Monday, February 28, 2011

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/26

Hey, it's Monday again! And so here's the list of what showed up in my mailbox last week, just like every other Monday. I haven't read any of these books yet, but here's what I can tell you about them even with that handicap:

Kitty's Big Trouble is the ninth book in the "Kitty Norville" series by Carrie Vaughn, and the second to come from Tor Books. (Who get a mild ding here: their card page, listing previous books by the author, only has her Tor titles, and so leaves off the first seven books in this series. I've always thought that was bad, old-fashioned thinking, and it's particularly egregious in the age of the Internet. It doesn't help anyone -- author, reader, or publisher -- to pretend that other books don't exist.) I'm several books behind on reading this series -- despite the fact that I read the first three back at the old job, and did an omnibus of them then -- which is not something I'd recommend; this one of the better contemporary fantasy series going currently, with a well-realized world and a sense of consequences and law rare in that subgenre. (I've more-or-less reviewed the middle three books of the series here -- Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand, Kitty and the Silver Bullet, and Kitty Raises Hell. Big Trouble is coming as a mass-market paperback in July, so even you cheapskates can get it right away.

Speaking of series that have been running a long time through many publishers, I also have in front of me An Embarrassment of Riches, the umpteenth "Comte Saint-Germain" novel by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, which began in 1978 with Hotel Transylvania. Embarassment's card page doesn't try to disentangle Yarbro's many novels and series, presenting a not-particularly-useful long list of books published by "Tom Doherty Associates" (the umbrella corporate name for Tor, Forge, and associated imprints) in pure alphabetical order. The Saint-Germain books are historical vampire novels; their hero is the historical charlatan of that name, though, in Yarbro's version, he's an immortal, mostly good vampire who keeps getting into various trouble with mortals. (Or so I understand; I haven't read the series.) Embarrassment will be published by Tor on March 1st, in hardcover.

Also from Tor in March -- this time in trade paperback -- is Demon Song, the fourth book in a paranormal romance series [1] by the writing team of C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp, writing under the non-secret pseudonym Cat Adams. The heroine of this series is Celia Graves, who is both half-vampire and half-Siren, though it doesn't seem to be the same kind of half in either case -- she's half-human compared to both of those, which doesn't add up to all human. (Reminds me of the Warner cartoon with a dog that was half pointer, half boxer, half setter, half watchdog, half spitz, and all Labrador retriever -- Porky's Pooch.)

And last this week is a novel for young adults with a very impressive array of armaments on its cover: Will Hill's Department Nineteen. It's yet another vampire book -- I've just noticed that all four books this week have vampires in them, the way an old house has damp in the corners -- in which our young hero has to save his mother, who has been kidnapped by shadowy forces, with the aid of the super-secret portion of the British government that makes up the title. Department Nineteen will be published in April by Razorbill, a sharp (sorry) imprint of Penguin aimed at teens.

[1] I can say that this is paranormal romance, and not urban fantasy, because the book itself tells me so, and I trust it.

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