HELLO! IS IT BOOKS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?
It’s been a while since we did one of these, so we decided to dive right back into the heroes, villains, prophecies and eternal struggle between good and evil……And hopefully also some less clichéd plots.
At any rate, we picked out three that seemed interesting. Some look like they’ll be good, others like they’ll be bad and some just seem like a laugh. Let’s start with the first three, shall we?
Daughters of Ruin – K.D Castner – Margaret K. McElderberry Books
“Rhea, Cadis, Suki, and Iren have lived together since they were children. They are called sisters. They are not. They are called equals. They are not. They are princesses…and they are enemies.
Not long ago, a brutal war ravaged their kingdoms, and Rhea’s father was the victor. As a gesture of peace, King Declan brought the daughters of his rivals to live under his protection—and his ever-watchful eye. For ten years the girls have trained together as diplomats and warriors, raised to accept their thrones and unite their kingdoms in peace.
But there is rarely peace among sisters. Sheltered Rhea was raised to rule everyone—including her “sisters”—but she’s cracking under pressure. The charismatic Cadis is desperately trying to redeem her people from their actions during the war. Suki guards deep family secrets that isolate her, and quiet Iren’s meekness is not what it seems.
All plans for peace are shattered when the palace is attacked. As their intended futures lie in ashes, Rhea, Cadis, Suki, and Iren must decide where their loyalties lie: to their nations, or to each other.”
Normally we try to keep ahead of publication dates at least a little, but this one drew our attention. Daughters of Ruin is K.D. Castner’s debut novel and, as those go, this seems like a very solid premise.
The blurb tells us little about the world, but all we need to know about its characters to be intrigued. Is it entirely original? Well, it’s close enough. Pitting friends or family members against each other is hardly new, but the girls’ background and divided loyalty could make for some nice reading.
In the 2 days since its release, the novel has received some slightly mixed reviews. That being said, there are still enough positive reviews coming in for it to score well, for a debut novel. People have praised its strong characters and fast pace, though others have complained that this pace makes it more like reading bullet points than a coherent story and many people seem to have an issue with the writing style utilized for certain characters.
All in all, we’d say let’s give Castner’s debut a chance. It might not be perfect, but it certainly seems to have potential.
A Fierce and Subtle Poison – Samantha Mabry – Algonquin
“Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.
Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico.
He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world.
But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.”
This one…We really weren’t certain about including this one. This is partially because it’s another debut novel and those always leave us without much to say about the author, but the main reason is simply that we don’t have a great feeling about this one.
Why? Well…It unfortunately sort of reminds us of Twilight.
While we cannot be certain without reading the novel, naturally, it really does seem to go for the ‘my love might kill you’ angle, as Twilight did. If, by now, you still haven’t realized that this is not in fact romantic and tragic, we feel very sorry for you.
Seriously, people, if you ever find yourself with someone who claims that their love for you could lead to them hurting or killing you, run. That person is a psychopath or, at the very least, abusive.
That’s not to say this story cannot be good. In our opinion it would probably be best served by staying as far from romance as possible, but even with a romantic angle there is some potential. The blurb certainly hints at danger and seems to have a certain haunting feel, which a twisted sort of romance could potentially add too. If that comes across in the novel itself as well, this might be an interesting read.
All we can really say is maybe check it out. It could be good, but it could be completely toxic too.
The Everything Box – Richard Kadrey – Harper Voyager
“22000 B.C. A beautiful, ambitious angel stands on a mountaintop, surveying the world and its little inhabitants below. He smiles because soon, the last of humanity who survived the great flood will meet its end, too. And he should know. He’s going to play a big part in it. Our angel usually doesn’t get to do field work, and if he does well, he’s certain he’ll get a big promotion.
And now it’s time . . . .
The angel reaches into his pocket for the instrument of humanity’s doom. Must be in the other pocket. Then he frantically begins to pat himself down. Dejected, he realizes he has lost the object. Looking over the Earth at all that could have been, the majestic angel utters a single word.
- A thief named Coop—a specialist in purloining magic objects—steals and delivers a small box to the mysterious client who engaged his services. Coop doesn’t know that his latest job could be the end of him—and the rest of the world. Suddenly he finds himself in the company of The Department of Peculiar Science, a fearsome enforcement agency that polices the odd and strange. The box isn’t just a supernatural heirloom with quaint powers, they tell him.
It’s a doomsday device. They think . . .
And suddenly, everyone is out to get it.”
If the world’s going to end anyway, you might as well greet the apocalypse with a laugh.
With ten novels , and a number of other stories, to his name Kadrey has a bit more history as an author than the other two on this list. He is most well-known for his Sandman Slim series, which comes across as nice, action-filled read, but not something you’ll want to pick up if you want a particularly deep or nuanced story. That being said, that probably makes him a prime candidate to ensure that this new novel is consistently funny.
This is by far the novel we’re most eager to read. We’ve always loved authors with a sense of humour about both their genre and their characters and the premise is interesting enough to draw our attention in and of itself.
Considering the topic, it might not be your cup of tea if you’re religious and easily offended. We, however, quite look forward to seeing what sort of character Coop will turn out to be and how he’s going to get tangled up in this potential end of the world.
We recommend checking this one out when it hits store shelves on the 19th.
That’s all for this week and remember, we could be totally wrong about all of this, but being fooled by the blurb happens when you’re looking at new books.
If you feel there’s other novels coming out this month that deserve attention, be sure to let us know and maybe we’ll go over them next week.
Have fun reading!