Beautiful Creatures is Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's southern gothic tale of a boy, a girl, and a curse.
Ethan Lawson Wate has been dreaming of a girl falling, of her hands slipping through his, of darkness... and he wakes with his sheets damp and mud under his nails. Then the girl of his dreams appears in his classroom, and for the first time in Ethan's life something in his sleepy little town has changed. But Lena Duchannes is Macon Ravenwood's niece, and no self-respecting son of Gatlin should be seen with the Ravenwoods.
What Ethan doesn't know is on Lena's sixteenth birthday she'll be Claimed as either Light or Dark. She has no control over it. Having lived all her life as an outcast, the last thing she expects is to find a place to belong in Gatlin.
A lush paranormal romance with a male protagonist, Beautiful Creatures is as much about Ethan and Lena as it is about their families and their home of Gatlin, South Carolina. The four books of The Caster Chronicles create a world of magic and danger that exists within our own, and they'll weave a spell over you. I've read all four until the wee hours of the morning; when I put them down, I continued to wonder about the characters. When it comes to movie adaptations, some of us count down to The Hunger Games, Twilight, or The Mortal Instruments. But it's always been The Caster Chronicles for me.
Twitter Contest Details
Get ready Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa! Our friends at Warner Brothers Pictures Canada have provided 5 double-passes for an advanced screening in each of these cities on the evening of February 6th. Our contest only includes the double-pass; winners will have to get to the theatre on their own. All of our other standard Twitter rules apply.
Once @chaptersindigo tweets the contest question on Twitter (at approximately 3:05 pm EST on Thursday, January 31), you reply with the name of the city that you'd like to win the double-pass for and include #Indigo in your reply. Again, the cities are: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa. All eligible tweets received before 4 pm EST will be entered into a random draw for the pass to the city indicated in their contest entry tweet.
It's no secret (Gansey) we can't wait to get our hands on The Raven Boys sequel, which continues Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle. Or that we read every single snippet Sarah Rees Brennan shares of Untold, the follow-up to Unspoken. We're waiting for news of when we can read the next book of Libba Bray's The Diviners (and how!) as well as the final book in Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy.
We have many beloved series continuing or ending, but we're also on the lookout for what's new. We want to celebrate debuts and hunt for trends. Below, we've carefully crafted a list of books we think promise the best of 2013. Get ready to add to your reading list!
Shadowhunters & Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader edited by Cassandra Clare (1/29). Some of our favourite writers writing about The Mortal Instruments? Yes, please!
Perfect Scoundrels: A Heist Society Novel by Ally Carter (2/5). We love Hal, and this series about teen thieves.
Dualed by Elsie Chapman (2/25). A debut about a teen assassin from a Vancouver author.
The Rising by Kelley Armstrong (4/9). The last book of The Darkness Rising trilogy.
Ink by Amanda Sun (6/25). A debut set in Japan from an Ontario author.
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (7/2). The latest book from the contemporary YA superstar.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke (8/20). A spooky-sounding debut that has us intrigued.
If the Mayans are correct, then this world is not long for us. In the spirit of "what if?" we asked on @IndigoTeenBlog which one book best prepared you for the apocalypse, and the majority answered Suzanne Collins'sThe Hunger Games. We dug deeper, thought hard, and we've come up with a few other titles that may help. Here are 21 books you should read before the world ends on Dec 21st. (A couple of these are found in adult fiction, but they're teen reader appropriate.)
- Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
- Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
- Blood Red Road by Moira Young
- The Diviners by Libba Bray
- Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brenna (Note: We felt like the world ended on the last page of this one.)
- The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Note: In case we need to find Glendower to fix things for us.)
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
- How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
- Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
- Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
- Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
- Gone by Michael Grant
- The Maze Runner by James Dashner
- The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
- This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (Dec 18)
- The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
- Good Omens by Terry Prachett & Neil Gaiman
Just to be safe we asked the Indigo Fiction Blog team for a list of 21 adult titles to help you prepare.
- The Last Policeman by Ben Winters
- White Horse by Alex Adams (trade paperback Dec 18)
- World War Z by Max Brooks
- The Passage / The Twelve by Justin Cronin
- Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
- The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
- The Stand by Stephen King
- Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller
- Earth Abides by George R. Stewart
- Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany
- I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
- The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
- On The Beach by Nevil Shute
- Zone One by Colson Whitehead
- The Blondes by Emily Shcultz
- Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Eternity Road by Jack McDevitt
- Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan
- The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
These two lists make 42 books, so stock up your bunker library! We'll see you on Dec 22nd. Or we won't because the world really did end. In that case, we'll be glad Team Teen member Kate (not pictured above) took those archery lessons.
Ladies and Gentleman, readers of discerning tastes who seek the finest of entertainments, may we interest you in a fabulous new tale from Toronto resident, Lady Adrienne Kress?
Kress describes The Friday Society, her Teen debut, as "Steampunk Charlie's Angels—without the Charlie." It's an incredibly accurate description: imagine the fun, adventure, action, and female-friendships of Charlies Angels set in the Edwardian period—and then add the utter coolness of steampunk to the mix.
Are you a fan of Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices or Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy? Then you're going to adore The Friday Society. This is a book of three bright, bold young ladies who band together to thwart crimes and save their city. Kress balances the multiple POVs of the girls, giving each character her own distinct personality while maintaining a unifying tongue-in-cheek style of narration, and resolves the interweaving plots in a satisfying way.
I admire how Kress emphasizes the camaraderie of Cora, Nellie, and Michiko—a trio of go-to "Girl Fridays" who assist three powerful men of London. While I like each of the girls, Michiko might be my favourite; Kress writes an English as second language character in a way that's both respectful and realistic.
In general, Kress has a knack for characterization and culture-building. Reading The Friday Society, one can tell that she's an imaginative author who has taken the time to immerse herself in the culture of steampunk, but she presents it in a way that is fun and accessible. Kress' flavor of steampunk is vivid, lively, and fantastical—she doesn't try to emulate Victorian-style prose. She has created something very much her own.
While this book acts as an origin story and therefore stands alone, I hope The Friday Society will be the first of several novels featuring these lovable characters. Can't wait to see where Kress' imagination takes the girls—and us—next!
The Friday Society is now available.
Reading the last book in a beloved series is a bittersweet moment. The final volume of The Caster Chronicles, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Redemption, is the book that I’ve been waiting for all year. The Caster Chronicles and I have a history; each book arrives with an understanding that I’ll be up reading until it’s finished. It's a conversation with friends that lasts far longer into the night than you intended, but you can't bring yourself to leave. Beautiful Redemption is the last meeting of old friends, so each word—each time it makes me smile or brings up a memory of what we’ve been through together—means all that much more.
How late was I up? Well, I was fortunate enough to receive a publicity copy early from Hachette Book Group Canada. As I had been rereading the previous three books (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, and Beautiful Chaos), when I finished my reread I started Beautiful Redemption. It was 11:00 pm on a Saturday night, and I thought I’d read a chapter or two. Uh yeah, that didn’t happen. I stayed up until 4:30 AM on Sunday morning because I didn’t want to let it go.
After I got a good sleep Sunday night, I started rereading Beautiful Redemption. This time I read it slow and savoured each chapter. Beautiful Redemption is the best of the series—my favourite by far. (That had previously been Beautiful Darkness.) This is a fair ending, a real ending, and it finishes the story that the series set out to tell.
While it's true The Caster Chronicles is the love story of Ethan Lawson Wate and Lena Duchannes, it’s always been so much more than that to me. These books are about being Claimed—by your family, your friends, your town, and yourself. I’m so pleased with the way these characters have grown together through all of the trials they’ve faced and adventures they’ve had.
One of the best parts about Beautiful Redemption is how it allows us to get inside Lena’s head, so we get to see what she thinks of characters we’ve come to know via Ethan. One of my favourite scenes is Lena and Link driving in the Beater when she makes all the lights turn green for him. It’s a tiny little detail, but it tells you so much about how well she knows him.
But what I love most about this book is Ethan and his journey. This entire series has been about finding one’s place, and Ethan Lawson Wate undoubtedly finds his. It’s not an easy task—after Beautiful Chaos it’s a rather difficult one—but to quote Amma: “The easy thing and the right thing are seldom the same.”
This sentiment has been the perfectly-formed crust of the narrative; in Beautiful Redemption, it is matched with a line from Macon Ravenwood that completes its blue-ribbon winning pie: “These things are difficulties, not impossibilities.” Ethan and Lena have faced difficulty after difficulty, but they come to understand it’s not impossible to do what needs doing—and you don't have to do it alone. Anytime your friends realize that, it's a proud moment. (Whether they're imaginary or not.)
If you’ve not read these books, you must give them a try. They are a whole lot of very true things wrapped up in fun and romance and magic hidden in plain sight. While I am sad to say goodbye to them, I know we'll see each other again in February for the movie. I can't wait.
Tomorrow, October 23, is the Finale of Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush series. We've all been waiting to find out if Nora and Patch will get to stay together despite all the odds, and the fact that destiny wants them to be enemies! Patch is one of the baddest of fallen angel bad boys and it was obvious from the moment I saw the cover of Hush, Hush that it was going to be a hit with readers.
If the amazing trailer is any indication, this last book is going to be a hit, too.
Becca was kind enough to answer three quick questions about writing her series to help get us through this final day in your Finale countdown. Welcome, Becca!
Indigo Teen Blog (ITB): What was it like to see Hush, Hush adapted as a graphic novel?
Becca Fitzpatrick (BF): So. Very. Cool. My publisher asked for input from both me and readers, which made the process that much more special. Like most kids, I read comics when I was young, and I enjoyed getting an insider's peek into the process.
ITB: What impact has knowing that you have readers waiting had on your writing?
BF: With every book, I've felt pressure to give readers the best story I can. I want fans to love every book more than the last, and that's a big challenge! My best work typically comes when I push aside the worry and doubt, and immerse myself in the story. It's hard to say goodbye to Patch and Nora after spending so much time with them during the past several years, but I feel good about their ending. Like, somewhere out there, their story lives on.
ITB: What’s a great thing that this series has brought to your life?
BF: The chance to meet readers and fans all over the globe. Before Hush, Hush was published, I didn't own a passport, can you believe it? I didn't realize how one book can unite so many different people. I feel blessed to do something I love, and share it with others.
Thank you to Becca Fitzpatrick for answering our questions and our friends at Simon & Schuster Canada for facilitating this interview. Finale is available online and in-stores tomorrow, October 23!
One of the books Team Teen is most excited about this fall is Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys. In this first book of her new The Raven Cycle series, Stiefvater introduces us to Blue Sarget and the Aglionby boys: Gansy, Ronan, Adam, and Noah. Blue is the daughter of the town pyschic in sleepy Henrietta, West Virgina, who has grown-up being told that if she kisses her true love, she will kill him. The boys all attend the private Aglionby Academy. They have no reason to cross paths until one St. Mark's Eve when Blue sees Gansey walking the ghost road.
This means two things:
1) Gansey is going to die in the next year.
2) Either Gansey is Blue's true love or she will be the one who kills him.
Add in a quest for a long-lost Welsh king, ley line magic, and heart-squeezingly well-written relationship dynamics and you get a story that is kissed with magic and prophecy, filled with adventures and friendships, and an observation of the bonds created by money, family, and friendship. It is, in my opinion, the best book Stiefvater has written yet.
We are so delighted to have Maggie Stiefvater here to answer a few questions. She also shares a peek into Gansey's infamous journal. Welcome, Maggie!
Indigo Teen Blog (ITB): For our readers: what can they expect from The Raven Boys?
Maggie Stiefvater (MS): Rich boys, fast cars, helicopters, magic and all kinds of Latin. It's the first book in a four-book series, so the trouble that goes down in this book is just the beginning.
ITB: How does your musical back ground influence your work?
MS: Oh, well, in three big ways. The first is that I have to listen to music while I write — I rely on it heavily to keep my chapter in the mood I want for it. And secondly, in that I think of my books as a mix CD, where the tone and length of each chapter builds on the last just like in a well-made mix CD (I spend a lot of time reading my words out loud, too, for rhythm). And finally, because I write music for each of my books — all those songs are available for free download on my website (www.maggiestiefvater.com) and are also the background for the trailers for each book.
ITB: Is there a “real” Gansey’s notebook and may we see it?
MS: There are actually two of them. One of them is somewhere in the Scholastic offices in NYC, and the other is in my office in Virginia. YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT? I thought you'd never ask.
ITB: What made you choose ley lines and the lore of an ancient king?
MS: This is a hard question to answer as it requires considerable memory-work on my part. I wrote the first draft of this novel when I was 19 or so — 9 or 10 years ago. And it wasn't the sleeping king novel idea wasn't a new idea for me even back then, either. As a history major, I'd been entranced by the combination of history and myth for a long time. Now, the ley lines — that I remember. I needed a way to get a long-dead Welsh king over to Virginia, and the ley line stuff tied in perfectly. Marriage made in medieval heaven.
ITB: Did any major plot points change as you did researchfor this story?
MS: I have yet to write a novel where they didn't. The biggest challenge, however, was balancing the personalities of the boys. Because they were so tightly knit, just one tweak of one character would create a domino effect through the rest.
ITB: The Raven Boys is delicately balanced between dark and light, levity and heartache. We know you worked with David Leviathan. Do you feel he helped create that balance through editorial support or was this something that you found on your own while drafting?
MS: I love working with David; the fact that he's an author in his own right means that his notes come already translated into writer-language. Convenient! But generally by the time he gets a manuscript, it is pretty complete. The folks who see it in bits and pieces from the very beginning are my critique partners, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff. Even then, their job is not to impose their own styles but rather to see what I'm trying to accomplish and make sure that THAT is what ends up on the page.
ITB: The locations are beautifully built out for readers from Blue’s house to the woods. Is it important to you, as a writer, to set spaces that are as evocative as the characters?
MS: Absolutely. Our settings make us who we are. To not build them up as lovingly as the people in them is to only tell half the story.
Thank you again to Maggie Stiefvater for answering our questions and our friends at Scholatic Canada for facilitating this Q & A. The Raven Boys is available now, and you can meet Maggie Stiefvater at Chapters Brampton on September 25th at 7 pm!
Both Charlie, the narrator of Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and I grew up during the 90's. I'm a few years younger than he is, but we speak the same language of shared cultural experiences. The highs and lows of Charlie's first year in high school, those moments that shape his friendship with Sam and Patrick, remain relatable to both teens and adult years after the novel was first published. This is one of the best books I've read. (Like, ever.) There are great truths in it.
The film adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower had its first public screening at TIFF over the weekend. We're on pins and needles here at Indigo, as we're all super excited for this movie. (Charlie has friends beyond Team Teen wishing him well.)
When Simon & Schuster Canada asked us if we'd like to interview the author/director, all of Team Teen collaborated on the questions. Welcome Stephen Chbosky to the blog!
Indigo Teen Blog (ITB): It has been roughly 12 years since The Perks of Being a Wallflower was written. What do you hope this new generation of readers will gleam from this story?
Stephen Chbosky (SC): I want young people to find validation of and respect for what they go through every day. I wanted to show the great times and infinite times as well as the tougher things that people rarely talk about. All of those things are part of growing up, and I want young people to see the movie and read the book and know they are not alone.
ITB: The letters/diary format is so personal and intrinsic to the novel. How does this form work into the film?
SC: Charlie's letters proved to be as intrinsic to the movie as they were to the novel. Of course, the novel is highly subjective since it's all written in Charlie's voice. So, I needed to find the right cinematic language to tell the same story and characters objectively. But his letters are still the cornerstone of the story. And they still remain the most personal writing I've ever done. I loved writing new letter passages for the movie. It's been awhile since I wrote in Charlie's voice.
ITB: The Perks of Being a Wallflower is so closely tied to the music of its time-setting. Are there songs today that Charlie could connect with as strongly?
SC: Charlie would love The Swell Season, Mumford & Sons, Phoenix, Coldplay, The Strokes, Bon Iver, Landon Pigg, Brandi Carlile, Regina Spektor (especially "Samson"), Fun., Stars (especially "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead"), Imagine Dragons (especially "It's Time"), and so many other great artists. I would break your server answering this question if I did not stop myself now. But I have to add that he would have discovered The Tragically Hip's "Ahead by a Century" by now, and his life would be better for it.
ITB: You’re both a screenwriter and a prose writer. When you wrote the novel, did you find yourself envisioning parts of it as they would adapt to screen, or are prose writing and screenwriting two very separate processes for you?
SC: My dream was always to write the book and then make the movie. So, when I wrote the moment when all the kids run after the sunset after the last day of school, I hoped someday I would get to film it. The same goes for the moment when Charlie holds his hands up in the tunnel. Filming that was a dream come true. As for prose writing and screenwriting, they are completely different processes. Writing a novel is closer to the process of directing for me. It's about creating a world and a tone and an intimate connection with the reader (or viewer). The process of writing a screenplay is more difficult because you don't have 213 pages, but you have just as much story to tell. So, you have to constantly focus the story and when you can, find the picture that's worth the thousand words.
ITB: One of my favourite parts of the novel is when Charlie describes feeling infinite. Would you share with us a time that you felt that way?
SC: I felt infinite the day my daughter was born. And the day I married my wife. But since those are very private to me, I will share another story about Perks. We were shooting the first tunnel scene. I was in the camera car. Emma Watson was in the truck. And on the last run of the night, something magical happened. For whatever reason, Emma let go in that moment, and as she put her arms in the air, I realized that I had never seen more joy on a young person's face. My young friend was completely free and happy and alive. I felt infinite in that moment just witnessing it. I will never forget that moment as long as I live.
ITB: This is more of a comment that maybe you can speak to. Throughout our lives we develop many coping mechanisms to protect ourselves. When we become teens, it is the first time that we really begin to see the world in a new way and find that our coping mechanisms no longer work. As well, we tend to ponder our place within the world and novels, such as yours, are a way for readers to safely tap into these questions.
SC: Books, songs, and movies are more than entertainment when we're young. They help all of us discover who we are, what we believe, and what we hope our life can be. When I was growing up, movies like Dead Poets Society and The Breakfast Club helped me. Classic films like The Graduate and Rebel Without a Cause did the same. Of course, a lot of what is sold to young people is just entertainment, but every now and then, a great band like The Smiths or a classic book like The Catcher in the Rye comes along and changes how we look at youth.
ITB: What’s your favourite part of The Rocky Horror Picture Show? If you’ve ever gone to a show, who did you dress up as?
SC: My favorite part of Rocky is the beginning of "Time Warp" to the end of "Sweet Transvestite." As far as I'm concerned, that 10 minute sequence is one of the greatest in musical history. Of course, I have gone to dozens of shows, and I always dress as the same person. The shy writer in the audience who worships the performers. My wife likes the look, so I'm sticking with it.
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Thank you again to Stephen Chbosky for taking the time to answer our questions and to our friends at Simon & Schuster Canada for facilitating this Q & A. The Perks of Being A Wallflower opens on September 21st.
Best-selling author of the Wicked Lovely series, Melissa Marr, returns with Carnival of Souls. This new novel is the first of a duology set in a world full of violence, magic, and pacts. Populated with intriguing characters who are fighting to make their lives better, Carnival of Souls is an exploration of the bonds between family and reluctant allies.
Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong will be joined by many other fabulous authors for the three Smart Chicks Kick It 3.0 tour stops across Canada at Chapters Westside in Edmonton (9/13), Chapters Pointe-Claire in Montreal (9/15), and Chapters Dartmouth in Dartmouth (9/16). Please see our events page for more details! If you have an opportunity, you have to go as this will be the last of the Smart Chicks tours. (We met with many of these authors during their first tour, and have this great Indigo Minute from the second tour.)
Welcome, Melissa, to the blog!
Indigo Teen Blog (ITB): Family—mostly adoptive or created family—is a huge theme in Carnival of Souls. (Like with Adam and Mallory or Kaleb and Zevi.) Is blood thicker than water? Or is pack more who you make it to be?
Melissa Marr (MM): I think there are people who get hung up on biology, but I’ve never understood that notion. Love and family are choices. My daughter isn’t of my blood; my son-to-be-born infant won’t be either. I chose to be their mother, just as I chose to be the mother of the son I grew inside my body. I feel no difference between the love I hold for each of them, so I have to conclude that “choice before blood” is the answer.
ITB: One of the things that impressed upon me about Aya was her firm resolve not to have children and the lengths she went to preserve her choice. Since your novels are often about choices, can you tell us more about this one? Did Aya evolve from her world or did the restrictions of her world evolve from her?
MM: I think it was both. In a society decimated by war, for a species fighting for survival, children would be vital. So, in The City, the restrictions on women make sense from a world-building stance. However, women’s rights are limited in so many countries, so gender equity concerns tend to be on my mind a lot. In particular, the legislation stripping away reproductive rights in the past year in the US currently serves as a reminder that we have to remain vigilant even once we get progressive laws—because, as we’re seeing, those rights can be taken away again. So, it’s probably safe to say that Aya’s thread evolved from both the post-war society of the text and my own interests.
ITB: From “The Goblin Market” to Something Wicked This Way Comes to The Night Circus, readers have a fascination with circuses and carnivals. Did you have any historical or literary influences for Carnival of Souls?
MM: I’ve never read The Night Circus, and it’s been years since I read Something Wicked This Way Comes, but “Goblin Market” is one of my most beloved pieces of literature. Rossetti’s writing was what led to my initial “I want to study literature” epiphany, so her “Goblin Market” is undoubtedly an influence. I see more from the non-text influences, though: I attend FaerieCon and FaerieWorlds, and I had been in Italy right before writing this. The FaerieWorlds events are filled with costumed and masked people, artists, food, and music. In Italy were street vendors, the Coliseum, and open-air markets. I think those experiences swirled together to create the carnival in my book, but I won’t ever dismiss the influence of classic lit! Teaching those texts was my career for over a decade.
ITB: I loved Graveminder so much, and I’m eager to see another adult book from you. Can you share anything about The Arrivals?
MM: The Arrivals was such fun to write, but I have no idea what genre it is. My typical explanation is Wild West meets wormhole meets monster-hunters. The protagonists are an 1870s saloon girl, a 2012 recovering alcoholic, a 1930s triggerman, and assorted other killers and misfits. There are monsters and boomtowns, corruption and romance, and a lot of violence.
ITB: This is your third year of the Smart Chicks Kick It tour. What’s one of your favourite memories so far from Smart Chicks?
MM: I’m not sure that’s a fair question! I organize the tour with a good friend, Kelley Armstrong; all the authors are people whose books I enjoy; and I’ve met thousands of readers in the US and Canada. I have pretty much only favourite memories. I’m sad that this is the last year; it’s been a lot of fun.
ITB: We’re all thrilled that you and Kelley Armstrong are writing THE BLACKWELL PAGES. It sounds like it’s going to be fantastic. Did anything surprise you during your co-writing process?
MM: Writing with Kelley is such a kick! Our processes are so different that we were worried, but it turns out that the differences are assets. I write till about 4 or 5am—which is when she wakes up. Since we only write the initial drafts when we’re in the same building, we write 24hour/day in a shared file. It creates a pressure to Not Slow Down. If I don’t get my chapter done, she can’t do hers (and the inverse). So it’s this crazy process that we sort of stumbled into at the beginning, but it works for us. We’re already in revision on book 2 in the trilogy (Odin’s Ravens), and the first one (Loki’s Wolves) isn’t out until May 2013.
ITB: As you’re one of the authors whom I trust when I’m looking for my next great read, are there any amazing titles coming out this fall that I should put on my TBR list?
MM: I read several books a week, but at best I only finish 1 out of every 8 books I start. These are the ones that have wowed me of late. I don’t know release dates, so these may be Fall or Winter.
- Splintered – A.G. Howard (companion to Alice in Wonderland; simply delicious and polished writing)
- The Darkest Minds-- Alexandra Bracken (dystopian future; teens held in detainment camps and on the run; very thought-provoking and well crafted)
- The Madman’s Daughter—Meghan Shepherd (inspired by The Island of Doctor Moreau; polished writing, historical setting, unsettling plot)
- Unspoken—Sarah Rees Brennan (Gothic meets funny; if you’ve ever seen Sarah at an event, this is the book you’ve been waiting to read. I laughed out loud on a plane while reading)
- Time Between Us—Tamara Ireland Stone (contemporary romance/time travel; I smiled a lot while reading this.)
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Thanks to Melissa Marr for answering our questions and to our friends at HarperCollins Canada for arranging this interview. Carnival of Souls is available now.
Grab your foil, and get ready! Lesley Livingston’s Starling is packed with mythology, fencing, and fun. Returning to the Faerie-adjacent New York City she created with her Wondrous Strange trilogy, Livingston expertly brings in new characters to expand her fictional world.
In this first book, a mysterious young man crashes into Mason “Mase” Starling’s life during a freak storm. Armed with a sword and a smile, he saves the day and then disappears—but not before revealing that all he remembers is he’s called The Fennrys Wolf. Suddenly Mase is avoiding draugr (Norse zombies), finding sirens in the river, and wrapped up in solving the mystery of Fenn’s past.
Mase’s family has secrets of their own. As a student of the Gosforth Academy, Mase and her classmates are more connected to the mythical side of NYC than she realizes. The founding families of the Gosforth Academy serve different gods—and Mase may be the only one not in on the secret. Despite this, none of her friends have been adequately prepared for what’s coming: The walls between worlds are thin and someone wants to kick start Ragnarok.
Through her trademark blend of wit, romance, and action Livingston is sure to score points with paranormal fans. Mase and Fenn are a dynamic duo, and the fencing scenes are written so a reader can watch them play out in her head. I particularly like the character of Heather, who Mase believes to be a rival but comes to see as a friend. More books with positive female friendships!
Think of Starling as like the first episode of Doctor Who with a new Doctor. For a while, there’s this sense that whole lot of history has happened before—but then you’re neck-deep in adventure so what’s happening now becomes far more important. Similarly, Starling creates an easy entry point into Livingston’s entertaining and magical world. (You can always read the Wondrous Strange books while waiting for the next Starling instalment.)