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. 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 quite a few ARCs/finished copies showed up, and I also bought (and read) a novella yesterday.
Tuf Voyaging by George R. R. Martin
This is another one of George R. R. Martin’s older books that will now be back in print. Tuf Voyaging is a collection of shorter fiction, most of which was originally published in Analog in the 1980s, focusing on the character Haviland Tuf. It was released as one volume in 1986, and it will be available again in trade paperback and ebook on January 29, 2013. Tuf Voyaging also contains some black and white illustrations.
An excerpt from Tuf Voyaging containing the first 50 pages is available online.
Long before A Game of Thrones became an international phenomenon, #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin had taken his loyal readers across the cosmos. Now back in print after almost ten years, Tuf Voyaging is the story of quirky and endearing Haviland Tuf, an unlikely hero just trying to do right by the galaxy, one planet at a time.
Haviland Tuf is an honest space-trader who likes cats. So how is it that, in competition with the worst villains the universe has to offer, he’s become the proud owner of a seedship, the last remnant of Earth’s legendary Ecological Engineering Corps? Never mind; just be thankful that the most powerful weapon in human space is in good hands—hands which now have the godlike ability to control the genetic material of thousands of outlandish creatures.
Armed with this unique equipment, Tuf is set to tackle the problems that human settlers have created in colonizing far-flung worlds: hosts of hostile monsters, a population hooked on procreation, a dictator who unleashes plagues to get his own way . . . and in every case, the only thing that stands between the colonists and disaster is Tuf’s ingenuity—and his reputation as a man of integrity in a universe of rogues.
River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
River of Stars is set in the same world as Kay’s last novel, Under Heaven, but takes place 4 centuries later. It will be released in hardcover and ebook on April 2, 2013 (my birthday, which seems to be a very popular release date for books that sound awesome this year!).
I loved Kay’s Tigana, but the only other book of his I’ve read is Ysabel. This is something I really need to remedy since Tigana was quite excellent.
In his critically acclaimed novel Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay told a vivid and powerful story inspired by China’s Tang Dynasty. Now, the international bestselling and multiple award-winning author revisits that invented setting four centuries later with an epic of prideful emperors, battling courtiers, bandits and soldiers, nomadic invasions, and a woman battling in her own way, to find a new place for women in the world – a world inspired this time by the glittering, decadent Song Dynasty.
Ren Daiyan was still just a boy when he took the lives of seven men while guarding an imperial magistrate of Kitai. That moment on a lonely road changed his life—in entirely unexpected ways, sending him into the forests of Kitai among the outlaws. From there he emerges years later—and his life changes again, dramatically, as he circles towards the court and emperor, while war approaches Kitai from the north.
Lin Shan is the daughter of a scholar, his beloved only child. Educated by him in ways young women never are, gifted as a songwriter and calligrapher, she finds herself living a life suspended between two worlds. Her intelligence captivates an emperor—and alienates women at the court. But when her father’s life is endangered by the savage politics of the day, Shan must act in ways no woman ever has.
In an empire divided by bitter factions circling an exquisitely cultured emperor who loves his gardens and his art far more than the burdens of governing, dramatic events on the northern steppe alter the balance of power in the world, leading to events no one could have foretold, under the river of stars.
Myth-Quoted (Myth Adventures) by Jody Lynn Nye
The newest book in the Myth Adventures series was released in trade paperback and ebook in December 2012. Powell’s Books has an excerpt from it.
This is one of my husband’s favorite series, and he’s read some of the books so many times they’re falling apart. He’ll be helping me out with this book (even though it is supposed to stand alone just fine!), and I recently read the first book in the series and am hoping to review it sometime soon.
A CAMPAIGN OF MYTH-INFORMATION
Since it was founded, M.Y.T.H. Inc. has dealt with all manner of vile and evil creatures. But not even a magician of Skeeve’s caliber is prepared to face the most duplicitous monsters of all: politicians. Emo Weavil and his cousin Wilmer Weavil-Scuttil have been running for governor of the island of Bokromi—for five years. Their magickal mudslinging (literal and otherwise) strategies continue to postpone the election leaving the realm in a state of leaderless chaos.
Hired to moderate a fair and balanced race between the candidates, Skeeve and Bunny attempt to clean up the dirty politics, only to become targets of the tabloids and paparazzi, who are more interested in innuendo than the facts…
Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels #4.5) by Ilona Andrews
This novella related to the Kate Daniels series, told from the point of view of Dali, is set between Magic Bleeds and Magic Slays. It was originally published in the anthology Hexed, but it is also available on its own as an ebook (I bought my copy for $2.99). I read this one yesterday and had fun with it, although it’s not my favorite story in the series. It’s enough of a departure from the main series that I don’t think it’s necessary to read the other books first, but I’d recommend it just because I think it’s preferable to have a bit of an idea of who Dali and Jim are already.
I’m probably not going to review this one since I’m so behind on reviews at this point that I’ll probably end up writing many of them as mini-reviews (I am planning to write full reviews for the two older books I’ve read lately since I haven’t seen them reviewed). So instead I will refer you to this review of Magic Dreams written by Heidi from Bunbury in the Stacks (whose blog I’d definitely recommend checking out if you haven’t already!).
Magic Dreams originally appeared in the anthology Hexed.
From New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews comes a tale of darkness, desire, and werecats.
Alpha Pack leader Jim Shrapshire has always been the strong, silent type. But something has come over him–a magic force currently residing in one of the Pack’s headquarters. Were-tigress Dali Harimau has always wished she could get Jim’s attention–but now he needs her help.
Stricken with a magic-sickness, Jim needs Dali’s flair for magic. And to save him, she must challenge a powerful, dark being to a battle of wits.
Includes an excerpt of Ilona Andrews’s upcoming novel in the world of Kate Daniels, Gunmetal Magic, available in August 2012.
Necessary Evil (Milkweed Triptych #3) by Ian Tregillis
Necessary Evil will be released in hardcover and ebook in April 2013. This is another series I haven’t yet read, although I have been wanting to since I’ve been hearing it’s really good. Excerpts from the first two books are available online:
12 May 1940. Westminster, London, England: the early days of World War II.
Raybould Marsh, one of “our” Britain’s best spies, has travelled to another Earth in a desperate attempt to save at least one timeline from the Cthulhu-like monsters who have been observing our species from space and have already destroyed Marsh’s timeline. In order to accomplish this, he must remove all traces of the supermen that were created by the Nazi war machine and caused the spectors from outer space to notice our planet in the first place.
His biggest challenge is the mad seer Greta, one of the most powerful of the Nazi creations, who has sent a version of herself to this timeline to thwart Marsh. Why would she stand in his way? Because she has seen that in all the timelines she dies and she is determined to stop that from happening, even if it means destroying most of humanity in the process. And Marsh is the only man who can stop her.
Necessary Evil is the stunning conclusion to Ian Tregillis’s Milkweed series.
The Night of the Swarm (The Chathrand Voyage #4) by Robert V. S. Redick
This is the final book in The Chathrand Voyage series (another series I haven’t read but have heard really good things about). It will be available in trade paperback and ebook on February 5, 2013. An excerpt from The Night of the Swarm can be read on the publisher’s website. The previous books in the quartet are as follows:
Robert V. S. Redick brings his acclaimed fantasy series The Chathrand Voyage to a triumphant close that merits comparison to the work of such masters as George R. R. Martin, Philip Pullman, and J.R.R. Tolkien himself. The evil sorcerer Arunis is dead, yet the danger has not ended. For as he fell, beheaded by the young warrior-woman Thasha Isiq, Arunis summoned the Swarm of Night, a demonic entity that feasts on death and grows like a plague. If the Swarm is not destroyed, the world of Alifros will become a vast graveyard. Now Thasha and her comrades—the tarboy Pazel Pathkendle and the mysterious wizard Ramachni—begin a quest that seems all but impossible. Yet there is hope: One person has the power to stand against the Swarm: the great mage Erithusmé. Long thought dead, Erithusmé lives, buried deep in Thasha’s soul. But for the mage to live again, Thasha Isiq may have to die.
The Death Cure (Maze Runner #3) by James Dashner
This New York Times bestselling novel became available in paperback for the first time on January 8, 2013. It is also available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook formats.
The first two books in this young adult trilogy are The Maze Runner (excerpt) and The Scorch Trials. There is also a prequel, The Kill Order.
Thomas knows that Wicked can’t be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they’ve collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It’s up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.
What Wicked doesn’t know is that something’s happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can’t believe a word of what Wicked says.
The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?
God of War II by Robert E. Vardeman
The official novel of the videogame will be available in trade paperback and ebook on February 12, 2013. An excerpt is available on the publisher’s website.
All the majesty and mayhem of Greek mythology springs to life once more in the powerful second novel based on the bestselling and critically acclaimed God of War® franchise.
Once the mighty warrior Kratos was a slave to the gods, bound to do their savage bidding. After destroying Ares, the God of War, Kratos was granted his freedom by Zeus—and even given the ousted god’s throne on Olympus.
But the other gods of the pantheon didn’t take kindly to Kratos’s ascension and, in turn, conspired against him. Banished, Kratos must ally himself with the despised Titans, ancient enemies of the Olympians, in order to take revenge and silence the nightmares that haunt him.
God of War II takes the videogame’s action to electrifying new heights, and adds ever more fascinating layers to the larger-than-life tale of Kratos.