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Weekly Book Buzz: Robert Jordan's The Gathering Storm Hits Bookstores
The Latest Wheel of Time Novel Heads Up a Monstrous Week
By Tim Janson
October 25, 2009
Well of course this week is all about The Gathering Storm, book twelve in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. This leads what is the biggest week of genre releases for the entire year so far. It’s an absolutely huge week, so much so that they’ll be no reviews this week in order to devote the space to detailing all of this week’s hot new releases. Sanderson starts up a whirlwind tour to promote the new book on Tuesday. If you want to see if he will be in your area, please check out this link: Gathering Storm Tour
Now I’ll be honest, I never made it past book one of the series. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. But I really want to hear YOUR opinions on the book. How does Sanderson carry the torch for Jordan? Please feel free to post your thoughts or mini-reviews in the comments section either this week (if you’re a REALLY fast reader) or in coming weeks.
Besides The Gathering Storm, we’ve also got the latest Dragonriders of Pern novel out in mass-market, Karen Traviss’ Star Wars 501st: An Imperial Commando in mass-market, new fantasy from Elizabeth Bear, new horror from Ed Lee and john Everson, A new Elric Collection, a new Hell-Boy novel from Dark Horse Press, and a great looking non-fiction title on the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
New in Fantasy
The Gathering Storm Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time) (Tor Hardcover)
Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, looms. And mankind is not ready.
The final volume of the Wheel of Time, A Memory of Light, was partially written by Robert Jordan before his untimely passing in 2007. Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author of the Mistborn books, was chosen by Jordan ’s editor---his wife, Harriet McDougal---to complete the final book. The scope and size of the volume was such that it could not be contained in a single book, and so Tor proudly presents The Gathering Storm as the first of three novels that will make up A Memory of Light. This short sequence will complete the struggle against the Shadow, bringing to a close a journey begun almost twenty years ago and marking the conclusion of the Wheel of Time, the preeminent fantasy epic of our era.
In this epic novel, Robert Jordan’s international bestselling series begins its dramatic conclusion. Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, struggles to unite a fractured network of kingdoms and alliances in preparation for the Last Battle. As he attempts to halt the Seanchan encroachment northward---wishing he could form at least a temporary truce with the invaders---his allies watch in terror the shadow that seems to be growing within the heart of the Dragon Reborn himself.
Egwene al’Vere, the Amyrlin Seat of the rebel Aes Sedai, is a captive of the White Tower and subject to the whims of their tyrannical leader. As days tick toward the Seanchan attack she knows is imminent, Egwene works to hold together the disparate factions of Aes Sedai while providing leadership in the face of increasing uncertainty and despair. Her fight will prove the mettle of the Aes Sedai, and her conflict will decide the future of the White Tower ---and possibly the world itself.
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
This Crooked Way James Enge (Pyr)
Morlock Ambrosius returns! Travelling alone in the depths of winter, Morlock Ambrosius (bitterly dry drunk, master of all magical makers, wandering swordsman, and son of Merlin Ambrosius and Nimue Viviana) is attacked by an unknown enemy. To unmask his enemy and end the attacks he must travel a long crooked way through the world: past the soul-eating Boneless One, past a subtle and treacherous master of golems, past the dragon-taming Khroi, past the predatory cities of Sarkunden and Aflraun, past the demons and dark gnomes of the northern woods. Soon he will find that his enemy wears a familiar face, and that the duel he has stumbled into will threaten more lives than his own, leaving nations shattered in its chaotic wake. And at the end of his long road waits the death of a legend.
Noonshade (Chronicles of the Raven 2) James Barclay (Pyr)
An apocalyptic spell has been cast, an ancient evil banished. Now the land of Balaia , still driven by war, must live with the consequences. The Dawnthief spell - designed to destroy the world, but cast to save it - has torn a hole in the sky, a pathway into the dragon dimension, and, through it, unfriendly eyes are turning to Balaia. With war already sweeping the land, there are no armies to send against the dragons. All that stands between Balaia and complete dominion by these tyrannous beasts is a tiny, but legendary band of mercenaries: The Raven. And if they fail, Balaia will fall beneath the wings of countless dragons.
The Knights of the Cornerstone James P. Blaylock (Ace)
When Calvin Bryson decides to visit his aunt and uncle, he learns that their small town is harboring some strange secrets-including a modern- day incarnation of the legendary Knights Templar.
In His Majesty's Service Naomi Novik ( Del Rey Hardcover)
Together in one volume, here are the first three novels in Naomi Novik’s New York Times bestselling Temeraire series, combining the gripping history of the Napoleonic era, the thrill of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern books, and the excitement of Patrick O’Brian’s seafaring adventures. In His Majesty’s Service also includes an exclusive original Temeraire short story.
Capt. Will Laurence is serving with honor in the British Navy when his ship captures a French frigate harboring most a unusual cargo–an incalculably valuable dragon egg. When the egg hatches, Laurence unexpectedly becomes the master of the young dragon Temeraire and finds himself on an extraordinary journey that will shatter his orderly, respectable life and alter the course of his nation’s history.
Thrust into England ’s Aerial Corps, Laurence and Temeraire undergo rigorous training while staving off French forces intent on breaching British soil. But the pair has more than France to contend with when China learns that an imperial dragon intended for Napoleon–Temeraire himself– has fallen into British hands. The emperor summons the new pilot and his dragon to the Far East , a long voyage fraught with peril and intrigue. From England ’s shores to China ’s palaces, from the Silk Road’s outer limits to the embattled borders of Prussia and Poland , Laurence and Temeraire must defend their partnership and their country from powerful adversaries around the globe. But can they succeed against the massed forces of Bonaparte’s implacable army?
Elric In the Dream Realms (Chronicles of the Last Emperor of Melniboné, Vol. 5) Michael Moorcock (Del Rey TPB)
Kinslayer. Soul reaver. Sorcerer. Thief. And last emperor of a cruel, decadent race. Elric of Melniboné is all of these–and more. His life is sustained by drugs and magic–and energy sucked from the victims of his vampiric black sword, Stormbringer, a weapon feared by men and gods alike. Denied the oblivion he seeks, poised between a tragic past he cannot escape and a terrifying future he is doomed to bring about, Elric is a hero like no other.
Del Rey is proud to present the fifth installment in its definitive collection featuring the immortal creation of Michael Moorcock, named Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Highlights include an epic novel of Elric’s early years, The Fortress of the Pearl; the script of the graphic novel Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer; a previously unpublished proposal for a new series; and Hugo Award—winning author Neil Gaiman’s moving fictional tribute to Elric, the short story “One Life, Furnished in Early Moorcock.”
Dragonheart: Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern (The Dragonriders of Pern) Todd J. McCaffrey (Del Rey)
The specter of sickness looms over the Weyrs of Pern, felling fire-lizards and threatening their dragon cousins, Pern’s sole defense against the deadly phenomenon that is Thread. Fiona, the young rider of queen dragon Talenth, is about to assume the duties of a Weyrwoman when word spreads that dragons have begun succumbing to the new contagion. As more dragons sicken and die, Weyrleader B’Nik and queen rider Lorana comb Fort Weyr ’s archives in a desperate search for clues from the past that may hold the solution to the plague. But could the past itself prove the pathway to salvation for Pern’s imperiled dragons? Guided by a mysterious ally from a wholly unexpected place, and trusting in the dragon gift for transcending time, Fiona will join a risky expedition with far-reaching consequences for both Pern’s future and her personal destiny.
Candle in the Storm: The Shadowed Path Book 2 Morgan Howell (Del Rey)
The malign shadow of the Devourer has darkened the land, extinguishing life and hope. The followers of the benevolent goddess Karm are hunted mercilessly and cut down by an army of bewitched slayers led by Lord Bahl, the Devourer’s flesh-and-blood incarnation. Only two people stand in the way of an apocalyptic bloodbath that will literally bring hell to earth: a man and a woman linked by a love as strong as it is unlikely–Honus, a grim-faced warrior dedicated to Karm, and Yim, a beautiful former slave with the divine power to stop Lord Bahl.
But that power will prove a terrible curse as Yim is called upon to make a costly sacrifice–a sacrifice that will not only put her love for Honus to the test but call into question her very faith. As the evil storm descends, can the flame of hope endure?
By the Mountain Bound Elizabeth Bear (Tor Hardcover)
For five hundred years the immortal Children of the Light, einherjar and valkyrie, have lived together in the North of Valdyrgard. They were born out of the Sea, each with a shining crystal sword in his or her hand; they are Angels of Light created in the formation of a new world. But three have come before them, from the death-throes of the old world, Midgard: the world-girdling Serpent, Bearer of Burdens; the Wolf Fenris, eater of the Sun, who now takes the form of an einherjar; and his demon sister, stealer of souls.
The Children spend their days feasting, fighting, hunting, and guarding their human charges. But one dreadful day a woman is washed up from the sea, a Lady who is no mortal, though she is not valkyrie either. Thus begins the breaking of the Children of the Light, the tarnishing of their power, and the death of Valdyrgard.
By the Mountain Bound is a prequel to Elizabeth Bear’s highly acclaimed All the Windwracked Stars, and tells the painful tale of love and betrayal, sorcery and battle, that led up to the day when Muire was left alone in the snow at the end of the world.
Blood Kin (Blood Lines) Maria Lima (Pocket)
Keira Kelly has come into her full powers, and they are frighteningly strong, creating a distance between her and her human friends in her beloved Rio Seco. It is time to obey her great-great-grandmother Gigi's orders and rejoin her family in northwest Canada , where Keira can learn to handle her dangerous new skills. She'll have friends with her every step of the way -- her shapeshifter brother Tucker, his beloved Niko, and, to Keira's dismay, her cousin on her mother's side, Daffyd ap Geraint, the Sidhe prince who suddenly appeared in her life and now refuses to leave -- but her vampire lover Adam has insisted on staying in Texas. And while there are certainly perks to being Family, such as a private Learjet for the flight to Canada and a fabulous penthouse condo overlooking Vancouver , there are threats looming that nobody, not even Gigi, anticipated. Keira's Sidhe inheritance from her mother is far more important than anyone ever realized, and the fate of the Family may depend upon what she does next....
Bitter Night: A Horngate Witches Book Diana Pharaoh Francis (Pocket)
Once, Max dreamed of a career, a home, a loving family. Now all she wants is freedom...and revenge. A witch named Giselle transformed Max into a warrior with extraordinary strength, speed, and endurance. Bound by spellcraft, Max has no choice but to fight as Giselle's personal magic weapon -- a Shadowblade -- and she's lethally good at it. But her skills are about to be put to the test as they never have before....
The ancient Guardians of the earth are preparing to unleash widespread destruction on the mortal world, and they want the witches to help them. If the witches refuse, their covens will be destroyed, including Horngate, the place Max has grudgingly come to think of as home. Max thinks she can find a way to help Horngate stand against the Guardians, but doing so will mean forging dangerous alliances -- including one with a rival witch's Shadowblade, who is as drawn to Max as she is to him -- and standing with the witch she despises. Max will have to choose between the old life she still dreams of and the warrior she has become, and take her place on the side of right -- if she survives long enough to figure out which side that is....
New in Sci-Fi
Star Wars 501st: An Imperial Commando Novel Karen Traviss (Lucas Books)
The Clone Wars are over, but for those with reason to run from the new galactic Empire, the battle to survive has only just begun. . . .
The Jedi have been decimated in the Great Purge, and the Republic has fallen. Now the former Republic Commandos–the galaxy’s finest special forces troops, cloned from Jango Fett–find themselves on opposing sides and in very different armor. Some have deserted and fled to Mandalore with the mercenaries, renegade clone troopers, and rogue Jedi who make up Kal Skirata’s ragtag resistance to Imperial occupation. Others–including men from Delta and Omega squads–now serve as Imperial Commandos, a black ops unit within Vader’s own 501st Legion, tasked to hunt down fugitive Jedi and clone deserters. For Darman, grieving for his Jedi wife and separated from his son, it’s an agonizing test of loyalty. But he’s not the only one who’ll be forced to test the ties of brotherhood. On Mandalore, clone deserters and the planet’s own natives, who have no love for the Jedi, will have their most cherished beliefs challenged. In the savage new galactic order, old feuds may have to be set aside to unite against a far bigger threat, and nobody can take old loyalties for granted.
The Prisoner Carlos J. Cortes (Spectra)
2049. Earth's prisons are shut down and all inmates placed in massive hibernation tanks. In the ten years since then, no one has broken out…until now.
When prisoners check into Washington D.C. 's maximum security "sugar cube," they don't check out. Here lie suspended not just the planet's most dangerous criminals, but also half a million so-called "center inmates"—troublesome activists whose only offense is to challenge those in power.
Laurel Cole was one of those inmates—and now she's on the run. After pulling off a meticulously executed escape plan, she and her team must elude the police by descending into the tunnels that run like poisoned veins beneath the city. Pursued by a ruthless mercenary who knows these sewers better than anyone, Laurel seeks help from a group of renegades who live huddled in the fetid darkness. But if she ever hopes to see daylight again—and expose the government's lies—she'll have to go even deeper. . . and the clock is ticking.
Makers Cory Doctorow (Tor Hardcover)
Perry and Lester invent things—seashell robots that make toast, Boogie Woogie Elmo dolls that drive cars. They also invent entirely new economic systems, like the “New Work,” a New Deal for the technological era. Barefoot bankers cross the nation, microinvesting in high-tech communal mini-startups like Perry and Lester’s. Together, they transform the country, and Andrea Fleeks, a journo-turned-blogger, is there to document it.
Then it slides into collapse. The New Work bust puts the dot.combomb to shame. Perry and Lester build a network of interactive rides in abandoned Wal-Marts across the land. As their rides, which commemorate the New Work’s glory days, gain in popularity, a rogue Disney executive grows jealous, and convinces the police that Perry and Lester’s 3D printers are being used to run off AK-47s.
Hordes of goths descend on the shantytown built by the New Workers, joining the cult. Lawsuits multiply as venture capitalists take on a new investment strategy: backing litigation against companies like Disney. Lester and Perry’s friendship falls to pieces when Lester gets the ‘fatkins’ treatment, turning him into a sybaritic gigolo. Then things get really interesting.
Gears of War HC Joshua Ortega (Wildstorm Graphic novel Hardcover)
This story bridges the end of the first Gears of War game and the start of the second one, following the brutal adventures of Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad in the battle against the Locust! What happened after the Lightmass Bombing and how did the Locust react to this devastating weapon? Find out in this new series by Gears of War 2 game-writer Joshua Ortega (Death Dealer) and artist Liam Sharp (LORD HAVOK AND THE EXTREMISTS).
The Clone Betrayal Steven L. Kent (Ace)
Lt. Wayson Harris was born and bred as the ultimate soldier. But he is unique, possessing independence of thought. And when the military brass decide to blame the clones for the decimation of the U.A. republic, Lt. Harris decides to stop being the scapegoat, with all the firepower he can muster.
7th Son: Descent J.C. Hutchins ( St. Martin ’s)
As America reels from the bizarre presidential assassination committed by a child, seven men are abducted from their normal lives and delivered to a secret government facility. Each man has his own career, his own specialty. All are identical in appearance. The seven strangers were grown--- unwitting human clones---as part of a project called 7th Son.
The government now wants something from these “John Michael Smiths.” They share the flesh as well as the implanted memories of the psychopath responsible for the president's murder. The killer has bigger plans, and only these seven have the unique qualifications to track and stop him. But when their progenitor makes the battle personal, it becomes clear he may know the seven better than they know themselves.
New In Horror
Black Blood: A Novel of Dark Suspense John Meaney (Spectra)
He’s lucky to be alive. That’s what everyone tells him. Except Tristopolitan police lieutenant Donal Riordan doesn’t feel lucky and he isn’t really alive. In one horrific moment not even death can erase from memory, Donal lost the woman he loved even as her ultimate sacrifice saved his life. Now it’s literally her heart that beats in his chest and her murder that Donal “lives” to avenge.
While being a zombie cop has its upsides—including inhuman reaction time and razor-sharp senses—Donal’s new undead status makes him the target of Tristopolis’s powerful Unity Party, whose startling rise to power is built on a platform of antizombie paranoia and persecution. The Party is no friend, to be sure—but it’s the secret cabal known as the Black Circle and their stranglehold on the city’s elite that consume Donal’s black heart. For at the center of this ring of evil is the man responsible for his lover’s murder—a man Donal has already had to kill once before.
Now, with ominous reports of white wolf sightings throughout the city and a dangerous sabotage attempt at police headquarters, all signs indicate that the Black Circle is planning a magical coup d’état. And the terror will begin with a political assassination triggered by a necroninja already hidden… in a place no one expects.
For Donal, it’s no longer a matter of life and death but something far more serious. How can he stop a killer who won’t stay dead and an evil that death only makes stronger?
Showcase Presents: House of Secrets Vol. 2 (DC Comics Omnibus)
DC's Showcase series collected the 1970s horror series HOUSE OF SECRETS continues with this new, second volume of terror tales! These stories features work by notable comics talents including horror master Bernie Wrightson, Michael Kaluta, animator Alex Niño, MAD Magazine artist Sergio Aragonés and many others.
Dead House: A Zombie Horror Story Keith Luethke (Living Dead Press)
Welcome to Dead House The old mansion on the edge of town, aptly named Dead House, has a history of blood, pain, and death, but what Victor Leeds knows of this past only scratches the surface of the true horrors within. But when his girlfriend is attacked by a shadowy figure one rainy night, he soon finds himself caught up in a world where the dead walk and ghostly wraiths abound. And to make matters worse, a pair of serial killers are fulfilling carefully made plans, and when they are done, the small town of Stormville , New York will run red. The last ingredient to open the gates of Hell, and plunge this small upstate town into madness, is rain. And in Stormville, it pours by the gallons.
The Black Train Edward Lee (Leisure Horror)
No train has run on this railroad since the end of the Civil War-a railroad built by a servitor to perfect evil--and its rusted tracks run right behind the house. Justin Collier expects his respite in Gast, Tennessee, to be relaxing if not a bit dull, but he will find out soon enough that those same train tracks once led to a place worse than Hell. Join master of the macabre Edward Lee on a nightmare excursion of Civil War horror.
The 13th John Everson (Leisure Horror)
Castle House Lodge. A century ago it was an exclusive resort hotel. But for years it's stood empty, a haunting shadow of its former glories. Now, after twenty-five years of rumors and ghost stories, the overgrown grounds are showing signs of being tended. The building itself has been repaired. Castle House has new occupants.
What was once a haven for the elite is now a madhouse, a private asylum for pregnant women. But are all the patients really insane? And is it just a coincidence that people have begun to disappear from the nearby town? David Shale's girlfriend is one of the missing, and he's determined to find the truth behind the mysterious Dr. Rockford and his house of secrets.
Hellboy: The Ice Wolves Mark Chadbourn (Dark Horse Press)
In Cancun , Mexico , police investigate a slaughter at a wedding ceremony. In Dublin , Ireland , the clientele of a backstreet pub are found dead. In Kyoto , Japan , the bullet train pulls into the station with blood-spattered windows. It is the time of the Black Sun. Across the world, the wolves are calling to each other. Locked in bodies that had no idea they were there, they rise from the depths of the unconscious and turn towards America ! For Hellboy, it's a race against time to prevent a devastating wave of primal savagery washing across the land. And so he is drawn to Boston 's Beacon Hill and the Grant Mansion , believed to be the most haunted house in New England , where the truth may lie buried.
Hack/Slash Volume 6: In Revenge and In Love Tim Seeley (Devil’s Due Graphic Novel)
Hot off of the Hack family reunion, Cassie and Vlad are stopped in their tracks as Cassie is blamed and arrested for the murders committed by the very slashers she has sworn to eliminate. And, things get worse as they cross paths with everyone's favorite 8-year-old dream-reaper, Ashely! All this, as well as a much un-requested encore by the worst slasher this side of Nef, Six Sixx!
New in Non-Fiction
Features from the Black Lagoon: The Film, It's Sequels, the Spinoffs and the Memorabilia Domenic Deangelo (McFarland)
Universal Studio's popularized five of the most recognized movie monsters of all time are: "Frankenstein", "Dracula", the "Wolfman", the "Mummy", and the "Creature from the Black Lagoon". But only the first four were produced during the studio's golden age, portrayed by legendary horror actors, and revived many times over the ensuing decades. Why, then, does the Creature endure as a classic horror character? This book is the ultimate guide to the Creature (aka the Gill Man), covering his inception, his movies, and his legacy among the all-time great movie monsters. Chapters cover sea creatures in mythology and history, the making of "Creature from the Black Lagoon", the film's debut, sequels "Revenge of the Creature" and "The Creature Walks Among Us", spin-offs and rip-offs, the aborted attempts to revive the character in the 1980s and 90s, and information for collecting Gill Man merchandise and memorabilia.
Dracula's Daughter - An Alternate History for Classic Film Monsters Philip J. Riley (Bear Manor media)
Just when you thought you knew everything about our beloved classic monsters - Philip Riley pulls another bat out of the hat with this new remarkable book series." - Stan Winston "Philip J Riley continues to discover lost film lore - last was the amazing reconstruction of Lon Chaney's The Phantom of the Opera and now a treasure trove of scripts that no one knew existed." - Ray Bradbury WHAT IF... Boris Karloff portrayed the Wolfman and The Invisible Man and Cagliostro, King of the Dead? What if Lon Chaney portrayed Count Dracula, or Lon Chaney Jr. appeared in what was to be the first Technicolor Classic Monster film. What if Bela Lugosi starred in Frankenstein as the Doctor or the Monster or Wolfman vs. Dracula or in the script included in this first volume of the Alternate History of FilMonsters James Whale's DRACULA'S DAUGHTER? Now through the discovery of these legendary filmscripts you will have your answers! Contains the excised chapter from Dracula, entitled Dracula's Guest by Bram Stoker Plus the memories of Carl Laemmle Junior and R.C. Sherriff