We’re starting to order some great looking fiction that will be coming out next year. March looks like a fantastic month; we’ll let you know about that in a few weeks, but in the mean time here’s a couple of Februaries.
Glass Sword, Victoria Aveyard. This is the sequel to the action-packed Red Queen, a sort of dystopian-fantasy class struggle. “Mare Barrow’s blood is red – the color of common folk – but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince – the friend – who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind. Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever? The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known – and pits Mare against the darkness of her own heart.” (goodreads.com)
Riders, Veronica Rossi. The new novel by the author of the Under the Never Sky trilogy. “For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does. Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse. Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen – Conquest, Famine, and Death – are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence. They fail. Now – bound, bloodied, and drugged – Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for – not to mention all of humankind – he needs to convince the sceptical government officials the world is in imminent danger. But will anyone believe him?” (goodreads.com) The four horsemen of the apocalypse? Excellent!
Introducing a mystery, some futuristic suspense, and an old/new book from the queen of book covers with spectacular dresses.
The Siren, Kiera Cass (January 2016). This is a re-release of a novel the author wrote before the best selling Selection series. “‘You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won’t lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time…’ The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can’t bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she’s been waiting for doesn’t seem nearly as important as the one she’s living now.” (goodreads.com)
These Shallow Graves, Jennifer Donnelly. “Set in gilded age New York, These Shallow Graves follows the story of Josephine Montfort, an American aristocrat. Jo lives a life of old-money ease. Not much is expected of her other than to look good and marry well. But when her father dies due to an accidental gunshot, the gilding on Jo’s world starts to tarnish. With the help of a handsome and brash reporter, and a young medical student who moonlights in the city morgue, Jo uncovers the truth behind her father’s death and learns that if you’re going to bury the past, you’d better bury it deep.” (goodreads.com)
The Game of Lives, James Dashner. “Michael used to live to game, but the games he was playing have become all too real. Only weeks ago, sinking into the Sleep was fun. The VirtNet combined the most cutting-edge technology and the most sophisticated gaming for a full mind-body experience. And it was Michael’s passion. But now every time Michael sinks, he risks his life. The games are over. The VirtNet has become a world of deadly consequences, and Kaine grows stronger by the day. The Mortality Doctrine—Kaine’s master plan—has nearly been realized, and little by little the line separating the virtual from the real is blurring. If Kaine succeeds, it will mean worldwide cyber domination. And it looks like Michael and his friends are the only ones who can put the monster back in the box—if Michael can figure out who his friends really are.” (goodreads.com)
Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer, was first published in 2005. In three years it will be eligible for a Young Adult card.
What is Twilight? Well, it is the story of a girl who falls in love with a vampire (and vice versa) with some rather stressful consequences. It was/is/has been a publishing phenomenon, probably bigger than The Hunger Games although not as big as Harry Potter. There were movies, there was fan fiction, there were lots of similarly-themed books.
We’re wondering how Twilight will fare in a post-apocalyptic dystopian book world. Maybe a bit of supernatural romance will make it seem a better place?
With this in mind, we’ve ordered copies of the 10th anniversary edition. We are told there is extra bonus content. It should be here in October. Reserve it now!
These are two titles we’ve ordered recently, one sci-fi, one urban fantasy with angels.
Ten Thousand Skies Above You, Claudia Gray. This is the second book in the trilogy called Firebird. “Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions. Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.” (goodreads.com)
Unforgiven, Lauren Kate (November). This is the fifth book in the Fallen series, from Cam’s perspective. “Cam knows what it’s like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. And his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he can’t stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes. Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. But if he fails… there’s a special place in Hell just for him. Tick tock.” (goodreads.com)
This week, the sequel to a smash-hit, the third book in a really popular New Zealand series, and something new.
Girl Online On Tour, Zoe Sugg. This is the follow up to the runaway smash hit Girl Online and it’s due to be released at the end of October. “Penny’s bags are packed. When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can’t wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend. But, between Noah’s jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she’s really cut out for life on tour. She can’t help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot… and her blog, Girl Online. Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?” (goodreads.com)
Being Magdalene, Fleur Beale. This is the follow-up to I Am Not Esther and I Am Rebecca (in that order) and it should be here soonish. “Four years have passed since Rebecca ran away. The community simmers with tension and rumours of an approaching split, and life has become terrifying for Rebecca’s remaining siblings as Elder Stephen seizes any chance to take revenge on them. Twelve-year-old Magdalene lives in fear that her strong-willed little sister, Zillah, will be his next target. The girls have run out of people who can protect them. To Zillah their path is clear but Magdalene is torn. How can she cause more hurt and shame for her parents? But, equally, how can she face a life with no freedom to be herself? And another question scares her most of all. Without the elders’ suffocating rules that tell her how to live, who would Magdalene be?” (goodreads.com)
Dangerous Lies, Becca Fitzpatrick. This is the new book by the author of the Hush, Hush series (due in November). “Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life. After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer. But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows. As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…” (goodreads.com)
People are saying good things about these books!
Stone Rider, David Hofmeyr. “In the vein of The Outsiders and the early Western novels of Elmore Leonard, this inventive debut novel, a cross between the cult classic Mad Max movie series and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, blends adrenaline-fueled action with an improbable yet tender romance to offer a rich and vivid portrayal of misfits and loners forced together in their struggle for a better life. Adam Stone wants freedom and peace. He wants a chance to escape Blackwater, the dust-bowl desert town he grew up in. Most of all, he wants the beautiful Sadie Blood. Alongside Sadie and the dangerous outsider Kane, Adam will ride the Blackwater Trail in a brutal race that will test them all, body and soul. Only the strongest will survive. The prize? A one-way ticket to Sky-Base and unimaginable luxury. And for a chance at this new life, Adam will risk everything.” (goodreads.com) The Outsiders, westerns, Mad Max, and super-depressing apocalyptic literature? Sounds exciting!
The Fixer, Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The first book in a planned new series. “Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather’s ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems. And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess’s classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting – and complicated – for Tess. Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for this compelling teen drama with a political twist.” (goodreads.com)
Took, a Ghost Story, Mary Downing Hahn. Everyone loves a good ghost story. “Thirteen-year-old Daniel Anderson doesn’t believe Brody Mason’s crazy stories about the ghost witch who lives up on Brewster’s Hill with Bloody Bones, her man-eating razorback hog. He figures Brody’s probably just trying to scare him since he’s the new kid … a ‘stuck-up snot’ from Connecticut. But Daniel’s seven-year-old sister Erica has become more and more withdrawn, talking to her lookalike doll. When she disappears into the woods one day, he knows something is terribly wrong. Did the witch strike? Has Erica been ‘took’?” (goodreads.com)
I Crawl Through It, A. S. King. From the author of Please Ignore Vera Dietz. “Four talented teenagers are traumatized – coping with grief, surviving trauma, facing the anxiety of standardized tests and the neglect of self-absorbed adults – and they’ll do anything to escape the pressure. They’ll even build an invisible helicopter, to fly far away to a place where everyone will understand them… until they learn the only way to escape reality is to fly right into it.” (goodreads.com) Surreal is the word!
We have been busy ordering! Here’s a selection of highly-recommended books.
The Six, Mark Alpert. “Adam’s muscular dystrophy has stolen his mobility, his friends, and in a few short years, it will take his life. Virtual reality games are Adam’s only escape from his wheelchair. In his alternate world, he can defeat anyone. Running, jumping, scoring touchdowns: Adam is always the hero. Then an artificial intelligence program, Sigma, hacks into Adam’s game. Created by Adam’s computer-genius father, Sigma has gone rogue, threatening Adam’s life-and world domination. Their one chance to stop Sigma is using technology Adam’s dad developed to digitally preserve the mind of his dying son. Along with a select group of other terminally ill teens, Adam becomes one of the Six who have forfeited their bodies to inhabit weaponized robots. But with time running short, the Six must learn to manipulate their new mechanical forms and work together to train for epic combat…before Sigma destroys humanity.” (goodreads.com)
Blood Will Tell, April Henry. The sequel to The Body in the Woods, and great if you like mysteries and thrillers. “When a woman’s body is found in a Portland park, suspicion falls on an awkward teen who lives only a few blocks away, owns several knives, loves first-person shooter video games, and doodles violent scenes in his school notebooks. Nick Walker goes from being a member of a Search and Rescue team to the prime suspect in a murder, his very interest in SAR seen as proof of his fascination with violence. How is this even possible? And can Alexis and Ruby find a way to help clear Nick’s name before it’s too late?” (goodreads.com)
Beastly Bones, William Ritter. This is the follow-up Jackaby novel. “In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer R. F. Jackaby are called upon to investigate the supernatural. First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.” (goodreads.com)
Here’s a selection of interesting-looking stuff that should be arriving around about the time to start thinking about thinking about study plans for exams. This is always the way!
The Library of Souls, Ransom Riggs (September/October). The final instalment of the trilogy with the weird photos is almost here! “Time is running out for the Peculiar Children. With a dangerous madman on the loose and their beloved Miss Peregrine still in danger, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are forced to stage the most daring of rescue missions. They’ll travel through a war-torn landscape, meet new allies, and face greater dangers than ever… Will Jacob come into his own as the hero his fellow Peculiars know him to be? This action-packed adventure features more than 50 all-new Peculiar photographs” (goodreads.com).
Dark Tide, Jennifer Donnelly (October). “Once a lost and confused princess, Serafina is now a confident leader of the Black Fin Resistance (BFR). While she works on sabotaging her enemy and enlisting allies for battle, her friends face challenges of their own. Ling is in the hold of Rafe Mfeme’s giant trawler, on her way to a prison camp. Becca meets up with Astrid and learns why the Ondalinian mermaid is always so angry: she is hiding a shameful secret. Ava can’t return home, because death riders await her arrival. And it is getting more and more difficult for Mahdi, Serafina’s betrothed, to keep up the ruse that he is in love with Lucia Volerno. If Lucia’s parents become suspicious, his life–and all of Sera’s hopes–will be extinguished. Political intrigue, dangerous liaisons, and spine-tingling suspense swirl like a maelstrom in this penultimate book in the WaterFire saga.” (goodreads.com)
Sky Key, James Frey (October). The sequel to The Calling, from one of the collaborators behind Pittacus Lore. “Endgame is here. Earth Key has been found. Two keys – and nine Players – remain. The keys must be found, and only one Player can win. Queens, New York. Aisling Kopp believes the unthinkable: that Endgame can be stopped. But before she can get home to regroup, she is approached by the CIA. They know about Endgame. And they have their own ideas about how it should be Played. Ideas that could change everything. Kingdom of Aksum, Ethiopia. Hilal ibn Isa al-Salt narrowly survived an attack that leaves him horribly disfigured. He now knows something the other Players do not. But the Aksumites have a secret that is unique to their line. A secret that can help redeem humanity – and maybe even be used to help defeat the beings behind Endgame. London, England. Sarah Alopay has found the first key. She is with Jago – and they are winning. But getting Earth Key has come at a great cost to Sarah. The only thing that keeps the demons at bay is Playing. Playing to win. Sky Key – wherever it is, whatever it is – is next. And the nine remaining Players will stop at nothing to get it.” (goodreads.com)
And finally, for fans of The Selection:
Happily Ever After, Kiera Cass (October). This is a collection of four Selection-related short stories, plus also: a bonus epilogue! Where are they now! Maps! Illustrations! Scenes from Celeste’s point of view! Bonus Lucy scenes! A cornucopia of extras. Can’t wait.
This week I’ve selected three quite different types of book to highlight: the historical war novel, the romance novel, and the music novel. These will all be arriving in the next few months, so reserve them and enjoy!
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain, John Boyne. The new novel from the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. “When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he must leave his home in Paris for a new life with his Aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy household at the top of the German mountains. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler. Quickly, Pierrot is taken under Hitler’s wing, and is thrown into an increasingly dangerous new world: a world of terror, secrets and betrayal, from which he may never be able to escape.” (goodreads.com)
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between, Jennifer E. Smith. Great for romance lovers. “Of course Clare made a list. She creates lists for everything. That’s just how she is. But tonight is Clare and Aidan’s last night before college and this list will decide their future, together or apart. It takes them on a rollercoaster ride through their past – from the first hello in science class to the first conversation at a pizza joint, their first kiss at the beach and their first dance in a darkened gymnasium – all the way up to tonight. A night of laughs, fresh hurts, last-minute kisses and an inevitable goodbye. But will it be goodbye forever or goodbye for now?” (goodreads.com)
Boot Camp, Robert Muchamore. This is the next in the Rock War series, from the author of the ridiculously popular CHERUB series. “Jay, Summer, Dylan and their bandmates are headed to RockWar Manor. But the rock star life of music festivals and glitzy premieres isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Can the bands hold it together to make it through to the last stage of the competition?” (goodreads.com)
Some more stuff for you to reserve!
The Shepherd’s Crown, Terry Pratchett. Sniff, this is the final in the Discworld series :-(. We don’t really know anything about this, except there’s Tiffany Aching (which is like saying we don’t really know anything about this). Make sure you re-read I Shall Wear Midnight before September (when this is due to be published) so you’re all good to go.
Trollhunters, Guillermo del Toro. Guillermo del Toro is well known as a movie director (of horror and fantasy – he did Hellboy for example, and a bit of Hobbit) but he also writes! “In San Bernardino, California, children are going missing. The townspeople don’t believe the rumours of trolls, but fifteen-year-old Jim Jnr knows that they’re a very real threat. At night, is anyone safe?” (goodreads.com)
Asking For It, Louise O’Neill. “It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma. The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does. Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes…” (goodreads.com)