HomeAll postsBatcat and Grumpy Cat ganging up on Smokey (items received)

Batcat and Grumpy Cat ganging up on Smokey (items received)

Items received contents list

I’ve had a bit of a break over summer so I’m behind in posting Items Received. The contents list is here with shortcuts to the books that pique your interest. Below the contents list are the usual catty fun photos then the story of the catty shenanigans, then the serious bookish business. – Editor

The feline antics in this household have been getting somewhat out of hand lately. Grumpy Cat moved in on Christmas Day. Every since then, Edgar Allan Purr and Grumpy Cat sat side by side on the couch, unmolested. Prior to Grumpy Cat’s arrival, Smokey chewed Edgar Allan Purr’s whiskers every chance she had. After Grumpy Cat’s arrival, Smokey was too intimidated to interfere with her rival felines. Safety in numbers!

Smokey even hid from the bullies; the photo of Smokey hiding under my doona was taken on a very hot day, when my unreliable temperature gauge said it was 28 inside. If it was only 28 degrees Celsius, it was very humid to go with it.


Ok, ok, I’m joking. Smokey was hiding from the vacuum cleaner.

If you’ve been following Smokey or I on twitter, you’ll know that Smokey had a trip to the vet.


Yeah, okay, she went for her usual checkup then recently returned for surgery.


She had five teeth removed because they were rotting. Apparently some cat’s genes make them susceptible to resorbing their teeth or something. Anyway, she still has lots of teeth —


and will be able to eat normally once she’s recovered. Until then she gets cooked chicken, no dry cat food and no tinned cat food so nothing gets caught in her gums.


Smokey is determined to resume her central role in Dark Matter’s functions so she posed obligingly with some books received in the past couple of days, then had (another) post-operative consolation cuddle.

Items received
Inside outInside Out by Will Elliott

In the current political climate we all need a good laugh. Aussie author Will Elliott is doing his best to maintain morale with this comedy.

HarperVoyager says:

INSIDE OUT is the story of Denton, a down-and-out no-hoper who lives with his mother and hits rock bottom one day during a road-rage incident. What should be the lowest moment of his life turns into a moment of revelation when he is rescued by members of the Sect of Bliss. Denton is quickly drawn into their world, mostly thanks to the attractive qualities of Sister Sarah and the persuasive power of the Sect’s leader, Daniel Mason. Mason and his sidekick Coolan are initially less than impressed with their new recruit, until they discover Denton has just inherited an enormous amount of money, and doesn’t even know about it yet… They have no qualms about getting the money, even if it means getting rid of Denton permanently.

But INSIDE OUT is also the story of another group of characters – the people in charge of Denton’s mind. Mr Scott, the brisk and orderly man who runs the logic department; DM, the calm enigma creating Denton’s dreams; Len, who enjoys inventing nightmares; and Wetpatch, who runs amok with Denton’s libido. While the outside Denton is being lured into the cult, those inside Denton are well-aware that something is very wrong … and they will do whatever it takes to save him. This is a terrific read that is both amusingly inventive while being deeply clever and inspiring. As always, Will Elliott gives us a unique perspective on life while also creating a superbly entertaining narrative.

Wall of Spears

Wall of Spears by Duncan Lay

Not to be confused with the strikingly similar Wall of Spears Magic the Gathering card, Wall of Spears is Duncan Lay’s third and final book in his Empire of Bones trilogy. Rebecca Muir has reviewed Bridge of Swords (book one) and Valley of Shields (book two).

HarperVoyager says:

It is time to decide who will rule the lands and control the magic. Will it be Forland, with its lust for bloody conquest? Will it be Dokuzen, with its dreams of a slave empire, or will it be Vales, armed only with Rhiannon and her magic – and the truth about why the rulers of Dokuzen claim to be elves? Into this mix comes Sendatsu. Rejected by his true love, hated by his father, hunted by his former best friend, he now burns with the desire to build a better world for his children. Betrayal follows lies which follows more betrayal as the true power behind the vicious struggle is revealed. The fate of all the lands rests on a sword’s edge …

DauntlessLost fleet: Dauntless by Jack Campbell

The first of the Lost Fleet series (because I like to start at the beginning), this series is being released in Australia. Dauntless was published in 2006; more Lost Fleet books are out already.

The publisher says:

The Alliance has been fighting the Syndic for a century, and losing badly. Now its fleet is crippled and stranded in enemy territory. Their only hope is Captain John “Black Jack” Geary – a man who has emerged from a century-long hibernation to find himself heroically idealized beyond belief. Now, he must live up to his own legend.

Eternity GateThe Eternity Gate by Traci Harding

The Eternity Gate is the second in an Oriental fantasy trilogy.

HarperVoyager says:

One step could undo everything the Timekeepers hope to accomplish… Earth’s ancient past, the future of the planet Kila, the Timekeepers universe of origin, the primordial era when the Nefilim first ruled the galaxy and a timeless universe of utter darkness, are all periods vital to advancing human consciousness. After surviving Ancient Zhou, the Timekeeper’s efforts turn to rescuing the planet Kila from its ill-fated future. But a mishap in the remote mountains of Tibet before departure provides a nemesis with the perfect opportunity to launch a time-hopping vendetta against them. There is no where in this universe to hide. The discovery of a gate thought to lead to several universes provides more than just the means to undermine their stalker; it offers the chance to remember their lives as the Grigori, who once dwelt with the fallen Elohim, in the dark universe beyond the Eternity Gate.

Dark WolfDark Wolf by Christine Feehan

This is the twenty-something-th novel in this series.

Piatkus says:

In DARK LYCAN, Christine Feehan journeyed into the heart of the Carpathians, and into the souls of two lifemates stirred by the flush of passion and the threat of annihilation. In DARK WOLF, the breathtaking story continues as the bonds of family are imperiled, and the fate of two lovers lies hidden in the seductive shadows between life and death.

Skyler Daratrazanoff always recognized the miracle that was Dimitri Tirunul, a man beyond any dream that had ever engaged her nights. But she was human. Vulnerable. He was Carpathian. Nearly immortal. She was nineteen. He was an ancient. Yet she held half his soul, the light to his darkness. Without her, he would not survive. Caught between the two warring species, Dimitri has spent centuries hunting the undead to keep his people free, and humans safe. He had survived honorably when others had chosen to give up their souls. But now, marked for extermination by the Lycans, Dimitri found himself alone, and fearing for his life. But salvation was coming. . .

No Lycan would ever suspect someone like Skyler to dare mount a secret rescue operation. A teenage girl. A human of untested abilities. But she had something no one else had. She was predestined for Dimitri – as he was for her. And there was nothing stronger for Skyler than her desire to see her life-dream come true. Whatever the risk.

A1A1: The World’s Greatest Comics

I’m not sure I have the right link (above) but, based on the artwork, it’s at least related to the publication in my hands. It’s possible I have the artwork and link for a previous edition of the same series.

This is another hardcover comic book with high production value.

In the photo at the top of the page Edgar Allan Purr upstages this comic book because HE SAYS HE’S THE WORLD’S GREATEST COMIC. As Edgar Allan Purr tends towards deadpanning and being the fall guy for Smokey’s slap-stick humour (including Smokey munching on Edgar’s whiskers) I have my doubts.

New South Books says:

Innovation requires experimentation. A1 has always been a laboratory for creators to experiment. To do or try something new or tell a story in a genre they’re not familiar with. To encourage them to break away from corporate creations and unleash their own ideas. A1 is their platform.

The WomblesThe Wombles by Elisabeth Beresford

Grumpy Cat upstaged The Wombles in the photo at the top of the page because GRUMPY CAT.

I grew up with the Wombles on TV then I was given one of the smaller novels. This is like an omnibus edition, including gorgeous colour drawings and a CD with Bernard Cribbins (the narrator of the TV series and Donna’s father in Doctor Who) reading the stories, bringing the characters to life in his unique way. I’ve already reviewed this gorgeous little children’s novel.

Bloomsbury says:

The Wombles is the first in the Wombles series of books and introduces many of the favourite Womble characters, including the stern but kindly Great Uncle Bulgaria and Orinoco, fond of his food and a subsequent forty winks, among many others.

Illustrated throughout in full colour by the talented Nick Price, this edition of the first in the much-loved and classic Wombles series will make the perfect gift.

Deep StormDeep Storm by Lincoln Child

A thriller from a New York Times best-selling author!

Allen & Unwin says:

Lincoln Child’s Deep Storm is a superbly imagined, chillingly real blend of scientific detail and gripping adventure: the most ambitious novel to date from a master of suspense.

Former naval doctor Peter Crane is summoned to a remote oil platform in the North Atlantic to diagnose a bizarre medical condition. But when he arrives, Crane learns that the real trouble lies on Deep Storm, a research facility on the ocean floor. Deep Storm has been designed for one purpose: to excavate a site that may hold the key to a mystery steeped in centuries-old myth.

Dr. Crane makes the descent and learns that routine drilling has uncovered the remains of mankind’s most sophisticated ancient civilization: Atlantis. But the excavation team has been blighted with illness and the more time Crane spends in this strange submerged world, the more he suspects the facility conceals something more sinister. The supposed discovery of Atlantis might, in fact, be a cover for something deadly…

Lincoln Child’s Deep Storm is a superbly imagined, chillingly real blend of scientific detail and gripping adventure: the most ambitious novel to date from a master of suspense.

My Lady QuicksilverMy Lady Quicksilver by Bec McMaster

Steamy steampunk!

New South Books says:

Bec McMaster is quickly making a name for herself with edgy, innovative steampunk romance. In this third book of her Whitechapel series, Sir Jasper Lynch, Master of the Nighthawk guard, has to find the revolutionary leader threatening the aristocracy–little knowing his target is his very own secretary.

In the mist-shrouded streets of Victorian London roam vampires, werewolves, and the clockwork army of the ruling Echelon class. And the one who watches over them all: the Nighthawk.

Determined to destroy the Echelon she despises, Rosalind Fairchild has been masquerading as the revolutionary leader known as Mercury. When her younger brother goes missing, Rosalind poses as a secretary in order to infiltrate the Nighthawks and find their leader, Sir Jasper Lynch.

The Night Watch series by Sergei Lukyanenko

The Night Watch series includes Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch, Last Watch and New Watch. Four of these arrived and I love them so much I’ve already devoured the first three. I’m hoping to get hold of Last Watch before I dive into New Watch as the first three novels are written in a tight story arc. My reviews are coming soon.

HarperCollins and Dark Matter are giving away copies of Night Watch and Day Watch to 5 lucky people (US and Canada residents only).

Note: HarperCollins has published 4 out of 5 of these novels while Hachette published book 4, Last Watch. From Hachette’s website it looks like book 4 is only available in ebook or comic format. I’d like to see Last Watch released in matching format with a coordinating cover because COLLECTOR.

Night Watch blurb:

They are the “Others,” an ancient race of supernatural beings—magicians, shape-shifters, vampires, and healers—who live among us. Human born, they must choose a side to swear allegiance to—the Dark or the Light—when they come of age.

For a millennium, these opponents have coexisted in an uneasy peace, enforced by defenders like the Night Watch, forces of the Light who guard against the Dark. But prophecy decrees that one supreme “Other” will arise to spark a cataclysmic war.

Anton Gorodetsky, an untested mid-level Light magician with the Night Watch, discovers a cursed young woman—an Other of tremendous potential unallied with either side—who can shift the balance of power. With the battle lines between Light and Dark drawn, the magician must move carefully, for one wrong step could mean the beginning of annihilation.

Day Watch blurb:

The second book in the internationally bestselling Night Watch series—the powers of Darkness and the forces of Light grow closer to war.

Tor the past one thousand years, the two factions of the Others—an ancient race of magicians, shape-shifters, vampires, and other supernatural beings—have been locked in an uneasy truce as the powers of Darkness and the forces of Light secretly maneuver for the upper hand.

Now in the thrilling follow-up to the internationally bestselling Night Watch, we track members of the Dark Others—called the Day Watch and tasked with keeping the Light Others in check—including a young witch who has had the tragic misfortune of falling in love with a Light Other; a powerful warlock struggling to understand his purpose in the war; and a top lieutenant who worries that Zabulon, the leader of the Day Watch, is planning to betray him. Meanwhile, a forbidden artifact with the ability to bring the most dangerous Dark magician in history back to life has gone missing.

As the inevitable war between the forces of Darkness and Light threatens to destroy modern-day Moscow, it becomes clear that good and evil are only a matter of perspective.

Twilight Watch blurb:

The third book in Sergei Lukyanenko’s dark and thrilling Night Watch series—a visionary blend of urban fantasY and riveting thriller, set in contemporary Moscow

Night Watch and Day Watch revealed the “Others,” an ancient race of supernatural beings—magicians, shape-shifters, vampires, and healers—who live among us and swear allegiance to either the Dark or the Light. For a millennium, these opponents have coexisted in an uneasy truce, guarding each other and tottering on the brink of war.

In Twilight Watch, the Others face their greatest threat yet. An ancient book of spells with the power to turn ordinary humans into Others has fallen into the wrong hands, threatening to destroy the precarious balance between the forces of Darkness and Light. Now the Night Watch and the Day Watch must cooperate to stop the culprit. Anton, the hero from Night Watch, is back, but when the renegade Other turns out to be closer to home than he expected, the race to prevent global war becomes more urgent than ever. And as Anton gets closer to discovering the true nature of the Others, he begins to question how much of a difference there truly is between the Dark and the Light.

Last Watch Blurb:

The fourth novel in the blockbuster series from one of Russia’s most popular authors, Last Watch returns us to the hyper-imaginative world of Sergei Lukyanenko, where the endless battle between good and evil is about to reach its climax.

Anton Gorodetsky is just getting a feel for his new powers when his boss, Gesar, sends him to assist the Scottish Night Watch in Edinburgh in a murder investigation. A young Russian man has been murdered–apparently by a vampire. But the mystery is more than it seems, and soon Anton is himself in danger. The murderer appears to be someone with intimate knowledge of the Night Watch. Before long, Anton realizes that a plot is being hatched by the forces of both darkness and light that–unless he can intervene–may mean nothing less than Armageddon.

There is no blurb for New Watch. Yet. It’s being released on April 22, 2014 according to the sticker on my copy! (MINE, ALL MINE, BAHAHA)

The Barrow

The Barrow by Mark Smylie

Pyr says:

Action, horror, politics, and sensuality combine in this DEBUT EPIC FANTASY novel for fans of George R. R. Martin and Michael J. Sullivan, set in the world of the Eisner-nominated Artesia comic books.

To find the Sword, unearth the Barrow. To unearth the Barrow, follow the Map.  

When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they’ve struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.

Stjepan Black-Heart, suspected murderer and renegade royal cartographer; Erim, a young woman masquerading as a man; Gilgwyr, brothel owner extraordinaire; Leigh, an exiled magus under an ignominious cloud; Godewyn Red-Hand, mercenary and troublemaker; Arduin Orwain, scion of a noble family brought low by scandal; and Arduin’s sister Annwyn, the beautiful cause of that scandal: together they form a cross-section of the Middle Kingdoms of the Known World, brought together by accident and dark design, on a quest that will either get them all in the history books, or get them all killed.

Doctor Who: The Best of the Doctor, 3 disc set

I haven’t managed to find this on BBC’s website so I’m going to have to put these into my machine to find out what is here…


Riddick is a DVD or Bluray of the third movie in the Riddick series, aimed at Pitch Black and Vin Diesel fans. (Roadshow sent the bluray )

Roadshow says:

Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, Riddick finds himself up against an alien race of predators. Activating an emergency beacon alerts two ships: one carrying a new breed of mercenary, the other captained by a man from Riddick’s past.

LastnightLastnight by Stephen Leather

Lastnight looks rather lonely in the photo at the top of this page. Lastnight arrived at 6:30 pm with the minion then an hour later reviewer CJ arrived, drooled then left with Lastnight. I hastily took the photo before Lastnight was whisked out the door.

Hodder & Stoughton says:

Legendary P.I. Jack Nightingale returns in his fifth nail-biting adventure.

A killer is murdering Goths with brutal relish – skinning and butchering them. The cops aren’t getting anywhere, so Jack Nightingale’s nemesis, Superintendent Chalmers, asks him for help.

Nightingale discovers that the murdered Goths had one thing in common: a tattoo connected to a Satanic child-sacrificing cult called the Order of Nine Angels.

As Nightingale closes in on the killers, the tables are turned and he finds himself in the firing line, along with his friends and family. The Order will stop at nothing to protect their secrets; and Nightingale realises that there is nothing he can do to protect himself. Nor can he run, for the Order has connections across the world.

It leaves him with only one way to stop the carnage… and that’s to take his own life…

The Gospel of LokiThe Gospel of Loki by Joanne M Harris

This gorgeous gold-embossed cover even looks a little like a Bible-like book. Tom Hiddleston has made Loki so very sexy that all the authors are writing Loki stories – or so it seems.

Gollancz says:

The first adult epic fantasy novel from multi-million copy bestselling author Joanne M. Harris.

With his notorious reputation for trickery and deception, and an ability to cause as many problems as he solves, Loki is a Norse god like no other. Demon-born, he is viewed with deepest suspicion by his fellow gods who will never accept him as one of their own and for this he vows to take his revenge.

But while Loki is planning the downfall of Asgard and the humiliation of his tormentors, greater powers are conspiring against the gods and a battle is brewing that will change the fate of the Worlds.

From his recruitment by Odin from the realm of Chaos, through his years as the go-to man of Asgard, to his fall from grace in the build-up to Ragnarok, this is the unofficial history of the world’s ultimate trickster.

Loki's WolvesLoki’s Wolves by K L Armstrong and M A Marr

Loki’s Wolves is the Almighty Johnsons in literary form for children only more focused on adventure/drama than comedy. So far.

It’s the first in a series.

I munched this morsel the other morning; a review is coming soon.

Little, Brown says:

Delve deep in to the world of Norse mythology with a new 9-12 adventure series from two New York Times bestselling authors!

In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters – wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds – all bent on destroying the world.

But the gods died a long time ago.

Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history – because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.

But knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids – led by Matt – must stand in for the gods in the final battle, Matt can hardly believe it.

Matt’s, Laurie’s, and Fen’s lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to stop the end of the world.

Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the SeaTwenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea by Adam Roberts

This sexy little number is from the renown Adam Roberts who alternates between writing serious science fiction Literature and spoofs. I read somewhere he’s a professor of nineteenth century literature, too, so Dude knows writing.

Gollancz says:

A sequel to Jules Verne’s classic novel? Or something else entirely? A wonderful collaboration between Adam Roberts and illustrator Mahendra Singh.

It is 1958 and France’s first nuclear submarine, Plongeur, leaves port for the first of its sea trials. On board, gathered together for the first time, one of the navy’s most experienced captains and a tiny skeleton crew of sailors, engineers and scientists.

The Plongeur makes her first dive and goes down, and down and down. . . Out of control, the submarine plummets to a depth where the pressure will crush her hull, killing everyone on board, and beyond.

The pressure builds, the hull protests, the crew prepare for death, the boat reaches the bottom of the sea and finds. . . nothing.

Her final dive continues, the pressure begins to relent, but the depth gauge is useless. They have gone miles down. Hundreds of miles, thousands. . .

And so it goes on. And on board the crew succumb to madness, betrayal, religious mania and murder. Has the Plongeur left the limits of our world and gone elsewhere?

TWENTY TRILLION LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA contains 33 full page pen and ink illustrations by acclaimed artist Mahendra Singh, who previously illustrated an edition of THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK.

Mahendra Singh and Adam Roberts have revisited Jules Verne’s classic SF novel, and together they have come up with a unique vision.

WolvesWolves by Simon Ings

I forgot to photograph this one because it’s joined my To Be Reviewed pile already; next week I need to write a lot of reviews! Between needing to write reviews and posting items received, plus university starting in about a week, I guess my holidays are over.  [sniff]

Gollancz says:

A chilling literary dystopia for those who love Iain Banks and J. G. Ballard.

The new novel from Simon Ings is a story that balances on the knife blade of a new technology. Augmented Reality uses computing power to overlay a digital imagined reality over the real world. Whether it be adverts or imagined buildings and imagined people with Augmented Reality the world is no longer as it appears to you, it is as it is imagined by someone else. Ings takes the satire and mordant satirical view of J.G. Ballard and propels it into the 21st century.

Two friends are working at the cutting edge of this technology and when they are offered backing to take the idea and make it into the next global entertainment they realise that wolves hunt in this imagined world. And the wolves might be them.

A story about technology becomes a personal quest into a changed world and the pursuit of a secret from the past. A secret about a missing mother, a secret that could hide a murder. This is no dry analysis of how a technology might change us, it is a terrifying thriller, a picture of a dark tomorrow that is just around the corner.

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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