This week brought two review copies, one of which I’ve already talked about in my BEA post so I won’t talk about it in detail again (The Magician King by Lev Grossman, which apparently changed significantly between the ARC and finished copy so I’m going to read the final copy instead of my ARC). Also, I raided my local Borders sale and ended up with 4 books I’ve been wanting to read.  If I had no self control, I could have ended up with a lot more but I tried not to go overboard and kept putting books back.  I even thought about putting some of those final four back, but the friend I was with said not to do that because Borders only closes once and how am I to argue with that logic?

Acacia by David Anthony DurhamAcacia: The War With the Mein by David Anthony Durham

The first novel in the Acacia series is by the author who won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2009.  I remember hearing about this book a lot when it first came out, but I just never picked it up for some reason.  When I was looking through the sale books yesterday, I picked it up and saw the very first line mentioned an assassin – and I was hooked.  From the back cover, it sounds like it’s not actually about an assassin but instead the results of an assassination. Oh well, it sounds really good aside from that anyway! An excerpt is available on the author’s website.

There is a second book in the series, Acacia: The Other Lands.

The ruler of the Known World, Leodan Akaran, presides over a land of prosperity and apparent harmony. On the sheltered island of Acacia, this gentle widower raises his four children, shielding them from the dark realities and dangers that lurk nearby. But all his plans come to naught when a foreign chieftain invades and kills Leodan, causing upheaval throughout the kingdom. By a carefully laid plan, all four offspring escape, moving in different directions, settling in different host nations. This hastily enacted dispersal sets the stage for David Anthony Durham’s fourth novel, an epic fantasy of grand dimensions.

Steal Across the Sky by Nancy KressSteal Across the Sky by Nancy Kress

When I told John I was going to the Borders sale, he told me to pick up something good.  So I picked up this one specifically because it’s by the same author who wrote some of his favorite books (the Beggars trilogy starting with Beggars In Spain). I think it looks pretty interesting as well, though.  An excerpt is available on the author’s website, but beware of the super-bright blue background!

The aliens appeared one day, built a base on the moon, and put an ad on the internet:

“We are an alien race you may call the Atoners. Ten thousand years ago we wronged humanity profoundly.  We cannot undo what has been done, but we wish humanity to understand it.  Therefore we request twenty-one volunteers to visit seven planets to Witness for us.  We will convey each volunteer there and back in complete safety.  Volunteers must speak English. Send requests for electronic applications to [email protected].”

At first, everyone thought it was a joke.  But it wasn’t.

This is the story of three of those volunteers, and what they found on Kular A and Kular B.

Among Thieves by Douglas HulickAmong Thieves by Douglas Hulick

I’ve had my eye on this book ever since it came out earlier this year.  Yes, mostly because it has a thief and I expect books about thieves to be lots of fun!  This is a debut novel and the first book in the Tales of the Kin series, which will be at least three books long. An excerpt is available online.

Drothe has been a member of the Kin for years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers in the employ of a crime lord while smuggling relics on the side. But when an ancient book falls into his hands, Drothe finds himself in possession of a relic capable of bringing down emperors-a relic everyone in the underworld would kill to obtain.

Children of Scarabaeus by Sara CreasyChildren of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy

This is the sequel to Song of Scarabaeus, a debut science fiction novel which I read and reviewed earlier this year. While I really enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book, I was less excited about it by the time I finished it. However, I did still like it enough to want to find out how the story ends and figured that a sale was a good excuse to get a hold of the second half of it. An excerpt of the first few chapters is available online.

The crib is everywhere . . .

Edie Sha’nim believes she and her bodyguard lover, Finn, could find refuge from the tyranny of the Crib empire by fleeing to the Fringe worlds. But Edie’s extraordinary cypherteck ability to manipulate the ecology of evolving planets makes her far too valuable for the empire to lose. Recaptured and forced to cooperate—or else she will watch Finn die—Edie is shocked to discover the Crib’s new breed of cypherteck: children. She cannot stand by while the oppressors enslave the innocent, nor can she resist the lure of Scarabaeus, the first world she tried to save, when researchers discover what appears to be an evolving intelligence.

But escape—for Edie, for Finn, and for the exploited young—will require the ultimate sacrifice . . . and a shocking act of rebellion.

Outpost by Adam BakerOutpost by Adam Baker

This post-apocalyptic debut novel was just released in the UK this month, and I saw that there is a Kindle edition on Amazon US.  Reviews on Goodreads mentioned zombies, so I’m not sure it’s really my type of thing, but it sounds like it’s supposed to be pretty good if you do like that sort of thing.

They took the job to escape the world.
They didn’t expect the world to end.

Kasker Rampart: a derelict refinery platform moored in the Arctic Ocean. A skeleton crew of fifteen fight boredom and despair as they wait for a relief ship to take them home. But the world beyond their frozen wasteland has gone to hell. Cities lie ravaged by a global pandemic. One by one TV channels die, replaced by silent wavebands. The Rampart crew are marooned. They must survive the long Arctic winter, then make their way home alone. They battle starvation and hypothermia, unaware that the deadly contagion that has devastated the world is heading their way…