As we are fast approaching the festive period I ask you to stop, and take a second to think about giving yourself a wee gift, or 12. And what could be better than the gift of books! Ah, there is nothing quite like curling up with a great author and letting them weave you a tale of magic and mayhem that transports you ‘Narnia Style’ out of your own reality.
So, I decided to do the legwork for you and feature 12 books that you could indulge in – or, if you’re feeling overly generous, buy for a loved one.
Each book has a different publication date, some will have to be pre-ordered – which is even better! The gift that keeps on giving! Order them for Xmas and, when they’re out, they will cleverly find their way to your door or eReader. I personally love turning on my Kindle and seeing a book appear fresh off the press, even better when the postman rings your doorbell and hands you a package (hmmm, that kind of sounds rude!)
So, ho, ho, ho, here they are with handy summaries and buy links. Happy reading, and to all a good read!
Never, ever cry . . .Seventeen-year-old Eureka won’t let anyone close enough to feel her pain. After her mother was killed in a freak accident, the things she used to love hold no meaning. She wants to escape, but one thing holds her back: Ander, the boy who is everywhere she goes, whose turquoise eyes are like the ocean. And then Eureka uncovers an ancient tale of romance and heartbreak, about a girl who cried an entire continent into the sea. Suddenly her mother’s death and Ander’s appearance seem connected, and her life takes on dark undercurrents that don’t make sense. Can everything you love be washed away?
Meet Meda. She eats people.Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is.Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and trying to keep one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it.
#3 Bound by Night by Larrisa Ione
Nicole Martin was only eight years old when she narrowly survived a massacre: her family’s vampire slaves rebelled and killed everyone in her household. Twenty years later, Nicole now dedicates herself to finding a vaccine against vampirism . . . and eradicating the gruesome memories that give her nightmares.
Riker, a member of the wild vampire Moon Clan, is haunted by his own demons – his wife Lorraine had been captured and enslaved by the Martin family. It was during a botched escape attempt that she was killed, along with their unborn child. Still wracked with grief and anger, Riker is now fuelled solely by the desire to rescue vampire slaves . . . and slaughter their owners.
When Riker stumbles upon Nicole in a chance meeting, he immediately recognizes her as a member of the Martin family that once enslaved his wife -and she recognizes him as the wild vampire she saw kissing a pregnant slave in the moments before her violent death – an image that has haunted her dreams for years.
When Riker kidnaps Nicole and they spend a night together in a cave on the way back to his clan, suddenly they begin to realize that they aren’t as different from one another as they may have thought – and they’re finding themselves drawn to one another . . .
Buy Bound by Night
#4 Trancehack by Sonya Clark
It’s 2065. Those born with magic abilities live in government-run zones, without rights or freedoms. Fear of magic created this segregated world and fear keeps it intact.
A high-profile murder brings Detective Nathan Perez to Magic Born Zone 13. He’s had little experience with the Magic Born and isn’t sure what to expect during his first encounter with a witch, but he never thought he’d be so drawn to her.
Trancehacker Calla Vesper uses magic to break into computers and aid the Magic Born underground. She has no interest in helping a cop, even if he is smoking-hot, but money’s tight and Nate offers a tidy amount for help navigating the Zone. Calla’s determined to keep it all business, but sparks start flying before the investigation even gets started.
When Calla’s trancehacking and Nathan’s investigation uncover a conspiracy, Calla becomes a target. Nate can protect her by keeping her role a secret—but then who will protect Nate?
#5 Doll Bones by Holly Black
Twelve-year-old Zach is too old to play with toys. Or at least, that’s what his father thinks.
But even though he stops hanging out with Poppy and Alice, stops playing with his action figures, it’s no good. There’s one toy that still wants to play with him. A doll that’s made from the bones of a dead girl.
The only way to end the game is to lay the doll to rest forever. It’s time for a journey to Spring Grove cemetery. It’s time to grow up.
A chilling ghost story by the bestselling author of The Spiderwick Chronicles, Holly Black.
Buy Doll Bones
#6 Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L Reid
When demons invade her dreams and tease of her death, Quinn, and Aaron, a boy with amnesia, must find a way to banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.
Book Summary: It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and teasing of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.
Buy Pretty Dark Nothing
#7 Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll
New York jeweller Garet James has her fair share of problems: money, an elderly father, a struggling business. One day she comes across an antiques shop she’d never noticed before. The owner possesses an old silver box that’s been sealed shut. Would she help an old man and open it, perhaps? She does…and that night strange things begin to happen. It’s as if her world – our world – has shifted slightly, revealing another, parallel place that co-exists without our knowledge: the world of the Fey…
Garet learns that one of her ancestors was ‘the Watchtower’: an immortal chosen to stand guard over the human and the fey worlds – a role that she has, it seems, inherited from her mother. But the equilibrium between these two existences is under threat. The 16th-century magician and necromancer Dr John Dee has returned, the box has been opened and the demons of Despair and Discord released. In a race against time and impending apocalypse, it is Garet who must find Dee…and close the box.
Buy Black Swan Rising:
#8 Acid by Emma Pass
2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID – the most brutal, controlling police force in history – rule supreme. No throwaway comment or muttered dissent goes unnoticed – or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember.
The only female inmate in a violent high-security prison, Jenna has learned to survive by any means necessary. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID – and to uncover the truth about what really happened on that dark night two years ago.
#9 Scorched by Mari Mancusi
Sixteen-year-old Trinity Brown is used to her grandfather’s crazy stories, so she never believed the latest treasure he brought home was a real dragon’s egg. Not until their home is invaded by soldiers trying to steal it and a strange boy who tells her the world as she knows it will be wiped out in a fiery dragon war—unless they work together to stop it. Meantime, there’s a different voice whispering to Trinity, calling to her, telling her what to do…the dragon inside her egg is not ready to give up without a fight.
#10 Shadow Play by Laura Lam
The sequel to Pantomime
The circus lies behind Micah Grey in dust and ashes.
He and the white clown, Drystan, take refuge with the once-great magician, Jasper Maske. When Maske agrees to teach them his trade, his embittered rival challenges them to a duel which could decide all of their fates. People also hunt both Micah and the person he was before the circus–the runaway daughter of a noble family. And Micah discovers there is magic and power in the world, far beyond the card tricks and illusions he’s perfecting…
A tale of phantom wings, a clockwork hand, and the delicate unfurling of new love, Shadowplay continues Micah Grey’s extraordinary journey.
Buy Shadow Play
#11 The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard
Seventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. Coming from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, she has to be. There’s no room for softness, no room for emotion, no room for mistakes. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes, a parallel universe to Earth. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.
Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Riven isn’t prepared for the beauty of a world that is unlike her own in so many ways. Nor is she prepared to feel something more than indifference for the very target she seeks. Caden is nothing like Cale, but he makes something in her come alive, igniting a spark deep down that goes against every cell in her body. For the first time in her life, Riven isn’t sure about her purpose, about her calling. Torn between duty and desire, she must decide whether Caden is simply a target or whether he is something more.
Faced with hideous reanimated Vector soldiers from her own world with agendas of their own, as well as an unexpected reunion with a sister who despises her, it is a race against time to bring Caden back to Neospes. But things aren’t always as they seem, and Riven will have to search for truth. Family betrayals and royal coups are only the tip of the iceberg. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?
The Almost Girl is a richly imagined story of defiance, courage, and heart. It is the tale of a girl who finds her own way on her own terms, a girl who won’t let what she is define her, and a girl who will sacrifice everything she is for the ones she loves. It is a story of someone who eclipses her predestined fate to become something more … something extraordinary.
Buy The Almost Girl
#12 The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
“Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.”
He looks, and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task now is to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion… and more.
But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.
Buy The Mad Scientist’s Daughter