Books to Look Out For

Normally, on a Monday, The Motley Experience provides readers with a book review. 

The books reviewed are always read by The ME staff before being written about.

This week we will take a different approach and list some novels, old and new, that are on our Wish List.

Included are also the reviews published by the publishers.

Please take a look at the five books listed to hopefully get an idea of what to add to your own reading wish lists!

1. The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles Series #1)

by Patrick Rothfuss

“The debut of a writer we would all do well to watch. Patrick Rothfuss has real talent, and his tale of Kvothe is deep and intricate and wondrous.” -Terry Brooks “The great new fantasy writer we’ve all been waiting for.” -Orson Scott Card “The type of assured, rich first novel most writers can only dream of producing. THE FANTASY WORLD HAS A NEW STAR.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review) “REFRESHINGLY NIMBLE AND OF-BEAT…a finely-tuned coming-of-age story, full of humor, action and the occasional dose of magic.” –San Francisco Chronicle “One of the best stories told in any medium in a decade.” –The Onion “A rare and great pleasure.” -Ursula K. LeGuin “Elegantly told.” –Library Journal(starred review)

 

2. Half a King

by Joe Abercrombie

Advance praise for Half a King
 
“A fast-paced tale of betrayal and revenge that grabbed me from page 1 and refused to let go.”—George R. R. Martin
 
Half a King is my favorite book by Joe Abercrombie so far, and that’s saying something.”—Patrick Rothfuss
 
“As in all Abercrombie’s books, friends turn out to be enemies, enemies turn out to be friends; the line between good and evil is murky indeed; and nothing goes quite as we expect. With eye-popping plot twists and rollicking good action, Half a King is definitely a full adventure.”—Rick Riordan
 
“Enthralling! An up-all-night read.”—Robin Hobb
 
“Polished and sharp, perhaps his most technically proficient novel yet . . . I dare you to read the first chapter and try not to turn the next page.”—Brent Weeks
 
Half a King can be summed up in a single word: masterpiece. It’s a coming-of-age story. It’s a Viking saga. It’s a revenge tale and family drama and the return of the prodigal son. But most of all, it’s this: a short time alongside people as weak and blundering as we are and, in the midst of it all, as heroic. Far too short a time, as it turns out. What a wonderful book.”—Myke Cole
 
Half a King is full of all the adventure I’ve come to expect from Abercrombie and a tenderness I never knew he had.”—Sam Sykes

 

3.  Edge of Eternity: Book Three of The Century Trilogy

by Ken Follett

“Just as potent, engrossing, and prolix as the opening opus, Fall of Giants. [Follett’s] dedication and ability to keep so many plots spinning while delivering a story that educates, entertains…Will leave fans eagerly awaiting the trilogy’s crowning capstone.”
Publishers Weekly
 
“It’s a book that will suck you in, consume you for days or weeks… then let you out the other side both entertained and educated.”
USA Today
 
“Meticulously researched and deftly weaves together historical fact, fictional characters and engrossing storytelling.”
— Associated Press
 
“A tireless storyteller…grippingly told, and readable to the end.”
The New York Times Book Review
 
“Suspenseful, tightly constructed, sharply characterized, plot-driven…some of the biggest-picture fiction being written today.”
The Seattle Times
 
“Tantalizing”
Newsday
 
“Lively and entertaining.”
The Washington Post
 
“Epic yarns in prose”
The Wall Street Journal
From the Publisher
4. A Trace of Smoke (Hannah Vogel Series #1)

by Rebecca Cantrell

“Bold narrator and chilling historical setting…an unusually vivid context, [lets] Hannah report on the decadence of her world without losing her life –or her mind.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A gritty realistic portrayal of 1930s Berlin…keeping the suspense high, Cantrell does an excellent job of projecting the fear of the time through her characters. Strongly recommended.”—Library Journal (starred)

“[A] haunting debut novel….evocative, compassionate, and compelling.”—Kirkus Reviews(starred)

“Cantrell nails both the ‘life is a cabaret’ atmosphere and the desperation floating inside the champagne bubbles… a promising debut.”–Booklist

“Set in 1931 Berlin, Cantrell’s scrupulously researched debut tolls a somber dirge for Weimar Germany in its last days…this unforgettable novel, which can be as painful to read as the history it foreshadows, builds to an appropriately bittersweet ending.”–Publishers Weekly(starred review)

“A compelling and human story that captures brilliantly the atmosphere of Berlin during the rise of the Nazis.”—Anne Perry, New York Times bestselling author of We Shall Not Sleep

“Evocative and hauntingly crafted, Rebecca Cantrell’s debut mystery A Trace of Smoke is a treasure of suspense, romance, and murder. Her ability to spin history into a visceral reality is done with the artistry of a master storyteller. Truly a stunning start to a long career.”–James Rollins, New York Times bestseller of The Judas Strain

“Make room on your bookshelf for a talented new novelist named Rebecca Cantrell. In A Trace of Smoke, she delivers a historical mystery that works on every level. It’s a riveting page-turner. It’s an insightful study of a young woman in peril. It’s a unerringly accurate vision of a society slipping steadily toward madness. And it’s written with a sense of clarity, pace, and attention to detail that tells you this author is going to be writing terrific stories for a long time. So don’t miss her debut.”–William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Back Bay and The Lost Constitution

“Step into the fun house world of 1931 Berlin where no one and nothing is what it seems…. A Trace of Smoke is compulsive reading with all the juiciness of the tawdry world of Cabaret but told with keen insight to the historical criminality taking place.”–Sara Colleton, executive producer of Dexter and The Painted Veil

“Moving through the Berlin of 1931, with the monstrosity of the next decade stirring beneath the streets, Rebecca Cantrell’s characters illustrate the very human desire to cling to innocence and joy, to do right no matter the cost, to shelter light amidst growing darkness. Both personal and historical, A Trace of Smoke clings to the mind.”–Laurie R. King, New York Times bestselling author of The Game

 

5. Lexicon

by Max Barry

A New York Times Summer Beach Read
An Amazon Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Pick June 2013
A Best of June iBookstore Pick
A Time Magazine “What to Read Now” Pick
A Huffington Post Best Book of Summer 2013
A Salon “Summer’s Best Reads”
A Hollywood Reporter “Buzzy Books for Hollywood’s Reading List”
A Pittsburgh Post Gazette Beach Read
A Kirkus Ten Best Novels for Summer Reading 2013

“A dark, dystopic grabber in which words are treated as weapons, and the villainous types have literary figures’ names. Plath, Yeats, Eliot and Woolf all figure in this ambitious, linguistics-minded work of futurism.”
—Janet Maslin, New York Times
 
“Imagine, if you will, a secret group of people called Poets who have the power to control others simply by speaking to them. Barry has, and the result is an extraordinarily fast, funny, cerebral thriller.”
Time Magazine
 
“Imagine blending the works of Neal Stephenson with Michael Chabon and the end result would come close to the world envisioned by Barry. The words brilliant and exemplary aren’t adequate enough to convey the amazing craft of Lexicon.”
—Associated Press
 
“A clever blend of sci-fi and thriller, with touches of romance and humor… persuaded me anew that words are, indeed, the bomb.”
—Dallas Morning News

“It’s a pitch-perfect thriller, a jetpack of a plot that rocketed me from page one to page 400 in a single afternoon, and it kept me guessing right up to the end. Imagine Dan Brown written by someone a lot smarter and better at characterization and at hand-waving the places where the science shades into science fiction, and you’ve got something like Lexicon.”
—Cory Doctorow, Boingboing.net
 
“[A] speedy, clever, dialogue-rich thriller.”
—Salon
 
“A crazily inventive conspiracy thriller.”
—io9.com

“Brazen and brilliant”
—The Wichita Eagle
 
“Mind-bending… an action novel that nicely exercises the brain as well as the heart rate.”
Shelf Awareness
 
“A large helping of both action and thought… anyone who knows 1984 will remember the fanger of allowing people to love each other—but Barry handles it with skill.”
—Infodad.com
 
“An absolutely first-rate, suspenseful thriller with convincing characters who invite readers’ empathy and keep them turning pages until the satisfying conclusion.”
—Booklist (starred)
 
“A scary and satisfying blend of thriller, dystopia, and horror.”
Library Journal
 
“An up-all-night thriller for freaks and geeks who want to see their wizards all grown up in the real world and armed to the teeth in a bloody story.”
—Kirkus (starred)
 
“[An] ambitious satirical thriller… amuses as much as it shocks.”
Publishers Weekly
 
“The sort of thriller that pricks real-world anxieties about privacy and coercion while rushing on with an outlandish clockwork plot.  Lexicon’s clockwork is excellent, too: The book succeeds largely through Barry’s skill in managing his reader and his plot, suspending disbelief by intercutting a pair of storylines until they inevitably intersect.  He always chooses immersion over exposition, letting his reader feel his way through the Chomskian mix of surveillance-society paranoia and linguistic geekiness.”
—Philadelphia City Paper
 
“I bid you, read this book… Not that much of anything is certain in this blistering literary thriller.Lexicon twists and turns like a lost language, creating tension and expectations, systematically suggesting and then severing connections.”
—Tor.com
 
“About as close you can get to the perfect cerebral thriller: searingly smart, ridiculously funny, and fast as hell. Lexicon reads like Elmore Leonard high out of his mind on Snow Crash.”
—Lev Grossman, New York Times bestselling author of The Magicians and The Magician King
 
 “Lexicon grabbed me with the opening lines, and never let go. An absolutely thrilling story, featuring an array of compelling characters in an eerily credible parallel society, punctuated by bouts of laugh-out-loud humor.”
—Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author of The Expats
 
“Dazzling and spectacularly inventive. A novel that jams itself sideways into your brain and stays there.”
—Mike Carey, author of The Devil You Know
 
“I don’t know how you could craft a better weekend read than this novel of international intrigue and weaponized Chomskian linguistics. It’s the perfect mix of philosophical play and shotgun-inflected chase scenes. Like someone let Grant Morrison loose on the Bourne identity franchise.”
—Austin Grossman, author of Soon I Will be Invincible
 
“Insanely good.  Dark and twisted and sweet and humane all at once.”
—Lauren Beukes, author of Zoo City and The Shining Girls
 
“Best thing I’ve read in a long, long time.”
—Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of Wool

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