Remember how we’ve established that the first and last weeks of each month are heavy release days? Well, the other trend I’ve noticed in the couple of years I’ve been doing these lists is that the second week of the month is serious Young Adult time. So there’s not a huge list this week, and they’re almost entirely in the YA paranormal genre (although zombie fans might get some brain-food from the new Jonathan Maberry title). The good news? Some of the YA coming out these days are among the freshest and unusual books. See what you think.
Which book would you most like to read? As always, leave a comment telling me the book you’d most like to win (or the first in its series), and maybe random.org will make your wishes come true. International? Of course! As long as Book Depository delivers to your country, please enter.
Here we go….
In eighth grade, Brianna did something so dreadful she was suspended and homeschooled. No one could explain what happened that night, except Brianna’s Irish grandmother, who gave her a silver charm bracelet and told her to wear it until she turned seventeen. Ever since she slipped it on, Brianna has felt like she’s invisible. People stare right past her as if she doesn’t exist. And that includes Blake Williams, the one boy she can’t resist. But everything changes in one frozen, silver moment when Blake sees her, and recognizes what she’s been hiding. Brianna is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth. Yet before she can fully understand who or what she is, Brianna accidentally binds her soul to Blake, whose tribe has spent the last thousand years hunting Danu’s descendants to protect humanity. Young Adult.
Running from her traitorous best friend and her estranged father, graffiti artist Beth Bradley is looking for sanctuary. What she finds is Urchin, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London’s mystical underworld. Urchin opens Beth’s eyes to the city she’s never truly seen, where vast spiders crawl telephone wires seeking voices to steal, railwraiths escape their tethers, and statues conceal an ancient priesthood robed in bronze. But it all teeters on the brink of destruction. Amid rumors that Urchin’s goddess mother will soon return from her 15 year exile, Reach, a malign god of urban decay, wants the young prince dead. Helping Urchin raise an alleyway army to reclaim his skyscraper throne, Beth soon forgets her old life. But when her best friend is captured, Beth must choose between this wondrous existence and the life she left behind. Young Adult.
Things That Are Destroying Jane Greene’s Undead Social Life Before It Can Even Begin: 1) A twelve year old brother who’s convinced she’s a zombie. 2) Parents who are begging her to turn them into vampires. 3) The pet goldfish she accidentally turns instead. 4) Weird superpowers that let her rip the heads off of every other vampire she meets. (Sounds cool, but it doesn’t win you many friends.) 5) A psychotic vampire creator who’s using her to carry out a plan for world domination. And finally: 6) A seriously ripped vampire hunter who either wants to stake her or make out with her. Not sure which. Being an undead, eternally pasty fifteen-year-old isn’t quite the sexy, brooding, angst-fest Jane always imagined. Young Adult.
Benny Imura and his friends plunge deep into the zombie infested wastelands of the great Rot & Ruin. Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong journey through a fierce wilderness that was once America, searching for the jet they saw in the skies months ago. Finding it is their best hope for having a future and a life worth living. But the Ruin is far more dangerous than any of them can imagine. They are hunted by fierce animals. They must raid zombie-infested towns for food and medical supplies. What is happening to the zombies? Swarms of them are coming from the east, devouring everything in their paths. These zoms are different. Faster, smarter, infinitely more dangerous. Has the zombie plague mutated, or is there something more sinister behind this new invasion of the living dead?
Born the only female in an all male race, Jessica McClain isn’t just different, she’s feared. After living under the radar for the last twenty-six years, Jessica is thrust unexpectedly into her first change, a full ten years late. She wakes up and finds she’s in the middle of a storm. Now that she’s become the only female full-blooded werewolf in town, the supernatural world is already clamoring to take a bite out of her and her new Pack must rise up and protect her.
Ian was the one who chased the majestic buck into the forest. (His motto: Act first, think later.) Kendra didn’t want to become separated from the other sixth graders, but she followed Ian anyway, despite what her analytical mind told her. PJ followed him, too. Even though he was scared, he figured he might catch some amazing footage with his video camera. They all hoped to return to the hiking trail before anyone noticed they were gone. However, the mountain had other plans for them: dark, sinister plans that only nightmares are made of. Now they don’t know where they are. They don’t know how to get home. They don’t know what gruesome creatures lurk in the shadows, but when they find out, will they be able to defeat these monsters and escape the mountain together? Young Adult.
Jacinda was supposed to bond with Cassian, the “prince” of their pride. But she resisted 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. 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. Young Adult.
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. (U.S. release)
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. 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, and unraveling her relationship with Adam. Cassie fights against the darkness inside her as the threats against the Circle grow. But once evil is let in, she may never escape. Young Adult.
In a desert world of sandstorms and sand-wolves, a teen girl must defy the gods to save her tribe. 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. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing. The desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. 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. Young Adult.
Pearlbreaker Jesse Fisher is on a mission to free as many Drifters as he can, ignoring the direct orders of Captain Alkine. When a mysterious red pearl sets Jesse free from the Skyship brig, he uses it as an opportunity to rescue Cassius from Theo, Madame’s newest protege. With Skyship agents in hot pursuit, Cassius and Jesse learn they are the children of Haven rebels, sent to Earth to continue the battle against Haven’s totalitarian regime. Outnumbered, their only hope for survival rests on an uneasy alliance with Madame and their other Earth-bound enemies. Young Adult.
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.
Now…what do you want to read? Leave a comment and tell me, and I’ll draw one name to win his or her choice. International, as always. And if the book is in a series you haven’t started, you can always pick the first one in the series instead. If there’s a new release in another genre this week you’d like to read, leave that in your comment. If I’ve missed a speculative fiction release, leave it in the comments and I’ll add it in—it’s eligible for giveaway.
As always, four entries possible: +1 for comment to tell me what book (any book) you want, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for a Tweet or RT about the contest. This contest is international to any place Book Depository ships. Contests end at midnight CDT U.S. on Saturday, and winners are announced on Sunday’s blog. It’s the responsibility of the winner to contact me with their mailing info. Books unclaimed after a month will go into a general giveaway pile.