There’s something about Autumn. The light starts shifting, the leaves do all kinds of magical things, and there’s a hint of wilder weather to come in winds. It’s time to stay indoors in the evening and find a good book and your choice of hot beverage. You’re on your own for the drink, but here are a few good adult novels that are coming this fall.
The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan (September 17th)
Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria Revelations may have had humble origins as a self published novel. before Orbit snapped it up, but the books have never stopped growing in popularity, and so the series has grown as well. The Rose and Thorn is the second book of the second trilogy set in Riyria, and I am looking forward to returning to this land of elves, dwarves, and, most importantly, thieves.
Two thieves want answers. Riyria is born.
For more than a year Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner Hadrian Blackwater from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception — Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn’t realize is what the two are capable of — she’s about to find out.
Star Wars Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells (September 24th)
After the much hyped Crucible didn’t live up to expectations earlier, I became a little leery of the second most hyped Star Wars novel of the year. But I’ve had the chance to read Razor’s Edge, and this novel lived up to and surpassed all the expectations surrounding it. If this is what happens when we complain about having to wait forever for a novel, I’m willing to learn some patience. The first Leia centric novel is set right after A New Hope, and it finally, finally tells us the story of Leia learning to cope with the destruction of Alderaan.
Times are desperate for the Rebel Alliance. Harassment by the Empire and a shortage of vital supplies are hindering completion of a new secret base on the ice planet Hoth. So when Mid Rim merchants offer much-needed materials for sale, Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo lead an Alliance delegation to negotiate a deal.
But when treachery forces the rebel ship to flee into territory controlled by pirates, Leia makes a shocking discovery: the fierce marauders come from Leia’s homeworld of Alderaan, recently destroyed by the Death Star. These refugees have turned to pillaging and plundering to survive—and they are in debt to a pirate armada, which will gladly ransom the princess to the vengeful Empire . . . if they find out her true identity.
Struggling with intense feelings of guilt, loyalty, and betrayal, Leia is determined to help her wayward kinspeople, even as Imperial forces are closing in on her own crippled ship. Trapped between lethal cutthroats and brutal oppressors, Leia and Han, along with Luke, Chewbacca, and a battle-ready crew, must defy death—or embrace it—to keep the rebellion alive.
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (September 24th)
On highways across America, a tribe of people called the True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, the True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the steam that children with the shining produce when they are slowly tortured to death.
Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel, where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant shining power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”
Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to this icon in the King canon.
Autumn Bones by Jacqueline Carey (October 1st)
If you like the first book of the Agents of Hel series, Dark Currents at all, you will love Autumn Bones. Jacqueline Carey expertly crafted a new world with the paranormal living beside us and explained all the rules in the first installment. Now she gets to play, and the results are spectacular. We’ll be featuring this book here in a few weeks, so be sure to check back in for our coverage of the continuing adventures of the hellspawn named Daisy
Fathered by an incubus, raised by a mortal mother, and liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, Daisy Johanssen pulled the community together after a summer tragedy befell the resort town she calls home. Things are back to normal—as normal as it gets for a town famous for its supernatural tourism, and presided over by the reclusive Norse goddess Hel.
Not only has Daisy now gained respect as Hel’s enforcer, she’s dating Sinclair Palmer, a nice, seemingly normal human guy. Not too shabby for the daughter of a demon. Unfortunately, Sinclair has a secret. And it’s a big one.
He’s descended from Obeah sorcerers and they want him back. If he doesn’t return to Jamaica to take up his rightful role in the family, they’ll unleash spirit magic that could have dire consequences for the town. It’s Daisy’s job to stop it, and she’s going to need a lot of help. But time is running out, the dead are growing restless, and one mistake could cost Daisy everything…
Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor (October 2nd)
Two years ago, Nnedi Okorafor blew away speculative fiction readers with her novel Who Fears Death. This is the first collection of her short stories, which is something of a different beast, but I am still really looking forward to these.
Kabu Kabu – unregistered, illegal Nigerian taxis – generally get you where you need to go, but Nnedi Okorafor’s Kabu Kabu takes the reader to exciting, fantastic, magical, occasionally dangerous, and always imaginative locations. This debut short story collection by award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor includes notable previously-published short work, a new novella co-written with New York Times bestselling author Alan Dean Foster, and a brief forward by Whoopi Goldberg.
Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch (October 8th)
I am one of the many fantasy readers who counts Scott Lynch’s Lies of Locke Lamora among the finest fantasy books I’ve read. However, after a certain amount of time, I stopped looking for the next book of the series and started assuming it simply wasn’t in the works. Cue great excitement and maybe even a few happy tears when I saw Lynch’s name on the upcoming publications list. For this book we have waited, and now it’s finally just around the corner.
With what should have been the greatest heist of their career gone spectacularly sour, Locke and his trusted partner, Jean, have barely escaped with their lives. Or at least Jean has. But Locke is slowly succumbing to a deadly poison that no alchemist or physiker can cure. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmage offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him or finish him off once and for all.
Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. If Locke agrees to play the role, sorcery will be used to purge the venom from his body—though the process will be so excruciating he may well wish for death. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean’s imploring—and the Bondsmage’s mention of a woman from Locke’s past: Sabetha. She is the love of his life, his equal in skill and wit, and now, his greatest rival.
Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow orphan and thief-in-training. But after a tumultuous courtship, Sabetha broke away. Now they will reunite in yet another clash of wills. For faced with his one and only match in both love and trickery, Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha—or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend.
Parasite by Mira Grant (October 29th)
I didn’t read any urban fantasy until a friend recommended I read Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (Mira Grant’s other name). Now I read urban fantasy. I swore I was never going to read a zombie book until I started Grant’s Newsflesh Trilogy. Now I read zombie books. Apparently, I’m going to be reading medical techno thrillers now. Good to know. We’re going to be featuring this book here at Lytherus so be prepared to get sucked too.
A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.
We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.
But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives . . . and will do anything to get them.
Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest (November 12th)
Boneshaker was the first steampunk novel I read…in fact I don’t think I’d even heard the word before. Cherie Priest returns us to the land of Victorian gadgets with the fifth installment of what remains the leading series for the subgenre.
Young ex-slave Gideon Bardsley is a brilliant inventor, but the job is less glamorous than one might think, especially since the assassination attempts started. Worse yet, they’re trying to destroy his greatest achievement: a calculating engine called Fiddlehead, which provides undeniable proof of something awful enough to destroy the world. Both man and machine are at risk from forces conspiring to keep the Civil War going and the money flowing.
Bardsley has no choice but to ask his patron, former president Abraham Lincoln, for help. Lincoln retired from leading the country after an attempt on his life, but is quite interested in Bardsley’s immense data-processing capacities, confident that if people have the facts, they’ll see reason and urge the government to end the war. Lincoln must keep Bardsley safe until he can finish his research, so he calls on his old private security staff to protect Gideon and his data.
Maria “Belle” Boyd was a retired Confederate spy, until she got a life-changing job offer from the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Pinkerton respects her work, despite reservations about her lingering Southern loyalties. But it’s precisely those loyalties that let her go into Confederate territory to figure out who might be targeting Bardsley. Maria is a good detective, but with spies from both camps gunning for her, can even the notorious Belle Boyd hold the greedy warhawks at bay?
The Land Across by Gene Wolfe (November 26th)
Gene Wolfe is one of those phenomenal writers who have been central to science fiction and fantasy since before I was born. His books are always of the highest caliber and a delight to read. There’s a pretty short list of writers I’ll read anything by without even bothering to read the synopses. Mr. Wolfe is very high on that list.
An American writer of travel guides in need of a new location chooses to travel to a small and obscure Eastern European country. The moment Grafton crosses the border he is in trouble, much more than he could have imagined. His passport is taken by guards, and then he is detained for not having it. He is released into the custody of a family, but is again detained. It becomes evident that there are supernatural agencies at work, but they are not in some ways as threatening as the brute forces of bureaucracy and corruption in that country. Is our hero in fact a spy for the CIA? Or is he an innocent citizen caught in a Kafkaesque trap?
Something More than Night by Ian Tregillis (December 3rd)
If you haven’t read Ian Tregillis’ Milkweed Tryptic, you really need to go do that now. An amazing debut novel led into one of the absolute best “weird” fiction series ever. Now we get to see what else exists in Tregillis’ extraordinary imagination. And I found this synopsis of this book ridiculously thrilling. Be sure to drop by that first week of December because we’ll be talking about this book a lot.
Ian Tregillis’s Something More Than Night is a Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler inspired murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas’s vision of Heaven. It’s a noir detective story starring fallen angels, the heavenly choir, nightclub stigmatics, a priest with a dirty secret, a femme fatale, and the Voice of God.
Somebody has murdered the angel Gabriel. Worse, the Jericho Trumpet has gone missing, putting Heaven on the brink of a truly cosmic crisis. But the twisty plot that unfolds from the murder investigation leads to something much bigger: a con job one billion years in the making.
Because this is no mere murder. A small band of angels has decided to break out of heaven, but they need a human patsy to make their plan work.
Much of the story is told from the point of view of Bayliss, a cynical fallen angel who has modeled himself on Philip Marlowe. The yarn he spins follows the progression of a Marlowe novel—the mysterious dame who needs his help, getting grilled by the bulls, finding a stiff, getting slipped a mickey.
Angels and gunsels, dames with eyes like fire, and a grand maguffin, Something More Than Night is a murder mystery for the cosmos.