February 2019 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends

Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for February.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned.

Selections are by Tim Bayley and are drawn from publisher submissions, The Bookseller magazine’s own monthly highlights, Buyer’s Guides and more.

NB. We believe in supporting bricks and mortar stores whether online or in person and a tiny snippet of any purchase comes our way to go towards site upkeep so any and all support very much appreciated! Hyperlinks lead on to Waterstone’s, Forbidden Planet in the case of Graphic Novels.

So relax and browse on and check out the great reads in print coming your way in February.


Tim Bayley

Fantastic & Fantastical Fiction


THE RAVEN TOWER * Ann Leckie * 9780356506999 * HB * £16.99 * Orbit

Listen. A god is speaking. My voice echoes through the stone of your master’s castle. The castle where he finds his uncle on his father’s throne. You want to help him. You cannot. You are the only one who can hear me. You will change the world.
A triumph of the imagination, The Raven Tower is the first fantasy novel by Ann Leckie, New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. MORE / BUY

THE RUIN OF KINGS * Jenn Lyons * 9781509879489 * HB * £16.99 * Tor * A Chorus of Dragons * 1

The most anticipated fantasy debut of 2019. In this thunderously good read, prophecy and magic combine in an incredible epic of imperial politics, gods and demons. When destiny calls, there’s no fighting back… As a bard’s apprentice, Kihrin grew up with tales of legendary deeds. He also steals, desperate to buy a way out of Quur’s slums. Then he raids the wrong house, he’s marked by a demon and life will never be the same again. Kihrin’s plight brings him to the attention of royalty, who claim him as the lost son of their immoral prince. MORE / BUY

LEGENDARY * Stephanie Garber * 9781473629202 * PB * £7.99 * Hodder * Caraval * 2

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win. The stunning, internationally bestselling sequel to Caraval. After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name… MORE / BUY

FLEET OF KNIVES * Gareth L Powell * 9781785655210 * PB * £7.99 * Titan * Embers of War * 2

From award-winning author Gareth L. Powell, the second book in the critically acclaimed Embers of War space opera series. The former warship Trouble Dog and her crew of misfits is called upon by the House of Reclamation to investigate a distress call from the human starship the Lucy’s Ghost. Her crew abandon their crippled ship and seek refuge abroad an abandoned, slower-than-light generation ship launched ten thousand years before by an alien race. However, the enormous ship contains deadly secrets of its own… MORE / BUY

THE CITY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT * Charlie Jane Anders * 9781785653193 * HB * £14.99 * Titan

“If you control our sleep, then you can own our dreams… And from there, it’s easy to control our entire lives.” January is a dying planet – divided between a permanently frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Humanity clings to life, spread across two archaic cities built in the sliver of habitable dusk. But life inside the cities is just as dangerous as the wastelands outside… MORE / BUY

BLACK LEOPARD RED WOLF * Marlon James * 9780241315545 * HB * £20 * Hamish Hamilton * Dark Star Trilogy * 1

“A dangerous, hallucinatory, ancient Africa, which becomes a fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made, with language as powerful as Angela Carter’s. I cannot wait for the next instalment” – Neil Gaiman. In this stunning follow-up to his Man Booker-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James draws on a rich tradition of African mythology, fantasy and history to imagine an ancient world, a lost child, an extraordinary hunter, and a mystery with many answers… MORE / BUY

THE OUTCAST HOURS * Mahvesh Murad (Author), Jared Shurin (Author) * 9781781085943 * PB * £10.99 * Solaris

Diverse new anthology from the acclaimed editors of The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories. These are the stories of people who live at night; under neon and starlight, and never the light of day. These are the stories of poets and police; writers and waiters; gamers and goddesses; tourists and traders; the hidden and the forbidden; the lonely and the lovers.

Including stories by Amira Salah-Ahmed, Cecilia Ekbäck, Celeste Baker, China Miéville, Daniel Polansky, Frances Hardinge, Indrapramit Das, Jeffrey Alan Love, Jesse Bullington, Karen Onojaife, Kuzhali Manickavel, Sam Beckbessinger, Lauren Beukes, Dale Halvorsen, Lavie Tidhar, Leah Moore, Maha Khan Phillips, Marina Warner, M. Suddain and Omar Robert Hamilton. MORE / BUY

FROM DISTANT STARS * Sam Peters * 9781473214798 * PB * £8.99 * Gollancz * From Darkest Skies * 2


Inspector Keon has finally got over the death of his wife Alysha in a terrorist attack five years ago. The illegal AI copy of her – Liss – that he created to help him mourn has vanished, presumed destroyed. His life is back on track. But a deadly shooting in a police-guarded room in a high-security hospital threatens to ruin everything. Who got past the defences? Why did they kill the seemingly unimportant military officer who had been in a coma for weeks? And why did the scanners pick up the deceased man the next day on the other side of the planet, seemingly alive and well? MORE / BUY

BROKEN STARS * Ken Liu (Ed & TR) * 9781788548106 * HB * £18.99 * Head of Zeus

Here are sixteen short stories from China’s groundbreaking SFF writers, edited and translated by award-winning author Ken Liu. In Hugo award-winner Liu Cixin’s ‘Moonlight’, a man is contacted by three future versions of himself, each trying to save their world from destruction. Hao Jingfang’s ‘The New Year Train’ sees 1,500 passengers go missing on a train that vanishes into space. In the title story by Tang Fei, a young girl is shown how the stars can reveal the future… MORE / BUY

THE KINGDOM OF COPPER * S. A. Chakraborty * 9780008239442 * HB * £14.99 * Harper Voyager * The Daevabad Trilogy * 2

Return to Daevabad in the spellbinding sequel to THE CITY OF BRASS. In Daevabad, where djinn can summon flames with a snap of their fingers, where rivers run deep with ancient magic, and blood can be as dangerous as any spell, a clever con artist from Cairo will alter the fate of a kingdom. Nahri’s life changed forever when she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad, she needed all of her grifter instincts to survive… MORE / BUY

THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE * Samantha Shannon * 9781408883464 * HB * £16.99 * Bloomsbury Circus

Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door. Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic. Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel… MORE / BUY

HALL OF MIRRORS * Christopher Fowler * 9780857503114 * PB * £8.99 * Transworld * Bryant & May * 16

The year is 1969 and ten guests are about to enjoy a country house weekend at Tavistock Hall. But one amongst them is harbouring thoughts of murder. . . The guests also include the young detectives Arthur Bryant and John May tasked with protecting Monty Hatton-Jones, a whistle-blower turning Queen’s evidence. The house’s owner – a penniless, dope-smoking aristocrat – is intent on selling the estate (complete with its own hippy encampment) to a secretive millionaire who goes missing. It’s when a falling gargoyle fells another guest that the two incognito detectives decide to place their future reputations on the line. And in the process discover that in Swinging Britain nothing is quite what it seems… MORE / BUY



URSULA LE GUIN: THE LAST INTERVIEW * Ursula Le Guin * 9781612197791 * PB * £12.99 * Melville House Publishing

When she began writing in the 1960s, Ursula K. Le Guin was as much of a literary outsider as one can be: she was a woman writing in a landscape dominated by men, she wrote genre at a time where it was dismissed as non-literary, and she lived out West, far from fashionable East coast literary circles. The interviews collected here – covering everything from her Berkeley childhood to her process of world-building; from her earliest experiments with genre to envisioning the end of capitalism – highlight that unique perspective, which conjured some of the most prescient and lasting books in modern literature. MORE / BUY


John Wade grew up in the 1950s, a decade that has since been dubbed the ‘golden age of science fiction’. With early television broadcasts being advertised for the first time as ‘unsuitable for children’ and the inescapable barrier of the ‘X’ certificate in the cinema barring anyone under the age of sixteen, the author had only the radio to fall back on – and that turned out to be more fertile for the budding SF fan than might otherwise have been thought. Which is probably why, as he grew older, rediscovering those old TV broadcasts and films that had been out of bounds when he was a kid took on a lure that soon became an obsession… MORE / BUY

TALKING TO MY DAUGHTER: A BRIEF HISTORY OF CAPITALISM * Yanis Varoufakis * 9781784705756 * PB * £8.99 * Vintage

‘Why is there so much inequality?’ Xenia asks her father, the world-famous economist Yanis Varoufakis. Drawing on memories of her childhood and a variety of well-known tales – from Oedipus and Faust to Frankenstein and The Matrix – Varoufakis explains everything you need to know in order to understand why economics is the most important drama of our times. In answering his daughter’s deceptively simple questions, Varoufakis disentangles our troubling world with remarkable clarity, while inspiring us to make it a better one. ‘Utterly accessible, deeply humane and startlingly original – a potent democratic tool at the perfect time’ Naomi Klein. MORE / BUY

WHITE FRAGILITY: WHY IT’S SO HARD FOR WHITE PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT RACISM * Robin DiAngelo * 9780141990569 * PB * £9.99 * Penguin

Anger. Fear. Guilt. Denial. Silence. These are the ways in which ordinary white people react when it is pointed out to them that they have done or said something that has – unintentionally – caused racial offence or hurt. But these reactions only serve to silence people of colour, who cannot give honest feedback to ‘liberal’ white people lest they provoke a dangerous emotional reaction. ‘With clarity and compassion, DiAngelo allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to “bad people.” This is a necessary book for all people invested in societal change’ Claudia Rankine. MORE / BUY


In 2016, Mariam Khan read that David Cameron had linked the radicalization of Muslim men to the ‘traditional submissiveness’ of Muslim women. Mariam felt pretty sure she didn’t know a single Muslim woman who would describe herself that way. Why was she hearing about Muslim women from people who were neither Muslim, nor female? It’s Not About the Burqa is poised to change all that. Here are voices you won’t see represented in the national news headlines: seventeen Muslim women speaking frankly about the hijab and wavering faith, about love and divorce, about feminism, queer identity, sex, and the twin threats of a disapproving community and a racist country. MORE / BUY

MISOGYNATION: THE TRUE SCALE OF SEXISM * Laura Bates * 9781471169267 * PB * £8.99 * Simon & Schuster

In this collection of essays, originally published in the Guardian, Laura Bates uncovers the sexism that exists in our relationships, our workplaces, our media, in our homes and on our streets, but which is also firmly rooted in our lifelong assumptions and in the actions and attitudes we explain away, defend and accept. A bold, witty and incisive analysis of current events, MISOGYNATION makes a passionate argument for stepping back, opening our eyes and allowing ourselves to see the bigger picture. MORE / BUY

EQUAL POWER: GENDER EQUALITY AND HOW TO ACHIEVE IT * Jo Swinson * 9781786491893 * PB * £8.99 * Atlantic Books

Shortlisted for the 2018 Parliamentary Book Awards. In this passionate call to arms, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats and former Government Minister for Women Jo Swinson outlines the steps we can all take, large and small, to make our businesses, politics and culture truly gender equal.  MORE / BUY

Children’s and Young Adult

THE OUTCAST * Taran Matharu * 9781444939101 * PB * £7.99 * Hodder * The Summoner * Prequel

The highly anticipated prequel to the New York Times bestselling Summoner trilogy – if you like Pokemon and wish you went to Hogwarts, you’ll love this. Arcturus is just an orphaned stable boy when he accidentally summons a demon. As Hominum’s first common summoner, he becomes the key to a secret that the powerful nobility would do anything to keep hidden… MORE / BUY

INQUISITOR * John Barrowman (Author), Carole Barrowman * 9781781856475 * PB * £7.99 * Head of Zeus * The Orion Chronicles * 3

Rémy Dupree and his friends Matt and Em Calder are battling to save the world as we know it. All have superpowers – Rémy can alter reality with music and Matt and Em can bring art to life – but will their powers be enough? With the world loosening at the seams, Rémy discovers that only he can halt the rise of the darkness and save humanity. But is Rémy up to the challenge? MORE / BUY

A REAPER AT THE GATES * Sabaa Tahir * 9780008288792 * PB * £8.99 * HarperVoyager * The Ember Quartet * 3

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity. MORE / BUY

Graphic Novels

INFINITY WARS * Gerry Duggan, Mike Deodato * 9781302913564 * PB * £24.99 * Marvel / 9781846539558 * PB * £18.99 * Panini


As the Infinity Stones come to Earth, so too comes the war for control over them. But none who wield the stones truly understand the power they contain…or comprehend what it would take to bring them to their end! The nature of the cosmos itself hangs in the balance as we learn the answer to the question on everyone’s lips: Who is Requiem?


SUICIDE SQUAD: HELL TO PAY * Jeff Parker (Author), Cat Staggs (Author) * 9781401287788 * PB * £12.99 * DC Comics

Amanda Waller has her Get Out of Hell Free card, but why did she go to such lengths to acquire it? Setting her Squad loose on the high seas, will the Wall regret her decision to lead this mission? A new Squad is formed, with the same old mission: creating havoc! Everything’s going their way, but can the team keep their act together? Some teammates cannot control their appetites. Others don’t even try. Back on dry land, Deadshot returns to Waller’s service. Blood promised aid to Waller’s team, but his idea is surprisingly unhelpful. Now that Scandal knows one of Waller’s secrets, whose side is she on? Spinning off of the hit animated film, this graphic novel adaptation is a must-have for any fan of the Suicide Squad! MORE / BUY

HIT-GIRL VOLUME 3: IN ROME * Rafael Scavone, Rafael Albuquerque * 9781534310391 * PB * £13.99 * Image Comics

Mindy’s racing around the Italian city, in hot pursuit of a cargo thief. When she finally gets hold of the stolen package — a bejewelled human skull — she uncovers a macabre story that leads her deep into the dark, criminal underbelly of Rome. Collects HIT-GIRL #9-12. MORE / BUY

PHILIP K. DICK A COMICS BIOGRAPHY * Laurent Queyssi, Mauro Marchesi * 9781681121918 * HB * £20.99 * NBM

One of the greatest writers in science fiction history, Philip K. Dick is mostly remembered for such works as Blade Runner, Minority Report, and Total Recall. His dark, fascinating work centred on alternate universes and shifting realities in worlds often governed by monopolistic corporations and authoritarian governments. His own life story seems a tussle with reality, cycling through five marriages and becoming increasingly disjointed with fits of paranoia and hallucinations fuelled by abuse of drugs meant to stabilise him. His dramatic story is presented unvarnished in this biography. MORE / BUY


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