The Alchemist in the Shadows is the second in Pierre Pevel's excellent "Cardinal's Blades" series. In the first volume, we met the titular Blades, a secret cadre of swashbuckling operatives in Richelieu's Paris. In this, the stakes are increased significantly. Good stuff; I can't wait for the next volume.
Scourge is a Star Wars novel by Jeff Grubb. I was surprised to find myself wanting to read it, given that it takes place in my least favorite period in SW continuity (the New Jedi Order era), but Mr. Grubb is a game writer and novelist whose stuff I've enjoyed for years, so I decided to give it a whirl. I'm glad I did. If nothing else, it was an interesting experience reading the exploits of a basically decent, trustworthy, and honorable hero (I read way too much in the way of gritty anti-hero driven Urban Fantasy). In the end, it's still a Star Wars novel, but it's not by any means a bad one.
More to come soon.