Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Meg's Picks: October 2015, part 1

There are a number of titles coming out next month which may be of particular interest to readers, including a little something for Game of Thrones fans to help tide you over until Winds of Winter is released (when it's done, says Martin), as well as a Vince Flynn novel finished posthumously (Flynn died in June of 2013 after a 3-year battle with cancer) by author Kyle Mills, something new from Prey series author John Sandford, and a new chapter in re-imagined fairy tales from Gregory Maguire.

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, by George R.R. Martin. For fans of Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire, Martin's next installment in the series just cannot come fast enough. But this volume, additional title "being the adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire Egg," may help while away the time in between, especially for those into some of the lore and history of Westeros. This volume compiles the first three prequel novellas to A Song of Ice and Fire, which tell the story of a young, na├»ve but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals—in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg—whose true name (hidden from all he and Dunk encounter) is Aegon Targaryen. Though more improbable heroes may not be found in all of Westeros, great destinies lay ahead for these two . . . as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.

The Survivor, by Vince Flynn & Kyle Mills. Chronicling Mitch Rapp's finest battle, picking up right where The Last Man left off, is a race to save America. When Joe “Rick” Rickman, a former golden boy of the CIA, steals a massive amount of the Agency’s most classified documents in an elaborately masterminded betrayal of his country, CIA director Irene Kennedy has no choice but to send her most dangerous weapon after him: elite covert operative Mitch Rapp. Rapp quickly dispatches the traitor, but Rickman proves to be a deadly threat to America even from beyond the grave. Eliminating Rickman didn’t solve all of the CIA’s problems—in fact, mysterious tip-offs are appearing all over the world, linking to the potentially devastating data that Rickman managed to store somewhere only he knew. It’s a deadly race to the finish as both the Pakistanis and the Americans search desperately for Rickman’s accomplices, and for the confidential documents they are slowly leaking to the world. To save his country from being held hostage to a country set on becoming the world’s newest nuclear superpower, Mitch Rapp must outrun, outthink, and outgun his deadliest enemies yet.

Saturn Run, by John Sandford & Ctein. Fans of Andy Weir's The Martian (I include myself in this category--ps, the film adaptation directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon comes to theaters in October) will want to check out this new collaborative novel from Sandford (author of the long-running Prey series) and Ctein (photo-artist and science fiction aficionado). The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate. Spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: Whatever built that ship is at least one hundred years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out. The race is on, and an remarkable adventure begins—an epic tale of courage, treachery, resourcefulness, secrets, surprises, and astonishing human and technological discovery, as the members of a hastily thrown-together crew find their strength and wits tested against adversaries both of this earth and beyond. This is absolutely on my to-read list this fall!

After Alice, by Gregory Maguire. Maguire, known for modern classics like the best-selling Wicked, now publishes a twist on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll's classic.When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance? In this brilliant work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings—and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late—and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself.

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