Best Sellers Club March Authors: Tami Hoag and George RR Martin

Want the hottest new release from your favorite author? Want to stay current with a celebrity book club? Love nonfiction? You should join the Best Sellers Club. Choose any author, celebrity pick, and/or nonfiction pick and the Davenport Public Library will put the latest title on hold for you automatically. Select as many as you want! If you still have questions, please check out our list of FAQs.

New month means new highlighted authors from the Best Sellers Club! March’s authors are Tami Hoag for fiction and George RR Martin for science fiction.

___________________________

Our March fiction author is Tami Hoag. Hoag writes primarily mystery, romance, and romantic suspense. She is an international bestselling author with more than thirty books that are published in more than thirty languages all over the world. Hoag is known for writing thrilling plots with character-driven suspense. She prides herself on research-based realism and accurate police procedure. Hoag has done research in many of the fields she writes about in order to be as accurate and true as possible.

Hannah’s newest book is The Boy, published in 2018. This is the second book in the Broussard and Fourcade series.

Curious what this book is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher:

An unfathomable loss or an unthinkable crime? #1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag keeps you guessing in her most harrowing thriller yet.

A panic-stricken woman runs in the dead of night, battered and bloodied, desperate to find help…

When Detective Nick Fourcade enters the home of Genevieve Gauthier outside the sleepy town of Bayou Breaux, Louisiana, the bloody crime scene that awaits him is both the most brutal and the most confusing he’s ever seen. Genevieve’s seven-year-old son, KJ, has been murdered by an alleged intruder, yet Genevieve is alive and well, a witness inexplicably left behind to tell the tale. There is no evidence of forced entry, not a clue that points to a motive. Meanwhile, Nick’s wife, Detective Annie Broussard, sits in the emergency room with the grieving Genevieve. A mother herself, Annie understands the emotional devastation this woman is going through, but as a detective she’s troubled by a story that makes little sense. Who would murder a child and leave the only witness behind?

When the very next day KJ’s sometimes babysitter, twelve-year-old Nora Florette, is reported missing, the town is up in arms, fearing a maniac is preying on their children. With pressure mounting from a tough, no-nonsense new sheriff, the media, and the parents of Bayou Breaux, Nick and Annie dig deep into the dual mysteries. But sifting through Genevieve Gauthier’s tangled web of lovers and sorting through a cast of local lowlifes brings more questions than answers. Is someone from Genevieve’s past or present responsible for the death of her son? Is the missing teenager, Nora, a victim, or something worse? Then everything changes when Genevieve’s past as a convicted criminal comes to light.

The spotlight falls heavily on the grieving mother who is both victim and accused. Could she have killed her own child to free herself from the burden of motherhood, or is the loss of her beloved boy pushing her to the edge of insanity? Could she have something to do with the disappearance of Nora Florette, or is the troubled teenager the key to the murder? How far will Nick and Annie have to go to uncover the dark truth of the boy?

This book is also available in the following formats:

________________________________

Our March science fiction author is George RR Martin. Martin is most well-known for the Song of Ice and Fire series, which the television show Game of Thrones is based on. Martin writes science fiction, fantasy, horror, and urban fantasy. He started writing when he was young, selling monster stories to other neighborhood children. Martin’s first professional sale was when he was 21. He became a full-time writer in 1979. Martin currently lives in New Mexico.

Martin’s latest book is Joker Moon, published in July 2021. This is the book 29 in the Wild Cards series.

Curious what this book is about? Below is a description provided by the publisher.

The return of the famous shared-world superhero books created and edited by George R. R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire

For decades, George R.R. Martin – bestselling author of A Song of Ice and Fire – has collaborated with an ever-shifting ensemble of science fiction and fantasy icons to create the amazing Wild Cards universe.

In the aftermath of World War II, the Earth’s population was devastated by a terrifying alien virus. Those who survived were changed for ever. Some, known as Jokers, were cursed with bizarre mental and physical deformities; others, granted superhuman abilities, are known as Aces.

Wild Cards tells the stories of this world.

Once & Future by A.R. Capetta and Cori McCarthy

If you like the King Arthur legend, rebels against dictators, outer space adventures, or LGBTQ+ found families, you’ll probably like Once & Future by A.R. Capetta and Cori McCarthy, which reimagines King Arthur as a 17-year-old refugee girl, fighting a corporation’s stranglehold on the galaxy with the help of her brother, her maybe-girlfriend, their loyal friends, and a thousand-year-old backward-aging wizard.

Ari Helix has been on the run most of her life, ever since being forced to flee her home planet of Ketch. More recently, she and her adopted brother Kay have been trying to find a way to free their moms from a corporate prison planet, with no success. But then Ari meets Merlin – the actual Merlin of legend, who’s been aging backward for thousands of years as he tries to complete King Arthur’s story. Ari is the most recent reincarnation of the king, and it’s her destiny to wield Excalibur, defeat an ancient evil, and unite all humanity. Now-teenage Merlin sets out to train her for the coming battle, and tries to protect her from her smoldering passion for (who else) Queen Gwenivere. But their enemy, the Mercer Corporation, has a long reach and no mercy for rebellion…

This book has an absolutely breakneck pace and is extremely plot-driven – you never have to slog through angsty introspection or detailed scene descriptions, which makes for a breathtaking and addictive story where lots of things keep happening to hold your attention. But it can also feel a bit rushed, as in some places an event’s emotional consequences don’t feel fully explored because the plot’s too busy moving on. Luckily it’s also packed with humor and heart, keeping it light while engaging vital and heavy issues.

Queer inclusive and gender diverse, with strong chosen family bonds, the cast of characters will capture your heart and never let it go; alongside Ari’s romance with Gwen, Merlin himself finds a surprising attraction forming with Val, the Queen’s trusted adviser and brother of Ari’s old friend Lam, who uses they/them pronouns. It’s so refreshing to read a world where diversity and inclusion are the norm, with prejudice an unimaginable relic of long-forgotten systems.

Definitely check out this book if you like classic retellings with an inclusive, space-faring twist!

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan

If you’ve ever wanted to read a classic book but can’t stand the long-winded scientific descriptions, there’s nothing like a modern retelling, preferably YA, to give it an inclusive and action-packed second life. In this case, middle-grade urban fantasy powerhouse Rick Riordan has written Daughter of the Deep as a skillful homage to Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Welcome to Harding-Pencroft School, the science and technology high school that trains some of the world’s best scientists, diplomats, code-crackers, and naval warriors. It’s divided into four “houses” or focuses of study: House Dolphin, communication and cryptology experts; House Shark, warriors and leaders; House Cephalopod, engineers and innovators, and House Orca, experts in medicine, psychology, and memory. Ana Dakkar is a freshman in House Dolphin, about to undergo her end-of-year trials to determine if she has what it takes to continue her program. Harding-Pencroft is her only home after her parents died two years ago, leaving herself and her brother Dev, a House Shark senior, orphaned. Unfortunately, her trials do not go as planned as she and the rest of the freshman class witness a tragedy that plunges them all into a race for their lives – and for a once in a lifetime treasure. It turns out that they and their rival school, Land Institute, have been in a years-long cold war over the legacy of Captain Nemo (as made famous in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea) who, as it turns out, may not have been so fictional after all…

Rick Riordan fans will love his signature quirky, inclusive, tight-knit friend group that makes up the main cast of characters, and Star Trek fans will love their journey into the unknown under a tightly regimented chain of command. I loved how much of an homage it was to Jules Verne’s original, while at the same time adding a more modern perspective – including greater diversity and a more thoughtful engagement with mental health, trauma, and grief. In my opinion, Rick Riordan does a good job balancing exciting action and character development with a deeper message about the importance of science and oceanography.

If you like exciting adventures, undersea exploration, and compelling characters, or you still love Percy Jackson, you won’t want to miss this book.

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

A classic story of love and friendship, sacrifice and resilience, A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers also just happens to be located in a fantasical world of distant planets, casual space travel and aliens of every variety.

Lovelace is an artificial intelligence (AI) that has been transferred into a humaniod form (a “kit”) by an alien named Pepper. At first confused and disoriented (her previous work had been within the walls of a spaceship) she names herself Sidra. She quickly gains intelligence, but struggles to live in chaotic world without walls.

Jane 23 is an enhanced human bred to work in a factory sorting scrap. Her life is strictly regulated and anything outside of the factory is completely unknown to her. One day an explosion blows a hole in one of the walls and she sees sky for the first time. Consumed by curiosity, she goes back to see it again. Nearly caught by one of the Mothers (robot caretakers) she runs blindly, is chased by wild animals and is almost caught until a small shuttle in the massive scrap pile opens a door and helps her escape. The shuttle is run by Owl, an AI that lives in the ship.

Many years later Jane, with Owl’s help, escapes the planet and arrives in Port Cortisol, a busy international space port where she changes her name to Pepper and blends into the world around her. However she is haunted by the loss of the shuttle and her beloved Owl who had raised her as a true mother would and for whom she is always searching.

I would categorize this as a “cozy sci-fi”. There are no space battles or massive alien invasions wiping out civilizations. Bad things happen – witness the factory planet of enslaved girls – but there is a lot of good too. Many diverse aliens with many diverse forms co-exist, mostly peacefully and respectfully.  These stories quickly connect in interesting and satisfying ways. Friendships are formed, adventures are shared and the line between AI and humanoid blurs. The world building is intricate and well developed but never intrusive. A lovely and heartwarming novel.

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

“It was no Mercury dime New York moon, but a harvest moon brought all the way from the wheat fields of North Dakota to shine with sweet benevolence down on the chosen and the beautiful.”

Among all of the works to enter the public domain this past year (due to having been published before 1925), one of the most well-known is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. As a part of the public domain, this classic is now available for authors to use freely in retellings, which is exactly what Nghi Vo does in her latest work, The Chosen and the Beautiful. As someone who has always enjoyed reading the original, my interest was immediately piqued, and I am excited to share more about this title with all of you.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Fitzgerald’s original work, The Great Gatsby is set over the course of one summer during the Roaring Twenties on Long Island (New York) and primarily revolves around Jay Gatsby, a mysterious man of great wealth, and Daisy Buchanan, a beautiful socialite he falls in love with before going off to war. Taking place a few years after their initial meeting, this book picks up with Daisy having married a wealthy and unfaithful husband (Tom Buchanan) and Nick Carraway, Daisy’s distant cousin and narrator of the story, moving to Long Island from Minnesota to work in bonds. Little does either Nick or Daisy know that the former moves next door to the lavish and excessive mansion belonging to Gatsby and that, before long, Nick would play a key role in reuniting Daisy and Gatsby once again.

Another major character in this story is Jordan Baker, a renowned and opulent golfer who is also one of Daisy’s best childhood friends. In this retelling, Vo explores this story from Jordan’s perspective as a queer, Asian socialite who was adopted from Vietnam and brought to the United States at a very young age. Through her eyes, you are privy not only to more of Daisy’s backstory, but to a brand new literary voice experiencing the societal norms of the ’20s at a remove, as Jordan is often “othered” within their shared social circles as Daisy’s charming and exotic friend. In addition to this major change from the original narrative, this retelling also has magical elements incorporated into it, technically making it a science fiction novel set within the glittering excess of the Jazz Age.

All in all, I think this is a very interesting retelling that presents a powerful new literary voice, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Vo’s version of Jordan Baker. While I did find myself becoming lost in the magical components at times, as they seemed a bit random and scattered throughout, I think this was, in part, due to Vo’s diligence in adhering to Fitzgerald’s original account pretty closely. While the transformation of Jordan’s character and her insight were more than enough for a satisfying retelling for me, I think I would have enjoyed the science fiction aspects more if Vo had deviated further from the script and reimagined more of the story, as opposed to just retelling it.

In the end, I would still recommend this novel to both those who have or haven’t read the original, as this new perspective definitely adds to the timeless themes in Fitzgerald’s original, while simultaneously bringing the story up to speed in the 21st century. I also fully intend on reading any future retellings and reimaginings of Fitzgerald’s work, as I am sure there will be many more coming down the pike with this novel in the public domain!

This title is also available in the following formats:

Large Print

Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

Have you ever wanted to be a librarian? What about a rebel librarian? Sarah Gailey’s Upright Women Wanted is a twisted dystopic pulp western where librarians are the only way to get approved information, but things are never as they seem.

Before we get to the librarians, we need to start with Esther. Esther is a stowaway. After seeing her best friend executed at the hands of her father for being in possession of resistance propaganda, Esther has run away and hidden herself in the book wagon the librarians are taking across country. In this future American Southwest full of bandits and fascists, librarians trek to small towns to deliver materials approved by the government. Desperate to escape the marriage that her dad has arranged(to a man who was previously engaged to her now dead best friend), the librarians are Esther’s quickest way to escape and to be her truest self. Maybe she will start to heal her broken heart. Her best friend wasn’t just her best friend. Esther was in love with her.

Discovered by the librarians, Esther is introduced to a life she never thought possible. The more she learns about the librarians, the more she realizes that they are not as straight-laced as they appear. Instead they are queer librarian spies working with a secret network to spread resistance materials and supplies to those in need. The librarians are trying to do the right thing, but putting up a front of normalcy is the only way that they can survive.

Spooky Season Graphic Novels

There are so many ways to celebrate the fall season. Apple picking, hayrack rides, corn mazes, and so much more! One of my favorite past times during the fall season is to curl up and read a good horror book.  Whether it’s zombies, ghosts, monsters, or witches I want to read it all! Graphic novels are a great way to get your spooky fix this fall. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Harrow County by Cullen Bunn is full of monsters, ghosts, and drama. Here is the description provided by the publisher:

Plagued by a witch of unfathomable powers, the folk of Harrow County capture and burn her, but not before she furiously screams her revenge. Eighteen years later, we find farm girl Emmy coming of age, gifted with unnatural talents. When a spirit warns her of her impending doom at the hands of the town, she hurries off into the haunted forest, running for her life while trying to uncover her own twisted history.

——————————————————————————–

Mary Shelley, Monster Hunter by Adam Glass takes everything you think you know about Frankenstein and flips it upside down. Here is the description provided by the publisher:

For nearly two centuries, scholars have wondered how on earth Mary Shelley, a nineteen-year-old girl, was able to conjure one of the most frightening and enduring horror stories of all time: Frankenstein.

But with the recent discovery of Mary Shelley’s secret memoir, the truth is finally revealed: Mary Shelley didn’t just write Frankenstein, she lived it. Traveling back to that historic Geneva winter of 1816, Mary, her fiancé Percy, sisters Claire and Fanny, and the celebrated poet Lord Byron find themselves guests of the eerie Frankenstein Estate. The macabre and frightening events that follow lead Mary to both a gruesome and shocking discovery. Their mysterious host is not at all what they expected, and their intentions will change the course of Mary’s life forever.

————————————————————————————————————————————-

Coffin Hill by Caitlin Kittredge takes us to a sleepy New England town where supernatural forces lurk in the woods. Here is the description provided by the publisher:

Following a night of sex, drugs and witchcraft in the woods, Eve Coffin wakes up naked, covered in blood and unable to remember how she got there. One friend is missing, one is in a mental ward–and one knows that Eve is responsible. Years later, Eve returns to Coffin Hill, only to discover the darkness that she unleashed ten years ago in the woods was never contained. It continues to seep through the town, cursing the soul of this sleepy Massachusetts hollow, spilling secrets and enacting its revenge. Set against the haunted backdrop of New England, Coffin Hill explores what people will do for power and retribution.

———————————————————————————————————–

Outcast by Robert Kirkman provides us with our paranormal fix in this coming of age horror. Here is the description provided by the publisher:

Kyle Barnes has not had an easy life. What appears as insanity in his family is something much darker and infinitely deeper. It originates in the bowels of hell and manifests as demonic possession. Unfortunately, it seems to be somewhat contagious, and Kyle, at least so far, is immune. A dedicated man of God, Reverend Anderson, who wrestles with his own black dreads and shadowy history, has recognized this uniqueness in Kyle and courageously endeavors to nurture this gift and stand by him. Is Kyle some sort of anomaly with the ability to salvage human souls, or just an orphaned and crazy outcast?

———————————————————————————————————————————-

Wytches by Scott Snyder dives into the realm of witchcraft and folklore in this anxiety ridden thrill ride. Here is the description provided by the publisher:

After witnessing a grisly supernatural murder, Sailor Rook, along with her father and mother, move to a small town, hoping for a fresh start. But the twisted horrors hidden in the woods have traveled with the family, and they must now uncover one another’s dark secrets to stay alive.

 

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Full disclosure: The Martian is my favorite book, maybe ever, so I’m coming into this review with a fair bit of bias. That said, in my opinion Project Hail Mary is a worthy follow-up to The Martian, with the same kind of humor, heart, high stakes, and rock-solid science.

Here’s the gist (without spoilers): Dr. Ryland Grace wakes up alone and confused in a spaceship (the eponymous Hail Mary) VERY far from Earth. He’s lost his memory, and his two crewmates died in suspended animation. It’s up to him to figure out exactly who he is, how he got there, what the ship’s mission is, and how he can complete it on his own. And he’d better hurry, because all of life on Earth is at stake.

If that sounds intense, it is – but Grace also makes jokes and laughs as much as he can, while not shying away from the huge responsibility, sacrifice, and loss he’s facing. I really thought this book was effective for several reasons: first, the science. As in The Martian, this book’s science reads to me like plausible and real explanations and solutions. It felt like a book that Weir had a lot of fun writing, with a ton of research to back him up. Second, the character of Ryland Grace was very well done; his emotions, backstory, and feelings of being overwhelmed, repeatedly, make him a relatable narrator that you root for to succeed, while his humor and determination keep the action moving forward at an addictive pace. Third, the narrative structure worked really well. If you’ve ever seen the DC TV show Arrow, you might recognize the strategic use of flashbacks to reveal key information at just the right time. Weir moves carefully and explicitly between Grace’s struggle in the present and all the events in the past that culminated in his being on the ship. It all works together brilliantly to create a story you’ll laugh your way through and won’t want to put down, right up to the very unexpected final pages.

Highly recommended for those who loved The Martian, Cast Away, and other lone-survivor stories of sci-fi or adventure, this is a book which will tug at your heartstrings and stretch your imagination to dazzling new heights.

New Science Fiction at Fairmount

Looking for a new science fiction title to read? This blog post is full of new science fiction titles pulled right from the shelves at our Fairmount branch! If you want to read any of them, click the link or contact the library. All the descriptions are provided by the publisher.

_____________________________

The Unfinished Land by Greg Bear

Reynard, a young apprentice, seeks release from the drudgery of working for his fisherman uncle in the English village of Southwold. His rare days off lead him to strange encounters—not just with press gangs hoping to fill English ships to fight the coming Spanish Armada, but strangers who seem to know him—one of whom casts a white shadow.

The village’s ships are commandeered, and after a fierce battle at sea, Reynard finds himself the sole survivor of his uncle’s devastated hoy. For days he drifts, starving and dying of thirst, until he is rescued by a galleon, also lost—and both are propelled by a strange current to the unknown, northern island of Thule. Here, Reynard  must meet his destiny in a violent clash between humans and gods.

_____________________________

The Moonsteel Crown by Stephen Deas (Dominion #1)

The Emperor of Aria has been murdered, the Empire is in crisis, and Dead Men walk the streets…

But Myla, Fings, and Seth couldn’t care less. They’re too busy just trying to survive in the Sulk-struck city of Varr, committing petty violence and pettier crimes to earn their keep in the Unrulys, a motley gang led by Blackhand.

When the Unrulys are commissioned to steal a mysterious item to order, by an equally mysterious patron, the trio are thrust right into the bitter heart of a struggle for the Crown, where every faction is after what they have.

Forced to lie low in a city on lockdown, they will have to work together if they want to save their skins… and maybe just save the Empire as well.

_____________________________

The Children of D’Hara by Terry Goodkind

The Children of D’Hara picks up immediately after the conclusion of the Sword of Truth series. This is the story of Richard and Kahlan and their children.

The world has been forged anew. Tyranny vanquished, the breach between the living and the dead healed, the stars themselves realigned. It is the triumph Richard Rahl and his wife Kahlan Amnell fought so hard, over so many years, for. They have vowed to bring a golden age of peace to a world shattered by terror and war. What they do not expect is a demand for their immediate, unconditional surrender. Not just their surrender, but the surrender of their entire world.

The Children of D’Hara picks up immediately after the conclusion of the Sword of Truth series. This is the first collected volume of the series, featuring episodes 1-5:

1. The Scribbly Man.
2. Hateful Things.
3. Wasteland.
4. Witch’s Oath.
5. Into Darkness.

______________________________

Amid the Crowd of Stars by Stephen Leigh

This innovative sci-fi novel explores the potential impact of alien infection on humankind as they traverse the stars and find themselves stranded on new and strange planets.

Amid the Crowd of Stars is a grand scale science fiction novel examining the ethical implications of interstellar travel, a topic rarely addressed in science fiction novels. What responsibilities do we have to isolate ourselves from the bacteria, viruses, and other life of another world, and to prevent any of that alien biome from being brought back to Earth?

What happens when a group of humans are stranded for centuries on another world with no choice but to expose themselves to that world? After such long exposure, are they still Homo sapiens or have they become another species entirely?

These questions are at the heart of this intriguing novel, explored through the complicated lives and the viewpoints of the people who have come to rescue the stranded colony, the members of that colony, and the sentient alien life that dwells on the planet. Difficult life and death choices will be made by all involved.

______________________________

We Lie With Death by Devin Madson (The Reborn Empire #2)

The empire has fallen and another rises in its place in the action-packed sequel to Devin Madson’s epic fantasy, We Ride the Storm.

Into Kisia’s conquered north, a Levanti empire is born.

Loyal to the new emperor, Dishiva e’Jaroven must tread the line between building a new life and clinging to the old. Only Gideon can lead them, but when he allies himself with a man returned from the dead it will challenge all she thinks she knows and everything she wants to believe.

Now empress of nothing, Miko is more determined than ever to fight for her people, yet with her hunt for allies increasingly desperate, she may learn too late that power lies not in names but in people.

Rah refused to bow to the Levanti emperor, but now abandoned by the Second Swords he must choose whether to fight for his people, or his soul. Will honor be his salvation, or lead to his destruction?

Sold to the Witchdoctor, Cassandra’s only chance of freedom is in his hands, but when her fate becomes inextricably linked to Empress Hana, her true nature could condemn them both.

There is no calm after the storm.

________________________________

Soulstar by C.L. Polk (The Kingston Sycle #3)

With Soulstar, C. L. Polk concludes her riveting Kingston Cycle, a whirlwind of magic, politics, romance, and intrigue that began with the World Fantasy Award-winning Witchmark. Assassinations, deadly storms, and long-lost love haunt the pages of this thrilling final volume.

For years, Robin Thorpe has kept her head down, staying among her people in the Riverside neighborhood and hiding the magic that would have her imprisoned by the state. But when Grace Hensley comes knocking on Clan Thorpe’s door, Robin’s days of hiding are at an end. As freed witches flood the streets of Kingston, scrambling to reintegrate with a kingdom that destroyed their lives, Robin begins to plot a course that will ensure a freer, juster Aeland. At the same time, she has to face her long-bottled feelings for the childhood love that vanished into an asylum twenty years ago.

Can Robin find happiness among the rising tides of revolution? Can Kingston survive the blizzards that threaten, the desperate monarchy, and the birth throes of democracy? Find out as the Kingston Cycle comes to an end.

_____________________________

The Conjurer by Luanne G. Smith (The Vine Witch #3)

Sidra didn’t murder her husband. Yet even a jinni can’t wish away a wrongful imprisonment. Determined to prove her innocence, she returns to her adopted home—a French village renowned for its perfume witches—with her friends Elena and Yvette by her side. Here is where Sidra’s true destiny awaits, but danger also lurks in the village’s narrow lanes.

On her trail is Jamra, another jinni, who’s after more than revenge for the murder of his brother. He also seeks vengeance for the indignities inflicted on jinn by mortals over the centuries. When he learns of an ancient relic capable of unleashing chaos on the world, and that the weapon is in the hands of his murderous sister-in-law, he vows to destroy Sidra to get it.

Relying on a sisterhood of magic, a mysteriously faithful dog, and a second-rate sorcerer, Sidra defends herself using the village’s greatest asset: its perfume. It’s as beguiling a lure as it is a formidable shield. But is it enough for Sidra to protect herself and those she loves from powers yet to be released?

_______________________________

On Fragile Waves by E. Lily Yu

Firuzeh and her brother Nour are children of fire, born in an Afghanistan fractured by war. When their parents, their Atay and Abay, decide to leave, they spin fairy tales of their destination, the mythical land and opportunities of Australia.

As the family journeys from Pakistan to Indonesia to Nauru, heading toward a hope of home, they must rely on fragile and temporary shelters, strangers both mercenary and kind, and friends who vanish as quickly as they’re found.

When they arrive in Australia, what seemed like a stable shore gives way to treacherous currents. Neighbors, classmates, and the government seek their own ends, indifferent to the family’s fate. For Firuzeh, her fantasy worlds provide some relief, but as her family and home splinter, she must surface from these imaginings and find a new way.

_______________________________

The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison

This is not the story you think it is. These are not the characters you think they are. This is not the book you are expecting.

In an alternate 1880s London, angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings under a well-regulated truce. A fantastic utopia, except for a few things: Angels can Fall, and that Fall is like a nuclear bomb in both the physical and metaphysical worlds. And human beings remain human, with all their kindness and greed and passions and murderous intent.

Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of this London too. But this London has an Angel. The Angel of the Crows.

This book is also available in the following format:

______________________________

Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard

Award-winning author Aliette de Bodard returns with a powerful romantic fantasy that reads like The Goblin Emperor meets Howl’s Moving Castle in a pre-colonial Vietnamese-esque world.

Fire burns bright and has a long memory….

Quiet, thoughtful princess Thanh was sent away as a hostage to the powerful faraway country of Ephteria as a child. Now she’s returned to her mother’s imperial court, haunted not only by memories of her first romance, but by worrying magical echoes of a fire that devastated Ephteria’s royal palace.

Thanh’s new role as a diplomat places her once again in the path of her first love, the powerful and magnetic Eldris of Ephteria, who knows exactly what she wants: romance from Thanh and much more from Thanh’s home. Eldris won’t take no for an answer, on either front. But the fire that burned down one palace is tempting Thanh with the possibility of making her own dangerous decisions.

Can Thanh find the freedom to shape her country’s fate—and her own?

______________________________

The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

I’m embarrassed, still, by how long it took me to notice. Everything was right there in the open, right there in front of me, but it still took me so long to see the person I had married.

It took me so long to hate him.

Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research. She’s patient and gentle and obedient. She’s everything Evelyn swore she’d never be.

And she’s having an affair with Evelyn’s husband.

Now, the cheating bastard is dead, and both Caldwell wives have a mess to clean up.

Good thing Evelyn Caldwell is used to getting her hands dirty.

This book is also available in the following formats:

_________________________________

The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly (The Frozen Crown #1)

A princess with a powerful and dangerous secret must find a way to save her country from ruthless invaders in this exciting debut fantasy, the first novel in a thrilling duology packed with heroism, treachery, magic, and war.

Askia became heir to the Frozen Crown of Seravesh because of her devotion to her people. But her realm is facing a threat she cannot defeat by sheer will alone. The mad emperor of the Roven Empire has unleashed a horde of invading soldiers to enslave her lands. For months, her warriors have waged a valiant, stealth battle, yet they cannot stop the enemy’s advancement. Running out of time, she sets sail for sun-drenched Vishir, the neighboring land to the south, to seek help from its ruler, Emperor Armaan.

A young woman raised in army camps, Askia is ill-equipped to navigate Vishir’s labyrinthine political games. Her every move sinks her deeper into court intrigues which bewilder and repel her, leaving her vulnerable not only to enemies gathering at Vishir’s gates, but to those behind the palace walls. 

And in this glittering court, where secrets are worth more than gold, Askia fears that one false step will expose her true nature. For Askia is a witch gifted with magical abilities—knowledge that could destroy not only her life but her people. As her adversaries draw closer, Askia is forced to make an impossible choice—and no matter what she decides, it may not be enough to prevent Seravesh’s fall.

______________________________

Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

While the Iskat Empire has long dominated the system through treaties and political alliances, several planets, including Thea, have begun to chafe under Iskat’s rule. When tragedy befalls Imperial Prince Taam, his Thean widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with Taam’s cousin, the disreputable Kiem, in a bid to keep the rising hostilities between the two worlds under control.

But when it comes to light that Prince Taam’s death may not have been an accident, and that Jainan himself may be a suspect, the unlikely pair must overcome their misgivings and learn to trust one another as they navigate the perils of the Iskat court, try to solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war… all while dealing with their growing feelings for each other.

______________________________

Fairhaven Rising by L.E. Modesitt Jr. (The Saga of Recluce #22)

Modesitt continues his bestselling Saga of Recluce with his twenty-second book in the long-running series. Fairhaven Rising is the first book in a new character arc, and follows The Mage-Fire War.

Sixteen years have passed since the mage Beltur helped to found the town of Fairhaven, and Taelya, Beltur’s adopted niece, is now a white mage undercaptain in the Road Guards of Fairhaven.

Fairhaven’s success under the Council has become an impediment to the ambition of several rulers, and the mages protecting the town are seen as a threat.

Taelya, a young and untried mage, will find herself at the heart of a conspiracy to destroy her home and the people she loves, and she may not be powerful enough to stop it in time.

__________________________________

The Mask Falling  by Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season #4)

Dreamwalker Paige Mahoney has eluded death again. Snatched from the jaws of captivity and consigned to a safe house in the Scion Citadel of Paris, she finds herself caught between those factions that seek Scion’s downfall and those who would kill to protect the Rephaim’s puppet empire.

The mysterious Domino Program has plans for Paige, but she has ambitions of her own in this new citadel. With Arcturus Mesarthim-her former enemy-at her side, she embarks on an adventure that will lead her from the catacombs of Paris to the glittering hallways of Versailles. Her risks promise high reward: the Parisian underworld could yield the means to escalate her rebellion to outright war.

As Scion widens its bounds and the free world trembles in its shadow, Paige must fight her own memories after her ordeal at the hands of Scion. Meanwhile, she strives to understand her bond with Arcturus, which grows stronger by the day. But there are those who know the revolution began with them-and could end with them.

_________________________________________________

Voidbreaker by David Dalglish (The Keepers #3)

Perfect for monster slayers and dungeon crawlers everywhere, Voidbreaker is the final book in the unmissable new fantasy series from USA Today bestselling author David Dalglish.

Monsters have begun retaking the capital city of Londheim and claiming it for themselves. Humanity, fearful of being pushed out for good, has reacted with violence and destruction. Peace between the two races seems all but impossible.

Devin will need to bring all his skills to bear in order to protect his friends and family amid the chaos. But the greatest threat to humanity’s safety may well be closer than he expects. His sister is the most powerful priestess the world has ever seen . . . and she’s fighting for the monsters.

Prey Video Game

guest post by Anthony

2017’s Prey is a game I’ve been meaning to get around to playing for quite a while now. Thankfully, I finally got it this winter and I’m glad to report that it exceeded all my expectations.

Prey primarily takes place aboard Talos 1, a research space station run by the TranStar Corporation that orbits Earth. The station is an expansive environment that includes the various labs, offices, and community spaces that the hundreds of scientists and other workers stationed aboard the station need. It turns out that TranStar has been secretly studying alien life aboard the station until they break containment and infiltrate the station leading to the deaths of the majority of the population aboard the station (shocking how these types of things anyways happen to mega-corporations who secretly find alien life in sci-fi stories). You play as Morgan Yu, Vice-President and head of Research for Transtar. You explore the now near deserted station trying to find a way to stop the aliens from reaching Earth while also trying to save the few remaining humans left on board.

Prey does an excellent job building a very interesting setting aboard Talos 1. The different areas of the station are full of interesting details about the world of the game, the work that was done in each of the locations, and the people who worked there. Prey also gives the player a variety of interesting tools to explore and interact with these spaces. There is an upgrade system that depending on which options you choose will change how the aliens, the surviving humans, and the security systems aboard the station react to you. The system also gives you different options on how to approach each problem in the game and gives plenty of opportunities to fight through encounters, sneaking through them, or talk your way through them. While the initial set up for the plot is a little cliché the game does a really good job with a few key plot twists and some interesting details to make the world feel very unique. I really enjoyed playing through Prey and would highly recommend it to any action or adventure game fans out there.

This game is available in XBOX ONE and PS4 formats.