The Watcher in the Shadows
By: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Format/Source: Hardback; my copy
When fourteen-year-old Irene Sauvelle moves with her family to Cape House on the coast of Normandy, she’s immediately taken by the beauty of the place–its expansive cliffs, coasts, and harbors. There, she meets a local boy named Ishmael, and the two soon fall in love. But a dark mystery is about to unfold, involving a reclusive toymaker who lives in a gigantic mansion filled with mechanical beings and shadows of the past.
As strange lights shine through the fog surrounding a small, barren island, Irene’s younger brother dreams of a dark creature hidden deep in the forest. And when a young girl is found murdered, her body at the end of a path torn through the woods by a monstrous, inhuman force, Irene and Ishmael wonder–has a demonic presence been unleashed on the inhabitants of Cape House? Together, they’ll have to survive the most terrifying summer of their lives, as they try to piece together the many mysteries and secrets hidden in a town torn apart by tragedy, amidst a labyrinth of lights and shadows.
Carlos Ruiz Zafon became one of my favourite authors after reading The Shadow of the Wind (commentary) and I’ve pretty much have been picking up every novel of his that’s been translated since. He’s apparently written a number of young adult titles prior to The Shadow of the Wind and have since been slowly translated into English. I never got around to reviewing the first two novels in the Nieblas series, The Prince of Mist and The Midnight Palace, which is strange because I thought I did. But anyways, this title recently came out, which was exciting.
This book is part of the Books on France Reading Challenge 2013 that I am participating in.
Meant to Be
By: Lauren Morrill
Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.
It’s one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she’s queen of following rules and being prepared. That’s why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that’s also why she’s chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB (“meant to be”).
But this spring break, Julia’s rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she’s partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.
I was in the mood for something really light and fluffy and this book keeps popping up on everyone’s blogs and GoodReads profiles so I decided to check it out.
The Indigo Pheasant
By: Daniel A. Rabuzzi
London 1817. Maggie Collins, born into slavery in Maryland, whose mathematical genius and strength of mind can match those of a goddess, must build the world’s most powerful and sophisticated machine— to free the lost land of Yount from the fallen angel Strix Tender Wurm. Sally, of the merchant house McDoon, who displayed her own powers in challenging the Wurm and finding Yount in The Choir Boats, must choose either to help Maggie or to hinder her.
Together— or not— Maggie and Sally drive to conclusion the story started in The Choir Boats— a story of blood— soaked song, family secrets, sins new and old in search of expiation, forbidden love, high policy and acts of state, financial ruin, betrayals intimate and grand, sorcery from the origins of time, and battle in the streets of London and on the arcane seas of Yount.
ChiZine Publishers kindly sent me a e-copy of this book and the first volume to the series, The Choir Boats (review), for review. It was released a few days ago so it’s available now if you’re wondering.
The Choir Boats
By: Daniel A. Rabuzzi
What would you give to make good on the sins of your past? For merchant Barnabas McDoon, the answer is: everything. When emissaries from a world called Yount offer Barnabas a chance to redeem himself, he accepts their price to voyage to Yount with the key that only he can use to unlock the door to their prison. But bleak forces seek to stop him: Yount’s jailer, a once-human wizard who craves his own salvation, kidnaps Barnabas’s nephew. A fallen angel a monstrous owl with eyes of fire will unleash Hell if Yount is freed. And, meanwhile, Barnabas’s niece, Sally, and a mysterious pauper named Maggie seek with dream-songs to wake the sleeping goddess who may be the only hope for Yount and Earth alike.
ChiZine Publishers kindly sent me a e-copy of this novel and its sequel, The Idiot Pheasant, for review. I don’t usually read YA (save for the Rick Riordan’s books…and Catherynne Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Through Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making (review)) however this novel does cross over to a number of different genres so adults and youth can enjoy this novel.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland #1)
By: Catherynne M. Valente
Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.
The title’s a bit of a mouthful to say and type but it really does catch your imagination as to what the book is about. This is the second title by Catherynne Valente, the first being Palimpsest (review). I had been watching out for this book to hit paperback for a very long time now because the story sounded interesting and the cover looks beautiful. I was excited when I finally got my hands on a copy. And so should you =P