Monday, January 21, 2013

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 1/19

I'm in the middle of a long weekend after an eventful week at work, which means I'm even more full of ennui (or perhaps I mean inertia) than usual. But I can rouse myself to tell you about these books, all of which arrived in my home over the past week, and which I've only just glanced at so far. (In other words: I haven't actually read them -- I'm not Harriet Klausner; I don't claim to read five books before breakfast -- but I can tell you about what looks interesting even with that handicap.

First up is George O'Connor's Poseidon: Earth Shaker, the fifth in a series of graphic novels retelling Greek myths. (The earlier ones are Zeus, Athena, Hera, and Hades -- links are to my reviews, and I recommend the whole series. They're ostensibly for a younger audience, middle-grade or so, but O'Connor is both an inventive, energetic artist and a thoughtful, dedicated researcher/writer, and he turns these regularly re-told stories into something new and exciting every time.) It's from First Second, hitting stores any day now, and 3/4 of my household already wants to read it immediately, which should be a very high recommendation.

I also have the three mass-market paperbacks that DAW will publish next month, and those are:
Dead Things, a novel by Stephen Blackmoore which I tend to assume will launch an urban fantasy series (since it's about a necromancer in LA with secrets and a history and all of those interesting things), though I note that Blackmoore's first novel, City of the Lost, was a similarly noirish contemporary fantasy set in LA (with zombies). So he may actually be that incredibly rare creature nowadays, the novelist who writes different books each time out -- if so, we need to treasure him.

Irene Radford returns with The Silent Dragon, the first book of new series "The Children of the Dragon Nimbus." (Through my incredibly powers of deduction, I can tell that this is related to her earlier serieses "The Dragon Nimbus" and "The Dragon Nimbus Histories.")

And Kristen Britain is back with her fourth book in the "Green Rider" series, Blackveil. That's a series which has been a while between books -- they only come around every four years or so -- which means you Britain fans should make a big deal about it, and be more than ordinary happy for a new book.

I saw The Death Cure -- third in James Dashner's dystopian YA "Maze Runner" series -- a few months back with the ARC, and now I see it again, since it's a Delacorte trade paperback that published on January 8th.

Andrew P. Mayer's "Society of Steam" series -- and you get no points for guessing what subgenre it belongs to, since that should be pretty darn obvious -- continues into a third book, Power Under Pressure. It hit stores January 15 as a trade paperback from the fine folks at Pyr. And, from the back cover description, this book may actually see the group of the series title form, from the ashes of the now-defunct Society of Paragons, in order to finally defeat the fiendish plots of Lord Eschaton.

Lucy Knisley -- the amazingly young cartoonist of French Milk and an occasional webcomic called "Stop Paying Attention" -- is back with a second book, Relish: My Life in the Kitchen. It's a memoir of her eating life, with what looks like plenty of digressions (and recipes!) in her lovely clean-line style. And you can get it from First Second books (yes, them again) in early April.

And, since nothing in the media ever comes alone but in ranks and cohorts, I also have here another graphic novel of a young woman's life, with a food slant: Peanut by Ayun Halliday and Paul Hoppe. (The main character here is named Sadie, so I think it's not a memoir -- though Halliday's previous comics have been memoirs, and her author's note feints in that direction as well. So this is either fiction or it isn't.) In Peanut, a girl goes to a new high school and decides she wants to stand out, so she tells all her new classmates about her life-threatening peanut allergy...that she doesn't actually have. Hijinks (and, I expect, drama) ensue. It was published by Schwartz & Wade books, a YA imprint of the giant Random House empire that I was previously unaware of.

And last for this week is the new book by the man with the best vests in SFF: L.E. Modesitt, Jr.'s Imager's Battalion. It's the sixth book in the Imager series -- which I have to admit that I haven't read any of -- and Tor will publish it in hardcover tomorrow. The plot description is full of people, terms, and places that I don't know -- obviously, since it's book six of an epic fantasy series -- but I can note that this one sees the first imager fighting force in (this particular fictional) history.

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