Archive for June, 2008

Gods of Manhattan

Gods of Manhattan By Scott Mebus [LibraryThingAmazon]

Rory’s always been able to see past tricks and deceptions, but even he’s surprised when he finds himself able to see even farther, deep into the secret history of New York. There notable figures of the city’s past walk as gods: Peter Stuyvesant, Babe Ruth, Alexander Hamilton, and countless others. Cockroaches ride rats into battles, albino alligators swim the sewers, and statues whisper secrets for a handful of coins. Rory quickly finds himself and his little sister Bridget immersed in this world, working to correct a great injustice committed a hundred and fifty years ago, but a great enemy is doing his best to stop them – an enemy with the power to murder the gods themselves.

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Semi-Meta Post: Things I’m Excited For

The great thing about this blog is that it helps me keep track of what some of my favorite authors are up to (and is, in fact, how I discovered some of them!). In something resembling chronological order, here are some upcoming books (and a bonus movie) that I’m on the edge of my seat, anticipating:

Bruce Coville’s The Unicorn Chronicles, Book 3: Dark Whispers
Release Date: August 1
To be up front about it, Bruce is pretty much my favorite ever. This is the third book in what will probably be a four-book series (though originally it was only supposed to be a trilogy), and it has been a long time coming. I absolutely love the first two books in the series and am intensely excited for the next installment. If you have a fondness for unicorns and dragons or for portal fantasy stories, this is definitely something you should check out.

Justine Larbalestier’s How to Ditch Your Fairy
Release Date: September 16
Justine is also totally fantastic. Her blog is so much fun to read that I can’t wait to see her actually do humor, and so far she’s gotten nothing but positive reviews. I will be snatching this one off the shelf as soon as I can find it, and hoping she does a signing somewhere in the city so I can fangirl at her in person.

Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games
Release Date: October
Collins wrote the knock-out fantastic Underland Chronicles, which I think are probably the best books I’ve blogged about since AV has been around. And her upcoming trilogy is a dystopia with a teen girl protagonist… In other words, pretty much my very favorite things! All the reviews I’ve seen on this one have described it as intense, exciting, and gripping, and I’d expect nothing less after the Gregor books.

Movie: The City of Ember
Release: October
Speaking of dystopias where a (pre-)teen girl (and a boy) saves the world, The Books of Ember are great. The movie trailer and the stills all look fantastic, and I’m a Bill Murray fan and was excited he got involved in the project. I’m actually skeptical about how well this will do in the theaters, but I will definitely see it. (And, as a double bonus, there will be a fourth Book of Ember released sometime in the fall, according to the author’s website. Score!)

So that’s my list. What’s everyone else looking forward to?

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Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing With Fire

Skulduggery Pleasant 2 By Derek Landy [LibraryThingAmazon]

Ever since helping to save the world, Valkryie Cain (once plain old Stephanie Edgeley) has been receiving training in magic, combat, and detective work from the undead gumshoe Skulduggery Pleasant and his extremely colorful associates. Now one of Skulduggery’s old enemies is back, intent on awakening his evil gods – and Valkryie is a major part of his plan. In order to foil the plot, Valkryie must fight her way through centuries-old enmities, corruption at the highest level, and more than one sociopathic killer with a mad-on for Valkryie herself.

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Old-School Review: The Nina Tanleven Series (The Ghost in the Third Row, The Ghost Wore Gray, The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed)

We’re introducing a new feature at Active Voice! Usually we review books that have come out in the past couple of years, but with our Old-School Reviews we’ll be talking about the books from our childhood and before. Our first Old-School Review features the fantastic Mr. Bruce Coville.

The Ghost in the Third Row By Bruce Coville [Coville at LibraryThingBook One at Amazon; Book Two at Amazon; Book Three at Amazon]

Nina “Nine” Tanleven is thrilled to be performing in a local play, but the excitement gets to be a little too much when she and her new friend Chris both start seeing the Woman in White, a ghost who may be trying to sabotage the show. And the adventures don’t stop there, because exposure to the Woman in White has made the girls more sensitive to ghosts, and they soon find themselves solving mysteries about Confederate soldiers and mad painters, hidden treasures and lost masterpieces…and more than a little bit of danger.

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Nobody’s Princess

Nobody’s PrincessBy Esther Friesner [LibraryThingAmazon]

Spartan Princess Helen is a pretty girl—maybe the prettiest girl in the world. But what she really wants is to have the power to choose her own destiny, and being beautiful can’t give her that. So she hatches a plan to learn to fight like her older brothers, and as she grows older, she also grows more stubborn—and smarter. But as she grows older, the prospect of adulthood, marriage, and taking over the throne of Sparta draw closer. Helen knows she wants adventure before she takes on her responsibilities…but how can a princess escape her duties for long enough to find it?

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