New Acquisitions 03-11-20

I tried to write this post yesterday but my WordPress refused to upload images or save my post, and then failed again earlier today, so I’m trying once more.

This past weekend I found myself in a Goodwill thrift store once again to tag along with a friend. I stumbled across some hard covers and decided to pick them up despite knowing nothing about them:

new additions

I have heard Cecilia Dart-Thornton’s name but never read her work. My newly acquired copy of the Ill-Made Mute was published in 2001. While some reviews suggest that pace and plot are in issue, other describe her writing style as beautifully lyrical and descriptive. One of the big draws for me are references to Seelie and Unseelie creatures. As a big fan of White Wolf’s vintage Changling role-playing game and Arcadia collectible card game, I was intrigued to see how Dart-Thornton uses these terms.

The Historian immediately hooked me when I opened this 2005 hard cover and found a map of Europe inside with synopsis of a story inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Reviews are mixed but are overall positive.

Children of Blood and Bone was a difficult choice and I almost put it back. Published in 2018, it’s a Young Adult novel, over-hyped with a massive 7 figure book and movie deals, and containing some standard fantasy tropes. Normally those three strikes would be enough for me to shy away from. However, it is told in first person narrative, the setting is inspired by West African lore and culture, and reviews are (mostly) positive. The sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, came out in late 2019. The negative reviews talk about abandonment of the emphasis on the world-building that was superb in the first book, a plot that feels like it was rushed under great pressure, and a dearth of character development, including too much angst, selfishness and immaturity. Positive reviews are brief and generic, which is not a good sign. I’ll probably just stick to this first book and approach it as a stand-alone novel…

New Orders 2-27-20

Howard Andrew Jones contacted me to see if I was interested in review copies of his new series. I opted to purchase them from him instead, in exchange for an autographed copy of each book. It’s always nice to place money directly into the hands of the author. So the following books are now on the way:

for killing of kings

For the Killing of Kings is the first book in the Ring-Sworn series, which is a trilogy.

 

upon flight of queen

Upon the Flight of the Queen is the second book in the Ring-Sworn trilogy.

I’ll admit I haven’t been doing a great job of keeping up with releases from some of my favorite authors. I absolutely loved the Asim and Dabir books from Jones, so I’m pretty confident that these new books will elicit the same feeling. Jones and I both share a love of Fritz Leiber and Roger Zelazny, which Jones lists as influences on his writing, so I’m really looking forward to these…

New Orders 1-15-20

I placed a couple of new orders today…first is D.P. Prior’s Mountain of Madness.

Mountain-of-Madness-500

This is the second book in the Annals of the Nameless Dwarf series. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pick up another signed hardcover.

Also, I placed an order for Gareth Hanrahan’s The Shadow Saint.

shadow saint

This is the second book in The Black Iron Legacy series that was just released a little over a week ago.

I’ve put in an interview request with each author. I’ve got one approval so far, so look for that in the near future…

Surprise! A Couple More End Of Year Orders

Well, I thought I was done ordering books for the rest of the year, until I happened to stumble across Alec Hutson’s The Shadow King, the third book in The Raveling series.

shadow king

How did I miss this? I guess I’ve had a lot on my plate, and it’s only been out since the end of November. Well, at least it’s on the way now and will be among the first books I read in 2020.

Books continue to come my way from all sorts of directions. I accompanied a friend to a Goodwill store and I immediately went in the book section. I didn’t expect to find much, but on this day I spotted a gorgeous hardcover: Twelve Kings In Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu.

sharakhai

I’ve always loved the art of the book and the Middle-Eastern style setting. The only thing that held me back in the past were reviews that talked of long and annoying flashbacks (my pet peeve), and a plot that I wasn’t sure would hold up for 600 pages. But $5 for a near perfect hard cover? Yeah, I’ll take that anytime!

The TBR pile has doubled from 8 to 16 in just 2 weeks. That escalated quickly! In reality there are more books (such as Malazan and Riyria) but I only list the next one in line…

New Additions – End Of 2019

In my efforts to (minimally) re-stock the TBR pile, here are a couple of last minute orders I placed. These will be my final acquisitions of 2019.

gutter prayer

The Gutter Prayer has received high praise from a number of other reviewers that I trust. Although I’m nearing my fill of stories revolving around assassins and thieves, there’s some interesting ideas presented here, and as I mentioned above, the positive reviews don’t hurt. I would have  liked a hardcover edition but they seem to be pretty rare (and expensive).

 

Symphony of the Wind

Another book that has received high marks (from some reviewers) is 2018 Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog Off finalist Symphony of the Wind. These blurbs from Fantasy Book Review hooked me instantly:

This book is insane and it has everything. I’m pretty convinced the author wrote a checklist of all the cool shit a writer can put in a novel, then methodically went through ticking it all off. If someone had told me that before I started, it would have been a hard nope from me, but he makes it work. You want a terrifying underground Doom/Resident Evil style fight against genetically altered animals and undead monsters? You got it. You want a Star Wars style fighter battle in the sky? Yep, it’s here. You want brutal one on one fights? Present. You want larger fights against desperate odds? Oh boy, you’re in for a treat. You want death? Bucketloads. You want humour? Laughs galore. You want characters to love like they’re your own child? Take a handful. You want villains who just won’t goddamn die? Neither do I, but you got ‘em anyway. You want conspiracies, surprises, magic? Done, done, and done. It’s a big book and he’s got it all in there.” – Emma Davis

And this:

Steve McKinnon’s debut (!) fantasy novel Symphony of the Wind is a post-steampunk military fantasy with enough stirring action sequences to rival Pierce Brown’s ‘Red Rising’ series. It deals with post-war PTSD, political propaganda and conspiracies, organized crime, celebrity culture, environmental threats, and a smattering of Greek mythology. It has characters you love who will die, and characters you hate that just won’t go away. And somehow, it is also funny as hell.

But that still leaves out so much of the story. I could go into detail about the massive chase scenes, violent sieges, numerous gun-and-sword battles, thrilling air combat, secret underground bunker labs gone awry, human experimentation, non-human experimentation, mind control, radiation-afflicted beasts, and enough breathtaking set pieces to fill a summer blockbuster trilogy at the cineplex.” – Adam Weller

Sound like my kind of book!

Status Update 12-10-19 and a New Arrival

Today I completed The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan, the fourth book in the Riyria Chronicles. The Pages Read count for the year is now 10066.

Up next: I’ve started The True Bastards by Jonathon French, the sequel to The Grey Bastards.

And finally, a new arrival that showed up yesterday that I was very happy to see:

light all that falls

I’m just disappointed that I won’t have time to read it before the end of the year…

New Orders 10-11-19

I’m slowly working my way through Paternus: Wrath of Gods. Unfortunately there’s not enough time to do much of anything else right now. I did manage to place an order for Jonathan French’s The True Bastards, the sequel to The Grey Bastards. It’s sad that I haven’t ordered many books that were released this year…

true bastards