Sponsored by Tor Books.
Katherine Addison, author of The Goblin Emperor, returns with a fantasy novel of alternate 1880s London. Angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings in a well-regulated truce. A fantastic utopia, except for a few things: Angels can Fall, and that Fall is like a nuclear bomb in both the physical and metaphysical worlds. And human beings remain human, with all their kindness and greed and passions and murderous intent. Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of this London too. But this London has an Angel. The Angel of the Crows.
Happy Tuesday, shipmates! There are some exciting books on the horizon, so full speed ahead. It’s Alex, and I’ve got a few items of book news for you as well. Also, happy (belated) Solstice, whichever side of it you might be celebrating!
If you need a smile, I offer: Trailer for the Quarantine Cat Film Festival
Oh and hey! We’re running a reader survey. You could even win an ereader from it.
The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected on Water by Zen Cho – You had me at “A bandit walks into a coffeehouse, and it all goes downhill from there.” A wuxia fantasy with found family in which a young votary joins a group of thieves to protect a sacred object, and it just goes out of control from there.
A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians by H.G. Parry – In this fantastical version of the Age of Englightenment, Robespierre is a necromancer calling for revolution in France and weather mage Toussaint L’Ouverture leads the enslaved people of Haiti in their bid for freedom. And in England, Prime Minister William Pitt must consider the matters of abolition and the legalization of magic for commoners. But the upheaval of the world isn’t just normal human conflict–there’s a darker force behind it, and it will take the combined wits and powers of all revolutionaries and abolitionists to win that battle.
Mexican Gothic By Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Noemí, a glamorous debutante with a spine of steel and an unbreakable will, heads to a house in the Mexican countryside after she gets a frantic letter from her cousin, who has just married a mysterious Englishman. Things are perhaps worse than her cousin intimated: the Englishman is menacing, his father seems weirdly obsessed with Noemí, and the house itself has a dark personality and a supernatural presence that invades Noemí’s dreams. The house and the family hold dark and violent secrets that Noemí will unearth if she digs enough–and she’s never been one to give up.
Shadow Fall: An Alphabet Squadron Novel by Alexander Freed – After the New Republic’s victory, Alphabet Squadron is still busy hunting the elusive Shadow Wing. But while the heroes of Alphabet Squadron prepare a risky trap to catch their quarry, they’re unaware of the evolution of the Shadow Wing that makes it ever more dangerous. The last of the Imperial Aces has taken control of Shadow Wing and is determined to give these lost soldiers–and himself–meaning and purpose. The only thing that stands in his way is Alphabet Squadron–and his traitorous former mentee.
Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena – Gul has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, something that has forced her to remain on the run for years, because in Ambar girls with that birthmark always, always disappear. She’s rescued from the clutches of soldiers who have already murdered her parents by the Sisters of the Golden Lotus, who promise to teach her the warrior magic she’ll need to have her revenge. Then she meets Cavas, a poor boy ready to sign his life over to the Ambar army to save his terminally ill father, at the capital’s bazaar. Sparks fly, and Cavas finds himself drawn into Gul’s revenge.
Instances of Head Switching by Teresa Milbrodt – A collection of short stories that interweave the utterly fantastical (sphinxes as pets? head switching?) with real world questions of disability and economic insecurity.
News and Views
The Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist is out.
You can catch up with the online, inaugural Juneteenth Book Fest (launched by L.L. McKinney and Saraciea Fennell) on YouTube.
Goodbye to Ian Holm, who has been in a lot of great genre movies.
Today I learned there’s a really cool map site that’ll let you see what ancient organisms used to live in your neighborhood.
On Book Riot
See you, space pirates. You can find all of the books recommended in this newsletter on a handy Goodreads shelf. If you’d like to know more about my secret plans to dominate the seas and skies, you can catch me over at my personal site.