Monday, February 01, 2016

What to read in February 2016

Dear Readers,
this is the first post in a new post series which should serve to following purposes:
1.) To show you books which may have not been on your radar
2.) To give my to read list a better structure and a proper overview

In 2015 I followed more or less my gut feeling when I had to decide what to read next. In 2016 I want to give my to read list a bit more structure. That does not mean I will get rid of my gut feeling. Beginning of every month I will post a list of books which I would like to read  in this month.

Today  I share with you my to read list for February 2016. I don't believe that I will be able to read ten books as I did in January. Nevertheless I put together a list of 10 books.
I must admit the selection of the books took longer than expected. The first version of the list ended up with 25 titles put together in less than two minutes.
Then I asked myself what I would like to read most and came up with following list:

The list does not include Memories of Ice (this pb edition, August 2006) [ISBN-13: 978-0765348807] by Steven Erikson which takes me much longer to read than I had expected due to length and complexity.

The books are in a certain order because some of them will be delivered within February.

I added a comment to each book in order to explain why I chose the book.

Without further ado I present you my February 2016 want to read list.

Book One
The Dragon's Path (digital, April 2011) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B004SBMJSI] by Daniel Abraham

"All paths lead to war...

Marcus' hero days are behind him. He knows too well that even the smallest war still means somebody's death. When his men are impressed into a doomed army, staying out of a battle he wants no part of requires some unorthodox steps.

Cithrin is an orphan, ward of a banking house. Her job is to smuggle a nation's wealth across a war zone, hiding the gold from both sides. She knows the secret life of commerce like a second language, but the strategies of trade will not defend her from swords.

Geder, sole scion of a noble house, has more interest in philosophy than in swordplay. A poor excuse for a soldier, he is a pawn in these games. No one can predict what he will become.

Falling pebbles can start a landslide. A spat between the Free Cities and the Severed Throne is spiraling out of control. A new player rises from the depths of history, fanning the flames that will sweep the entire region onto The Dragon's Path-the path to war." [Source
In March 2016 the final book in 
The Spider's War (digital, March 2016) [Kindle ASIN:  B00PW5V3E0] by Daniel Abraham is the fifth and final book in the epic fantasy series The Dagger and the Coin and will be published in March 2016. I read the first book back in 2011. I remember that I liked it a lot but I do not remember many details. The upcoming release of the final book was the trigger for the decision to read all five books in 2016. And  in order to read all five books I start with the re-read of the first book. 

Book Two
So far I read exactly three books by Dan Simmons: Hyperion, Terror and Drood
To be honest I love them all three. When I discovered last year that Dan Simmons worked on a book starring Sherlock Holmes, I ordered a paperback copy in advance and received my copy a couple of days ago.
This won't be my first Sherlock Holmes pastiche. I'm really curious how Dan Simmons will present Sherlock Holmes in The Fifth Heart (paperback, January 2016) [ISBN-13:978-0751548574].

"In the tradition of Drood, a historical mystery in which Sherlock Holmes and Henry James team up to solve a literary puzzle.

In 1893, Sherlock Holmes and Henry James come to America together to solve the mystery of the 1885 death of Clover Adams, wife of the esteemed historian Henry Adams--member of the Adams family that has given the United States two Presidents. Clover's suicide appears to be more than it at first seemed; the suspected foul play may involve matters of national importance.

Holmes is currently on his Great Hiatus--his three-year absence after Reichenbach Falls during which time the people of London believe him to be deceased. Holmes has faked his own death because, through his powers of ratiocination, the great detective has come to the conclusion that he is a fictional character.

This leads to serious complications for James--for if his esteemed fellow investigator is merely a work of fiction, what does that make him? And what can the master storyteller do to fight against the sinister power -- possibly named Moriarty -- that may or may not be controlling them from the shadows?" [Source]

Book Three
Beside the fact that I promised the author to read and review his book after I bought a digital copy of Betrayal's Shadow (digital, 30th November 2015) [Kindle Edition ASIN:B018S2U4Z2] by Dave-Brendon de Burgh is the first book in the Mahaelian Chronicle, I find the description promising.

"Betrayal casts long shadows – none know this better than Brice Serholm.

As a decorated general in the kingdom's elite Blade Knights, Brice had to overcome the taint of treason and betrayal to attain his rank. When Brice and a force of Knights are sent on a mission to investigate claims of rebellion in one of Avidar's provinces, their ship is magically attacked, and the resulting investigation tests every oath Brice swore before his king.

Meanwhile, an inhuman infant escapes the capital's Slave-Hold, the king's mistress comes into possession of a unique dagger, and Del'Ahrid, the king's most trusted First Advisor, begins to question everything he built his honour and life upon.

Events are in motion that will test every man, woman and child – and a conflict is coming that will shake the kingdom to its very foundations.
So begins the Mahaelian Chronicle." [Source]

Book Four
What shall I say? After having a great time with The Butchered Man (digital, November 20111) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00P0I1Z88] by Harriet Smart - read my review - it was beyond question that I will read the next book in the series. I hope The Dead Songbird (digital, February 2013) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00BD75QQW] by Harriet Smart will meet my expectations.
"“Death is too good for a whore like you. But He may show you mercy yet. BE PREPARED”

Celebrated singer Anna Morgan has come to Northminster to escape a troubled past and sing at the city's Handel Festival. But when she continues to receive the poisonous letters that have been plaguing her, she turns to Chief Constable Major Giles Vernon and Police Surgeon Felix Carswell to find her persecutor, drawing the two men into her charismatic orbit.

At the same time a talented young tenor is found dead in curious circumstances in a locked chapel, and the hunt for a murderer is on. Together, Vernon and Carswell must untangle the web of secrets that surround the dead man, uncovering a Northminster that throbs with clandestine passions and thwarted desires, a world of illegal pornographic books and risqué theatricals.

However, Felix finds himself bedevilled by romantic feelings for the beautiful Anna, who may or may not be his father's mistress, while Giles must face the tragedy of his own marriage before he is able to determine the truth behind the mystery of The Dead Songbird.

The Dead Songbird is the second Northminster Mystery featuring early-Victorian detectives Vernon and Carswell." [Source]

Book Five
Author  Tim Akers goes fantasy with his new series The Hallowed War. There is always something exciting when an author tries something different. Instead of the book description available over at GOODREADS I decided to use the one given by the author on his site. This one is longer is a way more informative. I do not want to compare the book with work of other authors before I read the book. But I must say that some passages and/or keywords reminded me of other books. This is nothing bad. It makes me even more curious.
The Pagan Night (digital, January 2016) [Kindle edition ASIN: B018JPMZ8W] by Tim Akers.
"The island of Tenebros is a land torn apart by its own gods, driven mad when the Celestial Church banished the old religion from the north and united the two nations of Tener and Suhdra under one holy banner. But pagans still haunt the nights, and the spirits of earth and air and fire that they once worshiped still roam the forests of the north. When a group of Tenerran rebels desecrate a holy doma, killing priests and summoning a hidden god, the countryside is thrown into civil war. It’s a battle that will reveal a secret hidden since the Crusades, unveil a corruption in the Church that will change the balance of power in the heavens, and test the trust between a father and his son.

Malcolm Blakley is the Duke of Houndhallow, faithful servant of the Celestial Church and first among the Tenerran Lords. He gained fame in the Reaver War, when Tener and Suhdra put aside generations of mistrust and political strife to fight off an invasion of inhuman murderers. But time has passed, old prejudices and older grudges have settled back in place, and the two countries are ripe for war. The Celestial Church is losing its grip on the north, a situation made worse by the abuses of certain Suhdrin Lords and the Church’s unwillingness to discipline the noble Houses of the south. When war comes, Malcolm will do anything he can to keep the peace. Failing that, he will end the war quickly, at any cost, even if it means betraying his family to the Church he loves.

His son, Ian, is of a different mind. Tired of putting up with the abuses of the south, and unsure of his own allegiances, Ian is determined to make his own path. He falls in among the pagan rebels and forges a new destiny, one that will put him at odds with his father, his faith, and his history. But sometimes truth is thicker than blood, and the dizzying power offered by the old gods is sharper than any sword.

Gwendolyn Adair is the Huntress of House Adair, tasked with keeping the godsroads safe from the mad gods who roam the forests at night, working hand in hand with the Celestial Church and the Inquisition to protect the faithful from the pagan threat. But secretly, her family has been hiding a great heresy from the Church. At the end of the final Crusade, as the Inquisition was razing the old holy sites and banishing the gods of their people, Gwen’s ancestors secreted away one of the old gods. The House Adair has spent generations of misdirection and heresy keeping that hallow ground safe, but the High Inquisitor has caught their scent, and is on the hunt for the truth. The war that follows will test Gwen’s mettle, her courage, and her strength. And in the end, the decisions she makes may change the world forever, or end it.

Enter a world of mad gods, inquisitor-priests, holy knights bound to hunt and kill the broken spirits of the world and the noble Houses caught in their midst, fighting their own battles of politics, prejudice and power. Face the darkness of winter, know the hope of spring, and keep the faith of the Winter Sun." [Source]

Book Six
Again What shall I say? After having a great time with The Strings of Murder (digital, February 2015) [Kindle edition ASIN: B00NPIUILA] by Oscar de Muriel - read my review - I can't wait to get my copy of A Fever of the Blood (digital, February 2016) [Kindle edition ASIN: B00NPIUILA] by Oscar de Muriel.
"New Year's Day, 1889. In Edinburgh's lunatic asylum, a patient escapes as a nurse lays dying. Leading the manhunt are legendary local Detective 'Nine-Nails' McGray and Londoner-in-exile Inspector Ian Frey. Before the murder, the suspect was heard in whispered conversation with a fellow patient - a girl who had been mute for years. What made her suddenly break her silence? And why won't she talk again? Could the rumours about black magic be more than superstition? McGray and Frey track a devious psychopath far beyond their jurisdiction, through the worst blizzard in living memory, into the shadow of Pendle Hill - home of the Lancashire witches - where unimaginable danger awaits..." [Source]

Book Seven
Science fiction covers a lot of different topics. when I read that a labor organizer is the main character of  Windswept (digital, September 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B0142YPNEM] by Adam Rakunas, I knew that I wanted to read the book soon. It sounds like a book with space battles and therefore has a different scope compared to the other science fiction book I want to read in February.
"Labor organizer Padma Mehta is on the edge of space and the edge of burnout. All she wants is to buy out a little rum distillery and retire, but she's supposed to recruit 500 people to the Union before she can. She's only thirty-three short. So when a small-time con artist tells her about forty people ready to tumble down the space elevator to break free from her old bosses, she checks it out — against her better judgment. It turns out, of course, it was all lies. As Padma should know by now, there are no easy shortcuts on her planet. And suddenly retirement seems farther away than ever: she's just stumbled into a secret corporate mission to stop a plant disease that could wipe out all the industrial sugarcane in Occupied Space. If she ever wants to have another drink of her favorite rum, she's going to have to fight her way through the city's warehouses, sewage plants, and up the elevator itself to stop this new plague." [Source]

Book Eight
The cover in combination with the description aroused my interest and therefore I want to give this new fantasy series a try.

The Guns of Ivrea (digital, 9th February 2016) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B0193FBVR8] by Clifford Beal.

"Acquel Galenus, former thief and now monk, uncovers a terrible secret under the Great Temple at Livorna, one that could shake the faith to its core. A secret that could get him killed. A secret that could enable an older, more sinister form of worship to be reborn.

Pirate princeling Nicolo Danamis, mercenary to the King and captain of the largest fleet in Valdur, has made one deal too many, and enemies are now closing in to destroy him.

Citala, fair-haired and grey-skinned, the daughter of the chieftain of the merfolk, finds herself implacably drawn to the affairs of men. She puts events in motion that will end her people’s years of isolation but that could imperil their very existence. All their fates will intertwine as they journey across the land, through duchies and free cities riven by political intrigue, religious fervour, and ancient hatreds. Alliances are being forged anew and after decades of wary peace, war is on the wind once again..." [Source]

Book Nine
I highly appreciated the accuracy of The Winter Siege (digital, September 2013) [ Kindle Edition ASIN: B00FGYSJNA] by DW Dawbridge.
Now I want to if the second book in the Daniel Cheswis Mystery series is as good or even better than the first one.
A Soldier of Substance (digital, October 2014) [ Kindle Edition ASIN: B00P2RBIUC] by DW Dawbridge


The smoke of parliamentary musket, cannon, and mortar fire is in the air around the royalist stronghold of Lathom House. Though guards still stand atop its walls, it is besieged on all sides, and it is only a matter of time until the house, along with its embittered and unwavering countess, Lady Charlotte de Tremouille, falls to Parliament’s might. Yet somehow, a royalist spy still creeps, unseen, through its gates, and brings the countess Parliament’s secrets.

Barely recovered from the trials of the last few months,Daniel Cheswis is torn from his family and sent north, to uncover the identity of the traitor; though before he can even begin, Cheswis finds himself embroiled in a murder. A woman has been garrotted with cheese wire in her Chester home, suggesting there is more than just the usual hatreds of war at play.

As lives are lost and coats are turned on both sides, Cheswis is tasked with finding the murderer, uncovering the traitor, and surviving his soldierly duty long enough to see Lathom House fall." [Source]

Book Ten
I hope the final book in the space opera series Far Star Trilogy will be the highlight of the trilogy.
 Furneral Games (digital, 18th January 2016) [Kindle Edition ASIN:B00WR12LCU] by Jay Allan.

"The battle for the unification and rule of the Far Stars Confederation will be decided in this exhilarating third and final book in the swashbuckling space saga begun with Shadow of Empire and Enemy in the Dark.

The Far Stars stands on the edge of a precipice. The forces of Governor Vos have surged forth, conquering worlds and imposing the emperor’s brutal rule over millions. Only one thing stands in the way of total victory: Marshal Augustin Lucerne and his newly created Confederation. Vos has a simple plan: assassinate the marshal, and manipulate his generals to fight over his legacy, destroying each other in the process.

But another threat lurks: Arkarin Blackhawk. The smuggler and mercenary has been the marshal’s ally, working in the shadows and unraveling Vos’ plans. The governor can only hope the mysterious adventurer continues to resist a formal position in the Confederation.

Or he can have Blackhawk assassinated, too.

Because with Blackhawk succeeding Lucerne, the black and gold imperial flags will be stained red with blood. For his is a dark and dangerous past, and if he is put at the helm of the Confederation armies, the brutal imperial general he once had been may rise once again.

The Far Stars are facing the final battle. The Imperials seem unstoppable. But if Blackhawk somehow survives—and can come to grips with the horror deep within him—he just might be able to save the Far Stars from the iron hand of empire." [Source]

That's it.
Enjoy Reading!

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