Monday, December 22, 2014

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 12/20

After two weeks of no books in the mail, I was pretty sure this was going to be a quiet month. But a couple of interesting things came in the last few days, so let me explain the ground rules again. I review books, so publicists send me books. And I write about all of those books here every week, since I know I won't get to read and review all of them.

First up is the new novel from Jo Walton, one of the best and most idiosyncratic fantasy writers working today. (To back up that second claim: can you think of anyone else with the range to break in with a historical Arthurian duology, make her name with an alternate history detective triptych, and win a World Fantasy Award for a Trollopian novel about dragons?) From her this time is an equally individual book, The Just City, set in a city out of time created by the goddess Athena to teach thousands of human children from all eras. And into that city comes Athena's brother, the god Apollo, in disguise, at the same time that the famous philosopher Socrates arrives to teach and question. That's certainly not a setting or a plot you'd get from anyone else in the field, and it sounds intriguingly cerebral. The Just City is a Tor hardcover, arriving January 13.

And the other book I have is Foxglove Summer, the fifth in the "Rivers of London" series by Ben Aaronovitch. police procedurals about England's most junior wizard, Peter Grant. This time out, Peter is sent out to rural Herefordshire to make sure that the mysterious disappearance of two young girls has nothing to do with the supernatural, and stays to help with the investigation even though he's sure there's nothing magical going on. (And I would bet serious coin that he turns out to be wrong about that.) This is a DAW mass market paperback -- cheap! -- and will be hitting your favored bookseller in January.

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