In seventeenth-century France, Louis XIV rules with flamboyant ambition. In his domain, wealth and beauty take all; frivolity begets cruelty; science and alchemy collide. From the Hall of Mirrors to the vermin-infested attics of the Chateau at Versailles, courtiers compete to please the king, sacrificing fortune, principles, and even the sacred bond between brother and sister.
By the fiftieth year of his reign, Louis XIV has made France the most powerful state in the western world. Yet the Sun King’s appetite for glory knows no bounds. In a bold stroke, he sends his natural philosopher on an expedition to seek the source of immortality — the rare, perhaps mythical, sea monsters. For the glory, of his God, his country, and his king, Father Yves de la Croix returns with his treasures: one heavy shroud packed in ice…and a covered basin that imprisons a shrieking creature.
Scott Westerfeld - Goliath
Alek and Dylan are back onboard the Leviathan. The ship is ordered to pick up Tesla, a Russian inventor who has created a machine he claims can destroy half of the world, which he is using as a threat to impose peace. Alek wants to end the war, so decides to back Tesla politically, as do the Darwinists. Meanwhile Dylan is still pretending to be a boy, though Alek has figured out her true identity, and promises to keep her secret. With stops in New York, California and Mexico, Dylan and Alek encounter adventure and intrigue at every turn, but when a secret German plan to sabotage Tesla's machine leads to a heart-stopping stand-off, as Tesla threatens to fire his weapon, it's up to the two of them to stop him - or face the end of the world for real...
Scott Westerfeld - Leviathan
It is the cusp of World War I. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ genetically fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet. Aleksandar Ferdinand, a Clanker, and Deryn Sharp, a Darwinist, are on opposite sides of the war. But their paths cross in the most unexpected way, taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure… One that will change both their lives forever.
Deanna Raybourn - A Spear of Summer Grass
Paris, 1923 The daughter of a scandalous mother, Delilah Drummond is already notorious, even amongst Paris society. But her latest scandal is big enough to make even her oft-married mother blanch. Delilah is exiled to Kenya and her favorite stepfather's savannah manor house until gossip subsides. Fairlight is the crumbling, sun-bleached skeleton of a faded African dream, a world where dissolute expats are bolstered by gin and jazz records, cigarettes and safaris. As mistress of this wasted estate, Delilah falls into the decadent pleasures of society. Against the frivolity of her peers, Ryder White stands in sharp contrast. As foreign to Delilah as Africa, Ryder becomes her guide to the complex beauty of this unknown world. Giraffes, buffalo, lions and elephants roam the shores of Lake Wanyama amid swirls of red dust. Here, life is lush and teeming-yet fleeting and often cheap. Amidst the wonders-and dangers-of Africa, Delilah awakes to a land out of all proportion: extremes of heat, darkness, beauty and joy that cut to her very heart. Only when this sacred place is profaned by bloodshed does Delilah discover what is truly worth fighting for-and what she can no longer live without.
Harry Turtledove - The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump
David Fisher, an EPA (Environmental Perfection Agency) bureaucrat, was not the stuff of which heroes are made. At least he hoped not. All he wanted was a good life with a good wife, and a chance to do his bit for society reviewing magical impact statements (like the one that assesses the effect on local non-life resulting from the introduction of leprechauns into Southern California, for example) and ensuring that various manufacturers of magical devices did not intentionally or otherwise foul the environment with the sorcerous by-products of their trade. Indeed it would be hard to imagine a more regular and down to earth soul than that of David Fisher of the EPA. No hero he! Then one day David received a call from Washington to investigate a certain Toxic Spell Dump, and suddenly he is up to his neck in skullduggery and magic most foul. Some ancient deity, it seems, is attempting to reopen for business in the L.A. Basin, complete with human sacrifice (open up their hearts and let the sun shine in!) and the destruction of Western Civilization. All that stands in the way is David Fisher - and he's no hero. Until he has to be.
Robert Harris - Fatherland
Very eerie book - the idea behind it is that Germany won WWII and that the cold war is between the US and Germany. Well thought out, and uses characters that I was familiar with from history books, but in a different light. The protagonist is caught between curiosity and blind servitude to the SS, and it's fun to read what and how he chooses. I thought the end was interesting, but anticlimactic.
Meljean Brook - The Iron Duke
First in an all-new series where seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas. After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession. But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.
Melanie Harlow - Speak Easy
The 1920s are roaring, and twenty-year-old Tiny O'Mara wants to be a part of it. By day she works for her father’s smalltime bootlegging operation, by night she craves the sexy roll-your-stockings-down lifestyle of a flapper—until her father is kidnapped by a mobster in Detroit's exploding organized crime scene, and it’s Tiny who has to come up with the ten-thousand-dollar ransom…in one week. Suddenly she’s thrust into an intoxicating underworld of greed, lust, lies, and betrayal. Enzo DiFiore is the son of the mobster holding her father hostage, but his sexy screen idol looks and dangerous charm leave her breathless. When the forbidden spark between them refuses to burn out, she tries to use their powerful chemistry to buy more time. And irritatingly handsome childhood pal Joey Lupo has the street smarts Tiny needs to make a quick ten grand, but he’s got his own agenda where gang rivalries are concerned. Deciding whom to trust isn’t easy in a world where everyone wants something—be it booze, money, power, or sex—and no one cares what it takes to get it. Temptation is everywhere. And anything goes. **Due to mature material, this New Adult historical is recommended for ages 17+.**
Kim Newman - Andy Warhol's Dracula
1978. New York. Johnny Pop, the young-looking vampire who came to America with Coppola's film crew, finds his place in his new homeland, on his way to becoming the next Dracula. He becomes rich (creating a drug ring that sells "drac", derived from vampire blood) and socially successful (befriending many luminaries, including Andy Warhol), but risks losing it all when the many enemies he makes along the way join forces against him. The Softcover Edition is limited to 500 numbered copies.
Jo Walton - My Real Children
It's 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. "Confused today," read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know—what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev. Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War—those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles? Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history. Each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs. My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan's lives...and of how every life means the entire world.
Kim Newman - Anno Dracula
It is 1888 and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel follows vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and Charles Beauregard of the Diogenes Club as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders. Anno Dracula is a rich and panoramic tale, combining horror, politics, mystery and romance to create a unique and compelling alternate history. Acclaimed novelist Kim Newman explores the darkest depths of a reinvented Victorian London. This brand-new edition of the bestselling novel contains unique bonus material, including a new afterword from Kim Newman, annotations, articles and alternate endings to the original novel.
John Green - Paper Towns
When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q. Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.
Cherie Priest - Ganymede
The air pirate Andan Cly is going straight. Well, straighter. Although he’s happy to run alcohol guns wherever the money’s good, he doesn’t think the world needs more sap, or its increasingly ugly side-effects. But becoming legit is easier said than done, and Cly’s first legal gig—a supply run for the Seattle Underground—will be paid for by sap money. New Orleans is not Cly’s first pick for a shopping run. He loved the Big Easy once, back when he also loved a beautiful mixed-race prostitute named Josephine Early—but that was a decade ago, and he hasn’t looked back since. Jo’s still thinking about him, though, or so he learns when he gets a telegram about a peculiar piloting job. It’s a chance to complete two lucrative jobs at once, one he can’t refuse. He sends his old paramour a note and heads for New Orleans, with no idea of what he’s in for—or what she wants him to fly. But he won’t be flying. Not exactly. Hidden at the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain lurks an astonishing war machine, an immense submersible called the Ganymede. This prototype could end the war, if only anyone had the faintest idea of how to operate it…. If only they could sneak it past the Southern forces at the mouth of the Mississippi River… If only it hadn’t killed most of the men who’d ever set foot inside it. But it’s those “if onlys” that will decide whether Cly and his crew will end up in the history books, or at the bottom of the ocean.
Cherie Priest - The Inexplicables
Rector “Wreck ‘em” Sherman was orphaned as a toddler in the Blight of 1863, but that was years ago. Wreck has grown up, and on his eighteenth birthday, he’ll be cast out out of the orphanage. And Wreck’s problems aren’t merely about finding a home. He’s been quietly breaking the cardinal rule of any good drug dealer and dipping into his own supply of the sap he sells. He’s also pretty sure he’s being haunted by the ghost of a kid he used to know—Zeke Wilkes, who almost certainly died six months ago. Zeke would have every reason to pester Wreck, since Wreck got him inside the walled city of Seattle in the first place, and that was probably what killed him. Maybe it’s only a guilty conscience, but Wreck can’t take it anymore, so he sneaks over the wall. The walled-off wasteland of Seattle is every bit as bad as he’d heard, chock-full of the hungry undead and utterly choked by the poisonous, inescapable yellow gas. And then there's the monster. Rector's pretty certain that whatever attacked him was not at all human—and not a rotter, either. Arms far too long. Posture all strange. Eyes all wild and faintly glowing gold and known to the locals as simply "The Inexplicables." In the process of tracking down these creatures, Rector comes across another incursion through the wall -- just as bizarre but entirely attributable to human greed. It seems some outsiders have decided there's gold to be found in the city and they're willing to do whatever it takes to get a piece of the pie unless Rector and his posse have anything to do with it.
Samantha Shannon - The Mime Order
Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London. As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.
Sherry D. Ficklin - Queen of Someday
ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES... Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost. Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans. Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be. In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?
Cherie Priest - Fiddlehead
Ex-spy ‘Belle Boyd’ is retired – more or less. Retired from spying on the Confederacy anyway. Her short-lived marriage to a Union navy boy cast suspicion on those Southern loyalties, so her mid-forties found her unemployed, widowed and disgraced. Until her life-changing job offer from the staunchly Union Pinkerton Detective Agency. When she’s required to assist Abraham Lincoln himself, she has to put any old loyalties firmly aside – for a man she spied against twenty years ago.Lincoln’s friend Gideon Bardsley, colleague and ex-slave, is targeted for assassination after the young inventor made a breakthrough. Fiddlehead, Bardsley’s calculating engine, has proved an extraordinary threat threatens the civilized world. Meaning now is not the time for conflict. Now Bardsley and Fiddlehead are in great danger as forces conspire to keep this secret, the war moving and the money flowing. With spies from both camps gunning for her, can even the notorious Belle Boyd hold the war-hawks at bay?
John Crowley - Aegypt
There is more than one history of the world. Before science defined the modern age, other powers, wondrous and magical, once governed the universe, their lore perfected within a lost capital of hieroglyphs, wizard-kings, and fabulous monuments. In the 1970s, a historian named Pierce Moffett moves to the New England countryside to write a book about Ægypt, driven by an idea he dare not believe: that the physical laws of the universe once changed and may change again. Yet the notion is not his alone. Something waits at the locked estate of Fellowes Kraft, author of romances about Will Shakespeare and Giordano Bruno and Dr. John Dee, something for which Pierce and those near him have long sought without knowing it: a key, perhaps, to Ægypt... Shortlisted for the WORLD FANTASY and ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARDs.
Felix Gilman - The Rise of Ransom City
In The Half-Made World, Felix Gilman took readers deep into a world on the cusp of forging an identity. The Line, a cult of Industry, and the Gun, a mission of Chaos, were engaged in a war for dominance. The Line was winning city by city, enslaving the populations it conquered. A doctor of psychology, Liv Alverhuysen, was caught in the middle, unknowingly guarding a secret that both sides would do anything to have. Now, in the amazing sequel Rise of Ransom City, Liv is lost on the edge of the world with Creedmor, an agent of the Gun, and the powerful Line will stop at nothing to find them. But Harry Ransom, half con man, half mad inventor, is setting the edge of the world aglow. Town by town he is building up a bankroll and leaving hope in his wake because one of his inventions is actually working. But his genius is not going unnoticed, and when he crosses paths with the two most wanted outlaws in the “unmade world,” his stage becomes even larger and presents an opportunity more lucrative than any of his scams or inventions combined.
Pierre Pevel - The Cardinal's Blades
Welcome to seventeenth-century Paris, where intrigue, duels, and spies are rife and Cardinal Richelieu’s men may be prevailed upon to risk life and limb in the name of France at a moment’s notice. And with war on the horizon, the defense of the nation has never been more pressing. Danger is rising from the south—an insidious plot that could end with a huge dragon-shaped shadow falling over France, a shadow cast by dragons quite unlike the pet dragonets that roam the cities like stray cats, or the tame wyverns men ride like horses, high over the Parisian rooftops. These dragons and their descendants are ancient, terrible, and powerful ... and their plans contain little room for the lives or freedom of men. Cardinal Richelieu has nowhere else to turn; Captain La Fargue and his elite group of men, the Cardinal’s Blades, must turn the tide. They must hold the deadly Black Claw cult at bay, root out traitors to the crown, rescue prisoners, and fulfill their mission for the Cardinal, for their country, but above all for themselves. It’s death or victory. And the victory has never been less certain.
Orson Scott Card - Seventh Son
From the primal depth's of the world's greatest myths comes this gripping fantasy of a boy, born to be a Maker, whose dangerous journey towards knowledge and power makes history ...Amid the deep woods where the Red Man still holds sway, a very special child is born. Young Alvin is the seventh son, and such a boy is destined to become great - perhaps even a man with the enormous powers of a Maker. But even in the loving safety of his home, dark forces reach out to destroy him. Somewhere out there is a power that will do anything to prevent him growing up ...More information on this book and others can be found on the Orbit website at www.orbitbooks.co.uk