Advent (Advent Trilogy book one), by James Treadwell
A December night 1537 and a powerful mage boards a ship for England. There is a shipwreck and none survive. What has happened to the box he was carrying? The box with a magic mirror and ring inside?
Present day: Gavin knows he is different. He still has his childhood imaginary friend, Miss Grey for a start and he dreams very strange dreams. His parents don’t like him and when they get the chance to go overseas, they pack him off to his Aunt Gwen who lives outside Truro, on an estate called Pendurra. But his aunt isn’t there to meet his train and she isn’t in her cottage and when a girl with dead eyes bangs on his door at midnight and then shuffles away, Gavin is certain this is not going to be an ordinary holiday! The next day he meets the owner of Pendurra and his daughter. The very same dead looking girl whom he’d seen the night before but now very much alive. Marina and Gavin spend time exploring, finding strange things happening and finally realise that ‘magic is rising…’
This week, a feudal, Eastern dystopian fantasy adventure, flying shapeshifters, and Russian spies who are after potions during the Cold War.
Stormdancer, Jay Kristoff (The Lotus War number 1). “Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task. But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected. Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she’s determined to do something about it. Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?” (goodreads.com)
The Girl With Borrowed Wings, Rinsai Rossetti. “A stunningly written tale of an isolated girl and the shape-shifting boy who shows her what freedom could be – if only she has the courage to take it. Controlled by her father and bound by desert, Frenenqer Paje’s life is tediously the same, until a small act of rebellion explodes her world and she meets a boy, but not just a boy – a Free person, a winged person, a shape-shifter. He has everything Frenenqer doesn’t. No family, no attachments, no rules. At night, he flies them to the far-flung places of their childhoods to retrace their pasts. But when the delicate balance of their friendship threatens to rupture into something more, Frenenqer must confront her isolation, her father, and her very sense of identity, breaking all the rules of her life to become free.” (goodreads.com)
The Apothecary, Maile Meloy. “It’s 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows – a fascinating boy who’s not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin’s father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary’s sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies – Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster.” (goodreads.com). This book also has illustrations by Ian Schoenherr, who drew the bridges and maps in Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (they are cool bridges and maps).
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.
Ferragost is a short story set in the world of the Lumatere Chronicles, featuring Lady Celie. It’s being published in the Review of Australian Fiction, an online journal, which is available for purchase (about $3.00 Australian) from tomorrow (7 August).
Melina Marchetta promises that the story doesn’t have any spoilers for Quintana of Charyn, which is released in a few weeks’ time, but that it does provide useful background. More explanation and a short extract here.
Bitterblue has been Queen of Monsea for eight years when the novel opens. Being Queen of Monsea, in practice, means struggling under a great weight of paperwork supplied by her trusted advisors, who assure her that it is indeed essential to the running of her kingdom. It also means she is isolated from her friends (who are busy overthrowing kings in other countries), and increasingly frustrated by how little she knows about Bitterblue City and Monsea. It is hardly surprising then, when one night she snatches the opportunity to escape the castle and explore the streets in disguise, finding herself drawn to a pub where a storyteller has his audience enthralled.
This begins an intricate journey of discovery for Bitterblue and the people of Monsea, who have been kept from the truth first by Leck (Bitterblue’s heinous father, as seen in Graceling and Fire), and then by a misguided assumption that sweeping things under the carpet and quietly moving on is the best way of dealing with attrocities. Bitterblue is about secrets, lies, and the truth that slowly wangles its way out of hiding. (And also adventure and romance.)
Bitterblue is a quiet, page-turning read. There’s a large cast of characters, all with strengths and weaknesses – it’s hard to separate the goodies from the baddies, which is mostly the point. Bitterblue herself differs from Kristin Cashore’s other two heroines (Katsa and Fire), in that she doesn’t have a special power and isn’t (she thinks) particularly beautiful (describing herself as being built like an eggplant), but she does have a large amount of pluck and courage and wit, proving that you don’t have to be magic to be strong, and being strong is an admirable quality in a heroine.
Apart from being a great story, Bitterblue has some other features:
A Confusion of Princes, Garth Nix
Imagine knowing you are one of ten million princes throughout the Empire! Imagine knowing you could die twenty times and be ‘reborn’! But you can only be reborn if you are connected to the Imperial Mind, so the first task for Prince Khemri is to dodge any stray bullets and explosive devices to get to a base where he can ‘connect’! He becomes a naval cadet and a target for his fellow cadets, as he seems to be privileged with 12 priests and a senior Master of Assassins assigned to him. His first death comes during a raid by their enemies the Sad Eyes, whilst stopping the invaders from blowing up the base. More adventures follow but will he accept his Imperial-chosen destiny or change it for himself? Good sci-fi adventure by a favourite author.
Here are a bunch of new books. Not all of the recent arrivals are listed! Sorry! Browse the YA New Book shelves next time you’re in and you might find your new favourite book.
Liar’s Moon, by Elizabeth C. Bunce (356 pages) – here’s a follow-up to StarCrossed, set in a colourful adventure-fantasy world where pickpocket Digger must somehow prove aristo-hottie Lord Durrel Decath did not kill his wife with the poisons he kept lying around. Award-winning magic and conspiracy!
First lines: ‘I’d have gotten away if that little guard hadn’t cracked me in the eye. His elbow hit me sharp against my cheekbone and sent me reeling.‘
Perfected by Girls, by Alfred C. Martino (310 pages) – Melinda really likes wrestling, and is the only girl on the school team. Americans love wrestling! To them it is a like cricket is to us, I think? Anyway, as the only girl, Melinda has a rough time of it; hassles from her peers, and no one wants to wrestle her. Family life is proving a little challenging also, but things take a clothesline to the face (in a good way!) when she gets to wrestle with a varsity team.
First lines: ‘Sometimes I wish I were a guy. I know that sounds stupid, probably ridiculously stupid – my best friend, Jade, would certainly say it does.’
The Shadowing : Hunted, by Adam Slater (193 pages) – This is book one in The Shadowing, a series about a period of time when the wall between our world and the demon realm break down. Yikes! Don’t worry though, it is fiction. Not for Callum Scott, though, who has seen ghosts all his life. He has terrifying visions that start to come true! A dark destiny dictates that he in the one who stands between our world and the *whispers* world of demons.
First line: ‘Callum was miserable and cold. He sat hugging his rugby kitbag while he waited for his train, trying to ignore the ghost that stood beside him on the empty station platform.’
Body of Water, by Sarah Dooley (324 pages) – Ember – twelve-years-old and unfortunately named – is left homeless after her best friend torches her family’s trailer. His father thinks her family are witches! Crazy what people believe. So now they live in a campground with no money and a missing dog. She only finds peace when floating in the middle of a lake, which seems reasonable you must admit.
First line: ‘I’m certain there were puddles, even before the fire trucks came.‘
Yes, by Deborah Burnside (272 pages) – Marty’s friend Luke suggests that they get involved with the Young Enterprise Scheme (actually a real thing!) as it will make them rich and popular. Marty isn’t so keen! But what comes next is a ‘whole lot bigger and weirder than he could ever have imagined …’
First line: ‘Mum slammed the door, a bit harder than necessary if you ask me, on her way out.‘
Girls Don’t Fly, by Kristen Chandler (300 pages) – I allow myself at least one copy & paste job from the catalogue, just because: ‘Myra, a high school senior, will do almost anything to win a contest and earn money for a study trip to the Galapagos Islands, which would mean getting away from her demanding family life in Utah and ex-boyfriend Erik, but Erik is set on winning the same contest.’
First line: ‘If I close my eyes anc concentrate on the squawking gulls and the heat of the sun on my skin, it’s almost like I’m at the beach.’
The Silence of Murder, by Dandi Daley Mackall (327 pages) – Hope Long’s brother, Jeremy, who is eighteen and hasn’t spoken a word since he was nine, is accused of murdering the local baseball coach. Hope is adamant that Jeremy is innocent! And also sane! She has other suspects in mind, and determined to find out the truth. A new entry in the growing teen murder mystery genre, you morbid lot
First line: ‘The first time Jeremy heard God sing, we were in the old Ford, rocking back and forth with the wind.‘
Hunting Lila, by Sarah Alderson (317 pages) – Lila loves her brother’s best friend, Alex, who, along with Lila’s brother, Jack, work for a secret organisation called The Unit. Lila has the power to move things with her mind, and she discovers that others also have powers – including one of the men who killed her mother five years previously. So you know there will be trouble.
First line: ‘Only when th tip of the knife started to shave against the white of his eye like a scalpel about to pierce a boil, did I realise that I was the one holding it.‘
Born at Midnight, by C. C. Hunter (406 pages) – This is the first in a new series (the Shadow Falls series), about a camp that is a training ground for vampires, werewolves, witches, fairies, and so on. There they learn to live in the normal world and not freak out too many people with their powers. Kylie Galen is sent there, but she doesn’t know why – everyone seems sure that she belongs there, but she isn’t so sure. Also Derek (half fairy) and Lucas (werewolf) are both dreamy and she can’t chooooooose
First lines: ‘“This isn’t funny!” her father yelled. No, it wasn’t, Kylie Halen thought as she leaned into the refrigerator to find something to drink.’
The Extraordinaires : The Extinction Gambit – Part One, by Michael Pryor (376 pages) – The first in a new series by Michael Pryor, author of the Laws of Magic series. Here, below, is the official trailer, to tempt you.
Fantasy fans might be interested to hear about a couple of upcoming releases, brought to you by the colour red.
Froi of the Exiles, Melina Marchetta (October/November) – If you’ve read Finnikin of the Rock you might remember Froi, although maybe not fondly (to say he’s a bit of a jerk is being kind). Like him or not, you’ll want to read the follow-up to Finnikin. It is three years after Lumatere was released from its curse and Froi is sent on a secret mission to Charyn where things are, I think, a bit nuts. Here’s an interview with the author (thanks to Kym for the link). Nice cover too.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Catherynne M Valente (soonish) – If there were a prize for book titles this one would have a good shot. Originally published online, this one is neatly illustrated by Ana Juan. September is 12 years old and living in Omaha. One day she is visited by a Green Wind who tells her she’s needed in Fairyland where September must find a particular talisman for the Marquess or else she (the Marquess) will make life difficult for Fairyland. A School Library Journal reviewer said, “Think The Phantom Tollbooth crossed with The Wizard of Oz infused with the absurdity of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” which sounds awesome (you can read another SLJ review of it here).
The author’s website is here, and below is the rather stylish book trailer:
Battle Dress, by Amy Efaw (290 pages) – West Point is a really, really old school in New York for officer cadets in the US Army. It is steeped in tradition! But don’t just take my word for it; check wikipedia! Seventeen-year-old Andrea Davis has been accepted, which gives her the chance to escape her dysfunctional family and to ‘prove to herself that she has what it takes’. But is she prepared for what the training (which is called “Beast” by the cadets, so presumably it’s far from easy). Battle Dress is based on the author’s own experiences.
4First line: ‘The morning I left for West Point, nobody showed up at my house to say good-bye.‘
Family, by Micol Ostow (376 pages) – Melinda Jensen is seventeen, and flees to San Francisco to escape her abusive home life. She falls in with Henry, a charismatic leader of a cultish ‘family’ of people. It is the seventies! Henry is a bit Charlie Manson-ish! This book is written in the form of episodic verse (poems).
First line: ‘I have always been broken‘
Purple Daze, by Sherry Shahan (207 pages) – 1965, and the times were changing very quickly! Riots, assassinations, wars, and all the kinds of other social upheavals that made the decade famous. For those things. You know what I mean. This group of high school friends live through it all, and their stories are told via letters, diaries, notes, and poems. Mainly poems, for it is written in the form of episodic verse.
First line: ‘We’re slumped on the front seat of a low-slung Pontiac, cherry paint job.‘
Long Lankin, by Lindsey Barraclough (454 pages) – Long Lankin is a very old folk song about a man who murders his lord’s wife and infant son when he’s not paid for some work he did on the lord’s castle. I didn’t say it was a happy song! Grim were the days before Fair Go, haha. ANYWAY, this book is about two girls who go to stay with their great-aunt who lives in ye olde house, Guerdon Hall. The aunt isn’t too happy they’re there; the last time two young girls were there her life was ‘devasted’. And now an old evil presence has been awakened …
First line: ‘There’s too much sky, and the further out of London we go, the more of it there is.‘
Venomous, by Christopher Krovatin (323 pages) – High-school junior Locke Vinetti has a problem with his anger. He can not control it, and he calls it ‘the venom’. Now he’s a bit of a loner! He meets Renee, the ‘beautiful, messed-up goth girl of his dreams’. But can he get rid of the venom also? This book is interspersed with comic-style illustrations!
First line: ‘The city is absolutely gray today.‘
Rampart, by Diana Peterfreund (402 pages) – Astrid Llewelyn’s boyfriend is rendered unable to take her to the prom when he is attacked by a killer unicorn. Astrid had always ignored her mother’s belief in killer unicorns (can you blame her) and now she’s off to Rome to train as a killer unicorn hunter at the ancient Cloisters, for she is descended from one of the greatest killer unicorn hunters that ever hunted. Killer unicorns!
First lines: ‘“‘I will never really leave,’ said the unicorn. Diamond sparkles floated from the tip of its glittering silver horn. ‘I will always live in your heart.’” I swallowed the bile rising in my throat and forced myself to continue reading.‘
Crusade, by Linda Press Wulf (245 pages) – A boy atop a white charger rides into Georgette’s village. He is surrounded by other children, and he wants more to join his Crusade to the Holy Lands. It is a journey of great danger and peril! And one that may have happened, and most likely failed disastrously. (Another book set during the Children’s Crusade is Angel Fish, by Lili Wilkinson.)
First lines: ‘Foundling. Orphan. Parish child. All these names belonged to him but he didn’t want to belong to them.‘
Steel, by Carrie Vaughn (294 pages) – Jill is sixteen and a master fencer. She goes on holiday with her family to the Bahamas and finds a old, broken, piece of a rapier blade. It transports her back it time, and she winds up on the deck of a seventeenth-century pirate ship. Luckily she can use a sword! ‘Time travel, swordplay, and romance’, says the blurb, accurately.
First lines: ‘Jill shook her legs out one at a time. Rolled her shoulders. Rearanged her hold on her weapon once again, curling gloved fingers around the grip.‘
Shine, by Lauren Myracle (359 pages) – When sixteen-year-old Cat’s former best friend, Patrick, is founded nearly beaten to death for being gay, she swears vengeance on the attackers. She doesn’t believe the sherriff, who reckons it was done by out-of-towners, but Cat is sure it was someone in their isolated rural community. ‘Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone in the name of justice.’
First lines: ‘Patrick’s house was a ghost. Dust coated the windows, the petunias in the flower boxes bowed their heads, and spiderwebs clotted the eaves of the porch.‘
Ruby Red, by Kerstin Gier (330 pages) – Gwen is a normal teenaged girl living in an exclusive part of London. Her family haven’t told her about the ability some of the women have to time travel, since it seems that the gene skipped over her. But! When she started time travelling she doesn’t know what’s going on, and so goes on a crash course in time travel, secret societies, living in the olden days, and Gideon, a gorgeous fellow time traveller.
First lines: ‘Hyde Park, London: 8 April 1912. As she fell to her knees and burst into tears, he looked all around the park. Just as he’d expected, it was empty at this early hour.‘
Through Her Eyes, by Jennifer Archer (377 pages) – Tansy Piper moves to a tiny Texan town with her mother. They move into an old, spooky house, and Tansy finds some things that belonged to Henry, a mysterious and troubled man who lived (and died!) there long ago. She can visit his world through the lens of her camera and soon she becomes more involved with his life than the real life of the present. oOooOo ghoooooosts oOooOo
First line: ‘I died on a bitter, cold night.‘
We have loads of new books. We are overwhelmed! Something to do with the financial year ending, and budgets being spent. Today is the first day of the new financial year, so happy new financial year? Let us celebrate with some new YA fiction, as is traditional from times gone by.
Rot & Ruin, by Jonathan Maberry (458 pages) – It is the near future. And the world is no longer safe for anyone, thanks to a zombie apocalypse. Humans live in small settlements, and all teens have to start working at the age of 15 or they won’t get fed. Benny, who has just hit 15, reluctantly agrees to become a zombie-killing bounty hunter with his dull brother, Tom. What he thought would be a boring (!) job turns out to be … not boring at all.
First line: ‘Benny Imura couldn’t hold a job, so he took to killing.‘
The Betrayal of Maggie Blair, by Elizabeth Laird (423 pages) - Sixteen-year-old Maggie is accused of witchcraft, and flees for her life. For it is Scotland during the 1600s! Her grandmother, also accused, is hanged, so Maggie runs to her uncle’s place. Her uncle is part of a movement rebelling against the English crown, and she can not entirely escape her past (the whole ‘witch’ thing) when an old enemy puts in an appearance.
First line: ‘I was the first one to see the dead whale lying on the sand at Scalpsie bay.‘
You Killed Wesley Payne : A Novel, by Sean Beaudoin (359 pages) – Dalton Rev has just transferred to a new school. Dalton is a ‘hard-boiled PI’ and also seventeen, and he is going to take on his hardest case ever; to discover who killed Wesley Payne? A ’smart, slick, and hilarious detective novel.’
First line: ‘Dalton Rev thundered into the parking lot of Salt River High, a squat brick building at the top of a grassless hill that looked more like the last stop of the hopeless than a springboard to the college of your choice.‘
Pull, by B. A. Binns (310 pages) – David is (understandably!) distraught after his father kills his mother, and he – and his sisters – move to a new, tough inner-city school in Chicago. He tries to make a new life for himself, all the while dealing with the burden of his grief, but ends up having to make a very difficult choice; to take a basketball scholarship, or quit school to work and support his family.
First line: ‘It’s fourth period, and so far not one teacher has questioned who I am.‘
Enclave, by Ann Aguirre (262 pages) – From the catalogue! ‘In a post-apocalyptic future, 15-year-old Deuce, a loyal Huntress, brings back meat while avoiding the Freaks outside her enclave, but when she is partnered with the mysterious outsider, Fade, she begins to see that the strict ways of the elders may be wrong – and dangerous.’ According to Publishers Weekly, this book is for fans of The Hunger Games. Which is nearly everyone! So you can’t go wrong.
First line: ‘I was born during the second holocaust.‘
Divergent, by Veronica Roth (487 pages) – Another dystopian story! This is the first in a series set in a future Chicago, where everyone at the age of 16 must choose one of five factions to join. Each faction is dedicated to a certain virtue. Beatrice Prior has to choose between staying with her family or being true to herself (i.e., she doesn’t belong to any one faction and is, in fact, a Divergent.) She very quickly discovers that her world isn’t as perfect as she thought. ’Edgy,’ says Publishers Weekly. ‘Definately not for the fainthearted,’ they add.
First lines: ‘There is one mirror in my house. It is behind a sliding panel in the hallway upstairs.‘
How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy, by Crystal Allen (283 pages) – Thirteen-year-old Lamar is a champion ten-pin bowler, but he is overshadowed by his uber-talented basketball-playing older brother. Lamar has no luck with the ladies, either. So a scheme to make money backfires he ruins his brother’s chance at getting into college as well as every relationship in his life. How can he mend everything? How?! ‘Heartwarming and humorous.’
First line: ‘Since Saturday, I’ve fried Sergio like catfish, mashed him like potatoes, and creamed his corn in ten straight games of bowling.‘
Like Mandarin, by Kirsten Hubbard (388 pages) – Catalogue says, ‘When shy, awkward fourteen-year-old Grace Carpenter is paired with the beautiful and wild Mandarin on a school project, an unlikely, explosive friendship begins, but all too soon, Grace discovers that Mandarin is a very troubled, even dangerous, girl.’ Thanks, catalogue!
First line: ‘The winds in Washokey make people go crazy.‘
The Replacement, by Brenna Yovanoff (343 pages) – Mackie Doyle is a changeling, and was left in a human baby’s crib 16 years ago; although he would rather fit in to our world, all the iron, blood, and consecrated ground here are slowly killing him. When Tate – the girl he fancies – loses her baby sister, Mackie is drawn back to Mayhem to try to find her. Here’s the catalogue’s summary (I know I keep copying from it, but this sounds really good!); ‘“Edward Scissorhands” meets “The Catcher in the Rye” in this wildly imaginative and frighteningly beautiful horror novel about an unusual boy and his search for a place to belong.‘
First line: ‘I don’t remember any of the true, important parts, but there’s this dream I have.‘
The Lost Tohunga, by David Blair (368 pages) – Mat is on holiday in Taupo, and all he wants to do there is study and catch up with his magical mentor. But! Warlocks, determined to dominate the hidden land of Aoteoroa, seek Te Iho, and soon Mat is caught up in a deadly no-holds-barred struggle. This is the sequel to The Taniwha’s Tear, itself the sequel to The Bone Tiki.
First line: ‘Auckland, 1956 – Whenever the girl heard the crunch of boots on the gravel path outside, she imagined that her father had come to take her away.‘