Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Three New Books you might like: FROM DIANA GABALDON

THREE NEW BOOKS you might like:

Here are three new books that came through my office this month, two by new writers and one by perhaps the most prolific writer of historical fiction _ever_. A wide variety here: hard science-fiction (and a little romance), psychological suspense/crime, and the latest chapter in Bernard Cornwell’s “Saxon Tales” series.

DEPARTURE, by A. G. Riddle

A.G. Riddle started his career self-publishing his work (THE ATLANTIS GENE) online, became very popular, and then was acquired by a mainstream publisher. His new book, DEPARTURE, is a fascinating, twisty story, with the tightest, cleanest writing I’ve seen in a long while. You know how a book is meant to start with a “hook”? This one starts with a plane crash, moves rapidly into a tale of the survivors’ struggle to stay alive, not kill each other, find help, and figure out where the hell they are—and then turns upside down when they _do_ reach civilization, only to find that it isn’t _their_ civilization—to put it mildly. After that, things get Interesting…

I liked this book enough to give it a cover blurb:

“Well-constructed and tightly-wound as a fine Swiss watch--DEPARTURE has non-stop action, an engaging plot and, of course, wheels within wheels.”


THE SURVIVORS, by Robert Palmer

Speaking of tales of survival…this is the story of Cal Henderson, whose mother waved to him from the backyard one summer day, then shot herself. Cal, reasonably enough, went and hid under the bed. When he’s eventually rescued, he finds that before shooting herself, his mother had killed his father, his brothers, and seriously wounded Scottie, the friend who had been visiting Cal. What happened? And why did it not happen to Cal? Paralyzed by survivor’s guilt, the boy tries to forget and go on with what’s left of his life.

Twenty-five years later, Scottie appears in Cal’s office, insisting that there must be answers—and that he and Cal must find them. It’s an intriguing mystery that works out on three levels: what happened…and why. And what has it done to the two survivors?








WARRIORS OF THE STORM, by Bernard Cornwell.

And carrying on our theme of survival…this one is the story of the survival both of individuals and of cultures.

This listing is perhaps a little premature, in that the book itself won’t be published until January of 2016. The publisher sent it to me now, though, in hopes of a review, because a series based on Cornwell’s “Saxon Tales” (of which this is the ninth installment) is coming out imminently, this month.

Regardless of timing, any book by Bernard is a worthwhile read, but I’ve especially enjoyed the Saxon Tales, both because of the underlying historical story—the long struggle between the Saxons and the Danes for sovereignty over the British Isles in the 9th and 10th centuries, and because of the central character, the Saxon warrior, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. Uhtred is, to put it succinctly, a piece of work. Described delicately as a man with “a warrior’s courage and unfettered loyalties” (as in, he doesn’t fight for people he doesn’t like, and he’s not the easiest man to get along with), Uhtred may ironically be the one man who can find a way to peace through the muddle of family, politics, ambition and duty. And then again…

The 8-part television series based on the Saxon Tales airs in October (sorry, I don’t have a specific date) on BBC America, and is titled THE LAST KINGDOM (the title of the first book in the series). If you haven’t yet read the Saxon Tales, you have plenty of time to dive into the first eight books before WARRIORS comes along.



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