Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.The Body Finder - Book One

Violet Ambrose has a unique ability, the dead call to her. By using an “echo”, she is able to sense a body’s location through smells, sounds and sometimes colors that they emit but only a body whose life has been cut prematurely short by the actions of another. Not only do the dead have an echo, but the person responsible for their death bears an identical imprint of their victim’s echo as well. A killer whether they mean to or not, cannot hide from Violet. An ability inherited from her grandmother, Violet is the only person who knows the echoes are there.
Violet discovered her first human body when she was eight-years-old while in the woods with her father. Now eight years later, she discovers body number two while celebrating the end of summer at the lake with her childhood friend, Jay Heaton. Soon the small town of Buckley, Washington is terrorized by a serial killer who is targeting young girls. For the first time Violet begins to see her ability as a gift in hopes she can located the killer before there is another death.
But sensing dead bodies isn’t the only complication in Violet’s life. Jay is causing some confusion in Violet’s life. Over the summer, he came into his own and now the girls at school have taken notice and so has Violet. Struggling to deal with her feelings towards her friend since childhood, Jay seems to be the same old Jay, except when someone else takes interest in Violet. When Violet hatches a plan to look for the serial killer, Jay reluctantly agrees to help. When things don’t go as planned and Violet puts herself in danger, Jay becomes fiercely protective and Violet begins to hope that his intentions are more than friendship.
What happens when Violet unknowingly attracts the killer’s attention and she becomes his next target? And can Violet figure out her burgeoning feelings for Jay before it’s too late? Equal parts mystery and romance, readers will be left on the edge of their seats to find out not only who the killer is but whether Violet and Jay will take their friendship to the next level.
Desires of the Dead - Book Two

On a day trip to Seattle with a friend, Violet Ambrose soon hears the echo of a body waiting to be found. When she realizes that it is locked in a shipping container, she places an anonymous phone call. Violet unwittingly draws the attention of the FBI, who realize that she possesses a special talent, even if they are not sure exactly what she can do.

As Violet is trying to figure out the rules of her new romantic relationship with her best friend Jay, she unwittingly becomes the target of someone's obbession. When Jay starts to spend more time with Mike, a new boy in town, Violet begins to flirt with the idea of using her abilities to help the FBI. But when the FBI becomes interested in Mike's family, Violet is drawn in to a dangerous mystery.
There are currently a total of four books planned in the Body Finder series with book three expected to be published in 2012.

Friday, May 20, 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Life is good for seventeen-year-old Mia, until that fateful day. One flake of snow closed school for the day and her family decides to visit a family friend’s new baby and then dinner with the grandparents. Only they never make it due to a fatal car accident. Not knowing how the wreck happened, Mia sees that her parents were killed instantly and soon finds her own injured body. Told from Mia’s perspective of an out of body experience and flashbacks, Mia recalls significant moments from her life while silently witnessing the reactions of her family and friends. Throughout the day, Mia realizes that only she is in control of her life. Will Mia decide to join her family in death or what will her life be like if she stays?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

“Last night my whole world came tumbling down. Now I’m running scared.”

As an immortal, Nastasya (her current name) is disgusted with her party-girl existence when her best friend Innocencio cruelly uses magick to break the back of their cabbie. Leaving him paralyzed in the streets of London, Nastasya becomes sickened not only by friend’s behavior but her own lack of action and begins to reexamine her life. Remembering another incident/accident 80 some years prior with Incy, Nastasya decides to take another immortal she met that night up on her offer. She leaves behind her friends and the life she knows to go to West Lowing, Massachusetts and live with River, if her offer is still available.
Arriving in West Lowing, Nastasya is unprepared for what awaits her; River runs a home for wayward immortals. Currently under the guise of an organic farm to the locals, River’s Edge is a rehab of sorts for immortals looking to make a change, as well as a school and working organic farm. River offers Nastasya a week to decide if she wants to stay and save her own life. Trading in her party-girl ways for organic food and a simplistic lifestyle, Nastasya feels out of place, especially when she runs into “the Viking god”, gorgeous and sexy Reyn. Reyn makes it clear early on that Nastasya has no business at River’s Edge and that she should leave. His attitude causes Nastasya to want to prove him wrong but she realizes that Reyn looks vaguely familiar. When her teacher refuses to waste time on someone who is just going to leave soon, Nastasya runs to Boston and into some old immortal friends. She learns that Innocencio is looking for her but gets a promise that no one will disclose her location. 
In thinking of Innocencio, Nastasya comes to the conclusion that Incy was dependent on her. They were always together. She had thought of him as her best friend, but he caused her to go places and do things she necessarily didn’t want to. Maybe he wasn’t good for her. Nastasya soon feels comfortable at River’s Edge. When she learns the history of the immortal power houses at dinner one night, her world comes crashing down when she realizes the truth about her family and her mother’s amulet. After dinner the next night, river takes a group to the woods for a magick circle. She is interested in why Nastasya gets sick when she performs magick. During the circle, Nastasya recalls a memory from over 400 years earlier in which a Viking raider almost raped her and he looked a lot like Reyn. He has claimed not to be that old.
Nastasya begins to put together the pieces of her past. Why was Innocencio always around her? What is the truth not only about her family’s lives but their deaths? Why did she survive? What is the significance of her amulet and the burn on the back of Nastasya’s neck? What is the deal with Reyn? Is he her worse nightmare or the possible love of her life?
Trilogy will continue with Darkness Falls in 2011 and concludes in 2012 with Immortal Light.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

“One choice can transform you.”

In dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions. Each faction strives to live by a particular virtue: Abnegation – selflessness, Amity – peaceful, Candor – honest, Dauntless – fearless and Erudite – intelligence. All sixteen-year-olds are given an aptitude test that tells them which faction they belong with. On a designated day of each year, a Choosing ceremony is held where the teens decide which faction to devote the rest of their lives to.
For Beatrice Prior, she has lived with her family as Abnegation for her sixteen years. Her brother Caleb is less than a year older and both take the aptitude test the same day. When Beatrice finishes her test, her examiner is a bit worried. Beatrice’s results were inconclusive and only two factions were outright eliminated. She displayed “equal aptitude for Abnegation, Dauntless and Erudite.” People with this result are known as “Divergent”. Her examiner, Tori, warns her to never share her test results as divergence is extremely dangerous. Tori sends her home early because she has a lot of thinking to do. If Beatrice chooses Abnegation, she will stay with her family. By joining a different faction, Beatrice will not see her family again. On a roller coaster ride of emotions at the Choosing Ceremony, Beatrice shocks everyone, including herself, by choosing to become Dauntless.
Renaming herself Tris as she starts the highly competitive initiation process, Beatrice struggles to leave behind the Abnegation values of selflessness and forgiveness. She has trouble determining who her real friends are and embarks on a romance with one of her trainers, Four, who looks familiar. As she attempts to deal with her fears about leaving her family and her feelings for Four, Four discovers her secret of being Divergent. He lets her know that if her true result is discovered, it would mean her death.
But when Tris slowly realizes that something is going on not only within her chosen faction but with society as a whole, she finds being Divergent may save those she loves. Journey with Tris as she begins to discover not only who she is but those she loves as secrets and true identities are revealed. If you loved Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Beatrice Prior will endear you to her as she begins her quest against society.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

Book One – The Demon King

Han Alister and his friend, Fire Dancer, are out in the early spring scavenging for what little can be found. At sixteen, most of the residents of Fellsmarch didn’t consider Han a man yet. Finding little, they decide to hunt for deer to provide some fresh meat for the table. When they locate a small herd of deer, the two boys also notice a weird colored fire. Missing the chance to shoot a deer, they take refuge behind a rocky outcrop to get out of the fire’s path. Soon three boys their age, dressed in fine clothes and riding horses, appear. Dancer realizes they are charmcasters or wizards and demands to know what they are doing on forbidden lands. The leader informs Dancer that his name is Micah Bayar and that they are on Queen Marianna’s orders to drive the deer to the valley below so that she and her daughters can hunt. Micah then questions Dancer if his real name is Hayden, which happens to be a wizard’s name. Words, blows and charms ensue between the two until Han draws his bow on Micah. Having the upper hand, Han orders the three young wizards to leave but not before commanding Micah to take off his powerful amulet. He clearly does not want to do it but sees no choice. Dancer wants to leave it behind but Han wraps it in a cloth for safekeeping.
Raisa, the princess heir to the throne of Fells, has spent the last three years of her life at the Demonai camp with her father’s clan. Now back at Fellsmarch Castle, she is hearing the whispering about her mother among the members of the court. The Queen is too close to the High Wizard, Lord Gavan Bayar who is Micah’s father. Raisa herself has entered a forbidden flirtation with Micah. But with the opportunity to hunt and ride, Raisa is chomping at the bit to go. Soon Raisa becomes uneasy but keeps her fears to herself until it is almost too late. The royal hunting party encounters Micah and his companions as the fire traps them in a canyon. Using the boys, Lord Bayar performs a chant that causes the fire to be put out.
Han, a former streetlord known as Cuffs Alister, has worn a pair of silver engraved wrist cuffs for as long as her can remember. They are clearly enchanted as he can never take them off and they grow with his body. His mother seems to not recall how they came to be. Han is trying to eek out a meager living for his mother and sister but his former gang life continues to follow him. Raisa begins to sense that not all is right in her world and unwanted and unexpected change looms on the horizon. Her mother’s queendom seems to be headed for disaster. Raisa desires to be a more powerful queen than her mother but the queen is more interested in a husband for her daughter.
What happens when Han and Raisa’s worlds unexpectedly collide and the long smoldering war between the wizards and the clans finally breaks out? The Demon King is the first book in the Seven Realms series. Readers will be hooked from the first page in this hard to put down fantasy read.
Book Two – The Exiled Queen

SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read any further if you haven’t read The Demon King. Don’t want to ruin this incredible series for you!
All is not well in the Seven Realms. War continues amongst the brothers in Arden, each one jockeying to become king and the bloodshed seeps throughout. Princess Raisa, heir to the Gray Wolf throne, has fled the Fells with Amon Bryne and his triple after her narrow escape from a forced marriage to Micah Bayar on her naming day. Han Alister is reeling from not only the deaths of his mother and sister, but the discovery of his true identity. Both journey to Oden’s Ford to attend one of the various academies located there; Raisa, warrior school and Han the wizard school. But what happens when their paths cross once again? Will Raisa’s true identity be discovered? Is she cut out for military school? Will her broken heart be mended? Does Han have what it takes to become a wizard? And will the Bayar twins stand in his way?
Readers will be left gripping their books at the ending wondering where Raisa and Han’s paths will takes them.

The Seven Realms series continues with The Gray Wolf Throne on August 30, 2011.
Visit Cinda Williams Chima’s website.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Everfound by Neal Shusterman (Skinjackers trilogy book 3)

Everfound by Neal Shusterman (Skinjackers trilogy book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first two books in the series,  Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

Everwild left our cast of Afterlights in various situations of peril. Allie the Outcast is tied to the front of a train heading across the Mississippi River. Milos is in charge of Mary’s second hibernation and looking out  for her children. And Mikey gathered up the chocolate remnants of Nick and reformed them into an actual Chocolate Ogre. But what lies west of the Mississippi and who is the mysterious Jix gathering intelligence for? Will Mikey escape his entrapment and be able to catch up with the others? Can Nick reclaim his Afterlight form or is he doomed to be made of chocolate forever? Can Allie escape from the train? What or who will be found in the West? And will our favorite Afterlights choose to stay in Everlost or take their coins and cross over?