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.

Well, after a few professionally quiet weeks that helped to keep the old review pile in check, the ARC gods were exceptionally kind to me this week, stacking the shelves with:

The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory
Expected publication: August 5th 2014 by Tor Books

The rulers of tiny, impoverished Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes.

Disguising herself as Clarence, a sailor, Princess Clarice intends to work her way to the New World. When the crew rebels, Clarice/Clarence, an expert with rapier and dagger, sides with the handsome navigator, Dominick, and kills the cruel captain.

Dominick leads the now-outlawed crew in search of treasure in the secret pirate haven known as The House of Four Winds. They encounter the sorceress Shamal, who claims Dominick for her own—but Clarice has fallen hard for Dominick and won’t give him up without a fight.

Full of swashbuckling adventure, buoyant magic, and irrepressible charm, The House of the Four Winds is a lighthearted fantasy romp by a pair of bestselling writers.

Journal of the Plague Year: An Omnibus of Post-Apocalyptic Tales by Malcolm Cross, C. B. Harvey, and Adrian Tchaikovsky
Expected publication: August 12th 2014 by Abaddon


The Cull swept the world in the early years of the twenty-first century, killing billions and ending civilisation as we know it. Only a fortunate few, blessed with the right blood, were spared. But in times of need, heroes rise. Leaders, soldiers, rebels – even children – take a stand, to hold back the tide of savagery and set a light in the darkness.

Journal of the Plague Year offers three new tales from across the world of The Afterblight Chronicles, from the International Space Station to the wilds of the Australian Outback and beyond. In Malcolm Cross’s Orbital Decay, the team in the Space Station watch helplessly as the world is all but wiped out. Exiled from Earth, astronaut Alvin Burrows must solve the mystery of the “Pandora” experiment, even as someone on the station takes to murdering the crew one by one. In C. B. Harvey’s Dead Kelly, fugitive and convict Kelly McGuire returns to the lawless city of Melbourne to be revenged on his old gangmates, and – ultimately – to reveal his own terrible destiny. And a third thrilling installment, yet to be announced, will uncover another corner of the disease-ravaged world...

The Sleeping Dead by Richard Farren Barber
Expected publication: August 12th 2014 by DarkFuse

Don't listen...When Jackson Smith attends an interview to escape his dead-end job, he witnesses a man jumping to his death through an office window. But this suicide is only the first of many he encounters. All around him, men and women begin taking their own lives. These seemingly random events make little sense to Jackson until he hears voices urging him to join the others.

Don't look...As Jackson fights the desire to self-destruct, he flees through a mad city where the river and streets pile high with bodies of the sleeping dead, those who have simply surrendered to the strange voices.

Don't hope...Jackson's only chance is to find an escape to this madness before giving in to the strange voices in his head.

Blackout by Tim Curran
Expected publication: August 19th 2014 by DarkFuse

In the midst of a beautiful summer, in a perfectly American suburban middle-class neighborhood, a faraway evil is lurking, waiting to strike the unsuspecting residents.

First come the flashing lights, then the heavy rains, high winds, and finally a total blackout. But that's only the beginning...

When the whipping black tentacles fall from the sky and begin snatching people at random, the denizens of Piccamore Way must discover the terrifying truth of what these beings have planned for the human race.

Space Opera edited by Rich Horton
Published April 28th 2014 by Prime Books

More than five-hundred pages, over one-quarter of a million words... Space Opera spans a vast range of epic interstellar adventure stories told against a limitless cosmos filled with exotic aliens, heroic characters, and incredible settings. A truly stellar compilation of tales from one of the defining streams of science fiction, old and new, written by a supernova of genre talent.

Features stories from the likes of Gwyneth Jones, Greg Egan, Michael F. Flynn, Naomi Novik, Kage Baker, Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette, (the recently departed) Jay Lake, Alastair Reynolds, Lavie Tidhar, Ian McDonald, and more.

I also added one very cool title from the Niagara Falls Comic Con (if you've never checked out Heroes of the North, then what are you waiting for?), where we also got to meet the lovely femme fatale, Hornet.

October Dawn: A Heroes of the North Tale by Alan Draven

The recently elected Premier of Quebec is abducted from his home. All that is left behind is an envelope marked October Dawn. Shortly after, the Premier's daughter is kidnapped at their summer cottage in the Hamptons in New York. A strange masked woman wearing a costume with the emblems of the former soviet Russia is involved. Who is she working for? And to what end? The Canadian, Fleur-de-Lys, Black Terror, and 8 Ball are sent to investigate. As our team of heroes digs deeper, they unveil a web of mysteries and deception that may threaten the future of the entire country. It's up to Canada's bravest heroes to save the day while there is still time...

Published December 7th 2013 by MSD Publishing


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:

Chasers of the Wind by Alexey Pehov
The narrative is a bit dry (you can tell it's a translation), but the plot and the characters grabbed me from page one. Really enjoying this so far.

The Leopard by K.V. Johansen
Not entirely sure about this one yet. The writing flows beautifully, but none of the characters have really clicked with me quite yet. Definitely has potential, though.

A Turn of Light by Julie E. Czerneda
I always keep one title on hand that I'm reading simply because I want to, not because there are any review commitments. Absolutely stunning - I don't mind taking my time with it at all.

What's topping your shelves this week?


  1. How many books has Lackey authored or co-authored now?
    Space Opera - guess that's one I'll need to pick up!

  2. The House of the Four Winds looks great. Space Opera definitely sounds interesting too. I hope you enjoy your books!

  3. Great haul, you got House of the Four Winds! Looking forward to hearing what you think of it, I'll probably end up getting a copy at some point :) Love the sound of The Sleeping Dead and Blackout, they're both going straight on to the wishlist - more books!!!

    Happy reading!

  4. I hope we'll both like The House of the Four Winds, it sounds so good! Happy reading!

  5. I looked at Space Opera but passed. Thanks for visiting.

  6. I have been so good with chiseling down my NetGalley pile, I went and requested House of the Four Winds as well. Sounds like some good old fashioned maritime fantasy, I have been looking for a good one to sink my teeth into for a while.


  7. Awesome haul! This is the first that I've heard of all of these but they sound pretty good so thanks for bringing them to my attention. :)
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  8. Really looking forward to your review of house of the four winds - I've been eyeballing that one on netgalley and would love to hear how it is. Also, I love that you're reading a turn of light - czerneda is one of my all time favorites!

  9. THE HOUSE OF THE FOUR WINDS sounds like something I would really enjoy, and SPACE OPERA too, especially since it's my fave genre

  10. OOh nice! Those are new to me, like always! But still sound like some exciting reads! Happy Reading!

    Here's my STS

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  11. I like the sound of the swashbuckling adventure of The House of the Four Winds! Should make for a good summer read.

  12. Blackout sounds cool. I like the idea of those tentacles!

  13. Looks like you received some exciting books. I hope you enjoy them and have a great week.

  14. I hope you continue to enjoy your current reads..

    Read on!
    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  15. Nice looking group of books. It has been a long time since I read anything by Lackey. The House of the Four Winds sounds like I'd enjoy it. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  16. I've just got my husband back into reading, and he loves the Space settings, your new goodies look as though they were made for him. Journal of the Plague Year sounds like one I'd really enjoy, which sounds pretty morbid. Thanks for sharing, going to check them out.

  17. The Sleeping Dead sounds like an interesting horror book.

    Here's my list for this week:

  18. Enjoy your reading week.

    More books I don't know about. :)

    Silver's Reviews
    My Mailbox Monday

  19. I really only take books to review that I want to read, although I did get one sent to me by someone that I met in line at BEA. And when I got it, not sure it is really my type of book. Oh well.
    Check out my Monday post

  20. You did get a nice book haul! The House of the Four Winds looks like fun. I hope you enjoy!

  21. Lots of good titles. I came very close to picking up Space Opera. I still might. :-) Hope you had a great week.

  22. The House of Four Winds is one I am looking forward to reading as well. Enjoy!


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