Monday, March 30, 2020

New Books Spotlight

Welcome to another edition of the New Books Spotlight, where each month or so we curate a selection of 6 new and 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!



Bennett, Robert Jackson. Shorefall [Del Rey]
Publisher's Description
As a magical revolution remakes a city, an ancient evil is awakened in a brilliant new novel from the Hugo-nominated author of Foundryside and the Divine Cities trilogy. 

A few years ago, Sancia Grado would’ve happily watched Tevanne burn. Now, she’s hoping to transform her city into something new. Something better. Together with allies Orso, Gregor, and Berenice, she’s about to strike a deadly blow against Tevanne’s cruel robber-baron rulers and wrest power from their hands for the first time in decades.

But then comes a terrifying warning: Crasedes Magnus himself, the first of the legendary hierophants, is about to be reborn. And if he returns, Tevanne will be just the first place to feel his wrath.

Thousands of years ago, Crasedes was an ordinary man who did the impossible: Using the magic of scriving—the art of imbuing objects with sentience—he convinced reality that he was something more than human. Wielding powers beyond comprehension, he strode the world like a god for centuries, meting out justice and razing empires single-handedly, cleansing the world through fire and destruction—and even defeating death itself.

Like it or not, it’s up to Sancia to stop him. But to have a chance in the battle to come, she’ll have to call upon a god of her own—and unlock the door to a scriving technology that could change what it means to be human. And no matter who wins, nothing will ever be the same. 
Why We Want It: With the follow up to 2018's excellent Foundryside, Robert Jackson Bennett is a favorite of the Nerds of a Feather flock. We'll read whatever he writes.



Jingfang, Hao. Vagabonds [Saga]
Publisher's Description
A century after the Martian war of independence, a group of kids are sent to Earth as delegates from Mars, but when they return home, they are caught between the two worlds, unable to reconcile the beauty and culture of Mars with their experiences on Earth in this spellbinding novel from Hugo Award–winning author Hao Jingfang. 

This genre-bending novel is set on Earth in the wake of a second civil war…not between two factions in one nation, but two factions in one solar system: Mars and Earth. In an attempt to repair increasing tensions, the colonies of Mars send a group of young people to live on Earth to help reconcile humanity. But the group finds itself with no real home, no friends, and fractured allegiances as they struggle to find a sense of community and identity, trapped between two worlds.

Fans of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go and Naomi Alderman’s The Power will fall in love with this novel about lost innocence, an uncertain future, and never feeling at home, no matter where you are in the universe. Translated by Ken Liu, bestselling author of The Paper Menagerie and translator of Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem, Vagabonds is the first novel from Hao Jingfang, the first Chinese woman to ever win the esteemed Hugo Award. 
Why We Want It: We've been looking for Vagabonds for a few years now. After Jingfang's Hugo Award winning story "Folding Beijing", we've been looking to see what she would write next (only one of her subsequent stories have been translated into English). Vagabonds her Jingang's debut novel.



Kozloff, Sarah. The Cerulean Queen [Tor]
Publisher's Description
Sarah Kozloff's breathtaking and cinematic epic fantasy series The Nine Realms, which began with A Queen in Hiding, comes to a thrilling conclusion in The Cerulean Queen. 

The true queen of Weirandale has returned.

Cerulia has done the impossible and regained the throne. However, she's inherited a council of traitors, a realm in chaos, and a war with Oromondo.

Now a master of her Gift, to return order to her kingdom she will use all she has learned—humility, leadership, compassion, selflessness, and the necessity of ruthlessness. 
Why We Want It: We've been following Kozloff's debut series with four novels in four months and we want to see how it all ends. The first book, A Queen in Hiding, wasn't quite the novel we expected it to be but it also hooked us on reading more.



Roth, Veronica. Chosen Ones [John Joseph Adams Books]
Publisher's Description
SAVING THE WORLD ONCE MADE THEM HEROES. SAVING IT AGAIN MAY DESTROY THEM. 

Fifteen years ago, five ordinary teenagers were singled out by a prophecy to take down an impossibly powerful entity wreaking havoc across North America. He was known as the Dark One, and his weapon of choice—catastrophic events known as Drains—leveled cities and claimed thousands of lives. Chosen Ones, as the teens were known, gave everything they had to defeat him.

After the Dark One fell, the world went back to normal . . . for everyone but them. After all, what do you do when you’re the most famous people on Earth, your only education was in magical destruction, and your purpose in life is now fulfilled?

Of the five, Sloane has had the hardest time adjusting. Everyone else blames the PTSD—and her huge attitude problem—but really, she’s hiding secrets from them . . . secrets that keep her tied to the past and alienate her from the only four people in the world who understand her.

On the tenth anniversary of the Dark One’s defeat, something unthinkable happens: one of the Chosen Ones dies. When the others gather for the funeral, they discover the Dark One’s ultimate goal was much bigger than they, the government, or even prophecy could have foretold—bigger than the world itself.
And this time, fighting back might take more than Sloane has to give. 
Why We Want It: Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy was compelling enough that we want to see what else she might have for us. The first novel in her Carve the Mark didn't quite, well, hit the mark - but it's time to give Roth another go with Chosen Ones. Prophecy and a Dark One in North America is different enough.



Scalzi, John. The Last Emperox [Tor]
Publisher's Description
The Last Emperox is the thrilling conclusion to the award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling Interdependency series, an epic space opera adventure from Hugo Award-winning author John Scalzi. 

The collapse of The Flow, the interstellar pathway between the planets of the Interdependency, has accelerated. Entire star systems—and billions of people—are becoming cut off from the rest of human civilization. This collapse was foretold through scientific prediction . . . and yet, even as the evidence is obvious and insurmountable, many still try to rationalize, delay and profit from, these final days of one of the greatest empires humanity has ever known.

Emperox Grayland II has finally wrested control of her empire from those who oppose her and who deny the reality of this collapse. But “control” is a slippery thing, and even as Grayland strives to save as many of her people form impoverished isolation, the forces opposing her rule will make a final, desperate push to topple her from her throne and power, by any means necessary. Grayland and her thinning list of allies must use every tool at their disposal to save themselves, and all of humanity. And yet it may not be enough.

Will Grayland become the savior of her civilization . . . or the last emperox to wear the crown? 
Why We Want It: The first two volumes of The Interdependency have been straight up excellent and we're excited to see how Scalzi closes out the trilogy. Interestingly enough, this is the first time Scalzi has committed trilogy. New Scalzi is always a cause for celebration.



Vo, Nghi. The Empress of Salt and Fortune [Tor.com Publishing]
Publisher's Description
With the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama, Nghi Vo's The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a tightly and lushly written narrative about empire, storytelling, and the anger of women.

A young royal from the far north, is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully.

Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor's lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for.

At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She's a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece.  
Why We Want It: We're always interested in the novellas from Tor.com Publishing, but in a year filled with highly anticipated novellas Empress of Salt and Fortune is right up near the top that list. We're here for everything about this novella.


Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 3x Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Minnesotan. He / Him.

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