Monday, 8 August 2011

To-Read Pile: August

Been a busy last couple of weeks and reading has fallen behind. I feel the need to make up for the lack of book reviews the next week somehow. Hopefully, no one will notice it if I post about the books I am going to read in the very near future. Books are presented in the intended reading order. I know the title says for August, but no money back guarantee if I divert from the list or the ordering. Let's start.

Hell Ship - Philip Palmer
The Hell Ship hurtles through space. Inside the ship are thousands of slaves, each the last of their race. The Hell Ship and its infernal crew destroyed their homes, slaughtered their families and imprisoned them forever. But one champion refuses to succumb. Sharrock, reduced from hero to captive in one blow, has sworn vengeance. Although Sai-as, head of the alien slave horde, will ruthlessly enforce the status quo. But help is close. Jak has followed the Ship for years and their battles have left Jak broken, a mind in a starship’s body, focussed only on destroying the Ship. Together, can hunter and slave end this interstellar nightmare?
That's pure awesome sauce there. Sounds like a proper pulp action thriller to me. I'm thinking Kurt Russell and Snake Plisken here. A story of vengeance, aliens and violence. I expect a very intense read. I'm hoping this will be a real page turner. I will obviously be reading my SIGNED copy of Hell Ship.

Hell Ship is Published by Orbit Books.

Viking Dead - Toby Venables
Northern Europe, 976 AD. Bjólf and the viking crew of the ship Hrafn flee up an unknown river after a bitter battle, only to find themselves in a bleak land of pestilence. The dead don’t lie down, but become draugr – the undead – returning to feed on the flesh of their kin. Terrible stories are told of a dark castle in a hidden fjord, and of black ships that come raiding with invincible draugr berserkers. And no sooner has Bjólf resolved to leave, than the black ships appear... Now stranded, his men cursed by the contagion of walking death, Bjólf has one choice: fight his way through a forest teeming with zombies, invade the castle and find the secret of the horrific condition – or submit to an eternity of shambling, soulless undeath!
I'm Scandinavian so vikings have always been of great interest to me. As a kid I used to devour any viking related books I could get my hands on. Not much has changed really. This will be my first viking and zombie crossover though. I expect it to be a killer combo, like chips and mayo. Dark and gritty with characters dropping life flies, only to rise again.

Viking Dead is published by Abaddon Books, thank you for the review copy.

Cyborg Circus - Kim Lakin-Smith

Hellequin, last of the HawkEye military elite, is desperate to escape the legacy of Soul Food, the miraculous plant food that leeched the soil, destroyed his family, and instigated a bloody civil war. For a man awaiting the inevitable madness brought on by his enforced biomorph implant, there’s only one choice. Run away with the circus…
Drifting above a poisoned landscape, Cyber Circus and her exotic acrobats and bioengineered freaks bring a welcome splash of colour into folk’s drab lives. None more so than escaped courtesan turned-dancer Desirous Nim. When Nim’s freedom and her very life are threatened, Hellequin is forced to fight again. But, even united, will the weird troupe and their strange skills be enough to save Nim and keep their home aloft? That’s assuming, of course, that Zan City’s Blood Worms, mute stowaways, or the swarms don’t manage to bring them down first…
Welcome to the greatest show on Sore Earth!
Both excited and nervous about this book. I'll be gutted if I don't like it. Kim was one of the first people I followed on Twitter and who actually followed me back. She even commented on one of my first reviews! I have added time pressure for reading Cyborg Circus. I want to read it before the BSFA Event where Kim will be interviewed. From what I've seen so far of Kim's writing it will be bold and poetic. I dare not expect anything.

Cyborg Circus is published by NewCon Press, thank you for the review copy.

Roil - Trent Jamieson

Shale is in troubledying. A vast, chaotic, monster-bearing storm known only as the Roil is expanding, consuming the land.
Where once there were twelve great cities, now only four remain, and their borders are being threatened by the growing cloud of darkness. The last humans are fighting back with ever more bizarre new machines. But one by one the defences are failing. And the Roil continues to grow.
With the land in turmoil, it’s up to a decadent wastrel, a four thousand year-old man, and a young woman intent on revenge to try to save their city – and the world.

I've been waiting for this book for quite a while now. I do like my fantasy dark and gritty; unlikely heroes fighting against the odds. Which is exactly what I am expecting from Roil. I bet they won't get along to start with. A lot of bickering. Lots of secrets. Lots of fun.

Roil is published by Angry Robot, thank you for the review copy.

Equations of Life - Simon Morden
Samuil Petrovitch is a survivor. He survived the nuclear fallout in St. Petersburg and hid in the London Metrozone - the last city in England. He's lived this long because he's a man of rules and logic. For example: GETTING INVOLVED = A BAD IDEA. But when he stumbles into a kidnapping in progress, he acts without even thinking. Before he can stop himself, he's saved the daughter of the most dangerous man in London. And clearly: SAVING THE GIRL = GETTING INVOLVED. Now, the equation of Petrovitch's life is looking increasingly complex: RUSSIAN MOBSTERS + YAKUZA + SOMETHING CALLED THE NEW MACHINE JIHAD = ONE DEAD PETROVITCH. But Petrovitch has a plan - he always has a plan - he's just not sure it's a good one.
I bought this book straight away after reading the review from Pornokitsch. Some days it feels like for enquires about what's on my reading pile I could just redirect to really. This is the book I have brought in to read something a little different. There is only so much gritty and dark fantasy you can read in a stretch without needing something to clear your palet. I expect this to be fun and full of pace. Petrovitch should stumble from straight from the ashes into the fire. I bet he gets smacked on the head a lot as he cant help his sharp tongue.

Equations of Life is published by Orbit Books.

I've only scratched the surface of my reading pile here. Think of this post as the tip of the ice berg. Whenever I next fall behind on my reading you can expect another post like this. Anyway, expect reviews of these books in the next four weeks.


  1. You'll love The Roil, Erik.

    Trent is one of my writing pals and I've been in a critique group with him while he's been writing this. So proud!

  2. Great. I have been waiting a long time for Roil. I think publishers announce books months in advance just to torture me. So did you teach him any secret writing tricks, or did you maybe even learn any?

    Oh I have to write that down for my next interview.

  3. Damn... Erik, how do you do to get the time to read that much?

    I'm reading barely 25 books a year now, and that's already a constant negotiation to find the time.
    Not only is y physical to-read pile getting taller, my virtual to-read pile is probably getting dangerously good odds to outrun my life expectancy.

    Read the latest Pratchett yet?

  4. I read on my commute in to work. Usually an hour before bed. Weekends I sometimes read a book cover to cover if I am not busy.

    I always save the latest Pratchett for reading during Christmas. It's like being in your happy place twice over. Especially now that I live abroad.