Year in Preview: 2015 Reading Itinerary

I am so far behind. Obviously this post would be more meaningful in January. But, “better late than never,” right? Right? I think so, too. So read on for some of my most anticipated books that will be published in 2015 (images before blurbs):

The synopsis of this one brings to mind so many good books: The Scarlet Pimpernel, the Secret History of the Pink Carnation, and The Forbidden Rose. I can’t wait to read it!

A mishmash of Caribbean legend, zombies, and urban fantasy set in New York City, this book looks like a wild ride.

OK, the first thing that made me want to read this book is its cover. I know the old adage, but who actually follows that? But then, I was hooked by the lost princess working on a pirate ship, with an attractive captain and a curse that brings (and keeps) them together. Helloooo, pirate adventure romance!

Every book I read by Sarah J. Maas is better than the last. So you can probably see why I’m excited about her newest series, which reworks The Beauty and The Beast with faerie lore. A young huntress kills a wolf in the woods, gets dragged to Faerie, and is held captive by Tamlin…

Unlike Sarah J. Maas, I did not enjoy the previous books by Naomi Novik (full disclosure, I only read the first in the series about Temeraire). But Uprooted looks fantastic. About a dragon, who supposedly eats maidens from a nearby village, and a maiden from said village who knows better… but still doesn’t know what’s in store for her when she gets chosen by him. (I’m assuming that last, because she’s the protagonist, so it’s obvious, right?).

I’ve never read Holly Black, but I have read good reviews of her works, which have intrigued me. A topsy-turvy take on Sleeping Beauty, with love, betrayal, and complex relationships in a faerie setting, this one is first by this author on my to-read list.

In a setting parallel universes and Travelers who can journey between them at will, Kell is a young magician who gets caught up in treason and flees to a different London, where he runs into a young cut-purse who demands her own adventures and drags him along as her ride. Unique and with what looks like an engaging sense of humor, this book definitely fits on my most-anticipated list. As a bonus, it features a male main character, which is unusual for the books I read.

One for the historical mysteries sub-genre. Set in 1543, it follows a young woman who is also an alchemist, as she gets caught up in a poisoning investigation.

This one is intriguing, but I can’t, based on the description, actually figure out how badly I want to read it.

In steampunk Seattle, a young woman working in a bordello witnesses trouble and change – a man whose machine can control minds, and the brutal murder of a young streetwalker.

**This list tells me that I need to read more science fiction in 2015. Among other things…

Futuristic Frankensteins in “House Immortal”

20821206House Immortal by Devon Monk
Roc: September 2, 2014 (Urban Fantasy)

My rating: Beach Vacation vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3

It’s all about the soil. Out here in the scratch, we still have devilry in our dirt. Makes stitched things stay stitched.” (p. 5)

House Immortal is the start of a new, futuristic series by Devon Monk. It played with the concept of Frankenstein; in this world there are twelve (and now thirteen) immortal men and women who have been stitched together. In order to save the innocent from slaughter, these twelve sold themselves into service, they are no longer considered human, but property of the highest bidder. However, the conclusion of House Immortal leaves the impression that change is imminent for these immortals, as well as society at large.

Matilda Case has been living under the radar since the death of her parents when she was a child. Ever since her brother disappeared, Matilda has been caring for her grandmother and maintaining her farm and the strange stitched creatures her father created. Matilda has always needed to maintain her privacy, she’s not like anyone else, in fact, she’s not living in the body she was born in, hers has been stitched, making her a valuable commodity when her existence is learned. (more…)

Watch out for teen cyborgs in ‘The Almost Girl’

17397481The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard
January 7, 2014, Strange Chemistry (Young Adult, Sci-Fi)*

My Rating: Beach vacation.

The Almost Girl is an interesting teen sci-fi thriller. It’s got a little bit of everything: aliens, cyborgs, alternate world, rebel uprising and helping of romance. From the ending, I can only assume that this is the first in a series, of which I will be tuning in for.

Riven is a young woman from an alternate world. She’s been sent to Earth to find Caden, the apparent clone of her ruler, Cale. Riven has always counted on Cale as her friend, especially as her life slowly fell apart after losing her mother, her sister turning her back on her, and her father’s mental instability. So when she, a high-ranking official in the army, is ordered to go to Earth and bring Caden back, regardless of his wishes, she accepts the mission. Of course, when she meets Caden, matters are much more complicated than she ever anticipated. She doesn’t count on actually having feelings for Caden, since she’s never really had them before. The question becomes whether she will exchange her loyalty to Cale for Caden.

My favourite part of The Almost Girl was Riven. Generally, I really enjoy sci-fi so when I heard about this book featuring an emotionless girl who may or may not be a cyborg, I was completely sucked in. And Riven did not disappoint. She really was emotionless and she has a terrible history and has killed. She’s not your typical nice-girl heroine. This brutality is partly expected in her world, but she’s aware that she is different from everyone else in that she does not really feel. It slowly becomes clear why and how she is different but the journey to that point was well plotted. I really enjoyed reading how Riven slowly connected with the more human side of herself.

For me, the least engaging part of the story was Riven’s relationship with Caden. There seemed to be too much of a juxtaposition between the two of them, and I’m not really sure that I buy a relationship between the two of them. Riven was a hard character. She’s done some bad stuff. Caden was so apple-pie compared to her. He was all softness and emotions. In some ways, this was a real reversal of stereotypical gender roles. That facet I liked. And I liked how Caden made Riven more human. However, I’m not convinced that a romantic relationship would really work. How is Caden ever really going to understand Riven and what she has done? I’m not convinced that they have enough in common to make it work. On the flip side, because Caden doesn’t know Riven’s history, he’s the only one really willing to give Riven a chance and actually get’s to know her as a person. Ultimately, I’m undecided about the relationship and I only think a second book will answer the questions I have about Riven and Caden.

Overall, I liked The Almost Girl and I’m happy to be seeing more and more sci-fi titles in upcoming teen fiction, and I would be interested to see where Howard takes the story next. I liked the world building in The Almost Girl and the ending leaves a lot of doorways open, and I’d very much like to learn more about this alternate world.

*Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

Similar Reads

Reboot (Reboot, #1)Rush (The Game, #1)Acid

Reboot: For another unfeeling heroine, check out Wren here. Like Riven, Wren’s pretty emotionless, but also like Riven, she finds someone to look beyond that fierce exterior.

RUSH: Aliens have come to Earth – and Miki Jones has just been recruited to fight them. She’s probably more of a Caden character, but she has quite a bit more backbone.

Acid: I haven’t actually read this one, but it sounds pretty awesome. And it’s heroine, Jenna, sounds like she could be similar to Riven was a tough as nails personality.