Mecha madness descends once more in this week’s roundup of science fiction releases, with sky-jumping mercenaries, tokusatsu heroines, and covert bodyguards all donning heavy metal. Meanwhile, a young radio engineer tries to talk to the stars and pulp hero Eric John Stark tries to stop a barbarian invasion on Mars.
Deathangel (The Four Horsemen: Omega War #10) – Kevin Ikenberry
Peacemakers. The Galactic Union’s most capable enforcers and resolute negotiators, their name alone elicits fear and awe among the Union’s citizenry. When necessary, the Peacemaker Guild deputizes citizens to carry out special missions of great difficulty and danger.
The only person ever to land a Combat Assault System, Personal (CASPer) from high-altitude free fall without a parachute, Tara Mason’s career as a mercenary showed promise, but it crumbled under poor choices and even worse leadership. Given a chance to clear her name and restore her reputation, she’s agreed to undertake a mission of critical importance to the Guild.
With two Peacemakers, the near-AI Lucille, and new allies at her side, Tara Mason and Force 25 seek out the tested professionals of the Victoria Forces, who face a serious threat from a shadowy adversary. The Victoria Forces, though, are no pushover, and when threatened, they respond with CASPers, tanks, and flyers at the ready.
Taking the field alongside their friends, Tara Mason and Force 25 charge into battle, unaware that events throughout the galaxy are shaping the race to recover Jessica’s father and his secrets. The time to fight has come, and Force 25 must win the day—against overwhelming odds—or the Galactic Union, itself, may be the next casualty of the Omega War!
Delta-V – Daniel Suarez
When itinerant cave diver James Tighe receives an invitation to billionaire Nathan Joyce’s private island, he thinks it must be a mistake. But Tighe’s unique skill set makes him a prime candidate for Joyce’s high-risk venture to mine a near-earth asteroid–with the goal of kick-starting an entire off-world economy. The potential rewards and personal risks are staggering, but the competition is fierce and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Isolated and pushed beyond their breaking points, Tighe and his fellow twenty-first century adventurers–ex-soldiers, former astronauts, BASE jumpers, and mountain climbers–must rely on each other to survive not only the dangers of a multi-year expedition but the harsh realities of business in space. They’re determined to transform humanity from an Earth-bound species to a space-faring one–or die trying.
The Fifth Column – J. N. Chaney and Molly Lerma
After a soldier is left for dead, Eva Delgado’s life begins to unravel.
The truth of what happened remains a mystery, and the government will stop at nothing to keep it buried.
Together with the unit’s medic, Eva finds herself branded a terrorist and enemy of the State, hunted by two opposing governments.
When the pair uncover a plot that could have ramifications for the whole galaxy, they know they have to act, but it will take all of their training, cunning and just a bit of luck to do what no one else has achieved.
But what do you do when every secret begets another? And how far will you go to find the answers?
Five Million Watts (Yankee Republic #2) – Fenton Wood
A young radio engineer travels across an alt-history America, encountering primeval gods, mythical beasts, and tall tales come to life, in a quest to build a radio transmitter that can reach the stars.
When Philo Hergenschmidt takes a job at the most powerful radio station in the world, he has no idea what he’s getting himself into.
A mysterious old man who is either a charlatan or a god … a famous writer haunted by apocalyptic visions … a genius inventor who wants to communicate with aetheric life forms … all of these stories are woven into the greatest tall tale ever told!
Full Metal Panic #1 – Shouji Gatou
Sagara Sousuke isn’t your typical high school student. He reads military enthusiast magazines; he responds to questions with “affirmative;” he brings grenades to school in his bag. Though everyone at school takes him for a hopeless military geek, Chidori Kaname thinks there might be something more to him.
Unbeknownst to Kaname, terrorists are plotting her abduction, believing she possesses the abilities of “the Whispered.”
When their plane is hijacked in the middle of a field trip, Kaname’s instincts will prove correct: Sousuke is an elite, mech-piloting mercenary… and he’s here to protect her!
Queen of the Martian Catacombs (The Illustrated Stark #1) – Leigh Brackett, illustrations by Star Two
MARS IS ON THE VERGE OF WAR!
Trouble is brewing on Mars… With civil war about to erupt, Eric John Stark has been sent to investigate an apocalyptic warlord recruiting mercenaries. More disturbing than the promise of a full scale war to unify the Martian city states is the claim that Delgaun’s ally, Kynon of Shun, has at his disposal ancient sorceries that grant him powers of life and death.
When Kynon’s mistress, the beautiful Berild, takes an interest in Stark, the mercenary swordsman finds himself caught in a web of lies, betrayal, and evil magic. Can Stark unravel the mysteries of the lost Martian tribe and pull Mars back from the brink of war? The mysterious Berild is prepared to kill to keep the secret buried in the deserts of Mars–or offer it up on a plate to Stark if he will help her conquer the Red Planet!
An all-new, fully-illustrated edition of Leigh Brackett’s classic Sword & Planet adventure!
Shadow Heart (Shining Tomorrow #1) – Rawle Nyanzi
FROM YOUNG ELEGANT LADY…TO MASKED FURY!
Irma wishes to be the perfect girl: chaste, feminine, and generous. But when a giant monster stomps through her hometown, her plans crumbled right along with the stores and apartments.
In the chaos of acrid smoke and panicked civilians, the private military company Shadow Heart snatched her friend out of the crowd and took her captive.
Now Irma must pilot the Grand Valkyur, a mechanical titan of steel more powerful than any weapon made by human hands. With a brilliant sword that could cut any matter and gleaming armor that could withstand any weapon, the Valkyur challenges all who dare to fight it.
But piloting the Valkyur means using violence — and to Irma, violence is men’s work.How can she rescue her friend without betraying the feminine elegance she prides herself on?
Tilted Axis (Orion Axis #1) – David Ryker and Daniel Morgan
Anna Sadler’s murder sent a message.
To who, Michael ‘Ward’ Miller isn’t exactly sure. Whoever killed his partner was a pro. She was shot at an impossible distance, by a weapon that isn’t supposed to exist. But Sadler wasn’t just his partner, she was the best person he knew. Now she’s dead, and Ward won’t rest until he finds out who was responsible.
But on Mars, 2342 AD, anyone could be the killer. The Solar System is awash with spies, mercenaries and powerful, unaccountable corporations. After powerful aliens arrived a hundred years before, colonizing the red planet, our system was thrown into chaos. The Martians were stronger, more advanced, and remorseless. They could have wiped us out. Instead we struck a fragile, uneasy truce.
And now someone wants to blow the whole thing up. And maybe, take humanity with it.
Ward was supposed to be out of the espionage business. Now he has seven days to uncover the conspiracy that killed his partner.
Or let the entire system go up in flames…