NEW MONTH, NEW NOVELS!
April is over and May has just begun, so it’s time for us to look at some of the new novels coming out this month! We’ve done our research and picked out a few that jumped out at us. We hope you’ll find them to be interesting too!
“In the very near future, a devastating Ebola-like pandemic has struck the world, but for the 1% in New York City it’s an excuse for even more twisted behavior.
Taylor Antrim delivers a thrilling new novel that combines the best of dystopian fiction with a sharp-eyed exploration of class and wealth in the world’s capital. In this fast-paced paranoid, near-future New York City, we meet Catherine, a broke socialite who is getting sick. Desperate, she takes a job with a luxury concierge service that fulfils the most outlandish desires of the ultra-rich—even if that means hunting down the 99%.
As the hidden agendas of her employer and his shadowy clients emerge, Catherine realizes things are not remotely as they appear and she finds herself a pawn of mega-corporations and government agents all eager to profit from the cure embedded inside of her.”
You know, we don’t think many people looked at a news report on Ebola and found inspiration for a novel in that. Props to Taylor for thinking outside of the box…we suppose.
We weren’t sure why at first, but this novel reminded us of the movie The Purge. We narrowed it down, though. In part it’s because of the whole 99% vs the 1% theme the novel appears to be going for. Much like in The Purge, this seems based on the strange idea that anyone with more money or a better career than most people is immediately an immoral dick.
Mainly, though, it’s the novel’s implied intent of delivering a social commentary. We’re kind of wondering if we even need to read the book. The commentary seems pretty clear. “Screw rich people.” The Purge was also meant to be a commentary and, while it didn’t have the same message, the 1% didn’t really come out of that one looking great either but the movie was hindered by two things.
The first was that it was so busy making a point about ‘where the world is going’ that it forgot that this was in no way the case and that their scenario was bullshit.
The second is of course the fact that The Purge was written by raging morons.
Anyway, let’s get back to the novel itself. Catherine has lot of potential of becoming a likeable and relatable character. Maybe not at first due to her socialite status, but illness and poverty are bound to change her. Hopefully for the better. Interestingly enough the summary describes her both as being ill and as holding a cure, so it might be interesting to see how that works out.
Also, we’re not entirely sure if ‘The capital of the world’ is supposed to refer to the New York in the novel or the New York in reality. We sincerely hope they meant the novel but…Well…This was written by an American.
Taylor Antrim has written for a number of magazines and he has had one other novel published, titled ‘The Headmaster Ritual.’ Currently he is the senior editor at vogue. While his first novel’s setting is rather different, he is working with similar themes here. Whether this is a good thing is up for debate, as the response to his first novel was mediocre at best.
Dreams of Shreds and Tatters
“Lovecraftian urban fantasy, but it’s Lovecraft with all the worst excesses taken out. Beautifully written and brilliantly paced.
When Liz Drake’s best friend vanishes, nothing can stop her nightmares. Driven by the certainty he needs her help, she crosses a continent to search for him.
She finds Blake comatose in a Vancouver hospital, victim of a mysterious accident that claimed his lover’s life–in her dreams he drowns. Blake’s new circle of artists and mystics draws her in, but all of them are lying or keeping dangerous secrets. Soon nightmare creatures stalk the waking city, and Liz can’t fight a dream from the daylight world: to rescue Blake she must brave the darkest depths of the dreamlands. Even the attempt could kill her, or leave her mind trapped or broken.
And if she succeeds, she must face the monstrous Yellow King, whose slave Blake is on the verge of becoming forever.”
There’s a great deal of good Lovecraftian stories out there. It’s a testament to the man’s influence on the genre. To claim that your story is like Lovecraft, but without the worst parts, is fairly arrogant.
That’s not to say this plot doesn’t seem interesting. We don’t know too much about Liz or the exact circumstances yet, but this plot does have a lot of potential for existential horror. We just hope the monsters aren’t too eager for attention and the story lets the atmosphere build the tension.
With three published novels to her name Amanda Downum isn’t exactly new to the genre. We do have to wonder about a person who refers to herself as a ‘purveyor of Lovecraftian romance.’ That just sounds bad no matter how you look at it.
“The Spear of Lugh, one of the four Kingly Hallows of Ireland is in Chicago. And everyone, everyone wants it, for it is said that he who carries the spear into battle cannot be defeated. Among those who seek it are an agent of the infamous Wild Hunt; a mobster who knows far more about these things than he should; and of course both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts – the last people PI Mick Oberon would want getting hold of the spear…”
On the one hand this seems like it’ll be full of dumb clichés, but on the other the combination of what feels like an old detective story and high fantasy elements seems interesting.
This seems like it’ll be an interesting look at certain aspects of Celtic mythology. More importantly, we want to know if and how knowledge of these things helped the mobster mentioned in the summary. There’s potential for an interesting villain there. In fact, the main character seems to be the least interesting thing mentioned in the summary.
Hopefully getting to know the character through the story will prove us wrong on that.
Ari Marmell’s background is interesting. He has a few published novels to his name, but it appears the bulk of his writing was done for tabletop roleplaying games. Granted that’s no reason to drop everything and start reading his work, but it does mean he’s got a fair bit of experience in writing fantasy novels.
While this novel could still be so clichéd it’s funny, we have high hopes for it.
So, what did you think? Were these better or worse than the novels we picked out last month? Let us know in the comments below!