Jul 31, 2018

 

Author Spotlight - Daniel Price

- About the Author -
Website: danielprice.info
Twitter: @SilversGuy
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Suspense

I had a more traditional bio on my last website, but it was getting kind of stale after three and a half years. So instead of doing more of the same, here are nineteen random facts about me:
  1. Born in Manhattan, to an Israeli immigrant and a native New Yorker.
  2. Old enough to have seen Star Wars in theaters.
  3. Spent many years working as a layout/production artist for corporate marketing departments. It’s just as exciting as it sounds.
  4. I’ve lived in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Boston, San Francisco, central Maine, Hollywood, Westwood, and Glendale, California. I now reside in Gilbert, Arizona, with a whole family of Prices, plus two cats and a dog.
  5. The dog will occasionally eat the cats’ poop out of the litter box. This isn’t a fact about me. I just still can’t get over it.
  6. My partner’s name is Nancy Price. Our shared last name is pure wacky coincidence. But now that we’re engaged, hey, timesaver.
  7. We met when she tweeted me about how much she enjoyed The Flight of the Silvers. Then I moved in with her. That’s how much I like compliments.
  8. Though I’m primarily a sci-fi writer, my first novel is about as un-science-fictiony as you can possibly get. The only thing Slick has in common with the Silvers books are my weird sense of humor and an overreliance on adjectives.
  9. My favorite part about writing Silvers? The worldbuilding. Holy crap, is that fun.
  10. My literary agent is actually a Hollywood agent. I hooked up with him during my screenwriting days and he’s stuck with me ever since. He’s awesome.
  11. The Flight of the Silvers and The Song of the Orphans were sold to Penguin/Blue Rider Press as a two-book deal. We just recently negotiated the sale of The War of the Givens, the third and final book in the series. Yay!
  12. I’m hard at work on that last Silvers book, but I’m already having daydreams about the novel after that. All I can tell you is that it’ll be a standalone story, it’ll take place in the near future, and it won’t have any timebending shenanigans.
  13. Though my books are only marginally political, I am an unabashed liberal SJW snowflake in real life.
  14. My favorite TV shows of all time are The Wire, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Firefly. I know this makes me a walking cliché.
  15. Favorite Spielberg movie: Empire of the Sun. If you can get through that ending without crying, then you are dead inside. Dead!
  16. I’m on Twitter and Facebook, but I don’t tend to post much on the latter. Facebook has a tendency to give my soul a headache.
  17. I had a big cancer drama ten years ago and would not recommend the experience. The only thing worse than chemotherapy was fighting with my insurance company on a daily basis.
  18. On the upside, my illness gave me new perspective, much of which is reflected in Silvers. The whole series is about time and the many different ways we handle our limited amount of it.
  19. I love hearing from readers, whether they’re new fans or constructive critics. If you happen to e-mail me at just the right time, I might work your name into my latest novel-in-progress. It’s been known to happen on occasion.
(source: danielprice.info)

- Interviews -
[thejoyfulpen] What inspired these books? Was there a single flash of a scene that appeared in your mind’s eye, or maybe one of the silvers strolled into your consciousness and demanded their story be told?
The story came to me in dribs and drabs. I’d see a scene here, a character there, a flash of an idea about a parallel Earth. It was all a jumble in my brain for at least ten years, and it wasn’t entirely working for me. As much as I liked the individual elements, I couldn’t get them to fit together.

Then in 2006, I had a prolonged cancer crisis that shook me to the core. Everything came to a crashing halt. By the time by brain rebooted again, I was seeing everything differently.

It was just a few days after my last chemotherapy treatment that I came up with the temporal aspects of the Silvers series. That was the piece that was missing. After that, everything started falling into place. It wasn’t just a story about superpowered people on an alternate Earth. It was a story about time and the many different ways we handle our limited amount of it.

From that point on, the books became an obsession with me. I knew they were the next thing I had to write.

[thejoyfulpen] Why did [New York City and San Francisco] feel like good settings? The placement of the Cataclysm in NYC felt particularly interesting given the way that the culture and political landscape changed across America post 9/11, was the part of your inspiration?
I chose New York City because, love it or hate it, it’s a pressure point for the entire nation. You squeeze that city and everyone feels it. It seemed the most profound and sensible place for a world-shaking Cataclysm.

Also, having been born and raised in New York, I really welcomed the chance to rebuild the city from the ground up and put my own crazy spin on it.

I did live in San Francisco for two years, and I have my own special love for that place. You’ll see a hell of a lot of it in the third and final book of my series. It plays a major role in the conclusion of the story.

[thejoyfulpen] I have to admit that while reading Orphans I had a pocket of doubt come over me. I loved Silvers, even the action sequences, but in the second book I started to worry that when, where, and why the Pelletiers would step into the fray and help the silvers was really arbitrary. Once I understood the kind of free will that had been afforded to the silvers by the very nature of their “control group” it made a lot of more sense.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the Pelletiers don’t perceive time the way the rest of us do. They see all the strings of the future at once, which gives them a much better sense of what’s possible and what’s probable. They could see the Silvers escape a crashing flying restaurant and know, despite all appearances, that the group will survive without their help. On the other hand, they can watch the Silvers cross the street and think “Great. Trouble’s coming. Now I have to step in.”

So by their reckoning, their interventions aren’t arbitrary at all.

It’s all a moot point, anyway, because the relationship between the Silvers and Pelletiers changes drastically at the end of The Song of the Orphans. They won’t be doing much to help the Silvers in Book 3. Quite the opposite.

[rosemaryandreadingglasses] How did you go about conducting research for The Flight of the Silvers?
As far as the science went, I didn’t go nuts. I read some extremely dumbed-down books on temporal physics until I had a good enough grasp on the new rules of my world. And with each manner of timebending I introduced, I did some speculation into the side effects and limitations, which led to some interesting new details.

But when it came to the worldbuilding, I did a ton of research. My alternate Earth exists in a timeline that drastically changed after a cataclysmic event in 1912. So I studied the culture of that era and then rebuilt world history, decade by decade. That also led to some fun new details.

The third aspect of my research was etymology. Every new word I introduce has a traceable origin. I didn’t want to make up stuff just because it sounds good.

[thejoyfulpen] This is the question I’ve pondered the most when reading your books, partly as a writer, and partly as a human being who has had to come to terms with the relativity of time and my own inescapable mortality- how do you write about so many different iterations of time?! As English and Art were more my speed, I never made it very far into the world of physics so to write about time in such and engaging and coherent way is like pure magic for me. Where do all these creative explorations of time come from?
I’m definitely not a science guy, but I’m a lifelong consumer of science fiction and comic books, and I’ve always been left wanting when it comes to stories about temporal manipulation. It seems like ninety-nine percent of it revolves around physical time travel, when there’s so much more to explore. What if you could only send information back in time? What if you could only advance or reverse time in a localized area? What if the past could be displayed as three-dimensional holograms? And most important of all, what if there was technology that let anyone do these things?

As you can see from the first two books in my series, I’m much more interested in the societal effects of these abilities than the scientific explanations. It was only when I was writing the Pelletiers that I really got into research. In order to understand their four-dimensional perceptions, I had to wrap my head around the more advanced concepts of time. So I read a couple of physics books, most of which melted my brain. By the end of it, however, I felt I had better grasp on the rules of my fictional universe. I don’t need to explain them all, but I do have to understand them and I definitely have to keep them consistent.

Yeah, there’s a lot of time-bending going on in my stories, either by superpowered people or by high-tech devices. In writing the Silvers series, I challenged myself to come up with as many different forms of temporal manipulation as I possibly could without relying on time travel. There’s a woman who can slow down time and move faster than everyone around her. There’s a boy who can see the past of any area and reproduce it as holograms. There’s a girl who gets handwritten notes from her future selves, both helpful and not-so-helpful. And those just a few of the ways I screw with time in my books.

More than that, I explore the complex relationship that human beings have with time. Our heroes all survived a devastating apocalypse and are now hunted people on a dying Earth. Needless to say, they’re thinking a lot about their own mortality. The big question is how do you spend your limited time? Do you aim for quality or quantity? Do you settle for contention or do you fight to live a perfect life, enemies be damned? The time-bending takes a back seat to the struggles of my characters.

[thejoyfulpen] You’ve shared that you’re hard at work on the third and final book, and that our main characters will have the opportunity to travel to other countries. If you feel like you can share without giving too much away, why did you want to include these other locations, and will the rest of the alt-world be as startling different as alt-America?
One could argue that America’s fingerprint/Westernization is apparent across huge swaths of the globe and I’m curious to see what a world where that didn’t happen looks like.

In The War of the Givens, the story’s going to expand to England and Japan, with a little bit of Canada, China, and Mexico thrown into the mix. I didn’t want to limit the story to the United States. The world is too rich and diverse to keep it in one setting.

You’ll definitely see how the countries differ from the United States, as well as their real-world counterparts. The advent of temporis has changed every corner of the planet, for better or worse. I can’t wait to finally show some of that through the eyes of our main characters.

[rosemaryandreadingglasses] How was writing a sci-fi-action-suspense novel different from writing non-sci-fi fiction, like your first novel, Slick?
Like night and day. My first novel is a comedy set in the world of public relations, which I’d never personally been a part of. I was determined to research the hell out of it and get the details right. It was constraining, but I loved every minute of it.

With Silvers, I had more freedom than I knew what to do with. I could change the rules of reality, invent new history. It was unbelievably fun to dream up this stuff. The hard part was introducing the world in a way that didn’t make people go cross-eyed.

Fortunately, my alpha readers kept me honest. The earliest drafts of Silvers were littered with plot-stopping info dumps. My friends helped me smooth them over.

[rosemaryandreadingglasses] Which other time-travel books/movies/shows would you recommend to fans of The Flight of the Silvers?
For alternate history, nothing inspired me more than Watchmen. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons paint a world that’s completely recognizable and yet terrifyingly different. It blew me away when I first read it in 1986. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve devoured it since then.

In terms of temporal hijinks, I can’t say enough good things about Slaughterhouse Five. Kurt Vonnegut was the first writer to truly mess with my perception of time. And like all of his books, he wraps his craziness around a strong and beautiful character story.

[poisonedpen] What authors have inspired you?
Oh God. There are too many to count. I’ll just list three:

Kurt Vonnegut. One of my favorite authors of all time. He didn’t consider himself a sci-fi writer, but the Sirens of Titan ranks up there with the best SF classics. He also did some mindblowing time manipulation in Slaughterhouse Five. But between all his high-faluting concepts, Vonnegut never lost sight of the characters. Every one of his novels has something deep and profound to say about human nature. He was just a genius all around.

Chris Claremont. He wrote X-Men comics for Marvel for 17 years, and turned them into the greatest superhero team of all time. (Come at me, nerds. I can argue this for days.) There’s a lot of his influence in my Silvers series, from the superpowers to the group dynamics. It’s not easy to take a group of spandex-wearing mutants and make them seem like real people, but Claremont did it.

JK Rowling. Yeah, I know it’s cliché to cite her as an influence, but her Harry Potter books are a master class in storytelling, especially Books 4 and 5. Not only is she amazing at worldbuilding and characterization, she knows how to get out of her own way. One sentence into any chapter and you forget she’s there. By the second sentence, you forget you’re even reading a book. You’re in the scene. You’re there.
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Book Review - The Song of the Orphans, Silvers #2 (by Daniel Price)


Title: The Song of the Orphans
Series: The Silvers Series (book #2)
Author: Daniel Price
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Blue Rider Press
Release Date: July 4th, 2017
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 752



"After their world collapsed in a sheet of white light, everything and everyone were gone—except for Hannah and Amanda Given. Saved from destruction by three fearsome and powerful beings, the Given sisters found themselves on a strange new Earth where restaurants move through the air like flying saucers and the fabric of time is manipulated by common household appliances. There, they were joined by four other survivors: a sarcastic cartoonist, a shy teenage girl, a brilliant young Australian, and a troubled ex-prodigy. Hunted by enemies they never knew they had, and afflicted with temporal abilities they never wanted, the sisters and their companions began a cross-country journey to find the one man who could save them.

Now, only months after being pursued across the country by government forces and the Gothams—a renegade group with similar powers—the Silvers discover that their purpose on this unfamiliar earth may be to prevent its complete annihilation. With continually shifting alliances and the future in jeopardy, the Silvers realize that their only hope for survival is to locate the other refugees—whether they can be trusted or not."

(click to read an excerpt on Barnes&Noble)

- Review -
What Made Me Read It
It's the sequel to "The Flight of the Silvers" and the most important mysteries were never revealed, only hinted at. I want to know who the mole is and the reasons why the Pelletiers "saved" only 99 humans.

The Plot
"The Song of the Orphans" is set 6 months after "The Flight of the Silvers". Even though the 6 Silvers (Hannah, Amanda, Zack, Theo, Mia and David) managed to successfully reach New York City and meet with their new ally Peter Pendergen, they're still threatened on multiple fronts. The Gothams, a group of people born with the same abilities as the Silvers but native to Alt-America, believe the Silvers are responsible for Alt-Earth's impending cataclysm. While most of their members merely fear the exposure of their hidden community, some believe only the breachers’ death can prevent the end of their own world. Integrity, the government's secret agency in charge of controlling the segment of the population born with special powers, is more determined than ever to capture the 6 orphans. More dangerous still are the Pelletiers who, while often stepping in to violently defend the Silvers when needed, are also more than willing to punish them for getting in the way of their secret agenda. And then of course there's Evan Rander who hasn't given up on his own personal vendetta.

Meanwhile the Silvers learn there are more survivors from their destroyed Earth. Joining forces with the 2 remaining members of the Golds, a musician named Jonathan and a high-functioning autistic teen named Heath, they set out to reach the remaining breachers (Coppers, Platinums...) in order to stop their new home from suffering the same fate as their old Earth.

The Good
At 700+ pages this sequel is even more massive than the first book but in no way boring, repetitive or predictable. The author not only recaptured the epicness of "The Flight of the Silvers" but expanded on it.

The first book introduced us to the characters and the new world the Silvers (and the remaining survivors) were brought to. "The Song of the Orphans" focus on the mystery of their rescue by the Pelletiers and their true purpose in Alt-Earth. We still don't get all the answers but we do find out why they were chosen, who the Pelletiers are and their real motivations and plans, why the Gothams are so determined to kill the Silvers, why future Mia is always so angry and self-destructive.

This second book is packed with plot complexity, humor, drama and pop culture references. The writing is quick paced with non-stop action but still full of details that keep your imagination going. There are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, making the book a wild ride from start to finish and almost impossible to put down (one of the twists left me reeling!). There's a notable improvement in character development (specially the female characters), they're even more multi-faceted and stronger as both individuals and a group while the dynamics between their relationships shift and change as enemies become friends and friends turn out to be enemies instead.

The Not So Good
The whole notion that women's only purpose is to be broodmares irks me to no end!

Final Rating
Well-written, clever, heart-wrenching and satisfying until the end. Recommended for those who enjoy action packed chase thrillers set in a futuristic alternate reality with plenty of really cool superpowers in the mix.


About the Author (interviews)
Previous in the series: The Flight of the Silvers, Silvers #1 (book review)
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Book Review - The Flight of the Silvers, Silvers #1 (by Daniel Price)


Title:
The Flight of the Silvers

Series: The Silvers Series (book #1)
Author: Daniel Price
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Blue Rider Press
Release Date: February 4th, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 608



"Without warning, the world comes to an end for Hannah and Amanda Given. The sky looms frigid white. The electricity falters. Airplanes everywhere crash to the ground. But the Givens are saved by mysterious strangers, three fearsome and beautiful beings who force a plain silver bracelet onto each sister’s wrist. Within moments, the sky comes down in a crushing sheet of light and everything around them is gone.

Shielded from the devastation by their silver adornments, the Givens suddenly find themselves elsewhere, a strange new Earth where restaurants move through the air like flying saucers and the fabric of time is manipulated by common household appliances.

Soon Hannah and Amanda are joined by four other survivors from their world—a mordant cartoonist, a shy teenage girl, a brilliant young Australian, and a troubled ex-prodigy. Hunted by enemies they never knew they had and afflicted with temporal abilities they never wanted, the sisters and their companions begin a cross-country journey to find the one man who can save them—before time runs out."

(click to read an excerpt on Barnes&Noble)

- Review -
What Made Me Read It
They had me at futuristic alternate reality and superpowers.

The Plot
"The Flight of the Silvers" revolves around 6 seemingly ordinary people from San Diego who are given silver bracelets by 3 mysterious and very powerful beings (the Pelletiers - Azral, Esis and Semerjean) just as the sky turns white and drops down to crush the world. They survive the cataclysm by being transported to an alternate reality where the timeline started diverging in the early 1900s. In this alternate Earth, Altamerica is technologically more advanced after the discovery of a temporal force (Temporis) that allows to manipulate the fabric of time with the use of machines, but has also become increasingly more isolationist and racist.

After the 6 protagonists - Amanda Given (an oncology nurse), her sister Hannah Given (an actress and singer), Zack Trillinger (a sarcastic cartoonist), Mia Farisi (a teenager girl with low self-esteem), David Dormer (a genius teenage boy) and Theo Maranan (a former child prodigy with a drinking problem) - awaken in the new alternate reality, they are gathered and sheltered by a group of physicists who help them discover and develop their new powers that allow them to manipulate Temporis without the use of machines. Amanda can project a devastating hard white force from her body, Hannah can slow down time and move faster than those around her, Zack has the ability to advance or reverse time at will, Mia creates portals in time and space, David is able to see the past and recreate it as a sort of holographic projection and Theo can see the future in its many possibilities.

When the research center where they're being held in is attacked by a group of people (the Gothams) with the same strange powers, the Silvers are forced to flee across country to the east coast to meet with a man (Peter Pendergen) who promises answers and protection. The journey is made all that more dangerous and eventful while they attempt to outrun the Gothams (who want to kill them because they believe the Silvers are responsible for the world’s impending destruction), two rivaling government agencies (Melissa Masaad for the federal law enforcement unit DP-9, and the powerful intelligence agency Integrity) and Evan Rander (an extremely unbalanced ex-Silver with a really bad grudge, bent on revenge).

The Good
"The Flight of the Silvers" is a unique, action-packed engrossing story. At 600 pages it may seem a little lengthy but the author manages to build tension interlaced with moments of comedic relief that keeps your heart racing and your mind guessing from the first chapter all through the last. The world building is complex and well thought out, the plot is packed with suspense, surprises and adventure. Alternate timelines and multiverses, space and time relativity, super-human powers related to temporal abilities... both the science and magic is creative, original and explained in believable ways.

The characters are well-rounded, three-dimensional and very realistic. You learn more about some of the characters while mystery is kept around others to the point where you don't know who exactly the bad guys are. Each of the 6 protagonists has its own unique backstory, personality traits and drives, including annoying flaws that tend to get them in trouble in both their relationships and their flight for survival. As the plot progresses and with each crisis encountered they learn to rely on their wits and on each other, working as a team to try to figure out the new world they were thrown in and search for much needed answers.

The Not So Good
The author seems to have a special preference for just a handful of words and phrases that he overuses repeatedly throughout the entire book.

There is also strong female stereotyping with unnecessary emphasis on female physical attributes.

Final Rating
Recommended for those who enjoy action packed chase thrillers set in a futuristic alternate reality with plenty of really cool superpowers in the mix.



About the Author (interviews)
Next in the series: The Song of the Orphans, Silvers #2 (book review)
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Jul 29, 2018

 

New Monthly Releases - June 2018

 

Time to update your to-be-read list and clear some space on your shelves. These are a few of the new book releases for June 2018.



- Science Fiction -
June 5th:

Free Chocolate by Amber Royer (paperback, 448 pages, published by Angry Robot)
In the far future, chocolate is Earth's only unique commodity one that everyone else in the galaxy is willing to kill to get their hands, paws and tentacles on. Latina culinary arts student, Bo Benitez, becomes a fugitive when she's caught stealing a cacao pod from one of the heavily-defended plantations that keep chocolate, Earth's sole valuable export, safe from a hungry galaxy. Forces array against her including her alien boyfriend and a reptilian cop. But when she escapes onto an unmarked starship things go from bad to worse: it belongs to the race famed throughout the galaxy for eating stowaways! Surrounded by dangerous yet hunky aliens, Bo starts to uncover clues that the threat to Earth may be bigger than she first thought.


Fear Itself (Star Trek Discovery #3) by James Swallow (paperback, 292 pages, published by Gallery Books)
Lieutenant Saru is a Kelpien, a member of a prey species born on a world overrun by monstrous predators...and a being who very intimately understands the nature of fear. Challenged on all sides, he is determined to surpass his origins and succeed as a Starfleet officer aboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou. But when Saru breaks protocol in order to prove himself to his crewmates, what begins as a vital rescue mission to save a vessel in distress soon escalates out of control. Forced into a command role he may not be ready for, Saru is caught between his duty and the conflicting agendas of two antagonistic alien races. To survive, he will need to seek a path of peace against all odds, and risk compromising the very ideals he has sworn to uphold...


The Book of M by Peng Shepherd (hardcover, 485 pages, published by William Morrow& Company Inc)
One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories. Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too. Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.


June 12th:

Revenant Gun (The Machineries of Empire #3) by Yoon Ha Lee (paperback, 427 pages, published by Solaris Books)
When Shuos Jedao wakes up for the first time, several things go wrong. His few memories tell him that he's a seventeen-year-old cadet--but his body belongs to a man decades older.  Hexarch Nirai Kujen orders Jedao to reconquer the fractured hexarchate on his behalf even though Jedao has no memory of ever being a soldier, let alone a general. Surely a knack for video games doesn't qualify you to take charge of an army? Soon Jedao learns the situation is even worse. The Kel soldiers under his command may be compelled to obey him, but they hate him thanks to a massacre he can't remember committing. Kujen's friendliness can't hide the fact that he's a tyrant. And what's worse, Jedao and Kujen are being hunted by an enemy who knows more about Jedao and his crimes than he does himself...


The Freeze-Frame Revolution (Sunflower Cycle) by Peter Watts (paperback, 192 pages, published by Tachyon Publications)
She believed in the mission with all her heart. But that was sixty million years ago. How do you stage a mutiny when you're only awake one day in a million? How do you conspire when your tiny handful of potential allies changes with each shift? How do you engage an enemy that never sleeps, that sees through your eyes and hears through your ears and relentlessly, honestly, only wants what best for you? Sunday Ahzmundin is about to find out.


June 19th:

Tell the Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams (hardcover, 304 pages, published by Riverhead Books)
Pearl's job is to make people happy. Every day, she provides customers with personalized recommendations for greater contentment. She's good at her job, her office manager tells her, successful. But how does one measure an emotion? Meanwhile, there's Pearl's teenage son, Rhett. A sensitive kid who has forged an unconventional path through adolescence, Rhett seems to find greater satisfaction in being unhappy. The very rejection of joy is his own kind of "pursuit of happiness." As his mother, Pearl wants nothing more than to help Rhett—but is it for his sake or for hers? Certainly it would make Pearl happier. Regardless, her son is one person whose emotional life does not fall under the parameters of her job—not as happiness technician, and not as mother, either.


The Completionist by Siobhan Adcock (hardcover, 320 pages, published by Simon Schuster)
A young Marine, Carter Quinn, comes home from war to his fractured family, in a near-future America in which water is artificially engineered and technology is startlingly embedded in people’s everyday lives. At the same time, a fertility crisis has terrifying implications for women, including Carter’s two beloved sisters, Fred and Gardner. Fred, accomplished but impetuous, the eldest sibling, is naturally pregnant—a rare and miraculous event that puts her independence in jeopardy. And Gardner, the idealistic younger sister who lived for her job as a Nurse Completionist, has mysteriously vanished, after months of disturbing behaviour. Carter’s efforts to find Gard (and stay on Fred’s good side) keep leading him back home to their father, a veteran of a decades-long war just like Carter himself, who may be concealing a painful truth that could save or condemn them all.


The Privilege of Peace (Peacekeeper #3) by Tanya Huff (hardcover, 336 pages, published by Daw Books)
Warden Torin Kerr has put her past behind her and built a life away from the war and everything that meant. From the good, from the bad. From the heroics, from the betrayal. She's created a place and purpose for others like her, a way to use their training for the good of the Confederation. She has friends, family, purpose. Unfortunately, her past refuses to grant her the same absolution. Big Yellow, the ship form of the plastic aliens responsible for the war, returns. The Silsviss test the strength of the Confederation. Torin has to be Gunnery Sergeant Kerr once again and find a way to keep the peace.


The Robots of Gotham by Todd McAulty (hardcover, 676 pages, published by John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
After long years of war, the United States has sued for peace, yielding to a brutal coalition of nations ruled by fascist machines. One quarter of the country is under foreign occupation. Manhattan has been annexed by a weird robot monarchy, and in Tennessee, a permanent peace is being delicately negotiated between the battered remnants of the U.S. government and an envoy of implacable machines. Canadian businessman Barry Simcoe arrives in occupied Chicago days before his hotel is attacked by a rogue war machine. In the aftermath, he meets a dedicated Russian medic with the occupying army, and 19 Black Winter, a badly damaged robot. Together they stumble on a machine conspiracy to unleash a horrific plague—and learn that the fabled American resistance is not as extinct as everyone believes. Simcoe races against time to prevent the extermination of all life on the continent... and uncover a secret that America’s machine conquerors are desperate to keep hidden.


The Thousand Year Beach by Tobi Hirotaka (paperback, 336 pages, published by Haikasoru)
The first novel in translation from Japan’s Tobi Hirotaka, a three-time winner of the Seiun Award (often referred to as “the Japanese Hugo”). Costa del Número is a virtual resort, divided into several zones, including the Realm of Summer. Humanity used to find release and rest from a chaotic world among the artificial intelligences in the Realm, but no human has visited in a thousand years. The AIs there have continued to exist in their endless summer, however—until one day, an army of hungry spiders arrives and decimates the Realm in short order. As night falls, the few surviving AIs prepare for a final, hopeless battle against the invaders, uncertain of what’s happening in the real world beyond their virtual one.


June 26th:

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (The Salvagers #1) by Alex White (paperback, 480 pages, published by Orbit Books)
In a past life, Boots Elsworth was a treasure hunter—one of the best. Now past her prime, Boots has been reduced to selling fake information about salvage opportunities and hoping no one comes back for a refund—but then she unexpectedly stumbles onto some real information: the story of what happened to the legendary warship Harrow, one of the most powerful weapons ever created. Nilah Brio was once a famous racer in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation, until she was framed for murder. On the run to prove her innocence, Nilah chases her one lead—the real killer, now hunting someone named Boots Elsworth. When they meet, an uneasy alliance is formed, and the chase for the Harrow—and for justice—is on.


Gate Crashers by Patrick S. Tomlinson (paperback, 320 pages, published by Tor Books)
The research vessel Magellan stumbles onto something impossible in the depths of space: an hourglass-shaped object at perfect rest. The discovery not only wakes up the cryogenically-frozen crew, it sparks a crack team of scientists on Earth to figure out it’s a navigational buoy—and might provide clues to humanity’s first hyperspace drive. Politics, budgets, and personalities get in the way—and things only get worse when humanity starts to realize they’re considered primitive and brutish by most of the alien civilizations out there. One group even sees a chance to burnish their own galactic reputation by framing humanity as a genocidal race—just as an overconfident captain of a human warship arrives on the scene to complicate things even further.


HALO: Bad Blood by Matt Forbeck (paperback, 352 pages, published by Gallery Books )
An original full-length novel set in the Halo universe and based on the New York Times bestselling video game series! Just hours following their climactic battle on the Forerunner planet Genesis, the Spartans of Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris find themselves running for their lives from the malevolent machinations of the now-renegade artificial intelligence Cortana. But even as they attempt to stay one step ahead, trouble seems to find Spartan Edward Buck no matter where he turns. A secret mission enacted by the Office of Naval Intelligence could possibly help turn the tide, and has Buck reluctantly agreeing to reform his old team, Alpha-Nine. Because if the band is really getting back together for this one, that means everybody—including the Spartan who Buck never wants to see again, the one who committed the ultimate betrayal of trust…


• • • •

- Fantasy -
June 5th:

Brief Cases (The Dresden Files #15.1) by Jim Butcher (hardcover, 437 pages, published by Ace Books)
Butcher offers up 12 stories set in the world of Harry Dresden, wizard and private investigator working an alternate, magic-filled Chicago. Several stories follow Harry’s adventures with River Shoulders, a smart sasquatch with a half-human son. Others involve Harry’s apprentice Molly Carpenter, crime boss John Marcone, and even Wyatt Earp. The novella “Zoo Day” follows Harry as he takes his young daughter Maggie to the zoo—and since this is Harry Dresden, you know there’s more in store than daddy/daughter bonding.


Bruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas #2) by Zoraida Córdova (hardcover, 336 pages, published by Sourcebooks Fire)
In Labyrinth Lost, Alex discovered her Encantrix powers, but at a steep cost when her entire family was nearly lost in Los Lagos, a magical underworld. Now they’re all back in Brooklyn, but Alex’s eldest sister Lula is scarred in more ways than one. When a bus full of high schoolers—including Lula’s boyfriend Maks—are killed, Lula decides his loss is one too many. She brings Maks back to life, but only after defying Death and the Deos to do it. Unfortunately, Lula’s brash act has some unintended consequences. Maks is back, but he’s not the only one. The Mortiz sisters will have to work together to stop the zombie apocalypse before it starts.


Outbreak (Nightshades #3) by Melissa F. Olson (paperback, 240 pages, published by Tor.com)
The Chicago field office of the Bureau of Preternatural Investigation is facing its deadliest challenge, yet—internal investigation! Alex and Lindy are on the hook, and on the run. But when all of the BPI’s captive vampires are broken free from their maximum security prison, and Hector finally steps out of the shadows, Alex must use every trick to stay ahead of both the BPI and the world’s most dangerous shade. Confrontation is inevitable. Success is not.


Sweet Black Waves (Sweet Black Waves #1) by Kristina Pérez (hardcover, 448 pages, published by Imprint)
Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them. As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what's right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her best friend and the only man she's ever loved.


The Memory of Fire (The Waking Land #2) by Callie Bates (hardcover, 464 pages, published by Del Rey Books)
Jahan Korakides is the hero who saved the life of the crown prince in battle, helped win the revolution in Eren and earned the heart of Elanna, the legendary Wildegarde reborn. But Jahan Korakides is also broken; haunted by memories of the woman who experimented on him and his brothers as children. So when the empire threatens war in retribution for Elanna's illegal sorcery, Jahan leaves Eren to negotiate with the emperor on Queen Sophy's behalf. But the world he left has changed - riots rock the city of Ida, his brother is missing and the crown prince refuses to speak to him. Jahan's only hope of success seems to lie with the rebels in Ida. Yet, if he joins them, he will merely spur on the war he's desperate to avoid, and risk revealing himself as a sorcerer. And then the witch hunters arrive at court, bringing Elanna in chains.


Whisper of the Tide (Song of the Current #2) by Sarah Tolcser (hardcover, 402 pages, published by Bloomsbury YA)
Caro has settled into a routine: Wake, eat breakfast, try to figure out who is going attempt to assassinate Markos today. The currents aren't exactly calm. Markos is in constant danger, and his claim to the Akhaian throne is largely unsupported. Without military strength he doesn't have a chance. Relief appears on the horizon when a powerful Archon wants to side with Markos in his fight for the throne. But in exchange for an army, Markos must marry the Archon’s daughter. They must decide which is more important: their love for each other or the fate of Akhaia. And Caro will have to decide if her destiny is to sail with the tide, or chart her own course.


June 12th:

A Demon in Silver (War of the Archons #1) by R.S. Ford and Richard Ford (paperback, 461 pages, published by Titan Books UK)
In a land ripped apart by war, a farm girl is found to be the first person with magical abilities in 100 years. Before long, she’s running in peril from every nefarious faction who wants to exploit her powers—but finds much-needed help in some very ancient forces.


Before the Storm (World of Warcraft) by Christie Golden (hardcover, 281 pages, published by Del Rey)
A prequel to the upcoming expansion of the video game World of Warcraft, Golden’s novel is set after the Horde and the Alliance have turned back the Burning Legion. In the battle’s waning moments, the titan Sargeras struck a blow that wounded the heart of Azeroth—and now Azeroth is dying, and a remarkable material known as Azerite is unleashed. Azerite can be used to create or destroy, and the Horde and the Alliance must unite again unlock its secrets use it to heal the world. But Azerite’s power makes betrayal very tempting. Anduin Wrynn, the king of Stormwind, drafts a desperate plan to bring lasting peace—but can the Dark Lady Sylvanas Windrunner, warchief of the Horde, be trusted?


Low Chicago (Wild Cards #25) by George R.R. Martin (hardcover, 352 pages, published by Tor Books)
George R.R. Martin’s long-running shared universe series grows larger and weird, as eight authors tackle a new, standalone tale in a universe wherein an alien virus released in 1946 transformed those who were infected and survived into superpowered villains (Jokers), heroes (Aces), or something in-between. After a game of Low Chicago goes horribly wrong, the players are sent hurtling back in time. The Immortal John Nighthawk leads a team sent after them by the time-manipulating Sleeper, seeking to effect a retrieval before history is changed for the worse. Not all of the stranded folks are in a hurry to get back to their own time, however.


Night Fall (Secret Histories #12) by Simon R. Green (hardcover, 464 pages, published by Ace Books)
The Droods are all about control, making people do what they’re told for the greater good. The Nightside is all about choice: good and bad and everything in between. The Droods want to make the world behave. The Nightside wants to party. They were never going to get along. For centuries, ancient Pacts have kept the Droods out of the Nightside, but now the Droods see the Nightside as a threat to the whole world. They march into the long night, in their armour, to put it under their control. All too soon, the two sides are at war. Science and magic are running wild, there’s blood running in the gutters, and the bodies are piling up. Is anyone going to get out of this alive?


Starless by Jacqueline Carey (hardcover, 592 pages, published by Tor Books)
Destined from birth to serve as protector of the princess Zariya, Khai is trained in the arts of killing and stealth by a warrior sect in the deep desert; yet there is one profound truth that has been withheld from him. In the court of the Sun-Blessed, Khai must learn to navigate deadly intrigue and his own conflicted identity… but in the far reaches of the western seas, the dark god Miasmus is rising, intent on nothing less than wholesale destruction. If Khai is to keep his soul’s twin Zariya alive, their only hope lies with an unlikely crew of prophecy-seekers on a journey that will take them farther beneath the starless skies than anyone can imagine.


June 18th:

Iron and Magic (The Iron Covenant #1) by Ilona Andrews (paperback, 392 pages, published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)
Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast. Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she's trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify. Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies? As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.” Hugh and Elara may do both.


June 19th:

Outcasts of Order (The Saga of Recluce #20) by L.E. Modesitt Jr. (hardcover, 640 pages, published by Tor Books)
Beltur, an Order mage, discovers he possesses frightening powers not seen for hundreds of years. With his new abilities, he survives the war in Elparta and saves the lives of all. However, victory comes with a price. His fellow mages now see him as a threat to be destroyed, and the local merchants want to exploit his power. There’s only one way he can remain free and survive—he’s going to have to run.


The Grey Bastards (The Lot Lands #1) by Jonathan French (hardcover, 432 pages, published by Crown Publishing Group)
Jackal is proud to be a Grey Bastard, member of a sworn brotherhood of half-orcs. Unloved and unwanted in civilized society, the Bastards eke out a hard life in the desolate no-man's-land called the Lots, protecting frail and noble human civilization from invading bands of vicious full-blooded orcs. But as Jackal is soon to learn, his pride may be misplaced. Because a dark secret lies at the heart of the Bastards' existence--one that reveals a horrifying truth behind humanity's tenuous peace with the orcs, and exposes a grave danger on the horizon. On the heels of the ultimate betrayal, Jackal must scramble to stop a devastating invasion--even as he wonders where his true loyalties lie.


The Skaar Invasion (The Fall of Shannara #2) by Terry Brooks (hardcover, 371 pages, published by Del Rey Books)
The second installment in the Fall of Shannara quartet, which will end the Shannara saga, picks up with the Druid stronghold of Paranor sent into limbo, and their leader, Drisker Arc, trapped alongside it. Dar Leath, once in charge of protecting Paranor, searches desperately for a way to free Drisker, seeking to locate his apprentice, Tarsha Kaynin—but Leath isn’t the only one searching for Tarsha, and the Skaar aren’t standing idly by while all this happens; Ajin d’Amphere, the Skaar commander, plots to set her opponents against each other, intending to take advantage of the resulting chaos to conquer the Four Lands for herself.


The Mermaid by Christina Henry (paperback, 325 pages, published by Berkley Books)
Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn't bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return. P. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he'd heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket. Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he's determined to hold on to his mermaid.


The Reign of the Departed: The High and Faraway, Book One by Greg Keyes (paperback, 360 pages, published by Night Shade Books)
The first book in the High and Faraway series tells the story of Errol Greyson, who wakes up after a suicide attempt trapped in a wooden body, while his flesh-and-blood one lies in a coma. His spirit has been captured by a woman named Aster Kostyena, who put it into the automaton in order to force Errol to travel to the Kingdoms, a place of magic and mystery, to retrieve a magical elixir that will cure her dying father. Errol’s no fan of this plan, but considering Aster can send his spirit into an eternal nothingness on a whim, he agrees. The pair travel to the Kingdoms, a land of strange beauty and dark terrors, encountering strange allies and dreadful enemies, as Errol begins to wonder if all of it is really happening, or if he’s just losing his grip on his sanity.


Witchmark (The Kingston Cycle #1) by C.L. Polk (paperback, 320 pages, published by Tor.com)
Polk’s debut is set in a universe resembling Edwardian England, except for the fact that in this reality, the elite families that sit atop government and the social order have magical powers as well as political ones. Miles Singer is from just such a family, but when he flees the lap of luxury to join the war effort, he grows disillusioned with the trappings of power, and takes the opportunity to fake his own death and assume a new identity. Posing as a doctor at a failing veterans’ hospital, he sees firsthand how war changes people, never for the good—soldiers are returning from the front plagued by terrible versions, and shortly thereafter, committing terrible acts of violence. When one of his patients is poisoned, Miles not only accidentally reveals his healing powers, he is thrust into a mystery that involves an aloof, beautiful man who is more than human—and who may hold the secret to stopping a brewing inter-dimensional war.


June 26th:

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman (hardcover, 336 pages, published by Greenwillow Books)
A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.


Red Waters Rising (The Devil's West #3) by Laura Anne Gilman (hardcover, 368 pages, published by Saga Press)
As Isobel and Gabriel travel to the southern edge of the Territory, they arrive in the free city of Red Stick. Tensions are running high as the homesteading population grows, crowding the native lands, and suspicions rise across the river from an American fort. But there is a sickness running through Red Stick and Isobel begins to find her authority challenged. She’ll be abandoned, betrayed, and forced to stand her ground as the Devil’s left hand in this thrilling conclusion to The Devil’s West Trilogy.


Summerland by Hannu Rajaniemi (hardcover, 480 pages, published by Tor Books)
In 1938, death is no longer feared but exploited. Since the discovery of the afterlife, the British Empire has extended its reach into Summerland, a metropolis for the recently deceased. Yet Britain isn't the only contender for power in this life and the next. The Soviets have spies in Summerland, and the technology to build their own god. When SIS agent Rachel White gets a lead on one of the Soviet moles, blowing the whistle puts her hard-earned career at risk. The spy has friends in high places, and she will have to go rogue to bring him in. But how do you catch a man who's already dead?


Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse (hardcover, 287 pages, published by Saga Press)
In an America devastated by rising sea levels, the Navajo Nation has been reborn as Dinétah—and with it have come the old gods and monsters of Native American legend. Maggie Hoskie is a monster-hunter, gifted with the power to fight and defeat these beasts. Hired by a small town to locate a missing girl, she teams up with a misfit medicine man named Kai Arviso, and the two dive into a mystery that takes them deeper into the dark side of Dinétah than they could have imagined—a world of tricksters, dark magic, and creatures more frightening than any story.


• • • •

- Historical Fiction -
June 5th:

Invitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne Celt (hardcover, 256 pages, published by Bloomsbury USA)
In the 1920s, Zoya Andropova, a young refugee from the Soviet Union, finds herself in the alien landscape of an elite all-girls New Jersey boarding school. Having lost her family, her home, and her sense of purpose, Zoya struggles to belong, a task made more difficult by the malice her peers heap on scholarship students and her new country’s paranoia about Russian spies. When she meets the visiting writer and fellow Russian émigré Leo Orlov—whose books Zoya has privately obsessed over for years—her luck seems to have taken a turn for the better. But she soon discovers that Leo is not the solution to her loneliness: he’s committed to his art and bound by the sinister orchestrations of his brilliant wife, Vera. Grappling with class distinctions, national allegiance, and ethical fidelity—not to mention the powerful magnetism of sex—Invitation to a Bonfire investigates how one’s identity is formed, irrevocably, through a series of momentary decisions, including how to survive, who to love, and whether to pay the complicated price of happiness.


June 12th:

Who Is Vera Kelly by Rosalie Knecht (paperback, 272 pages, published by Tin House Books)
New York City, 1962. Vera Kelly is struggling to make rent and blend into the underground gay scene in Greenwich Village. She's working night shifts at a radio station when her quick wits, sharp tongue, and technical skills get her noticed by a recruiter for the CIA. Next thing she knows she's in Argentina, tasked with wiretapping a congressman and infiltrating a group of student activists in Buenos Aires. As Vera becomes more and more enmeshed with the young radicals, the fragile local government begins to split at the seams. When a betrayal leaves her stranded in the wake of a coup, Vera learns war makes for strange and unexpected bedfellows, and she's forced to take extreme measures to save herself.


June 19th:

Boardwalk Summer by Meredith Jaeger (paperback, 384 pages, published by William Morrow Paperbacks)
Santa Cruz, Summer 1940: When auburn-haired Violet Harcourt is crowned Miss California on the boardwalk of her hometown, she knows she is one step closer to her cherished dream: a Hollywood screen test. But Violet’s victory comes with a price—discord in her seemingly perfect marriage—and she grapples with how much more she is willing to pay. Summer 2007: Single mother Marisol Cruz lives with her parents in the charming beach cottage that belonged to her grandfather, Ricardo, once a famed performer on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Drawn to the town’s local history and the quaint gazebo where her grandparents danced beneath the stars, Mari sells raffle tickets at the Beach Boardwalk Centennial Celebration, and meets Jason, a California transplant from Chicago. When Mari discovers the obituary of Violet Harcourt, a beauty queen who died too young, she and Jason are sent on a journey together that will uncover her grandfather’s lifelong secret—his connection to Violet—a story of tragedy and courage that will forever transform them.


The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara (hardcover, 336 pages, published by Sky Pony Press)
There’s no place for a girl in Mary’s world. Not in the home of her mum, desperately drunk and poor. Not in the household of her wealthy granny, where no girl can be named an heir. And certainly not in the arms of Nat, her childhood love who never knew her for who she was. As a sailor aboard a Caribbean merchant ship, Mary’s livelihood—and her safety—depends on her ability to disguise her gender. At least, that’s what she thinks is true. But then pirates attack the ship, and in the midst of the gang of cutthroats, Mary spots something she never could have imagined: a girl pirate. The sight of a girl standing unafraid upon the deck, gun and sword in hand, changes everything. In a split-second decision, Mary turns her gun on her own captain, earning herself the chance to join the account and become a pirate alongside Calico Jack and Anne Bonny. For the first time, Mary has a shot at freedom. But imagining living as her true self is easier, it seems, than actually doing it. And when Mary finds herself falling for the captain’s mistress, she risks everything—her childhood love, her place among the crew, and even her life.


June 26th:

Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg (hardcover, 352 pages, published by Oneworld Publications)
Recently jilted and increasingly unhinged, Dr. Voth throws himself into his work, obsessively researching the life of Jack Sheppard, a legendary eighteenth century thief. No one knows Jack’s true story—his confessions have never been found. That is, until Dr. Voth discovers a mysterious stack of papers titled Confessions of the Fox. Dated 1724, the manuscript tells the story of an orphan named P. Sold into servitude at twelve, P struggles for years with her desire to live as “Jack.” When P falls dizzyingly in love with Bess, a sex worker looking for freedom of her own, P begins to imagine a different life. Bess brings P into the London underworld where scamps and rogues clash with London’s newly established police force, queer subcultures thrive, and ominous threats of an oncoming plague abound. At last, P becomes Jack Sheppard, one of the most notorious—and most wanted—thieves in history. Back in the present, Dr. Voth works feverishly day and night to authenticate the manuscript. But he’s not the only one who wants Jack’s story—and some people will do whatever it takes to get it. As both Jack and Voth are drawn into corruption and conspiracy, it becomes clear that their fates are intertwined—and only a miracle will save them both.


The Trial and Execution of the Traitor George Washington by Charles Rosenberg (hardcover, 431 pages, published by Hanover Square Press)
British special agent Jeremiah Black, an officer of the King’s Guard, lands on a lonely beach in the wee hours of the morning in late November 1780. The revolution is in full swing but has become deadlocked. Black is here to change all that. His mission, aided by Loyalists, is to kidnap George Washington and spirit him back to London aboard the HMS Peregrine, a British sloop of war that is waiting closely offshore. Once he lands, though, the “aid by Loyalists” proves problematic because some would prefer just to kill the general outright. Black manages—just—to get Washington aboard the Peregrine, which sails away. Upon their arrival in London, Washington is imprisoned in the Tower to await trial on charges of high treason. England’s most famous barristers seek to represent him but he insists on using an American. He chooses Abraham Hobhouse, an American-born barrister with an English wife—a man who doesn’t really need the work and thinks the “career-building” case will be easily resolved through a settlement of the revolution and Washington’s release. But as greater political and military forces swirl around them and peace seems ever more distant, Hobhouse finds that he is the only thing keeping Washington from the hangman’s noose.


• • • •

- Literary Fiction -
June 5th:

Florida by Lauren Groff (hardcover, 275 pages, published by Riverhead Books)
The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida—its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind—becomes its gravitational center: an energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence. Groff transports the reader, then jolts us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family, and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, she pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury—the moments that make us alive.


Us Against You (Beartown #2) by Fredrik Backman (hardcover, 448 pages, published by Atria Books)
After everything that the citizens of Beartown have gone through, they are struck yet another blow when they hear that their beloved local hockey team will soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the obvious satisfaction that all the former Beartown players, who now play for a rival team in Hed, take in that fact. Amidst the mounting tension between the two rivals, a surprising newcomer is handpicked to be Beartown’s new hockey coach. Soon a new team starts to take shape around Amat, the fastest player you’ll ever see; Benji, the intense lone wolf; and Vidar, a born-to-be-bad troublemaker. But bringing this team together proves to be a challenge as old bonds are broken, new ones are formed, and the enmity with Hed grows more and more acute. As the big match approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt grows deeper. By the time the last game is finally played, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and the people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after all they’ve been through, the game they love can ever return to something simple and innocent.


June 7th:

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (paperback, 432 pages, published by Little, Brown Book Group)
In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico's funeral, he finds his partner is infected, and that he might even have the virus himself. The only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister. Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago epidemic, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways the AIDS crisis affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. Yale and Fiona's stories unfold in incredibly moving and sometimes surprising ways, as both struggle to find goodness in the face of disaster.


June 12th:

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (hardcover, 385 pages, published by SJP for Hogarth)
A Place for Us unfolds the lives of an Indian-American Muslim family, gathered together in their Californian hometown to celebrate the eldest daughter, Hadia's, wedding - a match of love rather than tradition. It is here, on this momentous day, that Amar, the youngest of the siblings, reunites with his family for the first time in three years. Rafiq and Layla must now contend with the choices and betrayals that lead to their son's estrangement - the reckoning of parents who strove to pass on their cultures and traditions to their children; and of children who in turn struggle to balance authenticity in themselves with loyalty to the home they came from.


June 26th:

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin (hardcover, 400 pages, published by Ballantine Books)
Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was. Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school. Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenaged girl, happy and thriving. Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame. At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.


• • • •

- Young Adult -
June 5th:

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl (hardcover, 327 pages, published by Delacorte Press)
Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her six best friends were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim—their creative genius and Beatrice's boyfriend—changed everything. One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft—the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world—hoping she'll get to the bottom of the dark questions gnawing at her about Jim’s death. But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and unfathomable silence, Beatrice senses she’s never going to know what really happened. Then a mysterious man knocks on the door. Blithely, he announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions. Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers... and at life. And so begins the Neverworld Wake.


Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist #2) by Renee Ahdieh (hardcover, 408 pages, published by G.P. Putnam's Sons)
When we last left Mariko, she had joined the ranks of the Black Clan in disguise as a peasant boy, and fallen head over heels for their leader, Ōkami . But when her betrothed, prince Raiden, captured Ōkami, Mariko has no choice but to abandon the Clan and return to Heian Castle and her waiting groom. But she has no intention of sitting passively as others set the course of her life. Mariko is determined to rescue the boy she loves and reveal the dark secrets of the royal court. If she’s discovered, it could mean the end of everything she holds dear. She holds the fates of the empire, Ōkami, and herself in her hands, and it’ll take all the willpower she has to persevere.


June 12th:

A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir (hardcover, 464 pages, published by Razorbill)
The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister's life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance. Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she'd have to fight. And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias's devotion--even at the cost of his humanity.


June 26th:

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton (hardcover, 464 pages, published by HarperTeen)
You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!) Or does she? Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.


The Emerald Sea (The Glittering Court #3) by Richelle Mead (hardcover, 479 pages, published by Razorbill)
Meet Tamsin, the Glittering Court's hard-angled emerald. Her outsized aspirations make her a fierce competitor, rising to the top of the ranks. But when the ship she boards for the New World is tragically lost at sea, she is quite literally thrown off-course.


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