This week in new hardcovers: An ancient holy war, an apprehended WWII spy, Moby-Dick with huge desert moles, and a boy finding out there’s another world of strangers right here in Earth; plus anthologies collecting future teen evil-fighters the Legion of Super-Heroes, Batman, and the Avengers, and an in-depth analysis of recent trends in the fantastic.
by Brian Kittrell, Lynn O'Dell (Editor)
A Mages of Bloodmyr Novel: Book 2. "Having arrived in the Holy Land, Laedron Telpist continues his journey to halt a war provoked by the Heraldan church. He discovers that the war he so desperately wants to stop is merely a prelude to something much older than he could have imagined. With the aid of his allies, Laedron must uncover hidden plots, bring justice to the rampant corruption, and end a conflict before it claims more lives." Late Nite Books, 332 pages, May 15.
by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo (Illustrator)
The New 52. "After a series of brutal murders rocks Gotham City, Batman begins to realize that perhaps these crimes go far deeper than appearances suggest. As the Caped Crusader begins to unravel this deadly mystery, he discovers a conspiracy going back to his youth and beyond to the origins of the city he's sworn to protect. Could the Court of Owls, once thought to be nothing more than an urban legend, be behind the crime and corruption? Or is Bruce Wayne losing his grip on sanity and falling prey to the pressures of his war on crime?" DC Comics, 176 pages, May 15.
by Elizabeth Wein
"Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?" Hyperion Book CH, 352 pages, May 15.
by China Mieville
"On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one’s death and the other’s glory. But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can't shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea–even if his captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-coloured mole she’s been chasing since it took her arm all those years ago. When they come across a wrecked train, at first it's a welcome distraction. But what Sham finds in the derelict—a series of pictures hinting at something, somewhere, that should be impossible—leads to considerably more than he'd bargained for. Soon he's hunted on all sides, by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters and salvage-scrabblers. And it might not be just Sham's life that's about to change. It could be the whole of the railsea." Del Rey, 448 pages, May 15.
by Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema (Illustrator), Neal Adams (Illustrator), John Buscema (Illustrator)
"A conflict of star-spanning proportions - with Earth caught in the crossfire! For those eternal intergalactic enemies, the merciless Kree and the shapechanging Skrulls, have gone to war, and our planet is situated on the front lines! Can Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers, bring about an end to the fighting before humanity becomes a casualty of war? Featuring the trend-setting artwork of Neal Adams, the Kree/Skrull War is universally acknowledged as one of the finest and most important sagas in the Marvel canon." Marvel, 240 pages, May 16.
by Lars Schmeink, Astrid Boger
"Even though the fantastic (in its most inclusive definition) has been a part of our culture for as long as it exists, it has not been a prominent feature of European academic interest. With its inherent transgressive moment the fantastic allows for an ideal space of the cultural negotiation of political, social and physical boundaries, which should place it at the center of popular cultural research, not as is the case, at its periphery. But the commencing boom of fantastic themes in contemporary media production has facilitated a paradigmatic change in research, prompting a wide interest in the fantastic in all its forms, from fantasy to horror, from fairy tale to science fiction. This volume addresses this growing interest by reviewing the status of research on the fantastic in Europe so far and by providing a necessary outlook for the future. In the essays current trends, such as the liminality debate, as well as established discourses, as for example on genre theory, are brought together to show interested researchers a network of interdisciplinary (from literary, media and social studies) approaches towards the fantastic." de Gruyter, 400 pages, May 16.
by Alecia Stone, Jason Russell (Illustrator)
"One Planet. Two Worlds. Population: Human ... 7 billion. Others ... unknown. When 14-year-old Charlie Blake wakes up sweating and gasping for air in the middle of the night, he knows it is happening again. This time he witnesses a brutal murder. He's afraid to tell anyone. No one would believe him ... because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago - the day before his dad died. Charlie doesn't know why this is happening. He would give anything to have an ordinary life. The problem: he doesn't belong in the world he knows as home. He belongs with the others." Centrinian Publishing Ltd, 364 pages, May 20.