Posts Tagged: Young Adult

Lou AndersCrown Books is described by Publishers Weekly as having a ‘somewhat checkered history,’ but recently hired Phoebe Yeh hopes to establish its presence as a Young Adult imprint. The first round of acquired books has been announced, and among them is a name that should be well known to Science Fiction and Fantasy fans: Lou Anders.

Anders is best known as the Hugo Award-winning editorial director of Pyr Books, an imprint of Prometheus Books known for beautiful covers, and publishing some of the industries most exciting young authors. Anders has also won acclaim as a short fiction editor, having worked on a few high profile anthologies, such as Swords & Dark Magic and With Great Power.

Frostborn, the first volume in a Norse-inspired young adult fantsy series called Thrones and Bones, is described as ” involving a dead Viking sea captain, wyverns, and a 1,200-year-old dragon.” Anders further describes the plot of the novel as being about, “[a] brave frost giant’s daughter who befriends a cunning boy in a land inspired by Norse folklore as they become embroiled against warriors, wyverns, and the past.” It is Anders’ first novel.

Yeh discusses Anders’ novel and his jump from adult fiction (he’s written and published adult short fiction) to young adult:

Due in August 2014, the novel, Yeh explained, “is a very commercial fantasy adventure. The author is a terrific author and editor of adult science fiction, but hasn’t written for children before. He brings a brand new voice to children’s literature.”

Frostborn is due for release in North America on August 2014 and will be followed by two books, Frostforged and an unnamed sequel.

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books - Pages: 304 - Buy: Book/eBook
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

The Summer Prince is the best book I’ve ever read.

I don’t say that lightly. It’s not an exaggeration. I’ve read it twice in the space of two months, first in March, and now in May, and in all the time between those dates, I never stopped thinking about it.

The first time, it took my breath away. I didn’t want to review it then: some experiences are so pure, so perfect, that you can’t bear to sully them with analysis – not right away, at least. I had to savour it for a while; I had to let it sit. But even so, I always knew I’d come back to it. Not just because it’s beautiful, and not just because it’s brilliant, but because I’d be betraying myself if I didn’t do everything in my power to convince other people to read it. There need to be more books like this (there can’t be another book like this), and by now, I can almost hear you thinking, she’s overhyped it, nothing can live up to this sort of press and now I’ll be disappointed – but hear me out. Listen: I can’t guarantee The Summer Prince will touch you the way it did me. I’d be lying if I tried to promise anything of the sort. But every new book is a gambit, wagering your taste against a cover’s tricks, a blurb’s allure, the measure of praise or condemnation with which you’ve heard it hawked. I can’t promise that you’ll fall in love, like I did.

Nonetheless. If you’re going to risk your money and heart on only one new book this year, make it this one. Read More »

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Publisher: Square Fish - Pages: 288 - Buy: Book/eBook

It’s difficult for me, personally, to read portal Fantasy without comparing it against Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, especially those with a fairy tale lilt to its voice. It’s hardly fair to hold one novel against a work of fiction that still, just by evoking its name, transports me, like its protagonist, to another time, another place: a rainy December afternoon, just after Christmas, when I first discovered the beauty of Gaiman’s whimsical imagination. The Girl Who Circumnavigated the World in a Ship of Her Own Making (furthermore, The Girl Who…) has such soul, such a wonderfully commanding and joyous relationship with language, myth and fairy tale, however, that soon after its opening scene, I stopped comparing it against other works, and, in a critic-proof manner that makes this review difficult to write, began to read the work without thought. I fell into its pages, and only crawled out again alongside September, a girl who loses and finds herself in Fairyland.

September read often, and liked it best when words did not pretend to be simple, but put on their full armor and rode out with colors flying.

Though September’s tale is familiar, the telling of it is extraordinary. She is an intelligent girl, though her intellect is often lost behind the naivety of her youth and gets her into as much trouble as it solves. Much of what a reader needs to know about September is summed up in a particular passage that caught my attention:

One ought not to judge her: all children are Heartless. They have not grown a heart yet, which is why they can climb high trees and say shocking things and leap so very high grown-up hearts flutter in terror. Hearts weigh quite a lot. That is why it takes so long to grow one. But, as in their reading and arithmetic and drawing, different children proceed at different speeds. (It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.) Some small ones are terrible and fey, Utterly Heartless. Some are dear and sweet and Hardly Heartless At All. September stood very generally in the middle on the day the Green Wind took her, Somewhat Heartless, and Somewhat Grown.
p. 4

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Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells

While running away from home for reasons that are eminently defensible, Emilie’s plans to stow away on the steamship Merry Bell and reach her cousin in the big city go awry, landing her on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure.

Taken under the protection of Lady Marlende, Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine, and with the assistance of Lord Engal, journey to the interior of the planet in search of Marlende’s missing father.

With the ship damaged on arrival, they attempt to traverse the strange lands on their quest. But when evidence points to sabotage and they encounter the treacherous Lord Ivers, along with the strange race of the sea-lands, Emilie has to make some challenging decisions and take daring action if they are ever to reach the surface world again.

Another in a string of great covers from Strange Chemistry, the YA spin-off of Angry Robot Books headed by Amanda Rutter, a former blogger and friend of this blog, and another great cover for Martha Wells, who seems blessed by the cover art Gods. I haven’t read any of Wells’ work, but with covers like these, I’m damn well tempted.