New Book Releases: Week of May 17, 2011


The new book releases this week include the latest from award-winning author China Mieville. Originally scheduled for November, Steve Berry’s seventh Cotton Malone book has been bumped up to this week (Berry’s next book will be a standalone; Cotton Malone will return in 2013). And the paperback version of last summer’s bestseller, The Passage, is now available and it includes a sneak peek at the sequel.

The Jefferson Key: A Novel by Steve Berry
Available May 17, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Four United States presidents have been assassinated—in 1865, 1881, 1901, and 1963—each murder seemingly unrelated and separated by time.

But what if those presidents were all killed for the same reason: a clause in the United States Constitution—contained within Article 1, Section 8—that would shock Americans?

This question is what faces former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone in his latest adventure. When a bold assassination attempt is made against President Danny Daniels in the heart of Manhattan, Malone risks his life to foil the killing—only to find himself at dangerous odds with the Commonwealth, a secret society of pirates first assembled during the American Revolution. In their most perilous exploit yet, Malone and Cassiopeia Vitt race across the nation and take to the high seas. Along the way they break a secret cipher originally possessed by Thomas Jefferson, unravel a mystery concocted by Andrew Jackson, and unearth a centuries-old document forged by the Founding Fathers themselves, one powerful enough—thanks to that clause in the Constitution—to make the Commonwealth unstoppable.

Embassytown by China Mieville
Available May 17, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
China Miéville doesn’t follow trends, he sets them. Relentlessly pushing his own boundaries as a writer—and in the process expanding the boundaries of the entire field—with Embassytown, Miéville has crafted an extraordinary novel that is not only a moving personal drama but a gripping adventure of alien contact and war.

In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak.

Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language.

When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset. Catastrophe looms, and Avice is torn between competing loyalties—to a husband she no longer loves, to a system she no longer trusts, and to her place in a language she cannot speak yet speaks through her.

The Passage: A Novel by Justin Cronin
Available May 17, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
This paperback edition includes:

* A sneak preview of The Twelve, coming in 2012
* A revealing interview with author Justin Cronin

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY TIME MAGAZINE AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post • Esquire • U.S. News & World Report • NPR’s On Point • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • BookPage • Library Journal

An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl—and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.

Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen
Available May 17, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Area 51

It is the most famous military installation in the world. And it doesn’t exist. Located a mere seventy-five miles outside of Las Vegas in Nevada’s desert, the base has never been acknowledged by the U.S. government-but Area 51 has captivated imaginations for decades.

Myths and hypotheses about Area 51 have long abounded, thanks to the intense secrecy enveloping it. Some claim it is home to aliens, underground tunnel systems, and nuclear facilities. Others believe that the lunar landing itself was filmed there. The prevalence of these rumors stems from the fact that no credible insider has ever divulged the truth about his time inside the base. Until now.

Annie Jacobsen had exclusive access to nineteen men who served the base proudly and secretly for decades and are now aged 75-92, and unprecedented access to fifty-five additional military and intelligence personnel, scientists, pilots, and engineers linked to the secret base, thirty-two of whom lived and worked there for extended periods. In Area 51, Jacobsen shows us what has really gone on in the Nevada desert, from testing nuclear weapons to building super-secret, supersonic jets to pursuing the War on Terror.

This is the first book based on interviews with eye witnesses to Area 51 history, which makes it the seminal work on the subject. Filled with formerly classified information that has never been accurately decoded for the public, Area 51 weaves the mysterious activities of the top-secret base into a gripping narrative, showing that facts are often more fantastic than fiction, especially when the distinction is almost impossible to make.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom by A.C. Crispin
Available May 17, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Twenty-five-year-old Jack Sparrow is a clean-cut merchant seaman pursuing a legitimate career as a first mate for the East India Trading Company. He sometimes thinks back to his boyhood pirating days, but he doesn’t miss Teague’s scrutiny or the constant threat of the noose. Besides, he doesn’t have much choice—he broke the Code when he freed a friend who had been accused of rogue piracy, and he can no longer show his face in Shipwreck Cove.

When Jack’s ship is attacked by pirates and his captain dies in the altercation, he suddenly finds himself in command. The wily sailor’s skillful negotiations with the pirate captain—who turns out to be a woman from his past—result in a favorable outcome that puts Jack in line for an official promotion.

After making port in Africa, Jack is summoned by Cutler Beckett, who makes him captain of a ship called the Wicked Wench. Beckett gives Jack an assignment. He has heard a legend about a magical island named Zerzura whose labyrinthine bowels are said to contain a glorious treasure. Beckett suspects that one of his house slaves, a girl named Ayisha, is from Zerzura. He asks Jack to take her along on his voyage and seduce her into divulging the island’s whereabouts. In payment for his services, Beckett promises Jack a share of the treasure.

But this task isn’t as easy as Jack initially believes. Before she agrees to reveal the location of her home, Ayisha insists that Jack take her to the New World to rescue her brother, who has been sold into slavery in the Bahamas. Their voyage is long and arduous, and as they weather a vicious storm and a surprise attack from an old pirate foe, Jack grows to respect and admire Ayisha’s bravery. He knows that Beckett intends to enslave her people after robbing them of their treasure, and Jack’s moral compass revolts at the idea. It might be possible to deliver Ayisha safely to Zerzura, obtain some of the treasure, and convince Beckett that he never found it . . . but the greedy E. I. T. C. official has eyes everywhere, and if he learns that Jack has foiled his plans, he could take away the thing that Captain Sparrow loves most: his ship—and his freedom.

Graveminder by Melissa Marr
Available May 17, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Three sips to mind the dead . . .

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the attention her grandmother Maylene bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the small town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each one Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: She took three sips from a silver flask and spoke the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”

Now Maylene is dead, and Bek must go back to the place she left a decade earlier. She soon discovers that Claysville is not just the sleepy town she remembers, and that Maylene had good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in Claysville the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected; beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. If the dead are not properly cared for, they will come back to satiate themselves with food, drink, and stories from the land of the living. Only the Graveminder, by tradition a Barrow woman, and her Undertaker—in this case Byron Montgomery, with whom Bek shares a complicated past—can set things right once the dead begin to walk.

Although she is still grieving for Maylene, Rebekkah will soon find that she has more than a funeral to attend to in Claysville, and that what awaits her may be far worse: dark secrets, a centuries-old bargain, a romance that still haunts her, and a frightening new responsibility—to stop a monster and put the dead to rest where they belong.

Vampire Kisses 8: Cryptic Cravings by Ellen Schreiber
Available May 17, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
The morbidly monotonous Dullsville has finally become the most exciting place on earth now that Raven is madly in love with her hot vampire boyfriend, Alexander, and a crew of vampires has taken residence in Dullsville’s old mill. Raven discovers Jagger’s plan to open a new club, the Crypt, right here in Dullsville. But is it her dream come true or her worst nightmare? Raven and Alexander have to figure out what the nefarious vampire has in store for Dullsville’s teen and vampire population. Can Raven convince Jagger to listen to her plans to make the Crypt the morbidly magnificent dance club it could be? Will it be safe for mortals and vampires alike?

And as Sebastian and Luna’s relationship heats up, Raven wonders about her own amorous fate: Will Alexander ever turn her? Does he crave her and does he want to spend eternity together? And what does she really want?

With cryptic secrets and cravings, this eighth installment in the Vampire Kisses series is a romantic and mysterious thrill ride.

Don’t Breathe a Word: A Novel by Jennifer McMahon
Available May 17, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.

Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.

America Pacifica: A Novel by Anna North
Available May 18, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Eighteen-year-old Darcy lives on the island of America Pacifica–one of the last places on earth that is still habitable, after North America has succumbed to a second ice age. Education, food, and basic means of survival are the province of a chosen few, while the majority of the island residents must struggle to stay alive. The rich live in “Manhattanville” mansions made from the last pieces of wood and stone, while the poor cower in the shantytown slums of “Hell City” and “Little Los Angeles,” places built out of heaped up trash that is slowly crumbling into the sea. The island is ruled by a mysterious dictator named Tyson, whose regime is plagued by charges of corruption and conspiracy.

But to Darcy, America Pacifica is simply home–the only one she’s ever known. In spite of their poverty she lives contentedly with her mother, who works as a pearl diver. It’s only when her mother doesn’t come home one night that Darcy begins to learn about her past as a former “Mainlander,” and her mother’s role in the flight from frozen California to America Pacifica. Darcy embarks on a quest to find her mother, navigating the dark underbelly of the island, learning along the way the disturbing truth of Pacifica’s early history, the far-reaching influence of its egomaniacal leader, and the possible plot to murder some of the island’s first inhabitants–including her mother.

Vaclav & Lena: A Novel by Haley Tanner
Available May 17, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Vaclav and Lena seem destined for each other. They meet as children in an ESL class in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Vaclav is precocious and verbal. Lena, struggling with English, takes comfort in the safety of his adoration, his noisy, loving home, and the care of Rasia, his big-hearted mother. Vaclav imagines their story unfolding like a fairy tale, or the perfect illusion from his treasured Magician’s Almanac, but among the many truths to be discovered in Haley Tanner’s wondrous debut is that happily ever after is never a foregone conclusion.

One day, Lena does not show up for school. She has disappeared from Vaclav and his family’s lives as if by a cruel magic trick. For the next seven years, Vaclav says goodnight to Lena without fail, wondering if she is doing the same somewhere. On the eve of Lena’s seventeenth birthday he finds out.

Haley Tanner has the originality and verve of a born storyteller, and the boldness to imagine a world in which love can overcome the most difficult circumstances. In Vaclav & Lena she has created two unforgettable young protagonists who evoke the joy, the confusion, and the passion of having a profound, everlasting connection with someone else.

Not Dead & Not for Sale: A Memoir by Scott Weiland and David Ritz
Available May 17, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
In the early 1990s, Stone Temple Pilots—not U2, not Nirvana, not Pearl Jam— was the hottest band in the world. STP toppled such mega-bands as Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses on MTV and the Billboard charts. Lead singer Scott Weiland became an iconic front man in the tradition of Mick Jagger, David Bowie, and Robert Plant.

Then, when STP imploded, it was Weiland who emerged as the emblem of rock star excess, with his well-publicized drug busts and trips to rehab. Weiland has since made a series of stunning comebacks, fronting the supergroup Velvet Revolver, releasing solo work, and, most recently, reuniting with Stone Temple Pilots. He still struggles with the bottle, but he has prevailed as a loving, dedicated father, as well as a business-savvy artist whose well of creativity is far from empty.

These earthling papers explore Weiland’s early years as an altar boy right along with his first experiences with sex and drugs. Weiland discusses his complex relationships with his parents, stepfather, siblings, and the love of his life, Mary Forsberg Weiland. Readers learn the fascinating stories behind his most well-known songs and what it was like to be there at the beginning of the grunge phenomenon, as Rolling Stone proclaimed on its cover: “the year punk broke.” Not Dead & Not for Sale is a hard rock memoir to be reckoned with—a passionate, insightful, and at times humorous book that reads with extraordinary narrative force.

William & Catherine: Their Story by Andrew Morton
Available May 17, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
“I’d been carrying around the ring with me….I would not let it go. You hear a lot of horror stories about proposing and things go horribly wrong, but it went really, really well.” –HRH, Prince William of Wales

The marriage of Prince William to Catherine Middleton is one of the most significant royal events of recent times. As second in line to the throne, the elder son of the much mourned Diana, Princess of Wales—whose famous sapphire and diamond engagement ring he bestowed on his future bride—William embodies the hopes and expectations of millions of people around the world. And as a “commoner” who will become a princess, Catherine brings romance and freshness to a very traditional union.

Acclaimed biographer Andrew Morton, who was trusted by Diana herself to recount her true story to the outside world, has been covering Prince William since birth. Now he brings his unique insights to this portrait of the histories and characters of the bride and groom—from their family backgrounds, their childhoods, and the early days of their relationship at university, through their ups and downs as a couple in the public eye, their private engagement in Kenya, and all the glamour and drama of the wedding itself. Lavishly illustrated with color photographs, both a chronicle and a lasting memento of a day to remember, William & Catherine brings us both the public spectacle and the private moments as only the author of Diana: Her True Story can reveal them.

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  • http://www.daemonstv.com/ Sandie

     This week I’m curious about Don’t Breathe a Word, which is actually on my bookshelf waiting to be read.

    Also I have to get my hand on that sneak peek of The Passage sequel. Is the sneak peek in the book the same as the one that’s online?