Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wanted Dispatch Jan 21 '14


Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells

When it comes to Urban Fantasy I tend to like books that lean towards noir or police procedural so when I heard about Dirty Magic which was compared to both The Wire and Breaking Bad I knew I had to read it. Sometimes its a dangerous thing to make such comparisons but having read the advance reader copy I have to say I tend to agree. Jaye Wells has put together a tightly plotted first person narrated police drama that involves a very crunchy almost hard version of magic based on the pseudo science of alchemy. She includes lots of ins and outs and layers to the politics and relationships in this book which felt very much like the pilot story arc for an compex cop drama. Is it the Wire of Breaking Bad well no, like many of the books I've loved its a mix of things the author knows well and loves combined to make something new. .... I plan a review this week but till then here is a link to an excerpt from the Orbit website and synopsis....


The Magical Enforcement Agency keeps dirty magic off the streets, but there's a new blend out there that's as deadly as it is elusive. When patrol cop Kate Prospero shoots the lead snitch in this crucial case, she's brought in to explain herself. But the more she learns about the investigation, the more she realizes she must secure a spot on the MEA task force.

Especially when she discovers that their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier - on the same day she swore she'd given up dirty magic for good. Kate Prospero's about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should never say never.


What Makes This Book so Great by Jo Walton

A few years back Jo Walton won awards for her book Among Others that featured a heroine that loved classic science fiction and now she has written a book about the classics she loved. This book collects the essays that Jo wrote for the tor.com website and includes her thoughts about books across the history of speculative fiction.... You probably could go back and find them all but its nice to have a collection all in one place.... Here is the announcement from tor.com for your reading pleasure...


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wanted Dispatch Jan 14' 14


The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley

Back in November when I was in the midst of writing another bad nanowrimo novel Tor.com was posting the first seven chapters of this far eastern influenced fantasy novel and I missed out on reading them at the time and just got back to it. Flavor wise this one is somewhere midpoint between the grim dark of Abercrombie and the Epic High Fantasy of Brooks and stylistically Brain seems to lean towards leaner chapters not seen in lots of fantasy novels recently. Its got definite points for style and when two out of three viewpoint characters hook me I think its a good thing. Here's a link to the seven chapters tor.com posted and a synopsis....

The emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life path on which their father set them, their destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor’s final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing—and risk everything—to see that justice is meted out.


From the Hardcover editionShovel Ready by AdamSternbergh

Came across this one just by chance yesterday but a novel that gets the nod by Lauren Buekes for being hardboiled noir certainly is worth a look. With the quickly widening gap between the rich and the poor in the western world its not hard to imagine the world that seems to be the near future setting briefly mentioned in the synopsis of this book. Its got my interest I just hope its as good and well realized as Lauren's Shining Girls from last year. Here is the synopsis from Random house books...

Spademan used to be a garbage man. That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, and before the city became a blown-out shell of its former self.

Now he’s a hitman.

In a near-future New York City split between those who are wealthy enough to “tap in” to a sophisticated virtual reality, and those who are left to fend for themselves in the ravaged streets, Spademan chose the streets. His new job is not that different from his old one: waste disposal is waste disposal. He doesn’t ask questions, he works quickly, and he’s handy with a box cutter. But when his latest client hires him to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist, his unadorned life is upended: his mark has a shocking secret and his client has a sordid agenda far beyond a simple kill. Spademan must navigate between these two worlds—the wasteland reality and the slick fantasy—to finish his job, clear his conscience, and make sure he’s not the one who winds up in the ground.


He Drank and Saw the Spider by Alex Bledsoe

I always look forward to a new novel from Alex Bledsoe wether it is a new rural fantasy Tufa novel or if its another Eddie LaCrosse sword and sorcery noir novel like this one. Alex to me is one of the kings of the modern non-epic fantasy. If you have not read him yet you are missing out.... Here is a synopsis and a link to an excerpt from Tor.com....

After he fails to save a stranger from being mauled to death by a bear, a young mercenary is saddled with the baby girl the man died to protect. He leaves her with a kindly shepherd family and goes on with his violent life.

Now, sixteen years later, that young mercenary has grown up to become cynical sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse. When his vacation travels bring him back to that same part of the world, he can’t resist trying to discover what has become of the mysterious infant.

He finds that the child, now a lovely young teenager named Isadora, is at the center of complicated web of intrigue involving two feuding kings, a smitten prince, a powerful sorceress, an inhuman monster, and long-buried secrets too shocking to imagine. And once again she needs his help.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wanted Dispatch Jan 7 2014

The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey

In spoiling nothing in revealing that MR Carey is a pen name for British comics and urban noir writer Mike Carey. I first read his work when he was working for DC on the Sandman spinoff Lucifer that followed the story of the prince of lies after he abdicated e throne of hell and gave the keys to The Lord of dreams to deal with. He writes with that cynical eye on the world that sometimes only the British can pull off well. Orbit/Hachette is releasing this book in the English speaking world today and I am sorry I'll have to wait a few days to grab up a copy... Here is a link to Orbits site where there is a book trailer and hopefully some preview chapters....

A terrible, wonderful, heart-breaking story about hope and humanity and a young girl who tries to save the world.

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her 'our little genius'.

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favourite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.


Dreams if the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn is well known for her urban fantasy series about a late night radio host named Kitty and her dealings with the things that go bump in the night. This is not that series, a few years back she wrote a love letter to the golden age of comics with a book I much want to read called After the Golden Age and low and behold there is a sequel to remind me of that book I have so sadly overlooked. As a long time reader of superhero comics and science fiction this is one I really should not have put off for so long....here is a synopsis and a link to the excerpt at Tor.com. Here also is a link to Carrie's blog where she celebrates the book release....

Like every teen, Anna has secrets. Unlike every teen, Anna has a telepath for a father and Commerce City’s most powerful businessperson for a mother. She’s also the granddaughter of the city’s two most famous superheroes, the former leaders of the legendary Olympiad, and the company car drops her off at the gate of her exclusive high school every morning. Privacy is one luxury she doesn’t have.

Hiding her burgeoning superpowers from her parents is hard enough; how’s she supposed to keep them from finding out that her friends have powers, too? Or that she and the others are meeting late at night, honing their skills and dreaming of becoming Commerce City’s next great team of masked vigilantes?


Black Arts by Faith Hunter

I know I have mentioned the Jane Yellowrock urban fantasy series by Faith Hunter who seen rather prolific because I'm pretty sure it's been less then a year since then. I have yet to read her well loved series about the Skinwalker heroine of American Indian descent but it is a series that has been on my wanted list for a while....here is a synopsis for this ROC publication and there is also a story bible like books for the series coming out pretty soon too... Here is a link to Faith's website too...

W hen Evan Trueblood blows into town looking for his wife, Molly, he’s convinced that she came to see her best friend, Jane. But it seems like the witch made it to New Orleans and then disappeared without a trace.

Jane is ready to do whatever it takes to find her friend. Her desperate search leads her deep into a web of black magic and betrayal and into the dark history between vampires and witches. But the closer she draws to Molly, the closer she draws to a new enemy—one who is stranger and more powerful than any she has ever faced.