The Qwillery | category: Gail Carriger


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Orbit 10th Anniversary eBook Sale

Through next Monday, July 31st, Orbit is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary with $2.99 e-book deals on 10 of its most popular titles. Happy Anniversary, Orbit!

Orbit 10th Anniversary eBook Sale
by Kim Stanley Robinson
Orbit, May 22, 2012
eBook, 576 pages

Winner of the Nebula Award for Best SF Novel of the Year

The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity's only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present, and its future.

The first event takes place on Mercury, on the city of Terminator, itself a miracle of engineering on an unprecedented scale. It is an unexpected death, but one that might have been foreseen. For Swan Er Hong, it is an event that will change her life. Swan was once a woman who designed worlds. Now she will be led into a plot to destroy them.

Orbit 10th Anniversary eBook Sale
Ancillary Justice
Imperial Radch 1
by Ann Leckie
Orbit, October 1, 2013
eBook, 432 pages

The only novel ever to win the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards and the first book in Ann Leckie's New York Times bestselling trilogy.

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Once, she was the Justice of Toren - a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.

Orbit 10th Anniversary eBook Sale
Blood of Elves
Witcher 1
by Andrzej Sapkowski
Orbit, May 1, 2009
eBook, 416 pages

The New York Times bestselling series that inspired the international hit video game: The Witcher.

For over a century, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and elves have lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over, and now the races are fighting once again. The only good elf, it seems, is a dead elf.

Geralt of Rivia, the cunning assassin known as The Witcher, has been waiting for the birth of a prophesied child. This child has the power to change the world - for good, or for evil.

As the threat of war hangs over the land and the child is hunted for her extraordinary powers, it will become Geralt's responsibility to protect them all - and the Witcher never accepts defeat.

Blood of Elves is the first full-length Witcher novel, and the perfect follow up if you've read The Last Wish collection.

Orbit 10th Anniversary eBook Sale
Newsflesh 1
by Mira Grant
Orbit, May 1, 2010
eBook, 608 pages

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

Now, twenty years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives-the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.

FEED is the electrifying and critically acclaimed novel of a world a half-step from our own---a novel of geeks, zombies, politics and social media.

Orbit 10th Anniversary eBook Sale
The Fifth Season
Broken Earth 1
by N. K. Jemisin
Orbit, August 4, 2015
eBook, 512

"Intricate and extraordinary." - New York Times on The Fifth Season (A New York Times Notable Book of 2015)


This is the way the world ends...for the last time.

A season of endings has begun.

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

Orbit 10th Anniversary eBook Sale
The Girl With All the Gifts
by M. R. Carey
Orbit, June 10, 2014
eBook, 416 pages

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

The Girl With All the Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.

Orbit 10th Anniversary eBook Sale
Leviathan Wakes
Expanse 1
by James S. A. Corey
Orbit, June 15, 2011
eBook, 592 pages

The first book in the landmark Expanse series, now a major television series from Syfy!

Leviathan Wakes is James S. A. Corey's first novel in the epic, New York Times bestselling series the Expanse, a modern masterwork of science fiction where humanity has colonized the solar system.

Two hundred years after migrating into space, mankind is in turmoil. When a reluctant ship's captain and washed-up detective find themselves involved in the case of a missing girl, what they discover brings our solar system to the brink of civil war, and exposes the greatest conspiracy in human history.

Orbit 10th Anniversary eBook Sale
Red Country
by Joe Abercrombie
Orbit, November 13, 2012
eBook, 480 pages

A New York Times bestseller!

They burned her home.
They stole her brother and sister.
But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she's not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb's buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into an alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust . . .

RED COUNTRY takes place in the same world as the First Law trilogy, Best Served Cold, and The Heroes. This novel also represents the return of Logen Ninefingers, one of Abercrombie's most beloved characters.

Orbit 10th Anniversary eBook Sale
Parasol Protectorate 1
by Gail Carriger
Orbit, October 1, 2009
eBook, 416 pages

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS is the first book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

Orbit 10th Anniversary eBook Sale
The Way of Shadows
Night Angel Trilogy 1
by Brent Weeks
Orbit, October 1, 2008
eBook, 688

From New York Times bestselling author Brent Weeks...

For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art-and he is the city's most accomplished artist.

For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly - and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins' world of dangerous politics and strange magics - and cultivate a flair for death.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 3, 2014

Melanie's Week in Review - August 3, 2014

Welcome to August. I can't believe July is over the year is more than halfway gone. I have been looking at my Goodreads reading challenge and I need to pick up the pace if I am going to read as many books as last year. So how did I do this week?

Melanie's Week in Review - August 3, 2014
Even though am still reading The Dark Defiles by Richard K. Morgan I was tempted by a book that Qwill sent me - Havoc by Ann Aguirre. This is the second installment of the Dred Chronicles and I couldn't resist to find out what happened to Dred and Jael on the prison ship. I will be writing a full review of this book so keep your eye out for it to find out more. I got halfway through and left it in my desk at work (I have desks in 2 different buildings miles apart) and had to make a special trip 3 days later to pick it up. I knew I shouldn't have been reading Havoc before I finished Morgan's book so I got in a big panic that I would have nothing to tell you about.  I was soon searching Amazon for a book I could read in a day or two and came across a short story from Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar. I thought this tiny short story would be perfect to give me a feeling of accomplishment. When Carriger writes a short story she certainly makes it short. I feel like the story was finished before I even started it. I really enjoyed The Parasol Protectorate series but I think that Carriger could have left this series alone as The Curious Case... fell a bit flat for me. I am not a big fan of short stories as I always feel like that they stop too soon and this is definitely the case here.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 3, 2014Back I went to Amazon as I still needed a another book. I came across Copperhead by Tina Connolly which is the second novel in the Ironskin series. I had been waiting for the price of this book to drop a bit before I bought it and discovered it had so I was quick to download it. Copperhead tells the story of Helen who is the sister of the heroine, Jane, from book 1 and is set a few months after the events of that book. Helen is leading a cloistered life as the wife of her controlling, aristocratic husband Alistair. A sinister group called Copperhead are trying to rid the world of the fey and all the women with fey enhanced faces are at risk. Helen and her sister Jane are in the midst of helping these women when Jane goes missing. Despite her fears and feelings of inadequacies Helen risks herself and her new friends to find Jane.

Copperhead is a solid second instalment of a engaging series. I wish I had gone back and re-read the ending of Ironskin as there were a few re-caps that I couldn't remember. I also couldn't figure out why Jane and her fiance, Rochart, weren't together and it wasn't really explained either. I think that Connolly does a good job of creating empathy for the near perfect Helen. She isn't a character I especially like or perhaps you aren't supposed to like so I think that Connolly was especially clever to make Helen as engaging as she is. I do wonder where Connolly will take these characters in Silverblind (Ironskin 3), which is out in October.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 3, 2014
I finished my week by reading Unclean Spirits by Chuck Wendig. This is the first book of Gods and Monsters shared world series. It tells the story of Cason who has become embroiled with the gods and is on the run trying to rescue his wife and son. The story is told from a few different POVs including Cason, his wife Alison and the goddess Psyche. The gods are malevolent with a capital 'M' and Cason risks all to save his family.

This isn't an easy read as the gods aren't the only dis-likeable characters. Cason himself isn't the easiest character to empathize with. Cason reminded me a bit of a Mookie Pearl from Wendig's The Blue Blazes - a bit conflicted but trying to do the right thing for his family in the end. Nearly every religious and mythical god/goddess is mentioned in Unclean Spirits and it seems there was a competition who could be more horrid. I don't know who won but I think Aphrodite made a sterling effort! I am not planning to continue with this series as the first book is a relentlessly violent read without even a glimmer of something good happening. While the Miriam Black and Mookie Pearl books are equally violent there is more of a sense of good vs evil in those stories than there is in this first instalment of the Gods and Monsters series. If you like a story that is told at a frenetic pace, lots of violence and malevolent goddesses out for revenge then this is the book for you. Note that Wendig kicked off the series and that different authors will be writing books for this ongoing series. Next up is Mythbreakers by Stephen Blackmoore (December).

That's all for me this week. I am looking forward to some new releases I hope to buy so until next week Happy Reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - May 12, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review - May 12,  2013

Welcome to my second 'Week in Review'!   (I promise I won't count every week)

I have to hang my head in shame and admit that I have not returned to The Scrivener's Tale by Fiona McIntosh. I must apologize to Ms McIntosh, as despite the totally engaging start to what looks like an amazing book, I got totally distracted by other books this week. Hand on heart I will get back to it next week.

Melanie's Week in Review - May 12,  2013
So what was I doing then if I didn't read a book I was determined to finish? Well, last week you will remember I came across a book called Bloodfire by Helen Harper which I quite enjoyed?  Well I discovered 2 more books in the series. So no sooner had I discovered Bloodmagic and Bloodrage I had them downloaded onto my Kindle. They were such quick and easy reads I had them both read by the end of our lovely 1st May bank holiday weekend. I quite enjoyed them but enjoyed Bloodrage more than Bloodmagic. I felt they read a bit like YA although as the heroine Mackenzie is in her twenties. I guess this falls into the new made up genre 'New Adult'. There is a big plot reveal at the very end of book 3 so compared with the ease of reading I highly recommend this series, provided you like this genre, of course.

I also read Bronze Gods by AA Aguirre which I will be reviewing soon. I don't want to spoil what will be a fantastic review (of course!) but if you want to get one step ahead then I urge you to buy it. Bronze Gods  is written by another husband and wife collaboration but Ann Aguirre has written a number of books on her own so I might have to check out her books next.

So I never like to read too many review books in a row as I always panic I will get them mixed up so I had to take a break in between Bronze Gods and the next book on my reviewing TBR. I decided to go back and re-read a one of the books I love. Soulless, the first in the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger. The story's heroine Alexia is a delight! If you haven't read this then I urge you to give it a go. It is extremely witty, gives equal time to vampires and weres plus is a great 'who dunnit'.

Melanie's Week in Review - May 12,  2013Finally, I just started this book on Friday but decided to include it anyway - The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton. Even though its quite early on I quite like it. It is definitely YA and set in the late 1800's on the mean streets of London. It kind of reminded me of Oliver Twist so I keep expecting the characters to break into song and dance and as a lover of musicals I secretly wish they would (oh yeah and it would have to be an audio book!). I will hopefully finish it off by the end of the weekend.

Melanie's Week in Review - May 12,  2013On the book buying/ordering front I have been super douper naughty. I was supposed to be clearing off some of my TBR but instead I added to it. I finally bought Twelve by Justin Cronin. I loved The Passage and  the 'hubinator' says its fantastic so really looking forward to reading it. I also ordered The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig, who I LOVE! Keeping up the naughty momentum I ordered Rapture's Edge, book 3 in the Night Prowler series by the lovely JT Geissinger. I could have squealed (well I think I actually did) when JT tweeted me to say that she named one of her characters, sort of after me, well a version of my name. Tickled pink does not even come close! Finally, thanks to @MelLHay and our afternoon tweet-fest I ended up ordering The Case of the Singing Sword by Tee Morris. So now instead of clearing off some books on my TBR I have added to it but I have or will have some excellent books on the way.

So that is what I have been up to and I would love to hear what you have been reading. Until next week though Happy Reading!


The Qwillery is happy to announce winners for 3 giveaways:


Shaun of the Dead from Michele Bardsley:

Debby who said, "I hate scary movies but my kids love them."


Blameless by Gail Carriger and The Old Ones Necklace:

Caitlin who said, "Hmmm, My favorite would have to be squid. I like them fried ;) hehe"


The Grimrose Path by Rob Thurman :

Robin K who said, "I would love to be entered. Thank you for the giveaway."

throuthehaze who said, "Great interview! Count me in please"

Melissa who said, "i love Rob Thurman's work great books."

Emails have been sent to the winners who must respond by 11:59 PM US ET on September 28, 2010 or The Qwillery will have to randomly choose someone else!

Changeless and Octo bling - a name has been pulled from the receptacle!

First of all, I'd like to thank all of you who left comments, tweeted, FB'ed and mentioned this contest on your blog. You are all awsome!

Second, the winner is Jena526! Congratulations. Please contact me at The Qwillery @ (no spaces) so that I can send your goodies off to you.

Please contact me within 2 weeks of today or I'll have to pick a new winner.

Gail Carriger's Changeless and a Contest

I'm a huge fan of Gail Carriger's debut novel Soulless, the first novel of The Parasol Protectorate series. I wrote a very mini review of Soulless in November:

Soulless is the 1st book in the Parasol Protectorate series. Soulless is a steampunky comedy of manners with werewolves and vampires and more set in Victorian London. Oh my. The leading lady, Alexia Tarabotti, does not give in to the confines of Victorian England, which leads to some humouros and dangerous situations. Miss Tarabotti a preternatural - no soul. Her preternatural ability negates those of the supernatural. Let's just say that there is something mysterious afoot. Steep a cup of your favorite tea, get comfy, and enjoy a great read.

On March 30th, the second novel in the series was released. It's titled Changeless. I've just started reading Changeless and will post my thoughts about it here when I've finished.

Gail Carriger's Changeless and a Contest

I haven't included the blurb from the back of Changeless because it does give away some of Soulless.

To celebrate the release of Changeless, I'm going to give away a copy of the book along with this stunning necklace by Synde Korman of Cemetery Cat Designs.

A large sterling silver over brass octopus is framed by beautiful sea blue crackle agates and sterling silver beads from Bali. Sterling silver chain and an antique hook clasp are the finishing touches. 18". Octopus is about 2.5"x 2.00

Gail Carriger's Changeless and a Contest
(Description and photo courtesy of Cemetery Cat Designs)

If you've read the first book, Soulless, you'll know why I chose an octopus. If you haven't read the first book, you should. Really.

Here's what you do: leave a comment telling us what you are reading and what you think of it. We’ll put all the names in the DubbleBubble receptacle and pull out a name. If you tweet the contest, we’ll put your name in for the tweet as well. You can tweet as much as you like, but it only counts once. If you also mention the contest on Facebook, we’ll add your name again. You can mention it on Facebook a zillion times, but you only get one extra entry. You can also mention the contest on your blog to get another entry. So you can get your name placed in the receptacle a maximum of 4 times (comment, tweet, FB mention, blog mention). Provide us a link in the comments so we know that you tweeted or Facebooked or blogged.

The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm Eastern Time on Monday, April 12, 2010.

And the books go to...

colleen m was picked for Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler


AYates was picked for Soulless by Gail Carriger.

We used a random number generator this time. It's more fun picking names out of a hat!

Please send your snail mail addresses to TheQwillery aht gmail daht com. (I'm guessing that you know how to fix this!)

Thanks to everyone for commenting. I'll be posting about some more books that I really liked and will be giving away soon.

Two Books That I Really Like - Soulless by Gail Carriger and Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler

Recently I had the pleasure of reading two books that I really enjoyed, thought were very well written, and would recommend without reservation. I'm so enamored with these 2 books that I will be giving away a copy of each: one commenter will be picked for Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler and one commenter will be picked for Soulless by Gail Carriger.

You may ask, why did Qwill like these books so much? Okay, you might not ask but I'm going to tell you anyway. First, both books are unusual. Second, both books are beautifully written with the authors displaying a command of the English language that I find admirable. Third, the world building was very well done. Fourth, the main character in each book, both females, appealed to me. Fifth, the books satisfied me even though both left lingering questions. (Gail - what's up with the octopi? Nicole - I hope we get more of the back story for the dog.)

I'm not going to delve deeply into plot, characters, or machinations because I am not writing full reviews of the books and I do not want to spoil even a bit of the stories.

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate 1)
by Gail Carriger

Soulless is the 1st book in the Parasol Protectorate series. Soulless is a steampunky comedy of manners with werewolves and vampires and more set in Victorian London. Oh my. The leading lady, Alexia Tarabotti, does not give in to the confines of Victorian England, which leads to some humouros and dangerous situations. Miss Tarabotti a preternatural - no soul. Her preternatural ability negates those of the supernatural. Let's just say that there is something mysterious afoot. Steep a cup of your favorite tea, get comfy, and enjoy a great read.

Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate 2) will be released in March 2010.

Gail Carriger's website is here.

Tempest Rising (The Jane True Series 1)
by Nicole Peeler

Tempest Rising is the first book in the Jane True Series. Jane is not your typical Urban Fantasy heroine. She's much more accessible in my opinion. She's also half-Selkie! Tempest Rising is set in Rockabill, Maine, where Jane has grown up under difficult circumstances the root of which are slowly revealed in the novel. There are quite a few unusual paranormal beings in this book plus several of the more common. I enjoyed reading about Jane and the denizens seen and unseen in Rockabill. This is a book that you can really dive into!

Tracking the Tempest (The Jane True Series 2) will be released in July 2010.

Nicole Peeler's website is here.

Qwill's Qwestion: What were some of your favorite books for 2009? [Leave a comment by midnight November 29, 2009; I'll let you know who gets the books on November 30, 2009]

Orbit 10th Anniversary eBook SaleMelanie's Week in Review - August 3, 2014Melanie's Week in Review - May 12,  2013Winners!Gail Carriger's Changeless and a ContestTwo Books That I Really Like - Soulless by Gail Carriger and Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler

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