In this selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels we have the seventh book in the Secrets Histories series by Simon Green, titled Casino Infernale and also the first book titled The heir of night, in the new Wall of Night series by New Zealand writer Helen Lowe.
Range of ghosts / Elizabeth Bear. Range of Ghosts
“After the death of Mongke Khagan, the heirs to the Khaganate of the steppes went to war. Defeated by his cousin, the rightful heir Temur flees, joining a caravan of refugees headed toward mountains known as the Range of Ghosts. Adopted into the Tsareg tribe, Temur plans revenge while avoiding sorcerers’ attempts on his own life. When his path crosses that of the wizard Samarkar, a former princess who seeks her independence, Temur realizes that they can help each other and perhaps save the world from dark forces that could tear it apart.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The chalice / Nancy Bilyeau.
“England, 1538. A bloody power struggle between crown and cross tears England asunder. Young Joanna Stafford has already tasted the wrath of the royal court, seen what lies inside the king’s torture rooms and escaped death at the hands of those desperate to possess the power of an ancient relic. Soon she risks arrest and imprisonment again, when she is caught up in a conspiracy scheming against Henry VIII. As the power plays grow deadly, Joanna must realise that her role is more central than she’d ever imagined. She must make a choice between those she cares for most and taking her place in a prophecy foretold by three different seers, each more powerful than the last. To learn the final, sinister piece of the prophecy, she flees across Europe with an amoral spy sent by Spain. As the necromancers complete the puzzle, Joanna realises the life of Henry VIII as well as the future of Christendom are in her hands; hands which must someday hold the chalice that lies at the centre of these deadly prophecies.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
A turn of light : Marrowdell / Julie E. Czerneda.
“Jenn Nalynn, the miller’s daughter, lives a charmed life in the tiny, secluded village of Marrowdell. She spends her days in the meadow near the forbidden place called Night’s Edge, passing her time with her invisible companion, Wisp, her best and truest friend. But as she grows to adulthood, she longs to visit places outside the village, which has grown too small for her ambitious and hungry mind. Only then does she discover that Marrowdell sits on the edge of the Verge, a magical chasm that divides the world of mortals from a dangerous world of dragons and stranger creatures, and that she has the power to create chaos between the two worlds if she sets foot outside the village. The appearance of two strangers, former soldiers, in the village signals the beginning of tumultuous events that bring Jenn’s safe world and her dreams of travel crashing down around her.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Casino Infernale : a secret histories novel / Simon R. Green. “My name is Drood, Eddie Drood, aka Shaman Bond. For generations my family has protected you ordinary mortals against things that lurk in the darkness, just out of sight, but not at all out of mind. My true love, and powerful witch, Molly Metcalf and I are in the employ of The Department of the Uncanny. We’ve been given an Extremely Important Assignment: attend Casino Infernale, an annual event held by the Shadow Bank, financiers of all global supernatural crime. Our mission: rig the game and bring down the Shadow Bank.
But at Casino Infernale, the stakes are very high indeed, the winner takes all and losers give up their souls.” (adapted from Amazon.com)
The heir of night / Helen Lowe.
“In the far north of the world of Haarth lies the bitter mountain range known as the Wall of Night. Garrisoned by the Nine Houses of the Derai, the Wall is the final bastion between the peoples of Haarth and the Swarm of Dark, which the Derai have been fighting across worlds and time. Malian, Heir to the House of Night, knows the history of her people: the unending war with the Darkswarm; the legendary heroes, blazing with long-lost power; the internal strife that has fractured the Derai’s former strength. But now the Darkswarm is rising again, and Malian’s destiny as Heir of Night is bound inextricably to both ancient legend and any future the Derai or Haarth, may have.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Gameboard of the gods / Richelle Mead.
“In a near-future world, half of the human population is wiped out by a virus. The Republic of United North America (RUNA) has emerged from the devastation, building a well-ordered, high-tech Empire that tries to suppress religion and outlaws genetic experiments. Dr. Justin March is a brilliant servitor, a RUNA government employee paid to investigate religious organizations, but his findings on his last assignment got him exiled from the RUNA to lawless Panama City. Now his former bosses and Mae Koskinen, a beautiful and chemically enhanced government super-soldier, have come to retrieve him to help solve a string of serial murders with religious overtones. As Justin investigates, with Mae as his bodyguard, the involvement of supernatural forces increasingly seems likely; they just have to prove it.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The curve of the Earth / Simon Morden.
“Welcome to the Metrozone, post-apocalyptic London of the Future, full of homeless refugees, street gangs, crooked cops and mad cults. Enter Samuil Petrovitch: a Russian émigré with a smart mouth, a dodgy heart and a dodgier past. He’s brilliant, selfish, cocky and might just be most unlikely champion a city has ever had. Armed with a genius-level intellect, extensive cybernetic replacements, a built-in AI with god-like capabilities and a plethora of Russian swearwords, he’s saved this city from ruin more than once. He’s also made a few enemies in the process, Reconstruction America being one of them. So when his adopted daughter Lucy goes missing, he thinks he knows who is responsible and there’s no way he can let them get away with it.” (adapted from Amazon.com)
Sharp : a Mindspace Investigations novel / Alex Hughes.
“In this the third novel featuring Mindspace Investigations, Adam, a Level Eight telepath and sometime interrogator for the Atlanta police, is hunting hijackers of illegal tech while also dealing with the reappearance of a notorious cop killer who has targeted Adam’s former partner, Detective Isabella Cherabino.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The age of Scorpio / Gavin G. Smith.
“Of all the captains based out of Arclight only Eldon Sloper was desperate enough to agree to a salvage job in Red Space, and now he and his crew are living to regret his desperation. In Red Space the rules are different. Some things work, others don’t. Best to stick close to the Church beacons. Don’t get lost. Because there’s something wrong about Red Space, something beyond rational, something vampyric. Long after The Loss mankind is different. We touch the world via neunonics, we are machines, we are animals, we are hybrids. But some things never change.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The explorer / James Smythe.
“When journalist Cormac Easton is selected to document the first manned mission into deep space, he dreams of securing his place in history as one of humanity’s great explorers. But in space, nothing goes according to plan. The crew wake from hypersleep to discover their captain dead in his allegedly fail-proof safety pod. They mourn, and Cormac sends a beautifully written eulogy back to Earth. The word from ground control is unequivocal: no matter what happens, the mission must continue. But as the body count begins to rise, Cormac finds himself alone and spiralling toward his own inevitable death, unless he can do something to stop it.” (adapted from Amazon.com)