Waiting on Wednesday: Of Noble Family

Of Noble Family(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“Jane and Vincent have finally gotten some much-needed rest after their adventures in Italy when Vincent receives word that his estranged father has passed away on one of his properties in the West Indies. His brother, who manages the estate, is overwhelmed, and no one else in his family can go. Grudgingly, out of filial duty the couple decide to go.

The sea voyage is long and Jane spends enough time unable to perform glamour that towards the end of the trip she discovers that she is with child. They are overjoyed, but when they finally arrive at the estate to complete what they expect to be routine legal tasks, they realize that nearly everything they came expecting to find had been a lie. Also, the entire estate is in disarray, with horrifying conditions and tensions with the local slave population so high that they are close to revolt.

Jane and Vincent’s sense of peril is screaming out for them to flee, but Vincent cannot stand to leave an estate connected with his family in such a condition. They have survived many grand and terrifying adventures in their time, but this one will test their skills and wits more than any they have ever encountered before, this time with a new life hanging in the balance. Mary Robinette Kowal’s Of Noble Family is the final book of the acclaimed Glamourist Histories.”

Review: Armageddon Rules by J. C. Nelson

Armageddon RulesThis book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“Marissa is due for a little happily ever after. After all, she did kill the evil Fairy Godmother, end a war, and snag a sweet promotion within the Fairy Godfather’s magical-problem-solving Agency. But between maintaining a relationship with someone whose amorous advances can cause third-degree burns, dealing with a killer-poodle infestation, and helping her best friend, Princess Ari, learn to wield spells more powerful than curing a hangover, she’s not getting as much peace and quiet as she hoped.

When an enemy from her past appears to exact a terrible revenge, Marissa’s life goes from hectic to hell on earth. With Grimm inexplicably gone and Ari trapped by a sleeping spell, Marissa decides to fight fire with hellfire—and accidentally begins a countdown to the apocalypse.

With the end of days extremely nigh, Marissa will have to master royal politics, demonic law, and biblical plagues in a hurry—because even the end of the world can’t keep the Agency from opening for business…”

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Friday Fun: Stuff from Facebook

If you’re not following my Facebook page, you should go and do so. Fun links and stories abound! Sometimes they even a-leap and a-cavort. So here’s a roundup of what I’ve found this week:

 

Emergence by John Birmingham

EmergenceThis book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“Dave Hooper has a hangover from hell, a horrible ex-wife, and the fangs of the IRS deep in his side. The last thing he needs is an explosion at work. A real explosion. On his off-shore oil rig.

But this is no accident, and despite the news reports, Dave knows that terrorists aren’t to blame. He knows because he killed one of the things responsible.

When he wakes up in a hospital bed guarded by Navy SEALs, he realizes this is more than just a bad acid trip. Yeah, Dave’s had a few. This trip is way weirder.

Killing a seven-foot-tall, tattooed demon has transformed the overweight, balding safety manager into something else entirely. A foul-mouthed, beer-loving monster slayer, and humanity’s least worthy Champion.”

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Shattered Court

The Shattered Court(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“The royal witches of Anglion have bowed to tradition for centuries. If a woman of royal blood manifests powers, she is immediately bound by rites of marriage. She will serve her lord by practicing the tamer magics of the earth—ensuring good harvests and predicting the weather. Any magic more dangerous is forbidden.

Lady Sophia Kendall, thirty-second in line to the throne, is only days away from finding out if she will be blessed—or perhaps cursed—with magic. When a vicious attack by Anglion’s ancient enemies leaves the kingdom in chaos, Sophia is forced to flee the court. Her protector by happenstance is Lieutenant Cameron Mackenzie, a member of the royal guard, raised all his life to be fiercely loyal to the Crown.

Then Sophia’s powers manifest stronger than she ever imagined they would, and Cameron and she are inextricably linked in the process. As a witch unbound by marriage rites, Sophia is not only a threat to the established order of her country, but is also a weapon for those who seek to destroy it. Faced with old secrets and new truths, she must decide if she will fight for her country or succumb to the delicious temptation of power…”

Monday Musings: On the Hugos

If you pay any attention to bookish news, you’ve probably seen the kerfluffle over the recent Hugo finalist list.  If you haven’t seen anything, a quick rundown: there is a group out there, apparently started by author Larry Correia, who calls themselves the Sad Puppies.  They took umbrage at last year’s Hugo winners, saying that they believed the winners were chosen based on criteria other than literary merit.  Specifically, they derided people called “Social Justice Warriors” (or SJW) and said they skewed the voting to lean heavily towards authors who are non-white or non-traditionally gendered and so on.  In retaliation, they decided to take advantage of the Hugo voting rules to skew this year’s ballot towards their own picks.  One of the most heavily represented authors this year, therefore, is John C. Wright, a man who thinks gay people should be exterminated.  The contention of the SPs is that Wright would never have gotten on the ballot because of his personal views.

They’re probably right.  Recent years have seen a tremendous backlash against authors/actors/public figures who openly espouse those kind of views.  For example, Theodore Beale (aka Vox Dei) was booted out as president of the SFWA for similar issues.  I’m not sure how I feel about excluding author’s works based on their personal views, but that’s a topic for a different post.

I fully admit that when I saw the finalist list over the weekend, before any of the internet rage started, my first thought was “Oh boy, this is going to get ugly, because I bet I know what happened.”  After having some time to sit on it, read a few articles by others, and really ponder things, here are my thoughts:

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Waiting on Wednesday: Window Wall

Window Wall(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“For nearly two years, Cade has been rejecting his Fae gift, his prescient Elsewhens–simply refusing to see or experience them. But the strain is driving a wedge between him and his theater troupe, Touchstone, and making him erratic on stage and off. It takes his best friend Mieka to bully Cade into accepting the visions again. But when Cade finally looks into the possible futures, he sees a royal castle blowing up, though his vision does not tell him who is responsible. But he knows that if it is in his visions, he can take action to stop it from happening. And when he finally discovers the truth, he takes the knowledge to the only man in the Kingdom who would believe him: his deadly enemy the Archduke.”

Waiting on Wednesday: Vengeance of the Demon

Vengeance of the Demon(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“Demon summoner Kara Gillian is on the wrong side of the law, and there’s evidence to prove it. Too bad the courts don’t accept ‘fighting demonic forces’ as justification for murder and mayhem.

Yet Kara has problems that go way beyond her legal woes. When the enemy demonic lords spur their human accomplices into high gear, master summoner Katashi aggressively pursues their goal to establish a permanent gate between Earth and the demon realm. To hell with the consequences for humanity.

The line between ally and enemy blurs as Kara gathers the remnants of her posse to prevent a devastating demonic incursion, but a shattered trust may cost them the war and put Kara behind bars. With treachery rife, and her loved ones in danger, Kara must call upon the essence of who she truly is in order to rally back from a crushing loss.

And if she can’t, the world is going straight to hell.”

Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

SeekerThis book was provided by the publisher as an e-ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

(Description nicked from Goodreads.)

“Quin Kincaid has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker’.

Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her new-found knowledge and training to become an assassin. Quin’s new role will take her around the globe, from a remote estate in Scotland to a bustling, futuristic Hong Kong where the past she thought she had escaped will finally catch up with her.”

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Skull Throne

The Skull Throne(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“The Skull Throne of Krasia stands empty.

Built from the skulls of fallen generals and demon princes, it is a seat of honor and ancient, powerful magic, keeping the demon corelings at bay. From atop the throne, Ahmann Jardir was meant to conquer the known world, forging its isolated peoples into a unified army to rise up and end the demon war once and for all.

But Arlen Bales, the Warded Man, stood against this course, challenging Jardir to a duel he could not in honor refuse. Rather than risk defeat, Arlen cast them both from a precipice, leaving the world without a savior, and opening a struggle for succession that threatens to tear the Free Cities of Thesa apart.

In the south, Inevera, Jardir’s first wife, must find a way to keep their sons from killing one another and plunging their people into civil war as they strive for glory enough to make a claim on the throne.

In the north, Leesha Paper and Rojer Inn struggle to forge an alliance between the duchies of Angiers and Miln against the Krasians before it is too late.

Caught in the crossfire is the duchy of Lakton—rich and unprotected, ripe for conquest.

All the while, the corelings have been growing stronger, and without Arlen and Jardir there may be none strong enough to stop them. Only Renna Bales may know more about the fate of the missing men, but she, too, has disappeared. . .”