Selected new and forthcoming books seen by DarkEcho (including some galleys and advance reading copies). A few selections are not necessarily new, but have been requested by DarkEcho or otherwise lately noted. All selections are at the discretion of DarkEcho, although effort will be made to list all review copies received. Comments are immediate, initial, and not to be taken as final opinion. Date included with publisher info is official release date(s). Date in parentheses at paragraph end is approximate date seen or received. Listed more or less in order received.

COVER In the Face of Death (Uncorrected proof)
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
BenBella Books $14.95 (TP) 352p
ISBN: 1932100296 (Apr 2004)

New Madelaine de Montalia book set during the U.S. Civil War (Out of the Houses of Life is the other.) Madelaine pops up in the Saint-Germain series (current status: #16, Midnight Harvest, Sept 2003, Warner; #17, Dark of the Sun, will be out from Tor, Fall 2004) and is the Comte's fellow vampire, friend, and lover. This novel was previously published as an e-book, but this is first print version. Not yet read/reviewed: Yarbro writes great historical fiction that happens to feature a vampire or two as protagonists. Never disappointing. (Dec 2003)

COVERNecroscope: Deadspawn
Brian Lumley
Tor $26.95 (HC) 428p
ISBN: 0312863810 (17 Dec 2003)

First time in hardcover (pb was 1991), the fifth Harry Keogh/Wamphyrii book that picks up after Deadspeak, and thus the last of the original Necroscope series. (Thankfully, an introductory "Résumé" is included.) Lumley is the dark chocolate in a candy box of marshmallow Lovecraftians. "In a while, the scorched, bloated limbs of the corpse split open and small black mushrooms clustered there, growing out of the rotting flesh and opening their gilled caps...." Read a long time ago/Not yet reviewed (Dec 2003)

COVER Seduced By Moonlight (Advance Uncorrected Proofs)
Laurell K. Hamilton
Ballantine $23.95 (HC) 370p
ISBN: 034544356X (3 Feb 2004)

The new Merry Gentry (#3) novel. Read/Notes Follow (Warning! Spoilers!): Once the book takes off (about half-way through) it's good, but there are some places in that first half that I had to re-read to follow. (I read the first Gentry novel, but not the second. Still, even if you'd read both, I think I might be difficult.) First part does have (1) Siun, an interesting monster, and (2) an interesting three-way with demi-fey Sage (around 12 inches tall), and her sidhe-warriors Nicca (who sprouts wings during it), Rhys. An earlier girl/girl with Maeve Reed is, however, a total cop-out: a kiss, a touch, and blam! Merry's lack of confidence and constant conflicts are now a little irritating, but both traits are lessened or lost as the novel progresses. But the end, it's a typical Hamilton rip-snorter. Chopped up faeries, gallons of blood, *then* a duel to the death (Merry in 4-inch heels) with more chop-chop and more blood and body parts re-growing... (Dec 2003)

COVER Dark Property
Brian Evenson
Black Square/Hammer $14US (TP) 140p
ISBN: 0971248524 (Nov 2002)

I requested this for review on Forrest Aguirre's recommendation. Although it has nothing to do with the book, I read that Evenson was told by Brigham Young University that if he continued write fiction in the same vein as his first book (ALTMAN'S TONGUE) he would lose his teaching position at the university. (School officials were reacting to an anonymous letter from a student damning Evenson's work for reveling "in darkness and degradation.") He left of his own free will and continues to teach elsewhere and write. Not yet read/reviewed: Sounds like my kinda writer.(Dec 2003)

COVER Heartbreakers: Women and Violence in Contemporary Culture and Literature
Josephine Gattuso Hendin
Palgrave Macmillan $29.95 (HC) 320p
ISBN: 0312237006 (14 Feb 2004)

A look at portrayals of "dangerous" and "violent" women in out culture. This leads me to ponder: Whither goest the femme fatale? Dangerous, yes, but not always violent. Perhaps these "heartbreakers" are buff, well-armed femme fatales? Not yet read/reviewed. Comment: I'm a nonfiction geek. Books like this make my heart go pittypat. May be a heartbreaker in the end for me, though. Thumbing through, I read the section on Medea and note that I was disappointed with this esteemed critic/writer/academic's treatment -- but that's probably just me being petty and envious because I wish I'd grown up to be an esteemed critic/writer/academic.

COVERDark Corner
Brandon Massey
Dafina/Kensington $14US (TP) 450p
ISBN: 0758202490 (Jan 2004)

Massey is an African-American writer whose first book, supernatural thriller THUNDERLAND, was self-published in 1999 then picked up as part of Kensington's Dafina line. His second, DARK CORNER, is a "vampire thriller." David Hunter travels to Mason's Corner, Mississippi, to find out more about the father -- a bestselling author -- he never really knew (and claim a sizeable inheritance). No sooner than you can say "small town invaded by evil," vampire Kyle Coiraut arrives and revive his dad, Diallo. Diallo is a master vamp who wants to conquer the world because humans killed his beloved. Guess who did the murderous deed? Right. David's ancestor. Not yet read/reviewed: Hope it's better than the "Mandingo visits the Plantation" cover. (Dec 2003)

COVER Deus-X: A Novel of Spiritual Terror
Joseph A. Citro
Hardscrabble Books (TP) $15.95 392p
ISBN: 1584653396 (Jan 2004)

Delighted to see this one back in print (original: 1994). I've never read it, but Citro's collections of New England legends and ghost stories are wonderful. Cover copy: "DEUS-X offers a potent combination of mystery, psychological horror, and spirtual terror... murderous psychopath...UFOs...inexplicable religious phenomena..." Geez, it could be a John Shirley novel!
Not yet read/reviewed (23 Dec 2003)

COVER New Spring: The Novel (The Wheel of Time "In the Beginning")
Robert Jordan Tor (HC) $22.95 336p
ISBN: 0765306298 (6 Jan 2004)
Unabridged Audio CD (11 CDs; 13 hours) $39.95
ISBN: 1559279540

Wowzers, a press packet, the hardcover AND the audio edition with "Robert Jordan has come to dominate the world Tolkien began to reveal. -- The New York Times" on the envelope! Tor's going all out to launch this trilogy. (Take note, Tor authors. Become a NYTimes #1 bestseller and you, too, may receive this treatment.) I welcome this one because 1) unlike Jordan's Wheel of Time books, this one is only 334 pages 2) it is a prequel so I don't have to worry about the ten other volumes which at around 800 pages each is a lifetime commitment. based on the novella that was in the LEGENDS antho. Trivia: Name at least two other Jordan pseudonyms. Trick question! "Robert Jordan" is a pseudonym for James Oliver Rigney Jr. He's also written under Reagan O'Neal, Jackson O'Reilly, Chang Lung, and maybe others. Not yet read/reviewed(26 Dec 2003)

COVER The Journal of Professor Abraham Van Helsing (Advance Uncorrected Proof)
Allen C Kupper
Forge (HC) $19.95 208p
ISBN: 0765310112 (Mar or Apr 2004)

"At last unearthed, the personal story of the greatest vampire hunter of all time in his own words." A tie-in with Van Helsing, the movie. Yes, but the movie has Hugh Jackman. Evidently a first novel.
Not yet read/reviewed(26 Dec 2003)

*Review copies may be sent to:
c/o Paula Guran
87 South Meadowcroft Drive
Akron OH 44313

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Copyright © 2004 by Paula Guran All Rights Reserved.