Book Interviews, Books, podcast

Podcast Episode 5: Throwback interview with James Dashner and GIVEAWAY!

In episode 5 I throwback to a chat from San Diego Comic Con 2013with James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner series. We talk about the series, the first movie coming out, and his then-upcoming new book, The Eye of Minds.

Also, I’m doing my first giveaway! I have a set of movie tie-in covers for the entire Maze Runner trilogy, as well as a prequel book, The Fever Code. Scroll down for your chance to enter!

Listen to the podcast on iTunes, or if you don’t have iTunes, I’ve also posted a link to SoundCloud.

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, facebook, and twitter. I have tons of stuff in the works, including interviews with some heavy hitters in the YA field, and a lot of giveaways — but I’ll only be doing those if I get some more followers (especially on Instagram)!

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GIVEAWAY!

Giveaway is open to US and Canada only, sorry!

Enter by 11:59 pm EST on February 5, 2018.

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Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

What are we reading this week? “Hawkeye,” “Mark of the Thief,” and more!

Last week we started a spring cleaning of our giveaway shelves, and to enter you had to tell us what books you’re enjoying right now. We got a lot of really cool answers, so be sure to check them out:

Here’s what some of our staffers have been enjoying this week:

Emma

the great zoo of chinaI’m fairly new to comics and am always looking for the titles I can read without needing fifty years of backstory. So, this week I bowed to the collective wisdom of the internet and gave Matt Fraction’sHawkeye a try. It definitely was one of the best stand alone comics I’ve read, but I struggled with it a bit since I couldn’t quite get the comic Hawkeye and the movie Hawkeye who I met first to mesh. I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of the run though — if nothing else, Kate Bishop is probably the funniest comic character I’ve met yet.
I also read The Great Zoo of China. I’d be tempted to sum up this book with, “it’s Jurassic Park but with dragons,” but that really isn’t terribly accurate. For one thing, everyone in the book is very aware ofJurassic Park and does in fact bring up the startling similarities between it and the new zoo in a “who seriously thought this was a good idea” type way. Secondly, Crichton’s novel was actually heavily based in science. Reilly’s novel is much more fantasy driven. Because it’s not pretending pretending to beJurassic Park 2.0, The Great Zoo of China really succeeds at being a clever, modern day, thriller type novel. I highly recommend it!

Lauren

kiss of deceptionI listened to the audiobook for the first book in Jennifer A. Nielsen’s new series, Mark of the Thief. I adored The False Prince series, and this one sounded right up my alley, as it was about ancient Rome. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first series, which made me sad. It seemed to lull a bit in places for me. But I did find it overall interesting, and the magic in the story is really cool. Plus, there’s a gryphon, which is awesome.
I’m currently about 3/4 done with the audiobook of The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. So many of my book friends adored this book, and I am kicking myself for waiting so long. I cannot believe how much I love this story. It’s about a princess who runs away from her arranged marriage, and is followed by the prince and also an assassin from a rival kingdom. They both befriend her, and the way the story plays out between the three of them is soooo coooool. There’s really interesting talk of magic too, though we’ve only gotten tastes of it up to this point. But I can already say, just for the back and forth between the three main characters, I’ll definitely be recommending it. I cannot wait to see how it ends, and I’ve already lined up borrowing the ARC of book 2!

Diana

clementineI just finished CLEMENTINE, by Cherie Priest, a sort of sequel to BONESHAKER in The Clockwork Century series. But you can read both separately, because although CLEMENTINE has a few common characters with the other book, they didn’t have a lot of “screen time” there.
I loved so much about the previous book that this felt… flat, in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked it. Cherie Priest is a brilliant writer, and her imagery and descriptions are great (specially all the steampunk details), but since this is a sequel, even if just indirectly, I couldn’t help but compare it to BONESHAKER. And CLEMENTINE didn’t have a lot to make it stand out, to make me read hours without stopping, nothing that surprised me. The characters and setting are interesting, but the plot itself suffers from the small size of the book. It seems like the main conflict falls out of nowhere and ends up feeling anti-climatic, despite some epic airship battles. There was something missing. I felt like the story needed more time to be developed, so more chapters would definitely have made this better.
But I think I wouldn’t have skipped this book if I knew beforehand. It was still an entertaining read, and Priest is an amazing writer. The steampunk worldbuilding aspects of the story are still good, as they were in the other book, and they’re gritty and very well developed. It’s a good, quick adventure, and even though it doesn’t compare to the previous book, it’s still an interesting addition to the series.

We’re also on week two of our April spring cleaning giveaway! We’re doing both a US giveaway and an international giveaway, so there’s something for everyone!

We have so many cool James Dashner books right now that we wanted to share some of the Dashner love this week. For the US crowd we have four books: The movie tie-in cover of The Maze Runner, a Maze Runner movie guide, an ARC of The Eye of Minds, and a hardback of The Rule of Thoughts! 

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We’re also including another signed Paolini goodie, a signed bookmark with Glaedr on it!
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If you’re an international fan, you’re in luck, we have some Dashner/Paolini goodies for you too! We’re sending you the brand new James Dashner collector’s edition omnibus, which has The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials, plus some extra content!

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We’re also throwing in a Brisingr bookplate, signed by Christopher Paolini!

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REMEMBER: Only US residents can enter to win the four Dashner books, and only International can enter to win the omni. Make sure you enter in the correct giveaway!

 

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(***THE INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY IS FOR NON-US RESIDENTS ONLY. IF YOU’RE A US RESIDENT AND ENTER FOR THE OMNIBUS, IT WON’T COUNT! ***)

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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, Movies

Five books to read if you liked ‘Ender’s Game’

You’ve read the book. You’ve seen the move. Now what? Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a modern classic and much beloved. Many people are going to be experiencing Ender’s world for the first time through the movie release this week, and old and new fans alike are going to be itching for something similar. Here is a list of five books that you might enjoy if you loved Ender.

the-giver-by-lois-lowry1: The Giver, by Lois Lowry

This is another modern classic, and was one of the first dystopian books written to be seen that way. It’s a small book and a quick read, but it packs a lot of punch with great characters and a unique world. Here’s a blurb:

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

starship troopers1:  Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein

This is another book that was turned into a movie. Sometimes referred to as the grown-up version of Ender’s Game, this is a great read that makes you think about what’s important and the way we view the world. And there’s creepy alien bugs! Here’s a blurb:

The historians can’t seem to settle whether to call this one “The Third Space War” (or the fourth), or whether “The First Interstellar War” fits it better. We just call it “The Bug War.” Everything up to then and still later were “incidents,” “patrols,” or “police actions.” However, you are just as dead if you buy the farm in an “incident” as you are if you buy it in a declared war…

In one of Robert A. Heinlein’s most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universe—and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind’s most alarming enemy.

old man's war3: Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

Scalzi is widely popular for his interesting scifi books, and this is one of his best (and also happens to be his first). He manages to keep the characters really human, which is one of the best parts of Ender’s Game as well. That, combined with greag humor and fresh-feeling scifi makes this a great read. Here’s a blurb:

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-and aliens willing to fight for them are common. The universe, it turns out, is a hostile place.

So: we fight. To defend Earth (a target for our new enemies, should we let them get close enough) and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has gone on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity’s resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force, which shields the home planet from too much knowledge of the situation. What’s known to everybody is that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You’ll serve your time at the front. And if you survive, you’ll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.

John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine-and what he will become is far stranger.

the name of the wind4: The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

This is a fantasy book, not scifi, but it’s another example of an exceptional child being put into interesting adult situations. This book is hugely popular, and Rothfuss creates a diverse and complex world filled with interesting people. Here’s a blurb:

The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime- ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. It is a high-action novel written with a poet’s hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero.

the maze runner5: The Maze Runner, by James Dashner

This YA dystopian is unique and fantastic, and is a world of all boys and one girl trapped in a maze with no idea why they are there. There’s a great creep-factor, interesting mysteries, and wonderful peer dynamics that Ender’s fans will enjoy. Here’s a blurb:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

What do you think? Any books we missed that you think fans of Ender’s Game will enjoy? Let us know in the comments!

 

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!

Uncategorized

New Book Releases, Week of September 9th, 2012

 

Here’s this week’s list of new scifi and fantasy books coming out. Click on the title to see the cover. Enjoy!

Released Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer), by Brent Weeks

Gavin Guile is dying.
He’d thought he had five years left–now he has less than one. With fifty thousand refugees, a bastard son, and an ex-fiancée who may have learned his darkest secret, Gavin has problems on every side. All magic in the world is running wild and threatens to destroy the Seven Satrapies. Worst of all, the old gods are being reborn, and their army of color wights is unstoppable. The only salvation may be the brother whose freedom and life Gavin stole sixteen years ago.

The White Forest, by Adam McOmber

In this hauntingly original debut novel about a young woman whose peculiar abilities help her infiltrate a mysterious secret society, Adam McOmber uses fantastical twists and dark turns to create a fast-paced, unforgettable story.

Young Jane Silverlake lives with her father in a crumbling family estate on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Jane has a secret—an unexplainable gift that allows her to see the souls of man-made objects—and this talent isolates her from the outside world. Her greatest joy is wandering the wild heath with her neighbors, Madeline and Nathan. But as the friends come of age, their idyll is shattered by the feelings both girls develop for Nathan, and by Nathan’s interest in a cult led by Ariston Day, a charismatic mystic popular with London’s elite. Day encourages his followers to explore dream manipulation with the goal of discovering a strange hidden world, a place he calls the Empyrean.

A year later, Nathan has vanished, and the famed Inspector Vidocq arrives in London to untangle the events that led up to Nathan’s disappearance. As a sinister truth emerges, Jane realizes she must discover the origins of her talent, and use it to find Nathan herself, before it’s too late.

Full Blooded (Jessica McCain), by Amanda Carlson

It’s not easy being a girl. It’s even harder when you’re the only girl in a family of werewolves. But it’s next to impossible when your very existence spells out the doom of your race… Meet Jessica McClain — she just became part of the pack.
In the vein of Kelley Armstrong and Patricia Briggs, a new urban fantasy that rewrites the werewolf myth…

Haven 6 (New Dawn), by Aubrie Dionne

A product of an illegal pairing, Eridani is the only woman without a lifemate aboard the colonization ship, the Heritage, and she is determined her less than perfect DNA will not get in the way of finding love. As the ship nears its final destination of Haven 6 after three hundred years of travel, images from the surface show evidence of intelligent life on a planet supposed to be uninhabited. Commander Grier assigns Eri to the exploratory team to spy on the alien society and return with information on how to defeat them.
When Eri’s team lands, tribes of humans attack and Eri is saved by Striver, the descendant of a colonist and a pirate from Old Earth’s colonization efforts in other parts of the galaxy. Striver helps Eri rescue her team, and they are drawn to each other despite their different allegiances. While Striver battles with trusting Eri, Eri must decide whether to warn him and his people about the Commander’s intentions, or follow orders and complete her mission.

Imaginarium 2012: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing, edited by Halli Villegas 

ChiZine Publications and Tightrope Books unite in a joint venture to produce a yearly anthology of speculative short fiction and poetry (science fiction, fantasy, horror, and magic realism). Canadian speculative fiction has been increasingly recognized internationally for the calibre of its authors and their insight into the nature of social and cultural identities, the implications of new technologies, and the relationship between humankind and its environments. At their best, these pieces disrupt habits and overcome barriers of cultural perception to make the familiar strange through the use of speculative elements such as magic and technology. They provide glimpses of alternate realities and possible futures and pasts that provoke an ethical, social, political, environmental, and biological inquiry into what it means to be human.

The 13th Reality, Book 4: The Void of Mist and Thunder, by James Dashner

Atticus Higginbottom is trapped in the Nonex with his mortal enemy Mistress Jane and the corrupt and powerful Mr. Chu. No one has ever escaped the Nonex before, but for Tick, Jane, or Mr. Chu to have any hope of surviving the strange and deadly realm, they will have to work together for the first time in their lives. And they must escape. An all-consuming void has opened up and is unleashing monsters throughout the Realities. All of reality is unraveling at the seams and Ticks friends and fellow Realitants are facing an epic war that could spell the end of all they hold dear. Master George has one last weapon at his disposal: the mysterious and unpredictable Karma button. And depending on the character of the person who wields it will determine if its unlimited power is used for good or for evil. The Void of Mist and Thunder is the fourth and final book in the 13th Reality series.

The Brides of Rollrock Island, by Margo Lanagan

On remote Rollrock Island, men go to sea to make their livings—and to catch their wives.
The witch Misskaella knows the way of drawing a girl from the heart of a seal, of luring the beauty out of the beast. And for a price a man may buy himself a lovely sea-wife. He may have and hold and keep her. And he will tell himself that he is her master. But from his first look into those wide, questioning, liquid eyes, he will be just as transformed as she. He will be equally ensnared. And the witch will have her true payment.
Margo Lanagan weaves an extraordinary tale of desire, despair, and transformation. With devastatingly beautiful prose, she reveals characters capable of unspeakable cruelty, but also unspoken love.

Dalight Saving, by Edward Hogan

Can you save someone from something that’s already happened?
Daniel’s expectations for his forced vacation with his father at the Leisure World Holiday Complex are low. He hates sports, and his father is mostly lost in drink and depression. But then he sees a strange girl swimming in the fake lake, and everything changes. Lexi has a smart mouth and a killer swim stroke, but dark secrets swirl around her. She’s got bruises and cuts that seem to be getting worse instead of better. She’s always alone. And her watch is ticking backwards. When a dark figure begins to stalk Lexi and Daniel, the truth must come out. This gripping ghost story will raise goose bumps and questions: does a traumatic past mean the future is a foregone conclusion?

 Demons (Seers- Trilogy), by Heather Frost

Kate’s life is far from normal. She can see Auras, her boyfriend is immortal, and her powers make her a target. But now that the Demon Lord is hunting her, things are about to go from dangerous to truly deadly. Packed with action, mind-blowing plot twists, and characters you can’t get enough of, this is a fast-paced, heart-pounding read from cover to cover.

Hidden: A Firelight Novel, by Sophie Jordan

A dangerous journey. Shattered bonds. Undying passion.

Jacinda was supposed to bond with Cassian, the “prince” of their pride. But she resisted her fate long before she fell in love with Will—a human and, worse, a hunter. When she ran away with Will, it ended in disaster, with Cassian’s sister, Miram, captured. Weighed down by guilt, Jacinda knows she must rescue her to set things right. Yet to do so she will have to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory.

The only way Jacinda can reach Miram is by posing as a prisoner herself, though once she assumes that disguise, things quickly spiral out of her control. As she learns more about her captors, she realizes that even if Will and Cassian can carry out their part of the plan, there’s no guarantee they’ll all make it out alive. But what Jacinda never could have foreseen is that escaping would be only the beginning. . . .

Loyalties are tested and sacrifices made in the explosive conclusion to Sophie Jordan’s Firelight trilogy.

Island of Doom: Hunchback Assignments 4 (The Hunchback Assignments), by Arthur Slade

After previous assignments in London, the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, and the Australian rain forest, this final adventure in the Hunchback Assignments series finds our hero, shape-shifting, masked spy Modo, on his most personal quest. Along with fellow spy Octavia Milkweed, they search for Modo’s biological parents. But when the Clockwork Guild find Modo’s parents first, Octavia and Modo chase them across Europe and North America to the Island of Doom. Joined by memorable characters from the first three books–some lovable, and some who are terrifying and evil–Modo and Octavia dash towards a thrilling conclusion.

The Secret Circle: The Hunt, by L. J. Smith

There’s no turning back. . . .

For Cassie and her Circle of witches, it’s hard to imagine life in New Salem getting any worse. A band of powerful witch hunters is targeting the group, determined to destroy them one by one. And Cassie’s half sister, Scarlett, won’t rest until she has a spot in the Circle—even if she has to kill Cassie to get it.

The Circle’s only hope against their enemies is Cassie’s father’s Book of Shadows—an ancient guide to the world of dark magic. But Cassie soon discovers that opening the book has grave consequences. Cassie’s drawn in by the book’s sinister spell, and it starts controlling her emotions and impulses, unraveling her relationship with Adam as it takes over her life.

Cassie fights against the darkness inside her as the threats against the Circle grow. But once evil is let in, she may never escape. . . .

Shadowfell, by Juliet Marillier

Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured and brought before him. Eager to hide her own canny skill–a uniquely powerful ability to communicate with the fairy-like Good Folk–Neryn sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, a home and training ground for a secret rebel group determined to overthrow the evil King Keldec.
During her dangerous journey, she receives aid from the Good Folk, who tell her she must pass a series of tests in order to recognize her full potential. She also finds help from a handsome young man, Flint, who rescues her from certain death–but whose motives in doing so remain unclear. Neryn struggles to trust her only allies. They both hint that she alone may be the key to Alban’s release from Keldec’s rule. Homeless, unsure of who to trust, and trapped in an empire determined to crush her, Neryn must make it to Shadowfell not only to save herself, but to save Alban.

Unspoken: The Lynburn Legacy, by Sarah Rees Brennan 

Kami Glass is in love with someone she’s never met—a boy she’s talked to in her head since she was born. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, but she has learned ways to turn that to her advantage. Her life seems to be in order, until disturbing events begin to occur. There has been screaming in the woods and the manor overlooking the town has lit up for the first time in 10 years. . . . The Lynburn family, who ruled the town a generation ago and who all left without warning, have returned. Now Kami can see that the town she has known and loved all her life is hiding a multitude of secrets—and a murderer. The key to it all just might be the boy in her head. The boy she thought was imaginary is real, and definitely and deliciously dangerous.

Vessel, by Sarah Beth Durst

In a desert world of sandstorms and sand-wolves, a teen girl must defy the gods to save her tribe in this mystical, atmospheric tale from the author of Drink, Slay, Love.Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. For the desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice: She must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate—or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.

Fang Girl, by Helen Keeble

Sure, the idea of vampires is sexy, but who actually dreams of spending eternity as a pasty, bloodthirsty fifteen-year-old?

Not me.

Unfortunately, the somewhat psychotic vampire who turned me into a bloodsucker didn’t bother to ask first. Now I’m dealing with parents who want me to vamp them, a younger brother who’s convinced I’m a zombie, and a seriously ripped vampire hunter who either wants to stake me or make out with me. Not sure which. Oh and PS, none of my favorite fanfic prepared me to deal with vampire politics—which are looking pretty tricky based on the undead Elder trying to hunt me down.

What’s a vampire-obsessed fangirl turned real-life fanggirl supposed to do?

 

All descriptions from amazon.com.

Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

‘The Kill Order’ by James Dashner Is A Wonderfully Heart-Wrenching, Emotional Story of Love, Loss, and Hope.

We’re big fans of James Dashner here at Lytherus. His Maze Runner series is tense, disturbing, thought-provoking, and overall excellent. So it was with excitement that I cracked the pages of The Kill Order, curious to see what exactly the prequel to this series would entail. A part of me initially hoped for a Thomas and Teresa story, but I think learning that wasn’t the case ahead of time allowed me to go into the book with more of an open mind. What I got was a wonderfully heart-wrenching, emotional story of love, loss, and hope.

It’s a year after the solar flares decimated the earth. There are survivors, doing their best to live some sort of quality life. Mark and Trina are two of them. Friends living in NYC when the flares struck, they now live in the Appalachian mountains in a shanty town of sorts with other survivors. When a Berg shows up, firing down not bullets but darts filled with a mysterious virus, a group of survivors set out to discover what is happening, why they are being attacked by such a horrible disease, and why so many people are dying. What they discover is bigger than they ever imagined, and they race against time — the spreading of the virus, and essentially what will be the end of their lives — to protect those left.

Prequels written after a series are sometimes hard, since you know what’s coming. I was curious to see how Dashner would create a story that was mysterious enough to captivate me and stand alone as its own strong writing. And I think that his choice of not taking us through Tomas and Teresa’s final days before the Glade helped a lot with that. New characters, scary new world, lots of unfamiliar things.

Thomas has lots of dreams flashing back to the moment everything went to hell. I loved being privy to this information. Dashner writing it this way allowed the reader to experience both major events that set up the Maze Runner trilogy (the sun flares, and the Flare spreading), and that made for a richer reading experience for me.

Seeing the Flare hitting characters around the leads, wondering if they’d get it (and what it would manifest like in Thomas’s head) was creepy. Knowing the dangers from the future and knowing they weren’t taking the needed precautions was hard. I very much had many ,”No, don’t go there! Don’t do that!” moments while reading this book. Needless to say, I became very emotionally involved. And perhaps this wasn’t the wisest thing on my part, knowing the essential outcome. The ending of this book was a serious tear-jerker for me. But that also shows the excellence of Dashner’s writing, sucking me into a hard place when I’m aware of how hard it will be and allowing for it anyway.

Am I glad I read this book? Definitely. Though it was emotional, which made it hard for me sometimes, it made me think for a few days afterwards. That is a sign of a good book: it doesn’t leave you. It’s a slightly different feel to the Maze Runner trilogy, but it works for what it’s about, and I think it’s a definite must-have read for fans of the series. It really will complete the story, and add a new dimension to the complex world Dashner created. Highly recommended.

Book News, Books, News

Two Excerpts From Upcoming James Dashner and Pittacus Lore Books!

I came across some great excerpts today for books I’m really excited about, so of course sharing them here is a must-do!

First up is the prequel to The Maze Runner trilogy, The Kill Order by James Dashner. The excerpt is on EW.com, so you’ll have to click here and head on over to read it, but it’s 34 pages long, which is great. They’re also showing the book trailer (though at the time of this posting it’s temporarily down and says check back soon!).

What’s The Kill Order about? Here’s the summary on Amazon:

The prequel to the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series.

Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease.
Mark and Trina were there when it happened, and they survived. But surviving the sun flares was easy compared to what came next.
Now a disease of rage and lunacy races across the eastern United States, and there’s something suspicious about its origin. Worse yet, it’s mutating, and all evidence suggests that it will bring humanity to its knees.
Mark and Trina are convinced there’s a way to save those left living from descending into madness. And they’re determined to find it—if they can stay alive. Because in this new, devastated world, every life has a price. And to some, you’re worth more dead than alive.

The Kill Order hits shelves on August 14th.

****

Next up is another excerpt on EW.com, for the next book in the Lorien Legacies series, The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore. This is a huge excerpt of five chapters, enough to definitely get the appetite going! Click here to head on over and check it out. 

Unfamiliar with this fun series? Start with I Am Number FourFor those of you who are familiar, here’s what amazon has to say about this upcoming book:

Until the day I met John Smith, Number Four, I’d been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive.

Together, we are much more powerful. But it could only last so long before we had to separate to find the others. . . .

I went to Spain to find Seven, and I found even more, including a tenth member of the Garde who escaped from Lorien alive. Ella is younger than the rest of us, but just as brave. Now we’re looking for the others—including John.

But so are they.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They caught me in New York—but I escaped.
I am Number Six.
They want to finish what they started.

But they’ll have to fight us first.

The Rise of Nine is going to be released on August 21.

 

 

Book Events, Book Interviews, Books, Events, Interviews

SDCC12: Exclusive interview with James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner trilogy

Lytherus recently attended San Diego Comic-Con, where our staff had the opportunity to sit down and interview over a dozen movers and shakers in the fantasy, scifi, and horror worlds! The first in our series of Comic-Con interviews is our chat with NYT best-selling author James Dashner, known for his work on The Maze Runner trilogy and its soon-to-be-released prequel, The Kill Order, due out on August 14th!

Not familiar with Dashner’s series? From the back of The Maze Runner:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

In this fifteen minute interview we chat with the author about how he defined the parameters of this world, his truly creepy creations, about examining who we really are as individuals, and of course, The Kill order. You’ll be interested to know that this prequel probably won’t be what readers are expecting!

Listen to the full interview with Dashner below:

https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F53528798

Check back soon for more interviews featuring authors Gail Carriger, Mark Frost, Rachel Hartman, Christopher Paolini, Tessa Gratton, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, comic book artist Nicola Scott, comic book writers Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder, and the cast and crew of Silent Hill: Revelations!

Book News, Books, News

Scholastic Announces New Series That includes Many Authors, Online Game

Scholastic announced recently that their next multi-platform book series will be launching in Fall of 2012. Some of you may be familiar with The 39 Clues, the first type of this series, which exposes readers to different authors and an online tie-in as the story progresses.

This new series, called Infinity Ring, will be a middle-grade (8-12 year olds) series consisting of seven books. The first, to be written by The Maze Runner’s James Dashner is set to release in September of next year. Other authors slated to write the additional books are Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth), Lisa McMann (The Wake series), Matt de la Pena (We Were Here), Matthew J. Kirby (Icefall), and Jennifer A. Nielsen (The Underworld Chronicles). Dashner will be writing the first and the last.

Here’s the summary of the series from Publisher’s Weekly: The series follows a pair of best friends—Dak and Sera—who discover a key that allows them to time travel and, per Scholastic, then embroils them “in a centuries-long secret war for the fate of mankind.”

They also had this to report about the online element: The ancillary game with the series, a Scholastic rep said, will not sell anything, but it will be a “fully realized virtual world” where readers can can interact with characters as well as explore historical themes touched upon in the novels, all in game format.

Sounds interesting, and with the massive success of The 39 Clues, I can see why they want to keep with this trend.