This week's New York Times Bestsellers (February 11th)

In hardcover:

George R. R. Martin's Fire and Blood is up two positions, ending the week at number 6. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

In paperback:

Naomi Alderman's The Power is up one spot, finishing the week at number 11 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now download Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch for only 3.49$ 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



Another blast from the past, this time from the Cult!

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You can now download Joel Shepherd's excellent Crossover, opening volume in the Cassandra Kresnov sequence, for only 1.99$ here. Follow this link to read my review from 2006.

Here's the blurb:

Crossover is the first novel in a series which follows the adventures of Cassandra Kresnov, an artificial person, or android, created by the League, one side of an interstellar war against the more powerful, conservative Federation. Cassandra is an experimental design — more intelligent, more creative, and far more dangerous than any that have preceded her. But with her intellect come questions, and a moral awakening. She deserts the League and heads incognito into the space of her former enemy, the Federation, in search of a new life.

Her chosen world is Callay, and its enormous, decadent capital metropolis of Tanusha, where the concerns of the war are literally and figuratively so many light years away. But the war between the League and the Federation was ideological as much as political, with much of that ideological dispute regarding the very existence of artificial sentience and the rules that govern its creation. Cassandra discovers that even in Tanusha, the powerful entities of this bloody conflict have wound their tentacles. Many in the League and the Federation have cause to want her dead, and Cassandra’s history, inevitably, catches up with her.

Cassandra finds herself at the mercy of a society whose values preclude her own right even to exist. But her presence in Tanusha reveals other fault lines, and when Federal agents attempt to assassinate the Callayan president, she finds herself thrust into the service of her former enemies, using her lethal skills to attempt to protect her former enemies from forces beyond their ability to control. As she struggles for her place and survival in a new world, Cassandra must forge new friendships with old enemies, while attempting to confront the most disturbing and deadly realities of her own existence.


You can also get your hands on the digital edition of George R. R. Martin's Nightflyers and Other Stories for only 2.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

From #1 bestselling author of A Game of Thrones: Nightflyers, coming to television on SyFy, is an epic story of space exploration and cosmic horror, plus five George R. R. Martin classic science fiction tales.

On a voyage toward the boundaries of the known universe, nine misfit academics seek out first contact with a shadowy alien race.

But another enigma is the Nightflyer itself, a cybernetic wonder with an elusive captain no one has ever seen in the flesh. Soon, however, the crew discovers that their greatest mystery – and most dangerous threat – is an unexpected force wielding a thirst for blood and terror….

Also included are five additional classic George R. R. Martin tales of science fiction that explore the breadth of technology and the dark corners of the human mind.

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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Ian McDonald's Time Was for only 3.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

A love story stitched across time and war, shaped by the power of books, and ultimately destroyed by it.

In the heart of World War II, Tom and Ben became lovers. Brought together by a secret project designed to hide British targets from German radar, the two founded a love that could not be revealed. When the project went wrong, Tom and Ben vanished into nothingness, presumed dead. Their bodies were never found.

Now the two are lost in time, hunting each other across decades, leaving clues in books of poetry and trying to make their desperate timelines overlap.

Quote of the Day

One doesn’t become aware of the emptiness in which one has allowed time to go by until one truly lives. Sometimes life—not the days that have burned away—is just an instant, a day, a week, or a month. One knows one is alive because it hurts, because suddenly everything matters, and because when that brief moment is over, the rest of one’s existence becomes a memory to which one tries in vain to return while there is some breath left in one’s body.

- CARLOS RUIZ ZAFÓN, The Labyrinth of the Spirits (Canada, USA, Europe)

Almost done with this novel and it's great!

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (February 4th)

In hardcover:

George R. R. Martin's Fire and Blood is down two positions, ending the week at number 8. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

In paperback:

Naomi Alderman's The Power is up one spot, finishing the week at number 12 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Wild Cards I, the book that started it all, for only 1.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada. You can also download the second and third volumes for the same price.

Here's the blurb:

The first volume of George R. R. Martin's WILD CARDS shared-world series, back in print after a decade―and expanded with new, original material.

There is a secret history of the world―a history in which an alien virus struck the Earth in the aftermath of World War II, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Some were called Aces―those with superhuman mental and physical abilities. Others were termed Jokers―cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. Some turned their talents to the service of humanity. Others used their powers for evil. Wild Cards is their story.

Originally published in 1987, Wild Cards I includes powerful tales by Roger Zelazny, Walter Jon Williams, Howard Waldrop, Lewis Shiner, and George R. R. Martin himself. And this new, expanded edition contains further original tales set at the beginning of the Wild Cards universe, by eminent new writers like Hugo–winner David Levine, noted screenwriter and novelist Michael Cassutt, and New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.

Now in development for TV!

Rights to develop Wild Cards for TV have been acquired by Universal Cable Productions, the team that brought you The Magicians and Mr. Robot, with the co-editor of Wild Cards, Melinda Snodgrass as executive producer.


You can also get your hands on the digital edition of Seth Dickinson's The Traitor Baru Cormorant for only 2.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

In Seth Dickinson's highly-anticipated debut The Traitor Baru Cormorant, a young woman from a conquered people tries to transform an empire in this richly imagined geopolitical fantasy.

Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people-even her soul.

When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, overwrites her culture, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her fathers, Baru vows to swallow her hate, join the Empire's civil service, and claw her way high enough to set her people free.

Sent as an Imperial agent to distant Aurdwynn, another conquered country, Baru discovers it's on the brink of rebellion. Drawn by the intriguing duchess Tain Hu into a circle of seditious dukes, Baru may be able to use her position to help. As she pursues a precarious balance between the rebels and a shadowy cabal within the Empire, she orchestrates a do-or-die gambit with freedom as the prize.

But the cost of winning the long game of saving her people may be far greater than Baru imagines.

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


You can also download Ian McDonald's Luna: New Moon for only 2.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

The Moon wants to kill you. Whether it's being unable to pay your per diem for your allotted food, water, and air, or you just get caught up in a fight between the Moon's ruling corporations, the Five Dragons. You must fight for every inch you want to gain in the Moon's near feudal society. And that is just what Adriana Corta did.

As the leader of the Moon's newest "dragon," Adriana has wrested control of the Moon's Helium-3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family's new status. Now, at the twilight of her life, Adriana finds her corporation, Corta Helio, surrounded by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana's five children must defend their mother's empire from her many enemies... and each other.

How Long 'til Black Future Month


Speculative fiction anthologies and short story collections have a tendency to be tricky things. Indeed, more often than not they are padded with duds and filler material that can take something away from the overall reading experience.

Understandably, I was expecting the same from N. K. Jemisin's How Long 'til Black Future Month. That's just the way love goes, after all. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it wasn't the case. This short fiction collection is packed with quality pieces from start to finish. And while, as a matter of course, some stories stand out more than others, I'd still claim that it's pretty much all killer and no filler.

If you have yet to give Jemisin a shot, How Long 'til Black Future Month showcases the length and breadth of the author's imagination and gives you a good idea of the themes she likes to explore in her novels. And if you are an existing fan, then you'll find much to love about this collection.

Here's the blurb:

Three-time Hugo Award winner and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin sharply examines modern society in her first collection of short fiction.

N. K. Jemisin is one of the most powerful and acclaimed authors of our time. In the first collection of her evocative short fiction, which includes never-before-seen stories, Jemisin equally challenges and delights readers with thought-provoking narratives of destruction, rebirth, and redemption.

Spirits haunt the flooded streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow South must save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story "The City Born Great," a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis's soul.

As N. K. Jemisin explains in her introduction, the tales comprising this collection chronicle her development as a writer. Some stories contain early forms of plot elements or characterization that were later refined in her novels. They all feature people of colors and different races. Many of these tales are about accepting differences and change. Many are thought-provoking and imbued with melancholy. All in all, How Long 'til Black Future Month is unlike any other SFF short story collection out there, and that's what makes it such a memorable read.

The author explains that this collection is a meditation on how hard it's been for her to love fantasy and science fiction as a black woman. And these stories are her answer to what she considered to be the stagnating speculative genres. Sure, each one contains a socio-political commentary to a certain extent. Which, in the greater scheme of things is important. But even more important is the fact that these quality pieces are the product of a gifted writer, and that SFF has evolved enough that the market is now ready for these to be unveiled.

How Long 'til Black Future Month is comprised of twenty-two tales that all have something special. "Red Dirt Witch" definitely was one of my favorites. Others include "The Effluent Engine", "The Trojan Girl", "The Evaluators", "Walking Awake", "Stone Hunger", "The Narcomancer", and "Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Beneath the Still Waters".

Some of these short stories are abstract and experimental, others are powerful and touching. They are all quite different in style and tone, even though similar themes reappear in several of them. But all of them are good, which is what matters the most.

N. K. Jemisin's How Long 'til Black Future Month is a terrific read, one that should please the author's fans eagerly awaiting her next book and one that should win her some new readers who have yet to sample her novels.

The final verdict: 8.5/10

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

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


Once again, you can download N. K. Jemisin's How Long 'til Black Future Month for only 4.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

Three-time Hugo Award winner and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin sharply examines modern society in her first collection of short fiction.

N. K. Jemisin is one of the most powerful and acclaimed authors of our time. In the first collection of her evocative short fiction, which includes never-before-seen stories, Jemisin equally challenges and delights readers with thought-provoking narratives of destruction, rebirth, and redemption.

Spirits haunt the flooded streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow South must save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story "The City Born Great," a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis's soul.

Quote of the Day

"Have you ever thought of writing a biography?"

"No. I write fiction."

"Some would argue that no genre is more fictitious than a biography."

- CARLOS RUIZ ZAFÓN, The Labyrinth of the Spirits (Canada, USA, Europe)

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Sebastien de Castell's Traitor's Blade for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Falcio is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom, and impaled their King’s head on a spike.

Now Tristia is on the verge of collapse and the barbarians are sniffing at the borders. The Dukes bring chaos to the land, while the Greatcoats are scattered far and wide, reviled as traitors, their legendary coats in tatters.

All they have left are the promises they made to King Paelis, to carry out one final mission. But if they have any hope of fulfilling the King’s dream, the divided Greatcoats must reunite, or they will also have to stand aside as they watch their world burn…


You can also get your hands on the digital edition of Kate Elliott's King's Dragon for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Set in an alternate Europe where bloody conflicts rage, the first book of the Crown of Stars epic fantasy series chronicles a world-shaking conflict for the survival of humanity.

It begins with civil war....

For though King Henry still holds the crown of Wendar, his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella. There are many eager to flock to her banner, and there are ways to make even the most unwilling lord into a weapon pointed at the heart of Henry’s realm.

Torn by internal strife, Wendar also faces deadly raids from the north by an inhuman race, the Eika. And now terrifying portents are being seen; old ruins restored to life under the light of the full moon and peopled by the long-vanished Lost Ones; dark spirits walking the land in broad daylight.

And suddenly two innocents are about to be thrust into the middle of the conflict.

Liath, who has spent her early years fleeing from unknown enemies, is a young woman with the power to change the course of history if she can only learn to master her fear and seize what is rightfully hers.

While Alain, a young man who may find his future in a vision granted by the Lady of Battles, must first unravel the mystery of who he is—whether the bastard son of a noble father, the half-breed child of an elfin lord, the unwanted get of a whore, or the heir to a proud and ancient lineage. For only when he discovers the truth can he accept the destiny for which he was born.

Liath and Alain, each trapped in a personal struggle for survival, both helplessly being drawn into a far greater battle, a war in which sorcery not swords will determine the final outcome, and the land itself may be irrevocably reshaped by the forces unleashed....

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (January 28th)

In hardcover:

George R. R. Martin's Fire and Blood maintains its position at number 6. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

In paperback:

Naomi Alderman's The Power is now three spots, finishing the week at number 13 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Kristen Britain's Green Rider, first volume in the NYT bestselling Green Rider series, for only 2.99$ here. You can download it for the same price in Canada here.

Here's the blurb:

On her long journey home from school after a fight which will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G'ladheon ponders her future as she trudges through the immense forest called Green Cloak. But her thoughts are interrupted by a galloping horse bursting from the woods, its rider impaled by two black-shafted arrows.

As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Karigan he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of King Zachary. Before he dies, he makes Karigan swear to deliver the "life and death" message he’s carrying and to complete his mission "for love of her country." The man gives her his green coat, with the symbolic brooch of his office, bestowing upon Karigan the title of Green Rider and changing her life forever. Caught up in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces she cannot understand, Karigan is hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination.

Green Rider is the first installment of the acclaimed Green Rider series.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Michael J. Sullivan's Age of Myth for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Michael J. Sullivan’s trailblazing career began with the breakout success of his Riyria series: full-bodied, spellbinding fantasy adventures whose imaginative scope and sympathetic characters won a devoted readership and comparisons to fantasy masters Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch, and J.R.R. Tolkien himself. Now Sullivan’s stunning hardcover debut, Age of Myth, inaugurates an original five-book series—and one of fantasy’s finest next-generation storytellers continues to break new ground.

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever.

Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


Once again, you can download C. S. Friedman's Black Sun Rising, the first volume in the Coldfire trilogy, one of the best dark fantasy series ever written, for only 2.99$ here!

Here's the blurb:

Blending science fiction and fantasy, the first book of the Coldfire Trilogy tells a dark tale of an alien world where nightmares are made manifest.

Over a millennium ago, Erna, a seismically active yet beautiful world was settled by colonists from far-distant Earth. But the seemingly habitable planet was fraught with perils no one could have foretold. The colonists found themselves caught in a desperate battle for survival against the fae, a terrifying natural force with the power to prey upon the human mind itself, drawing forth a person’s worst nightmare images or most treasured dreams and indiscriminately giving them life.

Twelve centuries after fate first stranded the colonists on Erna, mankind has achieved an uneasy stalemate, and human sorcerers manipulate the fae for their own profit, little realizing that demonic forces which feed upon such efforts are rapidly gaining in strength.

Now, as the hordes of the dark fae multiply, four people—Priest, Adept, Apprentice, and Sorcerer—are about to be drawn inexorably together for a mission which will force them to confront an evil beyond their imagining, in a conflict which will put not only their own lives but the very fate of humankind in jeopardy.


You can also get your hands on the digital edition of Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

First in the bestselling Dragon Prince series, explore a lush epic fantasy world replete with winged beasts, power games of magical treachery, and a realm of princedoms hovering on the brink of war • “Marvelous!”—Anne McCaffrey.

When Rohan became the new prince of the Desert, ruler of the kingdom granted to his family for as long as the Long Sands spewed fire, he took the crown with two goals in mind. First and foremost, he sought to bring permanent peace to his world of divided princedoms. And, in a land where dragon-slaying was a proof of manhood, Rohan was the sole champion of the dragons, fighting desperately to preserve the last remaining lords of the sky and with them a secret which might be the salvation of his people...

Sioned, the Sunrunner witch who was fated by Fire to be Rohan’s bride, had mastered the magic of sunlight and moonglow, catching hints of a yet to be formed pattern which could irrevocably affect the destinies of Sunrunners and ordinary mortals alike. Yet caught in the machinations of the Lady of Goddess Keep, and of Prince Rohan and his sworn enemy, the treacherously cunning High Prince, could Sioned alter this crucial pattern to protect her lord from the menace of a war that threatened to set the land ablaze?

Stronghold, the first volume in the second trilogy, is also 2.99$ here.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (January 21st)

In hardcover:

George R. R. Martin's Fire and Blood is down two positions, ending the week at number 6. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Katherine Arden's The Winter of the Witch debuts at number 10.

David Weber's Through Fiery Trials debuts at number 12.

In paperback:

Naomi Alderman's The Power debuts at number 10 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can download C. J. Cherryh's Hugo award-winning Downbelow Station for only 1.99$ here. The best 2$ investment you'll make all year!

Here's the blurb:

Pell's Station, orbiting the alien world simply called Downbelow, had always managed to remain neutral in the ever escalating conflict between The Company, whose fleets from Earth had colonized space, and its increasingly independent and rebellious colony worlds. But Pell's location on the outer edge of Earth's defensive perimeter makes her the focal point in the titanic battle of colony worlds fighting for independence.

A legend among sci-fi readers, C. J. Cherryh‘s Union-Alliance novels, while separate and complete in themselves, are part of a much larger tapestry—a future history spanning 5,000 years of human civilization.

Here is the 20th anniversary edition of Downbelow Station, the book that won Cherryh a Hugo Award for Best novel in 1982. A blockbuster space opera of the rebellion between Earth and its far-flung colonies, it is a classic science fiction masterwork.


You can also get your hands on the digital edition of Kim Stanley Robinson's Green Earth for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

The landmark trilogy of cutting-edge science, international politics, and the real-life ramifications of climate change—updated and abridged into a single novel.

More than a decade ago, bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson began a groundbreaking series of near-future eco-thrillers—Forty Signs of Rain, Fifty Degrees Below, and Sixty Days and Counting—that grew increasingly urgent and vital as global warming continued unchecked. Now, condensed into one volume and updated with the latest research, this sweeping trilogy gains new life as Green Earth, a chillingly realistic novel that plunges readers into great floods, a modern Ice Age, and the political fight for all our lives.

The Arctic ice pack averaged thirty feet thick in midwinter when it was first measured in the 1950s. By the end of the century it was down to fifteen. One August the ice broke. The next year the breakup started in July. The third year it began in May. That was last year.

It’s a muggy summer in Washington, D.C., as Senate environmental staffer Charlie Quibler and his scientist wife, Anna, work to call attention to the growing crisis of global warming. But as they fight to align the extraordinary march of modern technology with the awesome forces of nature, fate puts an unusual twist on their efforts—one that will pit science against politics in the heart of the coming storm.

The Devil Aspect


Everything about the premise of this novel spoke to me and it went to the top of the pile as soon as the ARC showed up in my mailbox. With all the rave reviews out there, I knew I had to bring this book with me on my latest Southeast Asian adventure.

And though Craig Russell is a bestselling and award-winning Scottish author whose works have been translated into twenty-five languages, somehow The Devil Aspect is his American debut. Talk about being late to the party, especially given how good this one turned out to be. Here's to hoping that it will do well commercially on this side of the pond, for I'd love to sample more of Russell's writing in the future.

Here's the blurb:

A terrifying novel set in Czechoslovakia in 1935, in which a brilliant young psychiatrist takes his new post at an asylum for the criminally insane that houses only six inmates–the country’s most depraved murderers–while, in Prague, a detective struggles to understand a brutal serial killer who has spread fear through the city, and who may have ties to the asylum.

In 1935, Viktor Kosárek, a psychiatrist newly trained by Carl Jung, arrives at the infamous Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The state-of-the-art facility is located in a medieval mountaintop castle outside of Prague, though the site is infamous for concealing dark secrets going back many generations. The asylum houses the country’s six most treacherous killers–known to the staff as The Woodcutter, The Clown, The Glass Collector, The Vegetarian, The Sciomancer, and The Demon–and Viktor hopes to use a new medical technique to prove that these patients share a common archetype of evil, a phenomenon known as The Devil Aspect. As he begins to learn the stunning secrets of these patients, five men and one woman, Viktor must face the disturbing possibility that these six may share another dark truth.

Meanwhile, in Prague, fear grips the city as a phantom serial killer emerges in the dark alleys. Police investigator Lukas Smolak, desperate to locate the culprit (dubbed Leather Apron in the newspapers), realizes that the killer is imitating the most notorious serial killer from a century earlier–London’s Jack the Ripper. Smolak turns to the doctors at Hrad Orlu for their expertise with the psychotic criminal mind, though he worries that Leather Apron might have some connection to the six inmates in the asylum.

Steeped in the folklore of Eastern Europe, and set in the shadow of Nazi darkness erupting just beyond the Czech border, this stylishly written, tightly coiled, richly imagined novel is propulsively entertaining, and impossible to put down.

The Devil Aspect is a Gothic horror novel as well as a meticulously researched piece of historical fiction set in Czechoslovakia right before the beginning of World War II. Nazism is on the rise on the other side of the border, threatening to sweep across Europe if Hitler is successful in his folly. Russell came up with a disturbing atmospheric novel steeped into Eastern European folklore, the political history of a relatively young country with an unsteady foundation, and the troubles brewing in Germany. I've never read anything else by the author, so I'm not sure if this is usually his wont. But the man has an uncanny eye for detail and he can set the mood like few of his peers can. The book is dark and oppressive throughout, but a decidedly compelling read nonetheless.

The Devil Aspect features two main perspectives, that of Viktor Kosárek, the young psychiatrist, and that of Lukas Smolak, the police investigator. The two storylines remain separate for a while, but they begin to overlap when Smolak seeks out the asylum's expertise to help him on his case. And the more his investigation progresses and the more it appears that Leather Apron and his murders might be linked to the Devil's Six housed in Hrad Orlu, the novel becomes virtually impossible to put down!

There are a few pacing issues along the way, but nothing major. It takes longer for Viktor's POV to fully come together, for his storyline is often more about the Devil's Six than his own. Indeed, we follow him as he uses his groundbreaking treatments to search for the Devil Aspect in each of them. So we discover a lot about the six most dangerous murderers in the country, which is quite fascinating, yet we learn little about Viktor himself. There is a second plotline involving him which follows his budding relationship with Judita, a woman also working at the asylum, and which also follows his attempts to track down his wayward friend Filip. Viktor fears that Filip might be involved in the Leather Apron atrocities and he wants to save his friend before it's too late. On the other hand, Lukas Smolak's perspective moves at a very good clip throughout the book, thanks to the never-ending number of new victims butchered by the serial killer.

Craig Russell keeps you guessing and the list of possible suspects keeps adding up. The setting is absolutely perfect, with the ethnic tensions plaguing this culturally diverse country tainting every murder as well. Prague and its surroundings also come alive in spectacular fashion, something akin to what Carlos Ruiz Zafon did with Barcelona in The Shadow of the Wind.

The endgame and the finale, when they come, will shock and amaze you. The epilogue felt a bit unnecessary, but it does close the show with a certain flair. The Devil Aspect is definitely one of the books to read this year!

The final verdict: 8.5/10

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

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now get your hands on N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season, Hugo award winner, for only 2.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS... FOR THE LAST TIME.

A season of endings has begun.

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.


You can also download Michelle West's The Broken Crown for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

The first novel of the acclaimed Sun Sword series introduces readers to a war-torn world of noble houses divided and demon lords unleashed...

Tor Leonne—the heart of the Dominion of Annagar, where the games of state are about to become a matter of life and death—and where those who seek to seize the crown will be forced to league with a treacherously cunning ally....

Tor Leonne, ancestral seat of power, where Serra Diora Maria di’Marano—the most sought-after beauty in the land, a woman betrayed by all she holds dear—may strike the first blow to change the future of the Dominion and Empire alike....

Averalaan Aramarelas—that most ancient of civilized cities, the home of the Essalieyan Imperial court, has long been a center of magics both dark and bright. And though the Empire won its last war with the Dominion, and survived a devastating, magic-fueled battle with a far deadlier foe, both those victories were not without their cost....

But now the realm is on the brink of a far greater confrontation, faced with an unholy alliance that could spell the end of freedom for all mortalkind.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


For a limited time, you can get your hands on the digital edition of Kameron Hurley's excellent Apocalypse Nyx for only 1.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

If you find yourself in need of a primer, so to speak, something that works as a great introduction to one of the most badass heroines in SFF history and to one of the best science fiction series of the new millennium thus far, then Apocalypse Nyx is just what the doctor ordered. And if you're already a fan, download this book ASAP!

Here's the blurb:

Move over Mad Max—here comes Nyx.

Ex-government assassin turned bounty-hunter Nyx is good at solving other people’s problems. Her favorite problem-solving solution is punching people in the face. Then maybe chopping off some heads. Hey—it’s a living.

Her disreputable reputation has been well earned. To Nyx’s mind, it’s also justified. After all, she’s trying to navigate an apocalyptic world full of giant bugs, contaminated deserts, scheming magicians, and a centuries-long war that’s consuming her future. Managing her ragtag squad of misfits has required a lot of morally-gray choices.

Every new job is another day alive. Every new mission is another step toward changing a hellish future—but only if she can survive.

Apocalypse Nyx is the much-anticipated print edition of Kameron Hurley’s five newest Nyx novellas, as well as the first e-book collection of her gritty, exciting adventures.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now download Timothy Zahn's Thrawn: Alliances for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Grand Admiral Thrawn and Darth Vader team up against a threat to the Empire in this thrilling novel from bestselling author Timothy Zahn.

“I have sensed a disturbance in the Force.”

Ominous words under any circumstances, but all the more so when uttered by Emperor Palpatine. On Batuu, at the edges of the Unknown Regions, a threat to the Empire is taking root—its existence little more than a glimmer, its consequences as yet unknowable. But it is troubling enough to the Imperial leader to warrant investigation by his most powerful agents: ruthless enforcer Lord Darth Vader and brilliant strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn. Fierce rivals for the emperor’s favor, and outspoken adversaries on Imperial affairs—including the Death Star project—the formidable pair seem unlikely partners for such a crucial mission. But the Emperor knows it’s not the first time Vader and Thrawn have joined forces. And there’s more behind his royal command than either man suspects.

In what seems like a lifetime ago, General Anakin Skywalker of the Galactic Republic, and Commander Mitth’raw’nuruodo, officer of the Chiss Ascendancy, crossed paths for the first time. One on a desperate personal quest, the other with motives unknown . . . and undisclosed. But facing a gauntlet of dangers on a far-flung world, they forged an uneasy alliance—neither remotely aware of what their futures held in store.

Now, thrust together once more, they find themselves bound again for the planet where they once fought side by side. There they will be doubly challenged—by a test of their allegiance to the Empire . . . and an enemy that threatens even their combined might.


You can also get your hands on the digital edition of Mira Grant's Into the Drowning Deep for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Mira Grant, author of the renowned Newsflesh series, returns with a novel that takes us to a new world of ancient mysteries and mythological dangers come to life.

The ocean is home to many myths,

But some are deadly...

Seven years ago the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a mockumentary bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a tragedy.

Now a new crew has been assembled. But this time they're not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life's work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves.

But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

Quote of the Day

I believe religions, myths and superstitions all derive from shared archetypes. That we all have that part of ourselves that we seek to deny, yet which is where all our dreams and nightmares come from, where our instincts and all human creativity live. And in there are all the shared archetypes and aspects that take form in our cultures, in the stories we tell ourselves. Like the stories about the Devil. The Devil isn't a being, he's just one of these universal ingredients. The Devil lives hidden in us all.

- CRAIG RUSSELL, The Devil Aspect (Canada, USA, Europe)

This novel is coming out in March and it's a good one! Don't miss out on this book!

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (January 14th)

In hardcover:

George R. R. Martin's Fire and Blood is down two positions, ending the week at number 4. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Stephen King's Elevation is down seven positions, ending the week at number 14. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

The Plotters


I was immediately intrigued when a publicist emailed me to inquire about the possibility to review Un-Su Kim's American debut. Indeed, it's been a very long time since a novel's premise piqued my curiosity to such a degree. The Plotters felt like the perfect book to bring along on my latest Southeast Asian adventure.

And I now understand why the author has won Korea's most prestigious literary prize, for this quirky thriller was a delightful read!

Here's the blurb:

From the novelist dubbed “the Korean Henning Mankell” (The Guardian) comes a fantastical crime novel set in an alternate Seoul where assassination guilds compete for market dominance. Perfect for fans of Han Kang and Patrick deWitt.

Behind every assassination, there is an anonymous mastermind–a plotter–working in the shadows. Plotters quietly dictate the moves of the city’s most dangerous criminals, but their existence is little more than legend. Just who are the plotters? And more important, what do they want?

Reseng is an assassin. Raised by a cantankerous killer named Old Raccoon in the crime headquarters “The Library,” Reseng never questioned anything: where to go, who to kill, or why his home was filled with books that no one ever read. But one day, Reseng steps out of line on a job, toppling a set of carefully calibrated plans. And when he uncovers an extraordinary scheme set into motion by an eccentric trio of young women–a convenience store clerk, her wheelchair-bound sister, and a cross-eyed librarian–Reseng will have to decide if he will remain a pawn or finally take control of the plot.

Crackling with action and filled with unforgettable characters, The Plotters is a deeply entertaining thriller that soars with the soul, wit, and lyricism of real literary craft.

Set in and around an alternate Seoul, Kim's narrative truly gives life to the city and its surroundings. His lyrical prose (or perhaps it's the top-quality translation) creates an imagery that leaps off the page. The author's wit and sarcasm imbue this novel with a dark humor that is totally apropos of the story he's recounting. To a vast extent, this thriller is also a blistering socio-political commentary on the corruption of institutions in Korea and the rest of the world.

One thing's for sure: It's well nigh impossible to put a label on Un-Su Kim's The Plotters. Some claim it's Kill Bill meets Murakami. Others say it's Tarantino meets David Lynch. It's all that, and it's not. It's all that and more. Hard to say.

The characterization was by far my favorite aspect of this book. Not since Carlos Ruiz Zafon have I encountered a writer who can come up with genuine, three-dimensional protagonists seemingly on the fly. I don't know how Kim does it, but in a few short sentences he can introduce you to a character who possesses so much depth and personality. The Plotters is filled with memorable men and women that stand out. And though Reseng takes center stage, the novel would never have been the same without the unforgettable supporting cast.

This is a thriller, so the pace is fluid throughout and you'll reach the end of this book is no time. The Plotters is a dark, quirky, action-packed, thought-provoking, and entertaining work of fiction. Hopefully the first of many Un-Su Kim's novels to be translated into English, for I'm persuaded I won't be the only reader wishing to delve into the author's backlist and whatever he publishes next.

The final verdict: 8/10

Follow this link to read an extract. I'm sure you won't be able to stop there!

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