April 2019 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends

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

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 (copy abridged from publisher).

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.

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


Tim Bayley


Fantastic & Fantastical Fiction



BENEATH THE WORLD, A SEA * Chris Beckett * 9781786491558 * HB * £17.99 * Corvus

South America, 1990. Ben Ronson, a British police officer, arrives in a mysterious forest to investigate a spate of killings of Duendes. These silent, vaguely humanoid creatures – with long limbs and black button eyes – have a strange psychic effect on people, unleashing the subconscious and exposing their innermost thoughts and fears. Ben becomes fascinated by the Duendes, but the closer he gets, the more he begins to unravel, with terrifying results… MORE / BUY


CAGE OF SOULS * Adrian Tchaikovsky * 9781788547246 * HB * £18.99 * Head of Zeus

Built on the ruins of countless civilisations, Shadrapar is a museum, a midden, an asylum, a prison on a world that is ever more alien to humanity. Bearing witness to the desperate struggle for existence between life old and new is Stefan Advani. This is his testament, an account of the journey that took him into the blazing desolation of the western deserts; that transported him east down the river and imprisoned him in the verdant hell of the jungle’s darkest heart; that led him deep into the labyrinths and caverns of the underworld. He will meet with monsters, madman, mutants. The question is, which one of them will inherit this Earth? MORE / BUY


A TIME OF BLOOD * John Gwynne * 9781509812981 * HB * £18.99 * Pan MacMillan * Of Blood and Bone * 2

At the battle of Starstone Lake, Drem and his friends witnessed horrors they’ll never forget. They saw magic warping men into beasts and a demon rise from the dead, creating something new and terrifying. So they flee to warn the Order of the Bright Star. But the demons’ high priestess, Fritha, is determined to hunt them down. Concealed in Forn Forest, Riv struggles to understand her half-breed lineage. It represents the warrior angels’ most dangerous secret, so when their high captain tracks her down, he aims to kill… MORE / BUY


A MEMORY CALLED EMPIRE * Arkady Martine * 9781529001570 * HB * £16.99 * Tor * Teixcalaan * 1

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare travels to the Teixcalaanli Empire’s interstellar capital, eager to take up her new post. Yet when she arrives, she discovers her predecessor was murdered. But no one will admit his death wasn’t accidental – and she might be next. Now Mahit must navigate the capital’s enticing yet deadly halls of power, to discover dangerous truths. And while she hunts for the killer, Mahit must somehow prevent the rapacious Empire from annexing her home: a small, fiercely independent mining station. MORE / BUY


THE DEVOURING GRAY * Christine Lynne Herman * 9781789090253 * PB * £8.99 * Titan

For fans of Stranger Things, Riverdale and The Raven Cycle. On the edge of town, a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening… Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes? MORE / BUY



THE CRYING MACHINE * Greg Chivers * 9780008308773 * HB * £12.99 * HarperVoyager

The world has changed, but Jerusalem endures. Overlooked by new superpowers, the Holy City of the future is a haven of spies and smugglers, exiles and extremists. A refugee with strange technological abilities searches for a place to disappear. An ambitious young criminal plots the heist that could make or destroy him. A corrupt minister harnesses the power of the past in a ruthless play for complete control. And the wheels of another plan – as old and intricate as the city itself – begin to turn…MORE / BUY


ONLY HUMAN * Sylvain Neuvel * 9781405935708 * PB * £8.99 * Penguin * Themis Files 3

The gripping final instalment in the Sleeping Giants trilogy – perfect for fans of Ready, Player One, The Martian and Transformers. Ten years ago, alien robots descended to Earth killing one hundred million people. And when they retreated, they took brilliant scientist Rose Franklin and her team with them. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose and the Earth Defence Corps manage to escape – only to find that a devastating new war has begun. As the human race looks set to destroy itself, Rose and her comrades must find a way to unite Earth. The stakes couldn’t be higher, as the aliens intend to finish the annihilation they started… MORE / BUY


STONE CLOCK * Andrew Bannister * 9780857503374 * PB * £9.99 * Bantam * Spin Trilogy 3

It is a hundred millennia after Iron Gods. The Spin is nearing the end of its life. Its inhabitants are divided between those who live unknowingly in the relative paradise of one of hundreds of Virtual Realities – vrealities – and those who scrape a living in what remains of the real world. From a remote star system, a being has been observing the Spin for several lifetimes. He has come to accept that he will never visit the object of his studies but is coerced into making one last journey. His final destination lies across a war-torn galaxy. And there he will learn of the Spin’s past – and its astonishing future… MORE / BUY


OTHER WORDS FOR SMOKE * Sarah Maria Griffin * 9781789090086 * PB * £8.99 * Titan

The house at the end of the lane burned down, and Rita Frost and her teenage ward, Bevan, were never seen again. Only Mae and her brother Rossa know the truth. In that house was as it seemed: a cat who was more than a cat, and a dark power called Sweet James that lurked behind the wallpaper, enthralling Bevan with whispers of neon magic and escape. And in the summer heat, Mae became equally as enthralled with Bevan. Desperately in the grips of first love, she’d give the other girl anything. A dangerous offer when all that Sweet James desired was a taste of new flesh… MORE / BUY


WYNTERTIDE * Andrew Caldecott * 9781784298036 * PB * £8.99 * Jo Fletcher Books * Rotherweird * 2

For four hundred years, the town of Rotherweird has stood alone, made independent from the rest of England to protect a deadly secret. But someone is playing a very long game. An intricate plot, centuries in the making, is on the move. Everything points to one objective – the resurrection of Rotherweird’s dark Elizabethan past – and to one date: the Winter Equinox. Wynter is coming… MORE / BUY




DARKSOUL * Anna Stephens * 9780008215972 * PB * £8.99 * HarperVoyager * Godblind * 2

The Wolves lie dead beside Rilpor’s soldiers, slaughtered at the hands of the Mireces and their fanatical army. The veil that once kept the Red Gods at bay has been left in tatters as the Dark Lady’s plans for the world come to fruition. Where the gods walk, blood is spilled on the earth. But hope might yet bloom in the unlikeliest of places: in the heart of a former slave, in the mind of a soldier with the eyes of a fox, and in the hands of a general destined to be king. MORE / BUY


SIXTEEN WAYS TO DEFEND A WALLED CITY * KJ Parker * 9780356506739 * PB * £8.99 * Orbit

A siege is approaching, and the city has little time to prepare. The people have no food and no weapons, and the enemy has sworn to slaughter them all. To save the city will take a miracle, but what it has is Orhan. A colonel of engineers, Orhan has far more experience with bridge-building than battles, is a cheat and a liar, and has a serious problem with authority. He is, in other words, perfect for the job. This is the story of Orhan, son of Siyyah Doctus Felix Praeclarissimus, and his history of the Great Siege, written down so that the deeds and sufferings of great men may never be forgotten. MORE / BUY





BATMAN AND ETHICS * Mark D White * 9781119038023 * PB * £16.99 * Wiley-Blackwell

Batman and Ethics goes behind the mask to shed new light on the complexities and contradictions of the Dark Knight’s moral code. Batman’s ethical precepts are compelling but often inconsistent and controversial. Philosopher and pop culture expert Mark D. White uses the tools of moral philosophy to track Batman’s most striking ethical dilemmas and decisions across his most prominent storylines, and suggests how understanding the mercurial moral character of the caped crusader might help us reconcile our own. A thought-provoking and entertaining journey through four decades of Batman’s struggles and triumphs in time for the franchise’s 80th anniversary. MORE / BUY


MUD AND STARLIGHT: THE ALAN MOORE INTERVIEWS 2008-2016 * Alan Moore and Pádraig Ó Méalóid * 9781916493919 * PB * £14.95 * Poisoned Chalice Press

Pádraig Ó Méalóid has interviewed Alan Moore numerous times since 2008, perhaps more often than any other interviewer. Those interviews, many of which are no longer available online, are presented here. Subjects range from Marvelman (and Miracleman) – the subject of Ó Méalóid’s first book, Poisoned Chalice: The Extremely Long and Incredibly Complex Story of Marvelman (and Miracleman) – and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series, to Moore’s recent novel Jerusalem, and the forthcoming feature film The Show. And, just to round it all off, there’s a recipe, because every book should have one. LINK TO COME


Children’s and Young Adult



MIDNIGHT * Derek Landy * 9780008284596 * PB * £7.99 * Harpercollins * Skullduggery Pleasant * 11

For years, Valkyrie Cain has struggled to keep her loved ones safe from harm, plunging into battle – time and time again – by Skulduggery Pleasant’s side, and always emerging triumphant. But now the very thing that Valkyrie fights for is in danger, as a ruthless killer snatches her little sister in order to lure Valkyrie into a final confrontation. With Skulduggery racing to catch up and young sorcerer Omen scrambling along behind, Valkyrie only has twelve hours to find Alice before it’s too late… MORE / BUY


MUSE OF NIGHTMARES * Laini Taylor * 9781444789065 * PB * £8.99 * Hodder * Strange the Dreamer * 2

In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep. Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice – save the woman he loves, or everyone else? – while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall and a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, the Muse of Nightmares must take possession her power – and of her fate, and everyone else’s. MORE / BUY


THE BEASTS OF GRIMHEART * Kieran Larwood * 9780571328451 * PB * £6.99 * Faber * The Five Realms * 3


The bard looks up at the three figures. They have black hooded cloaks and long robes. From the holes in their masks, three pairs of eyes watch him: cold, calm, emotionless.’Yes,’ says the bard. ‘They’re bonedancers. You don’t need to sound quite so excited, though. They have come to kill me.’ And so it is that the bard and and his young apprentice Rue are taken to Spinestone, the temple warren of the bonedancers. It is here that the bard is ordered to retell the tale that has got him in so much trouble . . . and so to the next instalment in the astonishing tale of Podkin One-Ear… MORE / BUY


Graphic Novels



THE MAGIC ORDER * Mark Millar, Olivier Coipel * 9781534308718 * PB * £17.99 * Image Comics

We live in a world where we’ve never seen a monster, and The Magic Order is the reason we sleep safely in our beds. Magic meets the Mob in The Magic Order, as five families of magicians — sworn to protect our world for generations — must battle an enemy who’s picking them off one by one. By day, they live among us as our neighbors, friends and co-workers, but by night they are the sorcerers, magicians and wizards that protect us from the forces of darkness…unless the darkness gets them first. Collects THE MAGIC ORDER #1-6. MORE / BUY


THE BLACK ORDER * Derek Landy, Philip Tan * 9781302915858 * PB * £13.50 * Marvel

They are the five dreadlords, the Cull Obsidian – once Thanos’ most feared warriors and disciples… the Black Order. Ruthless villains all, the Black Order has been dispatched by the Grandmaster to destabilise a burgeoning empire, but along the way they realise that as big and as bad as they are, there is always someone bigger and badder… Isn’t that always the way? The bombastic writing style of novelist Derek Landy (Skulduggery Pleasant) and the electrifying artwork of Philip Tan combine for an absolutely unhinged super-villain adventure. MORE / BUY



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