A bit of this, bit of that:
The Gladiator series by Simon Scarrow. The series is (so far): Fight for Freedom, Street Fighter, and Son of Spartacus. They tell the story of Marcus Cornelius Primus, a young gladiator determined to find justice for the crimes against his family. Julius Caesar makes an appearance also. Have to say, Roman names are awesome.
The Prey, Andrew Fukuda (February/March) – “For Gene and the remaining humans – or hepers – death is just a heartbeat away. On the run and hunted by society, they must find a way to survive in The Vast… and avoid the hungry predators tracking them in the dark. But they’re not the only things following Gene. He’s haunted by the girl he left behind and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side. When they discover a refuge of exiled humans living high in the mountains, Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe. Led by a group of intensely secretive elders, the civilisation begins to raise more questions than answers. A strict code of behaviour is the rule, harsh punishments are meted out, young men are nowhere to be found – and Gene begins to wonder if the world they’ve entered is just as evil as the one they left behind. As life at the refuge grows more perilous, he and Sissy only grow closer. In an increasingly violent world, all they have is each other… if they can only stay alive.” (goodreads.com)
The Eternity Cure, Julie Kagawa (April) – sequel to The Immortal Rules. “Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning – New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally. Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.” (goodreads.com)
Bound, by Erica O’Rourke (353 pages) – This is the third book in the Torn series. Wow have you ever thought that there are so many series in teen fiction? This one is about mortals and magic, and Mo Fitzgerald, who has to choose between the two worlds or else lose everything and everyone.
First lines: ‘The problem with terrible ideas is that the people who have them don’t recognize how truly awful they are until it’s too late. After all, nobody deliberately chooses the worst possible course of action.‘
Stormdancer : The Lotus War book one, by Jay Kristoff (324 pages) – Well here it is! Feudal Japanese steampunk. Yukiko, the book’s heroine, and her flightless griffin pal must take on the Shogun and his empire. There are also chainsaw swords in this book, a little blurb tells me.
First line: ‘As the iron war club scythed toward her head, Yukiko could help wishing she’d listened to her father. She rolled aside as her cover was smashed to kindling, azalea petals drifting over the oni’s shoulders like perfumed snowflakes.‘
Bitter Blood : The Morganville Vampires book 13, by Rachel Caine (538 pages) – For ages vampires and humans have co-existed in Morganville, getting up to at least twelve books-worth of adventure and intrigue. Now that the draug – the creatures that kept the vampires in check – have been defeated, the vampires are becoming a little excessive, and the humans want to fight back! Also a reality television show threatens to reveal all to the world.
First lines: ‘Morganville, Texas, isn’t like other towns. Oh, it’s small, dusty, and ordinary, in most ways, but the thing is, there are these – well, let’s not be shy about it. Vampires.’
Break My Heart 1,000 Times, by Daniel Waters (342 pages) – After the Event, everyone could see ghosts. Creepy! Man. Veronica sees the ghost of a teenaged boy in her mirror each morning, but isn’t too worried. However, the ghosts seem to becoming more powerful, and Veronica and chum Kirk uncover a creepier plot of their teacher, whose dead daughter hasn’t come back; he’s now convinced that by killing a living host (i.e., Veronica) his kid might resurface.
First lines: ‘I walk through walls. I whisper at the window when I watch her leave our home. I flicker at the edges of my own memory.‘
Rivals and Retribution : A 13 to Life Novel, by Shannon Delany (308 pages) – This is the conclusion (and book number five) to the 13 to Life series, about two werewolf families battling it out for the town of Junction. It receives what they call ‘mixed reviews’ on Goodreads, now accessible directly through the library catalogue! Handy
First line: ‘The girl enters the barn, slipping between hay bales and a stack of buckets.‘
Butter, by Erin Jade Lange (296 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Butter is morbidly obese, and feels alone. So he gets a website – butterslastmeal.com – and decides that he will broadcast his own death by over-eating. As he carries out his (somewhat macabre) plan he discovers that the attention he receiving, though not exactly positive, feels like popularity, and as the deadline approaches, does he still want to go through with it? Very tense with an amazing character is what I distill from the reviews I just read.
First lines: ‘Most people would say the website is where this wild ride began. But for me is started two days earlier, on a Tuesday night in front of the TV in my living room.‘
Passenger, by Andrew Smith (465 pages) – This is a sequel to The Marbury Lens, about a pair of boys who run away to London and find a lens that transports them to an war-stricken alternate reality. Now they try to destroy the lens, but there is an evil that won’t let them run away so easily, especially when it has their friends. Full of coolness.
First lines: ‘This is it. Of course it wasn’t over. Things like this never end. It has been two and a half months since Freddie Horvath kidnapped some dumb kid who was too drunk to find his way home.‘
Unwholly, by Neal Shusterman (402 pages) – Book one of the Unwind trilogy. Here is book one! Teens can be harvested – ‘unwound’ – for body parts, which is of course not ideal, but it is the future and it is dystopian. Thrilling, affecting, and really good, I reckon, after skimming through Goodreads.
First line: ‘He’s fighting a nightmare when they come for him. A great flood is swallowing the world, and in the middle of the it all, he’s being mauled by a bear.‘
For Darkness Shows the Stars, by Diana Peterfreund (407 pages) – This is a sci-fi post-apocalyptic romance strongly inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion. FINALLY. Elliot North reunites with Kai, the boy she loved but refused to elope with, when she’s forced to rent land from the mysterious Cloud Feet group to which he now belongs. He’s got secrets! He’s also kind of unpleasant, but it’s justified (because of the secrets).
First lines: ‘Elliot North raced across the pasture, leaving a scar of green in the silver, dew-encrusted grass. Jeff followed, tripping a bit as his feet slid inside his too-big shoes.‘
Ashen Winter, by Mike Mullin (576 pages) – This is set in the US, six months after the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupted, as depicted in the first book, Ashfall. (You know that part in that film 2012 when Yellowstone explodes? Well there actually is a supervolcano there! There is one under Taupo and 26,000 years ago it plunged the earth into a volcanic winter and invented pumice.) So in this book, Yellowstone has gone up and the country is pretty post-apocalyptic; protaganist Alex must return to Iowa to find his parents.
First line: ‘Ten months had passed since I’d last seen the sun. The rich blue of that final August sky was fading from my memory.‘
Son, by Lois Lowry (393 pages) – The conclusion the series begun in The Giver. It is a utopian future! But, sadly, it comes with a heavy cost; a society where regimented eugenics dictates almost every aspect of interpersonal interactions. In this book, Claire, who’d been a Vessel, can not forget her son. She is desperate to get him back, and will stop at nothing to do so.
First lines: ‘The young girl cringed when the buckled the eyeless leather mask around the upper half of her face and blinded her. It felt grotesque and unnecessary, but she didn’t object. It was the procedure.‘
Vessel, by Sarah Beth Durst (424 pages) – Liyana’s reason to be is to become the vessel for her tribe’s goddess; she will dance and summon the goddess, who will then bring the rain that her people desperately need. However! It doesn’t work, and Liyana is exiled. She meets a boy reportedly possessed by the trickster god, Korbyn, who seeks Liyana’s help to find five other vessels; the gods are going missing, and they’re needed.
First lines: ‘On the day she was to die, Liyana walked out of her family’s tent to see the dawn. She buried her toes in the sand, cold from the night, and she wrapped her father’s goatskin cloak tight around her shoulders.‘
The Voyage of the Unquiet Ice, by Andrew McHagan (384 pages) – This is book two of the Ship Kings series. I haven’t read the first one, sorry! You should though. BECAUSE. In this volume, Dow Amber has at last a ship, but he does he – an outsider! – belong with the Ship Kings? Also he has to travel to the frozen north to save the empire from rebellion and treachery.
First line: ‘In the beginning – at least as Ship Kings scholars would tell the tale – there was only inhabitated land in all the world, and that was Great Island.‘
The Girl with Borrowed Wings, by Rinsai Rossetti (290 pages) - Frenenqer Paje feels trapped by the desert she lives in, and the rules set by her father. She meets a boy who happened to be a shapechanger – a ‘Free’ – who has no obligations and not attachments. He shows her the freedom she wants and is that a little romance? Why yes, the blurb seems to hint at it.
First line: ‘I am unlike most other people because I began, not in the body of my mother, but in the brain of my father.‘
Oblivion, by Anthony Horowitz (667 pages) – This is book five (and the last book!) in the Power of Five series. It has a lot of pages! Just over 666, which would sort of seem appropriate as it’s about earth getting (almost) destroyed by the powers of darkness. There’s an app you can download that makes the cover ‘come alive’ when you hold your cellular telephone in front of it. I am trying it! Well hey that’s pretty cool
First lines: ‘It was the week before my sixteenth birthday when the boy fell out of the door and eveything changed. Is that a good start? Miss Keyland, who taught me at the village school, used to say that you have to reach out and grab the reader with the first sentence.‘
The Paladin Prophecy, by Mark Frost (549 pages) – This is the first in a series. Will West has always been encouraged by his parents to NOT do his best but to stay in the middle of his class. When he mistakenly reveals that he’s some kind of genius he is recruited by a secret organisation with super technology, and he begins to notices that men in dark hats and cars are following him and his family everywhere. Also there is a centuries-old war between secret societies that he’s now a part of, alarmingly.
First line: ‘“The Importance of an Orderly Mind” – Will West began each day with that thought even before he opened his eyes. When he did open them, the same words greeted him on a banner across his bedroom wall: “#1: THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ORDERLY MIND.”‘
Deadwater Lane, by Stephen Barker (290 pages) – When Christopher (Christo) was younger he was in a car accident that killed an elderly man and left him with a slight brain injury that has reduced his memory. He also got blamed, and as part of his community service he must help a lonely old man. His best friend has betrayed him with his girlfriend and so Christo seeks revenge (inspired by The Count of Monte Cristo). The best revenge is classical, usually.
First lines: ‘When I think back carefully I can see now that Ferdy was smiling. The dash threw up an eerie blue light and I remember a cold twinkle in his eyes as the grin began to spread across his face; teeth picked out ultra-white amongst purple shadows.‘
The Crimson Crown : A Seven Realms Novel, by Cinda Williams Chima (598 pages) – This is the last book in the series. Which is just as well because 1. you can read them all now and be satisfied with a conclusion, and 2. we are literally running out of room on the shelves to accomodate them. They are big books! So, 3. imagine relaxing on a beach (or wherever) while on holiday reading them. Don’t get sand in them though.
First lines: ‘It was the largest gathering of the Spirit clans Raisa had ever seen. They came from all over the Fells – from Demonai Camp to the west, from Hunter’s Camp to the east, and from the rugged northern reaches and the river valleys near the West Wall.’
Dustlands : Rebel Heart, by Moira Young (424 pages) – This is book two in the Dustlands trilogy, and is, according to the cover, better than The Hunger Games. Truly a claim to test (by reading them all). Anyway, here’s the synopsis from Amazon: ‘Saba has rescued her kidnapped brother and defeated the fanatical Tonton. But the price to be paid for her violent victory is terible. Jack has disappeared – and can no longer be trusted. A new and formidable enemy is on the rise in the dustlands. No one is safe. And Saba must confront the terrible secret hidden in the darkest depths of her soul.’
First lines: ‘It’s late afternoon. Since morning, the trail’s been following a line of light towers. That is, the iron remains of what used to be light towers, way back in the Wrecker days, time out of mind.‘
Zom-B, by Darren Shan (217 pages) – B. Smith has a racist dad, nightmares about killer babies, and a lot of other things to deal with. He finds it easier to agree with his father, rather than argue, especially since his dad is abusive as well as a bigot. However, when there’s a zombie apocalypse, and B’s school is attacked, B must ally himself with anyone he can if he wants to survive. Serious real-world issues + addition of supernatural gore, and the first in a series (of three I think).
First line: ‘It was the darkest, most wretched hour of the night when the dead came back to life and spread like a plgue of monstrous locusts through the village of Pallaskenry.‘
Cuttlefish, by Dave Freer (299 pages) – This is alternative-history fiction! And I leave it to the catalogue to explain. ‘In an alternate 1976 dominated by coal power and the British Empire, Clara Calland and her mother, an important scientist, embark on a treacherous journey toward freedom in Westralia aboard a smugglers’ submarine, the Cuttlefish, pursued by Menshevik spies and Imperial soldiers.’
First lines: ‘It was after midnight, and London’s lights shimmered on the waters that had once been her streets. Something dark moved down there, in the murky depths.’
Poison Tree, by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (219 pages) – Might copy & paste this one as well, since its blurb is pretty oblique and difficult to summarise: ‘Alysia has quickly moved to a position of responsibility in SingleEarth, working among shapeshifters and witches who fight against vampires, but she is hiding secret alliances that could put her fellow mediators at risk.’
First lines: ‘There was blood on her hands, congealing slowly. The body in her arms was cold, its once-vibrant cheer forever vanished from the world.‘
Starstruck, by Lauren Conrad (293 pages) – The latest Fame Game novel, about a bunch of people in Hollywood who star in a reality show about a bunch of people in Hollywood, written by someone who was in a (slightly-scripted, apparently?) reality show about a bunch of people in Hollywood. So somewhat authentic. In this book Madison does time, Kate has a hit single, and Carmen is overshadowed by her mother.
First line: ‘Madison Parker stood in the echoing marble foyer of the Beverly Hills Courthouse, her back pressed against the wall and he purse clutched tightly in her freshly manicured fingers.‘
Shadows, by Ilsa J. Bick (518 pages) – Book two of the Ashes trilogy. An apocalyptic thriller full of horror and gore and a love triangle, according to (the somewhat mixed) reviews on Amazon.com. If that sounds like your cup of tea, read the first book, er, first.
First line: ‘FUBAR: that was Jed’s name for it. Once a Marine, always a Marine. He didn’t know what to call the kids. Some said zombies, but that wasn’t right.‘
Yesterday, by C. K. Kelly Martin (355 pages) – This is about sixteen-year-old Freya Kallas, who lives in a future (2063) where climate change has left the world a bit of a dystopic nightmare. It is also about a Freya Kallas who lives in Toronto in 1985 and whose memory is a bit fuzzy. If that makes sense? To explain further might spoil things! Noooo
First line: ‘When I’ve wailed for so long and so hard that my throat is in shreds and my fingernails ripped and fingertips bloody from clawing at the door, I collapse in front of it curled up like a dead cat I saw on an otherwise spotless sidewalk as a child once.‘
Black Spring, by Alison Croggan (286 pages) – This story is inpired by Wuthering Heights, which is, if you’ve not read it, a gothic classic. However, this has – judging from the cover’s synopsis - witchcraft thrown in to make it even more gothic. Gothicky? You know.
First line (I wanted to add the excellent second line but it’s too long): ‘After the last long winter, I needed to get as far away from the city as I possibly could.‘
Hard to imagine, but after next month there will be no more Twilight movie trailers ever. Until then, here’s a couple of little jigsaw pieces of clips of Breaking Dawn Part 2:
Breaking Dawn Part 2 opens in theatres in the middle of next month.
Stephanie’s been ordering up a storm: here’s a couple of new interesting titles you might like to reserve. Zombies and vampires, oh my! (More next Wednesday.)
Team Human, Justine Larbalastier and Sarah Rees Brennan. This is a spoof, obviously, but reviewers say it’s an affectionate spoof, from the authors of Liar, and The Demon’s Lexicon:
“Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn’t mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It’s up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity.
“On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.” (goodreads.com)
This Is Not a Test, Courtney Summers. Brace yourself: Courtney Summers, queen of gritty stories, does the zombie apocalypse (that is a blood spatter top left of the book cover):
“It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.
“To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.
“But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.
“When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?” (goodreads.com)
This week we look forward to: two books in which vampires are wrecking the future, and one about celebrity pregnant twins. Reserve them if they grab your interest!
The Hunt, Andrew Fukuda – this sounds really interesting: it’s been described as like a vampire version of the Hunger Games. I know!
“Seventeen-year-old Gene struggles to survive in a society where humans have been eaten to near extinction by the general population. When Gene is chosen to participate in the government-sponsored hunt for the remaining humans, he must learn the art of the hunt but also elude his fellow hunters whose suspicions about his true human nature are growing… ” (author’s website)
Thanks Steph for the recommendation! And on the subject of futuristic vampires:
The Immortal Rules, Julie Kagawa – “In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity. Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked-and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters. Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad…” (from the Syndetics summary)
Thumped, Megan McCafferty – the sequel to Bumped. “It’s been thirty-five weeks since twin sisters Harmony and Melody went their separate ways. And now their story has become irresistible: twins separated at birth, each due to deliver twins…on the same day! Married to Ram and living in Goodside, Harmony spends her time trying to fit back into the community she once believed in. But she can’t forget about Jondoe, the guy she fell for under the strangest of circumstances. To her adoring fans, Melody has achieved everything: a major contract and a coupling with the hottest bump prospect around. But this image is costing her the one guy she really wants. The girls’ every move is analyzed by millions of fans eagerly counting down to “Double Double Due Date.” They’re two of the most powerful teen girls on the planet, and they could do only one thing to make them even more famous: Tell the truth.” (author’s website)
Here are some interesting titles we’ve ordered recently.
15 Days Without a Head, Dave Cousins. Laurence lives with his six year old brother Jay, and his alcoholic mother. One day his mother doesn’t come home from work, and Laurence is left to care for himself and his brother, fearing that their predicament will be discovered, and they will be separated. Happily, Laurence discovers a friend in Mina, who is keen to help him track down his mum. The author’s blog is here.
Starters, Lissa Price. Years ago (although still in the future) a killer bug (deliberately spread) wiped out anyone who was not vaccinated against it. Those who were were the very old and the very young. Callie and her younger brother have no grandparents to look after them, so they live life by their wits, on the run. Things seem to be looking up when they come across Prime Destinations, a group run by The Old Man: a potential income source. Prime Destinations organises for teenagers rent their bodies out to the older people who’d like to be young again (yes, we know, yuck, can you imagine?), using neurochip technology. When it’s Callie’s turn her neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in her wealthy renter’s life.
Department 19: The Rising, Will Hill. The sequel to Department 19, which people said some touchingly lovely things about (such as “…plenty of high-octane action, groovy specialized vampire-fighting equipment, buckets of gore, intriguing historical side trips and even a little romance…” (from Amazon) which, let’s face it, if you were an author you’d be happy with).
There is an active Facebook page (Department 19 exists!) with interactive elements. And a book trailer:
You guys, here are some more new books!
12 Things To Do Before You Crash and Burn, by James Proimos (121 pages) – Hercules Martino is 16, and the son of a recently deceased famous self-help guru who was no good as a dad. Staying with his uncle for Summer, Hercules is set twelve tasks that will ‘change the way he sees his past, present, and future.’ A book that is short, funny (as promised by Library Journals LLC) and in all likelihood a satisfying read.
First lines: ‘The casket is close. It was a plane crash, after all.‘
Light Beneath Ferns, by Anne Spollen (206 pages) – Here’s another not-so-long book; this time a ghost story, not a comedy. Elizah moves in with her mother, who is a caretaker at a cemetery. She finds a human jawbone by a river (!!!) and, at the cemetery, she meets Nathaniel, who is mysterious and, you know, maybe not all there. LITERALLY. Fans of supernatural romance probably won’t be disappointed.
First lines: ‘This story does not teach a lesson. It does not explain gravity or the pack rituals of wolves or how the sun will explode one day and leave us all inside a gray welt of ice and famine.‘
Down the Mysterly River, by Bill Willingham (333 pages) – Max “the Wolf” is a champion boy scout who – inexplicably! – wakes up in a strange forest with no memory of how he got there. With him is a badger, a bear, and a barn cat who are similarly clueless but can talk. They realise that they are being hunted, and it’s up to Max to solve the mystery of what’s what. This is by the writer of the Fables comics, with drawings by the comic artist throughout. ~the more you know~
First line: ‘Max the Wolf was a wolf in exactly the same way that foothills are made up of real feet and a tiger shark is part tiger, which is to say, not at all.‘
Vintage Veronica, by Erica S. Perl (279 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Veronica gets a summer job in the Clothing Bonanza, a second-hand clothing store. She is pretty happy about that! She loves fashion, and her job is to sort out the quality stuff from the rubbish, and she doesn’t have to deal with customers (she has low self-esteem). Two ‘outrageous yet charismatic’ salesgirls befriend her and encourage her to stalk the stock boy as a joke. Soon Veronica realises she will need to come out of her (proverbial! obviously) shell when romance blossoms.
First lines: ‘I’m sure you don’t know me. But you’ve probably seen me around. I’m that fat girl. You know, the one who dresses funny. The one who wears those ridiculous poufy skirts from the fifties that look like she hacked off the top of an old prom dress (because actually, I did).‘
How to Save a Life, by Sara Zarr (341 pages) – Here is the catalogue synopsis for what might be a little grim but ultimately uplifting book; ‘Told from their own viewpoints, seventeen-year-old Jill, in grief over the loss of her father, and Mandy, nearly nineteen, are thrown together when Jill’s mother agrees to adopt Mandy’s unborn child but nothing turns out as they had anticipated.’
First line: ‘Dad would want me to be here. There’s no other explanation for my presence.‘
Kiss of Death, by Lauren Henderson (307 pages) – This is the final book in the series that began with Kiss Me Kill Me. Unfortunately we don’t seem to have the second and third books in the series! We will buy them. IN THE MEANTIME, here’s a brutal abridgement of the catalogue synopsis: ‘Scarlett [and] Taylor arrive in Scotland [...] Old friends and enemies [...] explore [...] passages under Edinburgh [...] [and] someone is out to get [Scarlett] [...] and that person has deadly plans for her. Is it time to kiss our heroine goodbye?’
First line: ‘This is absolutely the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.‘
The Espressologist, by Kristina Springer (184 pages) – Jane is seventeen and a barista (someone who makes coffee). She has a theory that you can tell a lot about someone by the coffee they drink*, and she uses this to set people up on dates. She’s pretty good at it, so her boss develops it as an instore promotion. BUT she matches her best friend with Cam, which in hindsight was silly since she maybe is a little bit in love with him?
*Probably wouldn’t work in NZ where we all drink flat whites, pretty much
First line: ‘“Excuse me,” the customer says, stepping up to the counter. I quickly stop scribbling in my notebook and slide it onto the shelf under the espresso machine.‘
The Warlock ’s Shadow, by Stephen Deas (291 pages) – The follow-up to The Thief-Taker’s Apprentice. When the thief-taker is hired to protect a prince, Berren (the apprentice) is pleased to get away from the tedium at the temple. He meets a girl, who happens to be a Dragon Monk, the best sword fighters ever to wield a sword. But the prince needs protection for a reason - people want to kill him and anyone who stands in their way, including young Berren. Especially Berren! Maybe
First line: ‘Kasmin didn’t see the three men come into the tavern but he knew they were there almost at once.‘
Unleashed : Wolf Springs Chronicles, by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie (385 pages) – Katelyn moves to a new town, to live with her grandfather in the middle of a forest. Her new school is Wolf Springs High. Judging from the cover and the blurb on the back that says, ‘a dark exciting tale that will have you believing in werewolves,’ I am willing to bet this is about werewolves! Book one in a series
First lines: ‘I can fly. Katelyn Claire McBride was the girl on the flying trapeze.‘
Hunters : Phantom – The Vampire Diaries, not really by L. J. Smith (413 pages) – This is a brand-new VD story. Apparently it was written by a ghostwriter, since the publisher who holds the copyright fired L. J. Smith. That seems a bit strange actually! Anyway, Damon is dead, Elena and Stefan can be together, but Elena dreams of Damon. And she loves him a little too. A lot maybe! Soon everyone is threatened by a new darkness.
First line: ‘Elena Gilbert stepped onto a smooth expanse of grass, the spongy blades collapsing beneath her feet.‘
It’s time for a new batch of soon-to-be-published bestselling titles – reserve your preferred sequel / series continuer / riveting conclusion now, so you don’t have to wait!
The Power of Six, Pittacus Lore. This is the next in the Lorien Legacies, after I Am Number Four (the DVD has arrived in the library recently), and it focuses on Number Seven (who’s got a bit more breathing room than Number Four). There’s an exclusive extract here, or you can become a follower of Lorien Legacies on Twitter for more tips and things.
Crossed, Ally Condie (November/December 2011). Sequel to Matched, in which Cassia takes off to the Outer Provinces to track down Ky, which is a very basic straight forward summary of a mission that will be far from straight forward or basic. Have a look at the series website, or visit Ally Condie’s blog here.
Bloodlines, Richelle Mead (August/September 2011). Vampire Academy fans will be pleased to hear that this is the first in a new series, a Vampire Academy spinoff series even, and so you’ll recognise the world of vampire princesses and their protectors, so thumbs up! Read more about it here.
Inheritance, Christopher Paolini (November/December 2011). The final book in the Inheritance cycle will finally be here! Will Eragon and Saphira get the better of Galbatorix? You can read and excerpt here, watch some images of swords, dragon scales and eyes in the book trailer below, or catch up with more Inheritance news at Christopher Paolini’s website here.
People’s Republic, Robert Muchamore (August/September 2011). Meet 12 year old Ryan, CHERUB’s new recruit. Has he got what it takes to take on the most ambitious CHERUB mission yet? In the mean time visit the CHERUB campus for more info.
Silence, Becca Fitzpatrick (October/November 2011). The final in the Hush, Hush trilogy. There is an official Hush Hush fanclub – fallenarchangel. The site has FAQs, playlists, and more photos of and info about the famous cover model for Hush, Hush. There’s an official Silence countdown widget to be got at the author’s website here (perhaps the perfect gift for the reader who has everything?).
The Fear, Charlie Higson (September/October 2011). The next in the Enemy series, in which everyone over the age of 14 has become a zombified predator. Dog Nut and his mates must travel across London in search of lost friends, avoiding the terrifying, blood-thirsty adults. You can read Charlie Higson’s blog post about the book here.
The Clockwork Prince, Cassandra Clare (December 2011). This is the next in Cassandra Clare’s Victorian Steampunk with Shadowhunters series (the first being Clockwork Angel), and we will be ordering it next month!
Forgotten, by Cat Patrick (279 pages) – London (a girl) has a memory disorder; she can’t remember the past, but she know what the future will bring. She can not remember the boy she loves, and she can’t see him in her future, but she know that today she loves him. And also that there will be a car crash later today. Yikes!
First lines: ‘Aren’t Fridays supposed to be good? This one started badly.‘
Rockoholic, by C. J. Skuse (368 pages) – Jody is obsessed with the rock star Jackson Gatlin. At one of his concerts she is caught in a stampede and is carried backstage. Somehow she winds up kidnapping Jackson, as you do, but it soon becomes clear that he doesn’t really want to leave her garage. Someone on Amazon.co.uk says, “one of the funniest, most entertaining and highly original books I’ve read in a long time” so reserve it eh?
First lines: ‘To our local newspaper, my grandad’s death was ‘a shocking accident that brought Bristol city centre to a standstill’. To my mum, it was humiliation beyond words and a week’s worth of whispers from her colleagues at the bank.‘
The Last Summoner, by Sherryl Jordan (187 pages) – It is said that only men can summon dragons, but when the king needs help from the dragons when the land is under attack, Ari and her blind grandfather uncover the moondust mirror and travel to the swamp to summon them. Will the dragons answer Ari’s call?
First line: ‘Alone, the girl crept through the gloomy swamp.’
Heart Burn, by Anne Cassidy (215 pages) – Amazon’s product description says, ‘years ago, local bad boy, Tyler Harrington, did a favour for Ashley. Now Tyler has been beaten up and hospitalized, and he’s calling that favour in. Ashley must hide an envelope for him, but under no circumstances is she to look inside it When Tyler is abducted, Ashley opens the package. What she finds inside is the key to who is holding Tyler. But somebody else wants the envelope and, as long as Ashley has it, she is in mortal danger.’
First line: ‘I was waiting for Beth outside Whitechapel tube station when I heard what happened to Tyler Harrington.‘
Wood Angel, by Erin Bow (270 pages) – Kate lives in a time when witches are burned at the stake. Because she lives with a cat and makes and sells lucky wooden charms, she is voted Most Likely To Be A Witch when her village falls on hard times. Terrified for her life, she flees with a stranger who ‘has a plan more dangerous than she could ever have dreamed.’
First line: ‘A long time ago, in a market town by a looping river, there lived an orphan girl called Plain Kate.‘
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness, from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd (214 pages) – Allow me to copy and paste from the catalogue; ‘Thirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill–an ancient, wild creature that wants him to face truth and loss.’ Siobhan Dowd died before this could be written, sadly, so Patrick Ness wrote the book. It is BEAUTIFULLY illustrated by Jim Kay.
First lines: ‘The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.‘
The Thief-Taker’s Apprentice, by Stephen Deas (282 pages) – Berren has been a thief all his short life, but when he is noticed by the thief-taker after trying to pinch his reward for the capture of some other thieves, Berren becomes the thief-taker’s apprentice. He thought he knew the city, but now he has to contend with all the political intrigue, corruption, and murder that lie in the shadows.
First lines: ‘The crowd had come to watch three men die. Most of them had no idea who the three men were. Nor did they particularly care.’
Long Reach : An Eddie Savage Thriller, by Peter Cocks (401 pages) – Eddie Savage finds out that his brother had been working uncover to infiltrate the Kelly family, a dangerous gang in London. He also discovers that his brother is dead, supposedly by suicide, but Eddie ain’t having none of it. Determined to uncover the truth, Eddie infiltrates the gang and is soon up to his neck in Kelly business. A ‘gritty, glamorous thriller with a heart-stopping, brutal conclusion.’
First line: ‘Donnie gunned the Mercedes back across the Medway bridge.‘
Akata Witch : A Novel, by Nnedi Okorafor (349 pages) – Sunny lives in Nigeria, although she was born in NYC. She is albino, and feels that she doesn’t fit in. She discovers that she – like two of her classmates – are in fact ‘free agents’, full of magical power, and she has a lot to learn. When the magical authorities ask her and her friends to track down a capture a ‘hard-core serial killer’ with powers greater than theirs, Sunny discovers that magic has a dark, dark side.
First line: ‘The moment Sunny walked into the school yard, people started pointing.‘
Viola in the Spotlight, by Adriana Trigiani (283 pages) – Catalogue! I choose you! ‘Back home in Brooklyn, fifteen-year-old Viola has big summer plans but with one best friend going to camp and the other not only working but experiencing her first crush, Viola is glad to be overworked as an unpaid lighting intern when her grandmother’s play goes to Broadway.’ This is the sequel to Viola in Reel Life.
First lines: ‘There is no better place on Earth than right here on my stoop on 72nd Street in Bay Ridge. Borough of Brooklyn. City of New York. County of Kings. The Empire State.‘
Teeth : Vampire tales, edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling (452 pages) - Do you like vampires? Do you like short stories? Do you like books? Do you like library books? Do you like reading? Books? Vampires? Vampire books? Reading them? Reading this? Well?
First line of the first story: ‘As it turns out, if a person dies badly, sometimes the soul can’t escape the body and will have to feed off the living forever.‘
Deadly Little Secret : A Touch Novel, by Laurie Faria Stolarz (252 pages) – Running out of tiiiiime, so here is the catalogue again; ‘When someone starts stalking high school junior Camelia, everyone at school assumes that it is Ben, who is new at school and rumored to have killed his previous girlfriend, but Camelia is nevertheless inexplicably drawn to him.’
First line: ‘I could have died three months ago. Ever since, things haven’t quite been the same for me.‘