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 week brought some ARCs/review copies, but there’s an event I want to mention before discussing the books.
Last year, Rinn from Rinn Reads hosted Sci-Fi Month, which was dedicated to celebrating all things science fiction. I participated in it and had a lot of fun (especially since it got me to pick up some science fiction books I’d been meaning to read for awhile, including Karin Lowachee’s Warchild, a new favorite of mine). Rinn recently announced that she is hosting it again this November with Kelley, Asti, and Leanne from Oh, the Books! Anyone can participate; check out Rinn’s announcement for more details. I’m already thinking about which science fiction books I should read this year…
On to the books!
The Rise of Aurora West by Paul Pope, JT Petty, and David Rubín
This graphic novel, a companion to Battling Boy, will be released on September 30 (hardcover/paperback). An excerpt from The Rise of Aurora West can be viewed on Tor.com.
The extraordinary world introduced in Paul Pope’s Battling Boy is rife with monsters and short on heroes… but in this action-driven extension of the Battling Boy universe, we see it through a new pair of eyes: Aurora West, daughter of Arcopolis’s last great hero, Haggard West. A prequel to Battling Boy, The Rise of Aurora West follows the young hero as she seeks to uncover the mystery of her mother’s death, and to find her place in a world overrun with supernatural monsters and all-too-human corruption. With a taut, fast-paced script from Paul Pope and JT Petty and gorgeous, kinetic art from David Rubin, The Rise of Aurora West (the first of two volumes) is a tour de force in comics storytelling.
A Plunder of Souls (Thieftaker Chronicles #3) by D. B. Jackson
This historical fantasy novel became available earlier this month (hardcover/ebook/audiobook). An excerpt from A Plunder of Souls is available on Tor.com.
The previous books in this series are as follows:
- Thieftaker (Excerpt)
- Thieves’ Quarry
Boston, 1769: Ethan Kaille, a Boston thieftaker who uses his conjuring to catch criminals, has snared villans and defeated magic that would have daunted a lesser man. What starts out as a mysterious phenomenon that has local ministers confused becomes something far more serious.
A ruthless, extremely powerful conjurer seeks to wake the souls of the dead to wreak a terrible revenge on all who oppose him. Kaille’s minister friends have been helpless to stop crimes against their church. Graves have been desecrated in a bizarre, ritualistic way. Equally disturbing are reports of recently deceased citizens of Boston reappearing as grotesquely disfigured shades, seemingly having been disturbed from their eternal rest, and now frightening those who had been nearest to them in life. But most personally troubling to Kaille is a terrible waning of his ability to conjure. He knows all these are related…but how?
When Ethan discovers the source of this trouble, he realizes that his conjure powers and those of his friends will not be enough to stop a madman from becoming all-powerful. But somehow, using his wits, his powers, and every other resource he can muster, Ethan must thwart the monster’s terrible plan and restore the restless souls of the dead to the peace of the grave. Let the battle for souls begin in A Plunder of Souls, the third, stand-alone novel in Jackson’s acclaimed Thieftaker series.
Revenant (Greywalker #9) by Kat Richardson
This urban fantasy novel will be released on August 5 (hardcover/ebook). The author’s website has an excerpt from Revenant.
The previous books in the Greywalker series are as follows:
- Greywalker (Excerpt)
Harper Blaine was your average small-time PI until she died—for two minutes. Now Harper is a Greywalker, treading the thin line between the living world and the paranormal realm. And these abilities are landing her all sorts of “strange” cases….
Turmoil, sickness, and destruction are sweeping through Europe—and its effects are being felt all the way across the world in Seattle. Harper Blaine and her lover, Quinton, suspect that Quinton’s father, James Purlis—and his terrifying Ghost Division—are involved.
Following a dark trail of grotesque crimes and black magic across the Old World, the pair slowly draws closer to their quarry. But finding and dismantling the Ghost Division won’t be enough to stop the horror that Purlis has unwittingly set in motion.
An ancient and forgotten cult has allied with Quinton’s mad father. And their goals are far more nightmarish than Harper and Quinton—or even Purlis—could ever imagine.
The pursuit leads to Portugal, where the desecrated tomb of a sleeping king and a temple built of bones recall Harper’s very first paranormal case and hold clues to the cult’s true intentions. Harper and Quinton will need all the help they can get to avert a necromantic cataclysm that could lay waste to Europe and drag the rest of the world to the brink of war.
Shadows (Masks of Aygrima #2) by E. C. Blake
This fantasy book, the sequel to Masks, will be released on August 5 (hardcover/ebook). The first two chapters from Shadows are available on the author’s website, as well as the prologue and chapter one from Masks.
In Masks, Mara Holdfast’s life changed forever. As the daughter of the Autarch’s Master Maskmaker, she had a clearly defined future: a quiet, ordered life in the capital, making Masks with her father and doing work important to the ruling Autarch. But when her Mask, specially made by her own father, cracked and fell to pieces during her Masking ceremony, Mara was exiled from everything she once knew. Soon, she becomes part of an underground rebellion, rejecting the unjust rules of a Masked society and uncovering a horrifying plot of mind control over the entire population of the empire.
In a moment of crisis, Mara finds herself possessed of a volatile magical power that neither she nor any of her allies can truly control. In Shadow, Mara faces terrifying new challenges and dangers as she struggles to understand her unprecedented ability to use all types of magic—and to tear magic from the living bodies of those around her. With the arrival of Chell, a young man from across the sea, the world beyond the borders of the Autarchy of Aygrima begins to make itself felt. Then an act of brutality tips Mara dangerously close to madness…and in the midst of a desperate and bloody battle, she discovers just how horrifying her power can be…
The Gloomy Ghost (A Monsterrific Tale #5) by David Lubar
A new hardcover edition of this children’s book was recently released, and it is also available as an ebook. The six books in this series are as follows:
- Hyde and Shriek
- The Vanishing Vampire
- The Unwilling Witch
- The Wavering Werewolf
- The Gloomy Ghost
- The Bully Bug (available September 2, 2014)
Acclaimed author David Lubar’s Monsterrific Tales return to life with this new edition of The Gloomy Ghost that is sure to appeal to fans of his Weenies short story collections.
There’s something strange going on at Washington Irving Elementary School. Kids are turning into monsters—literally!
First it was Sebastian, then Angie. Now it’s little brother Rory’s turn to be “monsterized!” One minute he’s a normal kid hanging out in his backyard. The next, he finds himself walking through stuff: the back porch, walls, even people! What’s a ghostly kid to do?
Rory decides to find some other spirits and ask them how to get “un-ghosted.” So he heads up to the local haunted house to give it a try. What Rory doesn’t know is that if he doesn’t get the answer soon, he’ll only have a ghost of a chance of ever being a kid again…