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A blog about books and other things speculative

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Spotlight on Myke Cole


I am very excited to see that Myke Cole, one of my favorite authors, has a new novel coming out in March 2020 with Angry Robot Books, one of my favorite publishers. This novel is Myke's first Science Fiction novel, after 2 Military Fantasy series, 1 Fantasy series, and a Military History book.

Sixteenth Watch is out in March 2020. The gorgeous cover art is by Isaac Hannaford.



Sixteenth Watch
Angry Robot, March 10, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook

Spotlight on Myke Cole
A lifelong Search-and-Rescuewoman, Coast Guard Captain Jane Oliver is ready for a peaceful retirement. But when tragedy strikes, Oliver loses her husband and her plans for the future, and finds herself thrust into a role she’s not prepared for. Suddenly at the helm of the Coast Guard’s elite SAR-1 lunar unit, Oliver is the only woman who can prevent the first lunar war in history, a conflict that will surely consume not only the moon, but earth as well.





Also by Myke Cole


The Sacred Throne Trilogy

The Armored Saint
The Sacred Throne 1
Tor.com, September 18, 2018
Trade Paperback, 224 pags
Hardcover and eBook, February 20, 2018

Spotlight on Myke Cole
Myke Cole, star of CBS's Hunted and author of the Shadow Ops series, debuts the Sacred Throne epic fantasy trilogy with The Armored Saint, a story of religious tyrants, arcane war-machines, and underground resistance that will enthrall epic fantasy readers of all ages.

In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.

"Cole weaves a fantasy world that feels comfortably familiar, then goes to places you’d never expect. You won’t stop turning pages until the stunning finish."—Peter V. Brett

The Sacred Throne Trilogy
#1 The Armored Saint
#2 The Queen of Crows



The Queen of Crows
The Sacred Throne 2
Tor.com, August 27, 2019
Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Hardcover and eBook, October 16, 2018

Spotlight on Myke Cole
Myke Cole, star of CBS's Hunted and author of the Shadow Ops series is here with book two of the Sacred Throne Trilogy: The Queen of Crows.

In this epic fantasy sequel, Heloise stands tall against overwhelming odds—crippling injuries, religious tyrants—and continues her journey from obscurity to greatness with the help of alchemically-empowered armor and an unbreakable spirit.

No longer just a shell-shocked girl, she is now a figure of revolution whose cause grows ever stronger. But the time for hiding underground is over. Heloise must face the tyrannical Order and lay siege to the Imperial Palace itself.

"A heart-wrenching, blood-racing, all-around page-turner. Spare, vivid and surprisingly sensual, with a small, fierce heroine who will stick in your mind and live in your soul."—Diana Gabaldon on The Armored Saint

The Sacred Throne Trilogy
#1 The Armored Saint
#2 The Queen of Crows



The Killing Light
The Sacred Throne 3
Tor.com, November 12, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 256 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
The thrilling conclusion to Myke Cole's Sacred Throne trilogy

Heloise and her allies are marching on the Imperial Capital. The villagers, the Kipti, and the Red Lords are united only in their loyalty to Heloise, though dissenting voices are many and they are loud.

The unstable alliance faces internal conflicts and external strife, yet they’re united in their common goal. But when the first of the devils start pouring through a rent in the veil between worlds, Heloise must strike a bargain with an unlikely ally, or doom her people to death and her world to ruin.

Praise for the Sacred Throne Trilogy

"A heart-wrenching, blood-racing, all-around page-turner. Spare, vivid and surprisingly sensual, with a small, fierce heroine who will stick in your mind and live in your soul."—Diana Gabaldon

"Ruthless and heartwrenching." —Robin Hobb


The Sacred Throne Trilogy

The Armored Saint
The Queen of Crows
The Killing Light





Legion versus Phalanx - Military History

Legion versus Phalanx
Osprey Publishing, October 18, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
From the time of Ancient Sumeria, the heavy infantry phalanx dominated the battlefield. Armed with spears or pikes, standing shoulder to shoulder with shields interlocking, the men of the phalanx presented an impenetrable wall of wood and metal to the enemy. Until, that is, the Roman legion emerged to challenge them as masters of infantry battle.

Covering the period in which the legion and phalanx clashed (280-168 BC), Myke Cole delves into their tactics, arms and equipment, organization and deployment. Drawing on original primary sources to examine six battles in which the legion fought the phalanx - Heraclea (280 BC), Asculum (279 BC), Beneventum (275 BC), Cynoscephalae (197 BC), Magnesia (190 BC), and Pydna (168 BC) - he shows how and why the Roman legion, with its flexible organization, versatile tactics and iron discipline, came to eclipse the hitherto untouchable Hellenistic phalanx and dominate the ancient battlefield.





The Reawakening Trilogy
(Shadow-Ops Prequel)

Gemini Cell
The Reawakening Trilogy 1
Ace, January 27, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
Myke Cole continues to blow the military fantasy genre wide open with an all-new epic adventure in his highly acclaimed Shadow Ops universe—set in the early days of the Great Reawakening, when magic first returns to the world and order begins to unravel…

US Navy SEAL Jim Schweitzer is a consummate professional, a fierce warrior, and a hard man to kill. But when he sees something he was never meant to see on a covert mission gone bad, he finds himself—and his family—in the crosshairs. Nothing means more to Jim than protecting his loved ones, but when the enemy brings the battle to his front door, he is overwhelmed and taken down.

That should be the end of the story. But Jim is raised from the dead by a sorcerer and recruited by a top secret unit dabbling in the occult, known only as the Gemini Cell. With powers he doesn’t understand, Jim is called back to duty—as the ultimate warrior. As he wrestles with a literal inner demon, Jim realizes his new superiors are determined to use him for their own ends and keep him in the dark—especially about the fates of his wife and son…



Javelin Rain
The Reawakening Trilogy 2
Ace, March 29, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
The fast-paced, adrenaline-filled sequel to Gemini Cell, set in the same magical and militaristic world of the acclaimed Shadow Ops series.

Javelin: A code denoting the loss of a national security asset with strategic impact.

Rain: A code indicating a crisis of existential proportions.

Javelin Rain incidents must be resolved immediately, by any and all means necessary, no matter what the cost…

Being a US Navy SEAL was Jim Schweitzer’s life right up until the day he was killed. Now, his escape from the government who raised him from the dead has been coded “Javelin Rain.” Schweitzer and his family are on the run from his former unit, the Gemini Cell, and while he may be immortal, his wife and son are not.

Jim must use all of his strength to keep his family safe, while convincing his wife he’s still the same man she once loved. But what his former allies have planned to bring him down could mean disaster not only for Jim and his family, but for the entire nation…



Siege Line
The Reawakening Trilogy 3
Ace, October 31, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
In Myke Cole’s latest high-octane, action-packed military fantasy, the fate of undead Navy SEAL James Schweitzer will be decided—one way or another…

The Gemini Cell took everything from Jim Schweitzer: his family, his career as a Navy SEAL, even his life. Hounded across the country, Schweitzer knows the only way he can ever stop running, the only way his son can ever be safe, is to take the fight to the enemy and annihilate the Cell once and for all.

But the Cell won’t be easily destroyed. Out of control and fighting a secret war with the government it once served, it has dispatched its shadowy Director to the far reaches of the subarctic in search of a secret magic that could tip the balance of power in its favor. Schweitzer must join with the elite warriors of both America and Canada in a desperate bid to get there first—and avert a disaster that could put the Cell in control.







The Shadow-Ops Trilogy

Control Point
Shadow Ops 1
Ace, January 31, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
Lieutenant Oscar Britton of the Supernatural Operations Corps has been trained to hunt down and take out people possessing magical powers. But when he starts manifesting powers of his own, the SOC revokes Oscar's government agent status to declare him public enemy number one.

















Fortress Frontier
Shadow Ops 2
Ace, January 29, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began to develop terrifying powers—summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Overnight the rules changed…but not for everyone.

Colonel Alan Bookbinder is an army bureaucrat whose worst war wound is a paper-cut. But after he develops magical powers, he is torn from everything he knows and thrown onto the front-lines.

Drafted into the Supernatural Operations Corps in a new and dangerous world, Bookbinder finds himself in command of Forward Operating Base Frontier—cut off, surrounded by monsters, and on the brink of being overrun.

Now, he must find the will to lead the people of FOB Frontier out of hell, even if the one hope of salvation lies in teaming up with the man whose own magical powers put the base in such grave danger in the first place—Oscar Britton, public enemy number one…




Breach Zone
Shadow Ops 3
Ace, January 28, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began “coming up Latent,” developing terrifying powers—summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Those who Manifest must choose: become a sheepdog who protects the flock or a wolf who devours it…

In the wake of a bloody battle at Forward Operating Base Frontier and a scandalous presidential impeachment, Lieutenant Colonel Jan Thorsson, call sign “Harlequin,” becomes a national hero and a pariah to the military that is the only family he’s ever known.

In the fight for Latent equality, Oscar Britton is positioned to lead a rebellion in exile, but a powerful rival beats him to the punch: Scylla, a walking weapon who will stop at nothing to end the human-sanctioned apartheid against her kind.

When Scylla’s inhuman forces invade New York City, the Supernatural Operations Corps are the only soldiers equipped to prevent a massacre. In order to redeem himself with the military, Harlequin will be forced to face off with this havoc-wreaking woman from his past, warped by her power into something evil…

Guest Blog by Marie Bilodeau: A Community's Big Bang - April 11, 2014


Please welcome Marie Bilodeau to The Qwillery. Marie is the author of the SF space opera Destiny Trilogy: Destiny's Blood, Destiny's Fall and Destiny's War.

Destiny's Blood won a ForeWord Book Award (Science Fiction). Destiny's Blood and Destiny's Fall were finalists for the Aurora Awards.




A Community’s Big Bang
By Marie Bilodeau

Like many in the SF world, I often watch the latest internet explosion with part amusement, part terror, and a whole lot of confusion. Regardless of the issue of the minute, arguments back and forth often culminate into someone saying they are embarrassed (or, gasp, ashamed) of their community. And then, the very predictable axe always falls: some people start saying a variant of “I didn’t know we were a community.”

Okay.

Part of me gets it. Growing up in a mostly pre-internet era as a geek, pretty much the only other geeks I knew were my own brother and mother. When we watched Riker say “Fire” at the end of the first part of "The Best of Both Worlds", followed by dramatic music and “To Be Continued” at the end of a freaking season, we didn’t have the internet to run to and moan about the INJUSTICE of being left in such suspense for MONTHS! Nor could we all meet on a forum and discuss theories and hunt up potential rumours of Stewart leaving the show. We only had the people immediately around us, or at cons (I wasn’t near any of them, so I never went back then). Maybe the comic book store, too, but still, there was little sense of a larger community.

Fast forward past dial-up and into the realm of social media and forums. Suddenly, geeks, often early adopters of technology, could meet up in a larger community. Friendships were forged, some turned into marriages, and the online community grew.

The internet gave us a place to unite, all of those little geeks and nerds who had been wandering alone in the vast landscape of SF-dom. Linked together by common interests and passions, we gushed, argued, laughed and wrote some stuff best never again mentioned.

This fledgling community had lots of outspoken folk in it – perhaps partly because many had been bullied in the past and now had a comfortable platform from which to bellow. The anonymity of the internet might have fueled the fire, though lately it seems a bit less of a secrecy net, with all the interlinking media and bots. It could also simply be that in a “real world “ community, people can just be present to be seen, to be a part of activities. But online, you need to speak to be “seen", which causes more speaking and chatting than strictly necessary.

Fast forward a bit more. Geekdom. Fandom. Our own little safe haven for years, exploded. If the internet was the expansion of the Geek Big Bang, then the popularization of geekness is like pointing a thousand Hubble telescopes into every region of space and being overtaken by astronomical splendor! Galaxies! Planets! Weird gaseous formations and unexplainable masses! And THEY’RE SUDDENLY ALL IN OUR SPACE AND WANT TO PARTICIPATE!

The community continues to explode in numbers while some try to make it implode on itself. Fake geeks everywhere! Because, you know, no one can just be trying something out – they’re fake if they haven’t been here forever. They haven’t accumulated the language, the in-jokes, the one-liners that require no explanation, the imagery, the proper threats and the knowledge of multiple franchises.

Many feel there are intruders in our midst, and people react as people always do when they feel threatened: they lash out. They call people out for no reason. They put up dividers where no dividers should exist. And, when push comes to shove (and they feel squished by the constraints of being part of a pop culture phenomenon instead of a safe, exclusive place where everyone knows everyone,) they pretend that they and others don’t belong... because it’s not a community.

But it is.

We’re a community going through a heck of a Big Bang, but it doesn’t make us any less of a community. It makes us a shifting entity, and maybe a bit more undefined than we’re comfortable with. But it’s still ours, and we define it not only by our passions, but also by our actions.

Like the universe, this community won’t expand forever. Sub-communities are already buckling and not as long-lived. The giant ComicCon types of convention will shrink and people who walked in for the love of superheroes or Jedi might leave the scene again. But many will stay, too, and enrich the conversations and help us work out our rumours and theories.

And let’s enjoy this growth while it lasts. Sometimes it’s kinda cool to make geek jokes that can be understood by people outside of cons and comic shops.

It’s all part of being a community. People used to move from neighbourhoods, now they move from online interests. We do ourselves no service by claiming we’re not a community, because we are, and by being aware of our impact on our own community, we can make it a better place.





Destiny Trilogy
Guest Blog by Marie Bilodeau: A Community's Big Bang - April 11, 2014

Destiny's War
Destiny Trilogy 3
Dragon Moon Press, January 21, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 270 pages

She had given her up.

To save her daughter from a life of servitude to a silent First Star, Layela Delamores sent her only child away. Willing to miss the first decade of her daughter’s life, for a chance to reunite as a free family.

Ten years.
Now, a new First Star is ready to take over from the dying star Mirial, freeing Layela and her family from the clutches of duty and obligation.

But the star was silent.
When the new First Star fails to ignite, the failing Mirial is the only lifeline to the countless ether races across the galaxy. But not everyone wants to save Mirial, including Layela’s own daughter. Trapped between obligations and hopes, Layela must find a way to save as many people as she can, or learn to live in the dead world she helped to create.



Destiny's Fall
Destiny Trilogy 2
Dragon Moon Press, March 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 296 pages

A broken tradition.
A hunted child.
A rebellion that threatens to topple
the very fabric of the universe.

When Layela Delamores gives birth to her first child, the ether immediately rejects what should be its only heir. A wave of destruction sweeps the ether races and sparks Solaria’s ire and rebellion on Mirial. A new heir rises to take the throne of Mirial, one who wields tainted ether.

Unable to access the flow of ether, Layela is left with little choice but to flee Mirial, seeking answers that may no longer exist, prepared to sacrifice everything to free herself and her daughter from the clutches of the First Star.



Destiny's Blood
Destiny Trilogy 1
Dragon Moon Press, November 2010
Trade Paperback and eBook, 308 pages

A thief of valuable blooms, Layela’s dream is finally coming true with the opening of her flower shop on the small remote planet of Collar. But the disappearance of her twin sister leaves her with a difficult choice: to continue tending to her blooms and promising future, or to blend in once again with the shadows to find her sister.

She soon becomes the prey of two powerful assassins, of a colonel bent on revenge and of a mysterious sword-wielding stranger. Her only allies are Josmere – a feisty ether creature with the power to unlock the visions that assault Layela’s mind, or to keep them from her – and a smuggling rogue, Ardin, hired to protect Layela at whatever the cost, even if that cost is her freedom.

Their journey takes them across several worlds as Layela discovers who she and her sister truly are. And before them awaits the mythical First Star, on a path to self-destruction and the annihilation of all life.

Unless Layela finds a way to stop it. But to stop it would mean sacrificing her sister.

Or herself.





About Marie Bilodeau

Guest Blog by Marie Bilodeau: A Community's Big Bang - April 11, 2014
Marie was born in Montreal (Canada) to a family with nomadic tendencies. As a result her childhood was spent roaming from town to town in Eastern Ontario. In 1996 she roamed further west in the province, attending Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. Along with earning a Bachelor's Degree in Religion and Culture with a minor in Archaeology (fields she has never once come close to working in, although they do come in handy for plot development), she also served two terms as President of the school's Science Fiction and Fantasy Club, an honor that she will never live down. Not that she cares to.

When not writing fantasy novels, Marie can be found engaged in the act of storytelling in any location where two or more people have gathered. She tells mostly original stories of her own creation or adaptations of fairy tales and myths.

Website  ~  Twitter @mariebilodeau  ~  Goodreads  ~  Amazon  ~  Indigo

Review: Perdition (The Dred Chronicles 1) by Ann Aguirre


Perdition
Author:  Ann Aguirre
Series:   The Dred Chronicles 1
Publisher:  Ace, August 27, 2013
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 337 pages
Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780425258118 (print)
Review copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: Perdition (The Dred Chronicles 1) by Ann Aguirre
WELCOME TO HELL

The prison ship Perdition, a floating city where the Conglomerate’s most dangerous criminals are confined for life, orbits endlessly around a barren asteroid. 

Life inside is even more bleak. Hailed as the Dread Queen, inmate Dresdemona “Dred” Devos controls one of Perdition’s six territories, bordered on both sides by would-be kings eager to challenge her claim. Keeping them at bay requires constant vigilance, as well as a steady influx of new recruits to replace the fallen. Survival is a constant battle, and death is the only escape.

Of the newest convicts, only one is worth Dred’s attention. The mercenary Jael, with his deadly gaze and attitude, may be the most dangerous criminal onboard. His combat skill could give her the edge she needs, if he doesn't betray her first. Unfortunately, that's what he does best. Winning Jael’s allegiance will be a challenge, but failure could be worse than death…


Melanie's Thoughts:

In Aguirre's most recent novel, the inhabitants of the prison ship Perdition battle it out for supremacy as the ship circles Earth, slowly falling apart. The ship has been carved up into territories and the novel's anti-heroine, Dred Devos rules hers with an iron fist. Quite literally an iron fist, as her armour consists of leather with long, deadly chains wrapped around her arms and legs. The other rulers of the ship are the things nightmares are made of making Dred appear almost soft and cuddly in comparison. Regular excursions into her territory have left her looking for the one thing or one person who will tip the balance in her favour. That one person is in the form of the lab born mercenary Jael. Jael is the newest recruit to 'team Dred' and do anything and risk everything to help her succeed.

Life on board the prison ship is a harsh, cruel place and about to get worse as the ship becomes one big battleground. Atrocities are committed on both sides and Dred controls her territory with more than just her willpower. Jael becomes pivotal in Dred's quest to keep her territory and take down her enemies. Jael is battling his own personal demons at the same time as fighting other prisoners on the ship and it isn't clear who will win either struggle. My only tiny criticism with this book was in the book summary and the description of Jael. He was so many things but he didn't come across as someone who would betray those around him, especially Dred. This minor thing is really quite trivial as Perdition has so much to offer the reader.

Aguirre excels in her world building and its easy to imagine the austerity of the crumbling ship, the terror felt by the new inmates of the ship when they realise they are entering hell itself and the pervasive lack of hope. She has also created a wonderfully, sinister mood with the battle for supremacy between Dred and the other psychotic leaders on the ship. It is very dark and the readers only reprieve is the dynamic between Dred, Jael and the other characters that form her inner circle. The power play is not all that it seems and snippets of inner dialogue tease the reader about what or who may be lurking around the next corridor.

While I love watching science fiction I don't always like reading it. Aguirre has me starting to doubt what I think of this genre and that I need to check out her other novels. I really enjoyed Bronze Gods that Aguirre wrote with her husband but I was still a bit unsure whether I would like a story set on a prison ship. Clearly I was wrong. I really, really liked Perdition. It had all the elements I enjoy from a super strong heroine, engaging and conflicted characters plus a big surprise in the plot towards the end that I didn't expect. I wasn't sure whether the story would drag within the confines of the ship but it in fact, almost became a character in its own right. Whether you are a fan of science fiction or not I challenge you not to like Perdition. I really looking forward to the next instalment in the The Dred Chronicles series and off to buy some more books by this fantastic author.

Spotlight on Myke ColeGuest Blog by Marie Bilodeau: A Community's Big Bang - April 11, 2014Review: Perdition (The Dred Chronicles 1) by Ann Aguirre

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