Oct 052018
 

Cover of The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson.Publishers Weekly: The challenging second installment of this sweeping fantasy trilogy picks up where 2016’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant left off. Baru, intent on bringing down the Empire of Masks from within, has finally ascended to her new role as one of the Empire’s secretive, all-powerful cryptarchs, but only by betraying those who believed in her.

To cement her position and eliminate visible weaknesses, she even has her lover executed for treason, a heinous act that affects her more than she can afford to reveal. Now swept up in the affairs of state, dealing with conspiracies, enemies, and potential war at every turn, Baru risks losing her soul in the pursuit of her goal: freeing her island home from the Empire’s grip. Dickinson packs a lot into this dense, multilayered, complicated epic, letting the story unfold through multiple perspectives, flashbacks, tense shifts, and other narrative devices.

As Baru juggles increasing amounts of trauma with an unrelenting focus on the endgame, she continually proves herself as a fascinating, morally grey protagonist in a complex world where conflicts take place on the high seas, in the ballroom, and in the marketplace. It all builds to a powerful cliff-hanger, with hints of much more to come.

Oct 022018
 

Cover of Exit Strategy by Martha Wells.Martha Wells’s Hugo, Nebula, Alex, and Locus Award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling series, The Murderbot Diaries, comes to a thrilling conclusion in Exit Strategy.

Murderbot wasn’t programmed to care. So, its decision to help the only human who ever showed it respect must be a system glitch, right?

Having traveled the width of the galaxy to unearth details of its own murderous transgressions, as well as those of the GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot is heading home to help Dr. Mensah—its former owner (protector? friend?)—submit evidence that could prevent GrayCris from destroying more colonists in its never-ending quest for profit.

But who’s going to believe a SecUnit gone rogue?

And what will become of it when it’s caught?

Oct 012018
 

Cover of Exit Strategy by Martha Wells.Library Journal: Having gathered a lot of pertinent information to take down GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot returns to its place of origin to help Dr. Mensah, who started this quest. However, with a special security team on its tail, Murderbot soon discovers that GrayCris is well on its way to covering its tracks.

Mensah has been accused of corporate espionage and is being held at another station. Realizing Mensah’s situation is a result of its own actions, Murderbot must help its former owner/friend escape, along with the rest of the Preservation team, even if it means this SecUnit will finally get caught. Coming full circle from the beginning of its journey to awareness, Murderbot once again works to save the fragile humans and discovers that trying to avoid humanity is one sure way to get caught in the midst of it.

VERDICT: The last of Hugo Award winner Wells’s “Murderbot Diaries” (after Rogue Protocol) brings the concept of an AI’s dealing with humanity—for better and worse—to a sarcastic, sharp, thrilling conclusion.

Sep 302018
 

Italian rights to NYT bestselling author Skye Warren’s The Endgame series, to Triskell Edizioni, in a three-book deal, at auction, by Stefania Fietta at Donzelli Fietta on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier.

French renewal rights to NYT bestselling author Jim Butcher’s CURSOR’S FURY, the 3rd book in the Codex Alera series, to Bragelonne, by Robin Batet at the Anna Jarota Agency in association with Jennifer Jackson.

French renewal rights to NYT bestselling author Jim Butcher’s CAPTAIN’S FURY, the 4th book in the Codex Alera series, to Bragelonne, by Robin Batet at the Anna Jarota Agency in association with Jennifer Jackson.

German renewal rights to NYT bestselling author Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series, FURIES OF CALDERON, ACADEM’S FURY, CURSOR’S FURY, CAPTAIN’S FURY, PRINCEPS’ FURY, and FIRST LORD’S FURY, to Blanvalet, by Nina Sievers at the Thomas Schlueck Agency in association with Jennifer Jackson.

French rights to Nnedi Okorafor’s BINTI NOVELLA TRILOGY, to ActuSF, in a three-book deal, by Robin Batet at Anna Jarota Agency, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Donald Maass.

Korean rights to World Fantasy, Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor’s BINTI, to Alma, by Jackie Yang at the Eric Yang Agency on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Donald Maass.

German rights to NYT bestselling author Annika Martin’s THE BILLIONAIRE’S WAKE-UP-CALL GIRL, to Lyx, by Sarah Knofius at Thomas Schlueck Agency on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier.

German rights to Martha Wells’  Hugo and Nebula Award-winning The Murderbot Diaries series (ALL SYSTEMS RED, ARTIFICIAL CONDITION, ROGUE PROTOCOL, and EXIT STRATEGY), to Heyne, at auction, by Sarah Knofius at the Thomas Schlueck Agency in association with Jennifer Jackson and Michael Curry.

 

Sep 252018
 

The Agony House by Cherie Priest.Denise Farber has just moved back to New Orleans with her mom and step-dad. They left years ago after Hurricane Katrina and are back now, wagering the last of their family’s money on fixing up an old, run-down house and converting it to a bed and breakfast.

When the unexplained noises start, that seems a little weird. Same too for the fact that nothing seems to work around the house…even when it should. But when floors start collapsing suddenly and deadly objects fall everywhere–and voices start speaking to Denise–she knows that something more sinister lies hidden.

Could the answers lie in an old comic book that Denise finds in the abandoned attic…the lost last work of a famous artist who apparently lived here? Denise isn’t going anywhere, so she must unravel the mystery, on the pages and off them, if she and her family are to survive…

Sep 212018
 

Author photo of Jay Lake.On behalf of the estate of Hugo- Nebula- and World Fantasy Award nominee Jay Lake, and available for the first time also in a digital edition, World English rights to TRIAL OF FLOWERS and MADNESS OF FLOWERS, the City Imperishable novels, to Marcus Gipps at Orion/Gollancz by Jennifer Jackson.

Sep 182018
 

Cover of The Amish Christmas Cowboy by Jo Ann Brown.A cowboy for Christmas…

or another year in the Amish Spinster Club?

Nanny Sarah Kuhns has her hands full with kinder, her overbearing brothers and her big dreams. And it only gets worse when she takes on the care of an injured cowboy. For Amish traveling horseman Toby Christner, tight-knit Harmony Creek represents everything he’s run from. Until he heals, he can’t leave…but will falling for Sarah make him want to stay?

Sep 132018
 

Cover of Dragon Pear by Yoon Ha Lee. Kirkus: This latest in the Rick Riordan Presents imprint launches Korean mythological creatures into outer space.

Thirteen-year-old Min cannot believe her older brother, Jun, has deserted his Space Force post, as he’s been accused of doing. Naturally, Min runs away from home to clear her brother’s name. It’s a Rick Riordan trademark to thrust mythological figures into new settings. Fans will breathlessly watch while fox-spirit Min charms her way onto a hijacked starship, ending up on her brother’s military star cruiser on the way to the lawless Ghost Sector.

Lee has created an adrenaline-filled space opera with mythological creatures living alongside humans. Min and her family are gumiho, or shape-shifting foxes, but they present as human to hide their magical natures. She takes on the identity of Jang, a male cadet killed in battle, and enlists the aid of two other supernatural Space Force cadets: Haneul, a female dragon, and Sujin, a nonbinary goblin. Min is first and foremost a teenager on a mission and a magical being second. The ambivalence of her identity (fox or human, male or female, hero or traitor,) echoes ethical questions that many kid readers face. It is refreshing to see both Korean elements and a nonbinary character seamlessly integrated into the storyline. Narrator Min explains Korean mythology smoothly as the action progresses for readers with no previous knowledge.

A high-octane, science-fiction thriller painted with a Korean brush and a brilliant example of how different cultures can have unique but accessible cosmology and universal appeal.

Sep 072018
 

The Agony House by Cherie Priest.Booklist: Following up on their successful collaboration in I AM PRINCESS X (2016), Priest and O’Connor neatly weave together the history of comic books and contemporary concerns about gentrification in this eerie ghost story set in a ramshackle house that’s as much a character as the people living in it.

Denise, her mom, and stepdad have just moved into an nearly destroyed, once-beautiful house in New Orleans, and almost right away, Denise starts noticing odd things. First, they’re harmless, if creepy, but later, unexplained, dangerous accidents happen as they renovate the house. But the comic book manuscript Denise finds carefully hidden in the attic (pages of which appear throughout the novel) is the key to source of the poltergeists. Meanwhile, Denise’s neighbors are uneasy about outsiders capitalizing on cheap property in New Orleans, and Priest does a great job of skillfully including the important conversations Denise and her family have with their new community.

At its heart, though, this is a ghost story, and Priest excels at building palpable atmosphere: Denise’s parents’ anxiety about their shoestring budget, the sweltering New Orleans summer heat, the disrepair of the house (“soggy plaster fell from the studs like wet cake”), and the increasingly terrifying haunting. Dynamic characters and a surprising mystery round out this sharp, satisfying, and engrossingly spooky story.