Book News, Books, News

Discussion with Tad Williams

Penguin.com in their Water Cooler series this week interviewed Epic Fantasy mastermind Tad Williams. He’s had numerous best-sellers, including the Shadowmarch series, which the most recent book,Shadowheart, was released on November 30th.

The chat interview was live on their site last night, December 9th, at 9pm EST. Here is the link to the entire interview. It’s a really cool and informative, with him discussing and answering fan questions about his books, characters, and other fun things (it reminds me a bit of the Christopher Paolini Random Buzzers Q&A that you can view condensed into three parts on our sister site Shurtugal.com).

Enjoy!

[via penguin.com]

Book News, Books, News

Richelle Mead Interview

YAreads.com sat down with Vampire Academy author sensation Richelle Mead for an interview two days prior to the release of her highly anticipated book, The Last Sacrifice. This will be the sixth and final book in the Vampire Academy series, coming out this Tuesday, December 7th. Check it out here!

From the Interview:

Since the success of Vampire Academy, how has your life changed? Do you get recognized on the street?

No, I’m never recognized.  I don’t think authors have as much star power as authors and actors.  Sometimes my name doesn’t even get recognized, though fans of the genre almost always know the series title when they hear it.  But it’s still been a life changer.  It’s heady knowing that what you write reaches and affects so many people, and every day, I get a lot of email from readers talking about the series.  Knowing that so many people are waiting for the next book certainly puts a lot of pressure on me, but I’m really grateful do what I do for a living.  I love my job.

[via the Harlequin Teen Panel]

Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

“Graceling” Book Recommendation

Book: Graceling

Author: Kristin Cashore

Release Date: 10/01/08

We know grace to be defined as beauty of movement and poise—or mercy, depending on how you use it. But in Katsa’s world, Grace is having an enhanced ability. Katsa is a Graceling, and like all Gracelings, she was born that way. But her Grace isn’t excellent swimming or extreme strength; she has the ability to kill, faster and better than anyone she knows. And unlucky for her, her uncle happens to be the king, so she is forced to work for him, dishing out his threats and punishments.

Then she meets Po, who is also Graced (in fighting), and she just might have met her match. But as their friendship develops, and she starts to learn more about herself and her Grace, secrets that she never could have fathomed become revealed, changing her life forever.

This book was fantastic, plain and simple. It had so many of the elements I like in a good story: Strong characters, interesting plot, great action and adventure, and some sexual tension to spice up the mix. It had the feel of traditional, epic fantasy, but without being bogged down by the technical logistics that usually occur naturally when creating new worlds. This book focused more on the characters, throwing in lots of development with nice punches of action to keep the story moving and interesting.

Katsa is a great female protagonist. She is as far from weak-willed as you can get—for example, the whole book she fights hard against being married, because it would result in the loss of her freedom. And this sets the tone of the whole book. Katsa is struggling to understand the depth of her Grace and what it means, fighting against being put into the mold of wife and woman, dreading being the king’s bully, and trying to understand her relationship with Po. And though, to me, it was blaringly obvious from the very first moment that Po appeared on the scene that he was going to be the love interest, it develops in an unexpected way. Plus, Katsa is completely clueless, so it’s fun to make that journey with her.

This book was a pleasure to read, and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy, interesting characters, and strong female leads. And, seriously, who doesn’t love a chick that kicks butt?

Reviewed by: Lauren Z.

Book News, Books, News

Book Trailer and more for “Pathfinder” by Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card’s recent YA release, Pathfinder, hit the shelves on November 23rd. Lytherus will be bringing you a review of the highly anticipated book next week, but in the meantime, here are a few things to hold you over:

Description:

A powerful secret. A dangerous path.

Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets. Only his father knows the truth about Rigg’s strange talent for seeing the paths of people’s pasts. But when his father dies, Rigg is stunned to learn just how many secrets Father had kept from him–secrets about Rigg’s own past, his identity, and his destiny. And when Rigg discovers that he has the power not only to see the past, but also to change it, his future suddenly becomes anything but certain.

Rigg’s birthright sets him on a path that leaves him caught between two factions, one that wants him crowned and one that wants him dead. He will be forced to question everything he thinks he knows, choose who to trust, and push the limits of his talent…or forfeit control of his destiny.

Watch the trailer for the book.

Read an excerpt.

Book News, Books, News

Win Free Stuff From Tor.com!

Tor.com started today their Winter Solstace Giveaway, finishing on, you guessed it, December 21st, 2010. They have a wide range of prizes from fun to really fantastic.

Here’s what today’s prize is (time to qualify for this is up at 4:13 pm EST), as an example:

The Solstice Countdown Day #1 giveaway is the new hardcover editionof Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois!

This anthology, coming out next Tuesday, December 7th from Tor Books,features a lot of big names, including Neil Gaiman, Tad Williams, George R. R. Martin, Elizabeth Moon, Kage Baker, Robert Silverberg, and many more.

We’re also throwing in (actually, placing gently, because…the size of this thing…) a hardcover edition ofWarriors, an anthology of new stories from just as mighty a group of science fiction and fantasy writers (Carrie Vaughn! Naomi Novik! David Weber! Robin Hobb!), also edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

The drawings are daily, done randomly, and the prizes are only available for a limited time, so you’ll have to keep your eye out (they provide some examples on how to stay on top of it).

All the info you’ll need about it is here.

Book News, Books, News

Preview of Richelle Mead’s Final “Vampire Academy” Book

USA Today got exclusive rights for a preview of Richelle Mead’s newest book, Last Sacrifice, the sixth and final book in the sensational best-selling Vampire Academy series. The book is set to hit shelves on December 7th. USA Today posted all of chapter one, which you can view here.

Here’s some info about the release from the article:

And it’s a book that fans all over the world have been waiting to sink their teeth into since the fifth book Spirit Bound, which debuted atop the USA TODAY best-seller list in May 2010. Release parties will be held at more than 150 bookstores nationwide on the day of release, when Mead launches a 10-city book tour. (Penguin Books will be webcasting the first event of the tour onVampireAcademyBooks.com on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. ET.)

[via Penguin Group (USA)]

Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

“Matched” Book Review

Book: Matched

Author: Ally Condie

Release date: 11/30/10

In Cassia Reyes’s world, everything is designed for living an optimum life. People eat specially prepared healthy food full of vitamins and minerals. Their physical and mental status is monitored to make sure they are functioning at their finest. They die on their 80th birthday, the best possible age that allows a fulfilling life without deterioration from being too old. And, if they want to get married at twenty-one and have children before the most favorable cut off age, they’ll need to be Matched to their best genetic option at seventeen.

The story starts out with Cassia heading to her Matching ceremony, excited to see the man she is destined to be Matched with. But imagine her surprise when she gets paired to her longtime childhood friend, Xander, which is almost unheard of. She’s given a disk of information about him to view, like all the Matched, and even though she knows pretty much everything about Xander, she decides to watch it. Xander’s face appears on the screen, but after a few seconds it disappears, to be replaced with another boy’s face. A boy she also knows, named Ky Markham. What does it mean? Who can she talk to about this? And why, even though Xander is her true match, does she find her thoughts continuously drifting back to Ky?

The Advance Reader’s Copy (ARC) I received for this book has a black cover that is plastered with recommendation blurbs all over the front and back. I had absolutely no idea what it was about, but after doing a little research I thought it sounded intriguing. I wasn’t sure about the dystopian subject matter, especially one that is reminiscent of The Hunger Games in some ways. But, even though there were some familiar themes I’d seen done before, the development of the characters, and the way the true details of this seemingly perfect society are revealed, made it a page turner.

One of the major themes that I loved was about freedom of choice. In this world, everything is decided for you, eliminating most of the dangers that caused humans stress and early death prior to this shift in society. And throughout the book, the author writes this life in such a way that you can definitely see the perks to some of them. I mean, who wouldn’t want the option of being able to have your ideal mate, both emotionally and genetically, chosen for you? It’s definitely an intriguing thought. But even in that sentence, I state that which is never actually available to Cassie: option. If she wants to get married and have kids, then being Matched is her only choice. And as the story progresses we learn that maybe she doesn’t want to go gentle into that good night after all.

This book was well-written, complex, and interesting. The love triangle aspect was handled beautifully, and the development of Cassia’s desire for personal freedom was wonderful to watch. It will definitely have you thinking about choice and ultimately what is right for all of us.

Reviewed by: Lauren Z.

*Check out an interview with the Author!

Book News, Books, News

Preview of Orson Scott Card’s New Book

Orson Scott Card has been busy lately. He recently released a YA book called Pathfinder (a review of which will be posted in the near future), and he has another book coming out soon. Being released on January 4th, 2011, The Lost Gate is the first book in his Mither Mages Trilogy.

Tor.com has an exclusive preview of the story; you can read the article and excerpt here (You need to register on Tor’s website to view the chapter, but it’s free and only takes a second).

From the Article:

Learn what The Mither Mages is about from Tor Books editor Beth Meacham:

Card is creating not one magical world for this series, but two—an Earth where the exiles of Westil have lived in isolation for almost 1500 years, and Westil itself, also cut off from the power of the Great Gates, dwindling but holding the memory of a time when greater magic was possible. For this first book, the two worlds remain separate – but there is a promise implicit in the birth or rebirth of a gatemage in each world. It starts small, one boy in the hills of Virginia. It won’t stay that way.

[via tor.com]

Book News, Books, News

Interview with Ally Condie, Author of “Matched”

 
Ally Condie’s sensational book Matched is in stores tomorrow. As a little treat, here’s an interview with the author.

From the interview:

What do you hope readers take away from Matched?

I hope my readers enjoy the story, first of all. I just want them to be interested, taken away, intrigued. And I want them to feel how wonderful choice and freedom are. But they probably already know that, anyway!

[via Society of Matched]