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Weekly Book Buzz: The Raistlin Chronicles by Margaret Weis

Look out for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

By Tim Janson     March 01, 2010


The Raistlin Chronicles by Margaret Weis
© Wizards of the Coast

 

Several high profile new releases this week including the latest Remy Chandler urban fantasy, Charles De Lint’s the Mystery of Grace, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by the author of Pride, Prejudice and Zombies. Let’s dig right in!
 
Where Angels Fear to Tread: A Remy Chandler Novel Thomas E. Sniegoski (Roc TPB)
 
Six year-old Zoe York has been taken and her mother has come to Remy for help. She shows him crude, childlike drawings that she claims are Zoe's visions of the future, everything leading up to her abduction, and some beyond. Like the picture of a man with wings who would come and save her-a man who is an angel. Zoe's preternatural gifts have made her a target for those who wish to exploit her power to their own destructive ends. The search will take Remy to dark places he would rather avoid. But to save an innocent, Remy will ally himself with a variety of lesser evils-and his soul may pay the price...
 
The Mystery of Grace Charles de Lint (Tor Trade)
 
Grace Quintero works at Sanchez Motor Works, customizing hot rods. Her whole world consists of her apartment building, the grocery store, the library, the record shop, and the local music hall. She misses her grandfather, the only person she was close to. She meets John at the music hall one night and has a feeling that they might have a relationship, not just a hookup. But there’s one problem. Grace is dead and trying to adjust to her “life” as a ghost.
 
Spellwright Blake Charlton (Tor Hardcover)
 
Nicodemus is a young, gifted wizard with a problem. Magic in his world requires the caster to create spells by writing out the text . . . but he has always been dyslexic, and thus has trouble casting even the simplest of spells. And his misspells could prove dangerous, even deadly, should he make a mistake in an important incantation.
 
Yet he has always felt that he is destined to be something more than a failed wizard. When a powerful, ancient evil begins a campaign of murder and disruption, Nicodemus starts to have disturbing dreams that lead him to believe that his misspelling could be the result of a curse. But before he can discover the truth about himself, he is attacked by an evil which has already claimed the lives of fellow wizards and has cast suspicion on his mentor. He must flee for his own life if he’s to find the true villain.
 
But more is at stake than his abilities. For the evil that has awakened is a power so dread and vast that if unleashed it will destroy Nicodemus... and the world.
 
Shalador's Lady: A Black Jewels Novel Anne Bishop (Roc Hardcover)
 
For years the Shalador people suffered the cruelties of the corrupt Queens who ruled them, forbidding their traditions, punishing those who dared show defiance, and forcing many more into hiding. Now that their land has been cleansed of tainted Blood, the Rose-Jeweled Queen, Lady Cassidy, makes it her duty to restore it and prove her ability to rule. But even if Lady Cassidy succeeds, other dangers await. For the Black Widows see visions within their tangled webs that something is coming that will change the land-and Lady Cassidy-forever...
   
Shadowrise: Volume Three of Shadowmarch Tad Williams (DAW Hardcover)
 
With King Olin imprisoned and Prince Kendrick slain, the royal twins Barrick and Briony have been forced to flee their homeland. But both families and nations can hide dark and terrible secrets, and even if Barrick and Briony survive learning the astonishing truths at the heart of their own family and of Southmarch itself, they must still find a way to reclaim their kingdom and rescue their home- from traitors, tyrants, a god-king, and even the angry gods themselves.
 
Shadowglass: The Shadowfae Chronicles Erica Hayes ( St. Martin ’s TPB)
 
Welcome to a secret world hidden behind shadowy fairy glamour, where thieving spriggans rob you blind, beautiful banshees mesmerize you with their song, big green trolls kick heads at nightclubs and vampire Mafiosi rule the streets. Here a seductive magic mirror lies hidden deep in a demon's lair, with a simple warning: don't stare at the glass...Ice is a light-fingered fairy who can't resist a look at the powerful mirror. The mirror offers her a chance to achieve everything she's ever dreamed of. But when she pilfers it, she discovers that its power comes with a price: the mirror is a gateway to obsession and madness...and it will take every trick in her arsenal just to survive.
 
Roadkill (Cal Leandros, Book 5) Rob Thurman (Roc)
 
It's time to lock, load, and hit the road... Once, while half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko were working on a case, an ancient gypsy queen gave them a good old-fashioned backstabbing. Now, just as their P.I. business hits a slow patch, the old crone shows up with a job. She wants them to find a stolen coffin that contains a blight that makes the Black Death seem like a fond memory. But the thief has already left town, so the Leandros brothers are going on the road. And if they're very, very lucky, there might even be a return trip...
 
The Raistlin Chronicles Margaret Weis (Wizards of the Coast TPB)
 
Discover the origins of one of the most intriguing characters in Dragonlance®, Raistlin Majere.
 
Before he became a Hero of the Lance, Raistlin Majere forged his magic in the Towers of Wizardry and on the field of war. From The New York Times best-selling author Margaret Weis, and co-author Don Perrin, The Raistlin Chronicles reveals the origins of Dragonlance’s ultimate anti-hero and other much-loved characters.  This omnibus edition collects the books The Soulforge and Brothers in Arms.
 
The Point Man Steve Englehart (Tor TPB)
 
Max August was a point man when he served during the Vietnam War, the guy who had to lead his patrol through dangers he couldn't possibly anticipate. Now he’s a disc jockey, at one with the music and his faithful audience . . . until the day when he is swept into a battle invisible to all but the participants.
 
For nearly five centuries, Cornelius Agrippa has fought against an evil that has threatened to corrupt and destroy everything good and untainted in the world. Now, Max has joined the battle. It wasn't his idea to fight a demonic entity that can become anything it wants: an undying monster or the most desirable woman in the world. Max has been chosen by fate to fight those who would use magick to destroy freedom and wreak havoc on an unsuspecting world. Along with Agrippa and Valerie Drake, a beautiful, talented singer, Max is the only hope of the free world.
 
 
Dragon War: Draconic Prophesies, Book 3 (The Draconic Prophecies) James Wyatt (Wizards of the Coast)
 
The Five Nations of Khorvaire stand on the brink of war. Gaven–exile, outlaw, and prophesied Storm Dragon–may be the one person able to stop it. But he can’t remember who he is. Wounded, tormented, and hovering on the brink of madness, Gaven’s friends–and even a few enemies–have to save him before it’s too late...
 
 
New in Sci-Fi
 
The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike Philip K. Dick (Tor TPB)
 
The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike was written by Philip K. Dick in the winter and spring of 1960, in Point Reyes Station, California . In the sequence of Dick’s work, it was written immediately after Confessions of a Crap Artist and just before The Man in the High Castle , the Hugo Award–winning science fiction novel that ushered in the next stage of Dick’s career.
 
 
This novel, Dick said, is about Leo Runcible, “a brilliant, civic minded liberal Jew living in a rural WASP town in Marin County , California .” Runcible, a real estate agent involved in a local battle with a neighbor, finds what look like Neanderthal bones in Marin and dreams of rising real estate prices because of the publicity.  But it turns out that the remains are more recent, the result of an environmental problem polluting the local water supply.
 
Coyote Destiny Allen Steele (Ace Hardcover)
 
The unexpected arrival of a ship from Earth after their long isolation from their home world leaves the inhabitants of Coyote both hopeful and wary. The lone passenger brings news-both good and bad. The good news is that there was a survivor of the long-ago explosion of the Robert E. Lee and he is living still on Earth, in the ruined city called Boston . The bad news is that the person responsible for that act of terrorism is also still alive-and somewhere on Coyote...
 
The Dragon Factory Jonathan Maberry ( St. martin ’s)
 
Joe Ledger and the DMS (Department of Military Sciences) go up against two competing groups of geneticists.  One side is creating exotic transgenic monsters and genetically enhanced mercenary armies; the other is using 21st century technology to continue the Nazi Master Race program begun by Josef Mengele.  Both sides want to see the DMS destroyed, and they've drawn first blood.  Neither side is prepared for Joe Ledger as he leads Echo Team to war under a black flag.
 
New In Horror 
 
Deep In the Woods (Vampire Babylon ) Chris Marie Green (Ace TPB)
 
A brand new novel in the "dark, dramatic, and erotic" Vampire Babylon saga.  With the female master of the London Underground in her hands, stuntwoman-turned­vampire hunter Dawn Madison must fight off her followers, a vicious pack of undead teenage girls who put the vamps Dawn had to deal with in Los Angeles to shame...
 
and Falling, Fly Skyler White ( Berkley TPB)
 
Olivia, vampire and fallen angel of desire, is hopeless...and damned. Since the fall from Eden , she has hungered for love, but fed only on desire. Dominic O'Shaughnessy is a neuroscientist plagued by impossible visions. When his research and her despair collide at L'Otel Mathillide-a subterranean hell of beauty, demons, and dreams-rationalist and angel unite in a clash of desire and damnation that threatens to destroy them both.
 
In this fractures Hotel of the Damned, Olivia and Dominic discover the only force consistent in their opposing realities is the deep, erotic gravity between them. Bound to each other finally in a knot of interwoven freedoms, Dominic and Olivia-the vision-touched scientist and the earth-bound angel, reborn and undead-encounter the mystery of love and find it is both fall...and flight.
 
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Seth Grahame-Smith (Grand Central Publishing)
 
Following the success of his bestselling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies with another mélange of history and horror, Grahame-Smith inserts a grandiose and gratuitous struggle with vampires into Abraham Lincoln's life. Lincoln learns at an early age that his mother was killed by a supernatural predator. This provokes his bloody but curiously undocumented lifelong vendetta against vampires and their slave-owning allies.
 
Whitby Vampyrrhic Simon Clark ( Severn House Hardcover)
 
In wartime Britain , vampires and an ancient curse rule the night . . . - Winter, 1942. Beth, Sally and Alec are the only guests in an eerie seaport hotel in Whitby with a peculiar subterranean tunnel linking it to the ocean. It is a hotel haunted by questions. What does Eleanor Charwood, the landlady, hide in her basement, and what caused the bite-marks on her reclusive brother, Theo? Can the trio survive a Viking curse and save their very souls?
 
Reviews
Madame Xanadu Exodus Noir (Vertigo Comics TPB)
 
I’m still not convinced that Madam Xanadu is a character deserving of an ongoing title but part of the value of the Vertigo line is giving niche characters greater exposure. This volume collects issues # 11-15 of the regular series. Madame Xanadu is hired by a rich society woman to investigate the death of her father who seemingly died of spontaneous combustion. She immediately finds evidence of an evil influence in the man’s death. Soon, several of his associates turn up dead as Xanadu draws closer to te thing behind the murders. 
 
The story is pure 1940’s crime noir…a Raymond Chandler detective story mixed with magic. Adding to the Golden Age feel of the story is a guest appearance by Wesley Dodds, AKA the Sandman. What truly makes the story standout is the creative team of writer Matt Wagner and artist Mike Kaluta. Because Kaluta works in comics infrequently he doesn’t get the credit he deserves as one of the best artists in the business. His dark, gritty style, first showcased on The Shadow for DC comics in the 1970s is a perfect fit to the 1940s setting. People may not know that it was Kaluta who actually created the character in 1978.
 
Wagner’s story succeeds in lifting the character above niche level. Throughout his run on the title Wagner has filled in Xanadu’s mysterious background, marking her as a sister to Morgan Le Fay and a survivor of Atlantis, making her one of the oldest characters in the DC Universe. A fabulous story that reads well on its own without needing to read the previous issues in the series. Grade A-
 
 
From the Pen of Paul Stephen D. Korshak (Shasta Phoenix)
 
Frank R. Paul has been called the father of science fiction illustration and with good reason…During the golden age of the Sci-Fi pulps, Paul illustrated over 200 covers for magazines such as Amazing Stories, Science Fiction, Wonder Stories, Future Fiction, Planet Stories, and many more. In those early days of Sci-Fi pulps, the cover was everything. It was the thing that first caught the reader’s eye at a time when dozens of pulps crammed the shelves of newsstands. You had make your magazine stand out and no artist did a better job of this than Frank R. Paul.
 
Stephen Korshak’s gorgeous book relates Paul’s ascension as artist, first working for publisher Hugo Gernsback doing illustrations for science magazines and then assigned to design a logo for Gernsback’s latest magazine, Amazing Stories, the first sci-fi pulp. Paul also illustrated the cover for the first issue, dated April 1926. Paul would do dozens of covers for Amazing Stories including what most believe was the first illustration of Buck Rogers in 1928. Ironically perhaps Paul’s most well-known illustration wasn’t for a pulp cover at all but rather for the very first issue of Marvel Comcs in 1939, depicting the Human Torch burning through a vault. The Marvel Age was born thanks to that cover.
 
This beautiful book is filled with hundreds of color and black and white illustrations displaying not only Paul’s immense artistic talent but his fertile imagination as well. In addition the book features a preface by Arthur C. Clarke and an afterword by Forrest J Ackerman. A big thank you to Shasta Phoenix for finally giving Frank Paul his just due as one of the greats of Sci-Fi illustration. Grade A

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 3 of 3
1 
Hobbs 3/2/2010 8:33:45 AM

Never cared for the Raistlin books...such potential never realized in those two novels.  

Bedlam 3/2/2010 2:17:15 PM

Is there anything new in horror these days that isn't about vampires. Don't get me wrong I love a good vampire story but these all sound like trash, and none of them count as horror as far as I'm concerned. Just becasue it has a dark supernatural being doesn't mean horror those books are all dark fantasy.

todd890 10/4/2010 7:55:06 AM

There are self published fantasy and horror books that are just as good or better than the big Publishing Houses sell. I just wish this site would do articles on self published fantasy or horror books.

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