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 a lot of them are ones I’m really excited to read. Half of these were finished copies of books I already discussed when ARCS showed up so I’m not going to show the cover and blurb for them again. However, I am going to list them here with links to the posts where they were discussed in case you’re curious:

I will be reading The Best of All Possible Worlds as soon as I finish the book I just started – it sounds amazing and I’ve heard it’s wonderful!

On to the new books…

Ghost Spin by Chris Moriarty

Ghost Spin by Chris Moriarty

Ghost Spin will be released in trade paperback and ebook on April 30, 2013. It’s set in the same universe as Chris Moriarty’s other two hard science fiction books (Spin State and Spin Control), but all three stand alone. Moriarty’s debut, Spin State, was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award, and her second novel, Spin Control, won the Philip K. Dick Award. Spin Control was also a Lambda Literary Award nominee in the category Best SF Novel.

Read an excerpt from the previous two books:

I have heard wonderful things about Chris Moriarty’s books, and I’m really interested in reading some of her work. Plus I think this particular book sounds pretty intriguing.


Sometimes a ghost of a chance is all you get.

Award-winning author Chris Moriarty returns to a dazzling cyber-noir far future in this gritty, high-stakes thriller where the only rule is “Evolve . . . or die.”

The Age of Man is ending. The UN’s sprawling interstellar empire is failing as its quantum teleportation network collapses, turning once-viable colonies into doomed island outposts. Humanity’s only hope of survival is the Drift: a mysterious region of space where faster-than-light travel—or something far stranger—seems possible. As mercenaries and pirates flock to the Drift, the cold war between the human-led UN and the clone-dominated Syndicates heats up. Whoever controls the Drift will chart the future course of human evolution—and no one wants to be left behind in a universe where the price of failure is extinction.

When the AI called Cohen ventures into the Drift, he dies—allegedly by his own hand—and his consciousness is scattered across the cosmos. Some of his ghosts are still self-aware. Some are insane. And one of them hides a secret worth killing for. Enter Major Catherine Li, Cohen’s human (well, partly human) lover, who embarks on a desperate search to solve the mystery of Cohen’s death—and put him back together. But Li isn’t the only one interested in Cohen’s ghosts. Astrid Avery, a by-the-book UN navy captain, is on the hunt. So is William Llewellyn, a pirate who has one of the ghosts in his head, which is slowly eating him alive. Even the ghosts have their own agendas. And lurking behind them all is a pitiless enemy who will stop at nothing to make sure the dead don’t walk again.

The Grail of the Summer Stars by Freda Warrington

Grail of the Summer Stars (Aetherial Tales #3) by Freda Warrington

Grail of the Summer Stars will be released in hardcover and ebook on April 23, 2013. The first two Aetherial Tales stood alone, and this one is supposed to be connected to the others while remaining a self-contained story. You can read more about Freda Warrington’s plans for the book in my interview with her, but that was in February 2011 so it’s possible her plans may have changed a bit since then!

I am incredibly excited to read this book because I LOVED Elfland and also enjoyed Midsummer Night (the first two Aetherial Tales books, published in that order). Freda Warrington’s writing is gorgeous, and I also think she did some really interesting things with the latter book, even though I loved the drama of the first book more.


The climactic concluding novel in the spellbinding magical contemporary fantasy Aetherial Tales trilogy

A painting, depicting haunting scenes of a ruined palace and a scarlet-haired goddess in front of a fiery city, arrives unheralded in an art gallery with a cryptic note saying, “The world needs to see this.” The painting begins to change the lives of the woman who is the gallery’s curator and that of an ancient man of the fey Aetherial folk who has mysteriously risen from the depths of the ocean. Neither human nor fairy knows how they are connected, but when the painting is stolen, both are compelled to discover the meaning behind the painting and the key it holds to their future.

In Grail of the Summer Stars, a haunting, powerful tale of two worlds and those caught between, Freda Warrington weaves an exciting story of suspense, adventure and danger that fulfills the promise of the Aetherial Tales as only she can.

London Falling by Paul Cornell

London Falling by Paul Cornell

London Falling, the first book in a dark contemporary fantasy series whose name I can’t find, will be released in hardcover and ebook on April 16, 2013 in the US (it is already out in the UK). The author has written for television, including Doctor Who, and he has also written novels and comic books. If you want to read more, here is a brief interview with Paul Cornell and an excerpt containing the first two chapters from London Falling.


The dark is rising . . . Detective Inspector James Quill is about to complete the drugs bust of his career. Then his prize suspect Rob Toshack is murdered in custody. Furious, Quill pursues the investigation, co-opting intelligence analyst Lisa Ross and undercover cops Costain and Sefton. But nothing about Toshack’s murder is normal. Toshack had struck a bargain with a vindictive entity, whose occult powers kept Toshack one step ahead of the law – until his luck ran out. Now, the team must find a ‘suspect’ who can bend space and time and alter memory itself. And they will kill again. As the group starts to see London’s sinister magic for themselves, they have two choices: panic or use their new abilities. Then they must hunt a terrifying supernatural force the only way they know how: using police methods, equipment and tactics. But they must all learn the rules of this new game – and quickly. More than their lives will depend on it.

Exile by Betsy Dornbusch

Exile (Seven Eyes #1) by Betsy Dornbusch

Exile will be released in hardcover and audio format on February 5, 2013. I was pretty intrigued by this one when the author contacted me about reviewing it since she had quotes about the book from both Carol Berg and Courtney Schafer (two authors whose work I’ve loved!). I’ve already started reading this, and after reading nearly 50 pages, I’m interested in seeing what happens.

There is an excerpt from Exile on the author’s website.


Draken vae Khellian, bastard cousin of the Monoean King, had risen far from his ignominious origins, becoming both a Bowrank Commander and a member of the Crown’s Black Guard. But when he is falsely condemned for the grisly murder of his beloved wife, he is banished from the kingdom and cast upon the distant shore of Akrasia, at the arse-end of the world.

Compared to civilized Monoea, Akrasia is a forbidding land of Moonlings, magic, and restless spirits. It is also a realm on the brink of a bloody revolution, as a sinister conspiracy plots against Akrasia’s embattled young queen–and malevolent banes possess the bodies of the living.

Consumed by grief, and branded a murderer, Draken lives only to clear his name and avenge his wife’s murder. But the fates may have bigger plans for him. Alone in a strange land, he soon finds himself sharing the bed of an enigmatic necromancer and a half-breed servant girl, while pressed into the service of a foreign queen whose life and land may well depend on the divided loyalties of an exiled warrior . . .

Exile is the beginning of an ambitious fantasy saga by an acclaimed new author.