When you’re constantly obtaining books from different directions, keeping track of where they have come from, what you’ve promised to review and what has been sitting there, patiently, for a considerable length of time can be challenging.
About six months ago, I did a wrap-up of the books on my Netgalley shelf. Now time has passed, and I’ve both read and reviewed a lot of books since writing that post, I thought I would have another look.
While I can’t, with a clear conscience, say I have read all the ones mentioned before, I can, at least, claim that most of them have now been read. It would have been a bit embarrassing if the same books featured in this post as they did last time. Which normally happens with my TBR piles…
What’s waiting to be read?
Oldest book on the shelf:
Godblind by Anna Stephens
Publication Date: 15 June 2017
Blurb: There was a time when the Red Gods ruled the land. The Dark Lady and her horde dealt in death and blood and fire.
That time has long since passed and the neighbouring kingdoms of Mireces and Rilpor hold an uneasy truce. The only blood spilled is confined to the border where vigilantes known as Wolves protect their kin and territory at any cost.
But after the death of his wife, King Rastoth is plagued by grief, leaving the kingdom of Rilpor vulnerable.
Vulnerable to the blood-thirsty greed of the Warrior-King Liris and the Mireces army waiting in the mountains…
I was quite surprised by this: I obtained this book when I was doing better at getting things reviewed by their publication date and was looking forward to this one. Somehow, it slipped through the net. Definitely bumping this up the review list, I still really want to read it.
Newest book on the shelf:
Danger Rising by E.D. Richards
Publication date: 2 May 2018
Blurb: All things are not as they seem as Dr. Abbey Bertrand races against time, while glaciers threaten and others are after her.
At least, it’s the newest at the time of writing this post! With only a limited description, it was the praise from the advance readers that made me decide to give this one a go. Hopefully it hasn’t been hyped up too much and I’ll enjoy it.
Oldest publication date:
The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark
Publication date: 29 June 2017
Blurb: They’ve finally looked at the graveyard of our Empire with open eyes. They’re fools and madmen and like the art of war. And their children go hungry while we piss gold and jewels into the dust.
In the richest empire the world has ever known, the city of Sorlost has always stood, eternal and unconquered. But in a city of dreams governed by an imposturous Emperor, decadence has become the true ruler, and has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The empire is on the verge of invasion – and only one man can see it.
Haunted by dreams of the empire’s demise, Orhan Emmereth has decided to act. On his orders, a company of soldiers cross the desert to reach the city. Once they enter the Palace, they have one mission: kill the Emperor, then all those who remain. Only from ashes can a new empire be built.
The company is a group of good, ordinary soldiers, for whom this is a mission like any other. But the strange boy Marith who walks among them is no ordinary soldier. Marching on Sorlost, Marith thinks he is running away from the past which haunts him. But in the Golden City, his destiny awaits him – beautiful, bloody, and more terrible than anyone could have foreseen.
This one was also actually Godblind, but rather than doing the same book twice, I thought I would go to the next on the list. My only saving grace is that at least this was only out last year – for a long time, I had a lot of 2016’s publications on my shelf that I hadn’t touched.
Newest publication date:
Firefly by Henry Porter
Publication date: 12 October 2018
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Blurb: Henry Porter, who has been widely hailed as a next-generation John le Carré, is a bestselling author in the UK and has won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award. From the refugee camps of Greece to the mountains of Macedonia, a thirteen-year-old boy is making his way to Germany and to safety. Codenamed “Firefly,” he holds vital intelligence: unparalleled insight into a vicious ISIS terror cell, and details of their plans. But the terrorists are hot on his trail, determined he won’t live to pass on the information.
When MI6 become aware of Firefly and what he knows, the race is on to find him. Luc Samson, ex-MI6 agent and now private eye, finds himself recruited to the cause. Fluent in Arabic thanks to his Lebanese heritage and himself the product of an earlier era of violent civil war, Samson’s job is to find Firefly, win his trust, and get him to safety.
A devastatingly timely thriller following the refugee trail from Syria to Europe, Firefly is a sophisticated, breathtaking race against time from an author who brings a whole new level of urgency to the genre.
I’ve read some good thrillers later and this one looked as though I would enjoy it. It’s not due until October this year though – maybe I’ll actually be able to review it on time. That could be something to aim for, if nothing else!
Most looking forward to:
Gnomon by Nick Haraway
Publication date: 2 November 2017
Publisher: William Heinemann
Blurb: Near-future Britain is not just a nation under surveillance but one built on it: a radical experiment in personal transparency and ambient direct democracy. Every action is seen, every word is recorded.
Diana Hunter is a refusenik, a has-been cult novelist who lives in a house with its own Faraday cage: no electronic signals can enter or leave. She runs a lending library and conducts business by barter. She is off the grid in a society where the grid is everything. Denounced, arrested and interrogated by a machine that reads your life history from your brain, she dies in custody.
Mielikki Neith is the investigator charged with discovering how this tragedy occurred. Neith is Hunter’s opposite. She is a woman in her prime, a stalwart advocate of the System. It is the most democratic of governments, and Neith will protect it with her life.
When Neith opens the record of the interrogation, she finds not Hunter’s mind but four others, none of which can possibly be there: the banker Constantine Kyriakos, pursued by a ghostly shark that eats corporations; the alchemist Athenais Karthagonensis, jilted lover of St Augustine of Hippo and mother to his dead son, kidnapped and required to perform a miracle; Berihun Bekele, artist and grandfather, who must escape an arson fire by walking through walls – if only he can remember how; and Gnomon, a sociopathic human intelligence from a distant future, falling backwards in time to conduct four assassinations.
Aided – or perhaps opposed – by the pale and paradoxical Regno Lönnrot, Neith must work her way through the puzzles of her case and find the meaning of these impossible lives. Hunter has left her a message, but is it one she should heed, or a lie to lead her into catastrophe? And as the stories combine and the secrets and encryptions of Gnomon are revealed, the question becomes the most fundamental of all: who will live, and who will die?
I know when I get around to reading this book, it’s going to be a challenge. It’s over 700 pages long for one thing! Which is why I haven’t yet done it, I’ve been on too much of a blogging schedule to dedicate the time to it. But I know I like Harkaway’s writing having read his work before, so I’ve got my fingers crossed it is going to be just as enjoyable as his previous work.
There we have it, some of the books I need to get around to reviewing. Fingers crossed for another of these posts in another 6 months, with all these ones read!
What have you got coming up on your TBR pile?