Monday, August 01, 2011

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 7/30

For the last week of July, these are the new books that showed up at my house. Nearly all of them came in the mail, sent by publishers hoping that I would review or otherwise promote them -- savvy readers may note that I'm doing the latter right this minute -- but I did also make it up to my local Borders to see the first throes of the going-out-of-business sales, and of course I didn't leave without buying things.

(And, yes, I felt both like a vulture -- picking through the twisted wreckage of Borders' many many corporate mistakes over the past two decades -- and like a patsy, since most of the store was only 20% off, which means those same items were still cheaper on Amazon.)

Borders does have Blu-Ray discs at 40% off, so I grabbed a copy of Kenneth Branagh's wonderful Much Ado About Nothing, two manga volumes for my sons, and:
  • Empire State, a new semi-autobiographical graphic novel by Jason Shiga, author of the absolutely amazing Meanwhile
  • Manga Sutra, Vol. 2, by Futari H and Katsu Aki, the second in a not-really-pornographic (but mildly explicit) manga story about the early married life of two very young and very sheltered Japanese everypeople.
And then, from the mail, I saw The Watchtower, second book in an urban fantasy series (after Black Swan Rising) by "Lee Carroll" (an open pseudonym for mystery novelist Carol Goodman and her husband, poet/hedge fund manager Lee Slonimsky). This series is about a jewelry designer who is the latest Slayer in a long line of women who fight evil, and, this time, she's searching for her ancient vampire mentor in Paris. (Life is really, really tough for urban fantasy heroines.) Watchtower is a trade paperback from Tor, officially publishing tomorrow.

Also from Tor is the third book in a space opera series, The Unincorporated Woman, which follows the previously non-corporatized Man and War. The whole series is by brothers Dani and Eytan Kollin, and I suspect the series has something of a libertarian slant, from the title and from the fact that the first book won the Prometheus Award. Woman is an August hardcover, available in about two weeks.

Pyr brings us The Goblin Corps by Ari Marmell, another in the line of epic fantasies from the other point of view, like Mary Gentle's Grunts and Eve Forward's Villains by Necessity. This time, the shiny-haloed heroes are pushing towards the final strongholds of Morthul, the Dreaded Charnel King, and he's not at all happy about it. But perhaps, he has one last hope....

I'm probably not at all the right reader for the latest heavily-hyped dystopia, Hillary Jordan's When She Woke, since it looks to me like just a very unsubtle liberal version of the current "and then the religious lunatics take over everything and make us follow their evil, unjust laws forever!" hysteria. (Liberals believe it's Christians that will do this; conservatives think it will be Muslims; both are tedious and annoying.) In this novel, "the separation between church and state has dissolved," which naturally means that the usual repressive, bigoted, hypocritical media-parody of 1980s TV preachers are running everything. And criminals have their skin color genetically altered to match their crime -- the science of that is the least of my problems with the scenario -- which means that our poor, poor, suffering heroine has been turned red for Murder after the death of her unborn child -- the cover letter coyly never says "abortion," so I'm sure the situation is even more manipulative than it seems at first -- which was, of course, the product of the tediously standard Forbidden Love with a Powerful Man. My ribs are already aching from the nudges, and I haven't even read one word of the novel yet. But if you like to have your prejudices reinforced at great length, this will be in stores on October 4th.

Last this week, though, is a book I am hugely looking forward to reading: Matthew Hughes's The Other. It's another of his endlessly entertaining Archonate novels -- all of which stand pretty well on their own, so you really should try to read at least one of them, if you like to read books that are fun and enjoyable and witty and sparkling -- featuring Luff Imbry, the not-entirely-reformed con man who previously was a main character in Black Brillion. I will keep burbling about Matt Hughes's books until you all finally break down and make him a huge bestseller, so you might as well get it over with now. (Really, it's easier for all of us.) See my reviews of The Damned Busters, Hespira, Template, The Spiral Labyrinth, or Majestrum for more details about how much fun his books are, and be ready when The Other hits stores in November from Underland Press.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing out Empire State. I devoured it yesterday.

Post a Comment