Thursday, April 7, 2011

The King of the Crags by Stephen Deas

Posted by Simcha 4:43 PM, under ,, | 4 comments

Warning: This review does contain some spoilers of the previous book, The Adamantine Palace.

The problem with sequels is that they often seem to serve as little more than a way to fill in the space between the beginning and the end of a series. In almost all of the sequels that I've recently read the stories seemed to drag on without any real purpose, other than to lead us to the next book, with the characters drifting through like forgotten ghosts. So despite my eagerness to read The King of the Crags I was also a bit apprehensive since I had so much enjoyed The Adamantine Palace and was afraid of being disappointed. Well, I can now safety say that my fears were unfounded and Stephen Deas successfully delivers another wonderful and exciting fantasy novel, just as enjoyable as his previous one.

The story picks up shortly after the events that took place at the end of The Adamantine Palace. Speaker Hyram is dead and Queen Shezira has been accused of his murder and imprisoned by Zafir, who has taken over as speaker. None of this would have been possible without Prince Jehal, Zafir's lover and Queen Shezira son-in-law, who has spent years scheming for a way to get himself to the top. And now that Jehal is almost there, the situation is not as satisfying as he expected it to be.

On the other side of the realm the White Dragon, Snow, has recovered from the alchemist's poison and is determined to awaken all of the other dragons and remind them of the time when they ruled the world, and humanity. Kemir is Snow's one human companion, forced to accompany the dragon in order to help her hunt down the alchemists who have been supplying the poison that keeps the dragons docile.

It's been six months since I had read The Adamantine Palace and so I had a bit of trouble in the beginning of The King of Crags trying to remember what had taken place and trying to figure out what was currently going on here. The beginning is a bit slow and focuses on a rather minor character from the previous book, Semian, who gets a larger role in this one. Semian was a dragon rider of Queen Shezira's who suddenly gets a vision that he is meant to avenge his queen by leading an army of dragons against the current speaker Zafir. I will admit that Semian's plot line didn't interest me as much as some of the others, but once the story got going I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

The characters are just as interesting and complex as I remember them being, especially Jehal who somehow kept gaining my sympathy despite his despicable actions. Zafir was more two-dimensional here then in the previous book, almost coming across as a classical villain, which was a bit disappointing since the lack of such straight-forward villains is one of my favorite things about this book. I like how each side of a character is revealed so that even those who are corrupt and treacherous, or just unlikeable, occasionally get the chance to be understood as well.

Since The King of the Crags is a middle book I wasn't too surprised that none of the story lines are really resolved, but I still very much enjoyed the journey. Deas has no qualms about eliminating his characters so I was always on edge, wondering which characters would actually survive.

Any doubts I had about Deas and his abilities to provide me with a satisfying sequel have been laid-to-rest and I now await with bated breath (figuratively, of course) for the grand conclusion.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More Fun Stuff From Around The Web

Posted by Simcha 2:17 PM, under | 4 comments

Readers Gone Wild

There has been a lot of talk lately about authors who respond poorly to criticism, openly bashing reviewers and readers alike, but it's not only authors who get a little crazy sometimes. A popular fan fiction writer was receiving so much harassment from readers that she actually faked her own death to avoid them.

You’re right, I’m not dead.

I want to apologize for hurting as many people as I did. You have to understand that I never expected it to blow up so fast and cause so much pain for so many people. I didn’t do it because I wanted attention and I wanted my stories to get more popular. I deleted the e-mail to my account, this is the first time I’ve even logged on fanfiction since it happened, I haven’t even read any of the reviews after it happened. I did it because, for the same reason I have to write this letter, a lot of people crossed a line. My life was getting threatened, people were writing me suicide notes (in hopes that I would kill myself one day) and not to mention I was graduating high school in a month, my mom was dying (she passed away last year), and it was f-----g fan fiction!

Let me repeat that, it was fan fiction. You know that you can read about those characters in the original story, Twilight, right?

Wow, and I thought the book blogging community was intense...

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Zombie Ant Invasion

Think that zombies aren't real? Well, think again.

From Live Science:

In two sites in the Brazilian rain forest, researchers identified four new species of brain-controlling fungal parasites. These fungi infect carpenter ants and turn them into zombies, directing them to leave their colonies and die in places where the fungi can grow and spread. The zombifying fungus can be seen growing from the top of this dead ant's head.



The zombie invasion has begun. First ants, then the world...

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Tree Branch Bookshelf

This is definitely one of the coolest bookshelves I've ever seen.


In the immortal words of Veruca Salt " I want it now!" (and can you guess what I've been reading?)

(via Book Rat)

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50 Books to Not Read

The Telegraph recently published a tongue-in-cheek article entitled "Not the 50 books you must read before you die" which lists fifty popular books that the author thinks you should not bother reading, and why.

    The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald Jay Gatsby is not as great a character as everyone thinks he is. Neither is this book, or the author, or the million of people who pretend to like it. Full of people doing tedious things, breaking off only to sleep with each other’s wives.
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo One of the great 19th-century novels, taking in war, politics, religion and retribution. But not as catchy as the musical.
    Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert Eat, pray, love, wallow, whine, travel, indulge, write, check bank account
    A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking No, you haven’t read it either.

I enjoyed reading both the article and the comments, agreeing with some of the statements while disagreeing with others. I spent a bit of time afterwards thinking about which popular books I would recommend that people not read, and came up with quite a few.

At the top of my list is Running with Scissors by
Augusten Burroughs, a memoir which was wildly popular but left me feeling nauseated and dirty after reading it. The author just seemed so gleeful in describing each sordid detail of his disturbing childhood that I wished I had never picked it up.

Following up closely is the popular novel Flowers in the Attic by
Virginia Andrews, which I had read in high school and has haunted me ever since (and not in a good way).

Are there any books that you would recommend people
not read?

(Thanks to Books on the Nightstand for pointing this article out)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Excuses

Posted by Simcha 7:46 PM, under | 5 comments

My youngest child just turned three last week and I decided that this would be the week he would conquer the potty- if he likes it or not. So far, things are going pretty well and he's gotten down the basics (don't worry, I won't be going into any details) but the one lesson he picked up on the quickest is the importance of taking a book in with you when you go, even if nothing will actually be happening. My three-year old is doing great at this aspect of the potty training and will happily sit on his potty while going through the large pile of books that he brought in with him (though that's often all he does).

This is an essential lesson for all book lovers with children or other dependents. The bathroom is generally considered sacred territory and by announcing 'I'm going to the bathroom' you can earn yourself a few precious moments of alone-time. I often use this trick to get a bit of reading done (and it may work for other hobbies as well), though I can't do it too frequently or the children will get suspicious.

Unfortunately I can't sneak my computer into the bathroom with me so while I have gotten quite a bit of reading done I haven't managed to find the time to write reviews for most of those books. These past few weeks have been particularly hectic, as will the next couple of weeks be, leading up to Passover, and so I'm afraid I might not be able to post as frequently as usual, during this time.

Some of the books that I look forward to reviewing when I get the chance are
Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland (just finished it- fantastic book!), The King of the Crags by Stephen Deas (also really good), Catch Me if You Can by Frank Abagnale Jr (absolutely wild) and The House on Durrow Street by Galen M. Beckett (just OK), so look out for those.

And in the meantime, since I have Passover on my mind, here are a couple of fun Passover-related videos.

The first video is a musical parody based on
Diddy's "Coming Home" and Cee Lo Green's "Forget You". It was recorded just a few minutes from where I live so you can see here some of the beautiful desert scenery that convinced me to moved to this particular area (which some refer to as "the middle of nowhere").




And this is one is really cute, though you do have to know the basics of Passover in order to get it.

What if Moses Had Facebook




Monday, April 4, 2011

New Scifi & Fantasy Releases: Week of April 4

Posted by Simcha 3:39 PM, under | 7 comments

Whew! There are so many book releases this week that this list took me ages to put together, and I didn't even include everything.

One book that I definitely know that I'll be reading is Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick. I actually know very little about it but after reading an enthusiastic review of this book at Fantasy & Scifi Loving News I was inspired to immediately order myself a copy from the Book Depository, which is unusual for me. I usually read up on a book and check out various reviews before deciding to fork over the cash for it, but I guess I was feeling adventurous that day. I sure hope I end up liking it.

Some other books that have caught my eye from this week's selection include
Flip by Martyn Bedford and The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham. After my disappointment with the last Corine Solomon book I'm not sure if I'm going to continue with Ann Aguirre's newest book in the series, though the new Mortal Instruments book by Cassandra Clare reminds me that I've been meaning to give this series a try.

How about you? Are there any books here that you are planning on reading?

Hope you have a great reading week!




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1636: The Saxon Uprising
Eric Flint
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Baen
Release Date: April 1

The West Virginia town of Grantville, torn from the twentieth century and hurled back into seventeenth century Europe has allied with Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, in the United States of Europe. So, when Gustavus invades Poland, managing to unite all the squabbling Polish factions into repelling the common enemy, the time-lost Americans have to worry about getting dragged into the fight along with the Swedish forces.

But Mike Stearns has another problem. He was Prime Minister of the USE until he lost an election, and now he’s one of Gustavus’s generals; and he has demonstrated that he’s very good at being a general. And he’s about to really need all his military aptitude. Gretchen , who never saw a revolution she didn’t like, has been arrested in Saxony, and is likely to be executed. The revolutionary groups which she has been working with are not about to let that happen, and suddenly there’s rioting in the streets. Saxony’s ruthless General Baner is determined to suppress the uprising by the time-honored “kill them all and let God sort them out” method, which only adds fuel to the fire. So Gustavus orders Mike Stearns to go to Saxony and restore order. But he makes one mistake.

He didn’t tell Mike to take his troops along on the mission. But he didn’t tell him not to, either

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The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group
Catherine Jinks
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Release Date: April 4


I still hadn't fully absorbed the terrible possibility that I might actually be a werewolf. A werewolf. I kept stumbling over that word; it made no sense to me. How could I be a werewolf? Werewolves didn't exist.
When Tobias Richard Vandevelde wakes up in hospital with no memory of the night before, his horrified mother tells him that he was found by the police. At Featherdale Park. In a dingo pen.
As if that isn't weird enough, suddenly a very menacing looking guy and a priest show up at his door.
As the mystery unfolds, Toby finds himself keeping company with some very strange and sickly looking people - members of a suburban vampire support group. And when he's abducted in broad daylight, he will need all their help to break free ... and to come to terms with his own incredibly rare condition.

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The Amazon Legion
Tom Kratman
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Baen
Release Date: April

On the colony planet of Terra Nova, Carrera has achieved his revenge, destroying those who had destroyed his life by killing his wife and children in a terrorist strike. And, with this help of his second wife, he has thwarted an attempted coup that would have restored the rule of the oligarchy and undone his hard-won victory. But his fight is not over yet...
The problem of the Tauran Union's control of the Transitway between Terra Nova and Earth remains, as does the problem of the nuclear armed United Earth Peace Fleet, orbiting above the planet. The Taurans will not leave, and the Balboans—a proud people, with much recent success in war - will not tolerate that they should remain.
And yet, with one hundred times the population and three or four hundred times the wealth, the Tauran Union outclasses little Balboa in almost every way, even without the support of Old Earth. Sadly, they have that support. Everything, everyone, will have to be used to finish the job of freeing the country and, if possible, the planet. The children must fight. The old must serve, too. And the women?
This is their story, the story of Balboa's Tercio Amazona, the Amazon Regiment.

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Alien in the Family
Gina Koch
Genre: Romantic SF
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: April 5

Super-Being Exterminator Kitty Katt and the Alpha Centaurian she loves, Jeff Martini, should be finalizing their wedding plans. But that was before she discovers Jeff is in line to become Emperor back on his home world. Kitty knows she is everything a royal family wouldn't approve of, and is bracing herself for the worst. As it turns out, the royal family is just the begin...moreSuper-Being Exterminator Kitty Katt and the Alpha Centaurian she loves, Jeff Martini, should be finalizing their wedding plans. But that was before she discovers Jeff is in line to become Emperor back on his home world. Kitty knows she is everything a royal family wouldn't approve of, and is bracing herself for the worst. As it turns out, the royal family is just the beginning. Especially when extraterrestrial Amazonian terrorists are determined to start and end Kitty and Jeff's nuptial festivities with a bang

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Among Thieves
Douglas Hulick
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: April 1

Drothe has been a member of the Kin for years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers in the employ of a crime lord while smuggling relics on the side. But when an ancient book falls into his hands, Drothe finds himself in possession of a relic capable of bringing down emperors-a relic everyone in the underworld would kill to obtain.

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Ashes of the Earth: A Mystery of Post-Apocalyptic America
Eliot Pattison
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Counterpoint
Release Date: April 1

Thirty years after global holocaust, the colony of Carthage still struggles to build its new world. While steam engines and other early industrial technology have empowered its economy, the fragile society is undermined by secret crimes, rifts between generations, government censorship, and a legacy of casting out those who suffer from radiation sickness.

Embitt...moreThirty years after global holocaust, the colony of Carthage still struggles to build its new world. While steam engines and other early industrial technology have empowered its economy, the fragile society is undermined by secret crimes, rifts between generations, government censorship, and a legacy of casting out those who suffer from radiation sickness.

Embittered survivor Hadrian Boone -- once a revered colony founder -- has been hounded by despair and the ghosts of his past into a life of drunkenness and frequent imprisonment for challenging the governor’s tyranny. But when a gentle old man, the colony’s leading scientist, is murdered, Hadrian glimpses chilling secrets behind the killing that could destroy the colony. Realizing that he may be the only one able to expose the truth, Hadrian begins a desperate quest through the underbelly of the colony into the wrenching camps of the outcasts, escorted by a young policewoman who struggles to cope with the physical and emotional remnants of the prior world. Ultimately Hadrian’s journey becomes one of self-discovery, and to find justice his greatest challenge is navigating the tortuous path of the human spirit in a world that has been forever fractured.(

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Betrayer (Foreigner #12)
C. J. Cherryh
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: April 5

The civil war among the alien atevi has ended. Tabini-aiji, powerful ruler of the Western Association, along with Cajeiri his son and heir, and his human paidhi, Bren Cameron, have returned to the Bujavid, their seat of power.

But factions that remain loyal to the opposition are still present, and the danger these rebels pose is far from over.

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Cinderella: Ninja Warrior (Twisted Tales #1)
Maureen McGowan
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Release Date: April 1

In this fast-paced story full of adventure and romance, Cinderella is more than just a servant girl waiting for her prince—she's a tough, fearless girl who is capable of taking charge of a dangerous situation. Seeking to escape the clutches of her evil stepmother, Cinderella perfects her ninja skills and magic talents in secret, waiting for the day when she can break free and live happily ever after. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Cinderella and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read

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Camera Obscura
Lavie Tidhar
Genre: Steampunk
Publisher: Angry Robot
Release Date: April 7


CAN'T FIND A RATIONAL EXPLANATION TO A MYSTERY? CALL IN THE QUIET COUNCIL. The mysterious and glamorous Lady De Winter is one of their most valuable agents. A despicable murder inside a locked and bolted room on the Rue Morgue in Paris is just the start. This whirlwind adventure will take Milady to the highest and lowest parts of that great city - and cause her to question the very nature of reality itself

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City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, Book 4)
Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: April 5

Who will be tempted by darkness? Who will fall in love, and who will find their relationship torn apart? And who will betray everything they ever believed in?
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge.
In the heart-pounding fourth installment of the Mortal Instruments series, the stakes are higher than ever.

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Crystal Bones (The Faelin Chronicles, #1)
C. Aubrey Hall
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Children's Books
Release Date: April 5

Diello and Cynthe have always believed their parents are too cautious. The twins expect things to be different on their thirteenth birthday. Their mysterious Fae mother has promised them that today they’ll be given magical gifts, and they’re planning to sneak off to the village fair.

But nothing goes right. The magic isn’t what they hoped. Their human father won’t let them out of their chores. They’re forbidden to attend the fair and are sent on an errand instead. Then the day turns deadly as Diello and Cynthe are plunged into a lethal game of cat and mouse with old enemies of their parents. Suddenly there are secrets upon secrets to unwind. Who is friend and who is foe? And what have their parents been hiding.

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Demons Are a Girl's Best Friend
Linda Wisdom
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: April 1

Feisty witch Maggie enjoys her work as a paranormal law enforcement officer—that is, until she’s assigned to protect a teenager with major attitude and a sleazy boyfriend. A group of satanic Mayans priests has decided Courtney has a drop of divine blood in her—making her just the virgin sacrifice they need to release their God and rule the world.

To prevent this catastrophe, Maggie must team up with half fire demon Declan, the proprietor of Damnation Alley, an underground club and busy demon portal. Declan will be damned if he’ll allow his demon race to be blamed for the malicious acts of some evil Mayans. So he decides to seduce the sexy witch in an effort to discover what the law enforcement agency knows about the Mayan’s plans, but then things get more than a little hot, and Declan finds himself seriously entangled with the sexiest woman he’s ever met…

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Faerie Winter (Faerie #2)
Janni Lee Simner
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 5

The long-awaited sequel to Janni Lee Simner's breathtaking YA fantasy debut, Bones of Faerie.
Liza is a summoner. She can draw life to herself, even from beyond the grave. And because magic works both ways, she can drive life away. Months ago, she used her powers to banish her dangerous father and to rescue her mother, lost in dreams, from the ruined land of Faerie.
Born in the wake of the war between humanity and Faerie, Liza lived in a world where green things never slept, where trees sought to root in living flesh and bone. But now the forests have fallen silent. Even the evergreens' branches are bare. Winter crops won't grow, and the threat of starvation looms. And deep in the forest a dark, malevolent will is at work. To face it, Liza will have to find within herself something more powerful than magic alone.

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The Dragon’s Path
Daniel Abraham
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: April 7

Summer is the season of war in the Free Cities.
Marcus wants to get out before the fighting starts. His hero days are behind him and simple caravan duty is better than getting pressed into service by the local gentry. Even a small war can get you killed. But a captain needs men to lead -- and his have been summarily arrested and recruited for their swords.
Cithrin has a job to do -- move the wealth of a nation across a war zone. An orphan raised by the bank, she is their last hope of keeping the bank's wealth out of the hands of the invaders. But she's just a girl and knows little of caravans, war, and danger. She knows money and she knows secrets, but will that be enough to save her in the coming months?
Geder, the only son of a noble house is more interested in philosophy than swordplay. He is a poor excuse for a soldier and little more than a pawn in these games of war. But not even he knows what he will become of the fires of battle. Hero or villain? Small men have achieved greater things and Geder is no small man.
Falling pebbles can start a landslide. What should have been a small summer spat between gentlemen is spiraling out of control. Dark forces are at work, fanning the flames that will sweep the entire region onto The Dragon's Path -- the path of war.

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Element Zero
James Knapp
Genre: SF
Publisher: Roc
Release Date: April 5

Technologically reanimated corpses are frontline soldiers engaged in a neverending war. Agent Nico Wachalowski uncovered a conspiracy that allowed Samuel Fawkes, the scientist who created them, to control them beyond the grave. And now Fawkes has infected untold thousands with new technology, creating an undetectable army that will obey his every command-a living army that...moreTechnologically reanimated corpses are frontline soldiers engaged in a neverending war. Agent Nico Wachalowski uncovered a conspiracy that allowed Samuel Fawkes, the scientist who created them, to control them beyond the grave. And now Fawkes has infected untold thousands with new technology, creating an undetectable army that will obey his every command-a living army that just might represent the future of humanity...

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Flesh Eaters
Joe McKinney
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Pinnacle
Release Date: April 5

 They Rise...Out of the flooded streets of Houston, they emerge from plague-ridden waters. Dead. Rotting. Hungry. And as human survivors scramble to their rooftops for safety, the zombie hordes circle like sharks. The ultimate killing machines. They Feed...Houston is quarantined to halt the spread of the zombie plague. Anyone trying to escape is shot on sight - living and dead. Emergency Ops sergeant Eleanor Norton has her work cut out for her. Salvaging boats and gathering explosives, Eleanor and her team struggle to maintain order. But when civilization finally breaks down, the feeding frenzy begins. They Multiply...Biting, gnawing, feasting - but always craving more - the flesheaters increase their ranks every hour. With doomsday looming, Eleanor must focus on the people she loves - her husband and daughter - and a band of other survivors adrift in zombie-infested waters. If she can't bring them into the quarantine zone, they're all dead meat.

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Flandry's Legacy: The Technic Civilization Saga
Poul Anderson
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Baen
Release Date: April 5

Sir Dominic Flandry is now an Admiral, but takes little joy in his new rank. He sees the rot in the Terran Empire on every hand and knows that the Long Night will inevitably fall upon the galaxy. His consolation is that measures he has taken while doing what he can to postpone the Empire’s final col- lapse may shorten the coming galactic dark age and hasten the rise of a new interstellar civilization. In the meantime, he’ll enjoy the comforts of a deca- dent civilization—and he’ll always be ready for one more battle against the Empire’s enemies.
This concluding volume of the Technic Civilization saga, one of the mile- stones of modern science fiction includes two full-length novels: A Stone in Heaven and The Game of Empire, plus three novellas and a novelette set in the time of the Long Night and the renaissance of civilization which followed it, concluding one of the grandest adventure sagas in science fiction.

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Flip
Martyn Bedford
Genre: YA
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Release Date: April 5

One December night, 14-year-old Alex goes to bed. He wakes up to find himself in the wrong bedroom, in an unfamiliar house, in a different part of the country, and it's the middle of June. Six months have disappeared overnight. The family at the breakfast table are total strangers.And when he looks in the mirror, another boy's face stares back at him. A boy named Flip. Unless Alex finds out what's happened and how to get back to his own life, he may be trapped forever inside a body that belongs to someone else. Questions of identity, the will to survive, and what you're willing to sacrifice to be alive make this extraordinary book impossible to put down

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Huntress
Malinda Lo
Genre: YA
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 5

Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn't shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people's survival hangs in the balance.
To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls' destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.
The exciting adventure prequel to Malinda Lo's highly acclaimed novel Ash is overflowing with lush Chinese influences and details inspired by the I Ching, and is filled with action and romance.

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Mesmerized (Phantom Corps #2)
Lauren Dane
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Release Date: April 5

Andrei Solace delivers death on silent feet as an assassin for the Phantom Corps. Mercenary Piper Roundtree thought she was over him. But against the backdrop of an impending war, their passion is rekindled. Now the lovers must join forces- in more ways than one-to save the Known Universe before the Imperialist enemy hurls it into irreversible chaos.

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Magic on the Hunt (Allie Beckstrom #6)
Devon Monk
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Roc
Release Date: April 5

In the secret lockup of the Authority, the council that decides what can and can't be done with magic, an undead magic user has possessed one of the prisoners. He wants his freedom-and then some. Now Allie Beckstrom and her lover, Zayvion, are the first line of defense against the chaos he's about to unleash on the city of Portland...

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Plague (Gone #4)
Michael Grant
Genre: YA
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: April 5


This is a blood-pumping, white-knuckle sci-fi thriller of epic proportions. The FAYZ goes from bad to worse...The darkness has been foiled once again and the resurrected Drake has been contained. But the streets of Perdido Beach are far from safe, with a growing army of mutants fighting against the humans for power in the town. In a small room of a house near the edge of t...moreThis is a blood-pumping, white-knuckle sci-fi thriller of epic proportions. The FAYZ goes from bad to worse...The darkness has been foiled once again and the resurrected Drake has been contained. But the streets of Perdido Beach are far from safe, with a growing army of mutants fighting against the humans for power in the town. In a small room of a house near the edge of town, Little Pete lies ill on a bed. In his fevered dreams, he continues his battle with the hidden evil that seeks to use his power to bring about anarchy and destruction.

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Red Glove
Holly Black
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: April 5

Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.

That was how Lila, the gir...moreCurses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.

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Rage
Jackie Morse Kessler
Genre: YA
Publisher: Graphia
Release Date: April 8


Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different.
That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a new kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.
A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power and refuses to be defeated by the world.

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Teeth: Vampire Tales
Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Genre: Paranormal Anthology
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: April 5

Sink your teeth into these bite-sized tales exploring the intersections among the living, dead, and undead. Features stories by Neil Gaiman, Melissa Marr, Cassandra Clare, Garth Nix, and many more.




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The Return of Black Douglas
Elaine Coffman
Genre: Fantasy/ Romance/ Time Travel
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: April 1

New Scottish time travel romance written in response to reader demand by award winning and New York Times bestselling author Elaine Coffman (5 million books sold). When Isobella Douglas is pulled back in time by the ghost of her infamous ancestor The Black Douglas, she encounters a Highland laird who's completely captivated by the modern lass...

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Savannah Grey
Cliff McNish
Genre: YA Scifi
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Release Date: April 1

Savannah Grey needs to keep moving. She doesn't know why, but she can't let herself get tied down by too many people. It’s almost like she's being chased by something. And now something strange is happening with her neck—with her throat.
Then she meets Reece—a guy who seems to understand her needs. He even knows about her neck. The same thing is happening to him. It's as if their voices are becoming weapons, warming up for some kind of attack.
Nature has been preparing for battle with the universe's ultimate monster for millennia. The time to fight is almost here. The weapon is Savannah Grey.

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Sea of Ghosts
Alan Campbell
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: April 1

When the last of the Gravediggers, an elite imperial infiltration unit, are disbanded and hunted down by the emperor they once served, munitions expert Colonel Thomas Granger takes refuge in the unlikeliest of places. He becomes a jailer in Ethugra - a prison city of poison-flooded streets and gaols in which a million enemies of the empire are held captive. But when Granger takes possession of two new prisoners, he realises that he can't escape his past so readily. Ianthe is a young girl with an extraordinary psychic talent. A gift that makes her unique in a world held to ransom by the powerful Haurstaf - the sisterhood of telepaths who are all that stand between the Empire and the threat of the Unmer, the powerful civilization of entropic sorcerers and dragon-mounted warriors.

In this war-torn land, she promises to make Granger an extremely wealthy man, if he can only keep her safe from harm. This is what Granger is best at. But when other factions learn about Ianthe's unique ability, even Granger's skills of warfare are tested to their limits. While, Ianthe struggles to control the powers that are growing in ways no-one thought were possible.
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Shady Lady (Corine Solomon #3)
Ann Aguirre
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Roc
Release Date: April 5


I'd spent my whole life settling, trying not to attract attention, and generally doing whatever it took to keep other people happy. I didn't want to do that again. Not when I was finally comfortable in my own skin. Sure, there were certain challenges, like a drug lord who wanted me dead, and the fact that I owed a demon a debt that he could call due at any moment. But everybody's got problems, right?

Whenever Corine Solomon touches an object, she immediately knows its history. But her own future concerns her more and more. Now back in Mexico, she's running her pawnshop and trying to get a handle on her strange new powers, for she might need them. And soon.

Then former ally Kel Ferguson walks through her door. Heavily muscled and tattooed, Kel looks like a convict but calls himself a holy warrior. This time, he carries a warning for Corine: the Montoya cartel is coming for her--but they don't just pack automatic weapons. The Montoyas use warlocks, shamans, voodoo priests--anything to terminate trouble. And Corine has become enemy number one...

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The Shining City (Warriors of Estavia #3)
Fiona Patton
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: April 5

With the three children of prophecy-the seers Spar and Graize, and the warrior Brax-now grown, and the young God Hisar ready to stake his claim to a place in the pantheon of Anavatan, a time of chaos and change is fast approaching. For only if sworn enemies Spar and Graize can come together as Hisar's priests will the God stand any chance of surviving the coming battles with both the hungry spirits seeking to devour him, and the war with the mortal invasion fleet, which is even now sailing for Anavatan.

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Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer (Twisted Tales #2)
Maureen McGowan
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Release Date: April 1

In this thrilling story full of adventure and romance, Sleeping Beauty is more than just a lonely princess waiting for her prince—she's a brave, tenacious girl who never backs down from a challenge. With vampire-slaying talents that she practices in secret, Sleeping Beauty puts her courage to the test in the dark of night, fighting evil as she searches for a way to break the spell that has cut her off from her family. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Sleeping Beauty and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read!
Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer is an entirely new type of fairy tale–one that will keep today's kids guessing and offer them hours of magical fun.

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WWW: Wonder (WWW #3)
Robert J. Sawyer
Genre: Scifi
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: April 5


Webmind-the vast consciousness that spontaneously emerged from the infrastructure of the World Wide Web-has proven its worth to humanity by aiding in everything from curing cancer to easing international tensions. But the brass at the Pentagon see Webmind as a threat that needs to be eliminated.
Caitlin Decter-the once-blind sixteen-year-old math genius who discovered, and bonded with, Webmind-wants desperately to protect her friend. And if she doesn't act, everything-Webmind included-may come crashing down.

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Kingdom Besieged
Raymond E. Feist
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: April 12

Midkemia’s fifth and final Riftwar—the devastating Chaoswar—explodes in the opening volume of Raymond E. Feist’s spectacular new epic fantasy trilogy of magic, conflict, and world-shattering peril. A Kingdom Besieged is a breathtaking adventure that brings back Pug—first introduced in Feist’s classic debut novel, Magician, and now Midkemia’s most powerful sorcerer—who faces a major magical cataclysm that forces him to question everything he’s ever held as true and dear…including the loyalty of his beloved son Magnus.

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