What to read next???

Well, the end of the year is clearly in sight. . .

Before December draws to a close, you can expect reviews for GRRM and Gardner Dozois' Songs of Love & Death (Canada, USA, Europe), Robin Hobb's Dragon Haven (Canada, USA, Europe), and R. Scott Bakker's The White-Luck Warrior (Canada, USA, Europe). Depending on when I receive my copy, I'll also try to read and review Tad Williams' Shadowheart (Canada, USA, Europe), which I'm told should blow my mind!

So it looks like both Joe Abercrombie's The Heroes (Canada, USA, Europe) and Steven Erikson's The Crippled God (Canada, USA, Europe) will be January book reviews.

Which, in the end, will likely leave me with room for maybe another book to read to close 2010 on a high note. God knows that I'm in no danger of running out of stuff to read, but which one of these five speculative fiction titles would you like to see reviewed if I can fit it into my reading schedule?

- The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card (Canada, USA, Europe)

Danny North knew from early childhood that his family was different, and that he was different from them. While his cousins were learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family, Danny worried that he would never show a talent, never form an outself.

He grew up in the rambling old house, filled with dozens of cousins, and aunts and uncles, all ruled by his father. Their home was isolated in the mountains of western Virginia, far from town, far from schools, far from other people.

There are many secrets in the House, and many rules that Danny must follow. There is a secret library with only a few dozen books, and none of them in English — but Danny and his cousins are expected to become fluent in the language of the books. While Danny’s cousins are free to create magic whenever they like, they must never do it where outsiders might see.

Unfortunately, there are some secrets kept from Danny as well. And that will lead to disaster for the North family

- The Last Page by Anthony Huso (Canada, USA, Europe)

The city of Isca is set like a dark jewel in the crown of the Duchy of Stonehold. In this sprawling landscape, the monsters one sees are nothing compared to what’s living in the city’s sewers.

Twenty-three-year-old Caliph Howl is Stonehold’s reluctant High King. Thrust onto the throne, Caliph has inherited Stonehold’s dirtiest court secrets. He also faces a brewing civil war that he is unprepared to fight. After months alone amid a swirl of gossip and political machinations, the sudden reappearance of his old lover, Sena, is a welcome bit of relief. But Sena has her own legacy to claim: she has been trained from birth by the Shradnae witchocracy—adept in espionage and the art of magical equations writ in blood—and she has been sent to spy on the High King.

Yet there are magics that demand a higher price than blood. Sena secretly plots to unlock the Cisrym Ta, an arcane text whose pages contain the power to destroy worlds. The key to opening the book lies in Caliph’s veins, forcing Sena to decide if her obsession for power is greater than her love for Caliph.

Meanwhile, a fleet of airships creeps ever closer to Isca. As the final battle in a devastating civil war looms and the last page of the Cisrym Ta waits to be read, Caliph and Sena must face the deadly consequences of their decisions. And the blood of these conflicts will stain this and other worlds forever

- Vampire Empire by Clay and Susan Griffith (Canada, USA, Europe)

In the year 1870, a horrible plague of vampires swept over the northern regions of the world. Millions of humans were killed outright. Millions more died of disease and famine due to the havoc that followed. Within two years, once-great cities were shrouded by the gray empire of the vampire clans. Human refugees fled south to the tropics because vampires could not tolerate the constant heat there. They brought technology and a feverish drive to reestablish their shattered societies of steam and iron amid the mosques of Alexandria, the torrid quietude of Panama, or the green temples of Malaya.

It is now 2020 and a bloody reckoning is coming.

Princess Adele is heir to the Empire of Equatoria, a remnant of the old tropical British Empire. She is quick with her wit as well as with a sword or gun. She is eager for an adventure before she settles into a life of duty and political marriage to a man she does not know. But her quest turns black when she becomes the target of a merciless vampire clan. Her only protector is the Greyfriar, a mysterious hero who fights the vampires from deep within their territory. Their dangerous relationship plays out against an approaching war to the death between humankind and the vampire clans

Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar is the first book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternate history. Combining rousing pulp action with steampunk style, Vampire Empire brings epic political themes to life within a story of heartbreaking romance, sacrifice, and heroism

- The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Canada, USA, Europe)

London, 1861.

Sir Richard Francis Burton—explorer, linguist, scholar, and swordsman; his reputation tarnished; his career in tatters; his former partner missing and probably dead.

Algernon Charles Swinburne—unsuccessful poet and follower of de Sade; for whom pain is pleasure, and brandy is ruin!

They stand at a crossroads in their lives and are caught in the epicenter of an empire torn by conflicting forces: Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier, and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animals to provide unpaid labor; Libertines oppose repressive laws and demand a society based on beauty and creativity; while the Rakes push the boundaries of human behavior to the limits with magic, drugs, and anarchy. The two men are sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum when Lord Palmerston commissions Burton to investigate assaults on young women committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack, and to find out why werewolves are terrorizing London's East End.

Their investigations lead them to one of the defining events of the age, and the terrifying possibility that the world they inhabit shouldn't exist at all

- A Star Shall Fall by Marie Brennan (Canada, USA, Europe)

The Royal Society of London plays home to the greatest minds of England. It has revolutionized philosophy and scientific knowledge. Its fellows map out the laws of the natural world, disproving ancient superstition and ushering in an age of enlightenment.

To the fae of the Onyx Court, living in a secret city below London, these scientific developments are less than welcome. Magic is losing its place in the world—and science threatens to expose the court to hostile eyes.

In 1666, a Great Fire burned four-fifths of London to the ground. The calamity was caused by a great Dragon—an elemental beast of flame. Incapable of destroying something so powerful, the fae of London banished it to a comet moments before the comet’s light disappeared from the sky. Now the calculations of Sir Edmond Halley have predicted its return in 1759.

So begins their race against time. Soon the Dragon’s gaze will fall upon London and it will return to the city it ravaged once before. The fae will have to answer the question that defeated them a century before: How can they kill a being more powerful than all their magic combined? It will take both magic and science to save London—but reconciling the two carries its own danger

13 commentaires:

Brandon said...

The Last Page!

SQT said...

I have the same dilemma. I'm about half way through "Greyfriar" and it's pretty good. "Spring Heeled Jack" has an interesting feel to it. I've read the first chapter (I do that a lot) and I bet that's a good one too. But I have to say, the first chance I get I'm picking up "The Lost Gate."

JamesY said...

Hodder's 'The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack' wins my vote.

bascule said...

Spring Heel Jack, it's brilliant. A real hoot, my teenage daughter is now reading it and enjoying it too.

Paulo Cunha said...

How about the MONARCHIES OF GOD series? two volumes and you have them in your shelf because your were giving them as gifts a while ago.

Anonymous said...

I would vote for Spring Heeled Jack. No better reason than that's the one that most appealed to me.

Mad Hatter Review said...

The Last Page is a must and one of the best debuts this year.

Anonymous said...

Spring Heeled Jack.

I have been wanting to read this, wouldn't mind your take on it first.

Anonymous said...

A vote for STAR SHALL FALL. Marie Brennan is a great new author that is making a niche for herself in historical fantasy. All of her ONYX COURT books are great.


AntonisM. said...

I would like to read a review for "The Lost Gate". I've read reviews for most of other books but none yet for Card's latest.

Memory said...

I recently read--and adored--A STAR SHALL FALL. I'd love to see it get a bit more exposure.

redhead said...

I vote for Spring Heeled Jack as well.

Mostly because it's the only book on your list that I've read.

Droidprogrammer said...

I attempted to read Spring Heeled Jack, I was very much disappointed. SO I would appreciate if you gave it a whirl Pat, maybe it was just me.