Teaser Tuesdays: July 25


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker.


| Teaser Tuesdays: July 25 |

The Three-Body Problem

Book One of the Remembrance of Earth’s Past

by Cixin Liu

Science Fiction | 400 Pages | Published by Head of Zeus in 2015


“No. Many of the best scientists can be fooled by pseudoscience and sometimes devote their lives to it. But pseudoscience is afraid of one particular type of people who are very hard to fool: stage magicians. In fact, many pseudoscience hoaxes were exposed by stage magicians. Compared to the bookworms of the scientific world, your experience as a cop makes you far more likely to perceive such a large-scale conspiracy.”

~ p. 136 | The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu


| Synopsis |

1967: Ye Wenjie witnesses Red Guards beat her father to death during China’s Cultural Revolution. This singular event will shape not only the rest of her life but also the future of mankind.

Four decades later, Beijing police ask nanotech engineer Wang Miao to infiltrate a secretive cabal of scientists after a spate of inexplicable suicides. Wang’s investigation will lead him to a mysterious online game and immerse him in a virtual world ruled by the intractable and unpredicatable interaction of its three suns.

This is the Three-Body Problem and it is the key to everything: the key to the scientists’ deaths, the key to a conspiracy that spans light-years and the key to the extinction-level threat humanity now faces.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

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Friday Firsts: The Vagrant by Peter Newman


Welcome to Friday Firsts – a new weekly meme created by Tenacious Reader. New Book: First paragraphs. First impressions. New favourite?


| Friday Firsts: July 07 |


The Vagrant

Book One of The Vagrant Trilogy

by Peter Newman

Fantasy | 400 Pages | Published by Harper Voyager in 2015


| First Paragraphs |

Starlight gives way to bolder neon. Signs muscle in on all sides, brightly welcoming each arrival to New Horizon.

The Vagrant does not notice; his gaze fixes on the ground ahead.

People litter the streets like living waste, their eyes as hollow as their laughter. Voices beg and hands grasp, needy, aggressive.

The Vagrant does not notice and walks on, clasping his coat tightly at the neck.

Excited shouts draw a crowd ahead. A mixture of half-bloods and pimps, dealers and spectators gather in force. Platforms rise up in the street, unsteady on legs of salvaged metal. Wire cages sit on top. Within, shivering forms squat, waiting to be sold. For some of the assembled, the flesh auction provides new slaves, for others, fresh meat.

Unnoticed in the commotion, the Vagrant travels on.

The centre of New Horizon is dominated by a vast scrap yard dubbed ‘The Iron Mountain’, a legacy from the war. At its heart is the gutted corpse of a fallen sky-ship; its cargo of tanks and fighters has spilled out in the crash, forming a skirt of scattered metal at the mountain’s base.

Always opportunistic, the inhabitants of New Horizon have tunnelled out its insides to create living spaces and shops, selling on the sky-ship’s treasures. Scavenged lamps hang, colouring the shadows.

One tunnel is illuminated by a glowing hoop, off-white and erratic. In the pale light, the low ceiling is the colour of curdled milk.

Awkwardly, the Vagrant enters, bending his legs and bowing his head, his back held straight.

Corrugated shelves line the walls, packed with bottles, tins and tubes. The owner of the rusting cave hunches on the floor, cleaning a syringe with a ragged cloth. He appraises the Vagrant with a bloodshot eye.

‘A new customer?’ The Vagrant nods. Syringe and cloth are swiftly tucked away and yellowing fingers rub together. ‘Ah, welcome, welcome. I am Doctor Zero. I take it you’ve heard of me?’

The Vagrant nods.

‘Of course you have, that’s why you’re here. Well, what can I get you? You look tired. I have the finest selection of uppers this side of the Breach, or perhaps something to escape with?’ His eyes twinkle, sleazy, seductive.

One hand still on his collar, the Vagrant’s amber eyes roam the shelves. They alight on a small jar, its label faded to a uniform grey.

‘Ah, a discerning customer,’ says Doctor Zero, impressed. ‘Rare to have somebody who knows what they’re looking for. Most of the rabble I get through here can’t tell the difference between stardust and sawdust.’ He picks up the jar, flicking something sticky from the lid. ‘I assume whoever sent you appreciates the scarcity of good medicine … and the cost.’

In answer, the Vagrant kneels and places two platinum coins on the ground, sliding them across the floor towards the Doctor.

‘I hope you aren’t trying to trick me,’ the Doctor replies, picking them up and tapping each one in turn with his finger. The coins vibrate and a brief two-note duet fills the cramped space. For a moment neither speak, both moved to other memories by the sound.

Doctor Zero holds them to the light, the clean discs incongruous with his sallow skin. ‘My apologies,’ he says, handing the jar over quickly, hoping no change will be asked for. ‘And if you have any other needs, don’t hesitate to come back.’

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| First Impressions |

It’s impossible not to fall in love with Newman’s writing style. Even from the opening paragraphs the flow of his words and the lyrical construction of his sentences drew me deep into its pages and refused to let me go. The mystery and tension is palpable, the world a dark unknown, and the characters ever more so. This is one novel which already has me hooked.

First impressions? Breathtaking. If The Vagrant continues in the vein in which it started I have high expectations of it being an outstanding and incredibly memorable read.

Fingers crossed.

What are you currently reading? What were your first impressions?

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The Friday Face-Off: Shoot For The Moon


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.


Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald


Welcome back to the Friday Face-Off! This Friday we’re comparing covers which feature the moon.

If there’s one book that immediately springs to mind when it comes to moon-related-cover-goodness, it’s this one. Published by Tor in the US and by Gollancz in the UK, Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald has two out of this world covers which immediately catch the eye. Scroll down and take a look at these stellar beauties!


Tor – Cover #1

Cover Art by Victor Mosquera

Gollancz – Cover #2

Cover Art by Blacksheep


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

Two different artists, two beautiful covers and one impossible decision. The Tor cover depicts a skyline emerging from the dusty moon rock glowing against a backdrop of infinite space. The subtle play of colour, the simple yet elegant typeface and the central flare of dust come together to create a beautiful and eye catching cover.

By comparison the Gollancz cover uses a bold theme to attract attention. A vivid image of a moon painted in blues and greys, a star scattered sky and a bold and brilliant title make it difficult to choose an overall winner from these two epic covers. Luna: New Moon – let’s call this one a draw.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Post LinksNext week’s theme is:

It shuffles through the dry, dusty darkness

A cover which features mummification

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek

Sarah @ Brainfluff

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

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Friday Firsts: Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson


Welcome to Friday Firsts – a new weekly meme created by Tenacious Reader. New Book: First paragraphs. First impressions. New favourite?


| Friday Firsts: June 02 |

Legion: Skin Deep

Book Two of Legion

by Brandon Sanderson

 Sci-Fi | Novella | 208 Pages | Published by Gollancz in 2015


| First Paragraphs |

What’s her angle?’ Ivy asked, walking around the table with her arms folded. Today, she wore her blonde hair in a severe bun, which was stuck through with several dangerous-looking pins.

I tried, unsuccessfully, to ignore her.

‘Gold digger, perhaps?’ Tobias asked. Dark-skinned and stately, he had pulled a chair over to the table so he could sit beside me. He wore his usual relaxed suit with no tie, and fit in well with this room of crystalline lighting and piano music. ‘Many a woman has seen only Stephen’s wealth, and not his acumen.’

‘She’s the daughter of a real estate magnate,’ Ivy said with a dismissive wave. ‘She has wealth coming out of her nose.’ Ivy leaned down beside the table, inspecting my dinner companion. ‘A nose, by the way, which seems to have had as much work done on it as her chest.’

I forced out a smile, trying to keep my attention on my dinner companion. I was used to Ivy and Tobias by now. I relied upon them.

But it can be damn hard to enjoy a date when your hallucinations are along.

‘So …’ said Sylvia, my date. ‘Malcom tells me you’re some kind of detective?’ She gave me a timid smile. Resplendent in diamonds and a tight black dress, Sylvia was an acquaintance of a mutual friend who worried about me far too much. I wondered how much research Sylvia had done on me before agreeing to the blind date.

‘A detective?’ I said. ‘Yes, I suppose you could say that.’

‘I just did!’ Sylvia replied with a chittering laugh.

Ivy rolled her eyes, refusing the seat Tobias pulled over for her.

‘Though honestly,’ I said to Sylvia, ‘the word “detective” probably gives you the wrong idea. I just help people with very specialized problems.’

‘Like Batman!’ Sylvia said.

Tobias spat out his lemonade in a spray before him. It spotted the tablecloth, though Sylvia – of course – couldn’t see it.

‘Not … really like that,’ I said.

‘I was just being silly,’ Sylvia said, taking another drink of her wine. She’d had a lot of that for a meal that she’d only just begun. ‘What kind of problems do you solve? Like, computer problems? Security problems? Logic problems?’

‘Yes. All three of those, and then some.’

‘That … doesn’t sound very specialized to me,’ Sylvia said.

She had a point.

‘It’s difficult to explain. I’m a specialist, just in lots of areas.’

‘Like what?’

‘Anything. Depends on the problem.’

‘She’s hiding things,’ Ivy said, arms still folded. ‘I’m telling you, Steve. She’s got an angle.’

‘Everyone does,’ I replied.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| First Impressions |

Brandon Sanderson is definitely an author who can do no wrong –  and has done no wrong – in my eyes, so I was excited to continue my exploration of his work with the next in his Legion novellas.

First impressions? Sanderson makes an art of reintroducing characters and themes throughout his sequels in a delicate and unobtrusive way and from the opening chapter I was once again submerged in the many aspects of Stephen Leeds. Sanderson’s writing has once again hooked me into a fast-paced and exciting novella which I cannot wait to get back to!

What are you currently reading? What were your first impressions?

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The Monthly Round-Up: May 2017


Welcome to The Monthly Round-Up. Join me as I look back on the past month to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted, the goals I’ve completed and my all important Book of the Month!


| The Monthly Round-Up: May 2017 |

This May saw my return to book blogging, something I have missed for a long time! While I’m still finding my feet – reading more books, writing more reviews and generally posting more than once in a while – I’ve really enjoyed this month! So thank you for reading this blog, for continuing memes in my absence and for recommending such awesome books! And though small in number, here’s what’s made it off the TBR this month:

| Books Read |

| 1. |

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

The second book in Sanderson’s Reckoners series carries on in the vein of its predecessor, Steelheart. Firefight is an action packed, power flexing, villain infested romp across an unrecognisable US which leaves me eager to complete the series and write up a review! 

| 2. |

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

A Natural History of Dragons is the first in the Memoirs of Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan and transports the reader to a world steeped in Victoriana, where lady adventurers explore exotic climes and feats of science, industry and progress await discovery.

| 3. |

The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

The Tropic of Serpents, the sequel to A Natural History of Dragons, continues the tale of Lady Trent in another beautifully written and utterly engrossing memoir which paints a picture of a world not entirely different from our own.

| 4. |

The Pilgrim of Hate by Ellis Peters

The Pilgrim of Hate is the tenth novel in the Chronicles of Brother Cadfael by Ellis Peters. From a pilgrimage of the devout comes another murder, another mystery and a whole lot of trouble for our ex-crusading holy man.


Firefight

by Brandon Sanderson


| Goals for 2017 |

Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge: 14/50 Books Read (28%)


| Reviews Posted |

Black City Saint by Richard A. Knaak


A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan


| Other Posts From May 2017 |

The Friday Face-Off: An Update

The Friday Face-Off: May 12 – Don’t Use The Phone

The Friday Face-Off: May 19 – The Airplane Takes Off Against the Wind, Not With It

The Friday Face-Off: May 26 – Of all the Words of Mice and Men

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books on my Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Mother’s Day Special

Teaser Tuesdays: May 09 – A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

Teaser Tuesdays: May 16 – The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

Teaser Tuesdays: May 23 – The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

Teaser Tuesdays: May 30 – Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson

Waiting on Wednesday: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

Waiting on Wednesday: The Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan

Friday Firsts: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan


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Teaser Tuesdays: May 30


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker.


| Teaser Tuesdays: May 30 |

Legion: Skin Deep

by Brandon Sanderson

Sci-Fi | Novella| 208 Pages | Published by Gollancz in 2015


“Arnaud adjusted his spectacles. ‘Well, um, you see, in quantum physics we talk about possibilities. One interpretation says that dimensions are infinite, and everything that can happen, has happened. It seems to follow if this is true, then each of us aspects somewhere has existed in some dimension or realm of possibility as a real person. A curious thought, would you not agree, Étienne?’

‘Curious indeed,’ I said. ‘It –’

‘So I’m real,’ J.C. interjected. ‘The smart guy just said it.'”

~ 33% | Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson


| Synopsis |

Stephen Leeds, AKA “Legion,” is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the new story begins, Leeds and his “aspects” are hired by I3 (Innovative Information Incorporated) to recover a corpse stolen from the local morgue. But there’s a catch. The corpse is that of a pioneer in the field of experimental biotechnology, a man whose work concerned the use of the human body as a massive storage device. He may have embedded something in the cells of his now dead body. And that something might be dangerous…

What follows is a visionary thriller about the potential uses of technology, the mysteries of the human personality, and the ancient human need to believe that death is not the end. Legion: Skin Deep is speculative fiction at it most highly developed. It reaffirms Sanderson’s place as one of contemporary fiction’s most intelligent—and unpredictable—voices.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O


Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.


| Waiting on Wednesday: May 24 |

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O

by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland


You think you know how the world works? Think again.

From bestselling author Neal Stephenson and critically acclaimed historical and contemporary commercial novelist Nicole Galland comes a captivating and complex near-future thriller that questions the very foundations of the modern world.

1851 England

The Great Exhibition at London’s Crystal Palace has opened, celebrating the rise of technology and commerce. With it the power of magic – in decline since the industrial revolution began – is completely snuffed out. The existence of magic begins its gradual devolution into mere myth.

21st Century America

Magic has faded from the minds of mankind, until an encounter between Melisande Stokes, linguistics expert at Harvard, and Tristan Lyons, shadowy agent of government, leads to the uncovering of a distant past.

After translating a series of ancient texts, Melisande and Tristan discover the connection between science, magic and time travel and so the Department of Diachronic Operations – D.O.D.O. – is hastily brought into existence. Its mission: to develop a device that will send their agents back to the past, where they can stop magic from disappearing and alter the course of history.

But when you interfere with the past, there’s no telling what you might find in your future…

Written with the genius, complexity, and innovation that characterize all of Neal Stephenson’s work and steeped with the down-to-earth warmth and humour of Nicole Galland’s storytelling style, this exciting and vividly realized work of science fiction will make you believe in the impossible, and take you to places – and times – beyond imagining.


To be published by The Borough Press on 15th June 2017

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

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The Friday Face-Off: An Update


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.


| The Friday Face-Off – An Update |

The Friday Face-Off is back at Books by Proxy! Many thanks to the wonderful bloggers who continued with the meme in my prolonged absence! The following is a list of upcoming topics (compiled by said bloggers!). As always, check The Friday Face-Off page for any updates!


| The List |

12th May 2017

Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it

A cover which features a phone

19th May 2017

When everything seem to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it…

A cover which features a plane

26th May 2017

Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, ‘it might have been’…

A cover which features mice

02nd June 2017

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars

A cover which features the moon

09th June 2017

It shuffles through the dry, dusty darkness

A cover which features mummification

16th June 2017

You couldn’t not like someone who liked the guitar

A cover which features a guitar

23rd June 2017

In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this

A cover which features a cat

30th June 2017

It is always cruel to laugh at people, of course, although sometimes if they are wearing an ugly hat it is hard to control yourself

A cover which features a hat

07th July 2017

All that is gold does not glitter

A cover which features gold

14th July 2017

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea, in a beautiful pea green boat…

A cover which features boats

21st July 2017

Any planet is ‘Earth’ to those who live on it

A cover which features a planet


For those of you who are interested but haven’t seen a Face-Off post before, here’s how it goes:

Each week I select a book and make a comparison between the UK and the US covers, displaying the artwork (in all its awesome glory) before selecting one of the two or more covers as the ultimate winner of my Face-Off.

Simple! The following is a rough guide to how this meme will work:

  • Each week will follow a theme
  • The Friday Face-Off feature page will be kept up to date for the theme of the week and those several weeks following it
  • For the purposes of comparing a good variety of cover art only one of the two or more book covers chosen for comparison need relate to the theme (although if you can find two then great!)
  • The books most certainly don’t have to be the UK or US editions – they’re just the covers I’m usually most familiar with and consequently post more often – so post whichever covers catch your eye!
  • Still unsure? – Take a look at some past posts!
  • To sign up just add your link to the bottom of that Friday’s post and link back!

As always, topic suggestions are welcome!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Recent Impulse Book Buys


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Recent Impulse Book Buys |

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday! This week we’re looking at our Top Ten books bought on a whim. As a result of my undeniable cover love and a rather impulsive nature, the majority of my bookshelf consists of impulse buys – so this Tuesday I’ve gone for my most recent acquisitions! In no particular order, here are the latest surprise additions to my shelves:
heart

| 1. |

BookofPhoenix

The Book of Phoenix

by Nnedi Okoraforheart

A fiery spirit dances from the pages of the Great Book. She brings the aroma of scorched sand and ozone. She has a story to tell….

The Book of Phoenix is a unique work of magical futurism. A prequel to the highly acclaimed, World Fantasy Award-winning novel, Who Fears Death, it features the rise of another of Nnedi Okorafor’s powerful, memorable, superhuman women.

Phoenix was grown and raised among other genetic experiments in New York’s Tower 7. She is an “accelerated woman”—only two years old but with the body and mind of an adult, Phoenix’s abilities far exceed those of a normal human. Still innocent and inexperienced in the ways of the world, she is content living in her room speed reading e-books, running on her treadmill, and basking in the love of Saeed, another biologically altered human of Tower 7.

Then one evening, Saeed witnesses something so terrible that he takes his own life. Devastated by his death and Tower 7’s refusal to answer her questions, Phoenix finally begins to realize that her home is really her prison, and she becomes desperate to escape.

But Phoenix’s escape, and her destruction of Tower 7, is just the beginning of her story. Before her story ends, Phoenix will travel from the United States to Africa and back, changing the entire course of humanity’s future.
heart

| 2 |

The Folding Knife

by K.J. Parkerheart

Basso the Magnificent. Basso the Great. Basso the Wise. The First Citizen of the Vesani Republic is an extraordinary man.

He is ruthless, cunning, and above all, lucky. He brings wealth, power and prestige to his people. But with power comes unwanted attention, and Basso must defend his nation and himself from threats foreign and domestic. In a lifetime of crucial decisions, he’s only ever made one mistake.

One mistake, though, can be enough. heart

| 3 |

The Electric Church

Book One of the Avery Cates Series

by Jeff Somers

heart

In the near future, the only thing growing faster than the criminal population is the Electric Church, a new religion founded by a mysterious man named Dennis Squalor. The Church preaches that life is too brief to contemplate the mysteries of the universe: eternity is required. In order to achieve this, the converted become Monks — cyborgs with human brains, enhanced robotic bodies, and virtually unlimited life spans.

Enter Avery Cates, a dangerous criminal known as the best killer-for-hire around. The authorities have a special mission in mind for Cates: assassinate Dennis Squalor. But for Cates, the assignment will be the most dangerous job he’s ever undertaken — and it may well be his last. heart

| 4. |

The Rook

Book One of The Checquy Files

by Daniel O’Malley
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“The body you are wearing used to be mine.” So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, The Rookis a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer. heart

| 5. |

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Book One of the Fairyland Series

by Catherynne M. Valente
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Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.heart

| 6. |

Malice

Book One of the Faithful and the Fallen

by John Gwynne

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A black sun is rising…

Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors under King Brenin’s rule, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm. But that day will come all too soon. Only when he loses those he loves will he learn the true price of courage.

The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed shields in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Although the giant-clans were broken in ages past, their ruined fortresses still scar the land. But now giants stir anew, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of giant wyrms. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. Sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. Then there will be a war to end all wars.

High King Aquilus summons his fellow kings to council, seeking an alliance in this time of need. Some are skeptical, fighting their own border skirmishes against pirates and giants. But prophesy indicates darkness and light will demand two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. They would be wise to seek out both, for if the Black Sun gains ascendancy, mankind’s hopes and dreams will fall to dust. heart

| 7. |

Dark Eden

Book One of the Dark Eden Series

by Chris Beckett
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A marooned outpost of humanity struggles to survive on a startlingly alien world: science fiction as it ought to be from British science fiction’s great white hope.

You live in Eden. You are a member of the Family, one of 532 descendants of Angela and Tommy. You shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees, hunting woollybuck and harvesting tree candy. Beyond the forest lie the treeless mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it. The Oldest among you recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross between worlds. One day, the Oldest say, they will come back for you.

You live in Eden. You are a member of the Family, one of 532 descendants of two marooned explorers. You huddle, slowly starving, beneath the light and warmth of geothermal trees, confined to one barely habitable valley of a startlingly alien, sunless world. After 163 years and six generations of incestuous inbreeding, the Family is riddled with deformity and feeblemindedness. Your culture is a infantile stew of half-remembered fact and devolved ritual that stifles innovation and punishes independent thought.

You are John Redlantern. You will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. You will be the first to abandon hope, the first to abandon the old ways, the first to kill another, the first to venture in to the Dark, and the first to discover the truth about Eden.heart

| 8. |

The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King

by Michael R. Miller
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Dragons once soared in the skies, but that was before the Transformation, before they took human form. Now, demonic forces stand to obliterate them. When left mortally wounded, Darnuir, the Prince of Dragons, can only be saved through a dangerous rebirthing spell. He is left as a babe in human hands.

Twenty years later, Darnuir is of age to wield the Dragon’s Blade. As the last member of his bloodline, he is the only one who can. He is plunged into a role he is not prepared for, to lead a people he does not know. Shadowy demons ravage his new home and the alliance between humans, dragons and fairies has fractured.

Time is short, for new threats and deadlier enemies are emerging… heart

| 9. |

Shadow and Bone

Book One of the Grisha Trilogy

by Leigh Bardugo
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Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.heart

| 10. |

city-of-bohane

City of Bohane

by Kevin Barryheart

Forty years in the future. The once-great city of Bohane on the west coast of Ireland is on its knees, infested by vice and split along tribal lines. There are the posh parts of town, but it is in the slums and backstreets of Smoketown, the tower blocks of the Northside Rises and the eerie bogs of Big Nothin’ that the city really lives.

For years, the city has been in the cool grip of Logan Hartnett, the dapper godfather of the Hartnett Fancy gang. But there’s trouble in the air. They say his old nemesis is back in town; his trusted henchmen are getting ambitious; and his missus wants him to give it all up and go straight… And then there’s his mother.

City of Bohane is a visionary novel that blends influences from film and the graphic novel, from Trojan beats and calypso rhythms, from Celtic myth and legend, from fado and the sagas, and from all the great inheritance of Irish literature. A work of mesmerising imagination and vaulting linguistic invention, it is a taste of the glorious and new.heart

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