Friday, April 30, 2010

Edi's LighthouseLedger: Read in April - Plan for May 2010

Dear readers,
I can describe my current condition with just one word: EXHAUSTED!
But that will not hinder me to write this post. It will just take a bit longer.

Books read in April 2010
In April I read more books than in the first two months of the year!
In sum I read six books and nearly finished two other books!

Once Bitten (2009, 272 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-0980245394], by Kalayna Price
Definitely not my taste.

Twice Dead (2010, 266 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-0984325672], by Kalayna Price
The second book in the series. From my point of view better than the first one but still not my taste.

The Empress of Mars (2010)
[ISBN-13: 978-0765325518], by Kage Baker
Great read! Expect a review within May 2010.

Ghosts of Manhattan (June 2010, 275 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-1906727161], by George Mann
One of my top reads so far. Read my review

The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England (June 2009, 368 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-1845950996], by Ian Mortimer
Beyond fantasy... Awesome! Read my review

The Sweet Smell of Decay (June 2009, 448 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-1905636426], by Paul Lawrence
I loved it. Review will be posted on May 2nd 2010

Beat the Reaper (2009)
[ISBN-13: 978-0316073769], by Josh Bazell
In progress... Will be finished soon

Silver (January 2010, 432 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-1935142058] by Steven Savile.
In progress... Will be finished soon

Planned Reads in May 2010

Of course I will finish the two books from last month:

Beat the Reaper (2009)
[ISBN-13: 978-0316073769], by Josh Bazell
In progress... Will be finished soon

Silver (January 2010, 432 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-1935142058] by Steven Savile.
In progress... Will be finished soon

Beside that I feel the need to read more books like a vampire needs blood. So I put together and ambitious list of eleven books. Not all of them are door-stoppers. Of course I try to review as many of them as possible. That also means will be more review orientated. I'm not the man for daily posts.

And these are my "players" for the May game:

City of Ruin (June 2010, 400 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-0230712591], by Mark Charan Newton
"Viliren: a city of sin that is being torn apart from the inside. Hybrid creatures shamble through shadows and barely human gangs fight turf wars for control of the streets. Amidst this chaos, Commander Brynd Adaol, commander of the Night Guard, must plan the defence of Viliren against a race that has broken through from some other realm and already slaughtered hundreds of thousands of the Empire's people. When a Night Guard soldier goes missing, Brynd requests help from the recently arrived Inquisitor Jeryd. He discovers this is not the only disappearance the streets of Viliren. It seems that a serial killer of the most horrific kind is on the loose, taking hundreds of people from their own homes. A killer that cannot possibly be human. The entire population of Viliren must unite to face an impossible surge of violent and unnatural enemies or the city will fall. But how can anyone save a city that is already a ruin?"
The blurb sounds mouth-watering. Follow me to City of Ruin on May 7th 2010.

I have had a damned good time with Nights of Villjamur (HC, June 2009) [ISBN-13: 978-0230712584] or (PB, June 2010)[ISBN-13: 978-0330461665] , the first novel in the Legends of the Red Sun series.
And there are some news for people in UK as Mark posted on his blog:
"Just a quick update. Today I received an email from Julie, Queen of Tor UK, telling me that I can go public with this: The paperback of Nights of Villjamur has been chosen as Waterstone’s SFF Bookseller’s Choice for the month of June." [Full post]
No month without a steampunk novel. Author Nick Valentino has been so kind to send my a signed copy of his debut novel Thomas Riley (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1590807002] and promised him to read and review his book:
Let's have a look at the blurb:
"For more than twenty years West Canvia and Lemuria have battled one another in a constant war.
From the safety of his laboratory, weapons designer Thomas Riley has cleverly and proudly empowered the West Canvian forces with his brilliant designs. But when a risky alchemy experiment goes horribly wrong, Thomas and his wily assistant, Cynthia Bassett, are thrust onto the front lines of battle.
Forced into shaky alliances with murderous sky pirates in a deadly race to kidnap the only man who can undo the damage--the mad genius behind Lemuria's cunning armaments--Thomas' own genius is put to the ultimate test." [Back of the book]
For more information visit Sir Thomas Riley.

Normally I'm not so keen to read short stories. But I want to give following anthology a try:
Swords & Dark Magic (July 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0061723810], edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders.
"Swords & Dark Magic is the most important new fantasy anthology to be published this decade. Featuring new stories from the bestselling and brightest writers working in the genre, including: New York Times bestselling authors Scott Lynch and Garth Nix; genre greats Michael Moorcock (with an all-new Elric novella), Michael Shea (with a fully authorized new Cugel the Clever adventure), Robert Silverberg (with an all-new Majipoor tale), Glen Cook (with an all-new Black Company story), Gene Wolfe, and C. J. Cherryh; and hot new writers who've been re-inventing swords and sorcery like Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Tim Lebbon, and many more." [Back of the book]

You miss a science fiction book? No problem. Here is my May 2010 choice. In 2009 I read The Mirrored Heavens (2008) [ISBN-13: 978-0553591569], by David J. Williams. This is the first book in the Autumn Rain trilogy. End of May 2010 the final volume The Machinery of Light (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0553385434] will be published. Until then I want to read the second book in the series:
Burning Skies (2009) [ISBN-13: 978-0553385427]
"In his electrifying debut, The Mirrored Heavens, David J. Williams created a dark futuristic world grounded in the military rivalries, terror tactics, and political wrangling of our own time. Now he takes his masterful blend of military SF, espionage thriller, and dystopian cyberpunk one step further - to the edge of annihilation . . . .
Life as U.S. counterintelligence agent Claire Haskell once knew it is in tatters - her mission betrayed, her lover dead, and her memories of the past suspect. Worse, the defeat of the mysterious insurgent group known as Autumn Rain was not as complete as many believed. It is quickly becoming clear that the group's ultimate goal is not simply to destroy the tenuous global alliances of the 22nd century - but to rule all of humanity. And they're starting with the violent destruction of the Net and the assassination of the U.S. president. Now it's up to Claire, with her ability to jack her brain into the systems of the enemy, to win this impossible war.
Battling ferociously across the Earth-Moon system, and navigating a complex world filled with both steadfast loyalists and ruthless traitors, Claire must be ready for the Rain's next move. But the true enemy may already be one step ahead of her." [Source]
Seak and I work on a combined review of the trilogy.......

I think I'm not the only one who buys books and then forget the book because of buying other books. Fortunately there is a kind of "rescue" for "forgotten" books. Reviews from other bloggers.
One of these books is The Gaslight Dogs (April 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0316021791] by Karin Lowachee.
"At the edge of the known world, an ancient nomadic tribe faces a new enemy-an Empire fueled by technology and war.
A young spiritwalker of the Aniw and a captain in the Ciracusan army find themselves unexpectedly thrown together. The Aniw girl, taken prisoner from her people, must teach the reluctant soldier a forbidden talent - one that may turn the tide of the war and will surely forever brand him an outcast.
From the rippling curtains of light in an Arctic sky, to the gaslit cobbled streets of the city, war is coming to the frozen north. Two people have a choice that will decide the fates of nations - and may cast them into a darkness that threatens to bring destruction to both their peoples."
Thanks to Kristen from Fantasy Cafe for her Gaslight Dogs review and thanks to Andrew Liptak from SF Signal for his Gaslight Dogs review. And in case you like the cover then you can download a wallpaper of the cover by following this link.

I ordered the following book last year in advance and I can't wait to read it.
The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack (April 30th 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1906727208] by Mark Hodder
"It is 1861, and Albertian Britain is in the grip of conflicting forces. Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animals to provide unpaid labour; Libertines oppose restrictive and unjust laws and flood the country with propaganda demanding a society based on beauty and creativity; while The Rakes push the boundaries of human behaviour to the limits with magic, sexuality, drugs and anarchy. Returning from his failed expedition to find the source of the Nile, explorer, linguist, scholar and swordsman Sir Richard Francis Burton finds himself sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum when the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, employs him as "King's Spy". His first mission: to investigate the sexual assaults committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack; to find out why chimney sweeps are being kidnapped by half-man, half-dog creatures; and to discover the whereabouts of his badly injured former friend, John Hanning Speke. Accompanied by the diminutive and pain-loving poet, Algernon Swinburne, Burton's investigations lead him back to one of the defining events of the age: the brutal assassination of Queen Victoria in 1840; and the terrifying possibility that the world he inhabits shouldn't exist at all." [Source]

And this is another debut novel. I read the first chapter and have been intrigued. Now I want to know whether I like the rest of the book too.
I talk about Wintercraft (May 13th, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0755370962] by Jenna Burtenshaw.
"Ten years ago Kate Winters' parents were taken by the High Council's wardens to help with the country's war effort. Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane -- the High Council's most feared man -- recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council's experiments into the veil, and he's convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft -- a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft. To help Artemis, Edgar and herself, Kate must honour her pact with a murderer and come face to face with the true nature of death." [Source]
So far I read two Dan Simmons novels in my life: Terror (2008) [ISBN-13: 978-3453406131] and Drood (2009) [ISBN-13: 978-1847249326]. Both are excellent books - read my review of Drood. I bought the next novel Black Hills (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0316072656] without hesitation.
"When Paha Sapa, a young Sioux warrior, "counts coup" on General George Armstrong Custer as Custer lies dying on the battlefield at the Little Bighorn, the legendary general's ghost enters him - and his voice will speak to him for the rest of his event-filled life.
Seamlessly weaving together the stories of Paha Sapa, Custer, and the American West, Dan Simmons depicts a tumultuous time in the history of both Native and white Americans. Haunted by Custer's ghost, and also by his ability to see into the memories and futures of legendary men like Sioux war-chief Crazy Horse, Paha Sapa's long life is driven by a dramatic vision he experienced as a boy in his people's sacred Black Hills. In August of 1936, a dynamite worker on the massive Mount Rushmore project, Paha Sapa plans to silence his ghost forever and reclaim his people's legacy-on the very day FDR comes to Mount Rushmore to dedicate the Jefferson face." [Source]
It is on my shelf since two months and now the time has come to read it. But I'm not sure whether to write a review or not. The reason is quite simple: I read the ultimate Black Hills review. Go and read Black Hills review over at Kamvision. I don't need to praise this review more because it tells its own tale.....

I have been so impressed by The Sweet Smell of Decay that I ordered the second book in the series in advance.
I hope the book will be delivered in time.

A Plague of Sinners (May 2010, 448 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-1905636914], by Paul Lawrence
"July 1665. The great plague rages rampant outside London’s city walls. Harry Lytle makes a welcome return after his trials and tribulations in The Sweet Smell of Decay to investigate the murder of the Earl of St Albans. A grisly dinner-table death starts Harry off on the trail, and it’s not long before his familiar accomplice, Dowling the butcher, joins him on the case. Their master, Lord Arlington, head of the King’s intelligence service, tasks them with uncovering the name and motive of the Earl’s murderer. But there will be plenty more deaths and scrapes for Harry before the name is revealed."

Fortunately the blurb does not contain spoilers. I hope you believe me that I can't wait to read it. Paul Lawrence's writing is so alluring......

I loved Soulless (2009) [ISBN-13: 978-0316056632], the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series.
It was the first book ever I "hijacked". I wrote in my review:
"For me Gail Carriger is the Ada Lovelace of the urban steampunk romance!
Soulless is a three S story: Sassy, Steamy, Smart."
Therefore the next one on the list is the second book in the Parasol Protectorate series:
Changeless (April 2010, 374 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-0316074148], by Gail Carriger.
"Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears - leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria. But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can. She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it." [Source]

nd this is the last one.
The following book got really mixed critics. As I received a copy of the book, I can build up my mind on my own. I talk about Shadow Prowler (Feruary 2010, 396 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-0765324030] by Alexey Pehov, which is the first book in the epic fantasy trilogy The Chronicles of Siala.
"After centuries of calm, the Nameless One is stirring.
An army is gathering; thousands of giants, ogres, and other creatures are joining forces from all across the Desolate Lands, united, for the first time in history, under one black banner. By the spring, or perhaps sooner, the Nameless One and his forces will be at the walls of the great city of Avendoom.
Unless Shadow Harold, master thief, can find some way to stop them." [Source]


Val said...

I got Black Hills on the to read list as well but I'm not sure yet if I'll actually get around to it in May. It looks like a very interesting read though. Maybe I ought to move it up to the top of the stack.

ediFanoB said...


except that my next read is City of Ruin I don't have a specific order. Partially it depends on my mood. I really hope to manage to read Black Hills.

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