Book Editorial, Book Reviews, Books, Editorials, Reviews

The best YA science fiction and fantasy books of 2013

2013 was an incredible year in YA. There were so many amazing books that came out this past year that this list could be insanely long. But we took into account popularity of series, authors, and of course our own personal tastes after reading, and the list we’ve compiled won’t steer you wrong. If you haven’t read the series that some of these books are in, now’s a great time to start. And  the series beginners and stand-alones are also well worth your time. I’m sure we’re going to get some stunning YA in 2014, but to hold you over be sure to exhaust this list! So without further ado, to honor 2013, here are our 13 favorite YA books of this past year:

Siege and Storm, by Leigh Bardugo

siege and stormDarkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer

scarletCinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

An NPR Best Book of 2013

Teardrop, by Lauren Kate

teardropAn epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away. The first book in the new series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fallen series

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux’s mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn’t, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn’t know Eureka’s darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined.

Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart#1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, coauthor of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and creator of the internationally bestselling Mistborn Trilogy, presents Steelheart, the first book in the Reckoners series, an action-packed thrill ride that will leave readers breathless.

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics . . . nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

The Eye of Minds, by James Dashner

the eye of mindsFrom James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, comes an all-new, edge-of-your seat adventure. The Eye of Minds is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.
Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker. And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team. But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black

the coldest girlTana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

Allegiant, by Veronica Roth

allegiantWhat if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

 

 

 

Requiem, by Lauren Oliver

requiemNew York TimesUSA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller, this exciting finale to Lauren Oliver’s acclaimed Delirium trilogy is a riveting blend of nonstop action and forbidden romance in a dystopian United States. With lyrical writing, Lauren Oliver seamlessly interweaves the peril that Lena faces with the inner tumult she experiences after the reappearance of her first love, Alex, the boy she thought was dead. Named an Amazon Best Book of the Year, this sophisticated and wide-ranging novel brings the New York Times bestselling Delirium trilogy to a thrilling conclusion.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has transformed. The nascent rebellion that was underway in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight. After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven. Pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels.

As Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain of the Wilds, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena and Hana’s points of view. They live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

The Bitter Kingdom, by Rae Carson

the bitter kingdomThe third book in Rae Carson’s award-winning The Girl of Fire and Thorns fantasy trilogy. Elisa, the seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen, will travel into an unknown enemy’s realm to win back her true love, save her kingdom, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny. Veronica Roth called The Girl of Fire and Thorns “intense, unique . . . definitely recommended.”

Perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce and George R. R. Martin’s style of sweeping and deeply satisfying epic fantasy, the third and final book in the trilogy takes the young queen on a journey more dangerous than any she has faced before. Elisa will stand before the gate of the enemy. And she must rise up as champion—even to those who have hated her—or her kingdom will fall. Full of sorcery, adventure, sizzling romance, and secrets that challenge everything she believes, this is a bold and powerful conclusion to an extraordinary trilogy. As USAToday.com proclaimed, “Rae Carson has proved she’s a master and has shaken up the YA genre.”

The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey

9780399162411B.JPGThe Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Clockwork Princess, by Cassandra Clare

clockwork princessDanger intensifies for the Shadowhunters as the New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy comes to a close.

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?

The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.

Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

 

The Dream Thieves, by Maggie Stiefvater

the dream thievesThe second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after….

 

 

Champion, by Marie Lu

championThe explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

Be sure to check out our list of favorite adult SF/F from 2013. 

Book Editorial, Books, Editorials

Lytherus’ top ten new release young adult books you CAN’T miss this fall!

top ten young adult book releasesFall is the time for reading. The weather’s turning colder, days are getting shorter, and it’s perfect for snuggling up with a book. Lucky for us, there is a ton of great young adult books coming out this fall. Our team sat down to compile our top ten list of most anticipated fall young adult novels you can’t miss out on! Here’s a list of our top ten choices to look forward to:

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake (September 10th)

antigoddess-kendare-blakeKendare Blake made a mark for herself with Anna Dressed in Blood, and now she’s beginning a new series with Antigoddess  the premise of which begs the question, ‘What if the immortal gods started dying?’ Stay tuned next week, we’re going to be featuring Kendare and this book Monday through Friday! Here’s the summary:

Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

 

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (September 17th)

dream-thievesFor those of who haven’t read book one in this series (The Raven Boys) yet, you’re seriously missing out. But now’s a good time, because book two, The Dream Thieves, is just around the corner. The world has been established, but many questions go unanswered, and Maggie left readers hanging with the final sentence of the first book, leading right into book two (which is hinted at in the title!)  Here’s the summary:

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after….

 

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston (September 17th)

frozen-melissa-de-la-cruz-michael-johnstonMelissa was made popular by her vampire series Blue Bloods. In this endeavor she pairs up with her husband to co-write Frozen, the first book in a new series about a futuristic frozen Los Vegas, a forbidden magic, and a journey that could change lives. We’re going to be featuring this book on Lytherus, so stay tuned! Here’s the summary:

From New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston comes this remarkable first book in a spellbinding new series about the dawn of a new kind of magic.

Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she’s heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes
find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.

 

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (September 24th)

steelheart-brandon-sandersonWhat if there were really superheroes in the world? What if every single one of them, without exception, was evil? What chance would regular people stand against such forces? And how can someone defeat the invincible? These are some of the questions raised in master storyteller Brandon Sanderson’s upcoming book Steelheart. It’s every bit as epic as it sounds, and we’re going to be featuring it during it’s release week, so definitely stop back! Bonus: there’s a chapter excerpt if you want to get started now. Here’s the summary.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mistborn Trilogy, Brandon Sanderson, comes the first book in a new, action-packed thrill ride of a series—Steelheart.

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics . . . nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.
He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

 

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia (October 10th)

Kami Garcia/UnbreakableGhosts! Murder! Secret societies! These are some of the awesome things featured in Kami Garcia’s new book Unbreakable. This is her first solo project after the very popular and much -loved Beautiful Creatures series she wrote with Margaret Stohl, and it’s one of the most anticipated books of the fall. And Lytherus managed to snag an exclusive interview with her for release week, so be sure to check it out! Here’s the summary:

I never believed in ghosts.
Until one tried to kill me.
When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, she doesn’t realize that paranormal forces are responsible–not until mysterious identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into her room and destroy a deadly spirit sent to kill her.
Kennedy learns that her mother’s death was no accident, and now she has to take her place in the Legion of the Black Dove–a secret society whose five members were all murdered on the same night, leaving the Legion in the hands of the next generation: a misfit group with unique skills.
As the new members race to find the only weapon capable of destroying the demon, they use their individual talents to battle paranormal entities and earn their rightful place in the Legion–except for Kennedy.
If she is truly the missing piece of the puzzle, can she stay alive long enough to find out–without losing her heart in the process?
Protect Yourself.
What you can’t see CAN hurt you

 

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner (October 8th)

the-eye-of-minds-james-dashnerWe’re James Dashner fans here at Lytherus, and this new book, the first in a new series, has promise to be one of our favorites this fall. James uses the awesome imagination we loved in The Maze Runner series and delivers it again in The Eye of Minds, a futuristic cyber world filled with intrigue and adventure. And gaming! And hacking! It should be a good one, especially if you’re a fan of scifi, gaming, or the world of coding. We’ll be featuring Dashner all of his release week, so be sure to stop by. Here’s the summary:

From James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, comes an all-new, edge-of-your seat adventure. The Eye of Minds is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.

Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team. But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

 

Allegiant by Veronica Roth (October 22nd)

allegiant-veronica-rothIf I had to pick the top YA book that’s most anticipated this fall, it’s Allegiant, the conclusion to Veronica Roth’s superb Divergent series. With the Divergent movie coming out next year, this series has been everywhere. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see how it ends. Here’s the summary:

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

 

Teardrop by Lauren Kate (October 22nd)

teardrop-lauren-kateTeardrop is the first book in a new series by Lauren Kate. We’re going to be featuring her all of release week, and having already read and advanced copy of the book, we can say that this book is fantastic. It feels fresh and new, and fans of Lauren’s Fallen series will gobble this one right up. Fans who love fantasy, adventure, and romance should also definitely not miss it. Here’s the summary:

The first in a new series by Lauren Kate, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fallen series, TEARDROP is an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.
Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux’s mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn’t, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.
But Ander doesn’t know Eureka’s darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined.

 

The Shadowhunter’s Codex by Cassandra Clare (October 29th)

the-shadowhunters-codex-cassandra-clareThis is more of a companion book than an actual novel, but for fans of Cassandra Clare and anything Shadowhunter, this is going to be a must-have. This is the Shadowhunter instruction manual, and not only that, it’s Clary’s actual copy, complete with her personal sketches and notes. This should be a very cool insight to the morals and creation of the demon killing machines fans of the series know and love. Here’s the summary:

Delve into the details of all things Shadowhunter with this illustrated guide to the knowledge and lore of the Shadowhunter world.

Since the thirteenth century, the Shadowhunter’s Codex has been the one and only manual for Shadowhunters looking to brush up on their demon languages, learn proper stele use, and discover just what exactly a pyxis is. Featured in both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, this guide is a necessity for any young Nephilim on their journey to becoming a Shadowhunter. Beautifully illustrated, the Codex contains images of the famous Shadowhunter homeland of Idris, as well as depictions of demons and other Downworlders.
But this isn’t just any copy of The Shadowhunter’s Codex. It’s Clary’s copy, and as an artist herself, she’s sketched pictures of her friends and family in the book, and scrawled helpful advice in the margins. Of course, she couldn’t exactly stop Jace or Simon from adding their thoughts either. Part encyclopedia, part history, part training manual—complete with commentary from Shadowhunters who have seen it all—this beautiful guide is a perfect supplement to the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

 

Curtsies and Consperacies by Gail Carriger (November 5th)

curtsies-and-consperacies-gail-carrigerThis is book two in Gail’s young adult series, set in the same world as her steampunk Parasol Protectorate series. Murder, mayhem, and manners abound in these books. They are a riot to read, and really creative. I’m sure Curtsies and Consperacies will continue that legacy proudly. If you’ve never read any, start with the adult books and then move on to the YA. You won’t be sorry. If you’re up to date, here’s an excerpt of book 2. Here’s the summary:

Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia’s first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy–won’t Mumsy be surprised? Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers’ quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship’s boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot–one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

In this sequel to New York Times bestselling Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail’s distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.

BONUS BOOKS: There are several books that didn’t make the list, not because they lack quality but because they just recently released! If you’re looking for a great book to read while waiting for one of the books on this list to come out, check out some of these fantastic readers:

We’d love to hear in the comments which books you would have put on the list, if any of your most anticipated books didn’t make it! Happy reading!

Book News, Books, Movie News, Movies, News

First Look at Clary from the ‘Mortal Instruments’ Movie!

Fans of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series are probably aware by now that there’s a movie in the works. Though the first film isn’t set to hit theaters until August 23rd of next year, the first glimpses of the characters we love are being revealed.

Today, Entertainment Weekly released the first official sneak peek photo from Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Here’s Clary Fray, played by Lily Collins, showing off a shadowhunter rune:

Clary Fray, played by Lily Collins.

The author had this to say about the image: “Clary has the ability to both create new symbols and make runes that are stronger than other people’s. In this scene, she is fending off an enemy with the first rune that she’s ever drawn on herself at the amazement of the other Shadowhunters. It was very reassuring to come on set and see everything covered in runes and replicated down to the last detail. The movie was definitely made by people who love the books and wanted to do right by them.”

The first official trailer is set to release later this week, be sure to check back with us! Want more? Cassandra Clare did an awesome exclusive interview with ew.com about casting and movie spoilers, so be sure to check it out here!

[via ew.com]

Book News, Books, News

New Book Releases, Week of May 6th, 2012

Here’s this week’s new fantasy, scifi and horror book releases. Click on the title to see covers.

Released Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Abandon Book 2: Underworld, by Meg Cabot

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, the dark reimagining of the Persephone myth begun in ABANDON continues … into the Underworld.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance . . . on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there . . . and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.

City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments), by Cassandra Clare

The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

Can the lost be reclaimed? What price is too high to pay for love? Who can be trusted when sin and salvation collide?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge.

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

Enchanted, by Alethea Kontis

It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past—and hers?

Endure (Need), by Carrie Jones

Zara is at the center of an all-out war, and an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Bedford is being ravaged by evil pixies and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends, she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king…

Unexpected turns, surprising revelations, and one utterly satisfying romantic finale make Endure a thrilling end to this series of bestsellers.

Flora’s Fury: How a Girl of Spirit and a Red Dog Confound Their Friends, Astound Their Enemies, and Learn the Importance of Packing Light ,  by  Ysabeau S. Wilce

Despite her troublesome attraction to magick, Flora has more or less spent her life
doing what’s been expected of her. Now, at sixteen, she knows that this path has
been strewn with secrets. Sure that her true mother, Tiny Doom—long believed to be
dead—is alive, Flora becomes determined to find her and leave behind the lies she’s
been told about who she is. Flora’s quest takes her on a journey from lawless islands to
the deadly desert, and into an unexpected romance with a brooding stranger who reveals
himself to be a kindred spirit. And it all becomes far more dangerous when Flora
realizes how desperately their enemies want Tiny Doom—and Flora herself—dead.

Hemlock, by Kathleen Peacock

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer:

A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome–also known as the werewolf virus–is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boy-friend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spell-binding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.

The Hunt, by Andrew Fukuda

Don’t Sweat.  Don’t Laugh.  Don’t draw attention to yourself.  And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different from everyone else around him.  He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood.  Gene is a human, and he knows the rules.  Keep the truth a secret.  It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.

When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him.  He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

Steampunk: Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, by Zdenko Basic and Manuel Sumberac

Everyone is familiar with Mary Shelley’s classic novel, but no one has read it like this! Frankenstein is the long celebrated gothic tale of a science experiment gone awry. But in this brand-new edition, Shelley’s haunting horror story is transformed with the addition of steampunk-inspired art.

With elaborate full-color illustrations throughout, this is a truly unique interpretation of Frankenstein. It’s a fresh look at a classic story, spiked with gadgets, fashion, and steam-powered machinery inspired by the hottest trend in science-fiction. Releasing just in time for summer reading, teens will enjoy this classic novel with an awesome steampunk twist!

Struck, by Jennifer Bosworth

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

Until I Die (Revenants), by Amy Plum

I wish there was only today, just right now, and no forever.

It seems fitting that I fell in love in Paris. Peel back a thin layer of reality and under the city’s glamorous surface is a battleground for immortal enemies.

Because with Vincent, reality is an illusion. Handsome, chivalrous, and witty, he’s got everything I’ve ever wanted in a boyfriend…except mortality. But when I chose Vincent, I chose love over reason and safety.

Vincent swore to avoid death–to resist his very nature so that we could be together. But I refuse to stand by and watch him suffer.

I know I’ll do whatever it takes–even if it means lying to the people I love–to fight against a fate that is trying to tear us apart.

Broken Illusions: A Midnight Dragonfly Novel, by Ellie James

The next exciting novel in the thrilling new Midnight Dragonfly series from Ellie James!

It’s almost Mardi Gras, but for 16 year-old psychic Trinity Monsour this is no time for celebration. Another girl is missing. Tormented by visions she doesn’t understand—of an empty street lined by crumbling old buildings, a terrified voice warning her to be careful, and a body lying motionless in the grass, Trinity embarks upon a dark odyssey she could never have imagined. She’ll stop at nothing to better understand her abilities, convinced that doing so is the only way she can make sure the terrifying images she sees never actually happen. But it seems everyone wants to stop her. Her aunt is worried Trinity might discover secrets best left in the past. Her best friend, Victoria, is afraid Trinity is slipping away, her boyfriend, Chase, fears she’s taking too many chances, and the lead detective will barely let her out of his sight. Only one person stands by her side, and in doing so, he slips deeper and deeper into her heart and her dreams—blurring the lines of reality and illusion. When the dust settles, one of them will be dead.

Hollyweird, by Terri Clark

Aly King is about to fall for the fallen

My best friend, Des, and I totally freaked when we won the contest to meet THE Dakota Danvers in Hollywood. But now we’re finding out he’s SO not the angel everyone believes him to be. In fact, Dakota is the son of Satan, wreaking havoc on Hollywood and creating an evil army hellbent on world domination.

Lucky for us, Dakota’s super-cute personal assistant, Jameson, is a fallen angel trying to get his wings back, and he’s working undercover to squash his demon boss’s plan. If Jameson hadn’t taken me under his wing I’d be in serious trouble, because I’m a total newb when it comes to conquering evil. But, truth be told, that sexy angel’s got me all aflutter and may be one temptation I can’t resist.

Last Rite, by Lisa Desrochers

In this final installment of the thrilling, edgy Personal Demons series, the battle between Heaven and Hell has become critical, and Frannie Cavanaugh is right at the center of it.

With the help of the powerful angel Gabe and demon-turned-mortal Luc, Frannie has been able to stay one step ahead of the forces of Hell. But when the demons killed Frannie’s best friend and destroyed her brother, they raised the stakes. If Frannie wants to keep her family and friends safe, she knows she has no choice but to go on the run.

Their best defense is the power Frannie has been struggling to master, but her attempts to hone her skill go horribly awry. If Frannie doesn’t learn fast, the consequences could be devastating–even apocalyptic.

What happens when you can’t outrun Hell…or trust the ones you love?

Magic in Manhattan: Bras & Broomsticks and Frogs & French kisses, b y Sarah Mlynowski

Bras & Broomsticks and Frogs & French Kisses now available in one volume!

What if all your wishes could come true?

In Bras & Bromsticks, fourteen-year-old Rachel learns the outrageously unfair fact that yes, magic exists, but she’s not the one who’s a witch: Miri, her younger sister, is!

The magic continues in Frogs & French Kisses when the teeny-tiny love spell Rachel talks Miri into casting goes horribly wrong. Now the fate of their family, the world, and senior prom is in Rachel’s hands. . . .

Obsidian (A Lux Novel), by Jennifer Armentrout

When seventeen-year-old Katy Swartz moved to West Virginia right before her senior year, she’d pretty much resigned herself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring, but then she spotted her hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up…until he opened his mouth. Daemon Black is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. It’s hate at first sight, but when a stranger attacks her and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. The hot guy next door? Well, he’s an alien. Turns out that Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities and Katy is caught in the crosshairs. Daemon’s touch has lit her up like the Vegas Strip and the only way she’s getting out of this alive is by sticking close to him until her alien mojo fades. That is if she doesn’t kill him first.

Possession, by Elana Johnson

Toe the line between rule-following and rule-breaking in this tense and twisted start to a smart and sexy dystopian trilogy.

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous—everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories, by Jeff VanderMeer and Ann VanderMeer

From Lovecraft to Borges to Gaiman, a century of intrepid literary experimentation has created a corpus of dark and strange stories that transcend all known genre boundaries. Together these stories form The Weird, and its practitioners include some of the greatest names in twentieth and twenty-first century literature.

Exotic and esoteric, The Weird plunges you into dark domains and brings you face to face with surreal monstrosities. You won’t find any elves or wizards here…but you will find the biggest, boldest, and downright most peculiar stories from the last hundred years bound together in the biggest Weird collection ever assembled.

The Weird features 110 stories by an all-star cast, from literary legends to international bestsellers to Booker Prize winners: including William Gibson, George R. R. Martin, Stephen King, Angela Carter, Kelly Link, Franz Kafka, China Miéville, Clive Barker, Haruki Murakami, M. R. James, Neil Gaiman, Mervyn Peake, and Michael Chabon.

Fountain of Age: Stories, by Nancy Kress

Nine new stories from a long-time star of the science fiction field including the Hugo Award winner “The Erdmann Nexus” and Nebula Award winner “The Fountain of Age.” These stories have been reprinted in The Year’s Best Science FictionBest Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, and Best of the Web.

Kress unpacks the future the way DNA investigators unravelled the double helix: one gene at a time. In many of these stories gene sculpting is illegal yet commonplace and the effects range between slow catastrophe (“End Game”), cosmic (“First Rites”), and tragic (“Safeguard”). Then there’s the morning when Rochester disappears and Jenny has to rely on “The Kindness of Strangers.” There’s Jill, who is kidnapped by aliens and trying to learn the “Laws of Survival.” And there’s Hope, whose Grandma is regretting the world built “By Fools Like Me.”

Powers, by James A. Burton

Albert Johannson lives off the grid. He’s forgotten more than he remembers about his past, but those snippets he’s retained tell him two things: he’s lived a long, looong time and he doesn’t trust anyone, particularly gods. He’s not any too fond of demons either, particularly the one that materializes in his kitchen wanting to hire him for a special mission. It’s as deadly to cross a demon as to deal with him, so Albert reluctantly agrees to investigate, putting him in the path of a prickly arson detective named Melissa el Hajj with trust issues of her own. Clashing at a crime scene, they uncover a broken seal that seems ancient enough to have been forged by Solomon himself. The seal cries out to Albert that he must mend it or something dark and dire will happen. Albert, who has a special affinity for metal, must first discover exactly what that will do to his kind – and he’s only just beginning to understand who and what he really is.

 

Summaries from Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book News, Books, News

New Book Releases, Week of December 4th, 2011

Here’s a list of all the scifi, fantasy and horror books coming out this week.

Released Tuesday, December 6th, 2012

Earthbound (Marsbound #3), by Joe Haldeman

The mysterious alien Others have prohibited humans from space travel-destroying Earth’s fleet of starships in a display of unimaginable power. Now Carmen Dula, the first human to encounter Martians and then the mysterious Others, and her colleagues struggle to find a way, using nineteenthcentury technology, to reclaim the future that has been stolen from them.

 

 

 

Supervolcano: Eruption, by Harry Turtledove

A supervolcanic eruption in Yellowstone Park sends lava and mud flowing toward populated areas, and clouds of ash drifting across the country. The fallout destroys crops and livestock, clogs machinery, and makes cities uninhabitable. Those who survive find themselves caught in an apocalyptic catastrophe in which humanity has no choice but to rise from the ashes and recreate the world…

 

 

 

Galactic Courier: The John Grimes Saga, by A. Bertram Chandler

Number three in a three-volume collection of the legendary John Grimes of the Galactic Rim series. Classic Star Trek meets the high seas. If space travel is going to be anything like sailing the oceans, then A. Bertram Chandler has surely caught its absolute essence in his Grimes novels. Here are the crowning tales of Grimes’ career – the Grimes “Rim Commodore” stories. In these tales, Grimes has found his true calling out on the edge of galactic civilization. He’s the sheriff of a realm where pioneer colonies and parallel dimensions overlap, and a starship captain must be prepared for adventure in ALL possible worlds.

Includes an astounding (as in, mostly published in Astounding and Analog by legendary editor John W. Campbell) cornucopia of Grimes novels bringing together all previous Commodore Grimes tales in Star Courier, To Keep the Ship, Matilda’s Stepchildren, Star Loot.

Himmler’s War, by Robert Conroy

Only days after Normandy, Hitler is taken out of the equation and Heinrich Himmler, brutal head of the SS, assumes control of the Reich.  On the Allied side, there is confusion.  Should attempts be made to negotiate with the new government or should unconditional surrender still be the only option?  With the specter of a German super-weapon moving closer to completion and the German generals finally allowed to fight the kind of war at which they are masters, the allies are pushed toward a course of accommodation or even defeat.  Will the soldiers of the Grand Alliance find the courage and conviction to fight on in the face of such daunting odds?  And can alliance leaders put into place a new plan in time to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by the German war machine?  A new and terrible battle for a free world is on.

Eve: Templar One, by Tony Gonzalez

“There will be neither compassion nor mercy;
Nor peace, nor solace
For those who bear witness to these Signs
And still do not believe.”

Book of Reclaiming 25:10

New Eden: the celestial battleground of a catastrophic war that has claimed countless lives.

The immortal starship captains spearheading this epic conflict continue their unstoppable dominance, shaping the universe to their will and ensuring a bloody, everlasting stalemate.

But a powerful empire is on the verge of a breakthrough that could end the war and secure their rule over mankind forever. For deep in a prison reclamation camp, a secret program is underway…one that will unlock dangerous secrets of New Eden’s past.

It all begins with inmate 487980-A . . . Templar One.

Prepare for DUST 514.

 Mecha Corps: A Novel of the Armor Wars, by Brett Patton

Matt Lowell is in hell-and there’s no place he’d rather be. At a training camp on the backwater planet of Earth, he and his fellow cadets are learning to ride Mechas: biomechanicals sporting both incredible grace and devastating firepower. Their ultimate aim is to combat the pirates of the Corsair Confederacy, but before they survive a battle, they have to survive their training.

Because every time Lowell and his comrades “plug in” to their Mechas, their minds are slowly being twisted and broken by an unseen power that is neither man…nor machine.

 

Dragon Fate: Book Six of the Age of Fire, by E. E. Knight

The author of the national bestselling Vampire Earth series presents the fiery conclusion to his epic dragon saga.

Scattered across a continent, three dragon siblings are among the last of a dying breed-the final hope for their species’ survival.

After fighting a war that cost each of them kingdoms, friends and family, and their honor and glory, they have removed themselves from the troubles of the world. But the order they fought to establish is falling apart. Ancient sorceries have been awakened. Dragons battle dragons. And men are taking up arms against their winged overlords. Now, the three must unite once more to save dragonkind from extinction, before the chaos and fire of war consumes them all…and the world with them.

The Emperor’s Knife, by Mazarkis Williams

There is a cancer at the heart of the mighty Cerani Empire: a plague that attacks young and old, rich and poor alike. Geometric patterns spread across the skin, until you die in agony, or become a Carrier, doing the bidding of an evil intelligence, the Pattern Master. Anyone showing the tell-tale marks is put to death; that is Emperor Beyon”s law…but now the pattern is running over the Emperor”s own arms. His body servants have been executed, he ignores his wives, but he is doomed, for soon the pattern will reach his face. While Beyon”s agents scour the land for a cure, Sarmin, the Emperor”s only surviving brother, awaits his bride, Mesema, a windreader from the northern plains. Unused to the Imperial Court”s stifling protocols and deadly intrigues, Mesema has no one to turn to but an ageing imperial assassin, the Emperor”s Knife. As long-planned conspiracies boil over into open violence, the invincible Pattern Master appears from the deep desert. Now only three people stand in his way: a lost prince, a world-weary killer, and a young girl from the steppes who saw a path in a pattern once, among the waving grasses – a path that just might save them all! Mazarkis Williams is a writer with roots in both the US and UK, having worked in and been educated in both countries. Each year is divided between Boston and Bristol and a teleport booth is always top of the Christmas wish-list. Mazarkis has degrees in history and physics with a diverse set of interests accumulated while misspending a hectic youth. Cooking has always been a passion and in addition to feeding six children and a sizable herd of cats Mazarkis regularly caters for crowds of permanently hungry friends. ”The Emperor”s Knife” is Mazarkis” first novel.

Honor’s Paradox, by P. C. Hodgell

The sequel to Bound in Blood and exciting sixth entry in the Godstalker Chronicles by epic fantasy world-builder extraordinaire, P.C. Hodgell.Jame is one of the last of the Kencyrath line, born to battle a world-destroying Lord of Darkness and resuscitate her ancestral heritage.  Jame’s youth was spent hard and low in a desert wasteland.  Now she has discovered her past and her heritage as Highborn—and, with it, the power to call souls out of their bodies and slay the occasional god or two (as well as to resurrect them).

First, though, Jame must survive the politics and dangers of haunted Tentir College, a school for warriors where she’s a student.  At Tentir, Jame saves a young protÉgÉ from possession by a powerful, evil soul in search of a body, while combating jealous students who see her as a danger to their ambition for power and want her expelled—and blinded and dead, in the bargain!  Then, just as graduation approaches, Jame’s exemption from the sacred laws of the tribe of her youth expires and she is expected to wed immediately, plus take on a family.  To make matters worse, she’s challenged to a mounted combat duel to decide who is Tentir “top gun”—a competition she must win to graduation.  It’s trial by fire, as Jame moves closer to a magnificent destiny she both fears—and knows she must face.

The Thirteen Hallows, by Michael Scott and Colette Freedman

The Hallows. Ancient artifacts imbued with a primal and deadly power. But are they protectors of this world, or the keys to its destruction?

A gruesome murder in London reveals a sinister plot to uncover a two-thousand-year-old secret.

For decades, the Keepers guarded these Hallows, keeping them safe and hidden and apart from each other. But now the Keepers are being brutally murdered, their prizes stolen, the ancient objects bathed in their blood.

Now, only a few remain.

With her dying breath, one of the Keepers convinces Sarah Miller, a practical stranger, to deliver her Hallow—a broken sword with devastating powers—to her American nephew, Owen.

The duo quickly become suspects in a series of murders as they are chased by both the police and the sadistic Dark Man and his nubile mistress.

As Sarah and Owen search for the surviving Keepers, they unravel the deadly secret the Keepers were charged to protect. The mystery leads Sarah and Owen on a cat-and-mouse chase through England and Wales, and history itself, as they discover that the sword may be the only thing standing between the world… nd a horror beyond imagining.

The Thirteen Hallows is the beginning of a spellbinding new saga, a thrilling tale of ancient magic and modern times by a New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning playwright.

Under the Vale and Other Tales of Vlademar, by Mercedes Lackey

In March 1987, a young author from Oklahoma published her first novel, Arrows of the Queen. This modest book about a magical land called Valdemar was the beginning of a fantasy masterwork series that would span decades and include more than two dozen titles. Now readers can travel to the world of Valdemar with Tanya Huff, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Fiona Patton, Rosemary Edghill, Judith Tarr, and others in these original stories, including an all-new novella from Mercedes Lackey.

 

 

Alien Proliferation, by Gini Koch

Alien Super-Being Exterminator Kitty Katt is expecting her first baby. But the alien attacks are getting more dangerous, and now Kitty and her Alpha Centaurion husband, Jeff, have to find out who’s behind the conspiracy to kill Kitty’s secret agent mom and what caused Kitty’s transformation into a superhuman-and they’ve got to do it all before the baby shower…

 

 

 

Blood of Eden, by Tami Dane

This mind-blowing new series introduces Sloan Skye, and ambitious intern at the FBI’s paranormal unit, where the usual rules of crime fighting don’t apply…

Sloan has a sky-high IQ, a chaotic personal life, and a dream: to work for the FBI. Her goal is within reach until an error lands her with the FBI’s ugly stepchild: the new Paranormal Behavioral Analysis Unit. She’ll get to profile criminals, but the pool of suspects is a little more…diverse. Yet even as Sloan tackles her first case–a string of victims, all with puncture wounds to the neck–she can’t silence her inner para-skeptic.

To catch the killer she’ll have to think like one. That means casting aside her doubts, and dealing with the bizarre nightmares that started with the job. But the strangeness is only beginning, as Sloan pieces together the shocking truth about a case that’s more personal than she ever would have guessed.

Shaedes of Gray, by Amanda Bonilla

In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind-an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

When Darian’s next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she’s taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished…

 

True Shot, by Joyce Lamb

Special FBI operative Samantha Trudeau’s unique psychic abilities help her catch the most elusive criminals. They also put her in the path of a sadistic adversary when she discovers she’s actually working for a rogue cell-and into the confidence of a handsome journalist with his own potentially dangerous secrets.

 

 

 

Hellsbane, by Paige Cuccaro

Emma Jane Hellsbane always knew she was different, but she had no idea she wasn’t even human. Well, at least she’s half-human. She’s half-fallen angel, too, and now dear ol’ dad wants her dead. All the Fallen angels want all their troublesome offspring removed from the mortal coil so she’s trying not to take it personally. Besides, she wants him dead just as much. Her father’s death is the only way she’ll be forgiven for his sin, stop those pesky demons from trying to hack off her head, and have any hope at all of getting back to a normal life as a wicked slick Intuitive Consciousness Explorer.

Of course, first she’ll have to figure out which fallen angel is her father, avoid accidentally seducing her angelic mentor, help an old friend conquer his own fallen sperm donor, and basically save the world from a cataclysmic divine smack down.

No problem. With a last name like Hellsbane, Emma Jane was definitely born for the job.

Left Hand Magic (Golgotham book 2), by Nancy A. Collins

Located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Golgotham has been the city’s supernatural ghetto for centuries. Populated by countless creatures from myth and legend, the neighborhood’s most prominent citizens are the Kymera, a race of witches who maintain an uneasy truce with New York City’s humans…

Tate Eresby has accepted the unusual sights and sounds of Golgotham and made it her home. Unfortunately, a magazine has alerted trendsetting hipsters to its existence and they’ve descended upon the community-along with an anti-Kymera faction known as The Sons of Adam. The sudden influx of tourists escalates racial tensions to a boiling point when two Kymerans are murdered and rioting fills the streets.

The Cross: Vampire Federation, by Sean McCabe

The vampires call it the Cross of Ardaich: a relic thought to have been destroyed in the war between the Federation and the rebels. But it has been found, and its incredible powers could signal the end of civilization…

A cannibalistic serial killer becomes the perfect tool for the race of the Ubervampyr. His mission: find the cross. His reward: join the ranks of the undead. On his trail are Detective Joel Solomon and Vampire Federation agent Alex Bishop. Once lovers and now enemies, they must work together to prevent the ultimate disaster. Unless they can foil the vampyrs’ plans, salvation for the race will be just a dream gone bad.

 

Clockwork Prince, by Cassandra Clare

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Obsidian (A Lux Novel), by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is. 

Planesrunner (Everness, Book 1), by Ian McDonald

There is not one you. There are many yous. There is not one world. There are many worlds. Ours is one of billions of parallel earths.

When Everett Singh’s scientist father is kidnapped from the streets of London, he leaves young Everett a mysterious app on his computer. Suddenly, this teenager has become the owner of the most valuable object in the multiverse—the Infundibulum—the map of all the parallel earths, and there are dark forces in the Ten Known Worlds who will stop at nothing to get it. They’ve got power, authority, and the might of ten planets—some of them more technologically advanced than our Earth—at their fingertips. He’s got wits, intelligence, and a knack for Indian cooking.

To keep the Infundibulum safe, Everett must trick his way through the Heisenberg Gate his dad helped build and go on the run in a parallel Earth. But to rescue his Dad from Charlotte Villiers and the sinister Order, this Planesrunner’s going to need friends. Friends like Captain Anastasia Sixsmyth, her adopted daughter Sen, and the crew of the airship Everness.

Can they rescue Everett’s father and get the Infundibulum to safety? The game is afoot!

Eternal Starling, by Angela Corbett

 A love so strong, even eternity can t separate them. Evie Starling has lived a relatively uneventful life hanging out with friends, gossiping about boys, and driving her 1966 Mustang. All of that changes when she moves to Gunnison, Colorado, to start college and meets two mysterious men. For centuries, Alex Night and Emil Stone have yearned for Evie but they each have their own reasons for wanting to be with her. When both men claim to be her soul mate and tell her about an unbelievable past, Evie learns that she s not the person she thought she was. Soon, Evie finds herself in the middle of an age-old battle between the Amaranthine Society the soul protectors, and the Daevos Resistance the soul destroyers. With a past she doesn t understand, and a future rife with danger, Evie has to decide who she can trust. But Alex and Emil aren t the only ones who want Evie, and her soul is about to become the rope in an eternal tug-of-war.

Shattered Dreams:  Midnight Dragonfly Novel, by Ellie James

Sixteen-year-old Trinity Monsour wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But that isn’t as easy as it seems. Trinity is different. She is special. She sees visions, and for those she’s seen, it’s already too late.

Trinity arrives on her aunt’s doorstep in New Orleans with virtually no knowledge of her mysterious heritage. She begins settling into life at a new school and even starts making friends. But all too quickly her dreams accelerate; twisted, terrifying visions of a girl locked in a dark room. And when the head cheerleader, Jessica, goes missing, Trinity knows she has no choice but to step forward with what she’s seen.

But people believe that Trinity has information about Jessica’s disappearance not because of a dream, but because she is involved. She is kind-of dating Jessica’s ex-boyfriend, Chase, and Jessica did pull a nasty prank on Trinity. Revenge seems like the likeliest scenario.

Nothing prepares Trinity for the dark odyssey that ensues while searching for Jessica, including the surprising romance she finds with Chase, or the shocking truths she learns, not just about the girl who has gone missing, but the past that has been hidden from her.

Winging it (The Dragon Diaries, book 2), by Deborah Cooke 

The new Dragon Diary novel from the author of Flying Blind.

Zoë Sorensson yearns to come into her powers as the only female dragon shifter. But being part of two worlds is more complicated than she expected. It’s bad enough that she’s the target of the Mages’s plan to eliminate all shifters-but she also has to hide her true nature from her human best friend, Megan. But when Megan gets a last-minute invite to the popular kids’ Halloween party-hosted by an apprentice Mage-Zoë must save the day and her best friend without revealing her fire- breathing secrets…

 

Witch & Wizard: The Fire (Book 3), by James Patterson

Whit and Wisty Allgood have sacrificed everything to lead the resistance against the merciless totalitarian regime that governs their world. Its supreme leader, The One Who Is The One, has banned everything they hold dear: books, music, art, and imagination. But the growing strength of the siblings’ magic hasn’t been enough to stop the One’s evil rampage, and now he’s executed the only family they had left.

Wisty knows that the time has finally come for her to face The One. But her fight and her fire only channel more power to this already invincible being. How can she and Whit possibly prepare for their imminent showdown with the ruthless villain that devastated their world-before he can truly become all-powerful?

In this stunning third installment of the epic Witch & Wizard series, the stakes have never been higher–and the consequences will change everything.

Human for a Day, edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Jennifer Brozek

Here’s an anthology that examines what it means to be human in all its positive and negative aspects. If you were an intelligent robot, would the opportunity to become human for a day be worth the risks? If a magic spell switched the bodies of a vampire and a teenage girl, would both savor the experience or search for a way to undo the enchantment? What tests would an angel face if transformed into a mortal for a day? These are just a few of the inventive stories-some humorous, some sad, many thought-provoking, and all unique-to be found in Human for a Day.

 

 

Myths of Origin: Four Short Novels, by Catherynne M. Valente

Live the Myth! New York Times best-seller Catherynne M. Valente is the single most compelling voice to emerge in fantasy fiction in decades. Collected here for the first time, her early short novels explore, deconstruct, and ultimately explode the seminal myths of both East and West, casting them in ways you”ve never read before and may never read again. The Labyrinth – a woman wanderer, a Maze like no other, a Monkey and a Minotaur and a world full of secrets leading down to the Center of it All. Yume No Hon: The Book of Dreams – an aged woman named Ayako lives in medieval Japan, but dreams in mythical worlds that beggar the imagination . . . including our own modern world. The Grass-Cutting Sword – when a hero challenges a great and evil serpent, who speaks for the snake? In this version of a myth from the ancient chronicle Kojiki, the serpent speaks for himself. Under in the Mere – Arthur and Lancelot, Mordred and le Fay. The saga has been told a thousand times, but never in the poetic polyphony of this novella, a story far deeper than it is long.

Released Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Illuminated, by Erica Orloff

Some loves are not made to last . . . Like Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard were doomed from the start, and their romance was destined to pass into history. Yet when sixteen-year-old Callie Martin discovers a diary hidden within an antique book, their story – and hers – takes on another life. For the diary leads Callie to the brilliant and handsome August, who is just as mysterious as the secret the diary hides. Their attraction is undeniable. As the two hunt down the truth behind the diary – and that of Heloise and Abelard’s ancient romance – their romance becomes all-consuming. But Callie knows it can’t last . . . love never does. Will their love that burns as bright as a shooting star flame out, or will these star-crossed lovers be able to defy history?

Shattered Souls, by Mary Lindsey

A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger

Lenzi hears voices and has visions – gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can’t help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she’s a reincarnated Speaker – someone who can talk to and help lost souls – and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn’t make a decision soon.

 

All summaries from Amazon.com.

Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

A Slow Start For City of Fallen Angels, but Worth Reading!

For those of you who follow my reviews, you would have noticed that I’m not shy about my love of Cassandra Clare’s books. My enjoyment of her Mortal Instruments trilogy doubled when I learned she was extending the series to be six books, the first of which came out April 5th of this year. City of Fallen Angels picks right up where City of Glass left off, and though it had a slow start, Clare finished the book in her typical exploding style. This might contain some spoilers for those of you who haven’t read the first three, so beware (if you’re curious about the series, feel free to read my review of book one, City of Bones).

Clary is back from Idris, along with all her Shadowhunter and Downworlder friends. Her mom’s about to get married to Luke, local werewolf and all-around wonderful guy. And she’s finally with Jace. After all the stress, heartbreak, and just plain Hell they went through, a happy ending is at last on the horizon.

Of course, nothing is ever that easy in this world, which is proven once again when Shadowhunters start showing up all over New York City dead. Downworlders are suspected, putting tension on the recently-created truce. Clary’s personal life starts taking a turn for the worse as well. Her best friend Simon is having a terrible time since he told his mom he’s a vampire—he has nowhere to live, and even more, all sorts of powerful Downworlders are after him, thanks to his Daywalking abilities.

Then Jace starts to pull away. Clary has no idea why, and the more she pries, the more distant he becomes. Something is lurking under the surface, some truth connecting all three of these events… if only she could figure it out.

This book was a bit of a rollercoaster, and not in a good way. Out of all of Clare’s books, this is my least favorite. It honestly took me to almost 200 pages to start to enjoy the story. Though I was revisiting characters I loved, they seemed flat and typical, their actions predictable to me. I wasn’t connected to the story, even though some pretty significant things happened in those 200 pages.

However, having said that, the ending more than made up for the slow beginning. About half-way through the book something just clicked for me, and the pages couldn’t turn fast enough. The layers of plot and the struggles the characters went through—particularly Jace—were rich and filled with the adventure, suspense, and sexual tension I have come to expect from Clare’s books.

I also loved the way she continued the story. Usually in a trilogy or series, we read to the climax and then have no more insight into the characters we have loved. Does Harry ever encounter another wizard ready to take over the world? Will Bella ever fight the Volturi once and for all? Trips end, people die, love is lost and found, and life moves on. But what happens to them? I think it is unrealistic to expect that fantasy worlds have no more issues once the big baddie is taken care of. With City of Fallen Angels, we get to see that continuation of life. And the way the author connects the first three books to the second is simply brilliant—well-written, and unexpected.

With the disconnect at the beginning, was this book worth waiting it out to get to the end? I’d definitely say yes. Maybe it would have felt more connected if I had read it immediately following a read-through of the first three books. Next time I do that, I’ll have to let you know. Either way, the things I have come to expect and enjoy from Cassandra Clare as an author were there, building up towards an ending that was well worth wading through the disconnect.

 

Book News, Books, News

Mortal Instrument Fans, Want to Read Jace’s Letter From City of Glass? Now You Can!

I love this series. Yes, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m sure. Luckily, I know I’m not the only one out there.

On that same note, I know I’m not the only fan curious to know what was in the letter Jace wrote to Clary at the end of City of Glass, book three in the Mortal Instruments series written by Cassandra Clare.

The letter was released in certain copies of City of Fallen Angels, but only from select retailers who had the rights. However, those rights have been released, and the letter is now online for all to read.

So, brought to you by the author’s website, here is the completed letter. Enjoy!

We’ll be bringing you a review of City of Fallen Angels within the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

 

Book News, Books, News

New Releases, Week of April 4th, 2011

Here’s a list of all of sci-fi and fantasy coming out this week.

Released Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Betrayer: Foreigner #12, by C. J. Cherryh

The twelfth book in Hugo Award winner C.J. Cherryh’s epic Foreigner series.

The civil war among the alien atevi has ended. Tabini-aiji, powerful ruler of the Western Association, along with Cajeiri his son and heir, and his human paidhi, Bren Cameron, have returned to the Bujavid, their seat of power.

But factions that remain loyal to the opposition are still present, and the danger these rebels pose is far from over.

WWW: Wonder, by Robert J. Sawyer

“A writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation” (New York Times) concludes his mindbending trilogy.

Webmind-the vast consciousness that spontaneously emerged from the infrastructure of the World Wide Web-has proven its worth to humanity by aiding in everything from curing cancer to easing international tensions. But the brass at the Pentagon see Webmind as a threat that needs to be eliminated.

Caitlin Decter-the once-blind sixteen-year-old math genius who discovered, and bonded with, Webmind-wants desperately to protect her friend. And if she doesn’t act, everything-Webmind included-may come crashing down.

Deadworld, by J. N. Duncan

She’s as tough as anything haunting Chicago’s streets. But to deal with an inhuman power that won’t stay buried, this FBI agent needs help that comes at an immortal price…Jackie Rutledge has seen her share of supernatural killers. But her latest murder case is what recurring nightmares are made of. Brutally exsanguinated human victims, vanishing-into-the-ether evidence, and a city on the edge of panic mean that she and her psychic partner, Laurel, are going to need more than just backup…So Jackie is fine with any help rugged P.I. Nick Anderson can give – even if that includes the impish ghost and sexy vampire who make up his team. But Nick is hiding secrets of his own. And Jackie’s investigation has plunged them both into a vengeful game reaching back centuries – and up against a malevolent force hungry for more than just victory…

Flesh Eaters, by Joe McKinney

They Rise…Out of the flooded streets of Houston, they emerge from plague-ridden waters. Dead. Rotting. Hungry. And as human survivors scramble to their rooftops for safety, the zombie hordes circle like sharks. The ultimate killing machines. They Feed…Houston is quarantined to halt the spread of the zombie plague. Anyone trying to escape is shot on sight – living and dead. Emergency Ops sergeant Eleanor Norton has her work cut out for her. Salvaging boats and gathering explosives, Eleanor and her team struggle to maintain order. But when civilization finally breaks down, the feeding frenzy begins. They Multiply…Biting, gnawing, feasting – but always craving more – the flesheaters increase their ranks every hour. With doomsday looming, Eleanor must focus on the people she loves – her husband and daughter – and a band of other survivors adrift in zombie-infested waters. If she can’t bring them into the quarantine zone, they’re all dead meat.

Magic on the Hunt (Allie Beckstrom Book 6), by Devon Monk

In the secret lockup of the Authority, the council that decides what can and can’t be done with magic, an undead magic user has possessed one of the prisoners. He wants his freedom-and then some. Now Allie Beckstrom and her lover, Zayvion, are the first line of defense against the chaos he’s about to unleash on the city of Portland…

Element Zero (REVIVORS), by James Knapp

Technologically reanimated corpses are frontline soldiers engaged in a neverending war. Agent Nico Wachalowski uncovered a conspiracy that allowed Samuel Fawkes, the scientist who created them, to control them beyond the grave. And now Fawkes has infected untold thousands with new technology, creating an undetectable army that will obey his every command-a living army that just might represent the future of humanity…

Sword of the Gods: Forgotten Realms: Abyssal Plague, Book II, by Bruce R. Cordell

What you don’t know will kill you…

Demascus awakens surrounded by corpses, at a shrine littered with traces of demonic rituals, with no memory of his past. But the Firestorm Cabal remembers him—and the demon who leads them seems to have a personal vendetta against him. Dodging knives, uncovering clues left by his past life, and dueling demons, Demascus must figure out who he is, what battles he is fighting, and who is hunting him before one of them catches up with him.

Sword of the Gods brings the events of the universe-spanning Pandemonium series to the Forgotten Realms® world!

Among Thieves: A Tale of the Kin, by Douglas Hulick

Drothe has been a member of the Kin for years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers in the employ of a crime lord while smuggling relics on the side. But when an ancient book falls into his hands, Drothe finds himself in possession of a relic capable of bringing down emperors-a relic everyone in the underworld would kill to obtain.

Alien in the Family, by Gini Koch

Super-Being Exterminator Kitty Katt and the Alpha Centaurian she loves, Jeff Martini, should be finalizing their wedding plans. But that was before she discovers Jeff is in line to become Emperor back on his home world. Kitty knows she is everything a royal family wouldn’t approve of, and is bracing herself for the worst. As it turns out, the royal family is just the beginning. Especially when extraterrestrial Amazonian terrorists are determined to start and end Kitty and Jeff’s nuptial festivities with a bang.

King Raven: A 3-in-1 of Hood, Scarlet, and Tuck (The King Raven Trilogy), by Stephen R. Lawhead

A completely re-imagined epic of the man known as Robin Hood—available in one volume for the first time.

Hood—Hunted like an animal by Norman invaders, Bran ap Brychan, heir to the throne of Elfael, has abandoned his father’s kingdom and fled to the greenwood. There, in the primeval forest of the Welsh borders, danger surrounds him—for this woodland is a living, breathing entity with mysterious powers and secrets, and Bran must find a way to make it his own if he is to survive.

Scarlet—After losing everything he owns, forester Will Scarlet embarks on a search for King Raven. After fulfilling his quest—and proving himself a skilled and loyal companion—Will joins the heroic archer and his men. From deep in the forest they form a daring plan for deliverance, knowing that failure means death for them all.

Tuck—King Raven has brought hope to the oppressed people of Wales—and fear to their Norman overlords. Deceived by the self-serving King William, Rhi Bran is forced again to take matters into his own hands as King Raven.

Aided by Tuck and his small but determined band of forest-dwelling outlaws, Rhi Bran ignites a rebellion that spreads through the Welsh valleys.

Shady Lady: A Corine Solomon Novel, by Ann Aguirre

Violent revenge threatens a demon-touched amateur witch in the solid third Corine Solomon adventure (after 2010’s Hell Fire). Corine is ready to return to her normal life as a pawnshop owner, but when Kel Ferguson, Hand of God, arrives just in time to save her from touching an item hexed to kill her, she discovers that a drug cartel boss is out for her blood. Corine, Kel, and Corine’s teen ward, Shannon, dodge enemies from Mexico City to Laredo, Tex.—with an even more dangerous side trip to Peru—while striking bargains with red witches, a rival cartel, demons, and their own consciences. Corine’s inner turmoil over using dark powers to survive is compelling, as is her attraction to the strong and appealing Kel (even though he’s love interest #3). Aguirre has a gift for creating strong characters who keep her readers coming back for more.

The Shining City: Book Three of the Warriors of Estavia, by Fiona Patton

“Expert world builder” Fiona Patton concludes The Warriors of Estavia saga.

With the three children of prophecy-the seers Spar and Graize, and the warrior Brax-now grown, and the young God Hisar ready to stake his claim to a place in the pantheon of Anavatan, a time of chaos and change is fast approaching. For only if sworn enemies Spar and Graize can come together as Hisar’s priests will the God stand any chance of surviving the coming battles with both the hungry spirits seeking to devour him, and the war with the mortal invasion fleet, which is even now sailing for Anavatan.

Plague: A Gone Novel, by Michael Grant

Though the desperate, dirty, starving teens of the Gone series look decreasingly like the clean-cut hotties on the book jackets, Grant’s sf-fantasy thrillers continue to be the very definition of page-turner. Nearly out of water and beset with two types of plagues (one like a flu, the other a horde of flesh-eating bugs), the FAYZ community of superfriends and superenemies must once again band together and fight. Being dumped into this populous soap opera, with all its powers and vendettas, will doom newcomers. But who’d be crazy enough to start here? Great fun for fans.

The Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy, by Leah Wilson et al

Praised by writers from Stephen King to Stephenie Meyer, Suzanne Collins’ New York Times bestselling Hunger Games trilogy is dark, captivating, and deeply thought-provoking. Part straight-up survivalist adventure, part rich allegory, and part political thriller, the series has become a new YA favorite.

The Girl Who Was On Fire offers even more to think about for teen readers already engrossed by the Hunger Games. From the trilogy’s darker themes of violence and social control to reality television, fashion, and weaponry, the collection’s exploration of the Hunger Games by other YA writers reveals exactly how rich, and how perilous, protagonist Katniss’ world really is.

The Girl Who Was On Fire covers all three books in the Hunger Games trilogy.

Teeth: Vampire Tales, by Cassandra Clare et al

Fascinated by vampires?

Then feast on nineteen tantalizing, bite-sized tales exploring the intersections between the living, dead, and undead.

The vampires in these stories range from romantic to chilling to gleeful—and touch on nearly every emotion in between. The one thing they have in common is their desire for blood. . . .

Stories from
Genevieve Valentine
Steve Berman
Christopher Barzak
Neil Gaiman
Delia Sherman
Garth Nix
Suzy McKee Charnas
Kaaron Warren
Cecil Castellucci
Jeffrey Ford
Nathan Ballingrud
Kathe Koja
Catherynne M. Valente
Melissa Marr
Ellen Kushner
Cassandra Clare
Holly Black
Lucius Shepard
Emma Bull
Tanith Lee

Faerie Winter, by Janni Simner

The long-awaited sequel to Janni Lee Simner’s breathtaking YA fantasy debut, Bones of Faerie.

Liza is a summoner. She can draw life to herself, even from beyond the grave. And because magic works both ways, she can drive life away. Months ago, she used her powers to banish her dangerous father and to rescue her mother, lost in dreams, from the ruined land of Faerie.

Born in the wake of the war between humanity and Faerie, Liza lived in a world where green things never slept, where trees sought to root in living flesh and bone. But now the forests have fallen silent. Even the evergreens’ branches are bare. Winter crops won’t grow, and the threat of starvation looms. And deep in the forest a dark, malevolent will is at work. To face it, Liza will have to find within herself something more powerful than magic alone.

Here at last is the sequel to Bones of Faerie, for all those fans of dark fantasy and dystopian adventure who thrilled to Janni Lee Simner’s unique vision of a postapocalyptic world infused with magic.

Red Glove (Curse Workers, Book 2), by Holly Black

Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe’s world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she’s human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila’s been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila’s love is as phony as Cassel’s made-up memories, then he can’t believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel’s oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can’t trust anyone—least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.

Flip, by Martyn Bedford

One December night, 14-year-old Alex goes to  bed. He wakes up to  find himself in the wrong bedroom, in an unfamiliar house, in a different part of the country, and it’s the middle of June. Six months have disappeared overnight. The family at the breakfast table are total strangers.
And when he looks in the mirror, another boy’s face stares back at him.  A boy named Flip. Unless Alex finds out what’s happened and how to get back to his own life,  he may be trapped forever inside a body that belongs to someone else.
Questions of identity, the will to survive, and what you’re willing to sacrifice to be alive make this extraordinary book impossible to put down.

Rotters, by Daniel Kraus

Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It’s true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey’s life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.

Everything changes when Joey’s mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey’s father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey’s life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.

Daniel Kraus’s masterful plotting and unforgettable characters make Rotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.

City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments #4), by Cassandra Clare

Who will be tempted by darkness? Who will fall in love, and who will find their relationship torn apart? And who will betray everything they ever believed in?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge.

In the heart-pounding fourth installment of the Mortal Instruments series, the stakes are higher than ever.

Through Her Eyes, by Jennifer Archer

Every ghost has a story to tell.

The last place Tansy Piper wants to be is stuck in Cedar Canyon, Texas, in the middle of nowhere, with a bunch of small-town kids. But when her mother decides to move to the desolate West Texas town, Tansy has no choice but to go along. Once there, Tansy is immediately drawn to the turret of their rickety old house, a place she soon learns has a disturbing history. But it’s the strange artifacts she finds in the cellar—a pocket watch, a journal of poetry, and a tiny crystal—that have the most chilling impact on her.

Tansy soon finds that through the lens of her camera, she can become part of a surreal black-and-white world where her life is intertwined with that of mysterious, troubled Henry, who lived in the same house and died decades earlier. It seems their lives are linked by fate and the artifacts she found, but as Tansy begins spending more and more time in the past, her present world starts to fade away. Tansy must untangle herself from Henry’s dangerous reality—before she loses touch with her own life forever.

The Ghoul Next Door (Monster High), by Lisi Harrison

Cleopatra de Nile

– New pet snake
– Has Deuce–the hottest guy in school–all warapped up
– Herve Leger bandage dress, strappy gold platforms

Cleo was the queen bee of the RADs, the normies, and everyone in between at Merston High. But now it’s “Frankie this” and “Melody that” . . . these new girls sure know how to get her lashes in a tangle. When Cleo lands a golden Teen Vogue photo op for her friends, everything seems to be back on track . . . until they bail to be in some film . . . Frankie and Melody’s film! Can’t a royal get some loyal?

Frankie Stein

Frankie lost her head over Brett once and vows never to do it again. Not that she has a choice: Bekka is clinging to her guy like plastic wrap. But when Brett comes up with a plan that could help the RADs live free, sparks fly, and Bekka will stop at nothing to put out the flames . . . even if it means destroying the entire monster community.

Melody Carver

The clock is tick-tick-ticking. Melody has a serious deadline to save her boyfriend, Jackson, from being exposed by the vengeance-seeking Bekka. But Cleo is making it royally difficult for the normie while threatening her acceptance into the RADs’ exclusive group . . . a group that Melody suspects she has more in common with than she ever thought.

Fitting in is out.

Released Thursday, April 7th, 2011

The Dragon’s Path (The Dagger and the Coin), by Daniel Abraham

Abraham (the Seasons of War quartet) starts this rich, exciting, and fresh epic fantasy series opener in a fairly standard fashion: an orphaned girl and a once great general escape from a city under siege with the help of a traveling theater troupe. But that’s where the clichés end, for Marcus Wester would far rather guard humble caravans than cruel kings, and Cithrin bel Sarcour’s loyalty is not to her long-dead noble parents but to the Medean Bank that took her in. Cithrin and Marcus must smuggle the treasury of the lost city of Vanai through a war zone in which every army seeks new sources of funds and every king wants them dead. With a deft and light hand, Abraham questions and explores the fantasy-world assumptions that most authors take for granted, telling an enjoyable and genuinely innovative adventure story along the way.

Released Friday, April 8th, 2011

Wings of Light, by Laura Bingham

Sixteen-year-old Erin and her twin brother, Bain, have recently become immortal elves – but the search for their mother has just begun. With new information that their mother may be alive, Erin desperately seeks to bring her back home. But when old enemies threaten her quest, Erin must turn to new friends for help and learn that some magic is better left unexplored.

 

List from Borders.com and descriptions/reviews from Amazon.com

Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

Review: Clockwork Angel is a Steampunk Book Made of All Things Wonderful

I am a huge fan of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series (as determined by this earlier review of the first book in that series, City of Bones). So I hang my head in shame as I reveal that the first book in her newest series, a prequel to the other one, was read by me only recently—and it came out on August 31st of last year. I don’t know, maybe I didn’t want to break the spell that was cast by what has become one of my favorite series of all time. I was so scared that this new book wouldn’t live up to the others, and since it is set in the same world (albeit over a hundred years prior and in London, not New York), I didn’t want that awesome world tarnished in any way.

Finally though, itching for something to read, I picked it up, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. If anything, I liked this book better than the first series, which I still find hard to believe since I love those books so much. But Clare knows what she’s doing, and this book blew me away.

I’m not going to go over the logistics of the world she created, as I already explained them in my previous review (check it out here if you’re unfamiliar with the books). I’m just going to hop into the story.

Tessa, an American, sails to London at the request of her brother who has been living there. Upon arriving she is intercepted by two older women known as the Dark Sisters, who say they are taking her to her brother, but instead take her to their home and hold her captive there. For she has a special skill, one that needs to be drawn out of her. Tessa has the ability to shape shift into another person, alive or dead, as long as she is holding something of theirs.

They are preparing her to marry someone known only as The Magister, who wants her powers for himself and his nefarious purposes. Terrified, she tries in vain to escape, but in the end it doesn’t matter, as she’s rescued by a Shadowhunter named Will. He takes her into the world of the London Demon-killers, and as they try to learn about her and what she is, she wants nothing else than to find her brother, who has seemed to have disappeared in the mix of all this. Throw in the mystery of some clockwork people, local vampires, and a certain warlock loved from the original series, and this book was simply un-put-downable.

It is not news that I have recently developed an interest in Steampunk, and at the end of the day it was these elements that made me finally decide to pick up the book in the first place. From the beginning of the book to its very last pages Clare weaves clockwork devices in so smoothly that it is hard to imagine such things didn’t commonly exist back in the late 1800’s. And though the book is enough of a stand-alone adventure to let the reader feel satisfied at the end, there are enough clues well-planted that I cannot wait for the next book in this series.

Clare also makes this series one that I believe both sexes can enjoy. There is a female protagonist, and definitely some great sexual tension which the girls seem to be particularly keen on, but the adventure and the characters are the primary driving force, and I truly believe this world that the author has created will appeal to readers across the board.

Her 4th book in the Mortal Instruments series is coming out in April, and I’ll read it and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. Really though it will just be tiding me over until the next book in this series comes out.  Her writing is smooth, simple, and devourable. Just how I like it.

Book News, Books, News

10 Books to Look Forward to in 2011!

This list was really hard for me to do. There are so many amazing books coming out this year, by equally amazing authors, that I honestly didn’t know how to decide. But as I thought about it, here at Lytherus we have already been posting news on some upcoming books written by popular authors. So instead of repeating, I thought I would try to find ten that aren’t currently in the headline news, but that should still get the bibliophile in all of us a little excited!

Beauty and the Werewolf (Mercedes Lackey)

Release Date: June 21st

This is the sixth book in Lackey’s successful 500 Kingdoms series. The cover for this book isn’t released yet, so forget about a blurb, but I did get a little info from an interview with the author, courtesy of Bookyurt:

Byrt: And what other projects are on your horizon?

ML: Next 500 Kingdoms book, which is based on Beauty and the Beast crossed with Red Riding Hood. And werewolves.

If you’re interested in learning a little bit more about this series, check out the summary and review of the fifth book in our holiday guide.

(If you want to read the rest of the interview, click here!)

The Power of Six (Pittacus Lore)

Release Date: August 23rd

This is the follow-up to the amazing I am Number Four. There aren’t any blurbs out about the book yet that I could find, so actual info on the plot is still up in the air. However,I did find an interesting interview with the author (yes, Pittacus Lore the alien, not James Frey the human writer), and here’s what he had to say (After starting off talking about I am Number Four):

Are you hoping then for your book to bring about some action from people?

Earthlings will play no part in this war. You cannot affect the outcome in any way whatsoever. It will be won or lost by us.

I’m assuming since you’re using the present tense that the war continues.

Yes, the war is ongoing. We are writing the books a year or two behind the actual events.

Gotcha. So you’re currently working on the sequel, which covers events that happened last year?

We are writing another book right now, yes, called The Power of Six.

Is Number Four in that one?
Number Four is in it too. It’s the next battle in the war, the first two have been fought. The third is being fought right now.

If it is as even close to as good as the first one, this will be one of the highlights in science-fiction publishing this year. To Learn more about the awesome first book in this series, check out the summary on our holiday guide.

(If you want to read the rest of the interview, click here!)

Forever (Maggie Stiefvater)

Release Date: July 12th

I really enjoyed Maggie’s books, and hope to get a review of the first two in this series up here on the site in the not-too-distant future. But for those of you (like me) eagerly awaiting the final installment, here’s a little teaser:

In Maggie Stiefvater’s SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.



Ganymede (Cherie Priest)

Release Date: Winter 2011

There is hardly any information about this book, as it is due out at the end of the year. Even so, I wanted to put it on this list because this series is becoming more and more popular–and it is steampunk at its finest! Here’s what author Rick Riordan (of Percy Jackson fame) had to say about Boneshaker, the first book in the series (which should give you a better idea about the feel of the series):

[This is] more of an adult novel, set in an alternate Civil War America where a horrible accident has turned Seattle into a quarantined wasteland filled with zombies. Briar, the widow of the mad scientist who caused the disaster, must enter the city to find her son, who has gone there determined to find evidence that will clear his father’s name. This is a highly original pageturner and a must-read for steampunk fans.

The second book, Dreadnought, is also getting rave reviews. I can’t wait to see what Priest has in store for us next!

The Warlock (Michael Scott)

Release Date: May 24th

This series is a favorite of a few of us here at Lytherus, so it is with excitement we wait for the fifth book in this incredibe series. Here’s a summary:

In the fifth installment of this bestselling series, the twins of prophesy have been divided, and the end is finally beginning. With Scatty, Joan of Arc, Saint Germain, Palamedes, and Shakespeare all in Danu Talis, Sophie is on her own with the ever-weakening Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel. She must depend on Niten to help her find an immortal to teach her Earth Magic. The surprise is that she will find her teacher in the most ordinary of places.

If you want to know more about this series, check out our summary in the holiday guide.

Caster Chronicles #3 (Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl)

Release Date: Fall 2011

There isn’t even a title out for this one yet, but I had to put it on the list, because I know it is a highly anticipated book for 2011 and one I’m sure we’ll follow here at Lytherus. The first two books in this series, Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness, quickly became New York Times bestsellers, and are complex and beautifully written. Sometime this year I hope to post the reviews of these books, but until then, you can check out the series here: http://beautifulcreaturesthebook.com/

Mastiff (Tamora Pierce)

Release Date: November 2011

For all the Tamora Pierce fans out there, 2011 brings about the third book in the Beka Cooper Trilogy. The date for this book has been moved around a lot, but it has seemed to settle on the fall of this year. Here’s a little teaser:

Beka and her friends will face their greatest and most important challenge ever when the young heir to the kingdom vanishes. They will be sent out of Corus on a trail that appears and disappears, following a twisting road throughout Tortall. It will be her greatest Hunt—if she can survive the very powerful people who do not want her to succeed in her goal.

Heartless (Gail Carriger)

Release Date: June 28th

This is the fourth book in the Parasol Protectorate series, which is a personal favorite of mine. Check out what amazon has to say about the upcoming novel:

Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband’s past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux’s latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant. Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf’s clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama’s second best closet?

This series is funny and smart, and has a touch of steampunk in the Victorian feel. I am currently working on a review of the first three books, but until that’s posted, here’s a link to the author’s site.

Pathfinder #2 (Orson Scott Card)

Release Date: October 1st

This is the second book in the Pathfinder series, Card’s newest YA series. I couldn’t find even a hint of info on this book except for the release date, so we can only speculate on how the story of Rigg will continue. But, knowing Card’s talent as a writer, I’m sure it is a book his fans can eagerly await.

If you want to learn more about the first book in the series, Pathfinder, check out the Lytherus review.

**As I was looking for info on this book, I found some news about the author on his website. Apparently Card suffered a minor stroke on New Year’s Day of this year. he lost the use of his left hand, and is currently re-training it to be able to type. So I put this book on the list with the high hopes that he recovers fully and is able to go back 100% to the job he loves, which would mean the release date stays the same. I know his fans all across the world are wishing him a speedy recovery!**

Darkest Mercy (Melissa Marr)

Release Date: February 22nd

Fans of Melissa Marr’s work have waited anxiously for the conclusion to her amazing NY Times Bestselling Wicked Lovely series, and it is almost here! Here’s a summary of the upcoming fifth and final book:

The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey. Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life. Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything. The thrilling conclusion to Melissa Marr’s New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.

You can also go to her website to check out the book trailer.

Other Books:

Since I mentioned at the beginning of this article that there were books coming out we already mentioned here on Lytherus, I thought it was only fair to list them here as well:

City of Fallen Angels (Cassandra Clare), Release Date: April 5th

Bloodlines (Richelle Mead), Release Date: August 23rd

Dead reckoning (Charlaine Harris), Release Date: May 3rd

The Throne of Fire (Rick Riordan), Release Date: May 3rd