Hang on to your hats, there’s a lot of suspense and horror in here, including a fair amount of creepy New Zealand novels.
Radiant Shadows, Melissa Marr (340 pages) – the second to last instalment in the Wicked Lovely series focuses on Devlin – the High Court’s assassin – Ani – Gabriel’s halfling daughter – and Rea – an incorporeal human who can animate bodies and manipulate dreams. Much shocking stuff happens, several past characters are back (Seth, Irial, Niall), several past characters are absent (Ash, Keenan, Donia), and it all looks like it’s heading for a big showdown.
First sentence: Devlin stood immobile as the spectral girl approached.
Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Stephenie Meyer, art and adaptation by Young Kim. The much talked about graphic novel of the much more talked about novel. Good or bad? Read it and tell us what you think.
First sentence: I’d never given much thought to how I would die – though I’d had reason enough in the last few months.
The Sight, Judy Blundell (writing as Jude Watson, 202 pages) – The Sight is two novels in one, Premonitions and Disappearance. Gracie has premonitions and when her friend Emily disappears she is forced to use them to try and uncover what has happened.
First sentence: I think I was a nice person before my mom died.
White Cat, Holly Black (310 pages) – Cassel is the ungifted member of a family of “curseworkers”, but then he starts dreaming of a white cat who wants to communicate with him, and other strange, disturbing things happen. The cover says it’s “a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic”.
First sentence: I wake up barefoot, standing on cold slate tiles.
Guardian of the Dead, Karen Healey (335 pages) – a New Zealand fantasy in which the ordinary (or so she thinks) Ellie becomes aware of “something ancient and deadly” waiting in the woods near her school. Libba Bray read it and said, “Creepy, funny, sexy, smart and sometimes just downright, pull-the-covers-up-to-your-neck-and-pray-for-morning frightening.”
First sentence: I opened my eyes.
The Limping Man, Maurice Gee (176 pages) – the final book in the series that began with the award winning Salt. “What is the source of the Limping Man’s monstrous power?” This is the question Hana and Ben must find the answer to in order to defeat the Limping Man before his power become all consuming.
First sentence: Hana ran through the broken streets of Blood Burrow.
Beautiful Malice, Rebecca James (294 pages) – Katherine is determined to make a new start in Sydney, but develops a friendship with Alice, who has a bright side but also a dark side, which will lead both girls to “an explosive and devastating finale.”
First sentence: I didn’t go to Alice’s funeral.
Everwild, Neal Shusterman (242 pages) – the second book in the Skinjacker trilogy. “Nick, known as the dreaded “chocolate ogre,” is trying to find all the children in Everlost and release them from the limbo they are in, while Mikey and Allie have joined a band of skinjackers and are putting themselves in danger by visiting the world of the living.” (catalogue entry)
First sentence: There were rumours.
The Taniwha’s Tear, David Hair (357 pages) – the sequel to The Bone Tiki. Puarata’s warlocks are fighting a war in mythical Aotearoa that is threatening to spill into the real world. Matiu has promised to help the taniwha who, it is hoped, is the key to stopping this happening, but can anyone be trusted?
First sentence: Christmas on the beach had been a Douglas family tradition since before Matiu was born.
Darke Academy: Blood Ties, Gabriella Poole (288 pages) – the Darke Academy is in New York and Cassie is coming to terms with her powers, then “an old enemy returns”… Perhaps the person on the cover with the glowing red eyes and the manly, furrowed brow?
First sentence: “Hey kiddo are we keeping you up?”
Ebony Hill, Anna McKenzie (223 pages) – the sequel to The Sea-wreck Stranger. Ness and Ronan are on opposite sides of a battle of survival between two communities, Vidya and Ebony Hill.
First sentence: From above the gardens that stride in wide stairs up the hillside, I look out over the wreckage of a world I’ll never know.
Monster Republic, Ben Horton (279 pages) – “An explosion in a nuclear power plant. Kids patched up with scavenged body parts and bionic implants. A growing army of superhuman soldiers programmed for destruction. Cameron Riley is about to discover that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…” (Back cover). Looks good for people who aren’t big fans of reading.
First sentence: Even though it was well past midnight when the phone call came, Dr Lazarus Fry answered it before the second ring.