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Sunday, June 1, 2008

SPOTLIGHT: Books of June 2008

Welcome to the June 2008 edition of Fantasy Book Critic’s monthly SPOTLIGHT which covers everything from fantasy and science fiction to horror, thrillers and more. Previous spotlights can be visited HERE. Once again, a special thanks to Liviu C. Suciu, Fantasy Book Critic’s new contributing writer, for the help :) (NOTE: Unless stated otherwise, all release dates are for the US):

Return of the Crimson Guard” by Ian Cameron Esslemont. UK Release Date: June 1, 2008. In this second Malazan novel from co-creator ICE, Empress Laseen of the Malazan Empire faces threats from both the Crimson Guard—a mercenary company opposed to the existence of the Empire—and insurrectionists who have lost patience with Laseen’s rule. Yet there are hints that Laseen is using the uprisings to draw out and eliminate the last survivors of her predecessor's rule, while rivalries and betrayals plague the Guard
Official Malazan Empire Fansite
Order “Return of the Crimson GuardHERE
Read Reviews via Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s REVIEW of “Night of Knives
Read Fantasy Book Spot’s
INTERVIEW with Ian Cameron Esslemont
PS Publishing version of “Return of the Crimson Guard” is a Two-volume Slipcased Hardcover limited to 300 copies. The regular Bantam Press version will be published on August 14, 2008 (UK only).

The Hounds of Ash and Other Tales of Fool Wolf” by Greg Keyes. Release Date: June 1, 2008. In this collection of seven short stories by author Greg Keyes (The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone), Fool Wolf—the laziest of heroes—is thrown on the mercy of those gods whom he both worships and loathes and is forced to defend himself against the very destiny that he is to fulfill. Fool Wolf’s tale is one of extraordinary deeds that allow him to overcome his dark and secretive past that plays a toll on what is to come…
Official Greg Keyes Website
Order “The Hounds of Ash and Other Tales of Fool WolfHERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s INTERVIEW with Greg Keyes
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s
REVIEW of “The Hounds of Ash and Other Tales of Fool Wolf

Thieving Fear” by Ramsey Campbell. UK Release Date: June 1, 2008. For Charlotte Nolan and her cousins Ellen, Hugh and his brother Rory, much more than their jobs begin to go wrong as something reaches out of the past for them. What has it to do with the summer night they spent on Thursaston Common and the Victorian occultist Arthur Pendemon? Before the nightmare can end, more than one of them will have to enter what remains of Pendemon's house and confront what still lives there in the dark…
Official Ramsey Campbell Website
Order “Thieving FearHERE (Hardcover) + HERE
NOTE: The PS Publishing release of “Thieving Fear” comes in two editions: A hardcover limited to 500 copies, and a slipcased hardcover limited to 200 copies.

The Snow Queen” by Mercedes Lackey. Release Date: June 1, 2008. Aleksia, Queen of the Northern Lights, is mysterious, beautiful and widely known to have a heart of ice. No one would seek her wisdom except as a last resort. But when she's falsely accused of unleashing evil on nearby villages, she realizes there's an impostor out there far more heartless than she could ever be. Now, it will take all her skills, a mother's faith and a little magic to face down an enemy more formidable than any she has ever known…
Official Mercedes Lackey Website
Order “The Snow Queen” + Read An Excerpt HERE
NOTE:The Snow Queen” is the fourth volume in Mercedes Lackey’s Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms.

All Souls’ Night” by Jennifer Armintrout. Release Date: June 1, 2008. “I have reached my breaking point. And now I will not be stopped. With the Soul Eater on the verge of god status, his undead army building up, and time running out, it's time for me to take a final stand, even if it means losing everything I love. They say that good always triumphs over evil. I hope that's true. Because the odds aren't in our favor, and the fate of the world is in our hands.” All Souls’ Night is the fourth book in Jennifer Armintrout's Blood Ties series…
Official Jennifer Armintrout Website
Order “All Souls’ Night” + Read An Excerpt HERE

Noman” by William Nicholson. Release Date: June 1, 2008 (US Debut). Part adventure-fantasy, part love story, and part reflection on the themes of power and faith, “Noman”—after Seeker and Jango—is a thrilling and thought-provoking conclusion to the critically acclaimed young adult Noble Warriors Trilogy from the BAFTA, Oscar, and Tony-nominated screenwriter (Gladiator, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, First Knight), playwright (The Retreat from Moscow), and novelist (Wind on Fire trilogy), William Nicholson
Official William Nicholson Website
Order “NomanHERE

Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone” by Dora Machado. Release Date: June 1, 2008. Sariah is the most gifted stonewiser of her generation—stonewisers are the only ones capable of retrieving the tales preserved in the stones to uphold the truth and defend the Goodlands. But her talent does not atone for her shortcomings . . . she is curious, willful and disobedient. Yet not even Sariah is prepared for what she finds when she steals into the Guild's Sacred Vaults: A mayhem of lies and intrigues that shatters her world…
Official Mermaid Publishing Website
Order “StonewiserHERE
Read A Review/Interview via SFF Media

The Discworld Graphic Novels” by Terry Pratchett. Release Date: June 3, 2008. Imagine a flat world, sitting on the backs of four elephants who hurtle through space balanced on a giant turtle. That is the setting for Terry Pratchett's phenomenally successful “Discworld” series, which now celebrates its 25th anniversary. First published fifteen years ago “The Discworld Graphic Novels” presents the very first two volumes—The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic—of this much-loved series in graphic novel form…
Official Terry Pratchet Website
Order “The Discworld Graphic NovelsHERE (US) + HERE (UK)

The Prefect” by Alastair Reynolds. Release Date (US Debut): June 3, 2008. Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a law enforcement officer with the Panoply. His beat is the utopian society of the Glitter Band, a vast swirl of space habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone. His current case: investigating a murderous attack against one of the habitats that leaves 900 people dead. But then he uncovers something even more dangerous—a covert plot by an enigmatic entity seeking nothing less than total control of the Glitter Band
Official Alastair Reynolds Website
Order “The PrefectHERE
Read Reviews of “The Prefect” via SFF World + The Wertzone

Daemons Are Forever” by Simon R. Green. Release Date: June 3, 2008. During WWII, the Droods made a pact with some nasty buggers from another dimension known as the Loathly Ones, which they needed to fight the Nazis. But once the war was over, the Loathly Ones decided they liked our world too much to leave. Now it’s up to Eddie to make things very uncomfortable for them—or watch everything humanity holds dear go up in smoke… Part two of a trilogy that began in The Man with the Golden Torc
Simon R. Green @ Wikipedia
Order “Daemons Are ForeverHERE

Bloodheir” by Brian Ruckley. Release Date: June 3, 2008. The war between the Black Road and the True Bloods has spread, and for Orisian, thane of the Lannis Blood, there is no time to grieve. The Black Road must be stopped. Amidst this mounting chaos, Aeglyss the na'kyrim uses his new-found powers to twist everything & everyone around him to serve his own mad desires. Meanwhile, the long-dormant Anain are stirring—and when the most potent race the world has ever known returns, the bloodletting may never stop…
Official Brian Ruckley Website
Order “BloodheirHERE
Read Reviews of “Bloodheir” via Fantasy Book News & Reviews, Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review, Grasping for the Wind, Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist + The Book Swede
NOTE:Bloodheir” is the second volume in The Godless World trilogy, following “Winterbirth” (Reviewed HERE).

Grantville Gazette IV” by Eric Flint. Release Date: June 3, 2008. After the town of Grantville, WV was hurled back through time to the 1630s, the seventeenth century would never be the same: Teenage capitalist girls have formed an investment group; the proud tradition of the U.S. Marines is started ahead of schedule among downtime Europeans; and what will the master musicians and composers of the pre-Bach era make of heavy metal sounds? All this and more in a new volume for the many followers of the 1632 series…
Official Eric Flint Website
Order “Grantville Gazette IVHERE
Read Excerpts HERE

The Dark Ferryman” by Jenna Rhodes. Release Date: June 3, 2008. In the midst of a civil war that is tearing apart the magical Ways, Sevryn and Rivergrace are pulled from each other, forced to follow separate pathways as they fight against possession by goddess and demon alike. Accused of high treason by the warrior queen Lariel, Rivergrace’s only allies are her Dweller sister and the most mysterious of all Vaelinar Ways—the Dark Ferryman. Continues The Elven Ways saga that began in “The Four Forges”…
Order “The Dark Ferryman
NOTE: Jenna Rhodes is a pen name for Rhondi A. Vilott Salsitz

In Twilight’s Shadow” by Patti O’Shea. Release Date: June 3, 2008. Maia Frasier thought she'd escaped the world of troubleshooters and demons when she'd ceded her magical powers years earlier. Now a wounded enforcer named Creed Blackwood has turned up, claiming Maia's sister is in danger and requesting her help to hunt the demon he’s after. Soon though, Maia begins to fear that Creed has fallen to the dark forces, and with his strong & unreliable magic, he is as much a danger to her and her sister as any demon…
Official Patti O’Shea Website
Order “In Twilight’s ShadowHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Reviews HERE

Valor’s Trial” by Tanya Huff. Release Date: June 3, 2008. Sergeant Torin Kerr has survived more deadly encounters—and kept more of her officers and enlistees alive—than anyone in the Corps. Now in this fourth Valor novel, Torin finds herself in an underground POW camp that shouldn’t exist, where her fellow marines seem to have lost all will to escape. Not only must Torin fight her way out of the prison, but also past the growing compulsion to sit down and give up—not realizing that her escape could mean the end of the war…
Official Tanya Huff Website
Order “Valor’s TrialHERE

Lover Enshrined” by J.R. Ward. Release Date: June 3, 2008. In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, NY, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers—six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. And now, a dutiful twin must choose between two lives... Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, but while the war grows grimmer and tragedy looms, Phury must decide between duty & love in this sixth volume of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
Official J.R. Ward Website
Order “Lover EnshrinedHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Reviews via Darque Reviews + LoveVampires

Spectre” by Phaedra Weldon. Release Date: June 3, 2008. Zoë Martinique, star of a new urban fantasy series that began in “Wraith”, has the extraordinary ability to travel outside her body at will. When she’s drawn into an investigation regarding a series of bizarre murders, Zoë hopes to help her boyfriend, Atlanta homicide detective Daniel Frasier, stop the killer—one she’s sure is from the darkest levels of the astral plane—without letting him find out about her special abilities. Then danger strikes close to home…
Official Phaedra Weldon Website
Order “SpectreHERE
Read Reviews via Darque Reviews

Promise of the Wolves” by Dorothy Hearst. Release Date: June 3, 2008. “Promises of the Wolves” launches The Wolf Chronicles trilogy, an arresting new series that blends imaginative storytelling with evolutionary science as it explores the ancient relationship between man and wolf. An anthropomorphic tale in the bestselling tradition of Watership Down and The Clan of the Cave Bear, Hearst’s beautifully told narrative is set 14,000 years ago, and follows the fate of the the endearing, indomitable she-wolf, Kaala
Official Dorothy Hearst Website
Order “Promise of the WolvesHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Feast of Fools” by Rachel Caine. Release Date: June 3, 2008. Think Amelie is scary? Meet her dad, the terrifying vampire Mr. Bishop. What does he want—and what will Amelie do about it? Claire's caught in the middle, along with her friends and even her parents, as Morganville's fragile alliance between humans and vampires starts to fracture. Soon, everyone will have to choose a companion for the Feast of Fools . . . and a side. “Feast of Fools” is the fourth book in Rachel Caine's The Morganville Vampires series…
Official Rachel Caine Website
Order “Feast of FoolsHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Reviews via Darque Reviews + Flames Rising
Read Darque Reviews' INTERVIEW with Rachel Caine

Blood Colony” by Tananarive Due. Release Date: June 3, 2008. An acclaimed author of seven novels, which have garnered her a multitude of fans & awards, Tananarive Due now imagines the story of an ancient group of immortals facing one of the most challenging issues of our time: the AIDS/HIV pandemic. There's a new drug on the street: Glow. Said to heal almost any illness, it is distributed by an Underground Railroad of drug peddlers. But what gives Glow its power? Its main ingredient is blood . . . the blood of immortals…
Official Tananarive Due Website
Order “Blood ColonyHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Into the Storm” by Taylor Anderson. Release Date: June 3, 2008. Pressed into service when World War II breaks, USS Walker finds itself in full retreat from Japanese battleships. In desperation, Lieutenant Captain Matthew Patrick Reddy heads Walker into a squall hoping it will give them cover, but instead they emerge somewhere else…”Into the Storm”, Taylor Anderson’s first novel, launches the Destroyermen trilogy with a tale of unparalleled action, alternate worlds, and frightening possibility…
Order “Into the Storm

The House at Midnight” by Lucie Whitehouse. Release Date: June 3, 2008. Over one decadent, dramatic year, a group of friends will be shattered, their lives forever changed by the house Stoneborough and the devastating secret it cradles… By turns taut and sensual, mesmerizing and disturbing, The House at Midnight is a gripping psychological novel that enthralls with its ominous atmosphere. Lucie Whitehouse has written a tense and captivating debut that will linger long after the final, shocking pages…
Order “The House at Midnight
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Reviews via The Guardian + The Independent

The Dark Ones” by Anthony Izzo. Release Date: June 3, 2008. Throughout history, the forces of darkness and light have battled for control of mankind. Living among us, The Guardians are capable of drawing light into a deadly weapon against The Dark Ones—those who inhabit the shadows, conjuring instruments of torture from the darkness itself. In search of her birth mother, Sara Pennington is about to discover her true identity—and her ultimate fate as she is the only one who can save the world from going to hell…
Official Anthony Izzo Website
Order “The Dark OnesHERE

Walk on the Wild Side” by Christine Warren. Release Date: June 3, 2008. In national bestseller Christine Warren’s fifth Others novel, Kitty Sugarman heads to Vegas to find out more about her father, but it’s his sexy second-in-command of the Pride, Marcus Stewart, who commands her attention. Now that she has tempted Marcus’ hunger for a mate, Kitty finds herself stuck in a vicious struggle for her father’s fortune, while deadly unrest stirs within the Pride. Will Marcus fight until his last breath to save her…
Official Christine Warren Website
Order “Walk on the Wild SideHERE
Read Reviews via Darque Reviews

The Gone-Away World” by Nick Harkaway. UK Release Date: June 5, 2008. Equal parts raucous adventure, comic odyssey, geek nirvana, and cool epic; a tale of a friendship stretched beyond its limits; of love and loss; of ninjas, pirates, politics and strange places; “The Gone-Away World” by newcomer Nick Harkaway—son of
John Le Carré—is a wildly entertaining novel that combines antic humor (think Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut) with a stunning futuristic vision (a la A Clockwork Orange and 1984)…
Nick Harkaway @ Wikipedia
Order “The Gone-Away WorldHERE
Read Reviews via Book Geeks + The Guardian
Read The Guardian’s INTERVIEW with Nick Harkaway

Midnight Never Come” by Marie Brennan. Release Date: June 9, 2008. England flourishes under the hand of its Queen Elizabeth, last and most powerful of the Tudor monarchs. But a great light casts a great shadow. For in hidden catacombs beneath London, a second Queen holds court—Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, a dark mirror to the glory above… A breathtaking novel of intrigue and betrayal set in Elizabethan England; Midnight Never Come seamlessly weaves together history and the fantastic to dazzling effect…
Official Marie Brennan Website
Official Midnight Never Come Website
Order “Midnight Never ComeHERE (US) + HERE (UK)
Read An Excerpt
Read Reviews via Curled Up With A Good Book, SFFWorld + The Book Swede
Read The Book Swede’s INTERVIEW with Marie Brennan

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” by David Wroblewski. Release Date: June 10, 2008. Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles' once peaceful home and Edgar is forced to come of age…
Official David Wroblewski Website
Order “The Story of Edgar SawtelleHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Reviews HERE

The Court of the Air” by Stephen Hunt. Release Date: June 10, 2008 (US Debut). In a fantastical Dickensian clockwork universe that will appeal to fans of Susanna Clarke and Philip Pullman, young protagonists Molly Templar and Oliver Brooks find themselves battling a grave threat to civilization, an ancient power thought to have been quelled millennia ago. Their enemies are ruthless and myriad, but the two orphans are also aided by indomitable friends in this endlessly inventive tale full of drama, intrigue, and adventure…
Official Stephen Hunt Website
Order “The Court of the AirHERE
Read Sample Chapters One & Two
Watch “The Court of the AirMini-Movie HERE
Read Reviews via Fantasy Book Critic + Neth Space
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s INTERVIEW with Stephen Hunt

House of Many Ways” by Diana Wynne Jones. Release Date: June 10, 2008. In this third YA novel set in the same world as Howl’s Moving Castle and Castle in the Air, Charmain Baker is in over her head. By opening the one door in her Great-Uncle's cottage, Charmain has become responsible for not only the house, but for a magical stray dog, a young apprentice wizard, and a box of the king's most treasured documents, not to mention a hunt alongside the sorceress Sophie, the Wizard Howl, and the fire demon Calcifer
Official Diana Wynne Jones Website
Order “House of Many WaysHERE
Read Reviews via Zubon Book Reviews
NOTE: Howl’s Moving Castle was adapted into a Japanese anime film in 2004 by the great Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke). An excellent movie :)

The Books of the South” by Glen Cook. Release Date: June 10, 2008. Marching south after the ghastly battle at the Tower of Charm, the Black Company is hounded by shadowy figures every inch of the way. The game is on: the Company versus the Shadowmasters, deadly creatures that deal in darkness and sorrow. When hope dies, there’s still survival. And there’s still the Black Company… This second omnibus edition collects Glen Cook’s Black Company novels “Shadow Games”, “Dreams of Steel”, and “The Silver Spike”…
Glen Cook @ Wikipedia
Order “The Books of the SouthHERE

The Unblemished” by Conrad Williams. Release Date: June 10, 2008. Originally released in limited edition by
Earthling Publications in 2006, “The Unblemished”—winner of the International Horror Guild Award—by author Conrad Williams (London Revenant, Use Once Then Destroy, The Scalding Rooms, Rain) is now making its mass market debut thanks to Virgin Books, giving new readers the opportunity to enter the mind of a serial killer who believes he is the rightful son and heir to an ancient dynasty of flesh-eaters…
Official Conrad Williams Website
Order “The UnblemishedHERE (UK) + HERE (US)
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Reviews of “The Unblemished” via Horror Read + SF Site

Superpowers” by David J. Schwartz. Release Date: June 10, 2008. People have always been fascinated with ordinary humans discovering super abilities. And for good reason. Who wouldn’t want to be a superhero? Well it turns out that having superpowers isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and five college juniors are about to find that out the hard way. Partly a nod to classic comic books and partly an allegory about the fragile, volatile state of American society, “Superpowers” is an exciting debut from author David J. Schwartz
Official David J. Schwartz Website
Official David J. Schwartz LiveJournal
Order “SuperpowersHERE (US) + HERE (UK)
Read Reviews via
The Book Swede

The Summer Palace” by Lawrence Watt-Evans. Release Date: June 10, 2008. All of the world is kept in a delicate balance under the supervision of the Wizard Lord. But if he should stray from the way of the just then it is up to the Chosen to intercede. The new Wizard Lord however, has neutralized all magic in his domain and has killed or blocked his adversaries. Sword, now on the run, must work alone to restore order to the land and solve the mystery of the Ninth Talisman, which might be the salvation or downfall of all that is good in their world…
Official Lawrence Watt-Evans Website
Order “The Summer PalaceHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
NOTE:The Summer Palace” is the third volume in The Annals of the Chosen series, following “The Wizard Lord” and “The Ninth Talisman”.

Sisters of the Sword” by Maya Snow. Release Date: June 10, 2008. Kimi dreams of being a great samurai warrior, but she and her sister are ladies of feudal Japan and girls do not become samurai. Then their father is murdered, and their mother and little brother mysteriously disappear. Determined to seek revenge and restore their honor, the sisters disguise themselves as boys and train at a school for samurai. In a flash, life has swept the sisters into an adventure more heart-pounding than they could ever have imagined…
Order “Sisters of the Sword
Read Reviews via PixiePalace

The Essential Batman Encyclopedia” by Robert Greenberger. Release Date: June 10, 2008. “The Essential Batman Encyclopedia” is the only place you can find the complete history of Batman, one of the most popular superheroes of all time. Fully illustrated throughout and featuring complete details of Batman’s origins as well as biographies of almost every character in the Batman universe, this is the first updated encyclopedia devoted to Batman in more than thirty years…
Batman @ Wikipedia
Official Robert Greenberger Blog
Order “The Essential Batman EncyclopediaHERE
Read Reviews via Comics Worth Reading + The Breathing Corpse

Kushiel’s Mercy” by Jacqueline Carey. Release Date: June 12, 2008. Having paid dearly for ignoring Elua’s edict to love as thou wilt, Imriel and Sidonie have finally come forward to publicly confess their love—news which ignites turmoil throughout the land. In order to quell the uprising, Queen Ysandre hands down a decree: she will not divide the lovers, but neither will she acknowledge them. Worse, if they decide to marry, Sidonie will be disinherited. Unless Imriel can find his mother and bring her back to be executed…
Official Jacqueline Carey Website
Order “Kushiel’s MercyHERE
Read Excerpts HERE
NOTE:Kushiel’s Mercy” is the third and final installment—after Kushiel’s Scion and Kushiel’s Justice (Reviewed HERE)—in the Kushiel fantasy series featuring Imriel.

Neuropath” by Scott Bakker. Canada Release Date: June 14, 2008. Tom's life is not what it once was. Then his best friend Neil returns, but all is not what it seems—Neil has been working for the U.S. government cracking the minds of suspected terrorists and has gone AWOL, employing his unique skills on civilians. Thus begins a terrifying sequence of events as Neil sets out to destroy those who are connected to Tom. And it's only when Neil gets closer to his ultimate target that the full horror of his plan is revealed…
Scott Bakker @ Wikipedia
Official Prince of Nothing Website
Order “NeuropathHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Reviews of “Neuropath” via OF Blog of the Fallen + Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
Read Interviews with Scott Bakker HERE + HERE

Tigerheart” by Peter David. Release Date: June 17, 2008. Brimming with the sly humor and breathless excitement of a traditional Victorian bedtime story, embroidered with its own unique wisdom and wonder, Tigerheart is a hymn to childhood’s happiness & heartbreak, a meditation on the love, courage, sacrifice, and faith that shape and define our lives, and a splendidly rendered modern fable–-for readers of any age—that proves itself a worthy brother to the timeless classic, Peter Pan, that serve as its inspiration…
Official Peter David Website
Order “TigerheartHERE
Read An Interview with Peter David HERE
Read Reviews via Fresh Fiction

Sideways In Crime” by Lou Anders. Release Date: June 17, 2008. A major new anthology from Hugo Award-nominated editor Lou Anders (Pyr Books), “Sideways in Crime” explores the subgenre of Alternative History Crime, featuring new stories by
Kage Baker, Stephen Baxter, Tobias Buckell, Pat Cadigan, Paul Di Filippo, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Theodore Judson, Jack McDevitt, John Meaney, Paul Park, Mike Resnick & Eric Flint, Mary Rosenblum, Chris Roberson, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and SM Stirling
Official Lou Anders Website
Order “Sideways In CrimeHERE

Dragonlight” by Donita K. Paul. Release Date: June 17, 2008. The fantastic land of Amara is recovering from years of war and the spiritual apathy corroding the Amarans’ hearts. With Kale and her father serving as dragon keepers for Paladin, the dragon populace has exploded. It’s a peaceful, exciting time of rebuilding. And yet, an insidious, unseen evil lurks just beneath the surface… “Dragonlight” is the dazzling, beautifully-crafted conclusion to Donita K. Paul’s popular DragonKeeper Chronicles fantasy series…
Official Donita K. Paul Website
Official DragonKeeper Chronicles Website
Order “DragonlightHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

The Otherworldlies” by Jennifer Anne Kogler. Release Date: June 17, 2008. Fern communicates with her dog, blisters from just moments in the sun, and has correctly predicted the daily weather for over two years. With the help of her twin brother, Fern struggles to gain control of her supernatural powers. But with the arrival of a sinister vampire in town, Fern is forced to question her true identity and who she can count on. Soon Fern finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old battle that could endanger everyone she loves…
Official Jennifer Anne Kogler Website
Order “The OtherworldliesHERE

Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim” written by Tom Corwin & illustrated by Craig Frazier. Release Date: June 17, 2008. Mr. Fooster seems like your average fellow, albeit one who travels with an old bottle of bubble soap. One Tuesday morning, however, he takes us into a rich and vivid world unlike any we've seen before—a world where questioning your assumptions can set you free. Take a vacation you’ll never forget as Mr. Fooster shows us that pondering the little things in life can be a reward unto itself…
Official Mr. Fooster Website
Order “Mr. FoosterHERE
Watch Excerpts HERE

Principles of Angels” by Jaine Fenn. UK Release Date: June 19, 2008. Set on a world where nothing is forbidden; a world which is nonetheless a democracy by assassination, Taro is one of the privileged few. But when his Angel aunt, one of the City's assassins, is herself murdered, he loses everything. As the young street-hustler struggles to survive in the brutal world of the Downside slums, he finds himself caught up in something that may mean the end of everything… “Principles of Angels” is Jaine Fenn’s first novel…
Official Jaine Fenn Website
Order “Principles of AngelsHERE
Read Reviews via BookGeeks

EVE: The Empyrean Age” by Tony Gonzales. UK Release Date: June 19, 2008. EVE Online is a massively multiplayer game where players compete within a single persistent universe for military, economic and political power. Building upon nearly a century of political tension, EVE has entered the Empyrean Age, where recent events have sparked a march towards total war. The events leading to the outbreak of war in New Eden unfold in “EVE: The Empyrean Age”, part one of a new trilogy by Tony Gonzales
Official EVE Online Website
Order “Eve: The Empyrean AgeHERE

In Odd We Trust” by Dean Koontz. Release Date: June 24, 2008. From the imagination of #1 New York Times-bestselling author Dean Koontz comes the graphic novel debut of Odd Thomas, a regular 19-year-old with an unusual gift: the ability to see the spirits of the dead. To Odd, it’s not such a big deal. And most folks in Pico Mundo, CA are more interested in the irresistible pancakes Odd whips up at the local diner. Still, his gift can be useful. Because while some spirits only want a little company…others want justice…
Order “In Odd We TrustHERE
Enter the “In Odd We TrustGiveaway HERE

The Last Oracle” by James Rollins. Release Date: June 24, 2008. What if you could scientifically produce the next Buddha, the next Muhammad, or the next Jesus? Would it mark the Second Coming or cause disastrous consequences? A master at combining historical & religious intrigue with edge-of-your-seat adventure, New York Times bestselling author James Rollins brings back SIGMA Force to battle a group of rogue scientists who've unleashed a bioengineering project that could bring about the extinction of humankind…
Official James Rollins Website
Order “The Last OracleHERE
Enter “The Last OracleGiveaway HERE

Escapement” by Jay Lake. Release Date: June 24, 2008. Set in the same world as Mainspring, with its great Equatorial Wall that holds up the Gears of the Earth, Escapement introduces Paolina, a young woman of remarkable intellectual ability. But Paolina has grown up in isolation and knows little of the world. Longing to be with people who possess the learning she so desperately seeks, Paolina sets off for the Wall, not knowing that her astounding, unschooled talent for sorcery will place her in grave danger…
Official Jay Lake Website
Official Jay Lake Blog
Order “EscapementHERE
Enter the “Mainspring/EscapementGiveaway HERE

Hawkspar” by Holly Lisle. Release Date: June 24, 2008. Stolen away from their families, they are slaves, women with no names and no futures. Every moment of their days controlled by the avatars of the stone Eyes—Obsidian, Emerald, Raxinan, Ruby, Windcrystal, Sapphire, Sunspar, Tigereye... And the most powerful of them all, Hawkspar, the eyes of time. Kings and despots come to her to know their futures, and she wades in the river of time, pulls apart its sticky threads, to arrange the world to her satisfaction…
Official Holly Lisle Website
Order “HawksparHERE

The Magician” by Michael Scott. Release Date: June 24, 2008. After fleeing Ojai, Nicholas Flamel and friends emerge in Paris, Nicholas’ home. Only this homecoming is anything but sweet. Perenell is still locked up in Alcatraz, Paris is teeming with enemies, and time is running out. For every day spent without the Book of Abraham the Mage, they age one year—their magic becoming weaker and their bodies more frail. And for Nicholas Flamel, the Prophesy is becoming more and more clear…
Official Michael Scott Website
Official The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Website
Order “The MagicianHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
NOTE:The Magician” is the second book in the New York Times-bestselling Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel YA series that began in “The Alchemyst”, which has been optioned for film adaptation by New Line Cinema.

Havemercy” by Jaida Jones + Danielle Bennett. Release Date: June 24, 2008. In this stunning epic fantasy debut, “Havemercy” introduces two exciting new authors and a world brimming with wonders, extraordinary events, and a crisis that will test the mettle of men, the boundaries of magic, and the heart and soul of a kingdom. Filled with adventure and discovery, treachery and betrayal, “Havemercy” is a thrill ride of the unexpected—and an unforgettable journey that will linger long after the fire of battle has cleared…
Official Jones & Bennett Website
Official Jaida Jones Blog
Official Danielle Bennett Blog
Order “HavemercyHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Reviews SF Reviews

Dragonforge” by James Maxey. Release Date: June 24, 2008. Powerful dragons have ruled the land for an age, but now their supremacy hangs in the balance. The humans seek revenge and will stop at nothing to achieve retribution. Though there are those that fight for peace and a land where humans & dragons can live in harmony, they are fast becoming outnumbered and their ideals forgotten. When war erupts, legendary dragon hunter, Bitterwood, must face his personal demons and decide where his loyalty truly lies…
Official James Maxey Blog
Official Dragon Age Blog
Order “DragonforgeHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
NOTE:Dragonforge”, a novel set in the Dragon Age, is a sequel to “Bitterwood” (Reviewed HERE)

The Final Sacrifice” by Patricia Bray. Release Date: June 24, 2008. Emperor Lucius of Ikaria has led his people to victory, but is losing a private war within himself as the spell which bound his soul to that of the monk Josan is now unraveling, threatening to destroy them both. Their only hope lies in the forbidden magic teachings of a distant land. But when a new war threatens all that Lucius has fought for, he must either choose between his own salvation or learning to wield the very magic that could destroy him…
Official Patricia Bray Website
Order “The Final SacrificeHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
NOTE:The Final Sacrifice” is the final volume in The Chronicles of Josan after “The First Betrayal” and “The Sea Change”.

Shadows Return” by Lynn Flewelling. Release Date: June 24, 2008. After their latest victory, Alec and Seregil have returned home. But with most of their allies dead or exiled, it is difficult for them to settle in. Hoping for diversion, they accept an assignment that will take them back to Seregil’s homeland. En route, however, they are ambushed and separated, and both are sold into slavery. Clinging to life, Seregil is sustained only by the hope that Alec is alive. But it is not Alec’s life his strange master wants—it is his blood…
Official Lynn Flewelling Website
Order Shadows Return HERE
NOTE:Shadows Return” is the fourth Night Runner novel after “Luck in the Shadows”, “Stalking Darkness”, and “Traitor’s Moon”.

Valiant” by Jack Campbell. Release Date: June 24, 2008. In “Valiant”, Jack Campbell’s (Stark’s War, Paul Sinclair) fourth Lost Fleet novel—after Dauntless, Fearless, and CourageousCaptain “Black Jack” Geary has ordered his fleet back to the Lakota Star System where the Syndics nearly destroyed them, a desperate gamble that may give them a fighting chance of survival—or tear them apart… Jack Campbell’s high-flying military science fiction series will continue in “Relentless” (2009) and “Victorious” (TBD)…
Official Jack Campbell Website
Order “ValiantHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

The Cold Minds” by Kristin Landon. Release Date: June 24, 2008. After Earth's destruction by ruthless machine intelligences known as the Cold Minds, the remnants of humankind fled to the Hidden Worlds. Now, after six centuries of safety, the horrors of the past have returned to finish the extermination. On the run and desperately searching for allies to oppose the Cold Minds, Linnea Kiaho and Iain sen Paolo face near-impossible odds. But they know that somehow, some way, they must succeed—or humanity itself will become extinct…
Official Kristin Landon Website
Order “The Cold MindsHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
NOTE:The Cold Minds” is the sequel to “The Hidden World”.

A Fire in the North” by David Bilsborough. Release Date: June 24, 2008. Into the arctic wastelands of Melhus Island, to the subterranean fastness of the evil rawgr-lord Drauglir, a flame is brought—and at last the enigma buried deep and forgotten in Bolldhe’s soul begins to thaw… “A Fire in the North”, the second volume in the Annals of Lindormyn, continues brilliantly where David Bilsborough's debut “The Wanderer’s Tale” left off. But it’s an altogether darker and more violent affair now…
Order “A Fire in the North
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s REVIEW of “The Wanderer’s Tale

Gone” by Michael Grant. Release Date: June 24, 2008. From the co-writer/co-creator of over 150 children’s books including the
Animorphs and Everworld, comes “Gone”, the first novel in a six-book series for young adults in which everyone over the age of fourteen disappears in a flash: In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE. Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what’s happened…
Official Michael Grant Myspace
Order “GoneHERE
Read Reviews via Pop Syndicate

The Iron Hunt” by Marjorie M. Liu. Release Date: June 24, 2008. By day, her tattoos are her armor. By night, they unwind from her body to take on forms of their own. Demons of the flesh, turned into flesh. This is the only family demon hunter Maxine Kiss has ever known. The only way to live—and the very way she’ll die. For one day, her demons will abandon her for her daughter to assure their own survival. But such is the way of Earth’s last protector—the only one standing between humanity and the demons she battles…
Official Marjorie M. Liu Website
Order “The Iron HuntHERE
Read Reviews via Darque Reviews

The Last Vampire” by Patricia Rosemoor and Marc Paoletti. Release Date: June 24, 2008. The military unearths a five-hundred-year-old corpse, hoping to use its mysterious DNA to transform soldiers into beings of unimaginable power. Instead, they unleash hell. "The Last Vampire" is an all-out, blood-soaked battle between Special Forces and armies of the Undead, between technology and primeval mysticism, between an undying hope for mankind and a dark, consuming evil bent on reinstating its poisonous kind on earth…
Official Patricia Rosemoor Website
Official Marc Paoletti Website
Order “The Last VampireHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Gordath Wood” by Patrice Sarath. Release Date: June 24, 2008. Something strange is happening in Gordath Wood, the old woods surrounding a training stable called Hunter’s Chase. The police think Lynn Romano and Kate Mossland have been murdered, but what actually occurred is much stranger. They’ve gone through a hole between worlds, into a medieval society at war. In a world that doesn’t ordinarily have use for women. Good thing Lynn Romano and Kate Mossland aren’t your ordinary women…
Official Patrice Sarath Website
Order “Gordath WoodHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

The Deceived” by Brett Battles. Release Date: June 24, 2008. As a professional “cleaner,” Jonathan Quinn disposes of bodies and ties up loose ends with nothing ever getting traced back to him. But when he discovers he's been hired to vanish all traces of Steven Markoff, one of his best friends and a former agent with the CIA, his job suddenly hits too close to home. This time, it's personal… With an addicting momentum and fascinating characters, “The Deceived” takes readers on a thrilling, pulse-pounding journey…
Official Brett Battles Website
Order “The DeceivedHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Kull: Exile in Atlantis” by Robert E. Howard. Release Date: June 30, 2008. The UK-based small press
Wandering Star issued glorious editions of Robert E. Howard’s work, including The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn, The Ultimate Triumph, as well as two volumes of Howard’s Conan tales. Subterranean Press is proud to continue this series of limited editions, beginning with Kull: Exile of Atlantis, exquisitely illustrated by Justin Sweet with color plates and black and white illustrations illuminating the text…
Official Robert E. Howard Website
Order “Kull: Exile in AtlantisHERE


sbp said...

Great spotlight as usual Robert.

Kimberly Swan said...

Another amazing line-up for June, and such an awesome job you do in sharing them with us. There are quite a few I would love to get around to reading if time ever allows me to. As always...Thank you for sharing the DR review links. :)

Chris, The Book Swede said...

Thanks, as usual, for all the links :) And for the great spotlight. I fancy June isn't as great a month as some others, but still good :D

Robert said...

Thanks sbp!

Kimberly, you're welcome for the links :) And I'm always amazed by how many titles you manage to review every month whenever I put together a spotlight!

Chris, you're welcome as well :D As far as the spotlight, I guess it depends on what you're into. Urban fantasy once again dominates and while there's plenty of sf & fantasy, there was a lot of stuff that I wasn't familar with. July though is going to be great :D

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the review link! You certainly have a great list of upcoming books! I've never been here before, but I will certainly come back!

Robert said...

You're welcome :) I'm glad you like the list and hope you'll continue to enjoy reading the blog!

Melissa said...

“Valor’s Trial” by Tanya Huff looks real good. I am trying to find anything in similarity to Some Kind of Angel. (A story that underscores twenty-first century terrorism and the ingenious weapons terrorists use). I'll keep checking out your list. It's a great one.

Anonymous said...

Hi Robert,

Thanks again for doing this spot light. I have read Donita Paul's books and didn't know the latest one was out. That's a keeper for me.

You do good work!

gav(NextRead) said...

Late I know, but thank to you (and your little helper?) for all the hard work putting this together :D. Is next month longer? hehe

Robert said...

It's all good Gav :) I haven't really started on the July spotlight yet, but just from the preliminary list I have, I already know that it's the biggest month yet ;)


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