Midway Relics and Dying Breeds September 24, 2014 Midway Relics and Dying Breeds Seanan McGuire Between the roots and the sky. The Golden Apple of Shangri-La September 23, 2014 The Golden Apple of Shangri-La David Barnett A Gideon Smith story. Selfies September 17, 2014 Selfies Lavie Tidhar Smile for the camera. When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami September 16, 2014 When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami Kendare Blake A Goddess Wars story
From The Blog
September 25, 2014
After Paris: Meta, Irony, Narrative, Frames, and The Princess Bride
Jo Walton
September 23, 2014
It’s All About the Benjamins in Sleepy Hollow: “This is War”
Leah Schnelbach
September 23, 2014
The Death of Adulthood in American Culture: Nerd Culture Edition
Lindsay Ellis
September 22, 2014
Five Brilliant Things About Doctor Who “Time Heist”
Paul Cornell
September 19, 2014
“WCKD is Good,” But The Maze Runner is Bad
Natalie Zutter
Mon
Sep 29 2014 5:00pm

YA Round Up: Villain Cast for The Maze Runner Sequel

Aidan Gillen

Welcome to the YA Roundup, keeping you in the know with the latest YA news, book deals, releases and cover reveals!

This week covers more YA news for the follow-up to The Maze Runner, plus casting rumors for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and some Harry Potter fan fiction with a Christian twist. Yup. We couldn’t make this stuff up even if we tried.

[Read More]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 11:45am

The YA Book Prize

YA Book prize

Late last week, following an article examining the array of awards on offer to Young Adult authors, The Bookseller—in association with Movellas, a “story-sharing start-up”—announced another: the YA Book Prize.

Its unique selling point? It’s only open to authors who have lived for six months or more in the UK or Ireland.

Nigel Roby, publisher and chief executive of The Bookseller Group, explained that the YA Book Prize came into being after close consultation with a number of publishers: “We have one simple desire that underpins everything we do: we want more readers reading more books. The YA Book Prize gives us a wonderful opportunity to put that desire into practice.”

[But as we all know by now, the devil’s in the details...]

Thu
Sep 25 2014 10:40am

Amtrak Residency Writers Include Fables Creator Bill Willingham and Other Sci-Fi/Fantasy Authors

Amtrak Residency Program writers Bill Willingham

Amtrak has announced the winners of its inaugural Amtrak Residency Program. Over the next year, these lucky 24 residents will get a free Amtrak train ride during which they can compose their next (or, in some cases, first) great work.

While the full list includes a BuzzFeed editor and a former CIA agent, we took special note of the five writers representing for sci-fi/fantasy and geek culture. That’s about one-fifth of the writers—not too shabby. Read on to learn more about the Amtrak residents—one of whom has already decided what she’s writing about, and it sounds amazing.

[All aboard!]

Thu
Sep 25 2014 10:30am

Scripted: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld Afterworlds review

As someone somewhen almost certainly said, the story is the thing... and it is, isn’t it? Most readers read in order to know what happens next—to these characters or that narrative—rather than out of interest in much of anything outwith a given fiction; assuredly not the particular process of authors, though after Afterworlds, I’ve begun to wonder whether we mightn’t be missing a trick.

A twofold story about storytelling, Scott Westerfeld’s insightful new novel alternates between a pair of coming of age tales. In one, we meet Lizzie: a typical teenager, to begin with, who’s too busy texting to notice the start of a terrorist attack.

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Wed
Sep 24 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Loop (Excerpt)

Karen Akins

Loop Karen Akin excerpt After sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

Debut author Karen Akins introduces the intricate world of Shifters in Loop, available October 21st from St. Martin’s Griffin.

[Read an excerpt]

Wed
Sep 24 2014 10:00am

Hunting for Pop Culture References in Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood Kendare Blake

Sometimes one sentence changes a book for me. When I read Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, and because I’m such a huge Stephen King fan, a particular sentence hit me like a dump truck of awesomeness:

“I rifle through the cabinet to chew some aspirin, a habit I picked up after reading Stephen King’s The Shining.”

This sentence really took Anna Dressed in Blood to a whole new level for me. I loved how it mentioned the literary work The Shining and not the screen version, since Kubrick’s Jack Torrence is sans chewing pills. And I started to think of this as much more than a young adult novel, since I doubt most of Blake’s target audience has read The Shining. I immediately had to return to the beginning and start the novel over again.

[Read More]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 2:00pm

All That’s Gold Does Not Glitter: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

Sarah Rees Brennan UnmadeFirst up, let me warn you that it’s impossible to talk about Sarah Rees Brennan’s Unmade without revealing some of what went down in the two previous books of The Lynburn Legacy. Consider yourself warned for SPOILERS.

We zoom in on Sorry-in-the-Vale after the cliffhanger of Untold with Jared buried alive in his priest hole and everyone but Kami convinced he’s dead. Repeated forays to the Lynburn evil layer result in rescues, deadly plans, ritual sacrifice, and of course some great quips. Kami and the gang have a modicum of time available to save their town, or to convince the town to save themselves, before Rob Lynburn’s nefarious plotting can be put into action. Can they do it before their hormones take control?

Unmade is rife with broken hearts, broken homes, and a few broken bones, and Sarah Rees Brennan delivers fist pumping moments of awesomeness in a series ending that’ll keep readers glued to the page.

[Why be broken when you can be gold?]

Mon
Sep 22 2014 5:00pm

The YA Roundup: John Green’s “Very Exciting Announcement”

Cara Delevingne John Green

Welcome to the YA Roundup, keeping you in the know with the latest YA news, book deals, releases and cover reveals!

This week covers YA movie news (featuring—who else?—John Green), the lack of diversity in YA books, and the effect of film adaptations on childrens’ reading habits.

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Mon
Sep 22 2014 3:00pm

Book Two, Make Out: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Sarah Rees Brennan Untold reviewOh Sarah Rees Brennan, you wily little fox, you. Here I thought reading Untold would be safe. Because I had waited. Waited until I also had Unmade in my hands and could reasonably expect to forgo the emotional torture that was sure to come at the end of such a book if I had to wait for the third, but nooooo.

No, you couldn’t let me have that solace. Instead you had to wring my heart out like the emotional equivalent of a Brawny paper towel throughout the entirety of Untold. It’s a miracle my heart’s not full of holes yet. The truly frightening thing is that you still have plenty of time to torture me further.

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Tue
Sep 16 2014 5:00pm
Excerpt

Centaur Rising (Excerpt)

Jane Yolen

Centaur Rising Jane Yolen One night during the Perseid meteor shower, Arianne thinks she sees a shooting star land in the fields surrounding her family’s horse farm. About a year later, one of their horses gives birth to a baby centaur.

The family has enough attention already as Arianne’s six-year-old brother was born with birth defects caused by an experimental drug—the last thing they need is more scrutiny. But their clients soon start growing suspicious. Just how long is it possible to keep a secret? And what will happen if the world finds out?

Jane Yolen imagines what it would be like if a creature from another world came to ours in this thoughtfully written, imaginative novel, Centaur Rising—available October 21st from Henry Holt & Co.

[Read an excerpt]

Tue
Sep 16 2014 2:00pm

Vincit Qui Patitur: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

The Infinite Sea 5th Wave Rick Yancey review Following the first phases of the invasion revealed in Rick Yancey’s breakthrough book, the world of The 5th Wave “is a clock winding down,” with each tick of which, and every tock, what little hope there is left is lost.

No one knows exactly how long the last remnants of humanity have, but they’re looking at a matter of months, at most... unless someone, somewhere, can conceive of a means of driving the aliens away—aliens who, as the big bad of the series says, have nowhere else to go.

“You’ve lost your home,” Vosch asks The Infinite Sea’s central character—not Cassie, as it happens—to imagine. “And the lovely one—the only one—that you’ve found to replace it is infested with vermin. What can you do? What are your choices? Resign yourself to live peaceably with the destructive pests or exterminate them before they can destroy your new home?”

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Mon
Sep 15 2014 5:00pm

The YA Roundup: Rowling Will Have None of That

Dumbledore Gay

Welcome to the YA Roundup, giving you the inside scoop on bookish news, book deals, new releases and cover reveals for the YA genre! READ! READ ALL THE YA!

This week, JK Rowling replies to a homophobic tweeter, some YA authors join the wealthiest authors list, Usher partners with Scholastic, and so much more!

[Read more]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 2:00pm
Excerpt

Mortal Gods (Excerpt)

Mortal Gods Goddess War Kendare Blake excerpt Ares, god of war, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She’s ready to wage a war of her own, and she’s never liked him anyway. If Athena is lucky, the winning gods will have their immortality restored. If not, at least she’ll have killed the bloody lot of them, and she and Hermes can die in peace.

Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can’t have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite. The alliance between Cassandra and Athena is fragile. Cassandra suspects Athena lacks the will to truly kill her own family. And Athena fears that Cassandra’s hate will get them all killed.

The war takes them across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can’t, fates far worse than death await.

Mortal Gods, the second Goddess War novel by Kendare Blake, is available October 14th from Tor Teen.

[Read an excerpt]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 2:00pm
Excerpt

The Accidental Highwayman (Excerpt, Chapters 7 and 8)

Ben Tripp

Ben Tripp The Accidental Highwayman In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol is the unwitting servant of notorious highwayman Whistling Jack. One dark night, Kit finds his master bleeding from a mortal wound, dons the man’s riding cloak to seek help, and changes the course of his life forever. Mistaken for Whistling Jack and on the run from redcoats, Kit is catapulted into a world of magic and wonders he thought the stuff of fairy tales.

Bound by magical law, Kit takes up his master’s quest to rescue a rebellious fairy princess from an arranged marriage to King George III of England. But his task is not an easy one, for Kit must contend with the feisty Princess Morgana, goblin attacks, and a magical map that portends his destiny: as a hanged man upon the gallows...

The Accidental Highwayman is author and illustrator Ben Tripp’s swashbuckling YA debut. Look for it October 14th from Tor Books, and find additional excerpts from the novel here on Tor.com!

[Read an excerpt]

Wed
Sep 10 2014 2:00pm
Excerpt

The Accidental Highwayman (Excerpt, Chapters 5 and 6)

Ben Tripp

Ben Tripp The Accidental Highwayman In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol is the unwitting servant of notorious highwayman Whistling Jack. One dark night, Kit finds his master bleeding from a mortal wound, dons the man’s riding cloak to seek help, and changes the course of his life forever. Mistaken for Whistling Jack and on the run from redcoats, Kit is catapulted into a world of magic and wonders he thought the stuff of fairy tales.

Bound by magical law, Kit takes up his master’s quest to rescue a rebellious fairy princess from an arranged marriage to King George III of England. But his task is not an easy one, for Kit must contend with the feisty Princess Morgana, goblin attacks, and a magical map that portends his destiny: as a hanged man upon the gallows...

The Accidental Highwayman is author and illustrator Ben Tripp’s swashbuckling YA debut. Look for it October 14th from Tor Books, and keep an eye on Tor.com this week for more excerpts from the novel!

[Read an excerpt]

Tue
Sep 9 2014 2:00pm
Excerpt

The Accidental Highwayman (Excerpt, Chapter 3 and 4)

Ben Tripp

Ben Tripp The Accidental Highwayman In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol is the unwitting servant of notorious highwayman Whistling Jack. One dark night, Kit finds his master bleeding from a mortal wound, dons the man’s riding cloak to seek help, and changes the course of his life forever. Mistaken for Whistling Jack and on the run from redcoats, Kit is catapulted into a world of magic and wonders he thought the stuff of fairy tales.

Bound by magical law, Kit takes up his master’s quest to rescue a rebellious fairy princess from an arranged marriage to King George III of England. But his task is not an easy one, for Kit must contend with the feisty Princess Morgana, goblin attacks, and a magical map that portends his destiny: as a hanged man upon the gallows...

The Accidental Highwayman is author and illustrator Ben Tripp’s swashbuckling YA debut. Look for it October 14th from Tor Books, and keep an eye on Tor.com this week for more excerpts from the novel!

[Read an excerpt]

Fri
Sep 5 2014 5:00pm

Three Years Worth the Wait: The Caller by Juliet Marillier

The Caller Juliet Marillier reviewWith all genre series, but in the YA set in particular, it is so utterly rare to uncover one that truly builds as it goes. But Juliet Marillier’s Shadowfell series does just that, the three books acting as one long, slow-burning story that improves with each step along the way.

It’s a series where I started with little more than disdain for the Care Bear main character, and ended with her burrowed deep into my heart. The final book in the trilogy is part epic revolution, part sweeping romance—The Caller brings to life two characters who risk love for everything rather than risking everything for love.

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Thu
Sep 4 2014 10:00am

How The Market for YA Adaptations Killed The Giver

Jonas The Giver

Full disclosure: I was expecting the film adaptation of The Giver to be garbage. Though I was thrilled at the prospect of Jeff Bridges in the nominal lead, the second they cast a 24-year-old Hayden Christensen-alike as Jonas I promptly and irrevocably abandoned all hope (Jonas is twelve, guys. He’s twelve!). I won’t say I was pleased that, in the end, it wasn’t garbage. It was more of a sand-rash of a movie, if you will—irritating but it isn’t exactly going to ruin your day, and hey, at least you got out of the house.

But one thing that did live up to my expectations was that the changes made to the material to make it more marketable as a movie would be changes for the worse. The filmmakers took this quiet, contemplative coming-of-age story and reshaped it for a market it simply wasn’t designed for.

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Fri
Aug 29 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Heir of Fire (Excerpt)

Sarah J Maas

Sarah J Maas Heir of Fire Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

Sarah J. Maas’s bestselling Throne of Glass series continues with Heir of Fire, available September 2nd from Bloomsbury. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish. Read an excerpt below!

[Read an excerpt]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 9:00am

Tasty, Tasty Angst: Sarah J. Maas’s Heir of Fire

Throne of Glass Heir of Fire Sarah J Maas review I have a confession to make. A guilty secret, if you like: Sarah J. Maas’s first two novels, Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, are the kind of books I love to hate. Implausible, inconsistent in characterisation, populated by protagonists who are all in their own way some variety of Mary Sue, operating according to Opposite World logic, and with the kind of scattershot worldbuilding and wrongness-in-small-details that makes me bang my head against walls, they nonetheless possess an indefinable quality that keeps me reading all the way to the end. I think it may be the tasty tasty angst.

Heir of Fire is the third volume in Maas’s ongoing series about youthful assassin Celaena Sardothien. It marks the first occasion where I feel that Maas may one day mature into a writer whose work I enjoy in its own right, and not mainly for the pleasure I find in taking it apart.

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