Fiction newsletter for March

Welcome to the Fiction newsletter where we bring you the best of the best selection from our recently received new fiction. In ‘Other Genres” this month we feature new fiction from our talented New Zealand writers. We are sure you will find many hours of great reading with our selections.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

In this month’s best New Contemporary Fiction we highly recommend The Room by Jonas Karlsson, and From out of the City by John Kelly, but do try others in the full selection, as they are all great reads.

Syndetics book cover The room / Jonas Karlsson ; translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith.
“The Authority looks favorably upon meticulousness, efficiency and ambition. Bjorn has all of this in spades, but it’s only in the Room that he can really shine. Unfortunately, his colleagues see things differently. In fact, they don’t even see the Room at all.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover From Out of the City / John Kelly.
“Dublin, some years from now, and the President of the United States has just been assassinated during a state dinner in his honour. The official account has already taken hold but a hawk-eyed octogenarian named Monk, believing that there’s nothing that cannot be known, has a version of his own, a dark and twisted tale of both the watcher and the watched. “Nothing gets past a man as invisible as me,” he says, introducing us to a cast of damaged characters he has kept under the strictest surveillance for years.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The illuminations / Andrew O’Hagen.
“A beautiful, deeply charged story about love and memory, about modern war and the complications of fact. Standing one evening at the window of her house by the sea, Anne Quirk sees a rabbit disappearing in the snow. Nobody remembers her now, but this elderly woman was in her youth a pioneer of British documentary photography. Her beloved grandson, Luke, now a captain with the Royal Western Fusiliers, is on a tour of duty in Afghanistan, part of a convoy taking equipment to the electricity plant at Kajaki. Only when Luke returns home to Scotland does Anne’s secret story begin to emerge, along with his, and they set out for an old guest house in Blackpool where she once kept a room.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

The much anticipated second novel from talented New Zealander, Dylan Horrocks, titled Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen is included in this month’s selection of the best new Graphic novels.

Syndetics book cover Jaybird / Lauri & Jaako Ahonen.
“The story of a very small and very scared little bird, who lives a lonely, isolated life in a great big house with his infirm mother. He’s never been outside the house, curious but terrified of the world outside, and he will never leave if his mother has a say about it. Winner of 2013 “Comic Book Finlandia” prize.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Sam Zabel and the magic pen / Dylan Horrocks.
“Cartoonist Sam Zabel hasn’t drawn a comic in years. Stuck in a nightmare of creative block and despair, Sam spends his days writing superhero stories for a large American comics publisher and staring at a blank piece of paper, unable to draw a single line. Then one day he finds a mysterious old comic book set on Mars and is suddenly thrown headlong into a wild, fantastic journey through centuries of comics, stories, and imaginary worlds.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover (In a sense) Lost & found / by Roman Muradov.
“The first graphic novel by rising star Roman Muradov explores the theme of innocence by treating it as a tangible object-something that can be used, lost, mistreated.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Mysteries

The new Mystery fiction this month includes the highly recommended Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback.

Syndetics book cover Wolf winter : a novel / Cecilia Ekbäck.
“Swedish Lapland, 1717. Maija, her husband Paavo and her daughters Frederika and Dorotea arrive from their native Finland, hoping to forget the traumas of their past and put down new roots in this harsh but beautiful land. While herding the family’s goats on the mountain, Frederika happens upon the mutilated body of one of their neighbors, Eriksson. The death is dismissed as a wolf attack, but Maija feels certain that the wounds could only have been inflicted by another man. Compelled to investigate despite her neighbors’ strange disinterest in the death and the fate of Eriksson’s widow, Maija is drawn into a dark history of tragedies and betrayals.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Summertime / Vanessa Lafaye.
“Florida, 1935. In Heron Key the locals are preparing for the 4th of July barbecue, unaware that their world is about to change forever. Missy, the Kincaid family’s maid, feels that she has wasted her life pining for Henry, whom she hasn’t seen since before the war. Now he’s returned with a group of other destitute veterans, unsure of his future, ashamed of his past. When a white woman is found brutally beaten, suspicion falls on Henry. And as the tensions rise, the barometer starts to plummet. The residents think they’re ready, and so do the soldiers. They’re wrong. For far out over the Atlantic, the greatest storm ever to strike America is heading their way.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The ice queen / Nele Neuhuas ; translated by Steven T. Murray.
“The body of 92-year-old Jossi Goldberg, Holocaust survivor and American citizen, is found shot to death execution style in his house near Frankfurt. A five-digit number is scrawled in blood at the murder scene. The autopsy reveals an old and unsuccessfully covered tattoo on the corpse’s arm, a blood type marker once used by Hitler’s SS. Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver Bodenstein are faced with a riddle. Was the old man not Jewish after all? Who was he, really? Two more, similar murders happen, one of a wheelchair-bound old lady in a nursing home, and one of a man with a cellar filled with Nazi paraphernalia, slowly the connections between the victims becomes evident.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

This month’s selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels includes the highly recommended Inside a silver box by the veteran writer Walter Mosely

Syndetics book cover Half the world / Joe Abercrombie.
“Sometimes a girl is touched by Mother War. Thorn is such a girl. Desperate to avenge her dead father, she lives to fight. But she has been named a murderer by the very man who trained her to kill. Sometimes a woman becomes a warrior. She finds herself caught up in the schemes of Father Yarvi, Gettland’s deeply cunning minister. Crossing half the world to find allies against the ruthless High King, she learns harsh lessons of blood and deceit. Sometimes a warrior becomes a weapon. Beside her on the journey is Brand, a young warrior who hates to kill, a failure in his eyes and hers, but with one chance at redemption. And weapons are made for one purpose. Will Thorn forever be a pawn in the hands of the powerful, or can she carve her own path?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The galaxy game / Karen Lord.
“On the verge of adulthood, Rafi attends the Lyceum, a school for the psionically gifted. Rafi possesses mental abilities that might benefit people, or control them. Some wish to help Rafi wield his powers responsibly; others see him as a threat to be contained. Rafi’s only freedom at the Lyceum is Wallrunning: a game of speed and agility played on vast vertical surfaces riddled with variable gravity fields. Serendipity and Ntenman are also students at the Lyceum, but unlike Rafi they come from communities where such abilities are valued. The three friends soon experience a moment of violent change as seething tensions between rival star-faring civilizations come to a head. For Serendipity, it will challenge her ideas of community and self. For Ntenman, it will open new opportunities and new dangers. And for Rafi, given a chance to train with some of the best Wallrunners in the galaxy, it will lead to the discovery that there is more to Wallrunning than he ever suspected and more to himself than he ever dreamed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Inside a silver box / Walter Mosley.
“Two people brought together by a horrific act are united in a common cause by the powers of the Silver Box. The two join to protect humanity from destruction by an alien race, the Laz, hell-bent on regaining control over the Silver Box, the most destructive and powerful tool in the universe. The Silver Box will stop at nothing to prevent its former master from returning to being, even if it means finishing the earth itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Other genres

A wonderful selection of writing from New Zealand authors feature in this month’s ‘Other Genres” category, with nearly every genre represented. Highly recommended is the now globally talked about debut novel, The Chimes by Anna Smaill.

Syndetics book cover The shark party / Janet Colson.
“For Carla, February means the pressure of another birthday party for Nathan and his wealthy New York art world friends. She buys him a book about Kurt Schwitters, an artist he is thinking of collecting, but a chance encounter with a man in the bookstore changes everything. Patrick, an environmental filmmaker, challenges her relationship and her artistic ambition. In the wake of their fierce attraction, the unscrupulous world that has seduced Carla begins to unravel and the harder she tries to break free the tighter Nathan’s grip becomes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover New Hokkaido / James McNaughton.
“It is 1987, forty-five years after Japan conquered New Zealand, and the brutal shackles of the occupation have loosened a little: English can be spoken by natives in the home, and twenty-year-old Business English teacher Chris Ipswitch has a job at the Wellington Language Academy. But even Chris and his famous older brother, the Night Train, a retired Pan-Asian sumo champion, cannot stay out of the conflict between the Imperial Japanese Army and the Free New Zealand movement. When Chris takes it upon himself to investigate a terrible crime, he is drawn into the heart of the struggle for freedom, guided along the way by the mysterious Hitomi Kurosawa and the ghost of Kiwi rock ‘n’ roll legend and martyr Johnny Lennon.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The chimes / Anna Smaill.
“The Chimes is set in a reimagined London, in a world where people cannot form new memories, and the written word has been forbidden and destroyed. In the absence of both memory and writing is music. In a world where the past is a mystery, each new day feels the same as the last, and before is blasphemy, all appears lost. But Simon Wythern, a young man who arrives in London seeking the truth about what really happened to his parents, discovers he has a gift that could change all of this forever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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