May 2019 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends


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

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 May.


Tim Bayley


Fantastic & Fantastical Fiction



The Poison Song * Jen Williams * 9781472235237 * HB * £14.99 * Headline * The Winnowing Flame * 3

Ebora was once a glorious city, defended by legendary warriors and celebrated in song. Now refugees from every corner of Sarn seek shelter within its crumbling walls, and the enemy that has poisoned their land won’t lie dormant for long. The deep-rooted connection that Tormalin, Noon and the scholar Vintage share with their Eboran war-beasts has kept them alive so far. But with Tor distracted, and his sister Hestillion hell-bent on bringing ruthless order to the next Jure’lia attack, the people of Sarn need all the help they can get… MORE / BUY


Empire of Grass * Tad Williams * 9781473603288 * HB * £20.00 * Hodder * The Last King of Osten Ard * 2

The kingdoms of Osten Ard have been at peace for decades, but now Simon and Miriamele, royal husband and wife, face danger from every side. Their allies in Hernystir have made a pact with the dreadful Queen of the Norns to allow her armies to cross into mortal lands. The ancient, powerful nation of Nabban is on the verge of bloody civil war, and the fierce nomads of the Thrithings grasslands have begun to mobilize, united by superstitious fervor and their age-old hatred of the city-dwellers. And over it all looms the mystery of the Witchwood Crown, the deadly puzzle that Simon, Miriamele, and their allies must solve if they wish to survive… MORE / BUY


The Cloven * Brian Catling * 9781473636415 * PB * £9.99 * Hodder * The Vorrh Trilogy * 3

In the stunning conclusion to Brian Catling’s Vorrh trilogy, the colonial city of Essenwald gives up all its secrets, as the ancient forest seeks to reclaim what has been taken from it. Those who have been enslaved shall be no longer, and two heroes once thought dead shall re-emerge stronger than ever. A man will be split in two, and a young woman will rise to the height of her powers. Meanwhile, the threat of war looms over London. Germany is gearing up to begin the Blitz, and only Nicolas the Erstwhile senses the danger to come. MORE / BUY


A Brightness Long Ago * Guy Gavriel Kay * 9781473692336 * HB * £19.99 * Hodder

Danio Cerra’s intelligence won him entry to a renowned school, though he was only the son of a tailor. He took service at the court of a ruling count – and soon learned why that man was known as The Beast. Danio’s fate changed the moment he recognized Adria Ripoli as she entered the count’s chambers one night – intending to kill. Other vivid figures share the story: a healer determined to defy her expected lot; a charming, frivolous son of immense wealth; a religious leader more decadent than devout; and two mercenary commanders, whose rivalry puts a world in the balance. MORE / BUY


Finale * Stephanie Garber * 9781473666764 * HB * £14.99 * Hodder * Caraval * 3

Stephanie Garber takes us once again to the magical world of Caraval, where Scarlett and Tella Dragna must fight for their happy endings after a tragedy sends Tella on a treacherous path for revenge… Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun – with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything. Welcome, welcome to the Caraval’s Finale. All games must come to an end… MORE / BUY



Priest of Bones * Peter McLean * 9781787473492 * PB * £8.99 * Jo Fletcher * War for the Rose Throne * 1

Tomas Piety has come home from the war. But his crime empire has been stolen and the people of Ellinburg – his people – have run out of food and hope and places to hide. With his best friend Bloody Anne, his war-damaged brother Jochan and his new gang, the Pious Men, Tomas sets out to reclaim what was his. And as Tomas is dragged into a web of political intrigue by the sinister Queen’s Men, forced to work against the foreign infiltrators lurking in the backstreet taverns, brothels and gambling dens of the Stink, one thing becomes clear. The war has just begun. MORE / BUY


The Games House * Claire North * 9780356513126 * PB * £8.99 * Little Brown (Orbit)

Everyone has heard of the Gameshouse. But few know all its secrets… It is the place where fortunes can be made and lost though chess, backgammon – every game under the sun. But those whom fortune favours may be invited to compete in the higher league… where the games played are of politics and nations, of economics and kings. It is a contest where Capture the Castle involves real castles and where hide and seek takes place on the scale of a continent. Among those worthy of competing in the higher league, three unusually talented contestants play for the highest stakes of all… MORE / BUY


The Labyrinth Index * Charles Stross * 9780356511108 * PB * £8.99 * Little Brown (Orbit) * The Laundry Files * 9

The disbanding of the Laundry – the British espionage agency that deals with supernatural threats, has culminated in the unthinkable – an elder god in residence in 10 Downing Street. Mhari Murphy finds herself working with His Excellency Nylarlathotep on foreign policy – there are worse things, it seems, than an elder god in power, and they lie in deepest, darkest America. A thousand-mile-wide storm system has blanketed the midwest, and the president is nowhere to be found – Mhari must lead a task force of disgraced Laundry personnel into the storm front to discover the truth… MORE / BUY


The Ember Blade * Chris Wooding * 9781473214866 * PB * £10.99 * Orion / Gollancz * The Blackwater Trilogy * 1

The Ossian way of life is fading and the Dachen way is taking its place and Aren is comfortable with that. Even when his parents are accused of treason he supports the establishment and maintains there’s been some mistake… which is all it takes to get himself and his best friend arrested… By the time they’ve escaped, they’re unavoidably linked to Garric and his quest to overturn to Dachen way of life. If they leave Garric now, they’ll be arrested or killed by their pursuers. If they stay with him, they’ll be abetting a murderous quest they don’t believe in. There are no good options – but Aren will still have to choose a path… MORE / BUY


Lies Sleeping * Ben Aaronovitch * 9781473207837 * PB * £8.99 * Orion / Gollancz * Rivers of London * 7

Martin Chorley, aka the Faceless Man, wanted for multiple counts of murder, fraud, and crimes against humanity, has been unmasked and is on the run. But Peter Grant, Detective Constable and apprentice wizard, uncovers clues that Chorley is executing the final stages of a long term plan that has its roots in London’s two thousand bloody years of history, and could literally bring the city to its knees. Peter’s going to need help from his former best friend and colleague–Lesley May–who brutally betrayed him and everything he thought she believed in. And, far worse, he might even have to come to terms with the malevolent supernatural killer and agent of chaos known as Mr Punch… MORE / BUY




Children of Ruin * Adrian Tchaikovsky * 9781509865833 * HB * £18.99 * Pan MacMillan * Children of Time Universe

Thousands of years ago, Earth’s terraforming program took to the stars. On the world they called Nod, scientists discovered alien life – but it was their mission to overwrite it with the memory of Earth. Then humanity’s great empire fell, and the program’s decisions were lost to time. Aeons later, humanity and its new spider allies detected fragmentary radio signals between the stars. They dispatched an exploration vessel, hoping to find cousins from old Earth. But those ancient terraformers woke something on Nod better left undisturbed. And it’s been waiting for them. MORE / BUY


Someone Like Me * Mike Carey * 9780356509495 * PB * £8.99 * Little Brown (Orbit)

Liz Kendall wouldn’t hurt a fly. Even when times get tough, she’s devoted to bringing up her kids in a loving home. But there’s another side to Liz, one that’s dark and malicious. She will do anything to get her way – no matter how extreme. And when her alter-ego takes control, the consequences are devastating. Someone Like Me is the intoxicating new thriller from the phenomenal M. R. Carey. A modern take on the Jekyll and Hyde tale, think Gone Girl meets Stephen King – but you won’t have read anything quite like this before… MORE / BUY





White * Brett Easton Ellis * 9781529012392 * HB * £16.99 * Pan MacMillan

Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho) has wrestled with the double-edged sword of fame and notoriety for more than thirty years now. Now, in White, with the same originality displayed in his fiction, Ellis pours himself out onto the page and, in doing so, eviscerates the perceived good that the social-media age has wrought, starting with the dangerous cult of likeability. White is both a denunciation of censorship, particularly the self-inflicted sort committed in hopes of being ‘accepted’, and a bracing view of a life devoted to authenticity. MORE / BUY


Anything You Can Imagine: Peter Jackson and the Making of Middle-Earth * Ian Nathan * 9780008192495 * PB * £10.99 * Hapercollins

A nine-year-old boy in New Zealand’s Pukerua Bay stays up late and is spellbound by a sixty-year-old vision of a giant ape on an island full of dinosaurs. Fast-forward twenty years and the boy has begun to cast a spell over the film-going audience, conjuring gore-splattered romps with bravura skill. What next? `How about a fantasy film, something like The Lord of the Rings…?’ The greatest work of fantasy in modern literature, and the biggest, with rights ownership so complex it will baffle a wizard. Vast. Complex. Unfilmable. Ian Nathan’s mesmerising narrative whisks us to Middle-earth, to gaze over the shoulder of the director as he creates the impossible, the unforgettable, and proves that film-making really is `anything you can imagine’.” MORE / BUY


Moneyland: Why Thieves And Crooks Now Rule The World And How To Take It Back * Oliver Bullough * 9781781257937 * PB * £9.99 * Profile

From ruined towns on the edge of Siberia, to Bond-villain lairs in Knightsbridge and Manhattan, something has gone wrong with the workings of the world.
Once upon a time, if an official stole money, there wasn’t much he could do with it. He could buy himself a new car or build himself a nice house or give it to his friends and family, but that was about it. And then some bankers in London had a bright idea. Learn how the institutions of Europe and the United States have become money-laundering operations, undermining the foundations of Western stability. Meet the kleptocrats. Meet their awful children. And find out how heroic activists around the world are fighting back. This is the story of wealth and power in the 21st century. It isn’t too late to change it. MORE / BUY


Clear Bright Future: A Radical Defence of the Human Being * Paul Mason * 9780241320105 * HB * £20.00 * Penguin

A passionate defence of humanity and a work of radical optimism from the international bestselling author of Postcapitalism. How do we preserve what makes us human in an age of uncertainty? Are we now just consumers shaped by market forces? Or will we soon be supplanted by algorithms and A.I. anyway? In Clear Bright Future, Paul Mason calls for a radical, impassioned defence of the human being, our universal rights and freedoms and our power to change the world around us.
Ranging from economics to Big Data, from neuroscience to the culture wars… This work of radical optimism asks: Do you want to be controlled? Or do you want something better? MORE / BUY


The Three Dimensions of Freedom * Billy Bragg * 9780571353217 * PB * £6.00 * Faber

At a time when opinion trumps facts and truth is treated as nothing more than another perspective, free speech has become a battleground. While authoritarians and algorithms threaten democracy, we argue over who has the right to speak. To protect ourselves from encroaching tyranny, we must look beyond this one-dimensional notion of what it means to be free and, by reconnecting liberty to equality and accountability, restore the individual agency engendered by the three dimensions of freedom. MORE / BUY



Lunch With The Wild Frontiers: A History of Britpop and Excess in 13 1/2 Chapters * Phill Savidge * 9781911036494 * PB * £14.95 * Outline Press

Savidge was co-founder and head of legendary public relations company Savage and Best that represented most of the artists associated with the scene, including Suede, Pulp, The Verve, Elastica, Kula Shaker, Spiritualized, Menswear, The Auteurs, and Black Box Recorder. If you ve ever wondered what it s like to represent Hirst, Cocker, and The Verve in the same decade, and then wake up in bed with Keith Allen in the Ritz in Paris courtesy of Mohammed Al Fayed then you should read this book. MORE / BUY


The Second Summer of Love: How Dance Music Took Over the World * Alon Shulman * 9781789460759 * HB * £16.99 * John Blake

In 1987, four friends from London, Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling, Nicky Holloway and Johnny Walker, took a week-long holiday to Ibiza. What they saw there, and brought back home, would give rise to a new global music and counterculture movement. In The Second Summer of Love, author and dance music promoter Alon Shulman uses exclusive contributions from the world’s biggest DJs, including Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim, Moby, The Prodigy, Boy George and many others to faithfully recreate the story of the summers of 1988 and 1989, and chart the birth and rise of Acid House, dance music and club culture right through to the modern day… MORE / BUY


Roger Daltrey – My Story: Thanks a lot Mr Kibblewhite * Roger Daltrey * 9781788700313 * PB * £8.99 * Bonnier

Roger Daltrey is the voice of a generation. That generation was the first to rebel, to step out of the shadows of the Second World War… He made his first guitar from factory off-cuts. He formed a band. The band became The Who – Maximum R&B – and, by luck and by sheer bloody-mindedness, Roger Daltrey became the frontman of one of the biggest rock bands on the planet. This is the story of smashed guitars, exploding drums, cars in swimming pools, fights, arrests and redecorated hotel rooms. But it is also the story of how that post-war generation redefined the rules of youth. MORE / BUY


Rock ‘n’ Roll London: A Guide to the City’s Musical Heritage * Tony Barrell * 9781788840163 * PB * £15.00 * ACC Art Books

Discover the London landmarks associated with some of the biggest names in musical history. The culmination of detailed research into where the greats stayed, rehearsed, recorded and died. London teemed with top-rated singers and musicians during the ’60s and ’70s, squatting, playing gigs or investing in multi-million pound mansions. This is a guidebook like no other, a pilgrimage dedicated to the rock ‘n’ roll greats. MORE / BUY


Stories from a Fractured City Tales of Two Londons * Claire Armistead (editor), Ruth Padel, Arifa Akbar, Omar Alfrouh, Ali Smith, Jon Snow, Ed Vulliamy, Nicolette Jones, Tom Dyckhoff, Ferdous Sadat, Helen Simpson * 9781911350606 * PB * £9.99 * Arcadia Books

In a city of enormous wealth, poverty is rampant. The burnt-out hulk of Grenfell Tower stands as an appalling reminder that inequality can be so acute as to be murderous. Claire Armitstead has drawn together fiction, reportage and poetry to capture the schisms defining the contemporary city. With nearly 40% of the capital’s population born outside the country, Tales of Two Londons eschews what Armitstead labels a “tyranny of tone,” emphasising voices rarely heard. Featuring writers such as Ali Smith, Jon Snow, Arifa Akbar and Ruth Padel alongside stories from previously unpublished immigrants and refugees, this is a compelling collection which captures the fabric of the city: its housing, its food, its pubs, its buses, even its graveyards. MORE / BUY


Children’s and Young Adult



STORMTIDE * Den Patrick * 9780008228163 * HB * £14.99 * Harpercollins * The Ashen Torment * 2

Steiner, blacksmith, hero, has taken a hammer to the Empire, freeing the dead and children with witchsign alike from their fiery prison. Kimi, dragon-speaker, princess, must seek her father’s court and win the support of his armies. Silverdust, ancient, dead, journeys to meet the Emperor for what he hopes will be the final time. Kjellrun, witch, killer, still reeling from the loss of her uncle, fears this power within her. But she must harness that force – and soon – if she hopes to survive. Scattered by fortune, plagued by danger, Steiner’s crew rise against the dark rule that has cost them so much. The old gods are waking. The dragons are free. May gods help those who bear the sign of the witch. MORE / BUY


Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow * Jessica Townsend * 9781510103849 * PB * £6.99 * Orion Children’s * Nevermoor * 2

Imagination, discovery and friendship await Morrigan Crow when she escapes her deadly curse and joins the Wundrous Society. It promises her protection and belonging for life – but then Morrigan doesn’t receive the welcome she hoped for…
Morrigan is a much-feared Wundersmith. So, instead of the Society helping Morrigan to embrace her power, she is only taught that all Wundersmiths are evil and she must suppress her mysterious ability at all costs. And Ezra Squall, the evillest man who ever lived, is determined to lure Morrigan from the Society by promising to reveal the true nature of the Wunder that calls to her, which is becoming ever harder to resist… MORE / BUY


Bedlam * Derek Landy * 9780008293666 * HB * £14.99 * Harpercollins * Skullduggery Pleasant * 12

Midnight left us with the cliffhanging climax to end all climaxes… just what evil is Crepuscular Vines about to unleash, and what will this mean to Skulduggery Pleasant? Derek Landy emerged from a life of screenplays and dreaming to unleash in 2007 Skulduggery Pleasant, the unlikely tale of a detective – who just happens to be a skeleton and a sorcerer – and his very human partner Stephanie Edgley, who also runs with the alias Valkyrie Cain. With a little bit of help from their friends, each volume finds Skulduggery and Stephanie in ever-greater danger and conflict with the evils that threaten the world. MORE / BUY



Graphic Novels


Basquiat: A Graphic Novel * Paolo Parisi * 9781786274151 * HB * £14.99 * Laurence King Publishing

Cool, talented and transgressive, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s life is just as fascinating as the work he produced. Delve into 1980s New York as this vivid graphic novel takes you on Basquiat’s journey from street-art legend SAMO to international art-scene darling, up until his sudden death. Told through cinematic scenes, this is Basquiat as seen through the eyes of those who knew him, including his father, Suzanne Mallouk, Larry Gagosian and, most importantly, the man himself. Basquiat is a moving depiction of a troubled artist’s life for those interested in both the art and the man who made it. MORE / BUY


Art Masters: Basquiat * Soren Glosimodt Mosdal * 9781910593653 * PB * £14.99 * SelfMadeHero

The dazzling, provocative work of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) would come to define the vibrant New York art scene of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Punk, jazz, graffiti, hip-hop: his work drew heavily on the cultural trappings of lower Manhattan, to which he fled-from Brooklyn-at the age of 15. This stunning graphic novel captures the dramatic life and exhilarating times of this archetypal New York artist, covering everything from the SAMO graffiti project to his first solo show, from his relationship with Andy Warhol to the substance abuse that would cost him his life. MORE / BUY


Decades: Marvel In The 80s – Awesome Evolutions * Various * 9781302917715 * PB * £20.99 * Marvel Comics

In the Eighties a new generation of creators crafting character-defining runs changed everything, with new faces donning Iron Man’s armour and slinging Captain America’s shield. Bold makeovers were everywhere, including Spider-Man’s black costume, Storm’s mohawk, Thor’s battle armour and the Hulk’s return to grey. Super team shake-ups included She-Hulk joining the Fantastic Four – and the transformation of the original X-Man, Angel, into Apocalypse’s metal-winged Horseman of Death. And Peter Parker faced the biggest life-altering event of all – marriage to Mary Jane Watson. Collecting: Iron Man (1968) 170, Uncanny X-Men (1981) 173, Fantastic Four (1961) 265, Amazing Spider-Man (1963) 252, Incredible Hulk (1968) 324, Thor (1966) 378, Captain America (1968) 333, Amazing Spider-Man Annual 21, X-Factor (1986) 24. MORE / BUY


Beyonders Vol 1 * Paul Jenkins, Wesley St. Claire * 9781949028065 * PB * £13.99 * Aftershock Comics

A young boy obsessed with crop circles and cryptography finds his boring life turned upside-down when he discovers that all of his conspiracy theories are true, sending him on the ultimate treasure hunt for an ancient secret spanning thousands of years. What is the connection between a lost mountaineer, an indecipherable manuscript, and the lost library of Alexandria? How is this connected to a one-eyed, flatulent Welsh Corgi and endless plates of corned beef sandwiches? From Paul Jenkins (ALTERS, Wolverine: Origin, Sentry) and Wesley St. Claire (FU JITSU, Teen Titans) comes the mystery series that HAD to be told at AFTERSHOCK! MORE / BUY


Stranger Things Volume 1 * Jody Houser, Stefano Martino et al * 9781506709765 * PB * £14.99 * Dark Horse Comics

The hit Netflix series from the Duffer Brothers is now a spine-tingling comic that recounts Will Beyers’ harrowing survival in the treacherous Upside Down.
When Will Byers finds himself in the Upside Down, an impossible dark parody of his own world, he’s understandably frightened. But that’s nothing compared with the fear that takes hold when he realises what’s in that world with him. Follow Will’s struggle through the season one events of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things. Written by Jody Houser (Mother Panic, Faith) and illustrated by Stefano Martino (Doctor Who, Catwoman). MORE / BUY


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