Carabas May 2016 New Book Recommends!

Carabas - New Book Recommends CB - Or - May - The Sudden Appearance of Hope CB - May - Zero K CG - JC - May - The Red Virgin reduced NFJJ16 - HZ - May - How Star Wars Conquered the Universe reduced CB - C - May - The Summoner The Inquisition

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Text here is from us, a little taster on the book in question, and you can find full biblio details, extract links, and publisher title description by clicking the link to our Jan-Jun 16 page for the publisher or subject (some still in progress) or the shop link and heading to their online store.

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So read on and see the many wonders in print coming your way in May…

 

FANTASTIC FICTION IN MAY

CBJJ16 - Go - Feb - The Medusa Chronicles
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A handful of great titles from Gollancz to kick off May. In THE MEDUSA CHRONICLES heavyweights Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter team up to tell a new tale of cyborg Howard Falcon, created by Arthur C Clarke in A Meeting with Medusa, with permission of the Clarke estate. Don’t think we need to say more than that…
CBP Jun - Crashing Heaven
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Complete title info on this and more from the publisher
Then there’s Al Robertson’s gnarly, wild AI thriller CRASHING HEAVEN in mass market paperback. It reminds a little of Tim Powers, with a protagonist facing the inevitability of dark end who’s dragged through all manner of fantastical badness on the way to it – we might hope there’s some hidden light at the end of the tunnel, but there are absolutely no guarantees. In Jack Forster’s case his mind is going to be overwritten on an immutable technicality by the perverse military-grade AI Hugo Fist who was grown therein in the form of a ventriloquists’ dummy. Yes it’s pretty damn dark, but exceptionally well delivered… *** Check out our Q&A with Al on Carabas here ***
Complete title info on this and more from the publisher
CB - Go - Oct - The Cathedral of Known Things
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There’s also the MMP of Edward Cox’s THE CATHEDRAL OF KNOWN THINGS, sequel to The Relic Guild (extract / preview link). It’s fantasy but not quite like you know it. As Starburst magazine puts it: “an exiting blend of steampunk, fantasy, horror and pulp adventure… The relic Guild is an intriguing, original and enjoying book.” Check out also Ed’s musical inspirations for his characters on Carabas here…
CB - Or - May - The Sudden Appearance of Hope
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Complete title info on this and more from the publisher
Orbit aren’t slouching in May either. It strikes me that there’s an emerging trio of authors who, over the last year or so, have become mainstream breakouts by coming up with solidly conceived, emotive, well written works that speak easily to the non-genre reader:  Claire North (The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Touch), Mike Carey (The Girl with all the Gifts) and Sarah Pinborough (The Death House). In May we get Claire North’s latest THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF HOPE in which Hope Adern starts fading from human memory, including her family… Highlighted also in The Bookseller magazine’s May Fiction preview as ‘One to watch’.
Complete title info on this and more from the publisher
CB - Or - May - The Sorcerer's Daughter
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We must also mention the latest Shannara novel from Terry Brooks, THE SORCERER’S DAUGHTER. We are a bit more about championing those standalone titles with mainstream appeal here but with the debut of The Shannara Chronicles on TV he’s all the more relevant as a major league genre author…
CB - SB - May - When We are Vanished
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Then indie Snowbooks offer up Nimue Brown’s WHEN WE ARE VANISHED which, um, I think we’ll just have to let their copy speak for itself: ‘When we are Vanished is a speculative, counter-culture novel. It offers a future where people are re-adopting the methods of the past in order to survive, and there’s steam technology (because steam is good). In many ways this is a book for geeks – computer wizardry, inventors, and comedy conspiracy theories dominate the tale. Time travel, paradoxes, and the nature of consciousness all feature in the plot. It’s a feminist sort of book – a female dominated cast where women lead the action and there’s a genderqueer character whose gender is not a plot point.’ So yes, um, that.
CB - May - Zero K
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Then two genre titles from the mainstream imprints of Pan Mac. The first, from Picador, is ZERO K by legendary American novelist Don DeLillo (White Noise, Underworld). We’d probably include Mr DeLillo here in any event but his latest is also of a speculative nature, where a billionaire bids “an uncertain farewell” to his younger wife, who enters the family-funded biomedical compound for her body to be preserved due to failing health. The father then wishes to enter another dimension (?!) which the son / narrator finds indefensible, a set-up against which DeLillo explores the darkness and vibrance of human life.
CB - May - Uprooted
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Then from Pan is a title highlighted by The Bookseller’s Alison Flood as an Editor’s Choice in the May Fiction preview, Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED. It’s a play on fairy tale tropes in which a remote village seeks protection from the darkness of the nearby enchanted forest: this comes from a wizard called the Dragon who requires, in exchange, the enforced service of one young woman for ten years. Only it’s not the brave and beautiful one he chooses to take…
CB - To - May - Who Killed Sherlock Holmes
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Still with Pan but from their specialist imprint Tor comes the latest in Paul Cornell’s Shadow Police, WHO KILLED SHERLOCK HOLMES? For someone who worked as a bookseller in central London and had to respond to tourist queries as to where Sherlock Holmes lived (lived, not ‘was-based’), the notion that the spiritual melange of the Big City might birth his fictional ghost is comparatively normal. But the idea that this spirit might then be murdered is the crazy, twisted notion that is meat to Paul Cornell’s London-set urban fantasy series. (May is actually a double helping of Mr Cornell – see This Damned Band from Dark Horse Comics in Graphic Novel Picks below). * You can also read an extract of book 1, London Falling on Carabas here…
CB - Ho - May - Sockpuppet
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Complete title info on this and more from the publisher
It looks like HodderScape might also have a mainstream hit with Matthew Blakstad’s SOCKPUPPET, a deliciously perverse choice of title born out in tone by the cover. Two women, a politician and programmer, have had their lives data-mined and exposed, and unless they can work out who’s using internet celebrity sic_girl – actually a test program – to do so, the privacy of the whole of the UK will be at an end.
Complete title info on this and more from the publisher
CB - HV - May - The Malice
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Peter Newman’s The Vagrant was lauded by contemporaries on publication and May brings the sequel THE MALICE from Harper Voyager. Sounds to us like a sword with that name could be trouble now its wielder has settled down even if he ignores its ‘call’. As happens a lady called Vesper is hearing it and answers herself…
CB - Re - May - The Wolf in the Attic
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Complete title info on this and other titles from the publisher
Specialist imprint Solaris (Rebellion) might just have a mainstream hit with Paul Kearney’s THE WOLF IN THE ATTIC. A young Greek refugee in 1920’s Oxford meets C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, and finds a boy lurking in her attic, a boy as alone as she is – a boy with yellow eyes…
Complete title info on this and other titles from the publisher
CB - May - Creation Machine
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General publisher Transworld, as the Bookseller notes, release their first major SFF acquisition since the wonderful and much missed Terry Pratchett in the form of Andrew Bannister’s CREATION MACHINE. The first in The Spin Trilogy, it sounds rather like anticapitalist Star Wars meets Firefly-slash-Blake’s 7. Society Otherwise freedom fighter Fleare Haas is sprung from prison to reignite the resistance the corporate Hegemony; elsewhere the despotic empire of The Fortunate hunts for a McGuffin that built galaxies – and is presumably able to use that power in less constructive enterprises…
CB - May - A Decent Ride
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From the shock of the future to shocking presents with a sidestep to sibling Penguin-Random House publisher Vintage: It’s the paperback of Irving Welsh’s A DECENT RIDE, a standalone novel with one of the character’s from his earlier Glue. Dealer and Porn Star ‘Juice’ Terry Lawson has lost his virility – while dealing with this he’s faced with working out the motives of an American businessman / reality TV star and what’s happened to a missing beauty while trying to keep her lover – ‘a man with the genitals and brain of a donkey’ – out of prison.
CB - May - Glory Boys
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Moving the shocking, grimy subculture down to London and a special shout out to Kent-based indie crime/horror publisher Caffeine Nights GLORY BOYS authors John Iron and Jim Steel (pseudonyms possibly?). It’s 1979 and Chris Davis has joined the Mod world of drugs, sex, music and scooters – and the violence with rival subcultures of Skinheads, Teds and football hooligans. The Mod pilgrimage to Brighton might be one of the best times ever – or end up in much darker territory…
CB - May - Central Station
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Keeping it indie and we spotted that Lavie Tidhar has a little something coming through from Tachyon Publishers: CENTRAL STATION. Having had two slipstream literary successes with alternate reality depictions of real world leaders (Osama (bin Laden) and A Man Lies Dreaming (Hitler) this is pure SF with a guy called Boris returning to Tel Aviv from Mars and life at the bottom of a space elevator. This happens to involve a child who can intercept the mind’s datastream by touch, a cousin with a cyborg fetish and a data-vampire on the run…
CB - May - The Arrival of Missives
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If Lavie has returned to roots then Unsung Stories fill the genre-slash-lit gap with Aliya Whitely’s THE ARRIVAL OF MISSIVES. From the sound of it the post-WW1 May Day celebrations in Shirley Fearn’s village of the year in question are rather more consequential than others – especially if the warning-prophecy of a scarred veteran is anything to go by.
CB - May - Star Wars Aftermath
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Normally we wouldn’t bother with the franchises – not like they need our approval – but we figured we’d best feature the next two (second being in Non-Fiction below). First up is Chuck Wendig’s STAR WARS: AFTERMATH (JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS). Not all fans are bothered about the expanded universe stuff, and those that came before are now defunct next to the now Disney-owned uber-property. But this and other novelizations and comic adaptations to come are essentially canonical, and so likely to be an even bigger with those fans wanting to linger in a galaxy far, far away and a long time ago a little longer. Featuring Luke’s mate Wedge Antilles (A Bookseller magazine May Paperback Topseller).

 

MAY NON-FICTION

NFJJ16 - HZ - May - How Star Wars Conquered the Universe reduced
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Meanwhile, segueing to Non-Fiction picks with a circular screen-wipe, Chris Taylor takes us behind the scenes with HOW STAR WARS CONQUERED THE UNIVERSE: THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF A MULTIBILLION DOLLAR FRANCHISE. Doubtless affectionate to the universe we grew up with and love and of interest to its many fans it’s nonetheless a timely look at its hard-cash reality, where the franchises GDP eclipses that of small countries – perhaps time for a serious think about empires in other words…
CB - NF - May - Global Punk
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Complete title info on this plus fiction from the publisher
Perhaps there’s a tonic in May in the form of GLOBAL PUNK from Bloomsbury, examining the positive effect of DIY culture in society and politics with particular attention to indie record labels and zines (ticking two big Carabas boxes in the process) – scholarly but accessible they promise.
Complete title info on this and other great titles on our Jan-Jun 2016 progressive / socially minded books page
CB - NF - May - Global Undergrounds
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To a different kind of underground culture while keeping it local on the global scale, Reaktion Books deliver GLOBAL UNDERGROUNDS. This contains 80 stories (storeys?) of urban subterranea around the world – not just for the professionals: there’s a real subculture of urban explorers and those of us who find the notion and possibilities of what lies beneath entirely intriguing…
CB - NF - May - When to Rob a Bank
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Has anyone heard of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything? It’s the Pop Economics book that’s been a sensation for over a decade: plenty of extra material then from authors Levitt and Dubner’s blogs and other writings for them to select for ‘A Rogue Econonomist’s Guide to the World’, the main title being WHEN TO ROB A BANK. More relatable economic lessons from pop culture examples to learn from and enjoy… (Bookseller May Paperback Topseller)
Complete title info on this and other great titles on our Jan-Jun 2016 progressive / socially minded books page
CB NF - Oct - Absolute Pandemonium reduced
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Then in paperback it’s

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BRIAN BLESSED!

Apologies we couldn’t get the text to a more appropriate size – just click the link to see some of the delights you’ll read of in his larger than life life and autobiography… (Bookseller May Paperback Topseller)
9780571327898
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Also in paperback this month is David Cavanagh’s GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD RIDDANCE, his ‘social history’ of the impact of the wonderful and sadly missed John Peel, ‘focusing’ on 300 shows over thirty-five years and the changes in the broadcaster’s tastes and the listenership he brought new music to… From Faber Books.
CB - NF - May - Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink
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May also brings the memoir of Elvis Costello, a truly original figure in popular music and music generally, in which he relates how he ‘somehow’ entered and stayed in the scene for nearly forty years ‘through a combination of dumb luck and animal cunning’. One for his many fans of course, but Costello has a genuine resonance and relevance beyond…
CB - NF - Mar - The Rise The Fall and the Rise
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Brix Smith, named for The Clash’s Guns of Brixton, was a member of post-punk band The Fall described by John Peel as his favourite band, and both she and they rate highly on our own Mark K’s list of musical greatness. Her story will be of interest well beyond their fans. As publishers Faber put it:
“I was born Laura Elisse Salenger in Los Angeles. My parents divorced before I was two. My father was an eccentric Beverly Hills psychiatrist who played banjo, dated nurses, drove sports cars, and had a cane made out of a bull’s penis and a tobacco pouch fashioned from a woman’s purse.”
Too bizarre, extreme and unlikely to be a novel, The Rise, The Fall and The Rise could only exist in the pages of a memoir.

 

*** LATE ADDITION ***

CB - NF - May - The View from the Cheap Seats
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Many fiction authors will have written enough non-fic to fill a collection, though the interest next to that in their created worlds is likely to fall a good deal short. If anyone can make a nonsense of this it’s Neil Gaiman. Having published his third short story collection Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances last year Headline now bring us “THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS” a collection of his non-fiction from numerous sources including the Make Good Art speech that went viral. Of course there’ll be interest amongst his legions of appreciators but Gaiman’s achievements and wider standing might well – and should – make this close to required reading for anyone genuinely serious about making it in any creative sector.

 

GRAPHIC NOVELS

CG - May - Realm of the Damned Tenebris Deos
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Staying with a musical theme but entering the territory of the graphic novel we’d like to give a special shout out to Alec Worley and Pye who’ve (respectively) written and drawn the first from Steve Beatty’s new Werewolf Press – special shout to Steve and WP too! REALM OF THE DAMNED: TENEBRIS DIOS is featuring episodically in the Judge Dredd Megazine and, as far as we can tell, it’s another chapter in the crossover of metal and comics. In a world where the monsters have won it falls to Alberic Van Helsing to prevent an even greater evil that would destroy the remaining living humans and the monsters as well… The characters within seem to have formed the band Norwegian Black Metal band The Sons of Balaur: Bleeding Cool seem to know what that’s about even if we’re still a little hazy! (Nice use of select colour on monochrome in the art). *** Launch and signing with the creators and the Sons of Balaur happening at Forbidden Planet London on the 14th May! ***
CP - PC - This Damned Band #1
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Entirely in the same vein – though contrasting in plot – is Paul Cornell’s THIS DAMNED BAND with art by Tony Parker and colours by Lovern Kindzierski. It’s a dark comedy in which 70’s rock stars Motherfather discover they’ve accidentally been worshipping Satan when they thought they were just pretending. And if that sounds twisted check out the latest in Paul’s Shadow Police series WHO KILLED SHERLOCK HOLMES? in the fantastical fiction section above…
CG - V - Dec - Astro City Lover's Quarrel
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For those who haven’t been picking up Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson’s ASTRO CITY, now being published under DC’s Vertigo imprint, in comic form or rushed out for the hardback collection of the latest, well there’s a paperback treat in store in May. Every issue of this fine series is a real treasure, being an adult but affectionate human-level take on the entire superhero genre. Volume 12 [of the Vertigo run] collects issues #18-21 and #23-24 and features aging heroes, an origin story and a talking gorilla aspiring to be a drummer…
CG - Av - Crossed +100 V2
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Comics legend Garth Ennis and artist Jacen Burrows created the world of Crossed in 2008, a post-apocalyptic scenario in which a pandemic causes its victims to manifest a cross-shaped rash on their faces and fulfil their worst desires. Though not literally of the zombie genre its appeal has been massive and Ennis has passed the creative reigns to top writers for continuation and development. It turned out that legend of legends Alan Moore was interested in doing something with it and created CROSSED +100, the world in a century’s time. Now it’s Moore’s turn to hand over the reigns and he’s chosen existing Crossed writer Si Spurrier who’s created volume 2 with Fernando Heinz.
CG - JC - May - The Red Virgin reduced
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Meanwhile Mary Talbot, wife of and collaborator with veteran comic artist and writer Brian Talbot as here, discovered someone from history she felt she just had to write: Louise Michel. Michel was a French anarchist and an educator who fought for women’s rights and against the French government on the barricades of the Paris Commune of 1871. She dared the government to execute her when she was captured and was deported to French-held New Caledonia, an island off the east coast of Australia, where she supported the native Kanaks against the French colonists. So yes, an incredibly worthy subject to bring to the world’s attention again by the husband and wife team who won the Costa Biography Award for Dotter of her Father’s Eyes: THE RED VIRGIN AND THE VISION OF UTOPIA is due in May from Jonathan Cape and was selected in the Bookseller’s May previews as one of their ‘One’s to Watch’. *** You can read what Mary Talbot has to say on the origins of The Red Virgin on Carabas here and check out a six page preview on Carabas here! ***
CG - NB - May - Geis - R
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Complete title info on this and more graphic novels from Jonathan Cape
And lastly comes GEIS from Alexis Deacon and graphic novel specialist NoBrow, the first in a sequential trilogy where souls compete to become the ruler of an island. We know little more right now but will update you / this page as we hear anything further – perhaps with some interior art if we can get our hands on any.
Complete title info on this and more from NoBrow…

 

YA / CHILDREN’S PICK

CB - C - May - Black Arts
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David Fickling has been on my personal radar as editor / publisher for some years since his imprint under Random House released S.F. Said’s fabulous Varjak Paw. Now with that imprint turned independent his own company is picking up steam, notably this month with Prentice & Weil’s London-based The Books of Pandemonium, the first being re-released, the second being brand new.
CB - C - May - Devil's Blood
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It’s an epic mash-up of thievery, spies, magic and devils… and time travel? Never judge a book by its cover – but these are just stunning. And the story sounds fantastic as well…
CB - C - May - The Summoner The Inquisition
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We were very impressed with Taran Matharu’s The Summoner: The Novice (extract), which has a very fresh take on magic and – admittedly yet unashamedly Tolkienesque – races. It was one of those ‘internet sensations’, courtesy of Wattpad, cannily snapped up by Hodder. Now we have the sequel, THE SUMMONER: THE INQUISITION. Fletcher’s on trial for a crime he didn’t commit, on top of which there’s a graduating mission into Orc territory – hopefully Fletcher with friends Human, Elven and Dwarven along with their magic-granting demons will be enough to ensure the empires safety…
CB - C - The Rest of Us Just Live Here
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LATE ADDITION: With the Bookseller Magazines YA Book Prize shortlist announced (see last years shortlist and winner here, this year’s coming shortly) we discovered nominee and twice Carnegie medal winner Patrick Ness’s THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE. Set against the backdrop of Buffy-esque cosmic goings on, Mikey is dealing with returned intensified bouts of OCD, the threat of his sister’s anorexia likewise coming back, feelings for friend Henna, and the end of school and what comes after. At least he’s got his friend Jared, the grandson of a cat goddess, for support – but is even that enough? Absolutely A-grade writing that, amongst other things, gives a genuine insight into what people with OCD deal with. Our – okay my – personal pick for YA prize.
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Additional: Okay so Mikey’s best friend is called Jared. Jared’s Dad is ‘Mr Shurin’. By chance nothing to do with one of the creators of Pornokitsch then?
CB - C - May - Magrit
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On the subject of Neil Gaiman (also David Almond and Joseph Delaney according to the publisher) Lee Battersby has something coming from Walker Books (Australia) that will appeal to fans of his / their work. Yes, everyone throws out names like this but MAGRIT does have that sense of the weird-yet-entirely-relatable of The Graveyard Book, Coraline and more – certainly sharing the thematic setting of the former. Magrit lives with Master Puppet(?!) who she created from bones and junk in a cemetery. When a stork leaves a baby boy in the graveyard Magrit decides to keep him against Master Puppet’s wishes / warnings and a difficult truth will emerge and change everything… Middle Grade fiction.
CB - C - Serafina and the Black Cloak
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We love YA but we’re pleased to have another great 9-12 / Middle Grade recommendation to round off May, and that’s Robert Beatty’s SERAFINA AND THE BLACK CLOAK from Egmont in the UK; it’s already a New York Times bestseller in the US. When children start vanishing from the Biltmore estate Serafina knows it’s the work of the terrifying man in the black cloak; with the nephew of the estates owners she travels into the nearby forest, there to discover magic and the nature of the dangers she’s known her whole life to avoid… Sounds like a real classic.

 

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Check out our portal page to discover more great books publishing January to June 2016 here!

Or click one of the below for our top fantastical adults & kids YA, graphic novels and non-fiction…

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