I’ve been keeping a record of which books are coming out when. Not only does it help me get organised as to what would be better to read when (if I have a review copy) or what I’m expecting if I’ve preordered it (though I tend to order ebook/paperbacks). It’s also interesting to see what’s getting released at the same.
So with that in mind here a selected few from the books that are coming out this week either for the first time or now as paperbacks:
The Curve of the Earth by Simon Morden
WELCOME TO THE METROZONE
Post-apocalyptic London, full of street gangs and homeless refugees. A dangerous city needs an equally dangerous saviour.
Step forward Samuil Petrovitch, a genius with extensive cybernetic replacements, a built-in AI with god-like capabilities and a full armoury of Russian swear words. He’s dragged the city back from the brink more than once – and made a few enemies on the way.
So when his adopted daughter Lucy goes missing in Alaska, he has some clue who’s responsible and why. It never occurs to him that guessing wrong could tip the delicate balance of nuclear-armed nations. This time it’s not just a city that needs saving: it’s the whole world.
I started the first book of this series (this is book 4) when it first came out to sample Simon’s writing but sadly it got pushed aside for other things. So when Orbit but out the first trilogy as an omnibus ebook earlier month (The Petrovitch Trilogy) I thought it was a good chance to catch up especially as Pornokitsch are such fans. Equations of Life is zipping along. I really have no clue what’s happening but it’s got that pulp thriller feel that’s dragging me along and it’s glorious for that.
Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins
A thousand miles east of Mirgorod, the great capital city of the Vlast, deep in the ancient forest, lies the most recent fallen angel, its vast stone form half-buried and fused into the rock by the violence of impact. As its dark energy leeches into the crash site, so a circle of death expands around it, slowly – inexorably – killing everything it touches. Alone in the wilderness, it reaches out with its mind.
The endless forest and its antique folklore are no concern to Inspector Vissarion Lom, summoned to the capital in order to catch a terrorist – and ordered to report directly to the head of the secret police. A totalitarian state, worn down by an endless war, must be seen to crush home-grown terrorism with an iron fist. But Lom discovers Mirgorod to be more corrupted than he imagined: a murky world of secret police and revolutionaries, cabaret clubs and doomed artists. Lom has been chosen because he is an outsider, not involved in the struggle for power within the party. And because of the sliver of angel stone implanted in his head at the children’s home.
Lom’s investigation reveals a conspiracy that extends to the top echelons of the party. When he exposes who – or rather what – is the controlling intelligence behind this, it is time for the detective to change sides. Pursued by rogue police agents and their man-crushing mudjhik, Lom must protect Kantor’s step-daughter Maroussia, who has discovered what is hidden beneath police headquarters: a secret so ancient that only the forest remembers. As they try to escape the capital and flee down river, elemental forces are gathering. The earth itself is on the move.
This is one of those early review buzz novels. I’m not sure the blurb does it justice but a sample review:
“Peter Higgins does two things amazingly well. The first is turn a phrase: his imagery is studied, vivid, measured, striking: at times gorgeous, at times repellent, but never less than apt. The second is tone: there is a fantastically melancholic-yet-oppressive air about the scenes in Mirgorod, a combination of claustrophobia and instability accentuated by Higgins’ facility with the numinous—and he brings the numinous to the fore.”
To be honest I’d be reading it now if I wasn’t reading this instead:
The City of Silk and Steel by Mike Carey, Linda Carey & Louise Carey
Once, in a city known as Bessa, there was a sultan named Bokhari Al-Bokhari, who was thrown down by the zealots of the ascetic Hakkim Mehdad. The sultan, his wives and children were put to the sword, while his 365 concubines were sent to a neighbouring caliph as tribute, Hakkim having no use for the pleasures of the flesh.
But a day after the caravan had departed from Bessa, Hakkim discovered the terrible secret that the concubines had hidden from him.His reaction was swift and cruel.
Kill the women of the harem forthwith, along with their children and maidservants. Let not one survive. Their bodies let the desert claim, and their names be fed to silence.
This, then, is the tale – or tales – of how a remarkable group of women fight together to survive both the fury of Hakkim and the rigours of the desert. It is the tale of Zuleika, whose hidden past holds the key to their future, and of Rem, the librarian whose tears are ink. Of the wise Gursoon, who defines the group’s conscience, and of the silver-tongued thief, Anwar Das, who knows when to ignore that conscience.
This is the tale of the forging of a rabble of concubines, children, camel-herds and thieves into an army of silk and steel. It is the tale of the redemption and rise of Bessa, fabled City of Women. And it is the tale of an act of kindness that carries the seed of death, and will return to bring darkness and the end of a dream . . .
I’ve not finished it yet but I’m enchanted. The way it’s told with stories within stories weaving together like a tapestry. The female character are so varied and full of strength and it’s nice to see a story told from that angle. There are so many enjoyable things.
I’ve also nabbed an interview will all three authors, which is going live on Thursday.
That’s it for this week. Anything I’ve missed?