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 As Good As New September 10, 2014 As Good As New Charlie Jane Anders She has three chances to save the world. Tuckitor’s Last Swim September 9, 2014 Tuckitor’s Last Swim Edith Cohn A hurricane is coming.
From The Blog
September 11, 2014
The Ghostbusters are an Antidote to Lovecraft’s Dismal Worldview
Max Gladstone
September 11, 2014
Five Underrated Doctor Who Companions (And One Scoundrel)
David Cranmer
September 9, 2014
My Favourite Apocalypses, or, How to End the World for Fun and Profit
Gary Gibson
September 9, 2014
Sleeps With Monsters: Another Post About Some Books
Liz Bourke
September 8, 2014
Come With Us to All the Magical Londons!
Leah Schnelbach
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?”

[Read More]

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.

[Read More]

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.

[Read More]

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.

[Read More]

Mon
Aug 25 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Firebug (Excerpt)

Lish McBride Firebug Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren’t caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She’s one of their main hitmen… and she doesn’t like it one bit. Not least because her boss, Venus, killed Ava’s mother.

When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can’t say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in—preferably keeping the murder to a minimum.

Amazon buy button Firebug Check out an excerpt below from Lish McBride’s Firebug, available September 23rd from Henry Holt! You can also find out more about the cover design process here.

[Read an excerpt]

Mon
Aug 25 2014 12:00pm

Animorphs: Why the Series Rocked and Why You Should Still Care

Animorphs the Encounter K.A. Applegate In August 1996, Scholastic published a book called The Encounter by K.A. Applegate. I wouldn’t read it for several years, but while I remained firmly sequestered from pop culture, The Encounter and the series to which it belonged—Animorphs—would begin rapidly changing the face of young adult SF/F fiction.

Today, it’s hard to imagine how the genre would have evolved without Applegate’s iconic influence (not to mention her husband, Michael Grant, who helped write the series); and yet, the number of young readers who recognize the series is dwindling. That’s a shame, because if you’re a modern kid looking for violent coming-of-age stories that promote gender equality, racial tolerance, and the freedom to self-identify, you can’t ask for a better saga than Animorphs.

[How Animorphs changed YA, and a whole generation of readers...]

Tue
Aug 19 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Exo (Excerpt)

Steven Gould Exo Cent can teleport. So can her parents, but they are the only people in the world who can. This is not as great as you might think it would be—sure, you can go shopping in Japan and then have tea in London, but it’s hard to keep a secret like that. And there are people, dangerous people, who work for governments and have guns, who want to make you do just this one thing for them. And when you’re a teenage girl things get even more complicated. High school. Boys. Global climate change, refugees, and genocide. Orbital mechanics.

But Cent isn’t easily daunted, and neither are Davy and Millie, her parents. She’s going to make some changes in the world.

Amazon Buy link Exo

Steven Gould returns to the world of his classic novel Jumper in Exo, the sequel to Impulse, blending the drama of high school with world shattering consequences. Exo publishes September 9th from Tor Books!

[Read an excerpt]

Mon
Aug 18 2014 5:00pm

The YA Roundup: Frozen’s Expanding Empire

Welcome to the YA Roundup, your one stop shop to everything YA: publishing news, movie updates, new releases and cover reveals. Psst... It’s OK to read YA.

In this week’s round up: Frozen 2 is heading to book stores and not movie screens, another Vampire Academy movie may be on the way (we resist the urge to use puns...and fail), and Christopher Walken joins the cast of The Jungle Book.

[Read More]

Mon
Aug 18 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

Salt & Storm (Excerpt)

Kendall Kulper

Salt & Storm Kendall Kulper Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she’s to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane—a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.

Salt & Storm, Kendall Kulper’s magical historical romance, publishes September 23rd from Little, Brown Books for Your Readers. Check out an excerpt below!

[Read an excerpt]

Fri
Aug 15 2014 5:00pm

Boldly Going Where Many Have Gone Before: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling Erika Johansen review

Conservative is a loaded term. What once meant traditional, quiet, steady, demure, and prim, now means reactionary, right-wing, and hidebound. So, when I say that The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen is conservative, which it clearly is, I’m references the former and not the latter. It is not, as its copious marketing copy proclaims, a ‘bright new entry in the fantasy genre’, but a capable retread of the form.

Set in the distant future, after an undescribed cataclysm, Queen of the Tearling’s Earth has fundamentally changed. A second dark age has emerged, where sickness and hunger, slaves and serfs, and violence and despotism reign again. Once a country of modest freedom, Tear has become a place of fear as the dead Queen’s brother rules as regent, steeped in liquor and slaves. Kelsea, Johansen’s protagonist and primary viewpoint, is Tear’s last hope. Now nineteen, she will leave everything she’s known behind to assume her long dead mother’s throne. Nothing resists change so well as one who rules, and her uncle has other ideas. With the Queen’s Guard at her back, Kelsea must survive her uncle’s plot to even have a chance to make things right.

[Meeting expectations...]

Thu
Aug 14 2014 2:00pm

Life Experiences: Kaleidoscope edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios

Kaleidoscope, edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios, was one of the crowdfunding projects that caught my attention last year: it was to be a book of “diverse YA science fiction and fantasy stories,” dedicated to collecting otherwise less-heard-from voices and spotlighting minority narratives. And now, it’s finally out, containing fiction from names like Garth Nix, Sofia Samatar and Jim C. Hines as well as fresh faces like Alena McNamara.

The first thing I’ll note is that while Kaleidoscope is certainly a collection of stories about and for young adults, which I very much appreciate, it has a definite cross-generational appeal. The stories are strong narratively and affectively, and since most deal deeply in complex issues of identity—a pleasantly stunning variety of disabilities, sexualities, genders, and ethnicities all feature in this anthology—the overall tone is quite mature and nuanced.

[A review.]

Wed
Aug 13 2014 4:00pm

Dangerously Awkward: Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

Mortal Danger Ann Aguirre review

Mortal Danger is the cheerful story of Edith, a girl torturously bullied to the brink of suicide by her classmates. Her life is saved by a handsome boy with a Faustian deal granting her the power to get revenge, in exchange for a later, undisclosed, repayment. With taglines like, “Revenge is a dish best served cold!” and the focus of the summary on Edith’s quest for retribution, one could be forgiven for tackling this book with the expectation that they’re reading a modern Carrie-style revenge fantasy.

It seems base to complain about a book for being responsibly complex on the issue of bullying. I bet it’s rare that people are annoyed with an author for creating a detailed, thoughtful narrative which was more evolved than Bad-Guy-Go-Boom. Or characters who are too relateable, so that each one gives you a tinge of pain when they go. The problem is, when you empathise with all the bad guys, there’s no enjoyment in their ultimate demise, which robs the book of its promising draw.

[Read More]

Tue
Aug 12 2014 3:50pm

Lev Grossman, Rainbow Rowell, and Other YA Authors Sort Their Characters Into Hogwarts Houses

YA authors sort their characters into Hogwarts houses photos Lev Grossman The Magician's Land

At this year’s LeakyCon, BuzzFeed asked young adult authors to play Sorting Hat and decide which Hogwarts house their most popular characters should go into. We’re big fans of sorting fictional characters, so of course we wanted to see where Quentin Coldwater, Hazel Lancaster, Tally Youngblood, and others ended up!

Also, they had to draw their characters, which was amusing in and of itself. (There was more than one excuse of “I’m an author, not an artist!”)

[“Hmm, difficult. VERY difficult...”]