Log In

Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the Table-of-Contents Database.

Get a digital subscription to Publishers Weekly for only $19.95/month.

Your subscription gives you instant access exclusive feature articles on notable figures in the publishing industry, he latest industry news, interviews of up and coming authors and bestselling authors, and access over 200,000 book reviews.

PW "All Access" site license members have access to PW's subscriber-only website content. To find out more about PW's site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries), Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time.

Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space)

Edited by Catherine Lundoff. Queen of Swords, $6 e-book (200p) ISBN 978-1-73258-332-0

This compendium of pirate tales showcases stories that defy the limits of the genre. Revenge, romance, and jealousy all come to play in this collection. Each pirate world is different from the last, and the characters brim with life. A mysterious creature hunts Captain Jagga and her crew in Ed Grabianowski’s “The Doomed Amulet of Erum Vahl.” Robots and pirates clash in Soumya Sundar Mukherjee’s “Dead Pirate’s Cave” as a young girl embarks upon a perilous voyage with her father’s sworn enemies. An interdimensional pirate encounters unlikely friendship in Matisse Mozer’s engaging “Rosa, the Dimension Pirate.” Joyce Chng’s “Saints and Bodhisattvas” details a queer pirate captain’s coming of age, and the dangerous mission she embarks upon for her newfound lover. This anthology is a delightful cross-section of pirate tales, representing a diverse array of sexualities and nationalities, and shining a spotlight on tales that don’t fit common preconceived notions of pirate lore. It will appeal to fans of daring speculative fiction. (Dec.)

Reviewed on 12/07/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies

Ed Brubaker. Image, $16.99 (72p) ISBN 978-1-5343-0846-6

A femme fatale with an odd obsession comes to life in lush color in the first original graphic novel from Brubaker and Phillips (Kill or Be Killed). Elle’s in rehab, though she has no interest in quitting drugs. She is much more interested in Skip, a fellow patient. Elle entices Skip at every turn and destroys his attempt to stop using. When the two are caught together after curfew, Elle convinces Skip to run off. Brubaker craftily uses Elle’s musings to unveil her romanticized perspective against a backdrop of striking pastels and evocative grayscale visuals. Elle’s obsessed with talented junkies; talking about them is how she relates and processes her feelings. Indeed, every memory of Elle’s connects to music and drug use. Brubaker never attempts to garner sympathy for Elle or glorify drug use, instead deepening the mystery around Elle and her agenda. Readers of postmodern pulp will enjoy this intense story and unapologetically cunning character. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 12/07/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Hedy Lamarr: An Incredible Life

William Roy, trans. from the French by Mark Bence, illus. by Sylvain Dorange. Humanoids, $19.95 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-59465-619-4

Actress Hedy Lamarr was known as “the most beautiful girl in the world,” according to Roy and Dorange, but they reveal in this amiably meandering biography that there was much more to her than beauty. Lamarr was also an amateur inventor whose patent for frequency-shifting technology was later a cornerstone for Wi-Fi. Roy repeatedly hammers home Lamarr’s struggles with sexism and the ways in which she was dismissed both for her gender and her beauty. He also emphasizes the double standard Lamarr dealt with regarding sexuality, as she was lauded for her glamour but condemned for her sexually charged earlier films and the number of sexual partners she had. Dorange’s playful and colorful art evokes Hollywood glitz but also sensitively documents emotionally intimate moments, such as Lamarr’s father encouraging her curiosity or her son informing her that she’s being honored for her inventions. The book’s climax occurs when the U.S. military turns down Lamarr’s technology for torpedoes, urging her instead to help her adopted country by going on savings bond drives. That experience leads her away from discussing her inventions publicly, and she depends on her looks for the rest of her life despite aspiring to be a producer. The book is entertaining but focuses too much on the sexist forces Lamarr dealt with, never fully establishing her as a personality in her own right. (Nov.)

Reviewed on 12/07/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Lip Hook: A Tale of Rural Unease

David Hine, illus. by Mark Stafford. Selfmadehero, $22.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-910593-57-8

This grim British import by Hine (War of Kings Prelude) and Stafford (The Man Who Laughs) tells a dark tale of a remote village where poisonous marsh vapors fill the air, an insect factory is the main source of employment, and a pagan cult is twisted by a woman on the run. Sophia and Vince are fleeing from persons unknown when Sophia makes the choice to take a dead-end turn towards Lip Hook. It’s not clear whether an early encounter with a cloud of insects imparts some magic to her or whether she already possesses the ability to bend people to her will through sex, but she soon has much of Lip Hook under her power, reviving and perverting a goddess cult that once was celebrated there. A bloody clash is inevitable with the local squire, Lord Huxley, who owns the factory that secretly supplies disease-bearing vermin to the Ministry of Defense. Stafford’s colors are dark and his figures misshapen and unlovely, as befits this ugly tale. This is one for fans of weird horror. (Nov.)

Reviewed on 12/07/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
A Season of Grace

Lauraine Snelling. Bethany, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-7642-1898-9

The Carlsons settle into their new lives in Minnesota in Snelling’s strong third Under Northern Skies novel (after A Breath of Hope). In 1910, Nilda Carlson, who immigrated to America from Norway, begins assisting the wealthy Mrs. Schoenleber, who needs help managing a large estate and packed social calender, in the town of Blackduck. Nilda’s job takes her from her family for days at a time but opens the door to high society. That society includes Dreng Nygaard, a young man who accosted Nilda back in Norway and who promises revenge on her for his being sent to America as punishment. Nilda refuses to be scared by Dreng, and Snelling affectingly portrays the emotional toil such abuse has on Nilda. When the suddenly repentant Dreng apologizes, the community counsels Nilda to accept and believe him against her own judgment. She gives him another chance to redeem himself in her eyes, but he attempts to rape her when she leaves her house alone. Nilsa’s fight against Dreng emerges as an instructive, emotional study of how a church community deals with the fallout of sexual harassment and abuse. With themes that have contemporary resonance, Snelling’s powerful historical drama will appeal to inspirational readers of all types. (Nov.)

Reviewed on 12/07/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Sisters

Rosalind Noonan. Kensington, $15.95 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4967-0804-5

A daughter secretly infiltrates an Oregon cult to save her mother in this harrowing tale from Noonan (Domestic Secrets). When mid-20s Glory leaves her two daughters—five-year-old Ruby and toddler Aurora—at a fire station, she thinks she is making the right choice. To escape poverty, she has turned to the charming Leo, a man known for taking in local destitute women, who demanded she give up the kids. Following his orders, she moves to a secluded house to begin her life as one of “the Sisters,” a cult of women manipulated and dominated by Leo. Meanwhile, Ruby is raised by loving adoptive parents, but remains troubled by the woman who gave her and her sister up. Upon turning 16, Ruby sets out to find her mother. What she finds is a house surrounded by rumors and shrouded in secrets; she also discovers that she has a nine-year-old half-sister, Luna. When Ruby is finally able to slip in and speak to Glory, they seize the chance to break free. Told in three sections from Glory, Ruby, and Luna’s perspectives, the story takes on nuance as events are reconsidered from different vantage points. Thanks to its twisted plot and courageous characters, Noonan’s portrait of the love between a mother and daughter is irresistible. (Dec.)

Reviewed on 12/07/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Blood for the Spilling

TJ Nichols. DSP, $16.99 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-64080-883-6

The final installment of Nichols’s Studies in Demonology series brings matters to a bloody crescendo. Angus is a warlock, a defector from Vinland’s Warlock College, and a demon-lover—taboo in Vinland, where demons are a lesser race. Angus’s partner, Saka, betrayed his demon tribe to save Angus and Terrance, a former spy for Vinland. Together they have defected to the Mayan Empire. Vinland has been overusing magic, wreaking ecological havoc on both the human and the demon realm. Angus and Saka want to stop this with the Mayans’ help, but the Mayans do not trust them, though many have died in wars against Vinland. While Angus finds a way to defeat Vinland, Terrance is chosen to prove his commitment via a bloody game in which losers are sacrificed to restore magic to the demon realm. A complex plot and empathetic queer characters are marred by elements of exoticism, but this is still a fun, exciting finish to Nichols’s trilogy. (Dec.)

Reviewed on 12/07/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Blood of Ten Kings

Edward Lazellari. Tor, $29.99 (496p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2789-5

Lazellari’s crowded final Aandor fantasy installment picks up five months after the events of The Lost Prince, finding teen hero Daniel Hauer frustrated by a relentless crash course in combat and tactics. He’s supposed to lead the charge to retake the conquered medieval realm of Aandor, which he was spirited away from as an infant. Raised in modern-day America, Daniel is now aware of his status within Aandor, and the responsibilities suddenly thrust upon him are daunting. Aided by loyal protectors and mentors, Daniel faces numerous threats—human, magical, and political—on the road to saving a people he never knew he had. Less lively than previous installments, this volume gets bogged down in exposition involving its large cast of characters, and it takes far too long to get the narrative going again. The series is best enjoyed when read in one go, as there’s too much to keep track of otherwise. (Dec.)

Reviewed on 12/07/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Bride Chooses a Highlander

Adrienne Basso. Zebra, $7.99 mass market (330p) ISBN 978-1-4201-4620-2

Basso’s rousing third McKenna romance features independent-minded Lady Katherine McKenna (sister to Malcolm of No Other Highlander). She agrees to marry Hamish Drummond but changes her mind when she realizes Hamish loves another. Expecting resistance from her father, since the wedding contracts have been signed, Katherine flees the betrothal festivities with a few trusted servants, only to be captured by the rash Aiden MacTavish, who hopes to trade her for his brother Robbie, the McKenna’s prisoner. After escaping her captors, Katherine falls ill. When the responsible Laird Lachlan MacTavish discovers his brother first kidnapped and then lost the McKenna’s daughter, he resolves to find her and return her to her family. Threats from series villain Archibald Frasier force Lachlan to take Katherine back to the impoverished MacTavish Keep, where affection grows between them, but the specter of those betrothal contracts still looms. Basso keeps the action moving and the attraction building between the compassionate, appealing protagonists, making their journey to the altar both entertaining and satisfying. Agent: Pam Hopkins, Hopkins Literary. (Jan.)

Reviewed on 12/07/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Hard Drive

M. Christian. Sizzler Editions, $2.99 e-book (242p) ISBN 978-1-929670-46-8

Futurist Christian selects a brave but uneven mix of unsettling high-tech erotic stories collected from his works of the last two decades. Christian is at his best playing with images of submission to the allure of urban dystopias, tweaking the imagination with scenes that are all the more arousing for being disturbing, as in the necrophiliac “Everything but the Smell of Lilies.” Consent and nonconsent are juxtaposed to similar effect in “Hack Work.” Sex robot stories—“The Bachelor Machine,” in which a man visits a disintegrating pleasure house, and “State,” in which a human courtesan has been remodeled to resemble a high-end AI executing an age-play fantasy—bring out futuristic nostalgia and a sad loneliness behind the idea of perfected, commodified pleasure, while also effectively evoking the sexual power of machines that are one uncanny step away from being fully human. Despite the author’s asserted hope for “a tomorrow full of acceptance, self-determination [and] mindfulness,” stories that point toward a future in which aliens or sentient AIs want to love humans, such as “The Subsequent State” and “A Kiss Goodnight,” are as creepy as those steeped in malevolent compulsion, and much less arousing. Futuristic erotica fans will dog-ear their favorite stories, but some of the other tales don’t even merit a read through to the end. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 12/07/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

Parts of this site are only available to paying PW subscribers. Subscribers: to set up your digital access click here.

To subscribe, click here.

PW “All Access” site license members have access to PW’s subscriber-only website content. Simply close and relaunch your preferred browser to log-in. To find out more about PW’s site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com.

If you have questions or need assistance setting up your account please email pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries), Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time for assistance.

Not Registered? Click here.