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Book Discussion: "Unbound" by Jim C. Hines [Jan. 19th, 2016|03:40 pm]
DAW Books Inc.

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The next book discussion for January from DAW Books is Jim C Hines' Unbound, the third book in his Magic Ex Libris series, which I know many people have been enjoying. Who here has read it? What did you think?





Cover Copy: For centuries, the Porters have concealed the existence of magic from the world. Now, old enemies have revealed the Porters' secrets, and an even greater threat lurks in the shadows. The would-be queen Meridiana, banished for a thousand years, has returned in the body of a girl named Jeneta Aboderin. She seeks an artifact created by Pope Sylvester II that would grant her command of an army of the dead.

Michigan librarian Isaac Vainio is powerless to stop her, having been stripped of his power and his place among the Porters by Johannes Gutenberg himself. But Isaac is determined to regain his magic and to rescue his former student Jeneta. With no magic of his own, Isaac must delve into the darker side of black-market magic, where he will confront beings better left undisturbed, including the sorcerer Juan Ponce de Leon.

With his loyal fire-spider Smudge, dryad warrior Lena Greenwood, and psychiatrist Nidhi Shah, Isaac races to unravel a mystery more than a thousand years old as competing magical powers battle to shape the future of the world.

Isaac's choices will determine the fate of his friends, the Porters, the students of Bi Sheng, and the world. Only one thing is certain: even if he finds a way to restore his magic, he can't save them all. . . .
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Book Discussion: "Starbound" by Dave Bara [Jan. 18th, 2016|03:53 pm]
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Time for the first book discussion of 2016! We're looking at Dave Bara's second novel, Starbound, the second in his Lightship Chronicles. Who here has read it? What did you think? I'm looking forward to getting to this one, since I enjoyed the first book in the series, Impulse.





Cover Copy: With his critically acclaimed military science fiction debut novel, Impulse, Dave Bara launched readers on a star-spanning journey of discovery, diplomacy, and danger.

As Starbound open, the First Empire forces have returned and the new galactic union hangs in the balance . . .

The Lightship H.M.S. Impulse is gone, sacrificed in a battle against First Empire ships. And though the fragile galactic alliance has survived the unexpected invasion, the Union forces might not prove victorious against a full onslaught by this legendary enemy.

For Peter Cochrane, serving as an officer aboard his world's flagship, H.M.S. Starbound is a dream that's finally come true. Tasked with investigating a mysterious space station in a newly rediscovered star system, Peter and Starbound face a surprise attack by unknown forces and suffer terrible losses.

But there is no time to grieve or even regroup as Peter is thrust into a new crisis, a potential civil war on the Union world of Carinthia. Caught between his rank in the navy and his status as a royal heir, Peter is put on trial for the loss of Impulse, used as a political pawn as Carinthia stands on the brink of a devastating conflict.

Rescued by his loyal comrades and some newfound allies, Peter escapes but faces the prospect of interstellar war when he learns of a possible alliance between the First Empire and Carinthia, a coalition which could tear the Union apart!
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New Releases: January 2016! [Jan. 7th, 2016|09:38 am]
DAW Books Inc.

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It's a new year, with new books from DAW! Here are the new releases for January 2016! Which of these are you dying to get your hands on?

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First up, the hardcover release of Dave Bara's second Lightship Chronicles novel, Starbound.





The Lightship H.M.S. Impulse is gone, sacrificed in a battle against First Empire ships. And though the fragile galactic alliance has survived the unexpected invasion, the Union forces might not prove victorious against a full onslaught by this legendary enemy.

For Peter Cochrane, serving as an officer aboard his world’s flagship, H.M.S. Starbound is a dream come true. Tasked with investigating a mysterious space station in a rediscovered star system, Peter and Starbound face a surprise attack by unknown forces and suffer terrible losses.

But there is no time to grieve or even regroup as Peter is thrust into a new crisis, a potential civil war on the Union world of Carinthia. Caught between his rank in the navy and his status as a royal heir, Peter is put on trial for the loss of Impulse, used as a political pawn as Carinthia stands on the brink of a devastating conflict. Peter escapes but faces the prospect of interstellar war when he learns of a possible alliance between the First Empire and Carinthia, a coalition which could tear the Union apart!

***************************

Next up, the paperback release of Jim C. Hines' third Magic Ex Libris novel, Unbound.





For five hundred years, the Porters have concealed the existence of magic from the world.

Now, old enemies have revealed the Porters’ secrets, and an even greater threat lurks in the shadows. The would-be queen Meridiana, banished for a thousand years, has returned in the body of a girl named Jeneta Aboderin. She seeks an artifact created by Pope Sylvester II, a bronze prison that would grant her the power to command an army of the dead. Michigan librarian Isaac Vainio is powerless to stop her, having been stripped of his power and his place among the Porters by Johannes Gutenberg himself. But Isaac is determined to regain his magic and to rescue his former student Jeneta. With no magic of his own, Isaac must delve into the darker side of black-market magic, where he will confront beings better left undisturbed, including the sorcerer Juan Ponce de Leon.

With his loyal fire-spider Smudge, dryad warrior Lena Greenwood, and psychiatrist Nidhi Shah, Isaac races to unravel a mystery more than a thousand years old as competing magical powers battle to shape the future of the world. He will be hunted by enemies and former allies alike, and it will take all his knowledge and resourcefulness to survive as magical war threatens to spread across the globe. Isaac’s choices will determine the fate of his friends, the Porters, the students of Bi Sheng, and the world.

Only one thing is certain: even if he finds a way to restore his magic, he can’t save them all . . .

***************************

And we also have the paperback release of Fields of Wrath from Mickey Zucker Reichert, the second in the Renshai Saga.





Nearly two decades ago, Mickey Zucker Reichert introduced fantasy readers to her greatest creation—the Renshai, a race of warriors who lived for battle and swordcraft, and who began training in the art of war from the moment their fingers could grasp a weapon. Set in a world enriched by Norse mythology, Mickey’s first two trilogies about the Renshai—The Last of the Renshai and The Renshai Chronicles—captivated readers as they followed the adventures of these legendary warriors who fought their way back from almost total extinction to claim a new homeland and find allies in a world where far too many still feared and despised them.

Flight of the Renshai and Fields of Wrath continue the Renshai saga begun in the previous two trilogies. Opening eighteen years after The Children of Wrath ended, Flight of the Renshai focuses on the main characters from the second trilogy, as well as their now-grown children. At the center of the story are the three sons of Kevral Tainharsdatter. While Flight brings readers into the heart of the long-dreaded Great War, Fields of Wrath picks up the story in the aftermath of that war.

With the Great War over, the Renshai have won back the Fields of Wrath. However, Tae Kahn—Subikahn’s father— becomes ever more certain that a far larger and fiercer wave of enemy soldiers is headed toward them.

One Kjempemagiska and an army of their man-sized servants nearly defeated the entirety of the continent. This time, Tae is certain, the ranks will include hundreds of these strong, magical, Island-dwelling giants. The only hope for the peoples of the continent is to regather their war-weary troops and find a way to convince the few magical beings of their own world to assist them.

Unfortunately for Tae, no allies are available to assist.

It becomes a race against time as Tae and his friends struggle to convince the various Continental generals of the danger, attempt to turn reluctant, antagonistic mages and elves into allies, spy on the giant Kjempemagiska sorcerers, and seek some means to defeat an enemy powerful beyond contemplation.

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And those are the new releases for January from DAW Books! Go forth, buy, and enjoy! Then come back later in the month for the book discussions and tell us what you thought.
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Book Discussion: "Crucible" edited by Mercedes Lackey [Dec. 28th, 2015|01:43 pm]
DAW Books Inc.

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The last book discussion for the December releases, and for 2015, is Crucible, a Valdemar anthology edited by Mercedes Lackey! Who here has read it? What stories were your favorites?





Cover Copy: Valdemar's protectors are the ancient order of Heralds, trained as emissaries, spies, judges, diplomats, scouts, counselors, and warriors. They are drawn from all across the land, from all walks of life, and at all ages--and all are Gifted with abilities beyond those of normal men and women. They are Mindspeakers, FarSeers, Empaths, ForeSeers, Firestarters, FarSpeakers, and more. Sought and Chosen by mysterious horselike Companions, they are bonded for life to these telepathic, enigmatic creatures. With their Companions, the Heralds of Valdemar ride circuit throughout the kingdom, protecting the peace and, when necessary, defending their land and monarch.

Now, eighteen authors join Mercedes Lackey, adding their own unique voices tot he Heralds, Bards, and Healers of this well-loved fantasy realm.

Journey with Fiona Patton, Jennifer Brozek, Elizabeth A. Vaughan, Elisabeth Waters, and others in eighteen original stories, including a brand-new novella by Mercedes Lackey, to the magical land of Valdemar, where:

A Herald must thwart a secession plot helmed by a pretender to the throne . . .

A nobleman and an heiress work together to dodge their own arranged marriage . . .

A mercenary, after her partner dies, completes their contract alone, and is drawn into a world of intrigue in the process . . .
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Book Discussion: "Impulse" by Dave Bara [Dec. 16th, 2015|09:33 am]
DAW Books Inc.

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The next book discussion for the December releases is the paperback release of Impulse, the debut novel from Dave Bara and the first in his Lightship Chronicles. Who here has read it? What did you think?





Cover Copy: Lieutenant Peter Cochrane of the Quantar Royal Navy believes he has his future clearly mapped out. It is slated to begin with his assignment as a junior officer on Her Majesty's Spaceship Starbound, a newly commissioned Lightship bound for deep space voyages of exploration.

But everything changes when Peter is summoned to the office of his father, Grand Admiral Nathan Cochrane, and given devastating news. In a distant solar system, a mysterious and unprovoked attack upon Lightship Impulse has resulted in the deaths of Peter's former girlfriend and many of her shipmates.

Now Peter's plans are torn asunder as he is suddenly promoted and transferred to Impulse, a Unified Space Navy ship under foreign command, en route to an unexpected destination. Even the Earth Historian--a member of the sect that controls the use and distribution of technology--a man who has mentored Peter for years, cannot prepare him for what lies ahead. To top things off, Peter's superiors have given him secret orders that might force him to become a mutineer.

Once aboard the newly repaired Lightship, Peter is faced with a captain driven by the need for revenge against the unknown attackers who nearly destroyed Impulse. This thirst for vengeance will soon endanger everyone aboard. And Peter will find himself forced to choose between rescuing his comrades and the mysterious agenda of the ship's Historian, an agenda that will lead into a galaxy of the unknown--of ancient technologies, age-old rivalries, new cultures, and unexpected romance. It's an overwhelming responsibility for Peter, and one false step could plunge humanity into an apocalyptic interstellar war. . . .
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Book Discussion: "Alien in Chief" by Gini Koch [Dec. 15th, 2015|10:06 am]
DAW Books Inc.

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It's time to start the book discussions for the December releases from DAW! First up, the new Gini Koch release, Alien in Chief, the 12th book in this series. Who here has read it? What did you think?





Cover Copy: The Mastermind has upped his game . . .

As Kitty can tell you, it's not easy being the wife of the vice president--especially not when he's an alien from the Alpha Centauri system. And being a parent of preternaturally talented children, don't even go there. But she and her A-C husband, Jeff, have learned how to roll with whatever life and the bad guys throw at them--they think.

Kitty & Company have been savoring a few months of quiet since they got back from Beta Eight. But suddenly their peace is shattered by the arrival of a mysterious female assassin--who might be Jeff's missing niece, Stephanie. And that's just the beginning of the fun.

When the Alpha Centauri Planetary Council requests a visit with the president and vice president, things look politically dicey. When the most dangerous prisoners in the most secure supermax prison escape with ease, things look bad. But when the Mastermind releases a virus that kills people in a week, things go to Defcon Worse fast.

Now it's up to Kitty to save everyone important in the U.S. government--including her mother, her husband, and herself--before the virus spreads through the rest of the country, and then the world. Plus she's facing invisible attackers, crazed assassins, a teenager in hiding, the most dangerous train ride ever, the disappearance of her beloved flyboys, and a mysterious alien who could be an enemy or the ally she needs.

And this time, the Mastermind's made it very personal. Either he's going down . . . or Kitty is.
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Book Discussion: "The Future Falls" by Tanya Huff [Dec. 10th, 2015|04:04 pm]
DAW Books Inc.

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The last of the book discussions for the November releases from DAW Books is The Future Falls by Tanya Huff, now in paperback. Who here has read it? What did you think?





Cover Copy: The Gale family can change the world with the charms they cast, which has caused some supernaturally complicated family shenanigans in the past. So when Auntie Catherine warns her fellow Wild Power Charlotte "Charlie" Gale about an end of the world catastrophe hurtling toward Earth, Charlie's not sure what to do about it. Then both NASA and a homeless man named Doomsday Dan confirm that a giant asteroid will strike the planet in twenty-one months, and Charlie knows she'll have to turn to the family for help.

But her cousin Allie, who heads the Gale family circle in Calgary, is unavailable because the universe seems determined to have her produce the seventh son of a seventh son of a seventh son of a Gale. And the Aunties can't help because they're tied to the Earth--although they are happy to provide their delicious, trademark pies. So in the end, all Charlie has is a guitar . . .

. . . and Jack: Dragon Prince, Gale boy, Wild Power, and sorcerer.
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Book Discussion: "A Play of Shadow" by Julie E. Czerneda [Dec. 9th, 2015|05:22 pm]
DAW Books Inc.

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Our next book discussion for the November releases is Julie E. Czerneda's A Play of Shadow, the second novel of Night's Edge, now out in paperback. Who here has read it? What did you think?





Cover Copy: In A Turn of Light, veteran science fiction writer Julie E. Czerneda’s first venture into fantasy, she introduced readers to Marrowdell, a pastoral valley that is home to a small pioneer settlement of refugees, lush fields of grain, enigmatic house toads--and Jenn Nalynn, the miller’s daughter. Jenn Nalynn--turn-born.

Though Jenn has always dreamed of venturing beyond this sheltered valley when she came of age, she is soon faced with the grim reality that for her, setting foot beyond Marrowdell’s borders in the normal way is impossible.

Then Bannan Larmensu--the truthseer who won Jenn’s heart--learns that his brother-in-law has disappeared in Channen, the capital of the mysterious domain of Mellynne. And when Bannan’s young nephews arrive in Marrowdell in the midst of a devastating storm, he fears that his sister has gone in search of her husband, leaving her sons in his care.

The law forbids the exiled Bannan from leaving Marrowdell and traveling to Mellynne to help his sister. At least, in this world. But as a turn-born, Jenn has the power to cross into the magical realm of the Verge--and take Bannan with her. Once there, they could find a way into Mellynne, if they survive.

The Verge is wild and deadly, alive with strange magic. Dragons roar and kruar wait in ambush, and not all the powerful turn-born who tend their world care for Jenn Nalynn. But Jenn is willing to try. Their friends Wisp and Scourge--and the house toads--offer their help.

But what none of them know is that Channen is rife with magic that flows from the Verge itself. And not even a turn-born will be safe there.
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New Releases: December 2015! [Dec. 9th, 2015|02:42 pm]
DAW Books Inc.

jpsorrow
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The new releases from DAW for December 2015 are out on the shelves! We've got new Gini Koch and a new Valdemar anthology this month, plus the paperback release of Dave Bara's debut novel. Which of these are you dying to get your hands on?

*******************

First up, the new Gini Koch release, Alien in Chief!





The Mastermind has upped his game . . .

As Kitty can tell you, it's not easy being the wife of the vice president--especially not when he's an alien from the Alpha Centauri system. And being a parent of preternaturally talented children, don't even go there. But she and her A-C husband, Jeff, have learned how to roll with whatever life and the bad guys throw at them--they think.

Kitty & Company have been savoring a few months of quiet since they got back from Beta Eight. But suddenly their peace is shattered by the arrival of a mysterious female assassin--who might be Jeff's missing niece, Stephanie. And that's just the beginning of the fun.

When the Alpha Centauri Planetary Council requests a visit with the president and vice president, things look politically dicey. When the most dangerous prisoners in the most secure supermax prison escape with ease, things look bad. But when the Mastermind releases a virus that kills people in a week, things go to Defcon Worse fast.

Now it's up to Kitty to save everyone important in the U.S. government--including her mother, her husband, and herself--before the virus spreads through the rest of the country, and then the world. Plus she's facing invisible attackers, crazed assassins, a teenager in hiding, the most dangerous train ride ever, the disappearance of her beloved flyboys, and a mysterious alien who could be an enemy or the ally she needs.

And this time, the Mastermind's made it very personal. Either he's going down . . . or Kitty is.

*******************

Next, the paperback release of Dave Bara's first novel Impulse.





Lieutenant Peter Cochrane of the Quantar Royal Navy believes he has his future clearly mapped out. It begins with his new assignment as an officer on Her Majesty’s Spaceship Starbound, a Lightship bound for deep space voyages of exploration.

But everything changes when Peter is summoned to the office of his father, Grand Admiral Nathan Cochrane, and given devastating news: the death of a loved one. In a distant solar system, a mysterious and unprovoked attack upon Lightship Impulse resulted in the deaths of Peter’s former girlfriend and many of her shipmates.

Now Peter’s plans are torn asunder as he is transferred to a Unified Space Navy ship under foreign command, en route to an unexpected destination, and surrounded almost entirely by strangers. To top it off, his superiors have given him secret orders that might force him to become a mutineer.

The crisis at hand becomes a gateway to something much more when the ship’s Historian leads Peter and his shipmates into a galaxy of the unknown — of ancient technologies, age-old rivalries, new cultures, and unexpected romance. It’s an overwhelming responsibility for Peter, and one false step could plunge humanity into an apocalyptic interstellar war. . . .

********************

And finally, a new Valdemar anthology edited by Mercedes Lackey called Crucible.





In March 1987, Mercedes Lackey, a young author from Oklahoma, published her first novel, Arrows of the Queen. No one could have envisioned that this modest book about a magical land called Valdemar would be the beginning of a fantasy masterwork series that would span decades and include more than two dozen titles.

Now the voices of other authors add their own special touches to the ancient land where Heralds “Chosen” from all walks of life by magical horse-like Companions patrol their ancient kingdom, dispensing justice, facing adversaries, and protecting their monarch and country from whatever threatens. Trained rigorously by the Herald’s Collegium, these special protectors each have extraordinary Gifts: Mindspeaking, FarSeeing, FarSpeaking, Empathy, Firestarting and ForeSeeing, and are bonded for life with their mysterious Companions. Travel with these astounding adventurers in these original stories.

**********************

And those are the new releases from DAW for December 2015! Go forth and read!
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Book Discussion: "King of Assassins" by Jenna Rhodes [Nov. 24th, 2015|04:19 pm]
DAW Books Inc.

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Next up, we have the first of the paperback release book discussions for this month, the third book in the Elven Ways series from Jenna Rhodes, King of Assassins. Who here has read it? What did you think?





The world of Kerith has been bereft of magic since the end of the devastating wars that killed off the Mageborn, and destroyed all connections between the Gods and the many races native to the land. Warlike Gladarkans, peaceful Dwellers, Kernan tradesmen and merchants, and brutish Bolgers managed to coexist after the Mageborn Wars until--exiled from their own world by a sorcerous act of war--the Vaelinars mysteriously appeared on Kerith.

The Vaelinars have used their own unique talents to gain power over the races native to this world, and to create magical Ways that remold Kerith forever. But now their war has followed them, ripping holes in the fabric of both universes. The Vaelinars stand at a dangerous threshold as old and new betrayals threaten the destinies of the peoples of two worlds.

Against this background of treachery and ever-shifting alliances, two star-crossed lovers--the half-breed Sevryn and the orphaned, Goddess-touched Vaelinar, Rivergrace--must flee the fury of a desperate ruler. The Warrior Queen Lariel, having accidentally revealed to Sevryn the forbidden powers that gained her the throne, has begun a vicious manhunt to destroy him.

Sevryn and Rivergrace find no safe haven as the world's magic begins to disintegrate around them and the old Gods wake. In the midst of this chaos, Sevryn is charged with finding the King of Assassins--a quest that may consume him. And only Rivergrace has any hope of discovering the means to save both Sevryn and the world she loves.
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