More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Jeff Somers' The Electric Church, first installment in the Avery Cates series, for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. There is a price match in Canada. Don't miss out on this quality series!

Here's the blurb:

Avery Cates is a very bad man. Some might call him a criminal. He might even be a killer - for the Right Price. But right now, Avery Cates is scared. He's up against the Monks: cyborgs with human brains, enhanced robotic bodies, and a small arsenal of advanced weaponry. Their mission is to convert anyone and everyone to the Electric Church. But there is just one snag. Conversion means death.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense.

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get your hands on The Bone Season series bundle by Samantha Shannon, comprised of The Bones Season, The Mime Order, and The Song Rising, for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link.

Here's the blurb:

London, 2059. In the Republic of Scion, clairvoyance is illegal, but a criminal underworld thrives in its shadows. Unique among clairvoyants, Paige Mahoney is a dreamwalker, capable of possessing other people – and under Scion law, she commits treason simply by breathing.

Elsewhere, however, there is a seat of power even greater than Scion. And they have a different design for Paige and her uncommon abilities . . .

In these sweeping, extraordinary books, Paige will rise to become the leader of a revolution like no other, determined to bring justice to a world that will stop at nothing to destroy her.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (April 20th)

In paperback:

Stephen King's The Outsider is down five positions, ending the week at number 15 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download all nine installments of The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg for 2.99$ each by following this Amazon Associate link.

Here's the blurb for the first volume, To Be Continued:

First in a projected eight volumes collecting all of the short stories and novellas SF Grandmaster Silverberg wants to take their place on the permanent shelf. Each volume will be roughly 150,000-200,000 words, with classics and lesser known gems alike. Mr. Silverberg has also graced us with a lengthy introduction and extensive story notes for each tale.

The Subterranean Collected Silverberg will vary greatly from the UK trade paperback series published in the 1990s. Due to the publisher's desire to limit the series to six volumes, many stories and, especially, novellas, could not be included. The Subterranean Collected Silverberg will be the definitive set.

Limited: 125 signed numbered hardcover copies, bound in leather and cloth

Trade: fully cloth bound edition

Table of Contents

Gorgon Planet
The Road to Nightfall
The Silent Colony
Absolutely Inflexible
The MacAuley Circuit
The Songs of Summer
To Be Continued
The Artifact Business
Collecting Team
A Man of Talent
One-Way Journey
Sunrise on Mercury
World of a Thousand Colors
Warm Man
Blaze of Glory
The Outbreeders
The Man Who Never Forgot
There Was an Old Woman
The Iron Chancellor
Delivery Guaranteed

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Robert Silverberg's Lord Valentine's Castle, opening chapter in the bestselling Majipoor Cycle, for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link.

Here's the blurb:

He is a man with no past— a wanderer without memory of his origins. He calls himself Valentine. As a member of a motley group of entertainers, he travels across the magical planet of Majipoor, always hoping he will meet someone who can give him back what he has lost.

And then, he begins to dream--and to receive messages in those dreams. Messages that tell him that he is far more than a common vagabond—he is a lord, a king turned out of his castle. Now his travels have a purpose—to return to his home, discover what enemy took his memory, and claim the destiny that awaits him…

You can also get your hands on the digital edition of George R. R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle's Windhaven for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and acclaimed author Lisa Tuttle comes a timeless tale that brilliantly renders the struggle between the ironbound world of tradition and a rebellious soul seeking to prove the power of a dream.

Among the scattered islands that make up the water world of Windhaven, no one holds more prestige than the silver-winged flyers, romantic figures who cross treacherous oceans, braving shifting winds and sudden storms, to bring news, gossip, songs, and stories to a waiting populace. Maris of Amberly, a fisherman’s daughter, wants nothing more than to soar on the currents high above Windhaven. So she challenges tradition, demanding that flyers be chosen by merit rather than inheritance. But even after winning that bitter battle, Maris finds that her troubles are only beginning. Now a revolution threatens to destroy the world she fought so hard to join—and force her to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Quote of the Day

What I learned, as I looked back on those times, was that the lies are what sustained us. The lies kept us going. Gave us hope. Without lies we have to face the truth long before we are ready for it.

Long before we are prepared to fight it.

- KAMERON HURLEY, The Light Brigade (Canada, USA, Europe)

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (April 13th)

In paperback:

Stephen King's The Outsider is down six positions, ending the week at number 10 (trade paperback).

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale returns at number 14 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Miles Cameron's Cold Iron for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

A young mage-in-training takes up the sword and is unwittingly pulled into a violent political upheaval, in the first book of this epic fantasy trilogy by Miles Cameron, author of The Red Knight.

Aranthur is a promising young mage. But the world is not safe and after a confrontation leaves him no choice but to display his skill with a blade, Aranthur is instructed to train under a renowned Master of Swords.

During his intensive training he begins to question the bloody life he's chosen. And while studying under the Master, he finds himself thrown into the middle of a political revolt that will impact everyone he's come to know.

To protect his friends, Arnathur will be forced to decide if he can truly follow the Master of Swords into a life of violence and cold-hearted commitment to the blade.

Mazes of Power

Labeled as a thoughtful work of sociological science fiction, Juliette Wade's debut novel scared me a little. Indeed, this is usually the sort of book that appeals to critics but puts the bulk of SFF fans to sleep. Advance blurbs mentioned that Mazes of Power featured phenomenal worldbuilding, so I finally decided to give it a shot.

And what a mistake it turned out to be. Mazes of Power is one of the most boring novels I have ever read. I wanted to quit early on, that goes without saying. But I had already announced that I was reading the book on Goodreads, so I elected to persevere, hoping that it would get better. Alas, it didn't. . .

Here's the blurb:

This debut work of sociological science fiction follows a deadly battle for succession, where brother is pitted against brother in a singular chance to win power and influence for their family.

The cavern city of Pelismara has stood for a thousand years. The Great Families of the nobility cling to the myths of their golden age while the city’s technology wanes.

When a fever strikes, and the Eminence dies, seventeen-year-old Tagaret is pushed to represent his Family in the competition for Heir to the Throne. To win would give him the power to rescue his mother from his abusive father, and marry the girl he loves.

But the struggle for power distorts everything in this highly stratified society, and the fever is still loose among the inbred, susceptible nobles. Tagaret’s sociopathic younger brother, Nekantor, is obsessed with their family’s success. Nekantor is willing to exploit Tagaret, his mother, and her new servant Aloran to defeat their opponents.

Can he be stopped? Should he be stopped? And will they recognize themselves after the struggle has changed them?

When I think about complex and phenomenal worldbuilding, names of science fiction authors such as Peter F. Hamilton, N. K. Jemisin, James S. A. Corey, Kameron Hurley, and Alastair Reynolds come to mind. Understandably, given the advance praise, I was expecting something more than a society living underground with a technological level that often appears to be straight out of the 80s. In addition, nothing is truly elaborated on. Why are they living in cavern cities? Why is their society so highly stratified? Why is their technological level so low? Why is there such a weird battle for succession? Yada yada yada. This is not cool worldbuilding. This is not convoluted political intrigue. It's just an author offering basically no information to answer any of the questions raised by the concepts and ideas she came up with.

Another odd thing was the homosexual tendencies of a number of male characters. Nothing wrong with that, of course. I wondered if this was a world in which same-sex relationships were an accepted norm, only to find out that it's a big taboo. This left me quite confused at times, especially given the fact that the main protagonist is hopelessly in love with a girl. Once again, no light was shed by the author regarding this aspect of the tale. The emancipation of women in a decidedly patriarchal society appears to be one of the themes Juliette Wade wanted to explore in this series. And yet, for some reason, all the POV characters are male and we never get a female perspective.

There is no way to sugarcoat this, I'm afraid. The characterization is absolutely awful. The main protagonist, Tagaret, is thoroughly emo and extremely boring. To see events unfold through his eyes was pure torture at times. His younger brother, Nekantor, is the antagonist of the story. Ambitious and dealing with a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, he's the opposite of his sibling. Not as well-drawn as Tagaret, it often feels as though he's a caricature of sorts. Along with his father, some kind of hybrid between a calculating politician, an alcoholic dad from the 60s, and a Neanderthal, both characters actually growl in pretty much all of their scenes. I kid you not. Aloran was probably the most interesting protagonist of the bunch. But like Tagaret, he was way too emo to be believable. I would have liked to discover more about the Imbati culture and why they accept their role as servants without rebelling. Tamelera, the boys' mother, had the makings of a compelling character, yet the author did not see fit to give her a point of view. In addition, I would have liked to learn more about Della and her family, what with the fact that she is Tagaret's love interest. But again, we are left with more questions and few answers.

Juliette Wade is evidently one of those writers who are loath to use profanities in their stories. Nothing wrong with that. But if you decide to replace common obscenities with made-up ones, you should at least endeavor to make them good. In Mazes of Power, Wade replaced the f-word with gnash. Gnash it. Gnash this. Gnash him. Gnash that. And so on and so forth. I mean, this is worse than Brandon Sanderson! Why the author didn't go for safe and acceptable oaths instead of making up such a lame one, I'll never know. But it made me grit my teeth every time someone swore in the novel.

The pace can be quite uneven. At times the rhythm is fluid, yet there are some portions in which the pacing was decidedly slow-moving. My main gripe is that very little actually happens throughout the book. There are a few interesting bits from time to time, but overall the plotlines and the characters totally failed to capture my imagination and pull me in. This is the first volume in The Broken Trust series, which means that there will be sequels. However, can't for the life of me see myself considering reading the next installment. Going through Mazes of Power was a chore from the very beginning and it took me about a month to finish. I'm not going through such an ordeal again.

It's obvious that Juliette Wade's sociological science fiction is not for me.

The final verdict: 3/10

For more info about this title, check out these Amazon Associate links: Canada, USA, Europe.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Ian Tregillis' Bitter Seeds, the opening volume in one of my favorite speculative fiction series of the new millennium, for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

It's 1939. The Nazis have supermen, the British have demons, and one perfectly normal man gets caught in between.

Raybould Marsh is a British secret agent in the early days of the Second World War, haunted by something strange he saw on a mission during the Spanish Civil War: a German woman with wires going into her head who looked at him as if she knew him.

When the Nazis start running missions with people who have unnatural abilities―a woman who can turn invisible, a man who can walk through walls, and the woman Marsh saw in Spain who can use her knowledge of the future to twist the present―Marsh is the man who has to face them. He rallies the secret warlocks of Britain to hold the impending invasion at bay. But magic always exacts a price. Eventually, the sacrifice necessary to defeat the enemy will be as terrible as outright loss would be.

Alan Furst meets Alan Moore in the opening of an epic of supernatural alternate history, Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis is a tale of a twentieth century like ours and also profoundly different.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Adrian Tchaikovsky's Redemption's Blade for only 0.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

Ten years ago, the Kinslayer returned from the darkness. His brutal Yorughan armies issued from the pits of the earth, crushing all resistance, leaving burnt earth and corruption behind. Thrones toppled and cities fell.

And then he died.

Celestaine—one of the heroes that destroyed him—has tasked herself with correcting the worst excesses of the Kinslayer’s brief reign, bringing light back to a broken world. With two Yorughan companions, she faces fanatics, war criminals and the Kinslayer’s former minions, as the fragile alliances of the War break down into feuding and greed.

The Kinslayer may be gone, but he cast a long shadow: one from which she may never truly escape.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (April 6th)

In hardcover:

N. K. Jemisin's The City We Became debuts at number 9.

In paperback:

Stephen King's The Outsider is up one position, ending the week at number 4 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Gods of Jade and Shadow for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link.

Here's the blurb:

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Kate Elliott's Black Wolves for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

An exiled captain returns to help the son of the king who died under his protection in this rich and multi-layered first book in an action-packed new series.

Twenty two years have passed since Kellas, once Captain of the legendary Black Wolves, lost his King and with him his honor. With the King murdered and the Black Wolves disbanded, Kellas lives as an exile far from the palace he once guarded with his life.

Until Marshal Dannarah, sister to the dead King, comes to him with a plea-rejoin the palace guard and save her nephew, King Jehosh, before he meets his father's fate.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Blake Crouch's Dark Matter for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

A mindbending, relentlessly surprising thriller from the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy.

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

You can also get your hands on the digital edition of Chuck Wendig's Wanderers for only 3.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. In the tradition of The Stand and Station Eleven comes a gripping saga that weaves an epic tapestry of humanity into an astonishing tale of survival.

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For as the sleepwalking phenomenon awakens terror and violence in America, the real danger may not be the epidemic but the fear of it. With society collapsing all around them—and an ultraviolent militia threatening to exterminate them—the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart—or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (March 30th)

In hardcover:

Rae Carson's The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition debuts at number 5.

Patricia Briggs' Smoke Bitten debuts at number 6.

In paperback:

Stephen King's The Outsider maintains its position at number 5 (trade paperback).