Archive for April, 2011

Ten Upcoming Debut Young Adult Fantasy Authors

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Author: Stacey O’Neale
Stacey O'Neale

Don’t you love books? Lucky for us, they’re lots of great books coming out in 2011! I could list some amazing names for you like Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, but I’m sure you already know about those. Instead, I made a list of ten debut young adult fantasy authors that I’m personally excited about. The list order is based on release dates.

Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney (Published: February 8, 2011)

Freak. That’s what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna’s own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton (Published: February 15, 2011)

First there are nightmares.

Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.

Then come the memories.

When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie’s power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie’s memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.

Now she must hunt.

Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (Published: February 22, 2011)

Eden didn’t expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick-up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.

Yeah.

So long, happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else’s game. Her heart is her own.

And that’s only the beginning of the end.

Clarity by Kim Harrington (Published: March 1, 2011)

When you can see things others can’t, where do you look for the truth?

This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.

Clarity “Clare” Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It’s a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare’s ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case–but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare’s brother–who has supernatural gifts of his own–becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

Enclave by Ann Aquirre (Published: April, 12, 2011)

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20′s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

Mercy by Rebecca Lim (Published: May 17, 2011)

A fallen angel haunted by her past. Yearning for her immortal beloved. Forever searching for answers. Who will show her Mercy?

Mercy has lost herself. She can’t count how many times she’s “woken up” in a new body, and assumed a new life, only to move on again and again. During the day she survives in the human world on instinct and at night her dreams are haunted by him. Mercy’s heart would know him anywhere. But her memory refuses to cooperate.

But this time is different. When Mercy wakes up she meets Ryan, an eighteen year old reeling from the loss of his twin sister who was kidnapped two years ago. Everyone else has given up hope, but Ryan believes his sister is still alive. Using a power she doesn’t fully comprehend, Mercy realizes that Ryan is right. His sister is alive and together they can find her. For the first time since she can remember, Mercy has a purpose; she can help. So she doesn’t understand why the man in her dreams cautions her not to interfere. But as Ryan and Mercy come closer to solving the dark mystery of his sister’s disappearance, danger looms just one step behind.

Will Mercy be able to harness her true self and extraordinary power in time?

The first in a dazzling new series, Mercy masterfully weaves romance, mystery and the supernatural into a spell-binding tale.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire (Published: May 24, 2011)

Since the age of fourteen, Emerson Cole has seen strange things – dead things – swooning Southern Belles, soldiers, and other eerie apparitions of the past. She’s tried everything to get rid of the visions: medication, counseling, asylums. Nothing’s worked.

So when Emerson’s well-meaning brother calls in yet another consultant from a mysterious organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to give it one last try.

Michael Weaver is no ordinary consultant. He’s barely older than she is; he listens like no one she’s ever met before; and he doesn’t make her feel the least bit crazy. As Emerson ventures deeper into the world of the Hourglass, she begins to learn the truth about her past, her future–and her very life.

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (Published: May 31, 2011)

How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

Hereafter by Tara Hudson (Published: June 7, 2011)

Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she’s dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she’s trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, Hereafter is a sensation you won’t want to miss.

Possess by Gretchen McNeil (Published: August 23, 2011)

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her overprotective mom, by the hunky son of the police officer who got her father killed, and by the eerie voices which she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Turns out the voices are demons–the Biblical kind, not the Buffy kind–and Bridget possesses the rare ability to banish them.

San Francisco’s senior exorcist and his newly assigned partner from the Vatican enlist Bridget’s help with increasingly bizarre and dangerous cases of demonic possession. But when one of Bridget’s oldest friends turns up dead in a ritualistic sacrifice that mirrors her father’s murder, Bridget realizes she can’t trust anyone. An interview with her father’s murderer reveals a link between Bridget and the Emim: a race of part-demons intent on raising their forefathers to the earth in human form. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the Emim’s plan before someone else close to her winds up dead, or worse–the human vessel for a Demon King.

About the Author

Stacey O’Neale is a full-time writer and co-owner of the Young Adult Fantasy Guide. She’s had several articles and book reviews published, but spends most of her writing time on the revisions to her debut young adult fantasy novel. You can read her advice for aspiring writers on her blog The YA Fantasy Freak or you can follow her on Twitter.

Book Review:Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

An extremely well written, winner of Ezra Jack Keats award FREEDOM SUMMER is a book that must be added to any library display of award winning books. The story is told in a very tactful way and the author has done an excellent job in tackling the issue of racism from a child’s standpoint which adds to the innocent and simple quality to the book.

It is a story of a white boy and his best friend, James Henry Waddell who is a black boy. The book provides the readers with a bit of background information about the civil rights movement and its aftermath at the beginning. While after 1964, people of all races and colors were legally given the same rights and treatment but some businesses closed down as they were not in favor of serving the blacks.

The narrator (white boy) begins the story by calling James as his best friend. Set during the summer of desegregation in the South, the narrator of the novel is aware of the fact that racism still exists to some extent. So, the boys swim together at the creek rather than at the whites-only town pool and the fact that James cannot accompany the narrator to the drug store to buy ice pops. But the boys were ecstatic over the new laws that mandate that there is no segregation between the whites and the blacks. The boys rejoiced until the town filled the pool with tar in protest. At this point the narrator sees the town through James’s eyes and both the boys have a life changing moment. But at the end James makes a declaration that he too wants to do everything like his friend can and ultimately the book ends at a happy note with the two friends going together to the drugstore to buy ice pops.

Top five Science Fiction & Fantasy books of 2010.

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Below, is a list of top five science fiction and fantasy books of 2010. These books have been randomly selected by our editorial team. We invite all our readers to share and recommend the name of any book that they think will fit into this category.

1.The Fixed Stars: Thirty Seven Emblems for the Perilous Season by Brian Conn-1573661538: It’s a truly stunning debut that takes the readers to a hallucinogenic road trip through a ‘post capitalism’ future, a world where new industries have grown like breeding spiders for their specific threads. The book is tragic as well as funny and not a word is out of place.

2.The Half made World by Felix Gilman-0765325527: Vivid and accurate prose, a gripping, imaginative story, a terrifically inventive setting, a hard bitten, indestructible hero and an intelligent heroine- This science fiction novel has got everything which other novels from a long time have been lacking. The Half made world is a dark, dense and a powerful novel that confirms Felix Gilman as a master of the new weird fantasy.

3.Kill the Dead: A Sandman Slim novel by Richard Kadrey-1441806644: It is a recommended read for fans of the fantasy genre. At times it is dark and gritty, comedic and sometimes touching and of course ultraviolent. Richard Kadrey’s use of profane and intensely metaphoric language somehow makes self tortured monster Stark sympathetic and turns a simple story into a powerful noir thriller.

4. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor-075640617X: Nnedi Okarafor is a writer of Nigerian descent known for weaving African culture into creative evocative settings and memorable characters. Okarafor sets this emotionally fraught tale in post apocalyptic Saharan Africa. It is the coming of age tale of an alienated, spirited young woman. Okorafor writing magically reveals the story, effortlessly endearing characters to the reader and engineering a story that simply must be read.

5.How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu-1848876815: It is a masterpiece of imagination that demands to be read with an open mind because the lines between past, present and future often blur or completely disappear. The story is lyrical, surprising ,elegant funny, sad and ultimately wise.

Book Review:On the yeti’s trail By Shoba Naidu

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Shoba Naidu is a graduate in Bachelor’s degree in Education and has done her post graduation in Communication and Journalism. Although having worked as a journalist with several newspapers and magazines, she finds writing fiction much more interesting than stating facts. Her first children’s book, On the Yeti’s Trail is a dramatic tale of a Yeti hunt by Indian School Children. This book will inspire children to develop a curiosity about physical phenomenon and a never saying die attitude.

On the Yeti’s Trail‘ is a tale about a young Kashmiri boy Mushtaq who has visited his home in the remote Himalayan ranges during his school vacation. During his break, he stumbles upon a ‘Yeti’ or otherwise known as ‘Abominable Snowman’. Mushtaq along with his friends sets out on a daring adventure to search for the proof of the existence of this creature.”

Although the plot of the story is simple enough but Naidu makes it a point to include subtle messages and various informative pieces throughout the story related to the environment, relationships and science. Naidu wants to instill the habit of reading among children & wants them to be creative and imaginative.

Let’s hope that in this age of cartoon network and play stations children return to the basics of entertainment which is reading. So, we look forward to some more great work by Naidu and other talented authors like her.

Book Review: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Based on David Roberts real life adventures, SHANTARAM is an epic tale of slums and five star hotels, romantic love and prison torture, mafia gang wars and Bollywood films.   shantaram

This is the story of the protagonist Lin, who has escaped from an Australian jail and arrived in Bombay, India with a fake passport of New Zealand. During his stay in Mumbai, Lin met a local man named Prabhakar whom he hired as a guide but soon became his good friend. Both the men visited to Prabhaker’s native village where Prabhaker’s mother gave him a new Maharashtrian name ‘Shantaram’ which means Man of God’s Peace as she believed his nature to be blessed with peaceful happiness. Lin is later forced to live in slums after he is robbed of all his possessions while he is on his way from the village. He started a free clinic for the people in the slum and to provide for his own income he started selling drugs to the tourists. This drew the attention of local gangsters towards him and he could do nothing but got increasingly pulled into their world of crime.

SHANTARAM is one of those books that come once in few years, a book for which you would wait for five years or maybe even a decade to find. It is not just a book with an account of drugs and crime only; it is much more than that. Shantaram is the story of a man who even in a life of violence loves all those in his life and the city which became his home. The book is flooded with variety of characters and themes including the nature of humanity and human struggle to survive and thrive in the world.

Stay Connected