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Daily Deals: A highly recommended SFF, two historicals, and a gut...

Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1) by Ann LeckieAncillary Justice by Ann Leckie. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

From Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke Award nominated debut author, Ann Leckie, comes Ancillary Justice, a stunning space opera that asks what it means to be human in a universe guided by artificial intelligence.

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was the Justice of Toren–a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose–to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.

Janine gave this

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9781565125605_p0_v1_s260x420Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

“Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski’s ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell.”

Jacob was there because his luck had run out – orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive “ship of fools.” It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn’t have an act – in fact, she couldn’t even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.

This was a bestselling book and a so so movie with Robert Pattinson! and Reese Witherspoon. The author’s note on the BN site gave some interesting insight on how the book came to be:

I was a day away from starting a different novel when the Chicago Tribune ran an article on a photographer who followed and documented train circuses during the 1920s and 1930s.The photograph that accompanied the article was stunning — a detailed panoramic that so fascinated me I immediately bought two books of old-time circus photographs. By the time I thumbed through them, I was hooked. I abandoned my other novel and dove into the world of the train circus.I began by getting a bibliography from the archivist at Circus World in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Most of the books were out of print, but I managed to track them down online and through rare-book sellers. Within weeks I was off to Sarasota, Florida, to visit the Ringling Circus Museum. I spent three days crawling under circus wagons, peering inside the trunks stored beneath them, and taking flash pictures to reveal the mysteries stashed in unlit corners.By the end of the first day, I was being shadowed. By the end of the third, an employee approached me and asked what on earth I thought I was doing. When I told her of my desire to write a novel set on a circus train, her eyes lit up and she walked me through the entire museum, regaling me with a rich oral history that was far more vivid than the information on the posted placards, and that answered many of the questions I had scribbled in my notebook.

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9781455520817_p0_v1_s260x420Shadowdance by Kristen Callihan. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Once a heart is lost in shadow . . .
Life has been anything but kind to Mary Chase. But the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals has given her purpose. Now she’s been tasked with catching a vicious murderer dubbed the Bishop of Charing Cross. But someone is already on the case-and the last thing he relishes is a partner.
Only someone who lives in darkness can find it.

Jack Talent has been alone with his demons for many years.
He never expected to have the willful Mary Chase assist him on the Bishop case. Their age-old rivalry reaches new heights-even as their desire for one another reaches a fever pitch. Though he aches to bring her close, Jack’s dark secrets are a chasm between them. With dangerous enemies closing in, Jack must find the strength to face the past . . . or risk losing Mary forever.

This is the fourth book in the series. I haven’t read anything but the first one. I know it’s a series much beloved by readers and romance critics. These books all feature a different set of main characters so I’m sure you can dive into the fourth one without reading the first two. This book is set in 1885. Both characters suffer sexual assault in their past and one reviewer felt it wasn’t dealt with enough.

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9781455508341_p0_v1_s260x420Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

WHEN A MASKED MAN . . .

Twenty years ago Maximus Batten witnessed the brutal murders of his parents. Now the autocratic Duke of Wakefield, he spends his days ruling Parliament. But by night, disguised as the Ghost of St. Giles, he prowls the grim alleys of St. Giles, ever on the hunt for the murderer. One night he finds a fiery woman who meets him toe-to-toe-and won’t back down . . .

MEETS HIS MATCH . . .

Artemis Greaves toils as a lady’s companion, but hiding beneath the plain brown serge of her dress is the heart of a huntress. When the Ghost of St. Giles rescues her from footpads, she recognizes a kindred spirit-and is intrigued. She’s even more intrigued when she realizes who exactly the notorious Ghost is by day . . .

DESIRE IGNITES A DANGEROUS PASSION

Artemis makes a bold move: she demands that Maximus use his influence to free her imprisoned brother-or she will expose him as the Ghost. But blackmailing a powerful duke isn’t without risks. Now that she has the tiger by the tail, can she withstand his ire-or the temptation of his embrace?

I’ve read several books in this series but not this one. Set in the 1740s, Hoyts series takes you away from the glittery ton to the world that existed in the slums and alleys of St. Giles. The “Ghost” is akin to the Dredd Pirate Roberts as several men have served as the ghost throughout this series, but apparently Maximus is the first. Some reviewers were tired of the Ghost and others felt that the story read too short.

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

14 Comments

  1. Janine
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 11:23:15

    I think that was supposed to be “Janine gave this an A review” under Ancillary Justice. Needless to say I highly recommend it. The book has also since won the BSFA (British Science Fiction Award) for Best Novel, the Arthur C. Clarke, and the Nebula Award for Best Novel. It’s also nominated for the Hugo for Best Novel (those haven’t been given out yet) so if you like science fiction or have a science fiction fan in your life, this is a terrific deal.

  2. pooks
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 11:35:13

    I’m not into hard SF (Connie Willis is my style) but I’ve watched this one snap up all the major awards so far. Finally, at $1.99, I went so far as to look closer, and the opening to Ancillary Justice grabbed me. Bought!

  3. hapax
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 12:05:01

    ANCILLARY JUSTICE also won the Locus Award for Best First Novel.

    And although this doesn’t count as a “major award”, it also won “First Novel that both hapax and hapaxspouse loved since CRYOBURN”, so that’s something. :-)

  4. Janine
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 12:06:13

    @pooks: I hope it works for you. I think Ancillary Justice is a blend of both hard (technological) SF and soft (sociological) SF. When I first read it I classified it as soft, but then my husband who read it too pointed out all the tech-related stuff, and I had to concede it was both!

    @hapax: I forgot about the Locus.

    And although this doesn’t count as a “major award”, it also won “First Novel that both hapax and hapaxspouse loved since CRYOBURN”, so that’s something. :-)

    LOL. I’m glad you guys enjoyed it too!

  5. Darlynne
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 15:00:56

    I twelfth the ANCILLARY JUSTICE recommendations. I bought a copy, too, so I wouldn’t have to keep going back to the library.

    It’s not on sale, but since the topic is … you know, I would mention this book even if the topic were shoe sales. Katherine Addison’s THE GOBLIN EMPEROR has completely captivated me. I finished it at 4:00 this morning and am trying to figure out how to fit in another round before returning it to the library. It’s fantasy–complicated, fabulous, world-building fantasy–with one of the most sincere and honorable characters I’ve ever read. I hope everyone reads it.

  6. JewelCourt
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 15:14:51

    I also love Ancillary Justice, but I’m really glad I read the DA review first because it pointed out the feminine gendered pronoun use. I think if I hadn’t known going in that the protagonist defaulted everyone to “she”, I would have been really confused. I really liked that sociological quirk once my brain got used to it.

  7. Willaful
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 15:19:42

    I gave Duke of Midnight a B; really liked the romance, IIRC.

  8. MaryK
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 15:31:49

    I guess I’m officially joining the ranks of ebook hoarders. I haven’t read any of the Maiden Lane series or Kristen Callihan’s books, but I’m buying these because the price is right and they seem like books I’ll like.

  9. mali muso
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 15:45:18

    Thanks for the heads up on the Hoyt. I like the Maiden Lane books and hadn’t read that one yet. Great price to snatch it up.

  10. hapax
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 16:33:37

    @Darlynne: Ha! Yes, there are certain authors/books I will try and wiggle onto every list of recommendations; and yes yes yes, THE GOBLIN EMPEROR is probably going to be one of them.

  11. Janine
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 18:02:53

    @Darlynne: Yay, so happy you loved The Goblin Emperor! I loved it too and I’ve been pimping it all over the place (possibly too much!) ever since I read it. Maia is such a wonderful character, one of the few protagonists who is that honorable and good in a way that feels utterly authentic and never saccharine or fake. With all the dominant alphas and antiheroes pervading the romance genre lately, a hero like him is just so refreshing, and yes, I agree the worldbuilding is terrific too.

    @hapax: I’m glad it panned out for you, too.

  12. Brian
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 18:07:38

    Also of note for those buying Ancillary Justice from Amazon. The audiobook is only an additional $3.99 with the Whispersync for Voice discount owners of the Kindle book receive (in the US anyway).

  13. DS
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 20:26:19

    OK, I give up. I bought the Leckie book. In fact I also bought the Whispersynced Audible version as well.

  14. Margo Bond Collins
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 21:39:54

    I’m excited about Ancillary Justice–and when hapax noted above that it ranked with Cryoburn, I had to snap it up. :) Yay!

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