The Kingdom (Henry Holt, 2019) by Jess Rothenberg is a freaky good YA novel. The story is told in an interesting way with a mixture of events in the present, such as post trial interviews, and those in the past with what happened from the main character’s viewpoint. It will keep you guessing and on edge.
Ana is a Fantasist at a theme park where everyone’s fantasy can come true. Bioengineered species–formerly extinct–exist along with the beautiful Fantasist sisters. But then Ana, and others, experience things beyond their programming. When a maintenance worker goes missing, Ana is put on trial for murder. Did she really kill someone?
This is Jess Rothenberg’s second book. Read about the author here. And check out the foreign additions of The Kingdom here.
If you loved Maggie Siefvater’s Scorpio Races, I think you’ll love The Wicked Deep (Simon Pulse, 2018) by Shea Ernshaw. Both books are eerie.
Two centuries ago, in the small town of Sparrow, three teen girls were drowned in the harbor for being witches. Each June since, they return and take possession of teen girls’ bodies. The locals call it the Swan season after the dead girls. And each season at least three boys will be drowned for revenge. Sometimes it is local boys and sometimes tourists.
Our main character is seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot who lives on Lumiere Island with her grief-stricken mother. A boy comes to town looking for work and Penny gets involved with him. Can she save him from the three sisters?
This books has unexpected twists and turns, flashbacks to the past, and keeps one turning the pages. I highly recommend it.
This is author Shea Ernshaw’s debut and it quickly became a NY Times Best Seller. Netflix won the screen rights to the book–I hope they make the movie! Though I might not be able to watch it alone…
Read Shea’s bio here. I’m looking forward to her next book. Read this tweet about it.
Steelheart (Delacorte Press, 2013) by Brandon Sanderson is the first book of the Reckoners trilogy. In this world there are people with superpowers, but they aren’t superheroes, instead they are evil. Ordinary people call them Epics.
David saw the evil firsthand when he was a child. The all powerful Steelheart came to take over the city and bring all other Epics under his control. In the process Steelheart heartlessly kills David’s father right in front of him. David will never forget.
Now a teen, David has been studying Epics and a hidden group of people called the Reckoners who are fighting back. David wants to join them and help take out Steelheart.
The second book is Firefight and the last one Calamity. There’s also a novelella set between books one and two called Mitosis. I’ll need to check them out, too.
Read about the author here and all of his other books here.
I *loved* The Traitor’s Kiss (Imprint, Macmillan, 2017) by Erin Beaty. A strong and smart heroine, a matchmaker, future brides, soldiers and spies, intrigue, danger, lies–this fantasy has it all. I really do love a story that keeps me guessing.
Sage Fowler does not want to be a lady. She does not want to go to the matchmaker for a “suitable” marriage. And she’s got the temper to share those facts. But what’s a girl without parents to do? She becomes the matchmakers apprentice which leads her to go on a bridal trip with a bunch of other girls and the soldiers guarding them. However, no one in their party knows that nefarious schemes are going on behind the scenes that could put the whole kingdom at risk.
This was author Erin Beaty’s debut novel–and you should really read her humorous bio here.
Plus, I’m excited to say a sequel The Traitor’s Ruin is coming out in July! Woo hoo! And on her blog, Erin says she’s working on book three of the trilogy.
Read more about both books here.
I’m a big Tamora Pierce fan and love the new book in her new series. Tempests and Slaughter (Random House, 2018) is about Arram Draper. Yes, if you’ve read the stories about Daine, you’ll probably recognize that name. This story is set farther back in time in Tortall.
Arram is only eleven, well, ten really, but he says he’s eleven. Because he’s always getting into trouble. Especially at the School of Mages where he’s attending with older students. Strange events happen around him. All the Masters know his name.
This story takes Arram through his mage training where he meets the two older students, Varice and Ozorne, who become his best friends. (Whose names again will sound familiar if you are a fan.) With friends by his side life is a bit easier, but the Masters keep adding more and more duties and harder classes. Throw in the crocodile god, the Graveyard Hag, and service in the arena, and Arram is juggling a lot. Will he be able to keep it all in balance?
I didn’t want to stop reading and when I reached the end, I was ready for the sequel, which isn’t out yet! I know I’ll be rereading this story.
If you aren’t familiar with Tamora Pierce, you can read about her here.