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Books Received, March 2 — March 8

9 Mar, 2024


The Friend Zone Experiment

The Friend Zone Experiment by Zen Cho (August 2024)

From the renowned, award-winning author Zen Cho comes a delightfully funny romance about family, class, and love in modern London. 

From the outside, Renee Goh’s life looks perfect. She’s thirty and beautiful, runs a glamorous — and profitable — women’s clothing company in London, and is dating a hot Taiwanese pop star. But Renee is lonely. Estranged from her family in Singapore, she practically lives at the office, and now she’s just been dumped by her supposed boyfriend. Who she never saw anyway, so why is she ruining her Instagram-ready makeup by crying?

Before she can curl up on the couch with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, Renee’s father calls. He’s retiring, and, thanks to the screw-ups of her wastrel brothers, he is considering her as the next CEO of the family business: Chahaya Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Southeast Asia. That stamp of her father’s approval would mean everything to Renee, but can she cooperate with the brothers who drove her out of Singapore? But fate isn’t done with her. That same night, Renee bumps into her first love, Yap Ket Siong, who broke her heart during university. They spend a wonderful night together, but Ket Siong is pursuing a dangerous vengeance for his family. In the light of day is there any hope for the two of them? 

Devils Kill Devils

Devils Kill Devils by Johnny Compton (September 2024)

Devils Kill Devils is perfect for fans of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Certain Dark Things and Southern gothic horror. Johnny Compton brings his trademark terror and dread that readers fell in love with in The Spite House to a new roster of monsters — angels, devils, vampires — and a heart-pounding race to save the world. 

When all hell breaks loose, you need a devil on your sideSarita has been watched over by a guardian angel her entire life. She calls him Angelo, and keeps him a secret. But secrets can’t stay buried forever…When Angelo murders someone she loves, Sarita begins to see what’s really been lurking in the shadows surrounding her. And she will have to embrace the evil within if she hopes to make it out alive. 

The Jaguar Mask

The Jaguar Mask by Michael J. DeLuca (August 2024)

Felipe K’icab doesn’t know who he is. He only knows he was born different than his human family, and he can’t relax unless he’s blasting reggaeton in his cab weaving through the streets of Guatemala City. The jaguar mask and his other human faces keep him safe – until El Bufo, a corrupt ex-cop, commandeers his cab and drags Felipe into a murder conspiracy investigation, trying to expose the foreign-backed regime’s ecocidal and genocidal past.

Cristina Ramos knows who her mother’s killers are. After witnessing the murder in a vision, she struggles to keep her grieving family from falling apart. When El Bufo’s relentless vendetta throws Felipe into her life amid increasing civil unrest, Felipe and Cristina must overcome generations of institutionalized silence, uncover the secrets of their powers, and forge a path to justice, or else be swept away by another wave of violence. 

A Mask of Flies

A Mask of Flies by Matthew Lyons (August 2024)

A Mask of Flies by Matthew Lyons is a pulse-pounding crime horror epic about a criminal on the run, the deadly family secrets she unearths along the way, and the sinister monster from her past which has gotten a taste for her blood — and won’t sleep until she’s dead. 

In the grisly aftermath of a botched bank heist, career criminal Anne Heller has no choice but to return to her family’s cabin – a secluded shack in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, and the site of her mother’s untimely death. Along for the ride are Jessup, Anne’s badly wounded partner, and Dutch, the police officer she’s taken hostage. As they wait for help, Anne discovers strange relics from her mother’s past and begins to unfold the mystery of her childhood at the cabin. 

Then Jessup goes missing, only to turn up dead. Anne and Dutch bury her friend, but that night, he comes back and knocks at the cabin door. 

Not a dream, not a hallucination, but not exactly Jessup, either. Something else. Something wearing her friend’s face. Something hungry…

The Princess of Thornwood Drive

The Princess of Thornwood Drive by Khalia Moreau (November 2024)

Two sisters are trapped on opposite sides of reality in this entrancing and deeply moving debut novel that weaves together a contemporary narrative with a parallel fantasy world. 

One year ago, a tragic car accident killed 22-year-old Laine’s parents and left her 18-year-old sister, Alyssa, paralyzed and nonverbal. Now — instead of studying animal nutrition or competing as one of the few equestrians of color — Laine is struggling with predatory banks, unscrupulous health care organizations, and rude customers at the coffee shop where she works. That’s why when Lake Forest Adult Day Center offers to take care of Alyssa, free of charge, Laine is relieved. 

Alyssa isn’t relieved, though. After all, in her mind, there was never a car accident. Instead, she and her parents — the king and queen of Mirendal — were attacked one year ago in the forest, her parents kidnapped while she was cursed, and now must spend her days in Lake Forest’s Home for Changels — a temple caring for mortals such as herself. Perhaps there, she could meet other changels who show her how to embrace her new life. 

However, there is a dark prince at Lake Forest, one who has taken a peculiar interest in not only Alyssa but her sister as well. And while Laine struggles to make ends meet on an everyday basis, Alyssa finds herself leading a battle that threatens to destroy not only her and her sister but their entire kingdom.

TREY Solo Roleplaying

TREY Solo Roleplaying by Mattias Peterberg & Clarence Redd (March 2024)

TREY is a storytelling game that offers limitless adventures with no preparation. You can play solo or with a group. It’s easy to use with any setting, including fantasy, sci-fi and mysteries. 

All you need is three dice and an imagination.

TREY is an easy-to-learn roleplaying game for one or more players. With the rules and random tables in this book, you create stories while you play.

TREY can be used alongside your favourite RPG rules or used as a standalone game. 

A Farewell to Arfs

A Farewell to Arfs by Spencer Quinn (August 2024)

Spencer Quinn’s A Farewell to Arfs is a return to the adventurous New York Times and USA Today bestselling series that Stephen King calls without a doubt the most original mystery series currently available. 

Chet the dog, the most lovable narrator in all of crime fiction” (Boston Globe) and his human partner PI Bernie Little are back again, and this time they’re entangled in a web of crime unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. 

Their next door neighbor, Mr. Parsons, thought he was doing the right thing by loaning his ne’er do well son, Billy, some money to help get himself settled. But days later, Mr. Parsons has discovered that his entire life savings is gone. Valley PD is certain this is an impersonation scam, but Bernie isn’t so sure. 

With Mrs. Parsons in the hospital and Billy nowhere to be found, it’s up to Chet and Bernie to track Billy down and get to the bottom of things — before it’s too late. 

The Comae Engine

The Comae Engine by Clarence Redd (December 2022)


Take d100 Roleplaying Back to its Core

Comae Engine charts a new path for the classic rules, retooled from the ground up for more creative and flexible storytelling. But keeping the grounded approach they are known for.

At the core is a versatile conflict resolution system. Combine mysteries, social conflicts, puzzles, stunts, combat — and most other challenges in modern storytelling. You can play almost any story, in any genre.

Comae Engine is a freestanding game, with close ties to M‑SPACE, Odd Soot and Mythras. And if you are familiar with any classic d100 games, you will feel right at home. 

The Fortunate Fall

The Fortunate Fall by Cameron Reed (August 2024)

A debut novel of remarkable beauty and invention, The Fortunate Fall is back in print for the first time in almost three decades as a Tor Essential, with a new introduction by Jo Walton Tor Essentials presents new editions of science fiction and fantasy titles of proven merit and lasting value, each volume introduced by an appropriate literary figure. On its first publication in 1996, The Fortunate Fall was hailed as an SF novel of a wired future on par with the debuts of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson. Now it returns to print, in advance of forthcoming new work by the same author. It is one of the great underground classics of the last several decades in SF. Maya Andreyeva is a camera,” a reporter with virtual-reality-broadcasting equipment implanted in her brain. What she sees, millions see; what she feels, millions share. 

And what Maya is seeing is the cover-up of a massacre. As she probes into the covert political power plays of a radically strange near-future Russia, she comes upon secrets that have been hidden from the world…and memories that AI-controlled thought police have forced her to hide from herself. Because in a world where no thought or desire is safe, the price of survival is betrayal — of your lover, your ideals, and yourself. 

This new Tor Essentials edition of The Fortunate Fall includes a new introduction by Jo Walton, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards. 

The Dragonfly Gambit

The Dragonfly Gambit by A.D. Sui (April 2024)

All empires fall. It’s only natural.

Nearly ten years after Inez Kato sustained a career-ending injury during a military exercise gone awry, she lies, cheats, and seduces her way to the very top, to destroy the fleet that she was once a part of, even at the cost of her own life.

Ennis Rezál, Third Daughter of the Rule, has six months left to live. She is desperate to end the twenty-year war she was birthed to fight. But when she brings Inez aboard the mothership, a chess game of manipulation and double-crossing begins to unfold, and the Rule doesn’t stand a chance. 

The Dark Issue 106

The Dark Issue 106 edited by Sean Wallace (March 2024)

The Magazine of Dark Fantasy