I spent a fabulous day in London yesterday listening to some brilliant authors talk about a variety of things at GollanczFest. More on that in another post…
I also picked up six books:
The Beauty of Murder, by AK Benedict (@ak_benedict)
A serial killer with all the time in the world…From a stunning new voice in crime fiction.
Stephen Killigan has been cold since the day he arrived in Cambridge. Seven hundred years of history staining the stones of the university have given him a chill he can’t shake. Then he stumbles across the body of a missing beauty queen – a body which disappears before the police arrive…
Unwittingly, Killigan has entered the sinister world of Jackamore Grass on a trail that reaches back to seventeenth-century Cambridge. It’s a world of cadavers, philosophers and scholars of deadly beauty, a world where a person’s corpse can be found before they even go missing, of a city and a person that hold far too many secrets written in blood.
The Ship, by Antonia Honeywell (@antonia_writes)
Welcome to London, but not as you know it. Oxford Street burned for three weeks; Regent’s Park has been bombed; the British Museum is occupied by those with nowhere else to go.
Lalla has grown up sheltered from the chaos, but now she’s sixteen, her father decides it’s time to use their escape route – a ship big enough to save five hundred people. Once on board, as day follows identical day, Lalla’s unease grows. Where are they going? What does her father really want? What is the price of salvation?
The Real-Town Murders, by Adam Roberts (@arroberts)
Alma is a private detective in a near-future England, a country desperately trying to tempt people away from the delights of Shine, the immersive successor to the internet. But most people are happy to spend their lives plugged in, and the country is decaying.
Alma’s partner is ill, and has to be treated without fail every 4 hours, a task that only Alma can do. If she misses the 5 minute window her lover will die. She is one of the few not to access the Shine.
So when Alma is called to an automated car factory to be shown an impossible death and finds herself caught up in a political coup, she knows that getting too deep may leave her unable to get home.
What follows is a fast-paced Hitchcockian thriller as Alma evades arrest, digs into the conspiracy, and tries to work out how on earth a dead body appeared in the boot of a freshly-made car in a fully-automated factory.
Heart of Granite, by James Barclay (@barculator)
The world has become a battleground in a war which no side is winning. But for those determined to retain power, the prolonged stalemate cannot be tolerated so desperate measures must be taken.
Max Halloran has no idea. He’s living the brief and glorious life of a hunter-killer pilot. He’s an ace in the air, on his way up through the ranks, in love, and with his family’s every need provided for in thanks for his service, Max has everything…
…right up until he hears something he shouldn’t have, and refuses to let it go. Suddenly he’s risking his life and the lives of all those he cares about for a secret which could expose corruption at the highest levels, and change the course of the war.
One man, one brief conversation… a whole world of trouble…
Blackwing, by Ed McDonald (@EdMcDonaldTFK)
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow’s Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer’s legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the wastelands seek to destroy them, but if they cannot solve the ancient wizard’s paradox, the Deep Kings will walk the earth again, and all will be lost.
The war with the Eastern Empire ended in stalemate some eighty years ago, thanks to Nall’s ‘Engine’, a wizard-crafted weapon so powerful even the Deep Kings feared it. The strike of the Engine created the Misery – a wasteland full of ghosts and corrupted magic that now forms a No Mans Land along the frontier. But when Galharrow investigates a frontier fortress, he discovers complacency bordering on treason: then the walls are stormed, and the Engine fails to launch. Galharrow only escapes because of the preternatural magical power of the noblewoman he was supposed to be protecting. Together, they race to the capital to unmask the traitors and restore the republic’s defences. Far across the Misery a vast army is on the move, as the Empire prepares to call the republic’s bluff.
The Last Namsara, by Kristen Ciccarelli (@SheLuresDragons)
Destroyer. Death bringer. Dragon-slayer. I am more weapon than girl.
Asha is a dragon-slayer. Reviled by the very people she’s sworn to protect, she kills to atone for the wicked deed she committed as a child – one that almost destroyed her city, and left her with a terrible scar.
But protecting her father’s kingdom is a lonely destiny: no matter how many dragons she kills, her people still think she’s wicked.
Even worse, to unite the fractured kingdom she must marry Jarek, the cruel commandant. As the wedding day approaches, Asha longs for freedom.
Just when it seems her fate is sealed, the king offers her a way out: her freedom in exchange for the head of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard.
And the only person standing in her way is a defiant slave boy…
Now, the only problem I have is which to read first (oh, and finding the time in amongst all the other books glaring at my from my TBR pile!).
Have you read any of them? Which would you pick?