Monday, February 22, 2016

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/20

Hey, I'm back!

Sometimes I get books in the mail for free, which is pretty darn cool. When I do, I post on Monday morning to list those books, and present them as positively I can for whoever may be reading. (But, once in a while, "as positively as I can" is barely above "criminally libelous," because I don't like everything equally and I have a tendency to sarcasm.) I do this because I want to help out those books and the people who wrote/published/publicized them, and because that's pretty much the point of sending out books free to people.

Anyway, I have two such books this week. Let's look at them, shall we?

First up is Black City Saint, by Richard A. Knaak, whose name I haven't seen around for a while. (So good for him -- either for working somewhere I didn't pay attention, or getting back into the limelight. Either is just fine.) I remember Knaak as a writer of mostly gaming-influenced epic fantasy back in the '90s and aughts, but, like so many other old epic-fantasy hands, he's turning his talents to fantasy stories set in a more modern world recently. Black City Saint, a trade paperback from Pyr in March, focuses on an immortal man in 1920s Chicago, tasked with guarding the Gate to Faerie since he slew the Dragon some long time ago. (It seems Knaak hasn't wandered too far from his earlier stuff, which is probably really good news for his fans.) Our hero, that immortal guy, is also fated to see his eternal love die over and over again, because urban fantasy requires doomed love. That's the set-up: there's also bootleggers, and the remnants of that Dragon, and a secret flow of really nasty faerie-folk to deal know, I wouldn't be surprised if this turns into a series.

And then there's The Brotherhood of the Wheel by R.S. Belcher, a March Tor hardcover and a dark contemporary fantasy from the author of The Six-Gun Tarot (which I think I still have around here, and plan to read Real Soon Now). This book is about the secret offshoot of the Knights Templar, who still hold to the original tenets of that brotherhood: to safeguard the roads and the safety of those who use them. And, since there are the usual nasty supernatural beasties lurking around the fringes of things, there's plenty of safeguarding and saving to be done.

And let me also mention that I just received Murder at the Hollywood Hotel, a new book by Rick Geary that he funded through Kickstarter. I don't think it's otherwise available -- well, it might show up on Geary's webstore eventually, but it's not there now. It's another story of historical murder, drawn with a bazillion tiny little perfect lines -- but I already said it was by Rick Geary. I chose one of the higher tiers of the campaign, so I also got two miscellaneous Geary self-published books, The Lampoon Years and Rick Geary's Book of Murder. Those two are in the webstore, for those who are interested, as are his last few kickstarted books.

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