August #WhispersyncDeal roundup: Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence, Alex Bledsoe’s Wisp of a Thing, Marko Kloos, Alan Cumming, Tim Powers, and much more

August is almost over, which means it’s #WhispersyncDeal roundup time! Before I get to the regular Monthly Deals in Kindle Books and 50 Kindle Book Deals for $2 Each listings, and the huge list of titles in Audible’s “3 years of daily deals” sale, though, a completely separate deal headlines my picks this month:

Per Tor and Tor.com editor Marco Palmieri, Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence is moving from Tor Books to Tor.com Publishing, and the series-wide $4.99 sale continues through August. The bad news is that only books 1 and 2 (Three Parts Dead, actually just $3.99 in Kindle during the deal, and Two Serpents Rise, both fantastic) are in audio — yes, you’ve seen the other books in my “most missing” roundups ever since — but the good news is that both are Whispersync-enabled, with a $4.49 Audible add-on price tag. “A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart. Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot. Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith. When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts–and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival. Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.” Claudia Alick reads Three Parts Dead, and Chris Andrew Ciulla reads Two Serpents Rise.

Speaking of Tor Books, they’re also the publishers of Alex Bledsoe’s fantastic Tufa series, read in audio by the always superb Stefan Rudnicki. Book 2 of the series, Wisp of a Thing, is on sale for $2.99 this month, and for $3.99 more you can add the audiobook as well. “Alex Bledsoe’s The Hum and the Shiver was named one of the Best Fiction Books of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews. Now with Wisp of a Thing Bledsoe returns to the isolated ridges and hollows of the Smoky Mountains to spin an equally enchanting tale of music and magic older than the hills…. Touched by a very public tragedy, musician Rob Quillen comes to Cloud County, Tennessee, in search of a song that might ease his aching heart. All he knows of the mysterious and reclusive Tufa is what he has read on the internet: they are an enigmatic clan of swarthy, black-haired mountain people whose historical roots are lost in myth and controversy. Some people say that when the first white settlers came to the Appalachians centuries ago, they found the Tufa already there. Others hint that Tufa blood brings special gifts. Rob finds both music and mystery in the mountains. Close-lipped locals guard their secrets, even as Rob gets caught up in a subtle power struggle he can’t begin to comprehend. A vacationing wife goes missing, raising suspicions of foul play, and a strange feral girl runs wild in the woods, howling in the night like a lost spirit. Change is coming to Cloud County, and only the night wind knows what part Rob will play when the last leaf falls from the Widow’s Tree…and a timeless curse must be broken at last.” Note: Wisp of a Thing is a “very loose sequel” to The Hum and the Shiver, and the two books can be read standalone from each other.

 

The first four books of Marko Kloos’ Hugo Award nominated (and George R.R. Martin’s Alfie Award winning) military sf series Frontlines are $2 in Kindle this month, so if you still haven’t picked them up after the half-dozen times I’ve mentioned them here’s yet another chance, with the fantastic Luke Daniels audiobook editions a mere $1.99 upgrade once you have the Kindle editions. Really, don’t miss there, starting with Book 1, Terms of Enlistment — “The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you’re restricted to two thousand calories of badly flavored soy every day: You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service. With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. But as he starts a career of supposed privilege, he soon learns that the good food and decent health care come at a steep price…and that the settled galaxy holds far greater dangers than military bureaucrats or the gangs that rule the slums. The debut novel from Marko Kloos, Terms of Enlistment is a new addition to the great military sci-fi tradition of Robert Heinlein, Joe Haldeman, and John Scalzi.” Lines of DepartureAngles of Attack, and Chains of Command are books 2-4, with Book 5, Fields of Fire, due out in February 2017.

The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson, read by Mark Boyett for $2.99+$4.49 — Speaking of Hugo Award nominated science fiction, this is KJA’s first novel in a new saga set after the events in his Saga of Seven Suns: “Twenty years after the elemental conflict that nearly tore apart the cosmos in The Saga of Seven Suns, a new threat emerges from the darkness. The human race must set aside its own inner conflicts to rebuild their alliance with the Ildiran Empire for the survival of the galaxy.  In Kevin J. Anderson’s The Dark Between the Stars, galactic empires clash, elemental beings devastate whole planetary systems, and factions of humanity are pitted against each other. Heroes rise and enemies make their last stands in the climax of an epic tale seven years in the making.”

A Crucible of Souls: Book One of the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence by Mitchell Hogan, read by Oliver Wyman for $1.99+$1.99 — Wyman is one of my favorites (Pohl’s Gateway, VanderMeer’s Finch, on and on) and this is actually an updated recording from his narration, to match the re-issue of the book by Harper Voyager: “When Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, he is raised by monks and taught the arcane mysteries of sorcery. Vowing to discover for himself who his parents really were, and what led to their violent end, he is thrust into the unfamiliar chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to earn an apprenticeship with a guild of sorcerers. But he soon learns the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths. As a shadowed evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that brings the world to the edge of destruction.”

 

Golden Age (The Shifting Tides Book 1) by James Maxwell, read by Simon Vance for $1.99+$1.99 — Fantasy performed by the always superb Simon Vance will always get my attention: “The discovery of a strange and superior warship sends Dion, youngest son of the king of Xanthos, and Chloe, a Phalesian princess, on a journey across the sea, where they are confronted by a kingdom far more powerful than they could ever have imagined. But they also find a place in turmoil, for the ruthless sun king, Solon, is dying. In order to gain entrance to heaven, Solon is building a tomb – a pyramid clad in gold – and has scoured his own empire for gold until there’s no more to be found. Now Solon’s gaze turns to Chloe’s homeland, Phalesia, and its famous sacred ark, made of solid gold. The legends say it must never be opened, but Solon has no fear of foreigners’ legends or even their armies. And he isn’t afraid of the eldren, an ancient race of shape-shifters, long ago driven into the Wilds. For when he gets the gold, Solon knows he will live forever.”

The Red Sea (The Cycle of Galand Book 1) by Edward W. Robertson, read by Tim Gerard Reynolds for Podium Publishing for $1.99+$2.99 — What I just said about Simon Vance? Ditto about Tim Gerard Reynolds, here picking up a new series set in the world of Robertson’s The Cycle of Arawn: “When Dante Galand was just a boy, his father, Larsin, sailed away to make his fortune. And never returned. Since then, Dante has become a great sorcerer. A ruler. A destroyer of kings. And he’s just learned that his father is living on a forbidden island at the edge of the known world. Where he’s dying of a mysterious plague. In the company of his friend, the swordsman Blays, Dante travels to the island. There, his magic can do nothing for his father. As Dante and Blays quest for a cure – beset by strange beasts, angry spirits, and violent coastal raiders known as the Tauren – Dante falls sick, too. To save his father and himself, he’ll have to rediscover the island’s long-lost magic. But the hunt for its secrets leads Dante on a crash course with the Tauren – and island-wide civil war. And as he’s away, an old threat begins to move against his homeland. Set in a USA Today best-selling world, The Red Sea is the first in a trilogy of warfare, sorcery, and friendship through the darkest times.”

Macbeth: A Novel by A.J. Hartley and David Hewson, read by Alan Cumming for $0.99+$3.99 — “Macbeth: A Novel brings the intricacy and grit of the historical thriller to Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue, treachery, and murder. In this full-length novel written exclusively for audio, authors A. J. Hartley and David Hewson rethink literature’s most infamous married couple, grounding them in a medieval Scotland whose military and political upheavals are as stark and dramatic as the landscape on which they are played. Macbeth is a war hero and a patriot, doing everything in his power to hold together Duncan’s crumbling kingdom, which is beset by sedition from within and with threats from overseas. But when Duncan, contrary to ancient Scottish tradition, turns to building a family dynasty instead of rewarding those who have borne the brunt of the fighting, Macbeth and his powerful wife, Skena, make plans of their own, plans designed to hold both the nation and their strained relationship together. Sinister figures who claim supernatural knowledge spur them on, but the terrible outcome is as much about accident and failure as it is malevolence. Soon Macbeth and his wife find themselves preeminent in all the land, but struggling to hold themselves and their country together as former friends turn into bitter and deadly enemies. This is Macbeth as you have not heard it before: fresh, edgy, and vital. It is a story of valor in battle, whispering in shadows, witchcraft in the hollows of an ancient landscape, and the desperate struggle of flawed people to do what they think is right.”

AND: There’s quite a few more titles we’ve seen quite a few months before, including: The Palace Job (Rogues of the Republic) by Patrick Weekes, The Dragon’s Egg by David A. Wells, The Terminal War by A.C. Hadfield, Heirs of Empire by Evan Currie, and both The Banished of Muirwood and The Queen’s Poisoner by Jeff Wheeling.

New Adult: The Vanishing Girl and The Decaying Empire by Laura Thalassa, read by Rachel Vivette for $1.99+$1.99 each, filed under “new adult” rather than “young adult” due to this notice from the publisher: “Due to language, violence, and sexual situations, this new adult book is recommended for mature audiences.” Here’s the setup: “Each night after Ember Pierce falls asleep, she disappears. She can teleport anywhere in the world: London, Paris, her crush’s bedroom, or wherever her dreams lead her. Ten minutes is all she gets, and once time’s up, she returns to her bed. It’s a secret she’s successfully kept for the last five years. But now someone knows. A week after her eighteenth birthday, when frustratingly handsome Caden Hawthorne kidnaps her, delivers her to the government, and then disappears before her eyes, Ember realizes two things: One, she is not alone. And two, people like her – teleporters – are being used as weapons. Forced into a quasi-military training camp for teleporters, Ember discovers she has been paired – perhaps for life – with Caden, the boy who got her into this mess in the first place. Now, she has to work with him on a series of teleporting missions, each one riskier than the last. But Caden just might hold the key to Ember’s escape plan, if she can survive her missions without losing her heart…or her life.”

Teen: Nice Dragons Finish Last and One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron, read by Vikas Adam for $1.99+$1.99 each are the first two books in Aaron’s Heartstrikers series; Nice Dragons Finish Last won the Audie Award for Fantasy in 2016: “As the smallest dragon in the Heartstriker clan, Julius survives by a simple code: keep quiet, don’t cause trouble, and stay out of the way of bigger dragons. But this meek behavior doesn’t fly in a family of ambitious magical predators, and his mother, Bethesda the Heartstriker, has finally reached the end of her patience. Now, sealed in human form and banished to the DFZ – a vertical metropolis built on the ruins of Old Detroit – Julius has one month to prove he can be a ruthless dragon or kiss his true shape goodbye forever. But in a city of modern mages and vengeful spirits where dragons are considered monsters to be exterminated, he’s going to need some serious help to survive this test. He only hopes humans are more trustworthy than dragons….”

Teen: The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde, read by Elizabeth Jasicki for $2.99+$3.99 — “In the good old days, magic was indispensable – it could both save a kingdom and clear a clogged drain. But now magic is fading: drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians – but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam – and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as . . . Big Magic.”

Kids: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers, read by Sophie Thompson for $2.99+$3.49 — “Here is the timeless story of Mary Poppins, the world’s favorite nanny, and her magical adventures with the Banks family. Mary Poppins is like no other nanny the Banks children have ever seen. It all starts when their new nanny is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep of the Banks house, carrying a parrot-headed umbrella and a magic carpetbag. She becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane, Michael, and the twins. Who else but Mary Poppins can slide up banisters, pull an entire armchair out of an empty carpetbag, and make a dose of medicine taste like delicious lime-juice cordial? A day with Mary Poppins is a day of magic and make-believe come to life!”

Thriller: The Night Crew by Brian Haig, read by Christopher Lane for $2+$1.99 — “Lieutenant Colonel Sean Drummond, a cocky US Army lawyer who’s not afraid to be blunt, finds himself up to his neck in a case he didn’t ask to take. Five US soldiers, tasked with guarding Iraqi prisoners, stand accused of committing depraved atrocities against their charges. Drummond is assigned to defend one of them: a hardscrabble young woman who is either incredibly naive or deceptively evil…and whose incriminating photos made the case an international scandal. Drummond and his cocounsel, the fiercely antiwar Katherine Carlson, have a complicated and combative history, but they can’t afford to get distracted now. They must determine what drove five young patriots to fall so far to the dark side of human nature. As Drummond uncovers evidence that his client has been used as a pawn in a secret strategy involving torture, he realizes that he’s caught up in a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of government. Breaking down the US military’s formidable stonewalling could destabilize the government and put his life at risk—but Drummond’s not the type to back away from a good fight.”

Historical: Certainty by Victor Bevine, read by the author for $2+$1.99 — “When you’re fighting an injustice, can it be wrong to do what’s right? Inspired by the scandalous true story that shocked a nation at the close of WWI. With America’s entry into World War I, the population of Newport, Rhode Island, seems to double overnight as twenty-five thousand rowdy recruits descend on the Naval Training Station. Drinking, prostitution, and other depravities follow the sailors, transforming the upscale town into what many residents—including young lawyer William Bartlett, whose genteel family has lived in Newport for generations—consider to be a moral cesspool. When sailors accuse a beloved local clergyman of sexual impropriety, William feels compelled to fight back. He agrees to defend the minister against the shocking allegations, in the face of dire personal and professional consequences. But when the trial grows increasingly sensational, and when outrageous revelations echo all the way from Newport to the federal government, William must confront more than just the truth—he must confront the very nature of good and evil. Certainty recalls a war-torn era when the line between right and wrong became dangerously blurred.”


All right, that’s the main Whispersync deal roundup, though there are a few more at the end of this month’s post. Before I get to those, however, there’s also Audible’s “3 years of daily deals” sale, also going through the end of the month. Here’s what most catches my eye, and, goodness, it’s a long list, so it’s just a big cover gallery this time:

Life of Pi | Yann Martel The Road | Cormac McCarthy The Handmaid's Tale | Margaret Atwood Timebound | Rysa Walker
Call of Cthulhu and Other Stories | H. P. Lovecraft The Accidental Alchemist | Gigi Pandian The Crown Tower: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 1 | Michael J. Sullivan Six of Crows | Leigh Bardugo
Childhood's End | Arthur C. Clarke Calculating God | Robert J. Sawyer Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel | A. J. Hartley,David Hewson Brilliance | Marcus Sakey
Flowers for Algernon | Daniel Keyes The Android's Dream | John Scalzi Breakfast of Champions | Kurt Vonnegut Mycroft Holmes | Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,Anna Waterhouse
The Narrow Road to the Deep North | Richard Flanagan The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul | Douglas Adams Trust No One: X-Files, Book 1 | Jonathan Maberry - editor/author Hidden Empire: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 1 | Kevin J. Anderson
V for Vendetta | Alan Moore Nightwise | R. S. Belcher Bull Mountain | Brian Panowich The Good House | Tananarive Due
Angelmaker | Nick Harkaway Orphans of the Sky | Robert A. Heinlein The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries | The Great Courses,Neil deGrasse Tyson The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian | Sherman Alexie

Whew! There’s over 200 titles in the full sale, but if your tastes at all coincide with mine, here’s what is most worth checking out.


Lastly, finally a few “random” Whispersync-enabled Kindle titles I stumbled across this month, including a World Fantasy Award winning novel (and fantastic audiobook) that’s still on sale as of this writing:

Last Call: A Novel by Tim Powers, read by Bronson Pinchot for $0.99+$3.49 — “Enchantingly dark and compellingly real, the World Fantasy Award-winning novel Last Call is a masterpiece of magic realism from critically acclaimed author Tim Powers. Set in the gritty, dazzling underworld known as Las Vegas, Last Call tells the story of a one-eyed professional gambler who discovers that he was not the big winner in a long-ago poker game . . . and now must play for the highest stakes ever as he searches for a way to win back his soul.”

CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh, read by Michael Burnette for $2.99+$1.99 — “To pilot the fleet’s finest ship… Few options remain for Byron. A talented but stubborn young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude, his cockpit skills are his only hope. Slated to train as a Cosbolt fighter pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life as he sets off for the moon base of Guaard. Much to Byron’s chagrin, the toughest instructor in the fleet takes notice of the young pilot. Haunted by a past tragedy, Bassa eventually sees through Byron’s tough exterior and insolence. When a secret talent is revealed during training, Bassa feels compelled to help Byron achieve his full potential. As war brews on the edge of space, time is running short. Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive, and Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit?”

Salvage Trouble: Mission 1 by J.S. Morin, read by Mikael Naramore for $3.99+$1.99 — “Science to build a starship. Wizardry to take it past light speed. A crew to give it a soul. In the year 2254 gravity was officially declared to be magic; the scientists gave up trying to figure it out and handed it over to the wizards. Without the inherent respect for the laws of physics, the wizards poked and prodded at gravity, poring over all that science knew about the attraction of one object to the next, and dismissed it as poppycock. They discovered ways around the tired, old limits and gave birth to the first true starships. Some enlightened journalist, covering the maiden voyage of the Impossible, noted that the ship was shaped like a hand giving the middle finger to science. The dreams of children came alive, and humanity expanded into the cosmos, unlocking the secrets of the galaxy. Who could have foreseen that 300 years later, a down-on-his-luck captain would be answering distress calls, hoping to arrive in time to get first pick of the salvage? A routine salvage job turns into a rescue mission, and a good deed never goes unpunished. With two refugees aboard, Captain Carl Ramsey finds that his ship, the Mobius, has a target painted on its hull. Someone is after the new passengers and willing to stop at nothing to get them back. With his ex-wife as pilot, a drunken mechanic, a predatory bodyguard, and an outcast wizard from the Convocation, what’s a captain to do? Just get paid for the job and try to keep everyone alive. That’s all you can ever ask, really.”

This entry was posted in Whispersync Deals and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.