A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Elder is now in charge of the Godspeed, following the death of Eldest. He is determined to be different in his leadership style, no more lies and no more drugging his people. But rebellions begin rising up, laziness threatens food production, and there’s another murderer onboard. Meanwhile, Amy stumbles across a thread of clues left behind by Orion, explaining his extreme actions and revealing another shocking secret that will affect the entire ship.
Amy and Elder are once again faced with startling secrets and lies that have been hidden for generations. The two young adults are forced to make more difficult decisions, affecting the entire population. Revis’ sophomore novel is just as incredibly vivid and intense as before. This is the second in her science fiction trilogy, that may just be more suspenseful that the last. The author is amazingly talented at taking the reader through the same range of emotions as her characters, from panic-laden claustrophobia in the first novel to a fear of chaos and mutiny in this sequel.
Both teen and adult science fiction fans will enjoy this extraordinary coming-of-age story. Filled with intense suspense, adventure, mystery, and a bit of romance – A Million Suns is pure excitement from beginning to its cliffhanger ending. This fantastic space opera trilogy is a must-read.
A Million Suns releases from Razorbill on January 10, 2012.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cinder lives and works as a mechanic in New Beijing, but as a second class citizen. As a cyborg, she is considered less than human and is used as slave labor for her legal guardian and her two daughters. When Cinder’s young stepsister contracts a deadly plague, her guardian blames Cinder. Meanwhile, Cinder has a job to do for Prince Kai, the future Emperor, and uncovers an incredible secret that will affect relations between Earth and the Lunar colony as well as Kai’s future.
Cinder is an incredible new twist on the Cinderella story. Meyer’s futuristic world of intelligent androids, cyborgs, and a mysterious race of humans on the moon create a dark and fascinating backdrop. Cinder dreams of freedom and escape. She’s a tortured girl with a secret past, only knowing that she was in a terrible accident that took her hands and feet that had to be replaced with mechanical ones.
Readers of all ages will enjoy this fairy tale merged with science fiction. This fast paced-adventure is full of suspense, danger, intrigue, and surprises. Events build up to a breath-taking, cliffhanger ending that will leave readers wanting more. First in a four-book series, this debut is fun, fresh, and completely engaging. Entirely fantastic, I loved every bit of this inspired story.
Cinder releases from Feiwel & Friends on January 3, 2012.
Cinder will also be available in audio book format. Check out the audio clip below for an excerpt:
Centauriad: Daughter of the Centaurs, by K. K. Ross
Malora is the lone survivor of her village after a gruesome attack of monstrous creatures from the sky. Making her way own, with only her horses as company, she struggles to stay alive and sane with no other known human communities in existence. Suddenly, Malora and her horses are captured by centaurs from the northern lands. The centaurs speak English, but Malora is leery of them, assuming they are the reason her mother told her to stay away from the north. But the centaurs seem civilized and live in luxury that Malora has never known. And Malora is soon forced to integrate into a strange society with its own breed of injustices.
Malora is a strong, courageous and loyal girl. Ross’ fantasy world is fascinating and full of dramatic history and unique creatures. The centaurs are a noble and recently civilized nation with a rich culture, after a bloody battle with humans. And the twani are cat-like creatures that serve the centaurs willingly as their working class. The centaur and twan characters are as complex and diverse as humans. The worldbuilding is incredible and captivating.
First in a promising new series, Daughter of the Centaurs is a fantastic young adult epic fantasy. This impressive story is well-paced with plenty of adventure, drama, and excitement. Enchanting and enthralling from beginning to end, the novel is impossible to put down. Fantasy fans of all ages will enjoy. I didn’t want this one to end, and will be eagerly awaiting a sequel.
Centauriad: Daughter of the Centaurs will release from Random House Books for Young Readers on January 24, 2012.
Captain Nemo by Kevin J. Anderson
In Captain Nemo, Kevin J. Anderson conveys a fictional biography of one of the founding fathers of science fiction. The story follows Jules Verne and his two friends Andre Nemo and Caroline Arronax. Jules and Andre both love adventure, but Jules would rather dream about far off places while Andre experiences them. As Jules pursues his love of writing, he chooses to write about his friend’s numerous, adventurous exploits. And Nemo’s hard life begins to change his heart, turning him into one of the most feared sea captains in the Atlantic.
Jules Verne has a heart for the arts, in spite of his father’s pressures to follow him into law. While somewhat rebellious, he doesn’t share the same courage that Andre does. Both young men love Caroline, causing an awkward love triangle – as Caroline only has feelings for Andre.
While Andre Nemo’s adventures delve into the realms of fantasy and science fiction (at least for the time period), the emotional drama is realistic. Nemo’s travels are of course the driving force of the story and the inspiration for Jules Verne – from a mysterious island with dinosaurs that takes him deep within the earth, to an amazing hot air balloon ride, and finally to the legendary Nautilus. Full of drama, adventure, war, and heartbreak – Captain Nemo is a satisfying read. Fans of classic science fiction will enjoy this homage to Jules Verne.
Legend by Marie Lu
Day is one of the most wanted men in the Republic. But Day is only fifteen-years-old, living on the streets and trying to take care of his destitute family. Meanwhile, June was born into a wealthy family and is a prodigy in the Republic’s ranks. When she is told that the criminal known only as Day has killed her brother, she makes it her personal mission to hunt him down. But June soon learns that the government has been lying to her, and the Republic will stop at nothing to keep their secrets.
Day is a brave and selfless boy, who wants nothing more than to keep his family safe from the brutal plagues that ravage the area. Sparks fly when he meets June, a bright and talented girl with a good heart. The dialog switches each chapter back and forth between Day and June in first person. The publisher even gave them a different font and type color, helping to keep them straight mid-chapter, which readers will appreciate. Lu’s world is a future dystopian version of America, where the West Coast’s Republic is under martial law. The setting is dark and mystifying as readers learn along with June and Day about the sinister dealings the Republic has kept hidden.
Thoroughly engaging and exciting, this debut is full of suspense, drama, mystery, and a bit of romance. Easily one of the best new YA thrillers this year, I was highly impressed and completely immersed in the characters and story. Lu is a promising talent that I will certainly be following. Legend works well as a standalone novel, with a stirring, climactic ending. But thankfully, Penguin Teen reports that this is just the first in a trilogy. Don’t miss this one.
Legend releases from Putnam Teen on November 29, 2011.
Crossed by Ally Condie
Cassia gets herself assigned to the Outer Provinces in search of Ky, who lives each day as a target for the Enemy. When Ky finally escapes with two other boys, his first plan is to find his way back to Cassia. Both face a long journey of hardships, death, and betrayal.
Cassia has made her choice with Ky, but Xander still holds a place in heart. And she’s still a bit naïve. While the previous story was entirely in the heart of the Society, this sequel follows Cassia and Ky on their separate paths on the outside. And as Matched focused mostly on Cassia, Crossed gives equal time to Cassia and Ky. And readers receive more insight into Ky and his tortured past.
This second book in the Matched trilogy has a different feel from the first, maybe because of the setting and already knowing about the regulated Society. Matched was about Cassia making a choice between the Society (Xander) and freedom (Ky). Crossed also is about making choices for both Cassia and Ky, involving both of their futures. Just as gripping and engaging as before, fans will not be disappointed. Though, the story does end abruptly with a bit of confusion. Full of adventure, mystery, and intrigue – readers of all ages will enjoy this highly entertaining dystopian trilogy. Condie’s near-future world is thrilling and completely engaging.
The Tomorrow Girls: Set Me Free by Eva Gray
Louisa, Evelyn, Rosie, and Maddie are back together again, after a narrow escape from the Phoenix school where Maddie was being held. And in fleeing the Alliance school, Maddie was told the shocking news that her mother is the Hornet, leader of the Resistance. Also, now in the girls possession is information from a spy within the Alliance, with it could be news Maddie’s mother desperately needs. Now the girls must not only break the code, but discover the Hornet’s hideout and hopefully help the Resistance in the war against the Alliance.
This fourth and final installment in the Tomorrow Girls series is told from Maddie’s point of view, the quietest of the group. Maddie’s parents have been gone a while, both soldiers in the war. So since they’ve been gone, Maddie has been a part of her best friend Louisa’s family. Louisa, Evelyn, Rosie, Maddie, along with Drew, Alonso, and Ryan have been on a long, adventure-filled journey back home. This near-future, dystopian setting focuses on the teens and their perilous journey, full of heart-ache, mystery and humor. Each book is fast-paced and a quick read. And this highly entertaining series with plenty of heart has built up to a satisfying conclusion.
The Tomorrow Girls: With the Enemy by Eva Gray
Evelyn was always considered the paranoid one of the four former roommates from the remote boarding school. Until they discovered that the school was run by the evil Alliance. The four quickly fled the school, meeting up with three boys aiding their escape. On the run towards Chicago, Maddie was suddenly kidnapped. Evelyn and the remaining group must form a plan to find Maddie and rescue her. But the little info they have comes from a mysterious stranger, who may not be trustworthy.
This third installment in the Tomorrow Girls series is told from Evelyn’s point of view. We’re able to get a glimpse of her home life, her mentality, and an explanation for her behavior at school. The boys also become bigger characters in this story, with personalities finally developing.
With each installment getting more intense and suspenseful, With the Enemy is pure fun and excitement from beginning to end. The intensity of the situation is often ladled with humor at times, lightening the mood and the spirits of the teens. A bit of romance begins blossoming between more characters. And once again, readers are left with a major cliffhanger to be concluded in the forth and final novel Set Me Free. This short, science fiction series for young adults is highly addicting.