Books Received as of 4 March

The gnomes received some more review copies this week. Here’s a sneak peek of the books you may see here in the coming months.

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu, coming 8 March 2016 from Saga Press. The gnomes love Ken Liu’s short fiction and are excited to read his stories in one volume and get the chance to read any stories they haven’t read yet. Here’s the publisher’s description:

A publishing event: Bestselling author Ken Liu selects his award-winning science fiction and fantasy tales for a groundbreaking collection—including a brand-new piece exclusive to this volume.

With his debut novel, The Grace of Kings, taking the literary world by storm, Ken Liu now shares his finest short fiction in The Paper Menagerie. This mesmerizing collection features all of Ken’s award-winning and award-finalist stories, including: “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” (Finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards), “Mono No Aware” (Hugo Award winner), “The Waves” (Nebula Award finalist), “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species” (Nebula and Sturgeon award finalists), “All the Flavors” (Nebula award finalist), “The Litigation Master and the Monkey King” (Nebula Award finalist), and the most awarded story in the genre’s history, “The Paper Menagerie” (The only story to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards).

A must-have for every science fiction and fantasy fan, this beautiful book is an anthology to savor.

The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish, coming 10 May 2016 from Penguin Random House Canada. Kristi Charish is the author of Owl and the Japanese Circus and Owl and the City of Angels, two books that the gnomes enjoyed, and they’re excited to read the first book in her new urban fantasy series. Here’s the publisher’s description:

For starters, she’s only twenty-seven. Then there’s the fact that she lives in rain-soaked Seattle, which is not exactly Haiti. And she’s broke. With raising zombies outlawed throughout the continental USA, Kincaid has to eke out a living running seances for university students with more money than brains who are desperate for guitar lessons with the ghost of a Seattle grunge rocker–who happens to be Kincaid’s on-again, off-again roommate.

Then a stray zombie turns up outside her neighbourhood bar: Cameron Wight, an up-and-coming visual artist with no recollection of how he died or who raised him. Not only is it dangerous for Kincaid to be caught with an unauthorized zombie, she soon realizes he’s tied to a spate of murders: someone is targeting the zombies and voodoo practitioners in Seattle’s infamous Underground City, a paranormal hub. When the police refuse to investigate, the City’s oldest and foremost zombie asks Kincaid to help. Raising ghosts and zombies is one thing, but finding a murderer? She’s broke, but she’s not stupid.

And then she becomes the target… As the saying goes, when it rains it pours, especially in Seattle.

Invaders, an anthology coming 12 July 2016 from Tachyon Publications. Tachyon publishes a lot of great books, and the gnomes are sure this one won’t disappoint them. Here’s the publisher’s description:

No one is safe when literary authors—including multiple Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Fellowship recipients—invade the future. Corporations control the world (albeit from unassuming offices), nanotechnology returns unasked-for memories, the undead are almost mundane, and aliens infiltrate the big leagues.

Like time-traveling mad scientists, the Invaders have concocted outrageous creations. They have seized upon tales of technology gone wrong and pushed pulp fiction to finally grow up (mostly).

Wildly speculative, innovative, and unexpected, these twenty-two tales leave no doubt that the future belongs to all kinds of writers—no matter where their books happen to be shelved.

Books Received as of 26 February

The gnomes were popular this week. Check out all the books they received! You’ll see reviews for these books in the future, so stay tuned.

The Phoenix Descent by Chuck Grossart, coming 15 March 2016 from 47North. Here’s the publisher’s description:

The year is 2025. Astronaut Caitlyn “Sif” Wagner and her team emerge from stasis to discover that their Mars mission has gone terribly awry—the crew has run off course in space and, they suspect, in time as well. Their damaged ship returns to an Earth reduced to overgrown cities and blasted terrain. Yet humans have somehow survived, living in caves, foraging at night, returned to a tribal existence. Sif meets Litsa, the fiercest warrior in her tribe, and learns a horrific truth: the planet is overrun with the Riy, a swarm of spore-releasing revenants intent only on spreading their infection.

But even as Sif and Litsa unite in combat, they soon realize that the battle against the Riy is only one stage on which they must fight the war for humanity’s survival.

Scary spores have taken over Earth, too scary! The gnomes can’t wait.

Stopgap by Liam Card, coming 19 March 2016 from Dundurn. This book seems interesting. Here’s the publisher’s description:

A recently deceased grieving spirit decides to rid the world of violent crime, and becomes the most notorious killer in history.

For Luke Stevenson, an otherwise simple afterlife has become catastrophic. He’s been paired to mentor Safia, an angry teenage girl who recently died a violent death. Safia can not only affect the living — unheard of among ghosts like them — but can actually end human lives. With the best intentions, Luke becomes ensnared in her operation to rid the world of all violent crime.

With Luke’s help, Safia prevents acts of violence before they occur, leaving the world in a state of joy, shock, panic, and looking for answers as the body count rises. Perhaps Safia has made the world a safer place. However, when her plan begins a terrifying evolution, Luke must find a way to derail it, as billions of lives hang in the balance.

Asteroid Made of Dragons by G. Derek Adams, coming 5 April 2016 from Sword & Laser. The gnomes are huge fans of humorous fantasy and are excited to read this one. Here’s the publisher’s description:

In the hilarious and uproarious world of Asteroid Made of Dragons, a lone goblin researcher has stumbled across an artifact of mysterious import that delivers a terrifying message: the world is ending. Soon. And the apocalypse will hail from the skies in the form of an asteroid made of dragons. When it falls, the planet will be plunged into nuclear winter — and there will also be many angry dragons wandering around nursing concussions.

Asteroid Made of Dragons
is not your average apocalypse tale. Too bad Our Heroes don’t even know it’s coming.

 

Check back next week for another sneak peek of books we’ve received.

Review: Pull

pullAuthor: Anne Riley
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: 2 February 2016

The gnomes received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Rosie Clayton, a teenager from Nashville, is on holiday with her family in London. Shortly after she arrives, she sees a girl get attacked on the street. Time rewinds, and when the attack happens the second time, the girl is rescued by a mysterious stranger. She thinks—understandably—that she’s losing her mind, but when the mysterious stranger rescues her, she realizes that it’s really possible to rewind time.

The mysterious stranger that saves Rosie is the leader of a group of time-travelling crime-fighters, and once she learns the truth about time-travel (or “Pulling,” as it’s called in the book), she joins the group. Together, they have to keep London safe, though keeping themselves safe is hard enough.

The premise of this book is quite interesting, but the execution falls flat. The story doesn’t start to pick up until halfway through the book, and once things start to get exciting, the author races to the end. The ending seemed rushed and didn’t make much sense.

Despite the slow pace of the book, the gnomes continued reading because they wanted to find out more about Pulling and the crime-fighting group. Sadly, they were left disappointing. There isn’t much world building in this book and many questions were left unanswered. How does Pulling work? How did people find out they could do it? These are basic questions, but they’re not answered.

This book may be satisfying for people who don’t read much fantasy, but people who are familiar with the genre will be frustrated by the lack of worldbuilding.

Rating: 1 Gnomes out of 5