Monday, April 04, 2011

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 4/2

I tend to assume that you folks know the drill by now -- that I get books from publishers to review because I post reviews here, and that guilt drove me to list those books every week, since I'll never manage to review more than 20% or so of the stuff I see, so these lists are based on a quick glance and common knowledge -- but perhaps that's an unwarranted assumption. If so, please re-read the previous sentence more carefully.

This week, I'll lead off with Reunion, the new graphic novel from Pascal Girard, which is this week's entry in the "I would have bought it anyway" category. Girard is a Francophile Francophone [2] Canadian cartoonist who I discovered with his heartbreaking, amazing Nicolas, a short, spare graphic novel about the childhood death of his kid brother. (And that makes it sound like spinach, I know: but it's a touching, lovely, brilliant book  that is well worth reading.) I reviewed Nicolas for ComicMix, and decided to look out for more books by Girard. This is another autobiographical story, with Girard going to his ten-year high school reunion (platonically) with the girl he had a crush on back then. And Drawn & Quarterly is publishing it, in English, everywhere in North America this month.

Wolfsangel is the first book in a planned historical fantasy series by M.D. Lachlan (pseudonym for a British writer whose real name can be found with a bit of judicious Googling and Wikipedia'ing), published as a trade paperback from Pyr last week (and in the UK last year). It has a brutal Viking king, at least one prophecy, witches who live on a troll wall, and the gods Odin and Loki -- plus a great wolf peering out at you from the cover. How can you resist?

The Rise of the Iron Moon is the third novel in a lose steampunk series from the excitable British writer Stephen Hunt, in which a friendless orphan suddenly finds herself on the run with a foreign vagrant and dealing with the fate of her entire nation. (No point for guessing that she has a Secret Destiny; every genre protagonist is issued a Secret Destiny during the dice-rolling stage of character generation.) Tor published Iron Moon as a hardcover a couple of weeks ago, back in March -- so you should be able to find it everywhere [1] now.

And last for this week is a new novel from Grandmaster Frederik Pohl -- over ninety and still writing regularly, as you'd know if you followed his Hugo-winning blog -- All the Lives He Led, a SF story about the 2000th anniversary of the Mount Vesuvius eruption, and one ex-American caught up in the middle of plots and mysterious disappearances ahead of that grand celebration. It's also from Tor, also hardcover, and is officially on-sale on April 12th.

[1] Possibly not including major book retailers fighting through bankruptcy proceedings, of course, and only within the narrow geographical regions in which Tor has license to sell books.

[2] He's probably a Francophile as well, since his books are first published in France. But, as was pointed out to me in email, what I meant to say is that he works in French, and thus is a Francophone.

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