Monday, August 04, 2014

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 8/2

"Reviewing the Mail" is back again, as it is every Monday. In case this is your first rodeo, here's the scoop: I review books here, so the fine publicists of Big Publishing send me books to review. And I list them all here, once a week, explaining a bit about what they are and when they'll be available. I just got these books, so I haven't read any of them yet -- which means I could be wrong inadvertently, besides the usual danger that I'm misinterpreting something.

In short: all of these books are probably much, much better than I make them sound. (I'm also trying to be amusing here, which sometimes means making fun of a book.) If something sounds intriguing for any reason, click the link and go to that usual gigantic hegemonic bookseller for more details (and maybe even some actual reviews by people who have read the book.)

First up this week is Thrones & Bones: Frostborn, the first novel by Lou Anders, best known up to this point as an editor (of Pyr since its inception) and anthologist. It begins a Norse-inflected trilogy aimed at middle-grade readers, focusing on a boy who would rather play games than farm and a half-giantess, who are forced to flee into the wilderness ahead of a dragon,an undead warlord, and assorted trolls and giants. It's a Crown hardcover, officially available on August 5.

If there's too much happiness and optimism in your life, you're in luck: Peter Watts has a new novel. Echopraxia is a Tor hardcover coming in September. It's the story of a group of damaged misfits -- the last field biologist, a soldier haunted by his dead son, a vampire and his zombie bodyguards, and a vengeance-crazed pilot -- careening towards the center of the solar system and probably more woe and creepily big ideas than most of you can stand.

Last for this week is a novel in a lighter key of woe: Hellhole: Inferno, the grand finale of a military SF trilogy by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, set on the title planet (Hellhole, that is). In it, a plucky band of human, led by the usual military genius, are embattled on all sides against overwhelming odds, including an alien threat that "can destroy...the foundations of the universe itself." I would bet large sums of money that they are victorious in the end, though. This is also a Tor hardcover, and will be available on August 12.

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