Author Blog Tour Excerpt: Harrison Squared by Daryl Gregory

 

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Daryl Gregory's blog tour fo his new book Harrison Squared! You can see the entire set of tour dates over on Rockstar Book Tours website here. We are so excited to have an excerpt from this awesome new book to share with you along with more information about Daryl, his book and a contest to win your very own copy of Harrison Squared.

Harrison Squared

By Daryl Gregory

A Tor Hardcover

Excerpt

Together we pushed on the big wooden doors, and they swung open on squealing hinges. The large room beyond was a kind of atrium, the high ceiling supported with buttresses like the ribs of a huge animal. Light glowed from globes of yellow glass that hung down out of the dark on thick cables. The stone floor was so dark it seemed to absorb the light.

Corridors ran off in three directions. Mom marched straight ahead. There were no sounds except for the slap of our feet against the stone. Even the chanting had stopped. It was suddenly the quietest school I’d ever been in. And the cold- est. The air seemed wetter and more frigid inside than out.

I noticed something on the floor, and stopped. It was a faded, scuffed logo of a thin shark with a tail as long as its body, flexing as if it were leaping out of the water. Below it were the words Go Threshers.

My first picture books had been of sharks, whales, and squids. Mom’s bedtime stories were all about the hunting habits of sea predators. Threshers were large sharks who could stun prey with their tails. As far as I knew, no one in the history of the world had ever used one as a school mascot.

Mom stopped at a door and waved for me to catch up. Stenciled on the frosted glass was Office of the Principal. From inside came a slapping noise, a whap! whap! that sounded at irregular intervals.

We went inside. The office was dimly lit, with yellow paint that tried and failed to cheer up the stone walls. Two large bulletin boards were crammed with tattered notices and bits of paper that looked like they hadn’t been changed in years. At one end of the room was a large desk, and behind that sat a woman wearing a pile of platinum hair.

No, not sitting—standing. She was not only short, but nearly spherical. Her fat arms, almost as thick as they were long, thrashed in the air. She held a fly swatter in each hand and seemed to be doing battle with a swarm of invisible insects. Her gold hoop earrings swung in counterpoint.

“Shut the door!” she yelled without looking at us. “You’re letting them in!” Then thwack! She brought a swatter down on the desk. Her nameplate said Miss Pearl, School Secretary.

“Excuse me,” Mom said. “We’re looking for Principal—” “Ha!” Miss Pearl slapped her own arm. Her platinum hair shifted an inch out of kilter. She blew at the pink waffle print on her arm, then sat down in satisfaction. I still could not see any bugs. The air smelled of thick floral perfume.

She looked up at us. “Who are you?”

“I’m Rosa Harrison,” Mom said. “This is my son, Harrison.”

“And his first name?” She stared at me with tiny black eyes under fanlike eyelashes.

“Harrison,” I said. Sometimes—like now, for example—I regretted that my father’s family had decided that generations of boys would have that double name. Technically, I was Harrison Harrison the Fifth.  H2x5. But that was more information than I ever wanted to explain.

 

HARRISON SQUARED
Daryl Gregory

Pub. Date: March 24, 2015

Publisher: Tor Books

Pages: 320

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

From award winning author Daryl Gregory comes a thrilling and colorful Lovecraftian adventure of a teenage boy searching for his mother, and the macabre creatures he encounters.

Harrison Harrison—H2 to his mom—is a lonely teenager who’s been terrified of the water ever since he was a toddler in California, when a huge sea creature capsized their boat, and his father vanished. One of the “sensitives” who are attuned to the supernatural world, Harrison and his mother have just moved to the worst possible place for a boy like him: Dunnsmouth, a Lovecraftian town perched on rocks above the Atlantic, where strange things go on by night, monsters lurk under the waves, and creepy teachers run the local high school. 

On Harrison’s first day at school, his mother, a marine biologist, disappears at sea. Harrison must attempt to solve the mystery of her accident, which puts him in conflict with a strange church, a knife­wielding killer, and the Deep Ones, fish­-human hybrids that live in the bay. It will take all his resources—and an unusual host of allies—to defeat the danger and find his mother.

 

Enter to Win a Copy of Harrison Squared!

Daryl and Tor are giving away 15 finished copies of Harrison Squared to some lucky readers. The contest is open to US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About Daryl:

Daryl Gregory is an award-winning writer of genre-mixing novels, stories, and comics. His most recent work is the novel is Afterparty (Tor, April 2014) and the novella We Are All Completely Fine (Tachyon, August 2014). His first novel, Pandemonium, won the Crawford Award and was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. His other novels include the Philip K. Dick award finalist The Devil’s Alphabet and Raising Stony Mayhall, which was named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal.

Many of his short stories are collected in Unpossible and Other Stories, which was named one of the best books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. His comics work includes the Planet of the Apes series, and Dracula: The Company of Monsters series (co-written with Kurt Busiek). He lives in State College, PA, where he writes programming code in the morning, prose in the afternoons, and comics at night.

 

Where you can find Daryl:

Website | Blog |Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Review: Three by Kristen Simmons

Three
Kristen Simmons

Tor Teen
I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.
Releases February 11, 2014
384 pages
YA / Dystopian / Scifi

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Book Depository | Indie Bound

Kristen Simmons' fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series continues in Three.

Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop running. After weeks spent in hiding as two of the Bureau of Reformation’s most wanted criminals, they have finally arrived at the safe house, where they hope to live a safe and quiet existence.

And all that’s left is smoking ruins.

Devastated by the demolition of their last hope, Ember and Chase follow the only thing left to them—tracks leading away from the wreckage. The only sign that there may have been survivors.

With their high profile, they know they can’t stay out in the open for long. They take shelter in the wilderness and amidst the ruins of abandoned cities as they follow the tracks down the coast, eventually finding refugees from the destroyed safe house. Among them is someone from Chase’s past—someone he never thought he’d see again.

Banding together, they search for a place to hide, aiming for a settlement a few of them have heard about…a settlement that is rumored to house the nebulous organization known as Three. The very group that has provided Ember with a tiny ray of hope ever since she was first forced on the run.

Three is responsible for the huge network of underground safe houses and resistance groups across the country. And they may offer Ember her only chance at telling the world her story.

At fighting back.

Could it be? Has my bad luck with series enders come to a close? I was starting to think it was impossible to feel satisfied with the conclusion to a trilogy, but after Evertrue and now Three, I’m starting to think maybe it’s not just me after all. Thank you, Kristen Simmons, for writing an incredibly compelling, satisfying conclusion to your dystopian series. It left me sad and happy and a little disoriented upon finishing, like I wasn’t meant to return to this world of day jobs and Veronica Mars marathons.

I’ve had an interesting history with the Article 5 series. It’s been kind of backwards compare to my usual reaction to dystopian trilogies. I had some huge issues with the first book to the point that it caused me to stop giving my reviews letter grades all together. Despite that, I went forward with the second book, which resolved many of the issues I’d had with the first, but still didn’t make me a huge cheerleader for the series. But this third volume? Get me some pompoms.

I flailed, I teared up, I was shocked and I read the nearly 400 page book in one sitting after making the mistake of starting it at 8PM at night. I could not put Three down. Ember’s naiveté is a thing of the past and yet she still makes reckless choices when nothing else can be done. Everyone lives in shades of grey and she’s left not knowing who to trust other than Chase, who starts to loosen up a little and begins to believe a future is possible.

SPOILERS FOR ARTICLE 5 AND BREAKING POINT AHEAD

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Stacking the Shelves (14): Balzer + Bray Care Package, Alien Invasion & Others

This weekly linkup is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Visit her site to see what everyone else has gotten their hands on recently.

The other day Fernando came home from work with a package that looked like a pillow. I was expecting anything, so I was incredibly surprised to find that the lovely people at Balzer + Bray had sent me a few of their upcoming February 2014 releases. Needless to say that package along with a few others that have come in over the past few weeks have my book card filled for quite some time.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Her Dark Curiosity by Meghan Shepherd

Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

We Will Destroy Your Planet by David McIntee

She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake (won from the awesome Pabkins over at My Shelf Confessions)

Johnny Hiro: The Skills to Pay the Bills by Fred Chao

Not shown: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski (e-ARC through Netgalley)

Thank you to Balzer + Bray, Tor, Random House and Macmillan for their generosity.

Review: Requiem by Ken Scholes (The Psalms of Isaak #4)

Requiem (The Psalms of Isaak #4)
Ken Scholes

Tor Books
I received an ARC from the publisher in return for an honest review
Releases June 18, 2013
400 pages
Epic Fantasy / Magic / ROBOTS!

Find it on Goodreads

Order books from The Psalms of Isaak series from Amazon

Read my review of Lamentation, the first book of the series, here

Ken Scholes’s debut novel, Lamentation, was an event in fantasy. Heralded as a “mesmerizing debut novel” by Publishers Weekly, and a “vividly imagined SF-fantasy hybrid set in a distant, postapocalyptic future” by Booklist, the series gained many fans. It was followed by Canticle and Antiphon. Now comes the fourth book in The Psalms of Isaak, Requiem.

Who is the Crimson Empress, and what does her conquest of the Named Lands really mean? Who holds the keys to the Moon Wizard’s Tower?

The plots within plots are expanding as the characters seek their way out of the maze of intrigue. The world is expanding as they discover lands beyond their previous carefully controlled knowledge. Hidden truths reveal even deeper truths, and nothing is as it seemed to be.

I think books in series should come with a “Previously On…” section at the beginning of each installment. For series with many, many winding plot lines and a steady stream of important characters, I think each character should have a page with an explanation where they were left hanging at the end of the previous volume, important events that have occurred to them thus far and key characteristics that are important to remember. This way, when two or more years pass between the time you gorge on the first three books and when the fourth is finally released, you don’t hate yourself for forgetting the details of the previous volumes or spend part of the book feeling as though you’re stumbling around in the dark trying to catch up.

I love Ken Scholes’ The Psalms of Isaak series, so I’m not going to pretend to be an unbiased reviewer. With each page, he transports me to a world of magic and mechanical men, clockwork birds and exploits on the moon, dream worlds and war, so much war. This series is a twisty-turvy maze of good guys who may be bad, bad guys who may be good and all characters every shade of gray you can imagine.  Nothing is as it seems and everything seems to be a vaguely veiled illusion to something else not yet seen. Scholes is an expert at build mysteries on top of mysteries until you’re afraid the whole thing will crumble around his head and create a black hole of confusion, but it never does. Even playing catch up with important events coming back to me as key moments in this fourth volume played out, each new mystery left me excited with the potential of answers to all the mysteries before.

This is a world with history, so much history that goes for eons beyond the time covered by the actual books. The history gets confusing with all the people named Y’Zir and Whym and all the important historical players seeming to go by a nickname or two depending on who is talking about them, but it doesn’t matter. Even with mild confusion and the need of a timeline or companion history textbook, the Named Lands is a vividly created world full of adventure, destruction and characters often too clever for their own good.

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Random Tuesday: GISHWHES Strikes Back Edition - A Friendly Octopus, Shades & Books for Book Nerds

The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen 2.0 started officially last night at 11pm local time. It didn't take long for it to consume my entire brain. Now all I can think about is recreating Noah's Arc with children's toys as a stop motion film and figuring out the best way to make large quantities of Jello. Welcome to GISHWHES.

Anyway, that's probably not why you're here. You are here for Random Tuesday. So have some random.

 Brian Kesinger is my new favorite artist. He has a steampunk series with original characters, one of which is a friendly octopus. Awesome. Here's the entire Otto & Victoria series. Thanks to io9 for putting this picture of happiness on my Facebook timeline.

Tor.com posts great short stories every Wednesday and lately it seems like a lot of them have been prequels to just-released or soon-to-be-released hot YA titles. A few weeks ago, they posted Marie Rutkoski's "Jacks and Queens at the Green Mill", a short prelude to her recently released, The Shadow Society, which I'm excited about reading.

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Stacking the Shelves (6): Furies, Super Heroes, & Aliens

This weekly linkup is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Visit her site to see what everyone else has gotten their hands on recently. I've also cross posted this through The Story Siren's In My Mailbox.

It's bit a really awesome couple of weeks full of furies, science fiction, horror and comics! These are the books that have wandered their way into my house over the last few weeks.

 

For Review

 

Furious by Jill Wolfson

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

Thank you to the wonderful people at MacMillian, Henry Holt and Roaring Book Press for sending me these for review.

 

Won

Four Corners Dark by William McNally

I think I won this book. It was shipped from CreateSpace with an order form and no mention of who or where it came from. So thanks to whoever sent it my way!

 

From Netgalley

The past few weeks have been exciting in my inbox. Here are a few titles I've gained access to recently.

         

Green Lantern, Volume 2: Revenge of the Black Hand by Geoff Johns & Doug Mahnke

Justice Leage, Volume 2: The Villian's Journey by Geoff Johns & Jim Lee

Superman: Earth One, Volume 2 by J. Michael Straczynski & Shane Davis

Alternity by Mari Mancusi

Unearthed by Rebecca Bloomer

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord

 

Waiting on Wednesday: Only Superhuman by Christopher L Bennett

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Breaking the Spine and serves to showcase those books we’re not so patiently waiting to arrive!

Only Superhuman
Christopher L Bennett

Tor Books
Releases October 16, 2012
352 pages

Find it on Goodreads

Preorder it on Amazon

2107 AD: A generation ago, Earth and the cislunar colonies banned genetic and cybernetic modifications. But out in the Asteroid Belt, anything goes. Dozens of flourishing space habitats are spawning exotic new societies and strange new varieties of humans. It’s a volatile situation that threatens the peace and stability of the entire solar system.

Emerald Blair is a Troubleshooter. Inspired by the classic superhero comics of the twentieth century, she’s joined with other mods to try to police the unruly Asteroid Belt. But her loyalties are tested when she finds herself torn between rival factions of superhumans with very different agendas. Emerald wants to put her special abilities to good use, but what do you do when you can’t tell the heroes from the villains?

Only Superhuman is a rollicking hard-SF adventure set in a complex and fascinating future.

Superheroes in space? I like the idea of modded humans acting as superheroes to police an unruly outerspace frontier. I wish I could say more about what interests me about this book, but it's basically Superheroes + Space = YAY!