New books for the week - part two.
Eagle Day, by Robert Muchamore (405 pages) – The much-awaited latest book in the Henderson’s Boys series. Charles Henderson is a British spy, who leads some kids in actions against the Germans during WWII (it’s not set in the present, obviously). There’s an official website with all kinds of interesting content and downloads.
First line: ‘It was eleven at night, but the port of Bordeaux crackled with life.’
Goldstrike, by Matt Whyman (265 pages) – Teen hacker Carl is being pursued by a bounty hunter and an al-Queda assassin. His only recourse is to hide out in a warehouse guarded by Cleo, a hyper-super-computer that doesn’t like intruders …
First line: ‘In black suits and dark glasses, the three men stand out among the throng.‘
Stolen, by Vivian Vande Velde (158 pages) – On the same day that a child-stealing witch is supposedly immolated in a house-fire, a girl appears in the forest with no memory of where she’s from. Could she have been taken by the witch six years earlier?
First line: ‘The old witch saw that she had gone too far.‘
Eternal, by Cynthia Leitich Smith (307 pages) – Miranda’s life is saved by her guardian angel, Zachary, but she’s consequently converted into a vampire. She is adopted by the King of the Mantle of Dracul, and Zachary pretends to be her assistant in an effort to save her soul. Has werewolves and romance also.
First line: ‘I may be heaven-sent, but I’m not perfect.‘
The Bower Bird, by Ann Kelley (196 pages) – Twelve-year-old Gussie has many plans; she wants to be a photographer, loves animals, and needs to cope with her parents’ divorce. Alas! She also needs a heart and lung transplant, and time isn’t on her side.
First lines: ‘We’ve been here for two weeks. I’m still not well enought to start at the local school.‘
Plague of the Undead : Chronicles of Blood, by Gary Cross (300 pages) – It’s 1650, and Lucius’ father – a newly-made vampire – has just killed his family. Lucius survived, and joins an elite band of vampire hunters, tracking down the master vampire who wants to turn the world into a vampire race. Written by a NZer!
First line: ‘The boy knew his father was going to kill him.‘
Fat Hoochie Prom Queen, by Nico Medina (290 pages) – Margarita “Madge” Diaz is ‘fat, foxy, and fabulous’; she and her rival, student-body president Bridget Benson, decide to compete with one another be named prom queen. The loser will back off, for good. Both will do whatever it takes to win.
First line: ‘I hate Bridget Benson.‘
Saving Rafael, by Leslie Wilson (410 pages) – Jenny and Raf are in love, but they live in Nazi-ruled Berlin – and Raf is Jewish. They join with others who must try to stay alive and eventually flee from immense danger.
First line: ‘We were in a cow byre, ten of us, cleaning out the stalls in our thin striped calico skirts and jackets.‘
First lines: ‘Darkness devoured him. Eyes wide with terror, he saw only the gaping void, heard his desperate breathing hammering through his skull as the rasping one-eyed monster pursued him.‘
Raven Rise : Pendragon Book Nine, by D. J. Machale (544 pages) – book nine is the second to last in the series and finds Bobby Pendragon trapped and the final battle for Halla about to begin. Can he save the world? The book cover says this is The Lord of the Rings for the Alex Rider generation. Discuss.
First sentence(s): “Ibara!” The tunnel remained silent.
Ghost Medicine, by Andrew Smith (357 pages) – After the death of his mother, Troy just wants to spend the summer hanging out with his friends and being sort of invisible, but life gets in the way with complex, dangerous twists and turns.
First sentence: I can see myself lying in the dirt, on my back, on a warm, starry night, with my feet up on those rocks, ringing a swirling and noisy fire, listening, laughing, seeing the sparks that corkscrew, spinning above me into the black like dying stars, fading, disappearing, becoming something else; my hat back on my head so I can just see my friends from the corners of my eyes.
Half Way to Good, by Kirsten Murphy (320 pages) – from the back cover: “A funny and moving novel about dealing with love, death and everything in between.”
First sentence: Waiting wasn’t anyone’s idea of fun.
The Stepsister Scheme, by Jim C. Hines (344 pages) – Cinderella (real name Danielle) is attacked by her stepsister Charlotte shortly after her (Cinderella, that is) marries Prince Armand. Martial arts expert and fairy-blessed Talia – or Sleeping Beauty – comes to the rescue, but not before Armand is taken to the Realm of the Fairies. Talia, and Snow White, both part of the Queen’s Secret Service, join with Danielle to get Armand back.
First line: ‘Danielle Whiteshore, formerly Danielle de Glas, would never be a proper princess.‘
The Poison Garden, by Sarah Singleton (284 pages) – Thomas’ recently deceased grandmother leaves him a magic box that enables him to enter a mysterious garden. He encounters her ghost there, where she reveals that she belonged to arcane guild of chemists. She was poisoned during a struggle for power, and now Thomas must find the murderer before he himself becomes a victim.
First line: ‘High in the tower the bell tolled, counting out eleven hours.‘
Bang, Bang, You’re Dead, by Narinder Dhami (247 pages) – A gunman is rumoured to be somewhere in Mia’s school, and the place is being evacuated. Mia has a dreadful feeling that the gunman is her brother, Jamie, who has been acting very weird lately. Can she get to him in time? This book has a terrific twist at the end that’s right I read the end first
First line: ‘The scene is normal: a family at breakfast on Monday morning before the kids go off to school.‘
Brown Skin Blue, by Belinda Jeffrey (211 pages)
Butterfly, by Sonya Hartnett (214 pages)
Lunch with Lenin and Other Stories, by Deborah Ellis (169 pages) – a collection of short stories about teens whose lives are affected by the drug trade.