Monday, March 25, 2013

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 3/23

There's a decent pile this week, and I'm starting much later in the day than usual -- the result of a Thing 1-centric weekend, with his theatrical debut in his high school's production of The Music Man and several celebrations for his fifteenth birthday -- so I'll attempt to be quick and factual this time around.

All of the books below arrived in my mailbox over the last week. I don't think I specifically asked for any of them, though I could quite easily have forgotten. All of them are brand new or upcoming books, being published in the United States of America (and possibly other places as well), mostly in the speculative genres and/or with words and pictures cunningly juxtaposed. I have not read any of these books yet, but I'm about to tell you what I can about them, because you may absolutely love one or more of them, and facilitating such love is supposed to be what publishing is all about.

So, this week I've decided to go in rough order of physical size of these books, since that's the way they're already piled on my desk. And that means the latest "Kitty Norville" contemporary fantasy novel from Carrie Vaughn, Kitty Rocks the House, is on top. I've enjoyed this series a lot, though I have to admit that I've fallen behind on it in the past few years; I think I now have five novels and a short-story collection still to read. (So you could claim that I'm hoarding them, which is not untrue.) Rocks the House is a mass-market paperback from Tor, hitting stores on March 26th.

Also in mass-market from Tor, and on the very same day, is Virus Thirteen, a near-future bio-thriller from Joshua Alan Parry. It's a first novel, focusing on a married couple working at a top biotech firm -- she's locked down in an underground lab, racing for a cure to a superflu! he's left outside the secure facility, battling terrorists! -- and Parry can probably be trusted to get the medical stuff correct since he's a medical resident at the Mayo Clinic.

A week later, on April 2nd, Sharp will be released in mass-market by Roc. It's the third in the "Mindscape Investigations" series by Alex Hughes, focusing on a telepathic police investigator in what seems to be the near future (sixty years after the "Tech Wars" apparently made networks and computers objects of hatred and fear).

The fourth volume in Keiko Suenobu's survival-horror Limit manga series was published last week by Vertical, in which the small group of survivors of a bus crash continue to do horrible things to each other, far from civilization.

Also from Vertical is the fifth volume of Flowers of Evil, Shuzo Oshimi's creepy look at an unhealthy love triangle among Japanese teens -- it's also just been published by Vertical.

From Amazon's 47North imprint, publishing in May, is Mark T. Barnes's The Garden of Stones, an epic fantasy doorstop that the back cover compares equally to Homer, George R.R. Martin, and Steven Erikson. It's about all of that epic-fantasy stuff: overweening pride, huge empires, the sweep of history, and incredibly special people.

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is a new graphic novel written by Prudence Shen (it's her first book) and drawn by Faith Erin Hicks (The Adventures of Superhero Girl, The War at Ellsmere, Friends With Boys, etc.). It's from First Second and is about the epic battle in one high school between the cheerleaders and the robotics squad over the funding that both of them desperately need.

Adam Baker's first novel, Juggernaut, appears to be a military thriller in which US soldiers in Iraq, enticed by rumors of fabulous wealth hidden away by Saddam, find their way to a hidden city in the desert populated by zombies. Don't roll your eyes: somebody is gobbling up all of these zombie stories, and I know it's not me. It's a hardcover from Thomas Dunne Books, coming April 2nd.

Speaking of vaguely skiffy thrillers from Thomas Dunne, I also have here Jeremy Robinson's Island 731, in which a scientific crew investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch find themselves on a mysterious uncharted island after a story -- an island where Imperial Japanese human experimentation went on during WWII, and where something is still active. (Really? We're still doing left-overs-from-WWII thrillers? The war's been over for almost seventy years at this point.)

E.E. Knight's Vampire Earth series continues with Appalachian Overthrow, but I can't get past that goat-dude on the cover. Is he our hero? (He might be: this looks to be a backstory novel about Ahn-Kha, whoever that is, and that's the kind of name I might give a goat-dude.) This is a Roc hardcover, coming April 2nd.

And last is Red Planet Blues, the new novel from Hugo and Nebula Award winner Robert J. Sawyer, which seems to have grown out of his novella "Identity Theft," originally written for an anthology published by my ten-employer. It's about a private detective on Mars -- which I won't make fun of, since I like PI novels, and Mars is as reasonable a setting as any other -- and Ace is publishing it in hardcover this week.    

No comments:

Post a Comment