Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quickie Review: Everlost by Neal Shusterman

(First book in the Skinjacker Trilogy)
Genre: YA, contemp fantasy
Page Count: 313 (Hardcover)
Released: 2006 by Simon & Schuster
Recommended for: Lost fans, fans of Micheal Grant's Gone series, anyone who likes a good ghost story or a fast-paced read

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident...but their souls don't exactly get where they're supposed to get either. Instead, they're caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no longer exist. It's a magical yet dangerous place where bands of lost children run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the center of the Earth.

When they find Mary, the self-proclaimed queen of lost kids, Nick feels like he's found a home. But Allie isn't satisfied spending eternity between worlds. Against all warnings, Allie begins learning the "Criminal Art" of haunting and ventures into dangerous territory, where a monster called the McGill threatens all the souls of Everlost.
In this imaginative novel, Neal Shusterman explores questions of life, death, and what just might lie in between.


My (Quick) Thoughts:

The best fantasy and sci-fi books-- books of any kind, really-- are those where the author has fully realized and brought to life their story world.  Everlost is one of these books, and Neal Shusterman is one of those (brilliant) authors.  I loved all the little details: the bizarre, funny, and sometimes eerie lives of the Everlost kids, the way the most impossible things that happen in their world seem not only plausible, but incredibly believeable.  Nick and Allie are both good protagonists (they share that role, for the most part), but I liked Allie better because she's gutsy and brave and isn't a slave to that absolutely horrible Mary Hightower-- a girl who has pretty much declared herself frilly-dress-wearing-Overlord of the limbo Everlost.  Altogether though, this book is definitely more plot-driven than character-driven.  None of the characters were very memorable or impressive-- it's the question of what will happen to them next that makes me eager to dive into the sequel, Everwild.     

Everlost was intended for Middle Grade readers-- it has the typical characteristics of a MG novel, mainly a break-neck-paced plot and shallower characters than most YA novels.  But nobody should let 'age range' stop them from checking out this book.  (Heck, I'll probably be reading YA when I'm seventy-- there's an image for you, lol )  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one and will definitely be reviewing the sequel soon.  


Overall Rating: 4/5

Sunday, November 28, 2010

NoMansLand by Lesley Hauge

Genre: YA, dystopia 
Page Count: 256 (Hardcover) 
Released: June 2010 by Henry Holt and Co. 
Recommended For: Dystopia Fans, fans of The Hunger Games

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  
Sometime in the future, a lonely, windswept island is populated solely by women. Among these women is a group of teenaged Trackers—expert equestrians and archers—whose job is to protect their shores from the enemy. The enemy, they’ve been told, is men. When these girls come upon a partially buried home from the distant past, they are fascinated by the strange objects—high-heeled shoes, teen magazines, make-up—found there. What are they to make of these mysterious things? And what does it mean for their strict society where friendship is forbidden and rules must be obeyed—at all costs? 

My Thoughts: 
I think I expected to like NoMansLand. It has an intriguing premise, a gorgeous cover which I love, and, of course, it's a poster-child for new dystopia. (God, I'm going to have to rename this blog 'A Myriad of Dystopian Books' if this keeps up!)  

Our protagonist is Keller, a teenage girl training to become a Tracker-- one of a group of Amazon-like warrior women who defend their island-bound colony of women living apart from the rest of the broken and devastated world.  Keller's a smart girl with a lot of promise (this book feels like it must be the first of a series) and she also isn't afraid to think for herself, despite the extremely controlling atmosphere of the island society where she lives.  These girls and women are taught to work hard in their selected positions and defend the island from invaders-- namely men, who are demonized by their leaders.  But they aren't allowed to have relationships with the other women, friendly or romantic.  Beauty and vanity have no place in this society and those women who speak out or break the laws-- even via such a simple act as painting their fingernails-- are severely punished.  Along into Keller's life comes Laing, a beautiful girl and fellow Tracker-to-be who has discovered an old, half-buried home from the world Before.  In this house, several of the girls uncover ancient artifacts from a world they've never known, a world where women were too often judged by their appearances and seen as second-class citizens.  Our world. 

The backstory behind the world of NoMansLand is mysterious and shadowy-- we never really find out exactly how this island of women came to be, or how this mysterious council of leaders operates.  Luckily, the author is writing a prequel, according to her website.  But as of now, I felt there were too many questions left unanswered.  This book appears to be more of a light-hearted read, judging from the synopsis... 'girls who find teen magazines and beauty products..' and the fact that it's a thin book, easily read in a day.  But there is a turning point when the story moves quickly from engrossing and light, to darker and heavier events which border on disturbing. Overall, I definitely enjoyed NoMansLand, but I'm not giving it five stars for several reasons.  The writing was clear, and Keller's voice likable, but the depth of the characters was nothing outstanding.  Laing was the only character who really stood out from the masses-- I read this book weeks ago, and she's the only girl besides Keller whose name I remember.  

One of the neatest things about the island colony are the women's names-- it is forbidden to add the suffixes 'y' or 'ie' or 'a' to the end of names, so the names end up sounding androgynous.  So in the book, 'Kelly' became 'Keller' and 'Laini' becomes 'Laing'.  My own name's not one which can be transformed using this system, but I had a fun time running through the names of girls I know and picking new names for them.  :) 


Overall Rating: 4/5

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.  The idea behind IMM is not only to put new books on our radars but also to encourage blogger interaction. IMM explores the weekly contents of our mailboxes: books bought, received, won, and borrowed, along with other goodies and swag. 
I didn't post my IMM last week, because it would have been one sad mailbox! This week, however, I got a large haul of books, most of whose spines I've yet to crack. :)



In My Library Bag:

-- Fullmetal Alchemist (aka the best manga ever) Volumes 11 and 12 by Hiromu Arakawa  
-- Everlost by Neal Shusterman    (sequel to Everlost, which I enjoyed very much)
-- Picture the Dead, by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown
-- Shapeshifter by Holly Bennett    (never heard of this one until recently, but it looks great)
-- Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan
-- Identical by Ellen Hopkins   (a novel in verse) 
-- The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks
-- Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey 

In retrospect, it seems like I picked up a lot of creepy and/or edgy books this week.  Other than that, they have very little in common.  But I'm so looking forward to all of them! 
So, what's in your mailbox this week? 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Follow Friday+ The Book Blog Hop (7)



Well, it's Friday once again and this week I'm not so much sick of school as battling a turkey hangover.  I hope everyone reading from the US had a great Thanksgiving, and has an equally awesome Black Friday. (Which here means snagging a lot of deals, since peaceful and non-hectic is too much to ask for. :) )  Granted, I'm not braving the crowds myself-- I'm far too fond of sleeping in. 
Anyway, I'd like to welcome anyone stopping by my blog via the Book Blog Hop (hosted by Crazy-for-Books) or following via FF (hosted over at Parajunkee's View).  Leave a comment so I can hop by your blog as well. :) 

The blog hop question is "What is your favorite book cover?" 
My answer: Oh no... how can I possibly pick just one.  I confess to sometimes judging a book by its cover. :) Okay... lately I am particularly enamored of the cover for Luminous by Dawn Metcalf.  It's absolutely gorgeous... *dreamy sigh*.  But as far as among my favorite books, I really love the US covers for Scott Westerfeld's Uglies Trilogy, which all feature Tally-wa's face... you have to read the series to know why her looks change so drastically. 
The Pretties cover is my favorite-- who are these models?  They really do look just as beautiful as the pretties in the books must be. Alright, that's enough fawning over covers. :)

A very quick re-cap of what's been going on around A Myriad of Books this week:

--It's the last week to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton, along with a beautiful necklace provided by Kersten herself.  I don't have so many entries that the odds of winning are that scarce, so please just throw your name into the (virtual) hat. :)
-- I signed up for the 2011 Debut Author Reading Challenge and picked out some debut novels that look fantastic.

And finally, this blog is almost to 100 followers!!  I never thought the day would come, especially not so soon.  Thanks guys, for checking out and following my little blog.  I hope you all have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge-- My List

I'm so excited to be participating in the 2011 Debut Author Challenge, hosted by The Story Siren, next year. (Which, incredibly, is only just over a month away. Hurry up, 2011!)  The object of the DAC is to read at least twelve novels from YA or MG authors.  I think I can axe twelve-- maybe even make twenty-four, considering that we have a year and I read a ridiculous amount of books.  So I just wanted to scope out the upcoming releases and those listed on the Story Siren's post and pick a few books I really want to get around to reading in 2011.






















XVI by Julia Karr          
Timeless by Alexandra Monir 
Across the Universe by Beth Revis        
Choker by Elizabeth Woods 
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton       
The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney 
Gemini Bites by Patrick Ryan         
The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver 
Wither by Lauren DeStefano          
Clarity by Kim Harrington 
Born at Midnight by CC Hunter       
Enclave by Ann Aguirre 
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton         
Luminous by Dawn Metcalf 
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake  (no cover yet) 
The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton (no cover yet)
Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (no cover yet)

Good luck to everyone else who's taking the challenge, and I just want to wish everybody in the US a very Happy Thanksgiving today!! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

 "Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly blogging event hosted at Breaking-The-Spine.com that spotlights upcoming release that we're eagerly anticipating.  This week I'm waiting on...  

Enclave by Ann Aguirre 
Publication Date: April 12th, 2011




WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE

(From Goodreads): In Deuce's world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed 'brat' has trained into one of three groups-Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms.

Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember. As a Huntress, her purpose is clear--to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She's worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing's going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade.

When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce's troubles are just beginning. Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn't like following orders. At first she thinks he's crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don't always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth.

Her partner confuses her; she's never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace. As Deuce's perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy... but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she's ever known. 



Here we go again with me and my dystopia obsession. *sigh*  Neither the title nor the cover of this book caught my eye the first few times I stumbled across it on Goodreads, but the synopsis actually sounds fascinating.  The 'Freaks' remind me of the Mudo (zombies) from Carrie Ryan's Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy.  Apparently, the title was initially Razorland-- which I really like the sound of, more than Enclave--, and the cover was entirely different.  Either way, I'll definitely be on pins and needles waiting for this one to come out in April.


So, what book are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Dark Life by Kat Falls

Page Count: 304 (Hardcover)
Published: May 2010 by Scholastic
Genre: YA, science-fiction, dystopia
Recommended For: fans of far-out science fiction

Synopsis: Set in an apocalyptic future where rising oceans have swallowed up entire regions and people live packed like sardines on the dry land left, DARK LIFE is the harrowing tale of underwater pioneers who have carved out a life for themselves in the harsh deep-sea environment, farming the seafloor in exchange for the land deed.
  

The story follows Ty, who has lived his whole life on his family's homestead and has dreams of claiming his own stake when he turns eighteen. But when outlaws' attacks on government supply ships and settlements threaten to destroy the underwater territory, Ty finds himself in a fight to stop the outlaws and save the only home he has ever known.

Joined by a girl from the Topside who has come subsea to look for her prospector brother, Ty ventures into the frontier's rough underworld and begins to discover some dark secrets to Dark Life.  As Ty gets closer to the truth, he discovers that the outlaws may not be the bloodthirsty criminals the government has portrayed them as. And that the government abandoning the territory might be the best thing for everyone, especially for someone like Ty, someone with a Dark Gift. 


My Thoughts: Dark Life is without a doubt one of the most unique books I've read in a long time, setting-wise.  It's sort of like the movie Water World meets Heroes meets the old Wild West movies-- you've got pioneers living on ocean-floor fish farms, driven to find new free land after the government and overpopulation made the surface world all but unlivable.  There are a band of mysterious outlaws-- sort of sub-sea pirates, really, called the Seablite Gang-- attacking the settlers' homesteads and destroying the complex system of their underwater homes.  And then we have the revelation that many of the children who were born sub-sea or have lived there for most of their lives have adapted to their environment and developed powers-- called Dark Gifts.  At times the nature of these Dark Gifts could be a little beyond far-out... bordering on beyond belief.  Yes, I realize this is sci-fi, but the author didn't really offer a valid explanation for why these kids are developing these incredible powers.  I wish Kat Falls (another author namesake!) had expanded a little more on all that.  

The book's first-person narrator, Ty, draws you immediately into the action of the plot, which kicks off on the first page and doesn't cease for a single paragraph until the very end.  The break-necked pace and colorful inventiveness of the story world really draw a reader in, and I can't imagine anyone being unable to put down this engrossing read for more than a few minutes.  (I'm very guilty of reading it under my desk at school.)  Gemma, the Topside girl who Ty meets on an apparently abandoned submarine, is one tough girl-- I really loved her backstory and the way she was determined to survive in the underwater world she was utterly unfamiliar with.  There's a hint or two of romance between Gemma and Ty, but the pages are mostly devoted to Ty's thwarting the Seablite Gang.  There are quite a few plot twists, but I saw most of them coming a mile away.  

I recommend Dark Life for the amazing, intricate dytopia world and as a quick, fun read.  It's not the most memorable book I've read this year, but all in all, I definitely enjoyed it.  The sequel, Rip Tide, has just been announced and will be released sometime in 2011.  I will definitely be looking forward to re-submerging into Ty's undersea world.  

Overall Rating: 4/5

Monday, November 22, 2010

Book-to-Movie Review: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part I

Yes, that's right, another review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!  I know everyone must be sick to death of reading reviews of the movie by now, but how could I possibly pass up adding my two cents?   If you haven't made it to the theaters yet, then don't worry: No spoilers here!

First I just want to say that I was very happy to see how closely the movie followed the first half of the book.  over the last few movies-- four and six, particularly, they've cut out a lot of important scenes and whole plot lines.  But the new HP follows the seventh book almost religiously-- I couldn't think of any major thing they left out beyond just a few little details that I wouldn't have expected to make it to the screen anyway.

The whole HP series is an emotional roller coaster-- when you're in the theater and it feels like you're right there, in the characters' world, it's impossible to come away unaffected by the drama and the (yes, it's cliche-time) magic.  The books are the same way, and that's why the Harry Potter movies are such magnificent adaptations: they bring viewers the same feeling of being transported into another, far more dangerous and enthralling world, something which I think few movies really manage to do.  Number seven certainly lived up to that legacy: in the theater, I gasped loudly; whispered excitedly (and obnoxiously) to the people on either side of me; at one point I jumped out of my seat in alarm; and during the second-to-last scene, I came very close to crying.  (if you've read the books or seen the movie, then I'm sure you know which scene I'm talking about.)  The story of the Three Brothers as told by Hermione was incredible-- I felt like Tim Burton had suddenly and briefly taken over as director, so eerie and faerie tale-like were the shadow figures and their seamless transition into the film. 


As for the characters, I was very excited to see more of the more minor characters from the books who don't often get featured onscreen.  Helena Bonaham Carter was amazing as Bellatrix, as by 'amazing', yes, I do mean 'crazy as a loon', but in a good, entirely terrifying way.  All the Death Eaters were somewhat how I pictured them and formed quite a macabre crew altogether-- especially Yaxley, he has a much bigger role in the new movie.  Voldemort had much more screen time than ever before and he definitely owned all of his scenes.  I'm relieved, because during the first few movies I wasn't sure if Ralph Fiennes was going to quite live up to the Dark Lord of the books-- looks like I was definitely wrong!  Umbridge was great; Snape was great-- wish we could have seen more of him.  (Completely Irrelevant/ Tiny Spoiler Alert: My sister is convinced that the leader of the Snatchers who picks up the trio in the forest scene closely resembles Billie Joe Armstrong, the lead singer of Green Day.  I somewhat agree... but I think it's mostly the eye make-up.  Did anyone else notice this, or are we both crazy? :) )

And the trio-- Harry, Ron, and Hermione...there's always the question of which one of them stole the show the most, and this time around I think it is definitely Hermione.  Emma Watson has grown so much as an actress from the bushy-haired little girl from the Sorceror's Stone.  She has totally become Hermione in every way for me: she is the strong, intelligent, brave, and beautiful witch who has always been my favorite character of the series.  I look forward to seeing what roles Emma Watson takes on next, and I must say I love her new pixie cut. Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint were none too shabby either-- I particularly love the scene with Harry and Hermione slow-dancing in the tent.


All in all, I do not hesitate to say that The Deathly Hallows Part I is the best Harry Potter movie, cinematic and quality wise-- a high honor, considering how phenomenal Half-Blood Prince was.  The film is just under two hours and thirty minutes long, but is one of those rare movies when you don't even think to check your watch while you're in the theaters.  I'm so glad that the director decided to split the last movie into two parts a while back, because I cannot imagine how they could have possibly told this brilliant and beautiful story within a three hour time frame for a single movie.  And now those of us who feel like we've spent half our lives waiting for the next book or movie to be released can spend eight more months eagerly anticipating Part II. 

Overall Rating:  5/5

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Tyger Tyger Trailer+ Giveaway

On November 15th, Tyger Tyger, the incredible first book in Kersten Hamilton's Goblin Wars series, was released!  Tyger Tyger is one of my favorite novels of the (literally) heaps I've read this year, and I'm currently hosting a giveaway for the book, as well as one of the beautiful and exclusive Tyger Tyger necklaces provided by Kersten herself.  Be sure to enter the giveaway and check out my interview with Kersten. The book has a brand-new official trailer, and, well, I'll let the profound awesomeness speak for itself:

video
 

The shadows have such an eerie/cool effect... and I love the goat-like creature at the beginning.  It reminds me of the Phooka from Holly Black's Spiderwick Chronicles series.  Anyway, what do you guys think? 

Also check out:
 The Tyger Tyger Facebook page!
Kersten Hamilton's website
My 5-star Review of Tyger Tyger

Friday, November 19, 2010

Review: Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

Genre: YA fantasy     Published: May 2010 by Simon Pulse
Page Count: 336 (hardcover)
Recommended for Fans of: Blood and Chocolate, die-hard werewolf fans only

Synopsis: Torn between two destinies?
Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she's a werewolf.
As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire's new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever.

Claire de Lune has a promising premise: an ordinary girl discovers on her sixteenth birthday that she is in fact part of a legacy of female werewolves and will soon make the transformation herself.  The cover is beautiful and the synopsis intriguing, except...except everything.  This is one of those YA books which was surrounded by lots of hub-bub when it was released, but after reading the book I'm forced to diagnosis it as: soulless.  Past the marketing appeal, we have a very typical coming-of-age story with a plot somewhat reminiscent of the werewolf classic Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause.  Claire de Lune is a sort of younger, empty-headed cousin of Blood and Chocolate, actually.

The main character Claire is a very typical sort of girl whose life seems consumed with crushing on Matthew, a very typical, soccer-playing heart-throb from her school.  The actual moment when Claire's mother tells her that the two of them are, 'in fact, werewolves, by the way', doesn't occur until perhaps 100 pages into the book.  This is a somewhat slow read, though that wasn't what made the book mediocre in my eyes.  Claire's reaction to this revelation that she and her mother are actually werewolves, hunted by society and part of a secret tribe, is exactly what you would expect: she freaks out.  Big-time.  And who wouldn't?  But I felt like I knew exactly what her next disbelieving exclamation would be.  And another thing-- how many times does the girl say 'freaking' over the course of the book?  Claire is sixteen-- I really think it is realistic to expect her to drop the f-bomb or at least a few minor curses during a moment of crisis.  I'm not saying she should have sworn like a sailor, only that it felt like the author was trying to hard to avoid cursing.
 
  I really dislike book-bashing, and I'm certainly not going to post twenty paragraphs about every little thing that was wrong with this book, so I'll just sum it up in a few words: predictable; mediocre at best.  I hear there is a sequel--Nocturne-- soon to be released, and already I can tell you this is one YA series I will not be continuing. I recommend reading Claire de Lune only if you feel you simply must, or if you're having a slow day at the library.
Overall Rating: 2/5

Follow Friday + The Weekend Book Blogger Hop (6)


Once again,
 it's time for Follow Friday (hosted by Parajunkee's View) and the Book Blogger Hop (hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books).  I always feel like a game show host saying that every week. :) It's going to be more a quick Who Wants to be a Millionaire special than a Wheel of Fortune marathon this week though, because as of now I am exhausted in a big way.  Anyway, a big hello to my beloved followers and anybody stopping by via the Blog Hop or FF.

This week's Follow Friday featured blogger is  fellow YA book blogger Ginger-- be sure to check out her blog G-reads.  And the question is: How long have you been book blogging?
I started my blog on October 13th... so this blog is officially about five weeks old!  Wow, it's still such a baby in the great big blogosphere world, but this feels like an eternity to me.
The question for the blog hop is:
 "Since Thanksgiving is coming up next week, let's use this week's Hop to share what we are most thankful for and what our holiday traditions are!" 
OK, first off, I'm thankful for all the people who follow and comment on my little blog-- you guys are so awesome!  I'm thankful for my family, my dog Zoey and my horse Magic.  And I'm very thankful for the five days off school.  My family always congregates at my grandmother's for a Thanksgiving dinner-- nothing too unusual about that.  We don't really do a lot to celebrate Thanksgiving-- we usually migrate briefly to our peaceful mountain house in Tennessee, and save all the chaos and hub-bub for Christmas. 



Here's a quick re-cap of what's been going on at A Myriad of Books this week: 
Giveaway of Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton + a special Tyger Tyger necklace-- be sure to check out my interview with Kersten and my review of the book!
In My Mailbox (#4)
Review: Eon by Alison Goodman
Top Ten Tuesday: Baddest YA Villains (I had so much fun with this one...too much fun)
Waiting on Wednesday (#5): Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

Thanks for stopping by my blog!  I wish everyone an amazing weekend, full of relaxation, a good book, and... Harry Potter!  It's torture to have missed the midnight premiere when you've been a fan since you were seven, but I'll get to the theater if I have to hitchhike. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly blogging event hosted at Breaking-The-Spine.com that spotlights upcoming release that we're eagerly anticipating.  This week I'm waiting on...  




Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton 
Publication Date: April 26th, 2011




(From Goodreads):
This page-turning debut novel will entice fans who like their paranormal romances dark and disturbing. It's a natural next-read for fans of Stephanie Meyer, Carrie Jones, and Becca Fitzpatrick. But instead of mythical creatures, blood magic has everything to do with primal human desires like power, wealth, and immortality. Everywhere Silla Kennicott turns she sees blood. She can't stop thinking about her parents alleged murder-suicide. She is consumed by a book filled with spells that arrives mysteriously in the mail. The spells share one common ingredient: blood, and Silla is more than willing to cast a few. What's a little spilled blood if she can uncover the truth? And then there's Nick, the new guy at school who makes her pulse race. He has a few secrets of his own and is all too familiar with the lure of blood magic. Drawn together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick must find out who else in their small Missouri town knows their secret and will do anything to take the book and magic from Silla. 


'Love buried in cemeteries, horror hidden behind masks, and the whispered language of blood. I adored this book.'-- Maggie Stiefvater, author of Shiver, Lament, and Ballad 

I love the cover of this book, the contrasts of black and red and shadow and flowers... it's simply beautiful.  And the synopsis makes me think Blood Magic might be exactly my kind of book.  (Though I'm more of a Carrie Ryan than a Carrie Jones fan.)  The synopsis reminds me a little of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting.  Anyway, I'm definitely looking forward to this one.  It sounds eerie and beautiful at once.  


So, what are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: Baddest YA Villains

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.  This week we are making lists of the top ten most awful, evil, sadistic, and pretty much all-around bad villains from our favorite books.  I got really excited about this one, because a great villain can sometimes be what makes or breaks a book for me.  So, without further ado: 


Kat's Top-Ten Literary Nasties

1. Lord Voldemort (aka Tom Riddle; He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named; the Dark Lord) from Harry Potter 

Good ol' Voldy.  You know you like Harry Potter fanfiction too much when you find yourself calling him that as you read the actual books.  (Guilty as charged. :) )  Voldemort was practically born bad.  He kills hundreds if not thousands of muggles and wizard kind, including Harry's parents, with his wand and in his name, and not once does he show even a speck of remorse.  He has a pet snake Nagini, a seven-part soul, and a horde of loyal masked Death Eaters willing to torture, kill, and pillage in his name.  
Evil-ness Bonus: He's really good with  the anagrams. 

2. Mrs. Coulter from The His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman

I saw our host blog also listed her, and I have to say that I agree-- Mrs. Coulter definitely more than makes the list.  Her golden monkey daemon is creepy in a way I find particularly disturbing (given that I've been terrified of apes and monkeys since seeing Planet of the Apes).  There is something very evil about an intelligent, seemingly beautiful, and kind woman who lures young children to horrible ends.  And I don't want to leak any spoilers for readers who haven't read the books, but Mrs. Coulter is also my favorite character in the series.  Sometimes the villain is my favorite, and in this case Mrs. Coulter is involved in so many shocking twists and story revelations that it was difficult to know where she stood at any one point in the series.  Therefore I'll say that Mrs. Coulter isn't always malevolent, but when she's bad-- she's bad. 
Evil-ness Bonus: She lives in a cute little apartment filled with flowers and makes her ward Lyra take frequent bathes-- now that's evil.   

3. Count Dracula from Dracula by Bram Stoker 

The Count is one of the most famous literary villains of all time, and he's well-deserving of the honor.  Being able to transform into a bat, moth, or wolf at will and the whole blood-drinking angle is creepy enough.  But the way Dracula seduces Lucy and Mina is what makes him truly terrifying.  There are a lot of 'Neo-Dracula' books being released lately-- has anyone read iDracula or Dracula, My Love?  
Evil-ness Bonus: He has three creepy, gorgeous vampiric sisters, and he's crossed over into the realm of movies more than a few times.

4. Count Olaf from The Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket 

  Another favorite character who is a bad-a** villain.  Sure, Olaf kidnaps the Baudelaire orphans countless times, murders many of their friends and family-- not excluding their poor parents-- and sets countless fires.  But he's also one of the quirkiest, most bizarre, hilarious book villains of all time.  The things he says have a tendency to make me snort out loud and repeat said line to the nearest person.  I also love his girlfriend, Esme Squalor, though she didn't make the list.  If you haven't read these books, read them! and don't think you're too old for them-- heck, I still read Roald Dahl and I'm not ashamed to admit it. 
Evilness Bonus: Olaf is capable of disguising himself beyond the recognition of any adult and advanced computers, just by putting on a phony accent and covering the eye-shaped tattoo on his ankle.  

5. Drake Merwin from the Gone series by Micheal Grant 

I must now do what I promised myself I wouldn't do, and throw in a villain that few people will probably recognize.  Since many people aren't familiar with the fantastic Gone series, it's long story short about a world where all the adults have suddenly vanished and the kid and teenage population of Perdido Beach are left to their own devices.  Some of the kids also start developing strange, supernatural powers.  Sounds fun, right?  Kids getting along, sharing resources, no going to school, superpowers... well, there's always gotta be one.  Drake Merwin is fourteen years old and was sent to a private academy for strange and 'troubled' kids after he shot his neighbor.  He's a sadist, owns a half-dozen guns he's all too happy to use, and is by far the scariest kid on Perdido Beach.  Drake manages to be more terrifying than the series' primary villain, Caine Soren, even without any supernatural power.  I am now resisting the urge to spew spoilers and blabber about what might happen in the next book.  
Evil-ness Bonus: His name comes from the Latin word for 'dragon' and has connotations of 'demon'.  

6. Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter series 

I have to include dear Bella.  The woman who was in love with Lord Voldemort... need I say more?  Voldemort's lieutenant is one wicked witch.  She tortures poor Neville's parents past the brink of sanity and spends years in Azkaban, throughout which her loyalty to the Dark Lord never once wavers.  And she's pretty insane herself.  In the movies, Bellatrix is played by the awesome, amazing, lovely, incredible, etc Helena Bonaham Carter.  Evil-ness Bonus: The.  Hair.  




7. President Snow from the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins-- I call him 'Creepy Man'.  (Major fangirl/boy bonus points if you know where that nickname comes from.)  The image of President Snow, ruler of a corrupt nation, standing at a podium with a white handkerchief pressed to his lips and a pale rose in his lapel... this is one horrid fictional character.  It's difficult to go on about exactly how evil he is without giving away major spoilers, but all I can say is that by the third book I was with Katniss 100% : Snow needed to go.  I can't wait to see who will play him in the movie. 
Evil-ness Bonus: His indoor rose garden in Mockingjay.  

8. Valentine Morgenstern from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare-- For me, Valentine is a sort of mash-up between Darth Vader and Voldemort from the Harry Potter series-- he wants to eradicate a species he believes is lesser to glorify himself and has undeniable familial ties to the hero and heroine.  That said, his obsession with killing Downworlders, even at the cost of losing his own family and fellow Shadowhunters, definitely lands Valentine a spot on the list.  His last scene in City of Glass- (with Jace and Clary by the lake, I can say no more)-- literally gave me chills.  Everyone's already speculating about who will play him in the movie, since City of Bones is being made into a film as well.  
Evil-ness Bonus: He summons countless demons to wage war and terror on the city of Alicante.  Enough said.



9. Artemis Fowl from the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer-- Sometimes the villain doubles as a hero.  Artemis makes his entrance in the first book and comes across as pretty darn evil-- I mean, he's planning to steal a few tons of faerie gold and he's not afraid to kidnap a faerie in order to get it.  Yet he's obviously a child genius, a complex and fairly awesome study in contrasts.  I love watching his relationship with Holly Short progress over the books... and I really need to read The Atlantis Complex.  Even though Artemis is occasionally more than a little villainous, it's difficult to hate him when he has the loyalty of his uber-bodyguard Butler-- my favorite character in the series. 

Evil-ness Bonus: The twist at the very end of the first book.  Now that's genius, even for Artemis. 

10. Ridley from the Castor Chronicles (Beautiful Creatures) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 

Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness are two fantastic books with a lot of strong points--the atmosphere, the hero and heroine, the number of pages-- but I never thought bad guys was one of them.  Sarafine is Lena's mother and fairly evil, or so we're told.  But she actually only makes about two appearances in both books combined.  No, it's Ridley who steals the show in this series.  Ah, Lollipop Girl.  The sweet-talking Siren with the pink streaks in her hair and the penchant for darkness.  The instant she made her entrance in Beautiful Creatures, I remember thinking 'Things are about to get worse.'  And better.  Ridley really sets Gatlin on fire, and she only gets better in the sequel.  I can't wait to see how her thing with Link works out. 
Evil-ness Bonus: The nicknames she gives the guys-- and Liv-- are worthy of Sawyer Ford from Lost






Monday, November 15, 2010

Review: Eon by Alison Goodman

 Rating: 5/5
Genre: YA fantasy 
Page Count: 531 (paperback) 
Published: December 2008, by Penguin Books
Alternate Titles: Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, The Two Pearls of Wisdom, Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye...
Recommended for Fans of: Tamora Pierce, The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
Author's Website: http://www.alisongoodman.com.au/


Synopsis: Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he’ll be able to apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But he also has a dark secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a dangerous lie for the chance to become a Dragoneye, the human link to an energy dragon’s power. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death. After a dazzling sword ceremony, Eon’s affinity with the twelve dragons catapults him into the treacherous world of the Imperial court where he makes a powerful enemy, Lord Ido. As tension builds and Eon’s desperate lie comes to light, readers won’t be able to stop turning the pages…

Dragons. A fantasy world and royal court in the style of Ancient China. And a girl who has spent so much time pretending to be a boy that she has almost forgotten her true self. Eon is part one of a fantasy epic spanning two installments-- the second book, Eona is yet to be released.

This book begins like so many others: a girl risking death by disguising herself as a boy, an under-dog heroine with everything to lose, and a complex fantasy world. But Eon quickly reveals itself to be so much more than just that. The characters reminded me of some of those from Tamora Pierce's books (ie The Lioness Quartet, Protector of the Small Quartet), in that there were a lot of them, but the author somehow managed to endow every character with personality and heart.  Eon(a) is a heroine who at first struck me as passive-- everything she is trying to accomplish is at the will of her master, a former Dragoneye-- but as the story wore on, she both won me over and proved that she's capable of choosing her own destiny. 

The story world is roughly based on the beliefs, settings, and traditions of Ancient China, especially the Chinese Zodiac-- each year and animal corresponds to one of the twelve mystical dragons.  The magic system is complex, and there were a few times I found myself flipping back through the pages to double-check some magical term.  The dragons themselves are a far cry from Saphira in Eragon (whom I love).  Dragoneye does not mean 'dragon rider'-- the Dragoneyes are powerful lords who are constantly involved in court politics and power struggles.  Eon(a) herself actually does not interact with the dragons as much as you might think, over the course of five hundred pages, but the moments when she does are mystical in a way that somehow transcends the words on the page. 

Another concept the story world borrows from Chinese Taoist belief is the concept of Yin and Yang, the feminine and the masculine.  I keep referring to Eon(a) as such because although she is a girl, she behaves, is treated as, and even thinks of herself as being male so frequently in the book that it was difficult even for the reader to think of her as female.  This reflects Eon(a)'s own confusion, because she also half-believes and accepts that she is a boy.  This book is a true gender-bender, and Eona is not the only character who seems to have a double identity, gender-wise.  Lady Dela is a courtier and friend of Eon(a)'s, and one of the most intriguing characters.  Lady Dela is friendly and scholarly and very wise to the ways of the court, and it is a while before Eona realizes that she's also a 'contraire'-- a woman's spirit born into a man's body.  Ryko, an eunuch, is Eon(a)'s loyal bodyguard and friend, and-- well, I'm giving nothing else away.  Suffice to say that in Eon, gender identity is a major theme and never manifests in the way that you expect. 

Altogether, I really loved Eon.  The book has gorgeous description and court intrigue, fascinating characters, an engrossing storyline... it is pretty much perfect.  My pet peeve for the novel is that it seems to have been released in just about every nation in the world-- and each edition seems to have a different title.  Of course, it doesn't affect the story at all, but it has to make for marketing hell.  I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy and especially a beautiful and magically-realized story world.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted at The Story Siren.com.  The idea behind IMN is to put new books on a blog's radar and encourage blogger interaction by sharing what books we receive and/or buy each week.

First of all, I want to declare my love for NetGalley.  I recently finished Tyger Tyger (enter my giveaway) and this week I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa, third book in The Iron Fey series!

My name is Meaghan Chase.

I thought it was over.That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stay by my side. Drag me into the core of a conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.
 


Yay, I am so excited to read this!


I also made a very hasty trip to the library for a quick fix. (I've been sick this week, so I'm doing a lot of lying in bed and reading.) 

I picked up...
White is for Magic by Laurie Faria Stolarz

The Blue is For Nightmares series (of which this book is the second, I've read them completely out of order) somehow manage to be completely addictive despite their repetitiveness. I hate the synopsis, so...basically, the series is about a teenage hereditary witch named Stacy who has nightmares and visions of the murders of her friends and people she knows.  She always has to solve the mystery of how the nightmares relate to the killer and their victim and, in the end, rescue the victim at the last minute.  In White is For Magic, it seems that Stacy herself is the prey.  Huh, the cover of the edition I have is so much more beautiful, but I can't seem to find a picture of it. 



And finally, I'm really excited about:

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci

Yes, I am a geek.  I'm a very proud, Quiz Bowl-ing, Harry Potter fangirl-ing, Buffy quoting, library haunting, Heroes-watching geek.  This book has short stories by a lot of my favorite authors: Scott Westerfeld, Garth Nix, Libba Bray, Kelly Link, Cassandra Clare, John Green, and of course, Holly Black.  Actually, a lot of the same authors who wrote stories for Zombies vs Unicorns.  Any story with the title: "Quiz Bowl Antichrist" is good in my book. :) 


So, what's in your mailbox this week?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Follow Friday+ The Weekend Blog Hop (5)

Ugh, I'm sick as a dog this Friday and slept in until literally 10:15 AM Eastern Time-- that's why I'm so late with getting my post for Follow Friday (hosted by Parajunkee's View and the Book Blogger Hop ( hosted by Crazy-for-Books) up.  Luckily I still have the energy to blog (and read!), even if anything more complicated than that throws my congested brain out of whack. :)







If you're stopping by via the Blogger Hop or Follow Friday, welcome to my blog.  Yesterday I kicked off my first giveaway: the prize is a copy of Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton, plus a special Tyger Tyger necklace generously provided by the author.  You can also read my interview with Kersten Hamilton, and check out my review of Tyger Tyger.


This week's Follow Friday featured blogger is Insane Hussein-- be sure to check out her blog and follow.  And the question is:

What is your usual monthly book budget? 

Hmm, well that's a good question, but not one I have an exact answer to.  Some months I make two trips to the library and return with an armload of books-- all for zilch money.  And yeah, sometimes I go on a new releases-buying rampage and spend $50 to $100.  It just depends what's available at the library and how much money I have. 

On to the Blogger Hop... In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!
The question is:
"If you find a book that looks interesting but is part of a series, do you always start with the first title?" 
I usually do prefer to read the first book in a series first, but if the books are more like companion novels (like the Dark Hunter series or the Seven Kingdoms books by Kristin Cashore), the I don't mind reading them out of order. 

Last week Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books challenged all the blog hoppers to find a new blog and follow it as loyally as they could.  I have not had a lot of time to comment on other blogs this week, mostly due to being sick and the usual mess of schoolwork.  But I did do my best to stalk--I mean follow and keep tabs on-- Carmel of Rabid Reads.  She reviews mostly adult paranormal books(particularly anything to do with werewolves) and though I'm usually straight for YA, I do enjoy seeing what good and new in the adult industry, too.  


Anyway, thanks for hopping by and don't forget to enter my giveaway. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Special Tyger Tyger Giveaway + Interview with Kersten Hamilton

I'm very honored to have had the chance to interview Kersten Hamilton, author of her upcoming YA release Tyger Tyger and many middle grade and picture books.  A Myriad of Books is going to be giving away a copy of Tyger Tyger, along with a very special prize that Kersten has generously providedEntry details are listed at the end of the post.  You can read my review of Tyger Tyger here 

A Little About Kersten Hamilton: Kersten was born in High Rolls, New Mexico. From the time she was 6 years old, she knew she wanted to be a writer, a poet in particular. She wanted to make word magic and tuck it inside the covers of a book. During her exciting childhood, she accompanied her parents as they tracked caribou and arctic wolves across their homestead in Alaska, caught tree frogs in the swamps of the Pacific Northwest and chased dust devils and rattlesnakes in the desert of New Mexico. She has worked as a wrangular and archeological surveyor among several other jobs. She is the author of 28 books for children and young adults, as well as musicals, poetry, and short stories.  Nowadays Kersten's favorite non-writing pasttime is hunting for the remains of dinosaurs and prehistoric beast in the deserts and badlands of New Mexico, where she lives with her husband and children.  To find out more, visit Kersten's website.

The Interview
(Bold= Kat)  (Normal= Kersten)

You've written many Middle Grade novels and picture books for younger children.  What made you decide to write Tyger Tyger as a YA book, and how did you make the transition from writing MG to YA?  Do you think you will continue writing YA even outside of The Goblin Wars series?

I don’t really write for children or young adults—I just write the stories I want to hear. I knew Tyger Tyger would be YA the moment Teagan met Finn and things started to sizzle!

Believe it or not, writing YA is much easier than writing picture books. Many people think that picture books are ‘easy’ because they are short. That’s not true. In a picture book you must have all of the same elements of story and character, but you only have a few hundred words (at most!) to work with. Picture book readers have less life experience to bring to the book with them and that makes writing more difficult as well.
I must admit, right now it is glorious to be able to stretch out and write a series of novels!

Faeries and urban faerie tales have recently become very popular in the YA and paranormal markets, but goblins are much rarer creatures to happen across.  Why did you decide to write about goblins?

When I was a child, a goblin crept out of the dark and slipped her paw into my hand. The creature’s name was Lina, and I met her in a book by George MacDonald.

Lina was a dog–like creature with green eyes lit by amber fire, and a huge mouth with icicle–like teeth. Curdie, the hero of the story, could feel the real hand of any creature inside its flesh glove, and when Lina put her paw in his hand “a shudder, as of terrified delight, ran through him…instead of the paw of a dog, such as it seemed to his eyes, he clasped in his great mining fist the soft, neat little hand of a child! The green eyes stared at him with their yellow light, and the mouth was turned up toward him with its constant half grin; but here was the child's hand!”

When I read those lines I felt it. Lina was a small part of George MacDonald’s book. After I met her, I knew that when I grew up I wanted to write a book full of that kind of goblin creature.

The title Tyger Tyger comes from a famous William Blake poem. (Read the poem here.)  What made you choose the title for your book and did you plan this title from the onset of writing?

The Tyger was one of the very first poems I memorized as a child. I have always loved poetry. Kipling, Tennyson, Whitman, Carroll, Blake...I devoured just about any book of poetry I could get my hands on.

But it wasn’t until I’d written the poem into the book that I realized The Tyger fit the theme and mood of the whole story arc perfectly!

What would you say was the initial 'spark', like a specific scene, character, or idea that inspired you to write Tyger Tyger?

It was actually another writer’s book—Beastly by Alex Flinn—which is a YA retelling of The Beauty and the Beast. It was so much fun that I decided to try a fairy tale of my own. I couldn’t find a fairy tale that hadn’t been done—until I remembered one I had written myself and never published. It was a dark, scary picture book called Loveleaves and Woodwender.

I reworked Loveleaves and Woodwender, and Tyger Tyger was born!

The story of Tyger Tyger is deeply rooted in mythology, particularly the stories of the Irish hero Fionn MacCumhail, whom your character Finn is a
sort of modern incarnation of.  Did you do a lot of research about Celtic mythology to write your book, or did you-- like Teagan and Aiden-- grow up hearing these stories?

Both! I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t hearing or reading the stories of the Celtic heroes. My dad was a storyteller. He was very well read and loved history. But I also did a lot of reading of history, nonfiction, and myth before and during my writing.

Are you of Celtic descent yourself?  And because I must ask, how is your Irish brogue?  Anywhere near as sultry as Finn's or as... colorful as Mamieo's?

I am of Welsh/Irish decent and everything Celtic draws me—from the music to the mythology. But I couldn’t speak in a brogue to save my life! I can hear it in my head while I’m writing, but I just can’t wrap my tongue around it.

I loved the cat sidhe who pursued Teagan, Finn, and the gang in the book. How did you dream up the cat sidhe and the more malevolent goblins, and was it fun to write all these creepy-cool creatures?

The creatures are a mix of mythology and reality. At one point in Tyger Tyger Teagan’s father quotes Hamlet: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” That’s true, and deep inside we know it. There is more to us and to the world around us than meets the eye. The creatures in Tyger Tyger are frightening because of the reality in them.
Haven’t you ever seen one of them out of the corner of your eye?

Sometimes writing about them was fun—but sometimes it was really scary!

Your protagonist, Teagan, is one of the strongest and most resourceful heroines I've read about in a long time.  Is Teagan or any of your other characters based on people you know or have known?  Which one of your
characters would you say you are most like?

I don’t think a character can be conjured from air. At least I can’t do it. I need flesh and blood to work with. Ms. Skinner is based on several people I have known who abused their power, and I stole the soul of an evil dogcatcher to animate her.
Wonderful characters spring from flesh and blood, too. But writers are more likely to use little slivers of their own soul rather than the stolen soul of a dogcatcher to animate them.
Several of the characters in Tyger Tyger are a little like me, and two are very like me. (I won’t tell you which two. You’ll have to guess!)

Finn is very much like my husband Mark. If the goblins were after me, they would have to come through Mark to get me.

What kind of books do you read in your free time?  Do you have any favorite authors or books that inspired you to become a writer?*

I have very eclectic reading habits. I will read anything, really. I love nonfiction and read a lot of it while I am writing fiction. I read the classics and study the style of people I admire such Neil Gaiman, Flannery O’Conner and Charles Dickens.

George MacDonald is the writer whose footsteps I would like to follow. It isn’t so much his writing style—it could be awful at times—which inspires me. It is his ideas and the way he lived his life.

*Did you listen to music while writing Tyger Tyger?  A lot of authors now have 'theme songs' for their books, in some cases even entire playlists which coordinate along with the plot and pace. Does Tyger Tyger have any specific songs or artists you listened to while writing?*

I think that’s why I can’t hear music when I am writing. I do have songs for my characters, though! I listen to them before I write.

Teagan’s song is Fix You by Coldplay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3SIUoGijoM because of this line: “lights will guide you home…and ignite your bones…and I will try to fix you.” That’s Teagan’s heart for the world!

Finn’s is Teardrop, sung by Newton Faulkner, because for Finn “love is a doing word.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax0Rct0rDbk

Teagan and Finn together have a song; Run by Snow Patrol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQbgihHWNGo  “Light up, light up as if you have a choice…even if you cannot hear my voice.”

Oh, and Abby’s song is What’s Up by 4nonblondes:

One of the things I loved most about Tyger Tyger was the dynamic connection between Teagan and Finn-- will we get to see more of their romance in future books?

Oh, yes. It will sizzle!

Can you tell us a little about what's next for The Goblin Wars series?

Yes! I just finished book two, In the Forests of the Night. It is darker and scarier, and Finn and Tea need all of their love and courage to get through!

Thanks so much for the interview, Kersten!

Thank you for interviewing me, Kat! 
_________________________________________________________________________


One lucky follower will win a hardcover copy of Tyger Tyger and an exclusive gift that Kersten has very generously offered up: 

 
Tyger Treasure!
Kersten Hamilton is giving away twenty hand-made necklaces in November and December to celebrate her new book Tyger Tyger.  The pendants were created by book blogger Melissa at Books and Things and the chains by someone else. :) Each necklace is beautiful and unique.  Enter here to win this necklace, and have fun hunting for the rest!
These necklaces are unique and exclusive -- each one is different and will be available for a short time only. 
To Enter: Leave a comment with your email address, and total entries.  (Last day to enter is Sunday, December 5th.)
Rules:
1. You must be a follower to enter the giveaway. (+ 1 entry automatic)
2. The giveaway is international and open to everyone, as long as you live in a country where the Book Depository delivers (check their site here if you're uncertain.) 
3.  + 2 extra entries for each method in which you help spread the word about this giveaway, including blog posts , tweets, and sidebar links.  (Please leave me the link in your comment.)

The winner will be chosen via random.org and, following notification, will have 72 hours to respond to my email.  (If the winner doesn't respond, a new winner will be chosen, you know the drill.)  Good luck to everyone and please help spread the word about my first giveaway!


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