Barnes & Noble Bookseller’s Picks

Barnes & Noble Bookseller’s Picks for March

For over a decade, Barnes & Noble buyer Jim Killen has been a driving force behind Barnes & Noble’s science fiction and fantasy sections. Each month on Tor.com, Mr. Killen curates a list of science fiction & fantasy titles, sometimes focused on upcoming titles and sometimes focused on a theme.

Here are the Barnes & Noble science fiction and fantasy picks for March!

A Clockwork Heart (Chronicles of Light and Shadow #2)—Liesel Schwarz
(Feb 25, Del Rey—Paperback)

In the second book of this edgy new series, Elle Chance and her new husband, the ex-Warlock Hugh Marsh, just want to settle into married life, but London’s plague of clockwork zombies has other ideas. As Elle devotes herself to her duties as the Oracle—who alone has the power to keep the dark designs of Shadow at bay—Marsh takes on a magical mystery with the London Metropolitan police. However, the investigation cost him his heart… literally.

In place of the flesh-and-blood organ is a clockwork device. Now London is in turmoil, with the clockwork plague sowing panic and whispers of revolution. Will Elle recover her husband’s heart—and save her city—before time runs out?

Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid Series #3)— Seanan McGuire
(March 4, DAW)

Alexander Price is a member of a cryptozoological lineage that spans generations, and it’s his job to act as a buffer between the human and cryptid worlds—not an easy task when you’re dealing with women who has snakes in place of hair, little girls who may actually be cobras, and brilliant, beautiful Australian zookeepers. And then there’s the matter of the murders… In this third installment of the highly praised InCryptid series, Alex attempts to leave the cities to his little sister, Verity, specializing in non-urban cryptids. But he soon finds that it’s still a family affair, and everyone—from his reanimated grandfather to his slightly broken telepathic cousin—is going to find themselves drawn in before things get any better.

Honor Among Thieves: Star Wars (Empire and Rebellion)— James S. A. Corey
(March 4, Lucas Books—Hardcover)

Nebula and Hugo Award nominees Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck—writing as James S. A. Corey—make their Star Wars debut in this brand-new epic adventure featuring Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia Organa. The action begins after the destruction of the Death Star in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.

When the mission is to extract a high-level rebel spy from the very heart of the Empire, Leia Organa knows the best man for the job is Han Solo—something the princess and the smuggler can finally agree on. After all, for a guy who broke into an Imperial cell block and helped destroy the Death Star, the assignment sounds simple enough. But when Han locates the brash rebel agent, Scarlet Hark, she’s determined to stay behind enemy lines. A pirate plans to sell a cache of stolen secrets that the Empire would destroy entire worlds to protect—including the planet where Leia is currently meeting with rebel sympathizers. Scarlet wants to track down the thief and steal the bounty herself, and Han has no choice but to go along if he’s to keep everyone involved from getting themselves killed…

Liberty 1784: The Second War for Independence—Robert Conroy
(March 4, Baen—Hardcover)

In this compelling alternate history novel, the British win the American Revolutionary War, and a desperate Washington and the American founders must make a last stand in an enclave called Liberty.

In 1781, George Washington’s attempt to trap the British under Cornwallis at Yorktown ends catastrophically when the French fleet is destroyed in the Battle of the Capes. The revolution collapses, and the British begin a bloody reign of terror. A group of rebels flees westward and sets up a colony near what is now Chicago. They call it Liberty. The British, looking to finish what they started, send a very large force under Burgoyne to destroy them. Burgoyne is desperate for redemption and the Americans are equally desperate to survive.

The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part Two—Robert Kirkman, Jay Bonansinga
(March 4, Thomas Dunne—Hardcover)

In Rise of the Governor, uber-villain Philip Blake journeyed from his humble beginnings directly into the dark heart of the zombie apocalypse, and became the self-proclaimed leader of a small town called Woodbury. In The Road to Woodbury, an innocent traveler named Lilly Caul wound up in the terrifying thrall of Phillip Blake’s twisted, violent dictatorship within Woodbury’s ever tightening barricades. In The Fall of the Governor Part One, Philip Blake finally revealed himself to be the true monster that he is, and the battle lines were drawn between the Governor and the desperate, beleaguered inhabitants of a nearby prison.

Now, in The Fall of the Governor Part Two, the Governor’s dark journey reaches its shocking, heartrending conclusion. In a roller coaster finale, war breaks out, all of the plot lines from the previous three novels converge, tensions boil over into unthinkable mayhem, and the dark destinies of those few left standing are sealed in a series of stunning twists.

A Turn of Light—Julie E. Czerneda
(March 4, DAW—Paperback)

The pastoral valley of Marrowdell is home to a small pioneer settlement of refugees, lush fields of grain, enigmatic house toads—and Jenn Nalynn, the miller’s daughter. Life here is full of laughter and peace, as well as hard work, and no one bothers overmuch about the outside world—except Jenn Nalynn.

Jenn longs to travel, to seek what’s missing in her life. She’s certain she’ll find what she needs, if only she can leave the valley. What she doesn’t know is that her urge to leave the valley is a sign of the Verge’s magic rising within her. A magic that will threaten her and those she loves. Jenn is “turn-born” and cursed to stay in the valley. Should Jenn step beyond Marrowdell, she will pull her world and that of the Verge asunder. To prevent this, powers from the Verge have sent a guard to watch over her, a disgraced dragon Jenn knows as Wisp, her invisible playmate. Wisp’s duty is to keep Jenn in Marrowdell.

By love, if he can. By her death, if he must…

Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive Series #2)— Brandon Sanderson
(March 4, Tor Books—Hardcover)

Six years ago, the Assassin in White, a hireling of the inscrutable Parshendi, assassinated the Alethi king on the very night a treaty between men and Parshendi was being celebrated, igniting vengeance and war. Now the Assassin is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. Kaladin, a former slave, must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin.

Meanwhile brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. She must travel to the Shattered Plains, where the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable.

Night Broken (Mercy Thompson Series #8)—Patricia Briggs
(March 11, Ace—Hardcover)

An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from a stalker. With Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something about the situation isn’t right. Soon, her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Christy has the farthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen, including turning Adam’s pack against Mercy. But she isn’t about to step down without a fight, and there’s a more dangerous threat circling. Christy’s stalker is more than a bad man—in fact, he may not be human at all. As the bodies start piling up, Mercy must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her whole world apart.

A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel: Volume Two—George R. R. Martin, Daniel Abraham (Adapted by), Tommy Patterson (Illustrator)
(March 11, Bantam Book—Hardcover)

Novelist Daniel Abraham and illustrator Tommy Patterson are not merely turning George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy A Game of Thrones into a graphic novel: They are meticulously translating one art form into another, and capturing the intricate nuances of Martin’s novels just as HBO is doing with the blockbuster series.

Now, in the second volume, the sweeping action moves from the icy north, where the bastard Jon Snow seeks to carve out a place for himself among bitter outcasts and hardened criminals sworn to service upon the Wall… to the decadent south and the capital city of King’s Landing, where Jon’s father, Lord Eddard Stark, serves as the Hand of King Robert Baratheon amid a nest of courtly vipers… to the barbarian lands across the Narrow Sea, where the young princess Daenerys Targaryen has found the unexpected in her forced marriage to the Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo: love—and with it, for the first time in her life, power. Meanwhile, Lady Catelyn Stark’s impulsive arrest of the Imp, Tyrion Lannister, will set in motion a series of violent events whose outcome is fated to shake the world at the worst possible moment. For now is not the time for private feuds and bloodthirsty ambitions.

Winter is coming… and with it, terrors beyond imagining.

Night of the Hunter: Companions Codex, I—R. A. Salvatore
(March 11, Wizards of the Coast Hardcover)

Devotees of the Forgotten Realms series know that R.A. Salvatore created Drizzt Do’Urden for his first novel on a whim, and that in the quarter century since, his spontaneous creation has become one of the most popular and endearing characters in the history of fantasy literature. In fact, all eighteen novels featuring Drizzt have become coast-to-coast bestsellers. In his latest welcome incarnation, this likeable hero and his friends risk the dangers of the Underdark to rescue Bruenor’s faithful shield dwarf-turned-vampire. A truly epic adventure.

R.A. Salvatore’s New York Times best-selling saga continues as dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden returns to Gauntlgrym with old friends by his side once again, as they seek to rescue Bruenor’s loyal shield dwarf-turned-vampire. But not only do Drizzt and his allies face a perilous journey through the Underdark and the dangers of the undead that lie within, but they must cross through a colony of drow, who would like nothing better than to see Drizzt Do’Urden dead.

Raising Steam—Terry Pratchett
(March 18, Doubleday Hardcover)

The arrival of the very first steam engine in Ankh-Morpork brings together a gathering of Discworld’s quirky folk, including Moist von Lipwig, Lord Vetinari, Adora Belle Dearheart, Sam Vimes, and even a gathering of goblins.

To the consternation of Ankh-Morpork’s formidable Patrician, Lord Vetinari, no one is in charge of this new invention. This needs to be rectified, and who better than the man he has already appointed master of the Post Office, the Mint, and the Royal Bank: Moist von Lipwig. Moist is not a man who enjoys hard work—unless it is dependent on words, which are not very heavy and don’t always need greasing. He does enjoy being alive, however, which makes a new job offer from Vetinari hard to refuse. Moist will have to grapple with gallons of grease, goblins, a fat controller with a history of throwing employees down the stairs, and some very angry dwarfs if he’s going to stop it all from going off the rails…

William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back—Ian Doescher
(March 18, Quirk)

Ian Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope generated a stir worthy of a strangely transported Bard of Avon. Now Doescher is back to present us with a version of The Empire Strikes Back as seen through the eyes of that Elizabethan empire watcher. Villainy, valor and soliloquies to ponder in iambic pentameter.

Return to the star-crossed galaxy far, far away as the brooding young hero, a power-mad emperor, and their jesting droids match wits, struggle for power, and soliloquize in elegant and impeccable iambic pentameter. Illustrated with beautiful black-and-white Elizabethan-style artwork, these two plays offer essential reading for all ages. Something Wookiee this way comes!

Justice League: Trinity War (The New 52)— Geoff Johns, Jeff Lemire, Ivan Reis (Illustrator), Doug Mahnke (Illustrator)
(March 18, DC Comics—Hardcover)

New York Times best-selling writer Geoff Johns (Green Lantern, Batman: Earth One) brings together almost two years of plot threads here in Justice League: Trinity War. When the three Justice Leagues go to war with one another, which bonds will remain, and which will be broken? Allies will be born, friends will become enemies and the DC Universe will never be the same.

This new hardcover graphic novel features stunning art from some of the best talents in the industry, including Ivan Reis (Aquaman Vol. 1: The Trench), David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 1: Knight Terrors) and Mikel Janin (Justice League Dark Vol. 1: In the Dark).

Collects: FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2012, TRINITY OF SIN: PANDORA 1-3, TRINITY OF SIN: PHANTOM STRANGER 11, JUSTICE LEAGUE 22-23, JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK 22-23, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA 6-7 and CONSTANTINE 5

Nova Volume 2: Rookie Season (Marvel Now)—Zeb Wallis
(March 18, Marvel—Hardcover)

Now that we’ve learned the origin of the all-new Nova, there’s only one thing standing between Sam Alexander and being an Avenger…he needs to ask his mom. Zeb Wells (Robot Chicken) and Paco Medina (Ultimate X-Men) continue the story of Marvel’s newest, least experienced hero, as he takes on the Superior Spider-Man and encounters the madness that is Infinity! But can Nova handle his first taste of the power of a mad cosmic god? Sam may be well out of his depth, but he’s about to get backup from some allies of the original Nova: that’s right, members of the fan-favorite New Warriors! Will Sam help them put their team back together?

Collects: Nova 6-9, 10 (A story)

X-Men: Days of Future Past—Chris Claremont, Alan Davis, John Byrne (Illustrator)
(March 18, Marvel—Hardcover)

For years, the X-Men have fought to avert a nightmarish future where robotic Sentinels herd mutants into camps…or kill them on sight. But no matter what they do, that future seems to loom ever closer. Now, all the classic tales featuring this dystopian alternate timeline are collected in one oversized volume! Kitty Pryde journeys desperately through time to prevent Senator Kelly’s assassination! Franklin Richards flees to the present, pursued by the hound-master Ahab! And Excalibur ventures into the future in a last-ditch attempt to defeat the Sentinels! Plus prequels starring Wolverine and the Hulk! The future is now!

Collects: X-MEN (1963) 141; UNCANNY X-MEN (1981) 142; NEW MUTANTS ANNUAL 6; X-FACTOR ANNUAL 5; X-MEN ANNUAL 14; EXCALIBUR (1988) 52, 66-67; WOLVERINE: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST 1-3; Material from FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL 23, HULK: BROKEN WORLDS 2

Age of Shiva—James Lovegrove
(March 25, Solaris—Paperback)

A team of godlike super-powered beings based on the ten avatars of Vishnu from Hindu mythology is assembled, but are they in fact a harbinger of apocalypse?

In this standalone novel in the best selling Pantheon series, Zachary Bramwell, better known as the comics artist Zak Zap, is pushing forty and wondering why his life isn’t as exciting as the lives of the superheroes he draws. Then he’s shanghaied by black-suited goons and flown to Mount Meru, a vast complex built atop an island in the Maldives. There, Zak meets a trio of billionaire businessmen who put him to work designing costumes for a team of godlike super-powered beings based on the ten avatars of Vishnu from Hindu mythology.

The Ten Avatars battle demons and aliens and seem to be the saviors of a world teetering on collapse. But their presence is itself a harbinger of apocalypse. The Vedic “fourth age” of civilization, Kali Yuga, is coming to an end, and Zak has a ringside seat for the final, all-out war that threatens the destruction of Earth.

Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire Series #13)— Charlaine Harris
(March 25, Ace Books—Paperback)

For Sookie Stackhouse, refusing to rehire Arlene Fowler at Merlotte’s was a no-brainer: The former barmaid, after all, had tried to have Sookie crucified. The whole story became infinitely more complicated, however, when Arlene turned up dead and the police quite logically tagged our Bon Temps telepath as the culprit. To wiggle her way out of homicide charges, Sookie must find the real murderer even as she attempts to solve some very vexatious issues in her personal life…

The Six-Gun Tarot—R. S. Belcher
(March 25, Tor Books—Paperback)

Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck; some say he is a dead man whose time has not yet come. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoard of mythical treasures. A banker’s wife belongs to a secret order of assassins. And a shady saloon owner, whose fingers are in everyone’s business, may know more about the town’s true origins than he’s letting on.

A haven for the blessed and the damned, Golgotha has known many strange events, but nothing like the primordial darkness stirring in the abandoned silver mine overlooking the town. Bleeding midnight, an ancient evil is spilling into the world, and unless the sheriff and his posse can saddle up in time, Golgotha will have seen its last dawn…and so will all of Creation.

Death—Neil Gaiman, Various Illustrators
(Mar 25,DC Comics—Paperback)

From the pages of Newbery Medal winner Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman comes fan-favorite character Death in a collection of her solo adventures!

The first story introduces the young, pale, perky, and genuinely likable Death. One day in every century, Death walks the Earth to better understand those to whom she will be the final visitor. Today is that day. As a young mortal girl named Didi, Death befriends a teenager and helps a 250-year old homeless woman find her missing heart. What follows is a sincere musing on love, life and (of course) death.

In the second story, a rising star of the music world wrestles with revealing her true sexual orientation just as her lover is lured into the realm of Death that Death herself should make an appearance. A practical, honest, and intelligent story that illuminates “the miracle of death.”

Plus, Death’s first appearance from the Sandman series, her tale from Sandman: Endless Nights, and much more!

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