New book releases, week of January 14th: Naming things ‘a Novel’ is a big thing this week

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Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy:

Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

12396528Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

So many secrets for such a small island. From the moment Anne Merchant arrives at Cania Christy, a boarding school for the world’s wealthiest teens, the hushed truths of this strange, unfamiliar land begin calling to her—sometimes as lulling drumbeats in the night, sometimes as piercing shrieks.

One by one, unanswered questions rise. No one will tell her why a line is painted across the island or why she is forbidden to cross it. Her every move—even her performance at the school dance—is graded as part of a competition to become valedictorian, a title that brings rewards no one will talk about. And Anne discovers that the parents of her peers surrender million-dollar possessions to enroll their kids in Cania Christy, leaving her to wonder what her lowly funeral director father could have paid to get her in… and why.

As a beautiful senior struggles to help Anne make sense of this cloak-and-dagger world without breaking the rules that bind him, she must summon the courage to face the impossible truth—and change it—before she and everyone she loves is destroyed by it.

Vitro by Jessica Khoury

1366322101700-vitroA death-defying tropical adventure delivers a frightening message about dabbling with creation from the talented author of Origin.

On a remote island in the Pacific, Corpus scientists have taken test tube embryos and given them life. These beings—the Vitros—have knowledge and abilities most humans can only dream of. But they also have one enormous flaw.

Sophie Crue is determined to get to Skin Island and find her mother, a scientist who left Sophie behind years ago. She enlists hunky charter pilot Jim Julien to take her there. But once on the island, Sophie and Jim encounter more than they bargained for, including a charming, brilliant Vitro named Nicholas and an innocent, newly awoken one named Lux.

In a race for their lives, Sophie and Jim are about to discover what happens when science stretches too far beyond its reach.

In Dreams by Erica Orloff

Inception meets Unearthly in this hot romance for fans of Meg Cabot’s Abandon Series!

In the land of nightmares, she finds the man of her dreams…
He haunts her in her dreams.
She is always searching, looking for the man who calls her from afar, a disembodied voice who knows everything about her.
But when she discovers the unimaginable secret her family has hidden for so long, her dreams—and her nightmares—invade her reality.
Her true love beckons, but the terrors await her. . . . Can she find him in time, or will their love—and her life—be destroyed?

Sixteen-year-old Iris has a recurring dream a long corridor of many doors, and behind each door a hidden world—some magical, some terrifying. But always she is searching for the man who calls to her—the man of her dreams—who knows everything about her, who stirs feelings in her she’s never felt before. When she discovers her father is actually the god of dreams, her nightmares and dreams follow her into reality, with both frightening and romantic results. Hunted by the god of nightmares, stalked by the horrifying creatures of the underworld, Iris must try to navigate both her worlds, as she tries to finally be with Sebastian, the man of her dreams. Can she triumph over the dangers that have haunted her forever, and be with Sebastian, or will terrors ultimately destroy them both?

Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy:

The Emperor’s Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne) by Brian Staveley

theemporers bladesIn The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it’s too late.

An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test.

At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor’s final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing—and risk everything—to see that justice is meted out.

He Drank, and Saw the Spider: An Eddie LaCrosse Novel by Alex Bledsoe

For fans of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files and Glen Cook’s Garrett PI novels, comes the newest installment in Alex Bledsoe’s Eddie LaCrosse series, He Drank and Saw the Spider.

After he fails to save a stranger from being mauled to death by a bear, a young mercenary is saddled with the baby girl the man died to protect. He leaves her with a kindly shepherd family and goes on with his violent life.

Now, sixteen years later, that young mercenary has grown up to become cynical sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse. When his vacation travels bring him back to that same part of the world, he can’t resist trying to discover what has become of the mysterious infant.

He finds that the child, now a lovely young teenager named Isadora, is at the center of complicated web of intrigue involving two feuding kings, a smitten prince, a powerful sorceress, an inhuman monster, and long-buried secrets too shocking to imagine. And once again she needs his help.

They say a spider in your cup will poison you, but only if you see it. Eddie, helped by his smart, resourceful girlfriend Liz, must look through the dregs of the past to find the truth about the present—and risk what might happen if he, too, sees the spider.

Mercy Snow: A Novel by Tiffany Baker

In the tiny town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, the paper mill dictates a quiet, steady rhythm of life. But one day a tragic bus accident sets two families on a course toward destruction, irrevocably altering the lives of everyone in their wake.

June McAllister is the wife of the local mill owner and undisputed first lady in town. But the Snow family, a group of itinerant ne’er-do-wells who live on a decrepit and cursed property, have brought her–and the town–nothing but grief.

June will do anything to cover up a dark secret she discovers after the crash, one that threatens to upend her picture-perfect life, even if it means driving the Snow family out of town. But she has never gone up against a force as fierce as the young Mercy Snow. Mercy is determined to protect her rebellious brother, whom the town blames for the accident, despite his innocence. And she has a secret of her own. When an old skeleton is discovered not far from the crash, it beckons Mercy to solve a mystery buried deep within the town’s past.

Perfect: A Novel by Rachel Joyce

17857660A spellbinding novel that will resonate with readers of Mark Haddon, Louise Erdrich, and John Irving, Perfect tells the story of a young boy who is thrown into the murky, difficult realities of the adult world with far-reaching consequences.

Byron Hemmings wakes to a morning that looks like any other: his school uniform draped over his wooden desk chair, his sister arguing over the breakfast cereal, the click of his mother’s heels as she crosses the kitchen. But when the three of them leave home, driving into a dense summer fog, the morning takes an unmistakable turn. In one terrible moment, something happens, something completely unexpected and at odds with life as Byron understands it. While his mother seems not to have noticed, eleven-year-old Byron understands that from now on nothing can be the same.

What happened and who is to blame? Over the days and weeks that follow, Byron’s perfect world is shattered. Unable to trust his parents, he confides in his best friend, James, and together they concoct a plan. . . .

As she did in her debut, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce has imagined bewitching characters who find their ordinary lives unexpectedly thrown into chaos, who learn that there are times when children must become parents to their parents, and who discover that in confronting the hard truths about their pasts, they will forge unexpected relationships that have profound and surprising impacts. Brimming with love, forgiveness, and redemption, Perfect will cement Rachel Joyce’s reputation as one of fiction’s brightest talents.

Pig’s Foot: A Novel by Carlos Acosta

Oscar Kortico, great-grandchild of the founders of a small hamlet in the Cuban hinterland, is a sardonic teller of tales—some taller than others—of slavery, revolution, family secrets, love, and identity that span three generations.

One day, Oscar wakes to find that he is alone in the world. As the sole descendent of his family line, he is not sure what to do or where to go, but he holds fast to what his grandfather always told him: “No man knows who he is until he knows hispast, the history of his country.”

As Oscar sets out to find his ancestral village of Pata de Puerco and the meaning of the magical pig’s-foot amulet he has inherited, the search for his country’s hidden history becomes entangled with the search for the truth about himself.

Ambitious in scope, yet intimate in tone, rippling with vitality and driven by passion, full of dark comedy, magical history, and startling revelations, Pig’s Foot is a dazzling evocation of Cuba’s tumultuous history—a spellbinding and unexpected debut from an author of many talents.

Shovel Ready: A Novel by Adam Sternbergh

Spademan used to be a garbage man.  That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, and before the city became a blown-out shell of its former self.

Now he’s a hitman.

In a near-future New York City split between those who are wealthy enough to “tap in” to a sophisticated virtual reality, and those who are left to fend for themselves in the ravaged streets, Spademan chose the streets.  His new job is not that different from his old one: waste disposal is waste disposal.  He doesn’t ask questions, he works quickly, and he’s handy with a box cutter.  But when his latest client hires him to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist, his unadorned life is upended: his mark has a shocking secret and his client has a sordid agenda far beyond a simple kill.  Spademan must navigate between these two worldsthe wasteland reality and the slick fantasyto finish his job, clear his conscience, and make sure he’s not the one who winds up in the ground.

Adam Sternbergh has written a dynamite debut: gritty, violent, funny, riveting, tender, and brilliant.

Star Road: A Novel by Matthew Costello

star-roadA rebel and an outlaw lead an unsuspecting group of adventurers on a secret mission across the vastness of space, in Matthew Costello’s Star Road

Ivan Delgato, a former leader of a rebel group called the Runners, is released from jail on the condition that he carry out a secret mission for the World Council. His assignment is simple: stay under cover, but do absolutely anything necessary to reach the planet Omega IX and offer the renegade Runners clemency if they surrender—which may be complicated since Ivan’s brutally violent brother has taken lead of the Runners in Ivan’s absence.

In search of the Runners, Ivan catches a ride out to the wildest reaches of the galaxy via a mysterious transportation system, the Star Road. His fellow passengers on Star Road Vehicle-66 are a suspicious group, all with their own hidden reasons for traversing the star road. As the travelers contend with increasingly deadly encounters, it isn’t long before suspicions build against Ivan.

And as the Runners must choose one brother over the other, on a planet filled with ancient secrets, those who survive will confront a mystery that changes the Star Road, and humanity, forever.

Dawn of Swords (The Breaking World) by David Dalglish

On the young world of Dezrel, brother gods Karak and Ashhur, fleeing their own failed world, recreate mankind in an attempt to make amends. The fledgling race of humanity is guided by the First Families, men and women who will not age so long as their hearts remain devoted to their deities.

But quickly the realms are thrown into chaos by the construction of the Temple of the Flesh, built by exiled children of Karak in the unclaimed land of Haven that lies between the two kingdoms. Those of the Temple refuse to bend knee to either god, no matter the risk. Thus comes Karak’s ultimatum to the people of Haven: destroy the Temple, or he will destroy it himself. But his fellow brother god, Ashhur, will not sit idly by while thousands of innocents die…

Can Jacob Eveningstar, the First Man to be given life and Ashhur’s most trusted servant, prevent the coming bloodshed which threatens the survival of the fledgling human race?

House of Bathory by Linda Lafferty

In the early 1600s, Elizabeth Báthory, the infamous Blood Countess, ruled Čachtice Castle in the hinterlands of Slovakia. During bizarre nightly rites, she tortured and killed the young women she had taken on as servants. A devil, a demon, the terror of Royal Hungary—she bathed in their blood to preserve her own youth.

400 years later, echoes of the Countess’s legendary brutality reach Aspen, Colorado. Betsy Path, a psychoanalyst of uncommon intuition, has a breakthrough with sullen teenager Daisy Hart. Together, they are haunted by the past, as they struggle to understand its imprint upon the present. Betsy and her troubled but perceptive patient learn the truth: the curse of the House of Bathory lives still and has the power to do evil even now.

The story, brimming with palace intrigue, memorable characters intimately realized, and a wealth of evocative detail, travels back and forth between the familiar, modern world and a seventeenth-century Eastern Europe brought startlingly to life.

Inspired by the actual crimes of Elizabeth Báthory, The House of Bathory is another thrilling historical fiction from Linda Lafferty (The Bloodletter’s Daughter and The Drowning Guard). The novel carries readers along with suspense and the sweep of historical events both repellent and fascinating.

There is Only War (Warhammer) by Christian Dunn

Collection of short stories set in the perilous galaxy of Warhammer 40,000.

Across mankind’s Imperium, battle rages. From the lowly troopers of the Imperial Guard to the elite Space Marines, humanity’s defenders are ever beset by threats. Alien races encroach on the edges of the, bringing worlds to ruin with blade, gun and claw. On countless worlds, mutated servants of dark gods seek to do their masters’ bidding and bring ruin to all that the Emperor sacrificed himself to build. And in the nightmare realm of the Eye of Terror, the arch-traitors who tore the Imperium apart ten millennia ago still lurk, plotting their revenge… In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war.

Watchers in the Night (The Guardians of the Night, Book1) by Jenna Black

cover_watchers_rereleaseWatchers in the Night is the first book in acclaimed author Jenna Black’s Guardians of the Night paranormal romance series.

Two years ago, Gray James jilted Carolyn Mathers at the altar, disappearing without a trace. Carolyn’s fruitless search for answers cost her her badge; now she’s a P.I. and trying hard to get on with her life. A chance encounter reveals that Gray is still alive, a changed man with dangerous secrets he refuses to share. The harder he pushes her away, the more determined Carolyn is to find out what happened to him.

Gray never stopped loving Carolyn, but the fateful night of his bachelor party changed his life forever. He would do anything to shield her from the world he now inhabits, a world where Killers hunt the night and Guardians hunt the Killers—and he tries to walk a third path, refusing to become one or the other. But when a serial killer called the Broad Street Banger seems to be targeting Caroline, Gray risks everything to keep her safe—even as the Guardians consider him the prime suspect.

Caught in an escalating game of cat and mouse, Gray and Carolyn must forget the passion they once knew if they ever hope to evade the Guardians and find the real killer.

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