Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Countdown: 2012 Releases (5)

You guys know the drill by now...I'm always on the lookout for new finds and exciting new reads and below are just a few that I've come across lately. With how busy everyone gets if I don't write the titles down immediately I'll never be able to remember them later when I'm ready to download a new book to my kindle, or in the store wondering which shelf to look through first. So by posting these countdowns I give myself one more place to look when I need to be reminded of the titles I'm looking forward to.

And as always if you guys hear of any that you haven't seen me post let me know. Like I said, I only have so much time to search for future reads on my own, and to be honest, the majority of my favorite titles I owe to friends/bloggers/author recommendations. So leave a comment, shoot me an email, etc... if there are any books or authors you think I should have on my radar.

Countdown Pick #1: Etiquette and Espionage (The Finishing School, #1) by Gail Carriger (2012)

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to finishing school.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea--and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right--but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

First in a four book YA series set 25 years before the Parasol Protectorate but in the same universe.

So have any of you out there read the Parasol Protectorate series by Carriger? I haven't and I'm not sure why exactly I haven't gotten on that band wagon. And a band wagon it surely is because I have yet to hear anything bad about this series or author in general. I'm not saying it's getting the praise that maybe the Hunger Games trilogy and Suzanne Collins have gotten, but I haven't found any negative reviews out there either, or at least not with the ones I've come across. I think I like the idea that now that there will be a new series by Carriger related but not directly in connection with her previous series, and it takes place before the other series. So I've got the chance in 2012 to check out Carriger's work and see if it's for me. If it's to my liking then I've got all the more reason to check out her other series and get caught up in the new year. What do you guys think?

Countdown Pick #2: Destiny's Fire (Kythan Guardians, #1) by Trisha Wolfe (01/10/2012)

Sixteen-year-old Dez Harkly is one of the last of her kind—a part of a nearly extinct race of Kythan descended from ancient guardians who protected the pharaohs of Egypt. As Shythe, they must keep their shape-shifting ability and electric power hidden from the humans of their steam-powered world.

It’s the year 2040 and the Shythe Council has lowered their barrier, allowing the Narcolym—the dominant race of Kythan whose Flame ushered in the steam era—to enter their haven. As the Narcolym airships get closer, Dez secretly trains for an attack that her best friend Jace believes is coming despite the Treaty Act. Not only is Dez wary of war, and her growing affection for Jace, but she fears the change her fast-approaching birthday will bring.

When her power rockets out of control, Dez knows she’ll never attend the Shythe Academy with her friends, and worse, her mother’s planning to run. But a Narco named Reese could change her fate . . . if she can trust him. After Dez discovers why the Narcos have really come to Haven Falls, her guarded world crumbles. She’s forced to choose between the race who’s raised her and the enemy she’s feared her whole life.

DESTINY'S FIRE is an emotional journey of Dez’s struggle to overcome her fear and embrace her power—her destiny.

I'm a little confused about the set up of this January release but I think that's due mainly to the fact that it's rare you come across a book in the paranormal genre involving these creatures and characters. In fact the genre is so overrun by werewolves, vampires and the Fae that it's always a shock when another group enters the arena. It's also sometimes very refreshing. I mean there are only so many spins authors are going to be able to put on the common creatures before all the stories have been played out don't you think? I'm not looking forward to that particular day, but in the meantime it's nice to open up the paranormal playing field with a story like this one. It sounds like there could be a possible romance going on and there's certainly tension and stress abounding, so we'll have to wait and see how this one plays out. There's a chance that the new year will start off with quite a great group of new reads.

Countdown Pick #3: Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries, #1) by Michele Vail (02/28/2012)

The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath.

Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with.

To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly—against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.

And here's another one that sounds refreshingly different and out of the ordinary of the genre. I've never been into zombie books or movies of any kind. Just can't do it, nothing about the idea draws me in or makes me curious in any way, shape or form. But here we're talking about necromancers and reapers and I'm OK with that. Molly sounds like she's going to have her hands full. But to be honest, I know she's the main character and all but I'm more interested in Rath. There's only a blip on the radar about him in the synopsis but there's something about what they have said about him that piqued my interest. So I'm excited to see if we'll be able to get to know him better and get the chance to see his interaction with Molly. Not to mention, that I'm curious to see how her trip through Hell itself goes...I'm think it probably won't be a vacation.

Countdown Pick #4: Double by Jenny Valentine (02/27/2012)

When the sixteen-year-old runaway Chap is mistaken for a missing boy named Cassiel, his life changes dramatically. Chap takes on Cassiel’s identity, gaining the family and friends he’s always dreamed of having. But becoming someone else isn’t as easy as he hoped—and Chap isn’t the only one hiding a secret. As he teeters on the brink of discovery and begins to unravel the mystery behind Cassiel’s disappearance, Chap realizes that he’s in much deeper danger than he could have imagined.

After all, you can’t just steal a life and expect to get away with it.
Award-winning author Jenny Valentine delivers an explosive mystery where dark secrets, betrayal, and loss pave the way for one teen’s chance at redemption.

How creepy does this scenario sound? I'm practically on the edge of my seat and that's after only reading this tiny little teaser. I'm not sure what kind of trouble this little boy has gotten himself into or what major trouble the real boy Cassiel got into, but either way I'm freaking out over here. It kind of started to remind me of the Angelina Jolie movie, Changeling, and I can only imagine the crazy kind of scenarios that Valentine will come up with in her 2012 release. Luckily it'll be out in February and we don't have to wait too much longer. I'm not usually a mystery addict but every once in a while I get a hankering for a good puzzle and I like seeing if I'll be able to figure it all out before it's actually revealed, or if I'll be completely blindsided and have no idea what the heck is going on. It's usually the latter and I'm hoping eventually I can outsmart the authors...or at least just once!

Countdown Pick #5: Glimpse by Claire Merle (June 2012)

In a near future mental illness has skyrocketed out of control, and society is divided by genetic testing into those who will become ill—the Crazies—and those who won’t—the Pures.

Seventeen-year-old Ana Barber has been mistakenly raised in the community with the Pures. Really she’s a Sleeper which means one day she’ll go psycho, or schizo, or suicidal like her mum. When the authorities discover the truth, there’s only one thing standing between her and banishment to the city and that’s her romance with Jasper Taurell. Jasper, a rich boy from an influential family, wants to be with her despite her genetic defects. If she joins with him before she turns eighteen, she’ll be allowed to stay with the Pures until her illness manifests. But four weeks before their big day, Jasper disappears.

A heart-pounding thriller.

Uh oh. It sounds like someone is out to sabotage Ana's chances at staying with the pures until her illness develops. As most of you know I'm a recent dystopian convert and can't seem to get enough of these kinds of titles lately. This one sounds unique and I'm all for finding out more about this mysterious illness that Merle has us set up for in the future and what society will be like. I've already got a soft spot for Ana and Jasper, especially since he seems like such a sweetheart and that's from like only a few sentences of a description. He's willing to stand up for the girl he loves despite the consequences...and his disappearance is one big consequence, don't you think? It's possibly another dystopian novel to add to my favorites list, and another mystery that hopefully I'll enjoy trying my hand at solving. Anyone else have their interests sparked by this one?

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