Mailboxes, Shelves, and What I'm Reading

Stacking The Shelves and Mailbox Monday are a pair of weekly memes that are about sharing the books that came your way over the past week, and which you've added to your shelves - whether they be physical or virtual, borrowed or bought, or for pleasure or review.

A great week for new additions, with some long-awaited titles and some pleasant surprises:

Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: August 12th 2014 by Harper Voyager

FitzChivalry—royal bastard and former king’s assassin—has left his life of intrigue behind. As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock, Fitz is now married to his childhood sweetheart, Molly, and leading the quiet life of a country squire.

Though Fitz is haunted by the disappearance of the Fool, who did so much to shape Fitz into the man he has become, such private hurts are put aside in the business of daily life, at least until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers casts a sinister shadow over Fitz’s past . . . and his future.

Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one. . . .

The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: August 12th 2014 by Doubleday

What begins as a clever, gothic ghost story soon evolves into a wickedly twisted treasure hunt in The Supernatural Enhancements, Edgar Cantero's wholly original, modern-day adventure.

When twentysomething A., a mysterious man of "European descent" inherits the beautiful but eerie estate known as Axton House set deep in the woods of Point Bless, Virginia, he is both skeptical and curious. After all, he never even knew he had a "second cousin, twice removed" named Ambrose, much less that the poor man had recently committed suicide on his 50th birthday—the very same night, in the very same room, and in the very same manner as his father had before him . . .

A. is joined by his companion, Niamh, a mute teenage girl with shockingly dyed hair, and together they quickly come to feel as if they have inherited much more than just a rambling home and a cushy lifestyle. Axton House is haunted, they know it, and that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the secrets they slowly but surely uncover. Why all the suicides? What became of the Axton House butler who fled the day his master died? What of the garden maze's closed-off section? The secret rooms in the house with no entry? And what of the rumors in town that, every winter solstice, there is a mysterious gathering at Axton House that can only take place under cover of moonlight?

Told vividly and mysteriously through a series of journal entries, scrawled notes, recovered security footage, letters to a mysterious "Aunt Liza," audio recordings, complicated ciphers, and even advertisements, Edgar Cantero has written a dazzling and original supernatural adventure with glimmers of Carlos Ruiz Zafón's Shadow of the Wind.

Chasers of the Wind by Alexey Pehov
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: June 17th 2014 by Tor Books

Centuries after the disastrous War of the Necromancers, the Nabatorians, aligned with the evil necromancers of Sdis, mount an invasion of the Empire. Luk, a soldier, and Ga-Nor, a Northern barbarian, are thrown together as they attempt to escape the Nabatorian hordes and find their way back to their comrades.

Gray and Layan are a married couple, master thieves who are hiding out and trying to escape their former gang. They hope to evade the bounty hunters that hound them and retire to a faraway land in peace.

Tia is a powerful dark sorceress and one of The Damned—a group trying to take over the world and using the Nabatorian invasion as a diversion.

Unfortunately, for Gray and Layan, they unwittingly hold the key to a powerful magical weapon that could bring The Damned back to power.

Hounded by the killers on their trail and by the fearsome creatures sent by The Damned, Gray and Layan are aided by Luk and Ga-Nor—and Harold, the hero of The Chronicles of Siala. Realizing what’s at stake they decide that, against all odds, they must stop The Damned.

Chasers of the Wind is the first book in a new series from internationally bestselling author Alexey Pehov.

Plague by C.C. Humphreys
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected publication: July 15th 2014 by Doubleday Canada

London, 1665. A serial killer stalks his prey, scalpel in his hand and God's vengeance in his heart.

Five years after his restoration to the throne, Charles II leads his citizens by example, enjoying every excess. Londoners have slipped the shackles of puritanism and now flock to the cockpits, brothels and, especially, the theatres, where for the first time women are allowed to perform alongside the men.

But not everyone is swept up in the excitement. Some see this liberated age as the new Babylon, and murder victims pile up in the streets, making no distinction in class between a royalist member of parliament and a Cheapside whore. But they have a few things in common: the victims are found with gemstones in their mouths. And they have not just been murdered; they've been . . . sacrificed.

Now the plague is returning to the city with full force, attacking indiscriminately . . . and murder has found a new friend.

Shield and Crocus by Michael R. Underwood
Paperback, 416 pages
Expected publication: June 10th 2014 by 47north

In a city built among the bones of a fallen giant, a small group of heroes looks to reclaim their home from the five criminal tyrants who control it.

The city of Audec-Hal sits among the bones of a Titan. For decades it has suffered under the dominance of five tyrants, all with their own agendas. Their infighting is nothing, though, compared to the mysterious “Spark-storms” that alternate between razing the land and bestowing the citizens with wild, unpredictable abilities. It was one of these storms that gave First Sentinel, leader of the revolutionaries known as the Shields of Audec-Hal, power to control the emotional connections between people—a power that cost him the love of his life.

Now, with nothing left to lose, First Sentinel and the Shields are the only resistance against the city’s overlords as they strive to free themselves from the clutches of evil. The only thing they have going for them is that the crime lords are fighting each other as well—that is, until the tyrants agree to a summit that will permanently divide the city and cement their rule of Audec-Hal.

It’s one thing to take a stand against oppression, but with the odds stacked against the Shields, it’s another thing to actually triumph.

In this stunning, original tale of magic and revolution, Michael R. Underwood creates a cityscape that rivals Ambergris and New Crobuzon in its depth and populates it with heroes and villains that will stay with you forever.

The Montauk Monster by Hunter Shea
Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: June 3rd 2014 by Pinnacle

It Kills. . . On a hot summer night in Montauk, the bodies of two local bar patrons are discovered in the dunes, torn to shreds, their identities unrecognizable. . .

It Breeds. . . In another part of town, a woman's backyard is invaded by four terrifying creatures that defy any kind of description. What's clear is that they're hostile--and they're ravenous. . .

It Spreads. . . With every sunset the terror rises again, infecting residents with a virus no one can cure. The CDC can't help them; FEMA can't save them. But each savage attack brings Suffolk County Police Officer Gray Dalton one step closer to the shocking source of these unholy creations. Hidden on nearby Plum Island, a U.S. research facility has been running top-secret experiments. What they created was never meant to see the light of day. Now, a vacation paradise is going straight to hell.

Drone Strike: A Dreamland Thriller by Dale Brown
Paperback, 528 pages
Expected publication: May 27th 2014 by Harper

On the President's orders . . . one man is tasked with averting nuclear war

When the U.S. develops intelligence showing that Iran is in the final stages of assembling a nuclear bomb, the President orders Breanna Stockard and the Whiplash team to destroy it before the renegade nation can destabilize the shaky Middle East. Left with no other choice, Stockard sends young Air Force ace Turk Mako behind enemy lines. His orders: pilot a squadron of high-tech nano-UAVs from inside Iran to destroy the weapon and its assembly bunker. Turk and his accompanying Delta Force team succeed, only to discover another site and another device. With the fate of the region hanging in the balance, Turk and Delta Force must fight off Revolutionary Guards, Iranian MiGs, and the elite Quds Force to locate and destroy the second weapon. With time running out, Turk takes matters into his own hands, hoping to accomplish what no machine ever could . . . stop a nuclear war before it begins.


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is another weekly meme, this time focused on what books are spending the most time in your hands and in your head, as opposed to what's been added to your shelf.

With an eye towards my scheduled reviews for the next few weeks, I'm currently turning pages with:

• Grunt Life by Weston Ochse
The horrifying and utterly alien Cray are invading. Enter Task Force OMBRA. Let the carnage begin!

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
A good, solid fantasy, pretty much what I was hoping for, and flowing much better with the hardcover in front of me.

• The Hydra Protocol: A Jim Chapel Mission by David Wellington
A sunken Soviet submarine, a forgotten Cold War supercomputer, nuclear missiles, and Jim Chapel. Very cool.

What's topping your shelves this week?


  1. OOh nice! These are all new to me but they sure look like exciting reads! Happy Reading!

    My STS will be up tomorrow, so be sure to stop by then!

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  2. The cover for Edgar Cantero's book is absolutely gorgeous. It sounds like a book I probably would not pick out otherwise, but I'm definitely adding it to my Goodreads now!
    Happy reading and have a good weekend! :)

    1. Yeah, I'm not sure how that one will turn out, but it's a cool concept.

  3. FOOLS ASSASSIN, CHASERS OF THE WIND and SHIELD AND CROCUS seem interesting, Bob, and they have intriguing covers too

    1. I've been waiting anxiously for Fool. Shield won me over with the idea of living in a giant's skeleton - such a great concept.

  4. I don't know any of these books, but I hope you enjoy reading them all! :D
    Stacking the Shelves
    Dress Up That Cover #3 - Every Day

  5. Haven't heard of any of these before, happy reading!

    Under The Mountain's STS

  6. It is great to see Robin Hobb writing about Fitz again. I am still reading Grunt Life. I pick it us, read a little and put it down. It's not that I don't like it it just is not a page turner for me.

    1. I'll be starting in on Grunt Life as soon as I finish Starfire.

  7. A giant skeleton reminds me of Bas Lag, which featured a skeleton of a giant unknown creature. Good stuff, never heard of that one.

    I think I requested Chasers of the Wind, but now I can't remember.

    1. I still have yet to give China Miéville a read.

      Yeah, I requested Chasers a while ago but just got approved.

  8. I'd definitely like to read Fool's Assassin at some point, but I doubt I'd be able to finish up Farseer in time before it comes out, still have the last book in the trilogy to go. And if only it were that...I should also probably read Tawny Man too.


    1. I still have a lot of Hobb to read, but I caught up with Fitz a long time ago.

  9. Great haul!I havent heard of any of these but i hope you enjoy them!
    OUT's STS

    Leydy from OUAT & RCE

  10. The Montauk Monster sounds so good. I might have to add it to my "to read" list!

  11. Stopping by from the #atozchallenge !

    Fool's Assassin - LOVE the cover. Seriously, I would hang that cover art up on my wall.
    The Supernatural Enhancements - "shockingly dyed hair" ... I'd like a visual of that.
    Shield and Crocus - Another eye-catching cover. Added to my Amazon wishlist.

    I'm reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth right now.

  12. A new Robin Hobb? I'll have to add that one to my wishlist. I am concentrating on my review books too these days. Come see my week here. Happy reading and have a wonderful week!

  13. Plague looks interesting...and a bit scary in a compelling way. Enjoy your books...and here's MY WEEKLY SUNDAY/MONDAY UPDATES

  14. So many books and so many that I have never heard of. :)

    Have a great reading week.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Mailbox Monday

  15. Plague looks so good - creepy but good! :)

    Happy reading this week! :) The Brunette Librarian's Blog

  16. The Supernatural Enhancements looks like a great read. I hope you enjoy it!

  17. Shield and Crocus and a few others look really good. A couple of these are already my to list to read. Enjoy and Happy Reading!
    Here are my newest additions.


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