Stuff you should read while you wait

Dear US Readers:

I’m sorry. For whatever reason, the UK/Commonwealth version of The Kingdom of Gods released a good 3 weeks ahead of the US release date. So now you’ve had to endure the British-accent-inflected “Nyaa nyaa”s of your across-the-pond brothers and sisters. You’ve had to duck and dodge like Grant Hill in the playoffs to avoid spoilers. You’ve… had to… ::deep sigh:: …wait.

This was not my decision, although it works well for me by building buzz ahead of the US launch. But I’m not gloating or anything! So please, stop yelling at me. I’m sorry!

To distract you In the meantime, I’ve noted below a few really good books I’ve read lately whose authors you should go pester instead that you can enjoy or anticipate instead. They’ll help the time pass while I escape to Patagonia while you wait.

Crucible of Gold, the latest in Naomi Novik’s Temeraire saga. Some of you already know how much I love these books. In this latest installment — which I was privileged to read in an earlier form; see, being a published author gets you something besides sleep deprivation and early gray hair! — Temeraire and Laurence get called back into service from their lonely exile in Australia. They journey to South America, where they encounter the ancient empires of the Americas — and where Napoleon is up to some very new tricks. This one’s unbelievable fun.

…But it’s not out ’til March 2012. See? Other people have to wait, too! It’s not just you. There, there. ::pet pet::

Here’s one that’s out already!

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells. This one was a surprise; although Ms. Wells has been here for years (don’t call it a comeback), this is my first time hearing about one of her books. I have to admit I wasn’t wowed by the premise: a guy who doesn’t fit in looks for somewhere to call home. I should really know better than to judge a book by reductionism; after all, by that logic, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is just a small-town girl trying to make it in the big city. Anyway The Cloud Roads has riveting characterization, a tense and fast-paced plot, and some of the most original, exotic worldbuilding I’ve ever seen. I’d like to visit the Three Worlds — except they’re utterly deadly and I’d probably get eaten within the first five minutes. So think of The Cloud Roads as a story about a guy (who’s a humanoid dragon) who doesn’t fit in (because he looks like a cannibalistic humanoid dragon) looking (through an amazing, gorgeous, fascinating world) for somewhere (and fellow dragon-people among whom) to call home (which he then has to save from a rampaging horde of the cannibal dragon people).

Book 2 of this series isn’t out yet — I’m hoping to score an advance copy from the author, but in the meantime I’ve got to wait. So see? I’m waiting too. I understand. Does that make it better?

Cold Magic, by Kate Elliott. I’ve raved about this one here before, but the second book just came out! No waiting! And trust me, you want to read these books. They’re also some of the most original, gonzo worldbuilding I’ve ever seen — Ice Age Europe with gaslight technology and Victorian culture by way of the ancient Malian Empire, menaced by Celtic faerie myths. (No, really. It’s a beautiful, magnificent thing. Kate talks about how she came up with it here.) And swashbuckling Phoenician maidens! And hot romance! And ice vs fire magic! STUFF!! BLOWING!! UP!!!

(OK, I suck at marketing. But there really is stuff blowing up.)

So look! Go look at these. They’re very pretty books, aren’t they? Lovely cover art. Shiiiiny. Watch while I wave them in front of you. Just keep looking at them.

::steps back::

Go on, keep looking. Pick them up. Thumb through; they all have sample chapters online. I’ll be —

::steps back, from a distance::

— right here. Aren’t they great books? Keep reading.

::runs away fast::

21 Responses »

  1. Speaking as a small town girl trying to make it in the big city, I am ALL FOR more awesome fantasy novels about small town girls trying to make it in the big city.

    Thank you for the mention.

    But I’m really here to BEG and PLEAD for people to read THE CLOUD ROADS while they’re waiting for the (absolutely fabulous) KINGDOM OF GODS (which I read already, so I won’t rub that in at all). The Cloud Roads is a great story with marvelous characters, and I simply do not have words to describe how much I loved the world.

    By the way, we can visit the Three Worlds together. That way, we can hold off being eaten for perhaps 15 minutes.

  2. I haven’t gotten to that Kate Elliott series yet, but I’ve read several other series from her that I loved, so it’s on my list!

    And the release date in the US for The Kingdom of Gods may not be for a while, but amazon.com’s shipping them anyway. I didn’t see the release date and put in an order with that in it, and the status is “Shipping Soon”, which usually means they’ve boxed it and are about to send it out the door. If I pre-order something, they’ve always made sure it was apparent, and it shows up as a separate shipment.

    But it’s only the “paperback”. Not the “mass-market paperback” (March 27, 2012) or Kindle (Oct. 27). Weird.

  3. Oh! And I had a question, that I forgot. About how far apart are each of the three books in the timeline? I know there’s a sizable gap between the first and the second; is there as much for the third?

  4. Hi Emily,

    Are you talking about the Inheritance Trilogy? There are ten years between book 2 and book 1, and 100 years between book 3 and book 1.

  5. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for the book recommendations. Now I can’t wait to get back to the bookstore (or at least the library).

  6. Yes, sorry, my mind’s just all over the place tonight. For some reason I’d gotten the impression there was a larger gap between the first two books, based on the changes in Yeine’s personality in the little bit we see of her in book 2, but I guess even 10 years with the drastic changes she went through would have a big impact.

  7. Eee… my U.S. copy of The Kingdom of the Gods arrived today (preorder from Amazon). It’s lovely, and I can’t wait to pick up with Chapter 4 (thank you so much for posting one through three!!) as soon as I get away from the computer tonight.

    And oh my yes… I finished Cold Fire last week and it was amazing! I will definitely have to check out The Cloud Roads.

  8. Thanks for the recommendations – all added to my ever growing “to read” list!

    And as a British reader, I have to add “nyaa-nyaa” to all of those in the US :-)

  9. Hey, I could still add a small tourist section of the Three Worlds to the third book where people would not get eaten immediately! :)

    Thanks very much for the rec, I appreciate it immensely. And I second the recs for Cold Magic and Naomi Novik’s books, plus I’m impatiently waiting for my B&N order for Kingdom of the Gods to arrive. They haven’t said it’s shipping yet, but if Amazon is about to ship, it can’t be too far behind.

  10. My biggest frustration — which I know is not anything you have any control over! — is that hardcopy books might slip out early, but ebooks don’t. So I still have to wait.

    (well, not *have* to, but I have the other three in ebook and I like to be consistent, and stuff.)

    But very much agreeing with the Cloud Roads love!

  11. Yes, and after everyone has finished The Cloud Roads and is waiting for the second in the series to come out, go and read Wheel of the Infinite with an utterly awesome older p-o-c heroine who managed to really mess up and now comes back and saves the world with competence!! Supported by a younger guy who has no problem with her power ^^. Set in an Asian/Indian-like world, populated by humans this time.

  12. I got the call that KingofGs was in yesterday. I don’t know if certain states get them before others or what. Either way, I was thrilled. =D I got it and finished it today and I loved it.

    I also agree completely about Kate Elliot’s books. I’m finishing up Cold Fire right now.

    It just tickles my brain cells that two of my favorite authors are friends and beta read one another’s books. It’s so awesome.

    I’ll have to look at the other books too. I have so many new books to read on my list. It’s great.

  13. Hadn’t heard of The Cloud Roads, but it sounds awesome so I just requested it from my library. yay!

  14. Thanks for the book suggestions. I started Cold Magic yesterday and I am LOVING it! It’s making me feel I’ll have to read everything you suggest:)

    Btw, OMG Tiffany, you read inhumanly fast! lol

  15. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the first 2 books of the trilogy. Will the third have an audiobook also?

  16. My preorder from Amazon arrived early like a wonderful surprise. I was really good at pacing myself and not devouring it all in one sitting. I loved this series…and I am sad its over so I am glad for the other recommendations.

  17. Multi-response due to time being short:

    Estara,

    I’m definitely planning to check out Wheel of the Infinite; it sounds like my kind of stuff. Just haven’t had time. -_-

    Tiffany,

    You do read inhumanly fast. That’s an almost 200,000-word novel, and you did it in a day? ::boggle::

    Theresa,

    Alas, no audiobook for #3. Sales weren’t strong, unfortunately. We might still be able to do something via Audible; I’m talking with my agent about it. But thus far there’s nothing definite.

    Connie,

    I might someday write more in the Inheritance universe, but it won’t be anytime soon. I’m moving on to other stuff for now. :)

  18. You think so? I’ve always done that. It helped that I’d just read the first three chapters here right before I went and got it. I didn’t mean to finish it so fast. I just couldn’t put it down.

    I started reading it again to catch all the hints and subtle nuances.

  19. Ooooh recs. Excellent! Thanks!

    I received The Kingdom of Gods yesterday and I just finished it. I loved it! I’ll read it again, more slowly this time around, to savor it and appreciate it even more -if that’s even possible- and fall for all the characters, the new and the old ones, all over again. I don’t want to spoil the plot so I won’t say anything even though I’d like to squee about every scene, every twist, but oh, it is so amazing! And the extras? alskjdskhkf! Thank you again for sharing your wonderful imagination with us all.

    Can’t wait for The Dreamblood series (Duology?? Duet?). I can’t seem to get tired of your writing and your characters, always so layered and great. Thanks again for giving me such joy even when…especially when real life is tough.

  20. First time commenter here, love your stuff. I received Kingdom of Gods in the mail yesterday – last week I went on B&N.com to check out the Martha Wells book you mention above, and noticed that the status of KoG in my wish list had gone from “pre-order” to “buy it now” way ahead of what I thought was the Oct 27 US release date. I jumped on it and am now very pleased to have the book early!! I’m not as quick as some readers above, but did manage to get through the first 200 or so pages last night before I HAD to get some sleep. Stupid job that requires one to be present and alert before 8am.

    Anyway, I am loving the book so far, but I am curious why I and apparently several others were able to snag a copy early. Is it a mistake on the Barnes and Noble end, or is it because it was released earlier this month in the UK, or is this just how things work sometimes? I live in Philly, and per the tracking info the book shipped from TN, if location matters.

  21. @Emily
    I got it from bookdepository.co.uk. I preordered it a few weeks ago and they sent it as soon as it was available at their warehouse, which, in my case was on 12nd Oct. It took a few days to get here though. Hope this helps