Tuesday, August 2, 2016

New Books Spotlight

Welcome to another edition of the New Books Spotlight, where each month or so we curate a selection of 6 forthcoming books we find notable, interesting, and intriguing. It gives us the opportunity to shine a brief spotlight on some stuff we're itching to get our hands on.

What are you looking forward to? Anything you want to argue with us about? Is there something we should consider spotlighting in the future? Let us know in the comments!

Cover Art by Wes Youssi and Sammy Yuen, Design by Wes Youssi / M80 Design

Elliott, Kate. The Poisoned Blade [Little Brown, 2016]
Publisher's Blurb

In this thrilling sequel to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's captivating young adult debut, a girl immersed in high-stakes competition holds the fate of a kingdom in her hands.

Now a Challenger, Jessamy is moving up the ranks of the Fives--the complex athletic contest favored by the lowliest Commoners and the loftiest Patrons alike. Pitted against far more formidable adversaries, success is Jes's only option, as her prize money is essential to keeping her hidden family alive. She leaps at the chance to tour the countryside and face more competitors, but then a fatal attack on her traveling party puts Jes at the center of the war that Lord Kalliarkos--the prince she still loves--is fighting against their country's enemies. With a sinister overlord watching her every move and Kal's life on the line, Jes must now become more than a Fives champion.... She must become a warrior.

Why We Want It: As is often the case with a second book in a series, we want it because the first book (Court of Fives) was fantastic. This is very much the case here. Anything new from Kate Elliott is a mini publishing event in its own right. Our own Charles reviewed Court of Fives earlier this year.

Cover Design by Wendy Chan

Jemisin, NK. The Obelisk Gate [Orbit, 2016]
Publisher's Blurb
Continuing the trilogy that began with the multi-award-nominated The Fifth Season
  • Shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, Audie, and Locus Awards 
  • The inaugural Wired.com book club book 
 This is the way the world ends, for the last time.

The season of endings grows darker, as civilization fades into the long cold night.

Essun -- once Damaya, once Syenite, now avenger -- has found shelter, but not her daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, with a request. But if Essun does what he asks, it would seal the fate of the Stillness forever.

Far away, her daughter Nassun is growing in power - and her choices will break the world.  
Why We Want It: Well, you've read my review of The Fifth Season, right? The Obelisk Gate is the follow up to my favorite novel published in 2015 and one which I appreciate more with each passing day. The Obelisk Gate is must read fantasy.

Cover Art by Michael Komarck

Martin, George R.R. (ed). Wild Cards: High Stakes [Tor, 2016]
Publisher's Blurb
Perfect for old fans and new readers alike, High Stakes (Wild Cards) delves deeper into the world of aces, jokers, and the hard-boiled men and women of the Fort Freak police precinct in a pulpy, page-turning novel of superheroics and Lovecraftian horror.

After the concluding events of Lowball, Officer Francis Black of Fort Freak, vigilante joker Marcus "The Infamous Black Tongue" Morgan, and ace thief Mollie "Tesseract" Steunenberg get stuck in Talas, Kyrgyzstan. There, the coldblooded Baba Yaga forces jokers into an illegal fighting ring, but her hidden agenda is much darker: her fighters' deaths serve to placate a vicious monster from another dimension. When the last line of defense against this world weakens, all hell breaks loose, literally....

The Committee in New York sends a team of aces to investigate. One by one, each falls victim to evil forces--including the dark impulses within themselves. Only the perseverance of the most unlikely of heroes has a chance of saving the world before utter chaos erupts on Earth.

Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin, High Stakes features the writing talents of Melinda M. Snodgrass, John Jos. Miller, David Anthony Durham, Caroline Spector, Stephen Leigh, and Ian Tregillis.  
Why We Want It: Back in the days when Heroes was a thing on television, I remember one of the Wild Cards writers somewhat humorously remarking, "we did it first, and we did it better." Wild Cards would have made for one hell of a television show. As it stands, High Stakes is the twenty third volume of the long running series, but you certainly don't have to read all of them to appreciate just how good these books are or to understand what's going on. I certainly haven't (I've read perhaps half of the books so far). Recommend starting points are Book 18 (Inside Straight) and Book 20 (Fort Freak). Fort Freak is the first volume of this particular trilogy. I've been a fan of this series for a number of years now and always look forward to a new entry in the Wild Cards canon.

Cover Art by Tyler Jacobson

Tchaikovsky, Adrian. Spiderlight [Tor.com Publishing, 2016]
Publisher's Blurb
The Church of Armes of the Light has battled the forces of Darkness for as long as anyone can remember. The great prophecy has foretold that a band of misfits, led by a high priestess will defeat the Dark Lord Darvezian, armed with their wits, the blessing of the Light and an artifact stolen from the merciless Spider Queen.

Their journey will be long, hard and fraught with danger. Allies will become enemies; enemies will become allies. And the Dark Lord will be waiting, always waiting…

Spiderlight is an exhilarating fantasy quest from Adrian Tchaikovsky, the author of Guns at Dawn and the Shadows of the Apt series. 
Why We Want It: Novella length epic fantasy from an acclaimed author should be a pretty easy sell, right? Add in a giant spider and it may just be a story out of a terrible nightmare, and that's something we'd love to read. With the lights on. Because giant spiders.

Cover Design by Lauren Panepinto

Wagers, K.B. Behind the Throne [Orbit, 2016]
Publisher's Blurb
Hail Bristol has made a name for herself in the galaxy for everything except what she was born to do: rule the Indranan Empire.

When she is dragged back to her home planet to take her rightful place as the only remaining heir, she finds that trading her ship for a palace is her most dangerous move yet  
Why We Want It: Behind the Throne wasn't on my radar at all until some folks I'm friendly with on twitter started buzzing about it. Because I trust the source of the buzz, Behind the Throne has quickly shot up my reading list.

Cover Art by Paul Youll
Wexler, Django. The Guns of Empire [Roc, 2016]
Publisher's Blurb
As the “audacious and subversive”* Shadow Campaigns novels continue, the weather is growing warmer, but the frosty threat of Vordan’s enemies is only growing worse… 

As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace… 

After their shattering defeats at the hands of brilliant General Janus bet Vhalnich, the opposing powers have called all sides to the negotiating table in hopes of securing an end to the war. Queen Raesinia of Vordan is anxious to see the return of peace, but Janus insists that any peace with the implacable Sworn Church of Elysium is doomed to fail. For their Priests of the Black, there can be no truce with heretics and demons they seek to destroy, and the war is to the death.

Soldiers Marcus d’Ivoire and Winter Ihernglass find themselves caught between their general and their queen. Now, each must decide which leader truly commands their loyalty—and what price they might pay for final victory.

And in the depths of Elysium, a malign force is rising—and defeating it might mean making sacrifices beyond anything they have ever imagined.  
Why We Want It: The G has been reading and loving Django Wexler's The Shadow Campaigns, giving high marks to the previous three volumes: The Thousand Names, The Shadow Throne, The Price of Valor. We expect he'll be all over this one.

POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Writer / Editor at Adventures in Reading since 2004. Nerds of a Feather contributor since 2015, editor since 2016. Minnesotan.