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  • Books, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Great Reads, Horror, Librarian's Choice, New, Nicola, Nostalgia, Sci Fi, Science!

    Best new graphic novels

    28.02.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Best new graphic novels

    Our graphic novel section is growing bigger by the day! Here are some of my picks, from the historical to the hysterical.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBoxers and Saints – Gene Luen Yang Book cover courtesy of Syndetics

    These two graphic novels tell the story of the Boxer rebellion from different points of view. The Boxer Rebellion was a clash between the occupying colonial powers in China and a pro-nationalist and anti-Christian movement that became known as the Boxers. Gene Luen Yang captures the hard lives of the protagonists: Little Bao, who fights for the Boxers, and Vibiana, who is Christian. Both books are heart-breaking stories of people caught up in larger events beyond their control.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun
    This book serves as a stand-alone inthe Sixth Gun series. The Horsemen go their seperate ways, trying to escape the dreadful choices they made. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who hasn’t read the Sixth Gun series, but for those who have, it’s an interesting look at our primary antagonists. As usual, the artwork is both lush and disturbing, with reddish tones and black shadows predominating.  The Sixth Gun was mentioned in one of my earlier blog posts about graphic novels, and is well worth picking up.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDoctor Who: Dead Man’s Hand
    Continuing the Western theme, here’s a new adventure featuring the Eleventh Doctor and Clara. They go to Deadwood, a frontier town in 1882, to pay their respects to the famous gunslinger, Wild Bill Hickock. But as always with the Doctor, nothing is as it seems.  The town is being terrorized by a sinister, masked gunman.  They meet up with real-life figures Calamity Jane and Oscar Wilde, who was on a tour of America at the time. (Bet you didn’t know that!) The art’s decent, but the real star is the story, which clips along in true Doctor Who style.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe thrilling adventure hour
    A comic anthology featuring a plethora of awesome stories, by a whole range of different authors and artists.  Western, science-fiction, steampunk, superheroes: there’s something here for everyone.  The art and writing is consistently amazing, keeping close to the “pulp” feeling of the book. My pick for best story? “Beyond Belief” a screwball comedy about a pair of psychics who keep the various supernatural factions of their city from war in between drinking cocktails and delivering killer quips.


  • anime, Graphic Novels, Internet, Lists, Rachel

    Everything not saved will be lost.

    11.02.14 | Permalink | 3 Comments

    I’ve been on a really big video game kick lately, especially enjoying some “indie” games including Fez and The Stanley Parable. Which got me thinking, I really love when different media types get all mashed up into one another. Here, specifically, I’m going to highlight some rad books and movies that feature video games in some way.

    The End Games, T. Michael MartinBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

    Seventeen-year-old Michael and his little brother Patrick have been battling the monsters in The Game for weeks. Armed with just a rifle between them, the brothers must follow the instructions of the Game Master, which they hope will lead them to a “safe zone”, safe and far away from the terrifying Bellows, the flesh-hungry roaring beasts that roam the land. Michael and Patrick are very good at The Game. They are surviving. But The Game is changing. The Game doesn’t play fair.

    This book is so exciting, and it uses well-known video game narrative in a novel format, providing us with a thrilling debut novel from T. Michael Martin. Plus, isn’t this opening quote great?

    nintendo

    Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, Bryan Lee O’MalleyBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

    “What are you doing?”
    “Getting a life.”

    You may have seen the awesome movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and this is the first of six graphic novels that spawned the movie. Scott Pilgrim is a bit of a loser, he plays in a band in his friend’s garage and shares a bed with his roommate, because Scott can’t afford a bed. Or rent. But Wallace has that covered. Then, Scott meets the girl of his dreams – literally. Ramona Flowers rollerblades through Scott’s idle daydream and he becomes determined to track her down. But to get to Ramona, Scott must first defeat Ramona’s seven evil exes… Not so easy after all.

    Scott Pilgrim is so fun because it mashes up video game tropes into its natural narrative. The battles Scott faces with Ramonas exes play out like video game boss battles, and he even earns coins and powerups when he defeats them. The movie is fairly faithful to the books, so watch that if you want, but then ending is different, and the books delve a lot more into little stories that wouldn’t fit into the film. Both are fantastic!

    Level Up, Gene Luen YangBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

    Dennis Ouyang feels crippled by his parents’ high expectations of him. They want him to focus on school so he can become a gastroenterologist (a doctor of the digestive system). Dennis wants to play video games. But he does what’s expected of him, until his father’s sudden death leads him to an academic burnout and gets him kicked out of college. Things are suddenly not so straightforward as they once were, and things keep getting weirder when four sappy greeting card angels appear and take charge of Dennis’s life…

    Video game tropes have a lot of fun imagery associations so a graphic novel format suits the mashup well, I think!

    Ready Player One, Ernest ClineBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

    It’s 2044 and the world is a pretty ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade escapes this grim reality by hooking himself into OASIS, a sprawling virtual reality where you can live and fall in love on any of your choice of ten thousand planets. OASIS holds grim realities of its own though – somewhere in the sprawling virtual world lurks the ultimate lottery ticket, hidden by OASIS creator James Halliday behind a series of perplexing puzzles. The ticket yields immense fortune and power – if you can unlock it. The world is aware only that Halliday’s riddles are based on his love of late-20th-century pop culture, and many spend their days idly researching and debating Halliday’s idols. Then one day, Wade stumbles across the first clue. Suddenly, the whole world is watching and competing with Wade for the ultimate lottery ticket, many willing to kill Wade to get to it. The race is on, and the stakes are high. Ready, Player One?

    The living-in-a-virtual-reality trope has been widely used, and perhaps is bearing closer on our reality than we realise? Time will tell!

    Eagle Strike, Anthony HorowitzBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

    You may already be aware of Alex Rider, teen MI6 agent, but if not, here’s the lowdown. Alex’s uncle was an agent, he was killed, and Alex was brought onboard with MI6. Each book in the series covers a mission assigned to Alex and in Eagle Strike, the fourth book in the series, Alex discovers a plot by popstar-philanthropist Damian Cray to blow up several countries, supposedly for reasons of (obviously crazed) peace activism. Alex has had MI6 backing him up before, but now he’s on his own. Can he stop Cray’s deadly plan in time?

    Although not obviously video game based, Eagle Strike does contain this element – Cray catches Alex eavesdropping on him, so he drops Alex into a real life version of Feathered Serpent, the game Cray had been developing as part of his diabolical plot. Pure evil!

    Summer WarsCover courtesy of Syndetics

    Kenji is good at maths, bad with girls, and spends most of his time in the sprawling online reality of OZ. He lives an insular life until the girl of his dreams hijacks him to be her fake fiance at her family reunion. During the reunion things only get weirder when a cryptic email is received, unleashing a rogue AI in OZ and falsely implicating Kenji in the hacking. Kenji must halt and restore the damage to the virtual infrastructure and stop the rogue AI, named Love Machine, before it causes irreparable damage.

    If you know of any other great books or movies that fit into this theme, let us know in the comments!


  • Books, Grimm, New

    Upcoming New Fiction

    22.01.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Upcoming New Fiction

    The new book by E Lockhart (!), breaking free in Edwardian London, and “The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report”.

    We were liars, E Lockhart (May) – we’ve been waiting a very long time for the new E Lockhart book (Frankie Landau-Banks was 5 years ago!). May’s not that far away really. “A beautiful and distinguished family. — A private island. — A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. — A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. — A revolution. An accident. A secret. — Lies upon lies. — True love. — The truth.” (goodreads.com)

    A mad, wicked folly, Sharon Biggs Waller – “Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist – a nearly impossible dream for a girl. After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse – or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?” (goodreads.com)

    Uninvited, Sophie Jordan – an interesting new two-book series! “When Davy Hamilton’s tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS) – aka the kill gene – she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn’t feel any different, but genes don’t lie. One day she will kill someone. Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he’s not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.” (goodreads.com)


  • Books, Library Serf, Most Wanted

    Most Wanted: January 2014

    07.01.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Most Wanted: January 2014

    The Book Thief has raced up the reserves list since New Year’s. It’s got staying power: first published in 2006, it was on our most wanted list in 2009 – 2010, and has been on the New York Times bestsellers list continually for a very long time. It’s also one of 5 movie books on our list this month.

    1. Allegiant, Veronica Roth [no change]
    2. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green [no change]
    3. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [no change]
    4. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak [back after 4 years]
    5. Divergent,Veronica Roth [up 4]
    6=. The Fall of Five, Pittacus Lore [down 2]
    6=. Black Friday, Robert Muchamore [down 1]
    6=. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [no change]
    9=. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [down 1]
    9=. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [down 3]


  • Books, Grimm, Most Wanted

    Most Wanted: December 2013

    05.12.13 | Permalink | Comments Off on Most Wanted: December 2013

    These are the 10 most requested items in the Young Adult collection for this month. Because Catching Fire the movie ends on such a cliffhanger, everyone’s naturally wanting to re-read Mockingjay to remember what happens next – reserve yours now if you haven’t got around to it yet, so you don’t have to wait ages! See you next year.

    1. Allegiant, Veronica Roth [no change]
    2. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green [no change]
    3. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [back]
    4. The Fall of Five, Pittacus Lore [down 1]
    5. Black Friday, Robert Muchamore [down 1]
    6. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [up 2]
    7. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [down 1]
    8. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [down 3]
    9=. Divergent,Veronica Roth [up 1]
    9=. Insurgent, Veronica Roth [no change]
    9=. Champion, Marie Lu [up 1]


  • Books, Grimm, Most Wanted

    Most Wanted: October 2013

    03.10.13 | Permalink | Comments Off on Most Wanted: October 2013

    It’s business as usual for the most popular YA titles this month. If there’s something you really want to read, place a reserve! (Also have a look to see if we’ve got the ebook.) If there’s something you really want to read and we don’t have it, let us know about it and we’ll see if we can order it in.

    1. Allegiant, Veronica Roth [no change]
    2. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green [no change]
    3. The Fall of Five, Pittacus Lore [up 1]
    4. Black Friday, Robert Muchamore [no change]
    5. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [up 1]
    6. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [up 2]
    7. Light, Michael Grant [down 4]
    8. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [down 1]
    9. Insurgent, Veronica Roth [up 1]
    10. Divergent,Veronica Roth [down 2]
    10. Champion, Marie Lu [new, on order]


  • Books, Grimm, New

    Upcoming YA Fiction

    18.09.13 | Permalink | Comments Off on Upcoming YA Fiction

    This week, sci-fi, horror and paranormal stories, and a companion to the Mortal Instruments series.

    Inheritance, Malinda Lo – the sequel to Adaptation. “The triangular spaceship hovered motionless in the sky above Reese Holloway’s house, as inscrutable as a black hole. It had seemed like a good idea when they were inside: to tell the truth about what happened to them at Area 51. It didn’t seem like such a good idea now. Reese and David are not normal teens – not since they were adapted with alien DNA by the Imria, an extraterrestrial race that has been secretly visiting Earth for decades. Now everyone is trying to get to them: the government, the Imria, and a mysterious corporation that would do anything for the upper hand against the aliens. Beyond the web of conspiracies, Reese can’t reconcile her love for David with her feelings for her ex-girlfriend Amber, an Imrian. But her choice between two worlds will play a critical role in determining the future of humanity, the Imria’s place in it, and the inheritance she and David will bring to the universe.” (goodreads.com)

    The Waking Dark, Robin Wasserman – from the author of the Skinned trilogy. “They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand… except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn’t even know why she killed – or whether she’ll do it again. Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander, Kansas – something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who’s not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town – and in themselves.” (goodreads.com)

    Unbreakable, Kami Garcia (October) – the first book in a new series by Beautiful Creatures co-author. “When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon – a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night. Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon – battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.” (goodreads.com)

    The Shadowhunter’s Codex, Cassandra Clare (November) – this is the shadowhunters’ manual, complete with Clary’s artistic doodlings of her friends and family. “Part encyclopedia, part history, part training manual – complete with commentary from Shadowhunters who have seen it all – this beautiful guide is a perfect supplement to the… series.” (goodreads.com)


  • Books, Grimm, Most Wanted

    Most Wanted: September 2013

    03.09.13 | Permalink | Comments Off on Most Wanted: September 2013

    These are the top 10(ish) most requested items in the young adult collection so far this month. Allegiant, the final (but who knows?) in the Divergent trilogy has toppled John Green off his perch. Great scott. Also noteworthy, Into the River was the overall winner of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards this year. Nice to see a New Zealand book in the list!

    YA movie trivia: both Hazel and Augustus from the Fault in our Stars movie (2014) also star in Divergent (also 2014).

    1. Allegiant, Veronica Roth [up 1]
    2. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green [down 1]
    3. Light, Michael Grant [no change]
    4. The Fall of Five, Pittacus Lore [up 2]
    4. Black Friday, Robert Muchamore [up 2]
    6. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [down 2]
    7. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [up 2]
    8. Divergent,Veronica Roth [up 1]
    8. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [no change]
    10. Into the River, Ted Dawe (New Zealand author) [new]
    10. Insurgent, Veronica Roth [back]


  • Grimm, Most Wanted

    Most Wanted: July 2013

    03.07.13 | Permalink | Comments Off on Most Wanted: July 2013

    Two new titles are in this month’s top 10 most wanted YA list – Allegiant, the last in the Divergent trilogy, and The Fall of Five, the fourth book in the Lorien Legacies. Series rule okay, but John Green is still awesome.

    1. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green [no change]
    2. Light, Michael Grant [no change]
    3. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [up 1]
    4. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [up 2]
    5. Looking for Alaska, John Green [no change]
    5. Clockwork Princess, Cassandra Clare [down 2]
    7. Allegiant, Veronica Roth [new]
    7. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [down 1]
    9. The Elite, Kiera Cass [down 1]
    10. The Fall of Five, Pittacus Lore [new]
    10. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [down 1]


  • Books, Grimm, New

    Looking forward to:

    12.06.13 | Permalink | Comments Off on Looking forward to:

    New novels from some popular authors (a couple of them a while in the making!), and a new series of Victorian intrigue.

    More than this, Patrick Ness (September) – “A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this…” (goodreads.com)

    The clockwork scarab, Colleen Gleason (September) – “Two young women of similar age and standing have disappeared: one found dead and the other still missing. The only clue to connect them is a small Egyptian clockwork scarab. Only Miss Stoker and Miss Holmes are well-positioned enough – similar in age and stature as they are to the victims – to investigate. An unlikely pair, the fierce Evaline Stoker and logical Mina Holmes must follow in the footsteps of their infamous families – Miss Holmes has inherited her Uncle Sherlock’s keen investigative skills, while Miss Stoker has accepted her family calling as a hunter of the undead. The partners must find a way to work together, while navigating the advances of a strange yet handsome American, a clever Scotland Yard investigator, and a cunning thief, to solve the mystery of the clockwork scarabs.” (goodreads.com) In case you missed it, the two main characters are the niece of Sherlock Holmes and the half-sister of Bram Stoker (author of Dracula). They’d be an awesome detective duo, we think. The first in a new series.

    Armageddon, James Patterson (Daniel X series – October) – “In the fifth installment of James Patterson’s action-packed Daniel X series, Daniel must now face an alien whose origins appear nearer to the depths of Hell than the outer reaches of the galaxy. Number Two is an unstoppable criminal that’s slowly been amassing an underground army of disgusting, disgruntled, and dangerous aliens to help him enslave Earth’s population. And it’s all in preparation for the arrival of Number One, the most powerful alien in the universe and Daniel’s arch-nemesis. To Daniel’s horror, thousands of humans defect to the alien’s side, making the odds of success that much more impossible. But for the first time in his life, Daniel isn’t alone in his fight. He’s connected with several military and intelligence groups–including the daughter of a prominent FBI agent – and is prepared to lead the ultimate showdown against the evil that has plagued planet Earth for so long. Readers, beware – and be prepared for a truly epic battle that evokes the ancient prophecies of Armageddon!” (goodreads.com)

    Picture me gone, Meg Rosoff (September) – we’ve been waiting ages for the new book from the bestselling author of How I Live Now. “Mila is on a roadtrip across the USA with her father. They are looking for his best friend but Mila discovers a more important truth. Sometimes the act of searching reveals more than the final discovery can. Adults do not have all the answers. It all depends what questions you ask. A brilliantly atmospheric exploration of someone on the brink of adulthood…” (amazon.co.uk)


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