Three New Arrivals Today

I’m a sucker for pre-ordering books that interest me. Sometimes it’s because it’s the next book in a series I’m eager for more of. Sometimes it’s because I’ve found reviews that make my inner-book-buyer go: “Preciousssss. We NEEEEDS it.” and my finger hits the pre-order button like an inverted glass moving on an Ouija Board.

Then, with my imagination absorbed by the books I’m already reading, I forget them until that “Your pre-order is now available in your Library” mail arrives.

Today, like buses in an urban myth, THREE pre-ordered books arrived at once and, like the addict I am, I’m filled with the need to consume all three of them RIGHT NOW.

I’m trying to show enough discipline to finish the book I’m reading at the moment, “Blood On The Tracks” by Barbara Nickless. I’m about twenty per cent in and having fun getting to know Sydney Rose Parnell. I think I may have found a good new series here.

So, to contain my excitement, I thought I’d share my three new books with you.

Emily Eternal by M. G Wheaton

Some of the most interesting novels I’ve read recently feature Artificial Intelligences. OK, it’s a topic I have a professional interest in but, in the hands of the right author, it can become something more profound that predicting the next twist in the technology spiral and provide insights into who we are and how we think.

I recommend “Speak” by Louisa Hall and “The Unseen World” by Liz Moore as good examples.

What intrigues me about “Emily Eternal” is that it’s about something a step beyond Artificial Intelligence – Artificial Consciousness. The publisher’s summary says Emily is:

an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.

So, her beloved human race is screwed, and so is Emily. That is, until she finds a potential answer buried deep in the human genome. But before her solution can be tested, her lab is brutally attacked, and Emily is forced to go on the run with two human companions – college student Jason and small-town Sheriff, Mayra.

Wheaton has a solid track record as a screenwriter. This is his first novel. I’m keen to see what he does with it. For example, how does an AI, sorry AC (that doesn’t quite work does it- sound like an intelligent aircon) go on the run?

“Ragged Alice” by Gareth L Powell

“Ragged Alice” got my Pre-Order Me finger moving because it combines two genres I enjoy, Crime Fiction and Urban Supernatural, AND it’s set in Wales. You can’t get more unique than that.

The publisher’s summary says:

In Gareth L. Powell’s Ragged Alice a detective in a small Welsh town can literally see the evil in people’s souls.

Orphaned at an early age, DCI Holly Craig grew up in the small Welsh coastal town of Pontyrhudd. As soon as she was old enough, she ran away to London and joined the police. Now, fifteen years later, she’s back in her old hometown to investigate what seems at first to be a simple hit-and-run, but which soon escalates into something far deadlier and unexpectedly personal—something that will take all of her peculiar talents to solve. 

I’ve got high hopes of this one. Somehow, it seems fitting that Welsh Woman would be able to see the evil in a person’s soul.

“Storm Of Locusts” by Rebecca Roanhorse

I ordered “Storm Of Locusts” way back at the beginning of November, as soon as it was available for pre-order.

This is the second book in Rebecca Roanhorse’s “Sixth World” series, that started last year with “Trail Of Lightning”.

I am in love with the idea of a Navajo Urban Fantasy set in a dystopian future.

My take on “Trail Of Lightning” was

Rebecca Roanhorse’s Sixth World concept is a potent mix of post-apocalyptic devastation and Navajo-based Urban Fantasy with a monster-slaying female lead who sees herself not as a hero but as a monster in waiting, someone contaminated and abandoned who knows only how to kill and yet dreds becoming nothing more than a killer…

…“Trail Of Lightning” is the first time I’ve seen Native American culture take centre stage rather than being an atavistic accident that makes the heroine a misfit in mainstream American society.

In the Sixth World, white America has been mostly destroyed by flooding, the Navajo Gods have returned and their lands have been protected from the chaos by four huge walls, raised by magic. For once, the Dineh are not the ones getting the crappy end of everything.

Here’s what the publisher’s summary says about “Storm Of Locusts”

It’s been four weeks since the bloody showdown at Black Mesa, and Maggie Hoskie, Diné monster hunter, is trying to make the best of things. Only her latest bounty hunt has gone sideways, she’s lost her only friend, Kai Arviso, and she’s somehow found herself responsible for a girl with a strange clan power.

Then the Goodacre twins show up at Maggie’s door with the news that Kai and the youngest Goodacre, Caleb, have fallen in with a mysterious cult, led by a figure out of Navajo legend called the White Locust. The Goodacres are convinced that Kai’s a true believer, but Maggie suspects there’s more to Kai’s new faith than meets the eye. She vows to track down the White Locust, then rescue Kai and make things right between them.

Her search leads her beyond the Walls of Dinétah and straight into the horrors of the Big Water world outside. With the aid of a motley collection of allies, Maggie must battle body harvesters, newborn casino gods and, ultimately, the White Locust himself. But the cult leader is nothing like she suspected, and Kai might not need rescuing after all. When the full scope of the White Locust’s plans are revealed, Maggie’s burgeoning trust in her friends, and herself, will be pushed to the breaking point, and not everyone will survive.

“Storm of Locusts” will be my next read.

OK. I’ve shared my excitement. Now I can go back to “Blood On The Tracks” and pay it the attention it deserves.

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