I have been rather remiss in not posting this earlier, but better late than never, and it is still April…
Here are the new releases for April that are on my To Buy list (and in most cases, have already been bought and read):
Elizabeth Peters’ “A River in the Sky” (historical mystery): I posted about this last week when my copy arrived and I did a little dance of glee.
The latest book in the Amelia Peabody series is set chronologically before “The Falcon in the Portal”, which is one of my favourites in the series due to ermm… various romantic entanglements, shall we say? For a change, “A River in the Sky” is not set in Egypt; instead Amelia & co are in Palestine, and while this expanded their adventures to a new locale, it also meant that I missed some of the familiar settings and characters. All in all though, I enjoyed revisiting the Peabody family, and can only keep my fingers crossed that there is yet another installment in this series.
Out now US, April 29 UK (excerpt here)
Kelley Armstrong’s “Tales of the Otherworld” (urban fantasy): Another April release I have already bought, this time during my failed attempt at attending a signing.
This book collects a few more of the short stories Ms Armstrong previously published for free on her website, with all proceeds going to her chosen charity, World Literacy of Canada. I think I’ve previously read most, if not all, of these online, but it was nice to have them in a single book. There is also a new Eve story, which appealed to me, seeing Eve is one of my favourite characters. I would say that this collection is more for long-time fans as opposed to new readers, because of their origin as online freebies – the stories have been aimed at filling in the background of the main characters and therefore can feel somewhat open-ended if you haven’t read the full-length books.
Out now (no excerpts, but more free shorts here)
Sharon Lee & Steve Miller’s “Saltation” (SF): The second in a duology (the first is “Fledgling”), which covers events only alluded to in the main Liaden storyline. These two books are somewhat unique, as the authors serialised both online in return for reader donations, prior to selling both books to Baen.
I bought this during my little Baen ebook haul a couple of weeks back, and while I liked (and read in one sitting), I have to add a caveat that this is probably not a book for readers new to the Liaden universe, which is a shame, because I remember thinking that its prequel, “Fledgling”, was a perfect jumping-off point. There were one too many references to off-screen (off-page?) events which would only make sense if you had read the previous books, and there is a bit of a cliff-hanger ending as the book brings you right up to the same point as the main storyline.
Oh, and I have to add a cover note: for a Baen cover, this isn’t half-bad. I have just finished reading another Baen book that I really really liked, but had a cover that did it no favours.
Out now (excerpt here – a whole nine chapters of it)
Jim Butcher’s “Changes” (urban fantasy): A new Dresden Files book and yet another April release I have already read, which must make it some sort of record.
“Changes” was hyped as a turning point for the entire series, and when the first line of the book was revealed, it looked as though that would be the case. Verdict? As with all of his books (okay, most – I still haven’t managed to get through the first three books of this series yet), this was a good, solid fun read – he is an excellent storyteller. However, I continue to find Harry’s love life (or what passes for it) somewhat two-dimensional; his friendships are wonderfully strong, yet his romantic relationships fail to move me. If that changes, this would be up there as one of my all-time favourite UF series.
Out now (excerpt here)
Jo Beverley’s “The Secret Duke” (historical romance): Oh look, an April release I haven’t yet bought. Not for lack of trying, I was trying to find it in ebook format, but haven’t had any luck.
You know how the most fascinating characters are usually saved for the last book? Well, this is the third book of Ms Beverley’s Secret trilogy, and in the previous two books (“A Lady’s Secret” and “The Secret Wedding”), I have been intrigued by the Duke of Ithorne, who is the focus of this story. This book is also part of her Malloren family series, which is set in Georgian times – I probably sound like a broken record by now, but I adore Georgian-set historicals. And Jo Beverley excels in bringing historical settings alive in her romances.
Out now (excerpt here)
Finally, two April releases I may get: Mary Jo Putney’s latest historical romance, “Never Less than a Lady”, a maybe only because I haven’t yet read the first Lost Lords book – I really need to get around to it.
And the mystery anthology “Crimes by Moonlight”, edited by Charlaine Harris, and containing a “Sookieverse story”, i.e. a story set in her Sookie Stackhouse world, but not featuring Sookie herself. I want, not just for the Harris story, but also because the lineup and theme sounds great, however, it’s a hardcover so I will probably practise patience!