Monday, December 17, 2012

Review: Night School by C J Daugherty

Night School by C J Daugherty (January 2012, ATOM, ISBN: 1907411216)

Review: Night School is the debut from C J Daugherty, the sequel Night School: Legacy comes out in January 2013.

A recent family issue has left Allie deeply unhappy and unsettled to the extent that her perfect grades and behaviour are a distant memory. Upon her third arrest, her parents take drastic action and send her straight to a boarding school deep in the countryside even though it's the summer holidays.

Expecting not to like Cimeria Academy instead Allie finds that she relishes the new atmosphere. The school-work is challenging and she turns the head of one of the most eligible boys in the school, Sylvain as well developing as a love-hate relationship with “bad boy” Carter, who has a reputation of being a player.

There are a lot of mysteries flying around Cimeria – what is 'Night School'? Who is in it, what's it for and what do they do? More pressingly what are the noises in the forest and why are some students getting injured? Why did Allie's parents choose Cimeria of all places?

Night School could easily have gone down a paranormal route but refreshingly the mysteries have non-supernatural answers and they had this reader on tenterhooks continuously wondering “what is going on at this school?”. I absolutely loved this one and flew through it, kicking myself for not reading it earlier – though thankfully it does cut down the wait until the sequel. I found this a tense read plus I enjoyed the developing friendship between Allie and Carter. Allie is amusing, smart-mouthed and not easily bullied and undergoes a transformation over the course of the book. Some mysteries are answered but an ongoing struggle has begun.

Despite taking place in a hot summer, Night School's gothic, claustrophobic setting makes it perfect for curling up with in front of the fire. Don't delay, and get ready for Night School: Legacy.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Vincent Brothers: New & Uncensored - 99p on Kindle

For a limited period only, Abbi Glines' sequel to The Vincent Boys - The Vincent Brothers - the more adult version - is 99p on UK Kindle and iTunes.

The Vincent boys are back... and are hotter than ever, featuring new sexy content from the author.

50% Romance, 50% Sexually Graphic Content

Sawyer Vincent is still heartbroken over his breakup with Ashton Gray - made worse because he lost her to his brother - but Lana McDaniel thinks she might just have a cure. Lana's lived in her cousin Ashton's shadow all her life, but now she's taking the lead and is determined to make Sawyer her man. But can she be sure that Sawyer's not just using her to get back at Ashton? And what if Sawyer sees through her new sexy version of herself and discovers the shy, geeky girl she used to be?

THE VINCENT BROTHERS is the sexy sequel to the #1 ebook bestseller THE VINCENT BOYS - and it's got twice the fun, twice the excitement and twice the sexy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Review: Crusher by Niall Leonard

Crusher by Niall Leonard (September 2012, Doubleday Children's Books, ISBN: 0857532081)

Notes: The following review is written by JF who reviews crime fiction at Raven Crime Reads.

Review: With more holes in the plot line than a tramp’s socks and some utterly implausible coincidences, I can still say that I thoroughly enjoyed this young adult debut thriller by Niall Leonard! At numerous points in the story you are thinking that certain scenarios just could not possibly happen and are incredibly far-fetched, but you can’t help yourself being sucked into the ludicrous plot by the sheer strength of Leonard’s characterisation of confused teenager Finn Maguire, an extremely well-drawn and empathetic character.

Finn is a character displaying all the teenage angst that a rift between parents can cause to a child, with a background of disruptive behaviour that has brought him to the attention of police, but who is obviously a bright and resourceful kid trying to get himself back on the straight and narrow. He has been hampered throughout his life by his dyslexia, but this has provided him with the ability to think on his feet, to use his common sense and invested him with the strength and determination to attempt to track down his father’s murderer. As Finn turns into a contemporary Sherlock Holmes with attitude, seeking answers to the death of his father, he is drawn into a murky underworld overseen by a notorious figure known as ‘The Guvnor’ who epitomises every cliche one could apply to a Gangland boss. Through Finn’s incredibly fortuitous rescue of said Guvnor’s drowning child he finds himself in a position of constant peril punctuated by human trafficking, a celebrity chef, a Death Row killer, a German hitman, dead actors, psychotic women and many other brilliantly implausible moments of danger. Finn himself has no compunction to rendering dead those stupid enough to take him on but always narrowly avoids any criminal responsibility due to the idiocy of his police nemesis Prendergast who has his own special relationship with the Guvnor. Naturally there is time enough in the plot, between Finn keeping himself alive, for a little teenage dalliance with the mysterious Zoe who is definitely not all that she appears to be, to add to the maelstrom of confusion for our erstwhile hero. Maybe as an adult reader the holes in the plot were too self-evident but I loved the way the author at one point actually draws attention to one particular gaffe asking why a character could turn up in England undetected for which no answer could be offered- yes, how did he turn up in England undetected? But alas this is just one of many questions that go unanswered in terms of plot and luckily for Leonard he does have a secret weapon to rescue the book and that is Finn. I think this characterisation pretty much saves the book from just being compelling tosh and the fact that I read it in a couple of sittings, even though my sensible head was saying “No, that couldn’t possibly happen” bears testament to Finn being its saving grace. There is also a fair smattering of pretty fruity language and raw violence that although is perfectly attuned to the nature of the story line may cause some consternation as to this being marketed as a young adult read (not for the more sensitive teenage reader) and with these more adult themes, the book could work quite well as a crossover as demonstrated by some major names in the crime genre (Reichs, Patterson, Coben et al) who are also tapping this additional market.

All in all a good read as you cannot help but be strangely drawn to find out what happens next, but a book that may make you question why you want to!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Free (99p in UK) Kindle of Sweet Venom

As I'm in the UK I can't actually see the kindle price of Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs in the US Amazon store but I understand it is free at the moment, and it's just 99p in UK Amazon.

Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they’re triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful Gorgon maligned in myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Published in December 2012

Here are some of the teenage/YA titles that are being published in the UK in December 2012. I will put a link to this post and previous and subsequent "monthly" lists in my sidebar. January's list is here,  February's is here, March's is here,  April's is here, May's is here, June's is here, July's is here, August's is here, September's is here, October's is here and November's is here.

I have tried to identify all the British authors which I hope will be useful to those doing Kirsty's British Books Challenge at The Overflowing Library (please let me know of any errors or omissions).

This is still a work-in-progress so I'll continue to update it during the month. 
Anna Godbersen - The Lucky Ones (15th, HarperCollins, HB)
Amanda Hocking - Lullaby (6th, Tor, pb)
Nancy Holder & Debbi Viguie - Wolf Springs Chronicles: Hot Blooded: Book 2 (6th, Doubleday Childrens, pb)
Lauren Kate - Fallen in Love (20th, Corgi Childrens, pb)
Annabel Pitcher - Ketchup Clouds (27th, Indigo, HB) British Author
Sarah Shepard - Burned (4th, ATOM, pb)
Sarah Silverwood - The London Stone (6th, Indigo, pb) British Author

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

New Titles from Faber - Jan-June 2013

Here are the YA titles Faber's publishing between January and June 2013, based on their catalogue. I've only included blurbs from the books that aren't sequels as to avoid spoilers for the earlier titles.


Abyss by Tricia Rayburn (aka Dark Water, #3 in Siren trilogy)


Butter by Eric Lange

You think I eat a lot now? That’s nothing. Tune in December 31st, when I will stream a live webcast of my last meal. Death row inmates get one. Why shouldn’t I? I can’t take another year in this fat suit, but I can end this year with a bang. If you can stomach it, you’re invited to watch . . . as I eat myself to death.

So starts Butter, the story of a lonely 423-pound boy everyone calls ‘Butter’. Worse than being ridiculed for his size at high school, he is simply ignored. Desperate, he pledges to eat himself to death live on the Internet – and everyone will watch. When he makes this announcement online, he expects pity, insults, or possibly sheer indifference. Instead, his classmates become morbid cheerleaders for his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline?

Readers will be surprised to find themselves identifying with both the bullied . . . and the bullies in this darkly humorous, powerful story about fitting in, self-confidence, and surviving school.


The Cusp by Ross Montgomery

What is the Cusp? No one really knows, because no one can cross it. Twelve years ago, the last Official Expedition across the Cusp and into the Forbidden Land ended in disaster when the great explorer Alex Jennings returned completely mad, thinking he was a dog.

Now Alex Jennings has escaped from hospital, repeating the word ‘squiggles’ over and over again. And Davidus Kyte, the new and extremely evil Head of Expeditions, is after his son – also called Alex Jennings. Kyte is convinced the boy knows the meaning of ‘squiggles’, what it was that his father found beyond the Cusp, and the real reason why dogs can cross it but people can’t.

But Alex is only a small and slightly useless boy in a very ugly knitted jumper. So with the help of Martha, a girl with unfeasibly sharp teeth, and Arnauld, a talking dog, he dodges out of Kyte’s clutches and embarks on an extraordinary adventure across the Forbidden Land. Along the way, together they learn the meaning of love, life, and the dreadful secret behind the word ‘squiggles’ . . .

Funny, heartwarming, surreal and tender, The Cusp is an exceptional debut from Ross Montgomery.

The Storm by Alexander Gordon Smith (sequel to The Fury)

The Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale

Evie’s shattered ribs have been a secret for the last four years. Now she has found the strength to tell her adoptive parents, and the physical traces of her past are fixed. The only remaining signs are a scar on her side and a fragment of bone taken home from the hospital, which her uncle Ben helps her to carve into a dragon as a sign of her strength.

Soon this ivory talisman begins to come to life at night, offering wisdom and encouragement in roaming dreams of smoke and moonlight that come to feel ever more real. As Evie grows stronger there remains one problem her new parents can’t fix for her: a revenge that must be taken. And it seems that the Dragon is the one to take it.

This subtly unsettling novel is told from the viewpoint of a fourteen-yearold girl damaged by a past she can’t talk about, in a hypnotic narrative that, while giving increasing insight, also becomes increasingly unreliable. A blend of psychological thriller and fairytale, The Bone Dragon explores the fragile boundaries between real life and fantasy, and the darkest corners of the human mind.


The Fall by Claire Merle (sequel to The Glimpse)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Publishing Deal - Kami Garcia

One exciting publishing deal after another this week, with yesterday's announcement of a solo deal for Kami Garcia. From the press release sent out by Simon & Schuster:
Simon & Schuster signs first solo series from Beautiful Creatures co-author

28th November 2012, London—Simon and Schuster Children’s Books today announced the acquisition of Beautiful Creatures co-author Kami Garcia’s first solo YA novels.

Kami Garcia has shot to fame for her bestselling Beautiful Creatures series, co-written with Margaret Stohl. The movie adaptation will be released in February 2013, starring Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons, Emmy Rossum and Alice Englert, and the publishing programme for the series is ongoing.

Venetia Gosling, Editorial Director at Simon & Schuster UK, has bought UK & Commonwealth rights, including ebook and audio, from Angharad Kowal at Writer’s House in two books in Garcia’s Legion series, her first solo novels. A film adaptation of the series is already in development with Mark Morgan, the producer of The Twilight saga and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.

In the first book, Unbreakable, seventeen-year-old Kennedy Waters’ whole life changes the night she comes home to find her mother dead, and two mysterious twins breaking into her house, saying they are trying to save her from a murderous vengeful spirit. Kennedy learns that she is the fifth member of a secret society, The Legion of the Black Dove, formed 200 years ago to protect the world from a powerful demon determined to find a way out of his dimension and into ours. Kennedy and the twins, Lukas and Jared, are joined by Priest, a teenage engineer who designs ghost-hunting weapons, and Alara, a girl trained in voodoo arts, and the five teens race to find the pieces of the shift, a device they believe will help them destroy the demon. But each piece of the shift is located in a place more terrifying than the last, and the teens must battle their own personal demons to find them, even as Kennedy fights her feelings for two very different boys, who look exactly alike. Suspense, romance and dark paranormal forces meet in this frightening and thrilling urban fantasy.

The Legion series has already sold in Italy, Germany, France and Brazil, with Little, Brown as the US publisher. Unbreakable will publish as a paperback original in Autumn 2013, with the second title in the series following in Autumn 2014.

Gosling says: “I loved Unbreakable – it’s page-turning and frightening and absolutely gripping and I’m desperate to know what happens in the second book! It’s also incredibly visual, and I can absolutely see why it has been optioned for film. With this new series launch, as well as the film of Beautiful Creatures hitting cinemas in February, Kami is guaranteed a big year in 2013, and we’re delighted to be part of it as we launch the Legion series on the S&S list.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Publishing Deal - Maureen Johnson

Big news was announced yesterday that Maureen Johnson is moving to Hot Key Books from Harper Collins. Hot Key will publish books 3 and 4 in the Shades of London series and several earlier works. Here're the highlights from the press release:


Hot Key Books Editorial Director Sara O’Connor has completed a multi-book deal with The New York Times bestselling YA author Maureen Johnson: three books in the SUITE SCARLETT series, and the final two books in THE SHADES OF LONDON series, currently published in the UK by HarperCollins. At the same time, Hot Key has acquired Johnson’s debut novel THE KEY TO THE GOLDEN FIREBIRD,
never before published in the UK.

Hot Key Books announced the acquisition with a fan-targeted series of video blogs and ‘We Stare Because We Care’ social media campaign – a tongue-in-cheek play on Maureen’s own Twitter description: ‘There's a fine line between good eye contact and the piercing stare of a psychopath. Maureen is on the wrong side of it.’ Fans will be challenged to submit their best stare to win a place
in a Google Hangout with Maureen.

Maureen Johnson says: "I am thrilled to be joining Hot Key Books. I love what they are doing, and I think they are going to be an extremely exciting voice for YA books in the UK. I spend a lot of time in the UK, and being there means a lot to me. I've been practicing the language to fit in: Petrol! Nandos! Twitching! ASBO! Top Gear! I feel READY for this!"

Sara O’Connor says: “Maureen is hilarious, generous and a great spokesperson for teen reading. We can’t wait to celebrate her reign as Queen of Teen in ever more entertaining ways with her fans.”

Hot Key Books acquired the SCARLETT and SHADES UK and Commonwealth rights from KT Literary via RightsMix, and will publish the five titles over the next two years, with the new titles launching
simultaneously with the US editions. THE KEY TO THE GOLDEN FIREBIRD was acquired from Jean McGInley at HarperCollins.

Here's more on the competition.
Maureen Johnson's website is here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson

Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson (August 2011, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, ISBN: 0857071955)

Review: Hunting Lila is the first in a two book series featuring Lila Loveday. Seventeen-year-old Lila has the ability to move things with her mind and a run in with two muggers leaves her shaken when she almost blinds one of them. Fleeing the home she shares with her Dad in London, she crosses the Atlantic to be with her older brother Jack and his best friend (and secret love of her life) Alex in California. The boys, who are four years older, are in the Marines working on a top-secret project.

Lila is struck by the security in Jack's house and is soon under constant watch herself by either Jack or Alex (not such a problem there...). Alex eventually reveals that they are working to capture the people who killed her mother five years ago when the family lived in Washington. Lila continues to dig for information and is then approached by a stranger asking for her help. Then all hell breaks loose and Alex and Lila go on the run to escape both the alleged bad guys and the good guys who may actually be bad guys as well.

Alex, Jack and Lila are reunited briefly but then they are trapped and trade-off is arranged and Lila gets to find out the truth about why her mother was killed and by whom. A further exchange of information puts everything she thought she knew in doubt.

Hunting Lila is a very enjoyable love-story/thriller (with shades of X-Men) with a gorgeous, strong bloke (with a gooey centre) and a tough yet vulnerable beautiful female lead who have known each other forever but are finding it hard to say how they feel about each other until it's almost too late. The story twists and turns so you're not sure who are the bad guys and who are the good and ends with such an unexpected reveal that you'll want to grab Losing Lila ASAP!

[Losing Lila also contains a short story from Alex's point of view, The Moment. Also available is the short story Catching Suki, set before Hunting Lila but which should preferably be read after Hunting Lila, which can be downloaded via Sarah Alderson's website.]

Friday, November 23, 2012

Publishing Deal - Allen Zadoff

News in today's Bookseller that Orchard Books have picked up a trilogy from Allen Zadoff:
Orchard Books has acquired a YA trilogy by US author Allen Zadoff it is billing as "Jason Bourne meets James Bond for teens".

The series follows a brainwashed teenage assassin, with the first title, Boy Nobody, to be published simultaneously with the US in June 2013. 

Boy Nobody is "a young soldier trained not to feel", working for The Program, a shadowy government organisation that uses brainwashed kids as counter-espionage operatives. But somewhere inside Boy Nobody is "the boy he once was".

Read the whole article here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Publishing Deal - David Levithan

David Levithan has signed a deal with Electric Monkey for Every Day. See this press release in yesterday's Booktrade:
Electric Monkey will publish David Levithan's YA novel EVERY DAY in July 2013. Publisher Stella Paskins bought two David Levithan books.

EVERY DAY published in the US in September reaching the New York Times bestsellers list. It tells the story of A, who wakes up in the body of a different person every day. It's all fine until A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon, someone he finally wants to be with day after day.

David Levithan said: "Every Day has had such an amazing impact here in the US, and I'm so excited to have Electric Monkey bringing it to life for UK audiences."
Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: Student by David Belbin

Student by David Belbin (September 2012, Five Leaves Publications, ISBN: 1907869530)

Notes: The following review is written by Sarah Ward who reviews crime fiction at Crimepieces.

Review: The three years at university can be life changing experience for many students. Friendships are forged and long-term relationships begin before students are let out into the wide world of work. But is can also be a disorientating time, when fragile confidence is easily shattered and there are bewildering new hurdles to cross every day. David Belbin’s book Student recounts the experience of Allison, who comes from a town near Liverpool and takes up a place at university in Nottingham. We see her troubles and adventures from the day of her A-level results to the end of her final exams.

On the day of her A-level results, Allison has to fend off a sex attack by a friend’s father. This sets the tone of the book – Allison is both bewildered and disgusted by the attack and the reader is left with the impression of Alison’s fragile sexual confidence. Nevertheless, once at Nottingham, Allison approaches student life with a bravery which is admirable and makes friends, finds lovers and discovers a place for herself in university life.

Belbin is excellent at portraying the often split nature of early student life – the constant shifting of focus between your home town and university accommodation. The loneliness of student life is also well portrayed and how disorientating new experiences can be, especially when they come one after another.

I thought Allison was very well developed as a character and the men in her life, seen through her eyes, were a realistic mixed bunch. The book was developed from a number of short stories written by the author, which was surprising as the novel form flowed very well. Although written for a young adult market, I’m pretty sure this book would appeal to anyone who was ever a student. Most will think themselves lucky that they will never have to go through those years again.

Sarah Ward

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Vincent Boys: New & Uncensored - 99p on Kindle

For a limited period only The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines - a more adult version - is 99p on UK Kindle and iTunes.

Beau Vincent is rude, bad, and dangerous to know. So why can't good girl Ashton Gray keep away from him? She already has the perfect boyfriend - her town's local Prince Charming, Sawyer Vincent. But Sawyer is away for the summer, and in the meantime Ashton is bored, and the heat between her and Beau is undeniable - as well as irresistible. Ashton is about to unleash her bad girl - but what will she do when Sawyer comes home? And how will Sawyer react when he returns to find his girlfriend in the arms of his best friend - and cousin?

THE VINCENT BOYS is a sexy, exciting and enjoyable romp through one steamy Alabama summer.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Poster Time - Finale

Spotted this at my local train station:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Published in November 2012

Here are some of the teenage/YA titles that are being published in the UK in November 2012. I will put a link to this post and previous and subsequent "monthly" lists in my sidebar. January's list is here,  February's is here, March's is here,  April's is here, May's is here, June's is here, July's is here, August's is here, September's is here and October's is here.

I have tried to identify all the British authors which I hope will be useful to those doing Kirsty's British Books Challenge at The Overflowing Library (please let me know of any errors or omissions).

This is still a work-in-progress so I'll continue to update it during the month. 
R J Anderson - Quicksilver (1st, Orchard, pb) (moved to May 13)
Eishes Chayil - Hush (8th, Walker, pb)
Chris Colfer - Struck by Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal (20th, ATOM, pb)
Allie Condie - Reached (30th, Puffin, pb)
Michelle Hodkin - The Evolution of Mara Dyer (1st, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Nancy Holder & Debbie Vigue - Crusade: The Vanquished (8th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Jonathan L Howard - Katya's World (6th, Strange Chemistry, pb) British Author
Julie Kagawa - The Lost Prince (2nd, Mira Ink, pb)
Katherine Marsh - Jepp, Who Defied the Stars (1st, Hot Key Books, pb)
Robert Muchamore - One Shot Kill 92nd, Hodder, pb) British Author
Alyson Noel - The Soul Seekers: Echo (22nd, Macmillan Children's Books, pb)
Gabriella Poole - Lost Spirits (1st, Hodder, pb) British Author
Sarah Prineas - Winterling (8th, Quercus, pb)
Sara Shepard - Pretty Little Secrets (1st, ATOM, pb) (7th, Puffin, pb)
Sara Shepard - Stunning (1st, ATOM, pb)
L J Smith - Destiny Rising (1st, Hodder, pb)
Laini Taylor - Days of Blood and Starlight (8th, Hodder, HB)

Cover Theme - The Girl in a Black Dress

Spot the difference?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Review: Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer (July 2012, Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN: 1444740962)

Review: Between the Lines is a joint production by best-seller author Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer. It's a fairytale about a fairytale.

Fifteen-year-old Delilah has an unhappy school-life after accidentally hurting the most popular cheerleader. She has one best friend and lives with her mum after their dad left them to have a second wife and family. She is obsessed with the fairytale book Between the Lines which she found in the school library, and relates to the handsome prince, Oliver, as he also has no father. What she doesn't know, at first, is that the characters in the book lead their own lives when not being read and Oliver wants out of the story and into Delilah's world. Up until now no-one has been able to hear Oliver's pleas until Delilah notices that a drawing has changed in the book. And then Oliver is able to communicate with her. They then spend all available time trying to work out how Oliver can join Delilah.

The story alternates between the point of view of Oliver, Delilah and excerpts from the fairytale which Oliver is enacting over and over again.

The first thing to mention is how gorgeous the book is. It has a pretty cover of course but it also has thick paper and beautiful full-page colour illustrations at the beginning of the excerpts and smaller black illustrations throughout the text. The only thing missing is a built in silk-bookmark.

I enjoyed Between the Lines. It's probably aimed at the younger end of the teenage age-rage and is charming and I enjoyed the humour in it. I found the pace flagged temporarily about half-way as one attempt after another failed to extract Oliver and I began to muse on some of what I thought were inconsistencies in his knowledge, but that's probably just me. I loved the fairytale that Oliver was in which has some unusual elements and the fact that the characters had completely different personalities when they weren't “on-stage”. This was a good story idea and I look forward to more YA books from the authors either singularly or jointly.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Film News: The Bone Season

Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season isn't released until next August but has been snapped up by Imaginarium:

Performance Capture Studio Founded by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish secure rights to “The Bone Season” and “Animal Farm”
London, England – October 22, 2012 – London-based performance capture studio The Imaginarium has secured the film rights to the highly anticipated book series The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon as well as the film rights to adapt George Orwell’s seminal novel Animal Farm, it was announced today by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish, founders of The Imaginarium. 
“The dystopian world created by Samantha in The Bone Season series offers a fantastic setting for a truly extraordinary and thrilling narrative,” said Serkis.   “We are honoured that she chose to collaborate with us in the adaptation of her work.”
“Samantha has created a compelling and unique world and a gripping story crafted to span a series of novels.  The Bone Season offers the opportunity to create a dynamic franchise with global appeal,” adds Cavendish.
Scheduled for publication on August 20, 2013, by Bloomsbury, The Bone Season was acquired during the London Book Fair in a pre-emptive bid by the publisher.
"Samantha Shannon is an extraordinarily talented writer. The Bone Season is a startling combination of a unique literary voice, a fully conceived, terrifying parallel world and a narrative pace that grips like a vice,” said Alexandra Pringle, Bloomsbury editor-in-chief. 
 “I am thrilled to be working with The Imaginarium,” said Shannon.  “Their name had me from the start: a place devoted to imagination.  There is a strong, visual sensibility to my writing process and I am very excited by the creative possibilities for how The Bone Season could translate from page to screen.  I am confident that all the members of the Imaginarium team are as passionate about the book as I am and I look forward to working with them to make this project a reality.” 
In addition to The Bone Season, The Imaginarium has negotiated the rights for a feature film adaptation of George Orwell’s classic tale, Animal Farm.  
“Both The Bone Season and Animal Farm are perfectly suited to the Imaginarium,” said Cavendish.  “With Animal Farm, we will reinvent this iconic story for a new generation, using the unique storytelling techniques offered by performance capture. The acquisition of these two projects marks an exciting time for all us at The Imaginarium.”
Serkis and Cavendish will serve as producers on The Bone Season; Serkis will direct and act in Animal Farm and produce along with Cavendish. 
The Imaginarium is represented by CAA and Larry Taube, Principle LA Entertainment; publishing and films rights for The Bone Season and Ms. Shannon were handled by David Godwin Associates, UK (DGA, Ltd.).
"We are delighted to officially announce our involvement in bringing this classic yet controversial fable to life, hopefully allowing it to resonate for our times with a combination of a fresh perspective, real emotional heart, a great deal of humor and satire," said Serkis.   "By utilizing performance capture, a deeply talented and committed cast of actors will be able to explore and fully inhabit Orwell's fairy tale world where 'some animals are more equal than others.' "
Established in 2011 by actor/director Andy Serkis and producer Jonathan Cavendish, The Imaginarium harnesses the power of performance capture to fuel a new generation of storytelling in film, television and videogames.  The Imaginarium’s central London studio base acts as magnet to the international film community as well as providing a development and production base for writers, filmmakers and creative visionaries from all over the world.
The Bone Season begins in 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of London. Paige is a clairvoyant, and in this future world, clairvoyance is forbidden and Paige is committing high treason. Attacked, kidnapped, and transported to Oxford, a city that has been kept secret for two hundred years, she meets Warden, a Rephaite with dark honey skin and heavy-lidded yellow eyes. He is the single most beautiful and frightening thing she has ever laid eyes on—and he will become her keeper. 

Born in 1991, Samantha Shannon was raised in West London, where she started her first novel at the age of fifteen. She is currently studying for a degree in English Language and Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford. The Bone Season is the first in a projected series of seven novels.
First published in 1945, George Orwell’s allegorical tale Animal Farm has been hailed by TIME magazine as one of the best 100 English-language novels (1923-2005), is currently listed at number 31 on the Modern Library List of the 20th Century’s best novels and was awarded a retrospective Hugo Award in 1996. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Amazon Kindle Bargains

I've just come across a few bargains in the UK Kindle store. Not sure for how long they'll be this cheap!

Ali Cronin - Girl Heart Boy: No Such Thing as Forever (Book 1) 49p

Ally Condie - Matched 99p

Lauren Conrad - Sugar & Spice £1.49

Lots of Simon & Schuster bargains:

Unrest by Michelle Harrison (Kindle Edition -26 Apr 2012) - Kindle eBook

Fury by Elizabeth Miles (Kindle Edition -8 Sep 2011) - Kindle eBook

Tithe by Holly Black (Kindle Edition -27 Sep 2012) - Kindle eBook

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle (Kindle Edition -26 Apr 2012) - Kindle eBook

Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Kindle Edition -2 Feb 2012) - Kindle eBook

Private by Kate Brian (Kindle Edition -11 Oct 2012) - Kindle eBook

Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson (Kindle Edition -4 Aug 2011) - Kindle eBook

The Demon's Lexicon (Demons) by Sarah Rees Brennan (Kindle Edition -18 Feb 2010) - Kindle eBook

UnStrung by Neal Shusterman (Kindle Edition -15 Aug 2012) - Kindle eBook

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda (Kindle Edition -10 May 2012) - Kindle eBook

Dead & Gone by Jonathan Maberry (Kindle Edition -15 Aug 2012) - Kindle eBook

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (Kindle Edition -3 Mar 2011) - Kindle eBook

Stitches by Daniel Waters (Kindle Edition -15 Aug 2012) - Kindle eBook

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (Kindle Edition -10 Nov 2010) - Kindle eBook

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles (Kindle Edition -27 Oct 2011) - Kindle eBook

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles (Kindle Edition -5 Jul 2012) - Kindle eBook

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles (Kindle Edition -10 Nov 2011) - Kindle eBook

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cover Theme - Girl in Blue

The levitating girl in blue is such a striking image, I'm not surprised it's popular:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review: Passion by Lauren Kate (audio book)

Passion by Lauren Kate and read by Justine Eyre (June 2011, RHCB Audio, ISBN: 9781846577444 )

Notes: May contain spoilers for the previous books in the Fallen series.

Review: Passion is the third book in the Fallen series about Lucinda (Luce) Price and fallen angel Daniel. Lucinda's soul has had many previous incarnations but each time when she and Daniel have fallen in love, Luce has died around the age of seventeen. This time around she's still alive; she's broken the curse it seems. Passion explains more about the creating and breaking of the curse.

At the end of Torment, Luce was fleeing for her life and from her situation by diving into a shadow (an announcer). In her current life she is now able to control the announcers and travel through them in time. In Passion, Luce visits several of her previous lives going deeper back in time. She meets a small (flying) gargoyle called Bill in one of her announcers and he joins her and offers guidance (as well as period clothing).

Luce's quest is to see how much and why Daniel loves her and also to break the curse once for and all and she has to witness 'herself' dying again and again.

Meanwhile Daniel and an assortment of Angels, Demons and Nephilim are searching for Luce through time, meeting their own selves at times, until finally Daniel goes back to the beginning...

Passion answers some of the questions about Luce and Daniel and hints at why she is so important to both the Angels and Demons. We find out about the Fall and how Cam ended up on the opposite side to Daniel and though the story doesn't end on quite the personal cliff-hanger of Torment it sets up a mighty global problem to be resolved in Rapture.

I enjoyed Passion more than I thought I would as it seemed like it would be a bit repetitive with Luce going to a time period and Daniel would miss her by a few hours and so on, but enough different information was revealed at each stop to keep the attention. Bill is a humorous character and made things more entertaining. I did prefer the non Luce bits though which revealed more about Daniel and his colleagues. There was one icky part which involved beheadings which I thought was a bit scary!

Justine Eyre continues her excellent performance of this series with readily identifiable voices for the main characters.

I'm eagerly awaiting the library's purchase of the audio book of the final book, Rapture.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Free eBook: The Revenge of the Praying Mantis

For a limited period only, Jane Prowse is giving away an ebook of The Revenge of the Praying Mantis at her website.

"Free eBook giveaway only available until Hattori Hachi has reached at least one person in every country in the world..!"

Hattie Jackson is just an ordinary fifteen-year-old - until her mother disappears and Hattie's life is turned upside down. With the help of her friends Mad Dog and Neena, Hattie discovers the truth about her mother's 'other life' and the role she must now take on to defeat a terrifying army of evil Ninjutsu warriors, led by Praying Mantis - the most deadly assassin of all ...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Review: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (June 2012, Simon & Schuster UK, ISBN: 0857207237)

Review: I've been so looking forward to reading The Age of Miracles after the publishing deal was announced and it didn't disappoint.

The story is told in retrospect by Julia who tells the reader about what happened when she was 11 and the year following it. Set about ten years in the future, it is revealed by scientists that the earth's rotation is slowing. Just a few minutes at first but with no obvious cause and the days continue to lengthen. Initially the world copes by sticking to living in the day sleeping in the dark but then a decision is made to stick with a twenty-four hour day, “clock time”, ignoring the light/darkness issue. A splinter group forms of “real timers” who try and stick to the sleep/dark, live/light routine which causes discontent. The “slowing” begins to affect the plants and animals and then humans...

Meanwhile Julia's life undergoes significant milestones – the change in friendships, the possibility of first love, loss and loneliness and disappointments.

The Age of Miracles is an adult fiction book which can be read by teenagers, no problem but will appeal more to an older audience I think, one that has had a few years of life experience and to whom age eleven is a nostalgic while ago!

It has a conversational and matter of fact tone which draws you in and you just want to read a bit more. There is a science-fiction backdrop but this is a coming-of-age story and the things that happen to Julia may have happened without the catalyst of the slowing but the danger the earth and the human race is in, ups the pressures on everyone.

I really loved The Age of Miracles and it's one that's stayed with me. I look forward to seeing what Karen Thompson Walker writes next.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Published in October 2012

Here are some of the teenage/YA titles that are being published in the UK in October 2012. I will put a link to this post and previous and subsequent "monthly" lists in my sidebar. January's list is here, February's is here, March's is here, April's is here, May's is here, June's is here, July's is here, August's is here and September's is here.

I have tried to identify all the British authors which I hope will be useful to those doing Kirsty's British Books Challenge at The Overflowing Library (please let me know of any errors or omissions).

This is still a work-in-progress so I'll continue to update it during the month. 
Gennifer Albin - Crewel (18th, Faber and Faber, pb)
Stefan Bachmann - The Peculiar (20th, HarperCollins, HB)
Cyn Balog - Starstruck (9th, Ember, pb)
Holly Black - Red Glove (4th, Indigo, pb)
Malorie Blackman - Untitled (25th, Doubleday Childrens, pb) British Author
Cylin Busby - Blink Once (11th, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb)
Kate Cann - Witch Crag (4th, Scholastic, pb) British Author
PC & Kristen Cast - Hidden (16th, ATOM, HB)
Cassandra Rose Clarke - The Assassins Curse (4th, Strange Chemistry, pb)
Harlan Coben - Seconds Away (11th, Indigo, HB)
Kresley Cole - The Poison Princess: The Arcana Chronicles (2nd, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, HB)
Lauren Conrad - Fame Game: Starstruck (16th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, HB)
Susy Cox - The Dead Girls Detective Agency (20th, HarperCollins, pb)
Ali Cronin - Girl Heart Boy: Rumour Has It (4th, Puffin, pb) British Author
Sarah Crossan - Breathe (11th, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb)
Sean Cummings - Poltergeeks (4th, Strange Chemistry, pb)
Steven Deas - The King's Assassin (18th, Gollancz, pb) BA
Joseph Delaney - The Spook's Blood (25th, Bodley Head, HB) British Author
Paul Dowswell - Eleven Eleven (11th, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb) BA
Catherine Fisher - The Obsidian Mirror (4th, Hodder Children's Books, pb) BA
Becca Fitzpatrick - Finale (25th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, HB)
Michelle Gagnon - Don't Turn Around (20th, HarperCollins, HB)
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl - Beautiful Redemption (25th, Puffin, pb)
Susan Gates - Viridian (11th, A & C Black Publishers Ltd, pb) British Author
Michael Grant & Katherine Applegate - Eve & Adam (1st, Egmont, pb)
Anthony Horowitz - Oblivion (4th, Walker, HB) British Author
Stephen Kelman - Pigeon English (11th, Bloomsbury Publishing, pb) British Author
Krystyna Kuhn - The Crash (4th, ATOM, pb)
Theo Lawrence - Mystic City (11th, Corgi Childrens, pb)
Jonathan Maberry - Flesh & Bone (25th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Gemma Malley - The Killables (11th, Hodder, pb) British Author
Simon Mayo - Itch (25th, Corgi Childrens, pb) British Author
Stephenie Meyer & Young Kim - New Moon Graphic Novel Part 1 (30th, ATOM, pb)
Christopher Ould - Knock Down (1st, Usborne Publishing Ltd, pb) British Author
Christopher Paolini - Inheritance (25th, Corgi Childrens, pb)
James Patterson - Daniel X: Armageddon (18th, Arrow, HB)
Kathy Reichs - Seizure (11th, Arrow, pb)
L B Schulman - League of Strays (1st, Amulet Books, HB)
Sarah Shepard - Ruthless (4th, ATOM, pb)
Sarah Shepard - Twisted (4th, ATOM, pb)
Sarah Shepard - Hide and Seek (11th, ATOM, pb)
Gena Showalter - Alice in Zombieland (5th, MIRA Ink, pb)
Joss Stirling - Seeking Crystal (4th, OUP Oxford, pb) British Author
Tamara Ireland Stone - Time Between Us (25th, Doubleday Childrens, pb)
Linda Strachan - Don't Judge Me (31st, Strident Publishing Limited, pb) BA
Lydia Syson - A World Between US (4th, Hot Key Books, pb) British Author
Chris Wooding - The Iron Jackal (4th, Indigo, pb) British Author

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter (July 2012, Orchard, ISBN: 1408316226)

Review: Uncommon Criminals is the sequel to Heist Society, a series about Kat Bishop, a fifteen-year-old thief with principles. Since Heist Society, Kat has been on her own doing a fe jobs which involve re-stealing stolen property and returning it to its rightful owners. Returning to New York, her best friend (and soulmate if she'd just realise it!) Hale is not happy with her but they soon have a new job. They are approached by the rightful owner of the Cleopatra Emerald, which is soon to be displayed in New York, leaving its home in Europe and asked to steal it back for her.

One of the family's rules is not to try to steal the Cleopatra but Kat decides to do it anyway, despite the fact that it's cursed) and is supported by her “crew” of Hale, cousin Gabriella and IT whiz Simon.

The mission to steal the Cleopatra goes both well and badly and the fall-out leaves Kat uncertain about herself and her ability to lead. The adventure then takes them to Europe and in particular Monte Carlo, showcased in the famous Grace Kelly/Cary Grant film, the appropriately named, To Catch a Thief* where they have to plan and execute their most difficult heist so far.

Uncommon Criminals has some exciting and breathtaking set pieces and some progression in the Kat-Hale would-be romance but it is also about Kat and her chosen path. She sees how she could become and that she is fallible. There is plenty of humour and twists and turns in this fast-paced romp and I'm looking forward to Perfect Scoundrels which is out in the UK in February 2013.

*showing on Film4 on Sunday 23rd September at 5.05pm.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris

Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris (June 2012, Harper Collins Children's Books, ISBN: 000746021X)

Review: It's the end of the summer holidays and seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner has just finished her last life-guarding shift. When she gets to her car, she find it's been graffitied and two tyres are slashed. She knows it's the work of the ex-girlfriend of Janelle's maybe boyfriend Nick.

Mid phone-call to her best friend and neighbour Alex, Janelle is run over by a truck coming from nowhere. She dies. For a few seconds. Then Ben Michaels heals her, though he later denies it and no-one will believe her. Ben Michaels has been in her classes for years but why has she never noticed how smart and gorgeous he is, until now?

Janelle's father and uber X-Files fan is a high ranking FBI agent in San Diego and Janelle and Alex often secretly go through his files at home. While she is trying to find out information on her accident - where did the truck come from with its unidentified and dead driver - she discovers that what is probably a bomb counting down, with 24 days left, and the FBI cannot disarm it.

Janelle and Alex do their own research into the bomb and a series of deaths from radiation and Janelle also gets closer to Ben and his two closest friends and finds out their secrets.

A shocking incident raises the stakes for Janelle and it becomes difficult for her to know whom she can trust...

It's best not to know too much about the plot going into Unravelling. If I had to give it a strap-line, I'd say very loosely Veronica Mars meets Roswell, with a strong female lead investigating together with a romance of the intensity of Roswell's Max and Liz (as well as a similar beginning to their romance). As well as it being an action packed race against the clock, there are a couple of heartbreaking and unexpected moments which really got to me. The guideline on the back is 13+ and maybe I'm overreacting but this could be quite an upsetting read for some teenagers. I rattled through Unravelling; there are quite a few short chapters amongst the longer ones which keeps the pages flipping over. There are plenty of surprises and Janelle is a great character, clever, witty and capable and I loved her relationship with Ben.

The sequel, Unbreakable is scheduled for April 2013 and I'm looking forward to it.