We have a moderate-sized list of new releases in a variety of genres this week. Of course, if you’re a fan of epic fantasy, you’ve probably already lined up (metaphorically speaking) for the long-awaited new Song of Ice and Fire installment from George R.R. Martin, which I’m sorry to say I haven’t read *ducks from readers throwing sharp objects*. Lots of good YA if you’re not an epic fantasy reader too, though, including the conclusion of Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series and a new novella in the House of Night Series. As always, a Reader’s Choice contest! Pick your poison.
A Dance with Dragons,
by George R.R. Martin (July 12, Bantam)
The long-awaited fifth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance once again—beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has three times three thousand enemies, and many have set out to find her. Yet, as they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind. To the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone—a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge yet. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice. And from all corners, bitter conflicts soon reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all. Fantasy.
The Dragon’s Apprentice, by Dugal Steer and
Douglas Carrel (July 12, Candlewick)
Daniel and Beatrice Cook, along with their parents and their dragon chick, Torcher, are getting ready to open an orphan dragon sanctuary in St. Leonard’s Forest. But their joy is short-lived when Dr. Drake brings ominous news: several of the Society of Dragons have been attacked, and it looks to be the work of the Dragonsbane Knights, a secret society of dragonkillers. When Torcher is kidnapped, Daniel and Beatrice set out to rescue him. Third in the Dragonology Chronicles. Young Adult.
Dragon’s Oath, by P.C. Cast
and Kristin Cast (July 12, St. Martin’s Griffin)
The first in a new series of novellas from the bestselling authors of the House of Night, Dragon’s Oath tells the story behind the House of Night’s formidable fencing instructor, the love that will transform him, and the promise that will haunt him. Young Adult.
Forever, by Maggie Stiefvater
(July 12, Scholastic)
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. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold onto as death comes closing in. Third in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. Young Adult.
The Hidden Coronet, by Catherine Fisher
(July 12, Dial)
The coronet, a potent ancient relic, might be the only way to defeat the power that is destroying Anara. But it has been lost for centuries, and only legend tells of its whereabouts. Will Galen and Raffi be able to find it before the Watch does? Third in the Relic Master Quartet. Young Adult.
My Favorite Band Does Not Exist,
by Robert Jeschonek (July 11, Clarion)
Sixteen-year-old genius Idea Deity believes that he exists only in the pages of a novel written by a malevolent, omnipotent author—and that he will die in chapter 64. Meanwhile, an older teen named Reacher Mirage sings lead vocals for the undercover rock band Youforia, a band that exists in Idea’s world only as an Internet hoax that he perpetuated. When Idea and Reacher plunge into the reality of Fireskull’s Revenant, the twisted epic fantasy novel they’ve both been reading, chapter 64 bears down on them like a speeding freight train on an unstoppable collision course. Being trapped in a bad book can be a nightmare. Young Adult.
Spellbound, by Jacqueline West
(July 12, Dial)
With no way into the house’s magical paintings and its three guardian cats reluctant to help, Olive’s friend Morton is still trapped inside Elsewhere. So when Rutherford, the new oddball kid next door, mentions a grimoire, Olive feels a breathless tug of excitement. If she can find the McMartins’ spellbook, maybe she can help Morton escape Elsewhere for good. Unless, that is, the book finds Olive first. Second in the Books of Elsewhere series. Young Adult.
Starstruck, by Cyn Balog
(July 12, Delacorte)
Gwendolyn X doesn’t think she has much going for her—she carries a few extra pounds, her family struggles with their small bakery in a town full of millionaires, and the other kids at her New Jersey high school don’t seem to know she exists. Thank the stars for her online boyfriend, Philip P. Wishman. When Wish is moving to town, Gwen is amazed he still wants to see her. But he’s acting a little weird, obsessed with the sun and freaked out by rain. And the creepy new guy working at the bakery, Christian, is convinced there’s more to Wish’s good looks than just healthy eating and lots of sun. Young Adult.
The Thackeray T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities:
Exhibits, Oddities, Imagines, and Stories from
Top Authors and Artists, by Ann Vandermeer and
Jeff Vandermeer (July 12, Harper Voyager)
All-new stories and art from the doctor’s wondrous collection. After the death of Dr. Thackery T. Lambshead at his house in Wimpering-on-the-Brook, England, a remarkable discovery was unearthed: the remains of an astonishing cabinet of curiosities. Many of these artifacts, curios, and wonders related to anecdotes and stories in the doctor’s personal journals. Others, when shown to the doctor’s friends, elicited further tales from a life like no other. A group of popular artists and authors has been assembled to bring this cabinet of curiosities to life. Sci-Fi-Steampunk.
Wildcat Fireflies, by Amber Kizer
(July 12, Delacorte)
Meridian Sozu is a Fenestra—the half-human, half-angel link between the living and the dead. She has the dark responsibility of helping souls transition safely into the afterlife. Meridian has hit the road with Tens, her love and sworn protector, in hopes of finding another Fenestra. Their search leads them to Indiana, where Juliet, a responsible teenager, works tirelessly in the nursing home where she and several other foster kids are housed. Will Meri and Tens find Juliet in time to save her from a life of misery and illness? Second in the Finestra series. Young Adult.
See anything you want? So…International Reader’s Choice―you tell me. Just a note: if you like a title but it isn’t the first in a series, you can always request the first in that series instead. (That’s for Reader’s Choice contests only.) As always, four entries possible and please include your e-mail: +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for a Tweet or RT about the contest. Now….go!