Tags: The Body Finder, Kimberly Derting, Desires of the Dead, The Pledge
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New YA author Kimberly Derting last month released DESIRES OF THE DEAD, her second book in THE BODY FINDER series about 17-year-old Violet Ambrose, who can hear the echoes of the dead. Kimberly has about 100 pages to write by April 1 for her third installment in the series (she’s yet to name the book), but she’s already got a new series that debuts Nov. 15: THE PLEDGE. (Check out our interview with her on Last Bite Podcast with my pal Maria! It should post in another day but CLICK HERE for the link!)
Here’s a description of THE PLEDGE from Kimberly’s website:
In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It’s there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she’s never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.
Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.
DID YOU MISS THESE? (CLICK TO READ!)
Our podcast with YA author Melissa Marr!
Book pick: DARKEST MERCY fitting ending to WICKED LOVELY series
Alyson Noël’s latest — ‘Shimmer’ — is out!
Check out the new paperback cover for ‘Shadowfever’
Now what? An Amish/vampire novel? Yes — ‘Forsaken’
Tags: Aislinn, Darkest Mercy, Donia, Keenan, Melissa Marr, Seth, Wicked Lovely
Fans of Melissa Marr’s WICKED LOVELY series have been waiting for DARKEST MERCY — the fifth and final novel in the saga about the world of the fae and battle between good and evil. Of course, it’s also about finding out if you’re strong enough to leave the one you love for a greater purpose. Or is love that greater purpose? (DON’T MISS! Check out the interview we did on Last Bite Podcast with Melissa Marr. It should be available HERE later this week.)
DARKEST MERCY picks up where RADIANT SHADOWS left off. Aislinn is fending for herself as Summer Queen because Keenan is AWOL. While she needs Keenan to run the court, she pines for her true love, Seth. But does Seth still want her? Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is dealing with his new powers as a seer and exactly what that means. Donia — like Aislinn — is dealing the best she can with the Winter Court as she longs for Keenan — a love she thinks can never really be. And will Niall find a way to save Irial, who was stabbed with a poisonous knife by Bananach?
Such a lot of story lines to wind up but Marr cleverly handles the pace and plot by writing DARKEST MERCY from several points of view. I liked this approach because the reader gets a chance to really get inside a character’s head and see the story from his/her perspective. So we understand Niall’s anguish after he brings healer after healer to Irial with the same result. And his anger toward Seth, who he believes might have been able to foresee the action and have saved Irial. We feel Donia’s pain, when she realizes to make the Summer Court whole and strengthen her own. she can never have Keenan. We see Keenan’s struggles as he realizes he must make a choice between his Summer Queen and Donia.
The best part for me was watching Aislinn grow. Throughout this series, she’s been tough at times, but mostly she’s flopped about trying to figure out her new role while keeping her true love with her. That’s pretty tough to do with the sexy and worldly Keenan tempting you and evil fae trying to kill or unseat you. But when both her love interests seemingly abandon her, she’s had it. And she takes action She’s determined to get her court back in order and to sort out her love life — no matter what. Yes, at times I found both Keenan and Seth exasperating and wished she’d dump both of ‘em (ditto for Donia), but in the end, Ash stays true to herself, as do the other characters.
The most interesting story though involved Leslie, Irial and Niall. I don’t want to spoil it for folks but it was a rather creative ending for this trio. And if you didn’t have a good idea about the depth of love Irial and Niall held for each other — it’s very clear here. You see a different side to Niall — and one that’s not so nice.
Sure, it’s no big surprise that in end, everyone has to work together to defeat War and Disorder. Marr doesn’t flinch though. The Death Man is in town and some favorite side characters die during the battle. It’s a bit bittersweet. But the entire series has always juggled darkness and cruelty with the light and sunshine of Marr’s worlds.
What’s interesting about Marr’s work is how her characters grow and make decisions we think they aren’t really capable of making. Some might complain that the ending is too neatly wrapped up for the main characters — Ash, Donia, Seth and Keenan — but many other questions linger for others such as Niall, Leslie and Irial. (I particularly like how Keenan’s story ends. It’s rather ironic at first but just.) I have to say — I kind of want a bit more. I want to know how things look 100 years from now. But that’s not the author’s intent. The series is about change and growth and how one handles those changes and ensuing decisions. If you look at the entirety of this series, it’s a fitting ending to a story that has so many themes that lots of YA readers — and adults — can relate to in their own lives.
If you haven’t read any of the books in the series, save this one for the end. The books — in order:
Check out the interview we did on Last Bite Podcast with Melissa Marr. It should be available HERE later this week.
Alyson Noël’s latest — ‘Shimmer’ — is out! March 15, 2011Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
Tags: Alyson Noel, Radiance, Riley, Shimmer
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Here’s a description of the book from Alyson’s blog:
Having solved the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a young ghost named Rebecca, Riley soon learns Rebecca’s not at all what she sees. The daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories. Can Riley help Rebecca without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories?
She also notes: “Just like the first book in the series, RADIANCE – SHIMMER was a blast to write! Riley is one of my favorite characters to spend time with as she’s so spunky and sassy, but also has a really soft vulnerability about her as well–she’s a bundle of contradictions, for sure!” (DREAMLAND, book 3, will be in stores on Sept. 13.)
To read Chapter 1 of SHIMMER, CLICK HERE.
Check out the book video below:
Check out new paperback cover for ‘Shadowfever’ March 13, 2011Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
Tags: Barrons, karen marie moning, Mac, Shadowfever
I thought the hardcover for SHADOWFEVER was fab, but it looks like Karen Marie Moning’s team has come up with another winner for the mass market paperback cover — scheduled for release Aug. 30. Check it out below.
KMM says on her blog that the cover is printed on foil, which gives it a sheen. You see Black Mac more clearly on this cover with dark hair, grunge leather and red silk. She’s not facing the camera so we don’t see her face. KMM says, “She’s not liking what she sees in the mirror and has no desire for anyone to look too deep into her eyes. She knows what’s behind them now.”
The tattoo on this cover is different, too. It looks like the tips of Mac’s wings are starting to unfurl, says KMM. And the back cover is straight out of the White Mansion — dreamy and haunting, KMM says.
And in case you didn’t get it, here’s the hardback cover:
Did you miss these?
Now what? An Amish/vampire novel? Yes — ‘Forsaken’ March 9, 2011Posted by Diana McCabe in Book lists, Fun stuff, News.
Tags: amish, Forsaken, Leanna Ellis, vampires
When I first saw a reference on Twitter to an Amish/vampire novel, I thought it was a joke. How little do I know. There is a book coming out in August – FORSAKEN by Leanna Ellis. (I’m not even gonna mess with the “Plain Fear” line.) Here’s the book description that’s posted on amazon.com
Hannah Schmidt pines for Jacob, the boy who saved her life. But Jacob is gone, buried. Levi Fisher loves Hannah. But he knows how much Hannah loved his brother Jacob. He also knows the troubling event that took Jacob out of their lives. So when a stranger named Akiva comes into their community, he carries with him two secrets: he is, in fact, Jacob. And he is now a vampire. When secrets are revealed, Hannah must choose between light and dark, between the one she has always loved and the new possibility of love-a decision that will decide the fate of her soul.
Ellis has written other books, including FACELIFT, ONCE IN A BLUE MOON and ELVIS TAKES A BACK SEAT. I’ve never read any of her novels, so can’t tell you anything about her writing but you can check out her site, bio, books etc. at her site HERE. The Amish and vamps — seems an odd — almost irreverent — combination. A bit over the top. But what the heck — you never know.
And you can check out the book trailer to FORSAKEN below.
Tags: Bones, Cat, Jeaniene Frost, This Side of the Grave, Vlad
Longtime fans of Jeaniene Frost’s Cat & Bones series will want to read THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE, but it’s not the snappy, fast-paced story we’ve been treated to before.
In fact, I found it hard to get into the first few chapters. We knew what the storyline was one based on the last novel: The ghouls are itching for a war against the vampires, and Cat is the flash point because of the unusual abilities she’s gained. She and Bones head back to New Orleans to meet with Marie Laveau, who juices Cat up with some of her black magic mojo — and boy are there some interesting results – and then — well — the gang tries to stop the war from occurring.
Sounds good, but on the whole, you just never get the sense of doom like in the previous stories. There also is a serious lack of tension between Cat and Bones. No danger. No anger. Very little lust. That much-talked about Chapter 21 wasn’t anything like Chapter 32 of ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE, although I get what Frost was trying to do. Frankly, I was so distracted by how the wax was manipulated that the atmosphere Frost was trying to create — and she usually does these scenes very well — was totally missing for me. To be fair — the previous novels have featured all kinds of obstacles between Cat and Bones. I guess it might be kind of hard to keep upping the ante in the couple’s relationship. Even Cat makes a remark about how their relationship has settled.
Also, I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read the book yet, but the historical reference to the other half-vamp — made me roll my eyes. Yes, it’s part of the back story but it just seemed — well — almost funny to me that Frost would pick this person.
However, parts of THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE were fun and interesting, and I just wish we’d had more of that. The scenes between Vlad and Cat are good. You can’t help but wonder how Frost will write his story — and she is planning a couple of books about him. The storyline with Don is fascinating and I can’t wait to see how that develops. We also get to see Tate, Juan, Mencheres and Kira, and Denise and Spade, too. But it just wasn’t enough to really keep me riveted as I usually am with Frost’s stories.
That said, most fans will happily soldier through book No. 5 and get to the good nuggets in the story — and that will be enough to keep them wondering about the next book in the series. I still think that this one feels like a “bridge” book – that there’s something more coming — and this was a story to keep everything glued together. And I’m OK with that because I like the overall series.
Other reviews of THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE:
- CLICK HERE to read what the Supernatural Book Lovers Club at www.sookiestackhouse.com had to say about the novel.