October Whispersync Deal Roundup: Octavia Butler's Kindred, Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising, Jenni Fagan's The Panopticon, Tim Pratt's Heirs of Grace, James Blaylock's The Affair of the Chalk Cliffs, and more (UPDATED!)

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October Whispersync Deal Roundup: Octavia Butler's Kindred, Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising, Jenni Fagan's The Panopticon, Tim Pratt's Heirs of Grace, James Blaylock's The Affair of the Chalk Cliffs, and more (UPDATED!)

Posted on 2014-10-02 at 14:22 by Sam

October is here, and so a new crop of monthly e-book deals are live. While quite a lot of the September roundup remains live as well (outside of the specifically monthly price drops) here’s what’s new:

NOTE: Updated on Tuesday Oct 7 with a pile of new listings! And again on Oct 15!

Kindred | [Octavia E. Butler] The Dark Is Rising: Book 2 of The Dark Is Rising Sequence | [Susan Cooper]

Octavia Butler’s Kindred ($2.09+$3.49) — Narrated by Kim Staunton for Recorded Books, this is one of the all-time-great novels of any genre in my opinion, and a fantastic audiobook: “The first science-fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of African-American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother. Author Octavia E. Butler skilfully juxtaposes the serious issues of slavery, human rights, and racial prejudice with an exciting science-fiction, romance, and historical adventure. Kim Staunton’s narrative talent magically transforms the listener’s earphones into an audio time machine.”

Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising ($1.99+$3.99) — Narrated by Alex Jennings, this is book 2 in Cooper’s award-winning middle grade fantasy series “The Dark is Rising”, which goes on to include one of my favorite, multiply-re-read books from childhood, “The Grey King”. Here: “On the Midwinter Day that is his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers a special gift: he is the last of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to keeping the world from domination by the forces of evil, the Dark. At once, he is plunged into a quest for the six magical Signs that will one day aid the Old Ones in the final battle between the Dark and the Light. And for the twelve days of Christmas, while the Dark is rising, life for Will is full of wonder, terror, and delight. This book is a rare act of creative imagination in which the listener will be equally moved by the warm happy village life Will shares with his large family and the nearly overwhelming danger he encounters, often in other centuries and places, while he seeks the Signs and learns their power. Interweaving ancient Celtic and English traditions with the legends of the Buckinghamshire hills and valleys where she grew up, Susan Cooper has written a superlative dramatic fantasy of the eternal conflict between good and evil out of which all myth is made.”

The Panopticon | [Jenni Fagan] Heirs of Grace | [Tim Pratt]

Jenni Fagan’s The Panopticon: A Novel ($3.99+$3.99) — Narrated by Gayle Madine, this is the 2012 first novel from one of Granta’s “best young writers”.  Here: “Anais Hendricks, 15, is in the back of a police car, headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can’t remember the events that led her here, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and there is blood on Anais’ school uniform. Smart, funny, and fierce, Anais is a counter-culture outlaw, a bohemian philosopher in sailor shorts and a pillbox hat. She is also a child, who has been let down, or worse, by just about every adult she has ever met. The residents of the Panopticon form intense bonds, heightened by their place on the periphery, and Anais finds herself part of an ad hoc family there. Much more suspicious are the social workers, especially Helen, who is about to leave her job for an elephant sanctuary in India but is determined to force Anais to confront the circumstances of her birth before she goes. Looking up at the watchtower that looms over the residents, Anais knows her fate: She is part of an experiment, she always was, it’s a given, a liberty - a fact. And the experiment is closing in. In language dazzling, energetic, and pure, The Panopticon introduces us to a heart-breaking young heroine and an incredibly assured and outstanding new voice in fiction.”

Tim Pratt’s Heirs of Grace ($2.00+$1.99) — Narrated by Leslie Hull, and yeah, it was in the list last month, too, but now it’s even cheaper. This is Pratt’s originally serialized contemporary fantasy, at about as cheap as possible: “Recent art school graduate Bekah thought she’d hit the jackpot: an unknown relative died, and she inherited a small fortune and a huge house in the mountains of North Carolina. Trey Howard, the lawyer who handled the estate, is a handsome man in his 20s and they hit it off right away - and soon become more than friends. Bekah expected a pleasant year to get her head together and have a romantic fling. Problem is, the house is full of junk…and siblings she didn’t know she had are willing to kill her for it. More important, the junk in her new house is magical, she’s surrounded by monsters, and her life seems to be in mortal peril every time she ventures into a new room. As Bekah discovers more about her mysterious benefactor and the magical world he inhabited, she’s realizes that as tough and resourceful as she is, she might just be in over her head… Heirs of Grace is a tale of family and magic, action and wonder, blending the strong heroine, cheeky humor, and dark fantasy that have become the hallmarks of Tim Pratt’s writing.”

Against the Light | Dave Duncan The Wretched of Muirwood: Legends of Muirwood, Book 1 | Jeff Wheeler Angelfall: Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1 | Susan Ee

Dave Duncan’s Against the Light ($1.99+$1.99) — Narrated by the fantastic Ralph Lister: “The Hierarchy, high priests of the religious order the Light, rules both the magical kingdom of Albi and its religion. Worshippers in the old ways of the Earth Mother, clandestinely scattered throughout the land, are persecuted as heretics. And when missionary student Rollo Woodbridge returns to his home in Albi, he is arrested for heresy and treason, setting off a chain of events that puts everyone’s life in jeopardy and plunges the kingdom into chaos.”

Jeff Wheeler’s The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood Book 1) ($1.99+$1.99) — Narrated by Kate Rudd, further books in the series are also included in this month’s sale listings: “The Wretched of Muirwood, the opening novel in the Muirwood Trilogy, is the tale of the orphan Lia - who is part of a pariah caste known only as the “wretched”, a people unloved, unwanted, and destined to a life of servitude. Forbidden to read or write, and forced to slave away in the Abbey kitchen, Lia is all but resigned to her fate. But when an injured squire named Colvin is abandoned at the Abbey kitchen, opportunity arises, and Lia conspires to hide Colvin and change her life forever.”

Susan Ee’s Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days Book 1) ($1.99+$1.99) — Narrated by Caitlin Davis: “It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her 17-year-old sister, Penryn, will do anything to get her back. Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel. Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl. Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival.”

Succubus Blues: Georgina Kincaid, Book 1 | Richelle Mead Forging Zero: The Legend of ZERO | Sara King Wynne's War | Aaron Gwyn

Richelle Mead’s Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid Book 1) ($1.99+$3.49) — “Succubus (n.) An alluring, shape-shifting demon who seduces and pleasures mortal men. Pathetic (adj.) A succubus with great shoes and no social life. See: Georgina Kincaid. When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical? But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid’s life is far less exotic.”

Sarah King’s Forging Zero (The Legend of ZERO Book 1) ($1.99+$1.99) — “The oldest of the children drafted from humanity’s devastated planet, Joe is impressed into service by the alien Congressional Ground Force - and becomes the unwitting centerpiece in a millennia-long alien struggle for independence. Once his training begins, one of the elusive and prophetic Trith appears to give Joe a spine chilling prophecy that the universe has been anticipating for millions of years: Joe will be the one to finally shatter the vast alien government known as Congress. And the Trith cannot lie…but first Joe has to make it through bootcamp.”

Finally a contemporary fiction of the war in Afghanistan, Wynne’s War (Eamon Dolan) by Aaron Gwyn ($2.99+$3.99) — Narrated by Michael Kramer for Blackstone Audio: “When Corporal Elijah Russell’s superb horsemanship is revealed during a firefight in northern Iraq, the young Army Ranger is assigned to an elite Special Forces unit preparing to stage a secret mission in eastern Afghanistan. Elijah’s task is to train the Green Berets - fiercely loyal to their enigmatic commander, Captain Wynne - to ride the horses they will use to execute this mission through treacherous mountain terrain. But as the team presses farther into enemy territory, the nature of their operation only becomes more mysterious, and Wynne’s charismatic power takes on a darker cast.”

The Affair of the Chalk Cliffs: A Langdon St. Ives Novella | [James P. Blaylock] Zeuglodon | [James P Blaylock]

Outside of the “official” Amazon Kindle deals, I also stumbled onto a couple of Subterranean Press titles by James Blaylock that fall into the “Whispersync Deal” rubric: The Affair of the Chalk Cliffs ($2.99+$1.99) and Zeuglodon ($6.99+$1.99).

Bitterwood: Dragon Age, Book 1 | [James Maxey]

Lastly, though, again yes, this was on last month’s list as well,  James Maxey’s Bitterwood (Bitterwood Trilogy Book 1) is currently still free on Kindle, with a $1.99 Whispersync-for-Voice upgrade to the Dave Thompson-narrated audiobook. Like I’m not going to include a good book by a friend, read by a friend, whenever possible? Enjoy!

UPDATE 10/7: Going through SFSignal’s monthly ebook sale listings, here’s another big crop of Whispersync deals to check out:

UPDATE 10/13: Via The Orbital Drop one more very fantastic title to add to the October listings: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms: Inheritance Trilogy, Book 1 | [N. K. Jemisin]

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy Book 1) by N.K. Jemisin, read by Casaundra Freeman for Brilliance Audio, for $1.99+$3.49 — “Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.” Winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel and nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards.

UPDATE 10/15: Via SFSignal’s list of more ebook titles on sale here are two more Whispersync Deals to pass along:

Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters | [Larry Correia, Peter Clines, Timothy W. Long, Howard Andrew Jones, Peter Rawlik, James Swallow, C. L. Werner, James Maxey] Love in the Time of Global Warming | [Francesca Lia Block]

Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters for $5.99+$1.99

Love in the Time of Global Warming for $2.99+$3.99

UPDATE 10/16: Via a 30 Kindle Books for $3 Each special through Nov 15 even more titles:

Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders | [Richard Ellis Preston] Macbeth: A Novel | [A. J. Hartley, David Hewson]

Dead Spots (A Scarlett Bernard Novel Book 1) by Melissa F. Orton for $3+$1.99

Deviants (The Dust Chronicles Book 1) by Maureen McGowan for $3+$1.99

Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders (The Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin Book 1) and Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War (The Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin Book 2) by Richard Ellis Preston Jr. for $4+$1.99 each

Macbeth: A Novel by A.J. Hartley and David Hewson, read by Alan Cumming for $3+$4.99

Covenant by John Everson for $3+$2.99

Posted in Whispersync Deals | Tagged james blaylock, kindred, octavia butler, susan cooper, the dark is rising, tim pratt