to set out to deconstruct the genre, but I prefer books that have a bit more of an edge to them. In the same way that many books that are marketed as young adult feel like they are aimed at or best appreciated by more mature readers, this book felt like an adult novel in its themes and references but was wrapped in language and narrative that seemed like they’d be better appreciated by readers who were less familiar with the genre. It just wasn’t narratively challenging in the way that I, as someone who knows the tropes and has been bathed in fantasy and myth for most of my life, might have preferred.

This might have bothered me less if I had seen less opportunity to push at those edges. For instance, I can see Wecker playing at the edges of some interesting thoughts about gender roles at the turn of the century. The female golem, designed from the ground up to be a good wife (read: servant), who has to figure out how to live for herself with nobody to serve; the male jinni, captured and chafing for freedom but lacking compassion or a sense of responsibility; the supporting characters who all come across as well pegged into their respective spots in society–all of them are archetypical characters who walk through the stories you’d expect them to walk through over the course of the book. They learn the things you’d expect them to learn, both about themselves and about the world, and then wrap things up in time to get home for supper. Their need to blend and remain hidden comes with the requisite rebellion against the roles that have been chosen for them. All of this absolutely fits the time, place, and immigrant experience that forms the core of the book, but I can’t help but feel like there was a missed opportunity to go against the grain and use the symmetries Wecker creates between the golem’s and jinni’s tales to tell a tale that would stick with readers for a long time. As is, while it was pleasant to listen to, I’m not sure that The Golem and the Jinni will stay in my thoughts for all that long.

Again, though, that is not to say it is not a good novel or that it is not worth reading. Any disappointment comes from comparing the novel as written to the novel I imagine could have been. I’d still recommend The Golem and the Jinni as a tender tale to read and an even better one to listen to. Since it was her first book, I’m interested to see where Wecker goes from here and if she brings the level of immersion and craft demonstrated in The Golem and the Jinni to a deeper world in the future.

My Rating: 8/10

Where I got my review copy: Purchased the audio book

Read an Excerpt

The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week – old or new, bought or received for review consideration (often unsolicited). Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

This week brought one book in the mail. It’s from a fantastic series!

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

Raising Steam (Discworld #40) by Terry Pratchett

Raising Steam was released in the UK last year and was made available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook in the US earlier this year. This national bestseller will also be available as a trade paperback in the US on October 28. An excerpt from Raising Steam is available on the publisher’s website.

This is one of only two novels in the main Discworld series I have not yet read. It’s a wonderful series—sharp and funny. Since this is number 40 in the series and some of the books focus on different characters, it can be difficult to know where to start if you are new to it. Here’s one suggested reading order guide. Since some of the earlier books are not as good as many of the later ones, it is often suggested that it’s best not to start with the first book published. I started with a couple of the more stand alone books in the series then went back and read them starting in publication order, and I’d agree it’s better not to start with the first book until trying some of the others. My personal recommendation would be one of the first ones I read, Small Gods, since it’s one of the best books in the series and also works pretty well as a stand alone.

 

Steam is rising over Discworld. . . .

Mister Simnel has produced a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all the elements—earth, air, fire, and water—and it’s soon drawing astonished crowds. To the consternation of Ankh-Morpork’s formidable Patrician, Lord Vetinari, no one is in charge of this new invention. Who better to take the lead than the man he has already appointed master of the Post Office, the Mint and the Royal Bank?

Moist von Lipwig is not a man who enjoys hard work—unless it is dependent on words, which are not very heavy and don’t always need greasing. He does enjoy being alive, however, which makes a new job offer from Vetinari hard to refuse. Moist will have to grapple with gallons of grease, goblins, a controller with a history of throwing employees down the stairs, and some very angry dwarfs if he’s going to stop it all from going off the rails.

 

The Young Elites is the first book in a new series by Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy (Legend, Prodigy, Champion).

A few years ago, a plague swept through the world and forever changed it. Every adult who became ill died, but there were children who survived this illness. Some of the survivors bore marks afterward and became known as malfettos, and a few of these displayed unusual powers. There are rumors of dangerous Elites who can create fire from nothing, control animals or the wind, or become invisible.

While many people fear the Young Elites, Adelina is in awe of their abilities. Both Adelina and her younger sister Violetta caught the plague as children. Violetta recovered without any permanent changes, but Adelina lost her eye during her illness. Her hair also turned silver, marking her a malfetto, and her mother died leaving the two sisters with just their father. Though Adelina is beautiful, her father realizes no man will want to marry a malfetto and turns his attention to Violetta—except for when he tries to provoke Adelina, hoping she will exhibit a power of her own and become a useful daughter to him after all. However, Adelina never shows any signs of abilities regardless of the abusive tactic employed and her own attempts to bring forth some sort of power.

One night, Adelina overhears her father and a man doing business. The cost of the transaction is Adelina herself, whom the man does not deign suitable for a wife but believes would be an acceptable mistress. This is not acceptable to Adelina, who decides it’s a good time to act on her plans to run away from home and does so. When Adelina’s father catches up to her on horseback, she finds something within herself for the first time and creates dark, terrifying illusions. Her father is killed by his frightened horse, and Adelina continues to run until she is caught by the Inquisition and imprisoned, both for the murder of her father and the crime of being a malfetto with otherworldly powers.

On the day Adelina is to be executed, two things happen: she is able to call on her illusions for the second time, and she is rescued by a group of Young Elites like herself. If she can pass their tests, she may become one of them—but her biggest obstacle to belonging with them may be herself and the darkness within.

The Young Elites is an entertaining book that initially seemed like a mish-mash of tropes from other books I’d read before. Of course, the main premise has been done many times before: a small subset of people develop superpowers, making them outcasts feared by the rest of society. Many of the powers they developed are also quite common in these types of stories, and many of the character types are familiar as well. However, the end of the book made me rethink this opinion since some rather unexpected events occurred, and one storyline in particular did not follow the predictable path I’d expected at all. The epilogue was also excellent with the introduction of an intriguing new character and some great setup for the second book—and now I am quite eager to read the next book in this series!

Marie Lu stated on Twitter that the basic premise of The Young Elites is “What makes someone fall to the dark side?” She has also said, “THE YOUNG ELITES is an origin story of a villain, and Adelina is essentially Darth Vader or Magneto as a teenage girl.” This is a dark novel, and Adelina can be a sympathetic character but is not always one, especially as the book nears the end and becomes even grimmer. It’s not surprising she has some problems, given her background. Her father was a cruel man, and he was especially terrible to his older daughter. If not for her emergence from the plague with the silver hair that marked her a malfetto, men would have been lining up to marry her, but since they’re not he doesn’t find her a particularly useful daughter—and he tries every tactic he can think of to force her into using a power since the only way he can see her becoming of use to him is if she develops one.

While she despises her father, Adelina is also well aware that she is in many ways her father’s daughter. She is glad to discover she has a special ability, and there are times when she even embraces the darker side of it. Earlier in the book, she makes mistakes, but I think it’s easy to understand her motivations and behavior even while feeling that she is making the wrong choices. She’s certainly not completely unsympathetic: Adelina seems to just desperately want a place to belong, and she also does seem to care very much about her sister and some of the Elites she comes to consider friends. Later in the story, her actions become more terrible and unsympathetic, although she remains an interesting character even as she turns closer to the evil side.

I had mixed feelings about the writing. There was occasionally some lovely phrasing, but the first person present tense of Adelina’s narrative did seem stilted at times. I also felt there was too much telling, and that Adelina’s first test with the Young Elites was too simple and served as a shortcut for characterization. The Elites can see which attributes their energy aligns with through gemstones; for example, Adelina is found to have a strong affinity for ambition, wisdom, passion, fear, and fury when she is tested by one of the Elites. The time spent in a room with gemstones tells the others a bit about her and seems to be a way to make others react to her without judging her by her actions. After this, Adelina often thinks of what she is doing or feeling as being a reflection of her alignment with one of these, which I found irritating since it fit her into a box of personality traits and emotions instead of letting her live and breathe as a character. The other Elites are often discussed in terms of their alignments instead of as people with personalities outside of what’s gleaned from this test, making this appear as a convenient way to tell about their characters without having any actual character development.

While there is a romantic storyline, the most complex and memorable relationship in the book was that between Adelina and her sister. Adelina’s feelings about her sister are complicated. She certainly shows that she cares about Violetta, but she also resents her sister for both not being a malfetto and being their father’s favorite (even if she is aware that her father was not kind to Violetta, either). Adelina also underestimates her sister, and I was glad Violetta had a lot more depth than she seemed to in the beginning.

The Young Elites is a fast-paced, enjoyable story despite its tendencies toward telling instead of showing, particularly using the Elite test to bypass actual character development. The ending really took this novel to a whole new level with its surprises and intriguing epilogue, and I was also pleased that Violetta was given more depth that made the relationship between the two sisters quite compelling. I also liked that the author did not shy away from a dark ending as I love to see authors take risks even when events may be unpopular with some. Due to the overall entertainment value and the strong finish, I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series despite the issues I had.

My Rating: 7/10

Where I got my reading copy: ARC from the publisher.

Read an Excerpt

Other Reviews:

The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week – old or new, bought or received for review consideration (often unsolicited). Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

This week brought some books that sound rather interesting, including a book purchase. That’s the first of these and one of my most anticipated books of 2014!

Stories of the Raksura: Volume One by Martha Wells

Stories of the Raksura: Volume One by Martha Wells

Stories of the Raksura: Volume One, a book containing two novellas and two short stories set in the same world as the Books of the Raksura, was recently released (trade paperback, ebook, audiobook). Volume Two is scheduled for release in April 2015.

I loved the three Books of the Raksura, The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea, and The Siren Depths. The Cloud Roads hooked me immediately with the story of Moon, a shapeshifter who had never met others like him, but my favorite of the three books is the last one, The Siren Depths. I’m excited there are more stories set in this unique world, especially since some of them feature the same likable and interesting characters as the three novels! (And this reminds me I still need to read more by Martha Wells, whose backlist includes the Nebula-nominated novel The Death of the Necromancer and other books that I’ve heard are wonderful such as Wheel of the Infinite and The Wizard Hunters.)

 

Martha Wells returns to the Raksura with a pair of brand-new novellas!

In “The Falling World,” Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud Court, has traveled with Chime and Balm to another Raksuran court. When she fails to return, her consort, Moon, along with Stone and a party of warriors and hunters, must track them down. Finding them turns out to be the easy part; freeing them from an ancient trap hidden in the depths of the Reaches is much more difficult.

“The Tale of Indigo and Cloud” explores the history of the Indigo Cloud Court, long before Moon was born. In the distant past, Indigo stole Cloud from Emerald Twilight. But in doing so, the reigning Queen Cerise and Indigo are now poised for a conflict that could spark war throughout all the courts of the Reaches.

Stories of Moon and the shape changers of Raksura have delighted readers for years. This world is a dangerous place full of strange mysteries, where the future can never be taken for granted and must always be fought for with wits and ingenuity, and often tooth and claw. With two brand-new novellas, Martha Wells shows that the world of the Raksura has many more stories to tell . . .

Time Roads by Beth Bernobich

The Time Roads by Beth Bernobich

The Time Roads will be released on October 14 (paperback, ebook). I enjoyed Beth Bernobich’s debut novel, the Romantic Times Best Epic Fantasy winner Passion Play, and The Time Roads also sounds quite interesting.

An excerpt from The Time Roads is available on the author’s website.

 

A fantastical nineteenth century alternate historical steampunk romp from Beth Bernobich, the critically acclaimed author of the River of Souls trilogy.

Éire is one of the most powerful empires in the world. The Anglian Dependencies are a dusty backwater filled with resentful colonial subjects, Europe is a disjointed mess, and many look to Éire for stability and peace. In a series of braided stories, Beth Bernobich has created a tale about the brilliant Éireann scientists who have already bent the laws of nature for Man’s benefit. And who now are striving to conquer the nature of time.

The Golden Octopus: Áine Lasairíona Devereaux, the young Queen of Éire, balances Court politics while pursing the Crown’s goals of furthering scientific discovery. When those discoveries lead to the death and madness of those she loves, Áine must choose between her heart and her duty to her kingdom.

A Flight of Numbers Fantastique Strange: Síomón Madóc is desperately trying to discover who is killing the brightest of Éire’s mathematicians. The key to saving lives lies in the future…and Síomón must figure out a way to get there.

Ars Memoriae: Éireann spymaster Aidrean Ó Deághaidh goes to the kingdom of Montenegro to investigate rumors of great unrest. But Ó Deághaidh is tormented by visions of a different timeline and suspects that someone in his own government is playing a double game….

The Time Roads: Éire stands on the brink of the modern age, but old troubles still plague the kingdom. An encounter with a mysterious stranger near death holds the clue to both the past and the future of the nation.

A Play of Shadow by Julie Czerneda

A Play of Shadow (Night’s Edge #2) by Julie Czerneda

A Play of Shadow will be released on November 4 (trade paperback, ebook). The first book in this series, A Turn of Light, recently became the second of Julie Czerneda’s books to win the Aurora Award for Best Novel. The first of these Aurora Award winners, In the Company of Others, also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Science Fiction Novel and was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, plus Julie Czerneda was a nominee for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. I haven’t read any of her books yet, but I have been wanting to read the first book in this series as well as some of her science fiction!

Some excerpts from A Play of Shadow are available on the author’s website, as well as the first chapter from A Turn of Light. You can also read more about the development of the cover art for A Play of Shadow here on Fantasy Cafe since Julie Czerneda and cover artist Matt Stawicki shared some insight into this creative process with the cover reveal earlier this year!

 

What would you risk for family?

The truthseer who won Jenn Nalynn’s heart, Bannan Larmensu, learns his brother-in-law was sent as a peace envoy to Channen, the capital of the mysterious domain of Mellynne, and has disappeared. When Bannan’s young nephews arrive in Marrowdell during a storm, he fears that his sister, the fiery Lila, has gone in search of her husband, leaving her sons in his care.

The law forbids Bannan from leaving Marrowdell and traveling to Mellynne to help his sister. At least, in this world.

As a turn-born, Jenn Nalynn has the power to cross into the magical realm of the Verge—and take Bannan with her. Once there, they could find a way into Mellynne, if they survive.

The Verge is wild and deadly, alive with strange magic. Dragons roar and kruar wait in ambush, and the powerful turn-born who tend their world do not care for Jenn Nalynn. But Jenn is willing to try. Their friends Wisp and Scourge — and the house toads — offer their help.

But what none of them know is that Channen is rife with magic, magic that flows from the Verge itself. And not even a turn-born will be safe there.

Scarlet Tides by David Hair

Scarlet Tides (Moontide Quartet #2) by David Hair

This fantasy novel, which follows Mage’s Blood, was released in the US on October 7 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook) and has been available in the UK since last year. The print edition of the third book in this quartet, Unholy War, will be released in the UK on October 30 (hardcover, paperback). It appears at least the Kindle version of the ebook is available in the UK now. A second related series, The Lodestar Quartet, is planned to follow the Moontide Quartet.

An excerpt from Mage’s Blood is available on Tor.com, and Bookhounds has an excerpt from chapter 1 of Scarlet Tides with a US ARC giveaway that ends soon (October 15).

David Hair is also an award-winning author of young adult fantasy fiction. The first book in his Aotearoa series, The Bone Tiki, received the Best First Book Award at the 2010 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards. Pyre of Queens, the first book in The Return of Ravana series, was the recipient of the LIANZA Award for Best YA Novel in 2012.

 

The Moontide has come and the Leviathan Bridge stands open: now thrones will shake and hearts will be torn apart in a world at war.

A scarlet tide of Rondian legions is flooding into the East, led by the Inquisition’s windships flying the Sacred Heart, bright banner of the Church’s darkest sons. They are slaughtering and pillaging their way across Antiopia in the name of Emperor Constant. But the emperor’s greatest treasure, the Scytale of Corineus, has slipped through his fingers and his ruthless Inquisitors must scour two continents for the artefact, the source of all magical power.

Against them are the unlikeliest of heroes. Alaron, a failed mage, the gypsy Cymbellea and Ramita, once just a lowly market-girl, have pledged to end the cycle of war and restore peace to Urte.

East and West have clashed before, but this time, as secret factions and cabals emerge from the shadows, the world is about to discover that love, loyalty and truth can be forged into weapons as strong as swords and magic.

The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week – old or new, bought or received for review consideration (often unsolicited). Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

This post is part two of the series started last week covering some of the books that I bought or received in the mail while this blog was on hiatus due to moving. The only books from the last week were one I have already talked about and one that I bought myself so only the one I purchased is included. The first three books are ones I bought at various bookstores, either on the way to Vermont or after moving here! Next week I’ll return to posting weekly about books bought or received the way I normally do.

The Faded Sun Trilogy by C. J. Cherryh

The Faded Sun Trilogy by C. J. Cherryh

This is a mass market paperback omnibus containing Kesrith, Shon’jir, and Kutath. I still haven’t read any books by award-winning author C. J. Cherryh, and I’ve been thinking about reading one to review during Sci-Fi Month this November. The first book in this trilogy, Kesrith, seems like it might be a good book to start with since it was nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

 

They were the mri – tall, secretive, bound by honor and the rigid dictates of their society. For aeons this golden-skinned, golden-eyed race had provided the universe mercenary soldiers of almost unimaginable ability. But now the mri have faced an enemy unlike any other – an enemy whose only way of war is widespread destruction. These “humans” are mass fighters, creatures of the herd, and the mri have been slaughtered like animals.

Now, in the aftermath of war, the mri face extinction. It will be up to three individuals to save whatever remains of this devastated race: a warrior – one of the last survivors of his kind; a priestess of this honorable people; and a lone human – a man sworn to aid the enemy of his own kind. Can they retrace the galaxy-wide path of this nomadic race back through millennia to reclaim the ancient world which first gave them life?

House Immortal by Devon Monk

House Immortal (House Immortal #1) by Devon Monk

I’ve heard good things about Devon Monk’s books, and I thought this sounded interesting. House Immortal was just released last month in mass market paperback, ebook, and hardcover. An excerpt can be read on the author’s website.

The second book in the trilogy, Infinity Bell, is scheduled for release in March 2015.

 

One hundred years ago, eleven powerful ruling Houses consolidated all of the world’s resources and authority into their own grasping hands. Only one power wasn’t placed under the command of a single House: the control over the immortal galvanized….

Matilda Case isn’t like most folk. In fact, she’s unique in the world, the crowning achievement of her father’s experiments, a girl pieced together from bits. Or so she believes, until Abraham Seventh shows up at her door, stitched with life thread just like her and insisting that enemies are coming to kill them all.

Tilly is one of thirteen incredible creations known as the galvanized, stitched together beings immortal and unfathomably strong. For a century, each House has fought for control over the galvanized. Now the Houses are also tangled in a deadly struggle for dominion over death—and Tilly and her kind hold the key to unlocking eternity

The secrets that Tilly must fight to protect are hidden within the very seams of her being. And to get the secrets, her enemies are willing to tear her apart piece by piece.…

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin

Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin

I haven’t read anything written by George R. R. Martin that wasn’t related to A Song of Ice and Fire or Wild Cards, but I do want to read some of his other books at some point and have heard this vampire novel is very good. An excerpt from Fevre Dream is available on the publisher’s website, and it is available in both trade and mass market paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

 

A THRILLING REINVENTION OF THE VAMPIRE NOVEL BY THE MASTER OF MODERN FANTASY, GEORGE R. R. MARTIN
 
Abner Marsh, a struggling riverboat captain, suspects that something’s amiss when he is approached by a wealthy aristocrat with a lucrative offer. The hauntingly pale, steely-eyed Joshua York doesn’t care that the icy winter of 1857 has wiped out all but one of Marsh’s dilapidated fleet; nor does he care that he won’t earn back his investment in a decade. York’s reasons for traversing the powerful Mississippi are to be none of Marsh’s concern—no matter how bizarre, arbitrary, or capricious York’s actions may prove. Not until the maiden voyage of Fevre Dream does Marsh realize that he has joined a mission both more sinister, and perhaps more noble, than his most fantastic nightmare—and humankind’s most impossible dream.

The Free by Brian Ruckley

The Free by Brian Ruckley

This fantasy novel from the author of The Godless World trilogy beginning with Winterbirth will be released on October 14 (paperback, ebook). An excerpt from The Free is available on the publisher’s website.

 

THEY ARE THE MOST FEARED MERCENARY COMPANY THE KINGDOM HAS EVER KNOWN.

Led by Yulan, their charismatic captain, the Free have spent years selling their martial and magical skills to the highest bidder – winning countless victories that shook the foundations of the world. Now they finally plan to lay down their swords.

Yet when Yulan is offered a final contract, he cannot refuse – for the mission offers him the chance to erase the memories of the Free’s darkest hour, which have haunted him for years.

As The Free embark on their last mission, a potent mix of loyalty and vengeance is building to a storm. Freedom, it seems, carries a deadly price.

War Dogs by Greg Bear

War Dogs by Greg Bear

This science fiction novel, the first book in a trilogy, will be released on October 14 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook). Greg Bear is a New York Times bestselling author and the recipient of two Hugo Awards and five Nebula Awards.

 

AN EPIC INTERSTELLAR TALE OF WAR FROM A MASTER OF SCIENCE FICTION.

One more tour on the red.
Maybe my last.

They made their presence on Earth known thirteen years ago.

Providing technology and scientific insights far beyond what mankind was capable of. They became indispensable advisors and promised even more gifts that we just couldn’t pass up. We called them Gurus.

It took them a while to drop the other shoe. You can see why, looking back.

It was a very big shoe, completely slathered in crap.

They had been hounded by mortal enemies from sun to sun, planet to planet, and were now stretched thin — and they needed our help.

And so our first bill came due. Skyrines like me were volunteered to pay the price. As always.

These enemies were already inside our solar system and were moving to establish a beachhead, but not on Earth.

On Mars.

Today I’m giving away two sets of the Ironskin trilogy by Tina Connolly! This trilogy begins with Ironskin, a 2012 Nebula Nominee, and will soon be completed with the release of Silverblind on October 7. While I haven’t read them, I have heard great things about them and have them on my to-read list so I’m happy to be hosting a giveaway!

Ironskin by Tina Connolly

About Ironskin:

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.

It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin.

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a “delicate situation”—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio…and come out as beautiful as the fey.

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

Read an Excerpt from Ironskin

Copperhead by Tina Connolly

About Copperhead:

The sequel to Tina Connolly’s stunning historical fantasy debut.

Helen Huntingdon is beautiful—so beautiful she has to wear an iron mask. Six months ago her sister Jane uncovered a fey plot to take over the city. Too late for Helen, who opted for fey beauty in her face—and now has to cover her face with iron so she won’t be taken over, her personality erased by the bodiless fey.

Not that Helen would mind that some days. Stuck in a marriage with the wealthy and controlling Alistair, she lives at the edges of her life, secretly helping Jane remove the dangerous fey beauty from the wealthy society women who paid for it. But when the chancy procedure turns deadly, Jane goes missing—and is implicated in the murder.

Meanwhile, Alistair’s influential clique Copperhead—whose emblem is the poisonous copperhead hydra—is out to restore humans to their “rightful” place, even to the point of destroying the dwarvven who have always been allies.

Helen is determined to find her missing sister, as well as continue the good fight against the fey. But when that pits her against her own husband—and when she meets an enigmatic young revolutionary—she’s pushed to discover how far she’ll bend society’s rules to do what’s right. It may be more than her beauty at stake. It may be her honor…and her heart.

Read an Excerpt from Copperhead

Silverblind by Tina Connolly

About Silverblind:

The stunning historical fantasy series that began with the Nebula finalist Ironskin continues in Tina Connolly’s Silverblind

Dorie Rochart has been hiding her fey side for a long time. Now, finished with University, she plans to study magical creatures and plants in the wild, bringing long-forgotten cures to those in need. But when no one will hire a girl to fight basilisks, she releases her shape-changing fey powers—to disguise herself as a boy.

While hunting for wyvern eggs, she saves a young scientist who’s about to get steamed by a silvertail—and finds her childhood friend Tam Grimsby, to whom she hasn’t spoken in seven years. Not since she traded him to the fey. She can’t bear to tell him who she really is, but every day grows harder as he comes to trust her.

The wyverns are being hunted to extinction for the powerful compounds in their eggs. The fey are dying out as humans grow in power. Now Tam and Dorie will have to decide which side they will fight for. And if they end up on opposite sides, can their returning friendship survive?

Read an Excerpt from Silverblind

Courtesy of Tor Books, I have two sets containing all three Ironskin books to give away! This giveaway is open to those with a mailing address in the US or Canada, and each set includes Ironskin, Copperhead, and Silverblind.

Giveaway Rules: To be entered in the giveaway, fill out the form below OR send an email to kristen AT fantasybookcafe DOT com with the subject “Ironskin Giveaway.” One entry per person and two winners will be randomly selected. Those from the US or Canada are eligible to win this giveaway. The giveaway will be open until the end of the day on Saturday, October 11. Each winner has 24 hours to respond once contacted via email, and if I don’t hear from them by then a new winner will be chosen (who will also have 24 hours to respond until someone gets back to me with a place to send the books).

Please note email addresses will only be used for the purpose of contacting the winner. Once the giveaway is over all the emails will be deleted.

Good luck!

Update: Now that the giveaway has ended, the form has been removed.