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On My Radar: WAKE OF VULTURES by Lila Bowen / WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor / THE BLOODFORGED by Erin Lindsey

Here are a few books I’m looking forward to…


(Orbit Books | October 27, 2015 | Cover design by Lauren Panepinto.)


A rich, dark fantasy of destiny, death, and the supernatural world hiding beneath the surface.

Nettie Lonesome lives in a land of hard people and hard ground dusted with sand. She’s a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don’t call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop him, Nettie stabs him through the heart with a chunk of wood, and he turns into black sand.

And just like that, Nettie can see.

But her newfound sight is a blessing and a curse. Even if she doesn’t understand what’s under her own skin, she can sense what everyone else is hiding — at least physically. The world is full of evil, and now she knows the source of all the sand in the desert. Haunted by the spirits, Nettie has no choice but to set out on a quest that might lead to her true kin… if the monsters along the way don’t kill her first.



It is something of an open secret that Lila Bowen is a pen name for Delilah S. Dawson, an author whose work I need to read more of. Her twitter and online presence is one of the most vocal and sharp on social media. Plus with pals and blurbs from Matthew Stover, Chuck Wendig and Kevin Hearne, this seems like an absolute must read.

WTNV_Version BEST 2.27


(Harper Perennial| October 20, 2015 | Cover illustration artist: Rob Wilson)


From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find ourselves…no matter where we live.

“Hypnotic and darkly funny. . . . Belongs to a particular strain of American gothic that encompasses The Twilight Zone, Stephen King and Twin Peaks, with a bit of Tremors thrown in.”–The Guardian

Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge.

Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked “KING CITY” by a mysterious man in a tan jacket holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can’t seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man in the tan jacket before she herself unravels.

Night Vale PTA treasurer Diane Crayton’s son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. And lately Diane’s started to see her son’s father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier, when they were both teenagers. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it.

Diane’s search to reconnect with her son and Jackie’s search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: “KING CITY”. It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures…if they can ever find it.


Welcome to Night Vale is one of the most popular podcasts in iTunes, it is a dark, whimsical, fun, fascinating story told in twice-per month ½ hour long episodes. Framed as “Public Radio” show from the strange town of Night Vale, the host of Night Vale Radio relays the news and happenings of the quirky little town. This is the first novel to chronicle the happenings of the town and is written by the creators of the podcast. (Go ahead, I dare you not to hear Cecil Baldwin’s voice in your head whenever you read Welcome to Night Vale. I may just go for the audio book on this one since it is narrated by our friend Cecil.



(Ace | September 25, 2015 | Cover illustration artist: Lindsey Look)


The epic saga that started in The Bloodbound continues…

As war between Alden and Oridia intensifies, King Erik must defend his kingdom from treachery and enemies on all sides—but the greatest danger lurks closer to home…

When the war began, Lady Alix Black played a minor role, scouting at the edge of the king’s retinue in relative anonymity. Though she’s once again facing an attacking Oridian force determined to destroy all she holds dear, she is now bodyguard to the king and wife to the prince.

Still, she is unprepared for what the revival of the war will mean. Erik is willing to take drastic measures to defend his domain, even if it means sending Prince Liam into a deadly web of intrigue and traveling into the perilous wild lands of Harram himself.

Only the biggest threat to the kingdom might be one that neither Alix nor Erik could have imagined, or prepared for…



I really enjoyed the first book in this Military Fantasy series The Bloodbound. There’s a hopeful and upbeat tone throughout the novel that is refreshing in a landscape were much of fantasy is grimdark (not that grimdark is a bad thing). I was very, very much reminded of Elizabeth Moon’s Paksenarrion novels, which I’ve remarked on previously here at SF Signal

About Rob H. Bedford (62 Articles)
Rob H. Bedford writes The Completeist Column and curates Mind Melds here at SF Signal. Elsewhere, he is the Lead Book reviewer for SFFWorld, where he is also a Moderator in their discussion forums. In addition to over a decade’s worth of reviews at SFFWorld, his reviews and articles have also appeared at and in the San Francisco/Sacramento Book.

3 Comments on On My Radar: WAKE OF VULTURES by Lila Bowen / WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor / THE BLOODFORGED by Erin Lindsey

  1. David Greybeard // April 25, 2015 at 10:19 am //

    Love the cover art on THE BLOODFORGED. Anyone know the artist?

  2. Hi David. Glad you like it! The artist is Lindsey Look. She does some amazing stuff.

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