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Melanie's Week in Review - June 25, 2017

Melanie's Week in Review - June 25, 2017

Hello! I am back! Did you miss me? I hope so. I have been on holiday and my eldest sister was over so I wasn't able to keep you up to date on what I had been reading. Hopefully, this post will remedy that for you. Enough said, what did I read?


Melanie's Week in Review - June 25, 2017
I am going to start with the book that was my favourite - White Hot by Ilona Andrews, which is the second instalment of the Hidden Legacy series. The story starts a few months after the dramatic events of book 1, Burn for Me. Nevada hasn't heard a peep from the hunky Prime Mad Rogan since the big smooch that followed Rogan's declaration that Nevada was going to be 'his'. Nevada is thrown, quite literally, back into Rogan's life when she takes a case to solve the who murdered the animal mage, Cornelius's wife. It's not surprising that this continues the plot arc of the mysterious and extremely dangerous organisation that wants to bring down the magical hierarchy and all Primes with it. A number of secondary characters we met in book 1 are back to help Nevada, including her family. It's not long before Nevada and Rogan are the target and it's a race to discover who is behind the killings before they become the assassin's next victims.

I really, really enjoyed White Hot. I read it a few times in close succession. It stops just short of being excellent and I will tell you why a bit later. I like both Nevada and Rogan as characters. I also think the world building is well executed and the plot arc has me guessing. Andrews has got a lot to tell along with relationships and romances to build in only a few books as this is trilogy. Unlike the Kate Daniel's series and many others like it, Andrews doesn't have several books to have a slow burn romance between the main characters so no time is wasted bringing the love interests together. I find this quite refreshing and it must be challenging for the writers to make it believable and engaging. I think they have succeeded. I am also very intrigued to find out who the evil force is. I have no clue and that is a major achievement as I usually always guess 'who dunnit'. I don't have too long to wait as book 3, Wildfire, is out in July. I can HARDLY WAIT! So I mentioned that I felt White Hot fell a bit short of being excellent and that is down to the cover. I know I am a cover snob and I also know that the author is quite defensive of the covers as they are controlled by the publisher however, I can't see that this cover is a selling point. If I wasn't already invested in this author or the series I would have passed on this series purely based on the cover. I think the publisher has missed a trick by not having a more dramatic cover or a model that doesn't look like his six pack was drawn on with crayon. Just a minor downside of a great book and series.


Melanie's Week in Review - June 25, 2017Melanie's Week in Review - June 25, 2017
I am going to tell you about the next two books together as they are the first and second books of a new series by Dannika Dark called The Crossbreed novels. These books, I believe, are set in the same work as Dark's Mageri series. I have to say, I believe, as I haven't read that series. The story introduces the lead character Raven Black who is a crossbreed - part vampire and part mage. She has been living rough as a one woman vigilante, killing the baddies, that seem to be everywhere. So far she has been living on her wits and her crossbreed talents until she receives a proposition to join the covert organisation - Keystone - to take down baddies as part of a group of supernatural misfits. In book 1, Keystone, joining Keystone doesn't go quite to plan and that is mostly down to her partner, the vamp Christian but without giving too much away Raven overcomes her issues with being part of a team by book 2 - Ravenheart. In this instalment Raven and Christian are set to find a series killer who is targeting Breed women. The hunter becomes the hunter in this second instalment.

I have to be honest and say that Dark isn't one of my favourite authors but so far I like this series. It it isn't taking itself too seriously and so far, no one has jumped into bed together yet which isn't typical of this genre. If you enjoy a supernatural murder mysteries with a female lead character that is quite sarcastic then why not give this series a go? These are books well suited to the beach or a long commute. I am looking forward to seeing what Dark has in store for Raven Black.


Melanie's Week in Review - June 25, 2017
The last book I am going to tell you about is the novella - The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch. This is a story from the Peter Grant / Rivers of London series. PC Grant is on the case when ghosts are spotted on London Underground (aka the Tube). When the ghosts start to get more aggressive Peter enlists the help of his colleague from the British Transport Police, Jaget Kumar, and his trusty non-police dog Toby to track down why the spirits are haunting the Metropolitan line. When Peter discovers an actual human's life is at stake he realises that time is running out to solve this mystery. Lucky he has help in the form of his young teenage wizard cousin and an adolescent river god.

This is a great novella. I thought it was witty and gripping in equal measure. I am not always fond of novellas and short stories but this isn't one to miss.


That is it for me this week. I could tell you more but some of the books I read won't be published for a while yet so I need to keep my trap shut :-). I hope you have read some good books over the last few weeks. It would be great to hear what you read. I will be back next week so until then Happy Reading.





White Hot
A Hidden Legacy Novel 2
Avon, May 30, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - June 25, 2017
The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …





Keystone
A Crossbreed Novel 1
Dannika Dark, January 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 310 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - June 25, 2017
With over 1.5 million books sold, USA Today Bestseller Dannika Dark introduces her next addictive series...

Raven Black hunts evildoers for fun, but her vigilante justice isn't the only reason she's hiding from the law. Half Vampire, half Mage,she's spent years living as a rogue to stay alive. When a Russian Shifter offers her a job in his covert organization hunting outlaws,dignity and a respectable career are finally within her grasp. The catch? Her new partner is Christian Poe - a smug, handsome Vampire whom she'd rather stake than go on a stakeout with.

They're hot on the trail of a human killer who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. One misstep during her probationary period could jeopardize Raven's chance at redemption, and her partner would love nothing more than to see her fail. Will Raven find the courage to succeed, or will she give in to her dark nature?

Dark secrets, unexpected twists, and a blurred line between good and evil will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Crossbreed is a powerful new urban fantasy series that will captivate your imagination. Follow Raven on her journey through a perilous world of secrets and lies.



Ravenheart
A Crossbreed Novel 2
Dannika Dark, May 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 329 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - June 25, 2017
“WE ALL HAVE SECRETS, RAVEN. DARK ONES. EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US.”

Two weeks after joining Keystone, Raven Black is ready to take on the world as a criminal hunter for hire. If only her partner wasn’t a bloodsucking Vampire with a penchant for getting under her skin. Despite her lavish surroundings, Raven misses the freedom of life without rules. And Keystone’s next assignment is about to test her self-control in more ways than one.

Dead bodies are popping up in the human district, and all signs point to a Breed serial killer. In order to catch him, Raven and Christian embark on a mission that takes their partnership into uncharted waters. Lives are at stake. Can Raven trust her instincts, or will she fall into a web spun from lies and deceit?

Time is running out in this pulse-pounding tale of dark secrets, murder, and forbidden desires.





The Furthest Station 
A Rivers of London Novella
Subterranean Press, June 28, 2017
Hardcover, 144 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - June 25, 2017
There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.

Enter PC Peter Grant junior member of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Assessment unit a.k.a. The Folly a.k.a. the only police officers whose official duties include ghost hunting. Together with Jaget Kumar, his counterpart at the British Transport Police, he must brave the terrifying the crush of London’s rush hour to find the source of the ghosts.

Joined by Peter’s wannabe wizard cousin, a preschool river god and Toby the ghost hunting dog their investigation takes a darker tone as they realise that a real person’s life might just be on the line.
And time is running out to save them.

With this new novella, bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch has crafted yet another wickedly funny and surprisingly affecting chapter in his beloved Rivers of London series.

What's Up for the DAC Authors, Part 1


This is the first in this new series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their works published since their last update. The year in parentheses after the author's name is the year that author was featured in the Debut Author Challenge.


Ben Aaronovitch (2011)

The Furthest Station 
A Rivers of London Novella
Subterranean Press, June 28, 2017
Hardcove, 144 pages

What's Up for the DAC Authors, Part 1
There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.

Enter PC Peter Grant junior member of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Assessment unit a.k.a. The Folly a.k.a. the only police officers whose official duties include ghost hunting. Together with Jaget Kumar, his counterpart at the British Transport Police, he must brave the terrifying the crush of London’s rush hour to find the source of the ghosts.

Joined by Peter’s wannabe wizard cousin, a preschool river god and Toby the ghost hunting dog their investigation takes a darker tone as they realise that a real person’s life might just be on the line.
And time is running out to save them.

With this new novella, bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch has crafted yet another wickedly funny and surprisingly affecting chapter in his beloved Rivers of London series.


Rivers of London Volume 3: Black Mould
    Writers:  Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel
    Artist:  Lee Sullivan
    Colorist:  Luis Guerrero
Titan Comics, July 25, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 128 pages

What's Up for the DAC Authors, Part 1
CSI meets Harry Potter in this fantastic new graphic novel from Ben Aaronovitch, writer of the bestselling Rivers of London supernatural police procedural crime novel series!

Something dark and slimy is dripping through the walls of suburban London. Not the usual stuff that smells funny and can be hell on the lungs, this mould is possessed by some dark power full of bad intentions. Looks like it's another case for London's one and only trainee wizard cop, Police Constable Peter Grant, and his reluctant partner, Sahra Guleed!

An all-new adventure for Ben Aaronvitch's laconic, way-past-cool but slightly geeky trainee wizard and budding detective, Peter Grant!

Tying directly into the Rivers of London continuity, set between Foxglove Summer and The Hanging Tree

Aaronovitch is joined by Doctor Who writer Andrew Cartmel for this gripping new series.





Charlie Jane Anders (2016)

Six Months, Three Days, Five Others
Tor.com, October 3, 2017
Hardcover, 192 pages

What's Up for the DAC Authors, Part 1
"A master absurdist...Highly recommended." —The New York Times

Before the success of her debut SF-and-fantasy novel All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders was a rising star in SF and fantasy short fiction. Collected in a mini-book format, here—for the first time in print—are six of her quirky, wry, engaging best:

In "The Fermi Paradox Is Our Business Model," aliens reveal the terrible truth about how humans were created—and why we'll never discover aliens.

"As Good as New" is a brilliant twist on the tale of three wishes, set after the end of the world. "Intestate" is about a family reunion in which some attendees aren't quite human anymore—but they're still family.

"The Cartography of Sudden Death" demonstrates that when you try to solve a problem with time travel, you now have two problems.

"Six Months, Three Days" is the story of the love affair between a man who can see the one true foreordained future, and a woman who can see all the possible futures. They're both right, and the story won the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novelette.

And "Clover," exclusively written for this collection, is a coda to All the Birds in the Sky,
answering the burning question of what happened to Patricia's cat.





Chloe Benjamin (2014)

The Immortalists
G.P. Putnam's Sons, January 9, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

What's Up for the DAC Authors, Part 1
A dazzling family love story reminiscent of Everything I Never Told You from a novelist heralded by Lorrie Moore as a “great new talent.”

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

The View From Monday - January 30, 2017


Happy last Monday in January!

There is one debut this week:

Crossroads of Canopy (Titan's Forest 1) by Thoraiya Dyer.

The View From Monday - January 30, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Hanging Tree (Rivers of London 6) by Ben Aaronovitch;

In the Shadow of Lakecrest by Elizabeth Blackwell;

Bookburners by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery;

A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly is out in Trade Paperback;

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty;

Ashes to Fire by Emily B. Martin;

Murder Go Round (A Witch City Mystery 4) by Carol J. Perry;

Justice Ascending (The Scorpius Syndrome 3) by Rebecca Zanetti.

The View From Monday - January 30, 2017The View From Monday - January 30, 2017
The View From Monday - January 30, 2017The View From Monday - January 30, 2017
The View From Monday - January 30, 2017The View From Monday - January 30, 2017
The View From Monday - January 30, 2017The View From Monday - January 30, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - January 30, 2017



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

January 31, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Hanging Tree Ben Aaronovitch UF/DF - Rivers of London 6
Fire Touched (h2mm) Patricia Briggs UF - Mercy Thompson 9
We Can Remember It for You Wholesale and Other Classic Stories Philip K. Dick SF - Collection
Crossroads of Canopy (D) Thoraiya Dyer F - Titan's Forest 1
The Weird and the Eerie Mark Fisher LC/H/Sup
Bookburners Max Gladstone
Margaret Dunlap
Mur Lafferty
Brian Francis Slattery
UF - Bookburners
Rise: A Newsflesh Collection (h2mm) Mira Grant SF/AP/PA - Newsflesh Novellas
Bloodline (h2tp) Claudia Gray SF - Star Wars
A Criminal Magic (h2tp) Lee Kelly HistF
Pet Sematary (ri) Stephen King H
Six Wakes Mur Lafferty SF
The Undoing (tp2mm) Shelly Laurenston FR/PNR - Call Of Crows 2
God Save the Queen (h2mm) Kate Locke SP - The Immortal Empire 1
The Seer (tp2mm) Sonia Orin Lyris F
Ashes to Fire (e) Emily B. Martin F
Binti: Home Nnedi Okorafor SF/AC - Binti 2
Murder Go Round Carol J. Perry PCM - A Witch City Mystery 4
The Long Cosmos (h2mm) Terry Pratchett
Stephen Baxter
SF - Long Earth 5
The Islanders Christopher Priest AH/SF
2084: The End of the World Boualem Sansal LF/Pol/Dys
The Ghoul Vendetta Lisa Shearin UF -  SPI Files 4
The Machine James Smythe LF
Gotham: Dawn of Darkness Jason Starr Media Tie-In/Th/CF - Gotham
Age of Myth (h2mm) Michael J. Sullivan F/HistF - The Legends of the First Empire 1
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Tim Waggoner Media Tie-In/H/SF - Resident Evil
Headlong Flight Dayton Ward SF - Star Trek: The Next Generation
The Sword of the South (tp2mm) David Weber F - War God  4
Justice Ascending Rebecca Zanetti SF/AP/PA/R - The Scorpius Syndrome 3



February 1, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
In the Shadow of Lakecrest Elizabeth Blackwell Gothic
Plague of the Manitou (h2tp) Graham Masterton H - A 'Manitou' Horror Novel 7



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Ke - Kindly only eBook
mm - Mass Market Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GB - Genre Bender
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghosts
GN - Graphic Novel
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
Meta - Metaphysical
MR - Magical Realism
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SH - Superheroes
SO - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
UFR - Urban Fantasy Romance
Vis - Visionary


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

Melanie's Week in Review - November 26, 2016


Melanie's Week in Review - November 26, 2016


Hello. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and readers. Feel free to post me a piece of pumpkin pie. I did read two excellent books this week. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - November 26, 2016
I was really excited when I had my request for The Hanging Tree approved by the publisher on NetGalley. This is the 6th book in the Peter Grant / Rivers of London series. I love Aaronovitch's funny but at the same time very tense tale of Peter Grant, the cop and apprentice sorcerer.

Peter had been enjoying a relatively normal life with his girlfriend who just happens to be an immortal river goddess and his job as an investigator in a special wing of the police that deal with all things supernatural. When Peter gets a call to investigate the death of a teenager due to a drug overdose he doesn't see the magical connection ....well at first. Its not long before Peter is on the trail of his arch nemesis the Faceless Man and his former colleague who joined the dark side, Lesley.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Hanging Tree. While I have loved this series the last two books have been very dark. I went from regular bouts of lol'ing to barely cracking a smirk. I felt that Aaronvitch got the balance between humour and the darker side of the plot development a bit more even this time. Peter's inner musings, especially in relation to Nightingale and the Folly were especially humorous. The scenes with Lesley were super tense and I kept thinking 'how could you'. Aaronovitch does an admirable job of describing Peter's London. I especially like the history of the various rivers, however, his facts aren't completely accurate (specially about Queen Mary a college within the University of London but that is just me being picky because I used to work there).

Overall this is an excellent instalment and I highly recommend it if you are a fan of the series.



Melanie's Week in Review - November 26, 2016
Book two was another book from the finalists of the SPFBO - Fionn: Defence of Ráth Bládhma by Brian O'Sullivan. We are providing joint reviews of all the finalists so I am afraid you are going to have to wait to hear what I thought. I will leave you to look at the cover instead.



That is it for me this week. I hope you have a good one. I am jetting off for a few days in Berlin (Germany) so I won't be writing a WIR next week. Hopefully, I will have lots to tell you about in my next one. Until then Happy Reading.





The Hanging Tree
Rivers of London 6
DAW, January 31, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - November 26, 2016
Where the Marble Arch stands today in London was once the Tyburn gallows—also known as The Hanging Tree. The walk toward those gallows along Oxford Street and past the Mayfair mansions has a bloody and haunted history as the last trip of the condemned. Some things never change. For both blood and ghosts have returned to those mansions of the super-rich. And it’s up to Peter Grant—England’s last wizard and the Metropolitan Police’s reluctant investigator of all things supernatural—to get to the bottom of the sinister doings.

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1


This is the first in this new series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their works published since their last update. The year in parentheses after the author's name is the year that author was featured in the Debut Author Challenge.



Part 1 here Part 11 here Part 21 here Part 31 here Part 41 here
Part 2 here Part 12 here Part 22 here Part 32 here Part 42 here
Part 3 here Part 13 here Part 23 here Part 33 here Part 43 here
Part 4 here Part 14 here Part 24 here Part 34 here Part 44 here
Part 5 here Part 15 here Part 25 here Part 35 here Part 45 here
Part 6 here Part 16 here Part 26 here Part 36 here Part 46 here
Part 7 here Part 17 here Part 27 here Part 37 here Part 47 here
Part 8 here Part 18 here Part 28 here Part 38 here Part 48 here
Part 9 here Part 19 here Part 29 here Part 39 here Part 49 here
Part 10 here Part 20 here Part 30 here Part 40 here Part 50 here



Ben Aaronovitch (2011)

Rivers of London: Volume 2 - Night Witch
    Ben Aaronovitch (Author), Andrew Cartmel (Author), Lee Sullivan (Illustrator)
Titan Comics, November 1, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 128 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1
CSI meets Harry Potter in this fantastic new graphic novel conjured forth from the bestselling series of supernatural police procedural crime novels!

Press-ganged into helping a Russian oligarch hunt his missing daughter, PC Peter Grant and his boss, Thomas Nightingale, London's only wizarding cops, find themselves caught up in a battle between Russian gunmen, a monstrous forest creature - and their nemesis: The Faceless Man. But as Grant and Nightingale close in on the missing girl, they discover that nothing about this case is what it seems!

When the young daughter of a wealthy Russian ogliarch is seemingly kidnapped by mythical monster the Leshy, Peter and Nightingale must delve further into the supernatural than ever before to find the truth, before it's too late for the girl. But there is something off about this case. For one, Leshies don't exist. Two, if they did, they certainly wouldn't be found in Kent, England! The magical special unit must enlist the help of Varvara Sidorovna Tamonina, Night Witch by name and nature! But will they uncover something even more sinister along the way?


The Hanging Tree
Rivers of London 6
DAW, January 31, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1

More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA






Ania Ahlborn (2012)

The Devil Crept In
Gallery Books, February 7, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1
An unforgettable horror novel from bestselling sensation Ania Ahlborn—hailed as a writer of “some of the most promising horror I’ve encountered in years” (New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire)—in which a small-town boy investigates the mysterious disappearance of his cousin and uncovers a terrifying secret kept hidden for years.

Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.

That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen...the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes…and that a killer may still be lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear is reborn—and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.





Nina Allan (2016)

The Art of Space Travel
    A Tor.Com Original
Tor Books, July 27, 2016
eBook, 32 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1
"The Art of Space Travel" by Nina Allan is a science fiction novelette. In 2047, a first manned mission to Mars ended in tragedy. Thirty years later, a second expedition is preparing to launch. As housekeeper of the hotel where two of the astronauts will give their final press statements, Emily finds the mission intruding upon her thoughts more and more. Emily's mother, Moolie, has a message to give her, but Moolie's memories are fading. As the astronauts' visit draws closer, the unearthing of a more personal history is about to alter Emily's world forever.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


Five Stories High
    By K. J. Parker, Sarah Lotz, Robert Shearman, Tade Thompson and Nina Allan
    Edited by: Jonathan Oliver
Solaris, December 6, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1
One house, five hauntings, five chilling stories.

Five Stories High is a collection of five novellas each set in the same house – Irongrove Lodge. This five storey Georgian mansion, once a grand detached property, has now been split into five apartments.  This is a building with history, the very bricks and grounds imbued with the pasts of those who have walked these corridors, lived in these rooms.

Five extraordinary writers open the doors, revealing ghosts both past and present in a collection that promises to be as intriguing as it is terrifying.

Featuring novellas by Sarah Lotz, JK Parker, Nina Allan, Robert Shearman and Tade Thompson.


Nina Allan (2016)
Charlie Jane Anders (2016)
Ken Liu (2015)

Drowned Worlds
    Edited by Jonathan Strahan
Solaris, July 12, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1

The brand new anthology from multi-award winning editor Jonathan Strahan, featuring stories set in futures wracked by the deluge, from some the best writers in SF, including Kim Stanley Robinson, Ken Liu, Paul McAuley, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Charlie Jane Anders, Lavie Tidhar, Jeffrey Ford, and James Morrow.

We stand at the beginning of one of the greatest ecological disasters in the time on Man. The world is warming and seas are rising.  We may deny it, but we can’t hide when the water comes. Already the streets of Miami flood regularly and Mick Jones looks more and more prescient when he sang that “London is drowning and I, I live by the river!” all those years ago.

And yet water is life. It brings change. Where one thing is wiped away, another rises in its place.  There has always been romance and adventure in the streets of a drowned London or on gorgeous sailing cities spanning a submerged world, sleek ships exploring as land gets ever rarer.

Drowned Worlds looks at the future we might have if the oceans rise, good or bad.  Here you’ll find stories of action, adventure, romance and, yes, warning and apocalypse. Stories inspired by Ballard’s The Drowned World, Sterling’s Islands in the Net, and Ryman’s The Child Garden.  Stories that allow that things may get worse, but remembers that such times also bring out the best in us all.





G.T. Almasi (2012)

Talon of Scorpio
A Novel of the Shadowstorm 3
Hydra, March 21, 2017
eBook, 352 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1
Superagent Alix Nico returns in a new Shadowstorm thriller from the author of Blades of Winter, which was hailed as “a hell-bent-for-leather mash-up of spy novel and science fiction” by Jason Bourne novelist Eric Van Lustbader.

Alix Nico, code-named Scarlet, is a one-woman demolition derby. As a top American Level, she’s a cybernetically and biologically enhanced operative fighting a Cold War among the forces of freedom, a Soviet Union that never fell, a China hungry for power, and a Germany that emerged from World War II more powerful than ever.

There’s a mole within ExOps, the covert agency responsible for the security of the United States, who has been working to decapitate the organization’s leadership. And when treason strikes, Scarlet and her partner, Darwin, find themselves matched against a rogue Level known as Talon, a merciless killing machine whose augmentations place her in a league of her own. But behind Talon lurks the real enemy, a traitor whose thirst for control threatens to upset the fragile balance of mutually assured destruction that has kept the four Great Powers from breaking into open warfare—until now.





Charlie Jane Anders (2016)

All the Birds in the Sky
Tor Books, April 11, 2017
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Hardcover and eBook, January 26, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1

[Description not yet available for the Trade Paperback Edition]



Charlie Jane Anders (2016)
Ken Liu (2015)

Bridging Infinity
    Edited by Jonathan Strahan
Infinity Project 5
Solaris, November 8, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1
BUILDING TOWARDS TOMORROW

Sense of wonder is the lifeblood of science fiction. When we encounter something on a truly staggering scale - metal spheres wrapped around stars, planets rebuilt and repurposed, landscapes re-engineered, starships bigger than worlds - the only response we have is reverence, admiration, and possibly fear at something that is grand, sublime, and extremely powerful.

Bridging Infinity puts humanity at the heart of that experience, as builder, as engineer, as adventurer, reimagining and rebuilding the world, the solar system, the galaxy and possibly the entire universe in some of the best science fiction stories you will experience.

Bridging Infinity continues the award-winning Infinity Project series of anthologies with new stories from Alastair Reynolds, Pat Cadigan, Stephen Baxter, Charlie Jane Anders, Tobias S.Buckell, Karen Lord, Karin Lowachee, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Gregory Benford, Larry Liven, Robert Reed, Pamela Sargent, Allen Steele, Pat Murphy, Paul Doherty, An Owomoyela, Thoraiya Dyer and Ken Liu.

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1


This is the first in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their 2015 works published since the last update and upcoming works for 2016. The year in parentheses after the author's name is the year she/he was featured in the Debut Author Challenge.




Ben Aaronovitch (2011)

The Hanging Tree
Rivers of London 6
DAW, June 14, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1
[no description available on US publisher's website yet]


There is also a Rivers of London comic, Body Work. Read more about it here at Titan Comics.

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1




Jo Anderton (2011)

Guardian
The Veiled Worlds 3
FableCroft Publishing, June 6, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1
The grand city of Movoc-under-Keeper lies in ruins. The sinister puppet men have revealed their true nature, and their plan to tear down the veil between worlds. To have a chance of defeating them, Tanyana must do the impossible, and return to the world where they were created, on the other side of the veil. Her journey will force her into a terrible choice, and test just how much she is willing to sacrifice for the fate of two worlds.




Bradley P. Beaulieu (2011)

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai
Song of Shattered Sands 1
DAW, September 1, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 592 pages
Mass Market Paperback, 656 pages (August 2, 2015)

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1
Sharakhai, the great city of the desert, center of commerce and culture, has been ruled from time immemorial by twelve kings—cruel, ruthless, powerful, and immortal. With their army of Silver Spears, their elite company of Blade Maidens, and their holy defenders, the terrifying asirim, the Kings uphold their positions as undisputed, invincible lords of the desert. There is no hope of freedom for any under their rule.

Or so it seems, until Çeda, a brave young woman from the west end slums, defies the Kings’ laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha’ir. What she learns that night sets her on a path that winds through both the terrible truths of the Kings’ mysterious history and the hidden riddles of her own heritage. Together, these secrets could finally break the iron grip of the Kings’ power…if the nigh-omnipotent Kings don’t find her first.




Jenn Bennett (2011)

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
Feiwel & Friends, November 3, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
(Night Owls in UK/AU/NZ)

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1
Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she's spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci's footsteps, she's ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital's Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco's most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is-and tries to uncover what he's hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix's own family's closet tear them apart?




Sabrina Benulis (2011)

Angelus
The Books of Raziel 3
Harper Voyager, February 9, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1
The heart-pounding conclusion to the Books of Raziel trilogy, a gothic supernatural tale about a girl who discovers that she holds the keys to both Heaven and Hell—and that angels, demons, and all the creatures in between who will stop at nothing to possess her and control the power she holds.

The war begun by three powerful angel siblings—Raziel, Lucifel, and Israfel—has divided the kingdoms of both Heaven and Hell, and the destruction is spilling over into the human world.

The last hope for a crumbling world is the Archon—the human Angela Mathers who has the power to control the supernatural universe. Angela alone can successfully oppose Lucifel and open Raziel’s Book, to use its power for good. But to do so would mean murdering her best friend, a sacrifice Angela refuses to contemplate.

Angela sits on the throne of Hell, fulfilling a prophecy of ruin. But ruin does not always mean destruction—sometimes it means revolution. Time is running out for both Angela and the universe, and former enemies are eager to see her fail. As she enters the Angelus duel for the crown of Heaven, she can only pray that she’ll see her friends again.




Amanda Bonilla (2011)

Shadows at Midnight
Shaede Assassin 5
NYLA, September 24, 2015
eBook, 208 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1
Has Darian’s past finally caught up with her?

The Rakshasa queen, Padma, has a score to settle—she wants those responsible for her son’s death to pay and to pay dearly. Darian, Tyler and Xander are all at risk—and Padma’s powers could force them to live the rest of their lives in the madness of the Realm of Illusions…

While Darian is taken and is the first to suffer, she’s soon rescued by Tyler, the one man to never disappoint. But what Darian doesn’t know is that her freedom comes at a steep price—Xander’s the King of Shaedes, imprisonment. Darian knows what horrors await in Padma’s dungeon. A rescue mission won’t be easy and she can’t do it alone.

Deep in the bowels of Goblin Valley, Darian, Tyler, and her small band of Shaede warriors fight their way through a dark labyrinth. In a realm where illusions rule, with danger at every turn, the odds are stacked against them. Time isn’t on their side, every second spent in Padma’s custody will be another step Xander takes toward madness. A kingdom can’t be ruled without its king and the wolves are at the door, waiting. If Darian can’t get to Xander before he succumbs to the illusions, an entire kingdom’s future is at stake…

Review: Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch


Foxglove Summer
Author:  Ben Aaronovitch
Series:  Rivers of London 5
Publisher:  Gollancz, November 13, 2014
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 377 pages
List Price:  £14.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780575132504 (print)
Review Copy:  Reviewer's Own

Review: Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch
In the fifth of his bestselling series Ben Aaronovitch takes Peter Grant out of whatever comfort zone he might have found and takes him out of London - to a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children. But while you can take the London copper out of London you can't take the London out of the copper.

Travelling west with Beverley Brook Peter soon finds himself caught up in a deep mystery and having to tackle local cops and local gods. And what's more all the shops are closed by 4pm.


US Edition

Publisher:  DAW, January 6, 2015
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780575132504 (print)

Review: Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch
Peter Grant—cop, magical apprentice, and Londoner to the core—is being forced out of his comfort zone and into the English countryside. His latest case involves the disappearance of children in the small village of Herefordshire, and the local police are unwilling to admit there might be a supernatural element involved. Now Peter must deal with them, local river spirits, and the fact that all the shops close by 4 P.M.


Melanie's Thoughts:

Foxglove Summer starts a few months after the end of book 4  - Broken Homes where I am sure that all the Peter Grant fans screeched in unison 'Lesley how could you'. I think this instalment could have easily have been called 'Peter Grows Up' as he is forced to accept what happened to him at the end of book 4 and his friendship with Lesley. I love this series and have enjoyed growing with Peter in each instalment.

In Foxglove Summer Peter is asked to take part in the case of two missing girls. The focus turns to the supernatural and Peter is the man with all the skills to save the day (he hopes). Set in the heart of the North Hertfordshire (the country, basically) Peter's search for the two girls takes him to the heartland of the Fae. Joining him on his investigation is Dominic who works for the local police force and the river goddess Beverley. The fate of two young girls is in Peter's hands. Mad unicorns, the Fae and an English heatwave all combined make this one of Peter's toughest cases.

Aaronvitch gives the reader just about everything they could wish for - new characters, a bit of romance, plot and character development, questions answers and secrets revealed. I have found Aaronvitch's series to be quite amusing but less so in since book 3. The amount of public 'loling' has significantly decreased but has been replaced by some serious plot development.  I really enjoyed this book and I thought that Beverley really added to Peter's development in the way that actual or potential love interests in the previous books haven't. Just when we thought it was safe for Peter (well as safe as it can be for him) Lesley is back on the scene with a rather dire warning. I can't even guess what Aaronovitch has in store for these characters in future novels but I can't wait for book 6. Another great book in a great series.

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 1


This is the first in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their upcoming books for late 2014 and the beginning of 2015. This update covers some of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge authors.What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 2  will cover more of the 2011 DAC authors.


What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 1


Please note that publication dates are subject to change and that The Qwillery uses U.S. publications dates. In addition, some cover images are not yet available.


Ben Aaronovitch

Foxglove Summer
Peter Grant / Rivers of London 5
DAW, January 6, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 1
When two young girls go missing in rural Herefordshire, police constable and wizard-in-training Peter Grant is sent out of London to check that nothing supernatural is involved.

It’s purely routine—Nightingale, Peter’s superior, thinks he’ll be done in less than a day. But Peter’s never been one to walk away from someone in trouble, so when nothing overtly magical turns up he volunteers his services to the local police, who need all the help they can get. But because the universe likes a joke as much as the next sadistic megalomaniac, Peter soon comes to realize that dark secrets underlie the picturesque fields and villages of the countryside and there might just be work for Britain’s most junior wizard after all.

Soon Peter’s in a vicious race against time, in a world where the boundaries between reality and fairy have never been less clear….





Jenn Bennett

Grave Phantoms
Roaring Twenties 3
Berkley, May 5, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 1
From the author of Grim Shadows and Bitter Spirits comes the new Roaring Twenties novel in the series hailed as “Boardwalk Empire meets Ghost Hunters, but so much better” (Molly Harper, national bestselling author of the Jane Jameson series).

Feisty flapper Astrid Magnusson is home from college and yearning for the one thing that’s always been off limits: Bo Yeung, her notorious bootlegging brother’s second-in-command. Unfortunately her dream of an easy reunion proves difficult after a violent storm sends a mysterious yacht crashing into the Magnussons’ docks. What’s worse, the boat disappeared a year ago, and the survivors are acting strangely…

Bo has worked with the Magnusson family for years, doing whatever is needed, including keeping his boss’s younger sister out of trouble—and his hands to himself. Of course, that isn’t so easy after Astrid has a haunting vision about the yacht’s disappearance, plunging them into an underground world of old money and dark magic. Danger will drive them closer together, but surviving their own forbidden feelings could be the bigger risk.





Adam Christopher

The Burning Dark
Spider War 1
Tor Books, March 3, 2015
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Previously published in Hardcover and Digital

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 1
Adam Christopher’s dazzling first novel, Empire State, was named the Best Book of 2012 by SciFi Now magazine. Now he explores new dimensions of time and space in The Burning Dark.

Back in the day, Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland had led the Fleet into battle against an implacable machine intelligence capable of devouring entire worlds. After saving a planet, and getting a bum robot knee in the process, he finds himself relegated to one of the most remote backwaters in Fleetspace, overseeing the decommissioning of a semi-deserted space station.
The station’s reclusive commandant is nowhere to be seen. Persistent malfunctions plague the station’s systems while interference from a toxic purple star makes even ordinary communications problematic. Alien shadows and whispers seem to haunt the lonely corridors and airlocks, fraying the nerves of everyone aboard.

Isolated and friendless, Cleveland reaches out to the universe via an old-fashioned space radio, only to tune in to a strange, enigmatic signal: a woman’s voice that echoes across a thousand light-years of space. But is the transmission just a random bit of static from the past—or a warning of an undying menace beyond mortal comprehension?




The Machine Awakes
Spider War 2
Tor Books, April 21, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 1
Adam Christopher's The Machine Awakes is a far future space opera set in the universe of Burning Dark. In the decades since the human race first made contact with the Spiders—a machine race capable of tearing planets apart—the two groups have fought over interstellar territory. But the war has not been going well for humankind, and with the failure of the Fleet Admiral’s secret plan in the Shadow system, the commander is overthrown by a group of hardliners determined to get the war back on track.

When the deposed Fleet Admiral is assassinated, Special Agent Von Kodiak suspects the new guard is eliminating the old. But when the Admiral’s replacement is likewise murdered, all bets are off as Kodiak discovers the prime suspect is one of the Fleet’s own, a psi-marine and decorated hero—a hero killed in action, months ago, at the same time his twin sister vanished from the Fleet Academy, where she was training to join her brother on the front.

As Kodiak investigates, he uncovers a conspiracy that stretches from the slums of Salt City to the floating gas mines of Jupiter. There, deep in the roiling clouds of the planet, the Jovian Mining Corporation is hiding something, a secret that will tear the Fleet apart and that the Morning Star, a group of militarized pilgrims searching for their lost god, is determined to uncover.

But there is something else hiding in Jovian system. Something insidious and intelligent, machine-like and hungry.

The Spiders are near.





Isabel Cooper

The Highland Dragon's Lady
Highland Dragon 2
Sourcebooks Casablanca, December 2, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 1
Regina Talbot-Jones has always known her rambling family home was haunted. She also knows her brother has invited one of his friends to attend an ill-conceived séance. She didn’t count on that friend being so handsome…and she certainly didn’t expect him to be a dragon.

Scottish Highlander Colin MacAlasdair has hidden his true nature for his entire life, but the moment he sets eyes on Regina, he knows he has to have her. In his hundreds of years, he’s never met a woman who could understand him so thoroughly…or touch him so deeply. Bound by their mutual loneliness, drawn by the fire awakening inside of them, Colin and Regina must work together to defeat a vengeful spirit—and discover whether their growing love is powerful enough to defy convention.






Night of the Highland Dragon (Highland Dragon 3) is slated for publication in June 2015.




Karina Cooper

Transmuted
The St. Croix Chronicles 6
Carina Press, January 26, 2015
eBook 

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 1
In this final installment of Cherry St. Croix’s adventures, only one thing could compel the disgraced countess to return to Society—the threat of immortality.

All is not peaceful in the wake of the Midnight Menagerie’s ruin. Although the Karakash Veil has been forced to flee its stronghold, the mysterious head of the criminal organization is not content to fade away.

Above the foggy drift, a priceless diamond vanishes. In the dangerous Underground, a murderous rampage demands retribution. The hunt for the mastermind behind these misdeeds sends me back to Society—and into the unforgiving embrace of the world I’d left behind.

Nothing is what it seems. Enemies, allies—and a man who struggles with a nature even devotion cannot tame. Torn between the scars of the past and fragile new beginnings, I must create balance in the world I have chosen—and with the people I have come to love. The game has changed; should the Veil achieve the immortality it craves, I will have nowhere left to run.



Melanie's Week in Review - November 30, 2014


Melanie's Week in Review - November 30, 2014


Everything is all tinsel and bright lights this week as every shop and business starts to turn on their Christmas lights. I can't believe that its almost December and I don't look very close to completing my Goodreads reading challenge. Perhaps I can pull out some stops in the next few weeks. But for this week what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - November 30, 2014
I finally found that Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronvitch was available on Kindle and not for too of an exorbitant amount. I have been loving the Peter Grant series and there was a huge shocker at the of book 4, Broken Homes. I will be writing a full review on this book so keep a look out for it but what I can say here is that Aaronovitch continues to craft a great story and avoids repetitive themes or extraneous re-capping of the events in previous books. You may have enough time, if you are super speedy to catch up on the series before you get to my review.

Melanie's Week in Review - November 30, 2014
I then looked through my recent book purchases for a quick easy read and decided on Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler. I am not sure what caused me to pick this book over the many others I have to read. I think in part it was the beautiful cover. I guess I am a bit of a sucker for a pretty book cover. Jinn and Juice is Lyla's story of how she was cursed to being a jinni for a thousand years and just when everything looks like it will be lifted she is 'bound' again by the hunky Magi named Oz. He wants her to find a young girl and will release Lyla after she helps him out. Nearly every mythical character plays a part in the chaotic life of the gorgeous jinni but the clock is ticking on Lyla's curse.

If you are in certain age groups the TV show 'I Dream of Genie' and the movie 'Aladdin' will be twirling through your brain when you read this book. I thought it was just OK. I am not certain I want to continue the series. I read the first few books of Peeler's Jane True series but despite liking Peeler's characters I just wasn't that engaged with the story or the decisions her heroine's make. I think that this is due to the fact that her characters are ruled more by libido than by common sense and that always turns me off with modern heroines. If you like a lot of action, lots of sexy but no actual sex and a sassy, belly dancing heroine then give this book a go.

That is all I finished this week. I am hoping to finish off the books I started in previous weeks but haven't yet been able to finish.  Wish me luck but until next week, Happy Reading.


Review: Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch


Broken Homes
Author:  Ben Aaronovitch
Series:  Peter Grant / Rivers of London 4
Publisher:  DAW, February 4, 2014
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (Print)
ISBN:  9790756409609 (Print)
Review Copy:  Reviewer's Own (UK Edition)

Review:  Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch
My name is Peter Grant, and I am a keeper of the secret flame -- whatever that is.

Truth be told, there's a lot I still don't know. My superior Nightingale, previously the last of England's wizardly governmental force, is trying to teach me proper schooling for a magician's apprentice. But even he doesn't have all the answers. Mostly I'm just a constable sworn to enforce the Queen’s Peace, with the occasional help from some unusual friends and a well-placed fire blast. With the new year, I have three main objectives, a) pass the detective exam so I can officially become a DC, b) work out what the hell my relationship with Lesley Mai, an old friend from the force and now fellow apprentice, is supposed to be, and most importantly, c) get through the year without destroying a major landmark.

Two out of three isn’t bad, right?

A mutilated body in Crawley means another murderer is on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil, who may either be a common serial killer or an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man -- a man whose previous encounters I've barely survived. I've also got a case about a town planner going under a tube train and another about a stolen grimoire.

But then I get word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the truly desperate. If there's a connection to the Crawley case, I'll be entering some tricky waters of juristiction with the local river spirits. We have a prickly history, to say the least.

Just the typical day for a magician constable.



Melanie's Thoughts:

Broken Homes is the fourth instalment in the Peter Grant story. Peter continues his magical apprenticeship under the watchful eye of his boss Nightingale while continuing as a constable in the covert arm of the Metropolitan police. Peter, Nightingale, Peter's and friend/colleague Lesley keep up the search for the evil Faceless Man, a magician straight from the dark side. The Faceless Man has been at the centre of every evil plot throughout all three books. Their first big clue to his next nefarious plan comes when a man ends up being BBQ'd from the inside out. This time Peter and Lesley end up going under cover, moving out of The Folly and into a run down tower block in the Elephant and Castle area of London to search for more clues. For those that aren't familiar with this less than salubrious part of London Aaronovitch paints the perfect picture of life in an deprived inner London borough.....well one that is magically enhanced with river goddesses and tree nymphs. The heat is on for Peter and his friends to solve this mystery before anyone else gets hurt and be back in time for tea at The Folly.

I waited a long time to buy Broken Homes as I thought it cost too much. It wasn't until a discussion with Qwill that I found out that the book had been released in UK months before it was released in the US. I thoroughly enjoy this series, nay love it but still didn't want to pay more than a tenner (£10) for the e-book version and don't normally buy hardcovers. In the end I am glad that I waited.

I have been enjoying Aaronovitch's unique brand of humour mixed with some pretty spot on observations of the life of a Londoner. While I enjoyed Broken Homes it didn't grab me as quickly as the other books in the series. Normally Aaronovitch has me sniggering, snorting, and generally tee heeing from the first few pages but in this book I had to wait until the final third of the book before I guffawed even once. One could say that humour isn't an essential requirement in any good UF novel but once you have introduced me to some truly hilarious lines then you can't just leave me with normal, mildly amusing prose.

I thought I would share with you one of the funnier lines from book
You don't get to be a senior investigating officer unless you have a degree in scepticism, an MA in distrust and your CV lists suspicious bastard under your hobbies.
or how about this one
Nightingale gave me the same long-suffering look he gives me when I accidentally blow up fire extinguishers, fall asleep when he's talking, or fail to conjugate my Latin verbs.
I could continue but then I would be repeating the latter third of the book! Suffice to say 'the funny' is still there just not as obvious as in previous books.

There wasn't a terrible amount of development of any of the lead characters throughout the story although there is a HUGE development at the very end of the book. One, I did not see coming and I am still shocked about. I kind of felt like Aaronovitch was holding off having anything significant happen to the characters throughout the story as he wanted to 'sock it' to the reader with the ending. This was kind of risky as I really wanted Peter to make some decisions relationship-wise or to have a big breakthrough magic-wise. Saying all of that it is still a great book, a great murder mystery with some laughs along the way. Bring on book 5....quick!

Melanie's Week in Review - June 25, 2017What's Up for the DAC Authors, Part 1The View From Monday - January 30, 2017Melanie's Week in Review - November 26, 2016What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 1Review: Foxglove Summer by Ben AaronovitchWhat's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 1Melanie's Week in Review - November 30, 2014Review:  Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

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