James Nicoll Reviews

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Books Received, August 1 — August 7

8 Aug, 2020


The Sensation The Salvation Series Book II

Last time she investigated the saints of the Solme Complex. This time it’s the sinners of the Sensation… Presenting the second Salvi Brentt novel from award-winning author, Amanda Bridgeman. 

** A series of brutal murders has the homicide division of San Francisco’s Hub 9 working overtime. But as the bodies mount, they begin to question whether the attacks are random or somehow connected. 

When one of their own falls victim, Detective Salvi Brentt and the Hub 9 homicide team join forces with the narcotics and cyber divisions to track down those responsible. They soon discover a volatile new drug-tech experience, involving black market neural implants, has hit the streets, causing the epidemic of violence and missing persons. 

With the clock ticking and the bodies piling up, Salvi must go deep undercover in the seedy Sensation club scene to found out who is behind it. But in the secretive playgrounds of the rich and powerful, some will stop at nothing to protect their empire… 

Amberlough Dossier Amberlough Armistice Amnesty

By turns ravishing and riveting, Lara Elena Donnelly’s trilogy The Amberlough Dossier contains three glam vintage spy thrillers set in a tumultuous, Art Deco-inspired secondary fantasy world, where sex, spies, and scandals define the geopolitical fate of nations.This discounted ebundle includes: Amberlough, Armistice, and Amnesty.“Exploring the roots of hatred, nationalism, and fascism, while at the same time celebrating the diversity, love, romance, fashion, and joy the world is capable of producing.” — BookriotAmberlough: In Lara Elena Donnelly’s glam spy thriller debut, a Nebula finalist for Best Novel, a double-agent sacrifices all his ideals in order to save his smuggler lover before a government coup takes over their decadent city. Armistice: In a tropical country where shadowy political affairs lurk behind the scenes of its glamorous film industry, three people maneuver inside a high stakes game of statecraft and espionage. Each one harbors dangerous knowledge that can upturn a nation. Everything is barreling towards an international revolt…and only the wiliest ones will be prepared for what comes next.Amnesty: In Amberlough City, out of the ashes of revolution, a traitor returns, a political campaign comes to a roaring head, and the people demand justice for crimes past. As a nation struggles to rebuild, who can escape retribution?

A Conjuring of Assassins

A Conjuring of Assassins is Cate Glass’s second adventure with the Chimera team, a ragtag crew who use their forbidden magic for the good of the kingdom. Romy and her three partners in crime — a sword master, a silversmith, and her thieving brother — have embraced their roles as the Shadow Lord’s agents, using their forbidden magic to accomplish tasks his other spies cannot. Now, the Shadow Lord needs them to infiltrate the home of the Mercediaran Ambassador and prevent him from obtaining information that would lead to all-out war with Cantagna’s most dangerous enemy. To succeed, they will have to resurrect long-buried secrets, partner with old enemies, and once again rely on the very magics that could get them sentenced to death.

Remote Control

An alien artifact turns a young girl into Death’s adopted daughter in Remote Control , a thrilling sci-fi tale of community and female empowerment from Nebula and Hugo Award-winner Nnedi Okorafor

She’s the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death. Beware of her. Mind her. Death guards her like one of its own.”

The day Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From hereon in she would be known as Sankofa­­ — a name that meant nothing to anyone but her, the only tie to her family and her past. 

Her touch is death, and with a glance a town can fall. And she walks — alone, except for her fox companion — searching for the object that came from the sky and gave itself to her when the meteors fell and when she was yet unchanged; searching for answers. 

But is there a greater purpose for Sankofa, now that Death is her constant companion? 


Kamigakari: God Hunters is an action-packed Japanese RPG about everyday people imbued with shards of godhood. As dark gods encroach on our world, these innocents must become God Hunters and protect the thinning borders of the supernatural world! Will you become a magician and discover the Transcendent Promise? Will you defend your hometown with a heart full of burning justice and a jump-kick that pierces the heavens? Will you travel the world as a passing Godslayer, helping those you meet along the way? Or will your very soul burn away in the pursuit of power, transforming you into a new dark god? This world cries out for heroes! What kind will you be?

Fight Epic Supernatural Battles!

The enigmatic Mononoke and malevolent Aramitama await your challenge! Unravel their machinations in the real world, then enter the Spirit World for the final showdown!

Godly Power Deserves Godly Weapons!

With the Arms System, you can upgrade and customize your weapons endlessly! Turn that prop katana into a blade that rivals Masamune! Kit out your cell phone to cast earth-shattering spells! Or blast your enemies to bits with good old-fashioned firepower!

Control Your Roll!

Use the Dice Control System to save yourself from bad rolls, but use it sparingly! Do you want to be sure you’ll spot the critical clue in an investigation? Or do you want to finish off the final enemy with your ultimate attack?

Locus August 2020

The Magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Field 

Come Tomorrow And Other Tales of Bangalore Terror

Ghost stories within ghost stories, shadows from the past and strange intimations from the cosmos converge with the shifting realities of the city of Bangalore in this collection of lyrical, haunting short stories. There are shades of Lovecraft, Ligotti and Aickman, but most of all these stories seek to capture something of the layered, uncanny nature of the city they are set in. Let Jayaprakash Satyamurthy be your guide on a tour of the bean town that might change you forever.

Dead Lies Dreaming A Novel of the Laundry Files

In a world where magic has gone mainstream, a policewoman and a group of petty criminals are pulled into a heist to find a forbidden book of spells that should never be opened.A new adventure begins in the world of the Laundry Files.Dead Lies Dreaming presents a nightmarish vision of a Britain sliding unknowingly towards occult cataclysm …

Old Man in a Spacesuit

From Mjke Wood, award-winning author of the Sphere of Influence series, a light-hearted, near-future, sci-fi novel.
Harry Burton – HB to his friends. Ex-author: old, knackered, and psychologically fragile. As a candidate for First Man on Mars, HB isn’t just the wrong stuff; he’s the wrong stuff that got lost in the post.
But they’ve sent for him anyway. And for others, too. Others that are almost as unqualified and unwilling as HB himself. And while HB would rather sit in a coffee shop and pretend to write…
He’s curious.

Water Must Fall

A gripping saga of human struggle, political intrigue, corporate fraud and murder in a near future where water is worth killing for. As the planet continues to thirst and slowly perish, will water ever fall? The year is 2048. Climate change has brought catastrophe and water has become the most precious commodity on Earth. Water companies play god and determine the fate of millions. In Africa, Graham Mason struggles to come to terms with the changing world and save his marriage to Lizette, who is torn between loyalty to their relationship and to her people. In Northern California, Arthur Green battles to find ways of saving water and root out corruption, even when his family are threatened by those he seeks to expose. Determined to uncover the truth on two continents, Graham, Liz, and Art are caught up in a new uprising, a desperate attempt to challenge those set on appropriating the world’s remaining water for their own gain. In the FreeFlow Corporation they face a common enemy, but do they have any hope of prevailing against a power that is so ruthless and so entrenched? As the planet continues to thirst and slowly perish, will water ever fall?