September 1, 2016 Booklist 65 www.booklistonline.com
sure” aspect of salvage work. Careful character
building accentuates the novel’s slow build, so
by the time the salvagers are in real danger, they
feel like real people, too. Despite lulls in pacing,
the final scenes are terrifying. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary ghost stories.
By D. Nolan Clark.
Sept. 2016. 608p. Orbit, paper, $15.99
(9780316355698); e-book (9780316355704).
“Humanity cannot work miracles . . . What
we can do, when faced with impossible odds,
is build a solution.” And so the citizens of the
distant planet Niraya are in desperate need of
a solution, if not a miracle, when it becomes
apparent that they are about to be at the mercy
of an alien invasion. Having been abandoned
by the rest of humanity, the Nirayans’ solution
comes in the form of Aleister Lanoe, a much-hailed famous fighter. In a space that is set
centuries in the future, it is up to Lanoe and
his motley crew to defend the planet of Niraya
from the alien armada. But can a jaded fighter
pilot, his former second in command, and
the rest of his crew defeat an entire alien fleet?
Though the writing can be stilted at times, it
never takes away from the action. This debut
from Clark (a pseudonym) touts unforgettable
characters and is jam-packed with action, adventure, and even a little romance, and it is the
first in a trilogy—one readers will not want to
miss. —LynnDee Wathen
Gods of Nabban.
By K. V. Johansen.
Sept. 2016. 576p. Pyr, paper, $17 (9781633882034);
e-book, $9.99 (9781633882041).
Ghu, a former slave, is called back to Nabban by the ancient, dying gods of the land.
Ahjvar, still troubled by dreams but freed
from the possession that caused his torments,
accompanies him. The empire is in turmoil—
a prophet sentenced to death is at the center
of a series of events that will shatter the Peony
Throne—and with the emperor dead, a newly
declared empress, who claims to be beloved of
the gods, and the rebel prince Dan fight for
the very soul of the empire. There are others
who come to join Ghu and Ahjvar—from the
servants of the former empress and legendary
demon Yeh Lin to one of the Wild Sisters—as
they journey to destroy the evil at the heart
of the empire and make good on promises
of freedom and a better world. Matters, of
course, come to a head. It’s not an easy story,
but the way the many characters come together for an epic denouement is satisfying. This
is a solid epic fantasy world, with a dense and
twisting plot, well-humanized larger-than-life
characters, and world-changing sociopolitical
upheaval. —Regina Schroeder
The Masked City.
By Genevieve Cogman.
Sept. 2016. 384p. Roc, paper, $15 (9781101988664).
Following her adventures in The Invisible Li-
brary (2016), Irene was appointed Librarian in
Residence to an alternate Victorian-era earth.
With the help of her assistant, Kai, the youngest
son of dragon royalty, and the deductive skills of
the great detective Peregrine Vale, she continues
to retrieve books for the mysterious, multidi-
mensional Library. When Kai is kidnapped
by a Fae Lord and whisked off to a world deep
within the chaotic end of reality, Irene intends
to rescue him herself. The dragons are threaten-
ing war, and to save Kai, she will have to do
two things no Librarian should even consider:
work with the impulsive Lord Silver (another
Fae) and cross over into a magical city infested
by chaos. Irene may have also lost the friendship
of Vale, who is deeply offended by her determi-
nation to go alone. Series fans will be thrilled
to learn more about dragon-kind and the capri-
cious Fae, and will be eager for Cogman’s third
in the series. —Lucy Lockley
A Night without Stars.
By Peter F. Hamilton.
Oct. 2016. 736p. Del Rey, $32 (9780345547224).
In this sequel to The Abyss beyond Dreams
(2014), Hamilton delivers his usual reliable
storytelling; the people of Bienvenido, having
been expelled from the Void into the vastness
of space, still struggle for survival against the
Fallers, now without the advantage of telepathy.
Laura Brandt, in her efforts to save them, discovers the remnants of the Prime—a terrible,
destructive species long thought eradicated—
and sacrifices herself to destroy that imminent
threat. Centuries later, we join the real action: a
Treefall releases something else, which lands in
a remote location and drags forest warden Florian, unsuspecting, into the heart of a struggle
for liberty from the reactionary government
and, ultimately, freedom from the Faller threat.
The final showdown between the government, the Eliters, and the Fallers promises to
be unpleasant and dramatic. As usual, human
ingenuity, helped along by the wisdom of Hamilton’s ancient, often reborn characters, saves the
day—for now. It’s a satisfying tale of adventure
and politics, with the potential for yet more
development of the Commonwealth, which is
Hamilton’s major strength. —Regina Schroeder
The Rift Uprising.
By Amy S. Foster.
Oct. 2016. 400p. Harper/Voyager, $21.99
(9780062443120); e-book (9780062443151).
After humanity created portals to an infinite
variety of other earths, authorities created the
Allied Rift Coalition (ARC) to monitor these
Rifts and subdue any entities that might arrive
through them. Seventeen-year-old Ryn Whit-
taker was made into a supersoldier Citadel as a
child without her knowledge or consent; now
she leads one of the teams policing a Rift in the
Pacific Northwest. Ryn doesn’t often question
the ARC or its motives until she meets Ezra, a
genius boy who comes through this Rift and
immediately sparks her interest. Though Ezra is
held in an internment camp, he and Ryn con-
spire to learn more about the Rifts, the Citadels,
and the ARC’s plans for them. Songwriter and
novelist Foster has created in Ryn a refreshingly
atypical heroine who is accustomed to thinking
and acting as a military commander before she
considers her own emotional or physical needs.
Ryn’s self-discovery is at the core of this first
book in the planned trilogy, which promises to
cover new and interesting ground in the subse-
quent entries. —Anna Mickelsen
YA/M: Ryn’s story will appeal to older teens
comfortable with stories featuring sexual
frankness and physical violence. AM.
The Tengu’s Game of Go.
By Lian Hearn.
Sept. 2016. 256p. Farrar, paper, $13 (9780374536343).
The hunt for the heir to the emperor’s
throne comes to a climax in the final volume
of Hearn’s four-book epic, released entirely in
2016: Emperor of the Eight Islands; Autumn
Princess, Dragon Child; and Lord of the Darkwood. Yoshi, the boy who is destined to become
emperor, has been protected by the traveling
group of acrobats with whom he’s grown up,
but the power-hungry Lord Masachika is closing in on him. Meanwhile, Shikanoko still
roams the Darkwood, the powerful deer mask
still seared to his face. Only one who loves him
can remove the mask, and Shikanoko’s friends
hope that could be the beautiful Hina, who
loved Shikanoko when she was a girl and later
protected his son, Take. Now a young man,
Take is training with the powerful, magical
tengu to be a warrior. Hearn brings her story to
a thrilling close, and she even drops in a reference to her other epic series, Tales of the Otori,
in the final pages. Readers who’ve followed the
journey of Shikanoko and the large, varied cast
of characters this far will not want to miss this
rousing conclusion. —Kristine Huntley
YA/M: Teens will particularly enjoy
seeing Shikanoko’s son come into his own.
What the #@&% Is That? The Saga
Anthology of the Monstrous and the
Ed. by John Joseph Adams and Douglas
Sept. 2016. 368p. Saga, $26.99 (9781481434997).
When regular people see a funny Internet
meme, they forward it to friends and colleagues through social media. But when two
award-winning speculative fiction editors
stumble upon a Lovecraft-inspired meme using artwork by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola,
this amazing collection is the result. Bestselling authors, including Seanan McGuire, Scott
Sigler, Laird Barron, Jonathan Maberry, and
Grady Hendrix, were asked to contribute a
story about a monster, with the catch being
that at some point in their tale, a character
had to exclaim, “What the #@&% is that!”
With 20 stories, ranging from hilarious to
truly terrifying, this is a great option to hand
to horror fans. It is also fun to predict where
and how the title will be used in each story
and what word will be substituted for the symbols (which readers learn is called a grawlix). A
great choice for those who enjoyed the popular
2014 collection, Rogues. —Becky Spratford