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.

Since I haven’t done one of these posts in awhile with April’s series, this week I’ll just be discussing some of the books that came in since this feature has been on hiatus. I’m going to cover the books that look most intriguing and next week I’ll resume as usual.

There’s also a lot of catching up to do on reviews, and some of the books I still need to review are ones I thought were very good indeed (Shattered Pillars by Elizabeth Bear, Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson, and River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay, to name a few).

Onward to some books I’m quite looking forward to reading!

Tankborn by Karen Sandler Awakening by Karen Sandler

Tankborn and Awakening (Tankborn #1-2) by Karen Sandler

These books are in a young adult science fiction trilogy by Karen Sandler, who also writes romance and mystery books. Awakening, the second book in the Tankborn trilogy, was just released in April. The final book in the trilogy, Rebellion, will be released next spring. Both Tankborn and Awakening are available in hardcover, and Tankborn appears to also be available as an ebook.

I’m intrigued by the premise of this series, plus I saw some of my Goodreads friends seemed to really like these books, so I’m excited to read them.

About Tankborn:


Best friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be separated for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans, and in their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. GENs are gestated in a tank and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen.

When Kayla is Assigned to care for Zul Manel, the patriarch of a trueborn family, she finds secrets and surprises; not least of which is her unexpected friendship with Zul’s great-grandson. Meanwhile, the children that Mishalla is Assigned to care for are being stolen in the middle of the night.

After weeks of toiling in their Assignments, mystifying circumstances enable Kayla and Mishalla to reunite. Together they hatch a plan to save the disappearing children. Yet can GENs really trust humans? Both girls must put their lives and hearts at risk to crack open a sinister conspiracy, revealing secrets no one is ready to face.

A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway

A Study in Silks (The Baskerville Affair #1) by Emma Jane Holloway

I was basically sold on reading this book the moment I saw it was a novel about the niece of Sherlock Holmes. The cover quote by Jacqueline Carey didn’t hurt, either!

A Study in Silks will be released in mass market paperback and ebook in September. The next two books in the series will be following it closely with A Study in Darkness in October and A Study in Ashes in November. A two paragraph long excerpt from A Study in Silks is on the author’s website, but it will be replaced with a longer excerpt once the book has been copyedited.


Evelina Cooper, the niece of the great Sherlock Holmes, is poised to enjoy her first Season in London’s high society. But there’s a murderer to deal with—not to mention missing automatons, a sorcerer, and a talking mouse.

In a Victorian era ruled by a council of ruthless steam barons, mechanical power is the real monarch, and sorcery the demon enemy of the empire. Nevertheless, the most coveted weapon is magic that can run machines—something Evelina has secretly mastered. But rather than making her fortune, her special talents could mean death or an eternity as a guest of Her Majesty’s secret laboratories. What’s a polite young lady to do but mind her manners and pray she’s never found out?

But then there’s that murder. As Sherlock’s niece, Evelina should be able to find the answers, but she has a lot to learn. And the first decision she has to make is whether to trust the handsome, clever rake who makes her breath come faster, or the dashing trick rider who would dare anything for her if she would only just ask.

The City by Stella Gemmell

The City by Stella Gemmell

The first solo novel by Stella Gemmell (David Gemmell’s wife) will be released in hardcover and ebook on June 4. Dark epic fantasy featuring an immortal evil emperor—I’m definitely interested!


In her debut solo novel, Stella Gemmell, coauthor of the “powerful” (Booklist) conclusion to David Gemmell’s Troy series, weaves a dark epic fantasy about a war-torn civilization and the immortal emperor who has it clutched in his evil grasp.

The City is ancient, layers upon layers. Once a thriving metropolis, it has sprawled beyond its bounds, inciting endless wars with neighboring tribes and creating a barren wasteland of what was once green and productive.

In the center of the City lives the emperor. Few have ever seen him, but those who have recall a man in his prime, though he should be very old. Some grimly speculate that he is no longer human, if he ever was. A small number have come to the desperate conclusion that the only way to stop the war is to end the emperor’s unnaturally long life.

From the mazelike sewers below the City, where the poor struggle to stay alive in the dark, to the blood-soaked fields of battle, where few heroes manage to endure the never-ending siege, the rebels pin their hopes on one man—Shuskara. The emperor’s former general, he was betrayed long ago and is believed to be dead. But, under different aliases, he has survived, forsaking his City and hiding from his immortal foe. Now the time has come for him to engage in one final battle to free the City from the creature who dwells at its heart, pulling the strings that keep the land drenched in gore.

Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone

Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone

Two Serpents Rise is set in the same world as Max Gladstone’s debut, Three Parts Dead. While I wasn’t madly taken with it, I did think Three Parts Dead was a very good debut so I’m curious about the author’s second book. Two Serpents Rise will be released in hardcover and ebook in October.


The new novel set in the addictive and compelling fantasy world of Three Parts Dead

Shadow demons plague the city reservoir, and Red King Consolidated has sent in Caleb Altemoc — casual gambler and professional risk manager — to cleanse the water for the sixteen million people of Dresediel Lex. At the scene of the crime, Caleb finds an alluring and clever cliff runner, crazy Mal, who easily outpaces him.

But Caleb has more than the demon infestation, Mal, or job security to worry about when he discovers that his father — the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists — has broken into his home and is wanted in connection to the attacks on the water supply.

From the beginning, Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, Craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns. They sleep on water, they dance in fire… and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring, and they are hungry.

A Taste of Blood Wine by Freda Warrington

A Taste of Blood Wine (Blood Wine #1) by Freda Warrington

I love Freda Warrington’s Aetherial Tales so I’m thrilled about the re-release of her vampire series starting with A Taste of Blood Wine! It became available again in the UK earlier this month, and the other two books plus a brand new book in the series will follow.

I have been particularly curious about this book since seeing it reviewed on my local library’s blog. Currently, I am running a giveaway for a signed copy of A Taste of Blood Wine and there is an extract from a related short story by Freda Warrington with the giveaway post.


Karl von Wultendorf, though a vampire himself, is completely under the power of his maker, Kristian, who demands total servitude.

Charlotte Neville is the daughter of a Cambridge professor. She has grown up questioning all that she sees. Because of this, she is seen as a wallflower by British society. She lives with her father and assists him with his experiments at their home.

When Karl meets, and falls in love with, Charlotte, he realizes that he must find a way to kill Kristian, for Kristian has decided to teach Karl a lesson in power, by devouring Charlotte.