Monday, June 18, 2012

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 6/16

By the time you read this, I'll be far away, in another state, cheerfully manning a booth at the annual meeting of the ACFE. But the mail continues on, no matter what else goes on in the world, and so there are books to write about. All of these arrived in my mailbox over the past week, and I haven't read a single one of them yet. So what I'm about to tell you is compounded from educated guesswork, prior knowledge, and whatever publicity materials the various publishers saw fit to include in their packages.

But here's what I've got:

Lou Anders's [1] Pyr sent me a couple of things, including Ari Marmell's False Covenant, the second novel (after Thief's Covenant) in a secondary-world Young Adult fantasy series about a thief who calls herself Widdershins (she's young; what can you expect?). It's the kind of book that has a Church with a capital C, and a Thieves' Guild with a capital TG, not to mention a Guard ditto. It's been available in hardcover since early June.

Also from Pyr is Hunter and Fox, by Philippa Ballantine. (No relation, apparently.) This is another epic fantasy with a lot of Capitalized Names -- Hunter, Kindred -- and made-up names -- Vaerli, Casiah, Talyn, Byre -- and more than the recommended dose of angst and protagonist-torture (she "lost her people and her soul working for the man who was their destruction," to be precise). It came out in trade paperback last week -- but UK readers may find it familiar, since it was originally published there in 2006. (So how did the series turn out, O UK readers?)

The Young Adult graphic novel trilogy called "Resistance" -- about teens in France during WWII, with a focus you can probably guess from the series title -- concludes with Victory, publishing in July from First Second. (It's written by Carla Jablonski and illustrated by Leland Purvis, like the first two volumes.) I reviewed the first one, Resistance, here during my last run of Book-A-Day in early 2010. (And I still have the second book, Defiance, sitting on my you-really-should-read-these-soon shelves.)

And from the fine folks at Vertical comes GTO: 14 Days in Shonan, Vol. 3, a side-story to the popular Great Teacher Onizuka manga by the original creator Toru Fujisawa.

Grant Morrison's paean to all things superheroic and Morrisonian, Supergods, was published to general acclaim and strong sales last year, so it's time for it to hit paperback -- and so it does, in a new Spiegel & Grau edition coming on June 26. I didn't read it in hardcover -- it would be more accurate to say I deliberately avoided it in hardcover, since I suspected I would have Strong Views about it -- but now a copy is in my home, and so alea iacta est.

Andrea Cremer wrote what her publisher describes as the "internationally bestselling Nightshade trilogy," so I feel kinda bad to say that I've never heard of it. (On the other hand, I haven't heard about a lot of things -- and, since Cremer writes for teens, I have a built-in excuse for not hearing about here.) Anyway, Cremer is following up that trilogy with a new prequel, Rift, which I have sitting in front of me right this second, even though it won't publish (from Penguin) until August. Rift is some kind of supernatural story -- with a healthy dollop of romance, if I know my YA trends -- about a feisty heroine. I'm not entirely sure of the setting, though, and the book isn't much help -- I'm going to guess that it's late-medieval (historical fantasy division), but it could easily be secondary-world, alternate-history, or something even more baroque than those possibilities.

From Amazon's new SFnal imprint, 47North, comes No Peace for the Damned, the first novel by Megan Powell. It's a contemporary fantasy with secret groups wielding supernatural powers, but I'm not getting an urban fantasy vibe from it -- it looks more like early Stephen King (Dead Zone or Carrie). The heroine, Magnolia, escaped from her horrifying family and immediately was captured by a mysterious organization devoted to stopping people like (exactly like) her horrible family. Of course, it's not utterly unlike modern urban fantasy -- the back cover copy hints of a romance for Magnolia, as well. This is available from Amazon -- and any other retailers willing to collude in their own demise -- in July.

Also from 47North is B.V. Larson's Technomancer, a cross between that old chestnut, the waking-up-with-amnesia book, and the supernatural-investigator book, as epitomized by Jim Butcher. Quentin Draith -- supernatural investigators always have pretentious names! -- wakes up in a creepy private hospital, under the care of people who don't mean him well, and must reclaim his identity as an investigator (and blogger, I chuckle to note) of the supernatural, and re-learn his particular secret special powers. It's the first in a series called "Unspeakable Things," and it'll be out in July.

[1] Pardon me -- Hugo Award-winning editor Lou Anders's

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