THE INCORRUPTIBLES (Gollancz 2014)
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In the contested and unexplored territories at the edge of the Empire, a boat makes its laborious way upstream. Riding along the banks are the mercenaries hired to protect it – from raiders, bandits and, most of all, the stretchers, elf-like natives who kill any intruders into their territory. The mercenaries know this is dangerous, deadly work. But it is what they do.
In the boat the drunk governor of the territories and his sons and daughters make merry. They believe that their status makes them untouchable. They are wrong. And with them is a mysterious, beautiful young woman, who is the key to peace between warring nations and survival for the Empire. When a callow mercenary saves the life of the Governor on an ill-fated hunting party, the two groups are thrown together.
For Fisk and Shoe – two tough, honourable mercenaries surrounded by corruption, who know they can always and only rely on each other – their young companion appears to be playing with fire. The nobles have the power, and crossing them is always risky. And although love is a wonderful thing, sometimes the best decision is to walk away. Because no matter how untouchable or deadly you may be, the stretchers have other plans.
THE TWELVE-FINGERED BOY (Carolrhoda Labs, 2013)
Fifteen-year-old fast-talking Shreve doesn’t mind juvie. He’s good at dealing contraband candy, and three meals a day is more than his drunk mother provided. In juvie, the rules never change and everyone is the same. In juvie, Shreve has life figured out.
So when he’s assigned a strangely silent and vulnerable new cellmate, Jack, Shreve takes the younger boy under his wing. But all Shreve’s plans and schemes unravel when he discovers Jack is different. For one thing, Jack has six fingers per hand. For another thing, he just might have superpowers.
Soon Jack has drawn the attention of the cellblock bullies as well as the mysterious and chilling Mr. Quincrux—who claims to be from the Department of Health and Human Services. But when Shreve feels Quincrux invade his mind and shuffle through his darkest memories, he knows Quincrux’s interest in Jack is far more sinister. Mr. Quincrux means to take Jack away. For what purposes, no one knows.
But Shreve has another plan: escape.
“A fast-paced, ferocious nightmare of a story—gritty, magical, and surprisingly tender.” – Brenna Yovanoff, New York Times Bestselling author of The Replacement and The Space Between
“John Hornor Jacobs conjures dark magic with THE TWELVE FINGERED BOY. A powerful new voice whispering out of the dark. A brilliant debut!” – Jonathan Maberry, author of the acclaimed Rot and Ruin, New York Times bestselling author of The King of Plagues and Patient Zero.
THE SHIBBOLETH (Lerner Books/Carolrhoda Lab 2014)
Starred Booklist, Starred VOYA
“The Twelve-Fingered Boy is John Hornor Jacobs’s debut young adult novel and it’s amazing…part Huck Finn, part X-Men. The scary stuff in this book — and there’s some really scary stuff here — goes beyond the usual scares of kids’ horror, and is truly the stuff of nightmares. This is a book that mesmerizes like a venomous snake…I’ll be on the watch for the next two volumes. ” – Cory Doctorow, on BoingBoing.net
“John Hornor Jacobs’s The Twelve-Fingered Boy is a thrill ride. With candy. And polydactyl, reluctantly heroic kids who go up against all odds in a world of uncontrollable superpowers and unrelenting bad guys. Exciting, suspenseful, creepy, and fun—The Twelve-Fingered Boyis a terrific, fast-paced read!” –Andrew Smith, award-winning author of The Marbury Lensand Stick
“Jacobs’ storytelling has the effortless velocity of early Dean Koontz, and his prose is textured with hard-boiled grit… An expertly spiced stew of attitude, humor, horror, and grief.” –starred, Booklist
“A fast-paced, ferocious nightmare of a story—gritty, magical, and surprisingly tender.” –Brenna Yovanoff, New York Times Bestselling author of The Replacement
“The Shibboleth elevates the events of The Twelve Fingered Boy into grand, dark conspiracy, depicting a world where the very fabric of society is slowly unraveling. But what’s most satisfying is Shreve’s reaction to it: with indifferent, implacable determination. It is an absolute joy to see Shreve burst through walls other protagonists would limply flail at.” – Robert Jackson Bennett, multiple award-winning author of City of Stairs, American Elsewhere, The Troupe, and The Company Man
THE CONFORMITY (Lerner Books/Carolrhoda Lab 2015)
Mr. Quincrux is dead. Armistead Lucius Priest, founder of the Society of Extranaturals is now seated uneasily in his protégés flesh, and though Priest’s powers are not inconsiderable, the Conformity will not settle for the second-brightest flame in the etheric heights. It will confront Shreve. But it will have to find him first. Under the protection of Mr. Negata, Jack, and the rest of the Irregulars, Shreve retreats to the wild to face his demons and prepare his mind for one more battle. The Conformity is the breathtaking conclusion to the acclaimed Twelve-Fingered Boy Trilogy.
THIS DARK EARTH (Gallery/Simon & Schuster – Summer 2012)
The land is contaminated, electronics are defunct, the ravenous undead remain, and life has fallen into a nasty and brutish state of nature. You need: food, water, weapons.
Welcome to Bridge City in what was once Arkansas—part medieval fortress, part Western outpost, and the precarious last chance for civilization.
A ten-year-old prodigy when the world ended, Gus is now at fourteen a battle-hardened young man. Gus designed Bridge City to protect the living few from the shamblers always at the gates. Now he’s being groomed by his physician mother, Lucy, and the gentle giant Knock-Out to become the next leader of men. But an army of slavers is on its way, and the war it wages for the city’s resources could mean the end of survival as we know it. Can Gus be humanity’s savior? If he is, will it mean becoming a dictator, a martyr, or maybe something worse than even the zombies?
Grab a sturdy headknocker, strap on some Kevlar, and prepare to shape the future of humankind.
SOUTHERN GODS (Night Shade Books, 2011)
NOMINATED FOR THE BRAM STOKER AWARD FOR SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A FIRST NOVEL
Recent World War II veteran Bull Ingram is working as muscle when a Memphis DJ hires him to find Ramblin’ John Hastur. The mysterious blues man’s dark, driving music–broadcast at ever-shifting frequencies by a phantom radio station–is said to make living men insane and dead men rise.
Disturbed and enraged by the bootleg recording the DJ plays for him, Ingram follows Hastur’s trail into the strange, uncivilized backwoods of Arkansas, where he hears rumors the musician has sold his soul to the Devil.
But as Ingram closes in on Hastur and those who have crossed his path, he’ll learn there are forces much more malevolent than the Devil and reckonings more painful than Hell . . .
In a masterful debut of Lovecraftian horror and Southern gothic menace, John Hornor Jacobs reveals the fragility of free will, the dangerous power of sacrifice, and the insidious strength of blood.