Hello, hello and welcome to another Robot Round-Up. We’re just days away from the US/CAN & Ebook release of three brand new titles: one eagerly-awaited mega-sequel, one likewise hugely-anticipated follow-up and one absolute blinder of a debut, if we do say so ourselves (which we most certainly do). So, let’s get on with the linkapalooza, shall we? Yes, let’s:

Mockingbird, by Chuck WendigChuck Wendig‘s second Miriam Black novel, Mockingbird, is so close now you can hear the screaming. And the reviews have been flocking in:
• Jennifer at LitStack pulled out all the stops in her rather terrific review, which concluded with the following: “Mockingbird, dare I say, is even better than its predecessor, a heady feat considering the pressure of novels written in series format. Chuck Wendig delivers on the promise he established in Blackbirds. The continuing saga of Miriam Black never lags with its hairpin plot turns and freakishly ornate imagery. It is a book that, once consumed, will leave you famished for the next installment.”
• sj at Book Snobbery said: “Here’s the deal. I totally heart Miriam … She’s probably my favourite UF heroine right now – and that says quite a lot.”
• TChris at Tzer Island said: “Wendig writes snappy prose that is filled with attitude. He has a knack for making obnoxious characters endearing … The novel’s abundant action scenes are blistering, and just when you least expect it, Wendig adds a touch of sweetness to the story.”
The Romanceaholic said: “Lawbreaking, violence, serious injury, vulgarity, deeply seated family issues, horrific visions, and life-changing decisions abound, and there’s no denying that there are few limits on what the author puts both the characters and the reader through. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”
• Kristin at My Bookish Ways said: “Chuck Wendig’s mind is a terrifying, twisted, fascinating thing, and thank goodness he puts this stuff down on paper for the rest of us. Darker than dark, Mockingbird will take you on a journey you won’t soon forget, so fortify your stomach and settle in, because you’re going to want to read this one in one sitting.”
• RoughJustice at Crime Fiction Lover said: “All the strengths which made [Blackbirds] so fantastic return here – great pacing, taught plotting, laugh-out-loud language, and the empathy he has with his damaged protagonist. He continues to blend genres like someone who’s written 20 novels, not just two or three.”

And if that lot hasn’t whetted your appetite, there’s a review of the series-opener from Cara at The Tattooed Book, who declared: “For a gutsy, trailer trash glam, roller coaster ride of a book, you won’t beat Blackbirds. I loved it and can’t wait for the follow up.” Meanwhile, Chuck has been talking to The Ginger Nutcase, about writing and books and RPGs and blogging and all sorts on good stuff. Check it out.

The Corpse-Rat King, by Lee BattersbyLee Battersby‘s The Corpse-Rat King is also out next week and this week it was reviewed by Phil for Terror Tree, who liked the way “our dead anti-hero overcomes trials and tribulations with a down to earth sense of humour and disdain for his situation”. Check out the catalogue page for more reviews.

Adam Christopher‘s superhero smackdown of a novel, Seven Wonders, is equally imminent and Ed Fortune at Starburst Magazine reviewed it this week, saying: “Capturing the true spirit of spandex-clad hero comics is not an easy task … Adam Christopher manages [it] with style and panache. He evokes classic comic book writers such as Busiek, Moore, Morrison and Gaiman, and yet retains a unique style and sense of a world.” And Ant at SFBook.com called it: “…intelligent, stylish and perfectly suited for an adult audience. The plot … is inventive and twisting, written in a literary arresting style that is about as close you could ever get to a graphic novel without the graphics.”

Adam was interviewed author-to-author by Paul Tobin and has been busy on the podcast front as well, guesting on Mighty Mur Lafferty‘s I Should Be Writing and the latest episode of the long-running Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing. He guested on the latest Sword & Laser vidcast (Vidcast? Is that a word?) over at Geek and Sundry. And here it is:

Madeline Ashby‘s recently-released debut novel, vN, was reviewed by Ken at Paperless Reading, who concluded: “vN is an impressive début that brings a much needed human aspect to tried and tested robot stories”. And Madeline has been talking to Ed Fortune for Starburst Magazine as well.

Paul S. Kemp‘s The Hammer and the Blade was reviewed by Andy for Terror Tree, who said: “This is a thoroughly enjoyable tale of sword and sorcery with demons, monstrous creatures, some Indiana Jones style tomb raiding and a quite despicable villain”. And by Djinn24 for The Founding Fields, who suggested: “If you are a fan of fantasy and want a refreshing read, or just a well written book, then this is the book to get.” We couldn’t agree more.

The Wrong Goodbye, by Chris F. HolmChris F. Holm‘s undead-noir Dead Harvest was reviewed by sj at Book Snobbery, who said “The story … can only be referred to as Hardboiled Urban Fantasy. Holm has obviously taken his inspiration from Hammett and Chandler, but put his own inventive twist to bring it forward into the 21st century.” And Andrew at Raging Biblioholism took a look at the forthcoming sequel, The Wrong Goodbye (October!) and declared: “Holm’s established himself with this one. It’s smart (the winking references to pop culture alone will make savvy readers grin) and packs a hefty wallop of action as well as setting up several dominoes for the next book.”

Debris, the first book in Jo Anderton‘s Veiled Worlds series, was reviewed by Cathy for The Functional Nerds, who said: “Debris is a perfect choice for science fiction fans with a taste for thought-provoking, suspenseful stories that create a unique world all their own.”

Bob at The Guilded Earlobe had a listen to the Brilliance Audio edition of Matt Forbeck‘s Carpathia and very much enjoyed what he heard: “Carpathia is an effective horror tale that blends history and Vampire Mythos into a truly frightening experience. Forbeck has created some wonderful characters and infuses his tale with an unsettling mood that really makes this horror tale work.”

And finally: our plans for a culinary fifth column have been rumbled! Switch to operation Robot World Cup!! Mini ‘bots kicking spherical objects in an adorably clumsy manner? That’ll distract the meat-suits while we unleash the robo-niinjas!!!

Until next week, humans. Sleep easy, and remember: keep watching the cute football-playing robots. Cute football-playing robots are your friends.

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