Archive for the ‘magic’ Tag

New Books Highlight: Upcoming Releases

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!

Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block (August 27)love in the time

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)coldest

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)dream thieves

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!


New Books Highlight: Secrets Hidden in the Depths

If that seems like an intriguing and magical title, it’s because all three new books I want to share are just that: intriguing and magical. There’s lots of fantasy written for young adults, but lately it seems there has been more magical realism or supernatural realism than before. These books are somewhat fantastical – in that there are sometimes other worlds, creatures other than humans, with magic and mythology abounding – but they take place in world that we recognize as our own. Think of books by Maggie Stiefvater or Margo Lanagan that re-tell and re-imagine mythological and fairy stories. If you like those writers, you will definitely like these three new books.

Tides by Betsy CornwellCover image for Tides by Betsy Cornwell

When Noah and his sister Lo make their way to the island where their grandmother lives for the summer, they don’t plan for mystery or adventure. Noah is headed to an important internship with a noted marine biologist, and Lo is just along for the change of scenery which she hopes will inspire her art and help her heal from an eating disorder. Soon, however, both notice strange things are afoot on the isolated island. Noah meets Mara when he tries to rescue her from drowning. She is unlike any girl Noah or Lo has known, but something holds her back from getting close to them. What is her secret? And will finding it out put Noah and Lo in harm’s way?

Sneak Peek! “‘No one is happy in the inbetween,’ said Gemm. ‘Not even selkies.'” (Text copyright © 2013 by Betsy Cornwell)

September Girls by Bennett Madisoncover image for September Girls by Bennett Madison

Another novel with a mystery from the sea at its heart – this time it’s mermaids, not selkies, although the two are closely related. Sam and his father and brother are still reeling from the sudden loss of their mother. She up and left months ago, and now that summer has arrived Sam’s dad takes them all to a sleepy seaside town for a chance to recover. Sam and his brother see this as a real chance to let go, and soon find themselves in the midst of friends and parties and the fun of summer in a beach town. But they also notice that all the girls are blonde and bewitching – which wouldn’t be a problem except that they are all a little strange, too. Sam falls for DeeDee – although all the girls chase him – and soon comes to learn who these strange, ephemeral looking girls are. And that he may hold the secret to unlocking the curse they are under. Bonus: Sam’s voice is completely approachable by anyone. Don’t be put off by the kissing cover!

 Sneak Peek! “The summer following the winter that my mother took off into something called Women’s Land for waht I could only guess would be all eternity, my father decided that there was no choice but for him to quit his despised job and take me and my brother to the beach for at least the entire summer and possibly longer.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Bennett Madison)

Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knoxcover image for Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox

Canny Mochrie has always been able to see something Extra – bits of magic on the edges of things, a feeling that pervades. She has always felt different, not only because of the Extra but because she seems too distant from people, too brown compared to others on her Pacific island, Southland, and a little strange. When she accompanies her step-brother on a research trip to the Zarene Valley – site of a coal mining disaster that her brother is researching – she instantly knows there is some connection between herself and the Zarenes. The Valley abounds with magic, she can see the Extra everywhere. She is drawn to Ghislain Zarene, one of the children of the Valley who can perform magic, but is trapped there by the magic, too. Canny finds connection in the Valley – although she is torn between it and her island home – for reasons she will come to understand run deep within her.

Sneak Peek! “Canny and her teammates stood on platform nine of Castlereagh Station and watched everything they’d seen the night before in Founderston play again in reverse. ” (Text copyright 2013 © by Elizabeth Knox)