Archive for the 'New Books' Category

New on the Shelves…

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Silverblind (Ironskin Book 3) by Tina Connolly:

silverThe stunning historical fantasy series that began with the Nebula finalist Ironskin continues in Tina Connolly’s Silverblind

Dorie Rochart has been hiding her fey side for a long time. Now, finished with University, she plans to study magical creatures and plants in the wild, bringing long-forgotten cures to those in need. But when no one will hire a girl to fight basilisks, she releases her shape-changing fey powers—to disguise herself as a boy.

While hunting for wyvern eggs, she saves a young scientist who’s about to get steamed by a silvertail—and finds her childhood friend Tam Grimsby, to whom she hasn’t spoken in seven years. Not since she traded him to the fey. She can’t bear to tell him who she really is, but every day grows harder as he comes to trust her.

The wyverns are being hunted to extinction for the powerful compounds in their eggs. The fey are dying out as humans grow in power. Now Tam and Dorie will have to decide which side they will fight for. And if they end up on opposite sides, can their returning friendship survive? 

New on the Shelves…

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

This is the third book in a series I’m really enjoying. It started with Something Red and continued with The Wicked. Now, Throne of Darkness by Douglas Nicholas:

throneIt’s 1215 in northwest England—the eve of the signing of the Magna Carta—and mystical Irish queen Maeve and her unlikely band of warriors must protect the region from a chilling fate. Word of a threat reaches the Northern barons: King John has plotted to import an African sorcerer and his sinister clan of blacksmiths, whose unearthly powers may spell destruction for the entire kingdom. Along with her lover, Jack, her gifted niece, Nemain, and Nemain’s newlywed husband, Hob (whose hidden talents will soon be revealed), Maeve must overcome a supernatural threat unlike any she’s seen before.

With his characteristic blend of historical adventure and intoxicating mythological elements, Nicholas once again “goes for the throat…with brilliant writing and whip-smart plotting” (New York Timesbestselling author Jonathan Maberry). This is a richly woven tale that will leave you hungry for more.

New on the Shelves…

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Okay, working my way through the list, this morning we’ve got John the Pupil by David Flusfeder:

johnSet in thirteenth-century Europe, against the backdrop of a medieval world where beauty and violence, science and mysticism, carnality and faith, exist side by side, this is a masterful, mystery-laden novel from the author of The Gift, in the tradition of Umberto Eco, Barry Unsworth, and Michel Faber.

Since he was a young boy, John has studied at the Franciscan monastery outside Oxford, under the tutelage of friar and magus Roger Bacon, an inventor, scientist, and polymath. In 1267, Bacon arranges for his young pupil to embark on a journey of penitence to Italy. But the pilgrimage is a guise to deliver scientific instruments and Bacon’s great opus to His Holiness, Pope Clement IV. Two companions will accompany John, both Franciscan friars: the handsome, sweet-tempered Brother Andrew, with whom everyone falls in love; and the more brutish Brother Bernard, with his secret compulsion for drawing imaginary monsters. Neither knows the true purpose of their expedition.

John the Pupil is a medieval road movie, recounting the journey taken from Oxford to Viterbo in 1267 by John and his two companions. Modeling themselves after Saint Francis, the trio treks by foot through Europe, preaching the gospel and begging for sustenance. In addition to fighting off ambushes from thieves hungry for the thing of power they are carrying, the holy trio are tried and tempted by all sorts of sins: ambition, pride, lust—and by the sheer hell and heaven of medieval life.

Erudite and earthy, horrifying, comic, humane, David Flusfeder’s extraordinary novel reveals to the reader a world very different and all too like the one we live in now.

New on the Shelves…

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Here’s another new title I could not resist: Lovecraft’s Monsters with a pretty terrific list of authors.

monstersPrepare to meet the wicked progeny of the master of modern horror. In Lovecraft’s Monsters, H. P. Lovecraft’s most famous creations—Cthulhu, Shoggoths, Deep Ones, Elder Things, Yog-Sothoth, and more, appear in all their terrifying glory. Each story is a gripping new take on a classic Lovecraftian creature, and each is accompanied by a spectacular original illustration that captures the monsters’ unique visage.

Contributors include such literary luminaries as Neil Gaiman, Joe R. Lansdale, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Karl Edward Wagner, Elizabeth Bear, and Nick Mamatas. The monsters are lovingly rendered in spectacular original art by World Fantasy Award–winning artist John Coulthart (The Steampunk Bible).

New on the Shelves…

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Now, just yesterday I posted the big list of new books I’ve received and told you I would be featuring them here in New on the Shelves. And I will, I promise – but first, I’m going to feature the newest addition, which just came in today: The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney:

longWith the compelling narrative tension and psychological complexity of the works of Laura Lippman, Dennis Lehane, Kate Atkinson, and Michael Connelly, Edgar Award-nominee Lou Berney’s The Long and Faraway Gone is a smart, fiercely compassionate crime story that explores the mysteries of memory and the impact of violence on survivors—and the lengths they will go to find the painful truth of the events that scarred their lives.

In the summer of 1986, two tragedies rocked Oklahoma City. Six movie-theater employees were killed in an armed robbery, while one inexplicably survived. Then, a teenage girl vanished from the annual State Fair. Neither crime was ever solved.

Twenty-five years later, the reverberations of those unsolved cases quietly echo through survivors’ lives. A private investigator in Vegas, Wyatt’s latest inquiry takes him back to a past he’s tried to escape—and drags him deeper into the harrowing mystery of the movie house robbery that left six of his friends dead.

Like Wyatt, Julianna struggles with the past—with the day her beautiful older sister Genevieve disappeared. When Julianna discovers that one of the original suspects has resurfaced, she’ll stop at nothing to find answers.

As fate brings these damaged souls together, their obsessive quests spark sexual currents neither can resist. But will their shared passion and obsession heal them, or push them closer to the edge? Even if they find the truth, will it help them understand what happened, that long and faraway gone summer? Will it set them free—or ultimately destroy them?

 

The [Book] Blizzard of 2015

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Dear Readers, I don’t know about the weather where you are but here, at The Shelves, there has been a blizzard of books! I have towering stacks of books covering just about every available surface! I am tempted to engage in some typical blizzard behavior and make a French Toast Run (go to the grocery store for eggs, milk and bread) and pretend I am snowed in with my lovely stacks of books.

Now, I have to face the fact that I may not be able to read all of these right away. I have a job. I have a social life. I have things to do that, sadly, keep me away from my reading. And if I do my usual New Books posts (2 per week), it will quite literally be months before I get to tell you about all of the books – in fact, there’s a good chance that the review will appear before the New on the Shelves post does! So, I wanted to take a minute and share this bounty with you. I will still be putting up New on the Shelves posts, because I assume if you are hanging out here you like to hear about new books. I will still be getting to the reviews as quickly as I can. But in the meantime, take a minute to click on some of these links and check out all the great new reading in our future! (And if you’re a little jealous – that’s okay. I forgive you.) So here, in no particular order, the Book Blizzard of 2015:

John the Pupil by David Flusfeder

Throne of Darkness by Douglas Nicholas

Silverblind (Ironskin Book 3) by Tina Connolly

Forgiving Maximo Rothman by A. J. Sidransky

The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen

The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson

Mark of the Beast by Adolphus A. Anekwe

Island: How Islands Transform the World by J. Edward Chamberlain

The Forgetting Place by John Burley

The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter

Of Things Gone Astray by Janina Matthewson

Monday’s Lie by Jamie Mason

The Whites by Richard Price

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin

Life by Keith Richards

Lucky Alan: And Other Stories by Jonathan Lethem

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner

A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel by Paul Tremblay

The Peripheral by William Gibson

Wreckage by Emily Bleeker

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern

Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life by Brian Wansink

Now admit it – you’re jealous. And if you’re like me, a little intimidated. That is quite a reading list! I’d stay and chat, but I need to get a few pages done before the end of the day.

New on the Shelves…

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

I love a good thriller! Cane and Abe by James Grippando:

cane

A spellbinding novel of suspense from New York Times bestselling author James Grippando, in which Miami’s top prosecutor becomes a prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance, which may have a chilling connection to the woman he can’t forget.

Unbelievable was the word for her. Samantha Vine was unbelievably beautiful. It was unbelievable that she’d married me. Even more unbelievable that she was gone . . .

Samantha died too soon. Abe Beckham’s new wife has helped him through the loss, but some say it was a step back to marry Angelina, a love from Abe’s past. Abe doesn’t want to hear it, and through the ups and downs, he’s even managed to remain a star prosecutor at the Miami State Attorney’s Office.

Then everything goes wrong.  A woman’s body is discovered dumped in the Everglades, and Abe is called upon to monitor the investigation. The FBI is tracking a killer in South Florida they call “Cutter” because his brutal methods harken back to Florida’s dark past, when machete-wielding men cut sugarcane by hand in the blazing sun.

But when the feds discover that Abe had a brief encounter with the victim after Samantha’s death, and when Angelina goes missing, the respected attorney finds himself under fire. Suspicion surrounds him. His closest friends, family, professional colleagues, and the media no longer trust his motives. Was Angelina right? Was their marriage not what they’d hoped for because he loved Samantha too much? Or was there another woman . . . and a husband with a dark side who simply wanted his new wife gone?

New on the Shelves…

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

I don’t recall requesting this one, but it certainly sounds interesting! Fiercombe Manor by Kate Riordan:

fiercombe

In 1933, naive twenty-two year-old Alice—pregnant and unmarried—is in disgrace. Her mother banishes her from London to secluded Fiercombe Manor in rural Gloucestershire, where she can hide under the watchful eye of her mother’s old friend, the housekeeper Mrs. Jelphs. The manor’s owners, the Stantons, live abroad, and with her cover story of a recently-deceased husband Alice can have her baby there before giving it up for adoption and returning home. But as Alice endures the long, hot summer at Fiercombe awaiting the baby’s birth, she senses that something is amiss with the house and its absentee owners.

Thirty years earlier, pregnant Lady Elizabeth Stanton desperately hopes for the heir her husband desires. Tormented by the memory of what happened after the birth of her first child, a daughter, she grows increasingly terrified that history will repeat itself, with devastating consequences.

After meeting Tom, the young scion of the Stanton family, Alice becomes determined to uncover the clan’s tragic past and exorcise the ghosts of this idyllic, isolated house. But nothing can prepare Alice for what she uncovers. Soon it is her turn to fear: can she escape the tragic fate of the other women who have lived in the Fiercombe valley . . .

New on the Shelves…

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

What a great way to start the new year – more new books than I can read! But I will try and make time for them all. Today, it’s The Swimmer by Joakim Zander:

the swimmer

A deep-cover CIA agent races across Europe to save the daughter he never knew in this electrifying debut thriller—an international sensation billed as “Homeland meets Stieg Larsson” that heralds the arrival of a new master sure to follow in the footsteps of Stieg Larsson, John Le Carré, and Graham Greene.

In the end, you cannot hide who you are.

Klara Walldéen was raised by her grandparents on a remote archipelago in the Baltic Sea, learning to fish and hunt and sail a boat through a storm. Now, as an EU Parliament aide in Brussels, she is learning how to navigate the treacherous currents of international politics: the lines between friend and enemy, truth and lies.

But Klara has accidentally seen something she shouldn’t have: a laptop containing information so sensitive that someone will kill to keep hidden. Suddenly, she is thrown into a terrifying chase across Europe, with no idea who is hunting her or why.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, an old spy hides from his past. Once, he was a man of action, an operative so dedicated that he abandoned his infant daughter to keep his cover. Now, he is the only man who can save Klara . . . and she is the only woman who can allow him to lay old ghosts to rest.

New on the Shelves…

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

This looks like a great historical mystery: The Body Snatchers Affair: A Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini

 

snatchersThe Body Snatchers Affair: The latest in the Carpenter and Quincannon historical mystery series from Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini.

Two missing bodies and two separate investigations take Carpenter and Quincannon from the heights above San Francisco Bay to the depths of Chinatown’s opium dens. 

For John Quincannon, this is a first: searching a Chinatown opium den for his client’s husband, missing in the middle of a brewing tong war set to ignite over the stolen corpse of Bing Ah Kee.

Meanwhile, his partner, Sabina Carpenter, unsure of the dark secrets her suitor might be concealing, searches for the corpse of a millionaire, stolen from a sealed family crypt and currently being held for ransom. 

With the threat of a tong war hanging over the city (a war perhaps being spurred on by corrupt officials), Carpenter and Quincannon have no time to lose in solving their cases. Is there a connection between the two body snatchers? Or is simple greed the answer to this one?

And why is the enigmatic Englishman who calls himself Sherlock Holmes watching so carefully from the shadows?