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On My Radar: UNBREAKABLE by W. C. Bauers, INSIDE A SILVER BOX by Walter Mosley, JACARANDA by Cherie Priest

Here’s a trio of books coming out soon that piqued my interest.


 
Unbreakable by W. C. Bauers
(Tor Books | January 13, 2015 | Cover illustration artist: Stephan Martiniere)
 

SYNOPSIS:

The colonists of the planet Montana are accustomed to being ignored. Situated in the buffer zone between two rival human empires, their world is a backwater: remote, provincial, independently minded. Even as a provisional member of the Republic of Aligned Worlds, Montana merits little consideration—until it becomes the flashpoint in an impending interstellar war.

When pirate raids threaten to destabilize the region, the RAW deploys its mechanized armored infantry to deal with the situation. Leading the assault is Marine Corps Lieutenant and Montanan expatriate Promise Paen of Victor Company. Years earlier, Promise was driven to join the Marines after her father was killed by such a raid. Payback is sweet, but it comes at a tremendous and devastating cost. And Promise is in no way happy to be back on her birthworld, not even when she is hailed as a hero by the planet’s populace, including its colorful president. Making matters even worse: Promise is persistently haunted by the voice of her dead mother.

Meanwhile, the RAW’s most bitter rival, the Lusitanian Empire, has been watching events unfold in the Montana system with interest. Their forces have been awaiting the right moment to gain a beachhead in Republic territory, and with Promise’s Marines decimated, they believe the time to strike is now.

Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers is character driven, military science in the tradition of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War.

WHY IT’S ON MY RADAR:
Sometimes I’m kinda in the mood for an off-planet adventure, y’know?


 
Inside a Silver Box by Walter Mosley
(Tor Books | January 27, 2015 | Cover illustration artist: unknown)
 

SYNOPSIS:

Walter Mosley’s talent knows no bounds. Inside a Silver Box continues to explore the cosmic questions entertainingly discussed in his Crosstown to Oblivion. From life’s meaning to the nature of good and evil, Mosley takes readers on a speculative journey beyond reality.

In Inside a Silver Box, two people brought together by a horrific act are united in a common cause by the powers of the Silver Box. The two join to protect humanity from destruction by an alien race, the Laz, hell-bent on regaining control over the Silver Box, the most destructive and powerful tool in the universe. The Silver Box will stop at nothing to prevent its former master from returning to being, even if it means finishing the earth itself.

WHY IT’S ON MY RADAR:
Not only does the story sound interesting, but I’ve read his work before. I liked his previous novels Blue Light and The Wave, so I guess I’m gonna need to dig into Crosstown to Oblivion so I can read this one, too.


 
(Subterranean | January 31, 2015 | Cover illustration artist: Jon Foster)
 

SYNOPSIS:

The Ranger

On the island of Galveston, off the coast of southeast Texas, lies a hotel called the Jacaranda. In its single year of operation, two dozen people have died there. The locals say it’s cursed. The Rangers say that’s nonsense, but they know a man who might be willing to investigate. Horatio Korman crosses the water from the mainland, and hopes for the best.

The Nun

But the bodies pile up, and a hurricane is brewing up fast. One of the Jacaranda’s guests sees time running out, so she seeks an authority of a different sort: a priest from El Huizache who is good at solving problems and keeping secrets. Eileen Callahan has a problem to solve, and a secret to keep. She crosses her fingers, and sends a message that could save them all.

The Padre

Juan Miguel Quintero Rios broke a promise to the Virgin, and so he was punished…but his intentions were pure, so he was also blessed. Now he walks the southwest with second sight and a tattoo across his back: ”Deo, non Fortuna”–By God, not chance. The former gunslinger crosses himself, and makes for the Jacaranda Hotel.

WHY IT’S ON MY RADAR:
Another author whose work I admire is Cherie Priest, whose stories range from personal and atmospheric (see Four and Twenty Blackbirds) to just all-out fun (see Boneshaker.) This story promises to be weird enough to be unsettling in the way that only books can do.

About John DeNardo (13014 Articles)
<p>John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.</p>
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