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 past week brought a few books, but first here’s what will be going up tomorrow: a giveaway of a book in one of my favorite series! I’m hoping to finally finish my review of The Invisible Library this week as well now that I have finished reading through the book again.
And now, last week’s books!
Cold Iron (The Malorum Gates #1) by Stina Leicht
My husband was killing time in a bookstore, came across this book, and picked it up for me. Stina Leicht was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and I have heard that her books are wonderful.
Cold Iron was published earlier this month (hardcover, paperback, ebook). The second book in the series, Blackthorne, is scheduled for release in 2016.
Fraternal twins Nels and Suvi move beyond their royal heritage and into military and magical dominion in this flintlock epic fantasy debut from a two-time Campbell Award finalist.
Prince Nels is the scholarly runt of the ancient Kainen royal family of Eledore, disregarded as flawed by the king and many others. Only Suvi, his fraternal twin sister, supports him. When Nels is ambushed by an Acrasian scouting party, he does the forbidden for a member of the ruling family: He picks up a fallen sword and defends himself.
Disowned and dismissed to the military, Nels establishes himself as a leader as Eledore begins to shatter under the attack of the Acrasians, who the Kainen had previously dismissed as barbarians. But Nels knows differently, and with the aid of Suvi, who has allied with pirates, he mounts a military offensive with sword, canon, and what little magic is left in the world.
Last First Snow (Craft Sequence) by Max Gladstone
Last First Snow is both the first and fourth book in the Craft Sequence (first in chronological order and fourth in publication order). It’s available now in hardcover and ebook formats, and an excerpt from Last First Snow can be read on Tor.com. If you missed it, Max Gladstone also recently wrote a guest post here about discovering new facets of characters when grouping them together in this book.
If you do want to read them in publication order, they are as follows:
- Three Parts Dead
- Two Serpents Rise
- Full Fathom Five
The number that matches each book’s chronological order can be found in its title.
The fourth novel set in the compellingly modern fantasy world of the Craft Sequence
Forty years after the God Wars, Dresediel Lex bears the scars of liberation—especially in the Skittersill, a poor district still bound by the fallen gods’ decaying edicts. As long as the gods’ wards last, they strangle development; when they fail, demons will be loosed upon the city. The King in Red hires Elayne Kevarian of the Craft firm Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao to fix the wards, but the Skittersill’s people have their own ideas. A protest rises against Elayne’s work, led by Temoc, a warrior-priest turned community organizer who wants to build a peaceful future for his city, his wife, and his young son.
As Elayne drags Temoc and the King in Red to the bargaining table, old wounds reopen, old gods stir in their graves, civil blood breaks to new mutiny, and profiteers circle in the desert sky. Elayne and Temoc must fight conspiracy, dark magic, and their own demons to save the peace—or failing that, to save as many people as they can.
Zer0es by Chuck Wendig
Zer0es will be available on August 18 (hardcover, ebook).
Five hackers—an Anonymous-style rabble-rouser, an Arab Spring hacktivist, a black-hat hacker, an old-school cipherpunk, and an online troll—are detained by the U.S. government, forced to work as white-hat hackers for Uncle Sam in order to avoid federal prison. At a secret complex known only as “the Lodge,” where they will spend the next year working as an elite cyber-espionage team, these misfits dub themselves “the Zeroes.”
But once the Zeroes begin to work, they uncover secrets that would make even the most dedicated conspiracy theorist’s head spin. And soon they’re not just trying to serve their time, they’re also trying to perform the ultimate hack: burrowing deep into the U.S. government from the inside, and hoping they’ll get out alive. Packed with electric wit and breakneck plot twists, Zer0es is an unforgettable thrill ride through the seedy underbelly of “progress.”
The Edge of Dawn (Edge #3) by Melinda Snodgrass
The third book in the Edge series will be available on August 4 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook). An excerpt from The Edge of Dawn can be read on the Tor/Forge blog.
The first two books in the series are as follows:
- The Edge of Reason (Read the first 169 pages)
- The Edge of Ruin
The final battle approaches for a band of modern paladins, fighting for the light of science and reason, and against an ancient supernatural army poised to destroy the world
What do you do when the Earth is under assault from monstrous creatures by alternate dimensions and you’re the only person who can wield the weapon that can destroy them? That’s the situation facing Richard Oort, hero of the Edge novels.
Lonely and overwhelmed after a series of terrifying, catastrophic global and personal events, Richard is still determined to save the world from the horrific Old Ones. He goes undercover in a Christian fundamentalist compound, playing house with an attractive FBI agent. At first, this only serves to increase his loneliness, missing his real family, but against all odds discovers another unique human who can use the paladin’s weapon, one who might be able to join him and lighten the burden of responsibility. There’s only one problem — Mosi is a nine year old Navajo girl.
Their enemies are trying to kill both Richard and Mosi—and have already killed Mosi’s family. To keep her safe Richard becomes her guardian, but an error in judgement leads to disaster and betrayal, and now the odd pair will need to summon all their strength to survive the coming battle. From the American southwest to a secret society in Turkey, the paladin and his ward try to stay in front of their enemies, but the world is at stake—and time is running short.
The Devil’s Only Friend (John Cleaver #4) by Dan Wells
The fourth book in the John Cleaver series, which is also the first book in a new trilogy, is available now (hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook). An excerpt from The Devil’s Only Friend can be read on Tor.com.
The books in the previous trilogy are as follows:
- I Am Not a Serial Killer
- Mr. Monster
- I Don’t Want to Kill You
There’s also a novella, Next of Kin, that introduces this new trilogy.
John Wayne Cleaver hunts demons: they’ve killed his neighbors, his family, and the girl he loves, but in the end he’s always won. Now he works for a secret government kill team, using his gift to hunt and kill as many monsters as he can…
…but the monsters have noticed, and the quiet game of cat and mouse is about to erupt into a full scale supernatural war.
John doesn’t want the life he’s stuck with. He doesn’t want the FBI bossing him around, he doesn’t want his only friend imprisoned in a mental ward, and he doesn’t want to face the terrifying cannibal who calls himself The Hunter. John doesn’t want to kill people. But as the song says, you can’t always get what you want. John has learned that the hard way; his clothes have the stains to prove it.
When John again faces evil, he’ll know what he has to do.
The Devil’s Only Friend is the first book in a brand-new John Wayne Cleaver trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Dan Wells.
The Dinosaur Lords (The Dinosaur Lords #1) by Victor Milán
This novel will be released on July 28 (hardcover, ebook). An excerpt from The Dinosaur Lords can be read on Tor.com.
A world made by the Eight Creators on which to play out their games of passion and power, Paradise is a sprawling, diverse, often brutal place. Men and women live on Paradise as do dogs, cats, ferrets, goats, and horses. But dinosaurs predominate: wildlife, monsters, beasts of burden – and of war. Colossal planteaters like Brachiosaurus; terrifying meateaters like Allosaurus and the most feared of all, Tyrannosaurus rex. Giant lizards swim warm seas. Birds (some with teeth) share the sky with flying reptiles that range in size from batsized insectivores to majestic and deadly Dragons.
Thus we are plunged into Victor Milán’s splendidly weird world of The Dinosaur Lords, a place that for all purposes mirrors 14th century Europe with its dynastic rivalries, religious wars, and byzantine politics…and the weapons of choice are dinosaurs. Where we have vast armies of dinosaur-mounted knights engaged in battle. And during the course of one of these epic battles, the enigmatic mercenary Dinosaur Lord Karyl Bogomirsky is defeated through betrayal and left for dead. He wakes, naked, wounded, partially amnesiac – and hunted. And embarks upon a journey that will shake his world.