December Whispersync Deal Roundup: Hurley, Jemisin, Walton, Rothfuss, Lawrence, Lynch, Sanderson, and much more

I keep putting off compiling the December Whispersync Deal roundup, but (1) a good chunk of titles are only on sale through Dec 14 and (2) I already missed passing along both that Andy Weir’s The Martian was on sale for $3 and that Rachel Aaron’s The Spirit Thief was on sale as well as John Shirley’s Everything is Broken, on and on… and since I’ve no idea when/if some of this deals will disappear, I had better get on it! In that frame of mind, first up here’s some deals on some fantastic, highly-recommended titles where I just don’t know when they’ll return to their regular prices: (UPDATE DEC 5: To include the new crop of Big Deal titles which are on sale through Dec 21.)

God’s War: Bel Dame Apocrypha, Book 1 | [Kameron Hurley] The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms: Inheritance Trilogy, Book 1 | [N. K. Jemisin]

Kameron Hurley’s God’s War (Bel Dame Apocrypha, Book 1) for $1.99+$3.99 — OMGWTFBBQ is basically the Twitterverse reaction to the Kindle price drop on the first book of Hurley’s Arthur C. Clarke and Nebula Award nominated Bel Dame Apocrypha series. I first heard of Hurley via Jeff VanderMeer’s 2011 year-end roundup for Locus, where he described the “bug-based tech/magic” and “muscular prose” of the book, and I’ve had this on my daily watch list for just this who-kn0ws-who-screwed-up price break. Read by Emily Bauer for Audible: “Nyx had already been to hell. One prayer more or less wouldn’t make any difference… On a ravaged, contaminated world, a centuries-old holy war rages, fought by a bloody mix of mercenaries, magicians, and conscripted soldiers. Though the origins of the war are shady and complex, there’s one thing everybody agrees on – there’s not a chance in hell of ending it. Nyx is a former government assassin who makes a living cutting off heads for cash. But when a dubious deal between her government and an alien gene pirate goes bad, Nyx’s ugly past makes her the top pick for a covert recovery. The head they want her to bring home could end the war–but at what price? The world is about to find out.”

A year earlier, the eye-opening fantasy debut everyone was talking about and nominating for awards – and which I perhaps predictably learned about via VanderMeer’s year’s best roundup for Locus that year — was N.K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy Book 1) and it’s also on sale, for $1.99+$3.49 read by Casaundra Freeman for Brilliance Audio: “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.” (For completists, do check out VanderMeer’s list from 2009 also. Just saying.)

Among Others | [Jo Walton] Outlander | [Diana Gabaldon]

Jo Walton’s Among Others won both the 2011 Nebula and the 2012 Hugo Award for best novel, among other accolades, and is a fantastic audiobook as well read by Katherine Kellgren for Audible, on sale for $2.99+$3.95. “Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment. Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science-fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled – and her twin sister dead.”

Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander: A Novel (Outlander, Book 1) for $2.99+$3.99 begins Gabaldon’s long-running #1 NY Times bestselling series, now the basis of a STARZ television series as well. “The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743. Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.” Read by Davina Porter for Recorded Books.

The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1 | [Patrick Rothfuss] Prince of Thorns | [Mark Lawrence]

The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One by Patrick Rothfuss (DAW) for $4.99+$3.99 read by Nick Podehl for Brilliance Audio: “‘My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I have burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during the day. I have talked to God’s, loved women and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.’ So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature – the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.”

Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire Book 1) by Mark Lawrence (Ace) for $4.59+$3.99 read by James Clamp for Recorded Books: “Author Mark Lawrence has won over audiences everywhere with Prince of Thorns, his exciting debut novel. Nine-year-old Prince Jorg is forced to watch as his mother and brother are slaughtered. Fleeing the palace, Jorg joins a bloodthirsty band of thugs. But he’s determined to take back what’s rightfully his, so he returns to the castle a few years later – unaware of the dark and powerful magic that awaits.”

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1) Elantris | [Brandon Sanderson]

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards, Book 1) and Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastards, Book 2) by Scott Lynch (Spectra) for $4.59+$3.99 and $4.99+$3.99 respectively, performed by the brilliant Michael Page for Tantor, a pair of absolutely fantastic books and audiobooks: “An orphan’s life is harsh—and often short—in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains—a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans—a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting. Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld’s most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful—and more ambitious—than Locke has yet imagined. Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi’s most trusted men—and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr’s underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game—or die trying.” Note: The digital audiobook for The Lies of Locke Lamora is on sale direct from Tantor for $6.99 as well.

Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris for $5.78+$1.99 read by Jack Garrett: “Legendary science fiction author Orson Scott Card calls Brandon Sanderson a writer to watch, and Publishers Weekly says his debut is “outstanding.” Once the godlike rulers of the capital of Arelon, the inhabitans of Elantris have been imprisoned within themselves, unable to die after the city’s magic failed years ago. But when a new prince falls victim to the curse, he refuses to accept his fate.”

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin | [Erik Larson]

Narrative non-fiction: Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin read by Stephen Hoye for $1.99+$3.95: “Erik Larson has been widely acclaimed as a master of narrative non-fiction, and in his new book, the best-selling author of Devil in the White City turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler’s rise to power. The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first, Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany”, she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate.”

If not providing a little more time to consider, at least providing some certainty, there’s a 200 Kindle titles for under $2 list which runs through Dec 14. While it’s not too hard to winnow these down to 46 Whispersync for Voice titles, here’s the four titles which most caught my eye:

The Well of Tears: A Novel | [Roberta Trahan] Brief Space Between Color and Shade | [Cristovão Tezza, Alan R. Clarke (translator)]

Roberta Trahan’s The Well of Tears (The Dream Stewards Book 1) for $1.99+$1.99 read by Simon Vance for Brilliance Audio — “More than five centuries after Camelot, a new king heralded by prophecy has appeared. As one of the last sorceresses of a dying order sworn to protect the new ruler at all costs, Alwen must answer a summons she thought she might never receive.”

Surrealist fiction: Brief Space Between Color and Shade by Cristovão Tezza, translated by Alan R. Clarke, read by Nick Podehl and Laural Merlington for Brilliance Audio for $1.99+$1.99: “Winner of the 1998 Machado de Assis Award for Best Novel from the National Library of Brazil. In a period of just three days, everything changes for young painter Eduardo “Tato” Simmone, who has never sold a painting. During the funeral for Tato’s renowned mentor, Aníbal Marsotti, Tato meets two people who will determine his fate: a beautiful young woman—a mysterious “vampire”—and a major art dealer.”

Military thriller: The Flamekeepers by J. Gregory Smith, read by Alexander Cendese for $1.99+$1.99 — a retired SEAL must chase down a chemical weapon

Mystery thriller: Color of Evil by Armando Rodera, translated by Simon Bruni, read by Peter Berkrot for $1.99+$1.99 — inspectors investigate a gruesome murder in Spain

Amazon is running two more deal lists through the end of the month, Kindle Books for $3.99 or less (which has 55 Whispersync for Voice titles on it) and 50 Kindle Book Deals for $2 Each (which has 40 Whispersync for Voice titles on it). Of these 95, here’s what most caught my eye:

Off to Be the Wizard (Magic 2.0 Book 1) by Scott Meyer, read by Luke Daniels for Brilliance Audio for $2+$1.99 — just a shave under the regular price of $3.99+$1.99 for a book I found quite funny, and an audiobook of characters which Daniels really brings to life: “Martin Banks is just a normal guy who has made an abnormal discovery: he can manipulate reality, thanks to reality being nothing more than a computer program. With every use of this ability, though, Martin finds his little “tweaks” have not escaped notice. Rather than face prosecution, he decides instead to travel back in time to the Middle Ages and pose as a wizard. What could possibly go wrong? An American hacker in King Arthur’s court, Martin must now train to become a full-fledged master of his powers, discover the truth behind the ancient wizard Merlin…and not, y’know, die or anything.”

What Our Eyes Have Witnessed (The Zombie Bible) by Stant Litore, read by Benjamin L. Darcie for $2+$1.99 is a reminder that these books are already inexpensive buys at $3.99+$1.99 each, but the appearance of What Our Eyes Have Witnessed on this list offers me a chance to, once again, tell people how stupefyingly well Litore’s conceit works: the Old and New Testaments plus Zombies just works, people. And Darcie nails it. The strongest of these is Death Has Come Up into Our Windows but you can start anywhere. Here: “Imperial Rome is a city on the brink, her citizens divided by class, religion – and zombies who feast upon the living. The patricians cling to the old faith, hoping to appease their ancestors by lavishing food upon the tombs of the dead, even as the poor starve in the streets. They blame the zombie outbreak on the Christians, certain they have angered the ancestors into unleashing this ungodly plague. Father Polycarp, however, believes differently. He is blessed with the Apostle’s Gift, and is the only one who stands against the corruption of the living and the hunger of the dead.”

Seven Kinds of Hell (The Fangborn Series Book 1) and Pack of Strays (The Fangborn Series Book 2) by Dana Cameron, read by Kate Rudd for $2+$1.99 each: “When archaeologist Zoe Miller’s cousin is abducted by a vicious Russian kidnapper, she must come to grips with a haunting secret. Unknown to even her closest friends, Zoe is not entirely human. She is a werewolf and a daughter of the “Fangborn”, a hidden race of werewolves, vampires, and oracles. Zoe’s attempt to rescue her cousin leads her on a quest for artifacts – including Pandora’s Box, an object of world-ending power. With the fate of humanity in the balance, Zoe will be forced to renew family ties and pit her own supernatural abilities against a dark and nefarious foe. At once captivating, deftly worded, and character-rich, Seven Kinds of Hell expands vampire legend and werewolf noir in both intensity and charismatic bite.”

Damocles by S.G. Redling, read by Angela Dawe for $2+$1.99: “When Earth is rocked by evidence that extraterrestrials may have seeded human DNA throughout the universe, a one-way expedition into deep space is mounted to uncover the truth. What linguist Meg Dupris and her crewmates aboard the Earth ship Damocles discover on Didet – a planet bathed in the near-eternal daylight of seven suns – is a humanoid race with a different language, a different look, and a surprisingly similar society. But here, it’s the “Earthers” who are the extraterrestrial invaders, and it’s up to Meg – a woman haunted by tragedy and obsessed with the power of communication – to find the key to establishing trust between the natives and the newcomers. In Loul Pell, a young Dideto male thrust into the forefront of the historic event, Meg finds an unexpected kindred spirit, and undertakes an extraordinary journey of discovery, friendship, and life-altering knowledge.Told from both sides of a monumental encounter, Damocles is a compelling novel about man’s first contact with an extraterrestrial race.”

Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines Book 1) and Lines of Departure (Frontlines Book 2) by Marko Kloos, read by Luke Daniels for $1.99+$1.99 each: “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 2,000 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 Woodcutter by Kate Danley for $2+$1.99 read by Sarah Coomes: “Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity. The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown. But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a pixie-dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is a malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.”

The Remaining: AftermathThe Remaining: Refugees, and The Remaining: Fractured by D.J. Molles, read by Christian Rummel for Audible, books 2-4 in the series after The Remaining. Aftermath and Fractured are $1.99+$1.99 each, and Refugees is $2.99+$1.99. “To Captain Lee Harden, the mission to rescue his countrymen and rebuild the nation seems like a distant memory. Wounded and weaponless, he has stumbled upon a group of survivors who may be his last hope. But a tragedy in the group causes a deep rift and forces him into action. And in the chaos of a world overrun by infected, Lee is pursued by a new threat: someone who will stop at nothing to keep him from his sworn duty.”

The Beginning of the End (Apocalypse Z)Dark Days (Apocalypse Z Book 2), and The Wrath of the Just (Apocalypse Z Book 3) by Manel Loureiro, translated by Pamela Carmell, read by Nick Podehl for $1.99+$1.99 each: “A mysterious incident in Russia, a blip buried in the news—it’s the only warning humanity receives that civilization will soon be destroyed by a single, voracious virus that creates monsters of men. A lawyer, still grieving over the death of his young wife, begins to write as a form of therapy. Bur he never expected that his anonymous blog would ultimately record humanity’s last days. Governments scramble to stop the zombie virus, people panic, so-called “Safe Havens” are established, the world erupts into chaos; soon it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves. Armed only with makeshift weapons and the will to live, a lone survivor will give mankind one last chance.”

Teen: Under the Empyrean Sky (The Heartland Trilogy Book 1) by Chuck Wendig, read by Nick Podehl for Brilliance Audio for $2+$1.99 is the definitive and probably (hopefully) only first book of a CornPunk series. This one’s kind of in the space between “YA” and “young reader”, more in that 13-14 year old range than the (usually skewing older) YA offerings and (usually skewing younger) middle grade books. Fear the Corn! “Corn is king in the Heartland, and Cael McAvoy has had enough of it. It’s the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow—and the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it. As captain of the Big Sky Scavengers, Cael and his crew sail their rickety ship over the corn day after day, scavenging for valuables. But Cael’s tired of surviving life on the ground while the Empyrean elite drift by above in their extravagant sky flotillas. He’s sick of the mayor’s son besting Cael’s crew in the scavenging game. And he’s worried about losing Gwennie—his first mate and the love of his life—forever when their government-chosen spouses are revealed. But most of all, Cael is angry—angry that their lot in life will never get better and that his father doesn’t seem upset about any of it. When Cael and his crew discover a secret, illegal garden, he knows it’s time to make his own luck…even if it means bringing down the wrath of the Empyrean elite and changing life in the Heartland forever.”

Teen: Switched (A Trylle Novel Book 1) by Amanda Hocking, read by Therese Plummer for $2.99+$3.49: “When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn’t until 11 years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy’s not sure she wants to be a part of it.”

Kids: Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger, read by Julia Roundtree for $1.99+$3.99: “In this riveting debut, a telepathic girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world – before the wrong person finds the answer first. Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She’s skipped multiple grades and doesn’t really connect with the older kids at school, but she’s not comfortable with her family, either. And Sophie has a secret – she’s a Telepath, someone who can read minds. But the day Sophie meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy, she learns she’s not alone. He’s a Telepath too, and it turns out the reason she has never felt at home is that, well…she isn’t. Fitz opens Sophie’s eyes to a shocking truth, and almost instantly she is forced to leave behind her family for a new life in a place that is vastly different from what she has ever known.”

Crime: Burning Man (A Gideon and Sirius Novel) by Alan Russell, read by Jeff Cummings for $2+$1.99 for Brilliance Audio: “When LAPD detective Michael Gideon and his police-dog partner, Sirius, are assigned to the Special Cases Unit (SCU), Gideon knows their work lives will be anything but ordinary. SCU gets the cases no one else wants, the unusual and bizarre crimes that need special handling and special investigators. When a high-school student is found crucified in a local park, Gideon and Sirius must face up to the gruesome tableau and the motivation behind the murder. Complicating matters is a nightmare from their past, the scars of a terrible fire that nearly cost them their lives. The blaze left Gideon ravaged by PTSD – and yet somehow imbued him with an eerie prescience that gives him unusual insights into the crimes he investigates.”

Literary thriller: An Untamed State by Roxanne Gay, read by Robin Miles for $2.99+$3.99 — I’ve seen this book on several year’s best lists, and Robin Miles is fantastic as narrator: “Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents.”

Fiction: Wonderland by Stacey D’Erasmo, read by Xe Sands for $2.99+$2.99 — Another one on several year’s best lists: “This breakout novel from a brilliant stylist—dropping us into the life a female rock star—centers on that moment when we decide whether to go all-in or give up our dreams. Anna Brundage is a rock star. She is tall and sexy, with a powerhouse voice and an unforgettable mane of red hair. She came out of nowhere, an immediate indie sensation. And then, life happened. Anna went down as fast as she went up, and then walked off the scene for seven years. Without a record deal or clamoring fans, she sells a piece of her famous father’s art to finance just one more album and a European comeback tour. Anna is forty-four. This may be her last chance to cement her place in the life she chose, the life she struggled for, the life she’s not sure she can sustain. She falls back easily into the ways of the road—sex with strangers, the search for the perfect moment onstage. To see Anna perform is something—watch her find the note, the electric connection with the audience, the transcendence when it all comes together and the music seems to fill the world.”

Historical fiction: The King’s Hounds (The King’s Hounds series Book 1) and Oathbreaker (The King’s Hounds series Book 2) by Martin Jensen for $2+$1.99 each, translated by Tara Chace and read by Napoleon Ryan for Brilliance Audio: “The year is 1018 and the war with England is finally over, but the unified kingdom ruled by Cnut of Denmark is far from peaceful. Halfdan has lost everything to the war but his sense of humor. Once a proud nobleman, now he wanders the country aimlessly powered only by his considerable charm and some petty theft. When he finds an unlikely ally in Winston, a bookish former monk, the two set out together for Oxford, the seat of the new king. The pair’s arrival in court coincides with news of a murder, and Cnut has an idea only a king could get away with: Why not enlist Halfdan and Winston – the Danish womanizer and the upright Saxon intellectual – to defuse a politically explosive situation? They’re given just two days to solve the murder and they set off to uncover the truth, on the order of the king and with the reluctant assistance of the agitated townspeople.”

Whew! This roundup is getting both long in length and long in the tooth, but there’s still yet more. First, some “miscellaneous” sourced titles, picked up somewhat at random over the past month:

The Lotus Effect: Rise Of The Ardent (Volume 1) | Bridget LaddStellarnet Rebel | J.L. HiltonA Calculated Life | Anne Charnock

Bridget Ladd’s The Lotus Effect (Rise Of The Ardent Book 1) read by Elizabeth Klett for $2.99+$1.99 is a Cygnus Award Winner for 1st Place in Young-Adult/Steampunk: “An improbable partnership. An unforgettable love. City Prosper is not an ordinary city. It hides a secret; a secret upheld by the ancients to protect its citizens from a horrific darkness. Brimming with steam-driven engines and carriages, City Prosper has been home to Lily Emerson, privileged daughter of the current Mistress of Science and Head of Council. For eighteen years, Lily has been oblivious to City Prosper’s origin or location; oblivious to the corruption of the Council and the oppression of the citizens. On the night of Lily’s coronation to become the next Mistress of Science, she begins to see the injustice surrounding her, seemingly led by her own parents. In a desperate attempt to stop the cycle of corruption and free the citizens from oppression, Lily makes the rash and dangerous decision to renounce her title and volunteer for the upcoming Barrage. A battle of sectors allowing the winners to change the Law governing City Prosper. In her quest for justice, Lily teams up with Xander, an Engineering Blacksmith raised in the outskirts of City Prosper. Equipped with his master engineering skills, natural street smarts, flawless fighting techniques, keen senses, and a unique ability to read people’s aura, Xander becomes Lily’s ‘shadow’, vowing to protect her eternally. Together they begin a journey into darkness and unknown worlds filled with epic battles, monstrous creatures, undying love and self-discovery.”

Stellarnet Rebel (The Stellarnet Series) by J.L. Hilton, read by Gayle Hendrix for $3.79+$2.99: “Welcome to Asteria, a corporate-owned, deep-space colony populated with refugees, criminals and obsessive online gamers. Genny O’Riordan has shifted in from Earth determined to find a story that will break her blog into the Stellarnet Top 100, and even better—expose the degradation of the colony’s denizens. Duin is an alien—a Glin—a hero of a past revolution against the Glin royal family, yet branded a terrorist. Duin speaks every day in the Asteria market, hoping to spur humans to aid his home world, which has been overtaken by the evil, buglike Tikati. When Genny and Duin meet, what begins with a blog post becomes a dangerous web of passion and politics as they struggle to survive not only a war but the darker side of humanity…”

A Calculated Life by Anne Charnock, read by Susan Duerden for $3.99+$1.99: “Big business is booming and state institutions are thriving thanks to advances in genetic engineering, which have produced a compliant population free from addictions. Violent crime is now a rarity. Mayhew McCline, a major corporation that analyzes global trends, has hired a genius: Jayna. A brilliant mathematical modeler, she has the ability to produce accurate predictions that are both good for the world and good for the bottom line. Her latest coup: finding a link between northeasterly winds and violent crime. When a string of events contradicts her forecasts – including a multiple homicide on the wrong day – Jayna suspects she needs more data and better intuition. She needs to understand what it means to be “normal,” so she disrupts her strict daily routine and, unknowingly, sets herself on a path that leads to new encounters, new experiences, and – perhaps most dangerous – new emotions.”

NPCs | Drew Hayes Neena Gathering | Valerie Nieman

NPCs by Drew Hayes, read by Roger Wayne for Tantor for $3.99+$2.99: “What happens when the haggling is done and the shops are closed? When the quest has been given, the steeds saddled, and the adventurers are off to their next encounter? They keep the world running, the food cooked, and the horses shoed, yet what adventurer has ever spared a thought or concern for the Non-Player Characters?”

Neena Gathering (A Post-Apocalyptic Novel) by Valerie Nieman, read by Cassandra Morris for $5.99+$1.99: “The cities were all gone, the people were gone, too. And the children. All dead. A nation divided, turns on itself with brutal, primitive cruelty, unleashing the ghastly mutations of blistering chemical warfare that leave a desolate wasteland where the United States once flourished…  Menaced by roaming bands of scavengers, alone and lonely on a remote West Virginia farm, Neena and her aunt battle to carve a marginal existence from the ashes of an annihilated civilization. Suddenly Neena’s missing uncle arrives out of the north, shattering their uneasy peace with his haunting memories, his worldly ways, and violent passions. Against her will, the woman-child Neena is forced to choose her destiny in the shape of two men. One, handsome and vital, teaches her hatred and fear; the other, horribly transformed by the chemical Change, lays bare the intricacies of the human heart. Will Neena bow to the demands of kin and blood, or brave the gentle path, sowing fresh seeds of hope in a savage future no one can second guess?”

Second, some Crossroad Press titles that I stumbled across and jotted down, I’m sure there are more; along with Podium Publishing this is a publisher where basically the entire catalog is a Whispersync for Voice deal:

Killer Green | David Niall Wilson Cabal | Clive Barker Sacrament | Clive Barker The Books of Blood, Volume 1 | Clive Barker

Roll Them BonesHeart of a Dragon – Book I of The DeChance ChroniclesNevermore – A Novel of Love, Loss, & Edgar Allan PoeThis is My Blood, and Killer Green by David Niall Wilson; SacramentCabalThe Books of Blood – Volume 1, and The Books of Blood – Volume 2 by Clive Barker; In Concert: Tales of the Fantastic by Melanie Tem and Steve Rasnic Tem; House Haunted by Al Sarrantonio; Interstate Dreams by Neal Barrett Jr. read by Jeff Hays; on and on. (The recursive way to find these is to search for Crossroad Press and Whispersync at Audible, and click on through the titles that interest you.)

Finally, as usual SF Signal has a timely list to lighten our collective digital wallets. Some are already mentioned above (Rothfuss, Lynch, Lawrence, more) and others have already gone up (Raven Boys, Patternmaster, Equations of Life, The Dread) but it’s still quite a good source and even many of those those “not quite as steal” deals are still deals:

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making | Catherynne M. Valente The Summoner: Chronicles of the Necromancer, Book 1 | Gail Z. Martin The Assassin's Curse | Cassandra Rose Clarke
The Raven Boys | Maggie Stiefvater Equations of Life | Simon Morden Girl on a Wire | Gwenda Bond

Whew! Happy shopping! Here at the end, a reminder that shopping here through these links really goes a long way towards helping keep me in audiobooks throughout the year. The nickels and dimes from Amazon’s referral program add up to just about an extra audiobook a month for me, and I really appreciate those who leave their cookies enabled for me. Cheers!  [And if you’re here and somehow new to audiobooks, among the many ways to get started are: you can try Audible with a free audiobook or get your first 3 months at Audible for $7.49/month; try a free 30-day trial at audiobook streaming service Audiobooks.com; or sign up for a $12.99 monthly membership at DRM-free Downpour.com. Or! Head to your local library, whose digital collection you can probably sample at OverDrive.]

UPDATE DEC 5: A new crop of Big Deal titles just went on sale, through Dec 21. Here’s what catches my eye/ear on a scan through:

The Vampire Club | [J.R. Rain, Scott Nicholson] Lady of Ashes: Lady of Ashes, Book 1 | [Christine Trent]

The Vampire Club by J.R. Rain and Scott Nicholson, read by Eric Stuart for $1.99+$1.99 — “Over 150 years ago, a man was killed with a silver bullet in a rural, Pennsylvanian town. A man who just might be a vampire. The Vampire Club, a group of misfits who meet regularly in the basement of Western Virginia University’s library, think that they might have found their first documented case of a real vampire. Better yet, the Club thinks that the vampire might still be alive to this day, lying comatose in a hidden grave. And this is good news indeed for a group of vampire lovers. The hunt begins, and as they close in on their immortal prize, they soon realize that they aren’t the only ones interested in the vampire; indeed, a powerful group of killers will use whatever means possible to keep the vampire permanently in its grave. The first in a series that features The Vampire Club, a group of lovable, laughable, larcenous college students turned vampire hunters.”

Historical fiction: Lady of Ashes (Lady of Ashes series Book 1) by Christine Trent, read by Polly Lee for $2.99+$3.99 — “Only a woman with an iron backbone could succeed as an undertaker in Victorian London, but Violet Morgan takes great pride in her trade. While her husband, Graham, is preoccupied with elevating their station in society, Violet is cultivating a sterling reputation for Morgan Undertaking. She is empathetic, well-versed in funeral fashions, and comfortable with death’s role in life – until its chilling rattle comes knocking on her own front door.”

Mystery: Sun On Fire by Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson, translated by Björg Árnadóttir and Andrew Cautheryfor $1.99+$1.99 — “When the gutted body of a businessman is discovered in the Icelandic embassy in Berlin, Iceland’s best detectives are sent to Germany to investigate the crime.”

Fiction: The Grove by John Rector, read by Todd Haberkorn for $1.99+$1.99 — “In John Rector’s dark and fascinating psychological thriller, The Grove, farmer Dexter McCray becomes both detective and suspect. He is a man fighting to escape a troubled past, but after waking from an alcoholic blackout to discover his tractor stuck in a ditch and the body of a teenage girl in the cottonwood grove bordering his cornfield, he wonders if it’s a fight he cannot win. In the hopes of proving his innocence, he sets out to find the truth. Now, isolated from friends and family and devoid of an alibi, he turns to the only person left who can help pick up the pieces of his shattered life…the dead girl herself.”

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One Response to December Whispersync Deal Roundup: Hurley, Jemisin, Walton, Rothfuss, Lawrence, Lynch, Sanderson, and much more

  1. Pingback: Sunday Links, December 21, 2014 | Like Fire

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