The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett. (Book Three of The Demon Cycle), Del Rey, $28.00, 656pp, hc, 9780345503824. Fantasy. On-sale date: 12 February 2013.
With The Warded Man and The Desert Spear, Peter V. Brett surged to the front rank of contemporary fantasy with a story set in a world of fear, inspired by his living in a post-9/11 New York City. The Daylight War, the eagerly anticipated third volume in Brett’s internationally bestselling Demon Cycle, continues the epic tale of humanity’s last stand against an army of demons that rise each night to prey on mankind.
On the night of the new moon, the demons seek the deaths of two men who have the potential to become the fabled Deliverer, the man prophesied to reunite the scattered remnants of humanity in a final push to destroy the demon corelings once and for all.
Arlen Bales was once an ordinary man, but now he has become something more — the warded Man, tattooed with eldritch wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. Arlen denies he is the Deliverer at every turn, but the more he tries to be one of the common folk, the more fervently they believe. Many would follow him, but Arlen’s path threatens to lead him to a dark place he alone can travel to, and from which there may be no returning.
Ahmann Jardir has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia into a demon-killing army and proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer. He carries ancient weapons — a spear and a crown — that give credence to his claim, and already vast swaths of the green lands bow to his control.
Once, Arlen and Jardir were as close as brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity’s enemies rise, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all — those lurking in the human heart.
The Lady of Secrets by Susan Carroll. Ballantine, $15.00, 448pp, tp, 9780345502957. Fiction.
It’s 1605 in medieval England, and the witch hunts are in full swing. For Meg Wolfe, a gifted healer who can find a cure for almost any ailment, the stakes are high — and exceedingly deadly.
Fans of Philippa Gregory will undoubtedly be drawn to bestselling author Susan Carroll’s mesmerizing new installment in her Dark Queen historical fiction series, The Lady of Secrets. Known as “The Lady of Faire Isle,” spiritualist Meg Wolfe can breathe a little easier knowing her wicked heretic mother is dead. But trying to lead an ordinary life proves to be anything but simple when King James summons her to his palace with the following order: save him from the curse that plagues his life using her extraordinary gifts. It doesn’t take her long to discover that there are more sinister motivations at play in the king’s world. History and a kingdom hang in the balance, and Meg realizes she can no longer trust anyone or anything — not even her own heart.
Dark, decadent and utterly spellbinding, The Lady of Secrets is a novel rich with history and a touch of the supernatural.
Heaven to Wudang by Kylie Chan. (Journey to Wudang, Book Three), Harper Voyager, $7.99, 570pp, pb, 9780062210340. Urban Fantasy.
Human and demon, heaven and hell battle for the fate of the world…
The demons that could control stones and elementals have been defeated, but the most powerful of Simon Wong’s associates still remains to create almost undetectable copies of humans and Shen. This demon allies with Kitty Kwok to prepare a torturous trap for Emma and Simone, from which they may never return.
Wudang Mountain is enveloped by dark foreboding as Xuan Wu begins to reappear — sometimes human, sometimes turtle, but always without memory.
Emma and Simone are in a race against time as they try to rescue Xuan Wu… before the demons capture him.
The Burn Zone by James K. Decker. Roc, $7.99, 384pp, pb, 9780451413406. Science fiction. On-sale date: 5 February 2013.
The Burn Zone by James K. Decker is the first installment of an exciting and fast paced science fiction series about a world plagued by overpopulation, disease, starvation, and on the brink of destruction… that is, until an alien race, The Hann, arrived.
More than a hundred years ago, the Earth was in the midst of political unrest, teaming with disease, overpopulated and running low on resources. But things began to change after the Impact happened. A vessel containing members of an alien race called The Hann crash landed onto Earth. Now stranded, The Hann have used their advanced technology to broker a deal with humanity, helping to solve some of their dire problems. In return, The Hann require humans to act as surrogates to their infants. Sam Shao lives in a much different world as humans and Hann are coexisting, and as part of the surrogacy program, she has been genetically enhanced to bond with the alien species. So, when three soldiers invade her apartment and arrest her guardian for smuggling weapons into the country, Sam can sense that something is not as it appears. One of the abductors is a Hann masquerading as a human, but the supposedly fragile alien seems to be exactly the opposite.
As she races to find and save her guardian Dragan, Sam desperately searches for answers. She finds an ally in a young Hann investigator, Nix, who has been assigned to look into the abduction. But as Nix and Sam delve deeper into the investigation, they discover a shadowy underworld, filled with secrets that both human and Hann would kill to protect.
Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith. Grand Central, $14.99, 332pp, tp, 9780446563109. Fiction.
O Bloody Blood Bethlehem
It’s one of the most iconic images in history: three men on camelback, arriving at a manger, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. A moment of serenity and grace. A holy night.
But who were the Three Wise Men? What if they were murderous thieves on the run, escaping through Judea under cover of night? In Seth Grahame-Smith’s telling, the so-called “Three Wise Men” are led by the murderous Balthazar — the infamous “Antioch Ghost.” After escaping from Herod’s prison, they stumble upon the famous manger and its newborn king. The last thing Balthazar needs is to be slowed down by Joseph, Mary, and their infant. But when Herod’s men begin to slaughter the firstborn in Judea, he has no choice but to help them escape to Egypt. Thus begins a dark and savage tale that will see them cross paths with biblical figures such as Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist, as the magic of old times gives way to the vicious empires of man.
Ever After by Kim Harrison. (Rachel Morgan Hollows book 11), Harper Voyager, $27.99, 448pp, hc, 9780061957918. Paranormal fantasy. On-sale date: 22 January 2013.
Rachel Morgan must save the demonic realm of the ever-after to protect our own world in this eleventh entry in the New York Times bestselling Hollows series.
The ever-after, the demonic realm that parallels the human world, is shrinking. If it disappears completely, so does all magic. It’s up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to avert catastrophe and keep life from changing… for the worse.
While saving the world is important, it isn’t Rachel’s only motivation. There’s also the small fact that she caused the ley line to rip in the first place, setting off a chain reaction of unfortunate events. That little mistake has made her life forfeit unless she can fix it. It’s also made her more than a few enemies, including the most powerful demon in the ever-after — a terrifying entity who eats souls and now has an insatiable appetite for her. He’s already her friend and goddaughter to lure her out, and if Rachel doesn’t give herself up soon, they’ll die.
But Rachel has more than a few impressive and frightening skills of her own, and she isn’t going to hand over her soul and her life without one hell of a fight. She’s also got a surprise: elven tycoon Trent Kalamack. With this unlikely ally beside her — a prospect both thrilling and unnerving — she’s going to return to the ever-after, kick some demon butt, rescue her loved ones… and prevent an apocalypse before it’s too late. Or at least that’s the plan….
Ash by James Herbert. Tor, $29.99, 694pp, hc, 9780765328960. Horror.
British author James Herbert has been an international sensation since the publication of his first novel, The Rats, in 1974. His books have sold over fifty-four million copies, earning him a comparison to Stephen King in the United Kingdom. In 2010, Herbert was presented with the title of Grand Master at the World Horror Convention for his outstanding achievements in the horror genre, and was also awarded an OBE by the Queen of England for services to literature the same year. Now for the first time, Herbert’s best-loved character David Ash — a skeptical detective of the paranormal who was featured in the UK #1 bestselling titles Haunted and The Ghosts of Sleath — is introduced to American audiences in the new standalone chiller Ash.
Perched high on the craggy cliffs of Scotland’s western coast sits Comraich Castle. A retreat for the wealthy, the castle has a dark history — and its current secrets would shake the world if they were ever revealed.
Parapsychologist and ghost hunter David Ash is called to the castle by a mysterious group of influential individuals known as the IC — Inner Court. The castle’s residents and employees have reported classic signs of haunting: flickering lights, inexplicable putrid smells, objects flying around the room. But the haunting takes a menacing turn when a resident is found murdered in his room, pinned to the wall with his own blood.
Not even David Ash’s experience of warding off evil spirits will prepare him for the shocking discovery of the evil that lurks behind the castle’s walls.
Few authors are able to capture the emotional depth of their characters and convey the anxiety of their situation as Master of Horror James Herbert. Chilling and controversial, Ash is sure to terrify even the most resolute of horror readers.
Necessity’s Child by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. (a new Liaden Universe novel), Baen, $25.00, 336pp, hc, 9781451638875. Science fiction. On-sale date: February 2013.
#16 in the popular and exciting science fiction Liaden Universe. A man without a past caught between powerful Clan Korval and secretive kompani.
Stirring SF adventure from master storytellers Sharon Lee and Steve Miller—#16 in the award-winning Liaden Universe saga. Space ships, action, adventure—all tied together with a strong dollop of romance and clan intrigue – make this a compelling series for a wide range of readers, from romance to military SF lovers.
The kompani sees none as an enemy, and yet few as friend. The kompani exists in many places, living quietly in the shadows, thriving off the bounty that others have no wit to secure, nor skill to defend. Their private history is unwritten; their recall rooted in dance and dream.
The humans of Clan Korval is in many ways the opposite of the kompani. The interstellar trading clan is wealthy in enemies, fortunate in friends. Korval protects itself with vigor, and teaches even its youngest children the art of war.
And when representatives of Clan Korval arrive on the planet Surebleak where the kompani has lived secret and aloof, it seems to the kompani that they are borne by the very winds of change.
Change can be a boon for in change lies opportunity. But the arrival of Clan Korval, establishing itself upon Surebleak with its friends, its enemies, and, most of all, its plans may bring catastrophe, changing the culture and the kompani, forever.
In this time of change, the lives of three people intersect — Kezzi, apprentice to the kompani’s grandmother; Syl Vor, Clan Korval’s youngest warrior; and Rys, a man without a world, or a past.
Necessity’s Child is a standalone adventure in the popular and exciting Liaden Universe.
The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord. Del Rey, $25.00, 320pp, hc, 9780345534057. Science fiction. On-sale date: 12 February 2013.
Karen Lord’s award-winning debut novel, Redemption in Indigo, announced the appearance of a major new talent — a brilliantly innovative voice fusing Caribbean storytelling traditions and speculative fiction with subversive wit and incisive intellect. It was awarded the Frank Collymore Literary Award, the William L. Crawford Award, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Awward for Adult Literature and was nominated for the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. Compared by critics to such heavyweights as Nalo Hopkinson, China Mieville, and Ursula K. Le Guin, Lord does indeed belong in such select company — and, like them, she boldly blazes her own trail.
Her second novel, The Best of All Possible Worlds, is her most ambitious work yet. It is a stunning science fiction epic that is also a beautifully wrought love story. A proud and reserved alien society finds its homeland destroyed in an unprovoked act of aggression, and the survivors have no choice but to reach out to the indigenous humanoids of their adopted world, to whom they are distantly related. They wish to preserve their cherished way of life but come to discover that in order to preserve their culture, they may have to change it forever.
A man and a woman from these two clashing societies must work together to save the vanishing race. In the process, they will uncover ancient mysteries with far-reaching ramifications. As their mission hangs in the balance, this unlikely duo — one cool and cerebral, the other fiery and impulsive — will find their own destinies in each other and a force that transcends all.
The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi. Tor, $25.99, 320pp, hc, 9780765329509. Science fiction.
In 2011, Hannu Rajaniemi burst onto the science fiction scene with The Quantum Thief — one of the most brilliant debuts in years. A complex joyride through a future solar system, it garnered international praise for its cutting-edge physics concepts and powerful characters and was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Now Rajaniemi takes readers back into the awe-inspiring universe of the mysterious trickster Jean de Flambeur in The Fractal Prince — the sparkling direct sequel.
A physicist receives a mysterious paper. The ideas in it are very far ahead of current thinking and quite terrifying. In a city of “fast ones” and jinni, two sisters contemplate a revolution.
On the edges of reality a thief, helped by a sardonic ship, is trying to break into Schrodinger box for his patron. In the box is his freedom. Or not.
Jean de Flambeur is back. And he’s running out of time.
A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz. (Book One of The Chronicles of Light and Shadow), Del Rey, $25.00, hc, 9780345545077. Fantasy. On-sale date: March 2013.
Leave it to chance.
Eleanor “Elle” Chance is a high-flying dirigible pilot with a taste for adventure. Meet the heroine of an edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, steampunk, and paranormal romance into pure storytelling gold.
It is 1903, and the world is divided between light and shadow. On the side of light is a wondrous science that has transformed everyday life by harnessing magical energies to ingenious new technologies. But each advance of science has come at the expense of shadow — the traditional realm of the supernatural. Now two ancient powers are preparing to strike back and all they require is the sacrifice of a certain young woman whose past conceals a dangerous secret. But when they come after Elle, they get more than they bargained for.
Apollo’s Outcasts by Allen Steele. Pyr, $16.95, 311pp, hc, 9781616146863. YA science fiction.
Jamey Barlowe has been crippled since childhood, the result of being born on the Moon. He lives his life in a wheelchair, only truly free when he is in the water. But then Jamey’s father sends him, along with five other kids, back to the Moon to escape a political coup d’etat that has occurred overnight in the United States. Moreover, one of the other five refugees is more than she appears.
Their destination is the mining colony, Apollo. Jamey will have to learn a whole new way to live, one that entails walking for the first time in his life. It won’t be easy and it won’t be safe. But Jamey is determined to make it as a member of Lunar Search and Rescue, also known as the Rangers. This job is always risky but could be even more dangerous if the new US president makes good on her threat to launch a military invasion. Soon Jamey is front and center in a political and military struggle stretching from the Earth to the Moon.
Shadow of Freedom by David Weber. (a new Honor Harrington novel), Baen, $25.00, 448pp, hc, 9781451638691. Science fiction. On-sale date: March 2013.
#18 in the multiply-bestselling Honor Harrington series.
Wrong number? There are two sides to any quarrel . . . unless there are more.
Michelle Henke, Queen Elizabeth of Manticore’s first cousin, Honor Harrington’s best friend, and the commanding officer of Manticore’s Tenth Fleet, is just a bit surprised when a messenger arrives from the Mobius System to inform her that the Mobius Liberation Front is prepared to rise in rebellion against the hated regime President Svein Lombroso. She can understand why anyone would want to rebel against someone like Lombroso, but why tell her about it? After all, she has problems of her own, like the minor matter of a life-or-death war against the Solarian League.
Michelle has just handed the “invincible” Solarian League Navy the most humiliating, one-sided defeat in its entire almost thousand-year history in defense of the people of the Star Empire’s Talbott Quadrant. But the League is the most powerful star nation in the history of humanity. Its navy is going to be back – and this time with thousands of superdreadnoughts.
Yet she also knows scores of other star systems — some independent, some controlled by puppet regimes, and some simply conquered outright by the Solarian Office of Frontier Security — lie in the League’s grip along its frontier with the Talbott Quadrant. As combat spreads from the initial confrontation, the entire frontier has begun to seethe with unrest, and Michelle sympathizes with the oppressed populations wanting only to be free of their hated masters.
And that puts her in something of a quandary when the messenger from Mobius arrives, because someone’s obviously gotten a wrong number. According to him, the Mobians’ uprising has been carefully planned to coordinate with a powerful outside ally: the Star Empire of Manticore. Only Manticore — and Mike Henke — have never even heard of the Mobius Liberation Front.
It’s a set-up . . . and Michelle knows who’s behind it. The shadowy Mesan Alignment has launched a bold move to destroy Manticore’s reputation as the champion of freedom. And when the RMN doesn’t arrive, when the MLF is brutally and bloodily crushed, no independent star system will ever trust Manticore again.
Mike Henke knows she has no orders from her government to assist any rebellions or liberation movements, that she has only so many ships, which can be in only so many places at a time . . . and that she can’t possibly justify diverting any of her limited, outnumbered strength to missions of liberation the Star Empire never signed on for.
She knows that . . . and she doesn’t care.
No one is going to send thousands of patriots to their deaths, trusting in Manticoran help that will never come.
Not on Mike Henke’s watch.