Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
This is the third book in Snyder’s Study Series, so it’s difficult to say much about it without spoilers. Yelena, former poison taster for the emperor, will be refining the skills she learnt in Magic Study (I’m not going to tell you what they were, but the title is kind of a clue), as well as balancing her life between the land she was born in and the land she was brought up in. In the second book my favourite character was largely absent, so although I enjoyed watching what Yelena was getting up to, I’m hoping he’s back for this one, because I missed him and his excellent snark. This was originally a trilogy, but Snyder has recently continued the series, which is awesome, because it means that I can read this as soon as I like and there will still be more.
Cress by Marissa Meyer
This is another third book in a series, in this case, The Lunar Chronicles. Cress is a computer programmer working for the villain of the series, Queen Levana, and her story is a retelling of Rapunzel. Based on the previous books, I believe that Cress will be joining Cinder, Scarlet and the love interests they’ve collected along the way, and continuing the fight against the Queen and her supporters. As her story gets more involved, I’m interested to see how Meyer balances the fairytale retelling aspects against the sci-fi. Cinder held more closely to Cinderella than Scarlet did to Little Red Riding Hood, and I can understand why that would happen as Meyer’s story continues and gets more complex.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
This is the story of a girl called September is taken by the Green Wind to Fairyland, which we can assume she circumnavigates in a ship of her own making. That’s almost everything I know, because that, alongside the title and cover, was enough to convince me that this book needed to be in my life. I imagine it as whimsical and beautiful, like The Graveyard Book, possibly in part because of the Neil Gaiman blurb on the front. I sort of want to read it right now, this second. Since I’m writing this way in advance, I may well have read it by the time you’re reading this.
I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
Ed lives a totally normal life which appears to be headed nowhere in particular, until the day he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. Shortly afterwards, someone starts sending him on missions to people in need of aid. While he’s pleased to be helpful, he’d also really like to know who he’s working for. I bought this book mostly because I really loved The Book Thief. This sounds like something completely different, but since I mostly fell for Zusak’s writing style, I’m happy to give it a go. The synopsis makes it sound a lot lighter than The Book Thief, so I’m not anticipating getting my heart ripped out this time.
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
I feel like it’s time to head back and see what Percy Jackson and the other inhabitants of Camp Half-Blood are up to. I haven’t really looked into the plot of this one at all, because I already know that these books are entertaining light reading with satisfying plots and good writing, and that’s all I really need to know to hand over my money.
Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Everyone has been telling me to read this graphic novel lately. Two people from opposing sides of a war fall in love and have a baby, and chaos and drama ensues. I’ve heard that there’s a space opera kind of feel to this, which sounds like fun, and also that all the characters are well drawn (metaphorically and literally). It sounds sort of Whedonesque, which I can always get behind. I’ve also heard that there’s a lot of adult content, so if this story sounds good to you, use your discretion about whether that’s something you’re comfortable with. I think it’s graphic sexual content, rather than graphic violence, but don’t quote me on that, and look for a second opinion if you need to know. On other hand you might be like me, and count this as another point in it’s favour. Bring on the sexy times!
All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I don’t often read straight-up historical fiction, but Regan from PeruseProject loves this book, and it recently won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, so I thought I’d give it a try. It follows a blind French girl in WWII, and a young Nazi with a special assignment to complete. I think it’s probably going to do irreparable damage to my feels, but I can forgive that because the cover is gorgeous.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
This is an unusual fantasy book. On the one hand, it’s a meticulously researched historical novel, with footnotes and all, set in England in the early nineteenth century. On the other hand, it’s all about the exploits of a handful of magicians who are not making the slightest attempt to stay undercover, and those footnotes I mentioned refer me to books such as The History and Practice of English Magic, and A Child’s History of the Raven King. Clocking in at over a thousand pages, this is going to take me a while to get through, but it’s got another of those encouraging Neil Gaiman blurbs on the front, and the BBC are about to start airing an adaptation, so I think it will be worth my time.
Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Katie’s life was going pretty well, until it… Wasn’t. The world seems to be conspiring against her: her relationships and career are going down the drain. Fortunately, a stranger shows up with some (literally) magic mushrooms that can give her a second chance. But now Katie doesn’t want to stop until everything is not just better, but perfect. This sounds like it’s going to be a cute little book with some important undertones about life and responsibility and mistakes and stuff. Also, it’s extremely pretty. It’s not clear above, but the dust jacket is shorter than the book, and the blue sparkly bit at the top is uncovered. I posted a few naked hardback pictures on twitter.
The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth
A lot of the reason I got excited about this book is that it’s so pretty. The gold parts are all raised up from the page, and when you look closely at the green background it looks like leather. The insides are pretty special too, though. Forsyth takes the reader through the rhetorical devices used (consciously) by Shakespeare and (subconsciously) by modern pop stars. Every chapter describes a different device, and gives examples of it’s use.
Ready Player One by Ernest Kline
I’ve heard a lot about this book, and I don’t think any of it is bad. It’s a sort of mash up of a dystopian and a treasure hunt. In the future, the outside world is more or less destroyed, and everyone lives their lives in an MMO. When the owner and creator of said MMO dies, he leaves everything to whoever can follow the clues he’s left in-game. The book follows a guy whose whole life is about solving this puzzle before somebody else beats him to it.