In time for the weekend.
Mermaids. Some people think that “mermaids are the new vampire”. We’re not sure (they said that about angels and werewolves and things), but here are a couple of articles that elaborate:
(Here are the mermaid books we’ve got in the library at the moment)
Movie castings. We hear that Magnus Bane has been cast and will be played by Godfrey Gao. This has been met with cheers from various parts of the virtual world, including Cassandra Clare’s blog (she says he’s the hottest man in the world), and others interested in casting multi-cultural characters, for example thinkprogress. On a similar subject, Finnick Odair was unveiled as Sam Claflin earlier this month (Entertainment Weekly talks about it here).
The Mortal Instruments on Facebook. Relatedly, the Facebook page for the City of Bones movie was launched on the 23rd of August. It promises photos (“production stills of the Mortal Instruments talent and crew”), so you can like it and keep up with the MI news.
Neil Gaiman: advance advance notification. Neil Gaiman announced earlier this month that his new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, is due to be published in the middle of next year. So you’ve got about a year to speculate!
Also, this book is rather timely too, as one of fashion’s older and kookier icons has recently died. Anna Piaggi was best known for her outrageous way of dressing – she had a look which was distinctly her own and certainly noticeable – and you’ve really got to admire that! She was Italian and a former employee of Italian Vogue, she died on August the 7th at the grand old age of 81.
Time Spirit Trilogy, Melissa Pearl (New Zealand author). The Time Spirit Trilogy is Golden Blood, Black Blood and Pure Blood. Gemma Hart and her family are Time Spirits, able to travel through time (as and when her father desires). This sets her apart from others, and makes her a bit of an outsider at school. But then her crush, Harrison, looks like he might fancy her also: is her growing relationship with him going to jeopardise her family’s secret?
Ngā waituhi o Rēhua, Katerina Mataira (379 pages) – This is a dystopian novel in Māori, or more accurately, four stories in one volume (plus audiobook): Rēhua, Hōkio, Maungaroa, Hokingaroa. The book “follows four teenagers living on Rēhua, a planet settled after Earth is destroyed by ecological disasters and global war. The four raise hōkio, giant mystical birds, which take them on flights to explore their new world. On one flight, they discover an island with another colony of people and are given a quest to interpret a message drawn on cave walls. Deciphering the symbols leads them to appease a gargantuan octopus and help the Tūrehu, fair-skinned sea fairies, who have discovered a way to return to Earth.” (catalogue description)
The Poison Diaries, Maryrose Wood (with The Duchess of Northumberland, 278 pages) – Jessamine Luxton has lived her whole life in a cottage near Alnwick Castle, where she has been learning about the power of plants from her apothecary father and hanging out for the day when he will let her in to his locked, poison garden. One day a traveler called Weed arrives, who – as the name suggests – has an affinity for and knowledge of plants that goes beyond her father’s. Will Jessamine’s growing fascination for Weed draw her into the dangerous secrets of the poison garden? (The Duchess of Northumberland is herself the proud owner of a Poison Garden.)
First sentence: Gray skies; the rain came and went all morning.
Devine Intervention, Martha Brockenbrough (297 pages) – Heidi is a junior in high school and would most like to be an artist but instead must play basketball, on account of her height. Jerome is Heidi’s guardian angel, except he’s not especially good at it (he’s in rehabilitative training). When things go badly wrong (and “the unthinkable happens” – what? what unthinkable??), will the two be able to muddle through and save Heidi?
First sentence: One Monday morning, a couple of years before my cousin Mike shot me in the forehead with an arrow, my eighth-grade homeroom teacher brought two cartons of raw eggs to school.
Lucy in the Sky, Anonymous (267 pages) – “The author of this diary began journaling on her sixteenth birthday. She lived in an upper middle class neighborhood in Santa Monica with her mom, dad, and Berkeley-bound older brother. She was a good girl, living a good life… but one party changed everything. One party, where she took one taste, and liked it. Really liked it. Social drinking and drugging lead to more, faster, harder… She convinced herself that she was no different from anyone else who liked to party. But the evidence indicates otherwise: soon she was she hanging out with an edgy crowd, blowing off school and everything she used to care about, all to find her next high. But what goes up must come down, and everything, from her first swig, to her last breath is chronicled in the diary she left behind.”
First sentence(s): Dear Diary. That’s ridiculous. Who writes “Dear Diary” in a diary?
Keeping the Castle, Patrice Kindl (261 pages) – Someone suggests this is like I Capture the Castle meets Pride and Prejudice. We shall see! Althea is under pressure to “marry well” in order to keep her mother and brother and sisters in a manner to which they are accustomed, and to stop the family castle – Crawley Castle – from crumbling into ruins. Enter Lord Boring. Althea decides he’s a good candidate, and swings into action, only to find Lord Boring’s business manager, Mr Fredericks, has plans of his own that may foil Althea’s.
First sentence(s): We were walking in the castle garden. The silvery light of early spring streaked across the grass, transforming the overgrown shrubbery into a place of magic and romance.
Interrupted, Rachel Coker (247 pages) – “After the loss of her mother, Allie is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Betrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. Clinging to the past is comforting but will it cost Allie her chance to be loved?” (catalogue)
First sentence(s): I stared at the ceiling in silence. Although it was so dark I don’t think it could really be called staring at all.
This week, some paranormal, horror and historical fantasy series.
“In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures – if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.
“All Mallory knows of The City is that her father – and every other witch there – fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it’s only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.” (goodreads.com)
You can read a sample here (PDF, 5.8MB)
Souls in Exile and King of Lanka, David Hair – The third and fourth in the Return of Ravana series (the first book, Pyre of Queens, won a New Zealand book award recently).
Souls in Exile: “Bollywood actress Sunita Ashoka’s reality show Swayamvara Live has ended in bloodshed and disaster. Vikram, Amanjit and Rasita are on the run, accused of the actress’ murder. Exiled like the heroes of the Ramayana, they are seemingly beset by the same perils, especially when Vikram encounters an unlikely temptress. Then another tragedy, also foretold in the Ramayana, forces Vikram into the open. But there is hope: Amanjit’s skills as a warrior are returning, Rasita is beginning to remember her own past lives, and Deepika is awakening to powers undreamt. But the Enemy, Ravindra, has also found allies─the nightmarish Rakshasa army. Memories and legends are coming alive all over India, from the bloodied sands of Ullal and the fortress of Jhansi to secret places in Mumbai, Pushkar and Varanasi. The fight to the finish has begun…” (goodreads.com)
King of Lanka: “There is no escape from destiny . . . is there? For four teenagers trapped in its story-cycle, the Ramayana is not just a tale. It is their fate! In every life they have ever lived, Vikram, Amanjit, Rasita and Deepika have been persecuted and killed by Ravindra, who aspires to the throne of Ravana the Demon-King. Now Rasita is a captive of Ravindra, and demonic beings thought to be mythical are rallying to him. His triumph seems inevitable. Vikram and Amanjit must rescue her, though in every past life, Vikram has died at Ravindra’s hands. This time, failure is not an option. This time if Ravindra wins, it will be forever. Age-old mysteries must be uncovered and forgotten powers regained, as the quest to free Rasita and end the tyranny of Ravindra moves toward the final, heart-stopping climax and a finale that is as startling as it is electrifying.” (goodreads.com – thanks goodreads!)
City of Swords, Mary Hoffman (September) – this is the sixth book in the Stravaganza series, in which Stravagantes travel in space and time between modern day London (Islington, to be exact) and Renaissance-era Talia (a fictitious country a bit like Italy). “Desperately unhappy, Laura has resorted to secretly self-harming. But Laura is a Stravagante, somebody who can travel in time and space. When she finds her talisman, a small silver dagger, she stravagates with it to sixteenth-century Fortezza, a town similar to Lucca in Italy, where she meets her Stravagante, who is a swordsmith. But Laura also meets the charming and attractive Ludo, and falls for him. Their love for each other is tested when Ludo lays claim to the crown of Fortezza, and Laura finds herself fighting on the side of the Stravaganti opposing him.” (goodreads.com)
You can read an extract here.
Over the last few months DC has been releasing new updated, reimagined, revamped editions of the entire DC universe, called The New 52! (just like that, with the exclamation point, because they’re awesome). You can find out more about what’s coming out when at the DC website here.
The Young Adult Comics collection already has a few, which you can borrow:
Did you know that Miranda Kerr has been doing her best to raise the fashion quotient of Wellington? While here with Orlando Bloom (who’s working on The Hobbit) she’s been shooting up storm with all types of fashiony pics of her in our city suddenly appearing. (First was the Rag and Bone campaign shots).
Then last weekend this rather beautiful photoshoot for New York’s T magazine appeared all over the interwebs – including a pic of Miranda outside our very own Newtown Library! (below). Whilst I’m not a big Miranda fan, I think she looks great (and with some awesome shoes to boot!)
More, as promised!
POD, Stephen Wallenfels (297 pages) – a POD is a sort of alien flying thing that destroys (“zaps” says the back cover, a little playfully) people who venture out of their houses. Josh and his father are trapped in their house, slowly running out of food. Megs is – a little more tenuously – trapped in a multi storey car park, with “dangerous security staff” lurking in the hotel next door. What’s more dangerous? The PODs, or the humans left?
First sentence: The screeching wakes me.
Dust Girl, Sarah Zettel (292 pages) – the first of the American Fairy trilogy. It’s 1935 and dust storms are tormenting Kansas. This is bad for Callie, whose mother insists on staying in Slow Run, waiting for Callie’s father (who is never coming back). When Callie’s mother also disappears in a violent storm, Callie befriends Jack, and they hitch rides on trains (hobo-style) to California. But! Callie is about to learn that the supernatural world is alive and well, and is looking for her (and indeed, she might be one of them).
First sentence: Once upon a time, I was a girl called Callie.
Reunited, Hilary Westman Graham (325 pages) – Alice, Summer and Tiernan used to be best friends, and best fans of the group Level3. But the band split up, and so did they. A few years later, at the end of high school, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion concert. So Alice, Summer and Tiernan go on a road trip together to the concert, but will they be able to reestablish their friendship?
First sentence: “Is the blindfold really necessary?” Alice asked her parents.
Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe, Shelley Coriell (299 pages) – Chloe is super popular at school, until her best friend suddenly goes cold on her and turns her into a social outcast. So Chloe joins the school radio station – which is so not cool, but necessary – where she becomes the host of a call-in show, with mixed (and possibly romantic?) results.
First sentence: I loved being a burrito.
This is so not happening, Kieran Scott (315 pages) – This is the conclusion to the trilogy that began with She’s So Dead to Us and continued with He’s So Not Worth It. Ally and Jake being their senior year together together, but a bit shakily. Then life gets complicated and seems to be pulling them apart: as high school ends will they end too, or stick together?
First sentence: “Chloe’s pregnant?” Jake blurted, pushing himself up off the ground.
Bullet Boys, Ally Kennen (320 pages) – “Alex, Levi and Max follow the young soldiers from the local army camp on the moor. But harmless rivalry develops into something far more incendiary. When the boys discover a cache of buried weapons near the training grounds, deadly forces are brought into play.” (catalogue)
First sentence: Alex never killed hares.
A Breath of Eyre, Eve Marie Mont (342 pages) – Emma lives partly in the real world and partly in the imaginary world of the books she reads and the stories she makes up in her head. When reading an old copy of Jane Eyre during a lightning storm, Emma suddenly finds herself catapulted into Jane’s shoes: and the brooding gaze of Mr Rochester… (You could try it with one of our not-so-old copies of Jane Eyre.)
First sentence: There was no possibility of taking a swim that day.
The author of the bestselling The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is going to be in Wellington for an event on the 3rd of September!
You can book at the New Zealand Book Council website (tickets $10.00).
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin we mentioned on Tuesday: it’s a bleak steampunk, dystopian love triangle which sounds intriguing. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake is the sequel to the ghost story Anna Dressed in Blood, in which Cas has waking nightmares of Anna being tortured by the Obeahman in some sort of hellish hell: can he bring her back to save her from eternal suffering? I like the idea of a story based on the idea that the ghost stories people tell around campfires are actually true. <3 ghosts.
Hot or not – new and emerging trends for spring. You decide!
Cute and frilly blouses with bow ties and such? (As also seen at Karen Walker)
Studded collars and creamy pastels? (As also seen at Glassons)
Crochet knickers?! (As seen….well, nowhere really)