Sunday, May 04, 2014

Yet More Books Received…


I appear to have published the previous post a little prematurely, as yet more awesome books have recently come in the mail.

Featuring: David Annandale, Monica Byrnes, C. Robert Cargill, Steven Erikson, Ari Marmell, Josh Reynolds, Rob Sanders, & graphic novels

Annandale-Yarrick3-ImperialCreedDavid Annandale, Yarrick: Imperial Creed (Black Library)

Yarrick: the very name carries the weight of legend, of great deeds and of wars won for the Imperium. But Sebastian Yarrick, who fought on Armageddon, who Space Marine Chapter Masters show their fealty to on bended knee, was not always Lord Commissar. He was once just a man, a newly minted officer from the ranks of the schola progenium.

His first mission under the tutelage of Lord Commissar Rasp was on Mistral. Here, an uprising of barons had upset the delicate balance of power. But, as Yarrick was soon forced to learn, Mistral and Imperial politics are often murky, the truth seldom clear cut. As war engulfs the world, a plot unravels that pits old friends against one another and fashions unusual alliances. Chaos cults, the fanatical Adepta Sororitas and clandestine inquisitors all stand between Yarrick and his mission. Here is where the legend began. In this crucible was Lord Commissar Sebastian Yarrick forged in blood.

I’ve mentioned before on the blog how much I enjoy Annandale’s writing. Having especially enjoyed his two previous Yarrick works (a novella and a short story), I’m itching to get started with this.


ByrneM-GirlInTheRoadMonica Byrne, The Woman in the Road (Crown)

When Meena, a young woman living in a futuristic India, gets out of bed with mysterious snake bites on her chest, she decides India has become too dangerous. As she plots her exit, she hears of The Trail and knows this is her salvation. The Trail is a bridge that spans the Arabian Sea, connecting India to Africa like a silver ribbon extending to the horizon.  Its purpose is to harness the power of the ocean – “blue energy” – but it also offers a sub-culture of travelers a chance for escape and adventure. Meena gathers supplies – a pozit GPS system, a scroll reader, a sealable water-proof pod – and embarks on a journey to Ethiopia, the place of her birth.

Mariama, a girl from a different time, is on a quest of her own. Forced to flee her home, she joins up with a caravan of strangers heading across Saharan Africa. She meets Yemaya, a beautiful and enigmatic woman who becomes her protector and confidante. Yemaya tells Mariama of Ethiopia, where revolution is brewing.

As one heads east and the other west, Meena and Mariama's fates will entwine in ways that are profoundly moving and ultimately shocking.

Spotted this on NetGalley. Looked interesting and something a little different. So I was very glad when my request was approved.


CargillCR-QueenOfTheDarkThingsUKC. Robert Cargill, Queen of the Dark Things (Gollancz)

Six months have passed since the wizard Colby lost his best friend to an army of fairies from the Limestone Kingdom, a realm of mystery and darkness beyond our own. But in vanquishing these creatures and banning them from Austin, Colby sacrificed the anonymity that protected him. Now, word of his deeds has spread, and powerful enemies from the past-including one Colby considered a friend-have resurfaced to exact their revenge.

As darkness gathers around the city, Colby sifts through his memories desperate to find answers that might save him. With time running out, and few of his old allies and enemies willing to help, he is forced to turn for aid to forces even darker than those he once battled.

This is the sequel to Dreams of Shadows, which I shamefully have not got around to reading, yet. Now that this has arrived, though, I think there’s no time like the present.


EriksonS-DevilDeliveredSteven Erikson, The Devil Delivered and Other Tales (Bantam)

The Devil Delivered: In the breakaway Lakota Nation, in the heart of a land blistered beneath an ozone hole the size of the Great Plains of North America, a lone anthropologist wanders the deadlands, recording observations that threaten to bring the world's powers to their knees.

Revolvo: In the fictitious country of Canada, the arts scene is ruled by technocrats who thrive in a secret, nepotistic society of granting agencies, bursaries, and peer review boards, all designed to permit self-proclaimed artists to survive without an audience.

Fishing with Grandma Matchie: A children's story of a boy tasked with a writing assignment becomes a stunning fantastical journey with his tale-spinning grandmother.

The paperback release – still have the hardcover, sadly yet-unread. I’ve never read anything by Erikson, but a lot of people have been telling me in the last couple of months that his Malazan series is superb. It’s also a considerable reading commitment, to I will read this collection as a more-manageable introduction to his writing.


MarmellA-HotLeadColdIronUKAri Marmell, Hot Lead, Cold Iron (Titan)

Chicago, 1932. Mick Oberon may look like just another private detective, but beneath the fedora and the overcoat, he's got pointy ears and he’s packing a wand.

Oberon’s used to solving supernatural crimes, but the latest one’s extra weird. A mobster’s daughter was kidnapped sixteen years ago, replaced with a changeling, and Mick’s been hired to find the real child. The trail’s gone cold, but what there is leads Sideways, to the world of the Fae, where the Seelie Court rules. And Mick’s not really welcome in the Seelie Court any more. He’ll have to wade through Fae politics and mob power struggles to find the kidnapper – and of course it’s the last person he expected.

I actually read a very early version of this novel, a couple of years back, when I was reading some submissions (at a work experience placement). I really liked it then, and I’m hoping I really like this final version. Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of fae-related stories. I find them pretty limited in scope. Nevertheless, having read a number of Marmell’s previous novels, I have high hopes that this won’t disappoint as others in the sub-genre have. The 1930s time-setting is a nice alternative touch, too.


ReynoldsJ-G&F-SerpentQueenJosh Reynolds, Gotrek & Felix: The Serpent Queen (Black Library)

Gotrek and Felix: unsung heroes of the Empire, or nothing more than common thieves and murderers? The truth perhaps lies somewhere in between, and depends entirely upon whom you ask…

Travelling to the mysterious south in search of a mighty death, the Slayer Gotrek Gurnisson and his human companion, Felix Jaeger, find themselves caught up in a battle between warring kingdoms. Captured by the sinister Queen Khalida and forced to do her bidding, the adventurers must brave the horrors of the sun-soaked Land of the Dead… And the dead do not rest easy.

The fan-favourite characters return, in the last stand-alone novel (as far as I can tell) before BL returns to the chronology started by Will King and continued by Nathan Long. Fans have been clamouring for a direct follow-up to Zombieslayer for years, and we will finally be getting it! I used to eagerly buy each new G&F novel on the day of release and devour it immediately. However, for the last few years I haven’t been doing that. I have somehow failed to read any of the three stand-alone novels (Road of Skulls and City of the Damned being the other two). I think this is just because they’ve come out right in the middle of one of my recently-all-too-frequent fantasy apathy patches. Other reviewers have said this novel and the others have been fantastic, so I shall try to get caught up with plenty of time before David Guymer’s Kinslayer arrives, later this year.


Sanders-Archaon-EverchosenRob Sanders, Archaon: Everchosen (Black Library)

In the north of the world the forces of Chaos gather, awaiting their moment to strike. At their head is the Everchosen, the warrior who will lead the final, cataclysmic assault that will usher in the End Times and the reign of the Ruinous Powers. But he was not always thus – he was once a man, a devout servant of the warrior-god Sigmar. What could cause such a soul to fall to the worship of the Dark Gods? What dark events could have put a knight of the Empire on the path to becoming the harbinger of the world’s end? And just who was the man who will become known to all as Archaon?

The digital edition of Archaon: Everchosen also includes the short story Archaon: The Fall and the Rise.

I’ve had a mixed experience with Sanders’s full length Black Library fiction. I thought Redemption Corps was brilliant, but found Atlas Infernal a little disappointing (it’s a novel I intend to go back and re-read at some point in the not-too-distant future, as I think my mood at the time reduced my interest and enjoyment in it). I have, however, really liked his short fiction. Here, he tackles the backstory of one of my favourite Warhammer Chaos characters, and so I’m really hoping he pulls it off. I’m sure he will.

This also reminds me that I have Ben Counter’s Van Horstmann still to read…


Graphic Novels

ExtinctionParade-Vol-1Extinction Parade, Vol.1 (Avatar)

Max Brooks, the best selling Zombie writer in history, unleashes an all-new horror epic!

As humans wage their losing fight versus the hoards of the subdead, a frightening realization sets in with the secretive vampire race: our food is dying off.

This is the story of the vampire’s decent into all-out war with the mindless, hungry hordes of the zombie outbreak as humanity tries to survive them all!

This collected edition contains the entire first chapter of Extinction Parade (issues #1-5) and a massive undead cover gallery!

Max Brooks’ best-selling novel, World War Z, has been adapted into one of 2013’s biggest blockbuster movie releases, bringing increased media attention to this acclaimed author. Legendary Pictures announced they have optioned Extinction Parade for a TV series.

Somewhat confusingly, this is an “intentionally incomplete manuscript” (missing, I think, the final issue and a bit). So it doesn’t contain the whole story. This is slightly annoying, but I’ll give it a read anyway. As someone who hasn’t read World War Z, I didn’t find the movie as objectionable as some. It’ll be interesting to see what this is like. If I like it, I’m sure I’ll buy the published version, so I can finish off the first story arc.


ManifestDestiny-Vol.1Manifest Destiny, Vol.1 (Image)

In 1804, Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark set out from St. Louis, Missouri with the intent of blazing a trail to the western coast of North America – a trip that would set the foundation for the future of the United States of America.

But what the history books don’t tell you is the true purpose of Lewis and Clark’s journey to the west…

In this imaginative retelling of their famous trek, Lewis and Clark embark on a secret mission under direct orders from President Thomas Jefferson.

They are going to do more than explore the wild frontier: they’re going to catalog exotic life and eliminate the monsters that stand in the way of the safe and rapid expansion of the United States.

Collects: Manifest Destiny #1-6

I’m fascinated by American history, and particularly early history. I do like comics very much. And I like weird, supernatural retellings of history. So this sounds pretty much cater-made for one of my genre tastes. Hopefully get it reviewed very soon.



  1. I definitely don't read enough graphic novels/comics. Do you have any you highly recommend? :)

    1. Oh, so very many recommendations... My favourites include:
      - Fables, Fairest, The Unwritten, DMZ (now complete), Saga, Sixth Gun, Pretty Deadly, Daredevil (by Mark Waid), Punisher (Greg Rucka - now complete), Batgirl (by Gail Simone), Lucifer, Sandman, Ex Machina...
      That should be enough to get started on. :)

    2. Hah! That's a lot to go through, better get started.. :)
      Thanks! XD

    3. Uh, yeah. I may have got a bit excited/over-enthusiastic...
      Fables, Saga and Unwritten would be my main recommendations. But my favourite is possibly DMZ.
      Northlanders is well worth checking out, too, if you like Vikings? (Also now complete.)

  2. I really want to read Archon but I think it's overpriced. 25 euros plus postages. Around 32€ for a book is too darn much.

    1. Yikes, that is quite expensive. It'll be out in paperback relatively soon, though.