New Books – October 2010

Zombies vs. Unicorns, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier. Y Zombies.
It’s a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories from such authors as Cassandra Clare, Meg Cabot, and Scott Westerfeld.

Starcrossed, by Elizabeth Bunce. Y Bunce.
Sixteen-year-old Digger thrives as a spy and sneak-thief among the feuding religious factions of Gerse. But when a routine job goes horribly wrong and her partner and lover is killed, she disguises herself in a group of young nobles and sneaks out of the city and soon becomes a part of a rebellion.

The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms Book Two), by Cinda Chima. Y Chima.
Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean danger isn’t far behind.

Low Red Moon, by Ivy Devlin. Y Devlin.
Seventeen-year-old Avery can remember nothing to explain her parents’ violent death in the woods where they live, but after meeting Ben, a mysterious new neighbor, she begins to believe some of the stories she has heard about creatures of the forest.

Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly. Y Donnelly.
An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy–Louis Charles, the lost king of France.

The House of Dead Maids, by Clare Dunkle. Y Dunkle.
Tabby Aykroyd is brought to the mansion of Seldom House to be nursemaid to a foundling boy. He is a savage creature, but the Yorkshire moors harbor far worse, in this prelude to Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

Crescendo (sequel to Hush Hush), by Becca Fitzpatrick. Y Fitzpatrick.
Nora’s life is far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up.

Halt’s Peril (Ranger’s Apprentice, Book Nine), by John Flanagan. Y Flanagan.
The renegade outlaw group known as the Outsiders may have been chased from Clonmel, but not before killing Halt’s only brother. Now Rangers Halt and Will, along with the young warrior Horace, are in pursuit, and it will take every bit of skill and cunning for the Rangers to survive.

Fallen, by Lauren Kate. YPB Kate.
Seventeen-year-old Luce is a new student at Sword & Cross, an unwelcoming boarding/reform school in Savannah, Georgia. Luce’s boyfriend died under suspicious circumstances, and now she carries the guilt over his death with her as she navigates the unfriendly halls at Sword & Cross, where every student seems to have an unpleasant–even evil–history.

Rot & Ruin, by Jonathan Maberry. Y Maberry.
In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother’s footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

Lockdown, by Walter Dean Myers. Y Myers.
New York Times-bestselling author takes readers into the world of Progress juvenile detention facility. It is possible for 14-year-old Reese to get a second chance when he’s treated like a criminal, handcuffed and thrown into solitary confinement?

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, Book Three), by Patrick Ness. Y Ness.
In the riveting conclusion to the acclaimed dystopian series, a boy and girl caught in the chaos of war face devastating choices that will decide the fate of a world. As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions, questioning all they have ever known as they try to step back from the darkness and find the best way to achieve peace.

Half Brother, by Kenneth Oppel. Y Oppel.
From the author of the Printz Honor Book Airborn comes an absorbing novel about a teenage boy whose parents bring home his new baby brother–a chimpanzee.

I Shall Wear Midnight (Tiffany Aching, Book Four), by Terry Pratchett. Y Pratchett.
Fifteen-year-old Tiffany Aching, the witch of the Chalk, seeks her place amid a troublesome populace and tries to control the ill-behaved, six-inch-high Wee Free Men who follow her as she faces an ancient evil that agitates against witches.

Blood on My Hands (companion novel to Wish You Were Dead), by Todd Strasser. Y Strasser.
Callie Carson is happy–she finally got an invite to one of the coolest parties of the year. But her night with the inner circle quickly ends when she makes a horrifying discovery: her friend Katherine has been killed.

The Ring of Solomon (Bartimaeus series, Book Four), by Jonathan Stroud. Y Stroud.
Bartimaeus has served hundreds of magicians during his 5,010 year career. Now, for the first time, fans will go back in time with the djinni, to Jerusalem and the court of King Solomon in 950s BC. Only in this adventure, it seems the great Bartimaeus has finally met his match.

Not That Kind of Girl, by Siobhan Vivian. Y Vivian.
High school senior and student body president, Natalie likes to have everything under control, but when she becomes attracted to one of the senior boys and her best friend starts keeping secrets from her, Natalie does not know how to act.

Where the Truth Lies, by Jessica Warman. Y Warman.
This companion novel to Warman’s critically acclaimed Breathless is a riveting exploration of how love and lead to lies, and proves that sometimes the biggest lies are told to the people we love the most. Emily, whose father is headmaster of a Connecticut boarding school, suffers from nightmares, and when she meets and falls in love with the handsome Del Sugar, pieces of her traumatic past start falling into place.

Behemoth (Leviathan Trilogy, Book Two), by Scott Westerfeld. Y Westerfeld.
In this sequel to Leviathan, Alek and Deryn’s mission to deliver a package to Constantinople goes awry. The only way to save themselves in a hostile, politically charged city is to offer up what matters most–their airship.

Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White. Y White.
Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, and she’s the only person who can see paranormals for what they really are.

Dead Beautiful, by Yvonne Wood. Y Wood.
After Renee Winters discovers her parents lying dead in California’s Redwood Forest, her grandfather sends her off to Gottfried Academy in Maine, a mysterious high school dedicated to philosophy, crude sciences, and Latin: the Language of the Dead.

The Curse of the Wendigo (sequel to The Monstrumologist), by Rick Yancey. Y Yancey.
In 1888, twelve-year-old Will Henry chronicles his apprenticeship with Dr. Warthrop, a New England scientist who hunts and studies real-life monsters, as they discover and attempt to destroy the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh.

The Replacement, by Brenna Yovanoff. Y Yovanoff.
Edward Scissorhands meets The Catcher in the Rye in this wildly imaginative and frighteningly beautiful horror novel about an unusual boy and his search for a place to belong. Sixteen-year-old Mackie Doyle knows that he replaced a human child when he was just an infant, and when a friend’s sister disappears he goes against his family’s and town’s deliberate denial of the problem to confront the beings that dwell under the town, tampering with human lives.

No Teen Gaming Program in November

Our normal monthly gaming program falls on Veteran’s Day, when the library is closed, and with a vacation coming up and Thanksgiving just after that, there will not be a gaming program in November.

The teen gaming programs will resume in December with one or two special events during Winter Break, so look for announcements on that soon.

If you have particular games you want to play or tournaments you’d want to participate in, please e-mail me or comment on this post and let me know your thoughts. I love hearing about what games you’d come to the library to play. See you in September!

The Dark Deeps (Hunchback Assignments, Book Two), by Arthur Slade

Author: Arthur Slade
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy/Steampunk
Pages: 320
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Call number: Y Slade

First line: The boy hadn’t always been yellow.

Summary (taken from Goodreads): Transforming his appearance and stealing secret documents from the French is all in a day’s work for fourteen-year-old Modo, a British secret agent. But his latest mission—to uncover the underwater mystery of something called the Ictíneo—seems impossible. There are rumors of a sea monster and a fish as big as a ship. French spies are after it, and Mr. Socrates, Modo’s master, wants to find it first. Modo and his fellow secret agent, Octavia, begin their mission in New York City, then take a steamship across the North Atlantic. During the voyage, Modo uncovers an astounding secret. The Dark Deeps, the second book in Arthur Slade’s Hunchback Assignments series, is set in a fascinating Steampunk Victorian world. Modo’s underwater adventures and his encounters with the young French spy Colette Brunet, the fearless Captain Monturiol, and the dreaded Clockwork Guild guarantee a gripping read filled with danger, suspense, and brilliant inventions.

What I thought: I’d be hard-pressed to say whether this one exceeds the first or comes dead even. It’s always nice when a series keeps its momentum, both in terms of action and character development. Modo goes from hopping across the rooftops of London to being (albeit cordially) imprisoned on the tricked-out submarine Ictineo after he falls overboard during an attack on their steamship, leaving Octavia behind to relay the news of Modo’s possible death to Mr. Socrates. While the crew and captain of the Ictineo are zealots, with a one-sided focus on using pure science to advance an utopist agenda, their hidden underwater city near Iceland is both a marvel of technology and of tolerance, which pulls at Modo’s heartstrings as well as his intellect. Meanwhile, Hakkandottir and the Clockwork Guild are up to more of their nefarious plans, and they’ve sent after Modo a truly difficult enemy: Griff, the invisible boy.

Modo is in a difficult place in this book, even more so in the first. Managing his appearance is harder, since he is stuck in close quarters on a submarine, and he never fully manages to hide behind masks or his shape-changing ability effectively. This takes a physical toll, obviously, but an emotional one as well, since Modo is constantly on edge that someone will see his true appearance. Also, his desire to please Mr. Socrates by bringing home Captain Monturiol’s technology – thereby aiding the British Empire and sticking it to the French – is in direct contrast with his empathy for the Captain’s true intentions. She only wants to create a society where all people are equal and valued, and Modo, who looks like a monster, shares in that vision. All he wants is a place where he can show his true face without fear, where he can belong.

Of course, this book isn’t short on fascinating steampunk inventions or thrilling chases, escapes, and battles, but what I love about the series is that there’s much more than cool gadgetry and action scenes. This may prompt me to finally go out and get Slade’s other books to read while I’m waiting for the next installment.