My Waiting On Wednesday choice for this week is V.E. Schwab‘s upcoming release A Darker Shade of Magic hitting bookshelves on February 24th 2015 through Tor Books! Since Schwab’s Vicious has become one of my favourite books ever with its super-villains and their super-vendettas this November (I read it in one sitting and fell deeply, deeply in love with the story and characters and basically even the paper it was printed on, it’s THAT GOOD!), it’s no surprise that Schwab’s next book has already enthralled me with its synopsis and beautiful, beautiful cover! If you haven’t yet read a Schwab book, I beg of you, do so, because without this writer in your life, you’re definitely missing something as a reader! Also don’t forget to check out ADSOM and to add it to your TBR piles if you fancy!
Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands. There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London…but no one speaks of that now. Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.
You guys don’t understand how epically excited I am over the release of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s Beowulf translation on May 22 through HarperCollins. I feel like I’ve waited ages for this to happen, and now that I have my preorder notice in my mailbox, I am beyond thrilled. One of the hardest uni exams I ever had to take was an oral exam in medieval studies, and a great portion of it featured Beowulf amongst other literary works of its time in both original and translated versions. Ever since, Beowulf has always had a special place in my heart because it was the only epic poem that I actually had fun with while delving into its verses and history. However, I always held out for a greater translation, for something that would move my heart a little bit more than the ones I had worked with before. So now to have its translation by my favourite writer of all time finally in such close proximity, it kind of feels like a miracle to me to have it featured in a Waiting On Wednesday post. I adore the cover so much, too! It’s so simple yet fits perfectly and is worthy of the content. Anyway, YAY! The wait isn’t long now! This book will make me so, so, so happy!
The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication. This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the written form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book. From his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot. But the commentary in this book includes also much from those lectures in which, while always anchored in the text, he expressed his wider perceptions. He looks closely at the dragon that would slay Beowulf snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup ; but he rebuts the notion that this is a mere treasure story , just another dragon tale . He turns to the lines that tell of the burying of the golden things long ago, and observes that it is the feeling for the treasure itself, this sad history that raises it to another level. The whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real. The treasure is not just some lucky wealth that will enable the finder to have a good time, or marry the princess. It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.
Sellic spell, a marvellous tale , is a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folk-tale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the historical legends of the Northern kingdoms.
I am super giddy over my pick for Waiting on Wednesday, the very amazing weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine, this week!
The love I have for Kelly Creagh‘s Nevermore series is endless. Seriously, both first instalments of the trilogy, Nevermore and Enshadowed, respectively, have been favourites of mine ever since I started delving into the young adult categories and found these underrated little gems in the Kindle store. They are perfect autumn reads with their eerie atmosphere, but I’ve caught myself rereading them in every season at least once. Creagh’s books were inspired by none other than Edgar Allan Poe, one of my most favourite writers, and his terror tales and are based in a universe where uncanny and terryfing forces go a-creeping as a result of an introverted and misunderstood teenage boy’s imagination. I love Creagh’s characters and how peculiar and creepy they are (Pinfeathers, I want to marry you!) and how well her phantasmal world works with the normal life female protagonist Isobel is caught up in.
I feel like I’ve been waiting ages for the final book in the series, Oblivion, which now has an expected release date of August 26th through Atheneum Books for Young Readers. Just look at that beautiful cover and get acquainted with the first two books here and here to compensate for the lack of a synopsis as of yet! 😉
I am super stoked to see how Suzanne Young‘s dystopian young adult series The Program ends in its second instalment, which is my Waiting On Wednesday choice this week! I really enjoyed the first book, The Program, so I can’t wait to see what Young has in store for her world where teenage suicide has become an epidemic and is being monitored closely and its characters that try to keep their memories from being erased. The Program was a frightening depiction of the future, even for the dystopian genre (I mean, damn, that epilogue was absolutely terrifying). Young’s unique concept will surely make for a great finale! The Treatment releases April 29th via Simon Pulse, so there’s plenty of time to check out the first book if you haven’t yet! 😉
How do you stop an epidemic? Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go. Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose. Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?
As you probably already know if you read any of my entries from the last couple of days, I have a very serious obsession that cannot be suffocated: C.J. Duggan‘s The Boys of Summer series. Now, I am really, really hard to please when it comes to romance/coming-of-age books that are in the new adult age category simply because I hate kitsch with a passion and want the book to feel real without being voyeuristic when it comes to the characters’ problems. Unfortunately, that is barely the case in this age category, so fortunately, Duggan’s series is cute, light and funny, but damn, her characters and their stories are authentic without feeling contrived to make a point. They do it all on their own. So, naturally, I am super stoked for the next release in this series featuring the Onslow Boys, my Waiting On Wednesday pick of the week, which is the novella Ringer (Summer 3.5) that releases April 2nd! I haven’t had this much of a book crush in this genre in a long, long time!
They say it’s the quiet ones you have to worry about, and she was quiet, very quiet—when she wasn’t busy despising me with a burning passion. Ringo ‘Ringer’ James has a no-strings-attached policy. Love them, leave them, and remain the eternal bachelor.
After a summer in which every one of his mates has succumbed to settling down, or so it seemed, Ringer is on the lookout for a quick exit. Having had enough of the stomach-turning love fest witnessed over the past three months, Ringer jumps at the opportunity to help out his mate, Max, by heading to Max’s dad’s property for a working holiday. It’s just what he’s looking for. A remote, dusty homestead in Ballan, with only hard work, a cold beer and a comfy bed to worry about – no women. Until Miranda Henry.
The privately educated daughter of his boss has returned home from overseas and things are about to get very complicated, very fast. As summer draws to its end, Ringer is about to learn that sometimes attraction defies all logic, and that there really is such a thing as ‘enemies with benefits.’
Leigh Bardugo‘s The Grisha series was a lucky find for me. I found the first two books, Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm, on Amazon by chance and fell in love with the covers, so I ordered myself those hardcovers and 14 hours later had read both of them. The reading experience I had with Bardugo’s universe reminded me so much of when I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time when I was 11, and both books quickly made it on my favourites shelf. I am so excited to see how Alina, Mal and The Darkling’s story ends, and will be a nervous wreck until the finale, Ruin and Rising, releases on June 17th 2014 through Henry Holt and Codebut. It’s my favourite Waiting On Wednesday pick so far! (Also, will you look at that cover? EPIC!)
The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.
After pulling an all-nighter on April Genevieve Tucholke‘s debut novel Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea last year, naturally, this second (and concluding) installment of her gothic horror/young adult romance mix, Between the Spark and the Burn, is high up on my sequels-it’s-torture-to-wait-for and Waiting On Wednesday lists. The lighter cover might throw new readers off, but if you check out the first novel’s strikingly beautiful, yet sinister jacket, you will get a perfect gist of the ominious essence of the work. If you haven’t checked out Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea yet, be sure to do so over at Goodreads, because Tucholke’s characters will sure make for a great, yet bizzare sequel once it comes out August 14th through Dial.
The crooked-smiling liar River West Redding, who drove into Violet’s life one summer day and shook her world to pieces, is gone. Violet and Neely, River’s brother, are left to worry—until they catch a two a.m. radio program about strange events in a distant mountain town. They take off in search of River but are always a step behind, finding instead frenzied towns, witch hunts, and a wind-whipped island with the thrum of something strange and dangerous just under the surface. It isn’t long before Violet begins to wonder if Neely, the one Redding brother she thought trustworthy, has been hiding a secret of his own…