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Weekly Book Buzz: More Wheel of Time News

Del Rey releases a new Indiana Jones Adventure

By Tim Janson     September 28, 2009


Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead by Steve Perry(2009).
© Del Rey

 

Well this is a virtual monster week in terms of new releases but before we get to those, lets talk about a little more news about Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. I mentioned last week about that the title for book 14 has been announced, Towers of Midnight. Volume 13, The Gathering Storm, comes out next month. Tor is giving fans a preview by allowing you to read the first chapter for free! Just head here.
 
Gathering Storm author Brandon Sanderson is embarking on a national tour to promote the book. To see when he is going to be in your neck of the woods, check out this website
 
The winners of this year’s British Fantasy Awards were announced this past week and here are a few of the major winners:
 
Best Novel: Memoirs of a Master Forger, William Heaney/Graham Joyce
 
Best Anthology: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 19, Stephen Jones
 
Best Comic/Graphic Novel: Locke and Key, Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
 
Best Novella: The Reach of Children, Tim Lebbon
 
The Full list of winners can be seen here.
 
…One other note this week, Dan Brown’s The Last Symbol is already going to reprint after selling out 550,000 copies in its first week, making it the fastest-selling book ever!
 
…Del Rey is delivering two new licensed novels this week Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead, and Iron Man: Femme Fatales!
 
 
New In Fantasy
 
Spectre (Zoe Martinique, Book 2) Phaedra Weldon (Paperback)
 
The second novel in the Zoe Martinique series, following Wraith (2007), finds Zoe, an astral walker who can leave her body at will, dealing with the loss of her voice after a battle in which she and handsome detective Daniel Frasier almost lost their lives. She and Daniel have finally gotten together, but their romantic bliss is put on hold when Zoe gets an e-mail from Maharba, the mysterious employer who sent her on her last dangerous mission, demanding she attend a political fund raiser and spy on a meeting between the candidate and a businessman. With little choice in the matter, Zoe reluctantly does as Maharba asks, only to find the mission is much more than she bargained for when she encounters a dangerous Daimon and a roguish, sexy man named Joe Halloran who can see Zoe in astral form, and who realizes that her powers are greater—and potentially more dangerous—than she’d suspected. An excellent follow-up to Zoe’s first outing, and the ending will leave readers hungry for more.
 
Shamanslayer (Gotrek & Felix) Nathan Long (Games Workshop)
 
Dwarf Trollslayer Gotrek and his human companion Felix Jaeger, Warhammer's most famous pair of heroes, head off to a new adventure in the latest novel of this best-selling fantasy series against a horde of beastmen who threaten the safety of the Empire.
 
Queene of Light Jennifer Armintrout (Mira)
 
In a time not long from now, the veil between fantasy and reality is ripped asunder creatures of myth and fairytale spill into the mortal world. Enchanted yet horrified, humans force the magical beings Underground, to colonize the sewers and abandoned subway tunnels beneath their glittering cities.  But even magic folk cannot dwell in harmony and soon two Worlds emerge: the Lightworld, home to faeries, dragons and dwarves; and the Darkworld, where vampires, werewolves, angels and demons lurk.
 
Now, in the dank and shadowy place between Lightworld and Darkworld, a transformation is about to begin....Ayla, a half-faery, half-human assassin is stalked by Malachi, a Death Angel tasked with harvesting mortal souls. They clash. Immortality evaporates, forging a bond neither may survive. And in the face of unbridled ambitions and untested loyalties, an ominous prophecy is revealed that will shake the Worlds.
 
On the Edge (The Edge, Book 1) Ilona Andrews (Ace)
 
The Broken is a place where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is nothing more than a fairy tale. The Weird is a realm where blueblood aristocrats rule and the strength of your magic can change your destiny.  Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, the place between both worlds. A perilous existence indeed, made even more so by a flood of magic-hungry creatures bent on absolute destruction.
 
Cursed to Death (Crimson Moon, Book 4) L. A. Banks ( St. Martin ’s)
 
Secret government operative Sasha Trudeau arrives at the scene of a murder, only to discover that a Fae creature has been killed—in a whole new kind of way. What is the meaning behind this mysterious ritualistic killing? What did the victim do to deserve it? Sasha fears that the Vampires and Unseelies have formed an unholy alliance…and they’re ready to unleash their darkest arsenal of magick yet.
 
Teaming up with her mate and fellow Shadow Wolf, Max Hunter, Sasha tries to penetrate the  paranormal community for clues. Meanwhile, members of the Wolf Clan are turning against one another as they race to uncover the meaning behind an ancient Unseelie curse. Even Sasha is not immune to this powerful magick, and soon finds herself drawn to a sensual, dangerous dance—one that could cost her own life…
 
Child of Fire: A Twenty Palaces Novel Harry Connolly (Del Rey)
 
Ray Lilly is living on borrowed time. He’s the driver for Annalise Powliss, a high-ranking member of the Twenty Palace Society, a group of sorcerers devoted to hunting down and executing rogue magicians. But because Ray betrayed her once, Annalise is looking for an excuse to kill him–or let someone else do the job.
 
Unfortunately for both of them, Annalise’s next mission goes wrong, leaving her critically injured. With the little magic he controls, Ray must complete her assignment alone. Not only does he have to stop a sorcerer who’s sacrificing dozens of innocent lives in exchange for supernatural power, he must find–and destroy–the source of that inhuman magic.
 
Born of Night (A League Novel) Sherrilyn Kenyon ( St. Martin ’s)
 
In the Ichidian Universe, The League and their ruthless assassins rule all. Expertly trained and highly valued, the League Assassins are the backbone of the government. But not even the League is immune to corruption . . .
 
Command Assassin Nykyrian Quikiades once turned his back on the League—and has been hunted by them ever since. Though many have tried, none can kill him or stop him from completing his current mission: to protect Kiara Zamir, a woman whose father’s political alliance has made her a target. 
 
As her world becomes even deadlier, Kiara must entrust her life to the same kind of beast who once killed her mother and left her for dead. Old enemies and new threaten them both and the only way they can survive is to overcome their suspicions and learn to trust in the very ones who threaten them the most: each other.
 
New in Sci-Fi
 
Xombies: Apocalypse Blues Walter Greatshell (Ace)
 
When the Agent X plague struck, it infected women first, turning them into mindless killers intent only on creating an army of "Xombies" by spreading their disease.  Running for her life, seventeen-year-old Lulu is rescued by the father she has never known and taken aboard a refitted nuclear submarine that has one mission: to save a little bit of humanity.
 
When Duty Calls: A Novel of the Legion of the Damned William C. Dietz (Ace)
 
As the war with the Ramanthian continues, Captain Antonio Santana and his force of biobods and cyborgs find themselves surrounded by enemy forces, faced with annihilation at every turn. On the home front, diplomat Christine Vanderveen finds herself torn between her love for Santana and her new loyalty towards the charismatic, recently elected president of the Clone Republic . As Christine fights her own divided heart, light years away, Santana is in a battle for his life. And this battle may be his last.
 
Star Trek: Voyager: Unworthy (Star Trek, Voyager) Kirsten Beyer (Star Trek Books)
 
Freed with a thought, the greatest menace to humanity, the Borg, are gone, absorbed into the Caeliar gestalt. But are they? Can this deadly menace that has hovered over humanity for decades truly be gone? Might some shadow of the Caeliar remain? The Federation decides that they have to know, and Starfleet is ordered to find out.
The Starship Voyager leads a fleet into a region of space that has lived in fear of instant annihilation for generations: the Delta quadrant, home of the Borg. Afsarah Eden -- the new captain of Voyager -- is charged with getting answers, to reach out to possible allies and resolve old enmities in the Delta quadrant.
 
The perfection that was given to the Borg was withheld from Seven of Nine. Left behind, she is living a twilight existence -- neither Borg nor human -- and slowly going mad. The whispers of the Collective, comforting murmurs she has always known, are replaced with a voice deep within her that keeps insisting she is Annika Hansen. Chakotay, the former captain of Voyager, offers to help Seven rendezvous with the ships that Starfleet Command has sent into the Delta quadrant, the probable destination of the mysterious Caeliar.  These are not the friendly stars of the Federation; the unknown and the unexpected are the everyday.
 
Iron Man: Femmes Fatales Robert Greenberger (Del Rey)
 
Millionaire industrialist Tony Stark has rejected the lucrative munitions trade that put his company on the map. But he can’t just turn away when the antiterror organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. asks him for help in its battle against the sinister forces of HYDRA. As the next step in its quest for global domination, the international terrorist cabal is plotting to use cutting-edge technology in a devastating attack on New York City .
 
The source of their advanced weaponry: Stark Industries.
 
Against such fearsome firepower, the city’s only hope lies with the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and with the ultimate human weapon: the golden avenger known as Iron Man. But when the man behind the metal mask falls prey to the schemes of two tantalizing temptresses, both as stunning and seductive as they are lethal, a fatal chink in his armor is revealed–a flaw that could lead to his downfall and the city’s doom.
 
Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead Steve Perry (Del Rey)
 
There’s no rest for the weary treasure hunter, but that’s how Indiana Jones likes it. Fresh from spying for the Allies in the thick of World War II Germany , the globe-trotting archaeologist doesn’t need much persuading to join his cohort “Mac” McHale in searching for one of the most coveted of artifacts: the fabled black pearl known as the Heart of Darkness. But the partners in adventure are not alone on their foray into the mysterious jungles of Haiti . German and Japanese agents are in hot pursuit, determined to possess the ebony artifact–and its secrets–for their own sinister purposes. And shadowing them all is an infamous voodoo priest, with powers of both diabolical science and black magic at his command.
 
On a treacherous odyssey across the Island of the Dead, where the legend of the zombi looms large, spiders, snakes, and booby traps will prove the least of Indy’s challenges. And capturing the prize will be child’s play compared to confronting an enemy unlike any other, whose numbers are legion and nearly impossible to kill–because they’re already dead. . . .
 
Grand Junction Maurice G Dantec (Del Rey Trade Paperback)
 
On October 4, 2057, most electronic devices on Earth are infected and destroyed by unknown viruses, and billions of people dependent on machine interfaces are killed as a result. Twelve years later, the survivors are sunk in a new Dark Age, a grim afterworld in which the only law is the law of the jungle.
In the sprawling ruins of Grande Junction, a thriving urban community centered on an abandoned spaceport, civilization is hanging on by its fingernails. In this last fragile outpost of knowledge and reason, hope and faith, a second wave of lethal viruses is unleashed–viruses that attack human beings directly, stripping away language, thought, humanity itself.
 
But it is also here that a young boy, a guitar-playing prodigy named Link de Nova, discovers within himself the power to fight a malevolent entity determined to remake the world in its own bleak image. Now, as the viruses spread and enemies converge on Grande Junction, Link and his friends and protectors, Chrysler Campbell and Yuri McCoy, prepare to fight for the survival of the human race with rifles, radios, and rock ’n’ roll.
 
Boneshaker Cherie Priest (Tor)
 
In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest . Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska ’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born.  But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.
 
Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history. His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.
 
New in Horror
 
John Dies at the End David Wong (Thomas Dunne)
 
Hellbound Hearts (Pocket)
 
Clive Barker's iconic masterpiece The Hellbound Heart, the novella adapted into the film Hellraiser, unleashed a new mythology of horror, brilliantly conceived and born of the darkest imagination. Now, enter this visionary world -- the merciless realm of the demonic Cenobites -- in this collection of stories inspired by The Hellbound Heart. Featured here is the graphic work "Wordsworth," from bestselling author Neil Gaiman and artist Dave McKean, who unlock an explicit way to violate innocence -- one torturous puzzle at a time.... New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong logs on to a disturbing website for gamers, where the challenge is agonizing, and the solution beyond painful. When his father disappears, an Oxford student returns to his family's mansion, where a strange mechanism in the cellar holds a curious power, in a haunting illustrated work by Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola.
 
Darker Angels (The Black Sun's Daughter, Book 2) M.L.N. Hanover (Pocket)
 
When Jayné Heller's uncle Eric died, she inherited a fortune beyond all her expectations -- and a dangerous mission in a world she never knew existed. Reining in demons and supernatural foes is a formidable task, but thankfully Jayné has vast resources and loyal allies to rely on. She'll need both to tackle a bodyswitching serial killer who's taken up residence in New Orleans, a city rich in voodoo lore and dark magic.
 
Working alongside Karen Black, a highly confident and enigmatic ex-FBI agent, Jayné races to track down the demon's next intended host. But the closer she gets, the more convinced she becomes that nothing in this beautiful, wounded city is exactly as it seems. When shocking secrets come to light, and jealousy and betrayal turn trusted friends into adversaries, Jayné will soon come face-to-face with an enemy that knows her all too well, and won't rest until it has destroyed everything she loves most....
 
Depraved Bryan Smith (Leisure)
 
Visitors are more than welcome in the isolated rural community of Hopkins Bend. The town needs them for their annual sacrifices…and entertainment. Now outsiders have stumbled into the town’s traps. Some will be held for their captors’ perverse, degrading amusement, but some will face a far more gruesome end at the yearly Holiday Feast. The townspeople hope their unholy ritual will protect them from the curse that befell the Kincher family. For more than a century the Kinchers have been changing, mutating, becoming gradually less human. And at the center of it all lies the dark secret, the malignant evil that controls Hopkins Bend and has made its residents truly… DEPRAVED
 
Feeding Ground Sarah Pinborough (Leisure)
 
London streets that were once filled with pedestrians, tourists and shoppers are now clogged with thick webs and dead bodies. Spidery creatures straight out of a nightmare have infested the city, skittering after their human prey, spinning sticky traps to catch their food…
 
A few desperate survivors have banded together, realizing their only hope for survival is to flee the dying city. Their route will take them through wrecked streets, into an underground train station. Only too late will they discover their deadly mistake: their chosen tunnel is home to the hungry creatures’ food cache, filled with cocooned but still living victims. Instead of escape, the group has run straight into the heart of a…FEEDING GROUND
 
30 Days of Night: Light of Day Jeff Mariotte (Pocket)
 
A terrifying species of legend that exists in shadow and thrives in night, preying on and intriguing an unsuspecting modern world - An amoral, clandestine government operation that uses whatever means necessary to inflict maximum damage upon one of the most frightening and demonized forces humanity has ever encountered - And all of mankind is threatened by the chain of events set in motion by this unrestrained conflict, and the ripple effects of a new element to the hostilities will forever alter the rules of engagement....
 
Halloween Volume 2: The First Death Of Laurie Strode (Devil’s Due Graphic Novel)
 
Michael Myers is back with some time to kill in this second volume of Halloween! As the only survivor of Michael Myers' rampage through the small town of Haddonfield on Halloween night 1978, Laurie Strode is haunted by the memories of her encounter with the face of evil. To make matters worse, she is convinced Michael Myers is still out there, ready to strike again - and the only person who believes her is Dr. Sam Loomis!
 
New in Non-Fiction
 
Hammer Glamour Marcus Hearn (Titan Books)
 
Over fifty years ago, with the release of The Curse of Frankenstein and Christopher Lee in Dracula, Hammer ushered in a whole new era of blood and barely restrained cleavage in glorious colour, mixing sex and horror with a style and panache that made the small British company world famous.
 
Bursting at the seams with rare and previously unpublished photographs from Hammer’s archive and private collections worldwide, and featuring many new interviews, Hammer Glamour is a lavish, full colour celebration of Hammer’s female stars, including Ingrid Pitt, Martine Beswick, Caroline Munro, Barbara Shelley, Joanna Lumley, Nastassja Kinski, and of course Raquel Welch.
 
Reviews
 
Bar None Tim Lebbon (Night Shade Books)
 
 
Set in a post-apocalyptic England, where basically the world has ended, Lebbon’s Bar None unfolds an exquisitely layered tale of five survivors. The five eke out an existence in a stately English manor, attempting to grow food and capping off what little alcohol remains to drink.  Lebbon names his chapters after various brands of beers and ales, although it’s not to be cute. The names all relate to one of the characters past experiences with this brand and how their back stories eventually flesh out the book.
 
A stranger arrives one day, causing some paranoid curiosity among the five as they had not seen another live soul, not human anyway, in a very long time. He tells the group that there is a place, a bar where they can all be safe and where the beer never runs out. I know, this sounds like it might be a humorous plot but it’s not, all eventually makes sense. The stranger calls himself Michael, but admits that’s just his name for today. He meets with each of the group and gives them the same warning about getting out of the manor. With much trepidation, the group sets out on the bizarre quest, through a world they no longer recognize, to find the Holy Grail of pubs.
 
Bar None is a strange book that doesn’t give up its secrets too easily. It’s told in the first person which I’ve never been crazy about but Lebbon makes it work here, due in part to the main character’s name never being revealed. Bar None is dark and dreary…nature has reclaimed the world quickly. At under 200 pages it’s a short read, somewhat slow in parts but Lebbon manages to keep the readers attention with the quirky world he’s fashioned. Grade B
 
Showcase Presents The Warlord Mike Grell (DC Comics Omnibus)
 
 
First introduced in DC’s 1st Issue Special #8 in 1975, and getting his own title in 1976, Mike Grell’s Warlord was strongly influenced by Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Pellucidar series, borrowing the concept of a hollow Earth. Lt. Travis Morgan is an Air Force Pilot flying a reconnaissance mission over Russia. An encounter with Russian fighters damages his plane and he flees over the North Pole. When Morgan finally ejects he finds himself in a strange new jungle world. Morgan has entered a chasm some 800 miles below the Earth’s surface to find a hidden, savage world where Dinosaurs still exist and ruthless tyrants dominate this world known as Skartaris. This hollow, inner world surrounds a miniature sun, making it daylight all the time and its inhabitants are unaware of the surface world.
 
Morgan and a native girl named Tara are captured and taken to the city of Thera. It is here where Morgan first encounters the High Priest Deimos who will become his archenemy. When Deimos attempts to assassinate Morgan and Tara, Morgan kills the assassins and he and Tara flee into the world of Skartaris for a life of battle and adventure, with Morgan earning the title Warlord from the free people of the land. Grell’s series combines magic, science, and Atlantean lore. The Warlord’s adventures range from typical swords & sorcery to strong science elements. 
 
Grell is one of the most underrated comic talents of all-time. He is a magnificent storyteller and a very fine artist as well. In fact the black and white format of these Showcase editions perfectly “showcases” Grell’s fine line detail. I’ve always thought the Grell’s style was a blend of Silver Age greats Gil Kane and John Buscema. The 528 page book collects 1st Issue Special #8 and issues #1 – 28 of the on-going series. If you’ve never read Warlord this is a great chance to immerse yourself into a fantastic adventure epic about time DC gave The Warlord the Showcase treatment! Grade A

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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Hobbs 9/28/2009 8:49:11 PM

I know you guys reviewed Lost Symbol last week but I'm not finished with it yet so I avoided reading what you had to say..I can tell you that i'm about 3/4 of the way through it and wow, what a disappointment.  I'm going to finish it but Brown dropped a big turd ball on his latest book.  Reminds me more Angles and Demons (the book) than the D-code.  Brown isn't the greatest writer to begin with but he really needs to work on his characters.  Are we really to believe such intelligent people are that stupid and naive?  Or his villians...is there really any difference between them in all three books (lone exception, the albino monk)?

I noticed the B rating last week but I'm more inclined to agree with the Amazon reviews that have it around 2-3 stars, right now its a 2 for me and will probably stay that way as I can't see the last chapters upping the story at all.  I didn't expect him to top his last novel but this was his chance to really establish himself as a writer that was going to be around for a long time and as popular (example, S.King) and I think he blew it.  I know he can laugh all the way to the bank but I really doubt I'll have an interest in picking up the next Langdon novel.

LittleNell1824 9/29/2009 8:01:36 AM

Thanks for the review, Hobbs. I tried to read Angels and Demons but just couldn't get through it. I love this kind of story, but apparantly, I don't love Brown. I ran into the same problem with James Rollins. His standalone books were fun, but then he started this Sigma 'something' series and the characters were 2-dimensional. (He writes books that are similar to Brown with just a touch of Crichton thrown in - modern thriller involving strange science and ancient conspiracies)

People can say Stephen King is all over the road where quality writing is concerned, but his characters are great, his action is great, his dialogue is really good. It makes up for any stilted writing that came through in his drug years.

Hobbs 9/29/2009 8:21:45 AM

Thanks nell, I just want to be clear I wasn't ripping King. I was just pointing out this was Browns chance to become a writer that is as established as King and have the long career he has.  Personally I think King is a fantastic writer.  Yeah, he has had some stories that I didn't care for but there is no doubting the man knows the English language and how to use it.  I think as he's gotten older his stories have gotten a little too long.  They are not as stream lined as his earlier works.  I still love the Shinning and that wasn't some 800 page book, just as an exmaple.  Have you read his son's book, Heart Shaped Box?  His son is as talented as he is, I think, if you haven't checked it out.

Hobbs 9/29/2009 8:24:24 AM

Oh, btw Nell, you had a problem getting through the book Angels and Demons but check out the movie when it comes out for rental.  It was actually pretty good.  Much better movie than book which I know is something that hardly ever happens.

LittleNell1824 9/29/2009 9:14:44 AM

I've been meaning to read Heart Shaped Box. It's definitely on my list. You know, I just started reading Stephen King a few years ago when a friend at work begged me to start.

I didn't think you were ripping on King, but critics have been sneering since the beginning, so you chose a good author to use as a comparison. King has always been classified as a writer of popular fiction. And, some of his sentences and paragraphs could use a little grammatical editing - he's said so himself. But, whatever his critics say, a few of his books have the lasting power of classics. Critics sneered at Dickens, too. I mean, you can see why when you read any of his books, but his strengths outweigh his weaknesses - just like King's. With both King and Dickens, it doesn't matter so much what they're writing about, what matters is how real and plausible they make it seem.

But Brown, once you get past the "oh, he's talking about historical conspiracies - so he's must be writing something intelligent and provacative" you find that he's a really crappy writer.

middlerealm 10/5/2009 5:38:35 AM

I am so glad there are others out there who don't think Brown is as good as the media hype machine has made him out to be!

I'm in the minority that liked Angels & Demons more than Da Vinci Code, but each to his own. By the time I was half way through DVC I realised that any further Langdon outings were going to get progressively worse as even DVC was failing to keep me interested.

I'd also like to point out I read both books well before the hype that appeared out of nowhere almost a year after DVC was actually released, so I wasn't one of the crowd who read it because it was suddenly 'popular'. (I couldn't get why the world suddenly went crazy over such a mediocre book and propelled him to super-stardom)

I am completely refusing to read the new one. Probably out of stubborness, but also because I have a list of about eighty other books I'd read before ever considering another offering from Brown.

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