Thursday, April 30, 2009

Frostbite by Richelle Mead - Review

As soon as I finished Vampire Academy, I turned directly to Frostbite, the second in this series, as I was not ready to leave them just yet.

To recap: Rose is a dhampir, training to be her best friend Lissa’s guardian. In Frostbite a vicious attack by the Strigoi has put St Vladimir’s on alert. So they are staying together for Christmas break at a very well guarded ski resort. And among the many Guardians now swarming the school is Rose’s famous mother, Janine.

That’s all Rose needs – her estranged mother to complicate her already complicated life. As if having a crush on her mentor Dimitri isn’t enough, an old friend of his who he seems very close to is pursuing him. Should she date her friend Mason to get over Dimitri? And how is Adrian able to invade her dreams? On top of all this, three of her friends break out of school to go looking for the Strigoi vampires, and she knows it really is her fault.

Life just gets more and more complicated for Rose and this series gets better and better. Shadow Kiss next of course!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Waiting for Wednesday

The Waiting on Wednesday idea came from Jill at Breaking the Spine and as I was thinking about all the fabulous books I'm waiting not very ptiently for, I realized it was obvious which book I had to talk about this week, given our free download special.

So yes, I'm waiting and waiting for The Sorceress by Michael Scott. The third in the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series. Nicholas Flamel's heart almost broke as he watched his beloved Paris crumble before him. The city was destroyed by Dee and Machiavelli, but Flamel played his own role in the destruction. Sophie and Josh Newman show every sign of being the twins of prophecy, and Flamel had to protect them and the pages from the Dark Elders.

But Nicholas grows weaker with each passing day. Perenelle is still trapped in Alcatraz, and now that Scatty has gone missing, the group is without protection. Except for Clarent — the twin sword to Excalibur. But Clarent’s power is unthinkable, its evil making it nearly impossible to use without its darkness seeping into the soul of whoever wields it.

If he hopes to defeat Dee, Nicholas must find an Elder who can teach Josh and Sophie the third elemental magic — Water Magic. The problem? The only one who can do that is Gilgamesh, and he is quite, quite insane.

It is such a good series. May 26th just can't come soon enough for me.

Download a Free Copy of The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

I am so excited about this competition . From now until May 8th you can go to the Random House web site (click here) to download a free copy of The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. Kepler's is one of the participating retailers to offer this free download so make sure you click the Kepler's Books pdf when you go there.

I loved, loved, loved this book and am eagerly awaiting the third in the series, The Sorceress (and so far have not seen an arc anywhere!)

So don't wait, take advantage of this great offer and download The Alchemyst before May 8th. You be glad you did.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nancy Redd talks about Body Drama

Many authors come through the doors of Kepler's Books and I wanted to share this video book talk author Nancy Redd made for us about her book Body Drama. It's a great book, a book I wish I had as a teen, and I'm happy to share it with all of you.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Carter Finally Gets It - Review

Carter Finally Gets It
By Brent Crawford

This perfectly-titled, frantically funny book tells the tale of young Everydude, Carter, who’s just starting high school full of attitude, testosterone and social clumsiness. He wants fit in, to be known. He wants to meet girls. He joins the football team, demos his best diving stunts, joins the conversation. Invariably he starts out well, but he like, you know, loses focus, deviates, not through lack of talent, but, um like, because of his like wondering, empathic, inquiring mind which darts from this to that, him to her. Call him distractible; call him ADD; Call him A-D-O-L-E-C-E-N-T B-O-Y. But by whatever name, he misses the field goal, loses the girl, falls flat, gets slapped.

The day does dawn, however, when opportunity calls and Carter’s kind, optimistic heart responds. It shoves him in quintessentially impulsive Carter style into the audition of/for his life. Spoiler alert!-- He gets the role; He gets the girl; and finally, he “gets” himself.

Get this book. You know this guy. ‘Gotta love him.
Reviewed by Vivian

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead - Review

Richelle Mead is coming to Kepler's on May 6 so I wanted to read Vampire Academy before then. And actually it's a little surprising that I haven't read before (maybe it's the cover?) But how could I have waited so long? It's fabulous. Quite, quite fabulous. And Frostbite - and of course I went straight on to read Frostbite - is better. Shadow Kiss tomorrow for me...does that tell you how much I liked the series?

That said, on to the review. What would you do to protect your best friend? In Rose’s world there are two types of vampires: Moroi or mortal vampires and Strigoi, fierce and immortal vampires. Rose is a dhampir, half human half vampire, in training to protect Lissa, her best friend, who is a Moroi princess.

After two years on the run, Rose and Lissa are captured and brought back to St. Vladimir’s to finish their training. But is Lissa in danger? Her special abilities mark her as a target, both for ridicule and danger.

This book has everything: secret powers, forbidden love, problems with ex-boyfriends, vindictive peers, school gossip, and the problems of popularity. A page turner that is both different and dangerous, with a strong likable heroine you cheer for. One of the best vampire series around.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gil Lawson

I was lucky enough to be in the store when graphic novel author Gil Lawson dropped by to sign copies of his book Charlatan: Preludes.

Here's the product description of the book:
Would you sacrifice the only thing in the universe that means anything to you in order to save the universe? This is the difficult choice facing Augie Halford when his only child is chosen by an alien race to become The One Defender, the supreme protector of the universe. Evil forces have coalesced into a form that now threatens the future of all creation and, as it has happened since the dawn of time, a new champion has been selected to defend the innocent. But The One Defender has never before been a human and as the alien keepers of this ancient selection ritual are about to learn...humans often have a mind of their own.

Sounds great and, of course, I took the opportunity to ask him to do a video book talk about Charlatan: Preludes for us. And here it is:

Thanks Gil

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ABA Indies Choice Book Awards

The American Booksellers Association has announced the winners of the inaugural Indies Choice Book Awards (formerly the Book Sense Book of the Year Awards). The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman was named Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book, and the five Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Honor Books were:
1. Graceling by Kristin Cashore;
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins;
3. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow;
4. My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger;
5. Savvy by Ingrid Law.

In addition, Sherman Alexie, author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, was named Most Engaging Author.

Great choices. But I would have given it to The Hunger Games!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Waiting for Wednesday

The Waiting on Wednesday idea came from Jill at Breaking the Spine and this week I'd like to tell you about The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan and oh, it looks good.

Product Description: Nick and his brother, Alan, have spent their lives on the run from magic. Their father was murdered, and their mother was driven mad by magicians and the demons who give them power. The magicians are hunting the Ryves family for a charm that Nick's mother stole -- a charm that keeps her alive -- and they want it badly enough to kill again.

Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon's mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase...and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is desperate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long.

Ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Nick starts to suspect that his brother is telling him lie after lie about their past. As the magicians' circle closes in on their family, Nick uncovers the secret that could destroy them all.

If this is not enough look at who is blurbing it:

"The Demon's Lexicon is full of shimmery marvels and bountiful thunder."-- Scott Westerfeld

"Sarah Rees Brennan crafts a twisty tale full of surprises." -- Holly Black

"Witty, dark, and moving, this novel will keep your eyes glued to the pages." -- Cassandra Clare

Sadly it's not released until June 1 but looks worth the wait (not sure of the cover though)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter?

I can't tell you how much I want to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. That said, I just read that Seth Grahame-Smith, the author, has landed a major deal for a presidential biography with added bloodsucking. Yes - the life of Abraham Lincoln, vampire hunter.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies injects zombie warfare into the quiet lives of the Bennet sisters and has proved an unexpected success. It has been so popular, according to aquisition editor Ben Greenberg because it appealed "to Austen fans as well as people who can't stand her writing and would enjoy seeing Mr Darcy have his brain eaten", along with comic readers, humour fans, horror fans, romance fans, and fans of over-the-top grindhouse-style pulp. "The market for something like that is much larger than it might originally seem," he said. Now Grand Central, part of the publishing conglomerate Hachette, has pounced on Grahame-Smith, signing him up for a two-book deal reported to be worth more than half-a-million dollars.

The first book will be Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, "a presidential biography in the vein of a Doris Kearns Goodwin or David McCullough, but repositioning the president as the greatest vampire hunter to walk the earth". Unlike Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, there is no source material, so the novel will be all original writing. "But rather than just toss vampires in wherever he feels, Seth is doing a lot of research to see where they could fit in properly to the actual events of Lincoln's life – from childhood on," said Greenberg. To read more, go here.

Just keeps getting better and better!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman - Review

My colleague, Jessica, loved this book so I'm posting her review here. Sounds fabulous, don't you think?


It is the year of the Rat, and the Rat Dragon is about to ascend to the head of the Dragon Council. Eon is supposed to be a boy nearing his thirteenth birthday, competing among several others for the apprenticeship under the Rat Dragon Master. But in the acidic political environment of ancient China, the truth is as changing and as inconstant as the sands of the Gobi Desert. A dying emperor, his power-hungry, bloodthirsty half-brother, the ruthlessly ambitious Rat Dragon Master, and the thirteenth dragon who has been missing for the past 500 years all want something from Eon, who is really Eona, a crippled sixteen-year-old girl.

This is not a typical fantasy novel. Then again, Eona is not a typical female protagonist either. Refreshing, intelligent, and strikingly written, the book pulls you into a China farther away than the one across the Pacific Ocean -- Goodman immerses you in a world of dragon sorcery and martial arts, set in the treacherous Imperial court with a precarious social hierarchy of eunuchs and would-be tyrants. It's been a long time since I've read a book that I absolutely had to stay up past 1 a.m. to finish.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New direction for Flux

I'm a great fan of Llewellyn Worldwide’s YA imprint, Flux, which has published teen fiction for the past three years (think Lament, Dust of 100 Dogs, etc.) and word is that they are moving in a new direction this fall with the release of its first graphic novel: Black Is for Beginnings. The book is a continuation of Laurie Faria Stolarz’s Blue Is for Nightmares series of four novels, the first of which launched the Flux line in 2006.

Black Is for Beginnings has been adapted by comic-book writer Barbara Kesel and illustrated by Janina Gorrissen. Flux acquisitions editor Brian Farrey intends to expand into new genres “just a little bit more,” and has plans to acquire more fantasy and science fiction, or, as he describes it, “speculative fiction—grounded in the real world, but looking at it through a fantastical lens." Sounds good. To read more, click here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Moon Cast Addition

Michael Sheen, best known for his roles in Frost/Nixon and The Queen, has been added to the cast of New Moon.

Variety reported that Sheen "will portray the leader of the Volturi, an Italy-based coven of vampires," adding that the actor's resume includes playing "a werewolf in all three Underworld films."

New Moon began shooting last month, with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson reprising their Twilight roles as Bella and Edward.

So, what do you think -- good choice? And if not, who would you have preferred?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Book news from London

In the U.K. last Friday, Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer won the WH Smith Children’s Book of the Year prize, given as part of the annual Galaxy British Book Awards, which are informally known as the Nibbies.


At a dinner last week thrown by British prime minister Gordon Brown, President Obama revealed himself as a big Harry Potter fan, telling author J.K. Rowling that he had read all her books himself and to his children. Miss Rowling then received a second presidential seal of approval for the boy wizard from Russia's President Medvedev and his wife Svetlana, who not only admitted to having read the Harry Potter books but also asked for her autograph. See here for more.


British director Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) has signed to direct The Box of Delights, a movie based on John Masefield’s 1935 fantasy novel, about a boy entrusted with a magic box that allows him to travel through time. According to Variety, Brilliant Films is funding development of the feature, which Frank Cottrell Boyce (Millions) is adapting.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr - Review

Because I’m a big fan of Melissa Marr’s work and because I loved both Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange I was so ready to rush headlong back into Aislinn and Seth’s story and was incredibly eager to get my hands on this book. How was Seth going to deal with a girlfriend who is now the Summer Queen, especially as summer draws near and Ash is drawn closer to Kennan? How was Ash going to deal with the changes that were happening to her? How was Donia going to deal with seeing Keenan unable to take his eyes off his queen who, of course, prefers Seth? And ultimately how were they going to prevent Bananach provoking war on Earth?

Melissa Marr takes us back to her beautifully defined world where we find Ash torn and feeling guilty as summer draws her closer and closer to Kennan and Seth so very jealous that Ash is spending so much time with Keenan and saddened that he is so easily hurt by both Ash and his best friend, Niall.

Can they stay friends? Can their relationship survive? Will old allegiances hold as the courts jostle for power? Naturally there are those that will try to manipulate the situation to their advantage but oh, one move can change the whole situation and then everyone’s future is uncertain. But is it a change for the better?

Melissa Marr said that this was to be the middle book in a trilogy about Aislinn and Seth and it feels like it. It reminds you of the events and people you fell in love with in Wicked Lovely and makes you pine for the concluding volume because this world simply won’t get out of my head.

Oh, and I know the ending won't suit everyone, but I really thought it appropriate.

I am still out of town, by the way, which is the reason I'm posting so infrequently. Back end of next week.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Waiting for Wednesday

Well, I loved Gone, by Michael Grant, so it's no shock to anyone that I'm waiting and waiting for the sequel, Hunger.

From the back cover: It's been three months since everyone under the age of fifteen became trapped in the bubble known as the FAYZ. Things have only gotten worse. Food is running out, and each day more kids are developing supernatural abilities. Soon tension rises between those with powers and those without, and when an unspeakable tragedy occurs, chaos erupts. It's the normals against the mutants, and the battle promises to turn bloody.

But something more dangerous lurks. A sinister creature known as the Darkness has begun to call to the survivors in the FAYZ. It needs their powers to sustain its own. When the Darkness calls, someone will answer -- with deadly results.

Can't come soon enough for me!