The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
Thus far I have been remiss in not sharing my thoughts on Lauren's previous novels Moxy Land and Zoo City so I'll start with pointing out this novel that will be out in the US this next Tuesday. I have an ARC of the book that I am reading and quite enjoying so you can look forward to a full review soonish once I get the others I promised edited and posted. Here is a link to a website devoted to the novel with all kinds of kitschy content including trailers interviews and all kinds of images to give you hints as to what you'll be in for with this one. Lauren is a unique voice not being native to either the US nor The UK or Australia. Here is the synopsis from her website...
A time-traveling serial killer is impossible to trace – until one of his victims survives.
In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras, leaving anachronistic clues on their bodies, until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and starts hunting him back.
Here is the link to. The Shining Girls on Lauren's website...
Trail of Dead by Melissa F. Olson
This book is the second in a urban fantasy series that sound very much like what the world Souless by Gail Carriager might have been if it was brought to the present without all the Steampunk tropes included. This is more along the general lines of police procedural or detective novel but with the protagonist being one that scrubs the crime scenes of supernatural traces. I do not know why this makes me think X-files maybe its the coverup angle but this is one of the reasons I like doing this particular column I find writers I've never heard of that I now need to check out. Here is a link to Melissa's website about this novel and so you can read what hooked me here is the synopsis.
As a null, Scarlett Bernard possesses a rare ability to counteract the supernatural by instantly neutralizing spells and magical forces. For years she has used her gift to scrub crime scenes of any magical traces, helping the powerful paranormal communities of Los Angeles stay hidden. But after LAPD detective Jesse Cruz discovered Scarlett’s secret, he made a bargain with her: solve a particularly grisly murder case, and he would stay silent about the city’s unearthly underworld.
Now two dead witches are found a few days before Christmas, and Scarlett is once again strong-armed into assisting the investigation. She soon finds a connection between the murders and her own former mentor, Olivia, a null who mysteriously turned into a vampire and who harbors her own sinister agenda. Now Scarlett must revisit her painful past to find Olivia—unless the blood-drenched present claims her life first.
Eight Million Gods by Wen Spencer
Seems the call of urban fantasy will continue into June so I have to mention something that sounds to be right up that alley by way of Japan. I have been a fan of myths and media Japanese since I was a kid seeing Godzilla movies in Drive ins and early imports on TV like Speed Racer, Gatchaman, Yamatto and Space Pirate Captain Harlock so the inspiration being Japanese gods and monsters is definitely a draw. Here is the summary from the Baen website:
A contemporary fantasy of mystery and death as American expats battle Japanese gods and monsters to retrieve an ancient artifact that can destroy the world.
On Saturday afternoon, Nikki Delany thought, "George Wilson, in the kitchen, with a blender." By dinner, she had killed George and posted his gory murder to her blog. The next day, she put on her mourning clothes and went out to meet her best friend for lunch to discuss finding a replacement for her love interest.
Nikki is a horror novelist. Her choice of career is dictated by an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that forces her to write stories of death and destruction. She can't control it, doesn't understand it, but can use it to make money anywhere in the world. Currently "anywhere" is in Japan, hiding from her mother who sees Nikki's OCD as proof she's mentally unstable. Nikki's fragile peace starts to fall apart when the police arrest her for the murder of an American expatriate. Someone killed him with a blender.
Reality starts to unravel around Nikki. She's attacked by a raccoon in a business suit. After a series of blackouts, she’s accompanied by a boy that no one else can see, a boy who claims to be a god. Is she really being pursued by Japanese myths—or is she simply going insane?
What Nikki does know for sure is that the bodies are piling up, her mother has arrived in Japan to lock her up for the rest of her life—and her novels always end with everyone dead.
Abaddon Gate by James SA Corey
So I am pretty sure I have mentioned the name Daniel Abraham here in my wanted list or in other lists on the deadwood blog. I know sadly I have not yet reviewed about the novel Leviathan Wakes so guess I will mention the third volume in the series first. People who have the Dragons Road eBook most likely have a copy of the first James SA Corey novel Leviathan Wakes available to them and this is great cop story inspired space opera and Abaddons Gate is the third in this series. These navels remind me of the action and plot packed space operas of Alastair Reynolds and Ian Banks and should be on any Sci Fi readers list. The weird factor is right up the with M John Harrison so fans of his space operas should take a look at this one too; creepy, claustrophobic, and tightly plotted mysteries. Excellent reading.
Here is a link to an exerpt from Orbit Books website... Read at your own risk...
The City by Stella Gemmell
I may have never mentioned my love of the books of David Gemmel, particularly Legend, I'll do that now along with my desire to read the books he wrote with Stella retelling the Trojan war. Tor.com has posted a very very positive review of this novel and I so want a hard cover copy of this one. Here is the link to that review; now I have to tell you I was on board for this with just th name Gemmell and knowing that Stella helped with the writing of the Troy books, there is a trailer available here. Gemmell is a name well known in the realm of epic fantasy and sword and sorcery and from the sounds of advanced reviews Stella will be a name remembered right up there with David for Epic fantasy in her own right. Here is the synopsis from the trailer...
Built up over the millennia, layer upon layer, the City is ancient and vast. Over the centuries, it has sprawled beyond its walls, the cause of constant war with neighbouring peoples and kingdoms, laying waste to what was once green and fertile.
And at the heart of the City resides the emperor. Few have ever seen him. Those who have remember a man in his prime and yet he should be very old. Some speculate that he is no longer human, others wonder if indeed he ever truly was. And a small number have come to a desperate conclusion: that the only way to stop the ceaseless slaughter is to end the emperor's unnaturally long life.
From the rotting, flood-ruined catacombs beneath the City where the poor struggle to stay alive to the blood-soaked fields of battle where so few heroes survive, these rebels pin their hopes on one man. A man who was once the emperor's foremost gene...