Review: The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

Phillip Pullman is an author I haven’t read before and so it’s part of my New Authors Challenge which is hosted by the Literary Escapism blog. Check out their blog and also the challenge. I’m really enjoying all the new authors I’m reading this year!

» » » » » » » » »

bannedbooksThe Golden Compass is also frequently on banned or challenged book lists. Even though I’ve had this book in print form for years and my family have all read it and told me how good it is I hadn’t read it before now. I was curious why this book would be a banned book.

Rita_h at My Home of Books has issued a challenge for readers to read at least one banned book by the end of September. There’s a list of 100 frequently banned books on her blog and at the American Library Association site (Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009).

Banned Book Week 2013 was this week–September 22-28. This week I have posted my two reviews of the banned books I read

» » » » » »

golden compassThe Golden Compass
by Phillip Pullman
Series: His Dark Materials, book 1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1996
E-book, purchased
368 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called “Gobblers”—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person’s inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

» » » » » » » » »

What I like about this book:

  • Lyra Belacqua is such an innocent. She’s had a very odd childhood, but she has grown up completely unselfconscious about herself. She hasn’t had a lot of formal education, but she has learned honesty, loyalty and how to make friends.
  • The world Phillip Pullman has created is very similar to ours, but just enough different to make a great fantasy world.
  • It’s a very original plot.
  • Although it’s a young adult book there is plenty to keep an adult interested.

What I don’t like:

  • It ends with a cliffhanger.

» » » » » » » » »

My thoughts: 

Again, as with The Handmaid’s Tale this book paints religion in a very poor light so I can understand (even if I don’t agree) why people might want to ban the book.

However, I loved the book and look forward to reading the next two.

» » » » » » » » »

What do you think? Have you read any of His Dark Materials series? Have you read other banned books?

Top Ten Tuesday–Best Sequels

toptentuesday2Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme which I participate in occasionally. It’s a great meme and is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. Every week a new topic is presented. It’s not only fun to think about my own list, but to read what other people come up with!

» » » » » »

This week we tell about the best sequels ever. As usual I had a bit of trouble with this! So many books are written as a series and have more than two books. Karen and I each came up with five books. We fudged a bit and some of the books are part of a series of books. Some are also not really considered sequels. Oh well, this is what we have…lol

Jan’s Choices

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien–I’m including the whole series (The Lord of the Rings) as the sequel to The Hobbit!

 

A Precious Jewel and The Christmas Bride by Mary Balogh–Mary Balogh often has books (especially her older regency romances) which have characters in one book who show up as the main character in another book. That’s the case here–Sir Gerald Stapleton is one of the main characters of A Precious Jewel and his stepmother is a main character of The Christmas Bride. These two characters’ lives are intertwined and they are both damaged characters so these two books work as main book and sequel for me!

 

Welcome to Temptation and Faking It by Jennifer Crusie–These two books are linked because because they are both about the Dempsey family, but Faking It is not a sequel. Jennifer Crusie says that on her website, too–but I liked these two books a lot and the Dempsey family was a great part of my enjoyment!

 

Agent of Change and Carpe Diem by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller–Carpe Diem does work as a sequel. It is a continuation of the story of Miri Robertson and Val Con yos Phellium. They are part of a bigger set of books which are all set in the Liaden Universe.

 

Archangel and Jovah’s Angel by Sharon Shinn–There are five books in this series and they are a wonderful set of books. Jovah’s Angel does work as a sequel for Archangel though.

» » » » » »

Karen’s Choices

(Karen only gave me a comment for her first set of books)

 

The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman–but it ends on a ridiculously suspenseful cliffhanger…and then he took a number of years to write the last one!

 

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie King

 

A Wrinkle in Time and Many Waters by Madeline L’Engle

 

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken

» » » » » »

What are your favorite sequels? What did we forget?

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet
by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, book 2
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published by Feiwell & Friends (MacMillan), 2013
E-book, Purchased
464 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

» » » » » » » » »

When I read and reviewed the first book in this series–Cinder–I didn’t realize it was classified as young adult fantasy! It read like regular fantasy to me though it is about teenaged characters. I think because life is hard in this future world and both Scarlet and Cinder are working and not going to school they just don’t seem that young to me!

What I liked about this book:

  • I like the story. There are fairy tale elements–Little Red Riding Hood in this book. (Scarlet wears a red hoodie; Scarlet has a grandmother; Wolf is the wolf; quotes from the fairy tale are used throughout the book). But this isn’t just a retelling of fairy tales. Very original.
  • Marissa Meyer creates a very imaginative world in this series.
  • Scarlet and Cinder are both interesting characters. I also like the secondary characters: Iko, Wolf and Thorne.

What I didn’t like:

  • The book moves back and forth between Scarlet and Cinder and even Prince Kai. Every time this happened it pulled me out of the story and made me more likely to put the book down. I like the characters, but I wanted to continue to read about the character I was reading about!

» » » » » » » » »Cress-final-117x162

My thoughts: Even though I didn’t like the way this book jumped around from story to story I really like these stories and the overall story arc. I’m eagerly waiting for the next book! Cress is scheduled to be published in February 2014. This will be one of the books I most look forward to in 2014! I do hope the characters’ stories are told more as one piece. From the cover I saw on Marissa Meyer’s website I would say the next book follows Rapunzel’s fairytale! It looks good!

» » » » » » » » »

What do you think? Have you read the first two books? Were you bothered by the story jumping around in this book?

September 2013 Books On My Radar…

A list of the many books I’m interested in this month…some I will definitely buy…others will wait awhile or I won’t buy them at all since I already have a huge TBR pile of books (on my shelf and on my e-reader)! This creates a list for me so I hope I don’t forget authors and books I like. And I hope others will find some books they may not have thought of!

» » » » » » » » » » » »

September 3

I’ve been reading the October Daye series this summer since I’d fallen behind so I’m almost caught up! One of my very favorite series.

chimes-at-midnightChimes at Midnight

by Seanan McGuire

Series: October Daye series, book 7

Published by Daw

Genre: Urban Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: Things are starting to look up for October “Toby” Daye. She’s training her squire, doing her job, and has finally allowed herself to grow closer to the local King of Cats. It seems like her life may finally be settling down…at least until dead changelings start appearing in the alleys of San Francisco, killed by an overdose of goblin fruit.

Toby’s efforts to take the problem to the Queen of the Mists are met with harsh reprisals, leaving her under sentence of exile from her home and everyone she loves. Now Toby must find a way to reverse the Queens decree, get the goblin fruit off the streets–and, oh, yes, save her own life, since more than a few of her problems have once again followed her home. And then there’s the question of the Queen herself, who seems increasingly unlikely to have a valid claim to the throne….

To find the answers, October and her friends will have to travel from the legendary Library of Stars into the hidden depths of the Kingdom of the Mists–and they’ll have to do it fast, because time is running out. In faerie, some fates are worse than death.

October Daye is about to find out what they are.

» » » » » »

This is a fun urban fantasy series. I read the first book in the series and liked it. I have the second book, I think, so I need to read it first!

fairies-in-my-fireplaceFairies in My Fireplace

by R. L. Naquin

Series: Monster Haven series, book 3

Published by Carina Press

Genre: Urban Fantasy

226 pages

Synopsis: A migration of mythical creatures has begun, and more and more of them are landing on Zoey Donovan’s doorstep. As the only Aegis left in the country, it falls to her to protect the Hidden and keep them safe—and her house has become a sanctuary for water sprites, goblins, harpies, djinn and more.

Keeping track of her boarders is a full-time job, and Zoey’s already got her hands full trying to run her wedding planning business. Good thing she has a resident closet monster to keep her organized, and a hot Reaper boyfriend to help her relax every once in a while.

But she can’t keep up monster-triage indefinitely, and as more Hidden arrive, it becomes clear that someone—or something—is hunting them. In the midst of planning an event for a notoriously difficult client, Zoey’s got to figure out who’s behind the hunt…and she’s got to stop them before there are no Hidden left.

» » » » » »

I’m way behind with this series, but I really like them. I need to go back and figure out which of these books to read next!

ritual-magicRitual Magic

by Eileen Wilks

Series: The World of the Lupi, book 10

Published by Berkley

Genre: Urban Fantasy

416 pages

Synopsis: On her 57th birthday, Lily’s mother suddenly loses all memory beyond the age of twelve. Lily knows her mother was attacked by something more than magic. More . . . and darker.

When Lily and Rule discover that others suffered the same, mysterious loss—at the same time on the same night—their investigation into the darkness begins. Joining them is someone Lily never thought she’d see again: Al Drummond, who once tried to destroy her. He also happens to be dead. But the mysterious attacks were caused by a power strong enough to affect matters beyond the world of the living.

With some victims losing years of memory and others their lives, Lily must discover what on earth—or beyond—connects them.

» » » » » »

September 10

I haven’t read the first book in this series which was written several years ago. I love the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series and the Kate Martinelli series. So I think I need to read these two books!

bones-of-parisThe Bones of Paris

by Laurie R. King

Series: Harris Stuyvesant series, book 2

Published by Bantam

Genre: Historical Mystery

432 pages

Synopsis: Paris, France: September 1929. For Harris Stuyvesant, the assignment is a private investigator’s dream—he’s getting paid to troll the cafés and bars of Montparnasse, looking for a pretty young woman. The American agent has a healthy appreciation for la vie de bohème, despite having worked for years at the U.S. Bureau of Investigation. The missing person in question is Philippa Crosby, a twenty-two year old from Boston who has been living in Paris, modeling and acting. Her family became alarmed when she stopped all communications, and Stuyvesant agreed to track her down. He wholly expects to find her in the arms of some up-and-coming artist, perhaps experimenting with the decadent lifestyle that is suddenly available on every rue and boulevard.

As Stuyvesant follows Philippa’s trail through the expatriate community of artists and writers, he finds that she is known to many of its famous—and infamous—inhabitants, from Shakespeare and Company’s Sylvia Beach to Ernest Hemingway to the Surrealist photographer Man Ray. But when the evidence leads Stuyvesant to the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Montmartre, his investigation takes a sharp, disturbing turn. At the Grand-Guignol, murder, insanity, and sexual perversion are all staged to shocking, brutal effect: depravity as art, savage human nature on stage.

Soon it becomes clear that one missing girl is a drop in the bucket. Here, amid the glittering lights of the cabarets, hides a monster whose artistic coup de grâce is to be rendered in blood. And Stuyvesant will have to descend into the darkest depths of perversion to find a killer . . . sifting through The Bones of Paris.

» » » » » »

September 17

This sounds like a good book. I haven’t read anything by Holly Black in a few years, but she writes good though sometimes creepy and dark books!

coldest-girl-in-coldtownThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown

by Holly Black

Series: I’m not sure if this will be a series

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult Distopian

432 pages

Synopsis: Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing.

» » » » » »

I’ve liked the Sherlock Holmes books and some of the offshoots (Laurie King’s books, for example). I guess the success of the Sherlock Holmes’ TV series are creating more of these books. This one sounds interesting and I like some of Colleen Gleason’s books so this is on my possible reading list!

clockwork-scarabThe Clockwork Scarab

By Colleen Gleason

Series: A Stoker & Holmes Series, book 1

Published by Chronicle Books

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Steampunk Mystery

356 pages

Synopsis: Two young women of similar age and standing have disappeared:
one found dead and the other still missing. The only clue to connect them is a small Egyptian clockwork scarab. Only Miss Stoker and Miss Holmes are well-positioned enough—similar in
age and stature as they are to the victims—to investigate. An unlikely pair, the fierce Evaline Stoker and logical Mina Holmes must follow in the footsteps of their infamous families—Miss Holmes has inherited her Uncle Sherlock’s keen investigative skills, while Miss Stoker has accepted her family calling as a hunter of the undead. The partners must find a way to work together, while navigating the advances of a strange yet handsome American, a clever Scotland Yard investigator, and a cunning thief, to solve the mystery of the clockwork scarabs.

Set in steam punk London, steeped in Egyptian mythology and literary references, with a surprising time travel twist and compelling romantic triangles, Colleen Gleason has crafted a fast-paced and romantic debut young adult novel.

» » » » » »

This is a book by a debut author. It sounds quite interesting and I love the cover!

delias-shadowDelia’s Shadow

by Jaime Lee Moyer

Series: Book 1

Published by Tor

Genre: Dark Fantasy/Mystery

336 pages

Synopsis: It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.

Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.

It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again.

And who is now aware of Delia’s existence.

» » » » » »

I’ve read several of Sherry Thomas’ historical romance books and liked them so this book interests me.

burning-skyThe Burning Sky

by Sherry Thomas

Series: The Elemental Trilogy, book 1

Published by Balzer & Bray

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

464 pages

Synopsis: It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning…

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she’s being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he’s also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.

But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.

» » » » » »

September 24

Another Holmes inspired book. It sounds interesting.

study-in-silkA Study in Silks

by Emma Jane Holloway

Series: The Baskerville Affair, book 1

Published by Del Rey

Genre: Steampunk Fantasy Mystery

560 pages

Synopsis: Evelina Cooper, the niece of the great Sherlock Holmes, is poised to enjoy her first Season in London’s high society. But there’s a murderer to deal with—not to mention missing automatons, a sorcerer, and a talking mouse.
 
In a Victorian era ruled by a council of ruthless steam barons, mechanical power is the real monarch, and sorcery the demon enemy of the empire. Nevertheless, the most coveted weapon is magic that can run machines—something Evelina has secretly mastered. But rather than making her fortune, her special talents could mean death or an eternity as a guest of Her Majesty’s secret laboratories. What’s a polite young lady to do but mind her manners and pray she’s never found out?

But then there’s that murder. As Sherlock’s niece, Evelina should be able to find the answers, but she has a lot to learn. And the first decision she has to make is whether to trust the handsome, clever rake who makes her breath come faster, or the dashing trick rider who would dare anything for her if she would only just ask.

» » » » » »

I haven’t read the first book in this series, but I liked the books I read in his Simon Canderous series. This sounds like a good series.

Stonecast

by Anton Strout

Series: The Spellmason Chronicles, book 2

Published by Ace

Genre: Urban Fantasy

304 pages

Synopsis: The adventures of a girl and her gargoyle continue in the second installment of this “thrilling, funny and eerie” fantasy series. —Romantic Times on Alchemystic

Alexandra Belarus, the last practicing Spellmason, doesn’t know what has become of Stanis—her gargoyle protector. Hidden forces are watching her and threatening her, and, now, she’s worried for her stone-hearted friend—who may no longer be so friendly…

» » » » » »

September 26

I like Robin McKinley a lot. I was hoping she would write the next book in the Pegasus series, but this does sound good!

Shadows

by Robin McKinley

Series:

Published by Pauline Paulsen (imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: A compelling and inventive novel set in a world where science and magic are at odds, by Robin McKinley, the Newbery-winning author of The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword, as well as the classic titles Beauty, Chalice, Spindle’s End, Pegasus and Sunshine
 
Maggie knows something’s off about Val, her mom’s new husband. Val is from Oldworld, where they still use magic, and he won’t have any tech in his office-shed behind the house. But—more importantly—what are the huge, horrible, jagged, jumpy shadows following him around? Magic is illegal in Newworld, which is all about science. The magic-carrying gene was disabled two generations ago, back when Maggie’s great-grandmother was a notable magician. But that was a long time ago.
 
Then Maggie meets Casimir, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen. He’s from Oldworld too—and he’s heard of Maggie’s stepfather, and has a guess about Val’s shadows. Maggie doesn’t want to know . . . until earth-shattering events force her to depend on Val and his shadows. And perhaps on her own heritage.
 
In this dangerously unstable world, neither science nor magic has the necessary answers, but a truce between them is impossible. And although the two are supposed to be incompatible, Maggie’s discovering the world will need both to survive.

» » » » » » » » » » » »

The books I plan to buy sooner rather than later…lol…(not that the others don’t interest me,  but in some cases I plan to read reviews, read the first book in the series or catch up).

  • Chimes at Midnight
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
  • A Study in Silk
  • Shadows

» » » » » » » » » » » »

What books are you looking forward to this month? What books have I missed?

July 2013 Books On My Radar

I have a few books I’m very excited about this month and then a few more I’m more on the fence about or that I will wait for a little longer!

July 9

I haven’t read the first book in this series, but it sounds great and I’ve heard good things about it so I hope to read both books sometime soon!

Raven_flightRaven Flight

by Juliet Marillier

Series: Shadowfell series, book 2

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA Fantasy

418 pages

Synopsis: Neryn has finally found the rebel group at Shadowfell, and now her task is to seek out the elusive Guardians, vital to her training as a Caller. These four powerful beings have been increasingly at odds with human kind, and Neryn must prove her worth to them. She desperately needs their help to use her gift without compromising herself or the cause of overthrowing the evil King Keldec.

Neryn must journey with the tough and steadfast Tali, who looks on Neryn’s love for the double agent Flint as a needless vulnerability. And perhaps it is. What Flint learns from the king will change the battlefield entirely—but in whose favor, no one knows.

……..

July 16

This is the first urban fantasy Susan Krinard has written. It sounds like it might be good. I will probably wait until I read some reviews before I decide to buy it.

Mist

by Susan Krinard

Series:

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Urban Fantasy

384 pages

Synopsis: Mist lives a normal life. She has a normal job, a normal boyfriend, and a normal apartment in San Francisco. She never thinks about her past if she can help it.

She survived. That’s the end of it.

But then a snowy winter descends upon San Francisco. In June. And in quick succession, Mist is attacked by a frost giant in a public park and runs into an elf disguised as a homeless person on the streets…and then the man Mist believed was her mortal boyfriend reveals himself to be the trickster god, Loki, alive and well after all these years.

Mist’s normal world is falling apart. But thankfully, Mist isn’t quite so normal herself. She’s a Valkyrie, and she’s going to need all her skill to thwart Loki’s schemes and save modern Earth from the ravages of a battle of the gods.

……

July 23

This anthology has some of my favorite authors so I’m definitely looking at this book.

carniepunkCarniepunk

by Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire, Rob Thurman, Allison Pang, Kelly Gay, Delilah S. Dawson, Kelly Meding

Series: Anthology

Published by Gallery Books

Genre: Urban Fantasy

448 pages

Synopsis: Come one, come all! The Carniepunk Midway promises you every thrill and chill a traveling carnival can provide. But fear not! Urban fantasy’s biggest stars are here to guide you through this strange and dangerous world. . . .

……

July 30

This is one of my very favorite series and authors. I’ve preordered the book and can hardly wait!

Magic-Rises_mdMagic Rises

by Ilona Andrews

Series: Magic series, book 6

Published by Ace

Genre: Urban Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…

……

I’ve read the first book in this series and it was one of my favorites so far this year. I’ve already preordered this book.

a-time-of-dyingA Time of Dying

by Hailey Edwards

Series: Aranae Nation, book 3

Published by Samhain Publishing

Genre: Fantasy Romance

249 pages

Synopsis: Once the future Segestriidae maven, Kaidi lived a privileged life. Now she spends her nights haunting cities ravaged by the plague. Spade in hand, she stalks rows of freshly dug graves for corpses…and then she takes their heads.

Her new life is caked in blood and spattered with gore, but it’s hers. At least until—to her fury—she’s caught napping.

A plague survivor by the skin of his teeth, Murdoch risks his neck to solve the mysteries left in its wake. Bodies have gone missing. Guards have left their posts and never returned home.

When he rouses a female dozing among the dead, he’s unprepared for the violence of her response. Or his. Beneath the grime, she’s lovely. Too bad the blood under her fingernails belongs to his clansmen.

He has no choice but to follow this alluring creature deeper into her world of winged beasts and flesh-eating monsters. She holds the knowledge he craves, but the price is high—and they may both pay for it with their lives.

……

This is the second book in this series. I just bought the first book–The Trouble With Fate–in the series so I don’t know how I’ll the series, but it sounds pretty good.

the-thing-about-weresThe Thing About Weres

by Leigh Evans

Series: Mystwalker #2

Published by St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Urban Fantasy

432 pages

Synopsis: In the never-ending saga that is my love-hate relationship with Robson Trowbridge, I, half-Were Hedi Peacock, have had a change of heart. Ever since I shoved Trowbridge through the Gates of Merenwyn, I’ve been the leader of the pack—hard to believe, right? The thing is: I’m half-Fae. So even though my Were side is ready to heed the call of the wild, the other part of me is desperate to take flight. And much as it pains me to admit it, life without Trowbridge is really starting to were me down…

To make matters worse, the wolves of Creemore want my blood—and the North American Council of Weres wants me dead. So I’m just counting the days until Trowbridge returns from the other realm…and comes to my brave rescue…and becomes my alpha mate. Wishful thinking? Of course it is. But given all the mess I’ve been through already, what’s the harm in doing a little bit of daisy-plucking? Besides, Trowbridge owes me bigtime. A girl can dream.

……

I haven’t read anything by Dawn Metcalf, but the synopsis makes the book sound great.

Indelible

by Dawn Metcalf

Series: The Twixt

Published by Harlequin Teen

Genre: YA Fantasy

384 pages

Synopsis: Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room-right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world-a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep and a life that will never be the same. Now Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one-his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

…………………………..

What books are you looking forward to this month? What books have I missed?

April 2013 Books

April 1

This is free right now for the Kindle (I’m not sure about other sites)
Far in the Wilds
by Deanna Raybourn
Prequel Novella (54 pages)
Published by Harlequin Mira
Genre: Historical 
Synopsis: Kenya, 1918 
Ryder White is Canadian by birth but African by choice. He is more at home in the wilds of the savannah, shooting and sleeping his way across the continent, than amongst the hedonistic colonists of Kenyan society. 

In a landscape where one false move can cost a man his life, Ryder’s skill as a guide is unparalleled, but only the rich or royal can afford his services. When a European prince hires Ryder to help him hunt an elusive leopard Ryder thinks it’s just another well-paying job with yet another spoiled voyeur. But this perilous journey is full of dangers that may change Ryder forever….

Ryder returns in A Spear of Summer Grass, where he encounters a woman from a very different world, to explore beauty and darkness and what is truly worth fighting for.

April 2

The Good, the Bad, and the Witchy
by Heather Blake
Series: A Witchcraft Mystery, #3
Published by Signet
Genre: Cozy Mystery 
Synopsis: Darcy Merriweather is Enchanted Village’s newest resident Wishcrafter—a witch who can grant wishes for others. But as Darcy prepares a celebration for a magical florist, she discovers that every rose has its thorns…

When magical florist Harriette Harkette decides to throw a lavish eightieth birthday party for herself, she hires Darcy’s Aunt Ve’s personal concierge service, As You Wish, to plan the soiree. But turning eighty isn’t all Harriette is celebrating—the Floracrafter has recently created the midnight black Witching Hour rose, the first all-natural rose of that color.

Darcy works hard on planning an extravagant celebration that will make Harriette feel like the belle of the ball. But when cake delivery boy Michael Healey—a former employee at Harriette’s greenhouse—is found dead, the celebration takes a turn. Now Michael’s ghost has imprinted on Darcy, meaning that they’re bonded until she can untangle the thicket surrounding his murder—and what exactly it has to do with the Witching Hour rose….

Blood Trade
by Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock Novel, book 6
Published by Roc
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Synopsis: Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker who’s always up for a fight—even if it means putting her life on the line…

The Master of Natchez, Mississippi has a nasty problem on his hands. Rogue vampires—those who follow the Naturaleza and believe that humans should be nothing more than prey to be hunted—are terrorizing his city. Luckily, he knows the perfect skinwalker to call in to take back the streets.

But what he doesn’t tell Jane is that there’s something different about these vamps. Something that makes them harder to kill—even for a pro like Jane. Now, her simple job has turned into a fight to stay alive…and to protect the desperately ill child left in her care.

Assassin’s Gambit
by Amy Raby
Series: The Hearts and Thrones #1
Published by Signet
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Synopsis:Vitala Salonius, champion of the warlike game of Caturanga, is as deadly as she is beautiful. She’s a trained assassin for the resistance, and her true play is for ultimate power. Using her charm and wit, she plans to seduce her way into the emperor’s bed and deal him one final, fatal blow, sparking a battle of succession that could change the face of the empire.

As the ruler of a country on the brink of war and the son of a deposed emperor, Lucien must constantly be wary of an attempt on his life. But he’s drawn to the stunning Caturanga player visiting the palace. Vitala may be able to distract him from his woes for a while—and fulfill other needs, as well.
Lucien’s quick mind and considerable skills awaken unexpected desires in Vitala, weakening her resolve to finish her mission. An assassin cannot fall for her prey, but Vitala’s gut is telling her to protect this sexy, sensitive man. Now she must decide where her heart and loyalties lie and navigate the dangerous war of politics before her gambit causes her to lose both Lucien and her heart for good.…

Emilie and the Hollow World
by Martha Wells
Series: Book 1
Published by Strange Chemistry
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Synopsis: While running away from home for reasons that are eminently defensible, Emilie’s plans to stow away on the steamship Merry Bell and reach her cousin in the big city go awry, landing her on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure.

April 16

Taken
by Erin Bowman
Series: Taken #1
Published by Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Synopsis: There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone. They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

Bronze Gods

by A. A. Aguirre
Series: Apparatus Infernum Novel #1
Published by Ace
Genre: Steampunk Fantasy 
Synopsis: Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko work all hours in the Criminal Investigation Division, keeping citizens safe. He’s a charming rogue with an uncanny sixth sense; she’s all logic–and the first female inspector. Between his instincts and her brains, they collar more criminals than any other partnership in the CID. 

 
A Counterfeit Betrothal/The Notorious Rake
by Mary Balogh
Series: n/a
Published by Dell

Genre: Historical Romance
Synopsis:  A COUNTERFEIT BETROTHAL–Lady Sophia Bryant has no intention of marrying anytime soon. Her one desire is to reunite her parents, who have been estranged for fourteen years. Surely, if she happens to announce her betrothal—even a false one—they will be forced to see each other. Devilishly handsome Lord Francis Sutton seems perfect for such deceit, always agreeable to games of passion in which he has nothing to lose. The trap is set—if only Lady Sophia can keep her foolish heart from falling prey to her brilliant snares.

THE NOTORIOUS RAKE–Lord Edmund Waite is everything that Lady Mary Gregg despises: lewd, lascivious, mocking—the most incorrigible and successful rogue around. A bluestocking like her would never tempt a man whose taste runs to pretty playthings—so Mary is startled to find herself the object of Lord Edmund’s desires. Even more surprising is her reaction to his shocking advances. She may be a lady, but this man knows so well how to make her feel like a woman.

A Spear of Summer Grass
by Deanna Raybourn
Series: n/a
Published by Harlequin Mira
Genre: Historical Fiction  
Synopsis: Paris, 1923
The daughter of a scandalous mother, Delilah Drummond is already notorious, even amongst Paris society. But her latest scandal is big enough to make even her oft-married mother blanch. Delilah is exiled to Kenya and her favorite stepfather’s savannah manor house until gossip subsides.

By the time I was done with my list I had more books to be excited about this month than I thought I was going to have!  What books are making you excited for the month of April?