Sunday, 11 September 2011

Books Received | The BoSS for 11/09/11

By and large, the murder of books purportedly received this week weren't actually received this week at all: rather, three of the five are proofs I've had for a little while - or a long while, in one case - but have only just now cottoned-on to, because of recent reviews.

Which just goes to show what power a good blog can have. But with great power comes great---

---ah, why even bother finishing that sentence? :/

To the book-cave!


by Blake Charlton

Vital Statistics
Published in the UK
on 29/09/11
by Harper Voyager

Review Priority
5 (A Sure Thing)

The Blurb: Francesca DeVega is a successful healer in the city of Avel, wielding magical text to close wounds and disspell curses, but her life is thrown into chaos when a dead patient suddenly sits up and tells her to run. Now Francesca is in the middle of a game she doesn’t understand, one that ties her to the notorious rogue wizard, Nicodemus Weal, and brings her face to face with demons, demigods, and a man she thought she’d never see again.

It has been ten years since Nicodemus Weal escaped the Starhaven Academy, where he was considered disabled and useless, where he battled the demon who stole his birthright and killed his friends. Unable to use the magical languages of his own people, Nico has honed his skills in the dark language of the kobolds, readying himself for his next encounter with the demon. But there are complications: his mentor suffers from an incurable curse, his half-sister’s agents are hunting him, and he’s still not sure what part Francesca DeVega will play.

My Thoughts: The new novel from friend of the blog - and friend to man at large - Blake Charlton. In fact you may recall that I helped launched the cover art for this sequel to Spellwright back in March. If not, shame on you, inconstant reader!

I'm only teasing. Anyway, the early reaction to Spellbound that I've seen has been almost uniformly positive, but I'm not going to lie: what I've read of it so far - and I've read perhaps half of the thing as of the time of this wrighting (ahem) - has been... a bit of a disappointment. Bigger, certainly, but not better.

Here's hoping the second half improves on the first. Because I really did dig book one; it'd be a shame to see this series in the least diminished by its annualisation.

The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore
by Benjamin Hale

Vital Statistics
Published in the UK
on 01/04/11
by Atlantic Books

Review Priority
4 (Pretty Bloody Likely)
The Blurb: Bruno Littlemore... linguist, artist, philosopher. A life defined by a soaring mind, yet bound by a restrictive body. Born in down-town Chicago, Bruno's precocity pulls him from an unremarkable childhood, and under the tuition of Lydia, his intellect dazzles a watching world. But when falls in love with his mentor, the world turns on them with outrage: Bruno is striving to be something he is not, and denying everything that he is. For despite his all too human complexities, dreams and frailties, Bruno's hairy body, flattened nose and jutting brow are, undeniably, the features of a chimpanzee.

Like its protagonist, this novel is big, abrasive, witty, perverse, earnest and accomplished. The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore goes beyond satire by showing us not what it means, but what it feels like be human - to love and lose, learn, aspire, grasp, and, in the end, to fail. 

My Thoughts: Here we come to the first of the books I've had kicking about for a while. This one comes highly recommended by Amanda of Floor to Ceiling Books, with whom I traded a few recommendations the other day, as you do. I ended up with this, which sounds lovely, and sad, and potentially very, very powerful; she got Boxer, Beetle.

So we'll see how that goes! :)

Black Light
by Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan & Stefan Romano

Vital Statistics
Published in the UK
on 13/10/11
by Mulholland Books

Review Priority
3 (We'll See)

The Blurb: If you have a supernatural problem that won't go away, you need Buck Carlsbad: private eye, exorcist, and last resort. Buck's got a way with spirits that no one else can match, and a lot of questions that only spirits can answer.

He's spent years looking deep into the Blacklight on the other side of death, trying to piece together the mystery that destroyed his family and left him for dead. It's dangerous, but it's Buck's only hope of finding out what happened to them - and what made him the way he is.

But then Buck takes a call from a billionaire, and finds himself working the most harrowing case of his career. One that will either reveal the shocking secrets of his life, or end it forever... 

My Thoughts: Yep, you read that right. Black Light comes to us from not one, not two, but THREE authors!

Well, of course it does, because it's by some of the guys who worked on the worst SAW films of all -- and that's saying something. Nevertheless, without a SAW film that I can love to hate this year - and frankly the Paranormal Activity movies have been too good to fill that absence - there is, I'll admit, every chance that I'll give in to temptation and see what Black Light's all about.

But THREE authors? I get that it's perfectly commonplace in film, but I have to wonder: how would that even work with a book?

The Recollection
by Gareth Powell

Vital Statistics
Published in the UK
on 01/09/11
by Solaris

Review Priority
4 (Pretty Bloody Likely)

The Blurb: 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...

My Thoughts: The Recollection is another of the three releases I've had on the tower of books To Be Read for a fair wee while, and this time it was a newspaper review, by way of another favourite sf author of mine - Eric Brown - that made reading Gareth Powell's second novel suddenly a priority.

In fact I've read a little of The Recollection since that time, and it just so happens I've found it rather reminiscent of the work of Eric Brown; specifically his Kings of Eternity. This is an unqualified Good Thing!

A Long, Long Sleep
by Anna Sheehan

Vital Statistics
Published in the UK
on 18/08/11
by Gollancz

Review Priority
3 (We'll See)

The Blurb: Rosalinda Fitzroy had been asleep for 62 years when she was woken by a kiss. Locked away in the chemically-induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten sub-basement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew. Now, her parents and her first love are long dead, and Rose - hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire - is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat. Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh. But when a deadly danger jeopardizes her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes - or be left without any future at all.

My Thoughts: And we'll round out what could be the single most disingenuous week in books received history with the third of this week's three recommendations... from elsewhere! 

For A Long, Long Sleep - which I'm ashamed to say I had a proof of back before the Summer had even begun, as I recall - it was your friends and mine, The Book Smugglers, whose review put me onto Anna Sheehan's YA debut in earnest. Initially I think the cover portrayed it as such a girly book I couldn't imagine being seen with it in public or in private, but Thea was so very high on A Long, Long Sleep - and she's got very fine taste as a rule - that I couldn't very well let that silly thing put me off any longer. So!


What's a book-cave without books?

It's rubbish, is what it is - just a hole in the wall of the world - so I'll sign off for the week and speak to you all again shortly, by which time we'll have a few more recent arrivals to shelve.

What say you we meet again right here at the same time next week?


  1. "But THREE authors? I get that it's perfectly commonplace in film, but I have to wonder: how would that even work with a book?"

    I normally don't see 3+ coauthors for a book unless it's nonfiction--or a textbook! Though now that I think about it, it's usually coeditors, too.

    There is at least one series of books that has multiple coauthors--the Heirs of Alexandria series with all of the main books being authored by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, and Dave Freer (Freer did write one standalone book in the series). I've read 3 of the 4 currently published and found them pretty good. They probably do the "you write this plot/character, I'll write this one."

  2. Each author taking a POV character seems to be the way to go about co-authoring, absolutely - as in Leviathan Wakes earlier this year, with Ty Frank and Daniel Abraham taking a protagonist each. That worked wonderfully. But so far as I can tell, Black Light only has the one POV character... which leaves me wondering if maybe one of the SAW guys have written it, and the others have polished the thing, like they would a script.

    But never mind me, I'm just being curious. :)

  3. The two highlights for me from this is list are Spellbound & A Long Long Sleep though The Recollection is up their too.

    I'm just waiting for the right gap to read Spellbound before it's out on the 29th but I saw a great review by Graeme of A Long Long Sleep that really put it up the books to read.

    As you're showing their is power in those recommendations of others!