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Saturday, December 1, 2007

SPOTLIGHT: Books of December

Welcome to the December 2007 edition of Fantasy Book Critic’s monthly SPOTLIGHT. Previous spotlights can be visited here: June 2007, July 2007, August 2007, September 2007, October 2007 + November 2007. Closing out the year in surprisingly strong fashion, December offers a wide variety of titles in fantasy, science fiction and horror that should make for some nice stocking-stuffers :) So, enjoy and Happy Holidays! (NOTE: Unless stated otherwise, all release dates are for the US):

Dragon Outcast” by E.E. Knight. Release Date: December 4, 2007. “Dragon Outcast (Volume III) continues E.E. Knight's thrilling fantasy series Age of FireDragon Champion (Volume I), Dragon Avenger (Volume II)—about a brood of young dragon siblings: each unique, each powerful, and each fated to battle the other to the end. Here, the darkest of the dragons is introduced as he strives to make himself the strongest-and the last-of his brethren...” E.E. Knight is also the author of the Vampire Earth dark fantasy series…
Official E.E. Knight Age of Fire Website
Official E.E. Knight LiveJournal
Order “Dragon OutcastHERE
Read Samples Chapters/Previews HERE (Must Sign Up for the Forum)

Captain’s Fury” by Jim Butcher. Release Date: December 4, 2007. While best known for the highly popular urban fantasy series The Dresden Files—volume ten “Small Favor” comes out April 2008—which was even made into a short-lived
Sci-Fi television series and is being adapted into a graphic novel by Dabel Brothers Publishing, the New York Times bestselling Jim Butcher is also the author of the more traditional fantasy series Codex Alera, which continues in his latest entry “Captain’s Fury” (Book Four)…
Official Jim Butcher Website
Order “Captain’s FuryHERE
Read Sample Chapters HERE

Opening Atlantis” by Harry Turtledove. Release Date: December 4, 2007. New York Times bestselling author Harry Turtledove has intrigued readers with such thought-provoking "what if..." scenarios as a conquered Elizabethan England in Ruled Britannia and a Japanese occupation of Hawaii in Days of Infamy and End of the Beginning. Now, in the first of a brand-new trilogy, Harry rewrites the history of the world with the existence of an eighth continent—Atlantis, a land of opportunity and wonders…
Official Harry Turtledove Website
Order “Opening AtlantisHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Darque Reviews’ REVIEW of “Opening Atlantis

High Deryni” by Katherine Kurtz. Release Date: December 4, 2007. Originally published in 1973, “High Deryni” is the conclusion to Katherine Kurtz’s first Deryni trilogy (The Chronicles of the Deryni), a series which is now comprised of five trilogies including the not-yet-completed Childe Morgan trilogy, one standalone novel and various short stories. While “High Deryni” has been reprinted a number of times, this new version by Ace Books has been revised and expanded by the New York Times bestselling author…
Official Katherine Kurtz Website
Order “High DeryniHERE

The Blue-Haired Bombshell” by John Zakour. Release Date: December 4, 2007. In the fifth book starring Zachary Nixon Johnson, the world's last freelance private investigator must find the assassin who murdered Sexy Sprocket and two other members of the World Council. His investigation leads him to the Moon and to a tall, sensuous, blue-haired beauty named Lea who possesses psychic powers, and powerful ambitions... Zakour describes his writing as "humorous, pulp, fun, SF which is bubblegum for the brain!"
Official John Zakour Website
Order “The Blue-Haired BombshellHERE
Read Pink’s INTERVIEW with John Zakour

Garden of Darkness” by Anne Frasier. Release Date: December 4, 2007. In the terrifying follow-up to the acclaimed “Pale Immortal” by USA Today bestselling Anne Frasier, medical examiner Rachel Burton is drawn back to the haunted town of Tuonela and the legend of the Pale Immortal, the so-called vampire whose exhumed body is now on display. As Evan—the man Rachel’s always loved—succumbs to madness, those around him will suspect the worst, but nothing will compare to the one who has been awakened...
Official Anne Frasier Website
Order “Garden of DarknessHERE
Read The Prologue HERE
Read Armchair Interviews REVIEW of “Garden of Darkness

Inferno” edited by Ellen Datlow. Release Date: December 10, 2007. Multiple World Fantasy and Bram Stoker Award-winning editor Ellen Datlow presents twenty original tales of terror from some of the most powerful voices in the field:
Terry Dowling, Jeffrey Ford, Christopher Fowler, Glen Hirshberg, K. W. Jeter, Joyce Carol Oates, Lucius Shepard, Conrad Williams, etc. An aptly titled anthology, “Inferno” will scare the pants off readers and further secure Ellen Datlow's standing as a preeminent editor of modern horror…
Official Ellen Datlow Website
Order “InfernoHERE
Read Green Man Review’s REVIEW of “Inferno

The Sorcerers’ Plague” by David B. Coe. Release Date: December 10, 2007. Winner of the William L. Crawford Award for the first two volumes in The LonTobyn Chronicles, David B. Coe then enthralled readers and critics with his follow-up saga Winds of the Forelands, an epic fantasy full of political intrigue, complex characters and magical conspiracy. Now David takes the hero of that series to new adventures across the sea on a journey to the Southlands in a brand new trilogy that kicks off with “The Sorcerers’ Plague”…
Official David B. Coe Website
Order “The Sorcerers’ PlagueHERE
Read Sample Chapters HERE

Metal Swarm” by Kevin J. Anderson. Release Date: December 10, 2007. While a lot of Kevin J. Anderson’s extraordinary success—has written 41 national bestsellers and has over 20 million books in print worldwide in thirty languages—can be attributed to the work he’s done on
Star Wars spin-off novels and the Dune prequels that he’s co-authored with Brian Herbert, Kevin actually considers his Saga of Seven Suns SF series some of his best work. “Metal Swarm”, the sixth volume, continues the epic Saga
Official Kevin J. Anderson Website
Order “Metal SwarmHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

The Sword of Venice” by Thomas Quinn. Release Date: December 10, 2007. Told against the backdrop of historical events—the continuing war between Venice and the Ottoman Empire, the Ferrara War that exploded across the Italian peninsula, and the constant intrigues of the powerful papacy—“The Sword of Venice”, Book Two of The Venetians (after 2005’s The Lion of St. Mark), brings to life the Ziani and Soranzo families, who must cope with love, loss, treachery, kidnapping, murder, war, and peace…
Official Thomas Quinn Website
Order “The Sword of VeniceHERE

Still Life With Devils” by Deborah Grabien. Release Date: December 10, 2007. In this paranormal suspense thriller from Deborah Grabien, author of the Haunted Ballads series, homicide chief Cassius Chant is desperately searching for the serial killer Captain Nemo before he claims his seventh victim. To help crack the case though, it will be up to Cassius’ sister Leotyne and her unique artistic ability. For you see, Leo can walk into the worlds she's created on canvas and this time, she’s going to hunt down a killer…
Official Deborah Grabien Website
Order “Still Life With DevilsHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read A Review of “Still Life With DevilsHERE

Another One Bites the Dust” by Jennifer Rardin. Release Date: December 12, 2007. “Im Jaz Parks. CIA assassin. Black belt. Belly dancer at the Corpus Christi Winter Festival. The last is cover for my latest mission: retrieve a vital piece of biotechnology by killing the maniac who stole it. Then there are the reavers, ancient fiends who murder innocents and eat their souls. Only I can sense them. So it's not long before they'll want me dead, dead, dead.” Another One Bites the Dust is the second Jaz Parks adventure…
Official Jennifer Rardin Website
Order “Another One Bites the DustHERE
Read An Excerpt
Read LoveVampires INTERVIEW with Jennifer Rardin

The Lost Fleet: Courageous” by Jack Campbell. Release Date: December 18, 2007. Writing under the pseudonym ‘Jack Campbell’, military science fiction author John G. Henry’s (Stark’s War, Paul Sinclair) national best-selling Lost Fleet series—Dauntless (Volume One), Fearless (Volume Two)—continues in “Courageous” as Captain John "Black Jack" Geary and the Alliance Fleet’s perilous journey home gets even more dangerous when they learn of an alien race with the power to annihilate humankind…
Official John G. Henry Website
Order “The Lost Fleet: CourageousHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Airs & Graces” by Toby Bishop. Release Date: December 18, 2007. “Since bonding with a winged foal by accident in “Airs Beneath the Moon”, Larkyn Hamley has risen from a wild country girl to become one of the finest students at the Academy of the Air. But Duke William, the new ruler of Oc, is obsessed with riding a winged horse himself and his madness leads him to ignore his traditional duties to protect the Duchy. Now it's Larkyn who must take flight to save her country, her Academy, and her own life…”
Official Toby Bishop Website
Official Toby Bishop LiveJournal
Order “Airs & GracesHERE

Broken Angel” by Brian Knight. Release Date: December 18, 2007. Originally published in 2005 as a limited edition hardcover, “Broken Angel” by horror writer Brian Knight (Hacks, King of Souls) is seeing a reprint thanks to
Delirium Books. “Life in Clearwater was quiet, even a little dull. Then the strange girl arrived—drugged, sick, with no memory of her past. As Angel’s health improves and her memory returns, insanity creeps through the small town like a plague, spawning violence, and no one is immune…”
Official Brian Knight Website
Order “Broken AngelHERE
Down An Excerpt HERE

Starship: Mercenary” by Mike Resnick. Release Date: December 24, 2007. Incredibly, Mike Resnick (Kirinyaga, A Hunger in the Soul) has won five Hugos, been nominated for twenty-five more; has sold forty-eight novels, almost two hundred short stories; edited forty anthologies; and according to
Locus, is the leading all-time award winner—living or dead—for short fiction among science fiction writers. “Mercenary” is the third Starship space opera adventure following “Mutiny” (Book One) and “Pirate” (Book Two)…
Official Mike Resnick Website
Order “Starship: MercenaryHERE

Half the Blood of Brooklyn” by Charlie Huston. Release Date: December 26, 2007. In the third Joe Pitt casebook, war is on the way and every Vampyre in Manhattan can feel it coming. But Joe has another fight on his hands—his girl Evie is sicker than ever. On top of that, Joe has a new assignment: Go to Brooklyn to investigate the violent demise of a blood dealer. It’s a devilish task, yet one thought pushes him forward—Evie—even if his effort to save her ends up costing what little life he has left…” The best Joe Pitt novel yet!!!
Official Charlie Huston Website
Order “Half the Blood of BrooklynHERE

Dragon Harper” by Anne McCaffrey + Todd J. McCaffrey. Release Date: December 26, 2007. “Award-winning and bestselling author Anne McCaffrey has dazzled audiences with her numerous tales of the Dragonriders of Pern, one of the most popular science fiction series of all time. Now in “Dragon Harper”, Anne McCaffrey and her son, Todd J. McCaffrey, spin a tale of a mysterious illness that may succeed in doing what centuries of Threadfall could not: kill every last human on Pern…”
Official Anne McCaffrey Website
Official Todd J. McCaffrey Website
Order “Dragon HarperHERE

Troy: Fall of Kings” by David Gemmell + Stella Gemmel. Release Date: December 26, 2007. Even though David Gemmell (Legend, Waylander, the Drenai & Rigante series) sadly passed away in 2006 before completing the final novel in his Troy trilogy—a historical fantasy loosely based on The Iliad, the author did have around 70,000 words written and detailed chapter notes available, which enabled his wife Stella to finish writing Fall of Kings (after 2005’s Lord of the Silver Bow and 2006’s Shield of Thunder)…
Transworld’s David Gemmell Website
Order “Troy: Fall of KingsHERE
Read SF REVIEW of “Troy: Fall of Kings

Firstborn” by Arthur C. Clarke + Stephen Baxter. Release Date: December 26, 2007. With “Time’s Eye” and “Sunstorm”, the first two books in their acclaimed Time Odyssey series, the legendary master of science fiction Clarke and his brilliant co-author Stephen Baxter imagined a near-future where the Firstborn seek to stop the advance of human civilization. In the conclusion, readers finally get to meet the Firstborn—the mysterious alien race who built 2001: A Space Odyssey’s iconic black monolith…
Official Arthur C. Clarke Fan Site
Official Stephen Baxter Website
Order “FirstbornHERE

Diablerie” by Walter Mosley. Release Date: December 26, 2007. In this icy noir from a master of American fiction, the darkest secrets are the ones we keep hidden from ourselves. With the same erotic force as Killing Johnny Fry, but grounded in a far darker vision of human nature, “Diablerie” is a transfixing new short novel from one of our most powerful writers…
Publisher’s Weekly says, “This is Mosley at his deepest and best, scratching away the faces we wear to reveal the person behind the masks…”
Official Walter Mosley Website
Order “DiablerieHERE

Thunderer” by Felix Gilman. Release Date: December 26, 2007. “In this breathtaking debut novel from exciting new writer and lawyer Felix Gilman, one man embarks on a thrilling and treacherous quest for his people’s lost god in an elaborate Dickensian city that is either blessed…or haunted... A tour de force of the imagination, and a brilliant tale of rebellion, Thunderer heralds the arrival of a truly gifted fantasy writer who has created a tale as rich, wondrous, and captivating as the world in which it is set…”
Official Felix Gilman Website
Order “ThundererHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Queen of Dragons” by Shana Abé. Release Date: December 26, 2007. Hidden among the remote hills of eighteenth-century England lives a powerful clan of shape-shifters who’ve become the stuff of myths and legends. They are the drákon—supersensual creatures with the ability to Turn from human to smoke to dragon. Now in “Queen of Dragons”, the third volume in Shana Abé's award-winning Drákon series, a treacherous new enemy threatens to destroy their world of magic and glittering power…
Official Shana Abé Website
Order “Queen of DragonsHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Dust” by Elizabeth Bear. Release Date: December 26, 2007. Ever since her first novel “Hammered” was published in 2005, Elizabeth Bear—the 2005 John W. Campbell Award winner for Best New Writer—has been amazingly prolific releasing the Jenny Casey trilogy, standalone novels, a collaboration with Sarah Monette, the first two volumes of the Promethean Age, and various short stories & collections. In “Dust”, Ms. Bear starts yet another series—the Jacob’s Ladder science fiction trilogy…
Official Elizabeth Bear Website
Order “DustHERE

The Thieves of Fate” by Richard Doetsch. Release Date: December 26, 2007. Michael St. Pierre, Doetsch's heroic thief from his acclaimed first novel “The Thieves of Heaven”, is back and this time is blackmailed into stealing a priceless treasure from within the perilous bowels of the Kremlin to save his old confidant Genevieve Zivera...and the father he never knew. The invaluable mythical box, the map to which is first revealed on the canvas back of a centuries-old, priceless painting, may hold the key to immortality…
Official Richard Doetsch Website
Order “The Thieves of FateHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

The Sweet Far Thing” by Libba Bray. Release Date: December 26, 2007. “It has been a year since Gemma Doyle arrived at the Spence Academy, where she discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world full of dark magic which she bound to herself, forging unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds…” Concluding the trilogy that began in “A Great and Terrible Beauty” & “Rebel Angels”, Ms. Bray’s latest is a YA novel of epic proportions…
Official Libba Bray Website
Order “The Sweet Far ThingHERE

The Seven Days of Peter Crumb” by Jonny Glynn. Release Date: December 26, 2007. Making it’s US debut, Jonny Glynn'sThe Seven Days of Peter Crumb” is an extraordinary first novel that portrays the deterioration of a man who suffers two personalities, only one of which is capable of remorse… Peter’s life has been derailed by a single, devastating act of violence, and now, in what he intends to be his last week on earth, he is determined to leave his mark upon humanity—randomly, unjustly, and with infinite attention to detail…
Order “The Seven Days of Peter Crumb
Watch “The Seven Days of Peter CrumbVideo HERE

Rule of Two (Star Wars: Darth Bane)” by Drew Karpyshyn. Release Date: December 26, 2007. From New York Times bestselling science fiction/fantasy author and award-winning writer/designer for
BioWare (Mass Effect, Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire) Drew Karpyshyn, comes the thrilling sequel to “Star Wars: Path of Destruction” which continues the story of Darth Bane—his rise into one of the most powerful Sith Lords ever, and his fierce quest to destroy the Jedi and dominate the galaxy…
Official Drew Karpyshyn Website
Drew Karpyshyn Star Wars Blog
Order “Rule of TwoHERE

Heroes: Saving Charlie” by Aury Wallington. Release Date: December 26, 2007. “Saving Charlie” tells the story of Hiro who uses his ability to manipulate time to travel into the past to save Charlie—a waitress with an extraordinary memory—from being murdered by super-powered serial killer Sylar. Fans of the TV series were given only a brief glimpse into Hiro & Charlie's relationship as it grew into love over six time-changing months, but their history is told here with the depth and insight that only a novel will allow…
Official Heroes Website
Official Aury Wallington Website
Order “Heroes: Saving CharlieHERE

Faerie Lord” by Herbie Brennan. Release Date: December 26, 2007. In “Faerie Lord”, the final installment of the New York Times and international bestselling Faerie Wars Chronicles (Faerie Wars, The Purple Emperor, Ruler of the Realm), Herbie Brennan—author over one hundred fiction and non-fiction books for adults, teens, and children—presents an exciting and riveting conclusion to the adventures of Henry Atherton and the Faerie Realm. UK readers will have to wait until February 4, 2008 for publication…
Official Herbie Brennan Website
Order “Faerie LordHERE

Bound In Moonlight” by Louisa Burton. Release Date: December 26, 2007. In this provocative follow-up to her sensational debut, “House of Dark Delights” (January 2007), romance/mystery writer Louisa Burton issues another invitation to the notorious Castle of the Hidden Grotto—a place of entrancement, temptation, and searing eroticism. Irresistible and deliciously dangerous, “Bound in Moonlight” propels you into a world of intoxicating sensuality that you’ll want to return to again and again…
Official Louisa Burton Website
Order “Bound In MoonlightHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Rise of the Blood Royal” by Robert Newcomb. Release Date: December 26, 2007. The Destinies of Blood and Stone are fulfilled in this concluding book in the trilogy as Prince Tristan faces his final challenge, continuing the story of the Chosen Ones originally started in “The Fifth Sorceress”, “The Gates of Dawn”, “The Scrolls of the Ancients”, “Savage Messiah”, and “A March Into Darkness…” “For lovers of Dragonlance-style fantasy, Newcomb wonderfully captures the imagination.” –
Publisher’s Weekly
Official Robert Newcomb Website
Order “Rise of the Blood RoyalHERE
Read Chapters HERE

99 Coffins: A Historical Vampire Tale” by David Wellington. Release Date: December 31, 2007. “Laura Caxton vowed never to face them again. The horror of what the vampires did is too close, the wounds too fresh. But when Jameson Arkeley, broken and barely recognizable, comes to her with an unholy discovery, her resolve crumbles and she’s thrown into a deadly, gruesome mission of saving an entire town from a mass invasion of the undead…” 99 Coffins is the exciting new sequel to Thirteen Bullets
Official David Wellington Website
Order “99 CoffinsHERE

Blood Dreams” by Kay Hooper. Release Date: December 31, 2007. With more than five million copies in print and eleven consecutive New York Times bestsellers, Kay Hooper looks to continue the trend with “Blood Dreams”—the first installment in her new Blood trilogy—which brings back FBI Special Agent Noah Bishop and his Special Crimes Unit from Kay’s popular Fear series to join an all-new cast of characters to stop a fearsome serial killer without boundaries, without conscience, and without any fear of being caught…
Official Kay Hooper Website
Order “Blood DreamsHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Watch the “Blood DreamsTrailer HERE


Tia Nevitt said...

Great round-up, as usual. I found one more for my calendar for a total of seven debuts in December. Thanks!


Click Here To Order “Barnaby The Wanderer” by Raymond St. Elmo
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Click Here To Order “Barnaby The Wanderer” by Raymond St. Elmo
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Click Here To Order “Miss  Percy's” by Quenby Olson!!!
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Click Here To Order “The True Bastards” by Jonathan French!!!
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Click Here To Order “Rumble In Woodhollow” by Jonathan Pembroke!!!
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Click Here To Order “The Starless Crown” by James Rollins!!!
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