Monday, December 19, 2011

Book Haul - The Thirteen Hallows, Eden

Eden (Kindle) by Tony Monchinski (Gallery) - This looks like a really cool zombie book. I will definitely be reading it.
Seemingly overnight the world transforms into a barren wasteland ravaged by plague and overrun by hordes of flesh-eating zombies. A small band of desperate men and women stand their ground in a fortified compound in what had been Queens, New York. They've named their sanctuary Eden.

Harris--the unusual honest man in this dead world--races against time to solve a murder while maintaining his own humanity. Because the danger posed by the dead and diseased mass clawing at Eden's walls pales in comparison to the deceit and treachery Harris faces within.

The Thirteen Hallows (Kindle) by Michael Scott and Colette Freedman (Tor) - Michael Scott is the author of the Secrets of the Immortal Nickolas Flamel series (beginning with The Alchemyst) and I really love the cover. Those are the two things I'm going off.
The Hallows. Ancient artifacts imbued with a primal and deadly power. But are they protectors of this world, or the keys to its destruction?

A gruesome murder in London reveals a sinister plot to uncover a two-thousand-year-old secret.

For decades, the Keepers guarded these Hallows, keeping them safe and hidden and apart from each other. But now the Keepers are being brutally murdered, their prizes stolen, the ancient objects bathed in their blood. Now, only a few remain.

With her dying breath, one of the Keepers convinces Sarah Miller, a practical stranger, to deliver her Hallow—a broken sword with devastating powers—to her American nephew, Owen.
The duo quickly become suspects in a series of murders as they are chased by both the police and the sadistic Dark Man and his nubile mistress.

As Sarah and Owen search for the surviving Keepers, they unravel the deadly secret the Keepers were charged to protect. The mystery leads Sarah and Owen on a cat-and-mouse chase through England and Wales, and history itself, as they discover that the sword may be the only thing standing between the world… nd a horror beyond imagining.

The Thirteen Hallows is the beginning of a spellbinding new saga, a thrilling tale of ancient magic and modern times by a New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning playwright.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Haul - M.L.N. Hanover

Thanks to Pocket Books (Simon and Schuster) for this haul, which I'm really looking forward to.

Unclean Spirits by M.L.N. Hanover - I love Daniel Abraham aka M.L.N. Hanover aka (half of) James S.A. Corey and when the UF mood strikes me, I'm all over these.
In a world where magic walks and demons ride, you can't always play by the rules.

Jayné Heller thinks of herself as a realist, until she discovers reality isn't quite what she thought it was. When her uncle Eric is murdered, Jayné travels to Denver to settle his estate, only to learn that it's all hers -- and vaster than she ever imagined. And along with properties across the world and an inexhaustible fortune, Eric left her a legacy of a different kind: his unfinished business with a cabal of wizards known as the Invisible College.

Led by the ruthless Randolph Coin, the Invisible College harnesses demon spirits for their own ends of power and domination. Jayné finds it difficult to believe magic and demons can even exist, let alone be responsible for the death of her uncle. But Coin sees Eric's heir as a threat to be eliminated by any means -- magical or mundane -- so Jayné had better start believing in something to save her own life.

Aided in her mission by a group of unlikely companions -- Aubrey, Eric's devastatingly attractive assistant; Ex, a former Jesuit with a lethal agenda; Midian, a two-hundred-year-old man who claims to be under a curse from Randolph Coin himself; and Chogyi Jake, a self-styled Buddhist with mystical abilities -- Jayné finds that her new reality is not only unexpected, but often unexplainable. And if she hopes to survive, she'll have to learn the new rules fast -- or break them completely....

Darker Angels by M.L.N. Hanover
Jayné Heller must enter the world of voodoo in order to take on a body-switching serial killer in this sequel to Unclean Spirits.

Vicious Grace by M.L.N. Hanover

When you’re staring evil in the eye, don’t forget to watch your back . . .

For the first time in forever, Jayné Heller’s life is making sense. Even if she routinely risks her life to destroy demonic parasites that prey on mortals, she now has friends, colleagues, a trusted lover, and newfound confidence in the mission she inherited from her wealthy, mysterious uncle. Her next job might just rob her of all of them. At Grace Memorial Hospital in Chicago, something is stirring. Patients are going AWOL and research subjects share the same sinister dreams. Half a century ago, something was buried under Grace in a terrible ritual, and it’s straining to be free. Jayné is primed to take on whatever’s about to be let loose. Yet the greatest danger now may not be the huge, unseen force lurking below, but the evil that has been hiding in plain sight all along—taking her ever closer to losing her body, her mind, and her soul. . . .

Killing Rites by M.L.N. Hanover
Jayné Heller has discovered the source of her uncanny powers; something else is living inside her body. She's possessed. Of all her companions, she can only bring herself to confide in Ex, the former priest. They seek help from his old teacher and the circle of friends he left behind, hoping to cleanse Jayné before the parasite in her becomes too powerful.

Ex's history and a new enemy combine to leave Jayné alone and on the run. Her friends, thinking that the rider with her has taken the reins, try to hunt her down, unaware of the danger they're putting her in. Jayné must defeat the weight of the past and the murderous intent of another rider, and her only allies are a rogue vampire she once helped free and the nameless thing hiding inside her skin.

Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions by David Mack - Haven't read the book to which this is the follow-up so odds are low... Cool Picard pic though.

In this follow-up by bestselling author David Mack, the Terran rebellion erupts into a full-scale revolution, toppling the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance and ushering in a new era for the Mirror Universe.

In this alternate Star Trek universe, Miles O’Brien struggles to hold together his fragile band of rebels in the fight against the overwhelming forces of the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. The standoff provokes increasingly frequent and violent clashes of wills between Regent Martok of the Klingon Empire and Legate Dukat, leader of the Cardassian Union. Meanwhile, Dukat plans a secret invasion of Terok Nor as a means of gaining the political upper hand within the Alliance.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Book Haul - From Australia

This Book Haul is courtesy of the great ChrisW of sffmania fame among others. I won this from his site (linked above), which you should really visit because it's awesome...and not because he just paid me off. :)

Writer of the Future - Runsible Tales by Neal Asher - This is a chapbook that looks great. I've been meaning to read some Asher but only own Gridlinked, but besides reading the back

Postscripts by Multiple Authors - This even has signatures from authors such as Peter F. Hamilton and more. Very cool.

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson - This is the UK edition, the edition with some of the best artwork, although the new ones are looking pretty good too. If you haven't already, I'd recommend taking the plunge into the Malazan Book of the Fallen. It's one of my all-time favorite series ever of always anytime. :)
The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen's rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand . . .

Conceived and written on a panoramic scale, Gardens of the Moon is epic fantasy of the highest order--an enthralling adventure by an outstanding new voice.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Book Haul - Prince of Thorns, The Dragon's Path, and More

I got a nice little haul this week, mostly Amazon purchases, and an ARC.

A Different Kingdom by Paul Kearney - The author considers this his best work, I've loved everything I've read, so I had to own this one.
A lyrical fantasy of Ireland's past and present, by the author of "The Way to Babylon". In a remote rural part of Northern Ireland, a small boy's enchanted life changes for ever when a chance fall on a riverbank opens up another world in which sword-bearing warriors do battle with beasts of legend.

The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer - This is sadly my first Night Shade Books book, but looks really good. Can't wait to jump in. (This one's the ARC)

Dev is a smuggler with the perfect cover. He''s in high demand as a guide for the caravans that carry legitimate goods from the city of Ninavel into the country of Alathia. The route through the Whitefire Mountains is treacherous, and Dev is one of the few climbers who knows how to cross them safely. With his skill and connections, it''s easy enough to slip contraband charms from Ninavel - where any magic is fair game, no matter how dark - into Alathia, where most magic is outlawed.

But smuggling a few charms is one thing; smuggling a person through the warded Alathian border is near suicidal. Having made a promise to a dying friend, Dev is forced to take on a singularly dangerous cargo: Kiran. A young apprentice on the run from one of the most powerful mages in Ninavel, Kiran is desperate enough to pay a fortune to sneak into a country where discovery means certain execution - and he''ll do whatever it takes to prevent Dev from finding out the terrible truth behind his getaway.

Yet the young mage is not the only one harboring a deadly secret. Caught up in a web of subterfuge and dark magic, Dev and Kiran must find a way to trust each other - or face not only their own destruction, but that of the entire city of Ninavel.

The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham - Abraham is a must buy for me, he can do no wrong in my book.
Summer is the season of war in the Free Cities.

Marcus wants to get out before the fighting starts. His hero days are behind him and simple caravan duty is better than getting pressed into service by the local gentry. Even a small war can get you killed. But a captain needs men to lead -- and his have been summarily arrested and recruited for their swords.

Cithrin has a job to do -- move the wealth of a nation across a war zone. An orphan raised by the bank, she is their last hope of keeping the bank's wealth out of the hands of the invaders. But she's just a girl and knows little of caravans, war, and danger. She knows money and she knows secrets, but will that be enough to save her i
n the coming months?

Geder, the only son of a noble house is more interested in philosophy than
swordplay. He is a poor excuse for a soldier and little more than a pawn in these games of war. But not even he knows what he will become of the fires of battle. Hero or villain? Small men have achieved greater things and Geder is no small man.

Falling pebbles can start a landslide. What should have been a small summer spat between gentlemen is spiraling out of control. Dark forces are at work, fanning the flames that will sweep the entire region onto The Dragon's Path -- the path of war.

Dawn of War by Tim Marquitz - Tim is another must buy for me. He just gets me. :)
For hundreds of years, the bestial Grol have clawed at the walls of Lathah without success. Now armed with O'hra, mystical weapons of great power, they have returned, to conquer.

Witness to the Grol advance, Arrin can abide his exile no longer. He returns to Lathah, in defiance of death, with hopes to save his beloved princess and the child born of their illicit affair. He finds her unwilling to abandon her people. At her behest, Arrin searches for a sanctuary for them only to be confronted by the Sha'ree, a powerful race long thought gone from the world. Through them, he learns it is not just the Grol that threaten the land.

Empowered by a magic never before seen, the savage nations spread chaos and ruin across the realm. With Lathah under siege, and the world on the brink of cataclysmic war, Arrin must strike a deal with the Sha'ree to take the fight to the Grol, or forever
lose his one true love: his family.

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence - I can't wait to jump into this one, I see this going really well.
"Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother's tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All that's true enough, but there's something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse."

Once a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg's bleak past has set him beyond fear of any man, living or dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father's castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him.

Prince of Thorns is the first volume in a powerful new epic fantasy trilogy, original, absorbing and challenging. Mark Lawrence’s debut novel tells a tale of blood and treachery, magic and brotherhood and paints a compelling and brutal, sometimes beautiful, picture of an exceptional boy on his journey toward manhood and the throne.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Book Haul

Some biggies this week. I want to read everything, but there's just this little problem, I don't have enough ... places to talk about them. Did you think I was going for something else? :)

Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole (Ace) - Peter V. Brett's blurb calling this Black Hawk Down meets the X-Men has me über excited to read this.
For a mil­len­nium, magic has been Latent in the world. Now, with the Great Reawak­en­ing, peo­ple are “com­ing up Latent,” man­i­fest­ing dan­ger­ous mag­i­cal abil­i­ties they often can­not con­trol. In response, the mil­i­tary estab­lishes the Super­nat­ural Oper­a­tions Corps (SOC), a deadly band of sor­cer­ers ded­i­cated to hunt­ing down “Self­ers” who use magic out­side gov­ern­ment con­trol. When army offi­cer Oscar Brit­ton comes up Latent with a rare and pro­hib­ited power, his life turns upside down. Trans­formed overnight from gov­ern­ment agent to pub­lic enemy num­ber one, his attempt to stay alive and evade his for­mer friends dri­ves him into a shadow world he never knew lurked just below the sur­face of the one he’s always lived in. He’s about to learn that magic has changed all the rules he’s ever known, and that his life isn’t the only thing he’s fight­ing for.

Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist (Thomas Dunne) - From the author of Let the Right One in, I'm excited to read my first book by said author.
“John Ajvide Lindqvist is rightly seen as one of the most exciting writers working in the horror genre at the moment – a rival, indeed, to Stephen King.”

From the author of the international and New York Times bestseller Let the Right One In (Let Me In) comes this stunning and terrifying book which begins when a man's six-year-old daughter vanishes.One ordinary winter afternoon on a snowy island, Anders and Cecilia take their six-year-old daughter Maja across the ice to visit the lighthouse in the middle of the frozen channel. While the couple explore the lighthouse, Maja disappears -- either into thin air or under thin ice -- leaving not even a footprint in the snow. Two years later, alone and more or less permanently drunk, Anders returns to the island to regroup. He slowly realises that people are not telling him all they know; even his own mother, it seems, is keeping secrets. What is happening in Domaro, and what power does the sea have over the town's inhabitants?

As he did with Let the Right One In and Handling the Undead, John Ajvide Lindqvist serves up a blockbuster cocktail of suspense in a narrative that barely pauses for breath.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday) - This is actually something I won. Haven't done that in a while. I really don't know what to think about this one though, the reviews have been up and down.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Legends of the Dragonrealm (Vol. III) by Richard A. Knaak (Gallery) - I really love the cover for this and all the blurbs, especially the one from R.A. Salvatore, have me looking for Vol. I.
The epic fantasy series Legends of the Dragonrealm continues in this omnibus edition by New York Times bestselling author Richard A. Knaak...including three bonus novellas in print for the first time!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Haul

Star Trek: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm by Michael A. Martin - Quite the title. Gotta be a record or something right? I will read a Star Trek novel, is 2012 the year?

The Coalition of Planets has shattered, with Vulcan, Andor, and Tellar abrogating the treaty. Their pledge to come to the mutual defense of any power that is attacked has been shunted aside. Horrified by how easily the Romulans can seize control of their advanced starships, turning them into weapons, Andor and Tellar have joined Vulcan on the sidelines. Humanity is now the only thing that stands between the Romulan Star Empire and total domination of the galaxy.

To drive humans from the stars, the Romulans employ ruthless and murderous tactics . . . and even dare to strike on the Vulcan homeworld with the hopes of demoralizing their Vulcan brethren. Heartened by their victories, the Romulans carry their all-out war assault closer to the heart of humanity—Earth.

But the tattered remains of Starfleet stand unwavering, with the resolution that never again would any enemy strike ever reach Earth. On the front lines of the Earth- Romulan War is the United Earth flagship, the Starship Enterprise. Her captain, Jonathan Archer, has seen his vessel of exploration become a battleship. Once hailed for his work bringing the Coalition of Planets into existence, Archer is now a pariah. Undaunted, the captain keeps fighting, searching for allies and determined to do his duty: to save Earth and forge a new federation of planets.

CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh - I've missed these characters and I'm excited to get back into this series. Comes out Feb. 28, 2012.
CassaStar was only the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren's civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan's technology and strange mental abilities.

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves, the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

Blackdog by K.V. Johansen - I had to request this book immediately after reading this review at LEC Book Reviews.
Long ago, in the days of the first kings in the north, there were seven devils...
And long ago, in the days of the first kings in the north, the seven devils,
who had deceived and possessed seven of the greatest wizards of the world,
were defeated and bound with the help of the Old Great Gods...
And perhaps some of the devils are free in the world,
and perhaps some are working to free themselves still...

In a land where gods walk on the hills and goddesses rise from river, lake, and spring, the caravan-guard Holla-Sayan, escaping the bloody conquest of a lakeside town, stops to help an abandoned child and a dying dog. The girl, though, is the incarnation of Attalissa, goddess of Lissavakail, and the dog a shape-changing guardian spirit whose origins have been forgotten. Possessed and nearly driven mad by the Blackdog, Holla-Sayan flees to the desert road, taking the powerless avatar with him.

Necromancy, treachery, massacres, rebellions, and gods dead or lost or mad, follow hard on the their heels. But it is Attalissa herself who may be the Blackdog's—and Holla-Sayan's—doom.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What I'm Reading Sept. 22 - Oct. 4

I jumped back into a couple series and I'm getting really far behind on my reviews.


Dust of Dreams (Malazan 9) by Steven Erikson - 250 out of 889. Still plugging along and it's awesome. That first 100 or so pages was amazing and now we're back to the set-up phase, still good though.

Summer Knight (Dresden Files 4) by Jim Butcher - 100 out of 371. Picked this up randomly and suddenly I was 100 pages in. It's been a while since I read Grave Peril, but, and this is part of the reason I started taking longer breaks between Dresden books, it fills in all the details (and I mean all) as you go.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Zombies by Matt Mogk - 80 out of 288. No progress. I'm letting this one sit for a bit. Good, but only in pieces, plus I'm trying to catch up on my goals.


Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card - 3 out of 11 CD's. Suddenly I'm reading tons of OSC, I don't know where this came from.

For Review:
Laddertop #1 by OSC and Emily Janice Card, Illustrated by Honoel A. Ibardolaza (manga)

Heaven's Needle by Liane Merciel - This was a great sequel that was even better than the first.

Low Town by Daniel Polansky - Been sitting on this to post, waiting to get closer to a possible interview.

The Prestige by Christopher Priest - Different enough from the movie to make it worth the read.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Haul

I got a few this week from Gallery and one courtesy of Tor. I can't keep up (what a terrible problem to have I know) and they all look awesome.

Laddertop by Orson Scott Card and Emily Janice Card, Illustrated by Honoel A. Ibardolaza - I've only read a couple manga novels (One Piece) and loved every one. It's fun and fast and I hope this lives up to my expectations.

Twenty-five years ago, the alien Givers came to Earth. They gave the human race the greatest technology ever seen— four giant towers known as Ladders that rise 36,000 miles into space and culminate in space stations that power the entire planet. Then, for reasons unknown, the Givers disappeared. Due to the unique alien construction of the Laddertop space stations, only a skilled crew of children can perform the maintenance necessary to keep the stations up and running.

Back on Earth, competition is fierce to enter Laddertop Academy. It is an honor few students will achieve. Robbi and Azure, two eleven-year-old girls who are the best of friends, are candidates for the Academy. They will become entangled in a dangerous mystery that may help them solve the riddle of the Givers...if it doesn’t destroy the Earth first!

Thawed Out & Fed Up by Ryan Brown - Can't say I've heard of Brown before, but this seems pretty interesting.

Sam Bonham—bad husband, deadbeat dad, and possible criminal on the run from the law—wanders out of modern-day East Texas into an ersatz Wild West boomtown created for a movie that never happened. And when Sam strikes a blow against the gangsters who’ve been terrorizing the town, the locals look to him to save them. He’s no hero, but he’s stumbled upon someone who is: John Wayne. But the John Wayne of this story is not the stalwart lawman of Hollywood films—he’s a seventy-two-year-old man who had himself cryogenically frozen. He’s weak, bald, frail…and unrecognizable to everyone but Sam.

In The Duke’s “defrosted” state, he’s not entirely himself. In fact, he believes he’s actually Ethan Edwards, the character he played in The Searchers, one of Wayne’s most beloved films. Ethan or Duke or Marion Morrison, at his side Sam learns how to be a man, and a hero—and a pretty good shot! As he takes on the Old West gang of thugs, he finds that he might have become a family man at last. But back in the real world, someone has his eye on Sam’s wife, and if Sam doesn’t get back soon, the results could be devastating.

Day by Day Armageddon: Origin to Exile by J. L. Bourne - This is an omnibus of the first two books in the Day by Day Armageddon series. This is supposed to be similar to Max Brooks' World War Z, which I also need to read. :)
Armies of undead have risen up across the U.S. and around the globe;there is no safe haven from the diseased corpses hungering for human flesh. But in the heat of a Texas wasteland, a small band of survivors attempt to counter the millions closing in around them.



Day by day, the handwritten journal entries of one man caught in a worldwide cataclysm capture

the desperation—and the will to survive—as he joins forces with a handful of refugees to battle

soulless enemies both human and inhuman from inside an abandoned strategic missile facility.

But in the world of the undead, is mere survival enough?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What I'm Reading - September 7-21

I've really gotta stop this business, but I can't help starting multiple books at one time. There's just too much good stuff I guess.

Reading Progress:

Heaven's Needle (Ithelas 2) by Liane Merciel - 250 out of 473. Wow, I'm loving this book.

Dust of Dreams (Malazan 9) by Steven Erikson - 100 out of 888. It's been far too long since I've read a Malazan novel and it's good to be back. At this rate I might actually be done before Erikson's new Malazan series starts next year.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Zombies
by Matt Mogk - 80 out of 288. I couldn't resist starting this one. It's got seriously everything about zombies from Romero to Max Brooks, but it's almost too much. This cover's really cool though.


The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card - 6 out of 10 CDs. It's hard to tell at this point. I've enjoyed what I've read and no matter how controversial card has been, I think we can all agree he's a great writer.

Finished/Review in Progress:

Low Town by Daniel Polansky
The Shadow Rising (WoT 4) by Robert Jordan
The Fires of Heaven (WoT 5) by Robert Jordan - These are just hard to review for me especially on audiobook. I loved them, but something this big on audiobook kind of just runs together.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Haul

Star Trek: A Choice of Catastrophes by Michael Schuster and Steve Mollmann- Never read a Star Trek novel before, maybe this will be the first...
The U.S.S. Enterprise, under the command of Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, is returning from a mission to deliver medical supplies to Deep Space Station C-15, one of Starfleet’s most distant installations. All is routine until the Enterprise comes within a light-year of the planet Mu Arigulon, when the ship is suddenly thrown from warp and suffers a momentary power cut, having run aground on a spatial distortion not revealed in previous scans of the system. When the pride of Starfleet hits another, much worse distortion, Dr. Leonard McCoy has his hands full caring for officers who have suddenly fallen into comas for no apparent reason. The Enterprise medical team soon discovers that the dying officers are espers—humans with a rare and abnormal level of telepathic and psychic ability. With no choice but to link to the officers’ minds in order to come to their aid, McCoy is plunged into a nightmarish dream-world . . . with the end result being nothing short of the possible destruction of the Enterprise and all aboard her. . . .

Star Trek: Vanguard: What Judgments Come by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore - ...or maybe this one.
Operation Vanguard has risked countless lives and sacrificed entire worlds to unlock the secrets of the Shedai, an extinct alien civilization whose technology can shape the future of the galaxy. Now, Starfleet’s efforts have roused the vengeful Shedai from their aeons of slumber. As the Taurus Reach erupts with violence, hundreds of light-years away, on “The Planet of Galactic Peace,” Ambassador Jetanien and his counterparts from the Klingon and Romulan empires struggle to avert war by any means necessary. But Jetanien discovers their mission may have been designed to fail all along . . . Meanwhile, living in exile on an Orion ship is the one man who can help Starfleet find an ancient weapon that can stop the Shedai: Vanguard’s former commanding officer, Diego Reyes.


StarCraft: Spectres (StarCraft Ghost Series) by Nate Kenyon - This sounds cool, I'm always a fan of elite groups of space dudes doing awesome stuff. :)
On the release of the electrifying StarCraft II, Nova--the elite stealth operative of the Terran Dominion's Ghost Program--returns in a new adventure.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Header

Thanks to the amazing Shellie at Layers of Thought, I have an awesome new header that actually contains STAMPS! How cool is that?

Shellie has some of the best headers I've ever seen, and right now she's got a great one for the Halloween season. As you can see, I'm pretty lucky to have her on my side. :)

So, what do you think?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Haul

Some Amazon purchases, some review copies. One is something I ordered for a certain challenge I may have mentioned not too long ago. It will be epic. Can you guess which one?

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks - I've been waiting on this for far too long. I wanted to read it when it first came out, but it kept moving back on the stack. Now I'll have something to get ready for next year's release of the sequel, The Blinding Knife.
Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals.

But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

Monster Hunter International
by Larry Correia - I've heard tons of great things about this author and I can't wait to learn a bunch about guns I guess.
Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a fourteenth story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer.

It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Officially secret, some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. On the other side are the people who kill monsters for a living. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

It’s actually a pretty sweet gig, except for one little problem. An ancient entity known as the Cursed One has returned to settle a centuries old vendetta. Should the Cursed One succeed, it means the end of the world, and MHI is the only thing standing in his way. With the clock ticking towards Armageddon, Owen finds himself trapped between legions of undead minions, belligerent federal agents, a cryptic ghost who has taken up residence inside his head, and the cursed family of the woman he loves.

Business is good... Welcome to Monster Hunter International.

The Golden Queen by Dave Wolverton - This has been a popular one, but not necessarily for the content.
The insectoid Dronon invaders have slain Semaritte, ruler of 10,000 human worlds. Only her clone, Everynne, survives to rally the forces of humanity. Pursued across a multiplicity of worlds, she enlists the aid of Gallen O'Day, a cocky young bodyguard from a backwater planet, along with the beautiful orphan Maggie Flynn and Orick, an intelligent black bear.

Howl's Moving Caste by Diana Wynne Jones - This is one of those where I didn't become interested in the author until I heard about her passing. It saddens me when that happens, but I'm happy to be able to enjoy her work.

In the land of Ingary, such things as spells, invisible cloaks, and seven-league boots were everyday things. The Witch of the Waste was another matter.

After fifty years of quiet, it was rumored that the Witch was about to terrorize the country again. So when a moving black castle, blowing dark smoke from its four thin turrets, appeared on the horizon, everyone thought it was the Witch. The castle, however, belonged to Wizard Howl, who, it was said, liked to suck the souls of young girls.

The Hatter sisters--Sophie, Lettie, and Martha--and all the other girls were warned not to venture into the streets alone. But that was only the beginning.

In this giant jigsaw puzzle of a fantasy, people and things are never quite what they seem. Destinies are intertwined, identities exchanged, lovers confused. The Witch has placed a spell on Howl. Does the clue to breaking it lie in a famous poem? And what will happen to Sophie Hatter when she enters Howl's castle?

Diana Wynne Jones's entrancing fantasy is filled with surprises at every turn, but when the final stormy duel between the Witch and the Wizard is finished, all the pieces fall magically into place.

Mr. Monster by Dan Wells - This might be next up in the stack. Can't wait to get back to John Cleaver.
I killed a demon. I don’t know if it was really, technically a demon, but I do know that he was some kind of monster, with fangs and claws and the whole bit, and he killed a lot of people. So I killed him. I think it was the right thing to do. At least the killing stopped.

Well, it stopped for a while.

In I Am Not a Serial Killer, John Wayne Cleaver saved his town from a murderer even more appalling than the serial killers he obsessively studies. But it turns out even demons have friends, and the disappearance of one has brought another to Clayton County. Soon there are new victims for John to work on at the mortuary and a new mystery to solve. But John has tasted death, and the dark nature he used as a weapon---the terrifying persona he calls "Mr. Monster"---might now be using him.

No one in Clayton is safe unless John can vanquish two nightmarish adversaries: the unknown demon he must hunt and the inner demon he can never escape.

In this sequel to his brilliant debut, Dan Wells ups the ante with a thriller that is just as gripping and even more intense. He apologizes in advance for the nightmares.

I Don't Want To Kill You (Autographed) by Dan Wells - Supposed to be a great ending to the trilogy, can't wait.
John Cleaver has called a demon—literally called it, on the phone, and challenged it to a fight. He’s faced two of the monsters already, barely escaping with his life, and now he’s done running; he’s taking the fight to them. But as he wades through his town’s darkest secrets, searching for any sign of who the demon might be, one thing becomes all too clear: in a game of cat and mouse with a supernatural killer, the human is always the mouse.

In I Am Not a Serial Killer we watched a budding sociopath break every rule he had to save his town from evil. In Mr. Monster we held our breath as he fought madly with himself, struggling to stay in control. Now John Cleaver has mastered his twisted talents and embraced his role as a killer of killers. I Don’t Want to Kill You brings his story to a thundering climax of suspicion, mayhem, and death.

It’s time to punish the guilty.

And in a town full of secrets, everyone is guilty of something.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Zombies by Matt Mogk - At first I wasn't sure about this one, but then it even has an introduction by Max Brooks and quotes everything from Brooks' World War Z and Zombie Survival Guide to George A. Romero's films. It looks amazing. From the Zombie Research Society:
“If you’re already a zombie fan, you’ll be blown away by the time and energy sunk into this book. If you’re not a zombie a fan, this book will make you one!”

World of Warcraft: Wolfheart by Richard A. Knaack - This is the second in a series, of which I don't have the first, beginning with Stormrage. I'm very interested in this one and although it's been a while since I've played World of Warcraft, it is an awesome game.
New York Times bestselling author Richard A. Knaak continues the thrilling story begun in the record-breaking MMO game expansion WORLD OF WARCRAFT: CATACLYSM in this new hardcover!

Hellhole by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson - Can anyone convince me to read this? I'm only partially interested at this point. The concept sounds good, but I don't have the highest expectations of the authors.
Only the most desperate colonists dare to make a new home on Hellhole. Reeling from a recent asteroid impact, tortured with horrific storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and churning volcanic eruptions, the planet is a dumping ground for undesirables, misfits, and charlatans…but also a haven for dreamers and independent pioneers.

Against all odds, an exiled general named Adolphus has turned Hellhole into a place of real opportunity for the desperate colonists who call the planet their home. While the colonists are hard at work developing the planet, General Adolphus secretly builds alliances with the leaders of the other Deep Zone worlds, forming a clandestine coalition against the tyrannical, fossilized government responsible for their exile.

What no one knows is this: the planet Hellhole, though damaged and volatile, hides an amazing secret. Deep beneath its surface lies the remnants of an obliterated alien civilization and the buried memories of its unrecorded past that, when unearthed, could tear the galaxy apart.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What I'm Reading Aug. 22 - Sept. 6

I've done a bit better the last couple weeks reading-wise, moved some things around a bit, and now I'm back in business.

Reading Progress:

Low Town by Daniel Polansky - 150 out of 341. I'm impressed so far although worried I may already have called the ending. We'll see I guess, although it's still good.

Heaven's Needle by Liane Merciel - 88 out of 473. I love this series and this book sucked me right in immediately.

Lord of Chaos (WoT Book 6) by Robert Jordan - I decided to put this to the side for now. I'm loving it (although the glacial pace is really apparent in this volume), but I felt bad about not reading some of my review books. I'll head back into the Wheel of Time in a month or so.


The Lost Gate (Mither Mages 1) by Orson Scott Card - 1 out of 10 CD's. I'm glad Stefan Rudnicki is back on this one. He just does an amazing job. So far, we'll see, I don't really have high hopes based on reviews I've read.


RuneScape: Betrayal at Falador - Review here.

The Prestige by Christopher Priest (Audiobook) - Awesome. Different from the movie but I loved both versions.

Demon Squad: Resurrection by Tim Marquitz - I owe a huge apology to Tim for the time it took me to read this. I loved it, but it took me way too long.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Haul

Warehouse 13: A Touch of Fever by Greg Cox (Amazon) I'm not sure about this one. I'm a little tired of tie-ins for now, so it may be a while before I get to it.
This original novel is the official tie-in to Warehouse 13, one of the hottest shows on the Syfy Channel. Like the TV drama, the novel tracks U.S. Secret Service Agents Peter Latimer and Myka Bering as they tap the supernatural artifacts of Warehouse 13 to solve troubling mysteries. In A Touch of Fear, Pete and Myka battle a madman-unleashed plague and the loss of a team member. A mass market original that will keep you guessing.

Grave Expectations by Charles Dickens and Sherri Browning Erwin (Amazon) I haven't quite made my mind up about mash-ups. I haven't had great luck (Abraham Lincold: Vampire Hunter), but that wasn't fully a mash-up. I hope this proves my expectations wrong.
A clever literary mash-up that rewrites Charles Dickens's Great Expectations with Pip as a werewolf and Estella as a vampire slayer.

Low Town by Daniel Polansky (Amazon) This one's been getting lots of good reviews lately, so I have to same I'm looking forward to it.
In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham­pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens.

The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his dis­covery of a murdered child down a dead-end street . . . set­ting him on a collision course with the life he left behind. As a former agent with Black House—the secret police—he knows better than anyone that murder in Low Town is an everyday thing, the kind of crime that doesn’t get investi­gated. To protect his home, he will take part in a dangerous game of deception between underworld bosses and the psy­chotic head of Black House, but the truth is far darker than he imagines. In Low Town, no one can be trusted.

Daniel Polansky has crafted a thrilling novel steeped in noir sensibilities and relentless action, and set in an original world of stunning imagination, leading to a gut-wrenching, unforeseeable conclusion. Low Town is an attention-grabbing debut that will leave readers riveted . . . and hun­gry for more.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What I'm Reading - August 11 - 21

I finally found some reading time in the last week. A 16 hour trip after completing an internship will do that to you, especially when school hasn't started up.

Reading Progress:

Runescape: Betrayal at Falador by T.S. Church -- 250 out of 497 (Making some progress, but it's not getting any better.)

Demon Squad: Resurrection by Tim Marquitz -- 75 out of 173 (Finally making some progress. Should finish this very soon. Great series.)

Lord of Chaos (WoT 6) by Robert Jordan -- 200 out of 986 (I finished my rereading portion and now there's no more rereading for me. This is a great series, I've just had to learn to appreciate the journey and not worry too much about the endgame.)


The Prestige by Christopher Priest -- 2 out of 10 CD's (This is really good. It's similar to the movie, which I loved, but different enough.)

Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton -- I made it 4 out of 14 CD's and gave up. Everything revolved around sex and maybe it was because it was too weird listening to it on audio, but I was just sick of it. I want to learn about the world/characters/anything more than what the prostitute's doing. I plan to give it another chance through text because Newton really is a great writer and there are some great moments.

Finished and awaiting review:

Gears of War: Coalition's End by Karen Traviss
The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan (WoT 4) (audiobook)
The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan (WoT 5) (audiobook)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What I'm Reading - August 4-10

Again, not a good week for reading. I DID, however, finish a big test which I don't have to study for anymore (until I find out I have to retake it - DOH). But, the family and I did get to spend the day in Hollywood, going to Madame Trussaud's Wax Museum, seeing the stars on the walk of fame, going to Grauman's theater, etc. Saturday, we went to the beach and Monday the Dodgers game against the Phillies.

See, I told you I'm busy. :)

Reading Progress:

Gears of War: Coalition's End by Karen Traviss -->; 244 pages in out of 443 (Some progress - 82 pages. It's not as much action-packed as I thought - I was thinking Warhammer and it's just not. I'm still enjoying it and getting more and more hooked.)

RuneScape: Betrayal at Falador by T.S. Church -->; 180 pages in out of 497 (Barely any progress - 18 pages. It's a very light read. Fun, but a bit too obvious.)

Demon Squad: Resurrection by Tim Marquitz -->; 50 pages in out of 173 (No progress. I just need more time. Anyone have any to spare?)

The Fires of Heaven (WoT 5) by Robert Jordan -->; 27 out of 30 CD's in (Some progress - 3 CD's. I'm getting excited to start reading this series again instead of listening. That happens right after I'm done with this book.)

Hope you're having a great week. Reading anything good I should know about?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New Look...Again

I guess it's that time to find a new look for the blog. I'm hoping I'll stay with this one a bit longer. I was just really tired of the old white on black. It's just too hard for my eyes and I'm sure the feeling is mutual. This just feels better already. :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What I'm Reading

I've seen this type of update done around the blog-o-verse, especially here, and I thought I'd give it a go myself. Kind of like a journal of my reading for each week or so.

Sometimes I have a problem with sticking to one book. It happens especially after I read a really long book or series and I'm back to square one with something else. I want that feeling again of knowing the characters and the world and that's just not going to happen for a couple 50 pages or so.

While in the process, I start picking up multiple books, and that's the situation I find myself in right now.

Physical Books:
Gears of War: Coalition's End by Karen Traviss -->; 162 pages in out of 443 (Steady progress, but not as quick as I'd like. I'm enjoying it, but not as much action as I expected.)

RuneScape: Betrayal at Falador by T.S. Church -->; 162 pages in out of 497 (I know, random. Not much progress. I was going along fine in this one, but it's not the most exciting. The foreshadowing and setup is way too blatant.)

Demon Squad: Resurrection by Tim Marquitz -->; 50 pages in out of 173 (Not a lot of progress this week, I have the hardest time with ebooks. I can only look at a computer so long after looking at it all day. I'm really enjoying being back with Frank Trigg, just wish I had more time.)

The Fires of Heaven (WoT 5) by Robert Jordan -->; 24 out of 30 CD's in (My 20 minute commute has definitely helped with some good progress. Better than I remember.)

Well, working 45+ hours a week plus studying a couple hours each night for my exam (the MPRE) that's on Friday has pretty much killed my reading the last few weeks. I'm excited to get back on track.

It's funny that I'm reading two game tie-in books and I've never really played either, at least it's been a while since the first Gears of War and that's it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Haul

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts, I just haven't had the time lately nor the technology (i.e. camera) - hence why I don't have actual pictures of the books in my apartment.

Here are the latest:

Heaven's Needle by Liane Merciel (Ithelas book 2) - I really loved the first novel of Ithelas, River Kings' Road, and I'm excited to jump into this one.
The mountain fortress of Duradh Mal was mysteriously destroyed centuries ago. And now, in its shadow, evil stirs. . . .

Unaware of the danger, two inexperienced Illuminers set out for the village of Carden Vale, at the foot of Duradh Mal, to minister to the people. The warrior Asharre, her face scarred with runes, her heart scarred by loss, is assigned to protect the young clerics. But in Carden Vale they find unspeakable horrors—the first hint of a terrifying ghost story come true.

The Sun Knight Kelland has been set free by the woman he loves, the archer Bitharn, but at the cost of undertaking a mission only he can fulfill. Joined by a Thornlord steeped in the magic of pain, they too make their way to Duradh Mal. There lies the truth behind the rumors of the dead come back to life, flesh ripped from bones, and creatures destroying themselves in a violent frenzy. And if Kelland cannot contain the black magic that has been unleashed after six hundred years, an entire world will fall victim to a Mad God’s malevolent plague. . . .

Gears of War: Coalition's End by Karen Traviss - I haven't really read a bad review of anything by Karen Traviss so I'm pretty excited about this one. The only problem is that I haven't read the first three in this "series" nor have I played the game, well, in a while. Any advice? Can I still read this, or are they not very stand-alone?
Gears of War: Coalition's End (Gallery Books; August 2, 2011; $26.99) by #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Traviss is the eagerly anticipated bridge novel for the Gears of War trilogy - continuing the harrowing story of Delta Squad and their struggle to save the remnants of humanity in a world overrun by a brutal enemy, the Locust Horde.

When the Locust Horde burst from the ground fifteen years ago to slaughter the human population of Sera, mankind began a desperate war against extinction. Now after a decade and a half of bloody fighting, and with billions dead, the survivors - the Gears of the Coalition of Ordered Governments, along with a band of civilians - have been forced to destroy their own cities and sacrifice their entire civilization to half the Locust advance.

The last-ditch measures have succeeded, but at an enormous cost: the survivors have been reduced to a handful of refugees.

Escaping to a haven on the remote island of Vectes, they begin the heartbreaking task of rebuilding their devastated world. For a while, there's hope... making peace with old enemies, and once again planning for the future.

But the short respite is shattered when Vectes comes under siege from an even deadlier force than the Locust - the Lambent, a hideous and constantly mutating life-form that destroys everything in its path. As the Lambent's relentless assault spreads from the mainland to the island, the refugees finally understand what drove the Locust from their underground warrens and sparked the global war.

While Marcus Fenix and the Gears struggle to hold back the invasion, the Coalition faces a stark choice - fight this new enemy to the last human, or flee to the wastelands to take their chances and live like the human pariahs known as the Stranded... even as Coalition chairman Richard Prescott still guards one last, terrible secret about the Locust, the Lambent, and the future of mankind....