From the Shelf to the Page: This Week in the Ruins

A very busy week this time around as I finally found time to catch up on my reviews:

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 handfull of new additions this week . . .

Iron & Blood by Gail Z. Martin & Larry Martin
New Pittsburgh in 1898, a crucible of invention and intrigue, the hub of American industry at the height of its steam-driven power. Born from the ashes of devastating fire, flood and earthquake, New Pittsburgh is ruled by the shadow government of The Oligarchy. In the abandoned mine tunnels beneath the city, supernatural creatures hide from the light, emerging to feed in the smoky city known as 'hell with the lid off.'

Jake Desmet and Rick Brand, heirs to the Brand & Desmet Import Company, travel the world to secure treasures and unusual items for the collections of wealthy patrons, accompanied by Jake's cousin, Veronique 'Nikki' LeClerque. Smuggling a small package as a favor for a Polish witch should have been easy. But when hired killers come after Jake and a Ripper-style killer leaves the city awash in blood, Jake, Rick and Nikki realize that dark magic, vampire power struggles and industrial sabotage are just a prelude to a bigger plot that threatens New Pittsburgh and the world. Stopping that plot will require every ounce of Jake's courage, every bit of Rick's cunning, every scintilla of Nikki's bravura and all the steampowered innovation imaginable.

Wanderlust by Adam Millard
London 1902. Renowned art thief and cat-burglar, Abigale Egars, is good at her job. Assisted by contraptions created by her tinkerer and mentor, Octavius Knight, she is a ghost, evading the Met. at every turn. Unceremoniously abducted from her bed in the dead of night, Abigale learns that The Guild, an insidious and powerful organisation, has implanted a device in her head, a contraption that will administer poison directly into her system at the flick of a switch if she doesn't do what they say.

Blackmailed into stealing three priceless artefacts by The Guild, Abigale must avoid being captured by her arch-nemesis, Detective John Wesley Alcorn, but he's the least of her troubles.

Wizards, magic, necromancers, it's all very real, and Abigale is soon up to her eyeballs in it. Can she survive London, Saint Petersburg and Paris in one piece, steal the triptych and return it to The Guild before the wizards take it from her?

Can she stay alive long enough to save the world?

The Fifth House of the Heart by Ben Tripp
Filled with characters as menacing as they are memorable, this chilling twist on vampire fiction packs a punch in the bestselling tradition of ’Salem’s Lot by Stephen King.

Asmodeus “Sax” Saxon-Tang, a vainglorious and well-established antiques dealer, has made a fortune over many years by globetrotting for the finest lost objects in the world. Only Sax knows the true secret to his success: at certain points of his life, he’s killed vampires for their priceless hoards of treasure.

But now Sax’s past actions are quite literally coming back to haunt him, and the lives of those he holds most dear are in mortal danger. To counter this unnatural threat, and with the blessing of the Holy Roman Church, a cowardly but cunning Sax must travel across Europe in pursuit of incalculable evil—and immeasurable wealth—with a ragtag team of mercenaries and vampire killers to hunt a terrifying, ageless monster…one who is hunting Sax in turn.

From author Ben Tripp, whose first horror novel Rise Again “raises the stakes so high that the book becomes nearly impossible to put down” (Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother), The Fifth House of the Heart is a powerful story that will haunt you long after its final pages.

The Affinities by Robert Charles Wilson 
In our rapidly-changing world of "social media", everyday people are more and more able to sort themselves into social groups based on finer and finer criteria. In the near future of Robert Charles Wilson's The Affinities, this process is supercharged by new analytic technologies--genetic, brain-mapping, behavioral. To join one of the twenty-two Affinities is to change one's life. It's like family, and more than family. Your fellow members aren't just like you, and they aren't just people who are likely to like you. They're also the people with whom you can best cooperate in all areas of life--creative, interpersonal, even financial.

At loose ends both professional and personal, young Adam Fisk takes the suite of tests to see if he qualifies for any of the Affinities, and finds that he's a match for one of the largest, the one called Tau. It's utopian--at first. Problems in all areas of his life begin to simply sort themselves out, as he becomes part of a global network of people dedicated to helping one another--to helping him.

But as the differing Affinities put their new powers to the test, they begin to rapidly chip away at the power of governments, of global corporations, of all the institutions of the old world. Then, with dreadful inevitability, the different Affinities begin to go to war--with one another.

What happens next will change Adam, and his world, forever.

And a late addition to the stacks - I hit the used bookstore before heading out on a hike today and scored some L.E. Modesitt Jr., Graham Masterton, and Bentley Little. I'm lucky if I can make it in a few times a year, and I'm always afraid it'll be my last visit (the owner is 79 years young!), but no matter how long it's been he always remembers me, always remember what I'm looking for, and always knows what new additions might catch my eye. You can't get that kind of service online. :)


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.

Trial of Intentions by Peter Orullian
Having caught up with Peter's Author Edition of The Unremembered, I'm glad to finally be diving into the follow-up, which I can tell you opens with a little tragedy and a lot of action.

Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews
It's been 2 years since Jason graced us with Red Sparrow, and I'm excited to see Captain Dominika Egorova of the Russian Intelligence Service stepping to the forefront here.

What's topping your shelves this week?


  1. I was just looking at Iron and Blood on NetGalley today - it looks interesting, plus I've enjoyed everything I've read so far from Gail Z Martin. The Fifth House of the Heart was new to me until earlier this week when I think I saw Lisa of Tenacious Reader feature it in her WoW, looks like the book is gaining some attention. I'm also very interested to see what you'll think of The Affinities. I thought the idea was awesome, just not so sure on the execution. It was really cool that most of it took place in Toronto though! I've also got a copy of Trial of Intentions this week, hoping to catch up with Unremembered first. Whew, I think that's all my comments on this week's books, you got a great haul!

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. Yeah, it's was Lisa's WOW that turned me on to The Fifth House of the Heart. I requested it and got approved same day . . . which is always nice. :)

  2. IRON AND BLOOD looks so gorgeous! And so does TRIAL OF INTENTIONS

  3. I hope you enjoy your haul, it looks really good :)

    Happy reading!

    My STS

  4. Dying to read Fifth House of the Heart, I'm going to have to go looking for that one. I am also tempted by Iron & Blood, but I think it's a June book and my June is already filled with review books. I may have to let that one slip by.

  5. Great list! Glad to see Fifth House of the Heart on here, I'm looking forward to checking that one out :)

  6. Wanderlust looks good. Nice haul and Happy Reading :D

    Maura @

  7. Some very nice looking books on here. I particularly like the look of Fifth House of the Heart. I've got a copy of Iron and Blood - I couldn't resist it!
    Lynn :D

  8. I just finished War of Shadows by Gail Z. Martin. When I saw you had Iron and Blood I went over to Netgalley to request.

    1. I've read her first fantasy series, but not that one.

  9. Ooh, good haul. I'll have to check some of these out. Especially The Fifth House of the Heart.

  10. I hope we'll both enjoy The Affinities. Happy reading!

  11. Iron and Blood sounds quite interesting. I'm sure I recognise the author name so I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing! Thanks for stopping by my blog...with watching TV all weekend I'm way behind on my blog visits!

    1. Gail writes a lit of heroic fantasy, along with a cool urban fantasy series, but this sounds like somethingdifferent for her.

  12. Enjoy your books. None are in my genre, but the title of The Fifth House of the Heart caught my eye.

    Have a great week.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Mailbox Monday

  13. The cover for the Fifth House looks amazing.


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