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The B&N Sci-Fi Blog on The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of November

Sunday, November 27th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

culdesac-by-robert-repino-small the-operative-gerald-brandt-small the-shadow-of-what-was-lost-small

Jim Killen has been as the science fiction and fantasy buyer for Barnes & Noble for nearly 20 years, and every month he shares his top new SFF releases at the B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog. His November list includes exciting new books from Brandon Sanderson, Ben Bova, Emma Newman, Christopher Hinz, Kim Harrison, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Erika Johansen, David Weber, David Dalglish, and others — including Culdesac by Robert Repino, the sequel to the widely acclaimed Mort(e), the tale of a housecat who becomes a war hero in an apocalyptic battle between humans, giants ants, and sentient animals.

Repino returns to the war-torn world he established in Mort(e) as the War with No Name rages on. The Colony, a race of intelligent ants, has humanity on the run before its army of sentient and intelligent animals. Culdesac, a housecat-turned-general for The Colony, is a brutally effective warrior, for whom violence is always the answer. As his forces occupy the town of Milton, however, he must prepare for a brutal counteroffensive from the humans, even as he discovers secrets that threaten to undermine his understanding of this new universe. Repino imbues a startling sense of realism to a story about an intelligent cat’s desire to wipe out humanity; Culdesac’s story is not only tense and violent, but oddly emotional and touching.

Culdesac was published by Soho Press on November 15. It is 128 pages, priced at $9.99 in trade paperback and $7.99 for the digital edition. We covered Mort(e) here.

Gerald Brandt’s The Operative is the second novel in his San Angeles series.

Brandt’s supercharged sequel to The Courier continues the cyberpunk fun of the San Angeles series. Having survived the worst delivery of her life, megacity courier Kris Merrill has been training with the resistance, learning the skills she’ll need to be an Operator like Ian Miller, the man who helped keep her alive. Just as her training is ending, the resistance compound is attacked, and Kris and her fellow trainees are thrust into the fight, ready or not. When Ian is captured, Kris makes it her mission to rescue him, encountering unexpected twists and unexpected allies along the way. Brandt fleshes out an all-too-possible future of crushing poverty and corporate control, and the complex heroine who will lead us through to a better future.

The Operative was published by DAW on November 1. It is 320 pages, priced at $26 in hardcover and $12.99 for the digital edition.

And finally The Shadow of What Was Lost, the opening volume in The Licanius Trilogy by James Islington.

The Shadow of What Was Lost feels old-fashioned in the best of ways, molding familiar genre traditions into something wholly unique. In a world where the magical class has been overthrown, hunted, and subjugated, the struggle cannot simply be divided between magic and mundane or human and divine. The evil that encroaches Andarra, the center of the action, is neither simple, singly focused, or, for that matter, definitively evil. It’s been 20 years since the Unseen War, which overthrew the Augurs, powerful and portentous demigods. Those who once feared and obeyed the them rose up, wiping out the leaders and binding those with lesser magical abilities, the Gifted, to Four Tenets that restrict the use of their powers. Davian, a student of the Gifted, struggles to wield Essence, the magic that should sustain and flow through him with ease, but can “read” people to determine whether they’re telling the truth, a power that once belonged only to the Augurs. That’s a dangerous association for one raised in a world endlessly suspicious of those with abilities outside the norm. But as forces long thought defeated descend from the North, Devian’s quest to understand who he is and what he can do takes on greater urgency than he can comprehend.

The Shadow of What Was Lost was published by Orbit on November 8. It is 704 pages, priced at $26 in hardcover and $9.99 for the digital edition.

See the complete list at the B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.

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