March Cover Spotlight

  • Posted by Angela Craft on Mar 31 2016

Check out some of the newest covers from Harper Voyager!

Elixir by Ruth Vincent

Elixir

Mabily “Mab” Jones is just a twenty-something, over-educated, under-employed New Yorker trying to survive as a private eye’s unpaid intern . . . or is she? Once a powerful fairy, but tricked by the Fairy Queen into human form, Mab is forced to face her changeling past when investigating a missing person case at a modern speakeasy.

Obadiah Savage bootlegs fairy Elixir to human customers thirsting for a magical fix. But when Mab and Obadiah become joint suspects in a crime they didn’t commit, the only way to prove their innocence is to travel back to the fairy realm. And when Mab confronts the Fairy Queen and learns the depth of her betrayal, she must decide if the fate of the fey world is worth destroying the lives of the humans she’s come to love.

On sale May 3, 2016

Devouring God by James Kendley

 

DevouringGod

Runaways in southern Japan are stripping the flesh from their victims, and only a disgraced former detective can stop the spreading madness in this dark and thrilling sequel to The Drowning God.

On sale May 31, 2016

 

 

 

 

Shattered Empire by Mitchell Hogan

 

A-shattered-Empire-Ebook6-628x1000In this gritty and breathtaking conclusion to the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, the award-winning fantasy series, a young sorcerer must learn to wield his extraordinary powers to defeat two warring empires.

In a battle of armies and sorcerers, empires will fall.

After young Caldan’s parents were slain, a group of monks raised the boy and initiated him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery. But when the Mahruse Empire was attacked, and the lives of his friends hung in the balance, he was forced to make a dangerous choice.

Now, as two mighty empires face off in a deadly game of supremacy, potent sorcery and creatures from legend have been unleashed. To turn the tide of war and prevent annihilation, Caldan must learn to harness his fearsome and forbidden magic. But as he grows into his powers, the young sorcerer realizes that not all the monsters are on the other side.

And though traps and pitfalls lie ahead, and countless lives are at stake, one thing is certain: to save his life, his friends, and his world, Caldan must risk all to defeat a sorcerer of immense power.

Failure will doom the world.

Success will doom Caldan.

On sale September 13, 2016

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The Second Death by T. Frohock is on sale now

  • Posted by Angela Craft on Mar 29 2016

The Second Death T. Frohock

The Second Death: Part III of the Los Nefilim by T. Frohock is on sale now

Save the world, or save his family…

For Diago Alvarez, that’s the choice before him. For unless he wants to see his son Rafael die, he must do the unthinkable:

Help the Nazis receive the plans to the ultimate weapon.

And while Diago grows more comfortable not only with his heritage, but also with his place among Guillermo’s Los Nefilim, he is still unsure if he truly belongs amongst them.

In a frantic race to save the future of humanity, Diago is forced to rely on his daimonic nature to deceive an angel. In doing so, he discovers the birth of a modern god—one that will bring about a new world order from which no one can escape.

The Second Death is the final chapter in T. Frohock’s haunting and lyrical Los Nefilim trilogy, which bestselling author Mark Lawrence has called “a joy to read.”

Download The Second Death today.

And don’t miss T. Frohock’s list of her favorite historical fantasy, right here on the Voyager blog.

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Some of My Favorite Things: Historical Fantasy

  • Posted by David Pomerico on Mar 28 2016

by T. Frohock

I love historical fiction. It’s always been a favorite of mine, and historical fantasy … well, that is mixing ALL of my favorite things. I have enjoyed everything from Robert McCammon’s World War II werewolf spy novel, The Wolf’s Hour, to Jasper Kent’s brilliant recreation of the Patriotic War of 1812 and his mysterious Oprichniki in the Danilov Quintet.

Since Los Nefilim can easily be classified as historical fantasy, I thought I would share a few of my favorite historical fantasy novels with you, and why these particular books resonated with me. Here are some classics and some new works that managed to blend history and fantasy into seamless stories that have horrified me (in a very pleasant way) and delighted me.

I have listed the works in alphabetical order by the author’s last name:

 

Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman. In 1348 the fallen angels decide to launch a second war on Heaven, and in doing so, they bring Hell to earth–first in the form of war, and then with the plague. In France a fallen knight named Thomas rescues a Cather girl named Delphine from bandits, but Delphine is no ordinary girl. She can see angels, who warn her of the fallen’s war on Heaven, and the part she must play. She convinces Thomas to take her to Avignon, where the Pope sleeps between two fires in an effort to ward off the plague. The journey leads them through a country ravaged by fear, starvation, and attacks by the fallen angels in order to prevent Delphine from arriving at Avignon. Chock full of historical accuracy and the most insidiously hellish imagery to ever hit the page, I consider it a horror novel, but if you like your grimdark both dark and grim, you might enjoy Between Two Fires.

 

A Trio for Lute: The Damiano Trilogy (includes the novels: Damiano; Damiano’s Lute; and Raphael) by R.A. MacAvoy. If the Italian Renaissance is more your speed, these novels are for you. I’ve owned A Trio for Lute since I was in my early twenties–mine was a book club edition that is worn and yellowed around the pages, but like Tarr’s The Hound and the Falcon series (more on that below), it is all the more loved for the wear. Damiano is an Italian witch, who only wants to learn how to play the lute from his teacher, the archangel Raphael. When his city is threatened by invading forces, Damiano must make a deal with Lucifer in order to save his beloved town and the people within. MacAvoy brings Damiano, Saara, and all of her characters to such vibrant life that you will remember them long after you turn the last page. Steeped with lyrical prose and a close look at how the choices we make affect others, The Damiano Trilogy honed both my love of language and of story from a very early age.

 

The Delia Martin series (includes the novels: Delia’s Shadow; A Barricade in Hell; and Against a Brightening Sky) by Jaime Lee Moyer. One part mystery and one part history–the Delia Martin series is set at the turn of the twentieth century in San Francisco. Delia Martin can see ghosts, and after the quake of 1906, she is so overwhelmed by the number of the dead haunting her, she flees from her native San Francisco to New York City under the mistaken impression that she left the ghosts (quite literally) behind. Until, that is, she begins to see the ghost of a murdered woman from San Francisco. Delia knows she must return home in order to solve the mystery of this tortured woman’s death and stop a serial killer. These are simply excellent novels with a smart, emotionally centered protagonist, and Moyer’s prose never falters, whether she is describing the growing alliance between Delia and the police captain, Gabe, or the darkest heart of a killer. The novels stand alone, each with a different mystery, and Moyer’s characters will win your heart.

 

The Hound and the Falcon (includes the novels: The Isle of Glass; The Golden Horn; and The Hounds of God) by Judith Tarr. Shifting through time again, Tarr’s The Hound and the Falcon series is set during the High Middle Ages. Brother Alfred of St. Ruan’s is of the elven race, but he was abandoned at the monastery of St. Ruan’s as an infant. Raised by the monks, Alf, as he is known to his brothers, thinks of himself as human. But when a badly wounded elven knight begs Brother Alf to carry a message to the Elvenking in order to prevent a war, Alf is forced to confront his true elven nature, and the magic within his soul. Tarr captures Alf’s philosophical conundrum over the nature of his soul, but she also keeps the action moving from one adventure to another. Filled with political intrigue and vibrant characters, Tarr’s prose and her devotion to historical accuracy heavily influenced my thoughts about the nature of humanity, and the inhumanity of extremism in all its forms.

 

The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis. This is really more of an alternate history than an actual historical fantasy, and could even be described as steampunk (or clockpunk or some other punk, but I’m trying to keep it simple here). Anyway, I’m putting The Mechanical on my list, because Tregillis pulls from the seventeenth century philosophical differences between Protestantism and Catholicism to tell the tale of Jax, a rogue clockwork mechanical man, known as a clakker. The clakkers are controlled by their geas–hierarchical compulsions that govern the clakkers’ performance in serving humans unless that function becomes damaged. Without the geas, clakkers develop free will, and the subject of free will becomes the crux of the novel. Is the manmade alchemical soul within the clakkers equivalent to the human soul? If so, is it right to use the clakkers as slaves? Tregillis balances these questions with just the right mix of espionage, action, and philosophy to deliver the kind of fantasy that I love: the kind that makes me think.

 

So those are a few of mine. If you’re inclined, drop some of your favorite historical fantasy into the comments. I’d love to know what you’re reading.

 

T. Frohock has turned a love of dark fantasy and horror into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. She lives in North Carolina, where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying. You can find out more at www.tfrohock.com.

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Insider Report: Music

  • Posted by Rebecca Lucash on Mar 23 2016

Hey everyone!  So I was going to give you a post about what I’ve been editing this month, but then I thought better of it, because it’s a VERY long list.  So, if you’re curious about the glamorous life of an editor, here’s a snippet of the day to day – many of us listen to music while we edit.  Lots and LOTS of music.   And I made you a playlist of what I’ve been listening to right now!  This eclectic collection has, so far, been good background music for editing a dark contemporary fantasy, an urban fantasy, an epic fantasy, a space opera, and a romance.

Did I say I listen to lots of music?  What I meant was the same music, on repeat.

And there’s Justin Bieber in this list. I know. But it’s very catchy, and I won’t apologize.

 

 

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Top 5 Games For Procrastinating Writers

  • Posted by David Pomerico on Mar 21 2016

by Elizabeth Bonesteel

 

You know how it is. You have a deadline, and the storyline is screaming in your head, and you’ve got that document open, and…and…you just can’t. Not right now. You need something that will rest your mind, that will distract you from that nagging timeline issue that just won’t stay fixed, but that won’t suck you in for hours and hours.

Here are five games that I’ve found will keep my brain working, but will distract it pleasantly from the unruly tangle of what I’m trying to get on the page. As for the “won’t suck you in for hours and hours” part…well, your mileage may vary. I suggest timers, or playing when your phone/tablet battery is very low, or it’ll be 1:00 am and you’ll still be 2000 words behind for the day.

Don’t ask me how I know this.

 

1. Little Inferno

Little Inferno’s Wikipedia entry states that the game was inspired by a video of a Yule log. And indeed, the purpose of the game is to burn things, which provides you with coins that allow you to buy more things to burn.

Which is surprisingly satisfying on its own — but there is a plot here. As you make your way through seven catalogs of combustibles, you receive notes from three sources: Miss Nancy, owner of the Tomorrow Corporation; the Weather Man; and Sugar Plumps, your chipper and garrulous neighbor.

It’s all quirky and amusing and light-hearted, until Sugar Plumps starts having an existential crisis. And then things get weird, because if you’ve been paying attention to Miss Nancy and the Weather Man, you realize it’s about time for your existential crisis as well.

I’ve got some thoughts about what the whole endgame is meant to mean, but I think it’s best left to the player’s interpretation.

Bottom line: A non-timed, non-competitive game requiring little skill that has a surprising amount of repeat play value.

 

2. Another Case Solved

In Another Case Solved, you play a private detective living in a city under a government-imposed sugar ban. The whole storyline starts innocently enough, with your detective character finding a lost cat for a little girl; but things quickly become more complicated, as you discover political infighting, mob involvement, and a burglar with a heart of gold.

The puzzles are not difficult, but the pleasure here is less the puzzles themselves than the storyline. You’re guided through growing relationships and shattered friendships, and soon there’s far more at stake than lost kitty-cats. Making your way through the story can be frustratingly slow — you need to solve smaller, less interesting cases in order to “earn” your way to the larger pieces — but the conclusion is pretty satisfying.

Bottom line: An engaging storyline and increasing difficulty as you play makes up for the occasional slowness.

 

3. Weird Park: Broken Tune

Weird Park: Broken Tune feeds both my love of hidden object puzzles, and my affection for spooky amusement park stories. It begins with a cut-scene backstory involving a spate of deaths at an amusement park. And then a reporter goes missing, and you’re tasked with finding out what happened to him.

The abandoned amusement park is appropriately creepy, and gameplay includes a decent mix of hidden object scenes and not-too-difficult logic puzzles that eventually lead you to the fate of your missing reporter. But then things get really interesting: you get dropped into a nightmarish Clive-Barker-meets-Dr.-Seuss alternate reality, where you must stop the ghost of a dead clown.

Bottom line: A cut above the usual slap-some-graphics-on-a-weak-story adventure games.

 

4. Monument Valley

Monument Valley is M.C. Escher come alive. In it, you guide Ida, and later her friend Totem, though a set of impossible landscapes, twisting and turning unreal surfaces to provide her with a traversable path. Problem-solving requires you to turn off the part of your brain that wants the game environment to mimic the real world, and break it all down into a set of independent geometric shapes.

It’s not an especially long game, but in the few years it’s been out, the developers have added new levels. And the levels are intricate enough that I can replay the game fairly frequently without remembering how I solved the puzzles in the first place.

Bottom line: Satisfying, mind-bending, and breathtakingly beautiful.

 

5. The Room

My love for creepy is well-documented at this point, and no game does creepy quite like The Room.

When the game begins, you are deposited in a dark room with two small windows. On the floor is an intricate box. After a tutorial showing you the UI ropes, you are tasked with opening the box. And inside that box…is another room, with another box.

Throughout all of this, you receive notes from Someone whose mysterious experiments have somehow gone wrong. With the help of an eyepiece that allows you to view a shadow reality, you creep from box to box, closer and closer to the core of these experiments. And you start to wonder if opening all of the boxes will free you, or trap you forever.

Bottom line: Probably the most difficult of my picks, puzzle-wise; but lovely to look at and effectively chilling.

 

Elizabeth Bonesteel’s first novel, THE COLD BETWEEN, was released on March 8. She would like to tell her editors that this article is entirely theoretical, and she never plays games when she has a deadline, but her mother taught her never to tell a lie.

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