After a couple of weeks without books (!), this week brought 1 ARC, 1 finished review copy, and 3 I bought myself with a gift card. Both the review copies are books I’ve already talked about since I picked up copies of each at this year’s Book Expo America. So if you are interested in reading more about Blood Rights (House of Comarre #1) by Kristen Painter or Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations #1) by Michael J. Sullivan, there’s more on this post about books from BEA. These are both books I really want to read so hopefully I’ll be reading them sometime around release date. (I actually considered starting Blood Rights now since the finished copy showed up, but I couldn’t make up my mind about that or 3 other books. I submitted to the whims of random.org and it chose a different book for me.)
For reviews, I should at least have one for Cold Magic by Kate Elliott up this week.
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
Martha Wells has been on my “authors I should read” list for a while. She has written eleven novels and one of them, The Death of the Necromancer, was nominated for a Nebula. In spite of that, I had no idea where to start with her books until this book came out and I saw that both Ana and Thea of The Book Smugglers really enjoyed it. It sounded wonderful, and it’s been in my mind for next time I place a book order ever since. Then N. K. Jemisin raved about it on Twitter and Goodreads, and I decided to place that order stat. I’ve already started it since this was the book random.org selected for me when I couldn’t choose for myself, and it hooked me in the first chapter. It’s rare for a book to hook me that well so quickly. There may be something interesting about the beginning, but usually I can put a new book aside after chapter one. With this one, I picked it up and decided to read the first chapter before doing something. Then I got to the end and was all like “No! What happens now? What?!”
According to the author’s website, which also includes an excerpt, this is volume 1 of The Books of the Raksura. Volume 2, The Serpent Sea, is scheduled for release in January 2012. If you’ve read volume 1 already, there is also an excerpt available for book 2 that is linked to on that page, as well as the author’s other books.
Moon has spent his life hiding what he is – a shape-shifter able to transform himself into a winged creature of flight. An orphan with only vague memories of his own kind, Moon tries to fit in among the tribes of his river valley, with mixed success. Just as Moon is once again cast out by his adopted tribe, he discovers a shape-shifter like himself… someone who seems to know exactly what he is, who promises that Moon will be welcomed into his community. What this stranger doesn’t tell Moon is that his presence will tip the balance of power… that his extraordinary lineage is crucial to the colony’s survival… and that his people face extinction at the hands of the dreaded Fell! Now Moon must overcome a lifetime of conditioning in order to save and himself… and his newfound kin.
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, which won the 2011 Arthur C. Clarke Award and is a nominee for the World Fantasy Award this year (winners have not yet been announced). Seeing Lauren Beukes was nominated for – and nearly won – this year’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer prompted me to finally pick up a copy. It’s one of those I never would have picked up based on the blurb, but all the positive responses to it definitely have me curious about it. Now that I think about it, I suppose I would read very few books if I decided to based solely on blurbs and back cover descriptions, though.
A sample is available to read on the publisher’s website.
Zinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty 419 scam habit and a talent for finding lost things. But when a little old lady turns up dead and the cops confiscate her last paycheck, she’s forced to take on her least favourite kind of job – missing persons.
Being hired by reclusive music producer Odi Huron to find a teenybop pop star should be her ticket out of Zoo City, the festering slum where the criminal underclass and their animal companions live in the shadow of hell’s undertow.
Instead, it catapults Zinzi deeper into the maw of a city twisted by crime and magic, where she’ll be forced to confront the dark secrets of former lives – including her own.
Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
This is a debut novel I’ve heard a lot of good things about as well, and like the above book, it’s a 2011 World Fantasy Award nominee. It sounds very interesting, but then “trickster” in a description always makes me perk up a little.
An excerpt is available on Tor.com.
Karen Lord’s debut novel is an intricately woven tale of adventure, magic, and the power of the human spirit. Paama’s husband is a fool and a glutton. Bad enough that he followed her to her parents’ home in the village of Makendha—now he’s disgraced himself by murdering livestock and stealing corn. When Paama leaves him for good, she attracts the attention of the undying ones—the djombi— who present her with a gift: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world. Unfortunately, a wrathful djombi with indigo skin believes this power should be his and his alone.
Bursting with humor and rich in fantastic detail, Redemption in Indigo is a clever, contemporary fairy tale that introduces readers to a dynamic new voice in Caribbean literature. Lord’s world of spider tricksters and indigo immortals is inspired in part by a Senegalese folk tale—but Paama’s adventures are fresh, surprising, and utterly original.