Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Exiled: Autumn's Peril by Rosalie Skinner

2 comments
I know, I know this is really on short notice. But I would like to share following information with you.

At begin of August I posted about Rosalie Skinner's Chronicles of Caleath series (eight books!!!).

ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT until publishing date of the first book - Exiled: Autumn's Peril on September 2nd 2011 by MuseItUp Publishing.
"Exiled and driven by guilt and vengeance, Caleath, adept in virtual reality games, finds himself on an alien world where magic exists. Assassins hunt him, ghosts haunt his nights, a sorcerer covets his knowledge and a beautiful hostage complicates his escape.

Washed ashore from the wreck of the Albatross, tortured in mind and body, Caleath uses his dreaded nanobots in order to survive and reluctantly befriends the young Gwilt. Their search for the survey satellite, which could lead Caleath home, unveils the terrifying world of 'a dark soul, black magic and a bloody sword'." [Source]

Following text has been copied from Rosalie's site (of course I got her permission):

Help Celebrate the launch of the Science Fiction Fantasy series THE CHRONICLES of CALEATH...
take a chance to win a prize...
Join us at our Blog Party
on Sept 2nd to claim prizes...
Rules: Play my Chronicles of Caleath Word Search and then see what the free letters spell out. Some have SORRY, but most have a surprise doorprize. To check out the list of prizes please visit my website. ROSALIESKINNER.COM

I suggest you print out the puzzle, highlight, or use the line tool in Word to mark the words you find as you play the game. Words could be in any direction and some letters can be used twice. The first few letters remaining, starting at top left will be your code word. The spaces below the words indicate how many letters your code word has.

To enter: Email CaleathsQuest@gmail.com with the subject “competition”. Please include your name and country. Caleath’s competition manager will reply on Wednesday 31st of August with a numbered word search dedicated just for you.

Deadline: To receive your gift you post your code word on Wendy L 's Blog between Sept 2nd and no later than: SEPTEMBER 4th.
Sorry, but if the deadline comes and go you’ll have to wait for the next contest when Book Two: Exiled: Winter’s Curse releases.

Now have fun and good luck!

I hope it is not too late to enter for you. Not sure if you should enter? Then have a look at the

And if you like join launch party on 2nd/3rd September at Wendy L's Blog !!


I received an electronic copy of Exiled: Autumn's Peril and started to read. So far I like it.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Edi's Weekend Wave #1135

6 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #35 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
This issue of the Weekend Wave is different. Maybe because I did not find much time to stroll around in the web. Maybe because I found time to finish and post two reviews. Maybe because I started to play again one of my favorite games. Maybe because I have been infected with the historical fiction virus. Maybe because I read 100 pages more than expected. Maybe because I received two more books to review. Maybe because I listen to a song which does not go out of my head. Maybe because I like to repeat maybe because again and again and again ....

Promised! will not use these words again in this post. And now

ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Reading progress
  2. Catchy song
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Posted about, ordered and received
  2. Requested and agreed
  3. The Kindness of authors
  4. Infected, ordered and received
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Historical fiction virus
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. A teaser
  2. A special trailer
  3. A whole movie
Games
The old codger himself (ediFanoB) tortures PC and Consoles
  1. Oblivion (PS3, GotY edition)
  2. Skyrim (PS3, 11.11.11)

Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Crime quotes

The Lighthouse

It seems there is a small progress in my reading speed. Last week I read 539 pages in six days. That means 89 pages per day and nearly 45 pages per hour!! But to be honest when it comes to A Dance with Dragons it drops to 20 pages per hour.

I finished

- Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
That is one of the best books I read in 2011 so far!!! Absolutely awesome!!


I'm

- 276 pages in A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin.
Which means I read four more chapters.

- 22 pages in Honour and the Sword by A L Berridge

- 160 pages in King's Envoy by Cas Peace
Nothing really new but the setting is interesting and the writing
let you glide through the story.

I think you know how it goes with catchy songs. you listen once and then you can't get them out of your head. And this is my catchy song of the week: A Night Like This performed by Caro Emerald.



Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

In issue #34 of Edi's Weekend Wave I posted about two books which I ordered and received in the meantime. In order not to repeat the post content I just give you this time basic information only. I ordered and receive copies of The Recollection (pb, August 30th 2011] [ISBN-13: 978-1907519987 by Gareth L Powell and City of Pearl (pb, 2004] [ISBN-13: 978-0060541699] by Karen Traviss.

The number of review requests is increasing. I do not want to bore you with the requests I refused. But I think the ones I agreed could be interesting for you as the reviews will appear on my blog. I know that there are readers which look for books as soon they get title, author and ISBN. Therefore I share these information with you. And of course it is good for the author to be mentioned. Last week I received and agreed following review requests:


The Hero always wins (Kindle edition] [ASIN:B005CMGZAU] by Robert Eaton.
"The knight's oath is barely off Darcy's tongue, and already the world is collapsing around him. As the demon hordes of Angra-Jyn slaughter their way toward the city, betrayal amongst the knights' own ranks threatens to destroy them before they can even make their stand. But the blood of a hero flows in Darcy's veins. He will not be discouraged by the war he is losing. He will not be dissuaded by the traitorous assassin who continues to strike in the night. He will not give up, even as friends start to doubt him and sanity begins to slip beyond his grasp. Why? Because victory is his destiny. Because he is the hero, and the hero always wins." [Source]
The last two sentences of the blurb convinced me to read and review it. Don't forget to have a deeper look at the cover. What a strange mirror image in the water ...

The Metalmark Contract (Kindle edition] [ASIN:B004Y60T3E] by David Batchelor.
"The alien Metalmark offered mankind a starship and its advanced technology in a trade for the rights to planet Mercury and moon Triton. What could go wrong? But his appearance sent the nations of Earth into turmoil as many people suspected danger and a trick. Our dreams of futuristic breakthroughs made Metalmark a celebrity in the West, but inflamed the Islamic world. A scientist with the space agency and a CIA spy became two of Metalmark's defenders. Our chance to join superior beings and travel the stars depended on the clash of futurists with ancient traditions. Could he sell us the means to a quantum jump in progress? But . . . he wanted Mercury and Triton for habitats where his species could spawn . . . what did that mean?" [Source]


I liked the setting a lot. Even the basic idea is nothing completely new. But the author added some new elements like the Islamistic world which aroused my interest and which led finally to my decision to read and review it.

I know that these kind of decisions undermine my recently posted picks for the rest of 2011 but I said it before these picks are not carved in stone. I still will have an open eye and ear for review request.

I posted about A L Berridge and her The Chevalier series in Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Stay away from ... So I got in contact with A L Berridge. The result is that I received signed copies of
Honour and the Sword (2010)
[ISBN-13: 978-0141043739]
As you could read above I could not withstand and started to read it

In the Name of the King (2011)
[ISBN-13: 978-0141043746]

Today I received a copy of The Lion of Cairo (pb, 2011] [ISBN-13: 978-0553819830] by Scott Oden.
"Book One of the Emir of the Knife trilogy— a vivid and gripping tale of enchantment and Arabian Nights-style intrigue. On the banks of the ageless Nile, from a palace of gold and lapis lazuli, the young Caliph rules as a figurehead over a crumbling empire. Cairo is awash in deception. In the shadow of the Gray Mosque, generals and emirs jockey for position under the scheming eyes of the powerful grand vizier. Egypt bleeds and the scent draws her enemies in like sharks. Yet, the Caliph has an unexpected ally—the Old Man of the Mountain who holds the power of life and death over the warring factions of the Moslem world, and he sends his greatest weapon into Egypt. He sends a single man. An Assassin. The one they call the Emir of the Knife...." [Source]
There is a reason behind why I ordered this book which I will explain in the next section of this post.

No more today, see you next week ......

Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

I admit I have a knack for historical fiction. Need a proof? Then read my posts
Edi's Lighthoue Chatter:Picks for the rest of 2011
Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Stay away from ...
But since last week I'm sure I have been infected by the historical fiction virus. It happened on Thursday during lunch time. I like to read a few blog posts during my lunch break. And I did the same on August 25th. I switched over to My Favorite Books and read following review The Lion of Oden by Scott Oden. Read is not the right word. I devoured the review. This is far beyond to be a book review. It is as much a homage to The Lion of Cairo as the book is a homage to Cairo.
As soon as I finished the review I left a comment and signed in to Amazon and ordered a copy!
To be honest that is not a normal reaction. For me it was the final proof that I have been infected by the historical fiction virus. What's about do? Do you like these kind of books? Anyway I will read and review The Lion of Cairo as the other six history related books I picked for the rest of 2011.

And these are the magic seven related to specific regions and/or countries

ORIENT
- The Lion of Cairo (pb, 2011] [ISBN-13: 978-0553819830] by Scott Oden.
- A Place called Armageddon (pb, October 2011)
[ISBN-13: 978-1409121602]by CC Humphreys
- VARANGIAN: The Stone of Babylon by Sabine Atkins.

ENGLAND
- Dark Fire (pb, 2004) [ISBN-13: 978-0330450782] by C. J. Sansom
- Prophecy (pb, august 18th 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0007317738] by S. J. Parris

FRANCE
- Honour and the Sword (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0141043739] A L Berridge
- In the Name of the King (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0141043746] by A L Berridge


That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......

Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

Today the movie section differs a bit from what you are used to see here.

Let me start with a teaser which I definitely would have missed. But luckily I have readers which provide my with links. In this case a big thank you goes to RaveAir who is a fellow blogger from Hungary. And have a look at the teaser of the first full length Hungarian steapunk sc-fi movie Thelomeris. So far the official Thelomeris site does not offer more information than a link to Facebook where I found following information:
"Thelomeris is an independent science fiction thriller / drama movie, placed in a mystical, dark city, where everything is controlled by the enormous, dark tower, the Clock Factory. The creative consultant of the screenplay is Mark Hamill ( Luke Skywalker from Star Wars )." [Source]

I would like to see more before I build up my mind. So far I can say while watching the teaser one old but still extraordinary good movie cam up in my mind: Metropolis by Fritz Lang ..... Don't get me wrong I do not compare these two movies! But the pictures of the town ....

Normally you expect movie trailers at this point of the post. I'm sure a lot of you have seen this trailer before on other blog. But as this trailer looks more than just a book trailer and as I really like the trailer I post it here and now:



Finally I would like to show you what is possible when you have a budget of 1.800 USD and enough time within a period of 3 and a half years:
"After his wife Alina (Nikki Gaertner-Eaton) is kidnapped by a group of slave traders and put up for sale to the highest bidder, Emerson Marks (Peter Rossi), captain of the airship ‘Aurora’ flies out in search of her. With his crew’s opinions divided and the ruthless slave trader LeMaher (Mark Aitchison) in his way, Emerson must decide how much he is willing to sacrifice in order to bring back the one he loves." [Source]
Before you start to watch the movie let me tell you that it takes 30 minutes of your time ...



That's all for today. See you next time....


Games

Hey, it's me ediFanoB. Against all odds I play games. Once a while I will talk about games I like.

In former years I liked to play role playing games and action adventures on PC and consoles (Sony and Nintendo). In the meantime our main PC does not meet the system requirements of new games. And since I started with this blog I lost interest in playing games.
That changed in the past weeks. One word is the synonym for this change: SKYRIM

Our whole family like the games in the ElderScrolls series a lot. I can't count the hours we spent with Morrowind and Oblivion. And now part 5 is ahead. The magic date is 11.11.11 !!!

As described above, we will not be able to play SKYRIM on our PC. Therefore we will go for the PS3 version. And as especially my wife and I wanted to play again Oblivion we bought a copy of the Game of the Year edition for PS3. Now we spend out time in the evening alternating playing Oblivion and reading books ...

In case you don't know ElderScrolls series I decided to show you two trailers as a first impression.

OBLIVION Game of the Year edition forPS3 trailer


SKYRIM trailer


By the way I'm playing a female wood elf who is member of the Dark Brotherhood and and the Thieves Guild. My favorite weapon is the bow.

That's it for now. See you when I have time ....


Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

It is a crime that Edi does not give me enough to discover quotes. And therefore I thought quotes related to crime would fit perfectly today ....

"The reason there is so little crime in Germany is that it's against the law.
Alex Levin

"Behind every great fortune there is a crime.
Honore de Balzac, French realist novelist (1799 - 1850)

"Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year and spends very little on office supplies.
Woody Allen, US movie actor, comedian, & director (1935 - )

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Edi's Spotlight: Fistful of Reefer by David Mark Brown

2 comments
NEW REVIEW STRUCTURE

Introduction

I think this review is a novelty on this blog. For the first time I review a self-published e-book.
In July 2011 I received a mail from author David Mark Brown. He kindly asked if I would like to read and review Fistful of Reefer which is the first book in his Reeferpunk universe. I never heard of Reeferpunk before. Fortunately David Mark Brown provided me with additional information which finally convinced me to give Fistful of Reefer a try.
Before I go into details I would like to give you the authors definition of Reeferpunk as an appetizer.
"Reeferpunk is a dieselpunk, spaghetti-Western, refried alternate-history of what could have become of the southern half of North America if cheap oil never got cheap, and instead brilliant minds devised an early cellulosic ethanol from the wondrous cannabis plant." [Source]

Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store.
In case of Fistful of Reefer it is a little bit different because it is available as an electronic copy. Therefore the reader depends on the information at an online book store Here we go:

Fistful of Reefer (Kindle edition, 553kb, July 2011)
[Amazon ASIN: B005DUB4X4]
by David Mark Brown.


"Product description
Fistful of Reefer is a dieselpunk, weird Western pulp featuring goats, guns and the camaraderie of outcasts. Set along the Texas border during the waining years of the Mexican revolution, Fistful focuses on a group of unlikely heros and their unlikely foe as they stumble upon the fringes of a cabal bent on world domination. Fistful lives between No country for Old Men and the Three Amigos.
David Mark Brown's debut novel is the first in the Reeferpunk series -- a spaghetti-Western, refried alternate history that explores the ramifications of an industrial revolution sans cheap oil.

Synopsis
Marijuana was the plan, liberty the dream, revolution the result. Viva this!
The year is 1918. Chancho Villarreal and his Native American friends, Muddy and Nena, live a quiet life on their goat ranch and marijuana farm north of Del Rio, Texas. But when ghosts from Chancho's revolutionary past combine with local panic over stories of the demon El Chupacabra, the three friends inadvertently draw the attention of Texas Ranger, T.J. McCutchen.
McCutchen has made it his personal crusade to prevent the little known intoxicant, marijuana, from corrupting his borderlands, despite the dark secret that he depends on its medicinal properties to control his seizures. When he discovers the remains of the marijuana field his worst fears are confirmed — the drug is being grown in Texas soil.
To stay ahead of McCutchen's brutal brand of justice Chancho, Muddy and Nena, are forced to pack up all their worldly possessions, including their marijuana harvest and herd of goats. What follows is an action-packed ride across the wilds of a weird-west, dieselpunk Texas haunted by rumors of El Chupacabras behind every bush." [Source]

My Expectations
After reading the information above I asked myself if it is necessary to write a review of Fistful of Reefer because the text delivers a lot of information. In the end I thought the book deserves some explanatory words.
The cover did not give me a real hint except that marijuana and some folklore will be important for the story. But the use of key words like spaghetti-Western and alternate-history aroused certain pictures in me. And to be honest I was not sure if that was what I wanted to read.
But prejudice is not reviewers best friend. I decided to read the book without any expectations except I wanted to have a good and entertaining time.


Theme

Burden under all the action, the thoughtful passages, funny elements and crazy stuff it is friendship and the value of friendship which is the dominating theme. And it blossoms in the nearly heartbreaking moments which you find throughout the whole book.

Even friendship is a very traditional theme the presentation is done in a refreshing way where stoned goats are only the tip of the iceberg.

But one should not forget the side theme principles. I do not want to give away too much but I promise that you will easily detect the stickler for principles who acts strongly following the rule "that which must not, can not be".

Finally it is also a book about racism.
David Mark Brown found a way to combine friendship with racism in an unagitated an not overly didactic style. That means you will recognize racism if you are willing to.


Setting

As you could read in the synopsis Fistful of Reefer is set in an alternate version of Mexican and American history around 1918. From my point of view it is well executed. recreates the sense of western and adds a mystery touch. David Mark Brown knows the landscape very well and use it perfectly for his purposes. You feel like standing in the middle of the scenery.

The author shows his talent in the extraordinary well crafted action scenes.
The flash-flood scene is outstanding. Don't drown while reading!

Story and setting build an inextricably unit.

I have one complain on a high level. I expected more dieselpunk elements.


Plot

I think it is superfluous to repeat the synopsis. I would like to add that the story contains some real unexpected twists and turns. Most of the time the reader does not know more than the main characters which is a detail I like. After a while you think you will know what will happen next. But I assure you David Mark Brown is always good for a surprise. Did I mention the goats?


Character(s)

There are four main characters which represent the themes described above.
All of them are well developed characters which appear intense, dynamic and alive. They have personality and you take part in their development.

There is McCutchen, an aging Texas Ranger who smokes ..... sorry I can't tell you more
There is a trio of friends who try to make their living:
- Muddy, an African American
- Nena, a strong Native American woman
- Chancho, a Mexican with a revolutionary past

Along the story we meet a lot of interesting people who get as much attention as necessary to propel the story forward. Beside the human beings we have the ghost of Chupracabra and there are goats. Did I mention goats? And there are plants ....


Style

The style is flowing which leads you easily from page to page. The author has a good timing with arrangement of the different elements like action, depictions, explanations, dialogue. Partially the story is highly emotional which fits perfectly to the main them. And then there is humor. Be prepared to laugh out loud. Did I mention the goats?
All in all the story is told light-footed and intoxicating at times with a sparkle in the eye and at times with tears in the eyes either from laughter or from sadness.


The Inevitable

Fistful of Reefer has been a surprising read. It delivers loveable characters easy to connect with (no, in this case I do not mean the goats), great action scenes, funny elements and unexpected twists and turns. This good mix of dieselpunk, western and alternate history lets time fly by.

If you are looking for an unconventional, entertaining read with meat and you would like to get "stoned" by reading then ask your local dealer (of reading material) for a
Fistful of Reefer!!!

I look forward to read what will happen next in the Reeferpunk Universe.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Edi's Spotlight: Low Town The Straight Razor Cure by Daniel Polansky

4 comments
Introduction

Today I review the debut novel The Straight Razor Cure (UK, hc, August 18th 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1444721294] by Daniel Polansky. A thank you goes to publisher Hodder & Stoughton for sending me a review copy.
Before you get confused let me tell you that the book has been published in US by Doubleday with title Low Town (US, hc, August 16th 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0385534468].

And as I reviewed the UK edition I wanted to post my review on UK publishing date! But as you can see I failed by nearly one week.


Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store.
Here we go:
The Straight Razor Cure
(UK, hc, August 18th 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1444721294]
by Daniel Polansky

"Welcome to Low Town. Here, the criminal is king. The streets are filled with the screeching of fish hags, the cries of swindled merchants, the inviting murmurs of working girls. Here, people can disappear, and the lacklustre efforts of the guard ensure they are never found.

Warden is an ex-soldier who has seen the worst men have to offer; now a narcotics dealer with a rich, bloody past and a way of inviting danger. You`d struggle to find someone with a soul as dark and troubled as his.

But then a missing child, murdered and horribly mutilated, is discovered in an alley.

And then another.

With a mind as sharp as a blade and an old but powerful friend in the city, he`s the only man with a hope of finding the killer.

If the killer doesn`t find him first." [Source]

My Expectations
I expected a dark and gritty novel with sweat and gore, investigative work in a town with a high crime rate.


Theme

Deep in the core it is the story of man who is the reflection of his surrounding in search of the answer for one question: The meaning of life.
Let me say so if you know Low Town in all its facets, the people, the houses, alleys and streets, the history, the smell, dreams, hope, disappointment, violence and , and, and ... then you know the character of the Warden and vice versa.

And Daniel Polansky fathom the Warden and Low Town buy using an incident which triggers the Warden deep down in the locked ruins of his childhood. On the surface the reader is confronted with a kind of detective noir story which leads the way to discover Low Town and The Warden.


Setting

Daniel Polansky presents one of main antagonists - the town Low Town - as an medieval European coined town. You know this kind of town where criminal brotherhoods which are mingled with upper class are the secret rulers, where the content of chamber pots is directly disposed on the streets, where cut purser belong to markets like a bell to a church.

And there is a world outside of Low Town. The information we get about the worlddepends on the Warden's past. Anyway there is religion, a kind of magic and there are supernatural events.

The depiction of Low Town is excellent. It opens the matrix in your brain which transport you directly into the streets. Stay away from dark alleys and don't forget your nose clip just in order to avoid to clean your favorite reading chair from your potential vomit.

If you cut out and put together all the town description snippets you could easily use it for a pen and paper role playing game.

Low Town is the secret star of the book. It is what makes the book unique.


Plot

The plot has been revealed with the blurb. The Warden in the search of someone who murders children. Of course there are twist and turns and often the reader does not know more than the Warden himself. If you read very carefully you will have a clue how it will end.

But for me the plot is just the golden thread which lead the reader through the personality of the Warden and the personality of Low Town which is for me the secret star of the book.
On a second sight this book is more a psychogram of the Warden manifested in his surrounding.
And drugs, violence, sweat and gore, distrust, cattiness but also trust, love, friendship and a bit of hope are the ingredients of the blood which pulsate through the veins of the story.


Character(s)

The Warden is the as main antagonist of the story. His personalty is the reflection of Low Town. Like a description of a house or an alleyway find their expression in the depths of the Warden. The more we get to know about the Warden the more we get to know about Low Town . After reading the book you seem to know the Warden like a psychologist his patient after several sessions.

Which means that Daniel Polansky did a great job with the characterization of the Warden.

Of course there are more people and the author delivers information about them in relation to their importance. Sometimes you get more information about a character within a few sentences where other authors need a page or two.


Style

The style is without frills, sometimes it punch you right in the face. Dialogue is brisk and on the spot. Daniel Polansky is a word juggler on its on. You find a lot of vocabulary which you would not expect to be used in a fantasy novel. And once a while you will be delighted with a harsh and dry humor which stitch you from a dark and moldy gap.


The Inevitable

The Straight Razor Cure is a strong debut and a must read for everyone who is looking for a good blend of detective noir and fantasy where the detective noir elements outbalance the fantasy elements like the supernatural/magic.

For me it was a great read but not my novel of the year because my relationship to the Warden was mostly cold and distant.

Anyway I look forward to the next book by Daniel Polansky.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Edi's Weekend Wave #1134

5 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #34 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
Again and again I'm surprised how many blogger can spend so much time for their blog, social media, writing reviews, reading books and, and, and, .... My time is really limited by my job. When I leave home in the morning I do not know when I come back in the evening. Yesterday has been a good example for that. I wanted to leave work at 3 pm. Finally I left at 5.30 pm. Fortunately I have just a ten minute walk from company to my home. And then I had to hurry up because our annual department barbeque started a 6 pm! At 10 pm we (my wife and I) we arrived at home after barbeque. At 10.30 pm I fell asleep!! That means a whole day without reading and internet!!! Now it is Saturday late evening and I prepare the post which you are now reading. This issue is heavily trailer oriented. Hope you like it.
Ooooooooooooops!!! Please apologize. I fell a sleep while writing. That is the reason for the delay.

ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Reading progress
  2. Apology
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Edric the Varangian
  2. The Kingdom of Gods Cover
  3. Craziness
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Dieselpunk
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Trespass
  2. The Woman in Black
  3. Bunraku
  4. Anonymous
  5. Red Tail
Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms One and one

The Lighthouse

It seems there is a small progress in my reading speed. Last week I read 539 pages in six days. That means 89 pages per day and nearly 45 pages per hour!! But to be honest when it comes to A Dance with Dragons it drops to 20 pages per hour.

I finished

- The Awakening by DCS
I was confused a bit until I found the family tree of the Terenzio family.
I liked it and look forward to the next book in the series.

- The Revisionists (September 2011) by Thomas Mullen
It confused me several times. But there have been good parts too.


I'm

- 2183 (thanks to RaveAir) 218 pages in A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin.
A slow progress

- 258 pages in Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
Absolutely great read!!

- 101 pages in King's Envoy by Cas Peace
Nothing really new but the setting is interesting and the writing
let you glide through the story.

Apology
On August 18th I wanted to post my review of The Straight Razor Cure by Daniel Polansky which I promised the author. That was the plan and I failed. I will make up for it as soon as possible.


Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

Do you know the Varangian Guard? I must admit I never heard about it. It was an elite unit of viking mercenaries and part of the Byzantine Army from 900 to 1400. They are part of military history.
Why the hell do I talk about long forgotten mercenaries? The answer is quite simple. It all started with a visit of Varangian: The Stone of Babylon!
This is the official website of the forthcoming book trilogy by Sabine Atkins.

The Bait

Hidden in time – Here to stay

Edric the Varangian protects the most powerful artifact in the world, and not even time can stop him from having lots of adventures.

Novel

Genres: Superhero, Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction

And that is the point where Sabine Atkins caught me! Look at the mix of genres! As soon as you know more about the Varangian Guard you can easily add history. But Sabine Atkins continue to water the mouth of potential readers.

This book is forthcoming. Follow my progress here, read chapters online for free!

Click here to start:

Prologue

Now you may say to offer a free read of the prologue is nothing unusual. And I agree with you. But there is more. Beside the prologue you can read seven more chapters!! Just follow the link above. After the seventh chapter you will ask how many chapters are missing until the end of the book? This is the answer given by Sabine Atkins:
"I’m currently writing/editing the last 3 chapters which will be published in the first book of my “Edric the Varangian” trilogy:

Chapter 8: Return to Black River Cave

Chapter 9: Seraphim Dream

Chapter 10: The most dangerous man who ever lived

That means you can read most of the book for free! Then there is only one question left:
“VARANGIAN: The Stone of Babylon” will be coming out in fall 2011!

I'm glad that I found time to read the prologue and chapter one. I must say style and story are convincing. Even in these parts of the book you get a first glimpse of what to expect:history, action, fantasy, alchemy and not to forget a spark of superhero. I definitely want to know how the story of Eldric continues! I look forward to fall 2011.

Dear Sabine Atkins, in case you are still looking for reviewers of VARANGIAN: The Stone of Babylon please let me know. I would like to read and review your book.

UPDATE
I received a kind mail from Sabine Atkins. She asked me to add following information which I do herewith:
"By the way, if possible, could you mention in your post that Edric is
an Anglo-Saxon Varangian? After 1066, many Anglo-Saxon mercenaries
joined the Guard, and I was especially fascinated with this aspect.
It's therefore also a, mostly forgotten, part of the history of Great
Britain."
And I do a little bit more. I provide you with a link where you can get detailed information about Anglo-Saxon Varangians:
English Refugees in the Byzantine Armed Forces: The Varangian Guard and Anglo-Saxon Ethnic Consciousness By Nicholas C.J. Pappas

And to my pleasure I will get the whole novel for reading and reviewing!!!

I like it when covers in series follow the same style. In October 2011 The Kingdom of Gods [ISBN-13: 978-1841498195] by N. K. Nemisin will be published. It is the third and final book in The Inheritance Trilogy. I own a copy of the first book - unread. I remember I read an excerpt and liked it. It is a shame how many unread books sit on my shelf. I will not go into the series details. Just visit the official N. K. Jemisin site.
A few days ago the cover of
The Kingdom of Gods has been revealed.
The cover fits perfectly to the other ones.

If you want to know more about these covers I highly recommend to read Cover Launch: THE KINGDOM OF GODS by N. K. Jemisin by Orbit Art Director Lauren Panepinto. Over there you get much larger pics of the covers and you can bask in cover details.


While searching for blog content I discovered an interesting science fiction novel. You may know that I do not read much SF. But since I started to read Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey my interest in SF is steadily rising. After reading following cover blurb I knew immediately that I want to read The Recollection (pb, August 30th 2011] [ISBN-13: 978-1907519987
] by Gareth L Powell.
"When his brother disappears into a bizarre gateway on a London Underground escalator, failed artist Ed Rico and his brother's wife Alice have to put aside their feelings for each other to go and find him. Their quest through the 'arches' will send them hurtling through time, to new and terrifying alien worlds.

Four hundred years in the future, Katherine Abdulov must travel to a remote planet in order to regain the trust of her influential family. The only person standing in her way is her former lover, Victor Luciano, the ruthless employee of a rival trading firm.

Hard choices lie ahead as lives and centuries clash and, in the unforgiving depths of space, an ancient evil stirs..."[Source]

I do not live near Bristol, UK. Therefore it is impossible for me to take part in
LAUNCH EVENT for GARETH L POWELL'S 'THE RECOLLECTION' at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, Clifton Heights, Triangle West, BRISTOL, on Thursday 25th August 6 – 7pm.

But I can do other crazy things. I rearranged my open book orders and placed an order for a copy of
The Recollection (pb, August 30th 2011] [ISBN-13: 978-1907519987] by Gareth L Powell.
I expect delivery
beginning of next week. Next question will be when I want to read it. I posted my picks for the rest of 2011 last week. Even I have principles I must say my TBR list is not carved in stone ... I have to think about slight changes.

When you think this has been today's peak of my craziness I must disappoint you. I do not really remember how it happened but another book stepped into my way. City of Pearl (pb, 2004] [ISBN-13: 978-0060541699] by Karen Traviss. It is the first book in the Wess'Har Wars series. I'm sure some of you will know the series. I heard about it and the six books are part of my never ending book list. After rereading the blurb and the in depth review over at sffworld.com I could not withstand and ordered a copy.
"Three separate alien societies have claims on Cavanagh's Star. But the new arrivals -- the gethes from Earth -- now threaten the tenuous balance of a coveted world.

Environmental Hazard Enforcement officer Shan Frankland agreed to lead a mission to Cavanagh's Star, knowing that 150 years would elapse before she could finally return home. But her landing, with a small group of scientists and Marines, has not gone unnoticed by Aras, the planet's designated guardian. An eternally evolving world himself, this sad, powerful being has already obliterated millions of alien interlopers and their great cities to protect the fragile native population. Now Shan and her party -- plus the small colony of fundamentalist humans who preceded them -- could face a similar annihilation . . . or a fate far worse. Because Aras possesses a secret of the blood that would be disastrous if it fell into human hands -- if the gethes survive the impending war their coming has inadvertently hastened." [Source]

Fortunately my craziness stopped after ordering City of Pearl. And no, I won't tell you when I will read it....


No more today, see you next week ......

Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

If you expected more Web Urbanist links I must disappoint you. Recently I mentioned dieselpunk in combination with

Fistful of Reefer by David Mark Brown. I know, I know. The review is still in progress. But that is another topic. Do you know what dieselpunk is?
I found following definition over at dieselpunks.org.
"Dieselpunk is an art style and subculture that blends the aesthetics / pop culture of the 1920s - 1950s with today. To us, the "diesel era" was a time defined by warfare, Art Deco, pulp heroes, swing music, and noir gum shoes. Our goal is to create something unexpected by merging the zeitgeist of the past with the technology and attitude of the future."

That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......

Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.




TRESPASS
"In a private, wealthy community, priority is placed on security and no exception is made for the Miller family's estate. Behind their pristine walls and manicured gardens, Kyle, a fast-talking businessman, has entrusted the mansion's renovation to his stunning wife, Sarah. But between making those big decisions and keeping tabs on their defiant teenage daughter, Sarah often finds herself distracted by a young, handsome worker at their home. Nothing is what it seems, and it will take a group of cold-blooded criminals led by Elias, who have been planning a vicious home invasion for months, to bring the Miller family together. When they storm the manor, everyone is tangled up in betrayal, deception, temptation and scheming. Kyle, Sarah and Avery will take the ultimate risk to make it out with their lives -- and their family -- intact." [Source: Additional trailer comment]

I assume you will agree that the plot is not that new. We have seen similar movies before. To be honest the trailer did not convince me to see the film on big screen. And since I read Nicole Kidman film Trespass goes straight to video I know I'm not alone with my opinion.
In case you did not see the trailer so far. Have a look and build up your mind.



THE WOMAN IN BLACK
There is a life after Harry Potter. In February 2012 Daniel Radcliffe will appear on the big screen as lawyer Arthur Kipps in the remake of 1989 television drama The Woman in Black. Like the first one the 2012 version of The Woman in Black is based on the novel The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. I do not know whether the movie is a 100% book adaption or not.
"A young lawyer travels to a remote village to organize a recently deceased client's papers, where he discovers the ghost of a scorned woman set on vengeance. " [Source]
And now have a look at the trailer.



BUNRAKU
"A mysterious drifter (Josh Hartnett) and an ardent young Japanese warrior Yoshi (Gackt) both arrive in a town that has been terrorized by outrageous and virulent criminals. Each is obsessed with his separate mission, and guided by the wisdom of The Bartender (Woody Harrelson) at the Horseless Horseman Saloon, the two eventually join forces to bring down the corrupt and contemptuous reign of Nicola (Ron Perlman), the awesomely evil woodcutter and his lady Alexandra (Demi Moore), a femme fatale with a secret past. This classic tale is re-vitalized and re-imagined in an entirely fresh visual context, set in a unique world that mixes skewed reality with shadow-play fantasy, a place where even the landscape can betray you. Heroes triumph here only because the force of their will transforms and transcends both space and time. The world of BUNRAKU is past and present, fantasy and reality, Samurai and Western all combined. Like SIN CITY and 300, it gives classic conflict a whole new graphically supercharged dynamic. Resonating through a wide range of cultures and showcasing a mind-blowing array of martial arts disciplines, BUNRAKU is a fresh arena for breathtaking fight action." [Source: trailer text]
Gorgeous pictures which show what you have read before. I found it intriguing.



ANONYMOUS
This is not the first time that I show you a trailer of the upcoming movie directed by Roland Emmerich.
"In Elizabethan England, political intrigue abounds between the Tudors and the Cecils for the succession of Queen Elizabeth I (Vanessa Redgrave), as the Essex Rebellion moves against her. The film follows the involvement of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (Rhys Ifans), as not only the incestuous lover of Queen Elizabeth, but also the true author of the works of William Shakespeare." [Source: additional trailer text]
I like the story and I'm totally fascinated by the views of London.



RED TAIL LONG

"Red Tails is an upcoming film directed by Anthony Hemingway, from a script by John Ridley and story by executive producer George Lucas. It is based on the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American combat pilots during World War II, and is the first Lucasfilm Ltd. production since Radioland Murders (1994) not to be associated with the Indiana Jones or Star Wars franchises." [Source: additional trailer comment]

I know there are countless movies about World War II. But Red Tail is not a war movie only. It is also a movie about American history and especially a movie about racism in the US Air Force.
The story is based the Tuskegee Airmen.

"1944. World War II rages and the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. Meanwhile the black pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program are courageously waging two wars at once -- one against enemies overseas, and the other against discrimination within the military and back home. Racial prejudices have long held ace airman Martin "Easy" Julian (Nate Parker) and his black pilots back at base -- leaving them with little to do but further hone their flying skills -- while their white counterparts are shipped out to combat after a mere three months of training. Mistakenly deemed inferior and assigned only second-rate planes and missions, the pilots of Tuskegee have mastered the skies with ease but have not been granted the opportunity to truly spread their wings. Until now.
As the war in Europe continues to take its dire toll on Allied forces, Pentagon brass has no recourse but to reconsider these under-utilized pilots for combat duty. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) awards them the ultimate chance to prove their mettle high above. Undaunted by the prospect of providing safe escort to bombers in broad daylight -- a mission so dangerous that the RAF has refused it and the white fighter groups have sustained substantial losses -- Easy's pilots at last join the fiery aerial fray. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies in a heroic endeavor to combat the enemy -- and the discrimination that has kept them down for so long." [Source: additional trailer comment].

So I expect a movie who will give on the one hand a picture about the racism in The US Air Force and on the other hand I expect breath taking air battles. I do not glorify war but the world of propeller-driven airplanes is still fascinating me.

I show you two trailers. The first one gives you a more general overview. The second one shows some of the incredible air battle scenes.

Trailer 1


Trailer 2



That's all for today. See you next time....

Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

To be honest Edi is driving me nuts. Every time when I wanted to search for quotes he fell asleep. I'm afraid he is preparing his hibernation. At least I found two quotes worth to share with you. Both of them put a smile on my virtual face ...
"When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision.
Lord Falkland (1610 - 1643)

"Television – a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done.
Ernie Kovacs, Comedian (1919-1962)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Picks for rest of 2011

7 comments
Only 136 days left until the end of 2011. For me the time has come to think about what I want to read until the end of the year. If I could I would read a hundred books and more. But dreaming does not help.
I have to face reality.

Torn between "old" and new ones, tumbling between science fiction, epic fantasy, steampunk, historical mystery and thrillers, keeping in mind to fulfill promised review request and not lose track on my own and some times secret reading wishes, I look at my to-read bookshelf on GOODREADS.

I started to fill this shelf in 2007 and now there are 1403 books. I think I have to review the shelf because in the past years my taste changed a bit and it does not make sense to keep books on the shelf which I do not want to read. But that is not my task for today. Today my goal is to prepare my list of books which I want to read until the end of 2011. I think my 2011 reading goal - to read 70 pages per day - will be helpful. 70 pages multiplied by 365 days equals 25550 pages.
Including today there are 70 x 136 = 9520 pages left. As soon as I have decided which books to read I will calculate the number of pages and compare the result with the remaining pages.

Of course I will finish my current reads:

- A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin.
750 pages left; I'm sure I will not finish it by end of August
It is a great, great read

- The Revisionists (September 2011) by Thomas Mullen
200 pages left; I'm sure I will finish it by end of August
It differs a lot from the time travel novels I know.

- Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
320 pages left; I'm sure I will finish it by end of August
For me it is definitely a candidate for my book of the year 2011!

- of King's Envoy (pb, July 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1936850136] byCas Peace.
265 pages left; I started to read it yesterday! It comes in with a kind of easiness.
Which means I turn pages faster than I expected.

King's Envoy is the first book in the Artesans of Albia trilogy.
" ‘Artesans’ is a towering, triple-trilogy fantasy series charting the attempts of a fanatical Albian Baron to rid his realm of the Artesan craft he despises. Throughout the course of the series he stops at nothing to achieve his aim. Friend is set against friend, lover against lover, and ally against ally. His treacherous machinations set the very realms at war.
He is opposed at every turn by Major Sullyan, a member of the High King’s fighting forces. Initially unaware of the Baron’s treachery, Sullyan soon becomes his sworn and implacable enemy. Their conflict will threaten the fabric of the world." [Source]
Due to information from publisher the second book - King's Champion - will be published in August 2012 and the final book in the trilogy - King's Artesan - will be published in August 2013.



Books promised to read and review

Let me start with two books where I received electronic copies. I found the blurb promising.

- The Ascension by DCS
Finished reading. Sometimes the Terenzio family confused me. But despite that I will read the second book in the series too:

The Ascension [Kindle Edition; Published July 3rd 2010] by DCS is the second book in the series.
"A lifetime ago, Stefano Vasco Terenzio saw one way to maneuver his family into a game of betrayal against an unbeatable enemy; walking into a bullet. A generation later, what started with one man’s ego will determine the fate of the whole word. For centuries The Brotherhood and their Gods, the Anunnaki have hidden in plain sight among us. For centuries they have lied, sacrificed man by the thousands, and manipulated humanity into their service. As the clock ticks closer to December 21st, 2012, they will stop at nothing to keep their control of planet Earth. In the thrilling sequel to Synarchy Book 1: The Awakening, the end is only the beginning. Secrets emerge that will challenge the core of everything you think you believe. All the while a team of scientists must make sense out of the fantastical, and the tenuous link holding together the one family that can save humankind, shatters." [Source]

I got in contact with A L Berridge, who is the author of The Chevalier series.
"The ‘Chevalier' series follows the fictional life and adventures of André de Roland through some of the most tumultuous years in French history. As the series ends, Louis XIV has attained his majority, the Age of the Hero is over, and the Age of Absolutism is about to begin.
The series is driven by the central character of André de Roland, a Don Quixote figure whose extraordinary upbringing outside his own class has imbued him with a humanity almost unheard of in his own day, but with a sense of honour never acknowledged in our own. The combination is lethal. André's humanity leads him to ignore social conventions in his concern for the oppressed, while his honour requires him to defend them with the sword. ‘Honour and the Sword' establishes how such a man came to exist in the first place, while the series follows his adventures as the innocent abroad in the historical realities of a France torn apart by war, political conspiracy, and violent civil conflict. " [Source]
So far two books in the series have been published. I added them to my never ending book list.
I love to read historical beside all the fantasy and science fiction stuff.
A L Berridge promised me to send me copies of her books and I promised her to read and review them

Honour and the Sword (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0141043739]
"It is 1636 - the height of the Thirty Years War, one of the bloodiest and most destructive conflicts Europe has ever seen. As the campaigning season begins, the Spanish armies swell out of the Artois region of the Netherlands - flooding into King Louis XIII's France. The sleepy border village of Dax-en-roi stands in their way. Facing the overwhelming might of the Spanish forces, the Chevalier de Roland rallies a valiant defence, but in vain - his household guard no match for the invaders. There is only one survivor as the Roland estate is razed to the ground, one soul who escapes the Spanish brutality: the lone heir to the Roland name, the son, a young boy by the name of André de Roland, the new Sieur of Dax . . .Upon this young nobleman?s shoulders all hope lies. He alone must bear the honour of the Roland name and, with it, the fate of his people."
[Source] Read the Falcata Times review.

In the Name of the King (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0141043746]
" 1640, and the pall of war hangs over France . . .
Across the ravaged countryside, French soldiers are gathering in vast camps, as they prepare to take on the might of the Spanish Army.
Entering Paris is André de Roland, a young and idealistic French aristocrat. He has scarcely set foot in the city when he is compelled to defend a young woman’s honour by crossing swords with a cruel nobleman. Accused of treason and forced into hiding, he finds he has stumbled on a conspiracy within the King’s household to seize power by a secret alliance with Spain. It is the hour of his country’s greatest need and Andre is alone. He must risk his life and honour in the battle to save France.
In the Name of the King is an epic pageturner of political intrigue at court and brutal warfare in the field. It is also a story of nobility and love, as the destiny of one young man, his King and his country become inextricably intertwined. " [Source] Read the Falcata Times review.

Thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for sending me a copy of Outpost (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1444709032] by Adam Baker.
The time has come for me to read a post apocalyptic novel:
fiction.

"They took the job to escape the world
They didn`t expect the world to end.

Kasker Rampart: a derelict refinery platform moored in the Arctic Ocean. A skeleton crew of fifteen fight boredom and despair as they wait for a relief ship to take them home.

But the world beyond their frozen wasteland has gone to hell. Cities lie ravaged by a global pandemic. One by one TV channels die, replaced by silent wavebands.

The Rampart crew are marooned. They must survive the long Arctic winter, then make their way home alone. They battle starvation and hypothermia, unaware that the deadly contagion that has devastated the world is heading their way..." (Source)


Tor/Forge.com sent me a copy of 7th Sigma (hc, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0312877156] by Steven Gould. I must say I'm intrigued since I read the blurb:
"Welcome to the territory. Leave your metal behind, all of it. The bugs will eat it, and they’ll go right through you to get it…Don’t carry it, don’t wear it, and for god’s sake don’t come here if you’ve got a pacemaker.
The bugs showed up about fifty years ago--self-replicating, solar-powered, metal-eating machines. No one knows where they came from. They don’t like water, though, so they’ve stayed in the desert Southwest. The territory. People still live here, but they do it without metal. Log cabins, ceramics, what plastic they can get that will survive the sun and heat. Technology has adapted, and so have the people.
Kimble Monroe has chosen to live in the territory. He was born here, and he is extraordinarily well adapted to it. He’s one in a million. Maybe one in a billion." [Source]

7th Sigma made to my list of books to read until the end of 2011.


The "rest" of my 2011 TBR

I present you the books in specific order but with an individual comment why I added it to the list.


The list would absolutely incomplete with out my second most anticipated read in 2011. I received my copy in March, it traveled with my to the Baltic Sea shore and back.
It is "brick" with a weight of 1.286 kg = 2.8351 lbs and a measured height of 6 cm = 2.3622 inch.
"Only" 994 pages!!
The Wise Man's Fear (trade paperback, UK 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0575081420] by Patrick Rothfuss is the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicle.



And there are more books from my summer holiday book bag. They all have in common that they are part of series.

Time travel with me back to England in 1540. I look forward to enter the world of Matthew Shardlake. Dark Fire (pb, 2004) [ISBN-13: 978-0330450782] by C. J. Sansom is the second book in the series. The main character is unusual and the author is known for his excellent description of historical England.
""It is 1540, and Henry VIII has been on the throne for thirty-one years when Matthew Shardlake, the lawyer renowned as "the sharpest hunchback in the courts of England," is pressed to help a friend's young niece who is charged with murder. Despite threats of torture and death by the rack, the girl is inexplicably silent. Shardlake is about to lose her case when he is suddenly granted a reprieve - one that will ensnare him again in the dangerous schemes of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's feared vicar general." In exchange for two more weeks to investigate the murder, Shardlake accepts Cromwell's assignment to find a lost cache of "Dark Fire," an ancient weapon of mass destruction. Cromwell, out of favor since Henry's disastrous marriage to Anne of Cleves, is relying on Shardlake's discovery to save his position at court, which is rife with conspiracy." [Source]
To be honest I do not know for how long the copy of Magic of Dawn (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0756406462] by S L Farrell. I own all books in the Nessantico Cycle which is in fact a trilogy. Machiavellian politics promise gray characters and that promises entertaining hours.
If will like it then book two and three will enter my 2012 read list.
"An intricate tale of murder and magic, deception and betrayal, Machiavellian politics, star-crossed lovers, and a world on the brink of devastating war....

Over the decades and slow centuries, the city of Nessantico spread its influence in all directions, subsuming and converting the majority of other religions and lesser gods within the Holdings. Always strong even as the borders of the Holdings ebbed and flowed under the effects of war and commerce, always magnificent even as tastes and styles changed, always seductive and desirable no matter what other exotic lands and places might briefly come into fashion, Nessantico gathered to itself all that was intellectual, all that was rich, all that was powerful. There was no city in the known world that could rival it. But there were many who envied it..." [Source]
Machiavellian politics promise gray characters and that promises entertaining hours.

Australian Joel Shepherd is the author of the science fiction series Cassandra Kresnov and the fantasy series Trial of Blood and Steel. I read and reviewed Crossover (pb, 2006) [ISBN-13: 978-1591027379] which is the first book in the Cassandra Kresnov series. I liked it a lot.
I also know that he has written the Trial of Blood and Steel quartet which combines female main
main character, series and epic fantasy. Welcome to my list: Sasha (pb, 2009) [ISBN-13: 978-1591027874] by Australian author Joel Shepherd.
"Sasha turns her back on her regal heritage, forsakes the life she could have as the princess in a rich kingdom, and trains instead to be a powerful warrior, fighting for the good of the people her father commands. Sasha is a princess, the like of which the highland country of Lenayin has never seen before. Spurning her royal heritage to be raised by the great warrior, Kessligh, her exquisite swordplay astonishes all who witness it. But Sasha is still young, untested in battle and often led by her rash temper. In the complex world of Lenayin loyalties, her defiant wilfulness is attracting the wrong kind of attention. Lenayin is a land almost divided by its two faiths: the Verenthane of the ruling classes and the pagan Goeren-yai, amongst whom Sasha now lives. The Goeren-yai worship swordplay and honour and begin to see Sasha as the great spirit--the Synnich--who will unite them. But Sasha is still searching for what she believes and must choose her side carefully. When the Udalyn people--the symbol of Goeren-yai pride and courage--are attacked, Sasha will face her moment of testing. How will she act? Is she ready to lead? Can she be the saviour they need her to be?" [Source]

I like it when books in a series are published within a couples of months. But so far I failed to read a whole series back to back. I think a good opportunity to start with delivers David Chandler with his The Ancient Blades trilogy.
It all starts with Den of Thieves (July 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0062021243] by David Chandler. The good thing is that book two and three will be published within this year (UK edition: August and September; US edition: September and November)
"Croy is a knight errant, and bearer of an ancient blade with a powerful destiny. He′s also kind of, well, dim. He believes in honour and he believes that people are fundamentally good. Unfortunately, Croy lives in the city of Ness, a thriving medieval city of fifty thousand people, none of whom are fundamentally even decent, and who will gleefully stab you in the back ... if you give them a chance.

Ness is also the home to Malden. Malden is a thief. He lives by his wits, disarming cunning traps, sneaking past sleeping guards, and running away very fast whenever people are trying to kill him. Which is often. One time Malden stole a crown. And then he had to steal it back to avoid a civil war. Croy got the credit, of course, because he′s a noble knight. Another time the two of them went into the tomb of an ancient warrior race, and Croy accidentally started a barbarian invasion. Guess who had to clean that up?

T
hey probably wouldn′t be friends at all if it wasn′t for Cythera. Cythera is a witch. A mostly-good witch. And despite herself she can′t stop thieves and knights falling in love with her ... At the same time." [Source]

A Thief in the Night (pb, US, September 2011)
[ISBN-13: 978-0062021250]
by David Chandler


So far no cover available
Honor Among Thieves (pb, US, November 2011)
[ISBN-13: 978-0062021267]
by David Chandler


No book list without steampunk!

The Ministry Of Peculiar Occurrences is a new steampunk series and Phoenix Rising (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0062049766] by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris is the first book in the series. I hope the book will be as good as the blurb promise.
"These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s England. Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the river Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences- the Crown’s clandestine organisation whose baliwick is the strange and unsettling- will not allow its agents to investigate. Fearless and exceedingly lovely Eliza D Braun, however, with her bulletproof corset and a disturbing fondness for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest..and she’s prepared to drag her timorous new partner, Wellington Books along with her into the perilous fray.
For a malevolent brotherhood is operating in the deepening London shadows, intent upon the enslavement of all Britons. And Books and Braun- he with his encyclopedic brain and she with her remarkable devices- must get to the twisted roots of a most nefarious plot… or see England fall to the Phoenix!" [Back of the book]

And there is another new steampunk series knocking on my door: The Doomsday Vault (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-045146429X] by Steven Harper. The first novel in the Clockwork Empire offers a female main character.
"In a clockwork Brittania, Alice's prospects are slim. At 21, her age and her unladylike interest inautomatons have sealed her fate as an undesirable marriage prospect. But a devastating plague sends Alice off in a direction beyond the pale-towards a clandestine organization, mad inventors, life-altering secrets, and into the arms of an intrepid fiddle-playing airship pilot." [Source]




I liked The Martian Ambassador (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1907777-080] by Alan Baker a lot. When everything goes well I will receive a copy of the scond book in the Blackwood & Harrington Mystery series within two months. So far the cover of Feaster from the Stars (pb, September 2011 due to Amazon) [ISBN-13: 978-1907777547] is unknown.
More information will be delivered as soon as I get them


There is a time travel series and I own an unread copy. That must be changed!


The Eternal War (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0141336336] by Alex Scarrow
This is the fourth book in the TimeRiders series. I read and reviewed all the books so far. It is a great series about time traveling. also adults can enjoy this series. I hope for more revelations.


A little bit underrepresented but there is still one science fiction novel. Veteran (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0575094116] by Gavin Smith is at the same time debut novel and first book in the Veteran series. I expect a lot of action. And I like that the main character is older than me.
"Three hundred years in our future, in a world of alien infiltrators, religious hackers, a vast convoying nation of Nomads, city sized orbital elevators, and a cyborg pirate king who believes himself to be a mythological demon Jakob is having a bad day: "Nothing gets in the way of a hangover like being reactivated by your old C.O and told to track down an alien killing machine. The same kind of killing machine that wiped out my entire squad. And now it's in my hometown. My name is Jakob Douglas, ex-special forces. I fought Them. Just like we've all been doing for 60 bloody years. But I thought my part in that was done with. My boss has other ideas. If I didn't find the infiltrator then he'd let the Grey Lady loose on me. And believe me; even They've got nothing on her. So I took the job. It went to shit even faster than normal. And now I'm on the run with this teenage hacker who's had enough of prostitution. The only people I can rely on want to turn the internet into God. And now it turns out that They aren't quite what we'd all thought. I've been to the bottom of the sea and the top of the sky and beyond trying to get to the truth. And I still can't get far enough away from the Grey Lady. All things considered I'd rather be back at home deep in a whiskey bottle." Veteran is a fast paced, intricately plotted violent SF Thriller set in a dark future against the backdrop of a seemingly never ending war against an unknowable and implacable alien enemy." [Source]

The next book has been filed under File Under: Fantasy [ End Of The World | The Darkness Approaches | Addiction | On The Edge ]. I talk about Roil (pb, August 30th 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0857661845] by Trent Jamieson.
"Shale is in trouble - the creature-filled darkness known as the Roil is expanding, consuming the land, swallowing cities whole. Where once there were 12 metropolises, now only 4 remain.
It's up to a drug addict, an old man and a woman bent on revenge to try to save their city - and the world." [Source]
Not really sure what to expect. But I'm nosy. Anyway the party is not that usual.


Prophecy (pb, august 18th 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0007317738] by S. J. Parris (pen name used by Stephanie Merritt). I think the following text gives all the information why I want to read this book.
"S. J. Parris returns with the next Giordano Bruno mystery, set inside Queen Elizabeth's palace and steeped in period atmospherics and the strange workings of the occult.
It is the year of the Great Conjunction, when the two most powerful planets, Jupiter and Saturn, align - an astrological phenomenon that occurs once every thousand years and heralds the death of one age and the dawn of another. The streets of London are abuzz with predictions of horrific events to come, possibly even the death of Queen Elizabeth.
When several of the queen's maids of honor are found dead, rumors of black magic abound. Elizabeth calls upon her personal astrologer, John Dee, and Giordano Bruno to solve the crimes. While Dee turns to a mysterious medium claiming knowledge of the murders, Bruno fears that something far more sinister is at work. But even as the climate of fear at the palace intensifies, the queen refuses to believe that the killer could be someone within her own court.
Bruno must play a dangerous game: can he allow the plot to progress far enough to give the queen the proof she needs without putting her, England, or his own life in danger?
In this utterly gripping and gorgeously written novel, S. J. Parris has proven herself the new master of the historical thriller." [Source]
I loved to read The Lies of Locke Lamora (mmpb, 2007) [ISBN-13: 978-0553588941] by Scott Lynch. It was only a question of time that Red Seas Under Red Skies (mmpb, 2007) [ISBN-13: 978-0553588958]. I have high expectations.
"After a brutal battle with the underworld, Locke and his sidekick, Jean, fled to the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But they are soon back to what they do best—stealing from the rich and pocketing the proceeds. Now, however, they have targeted the grandest prize of all: the Sinspire, the most exclusive, most heavily guarded gambling house in the world. But there is one cardinal rule: it is death to cheat at any game.

Brazenly undeterred, Locke and Jean have orchestrated an elaborate plan to lie, trick, and swindle their way straight to the Sinspire's teeming vault. But someone knows the duo's secret—and has every intention of making them pay for their sins... [Source]


I'm not sure how to describe it. There are books I have respect for. I look at them and hesitate to read them. It took me a long time to be confident enough to add The Darkness that Comes Before (mmpb,reprinted 2007) [ISBN-13: 978-1841494081] by R. Scott Bakker.
"Many centuries ago, the world was nearly destroyed by the dark wizards of the Consult, and the High King's family was wiped out--or so it seemed. Then from the wild, uncharted north comes a mysterious and extraordinarily powerful philosopher-warrior, Anasurimbor Kellhus, descendant of the ancient High Kings. But the return of the king's bloodline is little cause for rejoicing. For Kellhus's appearance may signal the overthrow of empires, the destruction of the sorcerous schools, the return of the Consult demons--and the end of the world.

The Darkness that Comes Before is a strong, impressive, deeply imagined debut novel. However, this first book of an epic fantasy series is not accessible; it reads like a later volume of a complicated ongoing series. Author R. Scott Bakker has created a world that is very different from J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, yet in depth of development comes closer than most high-fantasy worlds. In addition to providing five appendices, Bakker attempts to make his complex world clear to readers by filling the prologue and opening chapters with the names of characters, gods, cities, tribes, nations, religions, factions, and sorcerous schools. For many readers, this approach will have the opposite effect of clarity. It's like demonstrating snowflake structure with a blizzard. --Cynthia Ward" [Source]
The end of the list is coming nearer. Only three books left. Two of them are omnibus and belong to one series. I must say I belong to the group of potential readers who missed the Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan. To keep the long story short Michael J. Sullivan signed a contract with Orbit who will publish all the books in the series in three omnibus and they will do it in three consecutive month starting in November 2011. I ordered the three books in advance.
In the meantime I got in contact with Michael J. Sullivan. There will be something on this blog in November related to the Riyria Revelations series. There was no way out. I had to add the first two books to this list.

Theft of Swords (pb, November 23rd 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0316187747] by Michael J. Sullivan
"Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles—until they are hired to pilfer a famed sword. What appears to be just a simple job finds them framed for the murder of the king and trapped in a conspiracy that uncovers a plot far greater than the mere overthrow of a tiny kingdom.
Can a self-serving thief and an idealistic swordsman survive long enough to unravel the first part of an ancient mystery that has toppled kings and destroyed empires in order to keep a secret too terrible for the world to know?
And so begins the first tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.

When author Michael J. Sullivan self-published the first books of his Riyria Revelations, they rapidly became ebook bestsellers. Now, Orbit is pleased to present the complete series for the first time in bookstores everywhere." [Source]

Rise of Empire (pb, December 14th 2011)
[ISBN-13: 978- 0316187704]
by Michael J. Sullivan


That last book which made it to the list has thank this review - "A Place Called Armageddon" by C.C. Humphreys (Reviewed by Liviu Suciu). Read it too and you will understand!


A Place called Armageddon (pb, October 2011)
[ISBN-13: 978-1409121602]


I think this wild mix of new and "old" books reflects my taste. Now let's face some facts.
Without my current reads I showed you 25 books (if you count the omnibus as single books it would be 27 books. These books stand for 11926 pages. If I want to read them all I have to read around 88 pages per day!! You may think there is no big difference between reading 88 pages instead of 70 at it is no big deal but for me it will be a real challenge. We will see at the end of 2011.

Maybe this post will inspire you to read a book either from your forgotten sky scraping TBR tower or one of the upcoming novels.

Anyhow there is only one thing hat counts -

ENJOY READING

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