Monday, February 27, 2017

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/26

Back again, like a bad penny!

Every week, I list here the books that showed up in my mailbox, sent by the fine publicists of book publishing. (Note: if there are publicists from any other industries who have a burning desire to send me stuff for free, we can certainly talk about it.) And I tell you what I can about those books, in the hope that one or more of them will look enticing to one or more of you.

This week, I have a very miscellaneous collection, which I like -- publishing is broad and contains multitudes, and I like to see those multitudes myself. So I'll list these four books in roughly order of physical size, which is coincidentally how they're stacked in front of me right now.

First up is a manga volume from Yen Press with the mouthful of a title Kiss & White Lily for My Dearest Girl, Vol. 1, which is credited to a person or collective or post-human uploaded mind-engram known as Canno. It's about two teen girls just starting high school -- so, something totally new and different for a manga -- one of whom is a super-grind who has always been first in everything because of that hard work and the other of whom is a super-genius who slacks off and still is now first in everything. And I gather they become best friends.

Next up is a book for those shorter humans who may be in your house. (Yes, I mean children.) It's the second in Bruce Hale's "Monstertown Mysteries," Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies! You can get it from Disney/Hyperion on March 7th, and you might want to do so if either you or those aforementioned shorter human are particularly fond of things like Goosebumps. The two boys who saved their teacher from becoming a were-hyena -- you know, as you do -- in the first book now have to investigate strange doings in the cafeteria, and I'm afraid the title gives away the big secret.

I have a mystery novel, the latest in a long-running series -- Loren D. Estleman's The Lioness Is the Hunter, the 26th about Amos Walker (plus a book of short stories, for those sticklers out there). I had a reading project of the early books in this series back around 2007, and it's frankly probably time for another such project -- Estleman's been putting out a book a year since then. This one is available from Forge as of tomorrow (Tuesday, February 28), and is about a case that starts out when Walker is hired by a local entrepreneur to investigate the businessman's missing partner but quickly gets caught up in what seems to be a current recurring villain in the series (who also seems awfully Dragon Lady-like in a way I would not expect in the 21st century).

And last up is a fantasy novel, Richard A. Knaak's Black City Demon. It's the second in an urban fantasy series -- not a contemporary one, since it's set in Prohibition-era Chicago -- about a guy who used to be St. George but somehow merged with his famous dragon and now protects the world from the nasty creatures from what Knaak spells as Feirie. This one is from Pyr, and is available March 14.

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