Check out some of the books I’ll be reviewing over the next few weeks.
After having a lukewarm reaction to Lily Herne’s first novel, Deadlands, I’m happy to report that I found the sequel, Death of a Saint to be a much better book. Even though it’s a lot longer than its predecessor, I tore through it in under two days. Review to follow on Thursday.
Secrets. Everyone has them. But what if your secret is something so unthinkable that you can’t even admit it to yourself? Lily Herne returns with Death of a Saint, the next instalment in the Mall Rats series.
Exiled from the city enclave for crimes against the Resurrectionist State, teen rebels Lele, Ginger, Ash and Saint — aka the Mall Rats — are hiding out in the Deadlands, a once-prosperous area now swarming with the living dead. With the sinister Guardians breathing down their necks, the Mall Rats face a stark choice: return to the enclave and try to evade capture or leave Cape Town in search of other survivors. But what if the rest of South Africa is nothing but a zombie-infested wasteland? Will they be able to survive on the road if all they have is each other, or will their secrets tear them apart?
After all, only Lele knows the shocking truth as to why the dead leave the Mall Rats unscathed — knowledge that she can’t bring herself to share. And she’s not the only Mall Rat harbouring a dangerous secret…
Death of a Saint was released on 1 April 2012 by Puffin Books, and the series has been rejacketed. The third book is entitled The Army of the Left. Thanks very much to Candice at Penguin SA for my review copy.
Blackbirds (Miriam Black #1) by Chuck Wendig (Angry Robot)
This gorgeous cover was designed by Joey Hi-Fi, who used a similar style for the awesome Zoo City and Moxyland covers.
Miriam Black knows when you will die. She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides.
But when Miriam hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim.
No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.
Blackbirds will be published by Angry Robot on 24 April in the USA and Canada, and on 3 May for the rest of the world.
The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Normally, I don’t even look twice at books with these kinds of covers, but Lu and I are always looking for books to joint review, and when she requested this one I thought the story sounded interesting and it might give us something to discuss. But either way I’ll be reading and reviewing it soon.
This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance. On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena’s father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears.
The Peculiars will be published on 1 May 2012 by Amulet Books.
The Croning by Laird Barron (Night Shade Books)
I haven’t read a good horror novel in a while. I hope this one is creepy enough to get under my skin.
Strange things exist on the periphery of our existence, haunting us from the darkness looming beyond our firelight. Black magic, weird cults and worse things loom in the shadows. The Children of Old Leech have been with us from time immemorial. And they love us.
Donald Miller, geologist and academic, has walked along the edge of a chasm for most of his nearly eighty years, leading a charmed life between endearing absent-mindedness and sanity-shattering realization. Now, all things must converge. Donald will discover the dark secrets along the edges, unearthing savage truths about his wife Michelle, their adult twins, and all he knows and trusts.
For Donald is about to stumble on the secret…of The Croning. From Laird Barron, Shirley Jackson Award-winning author of The Imago Sequence and Occultation, comes The Croning, a debut novel of cosmic horror.
The Croning will be published on 8 May 2012 by Night Shade Books.
Thanks very much to NetGalley and the publishers for providing review copies!