Wow, this month has really sped past. So much so that I didn’t quite realise when I was, and hadn’t got round to writing this post yet. If it seems a bit rushed, now you know why. I’ve also had two projects on this month, one of which is irrelevant to the blog but seems to be taking forever (re-designing my wildlife garden and pond), and the other which didn’t take nearly long enough – re-reading the entire Dresden Files series from start to finish, including short stories.
I’d forgotten how much I adored Jim Butcher’s series, and I’m really sad that I’ve finished them (again) and need more right now! If you’ve only read the novels and missed out on the two anthologies, you really need to correct your mistake immediately – there’s so much back story in them. Side Jobs covers the period from before Storm Front to just after the end of Changes, including Harry’s training as a P.I., a more in-depth glimpse into Michael Carpenter’s calling as a Knight of the Cross, and stories from both Thomas’ and Murphy’s points of view. Brief Cases covers a larger timeline – pretty much anywhere up to the time immediately after Cold Days. There’s a dip into Molly’s time as the Ragged Lady, Butters’ first mission as a Knight of the Cross, the new Winter Lady’s first outing, and we find out exactly what happened to Warden Ramos to cause his injuries. There’s also a novelette featuring Harry, Maggie, and Mouse, told from, all their points of view. The world needs more Temple Dogs, and I want Mouse to come and live with me.
Anyway, next month’s releases – yes, three again.
Shards of Earth is the first novel in a trilogy by Adrian Tchaikovsky, which I reviewed in April. It’s a fantastic read, firmly in the space opera side of sci-fi, and I’m more than a little miffed that I can’t find out when the second novel is due.
Threadneedle is an urban fantasy set in London, which I’ll be reviewing on 2nd May. I’m not sure whether it’s aimed at the YA market or not, but I definitely don’t fit into that age group and still enjoyed it. It’s Cari Thomas’ debut novel, which promises great things to come in the future.
Project Hail Mary is a total unknown to me, but it’s highly recommended by quite a few of ‘my’ authors, including George RR Martin, Blake Crouch, and Ernest Cline, plus astronaut Tim Peake. By Andy Weir, author of The Martian, it seems to be a stand-alone pure sci-fi. I’ve yet to try anything by Weir, but The Martian and Artemis are on my TBR pile.
Reading update for April: twenty books so far (as of April 26th), all bar two of which have been ‘real’. Unfortunately for me, most of my Dresden Files series is in hardback, so I’ve had a few tenosynovitis twinges. I’m going to have to take it a bit more carefully next month.
Worst read of the month: Lake Ness, by Cherie Mitchell
Project Hail Mary
A lone astronaut.
An impossible mission.
An ally he never imagined.
Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission – and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.
Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.
All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.
His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery-and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.
Or does he?
An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could imagine it, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian — while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.
Released 4th May 2021
Shards of Earth
This high-stakes space-based adventure will be perfect for those who loved Children of Time, also by Adrian Tchaikovsky.
The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery …
Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade his mind in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.
Eighty years ago, Earth was destroyed by an alien enemy. Many escaped, but millions more died. So mankind created enhanced humans such as Idris – who could communicate mind-to-mind with our aggressors. Then these ‘Architects’ simply disappeared and Idris and his kind became obsolete.
Now, Idris and his crew have something strange, abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects – but are they really returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy as they search for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, and many would kill to obtain it.
Shards of Earth is the first thrilling instalment in the Final Architecture trilogy – by the Arthur C. Clarke award-winning novelist Adrian Tchaikovsky.
Released 27th May 2021
Within the boroughs of London, nestled among its streets, hides another city, filled with magic.
‘Magic and love. Love and magic. They destroy everything in the end …’
Anna’s Aunt has always warned her of the dangers of magic. Its twists. Its knots. Its deadly consequences.
Now Anna counts down the days to the ceremony that will bind her magic forever.
Until she meets Effie and Attis.
They open her eyes to a London she never knew existed. A shop that sells memories. A secret library where the librarian feeds off words. A club where revellers lose themselves in a haze of spells.
But as she is swept deeper into this world, Anna begins to wonder if her Aunt was right all along.
Is her magic a gift … or a curse?
Perfect for fans of Garth Nix, V.E. Schwab and Alix E. Harrow.
Released 27th May 2021