If it's Monday, then it must be time for Mailbox Monday, a weekly meme that provides a virtual gathering place for bloggers (and readers) to share the books that came their way over the past week. Originally hosted by Marcia, of To Be Continued..., it has since become something of a book tour, with a new host each month.
I actually added quite a bit to the shelves over the holidays. First up is the first new review title to come trickling in for the new year:
The Hydra Protocol: A Jim Chapel Mission by David Wellington
Expected publication: May 13th 2014 by William Morrow
To prevent nuclear annihilation, Special Forces operative Jim Chapel must infiltrate a top secret Russian military base and disable an unstable supercomputer in this high-adrenaline, action-packed adventure thriller from David Wellington, the acclaimed author of Chimera—an exciting, science-based thriller reminiscent of the works of Lee Child and James Rollins.
On a routine mission involving a sunken Soviet submarine in Cuban waters, wounded Special Forces veteran Jim Chapel, back in action thanks to medical technology, unexpectedly meets Nadia, a beautiful Russian agent.
Nadia shares shocking intel about HYDRA, a forgotten Cold War supercomputer that controls hundreds of nuclear missiles aimed at the U.S. Just one failsafe error, and America will be obliterated. And there have been glitches in its programming. . . .
To disarm HYDRA before it plunges the U.S. into nuclear winter, Nadia and Chapel must travel across Eastern Europe and infiltrate a secret base hidden deep in the steppes of Central Asia. But as these uneasy allies discover, not everyone wants the weapon out of commission.
Next is a trio of horror novellas that I've been trying to hunt down for years (and for which I was entirely willing to pay $30-$40, if only I could get them shipped to Canada), which have finally returned to print as much more affordable e-books:
The Fly-By-Nights by Brian Lumley
Subterranean Press (December 19, 2013)
150 years ago the world ended. Bombs fell, winter came, and the survivors fled underground in search of safety. Now they struggle to preserve what's left -- sleeping by day, and battling fearsome vampiric fly-by-nights after sunset.
Resources are scarce and security is scarcer in this fallout-poisoned world, but one subterranean clan of hardy souls clings to life, scavenging and scraping by until their water supply goes catastrophically bad. Forced to seek a new life above, they leave their long-time home to caravan across the stricken planet's surface, where the light is toxic and the night hides unspeakable monsters.
It is a difficult existence without promise or direction, until word from a band of fellow refugees fizzes through the choppy radio static. The Kindred promise help, companionship, and a new settlement in a distant valley...if only the clan can reach them.
For between the Kindred and the Clan stand a hundred miles of impossible terrain and countless fly-by-nights, and within the Clan itself trouble brews when two very different men fight for the love of one woman who has already made her choice.
It's the oldest story ever told, but this time it could mean the end of humanity.
Necroscope: The Mobius Murders by Brian Lumley
Subterranean Press (December 19, 2013)
Harry Keough, aka the Necroscope, has always considered himself a master of the Mobius Continuum--a dimension existing parallel to all space and time and his personal instantaneous gateway to anywhere in the multiverse. But this is hardly overweening conceit on Harry's part, for to his knowledge he is not unique; two other intelligences, with powers similar to his, do indeed exist. One such is the long-dead August Ferdinand Mobius himself, the German astronomer, mathematician, and discoverer of the eponymous Mobius Strip which led him to explore, posthumously, his previously conjectural Continuum; and the other is Harry s son, who has not only inherited his father's mathematical skill but also the metaphysical talent by means of which the Necroscope converses with dead people in their graves!
Picture Harry's confusion, then, on returning home via the Mobius Continuum from an adventure in Las Vegas, as he witnesses however briefly a flailing figure hurtling conscious but uncontrolled through the endless midnight of the Continuum. Who could this be--how can it be?--that a helpless, silently protesting other is rushing meteor-like across the Continuum's Stygian vault? Moreover, if he hasn't arrived here voluntarily, then what vile murderer has sent his victim on this monstrous journey to the end of life itself? For Harry is sure that this is neither his son s nor Professor Mobius' doing.
Who and where is he, this Mobius murderer? It is a mystery that only the Necroscope can ever hope to solve--but at what risk to his own life?
Necroscope: The Plague-Bearer by Brian Lumley
Subterranean Press (December 19, 2013)
Harry Keogh is moving on. Though the search for his missing wife and child continues, his heart now lies in Edinburgh with Bonnie Jean--a beautiful Scottish werewolf whose friendly pack and flourishing pub have given him a place he can almost call home.
But from the rocky heights of Sicily, the diabolical Francezci brothers plot the wolf-pack's destruction; and down in the terrible Pit beneath Le Manse Madonie, an ancient evil schemes.
The vampires conspire. They reach a decision. They choose a vector. Mafia thug Mike Milazzo is no good to anyone, anytime, anywhere…which makes him perfect. Disposable.
The brothers infect him with a deadly poison--an engineered plague that even a werewolf could never survive--and they offer him a terrible bargain: successfully contaminate the wolf-pack, and receive the antidote. Fail, and die!
Mike has everything to lose. So does Harry Keogh. But the Necroscope lost everything once before, and he isn't about to do it again...
Finally, we have a trio of graphic novels, something I've wanted to get back into for quite some time now, but with which I have been technically challenged - they just aren't easily handled on an e-reader. Thanks to my wife's x-mas gift of a shiny new 10-inch tablet, however, I am in business!
Grimm Fairy Tales: Realm Knights by Patrick Shand
Expected publication: July 8th 2014 by Zenescope
Sela. Robyn Hood. Red Riding Hood. Captain Hook. Neptune, God of the Sea. Van Helsing. On their own, they are some of the most powerful beings in the Grimm Universe... but together, they are the Realm Knights! Brought together to stop an ancient evil from regaining his all-powerful weapons, can these conflicted warriors work out their own issues in time to save the world?
Dejah Thoris and the Green Men of Mars Volume 1 by Mark Rahner and Lui Antonio
Expected publication: February 11th 2014 by Dynamite Entertainment
Deadly appetites for power - and flesh - threaten the life of Dejah Thoris, the proud princess of distant Mars! Intent on shattering the fragile peace between her red-skinned people and his green-skinned species, the brutal Voro kidnaps Dejah away to his underground hideaway. But it's not a ransom from her lover John Carter that this rogue Thark is after. Voro is a butcher by trade, and for the Green Men who never lost their taste for red meat, the flesh of Heliumite women is always in demand. Unless she can break free from his slaughterhouse, the incomparable Dejah Thoris will become the rarest of delicacies!
Red Sonja Volume 1: Queen of the Plagues by Gail Simone and Walter Geovanni
Expected publication: February 12th 2014 by Dynamite Entertainment
Gail Simone (Batgirl, Birds of Prey) gives the iconic fantasy heroine a fresh new attitude!
Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword, intends to pay back a blood debt owed to the one man who has gained her respect... even if it means leading a doomed army to their certain deaths! Who is Dark Annisia, and how has this fearsome warrior accomplished what no god nor demon has been able to do: force Sonja to her knees in surrender?
An epic tale of blood, lust, and vengeance, Queen of the Plagues takes Red Sonja from the depths of her own grave to the heights of battlefield glory.
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey, and one that's focused on what's actually in your hands, as opposed to what's been added to your shelf. Currently I've got reviews coming up for:
What's topping your shelves this week?