[ARGHHHH! I had already finished this post and was just tagging it when I accidentally swiped my Logitech mouse’s stupid scroll bar and the page went back and now my post is gone! Now I have to try to recreate this from scratch, from memory. I HATE THAT STUPID OVERSENSITIVE MOUSE.]
Needless to say, I haven’t finished that list as well (although I have completed four entries on it, which is a pretty valiant effort for me) but I couldn’t resist and paid library@orchard another visit. Again, I ended up with another huge book haul.
Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines
Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.
With the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of oak cudgels, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. And his search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic. . .
I first came across this book on some author blog or other and the concept instantly hooked me. It’s about magic from books. And features Gutenberg. The Gutenberg. Y’know, of printing press fame? I mean, this is basically a bibliophile fan service wrapped up in a nice story bundle.
California Bones by Greg Van Eekhout
When Daniel Blackland was six, he ingested his first bone fragment, a bit of kraken spine plucked out of the sand during a visit with his demanding, brilliant, and powerful magician father, Sebastian.
When Daniel was twelve, he watched Sebastian die at the hands of the Hierarch of Southern California, devoured for the heightened magic layered deep within his bones.
Now, years later, Daniel is a petty thief with a forged identity. Hiding amid the crowds in Los Angeles—the capital of the Kingdom of Southern California—Daniel is trying to go straight. But his crime-boss uncle has a heist he wants Daniel to perform: break into the Hierarch’s storehouse of magical artifacts and retrieve Sebastian’s sword, an object of untold power.
For this dangerous mission, Daniel will need a team he can rely on, so he brings in his closest friends from his years in the criminal world. There’s Moth, who can take a bullet and heal in mere minutes. Jo Alverado, illusionist. The multitalented Cassandra, Daniel’s ex. And, new to them all, the enigmatic, knowledgeable Emma, with her British accent and her own grudge against the powers-that-be. The stakes are high, and the stage is set for a showdown that might just break the magic that protects a long-corrupt regime.
Extravagant and yet moving, Greg van Eekhout’s California Bones is an epic adventure set in a city of canals and secrets and casual brutality–different from the world we know, yet familiar and true.
Continuing the mini-theme of unique magic systems, this one is about magic from bones and is the first title in this haul that I’m reading. It’s been a pretty decent read so far, if not particularly engaging. I’m not usually a fan of the Ocean’s Eleven-style heist job story but the concept is keeping me going so far. I just hope it gets real exciting real soon.
Every Day by David Levithan
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.
David Levithan is one of those names that gets bandied about book blogs in hushed awe and this book is supposed to be one of his best so of course I had to grab the (clean) copy when I came across it. I’ve only read one of his books so far and found it just okay but am going to give him another go since he’s so highly raved about.
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Every girl who had taken the test has died.
Now it’s Kate’s turn.
It’s always been just Kate and her mom – and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won’t live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld – and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he’s crazy – until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride and a goddess.
If she fails…
I have no idea how I came across this title and when it got on my TBR list but the concept does sound interesting. I just hope it isn’t one of those romance focused titles with a tinge of fantasy. The Goodreads reviews for this book aren’t too great, though, so it’ll probably be one of the last ones in this pile that I’ll get around to.
Starters by Lissa Price
HER WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVER
Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie’s only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.
He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie’s head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator’s grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . .
This one has been on my TBR list for ages but I’ve never come across a non-gross copy in libraries till now. I haven’t had that great an experience with dystopian titles this year but this one is supposed to be really good so here’s hoping it’ll redeem the genre for me.
The City & The City by China Mieville
Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad finds deadly conspiracies beneath a seemingly routine murder. From the decaying Beszel, he joins detective Qussim Dhatt in rich vibrant Ul Qoma, and both are enmeshed in a sordid underworld. Rabid nationalists are intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists dream of dissolving the two into one.
I know next to nothing about this book (and that brief blurb doesn’t do much to help the case) and the author but I’ve heard great things about Mieville’s writing. I’m not usually a fan of crime and underworld stories but I’ll give this a try, if just to see how good Mieville really is.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
This is the long-awaited first novel from one of the most original and memorable writers working today.
Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd, a New Jersey romantic who dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the fukú — the ancient curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still dreaming of his first kiss, is only its most recent victim – until the fateful summer that he decides to be its last.
With dazzling energy and insight, Junot Díaz immerses us in the uproarious lives of our hero Oscar, his runaway sister Lola, and their ferocious beauty-queen mother Belicia, and in the epic journey from Santo Domingo to Washington Heights to New Jersey’s Bergenline and back again. Rendered with uncommon warmth and humor, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao presents an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and the endless human capacity to persevere – and to risk it all – in the name of love.
A true literary triumph, this novel confirms Junot Díaz as one of the best and most exciting writers of our time.
As I’ve mentioned on this blog more times than I probably should have, I don’t usually go for award winners (this one won the Pulitzer for Best Fiction in 2008) because I’m not fond of post-reading headaches. Still, this one looks relatively simple to grasp and it does sound like a fun read so Imma’ give it a go.
Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.
When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.
Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of Xseries, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.
Richelle Mead is one of those authors that I hear so much about but have never gotten around to reading. The premise of this story looks pretty cool, though so here’s hoping that between her and Lissa Price above I’ll end off 2014 with an upturn in my dystopian checklist.
It looks like my next six weeks (since that’s the maximum loan period from the library) are going to be filled half with my standard go-tos (dystopians and novel fantasy types) and half with books that are out of my comfort zone. It’ll be interesting, to say the least.
Dear reader, what books are you currently reading/plan to read soon?
[all book covers from Goodreads]