The Crown of Embers, by Rae Carson (410 pages) – This is the sequel to The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Elisa has led her people to victory, but now she must harness the power of the Godstone. This can only be done by following the clues found in ancient scripture, hidden catacombs and similary dangerous places. A nice thick fantasy book for this apparently eternal winter, I reckon.
First line: ‘My entourage of guards struggles to keep pace as I fly down the corridors of my palace. Servants in starched frocks and shined shoes line the way, bowing like dominoes as I pass.‘
Small Damages, by Beth Kephart (293 pages) – Kenzie is eighteen and pregnant to her boyfriend, the ambitious Kevin who is headed for Yale. Kenzie is sent to Spain to stay so that she’s closer to her baby’s adoptive parents. She has to cope with the culture shock, a stubborn old cook, and the young and mysterious Esteban with his Hyberian charm and gentle way with horses.
First line: ‘The streets of Seville are the size of sidewalks, and there are alleys leaking off from the streets.‘
Something Strange and Deadly, by Susan Dennard (388 pages) – Victoria-era Philadelphia has a zombie problem, and Eleanor Fitt’s brother has gone missing in New York. He was able to send a cryptic letter via zombie, and for Eleanor to find him she will need the help of the Spirit-Hunters, who defend the city from the weird. This is the first book in a planned trilogy.
First line: ‘“Dead!” a woman screamed. “It’s the Dead!” My heart shot into my throat, and shocked cries rippled through the station.‘
Pushing the Limits, by Katie McGarry (403 pages) – Echo and Noah are both teens whose lives are marred by tragedy and secrets, and both are struggling to regain some semblance of normalcy. They are drawn together, and fall in love. If you like a “suspenseful plot, dramatic conflicts, and tragic characters” you will like this, a review says.
First line: ‘“My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has … well … issues. How do you think I’m doing?”‘
Enshadowed : A Nevermore Book, by Kelly Creagh (429 pages) – Book two in a series about a dreamworld inhabited by Edgar Allan Poe’s stories that have come to life. Varen is trapped there, and Isobel is the only person who can save him. Will she save him before he becomes her greatest and most lethal enemy? I don’t knoooooow
First line: ‘“Edgar?” Speaking softly, Dr. Moran leaned over his patient. His eyes traced the wan and pallid countenance of the famous poet, Edgar Poe.‘
Unspoken : The Lynburn Legacy, by Sarah Rees Brennan (373 pages) – This blurb is incredibly complex and difficult, so just read this summary written by Grimm back in July. It is the first in a series, but according to Goodreads there are a couple of short stories in ebook form that are prequels to this book. Get them from her site, maybe.
First line: ‘Every town in England has a story. One day I am going to find out Sorry-in-the-Vale’s.‘
Dead Embers : A Valkyrie Novel, by T. G. Ayer (380 pages) – This is book 2 in a series. (Here’s book 1!) Bryn is a Valkyrie (the Norse angels of death who carry heroes to Valhalla (imagine one of the sets from LoTR but with vikings)). She is in training still! Loki (Norse god of mischief) has somehow stuck her boyfriend in Hel (Hel is the Norse underworld! Boo) and Ragnorok (the Norse apocalypse!) is on its way. So yeah, not much to look forward to.
First line: ‘Cold burrowed into my knees, digging icy claws deep into bone. Despite the pain, I didn’t move.’
Between You and Me, by Marisa Calin (243 pages) – Phyre is sixteen and wants to be an actress. She falls in love with the student teacher of drama class, Mia, which leaves her best friend (who loves Phyre) feeling blue. This book is written as a screenplay, with the best friend never described further than just the role of “you” in the script. Phyre is “me”, if that makes sense?
First line: ‘FADE IN
‘MY BEDROOM. SEPTEMBER. EVENING.
‘Close-up. Heart-shaped pink sunglasses.’