Archive for the ‘mystery’ Tag
This will be the last New Books Highlight post for 2013!
Instead of the usual showcase of three new books on one subject or theme, I thought I’d put together a few different themes that have been popular recently and a few books from each.
The First Dragon by James Owen - book 7 in the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica
Palace of Spies: Being a True, Accurate and Complete Account of the Scandalous and Wholly Remarkable Adventures of Margaret Preston Fitzroy, Counterfeit Lady, Accused Thief, and Confidential Agent at the Court of His Majesty, King George I by Sarah Zettel
Dark Dystopian (with less romance than your average dystopian.):
The literary remix is fast becoming its own genre. Let me define: literary remix is when an author takes a work of literature or lore and reworks it as a new piece of fiction. Whether the story uses the same character names and relatively the same plot but puts it into a different time or place, or uses the plot and its symbolism as bones to build a pretty new story around – a lot of authors take inspiration from literature and lore. It’s a really fun genre because if you’re familiar with the original, the reworked piece is more vivid. It’s fun to see where the plot is similar, or how the author of the remix has transformed objects, places and people for the modern day or future. Here are a few new books that remix either fairy tales or canonical literature.
The fact that this is a remix is right in the title: twists on timeless tales. Melissa Marr works in the fairy-tale remix genre often, so it is not surprising that she co-edited this. It features new stories by authors like Neil Gaiman, Margaret Stohl, Rick Yancey and Holly Black. Each story reworks a classic piece of literature or lore, and in the remixing author identifies which story inspired them, and tells you a bit about why. This is the most fun to read if you know the stories being reworked, but if you don’t you will be inspired to find them.
This is the second volume in the Woodcutter sisters series. The author remixes not one but many fairy tales, even throwing in some Greek mythology for good measure. Most of Saturday Woodcutter’s family understands their magical gifts – everyone but her, it seems. So when the tossing away of a magic mirror puts her whole family in danger, Saturday is ready to take on the adventure in the hopes of better-understanding her gifts. She set sails on a conjured sea only to be imprisoned by a blind witch who mistakes her for her brother. But the witch has other prisoners and with their help Saturday may be able to orchestrate their escape – if she doesn’t accidentally fall in love first.
This is a dark and story paranormal romance retelling of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. In this remix, the style of writing and the structure of the story remain very close to the original work – but author Croggon sets the story in a world in which women practicing magic has been made illegal, and main character Lina may have supernatural powers. As in the original, Lina is in a star-crossed lover situation with her adopted brother, Damek, which amps up the danger Lina faces. It is as haunting and atmospheric as the original, with even more Gothic touches and a paranormal overtone.
This is not a classic remix because it is set after the events in the original story, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Author Taub imagines what comes next after Romeo and Juliet have both died (and now you’re totally saying, “I have always wondered!”). Verona has found some piece in its grief over the young lovers’ deaths. But the Montagues and the Capulets have not set aside their rivalry. Their is violence in the streets, and Prince Escalus decides he must take action: by forcing a Montague to wed a Capulet, thereby uniting the two families once and for all.
Based on the classic Gothic novel Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Tess has transferred to elite boarding academy Thorn Abbey. Despite her lack of confidence – or perhaps because of it – she draws the attentions of Max de Villars. However, Tess, and everyone at the school in some way or another, seems to be haunted by the ghost of Max’s last love, Becca, who tragically drowned the previous year. Tess’s roommate was especially changed by Becca’s death, and now seems to be channeling her madness towards Tess and Max’s union.
There have been some major books released over the last couple of months, so it’s been hard to choose which ones to highlight. This week, though, I was struck by how many “challenging” books I’ve seen hitting the new shelves recently.
By “challenging,” I mean books that suck you in, mess with your head, and knock you back out again as a new person. Books that leave you feeling winded, introspective…changed. Books that make you think – and keep you thinking even when you’ve finished them. One that sticks out in my memory as a challenging read for me is Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Not everyone likes these kinds of books: some of us read to be entertained or for comfort, and don’t want to be messed up by a book. That’s okay. You might be surprised, however, next time you reach for what sounds like a comforting read. One thing that is unique about “challenging” reads is that they come in all genres – and they sometimes come out of nowhere. You remember how you felt the first time you read The Hunger Games? You thought, “Boy, my life is different now that I have lived through that.” It’s entertainment, yes, but it left you breathless and altered. Personally, I read it in one night, convinced I wouldn’t like it, but completely changed by watching these children (children!) fight and die for nothing in the messed up world of Panem.
I digress. Without further ado, here are some challenging new reads I hope you pick up soon!
What if you knew the world was ending soon? The characters in this book do. An asteroid is headed for Earth, and all anyone can do is wait. Sienna returns from a mental health facility in time to watch her father get married. Zan must face her fears and get past the recent death of her boyfriend. And Caden is confronted by his long-lost father. Despite the terrifying premise, or maybe because of it, this is a deep and quietly wise book that will make you stop and think about your own life. It’s really kind of joyfully sad, in a way – so perfect for a “challenging” read that leaves you thinking.
Sneak Peek! “The day she gets out, it feels like the end. It’s funny to think about endings now. Now that all there is to do is wait. Now that the real end is coming, all of the other endings feel like something else completely.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Alexandra Coutts)
This one is challenging on several levels. It’s short – so it has less time to hook you, but it still manages to do so quickly and effectively. Narrated by Hannah in somewhat broken English, she tells the story of her youth. When her parents died in a flash flood on a river, she and her friend Becky were left to fend for themselves in the forests of Tasmania. They were essentially adopted by a pair of tigers who managed to keep them safe and fed, despite the girls’ fear and worry. But when Becky’s father finally found them, they were forced to reintegrate into human society at great cost.
Sneak Peek! “Me name be Hannah O’Brien and I be seventy-six years old. Me first thing is an apology – me language is bad cos I lost it and had to learn it again.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Louis Nowra)
The title sure puts it all out there, huh? In a sense, that’s the point: these two topics run rampant in our society, many believe to the detriment of it. And this story tells just how the normalization of sex and violence hurts young people – without preaching a moral message. It’s is honesty on a plate – and it’s not always pretty. 17-year-old Evan is a master of being the new kid in school, after spending his lifetime moving around with his dad’s job. Evan is also the master of figuring out which girl will say ‘yes.’ But this time, he picks the wrong one and ends up getting beaten by the kings of his school. When he moves to a quiet small town to recover with distant family, he must confront the fears and weaknesses that have driven him, and result from his miscalculations. Gritty, funny, life.
Sneak Peek! “When I came out of the Connison gang shower, Collette Holmander was waiting for me.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Carrie Mesrobian)
Mila is highly attuned to people – able to read the room, sense emotions and put together the puzzles people make of themselves. When her father’s best friend goes missing, what was to be a visit to him turns into Mila and her father on the case, so to speak. But this story is far more than a mystery with an easy solution. Written in first person, so much so that the dialogues is filtered through Mila’s head, without quotes, you are drawn into Mila’s world in a strange and thrilling way. This is a complex story that will challenge your worldview and assumptions.
Sneak Peek! “The first Mila was a dog. A Bedlington terrier. It helps if you know these things. I’m not at all resentful at being named after a dog.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Meg Rosoff)
There are a lot of horror-type books written these days. Even non-horror fans can find horror books they like simply because authors are rolling thrilling, chilling moments and plot lines into all kinds of genres in all kinds of ways. Check out a few brand new ones guaranteed to be a little haunting:
For realistic fiction fans: Marshall survived the car accident that killed his twin brother. This fact consumes him with guilt and drives him to search fora way to communicate with the dead in an effort to somehow assuage his guilt. He seeks a thin space, where the barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is not as solid, something he could potentially reach right through. A woman in his neighborhood – Mrs. Hansel – may have created one with her death, but a new family moves into her home before Marsh can investigate. He befriends the new residents and soon has their help locating the thin space. He’s barely keeping it together as the weight of regular life coupled with keeping dark secrets weighs on him. This is a spooky – and yet realistic – story, with a chilling atmosphere of grief, guilt and secrets.
Sneak Peek! “Every morning, I walk by Mrs. Hansel’s house and plan my break-in. Today I think about kicking down doors, shattering windows. I have a one-second flash of myself climbing down the chimney. Which just shows how far gone I am lately.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Jody Casella)
She wakes to hear what she thinks is her death sentence. All she knows is what she can see and hear – the ramshackle cabin surrounded by nothing, and the two men fighting over killing her. Who she is and how she got here is a mystery. Spurred into action by fear, she moves fast and manages to escape, but has no idea where she should go. Thanks to a stranger she meets soon after her first escape, she manages to evade capture and begins to piece together her story. But what she finds about who would want to silence her is shocking. It’s a race against the clock that will keep you turning pages.
Sneak Peek! “I wake up. But wake up isn’t quite right. That implies sleeping. A bed. A pillow. I come to.” (Text copyright © 2013 by April Henry)
Dystopia meets zombies in this thriller. In a bleak future, millions have been transformed into zombie-like creatures thanks to a mass market weight loss beverage. Velvet’s mother was among the unlucky ones. Now, Velvet and her family must live amongst the undead of America. The suspense that comes from Velvet sharing her world with a crew of unpredictable demonized former humans is palpable – and will keep you up at night.
Sneak Peek! “They keep them in cages. The unclaimed. Long rows of narrow, filthy cages lined up along dark corridors lit by bare, hanging bulbs.” (Text copyright 2013 by Em Garner)
From one of the authors of the Beautiful Creatures series comes this haunting new paranormal romance. Kennedy Waters discovers she is a member of an ancient secret society called the Legion when two other members sweep in to rescue her from an attack by a poltergeist. Her mother has just died, so joining forces with the Legion provides some comfort, even as it gets spookier by the minute. The Legion must protect themselves from a demonic force that wants them all dead, and their only hope to do so is to brave the scenes of grisly murders to track down a mysterious device that is supposed to be their savior. From haunted mansions to abandoned mental hospitals – this book takes you to all the creepy spots while keeping you enthralled in the haunting story.
Next week is Teen READ Week! The theme this year is Seek the Unknown, so think about that when you visit the library in the coming days.Here are some new books that ask you to seek the unknown, too!
Sanderson is a reliable author of really cool books. He’s always taking us to unexpected worlds. In Steelheart, it is a world populated by superhumans known as Epics who became that way after a mysterious event everyone calls the Calamity. The most powerful Epic of all, Steelheart, brutally murdered David’s father when he was eight. Now, ten years later, he has joined group called the Reckoners, bent on destroying Steelheart. Action-packed, mysterious, thrilling sci fi at its best!
Set in an anonymous town, in an unknown time, with a mute narrator, calling this book a mystery is an understatement. The setting is a village, a close-knit community, but in an undefined place and time. Judith is mute – her tongue was cut out by a madman who held her prisoner for two years. Just to complicate matters, this madman happens to be the father of the boy she pines for from afar. Another girl went missing around the time Judith was being held hostage, and she may know the truth behind her disappearance – if only she can find a way to get it out.
Pick this up if you loved the Maze Runner series by James Dashner, the Blood of Eden series by Julie Kagawa and/or the Gone series by Michael Grant. It’s the same kind of fast-paced, gritty storytelling. A great take on both the vampire genre and the dystopian genre. Gene is a human in a world where humans are food. But Gene has not let the vampires know the truth about him, carefully keeping it secret through a web of lies. When Gene is chosen to go on the hunt to kill the last remaining humans, the web begins to unwind and Gene must find a way to protect his very humanity without succumbing to the merciless vampires.
Sneak Peek! “There used to be more of us. I’m certain of this. Not enough to fill a sports stadium or even a movie theater, but certainly more than what’s left today. Truth is, I don’t think there’s any of us left. Except me. It’s what happens when you’re a delicacy. When you’re craved. you go extinct.” (Text copyright 2012 ©by Andrew Fukuda)
Earlier this summer I highlighted the blockbuster fall that is upon us: so many big-time movies-from-books and so many big-time books are coming out this fall, it’s really hard to keep track. This week, I’m too excited to stay quiet about some of the upcoming sequels, finales, and stand-alone books that will be hitting the shelves in September and early October.
To make things even more fun: you can already request these books even though they either have yet to be published or have yet to be cataloged by any Milwaukee County libraries. Get your name on the list for these books ASAP if you’re anywhere near as excited as I am!
If you’re a fan of Block from her great magical-realism YA books like the Weetzie Bat series, The Frenzy, Wasteland and others, you will not be disappointed in her newest book. Tackling the post-apocalyptic genre that has swept through YA lit recently, Block puts her own spin on death and destruction. An apocalyptic earthquake and tidal wave that seems to sweep most of the USA off the map leaves Penelope alone in her pink house, without the family and friends she dearly loved. There is something sinister behind the destructive quake, though, something that it seems Penelope – who quickly renames herself Pen – must track down. She meets friends and finds love, and quickly realizes her journey parallels that of Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey. The magic and mythology of that story are beautifully intertwined with science and technology of the 21st century in a way only Block could pull off.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (September 3)
This is a novelization of a short story originally published in Black’s The Poison Eaters. Everyone knows that escape from Coldtown, effectively a prison for vampires and other demons, is impossible. So when Tana, with the help of a red-eyed stranger named Gavriel, realizes that entering (and then escaping) Coldown is probably the only way to save her town from a plague of vampire attacks, she must steel herself to the task. Tana is a typically brave and bold Black heroine and her thrilling foray into the freaky Coldtown is not to be missed.
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (September 17)
The second book in Stiefvater’s utterly perfect series about magic, mythology, psychics and private school. If you have not read the first one (The Raven Boys), go get it right this second. That is, if you love great stories about teens doing cool things with magic and ley lines and awakening ancient dead Welsh kings. In The Dream Thieves, the boys Adam, Gansey and Ronan are still working with energy-amplifying spikey-haired Blue Sargent, but this time their efforts are diverted somewhat from the search for Glendower. Secretive Ronan may not be able to keep his secrets much longer (the last line from The Raven Boys certainly hints at that development!). Blue may not be able to stop herself from kissing someone thereby fulfilling the awful prophecy that has plagued her life so far. Unlike some “bridge” books – the second in a trilogy – this promises to be an astonishing story that truly furthers the action and the characters’ development.
October releases include such eagerly anticipated books as Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa and a little thing called ALLEGIANT BY VERONICA ROTH (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Get reading!
This week I want to show you three brand new books that share some traits with books you may have already read. We all know how it feels to hunt for a book that is kinda like the last great book you read. Sometimes it is hard to pin down exactly what you liked about that last book, but sometimes you know just what you’re looking for. Here are three you might like if…
If you like the pace and subjects of books by Ellen Hopkins like Identical and Tilt, or you liked the style and setting of Looking for Alaska by John Green you should try…
Escape Theory by Margaux Froley (A Keaton School Novel)
Devon has never really fit in at her prestigious California boarding school. Because she plans to study psychology at an even more prestigious college -Stanford University – she decides to use her lack of social life and her misfit status to her advantage by becoming a peer counselor. It seems fairly straightforward until the stunning suicide of a classmate, Jason Hutchins aka Hutch, rocks the school. Devon is called upon to hear her peers’ struggle with accepting the death, all the while struggling herself to understand how and why it happened. To make things trickier for Devon, she might have loved Hutch. And she might know more about his death than what the school wants students to know.
Sneak Peek! “Devon’s eye caught the harsh glare of the setting sun. She blinked and looked down, realizing she was rubbing her right palm where Hutch had kissed her before.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Margaux Froley)
If you like books by Meg Cabot and Lisi Harrison you should try…
Lexi is popular, has lots of great friends and a nice family…oh, except for their obsession with her younger sister’s beauty pageants, as though beauty was all that mattered. Lexi has always been the girl with a “great personality,” but what does that even mean? One day she decides she’s sick of being ignored by the guys she likes, by her family, by everyone. She wrangles her confidence – luckily it’s abundant -to step up and take the world on with her great personality, letting her inner beauty outshine everyone around her.
Sneak Peek! “Applying butt glue to my sister’s backside is, without question, not the first way I’d choose to spend a weekend.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Elizabeth Eulberg)
If you liked The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty, the quirky fantasy of books like A Wrinkle in Time and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente you should try…
A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty (The Colors of Madeleine Book One)
Madeleine Tully lives in rainy Cambridge, England, with her kooky mother. Meanwhile in the Kingdom of Cello – which may or may not be Fairyland – Elliot is desperately searching for his father who went missing a year ago on the same night his uncle was found dead. Things are amiss in Cello, it seems, where Dangerous Colors are raining destruction. When Elliot and Madeleine both discover a gap between their parallel worlds they begin to communicate and events in their lives begin to intertwine.
Sneak Peek! ” Madeleine Tully turned fourteen yesterday, but today she did not turn anything. Oh, wait. She turned a page.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Jaclyn Moriarty)
Do you geek steampunk? Here are three new titles that will get you dreaming of dirigibles, steam power, gears, gadgets, goggles, science and history.
This is the first book in Crilley’s new series, Tweed & Nightingale Adventures. True to steampunk form, it’s set in an alternate London in the year 1895. The city is tightly controlled by the secretive government, the Ministry. The possibly corrupt government is at a loss as to what to do when a destructive gang starts spreading mayhem around London and one name is on everyone’s lips: Professor Moriarty. Sebastian Tweed teams up with information broker Octavia Nightingale when his conman father is kidnapped by Moriarty. What they uncover in the computer-laden, automaton-filled world is more sinister than they could have imagined. Part sci-fi, part Sherlock, all awesome!
Sneak Peek! “Tonight, seventeen-year-old Sebastian Tweed was going to be the voice of a fifty-year-old woman. More specifically, he was going to be the voice of a Mrs. Henrietta Shaw – missing and presumed dead for over a year now. He wasn’t happy about it.” (Text copyright 2012 by Paul Crilley)
Another first in a new series, the Secret Order. When Meg’s parents are killed in a devastating fire, all that is left besides her life is a pocket watch. More than it seems, however, the watch turns out to be a clockwork key, one that only Meg can use. What does it unlock? Secrets, clues to a mystery only Meg can solve – with a little help from a possible love-interest. She begins to unravel the web of secrecy around a secret society, and an invention that could change the world but that Meg must destroy. If you like your steampunk with a little romance and a lot of intrigue, this is the book for you.
Sneak Peek! “Six months. It had only been six months. Heavy flakes of snow drifted past the black iron bars of the front gate. I watched one flutter and land on the muzzle of one of the enormous bronze lions standing guard.” (Text copyright 2013 by Kristin Bailey)
Another mystery-infused steampunk, this book is packed with action, humor, and kick-butt heroines. The three not-so-gentle ladies who make up the Friday Society – Cora, Michiko, and Nellie – meet and become partners in action when a ball which they are attending ends in murder. It’s up to them to combine their skills in science, combat, and sleight-of-hand, to solve the mystery. Even with their abundant intelligence, clever disguises, and alter egos, it’s hard to be sneaky – especially when there are eligible bachelors involved. But the three fight hard to save London from certain destruction at the hands of a nefarious woman exacting her revenge against the all-male Society of Heroes.
Sneak Peek! “And then there was an explosion. It was loud. It was bright. It was very explosion-y.” (Text copyright 2012 by Adrienne Kress)
There are still plenty of new books in the YA section, but this week I want to take a little walk over to a different New Books bookshelf in the library, the one for general fiction (or “Adult Fiction”). Many of you are reading books for adults anyway, so why not get a sense of some extra-specially awesome ones that have come out recently?! Here they are:
Yes, I know, Alexie is also a YA author. But his latest offering was published for a general/adult audience, and is shelved over with the adult fiction. These are short stories by the author famous for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. And they are just as awesome as that book.
For those of you who like a thriller, check out this one about a high school cheerleading squad who find themselves at the center of a suspicious tale. Mysterious deaths, a little in-fighting, and you’ve got yourself a great read. You’ll find it in the adult mystery section.
Science fiction to the max, 2312 takes place on Mercury at a time when disagreement in the solar system threatens its population and that of other near-Earth colonies. This book is a must for sci-fi fans!
Remember, all of these books are found in the adult fiction, mystery or sci-fi sections of Shorewood Library, but all of them are highly recommended for teens!
This week on the Shorewood shelves you’ll find some new mysteries waiting to be solved (or possibly not…). From a new take on Sherlock Holmes to a haunting tale by a very famous mystery writer, if you’re a fan of the genre you’re sure to be pleased:
Sherlock Holmes is 14 and we find him not at his familiar Baker Street address, that comes later, but staying in the English countryside while on break from school. The year is 1868 and even the relatively calm rolling farm country proves to be full of intrigue. Sherlock, expecting nothing but boredom during his vacation, is happy to be swept up in a mystery when two local men die from what appears to be the plague. Fans of the original Holmes stories, and any of its other incarnations, will love this one! (P.S. The sequel, Rebel Fire, is also available now!)
When Rachel’s brother, an addict who can’t seem to keep out of trouble, disappears, Rachel blames herself. And when an anonymous note arrives saying that he is in danger, Rachel knows she must do all she can to find and save him. She and Michah’s best friend Tyler set out on the trail with nothing more than a slim lead and a lot of hope.
When she travels to the isolated and eerie Whidbey Island, near Seattle, Becca King does not leave her secrets behind her. Becca finds some solace in the friends she makes, especially Diana with whom she shares psychic abilities. This is the first in what promises to be a cycle of books about Becca and her friends, and the haunting mystery and romance that the encounter on Whidbey Island. Elizabeth George is a best-selling author of mysteries for adults, and this is her first offering for teen readers.