The Rats – James Herbert

Synopsis: It was only when the bones of the first devoured victims were discovered that the true nature and power of these swarming black creatures with their razor sharp teeth and the taste for human blood began to be realised by a panic-stricken city.

For millions of years man and rats had been natural enemies. But now for the first time – suddenly, shockingly, horribly – the balance of power had shifted and the rats began to prey on the human population. Continue reading “The Rats – James Herbert”

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Tower Lord – Anthony Ryan

Synopsis: King Janus’s vision of a Unified Realm has failed, drowned in the blood of brave men fighting for a cause that was forged from a lie. Sick at heart, Vaelin Al Sorna, warrior of the Sixth Order, returns home, determined to kill no more, seeking peace far from the intrigues of a troubled Realm.

But those gifted with the blood-song are not destined to live quiet lives. Vaelin finds himself a target, both for those seeking revenge and those who know about his gift. And as a great threat once again moves against the Realm, Vaelin realizes that when faced with annihilation, even the most reluctant hand must eventually draw a sword. Continue reading “Tower Lord – Anthony Ryan”

Pork Pie Hat – Peter Straub

“Back then, I didn’t know anything about grief, and Hat wore grief about him daily, like a cloak. Now that I am the age he was then, I see that most of what is called information is interpretation, and interpretation is always partial.”

This novella is about a jazz saxophonist, his memories about something horrible that he experienced on Halloween night when he was just 11 years old & the journalist he recounts his story to. In ways, this could be considered a coming-of-age story about childhood horror. That childhood horror then lapses into something much more. Real harrowing adult fears like addiction, aging & prejudism.

I received this in the Stephen King Nocturnal Reader’s Box. I have yet to read anything by Peter Straub (I STILL need to read The Talisman novels with King. I know. I KNOW!) so this was my first introduction to his writing (that I recall, anyway!)

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had a bit of time to squeeze in a shorter read before jumping into a MASSIVE FANTASY EPIC OF STABBY EPICNESS. You know, my usual kind of read! I read it in a day, which isn’t all that impressive, considering how short the book is. But it was an entertaining enough autumn read! Straub is obviously a competent writer & I will definitely be checking out more of his work outside of his books with King.. because there isn’t a question about those. I will literally read the phone book if King wrote it!

Inside the physical book is quite lovely. Not only are the black & white illustrations fantastic & atmospheric, but the extra details on the pages are quite pleasing to my eye! Cemetery Dance did a nice job with this, for sure!

-Holly

 

Battlefront II: Inferno Squad – Christie Golden

Synopsis: The Rebellion may have heroes like Jyn Ersoand and Luke Skywalker. But the Empire has Inferno Squad.

After the humiliating theft of the Death Starplans and the resulting destruction of the battle station, the Empire is on the defensive. In response to this stunning defeat, the Imperial Navy has authorized the formation of an elite team of soldiers, known as Inferno Squad. Their mission: infiltrate and eliminate the remnants of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans. Following the death of their leader, the Partisans have carried on his extremist legacy, determined to thwart the Empire—no matter what the cost. Now, Inferno Squad must prove their status as the best of the best and take down the Partisans from within. But as the danger intensifies and the threat of discovery grows, how far will Inferno Squad go to ensure the safety of the Empire? Continue reading “Battlefront II: Inferno Squad – Christie Golden”

Taste of Marrow – Sarah Gailey

Releases 9.12.17

Synopsis: A few months ago, Winslow Houndstooth put together the damnedest crew of outlaws, assassins, cons, and saboteurs on either side of the Harriet for a history-changing caper. Together they conspired to blow the damn that choked the Mississippi and funnel the hordes of feral hippos contained within downriver, to finally give America back its greatest waterway.

Songs are sung of their exploits, many with a haunting refrain: “And not a soul escaped alive.”

In the aftermath of the Harriet catastrophe, that crew has scattered to the winds. Some hunt the missing lovers they refuse to believe have died. Others band together to protect a precious infant and a peaceful future. All of them struggle with who they’ve become after a long life of theft, murder, deception, and general disinterest in the strictures of the law. Continue reading “Taste of Marrow – Sarah Gailey”

Outriders – Jay Posey

Synopsis:

Captain Lincoln Suh died on a Wednesday. And things only got harder from there.

Snatched out of special operations and thrown headfirst into a secretive new unit, Lincoln finds himself as the team leader for the 519th Applied Intelligence Group, better known as the Outriders. And his first day on the job brings a mission with the highest possible stakes.

A dangerously cunning woman who most assuredly should be dead has seemingly returned. And her plans aren’t just devastating, they might be unstoppable.

How do you defeat a hidden enemy when you can’t let them know they’ve been discovered?

You send in the Outriders. Continue reading “Outriders – Jay Posey”

Soleri – Michael Johnston

Synopsis: The ruling family of the Soleri Empire has been in power longer than even the calendars that stretch back 2,826 years. Those records tell a history of conquest and domination by a people descended from gods, older than anything in the known world. No living person has seen them for centuries, yet their grip on their four subjugate kingdoms remains tighter than ever.

On the day of the annual eclipse, the Harkan king, Arko-Hark Wadi, sets off on a hunt and shirks his duty rather than bow to the emperor. Ren, his son and heir, is a prisoner in the capital, while his daughters struggle against their own chains. Merit, the eldest, has found a way to stand against imperial law and marry the man she desires, but needs her sister’s help, and Kepi has her own ideas.

Meanwhile, Sarra Amunet, Mother Priestess of the sun god’s cult, holds the keys to the end of an empire and a past betrayal that could shatter her family.

Continue reading “Soleri – Michael Johnston”

Battlefront: Twilight Company – Alexander Freed

“He would die with a grin & a battle cry.”

Alexander Freed is quickly becoming one of my favorite Star Wars writers. Not surprising really, considering he used to work at BioWare on probably my favorite gaming franchise of all time, Mass Effect! He is a great fit within the Star Wars universe.

Battlefront: Twilight Company was inspired by the video game, Star Wars Battlefront. It is about the war between the Empire & the Rebellion, while focusing on the Sixty-first Mobile Infantry. This is better known as the Twilight Company. It’s rare that we get to see so closely into the grim war side of the Rebellion, especially with the prior Legends novels. Canon really is about expanding & diversifying the universe, which is a fucking righteous thing for me to see happen as a long time fan.

Twilight Company allows the reader to viscerally experience what it is like on the battlefield. It is described as being Band of Brothers, set in the Star Wars universe. Which ticks so many boxes for me, personally! I really enjoyed this interstellar adventure. It was a fast-paced, gripping, realistic, gritty read. There are even a few brief encounters from some recognizable faces, which is always fun for us nerds!

There were a few questionable things that happened towards the end of the book, which I didn’t think flowed with the rest of the story. But it hurtles towards a worthy conclusion.

I have read close to 60 Star Wars novels & besides Lost Stars, another fantastic canon tale, this is the only other one that I can think of that focuses so deeply on the militarization of Star Wars. It shows a more realistic side to both the Rebel Alliance & the Empire. A grittier side to the Rebellion, comprised with many soldiers that had nowhere else to go & where not all of the Empire were horrific monsters.

I hope this will open up the door for more military-themed Star Wars books. The possibilities are endless when it comes to this ever immersive galaxy far, far away!

~Holly

Blood Song – Anthony Ryan

Synopsis:

Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order—a caste devoted to battle. Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate and dangerous life of a warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.

Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the Unified Realm—and Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright knows no bounds. Even his cherished memories of his mother are soon challenged by what he learns within the Order.

But one truth overpowers all the rest: Vaelin Al Sorna is destined for a future he has yet to comprehend. A future that will alter not only the Realm but the world. Continue reading “Blood Song – Anthony Ryan”

Final Girls – Riley Sager

Synopsis: Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past. 

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished. Continue reading “Final Girls – Riley Sager”