Friday, June 2, 2017

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!



Brooks, Terry. The Black Elfstone [Del Rey, 2017]
Publisher's Description
The first book of the triumphant and epic four-part conclusion to the Shannara series, from one of the all-time masters of fantasy. 

Across the Four Lands, peace has reigned for generations. But now, in the far north, an unknown enemy is massing. More troubling than the carnage is the strange and wondrous power wielded by the attackers—a breed of magic unfamiliar even to the Druid order. Fearing the worst, the High Druid dispatches a diplomatic party under the protection of the order’s sworn guardian, Dar Leah, to confront the mysterious, encroaching force and discover its purpose.

But another crucial journey is being undertaken. Exiled onetime High Druid Drisker Arc has been living in quiet seclusion, far from the politics and power struggles of his former life, until two brutal attacks by would-be assassins force him to seek out an infamous murder-for-hire guild—and find the hidden enemy who has marked him for death. At his side is Tarsha Kaynin, a young woman gifted with the wishsong and eager to be schooled in its formidable power by a master. She, too, is pursuing a mission: to locate her wayward brother, whose own magic has driven him to deadly madness and kindled his rage for vengeance . . . against his sister.

In their darkest hours, facing dangerous adversaries, the lives and quests of Dar Leah, Drisker Arc, and Tarsha Kaynin will be inextricably drawn together. And the challenges each confronts will have resounding consequences for the future of the Four Lands. 
Why We Want It: I can't tell you that I've been reading Terry Brooks since he first published The Sword of Shannara because it was published two years before I was born (spoilers), but Terry Brooks features so strongly in my origins and development as a fantasy reader. The shadow of Shannara is significant (also, The Shadow of Shannara would make a great book title). So, even though the quality has been hit or miss for a number of years now, knowing that Brooks is in the home stretch and is working towards the conclusion of Shannara - there is no way for me to not read this.



Elliott, Kate. Buried Heart [Little Brown, 2017]
Publisher's Description
In this third book in the epic Court of Fives series, Jessamy is the crux of a revolution forged by the Commoner class hoping to overthrow their longtime Patron overlords. But enemies from foreign lands have attacked the kingdom, and Jes must find a way to unite the Commoners and Patrons to defend their home and all the people she loves. Will her status as a prominent champion athlete be enough to bring together those who have despised one another since long before her birth? Will she be able to keep her family out of the clutches of the evil Lord Gargaron? And will her relationship with Prince Kalliarkos remain strong when they find themselves on opposite sides of a war? Find all the answers in this beautifully written and exciting conclusion to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's debut young adult trilogy! 
Why We Want It: Because the first two books were awesome (see Charles' review of Court of Fives) and the world needs more Kate Elliott novels. The world needs all the Kate Elliott novels. But, without a doubt, the Court of Fives series is a treasure and I can't wait to see how Elliott wraps everything (or most of the things) up.



Lee, Yoon Ha. Raven Strategem [Solaris, 2017]
Publisher's Description
Captain Kel Cheris is possessed by a long-dead traitor general. Together they must face the rivalries of the hexarchate and a potentially devastating invasion.

When the hexarchate's gifted young captain Kel Cheris summoned the ghost of the long-dead General Shuos Jedao to help her put down a rebellion, she didn't reckon on his breaking free of centuries of imprisonment – and possessing her.

Even worse, the enemy Hafn are invading, and Jedao takes over General Kel Khiruev's fleet, which was tasked with stopping them. Only one of Khiruev's subordinates, Lieutenant Colonel Kel Brezan, seems to be able to resist the influence of the brilliant but psychotic Jedao.

Jedao claims to be interested in defending the hexarchate, but can Khiruev or Brezan trust him? For that matter, will the hexarchate's masters wipe out the entire fleet to destroy the rogue general? 
Why We Want It: Up until Ninefox Gambit was a finalist for the Hugo Award, I had no intention of reading this - despite all the praise and hype. The description of the equation based warfare and a mathematical military science fiction novel was a giant turn off. Then came the nomination and my reluctant reading - which turned into my stay up late at night reading because Ninefox Gambit was pretty awesome. Now I can't wait to see what's next.



McGuire, Seanan. Down Among the Sticks and Bones [Tor.com Publishing, 2017]
Publisher's Description
Seanan McGuire returns to her popular Wayward Children series with Down Among the Sticks and Bones—a truly standalone story suitable for adult and young adult readers of urban fantasy, and the follow-up to the Alex Award-winning, Hugo, Nebula, and Locus finalist, Tiptree Honor List Every Heart a Doorway 

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you've got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices. 
Why We Want It: This is the companion novel to Seanan McGuire's phenomenally good Every Heart a Doorway (my review). If you read my review you'll know why I want this, why I need this. (Also, I've already read it and it's fantastic)



Modesitt, L.E. Assassin's Price [Tor, 2017]
Publisher's Description
Assassin's Price is the eleventh book in the bestselling, epic fantasy series the Imager Portfolio by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. and the third book in a story arc which began with Madness in Solidar and Treachery's Tools.

Six years have passed since the failed uprising of the High Holders, and the man behind the conspiracy is where the rex and Maitre Alastar can keep an eye on him.

Charyn has come of age and desperately wants to learn more so he can become an effective rex after his father—but he’s kept at a distance by the rex. So Charyn sets out to educate himself—circumspectly.

When Jarolian privateers disrupt Solidar’s shipping, someone attempts to kill Charyn’s younger brother as an act of protest. Threatening notes following in the wake of acts of violence against the rex and his family, demanding action—build more ships or expect someone to die. 
Why We Want It: Despite being a big Recluce fan, I hadn't read Modesitt's Imager Portfolio novels until jumping right in with Madness in Solidar (Book 9, my review) and I was reminded how much I enjoy his fiction and how smoothly detailed the work is. I have book 10 coming on deck soon and then I'll be ready for Assassin's Price (and, should I catch up, I'll go back and start with the very first novel)



Turzillo, Mary. Mars Girls [Apex Publications, 2017]
Publisher's Description
Nanoannie is bored. She wants to go to clubs, wear the latest Earth fashions, and dance with nuke guys. But her life is not exciting. She lives on her family's Pharm with her parents, little sister, and a holo-cat named Fuzzbutt. The closest she gets to clubs are on the Marsnet. And her parents are pressuring her to sign her contract over to Utopia Limited Corp before she's even had a chance to live a little. When Kapera—a friend from online school—shows up at her Pharm asking for help, Nanoannie is quick to jump in the rover and take off. Finally an adventure!

What Nanoannie and Kapera find at the Smythe's Pharm is more than the girls bargained for. The hab has been trashed and there are dead bodies buried in the backyard! If that wasn't bad enough, the girls crash the rover and Kapera gets kidnapped by Facers who claim her parents are murderers! Between Renegade Nuns, Facers, and corp geeks, Nanoannie and Kapera don't know who to trust or where to go. Kapera only wants to find her parents so they can get to Earth Orbitals and she can be treated for her leukemia. Nanoannie wants to help her friend and experience a little bit of Mars before selling her contract to the first corp that offers to buy it.

Life isn't easy when you're just a couple of Mars Girls. 
Why We Want It: It's a YA space adventure set on (or starting on) Mars - and that's really all the hook I need.



POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 2017 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Writer / Editor of the mostly defunct Adventures in Reading since 2004. Minnesotan.

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