I had to write up this stupid post in a day because October just snuck up on me. In fact, the first time I even thought about it was midnight on September 30th.
New intro! Decided to rewrite it as the first one was too depressing. Autumn is probably my favorite time of year. However, thus far, this fall has been a bit of a letdown. Yes, I know that “Autumn” doesn’t officially start until the 21st (with the equinox), but in Montana it feels like the new season starts near the beginning of the month when the heat gives way to snow and rain. We did that here in late August—but went right back to the heat for several weeks. Now it’s starting to feel right—weather-wise. Life-wise… well, we’ll get to that later. For now, settle in, and let’s talk October.
• Station Eleven – by Mur Lafferty (10.04)
The Midsolar Murders #1
From idyllic small towns to claustrophobic urban landscapes, Mallory Viridian is constantly embroiled in murder cases that only she has the insight to solve. But outside of a classic mystery novel, being surrounded by death doesn’t make you a charming amateur detective, it makes you a suspect and a social pariah. So when Mallory gets the opportunity to take refuge on a sentient space station, she thinks she has the solution. Surely the murders will stop if her only company is alien beings. At first her new existence is peacefully quiet…and markedly devoid of homicide.
But when the station agrees to allow additional human guests, Mallory knows the break from her peculiar reality is over. After the first Earth shuttle arrives, and aliens and humans alike begin to die, the station is thrown into peril. Stuck smack-dab in the middle of an extraterrestrial whodunit, and wondering how in the world this keeps happening to her anyway, Mallory has to solve the crime—and fast—or the list of victims could grow to include everyone on board….
Many thanks to Berkley (Ace) for the eARC! While Six Wakes was one of my favorite reads of 2017, I was very torn on this latest mystery from Mur Lafferty, which didn’t have the same feel, tension, or charm. You can read all about it in my full review, due out tomorrow, October 2nd.
• The Dark Between the Trees – by Fiona Barnett (10.11)
1643: A small group of Parliamentarian soldiers are ambushed in an isolated part of Northern England. Their only hope for survival is to flee into the nearby Moresby Wood… unwise though that may seem. For Moresby Wood is known to be an unnatural place, the realm of witchcraft and shadows, where the devil is said to go walking by moonlight…
Seventeen men enter the wood. Only two are ever seen again, and the stories they tell of what happened make no sense. Stories of shifting landscapes, of trees that appear and disappear at will… and of something else. Something dark. Something hungry.
Today, five women are headed into Moresby Wood to discover, once and for all, what happened to that unfortunate group of soldiers. Led by Dr Alice Christopher, an historian who has devoted her entire academic career to uncovering the secrets of Moresby Wood. Armed with metal detectors, GPS units, mobile phones and the most recent map of the area (which is nearly 50 years old), Dr Christopher’s group enters the wood ready for anything.
Or so they think.
Many thanks to Solaris (Rebellion) for the pair of releases they provided me this month! This one looked spooky and atmospheric in all the ways perfect for October! While I’ve since heard some mixed opinions on this one, I’m still excited to get to it. Just don’t expect a review out before its release.
• The Immortality Thief – by Taran Hunt (10.11)
The Kystrom Chronicles #1
Far off the edge of human existence, beside a dying star lies a nameless ship abandoned and hidden, lost for a millennium. But there are secrets there, terrible secrets that would change the fate of humanity, and eventually someone will come looking.
Refugee, criminal and linguist Sean Wren is made an offer he knows he can’t refuse: life in prison, “voluntary” military service – or salvaging data in a long-dead language from an abandoned ship filled with traps and monsters, just days before it’s destroyed in a supernova. Data connected to the Philosopher’s Stone experiments, into unlocking the secrets of immortality.
And he’s not the only one looking for the derelict ship. The Ministers, mysterious undying aliens that have ruled over humanity for centuries, want the data – as does The Republic, humanity’s last free government. And time is running out.
In the bowels of the derelict ship, surrounded by horrors and dead men, Sean slowly uncovers the truth of what happened on the ship, in its final days… and the terrible secret it’s hiding.
Just started this one! Another ARC from Rebellion, and another by an author I’d neither heard of nor read before, which seems to be the theme for this month. No opinions yet, but I hope it turns out good—fingers crossed!
Additional October Releases
• Across the Sand – by Hugh Howey (10.04)
Sand Chronicles #2
The old world is buried. A new one has been forged atop the shifting dunes, a land of howling wind and infernal sand.
In this barren home, siblings Conner, Rob, Palmer and Violet daily carve out a future. They live in the shadow of their father and oldest sister, Vic, two of the greatest sand divers ever to comb the desert’s depths. But these branches of their family tree are long gone, disappeared into the wastes beyond, leaving the younger siblings scratching in the dust, hopeful for a better life.
On the other side of No Man’s Land, Anya was born beside the abundant mines knowing her prospects would be to marry, have a family, and work in ore, in service to the Empire of the East. But when an atomic bomb delivered by a stranger destroys most of her town–murdering all her friends and community–she follows her father to a strange land of dunes to bring vengeance to their enemies.
You know, I’m not actually the biggest Hugh Howey fan. I’ve always found his stuff a little… dry. Seriously though, I’ve never actually gotten through Sand, though it’s probably been a decade or more since I last attempted it, and my reading tastes and preferences have changed quite a bit during that time. I didn’t actually request this one at all, but thought I’d feature it anyway, just to see if it’s a thing I might get a recommendation on. Anyone? Opinions?
• The Witch in the Well – by Camilla Bruce (10.04)
The Witch in the Well is a dark Norwegian thriller from Camilla Bruce, author of You Let Me In.
When two former friends reunite after decades apart, their grudges, flawed ambitions, and shared obsession swirl into an all-too-real echo of a terrible town legend.
Centuries ago, beautiful young Ilsbeth Clark was accused of witchcraft after several children disappeared. Her acquittal did nothing to stop her fellow townsfolk from drowning her in the well where the missing children were last seen.
When author and social media influencer Elena returns to the summer paradise of her youth to get her family’s manor house ready to sell, the last thing she expected was connecting with—and feeling inspired to write about—Ilsbeth’s infamous spirit. The very historical figure that her ex-childhood friend, Cathy, has been diligently researching and writing about for years.
What begins as a fiercely competitive sense of ownership over Ilsbeth and her story soon turns both women’s worlds into something more haunted and dangerous than they could ever imagine.
Like many of this month’s releases, I’ve heard mixed opinions on this one. As a recent convert to Nordic noir, I’m not sure I’ll like this one or not, but we’ll have to see when or if I get to it.
• Will Do Magic for Small Change – by Andrea Hairston (10.11)
Cinnamon Jones dreams of stepping on stage and acting her heart out like her famous grandparents, Redwood and Wildfire. But she’s always been theatrically challenged. That won’t necessarily stop her! But her family life is a tangle of mysteries and secrets, and nobody is telling her the whole truth.
Before her brother died, he gave Cinnamon The Chronicles of the Great Wanderer—a tale of a Dahomean warrior woman and an alien from another dimension who perform at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. They are a story of magic or alien science, but the connection to Cinnamon’s past is unmistakable.
When an act of violence wounds her family, Cinnamon and her theatre squad determine to solve the mysteries and bring her worlds crashing together.
This rerelease by Tor—originally published via Aqueduct Press in 2016—is a novella I’ve always meant to read. It was nominated for several awards back in 2017, and as far as I’ve heard well deserves it’s repub under a publisher where it might hopefully get a little more press. So, maybe pick it up? I’m probably going to get rejected for a review copy, but was planning on picking up an original anyway, so it’s cool.
Additional ARCs (for September)
• Mindwalker – by Kate Dylan (9.01)
Standalone / New Series
Eighteen-year-old Sil Sarrah is determined to die a legend. But with only twelve months left before the supercomputer grafted to her brain kills her, Sil’s time is quickly running out.
In the ten years she’s been rescuing field agents for the Syntex corporation – by commandeering their minds from afar and leading them to safety – Sil hasn’t lost a single life. And she’s not about to start now.
But when a critical mission goes south, Sil is forced to flee the very company she once called home.
Desperate to prove she’s no traitor, Sil infiltrates the Analog Army, an activist faction working to bring Syntex down. Her plan: to win back her employer’s trust by destroying the group from within. Instead, she and the Army’s reckless leader, Ryder, uncover a horrifying truth that threatens to undo all the good she’s ever done.
With her tech rapidly degrading and her new ally keeping dangerous secrets of his own, Sil must find a way to stop Syntex in order to save her friends, her reputation – and maybe even herself.
Hodder & Stoughton very kindly granted me a late ARC of this one! I’ve heard such great things about it, though I’ve never read (or heard of) Kate Dylan before I’m quite looking forward to starting it! I also picked up Mindwalker as an audiobook, so I’ll be able to pick and choose my format for this read.
Again, not a big haul, but I picked up The Shadows of Men—Book #5 of the Wyndham and Banerjee Mysteries, by Abir Mukherjee—on kindle for just under $2. Since I’ve greatly enjoyed the previous ones, and as my local library has yet to stock this particular book, I figured it was well worth the price. Hoping to get to this one soon, though it might have to wait at least a liiiittle bit, because…
…Because, well, I’m currently in the midst of #4, Death in the East. Love this one so far, so just expect a glowing review now—and, if you haven’t checked out the series, consider this a recommendation to do just that!
Also I just started the Immortality Thief this evening, so I don’t have much to say beyond I’m hoping it’s good!
Just two releases I’m aware of for October, which is fine as I’ve had my head buried in Evanescence and Korpiklaani for most of September. Anyway, we have Charlotte Wessels (formerly the lead singer for Delain) with the formal release of Tales from Six Feet Under Volume(s) I & II. The other album comes courtesy of metal/hard rock supergroup Alter Bridge, their seventh full-length release—Pawns and Kings—that I’m highly anticipating (and yes, I do happen to own the other six).
An honorable mention to Ends With a Bullet, who released their album I’m Still Standing on September 5th. I just kinda overlooked it—which… I dunno, as I’m torn on it overall, is okay. But still.
I lost the first half of the month with my patented Tummy Troubles™, but after that things started to settle down. Only for my fall work responsibilities to kick in and distract me from everything again. I’ve also been going through a bit of reading burnout, but luckily it mainly seems to be affecting things I should be reading. So, of course I ditched those to read some library books. Ergo, October is the first month in a little that I haven’t been super ahead on.
But, slowly, I’ve begun my reintroduction to the world. Went out fishing a couple of times in the last week and found some rosehips along the way. Quite a lot of rosehips, actually! I’ll have to go back later.
Otherwise… yeah, not a lot going on. Just the normal stuff.
How was your September? And how’s the reading—any new discoveries that you’d like to share? My TBR is still insane, but I’m always after more!