Looking Ahead

Alex Verus #3
By Benedict Jaka

Third book in a compelling new urban fantasy series set in Camden, featuring Alex Verus.

Welcome to Fountain Reach. Ancient seat of the Aubuchon dynasty. Majestic setting of the White Stone tournament.

Alex Verus’ (not necessarily reliable) reputation attracts all sorts. Most are plain bonkers. Yet there’s one invitation he just can’t refuse.

At Fountain Reach, Alex is perfectly placed among the noted and notorious to figure out why apprentices have been vanishing. But the tournament is a minefield of ancient grudges and new threats and Alex can’t afford to miss a trick as his elusive adversary stays one step ahead in this most dangerous of games.


Allow me a moment please…


Ok. Thank you.

Due on the 28th of August the third installment of Jaka’s awesome urban fantasy series following the adventures of Alex Verus, magic shop proprietor and mage.

If you haven’t read my rave of the Fated check it out here. Jaka is carving for himself a great place in the urban fantasy market, standing along side Jim Butcher – indeed these books are a welcome and satisfying distraction while we wait impatiently for the next Dresden Files novel – and blazing his own trail in the northern hemisphere.

I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Lining Them Up

It’s been a couple of days since my last post.

I’ve been busy winding things up at the store and I must admit it feels really strange knowing I own’t be returning there next week. But life goes on and I have books waiting for me to read, not to mention a manuscript that needs me to finish it.

So the plan tomorrow is to focus on writing – almost exclusively for the next couple of weeks – but I will also make time to read and get some reviews up.

The only immediate issue I can see is that my budget for new releases has been curbed somewhat. I still have a lot of books I have collected that I have not yet read. A lot of them. They just aren’t all new releases.

Some of the ones I’ve been looking at (and making a note of) are:

The Map of Time
The Map of Time Book 1
by Felix J. Palma

Enter a world of wonder, intrigue, and adventure …

London, 1896. Andrew Harrington’s beloved has been murdered by Jack the Ripper. Claire Haggerty longs to escape the constraints of Victorian society. For both, time is the problem: to escape it, to change it, might offer them the hope they need. As their lives become entangled with that of H.G. Wells — who is basking in the success of his novel The Time Machine — all three set off on a desperate flight through the centuries.

But what happens when we alter history? That is the question explored in this epic page-turner, which will take you on a dazzling ride back and forth in time.

Now I am not a big reader of fantasy (urban fantasy?) set in the Victorian era – I just don’t like it. But I think the cover is awesome and I like the kernel of story idea that is dumped into the blurb so I think I might give it a go. Soonish.

Another one that has been poking me is:

Dead Iron
Age of Steam Book 1
By Devon Monk

Welcome to a new America that is built on blood, sweat, and gears…

In steam age America, men, monsters, machines, and magic battle for the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, bounty hunter Cedar Hunt rides, cursed by lycanthropy and carrying the guilt of his brother’s death. Then he’s offered hope that his brother may yet survive. All he has to do is find the Holder: a powerful device created by mad devisers-and now in the hands of an ancient Strange who was banished to walk this Earth. 

In a land shaped by magic, steam, and iron, where the only things a man can count on are his guns, gears, and grit, Cedar will have to depend on all three if he’s going to save his brother and reclaim his soul once and for all…

Sofia has been at me to read this one for a while now. Again, steam punk (as with Victoriana settings) just really isn’t me. However the second book has just come out and I think I might like this one so…  I’ll get to this one also. Soonish.

But in the meantime I do believe I will have a review for Mr Lawrence’s King of Thorns up any day now. He is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

I also have an ARC for Elspeth Cooper’s Trinity Rising and of Lilith Saintcrow’s The Iron Wyrm Affair, both of which are glaring at me from a the pile of the Unread.

Decisions decisions!

What I’ve Been Reading

So, I finished The Twilight Herald for a second time this past week – and I must say I enjoyed it much more than I had Stormcaller. I still had issues with Lloyds lack of what I can only call explaination. I know you find a lot of writers these days going for minimal ‘info-dump’ and that’s great, but even authors like Erikson who land you smack-bang in the middle of events with little point of reference pepper their work with event landmarks that give the reader something to buikd a picture with. The use of a glossary would be good here – at least Lloyd does use a character list which I found myself referring to quite often as I read to recall just who particular characters were. That’s not something I find myself doing often as I read (usually). But that being said Twilight Herald is a dark and broody novel, Lloyds dialogue is fantastic and Zhia Vukotic is one of the best characters I’ve ever read.

I am now reading The Unremembered by Peter Orullian – the great folk at Tor sent me through an ARC – and yes I am reading this even though I have in my hands The Crippled God by Steven Erikson. That will come next but as I beging writing the second draft of my ‘epic’ it might take me longer than I’d like to get through it.

But of course the most exciting news to pass my desk this week is that Janny Wurts has handed in the manuscript of the latest volume of The Wars of Light and Shadow to her editior at HarperColins in the UK (thanks to Laneth for the heads up! – I really need to pay more attention to her forums /sigh). Now I shall begin to bombard my contacts there with emails to get a copy for review – I can’t wait!

Currently Reading

Woot! My lovely friends at Hachette have just sent me a bound manuscript of The Dragon’s Path.

The Dragon’s Path
The Dagger and The Coin #1
by Daniel Abrahams

Summer is the season of war in the Free Cities.

Marcus wants to get out before the fighting starts. His hero days are behind him and simple caravan duty is better than getting pressed into service by the local gentry. Even a small war can get you killed. But a captain needs men to lead — and his have been summarily arrested and recruited for their swords.

Cithrin has a job to do — move the wealth of a nation across a war zone. An orphan raised by the bank, she is their last hope of keeping the bank’s wealth out of the hands of the invaders. But she’s just a girl and knows little of caravans, war, and danger. She knows money and she knows secrets, but will that be enough to save her in the coming months?

Geder, the only son of a noble house is more interested in philosophy than swordplay. He is a poor excuse for a soldier and little more than a pawn in these games of war. But not even he knows what he will become of the fires of battle. Hero or villain? Small men have achieved greater things and Geder is no small man.

Falling pebbles can start a landslide. What should have been a small summer spat between gentlemen is spiraling out of control. Dark forces are at work, fanning the flames that will sweep the entire region onto The Dragon’s Path — the path of war.

Aidan Moher has already reviewed it very favourably here, I’ll get through more of it over the weekend and see if I can’t do the same later in the week.

One of the issues I have, I guess, is that while I find Abraham’s writing good,  it doesn’t grab me the way that Martin, Rothfuss or even Lynch does. And unfortunately the little catalogue blurb that was winging it’s way around the ‘net six months ago has missed the mark of what the story is actually about/like – but it certainly did a great job of selling it (which was what is was meant to do I suppose)! Based on that little blurb, and what I had read in the first half of the Long Price quartet I was expecting more – stylistically.

But I am only at the beginning and all of that could go completely out the window in a chapter or two more., so fingers crossed!

So many things to do/read!

My awesome rep from Orbit brought this little goodie in for me yesterday!

I’d actually asked him for it a while back – but I don’t like to complain 😉

Unfortunately I can’t start it right away. This weekend I need to finish a beta read for an awesome Aussie author, I want to make more headway into ToM and I need to nail chapter 37 of my own nightmare book, as well jump back into Azeroth and try and get more quests done so I can get my Loremaster achievement before Cataclysm comes out.

I’m also ‘reading’ Side Jobs, and want to finish The Quantum Thief so I can get onto Corvus, Before They are Hanged and Crown of Crystal Flame.

So many things to do… work is so overrated 😛