New Graphic Novels featuring revolutionary writer & artist Andrea Pazienza

Image from Syndetics

This month’s selection of new graphic novels includes a collection of stories by the late Italian writer and artist Andrea Pazienza. Although he died in 1988, his art work was innovative and he was considered revolutionary, his stories tell of the problems faced by the lost generation of 1970/1980’s teenagers. Also included are the first volumes of two new series, Starslayer by Mike Grell and Romulus by Brian Hill.

Syndetics book coverThe last contract / written & lettered by Ed Brisson ; illustrated by Lisandro Estherren.
“After a lifetime spent as a gun-for-hire, a retired hitman known only as “The Man” has finally found a sense of peace. But when a list of his kills is leaked by a mysterious blackmailer, making targets of anyone associated with one of The Man’s previous jobs, he’s forced back into the game he left behind. As he fights to protect those exposed by the list, The Man sets off to uncover the identity of the blackmailer, unaware of the consequences the truth he’s chasing may hold.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe cross-eyed mutt / a story written and drawn by Étienne Davodeau ; translation by Joe Johnson.
“Fabian is supervisor at the Louvre. He loves his job. He also loves Mathilde. After some time, she presents him to her family in their vast country house and not without some apprehension, as the Benion clan is a bit special. When they find a peculiar painting of a cross-eyed mutt by an ancestor from the nineteenth century, they decide that it’s a masterpiece. Fabian hopes the delusion will go away, until the two brothers show up at the Louvre. Getting the Cross-Eyed Mutt into the Louvre would demonstrate his commitment to becoming a member of the Benion family!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStarslayer [1] : the log of the Jolly Roger / script and art, Mike Grell ; created by Mike Grell.
“A Celtic warrior from the days of the Roman Empire is transported into the distant future by his wife’s descendant and compelled to join the crew of the spaceship Jolly Roger in their resistance to totalitarian rule on Earth.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRomulus. Volume 1 / Bryan Hill, writer ; Nelson Blake II, artist ; created by Bryan Hill & Nelson Blake.
“Our world isn’t free. All of us, for generations, have lived under the secret control of The Ancient Order of Romulus. One young woman, raised by them, trained and betrayed by them, must push through her fear to take a stand against the silent evil that masters our world. Her name is Ashlar, and her war begins with the brutal first chapter of this new series.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSombra / created by Justin Jordan & Raúl Treviño ; written by Justin Jordan ; illustrated by Raúl Treviño.
“Conrad Marlowe was a respected DEA agent when he disappeared in Mexico while investigating the ruthless drug cartels. Years later he has resurfaced as a cult leader who has made it his mission to out-brutalize the cartels terrorizing the country. The only DEA agent willing to follow his trail of violence is his own daughter, and with the help of a journalist on the ground, she’ll have to face the horrors of what her father has become if she wants to survive and bring him to justice.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHerman by trade / Chris W. Kim.
“Herman is a reclusive, straight-laced street cleaner,or so it seems to those he works with on the city’s waterfront. But he has an extraordinary hidden talent: the ability to transform his appearance at will. On the fourth day, Herman joins a queue of people at an open audition for a new movie. As he waits, swept up in the frenzy of creative ambition that has overcome the city, his past life becomes increasingly remote. By the time he enters the audition room, he might have lost his job, but his talent remains. Dazzled by Herman’s ability to adapt to any role, the director deems the rest of the cast redundant, sparking a furious outcry. When the cult director’s new film premieres, with Herman performing every role, it doesn’t get the reaction she expects.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHenry & Glenn forever & ever / by Tom Neely & friends.
“The greatest love story ever told has finally been released in graphic novel form, featuring 20 short stories about the domestic life of “Henry” and “Glenn” and sometimes their neighbors “Daryl” and “John.” Glenn deals with issues with his mother while Henry, “a loud guy with a good work ethic,” shows his darker side and indifference to a fan as he drinks black coffee and bonds with Glenn over their distaste for their own bands. These are two men who truly suffer best together.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHaddon Hall : when David invented Bowie / written and illustrated by Néjib; translated from the French by Edward Gauvin.
“Charting Bowie’s personal life, the development of his music, and the transformation of his image, Haddon Hall is an evocative portrait of a young artist presiding over a musical revolution.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverZanardi / Andrea Pazienza.
“A true visionary, with a fluid line and an uncanny sense of color and composition, Pazienza’s innovative graphic style served up stories that were iconoclastic, outrageous, humorous, and deeply personal, often based on himself and his microcosm of friends and collaborators. Pazienza was a revolutionary cartoonist who ushered an underground sensibility to Italian and European comics.”
(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDriving short distances / by Joff Winterhart.
“Sam is 27 and needs to get a job. Keith, who claims to be a second cousin of his (absent) father, offers him one. On Keith’s card it says he does ‘distribution and delivery’, which seems to consist of ‘a lot of driving around, getting out of the car for a few minutes and then getting back in’, Sam tells his mother, and so the days go by, Keith driving while telling Sam stories about his first boss, Geoff Crozier, his mentor in distribution and delivery. As the weeks pass, Sam gets to know Keith’s friends, flirty Hazel-Claire from whom they buy two pasties every day at lunchtime, a variety of receptionists, and a few tantalizing secrets from Keith’s past.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Mimi Pond and more: New graphic novels

There is a wonderful variation of theme in this month’s selection of new graphic novels. Included is The Customer is Always Wrong, a semi-autobiographical graphic novel from Mimi Pond, who will be in Wellington for the 2018 Writers & Readers. Also highly recommended is our own Brent Williams’s Out of the Woods: a journey through depression and anxiety.

Syndetics book coverAlone / Chabouté ; translation by Ivanka Hahnenberger.
“On a tiny lighthouse island far from the rest of the world, a lonely hermit lives out his existence. Every week a supply boat leaves provisions, its occupants never meeting him, never asking the obvious questions: Who are you? Why do you hide? Why do you never leave? What is it like to be so alone? Years spent on a deserted rock, a lifetime really; with imagination his sole companion has made the lighthouse keeper something more than alone, something else entirely. For him, what lies beyond the horizon might be nothing. And so, why not stay put? But one day, as a new boatman starts asking the questions all others have avoided, a chain of events unfolds that will irrevocably upend the hermit’s solitary life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe can opener’s daughter / Rob Davis.
“In the British Comic Award-winning The Motherless Oven , Scarper Lee asked: “Who the hell is Vera Pike?” In the second part of Rob Davis’ trilogy, we get a chance to find out. This is Vera’s story. Grave Acre is a cruel world of opportunity and control. Vera’s mother is the Weather Clock, the omnipotent and megalomaniacal Prime Minister of Chance. Her father is a can opener. Charting Vera’s unsettling childhood, the book takes us from her home in Parliament to suicide school and from the Bear Park to the black woods that lie beyond. In the present day, Vera and Castro Smith are determined to see their friend Scarper again, but is he still alive? And if so, can they save him? Can anyone outlive their deathday?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe ladies-in-waiting / Santiago Garcia, Javier Olivares ; translation by Erica Mena.
“In 1656, Diego Velazquez, leading figure in the Spanish Golden Age of painting, created one of the most enigmatic works in the history of art: Las Meninas (The Ladies-in-Waiting). This graphic novel, written and drawn by two of Spain’s most sophisticated comics’ creators, examines its legacy as one of the first paintings to explore the relationship among the viewer, reality, and unreality.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEducation / John Hankiewicz.
“A father and son go on a road trip to discover train station relics, a professor explains his intricate grading methods, and a pen-pal correspondence gets more suggestive and dangerous. These are all interconnected in John Hankiewicz’s Education through reveries, memories, and nostalgic abstraction to tell a story that only the medium of comics could do justice” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe magical twins / Alexandro Jodorowsky & Georges Bess ; Montana Kane, translator.
“When the King is taken prisoner by Tartarath, the ‘Dark Master’, twins Prince Aram and Princess Mara, set out to rescue their father and save the kingdom. But when the use of magic is forbidden, the twins have to find new ways to prove themselves worthy of restoring the throne.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Few / written by Sean Lewis ; art by Hayden Sherman.
“Hale is a US Palace Soldier who when witnessing a massacre while under cover, escapes through the forgotten American badlands with a gas mask wearing baby in tow. Now hunted by her country and the cult she was watching her life falls in the hands of two survivalist brothers. This edition collects issues 1 to 6.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReborn. Book one / Mark Millar, writer ; Greg Capullo, penciller ; Jonathan Glapion, inker.
“Where do you go when you die? Not heaven or hell; somewhere else, somewhere you have to fight to survive. Somewhere the people from the past are waiting for you, the good and the bad.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe customer is always wrong / by Mimi Pond.
“This is the saga of a young naive artist named Madge working in a restaurant of charming drunks, junkies, thieves, and creeps. Oakland in the late seventies is a cheap and quirky haven for eccentrics and the tales of the fascinating sleaze-ball characters that surround young Madge into her workaday waitressing life unfold. Outrageous and loving tributes and takedowns of her co-workers and satellites of the Imperial Cafe create a snapshot of a time in Madge’s life where she encounters who she is, and who she is not.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFog over Tolbiac Bridge / adapted by Jacques Tardi from the novel by Léo Malet ; [translated by Kim Thompson].
“Paris, 1950s. Nestor Burma’s past comes knocking when Belita, a young woman, leads him to the Salpetriere hospital, where he discovers the recently deceased Abel Benoit, an old buddy from his anarchist days. While Burma has chosen to move onto the (more or less) straight and narrow as a private eye, his friend had stayed on the other side of the law as a counterfeiter and worse, until his own past caught up with him lethally. So now it’s up to Malet to avenge his friend, and hopefully unravel a mystery whose roots run far and deep back into the past.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOut of the woods : a journey through depression and anxiety / Brent Williams ; illustrator, Korkut Öztekin.
“Out of the Woods is a book to help people understand and overcome depression and anxiety. It is the author’s own story told entirely through 700 beautifully hand drawn watercolor illustrations. It is an immensely practical guide for sufferers, their loved ones, and professionals working in the area too. The book’s graphic memoir format blends a compelling personal story with the latest medical research, ideal for people who are in the depths of depression and struggling to read and take on board information. The book doesn’t pretend there is a quick way out of these illnesses and instead encourages people to make small steps to slowly build their own lasting recoveries. This is an inspiring story that will give vital information and hope to many people.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Browse our top picks from this month’s fiction arrivals in our latest newsletter

It’s the beginning of a new year and we have selected some fabulous new fiction from our recently received material for your enjoyment. In the ‘Other Genres’ category this month we are highlighting thrillers, which are guaranteed tensely suspenseful reading.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

This month we received new novels from so many brilliant writers it was difficult to select only ten for our Recent Picks selection. We do hope you will explore the complete list and that the three chosen for this newsletter will definitely be a temptation to do so.

Syndetics book cover The hearts of men / Nickolas Butler.
“Camp Chippewa, 1962. Thirteen-year-old Nelson, loner and over-achiever, is nicknamed the Bugler as he proudly sounds the reveille each morning. This is the summer that everything changes, marking the beginning of Nelson’s uncertain friendship with a popular boy named Jonathan, and the discovery of his father’s betrayal, which tears his family apart. As time moves on, Nelson, irrevocably scarred from the Vietnam War, becomes Scoutmaster of Camp Chippewa, while Jonathan marries, divorces, and transforms his father’s business. When something unthinkable happens during a visit from Jonathan’s grandson and daughter-in-law, the aftermath tests the depths and the limits of Nelson’s selflessness and bravery.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Future home of the living god : a novel / Louise Erdrich.
“Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. For twenty-six-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant. As society begins to disintegrate, Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation. There are rumors of martial law, of Congress confining pregnant women, of a registry, and rewards for those who turn these wanted women in. It will take all Cedar has to avoid the prying eyes of potential informants and keep her baby safe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The threat level remains severe / Rowena Macdonald.
“House of Commons secretary Grace has been counting the tea breaks in the same dull job for a decade. Brett, the new boy is on a mission to shake up the dusty backrooms of power and set to collide with Grace. Office life begins to look up when Grace receives some mysterious emails.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

As always the graphic novel collection provides readers with a multitude of choice with the variation of narrative, both visual and textual. For this month’s newsletter we have chosen examples of this diversification.

Syndetics book cover Josephine Baker / written by José-Louis Bocquet ; art by Catel Muller ; historical consultant, Jean-Claude Bouillon-Baker.
“Josephine Baker (1906-1975) was nineteen years old when she found herself in Paris for the first time in 1925. Overnight, the young American dancer became the idol of the Roaring Twenties, captivating Picasso, Cocteau, Le Corbusier, and Simenon. In the liberating atmosphere of the 1930s, Baker rose to fame as the first black star on the world stage, from London to Vienna, Alexandria to Buenos Aires. After World War II, and her time in the French Resistance, Baker devoted herself to the struggle against racial segregation, publicly battling the humiliations she had for so long suffered personally. A victim of racism throughout her life, Josephine Baker would sing of love and liberty until the day she died.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover On the Camino / Jason.
“Northwestern Spain, observed with the eye of an artist, chronicling both the good (people, conversations) and the bad (blisters, bedbugs) he encountered on his journey. Full of quiet incidents, odd encounters, small triumphs, and the occasional setback, On the Camino is the first implicitly autobiographical long-form work by a master cartoonist.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Rise of the dungeon master : Gary Gygax and the creation of D&D / David Kushner and Koren Shadmi.
Rise of the Dungeon Master tells, in graphic form, the story of Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and; Dragons, one of the most influential games ever made. Like the game itself, the narrative casts the reader into the adventure from a first person point of view, taking on the roles of the different characters in the story. Gygax was the son of immigrants who grew up in Lake Geneva, WI, in the 1950s. An imaginative misfit, he escaped into a virtual world based on science fiction novels, military history and strategic games like chess. In the mid-1970s, he co-created the wildly popular Dungeons & Dragons game, determining the rules and inventing the signature 20-sided dice. Starting out in the basement of his home, he was soon struggling to keep up with the demand.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Mysteries

In the selection of new mystery fiction this month there were several translated novels, giving an international flavour to this genre. Readers will enjoy the different cultures and societies represented in each mystery. A great way to enjoy armchair travel, providing the suspense and tension is not too disturbing.

Syndetics book cover The girl in the fog / Donato Carrisi ; translated by Howard Curtis.
“A man is arrested in the small town of Avechot. His shirt is covered in blood. Could this have anything to do with a missing girl called Anna Lou? What really happened to the girl? Detective Vogel will do anything to solve the mystery surrounding Anna Lou’s disappearance. When a media storm hits the quiet town, Vogel is sure that the suspect will be flushed out. Yet the clues are confusing, perhaps false, and following them may be a far cry from discovering the truth at the heart of a dark town.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Madness treads lightly / Polina Dashkova ; translated by Marian Schwartz.
“As a working mother, Lena Polyanskaya has her hands full. She’s busy caring for her two-year-old daughter, editing a successful magazine, and supporting her husband, a high-ranking colonel in counterintelligence. She doesn’t have time to play amateur detective. But when a close friend’s suspicious death is labeled a suicide, she’s determined to prove he wouldn’t have taken his own life. As Lena digs in to her investigation, all clues point to murder and its connection to a string of grisly cold-case homicides that stretches back to the Soviet era. When another person in her circle becomes a victim, Lena fears she and her family may be next. She’s determined to do whatever it takes to protect them. But will learning the truth unmask a killer or put her and her family in even more danger?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The Anthill murders / Hans Olav Lahlum ; translated from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson.
“1972. Across Oslo, a serial killer is hunting down young women. Each body found strangled and with a peculiar calling-card placed upon her body: a cut-out picture of an ant. The first victim is a timid theology student, the next a jazz singer, followed by the heir to one of the largest fortunes in Oslo. But despite Inspector K2’s best efforts to find a link, the only thing connecting them seems to be their murder. With assistant Patricia’s intellect put to the test and increasing pressure from his boss as the clock ticks down to the next possible killing, K2 is in danger of losing his position as Oslo’s leading homicide detective.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

The selection from our new science fiction and fantasy novels included several that were dystopian themed, and several novels that had immediate problems facing the world woven into the plots, such as global warming, animal rights and pandemics.

Syndetics book cover The city of brass / S. A. Chakraborty.
“Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trades she uses to get by, palm readings, zars, and a mysterious gift for healing, are all tricks. But when Nahri accidentally summons Dara, an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior, to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to reconsider her beliefs. Dara tells Nahri an extraordinary tale about Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound. In Daevabad, within gilded brass walls laced with enchantments and behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments run deep. When Nahri decides to enter this world, her arrival threatens to ignite a war that has been simmering for centuries.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Beacon 23 / Hugh Howey.
“For centuries, men and women have manned lighthouses to ensure the safe passage of ships. It is a lonely job and a thankless one for the most part, until something goes wrong, until a ship is in distress. In the 23rd century, this job has moved into outer space. A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at many times the speed of light. These beacons are built to be robust. They never break down. They never fail. At least, they aren’t supposed to.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Dogs of war / Adrian Tchaikovsky.
My name is Rex. I am a good dog. Rex is also seven foot tall at the shoulder, bulletproof, bristling with heavy calibre weaponry and his voice resonates with subsonics especially designed to instil fear. Rex is a genetically engineered Bioform, a deadly weapon in a dirty war. He has the intelligence to carry out his orders and feedback implants to reward him when he does. All he wants to be is a Good Dog. And to do that he must do exactly what Master says and Master says he’s got to kill a lot of enemies. But who, exactly, are the enemies? What happens when Master is tried as a war criminal? What rights does the Geneva Convention grant weapons? Do Rex and his fellow Bioforms even have a right to exist? And what happens when Rex slips his leash?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Other genres

This is another month featuring New Zealand writers in our ‘Other Genre’ category. Hopefully this is an indication that New Zealand writing and publishing is flourishing. Almost all genres are represented, from historical fiction to mysteries and short stories, and with a New Zealand flavour.

Syndetics book cover Soldier’s son / by Ian Dodds.
“David sees his father’s World War II 2 ex-soldier macho behavior as being destructive and abusive. When his father gives up alcohol he sees that he could change himself too, and be a more sensitive man than his father has been. When he goes to Teachers College the seventies feminist wave is filtered through his feminist friends. This results in giving him the tools he needed to be the kind of father he wished he’d always had earlier in his life enabling him to be in tune with the roles of husband and father.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Salt picnic / Patrick Evans.
“All the time on the island there had been something she was looking for. She knew she had to keep this in mind, and that she’d know what it was when she found it, whatever it proved to be. It’s 1956 and Iola arrives on the island of Ibiza, on the fringes of Franco’s Spain, with little more than a Spanish phrasebook. Soon she meets a fascinating American photographer who falls in and out of focus: is he really a photographer, and who exactly is the German doctor he keeps asking her about? The mysterious doctor, when he appears, takes Iola for a picnic on a salt island, where she learns how easily the world can be obscured.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Baby / Annaleese Jochems
“Cynthia is twenty-one, bored and desperately waiting for something big to happen when her bootcamp instructor, the striking Anahera, suggests they run away together. With stolen money and a dog in tow they buy ‘Baby’, an old boat docked in the Bay of Islands, where Cynthia dreams they will live in a state of love. But there is an intruder waiting to upset Cynthia’s plans and when a trip to an island utopia goes horribly wrong, a rot sets in on their relationship.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic biographies & first volumes: new graphic novels

This month’s selection of new graphic novels includes the first volumes of four new series. There are also two brilliant graphic biographies, one by Jose-Louis Bocquet on Josephine Baker, the Afro-American dancer that became the sensation of Paris in the 1930s and the other by David Kushner and Koren Shadmi on Gary Gygax, the creator of the Dungeon and Dragons game that became a global phenomenon.

Syndetics book coverMoonshine. Vol. 1 / Brian Azzarello, writer ; Eduardo Risso, art & colors.
“This first volume in a new series is set during Prohibition, and deep in the backwoods of Appalachia, and tells the story of Lou Pirlo, a city-slick “torpedo” sent from New York City to negotiate a deal with the best moonshiner in West Virginia, Hiram Holt. Lou figures how hard could it be to set-up moonshine shipments from a few ass-backward hillbillies? What Lou doesn’t figure on is that Holt is just as cunning as ruthless as any NYC crime boss and Lou is in way over his pin-striped head. Because not only will Holt do anything to protect his illicit booze operation, he’ll stop at nothing to protect a much darker family secret, a bloody, supernatural secret that must never see the light of day, or better still, the light of the full moon.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJessica Jones [1] : uncaged! / writer, Brian Michael Bendis ; artist, Michael Gaydos.
“A lot has changed in the Marvel Universe and there are many secrets hiding in the shadows, secrets only a special woman like Jessica Jones can hope to uncover. Alias Investigations is open for business, and of all the many mysteries to discover, her new case may be the most dangerous one.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJosephine Baker / written by José-Louis Bocquet ; art by Catel Muller ; historical consultant, Jean-Claude Bouillon-Baker.
“Josephine Baker (1906-1975) was nineteen years old when she found herself in Paris for the first time in 1925. Overnight, the young American dancer became the idol of the Roaring Twenties, captivating Picasso, Cocteau, Le Corbusier, and Simenon. In the liberating atmosphere of the 1930s, Baker rose to fame as the first black star on the world stage, from London to Vienna, Alexandria to Buenos Aires. After World War II, and her time in the French Resistance, Baker devoted herself to the struggle against racial segregation, publicly battling the humiliations she had for so long suffered personally. A victim of racism throughout her life, Josephine Baker would sing of love and liberty until the day she died.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTo have & to hold / Graham Chaffee.
“Set in October 1962, while the world holds its collective breath awaiting the possibly apocalyptic climax of the unfolding Cuban Missile Crisis, the banality of everyday life goes on and Lonnie and Kate Ross confront their own domestic cold war. As Kate, frustrated and disillusioned, looks outside her marriage for satisfaction, Lonnie’s justifiable suspicions of his wife’s infidelity lead him down a deadly road of increasing paranoia and violence as he seeks to reclaim what he’s lost.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMutiny Bay / Antoine Cossé.
“1519. A Spanish fleet leaves Seville, heading west. Portuguese Captain Magellan is convinced of the existence of a South American strait that will expedite trade with the Indonesian Spice Islands. Months later, in a deserted and inhospitable land, mutiny brews, and two men are marooned and the world explodes in a riot of hallucinatory colour.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOn the Camino / Jason.
“Northwestern Spain, observed with the eye of an artist, chronicling both the good (people, conversations) and the bad (blisters, bedbugs) he encountered on his journey. Full of quiet incidents, odd encounters, small triumphs, and the occasional setback, On the Camino is the first implicitly autobiographical long-form work by a master cartoonist.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRise of the dungeon master : Gary Gygax and the creation of D&D / David Kushner and Koren Shadmi.
Rise of the Dungeon Master tells, in graphic form, the story of Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and; Dragons, one of the most influential games ever made. Like the game itself, the narrative casts the reader into the adventure from a first person point of view, taking on the roles of the different characters in the story. Gygax was the son of immigrants who grew up in Lake Geneva, WI, in the 1950s. An imaginative misfit, he escaped into a virtual world based on science fiction novels, military history and strategic games like chess. In the mid-1970s, he co-created the wildly popular Dungeons & Dragons game, determining the rules and inventing the signature 20-sided dice. Starting out in the basement of his home, he was soon struggling to keep up with the demand.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA.D. : after death / written by Scott Snyder ; illustrated by Jeff Lemire.
“Set in a future where a genetic cure for death has been found. Years after the discovery, one man starts to question everything, leading him on a mind-bending journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past and his own mortality. This is a unique combination of comics, prose, and illustration.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBoundless / Jillian Tamaki.
“Jenny becomes obsessed with a strange “mirror Facebook,” which presents an alternate, possibly better, version of herself. Helen finds her clothes growing baggy, her shoes looser, and as she shrinks away to nothingness, the world around her recedes as well. The animals of the city briefly open their minds to us, and we see the world as they do. A mysterious music file surfaces on the internet and forms the basis of a utopian society-or is it a cult? This collection of short stories is a showcase for the masterful blend of emotion and humour of award-winning cartoonist Jillian Tamaki.” (Adapted from
Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeadman : dark mansion of forbidden love / Sarah Vaughn, writer ; Lan Medina & Phil Hester, illustrators.
“Boston Brand is a dead man walking. More than walking, actually his uncanny abilities enable him to float, fly and seize control of the bodies of the living. He’s no mere ghost. He’s something more powerful, more heroic, he is Deadman and he’s about to meet Berenice, a living woman with powers of her own. Separated by the boundary between life and death, yet able to walk between both worlds, Deadman and Berenice must work together to unravel the mystery of the Manor and defeat the dark forces that threaten to erupt.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

A selection of new graphic novel arrivals

There is some fascinating reading for the holidays in this month’s selection of new graphic novels, with a re-telling of a Jim Thompson classic noir novel, the story of John Lennon in New York, the development of hip hop, and the true story of the kidnapping by terrorist of Christopher Andre, almost twenty years later. The most brilliant cover would go to animator Pieter Coudyzer’s graphic novel Outburst.

Syndetics book coverOutburst / written and illustrated by Pieter Coudyzer ; translated from the Dutch by Peter Mennen.
Outburst is about a man who has a forest inside him. When we meet him, all his limbs end in squeezed branches (or roots) where hands and feet should be. He tells his story, that of a fat, nerdy boy always chosen last for teams and relentlessly bullied, whose only defense is to withdraw within himself. Growth to manhood puts an end to physical abuse but not to ostracism, and he has to take a job that suits him night watchman. Eventually, he experiences an outburst; he now awaits the police or a final decision.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHostage / Guy Delisle ; translated by Helge Dascher.
“How does one survive when all hope is lost? In the middle of the night in 1997, Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe Andre was kidnapped by armed men and taken away to an unknown destination in the Caucasus region. For three months, Andre was kept handcuffed in solitary confinement, with little to survive on and almost no contact with the outside world. Close to twenty years later, this award-winning cartoonist recounts Andre’s harrowing experience in Hostage, a book that attests to the power of one man’s determination in the face of a hopeless situation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJim Thompson’s The killer inside me / writer, Devin Faraci ; artist, Vic Malhotra.
“Celebrated crime novelist Jim Thompson’s sinewy, brutal, and beloved novel comes to life in this graphic noir novel. Thompson went where few have dared, giving us a pitch-black glimpse into the evil mind of the American serial killer years before Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, and Brett Easton Ellis’s American Psycho. Lou Ford is the deputy sheriff of a small unsuspecting Texas town. The worst thing most people can say against him is that he’s a little slow and a little boring. But most people don’t know about the sickness,the sickness that almost got Lou put away when he was younger, the psychosis that is about to surface again.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy favorite thing is monsters. Book one / Emil Ferris.
“Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbour, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLennon : the New York years / adaptation by Corbeyran ; illustration by Horne ; story by Foenkinos ; translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger.
“In 1975 John Lennon moved to New York City, stopped being a Beatle, and started being a father. Though his life was cut tragically short in front of his home by a fan, John Lennon’s forty years on earth changed millions of lives and shaped the course of pop culture. Many know the Beatle, the activist, the man gone balmy over Yoko, but more lies beneath the surface. From the imagined couch of a fictional therapist in NYC’s posh Dakota building, Lennon recounts the many joys, shortcomings, failures, and triumphs that marked this pop culture juggernaut’s rise to superstardom.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFaith / Jody Houser, Francis Portela, Marguerite Sauvage, Andrew Dalhouse.
“Faith Herbert has always wanted to be a superhero, just like the ones in her favorite comic books. When she unlocked her latent psiots powers and joined the Harbinger Renegades she finally had her shot. But now she’s going to see if she’s got what it takes to make it as a solo hero, secret identity and all. By day, she’s a mild-mannered pop-culture blogger, by night she’s L.A.’s leading superhero, the sky-soaring Zephyr. When other young psiots start going missing without a trace all over the City of Angels, it’s going to be up to her to find out why.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCryptocracy / written by Van Jensen ; art by Pete Woods.
“For time beyond memory, the Nine Families watched from the shadows, believing themselves shepherds and manipulating whole societies as they saw fit. Nothing happened that they didn’t observe or control. Outsiders knew naught of the Families, much less threatened them, until now.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverViolenzia : and other deadly amusements / by Richard Sala.
“Is she a brave and reckless heroine taking on a monstrous evil? Or is she a deranged angel of death? One thing is clear: whether she is dropping from a high window into a crowd of red-robed fanatical cultists, or facing down a horde of psychotic hillbillies, you don’t want to get in her way.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy brother’s husband. Volume 1 / Gengoroh Tagame ; translated from the Japanese by Anne Ishii.
“Yaichi is a work-at-home suburban dad in contemporary Tokyo; formerly married to Natsuki, father to their young daughter, Kana. Their lives suddenly change with the arrival at their doorstep of a hulking, affable Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a quest to explore Ryoji’s past, and the family reluctantly but dutifully takes him in. What follows is an unprecedented and heartbreaking look at the state of a largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGhetto brother : warrior to peacemaker / Julian Voloj and Claudia Ahlering.
“From the seemingly bombed-out ravages of his neighbourhood, wracked by drugs, poverty and violence, Benjy manages to extract an incredibly positive energy: his gang is multi-racial and peacemaking. Amongst its many accomplishments: weekly concerts on the asphalt of the streets or in abandoned buildings which see the emergence of hip-hop.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Start a new series: New graphic novels

Two new series are included in this month’s selection of new graphic novels. Each month, with our selections we attempt to illustrate the diversity of this most popular collection. Highly recommend is the latest work from the much acclaimed Jeff Lemire titled Roughneck.

Syndetics book coverSoviet daughter : a graphic revolution / Julia Alekseyeva.
“The story of Lola, the author’s great-grandmother, who lived an adventurous life as a feminist, secret service agent, military nurse, and Jewish refugee in the soviet Ukraine. The story is interwoven with the author’s political and romantic coming-of-age a century later in present-day Chicago.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAdam Sarlech : a trilogy / Frédéric Bézian, writer & artist ; Mark Bence, translator.
“Mid-19th century France, and Father Gabriel Raven has just taken over a small parish surrounded by moorland. He soon meets Doctor Spitzner, personal physician to the notorious Malherbe family. Intrigued, the young priest visits the sumptuous property of this bizarre, wealthy dynasty that shuns all contact with the outside world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHarley Quinn. Vol. 1, Die laughing / Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, writers ; John Timms [and four others], artists.
“Her name is Dr. Harleen Quinzel, better known to her friends and enemies as playful-but-deadly Harley Quinn. Her ex-boyfriend, the Joker, may be the Clown Prince of Crime, but Harley’s the Queen of Coney Island! So when a zombie apocalypse threatens her small seaside stretch of paradise, who else would you call to save you?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWorld without end : the complete collection / Jamie Delano, John Higgins ; with an afterword by Stephen R. Bissette.
“Millions of years in the future, a new world emerges, a world made of living flesh, surrounded by acidic seas. Rotten at the edges, awash in gangrene swamps, and bristling with mountains of bone, the planet’s simmering core houses the stark city of Bedlam, where an all-male race suppresses every manifestation of femininity. In this magnificently illustrated dreamscape of brutality and eroticism, a mysterious female presence called Rumour arises to challenge super-commando Brother Bones in a deadly war between the sexes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe complete Phonogram / Kieron Gillen, writer ; Jamie McKelvie, artist ; Chrissy Williams, editor.
“Collected in a single volume for the first time, the first critically beloved work from the creators of The Wicked + the Divine. The world where Music Is Magic has never looked better.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArclight / story, Brandon Graham ; art and colors, Marian Churchland.
“A lady of the blood house has had her mind trapped in a strange alien body. While hiding on the outskirts of her kingdom until she learns that an alien monster pretending to be her has taken her place.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRoughneck / Jeff Lemire.
“Derek Ouellette’s glory days are behind him. His hockey career ended a decade earlier in a violent incident on ice, and since then he’s been living off his reputation in the remote northern community where he grew up, drinking too much and fighting anyone who crosses him. When his long-lost sister Beth shows up, on the run from an abusive boyfriend, the two escape to a secluded hunting camp in the woods. There, living off the land, they reconnect with each other, the painful secrets of their past, and their Cree heritage and start to heal. But Beth’s ex-boyfriend is hunting them. As he circles closer, he threatens to shatter this newfound peace and pull both Derek and Beth back into the world of self-destruction they’ve fought so hard to leave behind.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSaving Grace / Grace Wilson.
“The story of four twenty-somethings, Grace, Vicky, Jess and Maxine, who live in a ramshackle house in a rapidly gentrifying East London, until the landlord announces he’s selling up and they’ve got four weeks to leave. New plans form effortlessly for the others, but the odds feel stacked against Grace as she struggles to find self-fulfillment, a half decent job or even a roof over her head.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBriggs Land. Volume 1, State of grace / script, Brian Wood ; art, Mack Chater.
“Briggs Land, nearly a hundred square miles of rural wilderness, contains the largest anti-government secessionist movement in the United States. When matriarch Grace Briggs wrests control of the operation from her incarcerated husband, she sparks a war within the community and her immediate family that threatens to bring the full power of the federal government down on their heads” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

California Dreamin’: New graphic novels

This we have another exciting selection of new graphic novels, recently received into the collection.
Several biographical, science fiction, horror, and mystery graphic novels are included in this selection. Also one historical, that is highly recommended, that is Wars in the whitecloud: Wairau, 1843 by M. H. Mckinley.

Syndetics book coverCalifornia dreamin’ : Cass Elliot before the Mamas & the Papas / Pénélope Bagieu ; English translation by Nanette McGuinness.
“Before she was the legendary Mama Cass of the folk group The Mamas and the Papas, Ellen Cohen was a teen girl from Baltimore with an incredible voice, incredible confidence, and incredible dreams. At the age of nineteen, at the dawn of the sixties, Ellen left her hometown and became Cass Elliot. Cass found an unlikely group of co-conspirators, and in their short time together this bizarre and dysfunctional band recorded some of the most memorable songs of their era. Through the whirlwind of drugs, war, love, and music, Cass struggled to keep sight of her dreams, of who she loved, and most importantly who she was.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBroken world / written by Frank J. Barbiere ; illustrated by Christopher Peterson.
“With a meteor days away from causing an extinction-level event on Earth, time is running out for Elena Marlowe. While most of the planet’s population and her family were approved by the government to escape on one of the giant spaceships headed to another planet, her application was denied due to her mysterious past. With time running out, Elena tries desperately to find a way to fake her way onto the last ship or else be left behind to die with the rest of Earth’s rejected denizens.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe best we could do : an illustrated memoir / Thi Bui.
“The author describes her experiences as a young Vietnamese immigrant, highlighting her family’s move from their war-torn home to the United States in graphic novel format.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe attack / story, Loïc Dauvillier ; art & color, Glen Chapron ; adapted from the novel by Yasmina Khadra ; translator, Ivanka Hahnenberger.
The Attack opens with Amin Jaafari, an Israeli surgeon of Palestinian origin, trying to save the casualties of a suicide bombing. A day after the deadly attack, an Israeli police officer informs Jaafari that the suicide bomber was his wife, Sihem. Believing her to be on an overnight trip, he completely refuses to accept the accusation. But then he receives a posthumous message from Sihem confirming the worst. Desperate to understand how he missed even the slightest clue, Jaafari leaves the relative security of Israel and enters the Palestinian territories to find the fanatics who recruited her.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDept. H. Volume 1, Pressure / story and art, Matt Kindt ; colors, Sharlene Kindt ; letters, Marie Enger.
“A special investigator hired to uncover possible sabotage taking place at a deep-sea research station uncovers a crime scene filled with suspects with terrible secrets, strange deep-sea creatures, and an impending flood.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWars in the whitecloud : Wairau, 1843 / MH McKinley.
“The New Zealand wars 1843-1847 and the Ngati Toa of the Wairau Valley, an accomplished visual treat.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Electric Sublime / written by W. Maxwell Prince ; art by Martin Morazzo.
“When a mysterious change in the composition of a famous painting begins poisoning the minds of its spectators, Margot Breslin, director of the Bureau of Artistic Integrity, must pull famed “art detective” Arthur Brut out of a mental institution and back into the insanity that sent him there in the first place.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHeartthrob. Book 1, Never going back again / written by Christopher Sebela ; illustrated by Robert Wilson IV ; colored by Nick Filardi ; lettered by Crank!
“Callie was born with a bad heart. After it ruined her life, she went looking for a miracle: a heart transplant. Enter Mercer, a mystery man who gets Callie’s heart beating like crazy. As her behavior changes and their flirting deepens, Mercer reveals he’s her heart donor. Only Callie can see, speak to, and touch him and he’s in love with her, a love she feels just as strongly. A master thief when he died, Mercer offers to teach Callie his criminal ways and how to turn them against her old job and kick off a nationwide crime spree.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverShe wolf. Volume 1 / Rich Tommaso.
“A surreal exploration in horror, the story of a teenage girl who believes she’s been bitten by a savage werewolf. She begins to experience feverish nightmares that seamlessly bleed into her everyday reality. Friends and family help to unlock the keys to her strange transformations through their own personal experiences with lycanthropy and by use of witchcraft.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGun theory / script, Daniel Way ; art, Jon Proctor.
“Everyone who’s laid eyes on Harvey is dead. That’s because Harvey is a hired killer whose victims never see him until it is too late. Through years of practice, Harvey’s appearance and demeanor have become so devoid of humanity that he has become invisible. He is unknowable and untouchable, until Harvey meets a woman who, strangely, can see him.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Must reads from this month’s fiction selections

The following titles have been chosen from our monthly new fiction selections. They are all highly recommended for great reading.

Syndetics book cover A wonderfully rendered retelling of this exciting classic novel.

Syndetics book coverOne of the best apocalyptic science fiction novels yet.

Syndetics book coverA gripping highly charged mystery.

Syndetics book coverA suspenseful, almost gothic story of family, love and disappointment in one New Zealand family.

Syndetics book cover An emotionally deep novel about survival, fear and courage.

Fling yourself into this month’s new fiction

Welcome to the latest fiction newsletter. Here we showcase some of the most exciting new fiction in each genre. This month we feature New Zealand writers in out ‘Other Genres’ category. All sections are linked to the full list of recent picks selections from our new additions to the collection. We wish you many hours of entertaining and satisfying reading.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

The selection of new contemporary novels this month includes new novels from some highly acclaimed authors, and several debut novels that will surely secure each author’s future writing career. For this newsletter we have highlighted three debut novels so readers can judge this for themselves.

Syndetics book cover The Pacific room / Michael Fitzgerald.
“This remarkable debut novel tells of the last days of Tusitala, ‘the teller of tales’, as Robert Louis Stevenson became known in Samoa where he chose to die. In 1892 Girolamo Nerli travels from Sydney by steamer to Apia, with the intention of capturing something of Jekyll and Hyde in his portrait of the famous author. Nerli’s presence sets in train a disturbing sequence of events. More than a century later, art historian Lewis Wakefield comes to Samoa to research the painting of Tusitala’s portrait by the long-forgotten Italian artist. On hiatus from his bipolar medication, Lewis is freed to confront the powerful reality of all the desires and demons that R. L. Stevenson couldn’t control.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Goodbye, vitamin : a novel / Rachel Khong.
“Freshly disengaged from her fiancé; and feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job, leaves town and arrives at her parents’ home to find that situation more complicated than she’d realized. Her father, a prominent history professor, is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid. Ruth’s mother, meanwhile, is lucidly erratic. But as Ruth’s father’s condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming her all her grief.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The sixteen trees of the Somme / Lars Mytting ; translated from the Norwegian by Paul Russell Garrett
“Edvard grows up on a remote mountain farmstead in Norway with his taciturn grandfather, Sverre. The death of his parents, when he was three years old, has always been shrouded in mystery, he has never been told how or where it took place and has only a distant memory of his mother. But he knows that the fate of his grandfather’s brother, Einar, is somehow bound up with this mystery. One day a coffin is delivered for his grandfather long before his death, a meticulous, beautiful piece of craftsmanship. Perhaps Einar is not dead after all. Edvard’s desperate quest to unlock the family’s tragic secrets takes him on a long journey, from Norway to the Shetlands, and to the battlefields of France, to the discovery of a very unusual inheritance.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

As always the new graphic novels illustrate the diversity of this collection, with narratives ranging from comedy to tragedy, from modern life to horror, from the sublime to the surreal, and all with extraordinary art work. We hope the three titles chosen for this newsletter illustrate this diversity.

Syndetics book cover Little Tulip / Jerome Charyn and François Boucq.
“A serial killer haunts the city streets, a stalker of isolated women who leaves a Santa Claus hat at the scene of his crimes. Pavel, a Russian emigre assists the police investigation as a sketch artist. But Pavel’s true calling is as a tattoo artist, and the so-called Bad Santa killings conjure up memories of the nightmarish world in which he learned his craft: a Russian prison camp that shattered his childhood and destroyed his family. Shifting between the living hell of a 1940s Siberian gulag and the crime-ridden chaos of New York City during the 1970s, this graphic novel’s stunning artwork provides an atmospheric backdrop to its tale of corruption, murder, and revenge.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Pretending is lying / Dominique Goblet ; translated by Sophie Yanow in collaboration with the author.
“The first book to appear in English by the acclaimed Belgian artist Dominique Goblet, Pretending is Lying is a memoir unlike any other. In a series of dazzling fragments–skipping through time, Goblet examines the most important relationships in her life: with her partner, Guy Marc; with her daughter, Nikita; and with her parents.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The Black Monday murders. Volume 1, All hail, God Mammon / words by Jonathan Hickman ; art by Tomm Coker.
“A new crypto-noir series about the power of dirty, filthy money and exactly what kind of people you can buy with it. THE BLACK MONDAY MURDERS is classic occultism where the various schools of magic are actually clandestine banking cartels that control all of society: a secret world where vampire Russian oligarchs, Black popes, enchanted American aristocrats, and hitmen from the International Monetary Fund work together to keep global control.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Read more

Mysteries

This month many very popular, much acclaimed writers were included in our monthly selection of new mystery novels. The three titles chosen for this newsletter will hopefully tempt fans of this genre to pursue the complete list of selected new mysteries.

Syndetics book cover Glass souls : moths for commissario Ricciardi / Maurizio de Giovanni ; translated from the Italian by Antony Shugaar.
“In the abyss of a profound personal crisis, Commissario Ricciardi feels unable to open himself up to life. He has refused the love of both Enrica and Livia and the friendship of his partner. Contentment for Ricciardi proves as elusive as clues to his latest case. The beautiful countess Bianca, pleads with him to investigate an officially closed case. In the tense, charged atmosphere of 1930s Italy, where Benito Mussolini and his fascist thugs monitor the police, an unauthorized investigation is grounds for immediate dismissal. But Ricciardi’s thirst for justice cannot be sated.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Ordeal / Jorn Lier Horst ; translated by Anne Bruce.
“Together with her one year old daughter Maja, single mother Sofie Lund moves into the house she inherited from her grandfather. Sofie has such painful memories that she has had every trace of the old man removed, every trace but a locked safe that has been bolted to the basement floor. Inside the safe, Sofie finds something shocking that will also become crucial evidence in a case that has plagued Inspector William Wisting for a long time. Following this lead though, he will cut across important loyalties and undermine confidence in the police force.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Only human / Kristine Næss ; translated from the Norwegian by Seán Kinsella.
“Bea Britt lives alone in her grandmother’s house in west Oslo. Early one morning, she wakes to find a police hunt outside her window and drama unfolding on her TV. Volunteers are scouring the local woods looking for Emilie, a missing schoolgirl. Emilie’s rucksack is found in Bea Britt’s garden. But as her spiraling doubts and suspicions take over, is she a suspect, a witness or a potential second victim?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

All aspects of science fiction and fantasy, dystopian fiction, space warfare, aliens, magic, planetary missions, and much more are represented each month in our selections from the new novels added to Wellington City Libraries collection. Readers of this genre are always guaranteed hours of escapist pleasure.

Syndetics book cover The management style of the Supreme Beings : A novel / Tom Holt.
“When the Supreme Being and his son decide that being supreme isn’t for them anymore, it’s inevitable that things get a bit of a shake-up. It soon becomes apparent that our new owners, the Venturi brothers, have a very different perspective on all sorts of things. Take good and evil, for example. For them, it’s an outdated concept that never worked particularly well in the first place. Unfortunately, the sudden disappearance of right and wrong, while welcomed by some, raises certain concerns amongst those still attached to the previous team’s management style. In particular, there’s one of the old gods who didn’t move out with the others. A reclusive chap, he lives somewhere up north, and only a handful even believe in him. But he’s watching. And he really does need to know if you’ve been naughty or nice.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Exodus / Alex Lamb.
“The Photurians, a hive mind of sentient AIs and machines, were awakened by humanity as part of a complex political trap. But they broke free, evolved, and now the human race is almost finished. Once we spanned dozens of star systems; now only four remain, and Earth is being evacuated. But the Photes can infect us, and among the thousands rescued from our home world may be enemy agents. Tiny colonies struggle to house the displaced. Our warships are failing. The end of humanity has come. But on a distant planet shielded from both humanity and the Photurians, one hope may still live. There is only person who might be able to intervene, the roboteer. He is trapped in a hell of his own making, and does not know he is needed. So a desperate rescue mission is begun. But can he be reached in time? Or will he be the last remnant of humanity in the universe?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The White City / Simon Morden.
“Since escaping London’s inferno, Mary and Dalip have fought monsters and won, though in the magical world of Down, the most frightening monsters come from within. Now they hold the greatest of treasures: maps that reveal the way to the White City, where they can find the answers they’re looking for, and learn the secrets of Down. But to get there they must rely on Crows, who has already betrayed them at every turn. As they battle their way towards the one place in all of Down without magic, they must ask themselves how far they will go to find their way home. After all, if there’s one thing the White City offers those brave enough to enter, it’s more than they bargained for.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Other genres

This month we featured New Zealand writers, with much variation of genre with mysteries, psychological thrillers, science fiction, historical, and contemporary life all represented. This newsletter selection highlights some great reads by some of New Zealand’s best writers.

Syndetics book cover The sound of her voice : one cop’s descent into darkness / Nathan Blackwell.
“To Detective Matt Buchanan, the world is a pretty sick place. He has probably been in the job too long, for one thing. And then there’s 14-year-old Samantha Coates, and the other unsolved murder cases. Those innocent girls he just can’t get out of his head. When Buchanan pursues some fresh leads, it soon becomes clear he’s on the trail of something big. As he pieces the horrific crimes together, Buchanan finds the very foundations of everything he once believed in start to crumble.” (Adapted from Syndeics summary)
Syndetics book cover A killer harvest / Paul Cleave.
“Joshua is convinced there is a family curse. It has taken loved ones from him, it has robbed him of his eyesight, and is the reason why his father is killed while investigating the homicide of a young woman. Joshua is handed an opportunity he can’t refuse: an operation that will allow him to see the world through his father’s eyes. As Joshua navigates a world of sight, he gets glimpses of what these eyes might have witnessed in their previous life. What exactly was his dad up to in his role as a police officer? There are consequences to the secret life his father was living, and these consequences come in the form of a man hell bent on killing, consequences that bring this man closer and closer to Joshua.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Decline & fall on Savage Street / Fiona Farrell.
“A fascinating novel about a house with a fanciful little turret, built by a river. Unfolding within its rooms are lives of event and emotional upheaval. A lot happens. And the tumultuous events of the twentieth century also leave their mark, from war to economic collapse, the deaths of presidents and princesses to new waves of music, art, architecture and political ideas. Meanwhile, a few metres away in the river, another creature follows a different, slower rhythm. And beneath them all, the planet moves to its own immense geological time.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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New Graphic Novels for September

This month’s selection of new Graphic novels illustrates the diversity of this collection. The narratives range from comedy to tragedy, from modern life to horror, from the sublime to the surreal, and all with extraordinary art work. Highly recommended this month, but not for the faint hearted is Little Tulip, by Jerome Charryn and Francois Boucq.

Syndetics book coverHerman Melville’s Moby Dick / Chabouté ; translation, Laure Dupont.Moby Dick
“In striking black-and-white illustrations, Chaboute retells the story of the Great American Novel. Captain Ahab strikes out on a voyage, obsessively seeking revenge on the great white whale that took his leg.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLittle Tulip / Jerome Charyn and François Boucq.
“A serial killer haunts the city streets, a stalker of isolated women who leaves a Santa Claus hat at the scene of his crimes. Pavel, a Russian emigre assists the police investigation as a sketch artist. But Pavel’s true calling is as a tattoo artist, and the so-called Bad Santa killings conjure up memories of the nightmarish world in which he learned his craft: a Russian prison camp that shattered his childhood and destroyed his family. Shifting between the living hell of a 1940s Siberian gulag and the crime-ridden chaos of New York City during the 1970s, this graphic novel’s stunning artwork provides an atmospheric backdrop to its tale of corruption, murder, and revenge.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpaniel rage / Vanessa Davis.
“Semi-autobiographical but more observational than confessional, a young single Jewish woman in New York accounts of dating woes, misunderstandings between her and her mother, and conversations with friends, anecdotes about her anxieties and wry truths about the contradictions of life in the big city.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPretending is lying / Dominique Goblet ; translated by Sophie Yanow in collaboration with the author.
“The first book to appear in English by the acclaimed Belgian artist Dominique Goblet, Pretending is Lying is a memoir unlike any other. In a series of dazzling fragments–skipping through time, Goblet examines the most important relationships in her life: with her partner, Guy Marc; with her daughter, Nikita; and with her parents.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Black Monday murders. Volume 1, All hail, God Mammon / words by Jonathan Hickman ; art by Tomm Coker.
“A new crypto-noir series about the power of dirty, filthy money and exactly what kind of people you can buy with it. THE BLACK MONDAY MURDERS is classic occultism where the various schools of magic are actually clandestine banking cartels that control all of society: a secret world where vampire Russian oligarchs, Black popes, enchanted American aristocrats, and hitmen from the International Monetary Fund work together to keep global control.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe coldest winter / written by Antony Johnston ; illustrated by Steven Perkins.
“A pre-equal to The Coldest City, again set in Cold War-ear Berlin. After a string of botched assignments for MI6 in Berlin, David Perceval is being sent home. His final mission before leaving, the defection of a Soviet scientist, goes badly wrong, as the coldest winter for 30 years descends on Europe. With transport out of Berlin impossible, and the KGB searching everywhere for their lost scientist, Perceval must improvise a deadly game of cat and mouse through the frozen city to keep the Russians at bay, and deliver his own unique brand of revenge.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSnotgirl. Vol. 1, Green hair don’t care / script, Bryan Lee O’Malley ; art, Leslie Hung ; created by Bryan Lee O’Malley & Leslie Hung.
“Who is Lottie Person? Is she a gorgeous, fun-loving social media star with a perfect life or a gross, allergy-ridden mess?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSeven to Eternity. Vol. 1, The god of whispers / written by Rick Remender ; drawn by Jerome Opeña ; edited by Sebastian Girner.
“The God of Whispers has spread an omnipresent paranoia to every corner of the kingdom of Zhal; his spies hide in every hall spreading mistrust and fear. Adam Osidis, a dying knight from a disgraced house, must decide about joining a hopeless band of magic users in their desperate bid to free their world of the evil God.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWeird detective / script by Fred Van Lente ; art by Guiu Villanova.
“The streets of New York have been plagued by a pattern of crimes too weird and bizarre for the average detective. Lurking in the evidence are shadows of loathsome horrors from beyond space and time, seeking to usher in the unimaginable evil of the Old Ones. The only man capable of fighting against the unspeakable terrors isn’t a man at all. Detective Sebastian Green is one of them it takes a monster to catch a monster.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSnow day / Pierre Wazem, writer ; Antoine Aubin, artist ; Mark Bence, translator.
“A young outsider sheriff struggles in a small, isolated, snow-covered town populated by hard, brutal people who don’t take kindly to strangers. It’s a place where everyone minds their own business and folks do as they please. That is, until the calm, quiet sheriff decides to do his job properly and uphold the law.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)