Saturday, October 2, 2010

Speculative Previews ~ Betrayer of Worlds; Salvation City; Voltaire's Calligrapher; The Reapers are the Angels; Sabine Dolls;The Wedding Gift; and The Scrubs


Never Ending book collection

The Never Ending Book Collection ~ This post has been created just in case you don’t have enough books to read.  Because if you’re like me, it’s not possible to have too many books to read.

A note on previews: These are our recent speculative fiction books which have been received for review. No opinions yet; just book blurbs, author info, some purchasing links, and perhaps a little snippet from yours truly – Shellie.


Books included in this Preview: 

  • Betrayer of Worlds ~ by Larry Niven and Edward M. Learner
  • Salvation City ~ by Sigrid Nunez
  • Voltaire's Calligrapher ~  by Pablo De Santis
  • The Reapers are the Angels ~ by Alden Bell
  • Sabine Dolls ~ by Sandy Hyatt-James
  • The Wedding Gift ~ by Kathleen Mckenna
  • The Scrubs ~ by Simon Janus



Betrayer of Worlds ~ by Larry Niven and Edward M. Learner

About: Fleeing the supernova chain reaction at the galactic core, the cowardly Puppeteers of the Fleet of Worlds have---just barely---survived. They’ve stumbled from one crisis to the next: The rebellion of their human slaves. The relentless questing of the species of Known Space. The spectacular rise of the starfish-like Gw’oth. The onslaught of the genocidal Pak.

Catastrophe looms again as past crises return---and converge. Who can possibly save the Fleet of Worlds from its greatest peril yet?

With a mixed bag of characters and their own competing agendas, their hopes and fears, dreams and ambitions are about to collide. And the winner takes . . . worlds.

The prequel to the amazing Ringworld series.

Author Bios: Larry Niven is the multiple Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of the Ringworld series, along with many other science fiction masterpieces. He lives in Chatsworth, California.

Edward M. Lerner worked in high tech for thirty years, as everything from engineer to senior vice president, while writing science fiction as a hobby.  Since 2004 he has been writing full-time, and has written various novels including this first to the grand space epic Fleet of Worlds series – which are Ringworld prequels. 


  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Science Fiction

    Amazon pre-purchasing links for US/UK/Canada.

    Layers of Thought:  This is apparently the first in a series to be created by the authors.  John has picked this one up and has read 50 pages already. So a review will be coming soon!


    Salvation City ~ by Sigrid Nunez

    A provocative novel set in the near future, about what happens when the whole world falls apart.

    After a flu pandemic has killed large numbers of people worldwide, the United States has grown increasingly anarchic. Large numbers of children are stranded in orphanages, and systems we take for granted are fraying at the seams. When orphaned Cole Vining finds refuge with an evangelical pastor and his young wife in a small Indiana town, he knows he is one of the lucky ones. Sheltered Salvation City has been spared much of the devastation of the outside world.

    But it's a starkly different community from the one Cole has known, and he struggles with what this changed world means for him. As those around him become increasingly fixated on their vision of utopia - so different from his own parents' dreams - Cole begins to imagine a new and different future for himself.

    Author Bio: Sigrid Nunez is an author of five novels including her debut, A Feather on the Breath of God, Naked Sleeper, Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury, For Rouenna, and The Last of Her Kind. She often addresses class and violence in her novels. She chronicles a time period, such as the 1960's, socially, politically, and intimately in the eyes of women, and is perceptive about character and opinions. Find out more on her web site. 

    • Hardcover: 288 pages
    • Publisher: Riverhead (September 16, 2010)
    • Apocalyptic

    Amazon purchasing links for US/UK/Canada.

    Layers of Thought:  Nunez was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction, which is awarded annually to a novel or book of short stories by an American author who has not previously published a book of fiction.



    Voltaire's Calligrapher ~  by Pablo De Santis

    About:  Dalessius is twenty when he comes to work for one of the Enlightenment’s most famous minds, the author and philosopher Voltaire. As the great man’s calligrapher, Dalessius becomes witness to many wonders—and finds himself in the middle of a secret battle between the malevolent remnants of the all-but-dead Dark Ages and the progressive elements of the modern age.

    The calligrapher’s role in this shadowy conflict will carry him to many perilous places— through the gates of sinister castles and to the doors of a bizarre bordello; toward life-and death confrontations with inventive henchmen, ingenious mechanical execution devices, poisonous fish, and murderous automatons. As the conspiracy to halt the Enlightenment’s astonishing progress intensifies, young Dalessius’s courage—as well as Voltaire’s unique cunning and wit—are put to the ultimate test as they strive to ensure the survival of the future.

    51Auymn tyL._SS500_

    Bio:  A journalist and comic-strip creator who became editor in chief of one of Argentina’s leading comics magazines, Pablo De Santis is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, one work of nonfiction, and a number of books for young adults. His works have been published in more than twenty countries. He lives in Buenos Aires. 

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Historical Thriller (Slipstream)

    Amazon pre-purchasing links for US/currently available in UK and Canada.

    Layers of Thought: This book is a translation from Spanish and is almost a novella at 160 pages. The historical connection is interesting and what better way to get your history than via a speculative novel. I love the UK cover, which is with the tattooed woman.



    The Reapers are the Angels ~ by Alden Bell

    God is a slick god. Temple knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe.

    Older than her years and completely alone, Temple is just trying to live one day at a time in a post-apocalyptic world, where the undead roam endlessly, and the remnant of mankind who have survived, at times, seem to retain little humanity themselves. This is the world she was born into. Now one vengeful man is determined that, in a world gone mad, killing her is the one thing that makes sense.

    Author Bio:  Alden Bell is a pseudonym for Joshua Gaylord, whose first novel, Hummingbirds, was released in Fall '09. He teaches at a New York City prep school. He lives in New York City with his wife. Macmillan has a page with an audio and written interview, and this is a link to Joshua Gaylords’s web site.  

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; First Edition edition (August 3, 2010)
  • Horror/Post Apocalyptic 

    Amazon purchasing links for US/UK/Canada

    Layers of Thought:  I have seen some positive reviews on this zombie novel, but have not read any yet. What a creepy cover!


    Sabine Dolls ~ by Sandy Hyatt-James

    About:  Think of a beautiful planet where nobody has to work or worry about money. There is such a place called Tynai, sixty thousand light-years away. However, Tynai women can’t bear children and procreation is done in a laboratory. Five Earth women, stolen by Tynai men eager to produce children naturally, reluctantly find themselves living on this alien planet. What follows is an explosion of sexual tension between Galbryn, the enigmatic leader of the alien men and Branca, our feisty Earth heroine. When this gives way to passionate love, hatred, revenge and war follow. 

    Taste and touch the experiences of the five Earth women, but also feel the disappointment of the indigenous women. Be charmed by the spurzots: androids programmed only to please, but be wary when they are re-programmed to kill. Most importantly, be right there as the two main characters exchange sublime moments as only true lovers can.

    Author Bio: Sandy Hyatt-James was born in England.  She studied literature in college but became a Social Work Manager. She has given up work to devote more time to writing. Now living in Bulgaria with her husband, two dogs and a cat.  When she isn’t writing, she teaches English Language part-time.   

    Sandy is a Goodreads author, connect with her there, on her blog, you can also read an excerpt from Sabine Dolls on the publisher’s web site.

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Bluewood Publishing Ltd (July 15, 2010)
  • Science Fiction/Romance

    Amazon purchasing links for US/UK/Canada.

    For ereaders who need an other than Kindle format purchasing link to the publisher for various ebook formats.

    Layers of Thought:  I discovered this book on Goodreads through a friend who gave it 5 stars. What a great cover!

    ****************************************************************************  image

    The Wedding Gift ~ by Kathleen Mckenna

    17 year old Leeann Worthier is the perfect girl in town - or so she says. George Willets is the heir to a booming petroleum business. When they announce their engagement, George's controlling mother is unimpressed, and Leeann absolutely refuses to live with her mother-in-law. So George gives his new wife a house as a wedding gift.

    Thirty years before, the same house hosted a grisly scene: George's uncle and cousins were all slaughtered and his aunt Robina accused of both murder and suicide. When the ghost of Robina begins to haunt Leeann, she realizes she's made a huge mistake ....

    About the author:  Kathleen Mckenna is a transplanted Alaskan who spent twelve years on her first paragraph and now lives and writes prolifically in the opposite kind of desert in New Mexico. 'The Wedding Gift' is Kathleen's third novel, the first of a supernatural trilogy. The second in the series, 'The Comeback', will be published by Night Publishing in late 2010.


  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (August 27, 2010)
  • Horror

    Amazon purchasing links for US/UK–Kindle only/Canada.

    Layers of Thought: This is a paranormal horror story written by a follower of this blog, and is perfect for the Halloween season.



    The Scrubs ~ by Simon Janus

    James Jeter, the notorious serial killer with a sixth sense, holds court inside London's Wormwood Scrubs Prison. He's the focus of the "North Wing Project." Under the influence of a hallucinogen, Jeter can create an alternative world known as "The Rift" containing the souls of his victims. Pardons are on offer to inmates who'll enter “The Rift”.

    Michael Keeler has nothing to lose and little to live for. He's sent into The Rift to learn the identity of Jeter's last victim. It's a mission where the guilty can be redeemed, but at a price...

    Author Bio:  Simon Wood is also Simon Janus, and is a California transplant from England. He's an ex-competitive racecar driver, a licensed pilot and an occasional private investigator. He shares his world with his American wife, Julie. Their lives are dominated by a longhaired dachshund and five cats. Here is his website for more information.

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 141 KB
  • Science Fiction/Horror

    Amazon purchasing links for US/UK in Kindle format, and Smashwords.

    Layers of Thought:  This is a sci fi/horror story.  It is only 99 pages and is in ebook format. (There are versions which are available for printing via Smashwords).  Interestingly, this prolific author writes under Simon Janus when it is horror and Simon Wood when he’s writing within other genres.


    These books have been received for review from various sources. A big thank you to each of  the publishers, publicists, and authors who have sent Layers of Thought these copies for review.

    We already know which book John has chosen. Which one would you read first?

    Thanks for reading.


    Suzanne Yester said...

    Great bunch of books here! I read The Reapers are
    The Angels by Alden Bell and really enjoyed it. Zombie lovers will really appreciate it as well as dystopian readers.

    Unknown said...

    Suzanne -
    Thanks... I liked them too. Now just to read faster.

    I do think I saw your review for The Reaper book noting that is was a positive one. I try only to skim them until I have read the book.

    Glad you stopped by!

    Alexia561 said...

    You're right, it’s simply not possible to have too many books to read! Now if I could only convince my husband of that....*L*

    I like the sound of Sabine Dolls, Reapers are the Angels, and the Wedding Gift, so will keep an eye out for your reviews.

    Happy reading!

    Unknown said...

    Alexia -
    Yes our shelves are exploding too.

    With my nook though they are all compressed, and John doesn't know about how many I have hidden there.

    My secret stash... a girl's got to always have a secret stash. :)

    Great choices since I've seen good reviews for each of those books

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

    Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

    OMG I had no idea there was a prequel to Ringworld! This is so going on my wish list.

    Unknown said...

    Leslie -
    Me either until this arrived in the mail. I still have to read the original.

    John is chomping through this right now so a review is coming very soon!

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