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Books Received, October 21 — October 27

28 Oct, 2023


Blood Justice

Blood Justice by Terry J. Benton-Walker (April 2024)

Blood Justice is the hotly anticipated sequel to Terry J. Benton-Walker’s Most Anticipated debut Blood Debts.

Wicked Problems

Wicked Problems by Max Gladstone (April 2024)

From the co-author of the viral New York Times bestseller This is How You Lose the Time War. 

Gods and lawyers battle for the soul of the world in the action-packed second volume of Max Gladstone’s Craft Wars, an epic fantasy like no other. 

A deadly force has been unleashed into the world. With apocalypse on the horizon, a girl and a god have joined in order to turn back the coming end. Young, brash, and desperate, they are willing to destroy anything and everything that stands between them and their goals. The structures of the Craft are theirs to overturn, with billions of lives in the balance. And it is all Tara Abernathy’s fault. 

The battle for the world of the Craft is heating up. A dead god will rise. A mountain will fall. Ancient fire will be stolen. And while Tara races to stop Dawn’s plans, the end draws ever closer, skittering across the stars to swallow the world. The Craft Wars enter their second stage in Wicked Problems. 

The Monstrous Misses Mai

The Monstrous Misses Mai by Van Hoang (April 2024)

A determined young woman in 1950s Los Angeles walks a darker city than she ever imagined in a spellbinding novel about the power to make dreams come true – whatever the sacrifice. Los Angeles brims with opportunity in 1959 – though not for aspiring fashion designer Cordelia Mai Yin, the first-generation child of Vietnamese immigrants, who finds the city unkind to outsiders and as dispirited as her own family. When Cordi rents a cheap loft in an old apartment building, she quickly warms to kindred souls Tessa, Audrey, and Silly. They also want better things and have pasts they’d rather forget. That they all share the same middle name makes their friendship seem like destiny. As supportive as they are of each other, it’s a struggle just to eke out a living, let alone hope to see their wishes for success come true. Until an ever-present and uncannily charming acquaintance of the landlord’s offers a solution to their problems. He promises to fulfill their every dream. All it takes is a little magic. And a small sacrifice. As one surprisingly effective spell leads to another, their wishes get bigger. But so does the price they must pay. Amid the damaged seams of her life so far, Cordi must realize her own power in order to rip free, without losing everything she’s worked so hard to achieve. 

The First Last Man Mary Shelley and the Postapocalyptic Imagination

The First Last Man: Mary Shelley and the Postapocalyptic Imagination by Eileen M. Hunt (April 2024)

Beyond her most famous creation — the nightmarish vision of Frankenstein’s Creature — Mary Shelley’s most enduring influence on politics, literature, and art perhaps stems from the legacy of her lesser-known novel about the near-extinction of the human species through war, disease, and corruption. This novel, The Last Man (1826), gives us the iconic image of a heroic survivor who narrates the history of an apocalyptic disaster in order to save humanity — if not as a species, then at least as the practice of compassion or humaneness. In visual and musical arts from 1826 to the present, this postapocalyptic figure has transmogrified from the last man” into the globally familiar filmic images of the invisible man” and the final girl.”Reading Shelley’s work against the background of epidemic literature and political thought from ancient Greece to Covid-19, Eileen M. Hunt reveals how Shelley’s postapocalyptic imagination has shaped science fiction and dystopian writing from H. G. Wells, M. P. Shiel, and George Orwell to Octavia Butler, Margaret Atwood, and Emily St. John Mandel. Through archival research into Shelley’s personal journals and other writings, Hunt unearths Shelley’s ruminations on her own personal experiences of loss, including the death of young children in her family to disease and the drowning of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley’s grief drove her to intensive study of Greek tragedy, through which she developed the thinking about plague, conflict, and collective responsibility that later emerges in her fiction. From her readings of classic works of plague literature to her own translation of Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex, and from her authorship of the first major modern pandemic novel to her continued influence on contemporary popular culture, Shelley gave rise to a tradition of postapocalyptic thought that asks a question that the Covid-19 pandemic has made newly urgent for many: What do humans do after disaster? 

What Feasts at Night

What Feasts at Night by T. Kingfisher (February 2024)

The follow-up to T. Kingfisher’s bestselling gothic novella, What Moves the Dead. Retired soldier, Alex Easton, returns in a horrifying new adventure. 

After their terrifying ordeal at the Usher manor, Alex Easton feels as if they just survived another war. All they crave is rest, routine, and sunshine, but instead, as a favor to Angus and Miss Potter, they find themself heading to their family hunting lodge, deep in the cold, damp forests of their home country, Gallacia. In theory, one can find relaxation in even the coldest and dampest of Gallacian autumns, but when Easton arrives, they find the caretaker dead, the lodge in disarray, and the grounds troubled by a strange, uncanny silence. The villagers whisper that a breath-stealing monster from folklore has taken up residence in Easton’s home. Easton knows better than to put too much stock in local superstitions, but they can tell that something is not quite right in their home… or in their dreams. 

Remedial Magic

Remedial Magic by Melissa Marr (February 2024)

The Magicians meets One Last Stop in this brand-new fantasy romance Remedial Magic, about an unassuming librarian who 1) has fallen in love with a powerful witch; 2) has discovered that she is a witch; and 3) must attend magical community college to learn how to save her new world from complete destruction by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr!

Ellie loves working in her local library in the small town of Ligonier. She loves baking scones and investigating the mysterious and captivating in her spare time. And there is nothing more mysterious and captivating than the intriguingly beautiful, too properly dressed woman sipping tea in her library who has appeared as if out of nowhere. The pull between them is undeniable, and Ellie is not sure that she wants to resist. 

Prospero, a powerful witch from the magical land of Crenshaw, is often accused of being… ruthless in her goals and ambitions. But she is driven to save her dying homeland, and a prophecy tells her that Ellie is the key. Unbeknownst to Ellie, her powers have not yet awakened. But all of that is about to change. 

Lost Ark Dreaming

Lost Ark Dreaming by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (May 2024)

The brutally engineered class divisions of Snowpiercer meets Rivers Solomon’s The Deep in this high-octane post-climate disaster novella written by Nommo Award-winning author Suyi Davies OkungbowaOff the coast of West Africa, decades after the dangerous rise of the Atlantic Ocean, the region’s survivors live inside five partially submerged, kilometers-high towers originally created as a playground for the wealthy. Now the towers’ most affluent rule from their lofty perch at the top while the rest are crammed into the dark, fetid floors below sea level. 

There are also those who were left for dead in the Atlantic, only to be reawakened by an ancient power, and who seek vengeance on those who offered them up to the waves. 

Three lives within the towers are pulled to the fore of this conflict: Yekini, an earnest, mid-level rookie analyst; Tuoyo, an undersea mechanic mourning a tremendous loss; and Ngozi, an egotistical bureaucrat from the highest levels of governance. They will need to work together if there is to be any hope of a future that is worth living — for everyone. 

Wolfe at the door

The Wolfe at the Door by Gene Wolfe (October 2023)

An all new collection from an American literary icon.

The circus comes to town… and a man gets to go to the stars. A young girl on a vacation at the sea meets the man of her dreams. Who just happens to be dead. And an immortal pirate. A swordfighter pens his memoirs… and finds his pen is in fact mightier than the sword. Welcome to Gene Wolfe’s playground, a place where genres blend and a genius’s imagination straps you in for the ride of your life. The Wolfe at the Door is a brand new collection from one of America’s premiere literary giants, showcasing some material been seen before. Short stories, yes, but also poems, essays, and ephemera that gives us a window into the mind of a literary powerhouse whose world view changed generations of readers in their perception of the universe.