Saturday, July 18, 2015

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

A busy (and very popular) week in the Ruins, with some guests, our WOW feature, and a pair of reviews:
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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.

While I haven't abandoned my cold turkey resolution to requesting any new review titles, some surprise titles landed on my doorstop, and a pair of ARCs became available that I already sort of accounted for, taking it for granted that they'd find their way to me.


First up, the gang at Skyhorse Publishing were very good to me this week, sending along finished copies of Shower of Stones by Zachary Jernigan (which I reviewed last month) and The Dangerous Type by Loren Rhoads (which I also reviewed last month).

Solomon's Arrow by J. Dalton Jennings is a novel I already had as an ARC, but I'm sure having a finished copy on-hand will push me to get it read a bit more quickly - especially since it has such a kick-ass cover. It looks (and sounds) to have a bit of a Battlestar Galactica influence, but with enough of a twist to keep it original.

New to me in this batch was a print ARC of Bat out of Hell: An Eco-Thriller by Alan Gold, which sounds right up my alley. A bat-borne illness with a 100% fatality rate sets up a conflict between UN scientists who are prepared to kill off the species, animal rights activists who disapprove of the genocide, a madman who would rather kill government officials than see one bat die, and terrified members of the public who soon turn to vigilantism.


Empire Ascendant (Worldbreaker Saga, #2)
by Kameron Hurley

When the dark star of the cataclysm ascends, one empire will rise... and many will perish.

Every two thousand years, the dark star Oma appears in the night sky, bringing with it a tide of death and destruction. Tattered rifts open between worlds; great empires are born, and mighty rulers die. Whole nations succumb to madness. And those who survive must contend with friends and enemies newly imbued with bloody powers.

The kingdom of Saiduan already lies in ruin, decimated by invaders from another world who share the faces of those they seek to destroy.  Now the nation of Dhai is under siege by the same force. Their only hope for survival lies in the hands of an illegitimate ruler warring with his consort and former lover for control of the nation's allegiance.

As the foreign Empire spreads across the world like a disease, one of their former allies takes up her own Empress's sword again to unseat them, and two enslaved scholars begin a treacherous journey home with what they hope is the key to the Empire's undoing.

But when the enemy you must overcome shares your own face, who can be trusted?


The Dragon Engine (The Blood Dragon Empire, #1)
by Andy Remic

Five noble war heroes of Vagandrak get drunk one night and sign a contract – to journey to the Karamakkos in search of the Five Havens where, it is written, there is untold, abandoned wealth and, more importantly, the three Dragon Heads – jewels claimed to give unspeakable power and everlasting life to those who wield them.

But the Dragon Heads aren't what they think, and the world has not encountered their like in generations!

Think Smaug was fierce? You ain't seen nothing!


I also indulged myself in a few weird, twisted, completely inappropriate purchases this week. It's been an incredibly stressful, emotional few months (for multiple reasons), so I decided to throw caution to the wind and audition a few potential WTF Friday reads.
  • The Atomic Eight Inches by M. L. Ginger sounds bat-shit crazy, with a mad scientist, a nuclear powered penile prosthetic, terrorists, and a rogue secret agent. 
  • Goddess of Sands by Leona D. Reish is billed as an erotic archaeological adventure, set in a harsh desert where monsters mingle with mankind.
  • Straight to Video by Kent Hill sounds like exactly what you'd expect from An Anthology of B Movie Awesomeness that's nostalgic for an era of ‘so bad its good' movies.
  • Operation: Thrustmaster by Alana Melos sounds absolutely ludicrous, with a sexy siren, a brutal dominatrix, sultry secret agents, exciting fight scenes, and a jet chase.



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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.

I've really only scratched the surface of Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu, so I can't say too much about it yet, but the opening chapters are solid action, and it's long since time I finally gave Bradley a read.

As for Fool's Quest by Robin Hobb . . . what can I say, other than "WOW." It's no secret that I had issues with the first book, but this one is downright perfect so far. I am so well-and-truly hooked, and while I won't spoil anything, I will say it's done a lot to redeem/explain that first book.


On the personal front, I'm still working on Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson (deep, dark, heavy stuff - but fascinating, as always), and I'm still enjoying 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz (an odd mix of haunted-house horror and in-depth character studies).


On top of all that, as if there already weren't enough hours in the day, I'm almost through the penultimate batch of titles for the Great Self-Published Fantasy Blog-off. Watch for an update coming later in the month.

What's topping your shelves this week?

16 comments:

  1. I got the same books from Skyhorse and I have to say Bat Out of Hell sounds really good! That one was completely new to me as well and I had to look it up. And me likey. (Ad I had to laugh because in my own post, I used the same words you did - "right up my alley")

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. LOL - Great minds do think alike. :)

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  2. I never got past the first season of Battlestar Galactica. I liked the story but the guy talking to his imaginary robot girlfriend thing just got on my nerves! I kept meaning to go and look at it again but I never got round to it. Enjoy your books!

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    1. I couldn't get past the first few episodes of the reboot, but I have fond memories of the original series. That's what Solomon's Arrow reminds me of - the quest to find a new home in a hostile universe, but without all the unnecessary angst and grit.

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  3. how could it not be popular with dinos and now with dragons?

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    1. A lot of traffic this week with our guests especially, but Dinos definitely marked the high point!

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  4. OOh nice! Those look like exciting reads! Hope you enjoy them all!

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

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

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  5. I'm not familiar with any of these books, but I hope that get to enjoy them all. Happy reading! :)

    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG
    Most recent posts: The Book Shelf Tag || Hermione Granger Doll

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  6. Good to hear that Fool's Quest is better than first book. Like you I had issues with it and wonder if it would be worthwhile to read book 2.

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    1. So far, I can absolutely say it's worth it. It's as if she found the characters again, tightened the reins of the story, and started layering in the plotlines. It's on the way to being one of my favorite reads of the year.

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  7. Brig haul considering you're not requesting right now. Plenty of other books to keep you busy. I love it when a publisher knows exactly what to send me.

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  8. I'm trying to stick to my ban and not get Empire Ascendant, but it's hard! I want that book, gaaah. Hope you enjoy it!

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    1. That's one of those books I had on my radar, and knew I'd be chasing an ARC, so I kind of mentally had it accounted for.

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  9. Great haul this week! The Dragon Engine sounds really amazing; I may have to add that one to my TBR. Have a great week!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

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  10. Happy reading; I haven't read a Koontz in a long while.

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