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. 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 I bought two books I’ve been wanting to read, and four review copies and one ARC showed up in the mail. The latter is one of my most anticipated books of this year so I was quite happy to see it – I think my husband thought I was excited to the point of insanity over it!

Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire

Ashes of Honor (October Daye #6) by Seanan McGuire

October Daye has become one of my favorite urban fantasy series so I was thrilled to open a package containing the sixth installment. The books have just been getting better and better with 4 and 5 as my favorites in the series to date. I just love Toby’s humorous narrative voice and all of the characters in this series (especially Tybalt!). Also, I cannot predict what will happen. The end of book 5 took me completely by surprise. Can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Ashes of Honor will be released in mass market paperback, audiobook, and ebook in September. The previous books in the series are as follows:

  1. Rosemary and Rue
  2. A Local Habitation
  3. An Artificial Night
  4. Late Eclipses
  5. One Salt Sea

It’s been almost a year since October “Toby” Daye averted a war, gave up a county, and suffered personal losses that have left her wishing for a good day’s sleep. She’s tried to focus on her responsibilities—training Quentin, upholding her position as Sylvester’s knight, and paying the bills—but she can’t help feeling like her world is crumbling around her, and her increasingly reckless behavior is beginning to worry even her staunchest supporters.

To make matters worse, Toby’s just been asked to find another missing child…only this time it’s the changeling daughter of her fellow knight, Etienne, who didn’t even know he was a father until the girl went missing. Her name is Chelsea. She’s a teleporter, like her father. She’s also the kind of changeling the old stories warn about, the ones with all the strength and none of the control. She’s opening doors that were never meant to be opened, releasing dangers that were sealed away centuries before—and there’s a good chance she could destroy Faerie if she isn’t stopped.

Now Toby must find Chelsea before time runs out, racing against an unknown deadline and through unknown worlds as she and her allies try to avert disaster. But danger is also stirring in the Court of Cats, and Tybalt may need Toby’s help with the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.

Toby thought the last year was bad. She has no idea.

Albert of Adelaide by Howard L. Anderson

Thieftaker (Thieftaker Chronicles #1) by D. B. Jackson

The author, who has a Ph.D. in U.S. History, has written epic fantasy novels as David Coe. With this series, he is writing a historical fantasy set in Boston in the year 1765. I really like the sound of this one a lot and am considering it as one of my next reads after I finish Banner of the Damned.

Thieftaker was released in hardcover and ebook on July 3. Thieves’ Quarry, the second book in the series, will be released in 2013.

The first three chapters from Thieftaker can be read online. The short story “A Spell of Vengeance” is also available to read on

Boston, 1767: In D.B. Jackson’s Thieftaker, revolution is brewing as the British Crown imposes increasingly onerous taxes on the colonies, and intrigue swirls around firebrands like Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty. But for Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker who makes his living by conjuring spells that help him solve crimes, politics is for others…until he is asked to recover a necklace worn by the murdered daughter of a prominent family.

Suddenly, he faces another conjurer of enormous power, someone unknown, who is part of a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of power in the turbulent colony. His adversary has already killed—and not for his own gain, but in the service of his powerful masters, people for whom others are mere pawns in a game of politics and power. Ethan is in way over his head, and he knows it. Already a man with a dark past, he can ill afford to fail, lest his livelihood be forfeit. But he can’t stop now, for his magic has marked him, so he must fight the odds, even though he seems hopelessly overmatched, his doom seeming certain at the spectral hands of one he cannot even see.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers

I have wanted to read Grave Mercy ever since Angie said she was reading and enjoying it. Her review just made me want to read it more. Historical fantasy, political intrigue, and a female assassin as the main character! Reminiscent of Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder! I must read this book! So when I found this while browsing in the bookstore, I snatched it up.

The author’s website describes the His Fair Assassin trilogy as “YA books about assassin nuns in medieval France.” This series just keeps sounding better and better to me…

Grave Mercy is available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook. The first chapter is available online.

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1) by Dan Wells

I was really interested in both books by Dan Wells that were at BEA this year, but I missed them both. So I bought one of his older titles that also sounds really interesting to me (“older” being from 2 years ago).

It’s available in hardcover (although this one may be harder to find), trade paperback, mass market paperback, ebook, and audiobook. Goodreads has a Google Preview for this book so you can read a little of it.

The second and third books in this series are Mr. Monster and I Don’t Want to Kill You.

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat—and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

Dan Wells’s debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.

Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant #3) by Ben Aaronovitch

Since this is the third book in a series I haven’t read, I have a question for those of you have read the first book: Is the first book worth reading? Or, do you know if each book stands alone pretty well?

The first book in this urban fantasy series is called Rivers of London in the UK and Midnight Riot in the US, and the second book is Moon Over Soho. Whispers Under Ground will be available in mass market paperback and ebook in the US on July 31. An excerpt from this latest novel is available online.


It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher—and the victim’s wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom—if it exists at all—is deeper and more unnatural than anyone suspects . . . except, that is, for London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant. With Inspector Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, tied up in the hunt for the rogue magician known as “the Faceless Man,” it’s up to Peter to plumb the haunted depths of the oldest, largest, and—as of now—deadliest subway system in the world.

At least he won’t be alone. No, the FBI has sent over a crack agent to help. She’s young, ambitious, beautiful . . . and a born-again Christian apt to view any magic as the work of the devil. Oh yeah—that’s going to go well.

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage by Justin Cronin

This was a widely buzzed release when in 2010, and this version is the mass market paperback that will be on sale on July 31. It includes a preview from the sequel, The Twelve, which will be released in October of this year.

The Passage is already available in hardcover, trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook. An excerpt is available online.

I’m considering trying this one, but not quite yet since it is almost 900 pages long and I am just finishing up a huge (but very good) novel that has taken me forever to read!

An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.

Darksiders: The Abomination Vault by Ari Marmell

Darksiders: The Abomination Vault by Ari Marmell

This is about the history of the world from the Darksiders videogame, which I know nothing about. I have heard good things about Thief’s Covenant by Ari Marmell, though!

Darksiders: The Abomination Vault will be released in trade paperback and ebook on July 24. An excerpt is available on the publisher’s website.

Ride with the Horsemen of the Apocalypse as they seek to unearth a plot that could plunge all of Creation into chaos!
Ages before the events of Darksiders and Darksiders II, two of the feared Horsemen—Death and War—are tasked with stopping a group of renegades from locating the Abomination Vault: a hoard containing weapons of ultimate power and malice, capable of bringing an end to the uneasy truce between Heaven and Hell . . . but only by unleashing total destruction.
Created in close collaboration with the Darksiders II teams at Vigil and THQ, Darksiders: The Abomination Vault gives an exciting look at the history and world of the Horsemen, shining a new light on the unbreakable bond between War and Death.