YA speculative fiction bounces back in January with fifty percent more new titles than December. Best cover for the month is Julie Kagawa's Iron Queen.
Personal picks for the month include Shadowspell by Jenna Black, Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa, XVI by Julia Karr, Hexbound by Chloe Neill, The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher and My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent.
NOVELS and SERIES
All Just Glass
Creatures of the Night #2
Sarah Vida has given up everything for love. From a legendary family of vampire-hunting witches, Sarah was raised to never trust a vampire, to never let her guard down, and to avoid all tricky attachments of the heart. But now Sarah IS a vampire—changed by the boy she thought she loved. Her family has forsaken her, and Sarah herself is disgusted by her appetite for blood. Aida Vida is Sarah's older sister, the good, reliable sibling who always does her family proud. But when Aida's mother insists that Sarah be found and killed, Aida is given the one assignment that she may not be able to carry out. Taking place over just twenty-four hours, ALL JUST GLASS tells the story of a game-changing battle that will forever change the world of the Den of Shadows. And at its center is the story of two sisters who must choose between love and duty. Dark, fully-imagined, and hard to put down, ALL JUST GLASS will thrill Amelia's fans—old and new.
A century after 9/11, in a high-tech, high-security world, magic is the last thing on anyone’s mind. Something bad is happening. Trees are dying. People are getting sick. Fifteen-year-old Kelsa’s father died from cancer—a particularly aggressive case, the doctors said. Science has no answers. Then Kelsa meets a boy. He’s the most beautiful boy Kelsa’s ever seen, but he’s also very strange. He claims to be Raven, the mythological creature. He keeps going on about magic, and an impending ecological disaster and that Kelsa must help him save the world. Maybe he’s crazy. Or maybe he’s telling her truths people have forgotten. And maybe she should help him, even if doing so means risking her own life.
On top of spending most of her time in a bunkerlike safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm. A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the one thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana’s in trouble, since it’s common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her – and her rare Faeriewalker powers – dead. The smoldering, sexy Erlking’s got his sights set on Dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?
House of Night #8
Exonerated by the Vampyre High Council and returned to her position of High Priestess at Tulsa’s House of Night, Neferet has sworn vengeance on Zoey. Dominion over Kalona is only one of the weapons she plans to use against Z. But Zoey has found sanctuary on the Isle of Skye and is being groomed by Queen Sgiach to take over for her there. Being Queen would be cool, wouldn’t it? Why should she return to Tulsa? After losing her human consort, Heath, she will never be the same – and her relationship with her super-hot-warrior, Stark, may never be the same either. And what about Stevie Rae and Rephaim? The Raven Mocker refuses to be used against Stevie Rae, but what choice does he have when no one in the entire world, including Zoey, would be okay with their relationship? Does he betray his father or his heart? In the pulse-pounding 8th book in the bestselling House of Night series, how far will the bonds of friendship stretch and how strong are the ties that bind one girl’s heart?
Devil's Kiss #2
Billi's back, and it seems like the Unholy just can't take a hint. Still reeling from the death of her best friend, Kay, Billi's thrust back into action when the Templars are called to investigate werewolf activity. And these werewolves are like nothing Bilil's seen before. They call themselves the Polenitsy - Man Killers. The ancient warrior women of Eastern Europe, supposedly wiped out centuries ago. But now they're out of hiding and on the hunt for a Spring Child — an Oracle powerful enough to blow the volcano at Yellowstone — precipitating a Fimbulwinter that will wipe out humankind for good. The Templars follow the stolen Spring Child to Russia, and the only people there who can help are the Bogatyrs, a group of knights who may have gone to the dark side. To reclaim the Spring Child and save the world, Billi needs to earn the trust of Ivan Romanov, an arrogant young Bogatyr whose suspicious of people in general, and of Billi in particular. Dark Goddess is a page-turning, action-packed sequel that spans continents, from England to the Russian underworld and back. This is an adventure of folklore and myth become darkly real. Of the world running out of time. And of Billi SanGreal, the only one who can save it.
Dragons of Starlight
In book two of the Dragons of Starlight series by bestselling author Bryan Davis, the quest to rescue the slaves on the dragon planet of Starlight continues, as those from the human planet of Major Four attempt to overcome the dragon prophecy surrounding the black egg, while those on the dragon planet of Starlight work to fullfill what the prophecy foretold. As Jason and Koren, the Starlighter, arrive at the Northlands in Starlight, they continue to look for the one person who can help them free the human slaves. At the same time, Elyssa and a slave named Wallace try to free the slaves using brute force, and work to convince the other slaves freedom is possible. On Major Four, Randall and Tybalt encounter difficulties of their own, as the dragon Magnar arrives and begins to influence the new governor. Above it all, the dragon prince has hatched, raising the stakes for humans and dragons alike.
Evans, M. J.
Behind the Mist
There exists a land filled with power and magic...behind the mist. Nick and his family spend their summers in the Colorado mountains where he first meets an exceptional horse named Jazz. What begins as an increasingly strong bond bewteen a horse and his young rider goes beyond extraordinary when an unexpected tragedy launches them on a thrilling journey to the land behind the mist. Celestia is the immortal home to noble and great horses that, based upon the virtues they developed on earth, earned the privilege to be given the power and status of a unicorn, and receive their horns. Under the guidance and direction provided by Lord Urijah and his Council of the Twelve Ancients, the unicorns serve as the guardian angels to the animals on earth. Nick is the only human in Celestia - or so if first appears. As they learn more about this magical land, Nick and Jazz are compelled to embark on a rescue mission into the Dark Kingdom that is ruled by the evil unicorn, Hasbadana. Though aided on their journey by special skills and unusual allies, the boy and horse confront powers that threaten to destroy them in their attempt to save a lost soul. Join Nick and Jazz as they battle the forces of evil and demonstrate the transcendent power of loyalty and love
Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books. She finds the creature woven within it compelling and frightening. After the tapestry comes into her possession, Tessa experiences dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt that she herself participated in. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible centuries old secret. She also meets William de Chaucy, an irresistible 16th-century nobleman. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. Together, they must correct the wrongs of the past. But then the Fates step in, making a tangled mess of Tessa's life. Now everyone she loves will be destroyed unless Tessa does their bidding and defeats a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.
In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy. Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side. As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny? Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.
The Iron Queen
Iron Fey #3
In less than twenty-four hours I'll be seventeen. Although, technically, I won't actually be turning seventeen. I've been in the Nevernever too long. When you're in Faery, you don't age. So while a year has passed in the real world, agewise I'm probably only a few days older than when I went in. In real life, I've changed so much I don't even recognize myself. MY NAME IS MEGAN CHASE. I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it. THIS TIME, THERE WILL BE NO TURNING BACK.
Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world—even the most predatory of men—that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past—one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.
Enter the Zombie Nathan Ambercrombie
When Mr. Murphy finds out that evil organization RABID is using a student academic and athletic competition to recruit agents, he asks Nathan, Abigail, and Mookie to form a team and enter the contest. Things go terribly wrong when Nathan’s nemesis, Rodney the bully, forms his own team to go up against Nathan. Soon Rodney and his pals start to notice some very odd things about Nathan. Will they discover Nathan’s secret and expose his zombie identity to the entire world?
Blood Coven #5
After their parents' shocking revelation about their fae heritage and an attack on their lives, the McDonald twins are forced to hide out deep in the Swiss Alps at Riverdale Academy, a secret vampire slayer training facility. And with no way to contact their vampire boyfriends for rescue, they're going to have to play nice with the locals. But when Sunny starts acting strange, Rayne realizes that there's more to fear at Riverdale than getting staked by the student body-leading to a showdown in Fairyland that may cost the twins their lives.
Dark Elite #2
Lily Parker is new to St. Sophia's School for Girls, but she's already learned that magic can be your best friend-or your worst enemy. That's why Lily has to learn how to control her newly discovered paranormal abilities while fighting the good fight with her best friend Scout as they take on Chicago's nastiest nightlife-including the tainted magic users known as Reapers...
Nelson, R. A.
R. A. Nelson takes us on a supernatural thrill ride, a modern-day vampire story set on a NASA base and filled with space-and-science intrigue. Seventeen-year-old Emma feels cursed by her epilepsy - until the lost night. She's shocked to wake up in the hospital one morning, weak from blood loss. When her memories begin to return, she pieces together that it was a man - a monster - who attacked her: a vampire named Wirtz. And it was her very condition that saved her: a grand mal seizure interrupted Wirtz and left Emma with all the amazing powers of a vampire - heightened senses, rapid speed - but no need to drink blood. Is Emma now a half-vampire girl? One thing soon becomes clear: the vampire Wirtz is fierce and merciless, feared even by his own kind, and won't leave a job undone.
Riley has always wanted to be a Demon Trapper like her father, and she's already following in his footsteps as one of the best. But it's tough being the only girl in an all-guy world, especially when three of those guys start making her life more complicated: Simon, the angelic apprentice who has heaven on his side; Beck, the tough trapper who thinks he's God's gift, and Ori, the strikingly sexy stranger who keeps turning up to save her ass. One thing's for sure - if she doesn't keep her wits about her there'll be hell to pay...
The False Princess
Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia has led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when she learns, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city, her best friend, Kiernan, and the only life she’s ever known. Sent to live with her only surviving relative, Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. Then she discovers that long-suppressed, dangerous magic runs through her veins, and she realizes that she will never learn to be just a simple village girl. Sinda returns to the city to seek answers. Instead, she rediscovers the boy who refused to forsake her, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor’s history forever. An intricately plotted and completely satisfying adventure, The False Princess is both an engaging tale in the tradition of great fantasy novels and a story never told before that will enchant—and surprise—its listeners.
Slice of Cherry
Happiness is a bloody knife. Kit and Fancy Cordelle are sisters of the best kind: best friends, best confidantes, and best accomplices. The daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy are used to feeling like outsiders, and that’s just the way they like it. But in Portero, where the weird and wild run rampant, the Cordelle sisters are hardly the oddest or most dangerous creatures around. It’s no surprise when Kit and Fancy start to give in to their deepest desire—the desire to kill. What starts as a fascination with slicing open and stitching up quickly spirals into a gratifying murder spree. Of course, the sisters aren’t killing just anyone, only the people who truly deserve it. But the girls have learned from the mistakes of their father, and know that a shred of evidence could get them caught. So when Fancy stumbles upon a mysterious and invisible doorway to another world, she opens a door to endless possibilities….
Across the Universe
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules. Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next. Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.
Allison Hewitt Is Trapped: A Zombie Novel
Publishers Weekly - Plot gaps diminish this otherwise exciting horror adventure debut. When the zombie apocalypse breaks out, bookstore clerk Allison escapes the titular trap and finds a group of survivors at a community center, including handsome astronomy professor Collin. Complications--aside from the usual attacks by ravenous undead--include religious zealots, paramilitary survivalists, and Collin's estranged and intimidating wife. As Allison blogs about her experience on SNet, an emergency military network, commenters provide some sense of the disaster's scope, but there's little explanation for how she created the blog and why no other sites are mentioned. Likewise, a pivotal early attack by a zombified squirrel is ignored later as the heroes traipse through the woods ignoring all nonhumanoid threats. These flaws aren't enough to hide Roux's obvious talent for witty characters and gory action sequences, but they will frustrate attentive readers.
Smith, Cynthia Leitich
Quincie P. Morris, teen restaurateuse and neophyte vampire, is in the fight of her life -- or undeath. Even as she adjusts to her new appetites, she must clear her best friend and true love, the hybrid werewolf Kieren, of murder charges; thwart the apocalyptic ambitions of Bradley Sanguini, the seductive vampire-chef who "blessed" her; and keep her dead parents’ restaurant up and running. She hires a more homespun chef and adds the preternaturally beautiful Zachary to her wait staff. But with hundreds of new vampires on the rise and Bradley off assuming the powers of Dracula Prime, Zachary soon reveals his true nature -- and a flaming sword -- and they hit the road to staunch the bloodshed before it’s too late. Even if they save the world, will there be time left to salvage Quincie’s soul?
The Water Wars
Vera and her brother Will live in the shadow of the Great Panic, in a country that has collapsed from environmental catastrophe. Water is hoarded by governments, rivers are dammed, and clouds are sucked from the sky. But then Vera befriends Kai, who seems to have limitless access to fresh water. When Kai suddenly disappears, Vera and Will set off on a dangerous journey in search of him-pursued by pirates, a paramilitary group, and greedy corporations. Timely and eerily familiar, acclaimed author Cameron Stracher makes a stunning YA debut that's impossible to forget. "Let us pray that the world which Cameron Stracher has invented in The Water Wars is testament solely to his pure, wild, and brilliant imagination, and not his ability to see the future. I was parched just reading it."-Laurie David, academy award winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth, and author of The Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming
A Chalice of Wind
A Circle of Ashes
A Feather of Stone
A Necklace of Water.
My Soul to Steal
Soul Screamers #4
(Missed last month)
Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back. See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives. And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants.
The Children of the Lost
The Agora Trilogy
Cast out of the city of Agora where they were left at the end of The Midnight Charter, Mark and Lily must now survive in a dense forest. The strange villages, terrifying nightmares, and powerful witches they find there are even more frightening than Agora with all its slums and secrets. In an adventure that expands with every turn of the page, David Whitley delivers a novel as thrilling and horrifying as his characters' darkest dreams.
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