More inexpensive ebook goodies!


Don't know for how long, but right now you can get your hands on the digital edition of Patrick Rothfuss' bestselling The Name of the Wind for only 2.25$ here! And you can download its sequel, The Wise Man's Fear, for only 2.50$ here.

Here's the blurb for the first volume:

The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime- ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. It is a high-action novel written with a poet’s hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero.

Win an Advance Reading Copy of Samantha Shannon's THE MIME ORDER


I'm giving away my Advance Reading Copy of Samantha Shannon's The Mime Order to one lucky winner! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London.

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.

Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam)gryphonwood.net with the header "MIME." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!

Musical Interlude



Not really a fan of Ariana Grande. But like Lady Gaga's "Do What You Want," this one has a good 80s vibe in terms of sound. =)

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now download Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

From Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke Award nominated debut author, Ann Leckie, comes Ancillary Justice, a stunning space opera that asks what it means to be human in a universe guided by artificial intelligence.

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was the Justice of Toren--a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose--to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.


And you can also download the entire Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson for only 5.75$ here.

Here's the blurb from the first volume:

Brandon Sanderson, fantasy’s newest master tale spinner, author of the acclaimed debut Elantris, dares to turn a genre on its head by asking a simple question: What if the hero of prophecy fails? What kind of world results when the Dark Lord is in charge? The answer will be found in the Mistborn Trilogy, a saga of surprises and magical martial-arts action that begins in Mistborn.

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

Readers of Elantris thought they'd discovered someone special in Brandon Sanderson. Mistborn proves they were right.

Speculative fiction Top 5 novels of 2014

Well, 2014 has almost come to an end. And in terms of quality SFF novels, it's been a decidedly dismal year. By far the worst since I created the Hotlist in 2005. Many of this year's new releases were so lackluster that they often took the love of reading right out of me. Indeed, 2014 marks my lowest output of book reviews since I started doing this. =(

Still, although it was far from a banner year, 2014 saw a number of noteworthy SFF titles get published. Here are the top 5 speculative fiction novels I've read this year! =) Click on each title to read my review. . .


1- Shadow Ops: Breach Zone by Myke Cole (Canada, USA, Europe)

Here's the blurb:

The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began “coming up Latent,” developing terrifying powers—summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Those who Manifest must choose: become a sheepdog who protects the flock or a wolf who devours it.…

In the wake of a bloody battle at Forward Operating Base Frontier and a scandalous presidential impeachment, Lieutenant Colonel Jan Thorsson, call sign “Harlequin,” becomes a national hero and a pariah to the military that is the only family he’s ever known.

In the fight for Latent equality, Oscar Britton is positioned to lead a rebellion in exile, but a powerful rival beats him to the punch: Scylla, a walking weapon who will stop at nothing to end the human-sanctioned apartheid against her kind.

When Scylla’s inhuman forces invade New York City, the Supernatural Operations Corps are the only soldiers equipped to prevent a massacre. In order to redeem himself with the military, Harlequin will be forced to face off with this havoc-wreaking woman from his past, warped by her power into something evil….


2- Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb (Canada, USA, Europe)

Here's the blurb:

Nearly twenty years ago, Robin Hobb burst upon the fantasy scene with the first of her acclaimed Farseer novels, Assassin’s Apprentice, which introduced the characters of FitzChivalry Farseer and his uncanny friend the Fool. A watershed moment in modern fantasy, this novel—and those that followed—broke exciting new ground in a beloved genre. Together with George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb helped pave the way for such talented new voices as Scott Lynch, Brandon Sanderson, and Naomi Novik.

Over the years, Hobb’s imagination has soared throughout the mythic lands of the Six Duchies in such bestselling series as the Liveship Traders Trilogy and the Rain Wilds Chronicles. But no matter how far she roamed, her heart always remained with Fitz. And now, at last, she has come home, with an astonishing new novel that opens a dark and gripping chapter in the Farseer saga.

FitzChivalry—royal bastard and former king’s assassin—has left his life of intrigue behind. As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock, Fitz is now married to his childhood sweetheart, Molly, and leading the quiet life of a country squire.

Though Fitz is haunted by the disappearance of the Fool, who did so much to shape Fitz into the man he has become, such private hurts are put aside in the business of daily life, at least until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers casts a sinister shadow over Fitz’s past . . . and his future.

Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one. . .


3- The Last Rite by Jasper Kent (Canada, USA, Europe)

Here's the blurb:

Russia – 1917. Zmyeevich, king of all vampires, is dead.

History records that the great voordalak – known across Europe as Dracula – perished in 1893 beneath the ramparts of his own castle, deep in the mountains of Wallachia. In Russia, the Romanov tsars are free of the curse that has plagued their blood for two centuries.

But two decades later and Tsar Nicholas II faces a new threat – a threat from his own people. War has brought Russia to her knees and the people are hungry for change. Revolution is in the air.

Mihail Konstantinovich Danilov – who himself carries Romanov blood – welcomes the prospect of a new regime. Like his ancestors he once fought to save the Romanovs from the threat that Zmyeevich brought them. Fought and won. But now he sees no future for a Russia ruled by a tyrant. He is joined in the struggle by his uncle, Dmitry Alekseevich - a creature born in a different era, over a century before. For more than half his existence he has been a vampire, and yet he still harbours one very human desire; that his country should be free.

But the curse that infects the blood of the Romanovs cannot be so easily forgotten and Mihail soon discovers that it – that he – may become the means by which a terror once thought eradicated might be resurrected . . .


4- Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence (Canada, USA, Europe)

Here's the blurb:

The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign, she has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister—unseen by most and unspoken of by all.

The Red Queen’s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth—drinker, gambler, seducer of women—is one who can see The Silent Sister. Tenth in line for the throne and content with his role as a minor royal, he pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war is coming. Witnesses claim an undead army is on the march, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks it’s all a rumor—nothing that will affect him—but he is wrong.

After escaping a death trap set by the Silent Sister, Jal finds his fate magically intertwined with a fierce Norse warrior. As the two undertake a journey across the Empire to undo the spell, encountering grave dangers, willing women, and an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath along the way, Jalan gradually catches a glimmer of the truth: he and the Norseman are but pieces in a game, part of a series of moves in the long war—and the Red Queen controls the board.


5- Operation Shield by Joel Shepherd (Canada, USA, Europe)

Here's the blurb:

Part military SF, part cyberpunk, part grand-scale space opera, and part techno-psychological thriller, the Cassandra Kresnov novels transcend the recently narrow segmentation of the science fiction genre.

In 23 Years on Fire, Cassandra discovered that the technology that created her has been misused in her former home and now threatens all humanity with catastrophe. Returning home to Callay, she finds that Federation member worlds, exhausted by the previous thirty-year-war against the League, are unwilling to risk the confrontation that a solution may require. Some of these forces will go to any lengths to avoid a new conflict, including taking a sledgehammer to the Federation Constitution and threatening the removal by force of Cassandra's own branch of the Federal Security Agency.

More frighteningly for Sandy, she has brought back to Callay three young children, whom she met on the mean streets of Droze, discovering maternal feelings she had not known she possessed. Can she reconcile her duty as a soldier, including what she must do as a tactician, with the dangers that those decisions will place upon her family-the one thing that has come to mean more to her than any cause she now believes in?

------------------------------

I'll post my entire Top 10 at the end of the year. Last December, a nasty virus that turned into an acute gastroenteritis prevented me from coming up with the annual Hotties awards. Hopefully they can return once more this year. . . =)

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


For a limited time only, you can download Helene Wecker's The Golem and the Jinni for only 2.99$ here!

Here's the blurb:

Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

Struggling to make their way in this strange new place, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their neighbors while masking their true natures. Surrounding them is a community of immigrants: the coffeehouse owner Maryam Faddoul, a pillar of wisdom and support for her Syrian neighbors; the solitary ice cream maker Saleh, a damaged man cursed by tragedy; the kind and caring Rabbi Meyer and his beleaguered nephew, Michael, whose Sheltering House receives newly arrived Jewish men; the adventurous young socialite Sophia Winston; and the enigmatic Joseph Schall, a dangerous man driven by ferocious ambition and esoteric wisdom.

Meeting by chance, the two creatures become unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures, until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful menace will soon bring the Golem and the Jinni together again, threatening their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

Marvelous and compulsively readable, The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of folk mythology, historical fiction, and magical fable into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.


And if you have been wanting to add the digital editions of The Lord of the Rings series, all three volumes can be downloaded for only 2.79$ each:

- The Fellowship of the Ring
- The Two Towers
- The Return of the King

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can download Pierce Brown's Red Rising for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now get your hands on Beth Cato's The Clockwork Dagger for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Full of magic, mystery, and romance, an enchanting steampunk fantasy debut in the bestselling vein of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger.

Orphaned as a child, Octavia Leander was doomed to grow up on the streets until Miss Percival saved her and taught her to become a medician. Gifted with incredible powers, the young healer is about to embark on her first mission, visiting suffering cities in the far reaches of the war-scarred realm. But the airship on which she is traveling is plagued by a series of strange and disturbing occurrences, including murder, and Octavia herself is threatened.

Suddenly, she is caught up in a flurry of intrigue: the dashingly attractive steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Daggers—the Queen’s spies and assassins—and her cabin-mate harbors disturbing secrets. But the danger is only beginning, for Octavia discovers that the deadly conspiracy aboard the airship may reach the crown itself.

Win an Advance Reading Copy of Michael Moorcock's THE WHISPERING SWARM


I'm giving away my ARC of Michael Moorcock's latest, The Whispering Swarm, to one lucky winner! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

With his first full novel in almost ten years (not counting his Doctor Who book), Michael Moorcock - the most influential figure in modern fantasy and science fiction - returns to the city of his birth. London has always been a central character in Moorcock's work, from the high-literary fiction of MOTHER LONDON to the roof gardens of Jerry Cornelius.

Now return to London just after the war, a city desperately trying to get back on its feet. And one young boy, Michael Moorcock, who is about to discover a world of magic and wonder. Between his first tentative approaches to adulthood - a job on Fleet Street, the first stirrings of his interest in writing - and a chance encounter with a mysterious Carmelite Friar, we see a version of Moorcock's life that is simultaneously a biography and a story. Mixing elements of his real life with his adventures in a parallel London peopled with highwaywomen, musketeers and magicians, this is Moorcock at his dazzling, mercurial best.

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam)gryphonwood.net with the header "SWARM." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (December 8th)

In hardcover:

Stephen King's Revival is down two spots, finishing the week at number 4.

Anne Rice's Prince Lestat is up three positions, ending the week at number 7.

In paperback:

Andy Weir's The Martian is up two spots, finishing the week at number 5 (trade paperback)

George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones is up eight positions, ending the week at number 8.

George R. R. Martin's A Dance With Dragons returns at number 15.

Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane returns at number 17 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can get your hands on R. A. Salvatore's Night of the Hunter for only 2.00$ here.

Here's the blurb:

R.A. Salvatore’s New York Times best-selling saga continues as dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden returns to Gauntlgrym with old friends by his side once again, as they seek to rescue Bruenor’s loyal shield dwarf-turned-vampire. But not only do Drizzt and his allies face a perilous journey through the Underdark and the dangers of the undead that lie within, but they must cross through a colony of drow, who would like nothing better than to see Drizzt Do’Urden dead.

Mad Max: Fury Road trailer



Back in the 80s, I really enjoyed the original movies. Will be interesting to see if this one lives up to expectations, but the trailer looks good and makes me want to see the movie.

The World of Ice and Fire


When it was originally announced that a detailed ASOIAF sourcebook would be published, I wasn't particularly excited about the news. After all, the last time a bestselling fantasy series had given birth to such an encyclopedia, fans got it up the ass pretty bad in 1997 when Tor Books released the insulting travesty that was The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time. The public uproar that followed in the wake of its release caused, not without reason, quite a stir in SFF circles back then. That companion book turned out to be a veritable turd on so many levels that I was concerned that Bantam and Harper Voyager would want to take the path of least resistance and milk George R. R. Martin's seminal work for all it's worth, aware that such a sourcebook would be another bestseller regardless of the quality of its content.

Not unexpectedly, The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones was postponed at some point. But there was a bright light at the end of the tunnel. The names of the quality artists who would work on the book were revealed. Immediately, fans realized that we wouldn't be served with low-quality caricaturesque illustrations such as those featured in The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time. Even better, we were informed that GRRM himself had produced over 200,000 words worth of text to be included in the companion book.

When, earlier this fall, extracts and images that would grace the pages of The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones were unveiled, I wasn't the only one who was salivating at the thought of holding this work in my hands. And now that I've read it, I can vouch for the fact that no effort was spared to make this as informative and as gorgeous a work as humanly possible.

Here's the blurb:

THE NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN HISTORY OF WESTEROS AND THE LANDS BEYOND • WITH HUNDREDS OF PAGES OF ALL-NEW MATERIAL FROM GEORGE R. R. MARTIN

If the past is prologue, then George R. R. Martin’s masterwork—the most inventive and entertaining fantasy saga of our time—warrants one hell of an introduction. At long last, it has arrived with The World of Ice & Fire.

This lavishly illustrated volume is a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter rivalries, and daring rebellions that lead to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones. In a collaboration that’s been years in the making, Martin has teamed with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson, the founders of the renowned fan site Westeros.org—perhaps the only people who know this world almost as well as its visionary creator.

Collected here is all the accumulated knowledge, scholarly speculation, and inherited folk tales of maesters and septons, maegi and singers, including

• full-color artwork and maps, with more than 170 original pieces
• full family trees for Houses Stark, Lannister, and Targaryen
• in-depth explorations of the history and culture of Westeros
• 100% all-new material, more than half of which Martin wrote specifically for this book

The definitive companion piece to George R. R. Martin’s dazzlingly conceived universe, The World of Ice and Fire is indeed proof that the pen is mightier than a storm of swords.

The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones was written by Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson, creators of Westeros.org, in consultation with George R. R. Martin. It's told from the point of view of Maester Yandel, who offers up this history of the Seven Kingdoms to King Robert Baratheon. Kudos to the authors for producing an easy-to-read ASOIAF companion book filled with such a wealth of historical details.

The book is structured in several sections focusing on various historical periods, kingdoms, and Houses. The first one, "Ancient History", explores such epochs as the Dawn Age, the Coming of the First Men, the Age of Heroes, the Long Night, The Rise of Valyria, the Arrival of the Andals, and the Doom of Valyria. This section was quite interesting, for we learn a lot about the early history of the land, even if many of those mysteries are shrouded in the mists of time.

And yet, the following sections are by far the most fascinating of the book. The second one, "The Reign of the Dragons" focuses on the Conquest, while the third one, "The Targaryen Kings", features nearly one hundred pages elaborating on every single Targaryen monarch in the history of the Seven Kingdoms. That and the following section, "The Fall of the Dragons", paint a somewhat clearer picture which allows fans of A Song of Ice and Fire to understand exactly how events escalated and how they led to the fall of the Mad King and Robert Baratheon's rebellion. That, in and of itself, is worth the cover price. I kid you not.

"The Seven Kingdoms" section features over one hundred pages focusing on the history, the cities, the castles, and the Houses of the North, the Wall, the Riverlands, the Vale, the Iron Islands, the Westerlands, the Reach, the Stormlands, and Dorne. Considering the staggering amount of historical details contained within this section, it's no wonder that The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones took such a long time to write. But in light of all this depth, the time spent to get everything right was time well spent. In "Beyond the Sunset Kingdoms" the authors focus on the Free Cities, the Summer Isles, the Basilisk Isles, the Shivering Sea, Yi Ti, Leng, Asshai-by-the-Shadow, and beyond. I would have loved to get more maps of those distant lands, even with the caveat that they were unofficial.

The book ends with appendices featuring the lineage of the Targaryens, the Starks, and the Lannisters. The last appendix focuses on the reign of the kings.

Every single section is embellished by the gorgeous illustrations of a panoply of talented artists such as Michael Komarck and Justin Sweet. In this day and age in which digital editions are more and more popular, The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones is one of those works that you need to own as a hard copy. The oversized coffee table book is the only format that can truly do justice to the beauty of the art contained within its pages.

In the end, The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones is the absolute companion book and the perfect Christmas present to offer to any ASOIAF fan. Yes, it's expensive. But believe me when I say that it's worth every penny!

The final verdict: 10/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell teaser trailer



Looks as sleep-inducing and atrociously boring as the novel. . . :/

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now download Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

They are the "Others," an ancient race of supernatural beings—magicians, shape-shifters, vampires, and healers—who live among us. Human born, they must choose a side to swear allegiance to—the Dark or the Light—when they come of age.

For a millennium, these opponents have coexisted in an uneasy peace, enforced by defenders like the Night Watch, forces of the Light who guard against the Dark. But prophecy decrees that one supreme "Other" will arise to spark a cataclysmic war.

Anton Gorodetsky, an untested mid-level Light magician with the Night Watch, discovers a cursed young woman—an Other of tremendous potential unallied with either side—who can shift the balance of power. With the battle lines between Light and Dark drawn, the magician must move carefully, for one wrong step could mean the beginning of annihilation.

Musical Interlude



Going old school on your asses! :P This one is for all those people thinking that Lacoste came up with a dope jingle for their TV commercial. . .

Terminator Genisys trailer



Geeks are getting excited left and right. The problem with geeks is that they seem to have very short memories. After the travesty that was Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, why the heck should anyone get excited about this movie??? Everything in the trailer screams of déjà vu. . .

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can get your hands on Kameron Hurley's excellent God's War for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Nyx had already been to hell. One prayer more or less wouldn't make any difference...

On a ravaged, contaminated world, a centuries-old holy war rages, fought by a bloody mix of mercenaries, magicians, and conscripted soldiers. Though the origins of the war are shady and complex, there's one thing everybody agrees on--

There's not a chance in hell of ending it.

Nyx is a former government assassin who makes a living cutting off heads for cash. But when a dubious deal between her government and an alien gene pirate goes bad, Nyx's ugly past makes her the top pick for a covert recovery. The head they want her to bring home could end the war--but at what price?

The world is about to find out
.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (December 1st)

In hardcover:

Stephen King's Revival is down one spot, finishing the week at number 2.

Anne Rice's Prince Lestat is down four positions, ending the week at number 10.

Patrick Rothfuss' The Slow Regard of Silent Things is down four spots, finishing the week at number 14. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

In paperback:

Andy Weir's The Martian is up one spot, finishing the week at number 7 (trade paperback)

George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones returns at number 16.

Katherine Kurtz contest winners!

Our three winners will receive a copy of Katherine Kurtz's The King's Deryni, courtesy of the folks at Ace. For more information on this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

The winners are:

- Bobby V. Berry, Jr., from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, USA

- Bethany Cardone, from Burke, Virginia, USA

- Frank Creed, from Westford, Massachusetts

Many thanks to all the participants!

Awesome deal!!!


I'm halfway done with The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones and it's quite the ASOIAF encyclopedia! And for a limited time, you can download it for only 6.25$ here! It's a must read for all the big ASOIAF fans out there!

Here's the blurb:

THE NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN HISTORY OF WESTEROS AND THE LANDS BEYOND • WITH HUNDREDS OF PAGES OF ALL-NEW MATERIAL FROM GEORGE R. R. MARTIN

If the past is prologue, then George R. R. Martin’s masterwork—the most inventive and entertaining fantasy saga of our time—warrants one hell of an introduction. At long last, it has arrived with The World of Ice & Fire.

This lavishly illustrated volume is a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter rivalries, and daring rebellions that lead to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones. In a collaboration that’s been years in the making, Martin has teamed with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson, the founders of the renowned fan site Westeros.org—perhaps the only people who know this world almost as well as its visionary creator.

Collected here is all the accumulated knowledge, scholarly speculation, and inherited folk tales of maesters and septons, maegi and singers, including

• full-color artwork and maps, with more than 170 original pieces
• full family trees for Houses Stark, Lannister, and Targaryen
• in-depth explorations of the history and culture of Westeros
• 100% all-new material, more than half of which Martin wrote specifically for this book

The definitive companion piece to George R. R. Martin’s dazzlingly conceived universe, The World of Ice & Fire is indeed proof that the pen is mightier than a storm of swords.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


For a limited time only, you can get your hands on James S. A. Corey's Cibola Burn for only 3.25$ here.

Here's the blurb:

ENTER A NEW FRONTIER.

"An empty apartment, a missing family, that's creepy. But this is like finding a military base with no one on it. Fighters and tanks idling on the runway with no drivers. This is bad juju. Something wrong happened here. What you should do is tell everyone to leave."

The gates have opened the way to a thousand new worlds and the rush to colonize has begun. Settlers looking for a new life stream out from humanity's home planets. Ilus, the first human colony on this vast new frontier, is being born in blood and fire.

Independent settlers stand against the overwhelming power of a corporate colony ship with only their determination, courage, and the skills learned in the long wars of home. Innocent scientists are slaughtered as they try to survey a new and alien world. The struggle on Ilus threatens to spread all the way back to Earth.

James Holden and the crew of his one small ship are sent to make peace in the midst of war and sense in the midst of chaos. But the more he looks at it, the more Holden thinks the mission was meant to fail.

And the whispers of a dead man remind him that the great galactic civilization that once stood on this land is gone. And that something killed it.


You can also download Brent Weeks' The Broken Eye for only 3.75$ here.

Here's the blurb:

The Broken Eye continues the spectacular Lightbringer series from the New York Times bestselling author of The Black Prism and The Blinding Knife.

As the old gods awaken and satrapies splinter, the Chromeria races to find the only man who can still end a civil war before it engulfs the known world. But Gavin Guile has been captured by an old enemy and enslaved on a pirate galley. Worse still, Gavin has lost more than his powers as Prism--he can't use magic at all.

Without the protection of his father, Kip Guile will face a master of shadows as his grandfather moves to choose a new Prism and put himself in power. With Teia and Karris, Kip will have to use all his wits to survive a secret war between noble houses, religious factions, rebels, and an ascendant order of hidden assassins called The Broken Eye.


Finally, though it's not as good a deal as the others, right now you can download Joe Abercrombie's Half a King for 6.49$ here.

Here's the blurb:

“I swore an oath to avenge the death of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath.”

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

The deceived will become the deceiver.

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

The betrayed will become the betrayer.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

Will the usurped become the usurper?

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.

The Last Rite


These days, vampire stories are a dime a dozen. Indeed, the majority of them have nothing original to differentiate them from the rest of the often lackluster pack. Yet by mixing his own tale with Russian historical fiction, with the Danilov Quintet Jasper Kent created something definitely unique, compelling, and thoroughly enjoyable!

Twelve, Thirteen Years Later, The Third Section, and The People's Will were all engaging and satisfying reads. And with this last installment, I was looking forward to see what sort of grand finale Kent had in store for his readers. Spanning over a century and generations of Romanov and Danilov family members, I was eager to discover just how this epic tale would come to an end. And I wasn't disappointed!

Here's the blurb:

Russia – 1917. Zmyeevich, king of all vampires, is dead.

History records that the great voordalak – known across Europe as Dracula – perished in 1893 beneath the ramparts of his own castle, deep in the mountains of Wallachia. In Russia, the Romanov tsars are free of the curse that has plagued their blood for two centuries.

But two decades later and Tsar Nicholas II faces a new threat – a threat from his own people. War has brought Russia to her knees and the people are hungry for change. Revolution is in the air.

Mihail Konstantinovich Danilov – who himself carries Romanov blood – welcomes the prospect of a new regime. Like his ancestors he once fought to save the Romanovs from the threat that Zmyeevich brought them. Fought and won. But now he sees no future for a Russia ruled by a tyrant. He is joined in the struggle by his uncle, Dmitry Alekseevich - a creature born in a different era, over a century before. For more than half his existence he has been a vampire, and yet he still harbours one very human desire; that his country should be free.

But the curse that infects the blood of the Romanovs cannot be so easily forgotten and Mihail soon discovers that it – that he – may become the means by which a terror once thought eradicated might be resurrected . . .

The historical backdrop for The Last Rite is the Russian revolution of 1917, which was triggered by a combination of economic breakdown, war-weariness, and discontent with the Tsars that ultimately led to seizure of power by the Communist Bolsheviks. As is usually his wont, Jasper Kent's flair and his eye for historical details capture the minutiae of the day-to-day life in Russia during that particular era and create an evocative narrative that never fails to dazzle the eye. However, though this marks an extremely important moment from an historical perspective, the author didn't quite manage to weave these momentous events with his various plotlines the way he was able to in the fourth volume. It doesn't take anything away from the overall reading experience, but it would have been nice if the brewing revolution had taken center stage and influenced every plotline and protagonist in the same manner as in The People's Will.

This novel features the point of view of Mihail Konstantinovich Danilov. Along with his mother, as a youth he devoted his entire existence to the destruction of vampires. More than three decades have passed since he killed Iuda and Mihail is now an old man with heart problems. With Russia on the brink of revolution, Mihail's life is about to change once more as his past catches up with him. There was an unanticipated and shocking surprise as to what the other main protagonist turned out to be. I can't elaborate on that specific POV, for it would be a major spoiler. Needless to say, these two points of view create an interesting balance as we witness events occurring through the eyes of such disparate characters. Characterization has always been a highlight in the Danilov Quintet and it's certainly no exception once again with The Last Rite.

Both Thirteen Years Later and The Third Section suffered from occasional pacing issues and the same can be said of this final instalment. The People's Will was pretty much a page-turner, but the rhythm drags in certain portions of this book. Still, once the endgame has begun, from that point on the novel becomes impossible to put down!

Ever since I read Twelve and learned that the series would follow the Danilov family through the generations at the way to the Russian Revolution, I've been wondering how Jasper Kent would bring this story to a close. Although there is some foreshadowing throughout The Last Rite, I never saw the end coming. Everything comes full circle, with the sort of great finale that does justice to this epic tale of vampires.

I mention this in every single review: if you are looking for an intriguing blend of Russian historical fiction and paranormal fiction, Kent's Danilov Quintet is definitely what the doctor ordered. If you want to read something different, this series deserves the highest possible recommendation. Indeed, this should intrigue and satisfy even the most jaded genre fiction readers!

The Last Rite is a fitting end to a superior series. Jasper Kent's Danilov Quintet is definitely one of the very best speculative fiction series of the new millennium! Do yourself a favor and read these books!

The final verdict: 8/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

More inexpensive ebook goodies!



You can now download Brandon Sanderson's The Alloy of Law for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Fresh from the success of The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson, best known for completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time®, takes a break to return to the world of the bestselling Mistborn series.

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn, who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

The Pat's Fantasy Hotlist world tour hits the road again!!!



My leave of absence request was accepted, so I'll be spending the whole month of February traveling around the many islands of the Philippines! So if any of you guys will be in Manila, Cebu City, Boracay, or anywhere else where I'll be stopping by, maybe we could go out for a few drinks! ;-)

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can get your hands on the digital edition of Brandon Sanderson's Legion: Skin Deep for only 4.44$ here.

Here's the blurb:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, Stephen Leeds is back in a new, double-length novella that Library Journal says has "the pulse of a thriller and the hook of a fascinating hero balancing on the edge of psychosis."

It's not his own genius that Stephen Leeds gets hired for. Clients want to tap into the imaginary experts that populate his mind—and it's getting a bit crowded in there.

Now Stephen and his internal team of "aspects" have been hired to track down a stolen corpse—but it's not the corpse that's important, it's what the corpse knows. The biotechnology company he worked for believes he encoded top-secret information in his DNA before he died, and if it falls into the wrong hands, that will mean disaster.

Meanwhile, Stephen's uneasy peace with his own hallucinations is beginning to fray at the edges, as he strives to understand how one of them could possibly have used Stephen's hand to shoot a real gun during the previous case. And some of those hallucinations think they know better than Stephen just how many aspects his mind should make room for. How long will he be able to hold himself together?

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (November 24th)

In hardcover:

Stephen King's Revival debuts at number 1.

Anne Rice's Prince Lestat is down three positions, ending the week at number 6.

Patrick Rothfuss' The Slow Regard of Silent Things is down five spots, finishing the week at number 10. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

In paperback:

Andy Weir's The Martian is down one spot, finishing the week at number 8 (trade paperback)

Star Wars: Episode 7 -- The Force Awakens teaser trailer



Here it is!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


Don't know for how long, but right now you can download Andy Weir's The Martian for only 3.00$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Extract from Brian Staveley’s THE PROVIDENCE OF FIRE


The folks at Tor.com have just posted an excerpt from Brian Staveley’s The Providence of Fire on their website. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

The Providence of Fire, the second volume in Brian Staveley’s Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, sees the heirs of the assassinated Emperor of Annur fighting one another as well as the forces that conspired against their father.

Adare has learned the identity of her father’s killer, but she has few allies to challenge the coup against her family. While she rallies the people—who believe her touched by Intarra, patron goddess of the empire—to help her retake the city, she must face her brother Valyn’s rebel forces. Having allied with nomad forces, he brings war to the Annurian Empire.

Caught in the middle is Adare and Valyn’s brother Kaden, rightful heir to the throne. He has infiltrated the capital with the help of two strange companions, who possess knowledge that may save Annur... or destroy it.

Follow this link to read the first chapter. . .