More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Daniel Abraham's Age of Ash for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

From New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author Daniel Abraham, co-author of The Expanse, comes a monumental epic fantasy trilogy that unfolds within the walls of a single great city, over the course of one tumultuous year, where every story matters, and the fate of the city is woven from them all.

Kithamar is a center of trade and wealth, an ancient city with a long, bloody history where countless thousands live and their stories unfold.

This is Alys's.

When her brother is murdered, a petty thief from the slums of Longhill sets out to discover who killed him and why. But the more she discovers about him, the more she learns about herself, and the truths she finds are more dangerous than knives.

Swept up in an intrigue as deep as the roots of Kithamar, where the secrets of the lowest born can sometimes topple thrones, the story Alys chooses will have the power to change everything.

You can now download Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

The Wheel of Time ® is a PBS Great American Read Selection! Now in development for TV!

Since its debut in 1990, The Wheel of Time® by Robert Jordan has captivated millions of readers around the globe with its scope, originality, and compelling characters.

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs—a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts— five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get youur hands on the digital edition of Steven Erikson's The Fiends of Nightmaria for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

The king is dead, long live King Bauchelain the First, crowned by the Grand Bishop Korbal Broach. Both are, of course, ably assisted in the running of the Kingdom of Farrog by their slowly unravelling servant, Emancipor Reese. However, tensions are mounting between Farrog and the neighboring country of Nightmaria, the mysterious home of the Fiends. Their ambassador, Ophal D Neeth Flatroq, seeks an audience with King Bauchelain, who has thus far rebuffed his overtures. But the necromancer has some other things on his plate.

To quell potential rebellion nearly all the artists, poets, and bards in the city have been put to death. A few survivors languish in the dungeons, bemoaning their fates. Well, just moaning in general really…and maybe plotting escape and revenge.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Max Brooks' Devolution for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:


As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined . . . until now. The journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing—and too earth-shattering in its implications—to be forgotten. In these pages, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it. Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and, inevitably, of savagery and death.

Yet it is also far more than that.

Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us—and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.

Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it—and like none you’ve ever read before.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download V. E. Schwab's The Invisible Life of Addie Larue for only 4.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After Life, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s genre-defying tour de force.

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

You can also get your ends on the digital edition of Olivie Blake's The Atlas Six for only 3.99$ here. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.

Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society’s archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will.

Most of them.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (July 17th)

In hardcover:

Adam Christopher's Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith debuts at number 11. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

More inexpensive ebook deals!

You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Shelley Parker-Chan's She Who Became the Sun for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. It's a OneLink that will take you to the closest Amazon site that serves your country and you can see if the sale price applies to you.

Here's the blurb:

To possess the Mandate of Heaven, the female monk Zhu will do anything.

“I refuse to be nothing…”

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.

When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother's identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.

After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother's abandoned greatness.

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

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Joe Abercrombie's Red Country for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link.

Here's the blurb:

A New York Times bestseller!

They burned her home.
They stole her brother and sister.
But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she's not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb's buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into an alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust . . .

RED COUNTRY takes place in the same world as the First Law trilogy, Best Served Cold, andThe Heroes. This novel also represents the return of Logen Ninefingers, one of Abercrombie's most beloved characters.

The Art of Prophecy

I've become wary of short fiction authors moving on to novel-length projects. Too often, they seem to forget what made their short stories and novellas such good reads and end up padding their storylines with boring and extraneous character arcs and plot devices. But Wesley Chu's upcoming The Art of the Prophecy sounded intriguing and I gave it a shot.

Alas, I should have followed my instincts. Not only does Chu's latest lack depth and substance, it is also more or less YA from one end to the other. I wish the book had been marketed that way, like Del Rey did with Peter V. Brett's newest. Had I known, I would have given this one a pass.

Here's the blurb:

So many stories begin the same way: With a prophecy. A chosen one. And the inevitable quest to slay a villain, save the kingdom, and fulfill a grand destiny.

But this is not that kind of story.

It does begin with a prophecy: A child will rise to defeat the Eternal Khan, a cruel immortal god-king, and save the kingdom.

And that prophecy did anoint a hero, Jian, raised since birth in luxury and splendor, and celebrated before he has won a single battle.

But that’s when the story hits its first twist: The prophecy is wrong.

What follows is a story more wondrous than any prophecy could foresee, and with many unexpected heroes: Taishi, an older woman who is the greatest grandmaster of magical martial arts in the kingdom but who thought her adventuring days were all behind her; Sali, a straitlaced warrior who learns the rules may no longer apply when the leader to whom she pledged her life is gone; and Qisami, a chaotic assassin who takes a little too much pleasure in the kill.

And Jian himself, who has to find a way to become what he no longer believes he can be—a hero after all.

What really made me want to read this novel was the fact that, according to the press release at least, it was inspired by Chinese culture, history, and mythology. That it would appeal to readers looking for a fantasy series that steps outside of Western influences. Trouble is, as was the case with novels like S. A. Chakraborty's The City of Brass, everything that has to do with non-Western influences is little more than window dressing. Sure, you witness such details in the food, the clothing, the martial arts, etc. But in the end, The Art of the Prophecy reads like your typical Western SFF book. You never feel yourself immersed in the setting the way you were when reading Guy Gavriel Kay's Under Heaven and River of Stars. This was a major disappointment for me, because I expected Chu to imbue his latest work with the sort of imagery that makes the setting come alive and leap off the page. Kind of the way authors like Jacqueline Carey, R. Scott Bakker, Steven Erikson, or even James Clavell were able to do so. As it is, there is little to differentiate Wesley Chu's latest from what's out there.

Another problem is that, like Brandon Sanderson, Chu appears to be a not terribly funny person who tries like hell to be funny. Not everyone can be a Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch, or Terry Pratchett, and no amount of trying can change that. It also doesn't help that the humor tends to be quite juvenile. Ultimately, though some jokes are actually funny, the bulk of Chu's humerous attempts tend to fall rather flat and become annoying after a while. The dialogue is reminiscent of late-night B-movies that didn't even make it straight to DVD. À la Sanderson, Chu also steers clear of profanities and replaces them with ridiculous phrases that made me roll my eyes at every turn. What in (insert name)'s shrivelled scrotum is this all about? I mean, come on. . .

The premise of this novel was very interesting. What if a prophecy is wrong? Such a premise promised so many different avenues to explore. In that regard, it feels as though the author didn't even try. True, The Art of the Prophecy acts like an introduction to what, one can only hope, will be a more compelling and multilayered tale. But like its supposedly Chinese backdrop, the book lacks depth and substance. Doesn't have any, from what I could perceive. I wish Chu would have worked more on his plotlines and protagonists instead of focusing on insipid jokes and action scenes. There are a few bright sparks that show that the story had potential, but overall the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Had this been a debut from an unknown writer, it never would have been published.

Try as I might, I never could bring myself to root for any of the characters, or even stay invested and interested in any of them. They are all over-the-top caricatures, each more badass than the other. I mean, they make Drizzt Do'Urden seem like a blundering oaf. Taishi is by far the worst, but Sali and Qisami are not far behind. Jian, the closest thing to a main protagonist, is a cardboard cutout we've seen a million times. The supporting cast is no better, with Xinde being the only exception.

Surprisingly, for all of its faults and its 526 pages, The Art of the Prophecy doesn't suffer from pacing issues. Sure, there are portions in which the plot meanders through Sali and Qisami chapters. But overall, Chu keeps his tale going at a decent clip. It just might be this novel's only saving grace. That and a few revelations near the end.

Sadly, for me it was a case of too little, too late. Had I known that it would be a black and white YA sort of book filled with action and juvenile humor, I never would have read this book. Having said that, for people looking for a light read to bring on vacation this summer, it just might do the trick. For more demanding readers, well. . .

The final verdict: 5.5/10

For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

You can read an extract from the novel here.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Jonathan Maberry's Glimpse for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link

I'm giving Amazon's OneLink another shot after so-so results a few years back. Technically, clicking on this link will take you to the nearest Amazon website serving your region and you can see whether or not this title is on sale there.

Here's the blurb:

A chilling thriller that explores what happens when reality and nightmares converge, and how far one will go to protect the innocent when their own brain is a threat.

From New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry comes a novel that puts a bold new spin on the supernatural thriller.

Rain Thomas is a mess. Seven years an addict and three difficult years clean. Racked by guilt for the baby she gave up for adoption when she was sixteen. Still grieving for the boy’s father who died in Iraq. Alone, discarded by her family, with only the damaged members of her narcotics anonymous meetings as friends. Them, and the voices in her head.

One morning, on the way to a much-needed job interview, she borrows reading glasses to review her resume. There is a small crack in one lens and through that damaged slice of glass she sees a young boy go running down the aisle of the subway train. Is he screaming with laughter or just screaming? When she tries to find the boy, he’s gone and no one has seen him.

The day spins out of control. Rain loses whole chunks of time. She has no idea where her days went. The voices she hears are telling her horrible things. And even stranger things are happening. Unsure whether she is going insane, Rain sets out to find answers to long buried questions about an earlier life she has avoided for years—in what may be the most dangerous collision of all, that between reality and nightmare.

How far will one person go to save someone they love?

Read on at your own peril...