August books on my radar . . .

August 1, 2015 2015, Books on my radar 8

RadarEach month I write about the books I’ve noticed and think might be good. Sometimes they’re from favorite authors and sometimes new author strikes my fancy.

I don’t buy all the books (not during the month they’re released at least)–since I already have way too many books to read. I’m trying to limit the new books I buy each month to the ones I’m going to read soon.

But the list I make each month helps me not forget books. The Goodreads links help me keep track of these books.

And I hope people reading my post may find some new books, too! I also hope they will point me toward books I missed.

Lots of exciting books this month!

August 1

One of my most anticipated books of 2015 (and I’ve already read it and loved it–check out my review)!

one-good-dragon-deserves-anotherOne Good Dragon Deserves Another

by Rachel Aaron

Series: Heartstrikers #2

Published by Aaron/Bach, LLC

Genre: Urban Fantasy

404 pages

Synopsis: After barely escaping the machinations of his terrifying mother, two all knowing seers, and countless bloodthirsty siblings, the last thing Julius wants to see is another dragon. Unfortunately for him, the only thing more dangerous than being a useless Heartstriker is being a useful one, and now that he’s got an in with the Three Sisters, Julius has become a key pawn in Bethesda the Heartstriker’s gamble to put her clan on top.

Refusal to play along with his mother’s plans means death, but there’s more going on than even Bethesda knows, and with Estella back in the game with a vengeance, Heartstriker futures disappearing, and Algonquin’s dragon hunter closing in, the stakes are higher than even a seer can calculate. But when his most powerful family members start dropping like flies, it falls to Julius to defend the clan that never respected him and prove that, sometimes, the world’s worst dragon is the best one to have on your side.

Even though this is book 2 this historical mystery sounds really good.

two-bronze-penniesTwo Bronze Pennies

by Chris Nickson

Series: Detective Inspector Tom Hardy #2

Published by Severn House Publishers

Genre: Historical Police Procedural

224 pages

Synopsis: The second intriguing historical mystery to feature Detective Inspector Tom Harper”

Leeds, England, Christmas Eve, 1890. DI Tom Harper is looking forward to a well-earned rest. But it s not to be. A young man has been found stabbed to death in the city s poverty-stricken Jewish district, his body carefully arranged in the shape of a cross, two bronze pennies covering his eyes. Could someone be pursuing a personal vendetta against the Jews?

Harper s investigations are hampered by the arrival of Capitaine Bertrand Muyrere of the French police, who has come to Leeds to look into the disappearance of the famous French inventor Louis Le Prince, vanished without trace after boarding a train to Paris.

With no one in the close-knit Jewish community talking to the police and with tensions rising, DI Harper realizes he ll have to resort to more unorthodox methods in order to unmask the killer.

August 4

I like the idea of this mystery. A book-themed resort? Yes!

murder-in-the-paperback-parlorMurder in the Paperback Parlor

by Ellery Adams

Series: Book Retreat Mysteries #2

Published by Berkley

Genre: Mystery (cozy)

304 pages

Synopsis: With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Jane Steward is organizing a week of activities for fans of love stories at her book-themed resort. But her Regency readers barely have time to brush up on their Jane Austen before tragedy strikes Storyton Hall. Rosamund York, one of the most celebrated authors in attendance, is killed.

Rosamund had as many enemies as she did admirers, including envious fellow novelists, a jealous former lover, and dozens of angry fans. It’s up to Jane, with the help of her book club, the Cover Girls, to catalogue the list of suspects and find a heartless killer quickly—before the murderer writes someone else off…

Ilona Andrews is one of my favorite authors so I’m always happy when a new book comes out!

magic-shiftsMagic Shifts

by Ilona Andrews

Series: Kate Daniels #8

Published by Ace

Genre: Urban Fantasy

400 pages

Synopsis: After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.

An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece…

 This series which I started last year is already a great favorite! I’ve pre-ordered this book. 🙂

dark-ascensionDark Ascension

by M. L. Brennan

Series: Generation V #4

Published by Roc

Genre: Urban Fantasy

320 pages

Synopsis: As the “wickedly clever” (Publishers Weekly) series continues, reluctant, slacker vampire Fortitude Scott learns that nothing is more important than family—or more deadly….

After a lifetime of avoiding his family, Fort has discovered that working for them isn’t half bad—even if his mother, Madeline, is a terrifying, murderous vampire. His newfound career has given him a purpose and a paycheck and has even helped him get his partner, foxy kitsune Suzume, to agree to be his girlfriend. All in all, things are looking up.

Only, just as Fort is getting comfortable managing a supernatural empire that stretches from New Jersey to Ontario, Madeline’s health starts failing, throwing Fort into the middle of an uncomfortable and dangerous battle for succession. His older sister, Prudence, is determined to take over the territory. But Fort isn’t the only one wary of her sociopathic tendencies, and allies, old and new, are turning to him to keep Prudence from gaining power.

Now, as Fort fights against his impending transition into vampire adulthood, he must also battle to keep Prudence from destroying their mother’s kingdom—before she takes him down with it….

I haven’t read any of Jemisin’s books and this sounds like a good place to start!

the-fifth-seasonThe Fifth Season

by N. K. Jemisin

Series: The Broken Stone #1

Published by Orbit

Genre: Fantasy

512 pages

Synopsis: This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

I’ve read a couple other Chloe Neill books and they were pretty good.

the-veilThe Veil

by Chloe Neill

Series: Devil’s Isle #1

Published by NAL

Genre: Fantasy

336 pages

Synopsis: Seven years ago, the Veil that separates humanity from what lies beyond was torn apart, and New Orleans was engulfed in a supernatural war. Now, those with paranormal powers have been confined in a walled community that humans call the District. Those who live there call it Devil’s Isle.

Claire Connolly is a good girl with a dangerous secret: she’s a Sensitive, a human endowed with magic that seeped through the Veil. Claire knows that revealing her skills would mean being confined to Devil’s Isle. Unfortunately, hiding her power has left her untrained and unfocused.

Liam Quinn knows from experience that magic makes monsters of the weak, and he has no time for a Sensitive with no control of her own strength. But when he sees Claire using her powers to save a human under attack—in full view of the French Quarter—Liam decides to bring her to Devil’s Isle and the teacher she needs, even though getting her out of his way isn’t the same as keeping her out of his head.

But when the Veil threatens to shatter completely, Claire and Liam must work together to stop it, or else New Orleans will burn…

August 11

This is book 2, but it sounds very interesting. It’s a science fiction by a Chinese author.

the-dark-forestThe Dark Forest

by Liu Cixin

Translated by Joel Martinsen

Series: Three Body #2

Published by Tor Books (first published 2008)

Genre: Science Fiction

512 pages

Synopsis: The continuation of a tour de force near-future adventure from China’s bestselling and most beloved science fiction writer

With the scope of Dune and the rousing action of Independence Day, this near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multple-award-winning phenemonenon from China’s most beloved science fiction author.

In Dark Forest, Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion—in just four centuries’ time. The aliens’ human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information, means that Earth’s defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy. Only the human mind remains a secret. This is the motivation for the Wallfacer Project, a daring plan that grants four men enormous resources to design secret strategies, hidden through deceit and misdirection from Earth and Trisolaris alike. Three of the Wallfacers are influential statesmen and scientists, but the fourth is a total unknown. Luo Ji, an unambitious Chinese astronomer and sociologist, is baffled by his new status. All he knows is that he’s the one Wallfacer that Trisolaris wants dead.

I’m a few books behind in this mystery series, but it’s been one of my favorites.

long-upon-the-landLong Upon the Land

by Margaret Maron

Series: Deborah Knott Mysteries #20

Published by Grand Central Publishing

Genre: Contemporary Mystery

320 pages

Synopsis: On a quiet August morning, Judge Deborah Knott’s father Kezzie makes a shocking discovery on a remote corner of his farm: the body of a man bludgeoned to death. Investigating this crime, Deborah’s husband, Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Bryant, soon uncovers a long-simmering hostility between Kezzie and the slain man over a land dispute. The local newspaper implies that Deborah’s family may have had something to do with the murder-and that Dwight is dragging his feet on the case.

Meanwhile, Deborah is given a cigarette lighter that once belonged to her mother. The cryptic inscription inside rekindles Deborah’s curiosity about her parents’ past, and how they met. For years she has wondered how the daughter of a wealthy attorney could have married a widowed, semi-illiterate bootlegger, and this time she’s determined to find the answer.

But why are Deborah’s brothers so reluctant to talk about the dead man? Is the murder linked to Kezzie’s illegal whiskey business? And could his courtship of Deborah’s mother have something to do with the bad blood between the two families? Despite Deborah’s promise not to interfere in Dwight’s work, she cannot stop herself from doing everything she can to help clear her brothers and her father from suspicion . . .

I love John Scalzi’s writing. I’ve only read two books in the series so far, but I’ve loved both and am so happy I have more books to read in the series.

the-end-of-all-thingsThe End of All Things

by John Scalzi

Series: Old Man’s War #6

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Science Fiction

384 pages

Synopsis: Hugo-award winning author, John Scalzi returns to his best-selling Old Man’s War universe with the direct sequel to 2013’s The Human Division

Humans expanded into space…only to find a universe populated with multiple alien species bent on their destruction. Thus was the Colonial Union formed, to help protect us from a hostile universe. The Colonial Union used the Earth and its excess population for colonists and soldiers. It was a good arrangement…for the Colonial Union. Then the Earth said: no more.

Now the Colonial Union is living on borrowed time—a couple of decades at most, before the ranks of the Colonial Defense Forces are depleted and the struggling human colonies are vulnerable to the alien species who have been waiting for the first sign of weakness, to drive humanity to ruin. And there’s another problem: A group, lurking in the darkness of space, playing human and alien against each other—and against their own kind —for their own unknown reasons.

In this collapsing universe, CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson and the Colonial Union diplomats he works with race against the clock to discover who is behind attacks on the Union and on alien races, to seek peace with a suspicious, angry Earth, and keep humanity’s union intact…or else risk oblivion, and extinction—and the end of all things.

August 18

I like Kate Elliott’s writing. And this is her first young adult book.

court-of-fivesCourt of Fives

by Kate Elliott

Series: Court of Fives #1

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA Fantasy

448 pages

Synopsis: In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott begins a new trilogy with her debut young adult novel, weaving an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But at night she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multi-level athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between a girl of mixed race and a Patron boy causes heads to turn. When a scheming lord tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test Kal’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a powerful clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.

I really liked the first book in this series. I thought it was very original.

hallow-pointHallow Point

by Ari Marmell

Series: Mick Oberon #2

Published by Titan Books

Genre: Urban Fantasy

400 pages

Synopsis: The Spear of Lugh, one of the four Kingly Hallows of Ireland is in Chicago. And everyone, everyone wants it, for it is said that he who carries the spear into battle cannot be defeated. Among those who seek it are an agent of the infamous Wild Hunt; a mobster who knows far more about these things than he should; and of course both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts – the last people PI Mick Oberon would want getting hold of the spear…

I like the idea of a mystery and fantasy rolled into one.

the-house-of-shattered-wingsThe House of Shattered Wings

by Aliette de Bodard

Series: Unknown

Published by Roc

Genre: Fantasy Mystery

416 pages

Synopsis: A superb murder mystery, on an epic scale, set against the fall out – literally – of a war in Heaven.

Paris has survived the Great Houses War – just. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens continue to live, love, fight and survive in their war-torn city, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over the once grand capital.

House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.

Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, a alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires’ salvation. They may be the architects of its last, irreversible fall…

August 25

This synopsis reminds me a little of Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Still it sounds interesting.

mechanicaMechanica

by Betsy Cornwell

Series: Unknown

Published by Clarion Books

Genre: YA Fantasy

304 pages

Synopsis: Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn’t want a fairy tale happy ending after all.

I’m not at book 11 in this series yet, but I am enjoying the series a lot!

the-nature-of-the-beastThe Nature of the Beast

by Louise Penny

Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #11

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery (police procedural)

384 pages

Synopsis: Hardly a day goes by when nine-year-old Laurent Lepage doesn’t cry wolf. From alien invasions, to walking trees, to winged beasts in the woods, to dinosaurs spotted in the village of Three Pines, his tales are so extraordinary no one can possibly believe him. But when the boy disappears, the villagers are faced with the possibility that one of his tall tales might have been true. And so begins a frantic search for the boy and the truth. What they uncover deep in the forest sets off a sequence of events that leads to murder, leads to an old crime, leads to an old betrayal. A monster once visited Three Pines. And put down deep roots. And now, it is back.

………………..

The books I plan to get (and hopefully read) soon:

  • One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron
  • Dark Ascension by M. L. Brennan
  • Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews
  • Hallow Point by Ari Marmell

What books are you looking forward to this month?

8 Responses to “August books on my radar . . .”

  1. Katherine

    I’m looking forward to the Margaret Maron and the Ellery Adams. I have the first in the book resort series and am excited about reading it. Now I just wish book themed resorts were really a thing!
    Katherine recently posted…Summer Surplus CookingMy Profile

    • Jan

      I would like to get caught up on that series. I’m not sure how many books I need to read–at least three or four–to get caught up, but totally worth it.
      Jan recently posted…Sunday Post: Aug 9My Profile

  2. Rita

    So many good titles you named here, most I had not heard of though, so that makes this post extra special 🙂
    I’ve read the first Louise Penny, and look forward to continuing on with the series. The titles that caught my eye here were the Book Retreat series, the Kate Elliot (been eyeing her work but not tried it for awhile), and the Margaret Maron but gee I would have much catching up to do! Thank you!
    Rita recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Up 7/30/15My Profile

    • Jan

      I hope you found some books to try, Rita. I’m really enjoying the Louise Penny books. This month there are lots of great books coming out.
      Jan recently posted…Sunday Post: Aug 9My Profile