The second publisher-specific gift guide for the holidays. Here is a small selection of some great, recent books to come from Headline, and also a few upcoming titles that you should really all mark your calendars for…
Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops Series: Control Point, Fortress Frontier and Breach Zone
Army Officer. Fugitive. Sorcerer.
Across the country and in every nation, people are waking up with magical talents. Untrained and panicked, they summon storms, raise the dead, and set everything they touch ablaze.
Army officer Oscar Britton sees the worst of it. A lieutenant attached to the military’s Supernatural Operations Corps, his mission is to bring order to a world gone mad. Then he abruptly manifests a rare and prohibited magical power, transforming him overnight from government agent to public enemy number one.
The SOC knows how to handle this kind of situation: hunt him down – and take him out. Driven into an underground shadow world, Britton is about to learn that magic has changed all the rules he’s ever known, and that his life isn't the only thing he’s fighting for.
Anyone who’s been reading CR for a while will know I’m a big fan of Myke Cole’s novels. The first two are already out, and Breach Zone will be published at the start of 2014. Magic, action, and solid story-telling. It’s guns ‘n’ sorcery at its best.
Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops novels are published by Ace Books in the US.
Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie — magical, comforting, wise beyond her years — promised to protect him, no matter what.
A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark
It’s Neil Gaiman’s new novel. Do you really need more of a reason? It’s brilliant. Almost everyone says so! As I’m a huge, long-time fan of Gaiman’s fiction, I really can’t for the life of me think why I haven’t got around to reading this… Methinks it will have to be one of my Christmas reads on my trip to Canada…
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is published by William Morrow in the US.
Twelve years ago the small town of Coventry, Massachusetts was in the grasp of a particularly brutal winter. And then came the Great Storm.
It hit hard. Not everyone saw the spring. Today the families, friends and lovers of the victims are still haunted by the ghosts of those they lost so suddenly. If only they could see them one more time, hold them close, tell them they love them.
It was the deadliest winter in living memory.
When a new storm strikes, it doesn't just bring snow and ice, it brings the people of Coventry exactly what they've been wishing for. And the realisation their nightmare is only beginning.
Was Christmas too cheerful? Well, how about this new horror novel from the excellent Golden? And, who knows, maybe it’ll be snowing by the time it’s released (mid-January) and it’ll be like the universe has provided a pathetic fallacy just for you!
Snowblind is published by St. Martin’s Press in the US.
Also on CR: Interview with Christopher Golden
Suzanne Johnson, Royal Street, River Road and Elysian Fields
As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco spends more of her time mixing potions and retrieving pixies than she does sniffing out supernatural bad guys that slip over from the preternatural beyond. It is DJ’s eccentric boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, who is tasked with protecting the city.
But when Hurricane Katrina hammers the city’s fragile levees, it unleashes more than just flood waters. As the winds howl and Lake Pontchartrain surges, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld start to crumble away...
Now the dead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering soldiers sent to help the city recover. To make it worse, Gerald St. Simon has gone missing, the wizards' Elders have assigned a grenade-toting asshat as DJ’s new partner, and the pirate Jean Lafitte – who has an impressive libido for a 200-year-old - wants her to walk his plank.
If she is going to survive, DJ will have to learn that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies can be found in unlikely places... and that duty mixed with love creates one bitter gumbo.
A new(ish) urban fantasy series set in post-Katrina New Orleans? That sounds really cool. I somehow picked up an ARC of, I think, the middle book from the US publisher. The series seems to have been released in rather a stealth manner in the UK (book three was released in August, according to the catalogue). Also, points for using “asshat” in the synopsis…
Suzanne Johnson’s Sentinels of New Orleans novels are published by Tor Books in the US.
“I don’t want to know your reasons. I don’t care. Think of me as a bullet. Just point.”
Spademan used to be a garbage man. That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, before New York became a burnt-out shell. Now the wealthy spend their days tapped into virtual reality; the rest have to fend for themselves in the streets. Now there’s nothing but garbage.
So he became a hit man. He doesn’t ask questions, he works quickly, and he’s handy with a box-cutter.
When he’s hired to kill the daughter of a high-profile evangelist, Spademan’s life is upended. He will have to navigate two worlds – both the slick fantasy and the wasteland reality – to finish the job, clear his conscience, and make sure he’s not the one who winds up in the ground.
Coming in January, I have been itching to get my mitts on this book for a while. Luckily, I also just got an ARC… Mwahahah! (Too much? Ah well.)
Shovel Ready is published by Crown Publishing in the US.
There are some far-fetched rumours about the caverns beneath the Citadel…
Some say the mages left their most dangerous secrets hidden there; others, that great riches are hidden there; even that gods have been imprisoned in its darkest depths.
For Lord Frith, the caverns hold the key to his vengeance. Against all the odds, he has survived torture and lived to see his home and his family taken from him … and now someone is going to pay. For Wydrin of Crosshaven and her faithful companion, Sir Sebastian Caverson, a quest to the Citadel looks like just another job. There’s the promise of gold and adventure. Who knows, they might even have a decent tale or two once they’re done.
But sometimes there is truth in rumour.
Soon this reckless trio will be the last line of defence against a hungry, restless terror that wants to tear the world apart. And they’re not even getting paid.
Very intrigued by this. Other than that, I don’t really know much about it. Have been hearing some good things about it, though. I’ll be sure to get around to the ARC at some point very soon. Published in February 2014.
Any other Headline titles I forgot…? Share below. (Or via Twitter, and I’ll add them.)