Monday, September 20, 2021

The View From Monday - September 20, 2021

Happy Monday! There are 3 debuts this week:

Gutter Mage by J. S. Kelley

The Witchfinder (The Deiparian Saga 1) by J. Todd Kingrea;

and

The Body Scout by Lincoln Michel.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



 
 
 
Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

September 21, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Purgatory's Shore Taylor Anderson SF/AH - Artillerymen 1
Born to the Dark Ramsey Campbell H - The Three Births of Daoloth
Leviathan Wakes: 10th Anniversary Edition James S. A. Corey SF/SO/SE - Expanse 1
The Poison Throne Walker Dryden HistF
Dune: The Lady of Caladan Brian Herbert
Kevin J. Anderson
SF/SO - Caladan Trilogy 2
HEX (ri)
Thomas Olde Heuvelt H/Th/SF
The Moon, the Stars, and Madame Burova (ri) Ruth Hogan W
Quantum Shadows (h2tp)
L. E. Modesitt Jr. SF
Gutter Mage (D) J.S. Kelley F
Under the Whispering Door TJ Klune CF/HU
In the Name of the Otherworld (e)
Hermione Lee F
The Body Scout (D) Lincoln Michel SF/CyP/Cr
The Last Crucible J.D. Moyer SF/AP/PA - Reclaimed Earth 3
Harrow the Ninth (h2tp) Tamsyn Muir SF/SO/F - Locked Tomb Trilogy 2
Stolen Earth J.T. Nicholas SF/GenEng
Strange Tales from Japan Keisuke Nishimoto
William Scott Wilson (Tr)
GH/FairyT/FolkT/LM/H/Classics
The Book of Form and Emptiness Ruth Ozeki LF/CoA/MR
The Escapement Lavie Tidhar F/LF
Awake
Harald Voetmann
Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen (Tr)
AB
The Tensorate Series: The Black Tides of Heaven, The Red Threads of Fortune, The Descent of Monsters, The Ascent to Godhood
Neon Yang F - The Tensorate Series



September 23, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Witchfinder (D)
J. Todd Kingrea Dys/PA - The Deiparian Saga 1



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Illus - Illustrator
Ke - Kindle eBook
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
BHU - Black Humor
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CM - Crime & Mystery
CoA - Coming of Age
CrM - Crime and Mystery
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GothicR - Gothic Romance
GW&CC - Global Warming and Climate Change
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistR - Historical Romance
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Med - Medical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - Mash-Up
NF - Near Future
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PF - Paranormal Fantasy
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
PP - Police Porcedural
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
RF - Romantic Fantasy
ScF - Science Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SFTh - Science Fiction Thriller
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
STR - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical
WS - Women Sleuths

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

2021 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2021 Debuts



Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the beginning of 2022 the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2021 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator/designer information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on September 30, 2021, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite September 2021 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls





Cover art by Ashe Samuels
Cover design by Samira Iravani










Jacket design by Lauren Panepinto
Cover images by Shutterstock
Cover copyright © 2021 by Hachette Book Group, Inc.










Cover design by Mark Ecob










Cover art by Sasha Vinogradova
Design by Christine Foltzer





Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Novels by DAC Authors

Here are some of the upcoming novels by formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) Authors. The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.


Jonathan French (2018)

The Free Bastards
The Lot Lands 3
Del Rey, September 28, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 560 pages
The long-awaited war has come in the sweeping conclusion to the Lot Lands trilogy—another irresistibly swashbuckling, swaggering, foul-mouthed fantasy from the author of The Grey Bastards (“Nonstop action, though not for faint hearts.”—The Wall Street Journal).

War has come to the Lot Lands—and Oats stands upon the frontline.

The Hisparthan armies on the horizon are mighty, bolstered by divine champions, dread sorcerers, and gunpowder. It’s almost more than the half-orc rebellion can hope to repel.

But Oats has won impossible fights before. He’s a thriceblood, after all, more orc than man. And he hasn’t forgotten how to kill. He’ll stack the bodies high for his chief and his brethren, if that’s the price of freeing the Lots from human tyranny.

Besides, the invading forces are getting a damned sight more than they bargained for. They’re not facing a handful of half-orc hoofs, but a true army—one forged from all the peoples of the Lots. At its head are Fetching, in full command of the ruinous power that runs through her veins, and Jackal, armed with the blessings of a dead god.

Yet Oats can’t help but find his faith wavering. Once the strongest Bastard, he soon realizes that in this battle, even the strength of a thriceblood is easily conquered. And after a grievous loss strikes, he begins to fear that this war will lead the Lots not to freedom but to ruin.

So when another path to peace beckons, he has no choice but to walk it. Even if it means betting the Lots’ fate, and his own, on the promises of the Bastards’ wiliest adversary—and making a perilous journey into the heart of Hispartha itself.

Brimming with all the epic battles, surprising sorcery, and fiendish twists a Bastards fan could wish for, alongside unforgettable moments for characters old and new, The Free Bastards builds a new future for the Lots—even as it gives our beloved trio of Jackal, Fetching, and Oats the rousing, blood-soaked sendoff they deserve.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo
Book One
Book Two





Walter Goodwater (2018)

The Liar of Red Valley
Solaris, September 28, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
Lead title for Fall 2021 - a fresh, rich, American Gothic "yarn" with a highly relatable female lead.

Don’t trust the Liar.
Do not cross the King.
Never, ever go in the River.

In Red Valley, California, you follow the rules if you want to stay alive. But they won’t be enough to protect Sadie now that she’s become the Liar, the keeper of the town’s many secrets. Friendships are hard-won here, and it isn’t safe to make enemies.

And though the Liar has power — power to remake the world, with just a little blood—what Sadie really needs is answers: Why is the town’s sheriff after her? What does the King want from her? And what is the real purpose of the Liar of Red Valley?
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : Kobo





Marina J. Lostetter (2017)

Activation Degradation
Harper Voyager, September 28, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
The Murderbot Diaries makes first contact in this new, futuristic, standalone novel exploring sentience and artificial intelligence through the lenses of conflicted robot hero Unit Four, from Marina Lostetter, critically acclaimed author of Noumenon, Noumenon Infinity, and Noumenon Ultra.

When Unit Four—a biological soft robot built and stored high above the Jovian atmosphere—is activated for the first time, it’s in crisis mode. Aliens are attacking the Helium-3 mine it was created to oversee, and now its sole purpose is to defend Earth’s largest energy resource from the invaders in ship-to-ship combat.

But something’s wrong. Unit Four doesn’t feel quite right.

There are files in its databanks it can’t account for, unusual chemical combinations roaring through its pipes, and the primers it possesses on the aliens are suspiciously sparse. The robot is under orders to seek and destroy. That’s all it knows.

According to its handler, that’s all it needs to know.

Determined to fulfill its directives, Unit Four launches its ship and goes on the attack, but it has no idea it’s about to get caught in a downward spiral of misinformation, reprograming, and interstellar conflict.

Most robots are simple tools. Unit Four is well on its way to becoming something more....
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

Monday, September 13, 2021

The View From Monday - September 13, 2021

Happy Monday!

There is one debut this week:

The Offest by Calder Szewczak
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly feature DAC Authors:

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire 1) by Jay Kristoff
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



 
 
 
Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

September 14, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Wisdom of Crowds Joe Abercrombie F/DF/HistF - Age of Madness 3
Winterlight Kristen Britain F/DF - Green Rider 7
Slewfoot: A Tale of Bewitchery Brom H/DF/HistF
The Actual Star Monica Byrne Sagas
These Bones Kayla Chenault Hist/H/LF
The Yellow Wallpaper & Herland (ri) Charlotte Perkins Gilman Classics/GH/Psy
True Dead Faith Hunter UF/CF/P - Jane Yellowrock 14
The Reluctant Kings K'wan PolTh/Cr
Dare to Know James Kennedy TechTh/Sus
Empire of the Vampire Jay Kristoff F - Empire of the Vampire 1
AI 2041 Kai-Fu Lee
Chen Qiufan
Future Studies/AI
To Hold Up the Sky (h2tp)
Cixin Liu SF/HSF
In the Land of Dead Horses Bruce McCandless III H/SF
When Sorrows Come Seanan McGuire UF/CF/P - October Daye 15
Among the Lilies Daniel Mills LF/SS
The Villa and The Vortex: Supernatural Stories, 1916-1924
Melissa Edmundson (Ed)
Occ/Sup - Anthology
Mordew Alex Pheby F/UF
Eartheater (h2tp) Dolores Reyes
Julia Sanches (Tr)
LF
Barnabas, Quentin and the Body Snatchers Marilyn Ross Gothic - Dark Shadows the Complete Paperback Library Reprint Book 26
Barnabas, Quentin and Dr. Jekyll’s Son Marilyn Ross Gothic - Dark Shadows the Complete Paperback Library Reprint Book 27
Oaths of Legacy Emily Skrutskie SF/SO - The Bloodright Trilogy 2
Hell Divers VIII: King of the Wastes Nicholas Sansbury Smith SF/AP/PA - Hell Divers 8
The Offset (D) Calder Szewczak SF/AP/PA/Dys/PolTh
Waterfall Girls Kimberly White DF/LM
From the Neck Up Aliya Whiteley F/SF/SS



September 15, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
War of Omission Kevin O'Donnell SF/SO



September 18, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Spiritus ex Machina (e) G. Allen Wilbanks SF - Three Ghosts in the Machine



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Illus - Illustrator
Ke - Kindle eBook
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
BHU - Black Humor
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CM - Crime & Mystery
CoA - Coming of Age
CrM - Crime and Mystery
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GothicR - Gothic Romance
GW&CC - Global Warming and Climate Change
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistR - Historical Romance
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Med - Medical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - Mash-Up
NF - Near Future
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PF - Paranormal Fantasy
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
PP - Police Porcedural
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
RF - Romantic Fantasy
ScF - Science Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SFTh - Science Fiction Thriller
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
STR - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical
WS - Women Sleuths

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Tood McFarlane Launches Gunslinger Spawn Series

TODD MCFARLANE LAUNCHES ICONIC GUNSLINGER SPAWN SERIES—ANTICIPATED TO BE BIGGEST NEW CHARACTER MONTHLY LAUNCH IN 30 YEARS

Two Incentive Covers Announced


PORTLAND, Ore. 09/10/2021 — The NEW and HIGHLY anticipated Gunslinger Spawn series hits comic store shelves this October as part of Todd McFarlane's ongoing expansion of the Spawn Universe. Much to the excitement of old and new Spawn fans alike, the title is expected to shatter even more comic book records, like the recent King Spawn #1, which sold over a half-million copies. This will be the third (of four) number one release that will climb into the #1 spot for orders in less than five months.

Early indications suggest this will be the single biggest monthly comic book launch for a new character in well over 30 years, which includes any superhero publisher, including Marvel and DC Comics.

The new comic title features Gunslinger Spawn, a man out of time who is unwillingly thrust 200 years in the future to the 21st century. Not only does he have to navigate a new world, but he’ll have to deal with the demons of his past. No one is safe from his vengeance as he heads into battle with guns blazing as he tries to find his way back home.

Acclaimed artist Brett Booth will be the featured artist on this book, with additional art by Philip Tan, Kevin Keane, and Thomas Nachlik, with colors by FCO, Andrew Dalhouse and others. McFarlane will take the lead on writing the regular ongoing story and he and Aleš Kot tackle the back-up tales. Gunslinger Spawn #1 will feature covers by a roster of superstar artists: Greg Capullo, John Romita Jr., TonTon Revolver, Booth, McFarlane, and The Walking Dead creator, Robert Kirkman!

Gunslinger Spawn #1 cover G adds another level of excitement to this new ongoing series. With pencils by Booth and inks by McFarlane, this cover along with both the King Spawn #1 and The Scorched #1 (releasing in December 2021), interconnect to form one epic work of art.

Gunslinger Spawn #1 includes a 1:250 copy incentive cover. McFarlane will hand-sign and create a unique sequential number for each issue just like he did for the record-breaking King Spawn #1 (based on the Final Order Cutoff total). Each signed Gunslinger Spawn #1 1:250 includes a CGC Certificate of Authenticity that retailers can send in and redeem though CGC to have their books graded. This is the only time McFarlane will sign the Gunslinger Spawn #1 1:250 incentive copy issue.  

Additionally, there will be a Gunslinger Spawn #1 1:50 copy incentive cover by Capullo.

"Gunslinger Spawn returns with a vengeance, and he will make Spawn look like a Boy Scout," said McFarlane, Spawn creator and President at Image Comics. "Finally, fans will get a glimpse into his history as we dig deeper into his past and explore his future.”  

The Spawn character was first introduced in 1992, to a record-setting of 1.7 million copies that still stands today as the highest-selling, creator-owned comic issue of all time. Published by Image Comics (the third largest comic publisher in North America), the Spawn character also set a record as the longest-running, creator-owned comic on the planet when issue #301 was published in 2019. In August 2021, the newest Spawn Universe title King Spawn #1 sales numbers demolished The Avengers' record and became a 25-year record-breaking new superhero monthly title launch. 

Gunslinger Spawn #1 will be available at comic book shops (48 pages, full color, rated: Teen+, $5.99, premium 10 pt cover stock) and on digital platforms, including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and Google Play on Wednesday, October 20: 
  • Cover A by Booth - Diamond Code AUG210013
  • Cover B by McFarlane - Diamond Code AUG210014 
  • Cover C by John Romita Jr. - Diamond Code JUL219298
  • Cover D by Greg Capullo - Diamond Code JUL219299
  • Cover E by Robert Kirkman - Diamond Code JUL219300
  • Cover F by TonTon Revolver - Diamond Code JUL219301
  • Cover G by Booth (Connecting Cover) - Diamond Code JUL219302
  • Cover H 1:50 copy incentive by Capullo (Raw Pencils) - Diamond Code JUL219303
  • Cover I 1:250 copy signed incentive by McFarlane - Diamond Code JUL219304
Follow Todd McFarlane on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook.

ABOUT SPAWN, LEGENDARY ARTISTS AND SPAWN CREATOR AND IMAGE COMICS PRESIDENT, TODD MCFARLANE
Todd McFarlane's Spawn is one of the world's best-selling and longest-running monthly comic books, with several hundred million copies sold worldwide in more than 120 countries. In addition, Spawn's Universe #1 is Image Comics' top-selling first issue of the 21st century.
The new Spawn Universe title King Spawn #1 sales numbers demolished The Avengers record and became a 25-year record-breaking new superhero monthly title launch.  

McFarlane's Spawn made history with the release of the historic Spawn #300, and Spawn #301 has earned the Guinness World Records title for the longest-running creator-owned superhero comic book series in the world. The road to McFarlane's history-making comic run began in 1992 when he co-founded Image Comics and the released Spawn #1, still the single-best-selling issue all-time for any creator-owned comic.

The comic became an Emmy Award-winning animated series on HBO and a live-action feature film that grossed $100 million. In addition, McFarlane became a true comic book superstar for his record-setting work on Marvel Comics' Spider-Man franchise, where he co-created Marvel's top villain Venom.  

After garnishing prominent success in the comic industry, McFarlane founded the international award-winning McFarlane Toys, one of America's top action figure manufacturers. In 2020, the new release of a Spawn figure on Kickstarter set a new Kickstarter record, in its category, for raising just under $3.5 million in 30 days.

Spawn and all related characters and elements © & ™ TMP

[click to embiggen]

ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Covers Revealed - Recent and Upcoming Works by DAC Authors

Here are some of the recent and upcoming works by formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) Authors. The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.


Nina Allan (2016)

The Art of Space Travel and Other Stories
Titan Books, September 7, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
A stunningly inventive collection from multi award-winning author, Nina Allan. Unsettling, dark and brilliantly astute, these weird and wonderful tales take us on journeys through time and space to explore enduring questions of memory and loss. Her worlds are recognisably our own but always closer to the edge, on the slant – and sharply unexpected. These stories are an unmissable insight into a writer at the top of her game.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





RJ Barker (2017)

The Bone Ship's Wake
The Tide Child Trilogy 1
Orbit, September 28, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 592 pages
Discover a brilliantly imagined epic fantasy of honor, glory, and warfare in this action-packed conclusion to the David Gemmell Award-nominated trilogy.

Joron Twiner's dreams of freedom lay shattered. His Shipwife is gone and all he has left is revenge. Leading the black fleet from the deck of Tide Child, he takes every opportunity to hurt the Hundred Isles he is given. But his time is limited.

His fleet is shrinking, the Keyshan's Rot is running through his body, and he hiding from a prophecy that says he and the avian sorcerer, the Windseer will end the entire world.

But the Sea Dragons have returned, a miracle in itself, and who is to say that if you can have one miracle, there cannot be another?

The Tide Child Trilogy
The Bone Ships
Call of the Bone Ships
The Bone Ship's Wake

For more from RJ Barker, check out:

The Wounded Kingdom
Age of Assassins
Blood of Assassins
King of Assassins
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

Book One
Book Two





Jay Kristoff (2012)
Illustrations by Bon Orthwick

Empire of the Vampire
Empire of the Vampire 1
St. Martin's Press, September 14, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 752 pages
From New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff comes Empire of the Vampire, the first illustrated volume of an astonishing new dark fantasy saga.

From holy cup comes holy light;
The faithful hand sets world aright.
And in the Seven Martyrs’ sight,
Mere man shall end this endless night.

It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise. For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity; building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Now, only a few tiny sparks of light endure in a sea of darkness.

Gabriel de León is a silversaint: a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending realm and church from the creatures of the night. But even the Silver Order could not stem the tide once daylight failed us, and now, only Gabriel remains.

Imprisoned by the very monsters he vowed to destroy, the last silversaint is forced to tell his story. A story of legendary battles and forbidden love, of faith lost and friendships won, of the Wars of the Blood and the Forever King and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope:

The Holy Grail.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Review: The Pariah (The Covenant of Steel 1) by Anthony Ryan

The Pariah
Author:  Anthony Ryan
Series:  The Covenant of Steel 1
Publisher:  Orbit, August 24, 2021
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 608 pages
List Price:  US$17.99 (print); US$9.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9780316430760 (print); 9780316430777 (eBook)

"A gritty, heart-pounding tale of betrayal and bloody vengeance. I loved every single word." —John Gwynne

The Pariah begins a new epic fantasy series of action, intrigue and magic from Anthony Ryan, a master storyteller who has taken the fantasy world by storm.

Born into the troubled kingdom of Albermaine, Alwyn Scribe is raised as an outlaw. Quick of wit and deft with a blade, Alwyn is content with the freedom of the woods and the comradeship of his fellow thieves. But an act of betrayal sets him on a new path – one of blood and vengeance, which eventually leads him to a soldier's life in the king's army.

Fighting under the command of Lady Evadine Courlain, a noblewoman beset by visions of a demonic apocalypse, Alwyn must survive war and the deadly intrigues of the nobility if he hopes to claim his vengeance. But as dark forces, both human and arcane, gather to oppose Evadine's rise, Alwyn faces a choice: can he be a warrior, or will he always be an outlaw?

"This makes a rich treat for George R.R. Martin fans." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)


For more from Anthony Ryan, check out:

Raven's Shadow Trilogy
Blood Song
Tower Lord
Queen of Fire

Raven's Blade Duology
The Wolf's Call
The Black Song

The Draconis Memoria Trilogy
The Waking Fire
The Legion of Flame
The Empire of Ashes
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo



Trinitytwo's Review:

The Pariah, book one of New York Times best-selling author Anthony Ryan’s The Covenant of Steel trilogy, opens with murder. Alwyn, is smart, quick with a knife, adept at disguise and a shrewd judge of character. He is also a liar, a thief and the aforementioned murderer, making him a valuable asset to Deckin, the self-proclaimed ruler of the Shavine Marches. Alwyn and his companions carry out their mission with deadly efficiency, to reap the rewards of a royal convoy’s cargo. But Alwyn and his ilk are no ordinary brigands. Deckin’s target has a purpose other than ill-gotten gains; to intercept the royal courier. The messenger carries a missive for the King containing sensitive information about the Pretender’s War; information that Deckin desperately wants. This message tips the scales and events begin to unfold quickly, leading to a course of action that will shake Alwyn’s life to the core.

One of the things I love about The Pariah is how it surprised me. I tend to avoid reading books heavy in gratuitous violence, so the blasé killing in the first chapter rang a warning bell or two. However, I am a huge fan of Anthony Ryan so I kept reading. And I was not disappointed. Ryan is a master storyteller whose every detail is filled with intention. Before I knew it, I was well into the third chapter and couldn’t put the book down. To hell with responsibilities and work, I needed to keep reading!

The Pariah checks off all my fantasy reading requirements. Alwyn is a multi-faceted character that often surprised this reader (and himself) with his decisions. His motivations and his loyalties are complex, which leads him time after time into dangerous and desperate situations. Since Alwyn is always on the move, his roster of companions changes and yet Ryan does a great job of keeping the names and faces memorable. There is never a “who is that again?” moment for which I’m grateful.

Speaking of memorable characters, I really enjoyed the vague likenesses to historical or legendary figures in our own timeline. Take for instance, Lady Evadine Courlaine. This beautiful and courageous noblewoman/warrior inspires and encourages loyalty to which even Alwyn, bent on a road of vengeance, is not immune. Her eloquence and earnestness, coupled with her bravery on the battlefield conjured (for me) comparisons to Joan of Arc. Yet, Evadine is her own person. Tormented by visions of a demonic apocalypse, her insight allows her to see into other’s hearts and capture them. She shines as a commander, both considerate of her soldiers and unyielding in her quest to prevent the Second Scourge.

Another remarkable character is the self-proclaimed Outlaw King, Deckin Scarl. Although the common folk give Scarl a “rob from the rich and give to the poor” reputation, he and his band of outlaws are a far cry from being “merry men.” Scarl’s followers are brutal folk whose warped values and violent natures are kept in line only by Scarl’s iron leadership. Due to Ryan’s mastery of the written word, I can picture him down to his callused and massive hands.

I appreciate how Ryan maps out Albermaine through Alwyn’s travels. Through highly descriptive dialogue and first-person narrative, Ryan transports readers directly into the story. We meet Alwyn in the Shavine Marches and travel to Moss Mill in the northern part of the Shavine Forest. Through action-packed storytelling, we visit Castle Duhbos and spend time in the Pit Mines. As Alwyn navigates his way through betrayal, vengeance, intrigue and the ugliness of war, the reader learns key facts about Albermaine and the surrounding lands’ history and political systems, alleviating the need for tiresome exposition dumps.

Paradoxically, The Pariah is a welcome escape to a world riddled with war and violence. And although Alwyn is a murderer and a thief, his unique brand of loyalty and morality keep him likable. I am fascinated by the hints of the magical system that Ryan has sprinkled throughout the story and want more. Reading The Pariah filled me with adrenaline and excitement and I would highly recommend adding it to your TBR list.

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

2021 Debut Author Challenge - September 2021 Debuts



There are 8 debuts for September 2021.

Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The September debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite September cover for the 2021 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting in the latter half of September.



Paige Crutcher

The Orphan Witch
St. Martin's Griffin, September 28, 2021
Hardcover, Paperbook and ebook, 352 pages
"Mystical, magical, and wildly original...If Alice Hoffman and Sara Addison Allen had a witchy love child, she would be Paige Crutcher. Do not miss this beautifully realized debut!"--- JT Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of Her Dark Lies on The Orphan Witch.

A deeper magic. A stronger curse. A family lost...and found.

Persephone May has been alone her entire life. Abandoned as an infant and dragged through the foster care system, she wants nothing more than to belong somewhere. To someone. However, Persephone is as strange as she is lonely. Unexplainable things happen when she’s around—changes in weather, inanimate objects taking flight—and those who seek to bring her into their family quickly cast her out. To cope, she never gets attached, never makes friends. And she certainly never dates. Working odd jobs and always keeping her suitcases half-packed, Persephone is used to moving around, leaving one town for another when curiosity over her eccentric behavior inevitably draws unwanted attention.

After an accidental and very public display of power, Persephone knows it’s time to move on once again. It’s lucky, then, when she receives an email from the one friend she’s managed to keep, inviting her to the elusive Wile Isle. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. However, upon arrival, Persephone quickly discovers that Wile is no ordinary island. In fact, it just might hold the very things she’s been searching for her entire life.

Answers. Family. Home.

And some things she did not want. Like 100-year-old curses and an even older family feud. With the clock running out, love might be the magic that saves them all.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





J. S. Kelley

Gutter Mage
Gallery / Saga Press, September 21, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
J.S. Kelley weaves epic fantasy and hardboiled noir in this fast-paced, twisting tale of magic, mystery, and a whole lot of unruly behavior.

In a kingdom where magic fuels everything from street lamps to horseless carriages, the mage guilds of Penador wield power equal to the king himself. So when Lord Edmund’s infant son is kidnapped by the ruthless Alath Guild, he turns to the one person who’s feared by even the most magically adept: Rosalind Featherstone, a.k.a. the Gutter Mage.

But as Roz delves into the circumstances behind the child’s disappearance, she uncovers an old enemy from her traumatic past and a long-brewing plot that could lead to the death of countless innocents, as well as the complete collapse of Penadorian society itself!
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Cassandra Khaw

The All-Consuming World
Erewhon, Septemenr 7, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages
Maya has died and been resurrected into countless cyborg bodies through the years of a long, dangerous career with the infamous Dirty Dozen, the most storied crew of criminals in the galaxy, at least before their untimely and gruesome demise.

Decades later, she and her diverse team of broken, diminished outlaws must get back together to solve the mystery of their last, disastrous mission and to rescue a missing and much-changed comrade . . . but they’re not the only ones in pursuit of the secret at the heart of the planet Dimmuborgir.

The highly evolved AI of the galaxy have their own agenda and will do whatever it takes to keep humanity from ever regaining control. As Maya and her comrades spiral closer to uncovering the AIs’ vast conspiracy, this band of violent women—half-clone and half-machine—must battle their own traumas and a universe of sapient ageships who want them dead, in order to settle their affairs once and for all.

Welcome to The All-Consuming World, the debut novel of acclaimed writer Cassandra Khaw. With this explosive and introspective exploration of humans and machines, life and death, Khaw takes their rightful place next to such science fiction luminaries as Ann Leckie, Ursula Le Guin, and Kameron Hurley.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo






J. Todd Kingrea

The Witchfinder
The Deiparian Saga 1
BHC Press, September 26, 2021
Hardcover, Trade Paperback and eBook, 318 pages
In a post-apocalyptic world where tyranny and medieval torture reign supreme and witch burnings are an everyday occurrence, a top Witchfinder must confront the very Church he serves when he learns of its dark past and twisted plans for the future.

The Church of the Deiparous rules with an iron fist and its rising star, Witchfinder Imperator Malachi Thorne, is committed to leading its cause. Thorne is a man on the fast track to greater things so when a convicted traitor and heretic escapes his grip, he won’t tolerate it marring his perfect record.

As he pursues his quarry, he must confront demons, sorcery, and a cult of witches out for his blood. But when Thorne comes face to face with the Church’s dark past and its twisted present, his faith is tested to its limits. Now Thorne must decide who and what he believes in—and what he will do about it. In just over a year’s time, Ryia Cautella has already earned herself a reputation as the quickest, deadliest blade in the dockside city of Carrowwick—not to mention the sharpest tongue. But Ryia Cautella is not her real name.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





M. J. Kuhn

Among Thieves
Gallery / Saga Press, September 7, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
A thrilling fantasy debut—a high-stakes heist novel set in a gritty world of magic and malice, and perfect for fans of Six of Crows!

In just over a year’s time, Ryia Cautella has already earned herself a reputation as the quickest, deadliest blade in the dockside city of Carrowwick—not to mention the sharpest tongue. But Ryia Cautella is not her real name.

For the past six years, a deadly secret has kept her in hiding, running from town to town, doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the formidable Guildmaster—the sovereign ruler of the five kingdoms of Thamorr. No matter how far or fast she travels, his servants never fail to track her down...but even the most powerful men can be defeated.

Ryia’s path now leads directly into the heart of the Guildmaster’s stronghold, and against every instinct she has, it’s not a path she can walk alone. Forced to team up with a crew of assorted miscreants, smugglers, and thieves, Ryia must plan her next moves very carefully. If she succeeds, her freedom is won once and for all…but unfortunately for Ryia, her new allies are nearly as selfish as she is, and they all have plans of their own.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Lee Mandelo

Summer Sons
Tordotcom, September 28, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
Lee Mandelo's debut Summer Sons is a sweltering, queer Southern Gothic that crosses Appalachian street racing with academic intrigue, all haunted by a hungry ghost.


Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom that hungers for him.

As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble.

And there is something awful lurking, waiting for those walls to fall.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Lincoln Michel

The Body Scout
Orbit, September 21, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
"I devoured it." —Jonathan Lethem

“Completely weird and still completely real. Delightful—I couldn't put it down."–Shea Serrano

In the future you can have any body you want—as long as you can afford it.

But in a New York ravaged by climate change and repeat pandemics, Kobo is barely scraping by. He scouts the latest in gene-edited talent for Big Pharma-owned baseball teams, but his own cybernetics are a decade out of date and twin sister loan sharks are banging down his door. Things couldn't get much worse.

Then his brother—Monsanto Mets slugger J.J. Zunz—is murdered at home plate.

Determined to find the killer, Kobo plunges into a world of genetically modified CEOs, philosophical Neanderthals, and back-alley body modification, only to quickly find he's in a game far bigger and more corrupt than he imagined. To keep himself together while the world is falling apart, he'll have to navigate a time where both body and soul are sold to the highest bidder.

Diamond-sharp and savagely wry, The Body Scout is a timely science fiction thriller debut set in an all-too-possible future.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Calder Szewczak

The Offset
Angry Robot Books, September 14, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 240 pages
On your eighteenth birthday, one of your parents must die. And you must be the one to decide. Who will you choose?

In a dying world, the Offset ceremony has been introduced to counteract and discourage procreation. It is a rule that is simultaneously accepted, celebrated and abhorred. But in this world, survival demands sacrifice so for every birth, there must be a death.

Professor Jac Boltanski is leading Project Salix, a ground-breaking new mission to save the world by replanting radioactive Greenland with genetically-modified willow trees. But things aren’t working out and there are discrepancies in the data. Has someone intervened to sabotage her life’s work?

In the meantime, her daughter Miri, an anti-natalist, has run away from home. Days before their Offset ceremony where one of her mothers must be sentenced to death, she is brought back against her will following a run-in with the law. Which parent will Miri pick to die: the one she loves, or the one she hates who is working to save the world?

File Under: Science Fiction [ Only One Leaves | The Choice is Yours | Last Hope | Counting Down ]
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo