Monday, July 20, 2015

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 7/18

Yeah, yeah, it's that time again. These are books; they came in the mail; I haven't read them yet. But here are some things about them that may just be truthful and/or entertaining:

Last First Snow is the fourth book by Max Gladstone in his fascinating secondary-world fantasy series that began with Three Parts Dead (link is to my half-assed, far-too-late review.) The series is called "The Craft Sequence," though I don't recall if the world has been named -- but, from everything I've seen, both are unique and quirky and excellent. (I have the middle two waiting for me to have time to read them.) Each book in this series -- set in a mostly urbanized world where the gods were deposed a generation or so ago, and replaced by human workers who are something like engineers and something like lawyers and something like urban planners -- stands alone, and their titles show where each fits into the timeline. (Though Gladstone is now going to have to use negative numbers or fractions if he wants to infill parts of his history -- I'd have suggested the Donjon theory of book-numbering, if anyone asked me.) Anyway: Last First Snow is the chronologically earliest book in the series so far; it features a younger Elayne Kevarian; and it centers around two veterans of the God Wars (one of them Kevarian) who may be on opposite sites of a new conflict in the city of Desediel Lex. You can get Last First Snow as a Tor hardcover right now; it was published last week.

The Scorch Trials is the second novel in James Dashner's YA dystopia series -- no, not that one, the other one, the one with a big maze in it (no, not The Man in the Maze, the one with a bunch of teenage boys) -- and it's about to become a big expensive movie. So there's now a movie tie-in edition of the book, and I have it in front of me now. Our stalwart Gladers have escaped the maze and are now trying to cross the Scorch, the worst part of this post-apocalyptic world, while the evil government organization WICKED (do not expect subtlety here) plots to wipe them all out. This very much does not sound like the kind of book I would read willingly, but you are not me and may love it to death. This edition has an eight-page insert of color photos from the movie (the better to show off the sulking pretty boys), a teaser of the third book of the series (in which WICKED tries to kill Our Heroes in some other baroque way, I assume), and, of course, the full text of the book. You can find it at your favorite bookseller on August 4th.

And I also have a copy of the new Dan Wells novel, The Devil's Only Friend, from the great people at Tor. (They published it in trade paperback back in mid-June.) This begins a new trilogy about John Wayne Cleaver, a very non-neurotypical young man who stumbled over the existence of human-predatory creatures he called "demons" in the first trilogy and who has used that discover to temper the serial-killer tendencies he's very aware he has. (See my review of the first trilogy; Wells has a great, compelling first-person voice for Cleaver, and those books are compelling and wonderfully entertaining.) In this new sequence of books, Cleaver is working for the feds, tracking down the demons, but the war has escalated -- and possibly come out into the open. I'm looking forward to this one.


Anonymous said...

Could you perchance add a link to your review of your prior review of Dan Wells's prior trilogy?

Andrew Wheeler said...

Anonymous: Hmm. I thought I did do that. Thanks for pointing out my omission -- fixing it now.

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