Thursday, July 05, 2012

Edi's Summer Reading List 2012

Dear Readers,

today is the 5th of July 2012. High time to talk about the books I want to read from July to September. That means 92 days or 6440 pages at normal speed or 9200 pages at high speed.

I thought the decision which books to read would be a done within a couple of minutes. On the contrary!! It took me hours and hours until I selected 19 books plus a free slot for an expected review copy.

19 + 1 books means I go for high speed reading which means 100 pages per day. It is possible with a certain kind of discipline. Most interesting is the fact that I will read more real books than digital copies.

I can't wait for this awesome brain vacation.


I divided my books in four categories.


The first one consists of books I'm currently reading:

- The Mammoth Book of Steampunk (pb. April 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-1849017367] edited by Sean Wallace.

"Over 30 tales of extraordinary airships, clockwork automatons, intrepid adventurers, corsets and goggles from the best steam punk writers.

An anthology focusing on newer elements of steampunk, one which deconstructs the staples of the genre and expands on them, rather than simply repeating them, with a greater spread both in terms of location and character. This is steampunk with a modern, post-colonial sensibility.

Contributors include: Jeff VanderMeer,Caitlin Kiernan Paul Di Filippo, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jay Lake, Cherie Priest, Cat Rambo, Ekaterina Sedia, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine and many more. [Source]
So far I read 15 of the 30 stories which means I'm halfway through.
The book stands for 485 pages and I read 239 pages so far.


- The Jackal of Nar (pb, 2000) [ISBN-13: 978-0553578874] by John Marco.
 "This powerful, multilayered saga features a complicated hero: brave yet sensitive General Richius Vantran. Ordered by the Emperor to halt a revolt by a religious faction, Vantran's success wins him both Imperial favor and a wife--though neither sits well with him. For in battle, he fell in love with a member of the very religious faction he put down. Torn between duty and passion, Vantran surprises himself by choosing to love the enemy--and march against his old companions." [Source]


I bought the copy beginning of 2009. With 754 pages it is epic first part of the Tyrants and Kings trilogy. After reading 79 pages it is still a long way to the end. 
Did you read the yrants and Kings trilogy? No? Then you do not know the post Why you should read ... John Marco by fellow blogger Brye  L. over at Fantasy Literature.

I know that there is one more book on my currently-reading shelf - a digital copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes & Tales of Terror and Mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle [a Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd. authorized Kindle eBook edition] - I continue to read this book whenever I'm in the right mood and therefore I did not add it to my summer reading list 2012.



The second one consists of books and magazines I promised to review.

I'm lucky because there are only two books left which I promised to review in the next three months. But there maybe one more book. It depends on when I will receive my review copy.

- The Lighthouse Keeper (pb, 2012)[ISBN-13: 978-1907777622] by Alan K. Baker

"A TERRIFYING MYSTERY OF THE SEA

In December 1900, three lighthouse keepers vanished without trace from the remote Scottish island of Eilean Mòr. An emergency relief crew was sent to man the lighthouse. At the end of their month-long duty, they resigned from their posts, and never spoke of what they had experienced on the island. The mystery of Eilean Mòr has never been solved. Until now.
In the present, a group of environmental researchers arrives on the island to observe the wildlife. While exploring the lighthouse, now automated and deserted, one of the team discovers a manuscript written by one of the relief keepers, a man named Alec Dalemore. As a sudden storm moves in, cutting off their escape, the researchers come to realise that Dalemore wrote the manuscript as a warning to all the lighthouse keepers who would come after him. A warning of something on Eilean Mòr and in the surrounding ocean - something ancient and powerful, and strange beyond imagining...
The Lighthouse Keeper is a supernatural tale based on the Flannan Isles mystery, one of the greatest unsolved enigmas in maritime history. Blending factual firsthand reports with speculative fiction, the novel takes the reader on a journey to the edge of reality, where the greatest of human fears - the fear of the unknown - holds dominion." [Source]
I posted about the book and the story behind. To be honest as the keeper of the Book Lighthouse I could not resist ... With in sum 280 pages it is definitely the shortest book of the list.


- The Brotherhood of Piaxia (digital, March 2012)[Amazon Kindle ASIN: B007KPS442] by Michael Drakich.
"Years have passed since the overthrow of the monarchy by the Brotherhood of Warlocks and they rule Piaxia in peaceful accord. But now forces are at work to disrupt this rule from outside the Brotherhood as well as within! Follow Tarlok, Savan and Tessia as their paths intertwine, with the Brotherhood in pursuit and the powerful merchant’s guild manipulating the populace for their own end." [Source]

To whatever reason I missed the author's review request a few months ago. The digital copy which I got for free stands for 311 pages.


- King's Champion (pb, 1st of August 2012)[ISBN-13: 978-1936850099]  by Cas Peace
"After surviving brutal torture and escaping from Lord Rykan’s dungeons, Major Sullyan is trapped in Andaryon, too injured to cross the Veils. Slowly dying and determined to find some purpose in the shattered remains of her life, she travels to the Andaryan capitol to offer the Hierarch her sword and Artesan gifts in the fight against Rykan and his vast army. Because women hold no power in Andaryon, Sullyan is met with prejudice, hostility, and suspicion.
Before she can seek vengeance on the field of battle, she must prove herself to the Hierarch’s generals. Finding support from the unlikeliest sources, Sullyan sets a plan into motion to defeat Lord Rykan and end his bid for the throne. The fate of two realms depends on her success, but her strength is fading fast and time is running out." [Source]

This is the second book in the Artesans of Albia trilogy. I reviewed King's Envoy (pb, July 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1936850136] and promised that I will read and review the rest of the series. In case the review copy arrives in time it will be part of the list.



The third one consists of books I which I stopped reading and want to continue later.

I decided to continue just one book.


- Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (November 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1616145354] by Mark Hodder is the final one in the first story arc  in the Burton & Swinburne series.
"It is 1863, but not the one it should be. Time has veered wildly off course, and now the first moves are being made that will lead to a devastating world war and the fall of the British Empire.
The prime minister, Lord Palmerston, believes that by using the three Eyes of Naga—black diamonds possessing unique properties—he’ll be able to manipulate events and avoid the war. He already has two of the stones, but the third is hidden somewhere in the Mountains of the Moon, the fabled source of the Nile.
Palmerston sends Sir Richard Francis Burton to recover it. For the king’s agent, it’s a chance to redeem himself after his previous failed attempt to find the source of the great river. That occasion had led to betrayal by his partner, John Hanning Speke. Now Speke is leading a rival expedition on behalf of the Germans, and it seems that the battle between the former friends may ignite the very war that Palmerston is trying to avoid!
Caught in a tangled web of cause, effect, and inevitability, little does Burton realize that the stakes are far higher than even he suspects.
A final confrontation comes in the mist-shrouded Mountains of the Moon, in war- torn Africa of 1914, and in Green Park, London, where, in the year 1840, Burton must face the man responsible for altering time: Spring Heeled Jack!

Burton and Swinburne’s third adventure is filled with eccentric steam-driven technology, grotesque characters, and bizarre events, completing the three-volume story arc begun in The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack and The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man." [Source]
What shall I say? I do not really remember why I stopped reading after 154 of 398 pages. I love the the Burton & Swinburne series and therfore I have to continue reading soon.
My reviews of The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack and
The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man should explain why I like the books so much.

The  fourth one consists of books which I long for to read. It is a selection from all my unread books. It is a kind of emotional selection. It is difficult for me to describe in English due to lack of words. Let me try to explain by using a comparison.
I think you know the expression butterfly in one's stomach. It is a similar feeling when I just read the titles of these books.
And before you ask, I listed the books in no specifi order.

- The House of Silk(pb, April 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0316213127] by Anthony Horowitz
"Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective in literary history. For the first time since the death of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a new Holmes story has been sanctioned by his estate, whetting the appetites of fans everywhere. Information about the book will be revealed as deliberately as Holmes himself would unravel a knotty case, but bestselling novelist and Holmes expert Anthony Horowitz is sure to bring a compelling, atmospheric story to life. With access to the estate's archives and careful study of the original stories, Horowitz is sure to weave a tale that satisfies new fans as well as the most dedicated Baker Street Irregular." [Source]

Since I received my copy I wanted to read this book and now the time has come to enter the 398 pages which is much longer than the original novels.


- Sharps (pb, 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-1841499250] by K J Parker
"K.J. Parker's new novel is a perfectly executed tale of intrigue and deception.
For the first time in nearly forty years, an uneasy truce has been called between two neighbouring kingdoms. The war has been long and brutal, fought over the usual things: resources, land, money...
Now, there is a chance for peace. Diplomatic talks have begun and with them, the games. Two teams of fencers represent their nations at this pivotal moment.
When the future of the world lies balanced on the point of a rapier, one misstep could mean ruin for all. Human nature being what it is, does peace really have a chance?" [Source]

In case you ever read a book by K J Parker you will know why this book is a must fro my reading list. Extraordinary 449 pages.



- Cold Magic (pb, 2010) [ISBN13: 978-0316080873] by Kate Elliott

"It is the dawn of a new age... The Industrial Revolution has begun, factories are springing up across the country, and new technologies are transforming in the cities. But the old ways do not die easy.

 “I was not a bard or a djeli or an historian or a scribe and I was certainly not a sage, but that didn't mean I wasn't curious…” 

Young Cat Barahal thinks she understands the world she lives in and her place in it, but in fact she is merely poised, unaware, on the brink of shattering events. Drawn into a labyrinth of politics involving blood, betrayal and old feuds, she will be forced to make an unexpected and perilous journey in order to discover the truth, not just about her own family but about an ancient secret lying at the heart of her world.
Cat and her cousin Bee are part of this revolution. Young women at college, learning of the science that will shape their future and ignorant of the magics that rule their families. But all of that will change when the Cold Mages come for Cat. New dangers lurk around every corner and hidden threats menace her every move. If blood can't be trusted, who can you trust? From one of the genre's finest writers comes a bold new epic fantasy in which science and magic are locked in a deadly struggle." [Source]
This is the first book in the Spiritwalker Series. Since I read following description I know that this 582 page long novel must be a book for me:
"..... an Afro-Celtic post-Roman icepunk Regency fantasy adventure with airships, Phoenician spies, the intelligent descendents of troodons, and a dash of steampunk whose gas lamps can be easily doused by the touch of a powerful cold mage." [Source]


- Caliban's War (digital, June)[Amazon Kindle ASIN: B007PR3238].
"We are not alone.
The alien protomolecule is clear evidence of an intelligence beyond human reckoning. No one knows what exactly is being built on Venus, but whatever it is, it is vast, powerful, and terrifying.
When a creature of unknown origin and seemingly impossible physiology attacks soldiers on Ganymede, the fragile balance of power in the Solar System shatters. Now, the race is on to discover if the protomolecule has escaped Venus, or if someone is building an army of super-soldiers.
Jim Holden is the center of it all. In spite of everything, he’s still the best man for the job to find out what happened on Ganymede. Either way, the protomolecule is loose and Holden must find a way to stop it before war engulfs the entire system.
CALIBAN’S WAR is an action-packed space adventure following in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed Leviathan Wakes." [Source]
Leviathan Wakes (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-031612908], the first book in the space opera series Expanse by James S A Corey which is the pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, has been my 2011 top read.
I did not want to wait for the Caliban's War trade paperback. Now I have exiting 487 pages on my reader and at least one sf book on my list.


- The Doomsday Vault (pb, November 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0451464293] by Steven Harper.
"In a Britannia of clockwork automatons and airships, Alice Michaels’s prospects are looking grim.
The Honorable Alice B. Michaels is in a life or death struggle for survival—socially speaking, that is. At age twenty-one, her unladylike interest in automatons, and the unfortunate deaths of most of her family from the clockwork plague have sealed her fate as a less than desirable marriage prospect. But a series of strange occurrences is about to lead Alice in a direction quite beyond the pale.
High above the earth on the American airship USS Juniper, Gavin Ennock lives for the wind and the sky and his fiddle. After privateers attack the Juniper, he is stranded on the dank, dirty, and merciless streets of London. When Alice’s estranged aunt leaves her a peculiar inheritance, she encounters Gavin under most unusual—even shocking—circumstances.
Then Alice’s inheritance attracts the attention of the Third Ward, a clandestine organization that seizes the inventions of mad geniuses the plague leaves behind—all for the good of the Empire. But even the Third Ward has secrets. And when Alice and Gavin discover them, a choice must be made between the world and the Empire, no matter the risk to all they hold dear." [Back of the book]
A reading list without a steampunk book is impossible for me. And this is the introduction of a new series. Visit the The Doomsday Vault site where the author explains the idea behind the book.




- The King's Blood (e-book, 2012)[Amazon Kindle, ASIN: B007NMTJHS] by Daniel Abraham.

"War casts its shadow over the lands that the dragons once ruled.

When an act of harrowing betrayal threatens to set the cities afire, all certainties are called into question. Only the courage of a young woman with the mind of a gambler and loyalty to no one stands between hope and universal darkness.

The high and powerful will fall, the despised and broken shall rise up, and everything will be remade. And quietly, almost beneath the notice of anyone, an old, broken-hearted warrior and an apostate priest will begin a terrible journey with an impossible goal: destroy a Goddess before she eats the world." [Source]
Daniel Abraham is an amazing author. In 2011 I read The Dragon's Path which is the first book in the Dagger and the Coin series. The King's Blood stand for 512 pages of quality entertainment.


- Wake of the Bloody Angel (e-book, July 2012) [Amazon Kindle, ASIN: B0079XQAYG] by Alex Bledsoe:

"Twenty years ago, a barmaid in a harbor town fell for a young sailor who turned pirate to make his fortune. But what truly became of Black Edward Tew remains a mystery - one that has just fallen into the lap of freelance sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse.
For years, Eddie has kept his office above Angelina's tavern, so when Angelina herself asks him to find out what happened to the dashing pirate who stole her heart, he can hardly say no - even though the trail is two decades old. Some say Black Edward and his ship, The Bloody Angel, went to bottom of the sea, taking with it a king's fortune in treasure. Others say he rules a wealthy, secret pirate kingdom. And a few believe he still sails under a ghostly flag with a crew of the damned.
To find the truth, and earn his twenty-five gold pieces a day, Eddie must take to sea in the company of a former pirate queen in search of the infamous Black Edward Tew.and his even more legendary treasure." [Source]

I'm a Eddie LaCrosse junkie. So far I read and reviewed all Eddie LaCrosse novels by Alex Bledsoe: The Sword-Edged Blonde (my review), Burn Me Deadly (my review) and Dark Jenny (my review).
I do not need more reasons to add the 352 pages of Wake of the Bloody Angel to my list.


- King of Thorns (pb, August 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0007481897] by Mark Lawrence.
"The Broken Empire burns with the fires of a hundred battles as lords and petty kings battle for the all-throne. The long road to avenge the slaughter of his mother and brother has shown Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath the hidden hands behind this endless war. He saw the game and vowed to sweep the board. First though he must gather his own pieces, learn the rules of play, and discover how to break them.
A six nation army, twenty thousand strong, marches toward Jorg's gates, led by a champion beloved of the people. Every decent man prays this shining hero will unite the empire and heal its wounds. Every omen says he will. Every good king knows to bend the knee in the face of overwhelming odds, if only to save their people and their lands. But King Jorg is not a good king.
Faced by an enemy many times his strength Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight. But playing fair was never part of Jorg’s game plan." [Source]

I read and reviewed the first book - Der Prinz der Dunkelheit / Prince of Thorns - in German and in English. has been one of the best fantasy debuts in 2011. My expectations are high. What will Mark Lawrence deliver on 384 pages?



- The Book of Transformations (e-book, July 2012) [Amazon Kindle, ASIN: B0079XQAYG] by Mark Charan Newton.
"A new and corrupt Emperor seeks to rebuild the ancient structures of Villjamur to give the people of the city hope in the face of great upheaval and an oppressing ice age. But when a stranger called Shalev arrives, empowering a militant underground movement, crime and terror becomes rampant. The Inquisition is always one step behind, and military resources are spread thinly across the Empire. So Emperor Urtica calls upon cultists to help construct a group to eliminate those involved with the uprising, and calm the populace. But there's more to The Villjamur Knights than just phenomenal skills and abilities - each have a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything they represent. Investigator Fulcrom of the Villjamur Inquisition is given the unenviable task of managing the Knights', but his own skills are tested when a mysterious priest, who has travelled from beyond the fringes of the Empire, seeks his help. The priest's existence threatens the church, and his quest promises to unweave the fabric of the world. And in a distant corner of the Empire, the enigmatic cultist Dartun Sur steps back into this world, having witnessed horrors beyond his imagination. Broken, altered, he and the remnants of his cultist order are heading back to Villjamur. And all eyes turn to the Sanctuary City, for Villjamur's ancient legends are about to be shattered ..." [Source]

I must admit that I'm behind with reading of the excellent Legends of the Red Sun series. The Book of Transformations stands for 382 pages and is the third book in the series and with The Broken Isles the fourth book is ahead.



- The Map of Time (pb, July 2012)[ISBN-13: 978-1451683035] Felix J. Palma


"Set in Victorian London with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time boasts a triple play of intertwined plots in which a skeptical H.G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence.
What happens if we change history? The author explores this question in the novel, weaving an historical fantasy as imaginative as it is exciting—a story full of love and adventure that transports readers to a haunting setting in Victorian London for their own taste of time travel." [Source]
Time travel and Victorian London within one series is an irresistible combination for me. So there was no way out that Felix J. Palma's first book in his Map of Time series will be part of my summer reading list.
After 696 pages I can tell you more about The Map of Time.


- City of Shadows (2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0141337074] by Alex Scarrow (sixth book in the TimeRiders series)
"Liam O'Connor should have died at sea in 1912. 
Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010. 
Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026.
But all three have been given a second chance - to work for an agency that no one knows exists. Its purpose: to prevent time travel destroying history . . .
Hunted by cyborg assassins from the future, the TimeRiders must abandon New York and go on the run. They escape to Victorian London and the streets where Jack the Ripper roams. But, before they can establish their new base, they make their most shattering discovery yet - and it will change everything . . ." [Source]

I read all the books of this time travel series and for sure I have to read the next book which is the last but one in the series. When I look at the description then I can imagine what will expect me on the next 448 pages.


- The Third Section (e-book, 2011) [Amazon Kindle, ASIN: B005GDZHL8] by Jasper Kent

"Russia 1855. After forty years of peace in Europe, war rages. In the Crimea, the city of Sevastopol is besieged. In the north, Saint Petersburg is blockaded. But in Moscow there is one who needs only to sit and wait -- wait for the death of an aging tsar, and for the curse upon his blood to be passed to a new generation.
As their country grows weaker, a brother and sister -- each unaware of the other's existence -- must come to terms with the legacy left them by their father. In Moscow, Tamara Valentinovna Lavrova uncovers a brutal murder and discovers that it is not the first in a sequence of similar crimes, merely the latest, carried out by a killer who has stalked the city since 1812.
And in Sevastopol, Dmitry Alekseevich Danilov faces not only the guns of the combined armies of Britain and France, but must also make a stand against creatures that his father had thought buried beneath the earth, thirty years before." [Source]
 I'm a fan of the two previous books in the Danilov Quintet series: Twelve and Thirteen Years Later (my review). After an order odyssee  long time the next 417 pages in the Danilov Quintet will be devoured soon.


- Company of Liars  [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B002RI9R98] by Karen Maitland.

"1348 Plague has come to England. And the lies you tell will be the death of you.

A scarred trader in holy relics. A conjuror. A musician and his apprentice. A one-armed story teller.

A young couple on the run. A midwife. And a rune-reading girl. A group of misfits band together to escape the plague. But in their midst lurks a curse darker and more malign than the pestilence they flee..." [Source]
Karen Maitland has a great feature on her site for every book she has written which I really appreciate. She explains how the book became to be written. How Company of Liars  became to written.
No reading list without minimum one historical ficction book. It is time for me to discover an author new to me. Soon I will return to England for 576 pages ...


- Rasputin's Bastards (pb, 2012) [ISBN13: 978-1926851594] by David Nickle

"They were the beautiful dreamers.
From a hidden city deep in the Ural mountains, they walked the world as the coldest of Cold Warriors, under the command of the Kremlin and under the power of their own expansive minds. They slipped into the minds of Russia's enemies with diabolical ease, and drove their human puppets to murder, and worse. They moved as Gods. And as Gods, they might have remade the world. But like the mad holy man Rasputin, who destroyed Russia through his own powerful influence... in the end, the psychic spies for the Motherland were only in it for themselves.
 * * *
It is the 1990s. The Cold War is long finished. In a remote Labrador fishing village, an old woman known only as Babushka foresees her ending through the harbour ice, in the giant eye of a dying kraken – and vows to have none of it. Beaten insensible and cast adrift in a life raft, ex- KGB agent Alexei Kilodovich is dragged to the deck of a ship full of criminals, and with them he will embark on a journey that will change everything he knows about himself. And from a suite in an unseen hotel in the heart of Manhattan, an old warrior named Kolyokov sets out with an open heart, to gather together the youngest members of his immense, and immensely talented, family. They are more beautiful, and more terrible, than any who came before them. They are Rasputin's bastards. And they will remake the world." [Source]
Great cover and great guest post Rasputin's Bastards: a guest post by David Nickle forced me to buy a copy and add it to the list. I hope the 467 pages will match my expectations.


Now you know what I will read from July to September 2012. What will you read in summer 2012? Let me know. I always like inspirations.

ENJOY READING!

6 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ambitious! Really looking forward to your reviews, especially of The Lighthouse Keeper.

Bryce L. said...

I looked at this earlier today, but had to come back tonight to get it all. Looks like a great haul. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on them.

Zoltán Gecse said...

Interesting list of books with many exciting titles!

I'm currently reading The Third Section by Jasper Kent, so I have a slim chance to finish it before you. ;)

ediFanoB said...

Alex,
what would life be without ambitions.
I improved my reading speed and I desperately want to read these books and some more which are not on the list.
And there is a secret plan behind: to link reading and reviewing because if the gap between reading and reviewing is more than six months it is getting difficult to write a full review.
And I promise you thate there will be a review of the Lighthouse Keeper.

ediFanoB said...

Bryce, you are always welcomed. I know this reading list is a challenge but I desperately want to read these books.

ediFanoB said...

Zoltan,

you will definitely finish The Third Section by Jasper Kent before me. I hope you enjoy the book.

Some of the books I try to read since months ...

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