The official Divergent trailer has hit the internet last week, and the canaries are all a-twitter. Set to hit the big screen in March 2014, we still have a bit of a wait, made only slightly more bearable by the upcoming October 2013 release of the Allegiant, the third book in Veronica Roth’s Divergent series.
The trailer has that Hunger Games/Distopian vibe, so I look forward to seeing what director Neil Burger will bring to the table. You might recognize his name from his fantasy-real-world crossover thrillers like Limitless and The Illusionist. The cast features the largely unknown lead actress Shailene Woodley as Tris, Kate Winslet as the ruthless Jeanine Matthews, and Theo James as Four, everyone’s favorite love interest.
A few mid-novel thoughts on Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
“You are a Leopard Person only by the will of the Supreme Creator, and as we all know, She isn’t very concerned with Her own creations.” (Akata Witch, 96)
This post will contain only a few, mild (and out-of-context) spoilers for the book.
I am halfway through Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, a YA novel I am co-reading with the lovely lady McLicious over at comp lit and mediaphilia. When I started reading it, I wasn’t sure what to expect – I know precious little about Nigerian folklore, and only a little bit more about the culture and political situation in the country. So far, the things that have really caught my eye (and imagination) are the small details woven into the narrative that are different from what I’ve come to expect from the YA adventure. Continue reading →
Over the next couple weeks, I will be reading Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor with the McLicious lady over at comp lit and mediaphilia. Earlier this month, Hannah challenged me to take a step out of my sci-fi and fantasy comfort zone and nibble on something different. Some discussion and haggling later, we settled on Okorafor’s 2011 J/YA fantasy-meets-magic-realism novel about American-born Sunny, a twelve-year-old whose family has moved back to Nigeria. Already facing the triple outsider jeopardy for being the new kid, an American, and albino, Sunny discovers that she might also be part of a secret society of people with latent magic powers. Oh, and there’s a killer on the loose, and Sunny has just seen the end of the world in a candle flame.
It’s that time again, as 2012 slowly rolls on closer to the new year. Before we know it, it’ll be 2013. December is the perfect month to curl up with a mug of hot chocolate and a book – or celebrate this year’s favorite books! 1,156,852 votes (woohoo!) and Goodreads releases its top reader choice award picks for 2012!
Here are the highlights for our favorite genres:
Dystopian YA is still the new black, with Insurgent by Veronica Roth taking first place with her oddball (albeit creative) world of factions, intrigue, and a society that’s imploding in on itself. The author, Veronica Roth also finds herself at the top of the Best Goodreads Author category, with over twenty-thousand votes, making her a three-time winner (once for Divergent in 2011, and twice again this year). I know I’m curious whether Roth’s third book, coming out September 26th next year, will place first at the 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards, collecting a full set of awards for the trilogy (gotta collect them all!).
The world of Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy is mind-bogglingly original. It recasts World War I as a battle between nations wielding steampunk warmachines and living beasts. The two protagonists, Alek, the on-the-run heir to an empire, and Deryn, a girl disguised as a male solider and the strongest female hero this side of Holly Short, have a will-they-won’t-they relationship of Austenian proportions.
When I first read the books, I couldn’t stop extolling the vibrancy of the world that Westerfeld had created. Every person who stood still long enough got an earful of the dashing adventures aboard the living airship, the Leviathan, and the delightfully infuriating manner in which Westerfeld strings along Deryn’s secret life as Alek hovers ever closer to the truth. Just look at the trailer! How could you not want to dive into the book?
My mother got the biggest dose of my Leviathan mania during daily phone calls. And at the time I was devouring the books, we were also in the midst of selecting new books for our book club — and it was Mom who suggested that I throw Leviathan into the ring. And I laughed at her until I realized she was serious, that she’d been drawn into the stories by my never-ending praise. Continue reading →
Canaries, it is that wonderful time of year. Lights are twinkling in trees, your favorite series are coming out in brand new box sets in time for the present-giving season, and a top ten list of 2012 is being compiled for everything from best fashion to the best new characters on fall TV. And most importantly for us, the round-up for the best of 2012 books is just beginning. And you have a chance to take part in the festivities by voting in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2012.
What started as a behemoth list of every book published this year has become 10 books in each of the 20 different categories, from fiction to cookbooks. One neat facet of this year’s layout is that a small right-hand navigation bar tells you if any of the books on your Goodreads shelves appear in the lists – making it easy for you to pop in and vote for your favorites. Continue reading →
Series Review: Darkness Rising by Kelley Armstrong
Last week, I posted a review of Armstrong’s The Darkest Powers series covering book 1-3. The Darkness Rising trilogy makes up the next three YA books in the same world, following sixteen-year-old Maya living in a small medical-research community on Vancouver Island. In a town of some hundred people, strangers stand out, so when a journalist shows up asking about a tragic death a year ago, Maya takes notice. And she begins to ask her own questions.
The mountain lions are acting up, Maya’s best friend is hiding something, a stranger is snooping around town, and a Maya is haunted by a memory of a friend’s drowning that might just have been murder. Oh and there’s a cute bad boy in school who suddenly develops a sudden and inexplicable attraction to Maya that she doesn’t believe and doesn’t trust.
I actually read this series first, before realizing that it connected indirectly (and eventually directly) to The Darkest Powers. Still, it is a comfortable standalone, and it helps that even if you don’t have the backstory from The Darkest Powers and don’t recognize some of the references, you’ll still know that something isn’t quite right in this peaceful little town. And of course, even the most oblivious reader will zero in on the fact that Maya has a birthmark in the shape of a cat’s pawprint. Because, you know, that’s never significant. Continue reading →
To everyone, even those who don’t know my long love-to-hate relationship with the books, I refer to Pittacus Lore’s series exclusively as IAmSexy Number Four. There is a whole legion of very confused people wandering around the Midwest trying to find such an excellently titled series. Sometimes they actually stumble upon the real books and, after reading the first, they say, “Meg, this is utterly terrible. Why did you make them sound so good?”
This article will be full of all sorts of spoilers. Beware!
A friend of mine and I are just about the biggest Artemis Fowl fans out there. With each new installment, we giddily gobble up the book at lightening speed, vowing to not discuss it until both have closed the back cover. The agreement worked well for the first six books about the evil boy genius and his feisty fairy sidekicks. But about halfway through book seven, Atlantis Complex, I received a text from her that simply read, “WTF is wrong with this book?”
At the time, I couldn’t really put the issue into words, I just knew something was just disgustingly wrong with the text. A year later, upon relistening to the audiobook in preparation for the upcoming conclusion to the series, I finally get it. It’s a simple matter of growing pains. Continue reading →
Just as you were settling down into plot complacency, this Artemis Fowl book takes a hard right into inter-dimensional travel. A long time ago, when the fairies realized they were losing the war with the humans, they decided to retreat into the earth–all except for the fifth fairy family, the demons. The demons took their island of Hybras and sent it into another dimension with a spell.
But after a long series of calculations, Artemis is beginning to suspect that the magic holding Hybras in limbo is beginning to unravel. Soon, the island will come crashing back through time and space, bringing the demons along.
The demons who’ve spent the entire time since the war training for their final battle with humanity. Continue reading →