Archive | April, 2013

April 23 New Releases

25 Apr

So, perhaps some of you have noticed that I haven’t written a new release post for a while. This is for a few reasons, namely:

a) I had three weeks worth of visitors, so time was at a premium;

b) Battlestar Galactica is THE BEST, and;

c) There has literally been nothing published that has even remotely interested me. However, that trend ends this week, dear readers!

10165761Title: Quintana of Charyn
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 528
Blurb: Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi and his companions travel through Charyn searching for Quintana and building an army that will secure her unborn child’s right to rule. While in the valley between two kingdoms, Quintana of Charyn and Isaboe of Lumatere come face-to-face in a showdown that will result in heartbreak for one and power for the other. The complex tangle of bloodlines, politics, and love introduced in Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles coalesce into an engrossing climax in this final volume.
Excitement factor: OMFG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Seriously, I’ve had a hold on this book since I ordered it for my library.)(Also, BLOW HER OUT OF THE WATER, ISABOE. I mean, Quintana is alright, but if one woman has to be broken then I choose her, no competition.)

16248073Title: The Silver Dream
Author: Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves, and Mallory Reaves
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Page Count: 256
Blurb: After mastering the ability to walk between dimensions, Joey Harker and his fellow InterWorld freedom fighters are now on a mission to maintain peace between the rival powers of magic and science who seek to control all worlds. When a stranger named Acacia somehow follows Joey back to InterWorld’s base, things get complicated. No one knows who she is or where she’s from—or how she knows so much about InterWorld.
Dangerous times lie ahead for Joey and the mission. There’s a traitor hidden among them, and if Joey has any hope of saving InterWorld, the multiverse, and the mission, he’s going to have to rely on his wits—and, just possibly, on the mysterious Acacia Jones.
Excitement factor: yes, please!

 

Advertisements

In Darkness by Nick Lake

9 Apr

11451112I am the voice in the dark, calling out for your help.

Nick Lake‘s In Darkness is the 2013 Printz Award winning story of a nameless teen trapped in the rubble underneath a collapsed hospital after the Haiti earthquake. His only companion in the darkness is a decomposing hand, his own memories, and a psychic connection to Touissant l’Ouverture, a Haitian revolutionary who lived 200 years earlier.

So, this book is…wait for it…dark. And when I say it’s dark, I mean dark in every sense of the word. Half of the narrative’s setting is defined by absolute darkness. The sense of claustrophobia as we experience the narrator’s blindness, his thirst that drives him to drink whatever blood has collected on the floor, to reach out and touch a disembodied hand just to see if his only companion in his coffin is alive, is overwhelmingly visceral.

The subject matter is dark. It is a story of horrible lives, of murder and murderers, of watching your father get hacked apart by machete toting gangsters, of fighting for your country’s freedom only to die in a dungeon on the other side of the world. This is the kind of story that, for the bulk of its telling, makes you want to kill yourself from the overwhelming sense that there is nothing good in the world, at all.

The writing is staggering in its bleak beauty. Some of my favorite quotes include:

“I tried to call out, but bullets are faster than words, and I was just standing there in the middle of all that metal death” (263).

“We have a mouth – we can feel it in our face, an opening into us that can let the spirit out – but when we use it, when we speak, there is no one to listen. The voices that come to us, drifting through the darkness beyond our prison, they might as well be the voices of the dead. (…) We are a slave to this space, to the inevitable decay of trapped things. We can feed ourselves, but there is no food; we can work with our hands and with our minds, but there is nothing on which to work; we have eyes, but there is nothing to see. There is no future and no past. We are in the darkness. We are one” (326-7).

One of my favorite things about this book was the spirit of Om that came through more and more strongly as the narrative progressed; the sense of emptiness and unity, while horribly depressing in context, was also one of the only reoccurring moments in which I, as a reader, felt liberated from the oppressing sense of insurmountable awfulness.

At times I struggled to get through Touissant’s half of the narrative; it just didn’t have the pop that our nameless narrator’s story had. However, I appreciated the parallels of experience that spanned the hundreds of years between their physical lives, and so I was able to deal.

All in all, this is a pretty amazing book that still continues to haunt me even though I finished it about two weeks ago. However, there are parts that can be difficult to get through without wanting to say “fuck this world, I want to die,” so just be forewarned if you do decide to pick it up.

And, just because Biggie Smalls is mentioned every other page, it’s only fitting that he gets the spotlight for this edition’s music match.