First up, we have A Stranger to Command [Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy] by Sherwood Smith (sartorias). This is the prequel to Smith's book Crown Duel. I had the opportunity to start reading this one earlier this year. Unfortunately for me, the timing was bad. The book arrived just as my own novel-in-progress crashed and burned. Argh!!! I got through about 1/3 to 1/2 of the book, and was very much enjoying it. From the description, "Vidanric Renselaeus, fifteen-year-old Marquis of Shevraeth, finds himself sent across the continent to a military academy in Marloven Hess, a kingdom known for its violent history." Smith clearly knows every last detail of her world, and I enjoyed watching Renselaeus deal with the contradictions and confusion of this new culture. I'm looking forward to finishing this one.
Review of A Stranger to Command, by Samantha Ling
Next we have Hotter than Hell [Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy] by Jackie Kessler (jackiekessler). Jackie offered a few free copies of this one, so naturally I pounced :-) This is the third book in her "Hell on Earth" series, and I started reading it two nights ago. I'm about 4 chapters in, and I'm ... troubled. These are, in Kessler's own words, "dark, sexy stories about demons." So far, Daunuan has used his power as an incubus to override the objections of two different women. It's written as Daunuan unleashing the woman's inner desires, but given my own issues, it's uncomfortable reading. On the other hand, he's a demon. He's supposed to be evil, right? I confess I haven't read the first two books in the series, so I'd be curious to hear other people's thoughts on these. The writing is good, the book is certainly spicy, and Kessler does a nice job of portraying an interesting version of hell and demons and such. So Kessler fans, what have you thought of this series?
Note: There was a bit of an ISBN mix-up on this book. I guess these things happen when you're playing around with demons. For an explanation, check Kessler's blog: http://www.jackiekessler.com/blog/2008/07/28/want-drama/
Interviews: Kessler's succubus Jezebel interviews Daunuan (lots of fun). Interview with Jackie Kessler, over at Simon Haynes' blog.
Kat Richardson's (katatomic) third Greywalker book Underground [Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy] also comes out today. I've read and enjoyed the first two in this series, but haven't yet gotten around to posting reviews, because I suck. Both were enjoyable reads. I found the second book to be the stronger of the two, mostly because the first one, while good, spent a little too much time on the origin story for my taste. It's like the difference between Spider Man 1 and 2. Both were good movies, but the second one is able to jump into the action faster. (Please note that I trust and expect Richardson to do much better with her third book than Hollywood did with Spider Man 3.)
Interview with Kat Richardson, at Mike Brotherton's blog.
Also out this week or last, Lord Tophet [Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy] by Gregory Frost (frostokovich). This is the second book in Frost's Shadowbridge series. Shadowbridge is a world dreamed into being, as its creation story--included in the first volume--makes clear. It's an accretion of our myths, legends, folk and fairy tales but they've all altered in the translation somewhat, and taken on lives of their own. Everything in Shadowbridge thus sounds familiar and alien at the same time.
Interview with Gregory Frost, over at Wyrdsmiths.
So, who have I missed?