Books I’m Eyeing

Books I’m Eyeing is a (hopefully) weekly series wherein I show you the books that have intrigued me, and the blogs and reviews we can all blame that on. My goal is to make my library hate me because of all the holds I have placed. This feature will show you just how I’m accomplishing that.

This week’s will be a hodgepodge of Twitter recommendations, blog recommendations, and books I want to read based on the fact that they were nominated for various awards. It’s a long one.

Do any of these books interest you? Or are there some that I’ve missed but should check out? Let me know!


The Grim Company – Luke Scull

Discovery blamed on: Mark Lawrence and Sam Sykes

About the Book

This is a world dying.

A world where wild magic leaks from the corpses of rotting gods, desperate tyrants battle over fading resources, impassive shapeshifters marshal beasts of enormous size and startling intelligence, and ravenous demons infest the northern mountains. A world where the only difference between a hero and a killer lies in the ability to justify dark deeds.

But even in this world, pockets of resistance remain. When two aging warriors save the life of a young rebel, it proves the foundation for an unlikely fellowship. A fellowship united against tyranny, yet composed of self-righteous outlaws, crippled turncoats and amoral mercenaries.




The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde

Discovery blamed on: A Fantastical Librarian

About the Book

Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë’s novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.






Greatshadow – James Maxey

Discover blamed on: The Founding Fields

About the Book

Greatshadow is the primal dragon of fire, an elemental evil whose malign intelligence spies upon mankind through every candle flame, waiting to devour any careless victim he can claim.

The Church of the Book has assembled a team of twelve battle-hardened adventurers to slay the dragon once and for all. But tensions run high between the leaders of the team who view the mission as a holy duty and the super-powered mercenaries who add power to their ranks, who view the mission primarily as a chance to claim Greatshadow’s vast treasure trove. If the warriors fail to slay the beast, will they doom mankind to death by fire?






The Adjacent – Christopher Priest

Discovery blamed on: The Speculative Scotsman

About the Book

Tibor Tarent, a freelance photographer, is recalled to Britain from Anatolia where his wife Melanie has been killed by insurgent militia. IRGB is a nation living in the aftermath of a bizarre and terrifying terrorist atrocity – hundreds of thousands were wiped out when a vast triangle of west London was instantly annihilated. The authorities think the terrorist attack and the death of Tarent’s wife are somehow connected.

A century earlier, a stage magician is sent to the Western Front on a secret mission to render British reconnaissance aircraft invisible to the enemy. On his journey to the trenches he meets the visionary who believes that this will be the war to end all wars.

In 1943, a woman pilot from Poland tells a young RAF technician of her escape from the Nazis, and her desperate need to return home.

In the present day, a theoretical physicist stands in his English garden and creates the first adjacency.

THE ADJACENT is a novel where nothing is quite as it seems. Where fiction and history intersect, where every version of reality is suspect, where truth and falsehood lie closely adjacent to one another.

It shows why Christopher Priest is one of our greatest writers.


Tomorrow the Killing – Daniel Polansky

Discovery blamed on: The fact that I realized I reviewed the first book (Low Town) and never read the second.

About the Book

Once he was a hero of the Great War, and then a member of the dreaded Black House. Now he is the criminal linchpin of Low Town.

His name is Warden.

He thought he had left the war behind him, but a summons from up above brings the past sharply, uncomfortably, back into focus. General Montgomery’s daughter is missing somewhere in Low Town, searching for clues about her brother’s murder. The General wants her found, before the stinking streets can lay claim to her, too.




Some Kind of Fairy Tale – Graham Joyce

Discovery blamed on: It’s nomination for the World Fantasy Award

About the Book

It is Christmas afternoon and Peter Martin gets an unexpected phonecall from his parents, asking him to come round. It pulls him away from his wife and children and into a bewildering mystery.

He arrives at his parents house and discovers that they have a visitor. His sister Tara. Not so unusual you might think, this is Christmas after all, a time when families get together. But twenty years ago Tara took a walk into the woods and never came back and as the years have gone by with no word from her the family have, unspoken, assumed that she was dead. Now she’s back, tired, dirty, dishevelled, but happy and full of stories about twenty years spent travelling the world, an epic odyssey taken on a whim.

But her stories don’t quite hang together and once she has cleaned herself up and got some sleep it becomes apparent that the intervening years have been very kind to Tara. She really does look no different from the young woman who walked out the door twenty years ago. Peter’s parents are just delighted to have their little girl back, but Peter and his best friend Richie, Tara’s one time boyfriend, are not so sure. Tara seems happy enough but there is something about her. A haunted, otherworldly quality. Some would say it’s as if she’s off with the fairies. And as the months go by Peter begins to suspect that the woods around their homes are not finished with Tara and his family.


Crandolin – Anna Tambour

Discovery blamed on: Its nomination for the World Fantasy Award 

About the Book

In a medieval cookbook in a special-collections library, near-future London, jaded food and drink authority Nick Kippax finds an alluring stain next to a recipe for the mythical crandolin. He tastes it, ravishing the page. Then he disappears.

So begins an adwentour that quantum-leapfrogs time, place, singularities, and Quests – from the secrets of confectionery to the agonies of making a truly great moustache, from maidens in towers to tiffs between cosmic forces. Food, music, science, fruitloopery, superstition, railways, bladder-pipes and birth-marked Soviet statesmen; all are present in an extraordinary novel that is truly for the adwentoursomme.





Alif the Unseen – G. Willow Wilson

Discovery blamed on: Its nomination for the World Fantasy Award.

About the Book

In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients—dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups—from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif—the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, and a convenient handle to hide behind. The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the State’s electronic security force, putting his clients and his own neck on the line. Then it turns out his lover’s new fiancé is the head of State security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground. When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen. With shades of Neal Stephenson, Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, andThe Thousand and One NightsAlif the Unseen is a tour de force debut—a sophisticated melting pot of ideas, philosophy, religion, technology and spirituality smuggled inside an irresistible page-turner.


The Drowning Girl – Caitlín R. Kiernan

Discovery blamed on: Its nomination for the World Fantasy Award.

About the Book

India Morgan Phelps — Imp to her friends — is schizophrenic. Struggling with her perceptions of reality, Imp must uncover the truth about her encounters with creatures out of myth — or from something far, far stranger…








Stormdancer – Jay Kristoff

Discovery blamed on: Being nominated for the Gemmell Award

About the Book

Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task.

But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she’s determined to do something about it.

Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?


11 Responses

  • Some Kind of Fairy Tale was one of my favorite novels last year. A lot on hear I haven’t heard of. i may need to add these to my huge pile of books that need to be read. I actually have been looking for some good fantasy recently, since it probably is the genre I read the least.

    • Some Kind of Fary Tale looks great. It looks like the odd kind of fantasy/real life tale that I really, really tend to enjoy.

  • I didn’t cotton to Greatshadow myself

    Grim Skull looks interesting though.

    • I actually got The Grim Company in the mail yesterday and started reading it. I’m enjoying it so far.

      As for Greatshadow, I almost took it off the list but I was tired and forgot. That’s okay. I might try to read it anyway despite the copious amounts of people telling me to run away from it.

  • The Eyre Affair is a definite must – very enjoyable, though also a very ‘English’ novel. The only one I’m even remotely interested in is The Adjacent, but then that is because I much prefer my sci-fi to fantasy. I have, however, heard good things about The Grim Company, not so good about Stormdancer…

  • STORMDANCER has been panned so harshly by some of my favorite critics, and so I’ll be interested in hearing what you have to say about it when/if you read it.

    • I will read it. Whenever I get told that a book is bad by this many people it pretty much insures that I’m going to read it, probably sooner rather than later.

  • Stormdancer is one that I plan to read but don’t have great expectations of. I’ve read many reviews that say it’s an awesome and creative book, but from what I’ve heard from more critical reviews, and by browsing through pages in the bookstore, it frequently butchers the Japanese language, and I know in advance that going to make me cringe when I do finally get around to reading it. I suppose it’s just a matter of finding out whether or not the story itself is good enough to override my distaste at the language abuse.

    Alif the Unseen is also one that’s on my own TBR pile. Haven’t seen too many reviews for it, but the ones I have seen seem largely full of praise, and the premise sounds interesting enough to keep me reading once I start it.

    • Alif the Unseen seems like an incredible book. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

      As for Stormdancer, I wouldn’t know Japanese if it slapped me in the face, so if language is the only issue, that won’t even phase me….

  • Benjamin

    I’ve read The Adjacent and Alif the Unseen and both were excellent.

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