Monday, February 10, 2014

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/8

Every week, I get some books in the mail. And, so, every week, I write about those books here -- telling you whatever I can about them while slightly handicapped by not having read those books. And here's what we have this week:

The biggie -- in all senses of the word -- is Brandon Sanderson's new doorstop, Words of Radiance, the 1000+ page second book in the Stormlight Archive epic fantasy series. I have not read the first book -- I have to admit I haven't read any Sanderson yet, despite the fact that his agent and editor are two of my oldest friends in the SFF field -- so all I can tell you is that it's filled with a whole bunch of characters running hither and yon on a big continent, and that the major series conflict with the world-ending supernatural whatsizes seems to still be lurking in the background while the usual political intrigue and war plays out. This is a Tor hardcover hitting stores March 4th, and it's so fancy that the front and back endpapers are different.

Karen Traviss's third novel set in the world of Halo videogames, Halo: Mortal Dictata, also finishes up her "Kilo-Five Trilogy." It's more military adventure with Spartans and people threatening to "glass cities" and black-op squads and all of that stuff. And it's available from Tor now -- it was officially released on January 21 in hardcover and paperback and electrons -- so all you Halo fans can grab it.

I believe A Darkling Sea is the first novel by noted SF short-story writer James L. Cambias -- at least, the book itself doesn't list any previous novels -- and it's a Tor hardcover that was released January 28th. It's a deep-sea SF story set on an alien world, with a human research team investigating the newly-discovered intelligent alien race at the bottom of that sea and dealing with the not-entirely-friendly other starfaring alien race. Looks like smart, classic SF to me, full of tension, cultural conflict, and water pressure.

Vertical is publishing at least two new manga volumes this month, because I have those two in front of me. First is Yusuke Kishi and Toru Oikawa's From the New World, Vol. 2, continuing the adaptation of Kishi's dystopian medium-future SF novel. I think this is fairly serious and adult, despite the fan-service cover. It's set a thousand years in the future, where humans are gods with "magickal" powers -- I believe the main characters are students at a school for those powers -- and there's an underclass of anthropomorphic animals, some of which are more loyal and obedient than others.

Also from Vertical is Knights of Sidonia, Vol. 7 by Tsutomu Nihei -- I reviewed the first one last year, and had been sitting on the second volume, but I didn't realize the series had moved this far forward. It's still set on humanity's last starship, fleeing giant amorphous space monsters, and protected by young pilots flying giant robots -- but it's more serious and adult than that sounds.

1 comment:

Carl V. Anderson said...

Really looking forward to Words of Radiance being THE reading event for March. I have several friends who will be reading this as a group and it will be fun to discuss it with them along the way.

Really loving Dave Seeley's cover for the new Halo book.

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