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Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Book Faeries - April Edition #2

I went a little crazy this month - BookCloseouts.com is having a $1.99 sale on several genres. Naturally, I peeked at the SF/F sections and couldn't stop adding books to my cart.  For about $25 (and change), including shipping and handling, I walked away with 6 hardcovers (one signed edition) and 1 trade paperback. I'm more than a little obsessed with that website. It makes it so difficult to resist my monthly book budget!

The Gardener (ARC) by S. A. Bodeen

Isn't the cover something else?  The premise is what intrigued me the most about this book, before I even knew what the cover looked like.  Although, now that I've seen the cover, it's all a bit self-explanatory.  Bodeen takes us to a world where humans are grown, just like plants, in another one of those weird YA dystopian books I can't seem to get enough of.

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Received: via Feiwel & Friends for review

She Thief (ARC) by Daniel Finn

Unfortunately, the cover I received doesn't look anything like this one.  I received this book by accident (I think), but it sounds interesting, although not something I would have picked on my own.  The main character is a thief in the barrio with, I'm sure, lots of moral dilemmas. I'm worried this one will disappoint me like If I Grow Up did, except with Latino characters in predominantly Latino neighborhoods instead of African Americans in predominantly African American neighborhoods.  This will probably be read for a Flash Review (which I promise to make shorter next time!)

Genre: Young Adult
Recieved: via Feiel & Friends for review

Elom by William H. Drinkard

Drinkard used to be a Senator. I'm a little fascinated by a fiction book written by someone who's spent a good portion of their life in politics.  I did not look up anything about him before I purchased this, but now that I have it, I'm curious.  Elom is about engineering human reproduction to produce desirable traits--something that's not far off from reality.  Of course, I can't wait to see where Drinkard takes that idea.  It's ambitious, that's for sure.

Genre: Science Fiction
Received: via BookCloseouts.com

Mainspring by Jay Lake

The premise of this book sounds absolutely fascinating.  The world is a little bit religious, a little bit secular.  Imagine the earth being comprised of springs and cogs at its very core.  Imagine God (or a god, I suppose!) put them there.  Earth is, essentially, a huge clock in the late 19th century (that would make it Victorian).  The protagonist has a mission: rewind the Earth's core, but first the key must be found.  This will be my first Jay Lake book and it promises to deliver positively.  Mainspring sounds adventurous, suspenseful, and steampunk-y. It doesn't have high ratings on Amazon, so I'm not sure how well Lake pulls this off, but if anything, is sounds great. Also, my edition is signed. It feels weird to purchase a book that has already been signed. Part of the fun involved in a book signing is meeting the author face-to-face, gushing about their books, and watching as they sign the book for you.  Seeing my own name in their handwriting makes the occasion a bit more memorable.  While it's great to have a generically (albeit genuinely) autographed copy, I can't say it makes the book any better than one that isn't signed. Thoughts?

Genre: Science Fiction
Received: via BookCloseouts.com

Escapement by Jay Lake

This is the sequel to Mainspring. If you've read it, don't tell me what happens. I like surprises. Although, I suppose we find out if Hethor finds the key and/or successfully rewinds the Earth at the end of Mainspring.  Maybe there's the threat of the world stopping if he doesn't; maybe he fails and discovers the seedy underbelly of the religious dogma with religious leaders and Archangels using the threat as a front to continue fear-mongering the world's population.  I really have no idea.

Genre: Science Fiction
Received: via BookCloseouts.com

Hunter's Run

There are a few authors that contributed to this collection of short stories.  George R. R. Martin and Daniel Abraham are two of them.  The stories are all thematically aligned with ideas familiar to SF: exploration, humanity, etc... By the time I get to this, I'll have already read at least one of Abraham's books, but I've never read anything by George R. R. Martin or Gardner Dozois.  Perhaps this will give me a taste for their writing, especially Martin. I've been dancing around picking up his Song of Ice and Fire series. Authors tend to excel at one or the other--short or long fiction--so this may not even be a good estimation of what he's capable of. Ah well.

Genre: Science Fiction
Received: via BookCloseouts.com

The Ordinary by Jim Grimsley

I hope this isn't a sequel because it's set in the same world as a previous novel. That doesn't necessarily mean sequel, right? More like, companion book.  Speaking of SF themes, this one tackles another trope or two familiar to regular SF readers: exploration and first contacts. This is made even more intriguing by the existence of a technologically advanced culture coming head to head with one that's seen as a bit backwards.  Can land and curiosity be the real reasons the tech-savvy culture wants to go beyond their borders?

Genre: Science Fiction
Received: via BookCloseouts.com

The Last Green Tree by Jim Grimsley

This is the sequel to The Ordinary. Same rules apply as before: if you've read it, please don't spoil it for me!  I have no idea what could possibly be in this one.  A tree? The last one? Is this some extended metaphor for the culturally backwards people of The Ordinary?

Genre: Science Fiction
Received: via BookCloseouts.com

Territory by Emma Bull

No, I haven't read War for the Oaks, but I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Emma Bull.  I don't often hear about American folktales or legends; Territory re-imagines the legend of (the very real) Wyatt Earp in Tombstone, Arizona--with magic.  I imagine he's something of a hero, but you'll have to forgive me if I haven't a clue who he is or what it is he's supposed to have done and how.  Like I said, I don't often hear about American tales. Shouldn't that be taught in all schools? I think so...

Genre: Fantasy
Received: via BookCloseouts.com

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici (ARC) by C. W. Gortner

I don't review a lot of historical fiction, but that's only because I'm so picky! So far I have yet to read anything about the Medici family, but with stories of poison and murder it's ripe for scandal and suspense. I'm a bit embarrassed to say historical fiction has become my jumping off point to learning real history. By itself, the subject doesn't do much for me. Dress it up with fiction and I'm there 100%!

Genre: Historial Fiction
Received: via GoodReads First Reads Giveaway

The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia

I had so much trouble finding a copy of this in bookstores. Turns out, Borders doesn't carry it in their stores - only online! It took me awhile to be able to afford a copy, but I've got it just in the nick of time for Calico Reaction's April bookclub. :)  It's a strange steampunk book with an "automaton" as the protagonist. That alone makes me want to read it, especially after Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl.  That it's steampunk is an extra bonus.

Genre: Science Fiction
Received: via Amazon.com

That's it for the rest of my April books. If you've seen something you like, or something you've read, let me know your thoughts in the comments. :)

Don't forget to enter to win 1 of 5 paperback copies of Philippa Gregory's The White Queen! You have until the 29th - one more week.

The Summer of Series Reading Challenge starts May 1st. Have YOU started reading A Shadow in Summer yet?


jedisakora said...

Cool new link! You look like you have some awesome books there to read. ^^


Erika said...

@jedisakora: It's a fantastic website. I'm expecting another small box in a few weeks (they take a couple of weeks to arrive) since I found some more books I couldn't say no to! :)

Anonymous said...

Dang it, I had this submitted and left the page before it went through!

Anyway, HUNTER'S RUN is not a collection of shorts. It's a novel, based on a short story of Dozois, who worked with Martin to expand it to a novel, and then when they hit a slump, they passed it to Abraham. The mass market copy has a Q&A that talks about the process, and I'm amazed the book reads so smoothly! :)

Erika said...

@calico-reaction: Thank you for clearing that up for me. I don't know where I read it was a collection of short stories, but I've been operating under that impression ever since I made the purchase. :) That sounds like fun, especially if it isn't awkward. I'm curious, could you tell the different between authors at all?

Lily Child said...

Great stack! The Gardener looks particularly interesting! :) I look forward to your reviews! :)

Erika said...

@Lily Child: Thank you! I'll be reviewing The Gardener within the next month since I'm a little anxious to get started. :)

Anonymous said...

Well, it's not often you have THREE authors writing a novel, so it's easy to make the assumption that the book is a collection of short stories based on the cover alone.

The only real difference I could tell was the level of description: Dozois is old school and old school loves certain types of description, and there are parts that I knew Abraham would've never written that way. In fact, I think in the interview Abraham mentions he took a lot of that stuff out only to have Dozois put it right back in!

Anonymous said...

I thought I commented on this days ago. Maybe I'm going crazy...

Looks like we have some similar reads coming up! I'm particularly curious about the Lake books...and Sedai. :)

Erika said...

@calico-reaction: I think I may have misread a description somewhere. :\ You're right, though - it's an easy assumption to make. :)

Well, now I'm curious about the interview. I have the hardcover edition, though..

@TJ: Hahaha poor TJ! Don't worry about it, I'm sure you'll get back into the swing of things in no time. ;)

We do have a lot of similar reads. I knew we were going to have a couple from BCO, but I didn't realize how many until seeing the photos of everything. :) That's always fun, though! Not to mention, I have that last BCO order with the final Abraham book coming in... :)

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