Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Joey Hi-Fi brings Tony Ballantyne’s “DREAM LONDON” to life… (Solaris)


Hot on the heels of Joey Hi-Fi’s two awesome covers for Charlie Human’s Apocalypse Now Now (Century), Solaris has unveiled the artist’s superb cover for Tony Ballantyne’s next novel, Dream London. The novel will be published in October 2013. In the meantime, here’s the synopsis:

Captain Jim Wedderburn has looks, style and courage by the bucketful. He’s adored by women, respected by men and feared by his enemies. He’s the man to find out who has twisted London into this strange new world, and he knows it.

But in Dream London the city changes a little every night and the people change a little every day. The towers are growing taller, the parks have hidden themselves away and the streets form themselves into strange new patterns. There are people sailing in from new lands down the river, new criminals emerging in the East End and a path spiraling down to another world.

Everyone is changing, no one is who they seem to be.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fantastic Page from JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #2 (DC)

I just caught this over on iFanboy’s “Best of the Week in Panels… 03/20”, and it made me laugh. So, naturally, I’m sharing it here:


The story is written by the great Geoff Johns, with artwork by David Finch, Sonia Oback, and Rob Leigh. It’s always nice to see that some writers haven’t lost their sense of fun. Justice League of America #2 is out now.

“Last Argument of Kings” by Joe Abercrombie

Abercrombie-LastArgumentOfKingsA strong finish to The First Law trilogy

The end is coming.

Logen Ninefingers might only have one more fight in him – but it’s going to be a big one. Battle rages across the North, the king of the Northmen still stands firm, and there’s only one man who can stop him. His oldest friend, and his oldest enemy: it’s time for the Bloody-Nine to come home.

With too many masters and too little time, Superior Glokta is fighting a different kind of war. A secret struggle in which no one is safe, and no one can be trusted. As his days with a sword are far behind him, it's fortunate that he's deadly with his remaining weapons: blackmail, threats, and torture.

Jezal dan Luthar has decided that winning glory is too painful an undertaking and turned his back on soldiering for a simple life with the woman he loves. But love can be painful too – and glory has a nasty habit of creeping up on a man when he least expects it.

The king of the Union lies on his deathbed, the peasants revolt, and the nobles scramble to steal his crown. No one believes that the shadow of war is about to fall across the heart of the Union. Only the First of the Magi can save the world, but there are risks. There is no risk more terrible, than to break the First Law...

It is always tricky to review the final book in a trilogy or series. So how to go about it, with a series and novel that I could talk about for hours? To avoid spoilers or over-analysis requires a very short review. But, “This is the culmination of a superb series” seems just a tad too short… The Blade Itself started the series in fine form. Before They Are Hanged kicked things into a much higher gear. And Last Argument of Kings brings things to a brash, loud conclusion.

All of our favourite characters are back, and each of them experience their fair share of heartache, pain, and unexpected turns of event. Glokta is back in Adua, working for an Arch Lector he increasingly disrespects. Logen, the “Bloody Nine” experiences perhaps the greatest emotional turmoil, as he continues to struggle with his berzerker nature. Jezal, upon his return, finds his life utterly turned upside down, as he is caught up in the political maneuverings that resulted from all the heirs to the throne expiring earlier in the series. Ferro is still here, too, thankfully – she’s a fascinating character, and by the end of the book, things are going to be very different for her. And the First of the Magi Bayaz’s grand long-game comes to fruition, and all who are caught up in its wake are changed forever – some for good, plenty for ill. He is like the antithesis of Gandalf… To make matters even worse, the Gurkish have besieged Adua and the rampaging Northmen of King Bethod.

Abercrombie-LastArgumentOfKings-UKPBThe ending itself felt just a tad busy, but this was mostly forgivable, and I think Abercrombie did a fantastic job of weaving a dark, epic tale of the ultimate of political and historical manipulations. It’s grand in scope, visceral in style, and – despite the occasional belief that it could have done with just a bit more pruning – utterly compelling. There are even a few revelations I had not seen coming at all. There’s a little less social and political commentary, but just as much examination of the darker reaches of the human psyche, and how downright evil we can be to each other, when in a position of power…

Speaking of Lord of the Rings, earlier: I can still see shades of that trilogy in Abercrombie’s work – distorted and twisted into a new shape, true, but I think I’m right in assuming Tolkien was an inspiration. It’s faint, but it’s there.

Regardless of what you might feel about the proliferation of “grimdark” fantasy, and the sub-genre itself, I think it’s safe to say that Abercrombie is one of the most important fantasy writers of the new millennium. The First Law trilogy shows what can be done with the genre, in both style and invention. Thank god I have Best Served Cold, The Heroes and Red Country already to hand.

Abercrombie’s success is entirely deserving. If you haven’t read any of his novels, yet, I highly recommend you rectify that as soon as possible. This is very highly recommended.


If you are already a fan of the series, or are more inclined towards comics and graphic novels, I would point you in the direction of The First Law graphic novel, which is a work in progress. Can’t wait to read the whole story in this new medium.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Comic Cover Conformity…

While I understand that there are certain images that are iconic or eye-catching, I can’t help but raise an eyebrow at the similarities between the covers for Brooklyn Animal Control (a one-shot from IDW) and Garth Ennis’s new series, Red Team #2 (Dynamite):


I’ve read neither comic (though I’d like to give the series a try). But damn, those compositions are similar…

Monday, April 22, 2013

Upcoming: “Apocalypse Now Now” by Charlie Human (Century)

Feast your eyes on this twisted, visual delight…


This is, as I’m sure you can gather, the cover for South African author Charlie Human’s debut novel, Apocalypse Now Now. The cover was first unveiled on the always awesome Pornokitsch (whose post also has an interview with Charlie Joey Hi-Fi – go check it out).

I’ve been hearing about this book a lot recently (from one person in particular…), and he has done a sufficiently excellent job of making me ridiculously excited to get my grubby mitts on a copy.

Baxter Zevcenko is your average sixteen-year-old-boy — if by average you mean kingpin of a schoolyard porn syndicate and possible serial killer who suffers from surreal  nightmares. Which may very well be what counts as average these days. Baxter is the first to admit that he’s not a nice guy. After all, if the guy below you falls, dragging you down into an icy abyss you have to cut him loose — even in high school. That is until his girlfriend, Esmé, is kidnapped and Baxter is forced to confront a disturbing fact about himself — that he has a heart, and the damn thing is forcing him to abandon high-school politics and set out on a quest to find her. The clues point to supernatural forces at work and Baxter is must admit that he can’t do it alone. Enter Jackie Ronin, supernatural bounty hunter, Border War veteran, and all-round lunatic, who takes him on a chaotic tour of Cape Town’s sweaty, occult underbelly.

What do glowing men, transsexual African valkyries, and zombie-creating arachnids have to do with Esmé’s disappearance? That’s what Baxter really, really needs to find out.

The cover at the top, by Joey Hi-Fi, is the UK edition (to be published by Century in August 2013), but Apocalypse Now Now will also be graced with an equally sinister and moody cover (also by Joey Hi-Fi) in the author’s native South Africa:


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Batman: Dark Knight, Vol.2 – “Cycle of Violence” (DC)

BatmanDarkKnight-Vol.02Writer: Gregg Hurwitz | Artist: David Finch | Inks: Richard Friend (#10) | Colors: Sonia Oback

The Scarecrow has returned to Gotham City, but he’s no longer the meek punching bag Batman is used to. The villainous genius has always preyed on the worst fears of his victims, but has refined his legendary fear toxin to even greater effectiveness and deadlier consequences. As the Scarecrow’s origin is unfurled, Batman must find out not only how to conquer this dangerous psychopath, but how to beat his own worst fear.

Collects: Batman: Dark Knight #10-15

This story arc, the first from New York Times bestselling thriller author Gregg Hurwitz, is simply brilliant. It covers some familiar Batman-Scarecrow ground (and also back story), but with a more contemporary, sinister edge. Hurwitz has taken a very psychological approach to the story (there’s not as much action as many comic authors inject into Dark Knight tales), and he really pulls it off, delving into the mind and past of both the Scarecrow and Batman. I was hooked from the first page, and blitzed through this in one quick, satisfying sitting.


Finch’s artwork, Oback’s colors and Friend’s inks are absolutely superb. Everything works together to enhance the story in every way: from the wonderful, clever use of shadows, shading and especially the facial expressions, to the effectively silent pages. For example, these two, from the first chapter, which were particularly powerful and moving:


Overall, then (and excuse the short review – I don’t want to spoil the story), this is very, very good indeed. Hurwitz’s story is just all-round, dark brilliance: the writing, artwork, everything comes together perfectly. This is, without doubt, one of the best Batman stories I’ve read. The series is a keeper once again.


Original Series Covers

For the review, I read the digital editions of the single issues, bought from ComiXology.

Guest Post: “The Monster Within” by Richard Thomas


Richard Thomas is the author of STARING INTO THE ABYSS (Kraken Press – awesome cover, above), and while I do some catching up on my ever-growing TBR Mountain, I thought it would be a great idea to invite him over to CR to write a little something. He kindly took the time to put together a post (despite my hectic, less-than-speedy correspondence). Check it out…


“The Monster Within” by Richard Thomas

When we look at classic horror stories, and the need to update them, the way that so many authors today are trying to build on the beasts we all grew up with – werewolves, vampires, demons – I often take a step back, away from these creatures and ask myself what we’re really writing about. Is it a matter of graphic violence, the gore, do we just want to see a creature transform under the full moon, limbs stretching, bones popping, nails pushing through fingertips? Or the evidence of their feeding – necks ripped out, blood drained from pale flesh, muscle and sinew scattered across the forest floor, painting an abstract vision of the grotesque?

What fascinates me more is not a new version of the beast, the boogeyman, the creatures that hide in the shadows, swim in our waters, and hide beneath the earth. What I find the most terrifying, is the monster within us all.

Let me tell you a little story. It’s a true story, at least up to the endings I’m going to give you. When I lived in Wicker Park, a hip neighborhood on the near north side of Chicago, I used to grill out on a little barbeque pit I bought at Home Depot. Maybe $200 total for the gas range, easier to light in a hurry. I make these chicken wings every year for the Super Bowl, a mixture of hot wings, with the standard spices and hot sauces, but with an Asian flair—a bit of teriyaki, soy, ginger and Sriracha. I baste a ten-pound bag of wings overnight, stirring it, sucking the liquid up with a baster, and then squirting it back over the wings. It’s a labor of love.

Well, one year I was standing out in the cold cooking up the wings, after a night of marinating them, off to a party – not the Super Bowl, I know that much, because it was hot out – I kept running back upstairs to grab a cold can of Budweiser. Across the street from us was a block of Section 8 Housing – government property for those that were struggling to get by. I lived with my girlfriend at the time, Lisa, who is now my wife, and the mother of my children. These guys across the street, they were mostly black, a few Hispanics, nobody white. They would stand on the porch, smoke cigarettes, and at night the cars would stop, buy their drugs, and move on. They had kids of course – they were people you know, not monsters. I would nod to them when I walked past – I didn’t bother them, and they didn’t bother me. But I knew they had guns, I knew about the drugs of course – there would be fights, screaming, glass breaking, and the police would show up now and then.

RichardThomas-AuthorPicI was about halfway done with the wings, when I ran back up to get a beer. I was only gone about twenty seconds, but in that time the boys across the street had run over, grabbed the giant metal bowl of cooked wings, and disappeared. I stood at the barbeque, a slow rage building. I looked across the street, and they were all gone, not a single person in sight. I’d even given a few of the wings to some kids that had wandered over, not fifteen minutes early, as they’d walked by, saying, “Man, those wings smell GOOD.” I had paused – should I share with them, I had a lot of wings. “Here you go, have one,” I said, holding out the bowl. They each took one and walked away – happy, I thought. I guess not. One was not enough. They took them all.

As I started to walk across the street to go get my wings, I stopped. I asked myself, “What the hell are you doing?” The guns, the violence I’d seen, black eyes and bloody lips, kids crying, police cars. I turned around and went back to the grill, and cooked the other half of my wings. The bastards even kept the metal bowl.

Why did I stop? Because I knew violence, and I knew that it would escalate, that in the end, I might be the one to suffer, my girl. I’d been in fistfights where the only end to the beating is when one person didn’t get back up. I’d seen faces stomped into the curb. I knew that the monster that lived in me would be happy to get into it, to start something – baseball bat in hand, bricks through windows, slashed tires in the dead of night. I looked at my car parked right in front of the house. How long would it last? Not long, I imagined. The ending I imagined, the one I’m making up here, that didn't happen (but could have) involved terror – looking out the window, waiting for my girl to get home, standing outside smoking a cigarette, and then a gun is pushed in my temple, and what then? I’d be lucky with a beating.

A few weeks later, a woman was raped in the gangway between our apartment building and the one next door. This is not fiction – this is true. A man beat her, tore off her clothes, and shoved his hard cock in her most private and delicate area and fucked her until she bled, leaving her crying on the concrete. Above, merely feet away, my girlfriend and I slept soundly, the air conditioner blasting, never hearing a thing. The only evidence on the concrete sidewalk was a dark stain that would never quite fade away, some broken glass, and the idea that violence knows no rules, no laws – random chaos that can descend at any moment, and come home to roost.

This is what scares me – not werewolves, vampires or demons. (Okay, maybe demons a little bit, but that also comes back to religion and some sort of factual evidence.) These are the stories that fascinate me, the Dexters and Hannibals, or even the unnamed evil that lurks in the heart of all men, all women – the desire to hurt another human being, the need for vengeance, to be right at any cost. So quite often, in my stories, it’s not that yeti, the chupacabra, or a zombie. No, it’s the guy next door, drunk, running over a child in the street. It’s a moment of selfishness that results in the death of a wife, and the magic and voodoo that any man would trade to get her back, the love of his life. It’s the feeling of loss, of disintegrating, losing yourself in the madness of a moment in time, that tipping point, something you can never get back. It’s the monster within us all, flawed as we are – that’s what scares me.


ThomasR-StaringIntoTheAbyssFor more, Richard Thomas can be found on Twitter and his website. Here’s the cover (again) and synopsis for Staring Into The Abyss:

As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster; and if you gaze into the abyss the abyss gazes into you.” In this collection of short stories Richard Thomas shows us in dark, layered prose the human condition in all of its beauty and dysfunction. A man sits in a high tower making tiny, mechanical birds, longing for the day when he might see the sky again. A couple spends an evening in an underground sex club where jealousy and possession are the means of barter. A woman is victimized as a child, and turns that rage and vengeance into a lifelong mission, only to self-destruct, and become exactly what she battled against. A couple hears the echo of the many reasons they’ve stayed together, and the one reason the finally have to part. And a boy deals with a beast that visits him on a nightly basis, not so much a shadow, as a fixture in his home. These 20 stories will take you into the darkness, and sometimes bring you back. But now and then there is no getting out, the lights have faded, the pitch black wrapping around you like a festering blanket of lies. What will you do now? It’s eat or be eaten – so bring a strong stomach and a hearty appetite.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013



Debut author Christian Schoon was born in the American Midwest, and started his writing career in earnest as an in-house writer at the Walt Disney Company in Burbank, California. (Which is rather cool…) After moving from LA to a farmstead in Iowa several years ago, he continues to work as a freelance and also now helps re-hab wildlife and foster abused/neglected horses. An interesting fellow, I thought it would be a great idea to interview him. Apparently, along with writing, he was once shot by a hometown cop…

Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Christian Schoon?

Just another guy with a book… Grew up in the American Midwest, worked my way through college playing in rock bands, doing odd jobs; got a degree in Journalism, moved to LA, hired on as a copywriter at Disney, then freelanced, wrote some TV scripts for teen and kids’ sci-fi and fantasy shows; moved back to Midwest, bought an old farmstead, got involved with several animal welfare groups; wrote a sci fi series, found a great agent, he sold the series to a fabulous publisher. And voila.


I thought we’d start with your fiction: Your debut novel, Zenn Scarlett, was recently published by Strange Chemistry. How would you introduce the novel to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

The novel chronicles an eventful, well, very eventful, interlude in the life of a young girl in her novice year of training to be an exoveterinarian. Zenn is specializing the care and treatment of alien animals at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic and school on a colonized Mars that’s been cut-off from contact with Earth. Her alien patients are often huge, occasionally deadly and always fascinating. She’s love her courses, but she’s got a few problems. An absent father not communicating, a local towner boy showing an unusual and distracting interest in her just as end of term tests begin, a sudden surge of incidents at the cloister where animals escape their enclosures or exhibit uncharacteristically violent behavior and, oddest and most disturbing: she feels that she’s started… sharing the thoughts of some of her alien patients.

This is the first novel in a series. The sequel is well underway and will be published early next year.


What inspired you to write the novel? And where do you draw your inspiration from in general?

The Zenn Scarlett series grew out of my earlier-mentioned work with several animal welfare groups and the awesome veterinarians I met; some of these vets have developed unique skill sets in dealing with large, exotic and sometimes dangerous animals. This, along with my deep geek-love for all things science fictional, made Zenn’s adventures a logical progression for me once I started looking for a fresh creative challenge.

Lampman-RustysSpaceShipHow were you introduced to genre fiction?

Well, there was Rusty’s Space Ship back in grade school, followed up quickly by the work of Golden Age sci-fi masters like Edgar Rice Burroughs, Asimov, Heinlein and that school of writers.

How do you enjoy being a writer and working within the publishing industry? Do you have any specific working, writing, researching practices?

So far (knock on synthwood) my experience with the world of books and publishing has been solidly fab. My agent is a genre-savvy guy who immediately “got” Zenn and saw the book’s potential. My editor at Strange Chemistry is equally well-versed and has provided valuable feedback and made sure Zenn Scarlett was ready for release into the wild. As for work habits, I try to get as much of my writing as possible done in the morning. Afternoons are then used for any research and for wasting large chunks of time surfing favorite author and book sites.

When did you realize you wanted to be an author, and what was your first foray into writing? Do you still look back on it fondly?

Writing appealed to me from a fairly early age since I could go off on my own and do the work, get feedback, do whatever polishing was needed and have the project completed. I’m not really a team-player sort. I like my space. My first challenging writing work was done as an in-house copy and scriptwriter in the home video division of the Walt Disney Company in Burbank, and yes I do look back on those years with great fondness. Even though this did demand that I buck up and “play for the team,” my colleagues there were a truly wonderful bunch of creative and warm individuals and they made my time at Disney a pleasure. But I never really encountered an office-type setting similar to this again, and quickly decided work-from-home freelancing was the thing for me.


What’s your opinion of the genre today, and where do you see your work fitting into it?

With all the publishing options available today there’s more great genre writing materializing before our eyes almost every day. The problem, of course, is winnowing through the surging tsunami of chaff to find the good stuff. And blogs like this one are often one of the most effective screening systems readers can turn to in order to track down their next read.

With any luck, my own writing will find its way to exactly this kind of platform and rise into the field of vision of those hungry-for-better readers and trigger some friendly word-of-mouth attention.

What other projects are you working on, and what do you have currently in the pipeline?

My main effort just now is the sequel to Zenn Scarlett. I’m also mulling a streampunkish sort of TV series that I will hopeful be able to turn my attention to once Zenn’s follow-on adventure is nailed down.

Fleming-BritainAfterRomeWhat are you reading at the moment (fiction, non-fiction)?

I’m reading several great new Strange Chemistry titles just now: a riveting sci-fi thriller, Playing Tyler by T.L. Costa and an eerie interpretation of a classic SF tale, Tainted by A.E. Rought. In non-fiction, I’m just about finished with Britain After Rome: The Fall and Rise 400–1070. This is a great glimpse into the real-world dystopia that was Britain in the wake of Rome’s collapse. It’s also very Game of Throne-ish, of course.

What’s something readers might be surprised to learn about you?

I was once shot at by the police in my tiny Minnesota home town. Details on request…

What are you most looking forward to in the next twelve months?

No surprise here: the publication of Zenn Scarlett: May 7 in the US/Canada, May 2 in the UK. After that, I’ll start looking forward to the release of the sequel. Yeah, predictable.


For more about Zenn Scarlett, it’s sequel and Christian himself, be sure to check out Goodreads, his Author Blog, his Twitter, and also his Strange Chemistry Author Page.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Art: VULKAN LIVES by Nick Kyme (Black Library)

Just caught this on Amazon UK: the artwork for Nick Kyme’s next Horus Heresy novel, Vulkan Lives


Naturally, as someone who is rather addicted to the Heresy series, I can’t wait to get my mitts on this novel. Here’s the synopsis:

In the wake of the Dropsite Massacre at Isstvan V, the survivors of the Salamanders Legion searched long and hard for their fallen primarch, but to no avail. Little did they know that while Vulkan might have wished himself dead, he lives still. As the war continues without him, all eyes turn to Ultramar and Guilliman’s new empire there, and Vulkan’s sons are drawn into an insidious plot to end the Heresy by the most underhand means imaginable.

As far as I can tell, Vulkan Lives will be published in November or December 2013. Here’s the full artwork for the novel, which is rather eye-catching…


In related Nick Kyme news, the author has also penned one of two upcoming Heresy audio-dramas, Censure (which is due to be published in October 2013)…


In the depths of Calth’s arcology network, the Underworld War has raged for years. Aeonid Thiel, previously an honoured sergeant of the Ultramarines, once again finds himself in trouble – pitted against the daemonic forces of the Word Bearers, he has no choice but to venture back to the ravaged surface and brave the deadly solar flares that have scoured all life from this world. With a lowly Imperial Army trooper as his only companion, it falls to him to drive the maniacal Dark Apostle Kurtha Sedd and his warband from the overrun XIII Legion stronghold.

Recent Acquisitions… (April 2013)


It’s been a pretty great couple of weeks, in terms of new books and comics that have arrived and been purchased. I thought it might be nice to just write a little something about the books that have arrived, and a few that I’ve bought, as it might take me a while to get around to reading and reviewing them all.


Abraham-D&C-3-TheTyrantsLawDaniel Abraham, The Tyrant’s Law (Orbit)

The great war cannot be stopped.

The tyrant Geder Palliako had led his nation to war, but every victory has called forth another conflict. Now the greater war spreads out before him, and he is bent on bringing peace. No matter how many people he has to kill to do it.

Cithrin bel Sarcour, rogue banker of the Medean Bank, has returned to the fold. Her apprenticeship has placed her in the path of war, but the greater dangers are the ones in her past and in her soul.

Widowed and disgraced at the heart of the Empire, Clara Kalliam has become a loyal traitor, defending her nation against itself. And in the shadows of the world, Captain Marcus Wester tracks an ancient secret that will change the war in ways not even he can forsee.

The mighty Daniel Abraham! Perhaps one of the busiest authors writing today, not to mention one of the most talented, this is the third novel in his The Dagger & the Coin epic fantasy series. I devoured the first in the series, The Dragon’s Path, but the second novel was published around one of my hectic transatlantic moves, and therefore slipped by the wayside. With this volume firmly in my grasp, though, I have no excuse not to get off my ass and catch up. Watch this space!

Also on CR: Interview with Daniel Abraham


CainS-QuietSusan Cain, Quiet (Penguin)

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society – from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.

Perhaps most inspiring, she introduces us to successful introverts – from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a “pretend extrovert.”

This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.

A bit of non-fiction, this has been quite the popular little book. As someone who considers themselves an introvert, I’m rather interested to see what’s inside.


CargillCR-DreamsAndShadowsUKC. Robert Cargill, Dreams & Shadows (Gollancz)

DREAMS AND SHADOWS takes us beyond the veil, through the lives of Ewan and Colby, young men whose spirits have been enmeshed with the otherworld from a young age, and follows the boys from their star-crossed adolescences to their haunted adulthoods.

We are taken inside the Limestone Kingdom, a parallel universe where whisky-swilling genies and foul-mouthed wizards argue over the state of the metaphysical realm. Having left the spirit world and returned to the human world, Ewan and Colby discover that the creatures from this previous life have not forgotten them, and that fate can never be sidestepped.

This novel is one I’m very excited about. Like a lot of novels I can’t wait to read, I end up Saving Them For Later. I will be diving into this hopefully very soon. I’ve heard nothing but good things, and it has been described as “part Neil Gaiman, part Guillermo Del Torro, part William Burroughs”. So that sounds pretty awesome. Watch this space.


Jon Courtenay-Grimwood, Outcast Blade & Exiled Blade (Orbit)


As the Byzantine and German emperors plot war against each other, Venice’s future rests in the hands of three unwilling individuals:

The newly knighted Sir Tycho. He defeated the Mamluk navy but he cannot make the woman he loves love him back. Tortured by secrets, afraid of the daylight, he sees no reason to save a city he hates.

The grieving Lady Giulietta. Virgin. Mother. Widow. All she wants is to retire from the poisonous world of the Venetian court to mourn her husband in peace. But her duty is to Venice: both emperors want her hand in marriage and an alliance with Europe’s richest city. She must choose, knowing that whichever suitor she rejects will become Venice’s bitterest enemy.

Lastly, a naked, mud-strewn girl who crawls from a paupers’ grave on an island in the Venetian lagoon and begins by killing the men who buried her.

Between them, they will set the course of history.

I loved The Fallen Blade, the first novel in this series. I thought the author had written something both engaging and brave (the first chapters are written in a confusing, swirling manner, to match the main character’s mental state – this put off some readers). Another victim of my multiple-moves, with the publication of the final book in the trilogy, I can get cracking with it! [The synopsis above is for The Outcast Blade – to include that for the third book would have meant big spoilers.]

Also on CR: Interview with Jon Courtenay-Grimwood, Guest Post


EvansL-M1-TroubleWithFateLeigh Evans, The Trouble with Fate (Tor)

WHAT SHE DOESN’T KNOW MIGHT KILL HER: Hedi looks normal. Yet that’s taken effort. Her fellow Starbucks baristas don’t see her pointed ears, fae amulet or her dark past, and normal is hard for a half-fae, half-werewolf on the run. Hedi’s life changed ten years ago, when her parents were murdered by unknown assassins. She’s been in hiding with her loopy aunt Lou since, as whatever they wanted she’s determined they won’t get it. Things change when wolves capture Lou, forcing Hedi to steal to free her – for if she can offer up a fae amulet like her own they may trade. But it belongs to a rogue werewolf named Robson Trowbridge, who betrayed Hedi on the night of her greatest need. Over forty-eight hours, Hedi will face the weres of Creemore, discover the extent of her fae powers and possibly break her own heart in the process.

I’m quite interested in trying this out. It’s inching up my TBR mountain… So many books, so little time…

Also on CR: Interview with Leigh Evans (video)


GemmellS-CityStella Gemmell, The City (Bantam Press)

The City is ancient, layers upon layers. Once a thriving metropolis, it has sprawled beyond its bounds, inciting endless wars with neighboring tribes and creating a barren wasteland of what was once green and productive.

In the center of the City lives the emperor. Few have ever seen him, but those who have recall a man in his prime, though he should be very old. Some grimly speculate that he is no longer human, if he ever was. A small number have come to the desperate conclusion that the only way to stop the war is to end the emperor’s unnaturally long life.

From the mazelike sewers below the City, where the poor struggle to stay alive in the dark, to the blood-soaked fields of battle, where few heroes manage to endure the never-ending siege, the rebels pin their hopes on one man – Shuskara. The emperor’s former general, he was betrayed long ago and is believed to be dead. But, under different aliases, he has survived, forsaking his City and hiding from his immortal foe. Now the time has come for him to engage in one final battle to free the City from the creature who dwells at its heart, pulling the strings that keep the land drenched in gore.

I have actually started this novel already, but I started it in what became an insanely busy week. After four days, I’d managed to read only 70 pages. I have, therefore, put it aside for a little while until I get a bit more settled and can give it my proper attention. I really liked what I’d read (I’d really like to run an excerpt on the site, too), so I will be getting back to it. My silence and the lack of a review should not be taken as disinterest or disappointment.


Higgins-WolfhoundCenturyPeter Higgins, Wolfhound Century (Gollancz)

Investigator Vissarion Lom has been summoned to the capital in order to catch a terrorist – and ordered to report directly to the head of the secret police. A totalitarian state, worn down by an endless war, must be seen to crush home-grown terrorism with an iron fist.

But Lom discovers Mirgorod to be more corrupted than he imagined: a murky world of secret police and revolutionaries, cabaret clubs and doomed artists. Lom has been chosen because he is an outsider, not involved in the struggle for power within the party. And because of the sliver of angel stone implanted in his head.

Wolfhound Century is a superb novel, this is a second copy I’ve someone managed to get, and I’ve already reviewed it here. There seems to be a slight uptick in interest in novels that have a Russian flavour to them, and I consider myself one of the people who would like to see more in this vein. Not too much, but maybe a couple of others that draw on this rich, atmospheric and fascinating culture.


HillJ-NOS4R2Joe Hill, N0S4R2 (Gollancz)

Summer. Massachusetts.

An old Silver Wraith with a frightening history. A story about one serial killer and his lingering, unfinished business.

Anyone could be next.

We’re going to Christmasland...

Charlie Manx burned a man to death in his black 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith, but that’s not the worst of it. Rumor has it that he kidnapped dozens of children, taking them to a place he calls “Christmasland.” The only child ever to escape was a very lucky girl named Victoria McQueen.

Vic has a gift – she can ride her bike through the Shorter Way bridge and she’ll come out the other side wherever she needs to be, even if it’s hundreds of miles away. Vic doesn’t tell anyone about her ability; no one would understand.

When Charlie Manx finally dies after years in prison, his body disappears...after the autopsy. The police and media think someone stole it, but Vic knows the truth: Charlie Manx is on the road again...

As with Gemmell’s The City (above), Hill’s latest horror opus is another victim of a recently busy, stressful week. I’ve read a third of the novel, and I’ll be sure to finish it off in the next couple weeks at least. Hill’s gift for writing incredibly real-feeling characters is on full display. His fiction and comics pack such a wallop (emotional, visual, atmospheric) that I frequently find myself struggling to find the language to review them…

I also recently picked up one of Hill’s other novels, Horns (which will soon be hitting the big screen in a movie adaptation starring Daniel Radcliffe).


Lafferty-ShamblingGuideToNYCMur Lafferty, The Shambling Guide to New York City (Orbit)

Because of the disaster that was her last job, Zoe is searching for a fresh start as a travel book editor in the tourist-centric New York City. After stumbling across a seemingly perfect position though, Zoe is blocked at every turn because of the one thing she can’t take off her resume – human.

Not to be put off by anything – especially not her blood drinking boss or death goddess coworker – Zoe delves deep into the monster world. But her job turns deadly when the careful balance between human and monsters starts to crumble – with Zoe right in the middle.

A novel that has been on my radar for a good long while, I hope to read this in a couple of books (so maybe starting it by the end of next week?). Watch this space!


Jeff Noon, Pollen & Vurt (Tor)


Take a trip in a stranger’s head. Travel rain-shot streets with a gang of hip malcontents, hooked on the most powerful drug you can imagine. Yet Vurt feathers are not for the weak. As the mysterious Game Cat says, ‘Be careful, be very careful’. But Scribble isn’t listening. He has to find his lost love. His journey is a mission to find Curious Yellow, the ultimate, perhaps even mythical Vurt feather. As the most powerful narcotic of all, Scribble must be prepared to leave his current reality behind.

I’ve never read anything by Jeff Noon. Both of these novels (which are both re-issues) sound pretty intriguing. Therefore, I’m going to do my best to get to them A.S.A.P. Anyone else read them…?

The sweet death of Coyote, master taxi driver, was only the first.

Soon people are sneezing and dying all over Manchester. Telekinetic cop Sybil Jones knows that, like Coyote, they died happy – but even a happy death can be a murder. As exotic blooms begin to flower all over the city, the pollen count is racing towards 2000 and Sybil is running out of time.


Peeler-JT6-TempestRebornNicole Peeler, Tempest Reborn (Orbit)

Anyan may be trapped in an evil dragon and Blondie may be gone, but Jane knows one thing: she’s not about to give up. She’s ready to tear down heaven and earth to save her lover, despite those who believe he’s lost.

Luckily for Jane, those who’ve given up on Anyan do not include those closest to her. Defying The Powers That Be, Jane and Company form their own crack squad of misfits, in whose hands the fate of the world may well rest.

With a little help from her friends, the Universe, and lots of snacks, Jane embarks on her greatest adventure yet, confident that with great sacrifice comes great reward. The question is, who will be that sacrifice?

This is the sixth book in the Jane True series. Orbit (for the UK and Down Under market) has re-packaged the series in a much better overall design. I’d like to try it, but I’m not sure when I’d get around to reading all previous five books before this one… I’ll add it to my Series To Try list, and keep it in mind for the future.


Saintcrow-RedPlagueAffairLilith Saintcrow, The Red Plague Affair (Orbit)

The service of Britannia is not for the faint of heart – or conscience...

Emma Bannon, Sorceress Prime in service to Queen Victrix, has a mission: to find the doctor who has created a powerful new weapon. Her friend, the mentath Archibald Clare, is only too happy to help. It will distract him from pursuing his nemesis, and besides, Clare is not as young as he used to be. A spot of Miss Bannon’s excellent hospitality and her diverting company may be just what he needs.

Unfortunately, their quarry is a fanatic, and his poisonous discovery is just as dangerous to Britannia as to Her enemies. Now a single man has set Londinium ablaze, and Clare finds himself in the middle of distressing excitement, racing against time and theory to find a cure. Miss Bannon, of course, has troubles of her own, for the Queen's Consort Alberich is ill, and Her Majesty unhappy with Bannon’s loyal service. And there is still no reliable way to find a hansom when one needs it most...

The game is afoot. And the Red Plague rises.

This is the second novel in the Bannon & Clare series (there is also a novella – The Damnation Affair – that takes place between this and The Iron Wyrm Affair). A steampunk investigative series, this looks like it would be popular with fans of the myriad, proliferating series in the same sub-genre, but perhaps especially for fans of James P. Blaylock’s St. Ives series…?


Stross-BloodlineFeudCharles Stross, The Bloodline Feud (Tor)

Miriam knows there's no smoke without fire. And she's about to get burnt...

The Family Trade and The Hidden Family – The first two installments of the Merchant Princes series combined in one volume.

Miriam Beckstein is a successful reporter for a hi-tech magazine. So when she discovers a huge money-laundering scam, she thinks she's hit the big time. But when she takes it to her editor, she's not only fired, but receives death threats. That's just the beginning.

To distract her furious daughter, Miriam's adopted mother unearths mementos from her real mother, murdered when she was an infant. But these reveal a secret that will ultimately throw governments into disarray. For what Miriam thinks is a simple locket has the power to fling her into an alternate timeline. In this less-developed world, knights on horseback wield automatic weapons, and world-skipping assassins lurk on the other side of our reality. Here, her true family runs a criminal empire – and they want her back. But Miriam has other plans.

I reviewed the two novels (and the third in the series) collected in this omnibus a few years back, when they were first released in the UK. I loved the concept, and I’m interested to read the rest of the series. (Tor will be releasing another two omnibus editions – The Traders’ War and The Revolution Trade – in May and June 2013.)



Tregillis-3-NecessaryEvilUKIan Tregillis, Necessary Evil (Orbit)

The history of the Twentieth Century has been shaped by a secret conflict between technology and magic. When a twisted Nazi scientist devised a way to imbue ordinary humans with supernatural abilities – to walk through walls, throw fire and see the future – his work became the prized possession of first the Third Reich, then the Soviet Army. Only Britain’s warlocks, and the dark magics they yield, have successfully countered the threat posed by these superhuman armies.

But for decades, this conflict has been manipulated by Gretel, the mad seer. And now her long plan has come to fruition. And with it, a danger vastly greater than anything the world has known. Now British Intelligence officer Raybould Marsh must make a last-ditch effort to change the course of history – if his nation, and those he loves, are to survive.

If there’s a single regular or casual reader of this blog who hasn’t figured out that Tregillis is one of my favourite authors, you’re just not paying attention… This is a masterful conclusion to the Milkweed Triptych, and I can’t recommend the series enough.

Also on CR: Reviews of Bitter Seeds, The Coldest War, Necessary Evil, Guest Post


Chuck Wendig, The Blue Blazes (Angry Robot) & Gods & Monsters: Unclean Spirits (Abaddon)


Meet Mookie Pearl.

Criminal underworld? He runs it.

Supernatural underworld? He hunts in it.

Nothing stops Mookie when he’s on the job.

But when his daughter takes up arms and opposes him, something’s gotta give…

The first in a new urban fantasy series in which lovable thug Mookie Pearl must contend with the criminal underworld, the supernatural underworld, a new drug that makes the invisible visible, and a rebellious teen daughter who opposes him at every turn.

I’m a big fan of Wendig’s writing, despite not being quite as good as I should be about keeping up-to-date. I haven’t read either of the Miriam Black books (Blackbirds and Mockingbird – both also published by Angry Robot Books), for example. Nevertheless, I do hope to get to these two A.S.A.P. Both of these novels are the start of new series. Gods & Monsters, however, is the first novel in a shared-setting for Abaddon books, and further volumes will be written by other authors – though I wouldn’t be surprised if Wendig revisits it in the future.

Five years ago, it all went wrong for Cason Cole. He lost his wife and son, lost everything, and was bound into service to a man who chews up human lives and spits them out, a predator who holds nothing dear and respects no law. Now, as the man he both loves and hates lies dying at his feet, the sounds of the explosion still ringing in his ears, Cason is finally free.

The gods and goddesses are real. A polytheistic pantheon – a tangle of divine hierarchies – once kept the world at an arm’s length, warring with one another for mankind’s belief and devotion. It was a grim and bloody balance, but a balance just the same. When one god triumphed, driving all other gods out of Heaven, it was back to the bad old days: cults and sycophants, and the terrible retribution the gods visit on those who spite them. None of which is going to stop Cason from getting back what’s his...


Other recent acquisitions include Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold and The Heroes (Gollancz): in the course of one of my near-endless moves (the life of a vagrant has some downsides), my entire collection of Abercrombie’s novels (all 1st Editions) were... misplaced. I have searched high and low, but eventually had to accept that they were lost. So I completed my eBook set. And am currently reading Last Argument of Kings. Another Gollancz book, I also recently bought the eBook edition of Scott Lynch’s Lies of Locke Lamora – this is a novel I keep giving my copy of away, spreading it around friends and family. This time, I decided to get an eBook copy, in preparation for a re-read of books 1 & 2 before The Republic of Thieves comes out in October. It also means I can’t give it away…

Any of these catch your eye? Anything new you’ve got recently that you think might be of interest to CR readers?

Monday, April 15, 2013

“Promise of Blood” by Brian McClellan (Orbit)

McClellan-PM1-PromiseOfBloodOne of 2013’s most Hotly-Tipped Fantasy Debuts

“The Age of Kings is dead. And I have killed it.”

Field Marshal Tamas’s coup against his king sends corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brings bread to the starving. But it also provokes war in the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics and greedy scrambling for money and power by Tamas’s supposed allies: the Church, workers’ unions and mercenary forces.

Stretched to his limit, Tamas relies heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be Tamas’s estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty will be tested to its limit.

Now, amid the chaos, a whispered rumour is spreading. A rumour about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods returning to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing...

But perhaps they should.

I’ve been looking forward to this novel for a good long while. When I was finally able to get my mitts on a copy, I tore into it, and blitzed through it far quicker than I normally do for a 500+ page novel. Bottom line, while there are a few niggles, Promise of Blood is a lot of fun, and the start of something potentially fantastic.

The novel has three main character perspectives, through which we learn basically everything we need. And that, actually is something I’ll deal with quickly: we get a lot of information, world-building, history and so forth. There is a near-blizzard of new names and terms near the start, but McClellan has done a good job of working them into the story appropriately. That being said, “Centestershire” made me grumble…

The first main character is that old fella on the cover: Field Marshall Tamas. In his 60s, he is the leader of the army and also the mastermind of the coup to topple King Manhouch. He struggles a bit with the demands of leadership. Enormity of the coup weighs heavy on him. Over the course of the novel he will have to face multiple attempts on his life, nefarious Privileged (mages) with truly evil ways of dampening a Powder Mage’s abilities, and plots within plots. Oh, and someone who could be a god…

An old acquaintance of Tamas, investigator Adamat is called in by the Field Marshall to look in to the peculiar mystery that was stirred up by the last words of the Royal Cabal of Privileged. He heads out to learn what he can, but quickly discovers someone has been systematically destroying references to the mysterious “Kresimir’s Promise”. On top of that, and further adding to his problems, he’s in debt to some unsavoury people. People who are entirely comfortable with exerting pressure in sensitive physical and psychological places…

“Did you do this for power?”

“I did this for me,” Tamas said. “And I did this for Adro. So that Manhouch wouldn’t sign us all into slavery to the Kez with the Accords. I did it because those grumbling students of philosophy at the university only play at rebellion. The age of kings is dead, Adamat, and I have killed it.”

And finally, we have Taniel, Tamas’s son. Like his father and ex-betrothed, Taniel is a Powder Mage. I suppose I should mention that I really like this idea – people with ballistic powers based around (you guessed it) the use of gunpowder. It gives them heightened senses, pyro- and tele-kinetic powers (of sorts), and can be generally total badasses in combat. (Just wait until the Field Marshall unleashes his abilities… Whoa.)

Tamas reached out mentally and absorbed the power of the powder blast. He felt the energy course through him, warming his body like a sip of fine spirits. He redirected the power of the blast harmlessly into the floor, cracking a marble tile beneath the king.

Taniel is tasked with hunting down a Privileged who escaped the coup, and stamp out the King’s Royal Cabal once and for all. He accepts the job, if for not other reason than to create more distance between him and his ex-fiancée, Vlora, who is seconded to Tamas’s command. Through his investigation, we see how devastating and destructive battle between two Privileged can be (scenes at the university), and also learn a little more of the world. Like Adamat, his investigation will take him to some far-flung regions of the world McClellan has created.

The story and prose flow very nicely, and I easily sank in to the narrative each time I picked it up (real world commitments precluded me from devouring it in a couple of long, leisurely sittings). The pacing is superb, and I enjoyed hanging out with the characters. I particularly liked Taniel’s “Savage” companion, who is all manner of awesome (and really comes into her own in the second half of the novel). There were a couple of chronological jumps, though, of a week or month, which took me a bit by surprise. Maybe a sign of trying to cram too much into the opening book? I don’t think it really has much of a negative impact on how much I enjoyed the novel, but I did have to pause a couple of times to reorient myself.

I can see Promise of Blood being very popular. There’s a lot of great world-building, and it will certainly be interesting to see more of it unveiled in future books in the series. There are a handful of interesting characters, with three pretty strong key cast members. Their supporting allies, antagonists, and companions are all interesting as well. I do think, though, that book two perhaps needs to expand the core cast a little bit more, adding a bit more variation in the points of view? The plot is good, and fast-paced (if a smidge busy at times), and gripping. It is well-crafted, but I think it could have done with a few tweaks and tucks here and there.

Overall, this is a satisfying and promising start to a new series. There are a lot of things readers will expect from a debut and the first part of a new series: pieces are still maneuvering on the board, conspiracies are revealed, secrets hinted at and unveiled, and more.

I had a lot of fun reading this – there are some interesting surprises, characters are not sacred to McClellan (lots of sudden deaths), some riveting and blockbuster-esque action scenes, and a satisfying conclusion that leaves things wide open for book two, The Crimson Campaign. I think McClellan’s going to have a successful career as an author, and the more he writes, the more impressive his novels will become. If you’re looking for a fun, original and engrossing new fantasy series, then I would certainly recommend this.

Also on CR: Guest posts by Brian – “My Favourite Novel” and “Protagonist Ages in Epic Fantasy

Extras: Two Maps of the World, and the cover for book two, out next year from Orbit Books…




Saturday, April 13, 2013

Upcoming: “The Raven’s Shadow” by Elspeth Cooper (Gollancz)

Cooper-RavensShadowI’ve not been very good at keeping up with Elspeth Cooper’s Wild Hunt series. I enjoyed Songs of the Earth, but still need to catch up with Trinity Rising, the second novel in the series. The Raven’s Shadow is the third of four novel in the series, and will be published in August 2013. Here’s the synopsis:

Three moons are rising.

They are rising over the snowy Archen Mountains, where Teia struggles through the high passes to carry her warning to the Empire: the Nimrothi war band is poised to invade and at their head stands Ytha. She means to release the Wild Hunt – and with it Maegern the Raven, the Keeper of the Dead.

In the desert of Gimrael, the moons are rising over the fires of revolution – flames that have already robbed Gair of a friend and left him alone in a hostile city, unsure even if the Song is still his to command. He has one last duty to discharge, and then nothing will stand between him and his ultimate goal: vengeance.

And in the Nordmen’s chilly halls, Savin plays out a game in which kings and chieftains and men are but pawns on a chessboard that spans the Veil itself.

Three moons are rising. When the trinity is complete, the endgame will begin.

The fourth-and-final book in the series, The Dragon House is due to be published (according to Amazon UK) one month after this, in September 2013… Not sure if that can be right. Regardless, this is an interesting series, and well worth your attention.

Also on CR: Interview with Elspeth Cooper


UPDATE: Just heard back from Elspeth – this is not the final artwork, but just one that Amazon UK has used and that seems to be doing the rounds on the internet. And, also, book four will be published in 2014. Updates to follow, as-and-when information becomes available. I also inserted a new synopsis, provided by the author, substituting it for the Amazon UK synopsis (below).

Sometimes those with the greatest potential must withstand the hardest blows. Fate, it seems, has nothing kind in store for Gair. First his lover and now his mentor have been killed – the first by the dangerous, ambitious Savin, the second in a revolutionary uprising. Alone, and with even his magical abilities betraying him, he has only one goal left: revenge. Far to the north, if Teia has one goal it is survival. Attempting to cross a high mountain pass in the teeth of winter is an act of desperation, but the message she carries cannot wait for spring. An invasion force is gathering behind her, and only an ancient order of knights can hold them back. The danger is real, there are enemies in the shadows, and time is running out...

Upcoming: “The Black Guard” by A.J. Smith (Head of Zeus)

SmithAJ-BlackGuardThere’s been a little bit of buzz surrounding this novel, but not as much as I’ve expected. The Black Guard is the first in A.J. Smith’s The Long War fantasy series.

I actually read a little bit of a very early version of The Black Guard on submission when I was interning at a publisher last year, only to discover that Head of Zeus had already picked it up. Nevertheless, I was happy to learn it was going to make it to the shelves, and I look forward to reading the final version.

Here’s the synopsis:

The Duke of Canarn is dead, executed by the King’s decree. The city lies in chaos, its people starving, sickening, and tyrannized by the ongoing presence of the King’s mercenary army. But still hope remains: the Duke’s children, the Lord Bromvy and Lady Bronwyn, have escaped their father’s fate.

Separated by enemy territory, hunted by the warrior clerics of the One God, Bromvy undertakes to win back the city with the help of the secretive outcasts of the Darkwald forest, the Dokkalfar. The Lady Bronwyn makes for the sanctuary of the Grass Sea and the warriors of Ranen with the mass of the King’s forces at her heels. And in the mountainous region of Fjorlan, the High Thain Algenon Teardrop launches his Dragon Fleet against the Red Army. Brother wars against brother in this, the epic first volume of the long war.

It’ll be interesting to see how this shapes up. It’ll be released as a Special Edition and also a “standard” Hardcover in August 2013.

Upcoming (in the UK): “Libriomancer” by Jim C. Hines (Del Rey)

Hines-LibriomancerUKJim C. HinesLibriomancer was released a while ago in the US, but I never got around to buying it when I was working there. No idea why… Anyway, luckily for me (and every other person in the UK), Del Rey will be publishing it on these shores very soon!

Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of a secret society founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. As such, he is gifted with the magical ability to reach into books and draw forth objects.

But when Gutenberg vanishes without a trace, Isaac finds himself pitted against everything from vampires to a sinister, nameless foe who is bent on revealing magic to the world at large... and at any cost.

Libriomancer will be published on June 20th 2013. For the sake of completion, here’s the US cover (published by DAW):