Friday, January 6, 2012

From post-apocalyptic worlds to vampires, you can find it all @your library

Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Library Journal -

When hired gun Jess Brady is killed, he's brought back by a Greek goddess as a Dark-Hunter, sworn to protect humans. Now he's up against Abigail Yager, who has been raised by Dark-Hunter-hating vampires after being orphaned and who is out for vengeance, convinced that Brady killed her family. In fact, she looks rather like the person who killed him initially. Kenyon has claimed the top spot on the New York Times best sellers list 12 times in only the past two years.





Snuff by Terry Pratchett
Kirkus Reviews  -
Pratchett's new Discworld (Unseen Academicals, 2009, etc.) novel—the umpteenth, but who's counting?—features the Duke of Ankh, otherwise known as Commander Sir Samuel Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, whose estimable wife, Lady Sybil, decrees that they shall take a vacation at her ancestral estate in the country.
Sam meets the local aristocracy and receives invitations to a lot of balls. He introduces six-year old Sam Junior to the author of young Sam's favorite book,The World of Poo. He faces down the irascible, aristocracy-hating local blacksmith and dines on Bung Ming Suck Dog. And, canny copper that he is, Vines, though out of his jurisdiction and out of his depth in a most alarming environment, senses wrongdoing. Sure enough, he's soon contemplating the slaughtered corpse of a goblin girl. Problem is, the law doesn't recognize the killing of goblins as murder. Still, there's smuggling going on, much of it involving substances far less innocent than tobacco. Crime or no crime, Sam determines to investigate, even to the rank, fetid caves where the last few goblins, starving, hunted and miserable, live. Sam doesn't fear the underground, being the Blackboard Monitor of the Dwarves. And tattooed on his wrist is a dreadful yet illuminating demon called the Summoning Dark, an entity that's as determined as Sam to bring justice to the poor goblins, despite the law and those who have decided to make their own rules. Funny, of course, but with plenty of hard edges; and, along with the excellent lessons in practical police work, genuine sympathy for the ordinary copper's lot.

A treat no fan of Discworld—and there are boatloads of them—will want to miss.




Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse by Jaes Wesley, Rawles

From the Publisher –
America is in the thrall of a full-scale socioeconomic breakdown. In this chaotic and dangerous environment, a few families and individuals, bound together by their faith, skills, and foresight, must struggle not only to survive day by day but defend themselves against a new and vicious predator--their fellow man. 




The Tears of the Sun by S. M. Stirling

Kirkus Reviews –

The eighth book in Stirling's post-apocalyptic Novels of the Change series is a mostly tedious wheel-spinning installment, with repetitive plotting and labored prose.

Stirling (The High King of Montival, 2010, etc.) began the Change series with 2004'sDies the Fire, in which all technology on Earth suddenly stops working, and people have to adapt. Now the world has been reconstituted under a feudalistic system, complete with lords, castles, knights, squires and the like, and magic and prophecies play increasingly important roles in the story. After questing for several novels, nominal protagonist Rudi Mackenzie has finally retrieved the mythical Sword of the Lady and is working to unite disparate factions as part of his new kingdom of Montival. Rudi, also known as Artos now that he has ascended to the role of High King, needs as many allies as he can get in order to face down the forces of the Church Universal and Triumphant, an evil organization that uses mind control to keep its subjects in line and is bent on conquering all of what was once North America. The novel follows dozens of characters as they maneuver things into place for the big showdown, but it's almost all set-up for a climax that never arrives. Stirling spends paragraphs describing the clothing and weaponry of his characters in agonizing detail, while moving the plot along at a glacial pace. Although there are some fun nods to fantasy fandom (among them a faction of warriors who base their entire worldview on the Lord of the Rings novels), the writing is mostly deadly serious and dull. Stirling whips up a couple of lively set pieces, including the aforementioned Tolkien acolytes liberating the captive family of one of the opposition leaders, but the plodding boredom far outweighs the intermittent excitement.

Dedicated followers of the series will likely want to see it through, but this installment doesn't bode well for the books still to come.
 

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