Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Review: PLANETFALL by Emma Newman

Planetfall - Emma Newman

Review by John for PLANETFALL by Emma Newman.

John’s quick take:    A novel and excellent story detailing a woman’s poignant struggle against mental illness, set within a science fiction tale of a fragile human colony struggling to survive and to uncover the truth of humanity’s place within the cosmos.

John’s description:   After Lee Suh-Mi had a vision of a world far beyond Earth that was calling out to humanity, her friend Renata Ghali and a large group of faithful followers gave up everything to leave the troubled Earth behind on a voyage of exploration, knowing that they could never return. Suh-Mi guided them to a distant planet where an advance party makes planetfall and finds a strange alien structure.  

Suh-Mi apparently disappears into the structure and consequently many of the following group are lost while trying to land on the planet. Renata and the other survivors set up a colony beside the enigmatic alien structure, believing that Suh-Mi is speaking to God and will return to them when she is ready. But now twenty two years have passed and it feels to Renata like a web of secrets and lies are crushing her. She is party to information which would surely destroy the colony, but feels like she can no longer bear the weight of that burden.

When a young stranger who bears a striking resemblance to Suh-Mi appears next to the colony, most of the colonists go into a frenzy of excitement believing this must be a sign of Suh-Mi’s imminent return. But for Renata the stranger’s appearance pushes her beyond her breaking point.

John’s thoughts:   I love good science fiction and this book fits the bill. But what I particularly like about it is that the intriguing science fiction story is just the backdrop and the real story is the struggle of Renata to maintain her grip on her sanity. Newman’s description of what Renata is going through and the demons that she is trying to keep under control is really powerful and it makes for a compelling read.

Apart from the science fiction aspects and the powerful character study, the novel also has a cast of believable supporting players that have some depth to them. All too often in science fiction novels I find that characters are rather two dimensional and that stories rely too much on the science and the novelty – I’m pleased to say that is not the case with this book.

There is one aspect of story that I feared I was going to find bothersome and that was the potential religious overtone. Thankfully that didn’t turn out to be an issue. The foundation of the plot was the search for knowledge and for answers from greater beings, but that didn’t result in a story that was overtly religious in nature – which is something that would have really have turned me off. So potential readers need have no fears on that front.

Did the novel have any negatives for me? Well, the ending came rather quickly and lots of things were wrapped up in a very small number of pages. That was mostly ok but I’m still not sure if I actually enjoyed and appreciated the ending. Don’t let my possible concerns on that front put you off though. This is a very good novel and I’d rate if four stars. 

Roc | Trade Paperback | $15.00 | 336 pages | November 3, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Review: PUNCH BOWLS by Kelley and Tenaglia

Puch Bowls & Pitcher Drinks - Kelley & Tenaglia

Review by Shellie of PUNCH BOWLS & PITCHER DRINKS by Jeanne Kelley and Sarah Tenaglia.

A sweet and tasty little book that has loads of punches with relatively easy recipes and great pictures.

A thing about trying and tasting punch recipes is that you either have to have a party, drink a whole punch bowl yourself, or break down the ingredients into smaller portions. To save my sanity and liver I resorted to the later - and regardless of the lack of a party I had fun doing so. How could you not, especially if the recipes are tasty?

I tried the authors’ versions of some classic drinks - Pimm’s Punch (a low-alcohol version of the Pimm’s Cup which I love and gives the drinker a taste of an English summer); the Old Fashioned Manhattan Punch (a delicious cross between the two classic cocktails which also uses orange juice as an ingredient); a Skinny Moscow Mule (a low-cal version of the Moscow Mule with diet ginger ale and vodka); and Jungle Juice (a variation on the potent College Punch that is a combo of six juices and four different kinds of booze). The last one really packed a punch (pun intended), but all of them were refreshing and delicious.

As for the book’s appearance and usability, it’s a hardcover and a small book so it’s easy to handle. It only has 112 pages. But it packs a wallop with 50 different punches. Almost every recipe has an additional corresponding page with a pretty idea-laden photograph of the punch. With each recipe there’s a short description, the ingredients listed logically, then simple yet specialized directions.The authors have also included tips for ice molds (which are suggestively and gorgeously pictured throughout the book) and directions on how to make the specialized simple syrups (a homemade water and sugar blend) needed for the punches. There is also a page that lists punches by types of alcohol and lastly an index that includes names of each punch as well as the individual ingredients so that you can find each punch by its name or content.

The recipes are broken down into Classic Cocktail-Inspired Punches (which includes the above punches that I tried), a section on wine called Sangrias and Champagne-Based Punches, Tropical and Exotic Drinks, Lazy Sundays (including a boozy iced tea called Palm Springs), Height of Summer (that has an interesting-sounding Spiked Spa Water), Fireside Cocktails (including Aztec Chocolate Punch which is a spicy hot chocolate drink with tequila), and Nonalcoholic Punches (which includes an orange juice and ice cream combo called Fifty-Fifty Punch) which are perfect for a children’s get-together.

As you can see that this is a fun book that I had a blast researching it. It’s a perfect gift for a host or hostess which can come in handy during the upcoming holidays or for any party or season. I give PUNCH BOWLS a 4-star rating.

Mar 03, 2015 | 112 Pages | Hardbound | Crown Books

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Giveaway: PLANETFALL by Emma Newman and Gratitude Hop

Planetfall - Emma Newman

We have a giveaway for PLANETFALL by Emma Newman. It’s science fiction. We have one copy to send to a US address.

This giveaway is attached to the Gratitude Giveaways Hop. The hops lasts from November 15 to 30. Please be a follower to enter.


Here’s a bit more about the book via the publicist:

A breathtaking combination of psychological suspense and science fiction, there are few novels like Emma Newman’s PLANETFALL. Beautifully crafted and heartbreaking, it’s a thought provoking look at the lengths people will go to keep secrets through the chronicle of a woman’s struggle against mental illness and fear of losing everything she loves in an alien landscape.

Renata Ghali and a small team braved the unknown and followed Le Suh-Mi to a new world. More than twenty-two years have passed and a colony has been formed at the base of a strange alien structure where Suh-Mi resides in isolation. As the colony’s 3-D printer, Ren creates the tools necessary for human survival while harboring a devastating secret. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall. And he bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

Emma Newman is the author of the Split Worlds series and has been nominated for two British Fantasy Awards for her work. In addition to writing, Newman is the host of the Hugo Award-nominated podcast Tea and Jeopardy which features “tea, cake, geekery and mild peril.”

Roc | Trade Paperback | $15.00 | 336 pages | November 3, 2015


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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Incoming Books: October 22, 2015

Lost Ocean Johanna Basford

We have our Incoming Books post for October 22, 2015.


Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford

From the creator of the worldwide bestsellers Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest, a beautiful new coloring book that takes you on a magical journey beneath the waves.

With Lost Ocean, Johanna Basford invites color-inners of all ages to discover an enchanting underwater world hidden in the depths of the sea. Through intricate pen and ink illustrations to complete, color, and embellish, readers will meet shoals of exotic fish, curious octopi, and delicately penned seahorses. Visit coral reefs and barnacle-studded shipwrecks, discover intricate shells and pirate treasure. Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest fans and newcomers alike will welcome this creative journey into an inky new world.

Penguin Random House | Paperback | $16.95 | Oct 27, 2015 | 80 Pages

Hilo - Judd Winick

Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick

Introducing HILO—a funny, action-packed, full-color new middle-grade graphic novel series that Bone creator Jeff Smith calls “delightful.”

D.J. and his friend Gina are totally normal kids. But that was before a mysterious boy came crashing down from the sky! Hilo doesn’t know where he came from, or what he’s doing on Earth. (Or why going to school in only your underwear is a bad idea!) . . . But what if Hilo wasn’t the only thing to fall to our planet? Can the trio unlock the secrets of his past? Can Hilo survive a day at school? And are D.J. and Gina ready to save the world?

HILO is Calvin and Hobbes meets Big Nate and is just right for fans of Bone and comic books as well as laugh-out-loud school adventures like Jedi Academy and Wimpy Kid!

Penguin Random House | Hardcover | $13.99 | Sep 01, 2015 | 208 Pages | Middle Grade (8-12)

Host - Robin Cook

Host by Robin Cook

The explosive new thriller from New York Times–bestselling author and master of the medical thriller, Robin Cook.

Lynn Peirce, a fourth-year medical student at South Carolina’s Mason-Dixon University, thinks she has her life figured out. But when her otherwise healthy boyfriend, Carl, enters the hospital for routine surgery, her neatly ordered life is thrown into total chaos. Carl fails to return to consciousness after the procedure, and an MRI confirms brain death.

Devastated by Carl’s condition, Lynn searches for answers. Convinced there’s more to the story than what the authorities are willing to reveal, Lynn uses all her resources at Mason-Dixon—including her initially reluctant lab partner, Michael Pender—to hunt down evidence of medical error or malpractice.

What she uncovers, however, is far more disturbing. Hospitals associated with Middleton Healthcare, including the Mason-Dixon Medical Center, have unnervingly high rates of unexplained anesthetic complications and patients contracting serious and terminal illness in the wake of routine hospital admissions.

When Lynn and Michael begin to receive death threats, they know they’re into something bigger than either of them anticipated. They soon enter a desperate race against time for answers before shadowy forces behind Middleton Healthcare and their partner, Sidereal Pharmaceuticals, can put a stop to their efforts once and for all.

Penguin Random House | Hardcover | $26.95 | Oct 20, 2015 | 416 Pages

The Moreau Quartet - S. Andrew Swann

The Moreau Quartet Vol. 1 by S. Andrew Swann

Combining the first and fourth novels of S. Andrew Swann’s genre-spanning series, The Moreau Quartet: Volume One centers on moreau private detective Nohar Rajasthan, and includes a new afterword by the author.

It’s 2053, and the U.S. has long since genetically engineered life successfully. “Moreaus,” humanoid and animal hybrids, and “frankensteins,” genetically manipulated humans, live as second-class citizens.

Nohar Rajasthan is a moreau, a humanoid of tiger stock. Raised by a human after his parents’ death, Nohar ekes out a career as a private eye. Mixing science fiction with detective thrillers, Nohar’s story leaps off the page with all the nonstop excitement and danger of an action blockbuster.

In Forests of the Night: When Nohar accepts a commission from a frankenstein to investigate the death of the campaign manager of a local politico, all hell breaks loose. Nohar finds himself targeted by everyone from local cops to federal agents to a drug-running gang to an assassin with a 100% kill rate.

In Fearful Symmetries: Nohar retired from the private eye business ten years ago, and just wants to spend his remaining time in the peace and quiet of his wilderness homestead. So when a human lawyer asks him to take on a missing moreau case, he refuses—and soon after is attacked by a paramilitary team. Now Nohar must find the missing moreau and discover why some- one wants him dead.

Penguin Random House | Mass Market Paperback | $8.99 | Aug 04, 2015 | 448 Pages

Maplecroft - Cherie Priest

Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks; and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one….

The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny.

But it is not far enough from the affliction that possessed my parents. Their characters, their very souls, were consumed from within by something that left malevolent entities in their place. It originates from the ocean’s depths, plaguing the populace with tides of nightmares and madness.

This evil cannot hide from me. No matter what guise it assumes, I will be waiting for it. With an axe.

Penguin Random House | Paperback | $15.00 | Sep 02, 2014 | 448 Pages

Chapelwood - Cherie Priest

Chapelwood by Cherie Priest

From Cherie Priest, the award-winning author of Maplecroft, comes a new tale of Lizzie Borden’s continuing war against the cosmic horrors threatening humanity…

Birmingham, Alabama is infested with malevolence. Prejudice and hatred have consumed the minds and hearts of its populace. A murderer, unimaginatively named “Harry the Hacker” by the press, has been carving up citizens with a hatchet. And from the church known as Chapelwood, an unholy gospel is being spread by a sect that worships dark gods from beyond the heavens. 

This darkness calls to Lizzie Borden. It is reminiscent of an evil she had dared hoped was extinguished. The parishioners of Chapelwood plan to sacrifice a young woman to summon beings never meant to share reality with humanity. An apocalypse will follow in their wake which will scorch the earth of all life.

Unless she stops it…

Penguin Random House | Paperback | $16.00 | Sep 01, 2015 | 448 Pages

The Witch - Jean Thompson

The Witch and Other Tales Retold by Jean Thompson

Jean Thompson—author of the National Book Award finalist Who Do You Love and the New York Times bestseller The Year We Left Home—is a writer at the height of her powers. Capturing the magic and horror in everyday life, Thompson revisits beloved fables that represent our deepest, most primeval fears and satisfy our longings for good to triumph over evil (preferably in the most gruesome way possible). From the wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood” to the beauty asleep in her castle, The Witch and Other Tales Retold triumphantly brings the fairy tale into the modern age.

Penguin Random House | Paperback | $16.00 | Sep 29, 2015 | 272 Pages

Shadows of Self - Brandon Sanderson

Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5) by Brandon Sanderson

The #1 New York Times bestselling author returns to the world of Mistborn with his first novel in the series since The Alloy of Law.

With The Alloy of Law, Brandon Sanderson surprised readers with a New York Times bestselling spinoff of his Mistborn books, set after the action of the trilogy, in a period corresponding to late 19th-century America.

The trilogy's heroes are now figures of myth and legend, even objects of religious veneration. They are succeeded by wonderful new characters, chief among them Waxillium Ladrian, known as Wax, hereditary Lord of House Ladrian but also, until recently, a lawman in the ungoverned frontier region known as the Roughs. There he worked with his eccentric but effective buddy, Wayne. They are "twinborn," meaning they are able to use both Allomantic and Feruchemical magic.

Shadows of Self shows Mistborn's society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.

This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial's progress in its tracks.

Shadows of Self will give fans of The Alloy of Law everything they've been hoping for and, this being a Brandon Sanderson book, more, much more.

Tor Books | October 2015 | Hardcover | 384 pages | $ 27.99

A Borrowd Man - Gene Wolfe

A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe

A Borrowed Man: a new science fiction novel, from Gene Wolfe, the celebrated author of the Book of the New Sun series.

It is perhaps a hundred years in the future, our civilization is gone, and another is in place in North America, but it retains many familiar things and structures. Although the population is now small, there is advanced technology, there are robots, and there are clones.

E. A. Smithe is a borrowed person. He is a clone who lives on a third-tier shelf in a public library, and his personality is an uploaded recording of a deceased mystery writer. Smithe is a piece of property, not a legal human.

A wealthy patron, Colette Coldbrook, takes him from the library because he is the surviving personality of the author of Murder on Mars. A physical copy of that book was in the possession of her murdered father, and it contains an important secret, the key to immense family wealth. It is lost, and Colette is afraid of the police. She borrows Smithe to help her find the book and to find out what the secret is. And then the plot gets complicated.

Tor Books | October 2015 | Hardcover | 304 pages | $ 25.99

Radiance - Catherine Valente

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente

Radiance is a decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery set in a Hollywood-and solar system-very different from our own, from Catherynne M. Valente, the phenomenal talent behind the New York Times bestselling The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

Severin Unck's father is a famous director of Gothic romances in an alternate 1986 in which talking movies are still a daring innovation due to the patent-hoarding Edison family. Rebelling against her father's films of passion, intrigue, and spirits from beyond, Severin starts making documentaries, traveling through space and investigating the levitator cults of Neptune and the lawless saloons of Mars. For this is not our solar system, but one drawn from classic science fiction in which all the planets are inhabited and we travel through space on beautiful rockets. Severin is a realist in a fantastic universe.

But her latest film, which investigates the disappearance of a diving colony on a watery Venus populated by island-sized alien creatures, will be her last. Though her crew limps home to earth and her story is preserved by the colony's last survivor, Severin will never return.

Told using techniques from reality TV, classic film, gossip magazines, and meta-fictional narrative, Radiance is a solar system-spanning story of love, exploration, family, loss, quantum physics, and silent film.

Tor Books | October 2015 | Hardcover | 432 pages | $ 24.99  

Against a Brightening Sky - Jaime Lee Moyer

Against a Brightening Sky (Delia Martin #3) by Jamie Lee Moyer

By 1919 the Great War has ended, peace talks are under way in Paris, and the world has been forever changed. Delia Martin, apprentice practitioner of magical arts, and her husband, Police Captain Gabriel Ryan, face the greatest challenge of their lives when fragments from the war descend on San Francisco.

As Delia prepares to meet friends at a St. Patrick's Day parade, the strange ghost of a European princess appears in her mirror. Her pleasant outing becomes a nightmare as the ghost reappears moments after a riot starts, warning her as a rooftop gunman begins shooting into the crowd. Delia rushes to get her friends to safety, and Gabe struggles to stop the killing-and to save himself.

Delia and Gabe realize all the chaos and bloodshed had one purpose-to flush Alina from hiding, a young woman with no memory of anything but her name.

As Delia works to discover how the princess ghost's secrets connect to this mysterious young woman, and Gabe tracks a ruthless killer around his city, they find all the answers hinge on two questions: Who is Alina...and why can't she remember?

Against a Brightening Sky is the thrilling conclusion to Jaime Lee Moyer's glittering historical fantasy series.

Tor Books | October 2015 | Hardcover |  336 pages | $ 25.99

One Year After - William Forstchen

One Year After by William Forstchen

New York Times bestselling author William R. Forstchen brings a sequel to his hit novel One Second After. Months before publication, One Second After was cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at the dangers of EMPs. An EMP is a weapon with the power to destroy the entire United States in a single act of terrorism, in a single second; indeed, it is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. One Second After was a dire warning of what might be our future...and our end. Now, One Year After returns to the small town of Black Mountain, and the man who struggled so hard to rebuild it in the wake of devastation. It is a thrilling follow-up and should delight fans in every way.

Forge Books | September 2015 | Hardcover | 304 pages | $ 25.99


Updraft by Fran Wilde

Welcome to a world of wind and bone, songs and silence, betrayal and courage.

Kirit Densira cannot wait to pass her wingtest and begin flying as a trader by her mother's side, being in service to her beloved home tower and exploring the skies beyond. When Kirit inadvertently breaks Tower Law, the city's secretive governing body, the Singers, demand that she become one of them instead. In an attempt to save her family from greater censure, Kirit must give up her dreams to throw herself into the dangerous training at the Spire, the tallest, most forbidding tower, deep at the heart of the City.

As she grows in knowledge and power, she starts to uncover the depths of Spire secrets. Kirit begins to doubt her world and its unassailable Laws, setting in motion a chain of events that will lead to a haunting choice, and may well change the city forever-if it isn't destroyed outright.

Tor Books | August 2015 | Hardcover | 368 pages | $ 25.99

Forbidden - Cathy Clamp

Forbidden (Luna Lake #1) by Cathy Clamp

USA Today bestselling author Cathy Clamp reboots the Sazi universe in Forbidden, a tightly-paced, high-tension urban fantasy thriller.

Ten years have passed since the war that destroyed the Sazi Council and inflicted a horrible "cure" on thousands of Sazi, robbing them of their ability to shapeshift.

Luna Lake, isolated in Washington State, started as a refugee camp for Sazi orphans. Now it's a small town and those refugees are young adults, chafing at the limits set by their still-fearful guardians.

There's reason to fear: Sazi children are being kidnapped. Claire, a red wolf shifter, is sent to investigate. Held prisoner by the Snakes during childhood, Claire is distrusted by those who call Luna Lake home.

Before the war, Alek was part of a wolf pack in Chicago. In Luna Lake he was adopted by a parliament of Owls, defying Sazi tradition. The kidnappings are a painful reminder that his little sister disappeared a decade ago.

When Claire and Alek meet, sparks fly--but the desperate race to find the missing children forces them to set aside their mutual attraction and focus on the future of their people.

Tor Books | August 2015 | Trade Paperback | 352 pages | $ 14.99

Ultra Thin Man_9780765336958_TP.indd

The Ultra Thin Man by Patrick Swenson

In the twenty-second century, a future in which mortaline wire controls the weather on the settled planets and entire refugee camps drowse in drug-induced slumber, no one—alive or dead, human or alien—is quite what they seem. When terrorists manage to crash Coral, the moon, into its home planet of Ribon, forcing evacuation, it's up to Dave Crowell and Alan Brindos, contract detectives for the Network Intelligence Organization, to solve a case of interplanetary consequences. Crowell and Brindos's investigation plunges them neck-deep into a conspiracy much more dangerous than anything they could have imagined.

The two detectives soon find themselves separated, chasing opposite leads: Brindos has to hunt down the massive Helkunn alien Terl Plenko, shadow leader of the terrorist Movement of Worlds. Crowell, meanwhile, runs into something far more sinister—an elaborate frame job that puts our heroes on the hook for treason.

In this novel from Patrick Swenson, Crowell and Brindos are forced to fight through the intrigue to discover the depths of an interstellar conspiracy. And to answer the all-important question: Who, and what, is the Ultra Thin Man?

Tor Books | July 2015 | Trade Paperback | 336 pages | $ 16.99

All Those Vanished Engines - Paul Park

All Those Vanished Engines by Paul Park

In All Those Vanished Engines, Paul Park returns to science fiction after a decade spent on the impressive four-volume A Princess of Roumania fantasy, with an extraordinary, intense, compressed SF novel in three parts, each set in its own alternate-history universe. The sections are all rooted in Virginia and the Battle of the Crater, and are also grounded in the real history of the Park family, from differing points of view. They are all gorgeously imaginative and carefully constructed, and reverberate richly with one another.

The first section is set in the aftermath of the Civil War, in a world in which the Queen of the North has negotiated a two-nation settlement. The second, taking place in northwestern Massachusetts, investigates a secret project during World War II, in a time somewhat like the present. The third is set in the near-future United States, with aliens from history.

Tor Books | July 2015 | Trade Paperback | 272 pages | $ 15.99

The Three-Body Problem - Cixin Lui

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple award winning phenomenon from China's most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin.

Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

Tor Books | November 2014 | Hardcover | 400 pages | $ 25.99

The Sleeping King - Dees & Flippin

The Sleeping King by Dees and Flippin

The Sleeping King is the start of a new fantasy series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Cindy Dees.

Dees has won a Golden Heart Award, two RITAs for Category Suspense and Adventure and has also twice snared RT's Series Romantic Suspense of the Year. She is a great storyteller, and the adventures in her more than fifty novels are often inspired by her own life. Dees is an Air Force vet-the youngest female pilot in Air Force history-and fought in the first Gulf War. She's had amazing adventures, and she's used her experiences to tell some kickass stories.

But as much as she love romances, Cindy's other passion has been fantasy gaming. For almost twenty years she's been involved with Dragon Crest, one of the original live action role-playing games. She's the story content creator on the game, and wanted to do an epic fantasy based on it, with the blessing and input of Dragon Crest founder Bill Flippin.

The Sleeping King is the first in an epic fantasy series, featuring the best of the genre: near immortal imperial overlords, a prophecy of a sleeping elven king who's said to be the savior of the races . . . and two young people who are set on a path to save the day.

Tor Books | September 2015 | Hardcover | 496 pages | $ 25.99

Dead Man's Reach - D B Jackson

Dead Man’s Reach (Thieftaker Chronicles #4) by D. B. Jackson

Let the battle for souls begin in Dead Man's Reach, the fourth, stand-alone novel in D.B. Jackson's acclaimed Thieftaker series.

Boston, 1770: The city is a powder keg as tensions between would-be rebels and loyalist torries approach a breaking point and one man is willing to light the match that sets everything off to ensure that he has his revenge.

The presence of the British Regulars has made thieftaking a hard business to be in and the jobs that are available are reserved for Sephira Pryce. Ethan Kaille has to resort to taking on jobs that he would otherwise pass up, namely protecting the shops of Torries from Patriot mobs. But, when one British loyalist takes things too far and accidentally kills a young boy, even Ethan reconsiders his line of work. Even more troubling is that instances of violence in the city are increasing, and Ethan often finds himself at the center of the trouble.

Once Ethan realizes why he is at the center of all the violence, he finds out that some enemies don't stay buried and will stop at nothing to ruin Ethan's life. Even if that means costing the lives of everyone in Boston, including the people that Ethan loves most.

Tor Books | July 2015 | Hardcover | 368 pages | $ 28.99

The Drafter - Kim Harrison

The Drafter (The Peri Reed Chronicles #1) by Kim Harrison

In the first explosive book in the Peri Reed Chronicles, Kim Harrison, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Hollows series, blazes a new frontier with an edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Detroit 2030. Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon, Peri Reed is a renegade on the run. Don’t forgive and never forget has always been Peri’s creed. But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote. When Peri discovers her name is on a list of corrupt operatives, she realizes that her own life has been manipulated by the agency. Her memory of the previous three years erased, she joins forces with a mysterious rogue soldier in a deadly race to piece together the truth about her fateful final task. Her motto has always been only to kill those who kill her first. But with nothing but intuition to guide her, will she have to break her own rule to survive?

Gallery Books | Hardcover | 432 pages | September 2015

A Crucible of Souls - Mitchell Hogan

A Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan

An imaginative new talent makes his debut with the acclaimed first installment in the epic Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, a mesmerizing tale of high fantasy that combines magic, malevolence, and mystery.

When young Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, the boy is raised by monks who initiate him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery.

Growing up plagued by questions about his past, Caldan vows to discover who his parents were, and why they were violently killed. The search will take him beyond the walls of the monastery, into the unfamiliar and dangerous chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to become apprenticed to a guild of sorcerers.

But the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths he does not fully understand. As a shadowed evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that will bring the world to the edge of destruction.

Soon, he must choose a side, and face the true cost of uncovering his past.

Harper Voyager | Trade Paperback | 09/22/2015 | Pages: 512 | $17.99

The Humanity of Monsters_FINAL

The Humanity of Monsters edited by Michael Matheson

We are all of us monsters. We are none of us monsters.

Through the work of twenty-six writers, emerging to award-winning, The Humanity of Monsters plumbs the depths of humane monsters, monstrous humans, and the interstices between:

Monstrous heralds of change, the sight of whom only children can survive. Monsters born of the battlefield, in gunfire and frost and blood, clothed in too-familiar flesh. Monsters, human and otherwise, born of fear, and love, and retribution all, wrapped tight and inextricable one from the other: the Fallen outside of time, lovers and monsters in borrowed skin, creatures from beyond the stars, and humans who have travelled to them.

In stories by turns surreal, sublime, brutal, and haunting, there are no easy answers to be found. Only the surety that though there be monsters, you will name them false. And when you meet those who truly are, you will not know them.

Paperback | 336 pages | November 10,  2015 | ChiZine Publications | $16.99 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Giveaway: INHERIT THE STARS by Tony Peak

Inherit the Stars - Tony Peak

Giveaway for INHERIT THE STARS by Tony Peak, attached to the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop. We have one copy for a US address. It’s the first in an action-packed space opera. Please be a reader of Layers of Thought to enter this giveaway. Ways to follow the blog are below.



Readers are introduced to Kivita Vondir, a girl who has always dreamt of salvaging. Now, it’s become an addiction, getting through pit stops filled with cheap alcohol, and even cheaper companionship.

But when she rescues an alien artifact, in the shape of a fabled gemstone, she finds far more than a lucrative take. Suddenly and inexplicably, she can hack computers and pilot starships by sheer force of will alone—a power that everyone in this galaxy (and the next) wants.

As she tries to avoid a massive galactic manhunt, Kivita teams up with two unlikely allies: Sar, her former lover turned rebel, and his enigmatic new girlfriend. Only, as the gem’s mysteries are revealed and danger draws near, Kivita begins to wonder if her ex has truly changed, or if he’s just waiting for the right moment to betray her once again…

Roc Mass Market | 464 pages | November 3, 2015 | Trade Paperback

Tony Peak’s work appears in eighteen different speculative fiction publications and anthologies. He is an Active Member of SFWA and an Affiliate Member of HWA. He possesses a keen interest in progressive thinking, wine, history, Transhumanism, and planetary exploration. Visit him online at



This giveaway is part of a blog hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer where you can link to a variety of other blogs to enter other giveaways. Links are at the bottom of this post. You can access our host’s web page by clicking on the hop’s badge.

To enter this giveaway please be a follower. There are a number of ways that you can keep up-to-date with Layers of Thought, including reviews, giveaways, author interviews, guest posts, and more. But the best ways to keep up with all the blog posts are via Facebook or email, so I recommend those.

Ways to “Follow”

  1. Facebook (For blog updates in your feed add me as a friend.)
  2. Your Email Box
  3. Feed Reader
  4. Twitter
  5. Google+
  6. Pinterest
  7. Goodreads (Add me as a friend. However, there are no giveaway updates here only reviews and books received.)

Please fill out the Google form to enter the giveaway:

And now for the other blogs that are part of this blog hop. Click on the active links via the blog titles to access their posts. Have fun and good luck!

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