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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wishlist Wednesday (2)

A weekly event on my blog where every Wednesday I post about 5-10 books (not necessarily pre-release or new) that I've just added to my wishlist, along with a little blurb on why I want to read it.

Best Served Cold
by Joe Abercrombie
release date: 18 June 2009
Springtime in Styria. And that means war. There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king. War may be hell but for Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in Duke Orso's employ, it's a damn good way of making money too. Her victories have made her popular - a shade too popular for her employer's taste. Betrayed, thrown down a mountain and left for dead, Murcatto's reward is a broken body and a burning hunger for vengeance. Whatever the cost, seven men must die. Her allies include Styria's least reliable drunkard, Styria's most treacherous poisoner, a mass-murderer obsessed with numbers and a Northman who just wants to do the right thing. Her enemies number the better half of the nation. And that's all before the most dangerous man in the world is dispatched to hunt her down and finish the job Duke Orso started...Springtime in Styria. And that means revenge.

Why it's on my wishlist
I happened across this title while lurking on a review site and the cover grabbed me right away ( reminded me of Miyavi. SORRY.), so I went and looked up the author. This is supposed to be an extremely visceral and dark book, circled around the top assassin/mercenary (a woman) who is out for revenge against the employers who betrayed her. It is also set during war-era, so there's probably political corruption tied in too. The "heroes" are a band of misfits and criminals, and there's not even a hint of any light peaking through the storm clouds here. It sounds amazing ♥

Maze Runner #1:
The Maze Runner
by James Dashner
release date: 6 October 2009
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is black. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as they could remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, they’ve closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the maze after dark.
The Gladers were expecting Thomas’s arrival. But the next day, a girl springs up — the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might be able to find their way home...wherever that may be. But it’s looking more and more as if the maze is unsolvable.
And something about the girl’s arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers — if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.

Why it's on my wishlist
I kind of want to get into sci-fi more since I've been reading an excess of urban fantasy recently. Well, I'm in the mood for a dystopia right now, and the identity mystery thing always gets to me.

by Dick Francis
release date: 11 September 2000
When jockey Martin Stukely dies after a fall at Cheltenham, he accidentally embroils his friend Gerard Logan in a perilous search for a stolen videotape.
Logan is a glass-blower on the verge of widespread acclaim for the originality of his work. Long accustomed to the frightful dangers inherent in molten glass and in maintaining a glass-making furnace at seldom less than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, Logan is suddenly faced with terrifying threats to his livelihood, his courage and, finally, to his life, as he seeks to find the truth. The final race to the tape throws more hazards in Logan's way than his dead jockey friend could have imagined.

Why it's on my wishlist
This is the UK hardcover, and I admit it appeals to the ex-horse lover in me. I found this while browsing BookMooch, and while this is a murder mystery, I'm mainly aiming for the glass-blowing aspect. The main character is an unconventional hero who gets tugged into the mess when his jockey friend dies. The excerpt I read assured me the writing is great, and I've heard many good reviews on the author's ability to weave descriptions and scenes.

Detective Inspector Chen #1:
Snake Agent
by Liz Williams
release date: 29 September 2005
Detective Inspector Chen is the Singapore Three police department's snake agent - the detective in charge of supernatural and mystical investigations. Chen has several problems: in addition to colleagues who don't trust him and his mystical ways, a patron goddess whom he has offended and a demonic wife who's tired of staying home alone, he's been paired with one of Hell's own vice officers, Seneschal Zhu Irzh, to investigate the illegal trade in souls. Political pressures both Earthly and otherworldly seek to block their investigations at every turn. As a plot involving both Singapore Three's industrial elite and Hell's own Ministry of Epidemics is revealed, it becomes apparent that the stakes are higher than anyone had previously suspected.

Why it's on my wishlist
Dude, paranormal mystery set in Singapore where the human detective pairs up with demons and stuff to save the world(s)! What else is there to say but GIMME? And seriously, gorgeous cover

Bishop/Special Crimes Unit #7:
Hunting Fear
by Kay Hooper
release date: 19 October 2004
Lucas Jordan has an extraordinary psychic skill that police all over the country find invaluable: he locates missing people. And since being recruited by Noah Bishop for his FBI Special Crimes Unit, Lucas has learned to hone his remarkable ability so that what he does seems little short of miraculous.
He's called in on what appear to be a series of ordinary kidnappings-for-ransom, but almost immediately Lucas realizes the situation is far from ordinary — and more deadly than anything he's ever faced before. Because a brilliant, twisted madman is out to win a sick game, matching his wits against the best hunter he can find: Lucas.

Bishop/Special Crimes Unit #8:
Chill of Fear
by Kay Hooper
release date: 26 July 2005
FBI agent Quentin Hayes always knew he had an unusual talent, even before he was recruited by Noah Bishop for the controversial Special Crimes Unit. But, as gifted as he is, for twenty years he’s been haunted by a heartbreaking unsolved murder that took place at The Lodge, a secluded Victorian-era resort in Tennessee. Now he’s returned one final time, determined to put the mystery to rest.
Diana Brisco has come there hoping to unlock the mystery of her troubled past. Instead, she is assailed by nightmares and the vision of a child who vanished from The Lodge years ago. And an FBI agent is trying to convince her that she isn’t crazy but that she has a rare gift, a gift that could catch a killer.
Quentin knows that this is his last chance to solve a case that has become a dangerous obsession. But can he persuade Diana to help him, knowing what it could cost her? For something cold and dark and pure evil is stalking the grounds of The Lodge. Something Diana may not survive. Something Quentin never felt before: the chill of fear.

Why it's on my wishlist
I got both of these on BookMooch. The premise is a Special Crimes Unit that uses the ability of "adepts" (basically people with mental abilities like telekinesis or mind reading). I haven't read the first books, but other than Bishop, the leader, only these two books feature the rare and elusive male psychics, I think. In Hunting Fear it's a guy who's obsessed with using his ability to help find missing persons, and Chill of Fear is about the childhood trauma of another male member of the team. If I come to like Bishop more, I might just get the whole series.

Cut & Run
by Madeleine Urban, Abigail Roux
release date: 29 September 2008
A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents assigned to the investigation are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case. Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work after his case blows up in his face. He's cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does. But when he's paired with Special Agent Zane Garrett, it's hate at first sight. Garrett is the perfect image of an agent: serious, sober, and focused, which makes their partnership a classic clich̩: total opposites, good cop-bad cop, the odd couple. They both know immediately that their partnership will pose more of an obstacle than the lack of evidence left by the murderer. Practically before their special assignment starts, the murderer strikes again Рthis time at them. Now on the run, trying to track down a man who has focused on killing his pursuers, Grady and Garrett will have to figure out how to work together before they become two more notches in the murderer's knife.

Why it's on my wishlist
This was listed as one of the best gay cop/detective romances on goodreads. It has a hate at first sight thing going on between the two leads, who are also polar opposites (one brash and the other calm), but from the reviews I see that the plot (there is one!) and intense suspense does not get derailed for gratuitous sex scenes (of which there are few). The relationship is developed slowly due to distrust (they have emotional baggage, and the killer is close to them), and the ending is very open for the sequels that are planned.

That's all for this week, you can see my full wishlist at goodreads.
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Ah Yuan // wingstodust said...

!! I REMEMBER THAT JOE ABERCROMBIE COVER. The reason why I remember this is because there was this whole brouhaha about the cover model. They wanted a cover that was more masculine even though the cover model will be a girl, since the protag is a girl or something, and there was this whole debate about how "girly" covers don't sell or something. Which made me go HEADDESK because it was rather missing the point, imo, but w/e.
Also, not to spoil your hype over Snake Agent but I read a review from a Singaporean LJ-er sometime last year about this book and she was fuming over the unrealistic portrayal of Singaporean ~*exotic*~ locale. *shrugs* But I do admit the premise does sound cool, and if you thought it was good, I'll smooch off you. >D
*snickers at Cut & Run* It sounds so... Plot-ful. Yes. Tell me how that plot goes.

Eli said...

I have the Maze Runner and I cannot wait to start reading it! :)