19th September 2017 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Laura Bickle
Flesh
Pronoun (US: 19th September 2017)
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Charlie Sulliven thinks she knows all the secrets of the dead. Raised in a funeral home, she’s the reluctant “Ghoul Girl,” her reputation tied to a disastrous Halloween party. But navigating her life as a high school sophomore is an anxiety-inducing puzzle to her. She haunts the funeral home with her parents, emo older brother, Garth, their pistol-packing Gramma, and the glass-eyeball-devouring dachshund, Lothar. Chewed human bodies are appearing in her parents’ morgue…and disappearing in the middle of the night. The bodies seem tied to a local legend, Catfish Bob, who has resurfaced in the muddy Milburn River near Charlie’s small town. When one of Charlie’s classmates, Amanda, awakens in the cooler as a flesh-eating ghoul, Charlie must protect her newfound friend and step up to unravel the mystery…and try to avoid becoming lunch meat for the dead.

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[REVIEW] The Invisible – Amelia Kahaney

Amelia Kahaney
The Invisible (The Brokenhearted, Book 2)
HarperCollins (US & CA: 8th September 2015; AU: 21st September 2015; UK: 8th October 2015)
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NOTE: I first published this on Speculative Chic.

Amelia Kahaney’s The Invisible does what you hope all sequels will do: improve upon the predecessor. If The Brokenhearted is the origin story, then The Invisible is where the series-proper starts. (Unfortunately, a third novel wasn’t contracted.)

Anthem Fleet’s chimerical heart and ballet skills are well needed to defeat The Invisible, a secret organisation kidnapping children from rich families in order to raise money for the poor part of Bedlam. The wealthy side of town was built to literally raise them above the damaged side, so that flooding wouldn’t inconvenience the cashed-up.

The Invisible sees Anthem confronting her own economic privilege. The well-off have to actually lose something, such as a child, before they’ll consider donating half their fortune to aid worthy causes low down.

Amelia Kahaney writes The Invisible with stunning imagery. The scene where Anthem watches skyscrapers collapse, not knowing if her Tower will fall next, is genuinely thrilling.

I was surprised to discover that I’d rated the first book in the series only two stars. The Invisible is worth double that.

[REVIEW] Hold Back the Stars – Katie Khan

Katie Khan
Hold Back the Stars
Penguin Random House Black Swan (AU: 27th November 2017; UK: 30th November 2017); Simon & Schuster Gallery (US & CA: 20th February 2018)
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NOTE: I first published this on Speculative Chic.

I’ve never been interested in book clubs, where everyone reads the same thing at the same time like assigned homework. But in the case of Katie Khan’s Hold Back the Stars, I definitely would recommend it to book groups. Having read it, I want to discuss spoilery things and ask questions!

This literary sci-fi tells the tale of Carys and Max, the supposed utopia they’re from, and why they’re stranded in space with only ninety minutes left of oxygen and no help in sight. The space scenes are fraught and fascinating as the duo does what they can to avoid drowning in their own tears. (Yes, that’s a thing that could happen inside their helmets.) Communication – or lack thereof – is challenging enough on its own, but also they battle to create propellant and avoid asteroids. Hopefully film rights will be snapped up, because the ever-present danger and uncommon setting would make for a spectacular cinematic experience. This novel likely involved a heck of a lot of research, and Katie Khan’s work pays off big-time.

Though I wouldn’t recommend anyone removes their glove in space. Creative licence there, I’m guessing.

But Carys and Max’s time on Earth doesn’t grip like the space scenes. It’s a relationship drama with a whole gamut of obstacles to overcome, and refreshing that they argue like couples in real life. Ultimately I didn’t cheer for their relationship, but that’s not unusual for me as a reader.

12th September 2017 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Marie Lu
Warcross
Penguin Random House (US & CA: 12th September 2017)
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For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game – it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships – only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation. Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem…and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

5th September 2017 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Keri Arthur
Ashes Reborn (Souls of Fire, Book 4)
Penguin Random House Berkley (US & CA: 5th September 2017); Hachette Little, Brown Piatkus (UK & AU: 5th September 2017)
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The clock is ticking as Emberly – a phoenix capable of taking human form – races to take revenge against the sadistic and mysterious Rinaldo. The elusive rebel leader threatens to keep killing until he is given all of the research about a plague-like virus derived from vampire blood. Forced to reach out to the Paranormal Investigations Team for help, Emberly and her partner, Jackson, must decide who to trust as they follow the trail of dead bodies. When classified information is leaked and their safe house is ambushed, Emberly’s suspicions are confirmed – someone at PIT has betrayed them. A final battle looms and Emberly will need to command all her powers – or watch the world turn to ash…

Mindy McGinnis
The Female of the Species
HarperCollins Katherine Tegen (US & CA: 5th September 2017)
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Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best – the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone. As their senior year unfolds Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

Diana Rowland
White Trash Zombie Unchained (White Trash Zombie, Book 6)
Penguin Random House DAW (US & CA: 5th September 2017)
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Angel Crawford has finally pulled herself together (literally!) after her disastrous dismemberment on Mardi Gras. She’s putting the pieces of her life back in order and is ready to tackle whatever the future holds. Too bad the future is a nasty bitch. There’s a new kind of zombie in town: mindless shamblers, infectious and ravenous. With the threat of a full-blown shambler pandemic looming, and a loved one stricken, Angel and the “real” zombies scramble to find a cure. Yet when Angel uncovers the true reason the plague is spreading so quickly, she adds “no-holds-barred revenge” to her to-do list. Angel is busting her ass dealing with shambling hordes, zombie gators, government jerks, and way too many mosquitoes, but this white trash chick ain’t giving up. Good thing, since the fate of the world is resting on her undead shoulders.

September 2017 Releases

Done with August 2017 Releases? Here are September 2017 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

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29th August 2017 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Katharine McGee
The Dazzling Heights (Thousandth Floor, Book 2)
HarperCollins (US & CA: 29th August 2017)
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New York, 2118. Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a breathtaking marvel that touches the sky. But amidst high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, five teenagers are keeping dangerous secrets… LEDA is haunted by memories of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’ll do anything to make sure the truth stays hidden – even if it means trusting her enemy. WATT just wants to put everything behind him…until Leda forces him to start hacking again. Will he do what it takes to be free of her for good? When RYLIN wins a scholarship to an upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being there means seeing the boy whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return. AVERY is tormented by her love for the one person in the world she can never have. She’s desperate to be with him…no matter the cost. And then there’s CALLIOPE, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who arrives in New York, determined to cause a stir. And she knows exactly where to begin. But unbeknownst to them all, someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. And in a world of such dazzling heights, just one wrong step can mean a devastating fall.

Caragh M. O’Brien
The Rule of Mirrors (Vault of Dreamers, Book 2)
Macmillan Square Fish (US: 29th August 2017)
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The entire country was watching when Rosie Sinclair was expelled from Forge, the prestigious arts school that doubles as a reality TV show. But few know how Dean Berg was mining students’ dreams in laboratories deep below the school. And no one, least of all the Dean himself, knows that when Rosie’s dreams were seeded into the mind of another patient, Rosie’s consciousness woke up in that body – a girl far from Forge, a girl with a completely different life from Rosie, a girl who is pregnant.

Caragh M. O’Brien
The Keep of Ages (Vault of Dreamers, Book 3)
Macmillan Roaring Brook (US: 29th August 2017)
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Driven by fear when Dean Berg kidnaps her family, Rosie Sinclair strikes out across the country to rescue them. When an elusive trail leads her to Grisly Valley, the contaminated ruin of a horror theme park, Rosie has to consider that Berg may once again be manipulating her every move to make her fearful, priming her for a final, lethal dream mining procedure. As Rosie struggles to outmanoeuvre Berg, she unearths the ultimate vault of dreamers and the hint of a consciousness more powerful and dangerous than any she’s imagined before. Faced with unspeakable suffering and otherworldly beauty, Rosie must discover how to trust her mind, her friends, and reality itself.