New Installment for AceRocStars

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I was going to do another Waiting for Wednesday post, but yesterday I received a new batch of books from the wonderful people at Ace and Roc.  This batch is a little bit different from the first few mailings in two ways.  First, there was a slight variation in which books people received.  Second, several older novels were included, which were each the first in their respective series.  I received 9 books, 4 ARCs and 5 finished copies.

Finished:

A Kiss before the Apocalypse by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Anno: An angel who has chosen to renounce Heaven to live on Earth, Boston private detective Remy Chandler must put his unique talents to work–the ability to speak and understand any language and to hear others’ thoughts–when his angelic former colleagues enlist his assistance to help find a missing Angel of Death, and he uncovers a conspiracy aimed at destroying the entire human race.

Control Point by Myke Cole

Anno: Tasked to bring order to a chaotic world, Army officer Oscar Britton, a lieutenant attached to the military’s Supernatural Operations Corps, becomes public enemy number one when he manifests a rare and prohibited magical power.

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

Anno: The first book in a new trilogy describes what happens in Midnight, Texas, a dried-up, one traffic light town, when a mysterious new resident, Manfred Bernardo, moves in.

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan

Anno: Raised by the Brothers of the Sixth Order, Vaelin Al Sorna, a Warrior of the Faith, must battle the Empire and even his own father in the first book of a new, epic fantasy trilogy.

The Peripheral by William Gibson

Anno: Depending on her veteran brother’s benefits in a city where jobs outside the drug trade are rare, Flynne assists her brother’s latest beta-test tech assignment only to uncover an elaborate murder scheme.

ARCs/Galleys:

The Last Dream Keeper by Amber Benson

Anno: Only one witch is prophesied to be able to stop the encroaching darkness, and if Lyse and her blood sisters are to have any chance at protecting all we know from being lost forever, they must keep her safe—no matter what the cost.

Thunderbird by Jack McDevitt

Anno: When an ancient stargate is discovered near Devil’s Lake in North Dakota, the ensuing race to claim and explore the stargate triggers heated debates about humanity’s role in the galaxy.

Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel Jose Older

Anno: The incidents in the park have put Kia on edge. When she first met Carlos, he was the weird guy who came to Baba Eddie’s botánica, where she worked. But the closer they’ve gotten, the more she’s seeing the world from Carlos’s point of view. In fact, she’s starting to see ghosts.

Admiral by Sean Danker

Anno: He is the last to wake. The label on his sleeper pad identifies him as an admiral of the Evagardian Empire–a surprise as much to him as to the three recent recruits now under his command. He wears no uniform, and he is ignorant of military protocol, but the ship’s records confirm he is their superior officer. Whether he is an Evagardian admiral or a spy will be of little consequence if the crew members all end up dead. They are marooned on a strange world, their ship’s systems are failing one by one–and they are not alone.

I can’t wait to dig into this new material since most of these authors are new to me.  BUT, I love researching new books and authors, so bring it on!

All annotations taken from Baker & Taylor.

Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey (Agent of Hel #1)

Dark Currents (Agent of Hel, #1)

Finally finished this one! I was trying to read it before ARCHON (beg. of Oct.), where I had a chance to meet the author, but only made it five chapters in before the event. When the Kushiel series first came out, I was not a fan as the subject matter didn’t sit well with me in high school; however, I find myself wondering if now might be a good time to try again since I really enjoyed Dark Currents! Once I had time to just sit and read, this went really quick. I’m not sure I can say that this urban fantasy does anything particularly different or wonderful that other authors haven’t already done, but I did enjoy the story. And the characters were a lot of fun 🙂 I look forward to reading the rest of the series, and maybe it will get better as it ages. Here’s what you need to know!

Pros:
Loved the pop culture references and didn’t hate their in-text explanations (i.e. Last Unicorn, Twilight)
World building made sense and was well thought-out
Easy to read writing style
Inclusion of various mythologies (Norse, Christian, Russian, etc.)
Strong character building for female characters
Only minor romantic tidbits

Cons:
Almost all the men mentioned were “hot” or attractive
Most of the women were as well
Mystery element was a bit weak

Overall, this is a fun, fluffy read (although the subject of rape does come up), and I found myself enjoying the story. I think my favorite bits would have to include the lamia/horror starlet, the portrayal of ghouls, and the pop culture references. Maybe not a series for everyone, but definitely give it a try.

Ad: Additional reading (There’s something better out there.)

Give it Time (It’ll grow on you.)

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload—not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres, and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess.

To Daisy Johanssen, fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it’s home. And as Hel’s enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, it’s up to her to ensure relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly.

But when a young man from a nearby college drowns—and signs point to eldritch involvement—the town’s booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime—and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she’s ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.  (From Amazon.com)

Links to the rest of the series (no reviews at this time)

Book 2: Autumn Bones

Book 3: Poison Fruit

Waiting for Wednesday

I’ve seen many other blogs posting about books they are excited for on Wednesdays, so I thought I’d add two more titles that I’m really excited for.

The first comes out in November, but I’ve already pre-ordered a UK paperback copy through Book Depository (I try to keep series in the same format and I own *signed* paperbacks of Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress).

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

Book 4 in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: Winter!!  One of the most anticipated books of the year, and I’m one of those anticipating, or course 🙂

About the book: Princess Winter is admired for her grace, kindness and beauty, despite the scars on her face. She’s said to be even more breath-taking than her stepmother, Queen Levana…When Winter develops feelings for the handsome palace guard, Jacin, she fears the evil Queen will crush their romance before it has a chance to begin. But there are stirrings against the Queen across the land. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even find the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long. Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter claim their happily ever afters by defeating Levana once and for all?

For something a little more recent with ties to my TBR pile, I’m excited for the sequel to The Diabolical Miss Hyde, which is called The Devious Dr. Jekyll by Viola Carr.

While I have yet to read the first one, this series has me really excited to see a female protagonist with a demure, lady-like side and a sexy, aggressive side.  I’m looking forward to awesomeness and hope that I am rewarded.

About The Diabolical Miss Hyde:

In an electrified Victorian London, Dr. Eliza Jekyll is a crime scene investigator, hunting killers with newfangled technological gadgets. She will need every advantage available to catch a terrifying new psychopath splattering London with blood. Hidden in the grimy shadows, the fiendish murderer preys on beautiful women, drugging them before slicing off their limbs. Finding the “Slicer” can make Eliza’s career, or unmask her darkest secret. Like her father, she has a hidden second self that emerges when she drinks his forbidden magical elixir. Just a few sips, and a seductive and impulsive Lizzie Hyde is unleashed.

The members of the Royal Society do not trust Eliza, and they send their enforcer, the mercurial Captain Lafayette, to prove she’s a dangerous sorceress. The careful doctor knows that one wrong step can make her prey to the clever Lafayette, a man who harbors an evil curse of his own. No matter how much she craves the elixir, she must resist.

But as the Slicer case draws her into London’s luminous magical underworld, Eliza will need the potion’s power to help her–even if it might attract the attentions of Lafayette.

Even if it means setting the wild Lizzie free. . .

What are you looking forward to reading in the coming months?

ARCHON StL Author Signings!

This past weekend I attended ARCHON 39 in Collinsville, IL with a group of friends.  We’ve been attending this convention for several years now, and it’s always exciting to see the guests of honor and meet new (potentially favorite) authors, artists, and filk musicians.

Recently, I’ve been collecting author signatures for my book collection (SASEs for signed bookplates and whatnot) and compiling the fun extras all together in one book for safe keeping/showing off.  Maybe I’ll do a series of posts about those signatures and the stories of how I collected them, but for now, I want to share my ARCHON scores.

IMG_2085This year’s Author Guest of Honor was Jacqueline Carey.  I met her for the first time back in January at ALA Midwinter in Chicago, but she had several panels at ARCHON, which were very informative.  I also didn’t have to compete for a seat or wait in line very long at her signing.  I have to confess, when I first tried to read the Kushiel series, I was put off, but I think I might like it better if I wait a little longer to try again.  In the mean time, Agents of Hel started off nicely.  And, I look forward to reading more of Carey’s urban fantasy.

IMG_2087Rachel Neumeier is a local author that participates on multiple panels yearly, so I’ve actually met her before.  This year we had a great conversation about writer’s block, perfectionism, and getting words onto the page, which made me want to get started on writing again!

IMG_2083Glen Cook is an unknown author to me, but is actually a very prolific writer.  He’s probably best known for his Black Company series, and I now own the first three books in omnibus form.

IMG_2084So, I’ve been really excited for The Dinosaur Lords for several months, but due to budget and time constraints have not had a chance to read it yet.  Earlier last week, I had an AHA! moment when planning my ARCHON schedule.  The Masquerade MC is always the same person, and that person is VICTOR MILAN, author of The Dinosaur Lords.  Took me long enough…  Anyway, he’s pretty awesome and liked that I brought bookplates for signing since I couldn’t afford the book right now.

IMG_2086This last group of signatures are not book related.  These are S.J. Tucker, BetsyTinney, and Alexander James Adams from the filk group Tricky Pixie.  This was my first time hearing any of their music, and I fell in love with the lyrical songs and the group’s energy.  You could tell they were excited to be there and to play for us.  I believe you can stream music on their website before you buy anything, and it’s definitely worth listening to!

Overall, I had a great time meeting new authors and musicians as well as catching up with area friends.  I can’t wait for next year’s convention!!

P.S. One of the booksellers had signed books tucked in amongst her regular stock, and I picked up a signed copy of Mike Shepherd’s Target.