Category Archives: Kristen Simmons

[REVIEW] Metaltown – Kristen Simmons

Kristen Simmons
Metaltown
Macmillan Tor (US: 20th September 2016; AU: 11th October 2016)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Hardcover) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (CA Paperback) Buy (Worldwide Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide Paperback)

NOTE: I first published this review as part of the group “My Favorite Things” column on Speculative Chic, 6th February 2017.

Some stories have more resonance if you read them at a particular time.

I didn’t plan for Kristen Simmons’s Metaltown to be my first read of 2017, but that’s when my library copy arrived. The novel felt instantly familiar, as it fits the classic underdog plot. But instead of a feel-good story, Metaltown is dark and dystopian – and not everyone gets a happy ending.

Mostly the story rings true because it shows how to create change.

Ty and Colin work in the small parts section of a manufacturer. There are no health benefits, and they often aren’t paid in a timely manner, enough, or at all. A workplace accident leads to acid burns and a lost job. Ty has nothing left to lose – she’s now an unemployed, homeless orphan, and even her best friend Colin seems to be slipping away from her. And so Ty does what she can lead a “press”, a workers’ strike, against the manufacturer.

But she can’t do it alone. One person can’t be the entire movement in order to create real change. Ty needs the entire small parts section – and other sections, too – to band together in the press. If everyone stops work, the manufacturer will be forced to employ and train more workers. That will make it more difficult for the company to fill the order for their products. This will be bad for business, so the manufacturer has something to lose unless they agree to the workers’ demands.

Can one person make a difference? Maybe. But there’s strength in numbers, and we can’t expect one person to shoulder all the responsibility. We each need to find our personal tipping point; what we’re willing to risk for the greater good. We must PRESS BACK.

Metaltown is a timely read that I won’t soon forget.

Now Available for US Pre-Order

Keri Arthur: ASHES REBORN: 5th September 2017: Buy (US)
Julianna Baggott: THE VIRTUAL SWALLOWS OF HOG ISLAND: 25th January 2017: Buy (US)
Claire Cameron: THE LAST NEANDERTHAL (paperback): 25th April 2017: Buy (US)
Mira Grant: FINAL GIRLS: 30th April 2017: Buy (US)
Lydia Kang: A BEAUTIFUL POISON: 11th July 2017: Buy (US)
Amie Kaufman: ONE SMALL STEP…: 24th April 2017: Buy (AU)
Mindy McGinnis: THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES (paperback): 5th September 2017: Buy (US)
Stephanie Oakes: THE ARSONIST: 22nd August 2017: Buy (US)
Kristen Simmons: BLOOD AND TAR: 26th September 2017: Buy (US)
Wendy Walker: EMMA IN THE NIGHT: 29th August 2017: Buy (US)

October 2016 Releases

Done with September 2016 Releases? Here are October 2016 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

Continue reading

Now Available for US Pre-Order

Claire Cameron: THE LAST NEANDERTHAL: 2nd May 2017: Buy (US)
Darynda Jones: ELEVENTH GRAVE IN MOONLIGHT (paperback): 27th June 2017: Buy (US)
Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff: ILLUMINAE (paperback): 4th April 2017: Buy (US)
Caragh M. O’Brien: THE KEEP OF AGES: 11th July 2017: Buy (US)
Beth Revis: A WORLD WITHOUT YOU (paperback): 13th June 2017: Buy (US)
Madeleine Roux: HOUSE OF FURIES: 30th May 2017: Buy (US)
Kristen Simmons: BURNED AWAY: 28th September 2016: Buy (US)
Danielle Vega: THE MERCILESS II: THE EXORCISM OF SOFIA FLORES (paperback): 6th June 2017: Buy (US)
M. D. Waters: GEMINI’S EDGE: 21st October 2016: Buy (US)
Francesca Zappia: ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS: 30th May 2017: Buy (US)

20th September 2016 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Josephine Angelini
Firewalker (Worldwalker, Book 2)
Macmillan Square Fish (US: 20th September 2016)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Lily is back in her own universe, and she’s ready to relax with Rowan. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fuelled their escape, and must hide her magic for the safety of the world, but compared to fighting the monstrous Woven and leading armies in the alternate Salem, life is looking good. Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she’ll have to find a way to make her come back.

Josephine Angelini
Witch’s Pyre (Worldwalker, Book 3)
Macmillan (US: 20th September 2016)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Lily Proctor has come a long way from the weak, sickly girl she used to be. She has gained power as a witch and a leader, found her way home, chosen to face battle again, and (after losing her first love and being betrayed by her new love) she has learned more about loss and grief than she ever wanted to know. Thrust once again into a society different from anything they have ever seen, Lily and her coven are determined to find answers – to find a new path to victory, a way to defeat the monstrous Woven without resorting to nuclear weapons or becoming a tyrannical mass murderer like her alternate self, Lillian. But sometimes winning requires sacrifices…and when the only clear path to victory lies at Lillian’s side, what price will Lily be willing to pay?

Mindy McGinnis
The Female of the Species
HarperCollins Katherine Tegen (US & CA: 20th September 2016)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence. While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways. But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her. So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for. Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker side breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

Kristen Simmons
Metaltown
Macmillan Tor (US: 20th September 2016)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

The rules of Metaltown are simple: Work hard, keep your head down, and watch your back. You look out for number one, and no one knows that better than Ty. She’s been surviving on the factory line as long as she can remember. But now Ty has Colin. She’s no longer alone; it’s the two of them against the world. That’s something even a town this brutal can’t take away from her. Until it does. Lena’s future depends on her family’s factory, a beast that demands a ruthless master, and Lena is prepared to be as ruthless as it takes if it means finally proving herself to her father. But when a chance encounter with Colin, a dreamer despite his circumstances, exposes Lena to the consequences of her actions, she’ll risk everything to do what’s right. In Lena, Ty sees an heiress with a chip on her shoulder. Colin sees something more. In a world of disease and war, tragedy and betrayal, allies and enemies, all three of them must learn that challenging what they thought was true can change all the rules.

September 2016 Releases

Done with August 2016 Releases? Here are September 2016 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

Continue reading

2nd August 2016 Releases

Um, it’s currently over an hour into Wednesday, so…Happy Release Day for yesterday to:

Andrea Cremer
The Conjurer’s Riddle (The Inventor’s Secret, Book 2)
Penguin Speak (US & CA: 2nd August 2016)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Charlotte and her companions escape the British Empire, but they haven’t left danger behind. In fact, if they go against the revolutionaries, they face even greater peril. Charlotte leads her group of exiles west, plunging into a wild world of shady merchants and surly rivermen on the way to New Orleans. But as Charlotte learns more about the revolution she has championed, she wonders if she’s on the right side after all. Charlotte and her friends get to know the mystical New Orleans bayou and deep into the shadowy tunnels below the city – the den of criminals, assassins and pirates – Charlotte must decide if the revolution’s goals justify their means, or if some things, like the lives of her friends, are too sacred to sacrifice.

Mira Grant
Chimera (Parasitology, Book 3)
Hachette Orbit (US: 2nd August 2016)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

The outbreak has spread, tearing apart the foundations of society, as implanted tapeworms have turned their human hosts into a seemingly mindless mob. Sal and her family are trapped between bad and worse, and must find a way to compromise between the two sides of their nature before the battle becomes large enough to destroy humanity, and everything that humanity has built…including the chimera. The broken doors are closing. Can Sal make it home?

Melissa Landers
United (Alienated, Book 3)
EverAfter Romance (US: 2nd August 2016)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

After thwarting a deadly coup and saving the alliance between their worlds, Cara and Aelyx have finally earned a break. Their tiny island colony is everything they dreamed it would be – days spent gathering shells on the beach and nights in each other’s arms. But the vacation is short-lived. The treaty between Earth and L’eihr has awakened an ancient force that threatens to destroy them all. The Aribol, mysterious guardians charged with maintaining interstellar peace, deem the alliance a threat to the galaxy. They order a separation of the races, decreeing humans and L’eihrs must return to their own planets within the month or face extinction. In fact, they already have agents in place on Earth, ready to begin. With the clock ticking, Aelyx and Cara assemble a team of colonists and race back to Earth, where they unite with old friends to solve the mystery of who the Aribol are, what they want, and the real reason the alliance has provoked them. As tensions build to a full-scale war, Aelyx and Cara must fight harder than ever – not just for their future, but for the survival of both their worlds.

Eve Silver
Crash (The Game, Book 3)
HarperCollins Katherine Tegen (US & CA: 2nd August 2016)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

As her dad and best friend lie dying in the hospital, Miki is almost certain the Committee is trying to sabotage her life. The Game is glitching. The missions are more frequent, the alien Drau more deadly, and whatever has been tracking her thoughts more intrusive. The only thing holding Miki together is her boyfriend, Jackson, but somehow telling him how much she needs – and loves – him feels like the most terrifying challenge of all. Can Miki and Jackson make it through the final mission alive and win the Game before the walls between their alien-fighting nightmares and the real world come crashing down? Or will the world and everyone Miki loves disappear forever?

Kristen Simmons
The Glass Arrow
Macmillan Tor (US: 2nd August 2016)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Once there was a time when men and women lived as equals, when girl babies were valued, and women could belong only to themselves. But that was ten generations ago. Now women are property, to be sold and owned and bred, while a strict census keeps their numbers manageable and under control. The best any girl can hope for is to end up as some man’s forever wife, but most are simply sold and resold until they’re all used up. Only in the wilderness, away from the city, can true freedom be found. Aya has spent her whole life in the mountains, looking out for her family and hiding from the world, until the day the Trackers finally catch her. Stolen from her home, and being groomed for auction, Aya is desperate to escape her fate and return to her family, but her only allies are a loyal wolf she’s raised from a pup and a strange mute boy who may be her best hope for freedom…if she can truly trust him.

Alexandra Sirowy
The Creeping
Simon & Schuster (US, UK, CA, & AU: 2nd August 2016)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Twelve years ago Stella and Jeanie vanished while picking strawberries. Stella returned minutes later, with no memory of what happened. Jeanie was never seen or heard from again. Now Stella is seventeen, and she’s over it. She’s the lucky one who survived, and sure, the case is still cloaked in mystery – and it’s her small town’s ugly legacy – but Stella is focused on the coming summer. She’s got a great best friend, a hook-up with an irresistibly crooked smile, and two months of beach days stretching out before her. Then along comes a corpse, a little girl who washes up in an ancient cemetery after a mudslide, and who has red hair just like Jeanie did. Suddenly memories of that haunting day begin to return, and when Stella discovers that other red-headed girls have gone missing as well, she begins to suspect that something sinister is at work. And before the summer ends, Stella will learn the hard way that if you hunt for monsters, you will find them.

Alexandra Sirowy
The Telling
Simon & Schuster (US, UK, CA, & AU: 2nd August 2016)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Lana used to know what was real. That was before, when her life was small and quiet. Her golden stepbrother, Ben was alive. She could only dream about bonfiring with the populars. Their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination. Then came after. After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, living with nerve and mischief. But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten. Love, blood, and murder.