Publishers Weekly on Escapement by Jay Lake
This lively and thought-provoking sequel to 2007's Mainspring expands Lake's alternate 19th-century world of baroque politics and gothic clockwork. Paolina Barthes is a teenage scientific prodigy born in a small Portuguese fishing village at the base of the massive equatorial gear-wall. Determined to learn from English engineering "wizards" and understand the work of the great gears and wheels that move the universe, Paolina creates a homebrew chronometer, or "gleam," and sets off toward London. When she discovers the gleam has astonishing magical properties that only she can evoke, she becomes a target of various political and philosophical factions. Her efforts to figure out what the gleam can do while evading capture and persevering on her quest recall Lyra and the alethiometer from Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, but Paolina's sharp engineer's mind puts a very different spin on her journey. Lake effectively anneals steampunk with geo-mechanical magic in an allegorical matrix of empire building and Victorian natural science.
The conclusion to Patricia Bray's The Chronicles of Josan: The Final Sacrifice
Emperor Lucius has led his people to victory, but is losing a private war within himself, as the spell which bound his soul to that of the monk Josan is now unraveling, threatening to destroy them both. Their only hope lies in the forbidden magic teachings of a distant land. Reluctantly abandoning his empire, Lucius secretly embarks upon a desperate journey, pursued by his former enemy Lady Ysobel of Seddon. But when a new war threatens all that he has fought for, he must choose between his own salvation or learning to wield the very magic that will destroy him.
The First Betrayal (The Chronicles of Josan, Book 1)
The Sea Change (The Chronicles of Josan, Book 2)
Spawned of alchemy and blood, he was the last of a brutal, ancient line. Now he has just been reborn. Deep in a Texas cave, the military unearths a five-hundred-year-old corpse, its dessicated flesh teeming with mysterious DNA that can transform mortals into beings of unimaginable power. But when the creature is conjured to life, Captain Scott Boulder, leader of a Black Ops unit, and anthropologist Leah Macquire must set aside their differences and work together to keep humanity from entering a new Dark Age. They will sacrifice everything they hold dear -- perhaps even their own humanity -- to destroy...
The Last Vampire by Patricia Rosemoor and Marc Paoletti