Superheroes, ghostly tales, Dwarven Slayers, soldiers, and Tolkien’s Great Tales feature in this week’s roundup of the newest releases in fantasy and adventure.
Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts – Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose
On a dark, haunted night, a Russian Oligarch dares a circle of international chefs to play the samurai game of 100 Candles–where each storyteller tells a terrifying tale of ghosts, demons and unspeakable beings–and prays to survive the challenge.
Inspired by the Japanese Edo period game of Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai, Hungry Ghosts reimagines the classic stories of yokai, yorei, and obake, all tainted with the common thread of food.
Including stellar artists Sebastian Cabrol, Vanesa Del Rey, Francesco Francavilla, Irene Koh, Leo Manco, Alberto Ponticelli, Paul Pope, and Mateus Santolouco as well as amazing color by Jose Villarrubia, a drop-dead cover by Paul Pope.
Barbarian Emperor – Jon Mollison
Plucked from obscurity and hurled into the burning, blood soaked sands of the coliseum, one man defies an Emperor. Rather than settle for mere vengeance and an honorable death, a gladiator rises to challenge both a Derelict Emperor and the dangerous, seething chaos from beyond its borders. Caught between the fiery passion of his master’s step-daughter and the powerful concubine of his greatest enemy, can one simple barbarian chart a course to save an Empire, save the girl, and save his own soul from the black pits of despair?
Full of the furious action and adventurous exploration of strange realms, “Barbarian Emperor” touches on deep themes of familial bonds, the brotherhood of battle, and the eternal balancing act that man and nation perform on the precipice between barbarous struggle and civilizational apathy. Take it for the thrill ride or ponder the still depths of the work, either way, you’ll love this story of one defiant man and his struggle to find himself, his destiny, and his one true love.
Brace For the Wolves (Challenger’s Call #2) – Nathan Thompson
Kill the traitor-prince.
The cry for his death has followed Wes Malcolm from Earth all the way to Avalon, and an entire new breed of Hordebeast has taken up the call. Howling wolf-men now hunt him as an escaped convict, a false teacher, and a traitor to a legacy he has rejected. Worse yet, he must fight not only for his own freedom, but for the prisoners he has rescued from the dungeon on this ruined world.
Now all he needs to do is evade the monsters long enough to get the former hostages to safety, before taking on and defeating the hunters. To do so, he’s going to have to delve into ghosts and secrets from another age, including some explosive secrets of his own heritage.
In this action-packed issue:
A new “Commander Saturn” adventure as he takes on the “Pirates of Ganymede.”
“Jigsaw,” a dysfunctional couple’s descent into domestic horror brought about by a simple puzzle.
The twisted surrealistic sci-fi dystopia “Choice Cuts.”
“Land and Money and Old Bones,” the story of Anthony, heir to his uncle’s estate, who finds out there’s a bit more blood than he expected.
Two brave ocean explorers who encounter “A Curious Case in the Deep.”
“Between,” a tale of a West that never was.
A cautionary Western about being careful about the promises you choose to keep, “The Best Laid Plans.”
“The Whisker-Wood,” a weird, twisted horror tale about a man’s descent into madness.
“Harvest Moon,” a cosmic horror jidaigeki that creates a unique story of betrayal, falsehoods, and blood.
The Dragon Hand (The Dragon King Trilogy #1) – Yakov Merkin
An ancient evil is returning to threaten the world—at least, that’s what one of voices in Serivak’s head is telling him.
As the only dragon in the kingdom and technically a prisoner of war, Serivak’s position as the King’s Hand via his friendship with the young king is precarious enough before the voice of one of his ancestors warned of the new threat.
With the help of two young foreigners, Serivak endeavors to avert disaster—but as evidence of a conspiracy grows, his political enemies close to home may be even more dangerous.
Gotrek & Felix: The First Omnibus – William King
Gotrek and Felix: unsung heroes of the Empire, or nothing more than common thieves and murderers? The truth perhaps lies somewhere in between, and depends entirely on who you ask…
Relive the early adventures of the Slayer and his human companion. From the haunted forests of the Empire to the darkness beneath the Worlds Edge Mountains, Gotrek and Felix face demented cultists, sinister goblins and a monstrous troll. In the city of Nuln, they get involved in an invasion by the sewer-dwelling skaven. And in the frozen north, an expedition to the lost dwarf hold of Karag Dum brings Gotrek and Felix face-to-face with a dread Bloodthirster of Chaos…
Read it Because: the saga of Gotrek and Felix starts here, with three novels that introduce a host of fan-favourite characters and feature some of the heroic duo’s most memorable adventures.
Just in time for holiday gift-giving, The Great Tales of Middle-earth is a beautiful boxed set of the most recently published novels of Middle-earth: Children of Húrin, Beren and Lúthien, and The Fall of Gondolin, packaged together for the first time.
The Children of Húrin – Within the shadow of the fear of Angband, and the war waged by Morgoth against the Elves, the fates of Túrin and his sister Niënor will be tragically entwined. Their brief and passionate lives are dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bears them as the children of Húrin, the man who dared to defy him to his face. Against them Morgoth sends his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire, in an attempt to fulfil the curse of Morgoth, and destroy the children of Húrin.
Beren and Lúthien – The epic tale of Beren and Lúthien became an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of J.R.R. Tolkien’s First Age of the World. Always key to the story is the fate that shadowed their love: Beren was a mortal man, Lúthien an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, imposed on Beren an impossible task before he might wed Lúthien: to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, of a Silmaril.
The Fall of Gondolin – In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast military power from his fortress of Angband. Deeply opposed to Morgoth is Ulmo, second in might only to Manwë, chief of the Valar: he is called the Lord of Waters, of all seas, lakes, and rivers under the sky. But he works in secret in Middle-earth to support the Noldor, the kindred of the Elves among whom were numbered Húrin and Túrin Turambar. Central to this enmity of the gods is the city of Gondolin, beautiful but undiscoverable.
Immortality and Chaos: The Complete Epic Pentalogy – Eric T Knight
Ignoring the warnings of his oldest friend, Wulf Rome removes the ancient, mysterious axe he finds embedded in a wall in a cavern deep underground. The axe’s shocking power wins him the throne, but removing it cracks a prison built millennia ago.
A prison built by the gods to hold Melekath, the one all of them fear.
Now Melekath reaches into the world once again. Unfettered, his three nightmarish Guardians spread havoc across the land. Plagues and monsters appear in their wake.
In the midst of the chaos, an enigmatic stranger appears. He claims to be immortal. He claims that only he can save the world. There is something sinister about him, and the weapons he offers are dangerous and perhaps uncontrollable, but with the apocalypse looming, what other choice does Wulf Rome have?
Lynx (Will Slater Series #4) – Matt Rogers
Half a year ago in Macau, Will Slater waged war to rescue a nine-year-old girl from the clutches of a hellish industry. He left her with an old government colleague, who promised to find her a foster home and give her some semblance of a normal upbringing. Slater moved on…
Now, deep in cartel-infested Colombia, he hears dark whispers of something called the Lynx program — a clandestine division that raises young girls and forges them into sociopathic killers. A division founded by the very same man Slater left her with.
He drops everything and barrels toward answers. Because if you make Slater a promise, you’d better not break it. The kid was a shining ray of light in his otherwise barbaric reality, and he’ll sacrifice everything to make sure she’s safe…
My Hero Academia: Vigilantes, Vol. 2 – Hideyuki Furuhashi and Betten Court
Koichi Haimawari couldn’t make the cut to become an official hero, so he uses his modest Quirk to do good deeds in his spare time. Then one day a fateful encounter with some local thugs leads him to team up with two other unlikely heroes. None of them really know what they’re doing, but they’ve got the courage—or foolishness—to try. But they soon discover fighting evil takes more than just being brave…
Koichi and his “friends”—Kazuho, a.k.a. Pop Step, and the mysterious Knuckleduster—have teamed up to protect their neighborhood (unofficially of course). But even petty criminals with Quirks can be dangerous, and taking them on shows Koichi that he’d better not underestimate them. Sizing up the opposition is important, especially when some of the villains are definitely out of Koichi’s league and more sinister threats lurk in the shadows…
The Phoenix Sanction (Sam Reilly #14) – Christopher Cartwright
On board Phoenix Airlines Flight 318, Andrew Goddard awakens to discover the cockpit empty and all the passengers unconscious.
In the Colorado Monarch Mountains, an old gold miner discovers a fiendish stone mask sealed inside an obsidian chamber.
Sam Reilly has just three weeks to find out how the two unlikely events are connected, and the secret behind it might change everything we thought we knew about humanity.
“From Amelia Earhart to the shores of Malta, Sam and friends race from evil pursuers. It is a compelling story of the Eternity Masks and the Master Builders who are again involved in it the depth of the tale. Read, Enjoy and anticipate sleepless nights.” – Amazon Reader Review
The Sage, the Swordsman and the Scholars (Trials of the Middle Kingdom #1) – Pierre Dimaculangan
When enigmatic nonhuman visitors arrive from the sea, the very foundations of the Middle Kingdom are under attack. The evil agenda of these invaders sparks a massive war that will determine the fate of the Ming dynasty and the nations beyond. A young, legendary swordsman allies himself with a banished Shaolin monk, a defeated bandit chieftain, a carefree Mongol, and an unknown philosopher who knows the only hope for victory. Together, this band of misfits strives to be proven worthy of the impossible task before them. Determined to combat the invaders’ initial offensives, they must also repel countless internal enemies who have rallied to bring down the mighty Ming dynasty.
Shadow of the Exile (The Infernal Guardian Book 1) – Mitchell Hogan
Outcast and exiled, the demon Tarrik Nal-Valim has long been forgotten by the world of humans. At least, so he thinks.
But when he is summoned as a last resort by a desperate sorcerer, it seems as though his past has caught up with him. The sorcerer is Serenity “Ren” Branwen, the daughter of Tarrik’s former master—and friend. Though she seems cold, driven, and ruthless, Tarrik can tell that Ren has her back against a wall, and he is compelled by ferocious powers to obey her.
As their world sinks into a terrifying maelstrom of murder, intrigue, and insurrection, Tarrik is forced to serve Ren’s arcane designs—plans that, if they were to succeed, would resurrect unimaginable power and could destroy Tarrik’s entire race.
But as events unfurl, the lines between demon and master become blurred, and Tarrik realizes that Ren is not what she seems. To prevent utter devastation, Tarrik may have to surrender what he values most: a chance at redemption and an end to his exile.
The ‘Stan – David Axe, Kevin Knodell, and Blue Delliquanti
The ‘Stan is a collection of short comics about America’s longest war. Individual stories highlight different perspectives—one through the eyes of a Taliban ambassador and others through the eyes of Afghan and U.S. Army soldiers—but every account highlights the human element of war. The tales in this book—based on reporting by David Axe and Kevin Knodell and drawn by artist Blue Delliquanti—are all true and took place in roughly the first decade of the U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan. While the stories are from the recent past, The ‘Stan is still very much about Afghanistan’s and America’s present—and likely their future.
“Based on on-the-ground reporting by Knodell and Axe, this realistic view of an ongoing conflict, rendered in a casual yet powerful voice, not only acts as a necessary record of experiences and sacrifice but as a humble thanks to all those who have lived–or are still living–through them.”–Publishers Weekly
StoryHack Action and Adventure #3 – edited by Bryce Beattie
Proof that short fiction can still be exciting. StoryHack is a magazine focusing on action and adventure fiction in a wide variety of genres. In this issue, you’ll read:
Tears From Iron (Memories of the Cataclysm #1) – Jonathan Oldenburg
The treachery of oathbreakers shattered the world. But amid the Cataclysm, a new empire has arisen at last. In binding humanity to their service, the ageless Syraestari restored civilization to a world wracked by chaos. Vistus is a human warrior-brother, sworn to guard his masters from the barbarians and rebels that seek to drag the Syraestari empire back into darkness. His prowess in battle is matched only by his loyalty to the empire. Ninanna is a Syraestari Sword-Whisperer, venerable even in the eyes of her own people. Though she is the personal guardian to the empress, another Oath, more ancient and powerful, binds her destiny. As rebellion and war threaten the Syraestari Empire, Vistus and Ninanna must discover the meaning of family, of faith, and of sacrifice or all they love will perish. For the Cataclysm is not yet a memory, and the prophecies of dead gods may still overturn all that has been wrought.
Uzumaki (3-in-1 Deluxe Edition) – Junji Ito
Kurôzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but by a pattern: uzumaki, the spiral, the hypnotic secret shape of the world. It manifests itself in small ways: seashells, ferns, whirlpools in water, whirlwinds in air. And in large ways: the spiral marks on people’s bodies, the insane obsessions of Shuichi’s father, the voice from the cochlea in your inner ear. As the madness spreads, the inhabitants of Kurôzu-cho are pulled ever deeper, as if into a whirlpool from which there is no return…
The bizarre masterpiece horror manga is now available all in a single volume. Fall into a whirlpool of terror!