Unlike the cheesy Young Adult novels that revolve around a love triangle, Conspiracy of Angels starts off with a bang. The main character, Zack Westland, wakes up on the shores of Lake Erie with amnesia. As the story progresses, he discovers that he’s part of a tribe of angels and it is up to him to stop another war between the clans from starting.
Although all of this sounds very cliché, Belanger makes it work. She deftly avoids stereotypes and peppers her novel with characters that will keep you glued to the pages. For example, Zack Westland is more concerned about discovering his past and trying to decipher his psychic experiences than falling in love. There’s also a fascinating twist about how immortal angels are able to inhabit human bodies while retaining their ability for living eternally.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, November 23rd, 2015||No Comments »|
Ania Ahlborn’s chilling crime novel Within These Walls explores the price of success and muses on what it would be like to discover the secret to immortality. The story follows a down-on-his-luck crime author named Lucas Graham, who is reeling because his life has fallen apart. Desperate to regain his old success, he manages to get an interview with a notorious cult leader named Jeffrey Halcomb, who is currently locked away in prison. After Halcomb declines the interview, Graham is left piecing together the puzzle on his own at the scene of the crime. During his investigation he discovers one horrifying secret: some things never truly die once they’ve been promised immortality.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, May 22nd, 2015||No Comments »|
Long before werewolves ever gained popularity amongst teen girls thanks to the character of Jacob Black in Twilight, Alice Borchardt, the sister to the celebrated author Anne Rice, was creating shape-shifters that readers could really sink their teeth into. Disregarding the usual Hollywood “wolfman” tropes, Borchardt’s The Silver Wolf follows a young huntress named Regeane who is kinswoman to Charlemagne on her mother’s side and is a werewolf thanks to her Saxon father and his paranormal abilities. She’s caught between two worlds—that of a werewolf living a free and independent lifestyle or living the life of a courtier, as she’s engaged to marry a lord named Maeniel. However, complications arise when she meets a fellow shape shifter, also in the guise of a wolf. Despite the fact the Regeane is caught in the net of politics, will she follow her heart or bow her head to the dictates of the king and give up her wolf side?
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, April 24th, 2014||No Comments »|
Novelist Timothy Schaffert’s newest piece The Swan Gondola brings the 1898 Omaha’s World Fair back to life and adds a bit of magic, mystery, and of course, romance to the delightful setting. Readers are taken back in time to when Omaha still bore the marks of being part of the ‘Wild, Wild West’ and Chicago was the height of both grandeur and respectability.
Ferret Skerrit, who works at the fair as a ventriloquist but used to be a con man back in the day, crosses paths with a young actress named Cecily, who is part of a traveling acting troupe. While the two are instantly attracted to one another, it’s obvious the young woman is hiding something in that worn down carpetbag she’s always carrying around with her. Sadly, much to Skerrit’s chagrin, after the fair closes, Cecily takes off without even giving him so much as a second glance. However, a romantic ride in the swan gondola under the bright moonlight may just be what Skerrit needs to win the woman of his dreams back to her side, especially after he sees her cavorting with a well-to-do rival.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, April 8th, 2014||No Comments »|
Holly Black, who has gained legions of fans thanks to her hit novels Tithe and The Spiderwick Chronicles, was able to sit down with Waterstones in November 2013 to talk about where she came up with the idea for The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Black mentions that the original idea came to her when she was writing for a vampire anthology called Eternal Kiss and she re-discovered her childhood fascination for tales that revolved around the blood sucking undead. The ideas wouldn’t leave her, and so Black decided the only way to shake her Muses off was to write a novel.
Unlike Meyer, Black reveled in writing the gore not only because authors such as Anne Rice influenced her as a child, but also because it kept with traditional vampire lore. She also adds that while she enjoys writing high fantasy, it was also fun using the blood sucking undead to comment on the pros and cons of social media websites, reality television, and all the rest of our modern gadgets. Although there’s been an abundance of vampire literature on the market, Black’s interview gives new insight into both her inspiration for the novel and its storyline.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014||No Comments »|
Thanks to pop culture, which has seen reality television shows such as Ghost Hunters and Long Island Medium skyrocket to fame, it seems as if everyone and their next-door neighbor is obsessed with finding the truth about whether or not there’s an ‘Afterlife.’ David Edison’s debut novel The Waking Engine confronts this theme by toying around with the notion of life, death, and the big question: If there’s truly an afterlife, what is it like?
Contrary to what the ‘Big Three’ monotheistic religions preach, death is not the end. In The Waking Engine, once you leave this plane of existence, you simply wake up as yourself in any one of the millions of worlds in the Universe. Then you simply live out your life, and when you ‘die’ again, the process repeats until the souls can make it to the City Unspoken, which houses the gateway to True Death. There’s only one problem—the gateway’s acting up. It’s up to a very confused, recently deceased New Yorker named Cooper to navigate this bizarre city that houses not only deities in disguise but also angels, faeries, and queens as he races against time to figure out why the gateway’s not working properly.
Edison’s debut novel takes popular themes about the nature of life and death and turns them on their head. His rich prose and fascinating settings allow the readers to become fully immersed in the world of the City Unspoken as well as feel the characters’ fears of the madness that threatens to destroy their world. Edison’s writing is a refreshing breath of fresh air for the sci-fi fantasy genre and is sure to win him new fans.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, April 1st, 2014||No Comments »|
In a twist from the usual YA standard publication format, Lisa Borja’s upcoming trilogy The Spirit Writings will be released as eBooks on Amazon starting on March 30. Although the book trailer is not flashy, the simple yet effective style helps to draw viewers in thanks to the ‘old-timey’ photographs and the calm, soothing voice of the narrator.
Set in the 1870s, which is when psychic phenomena really took off, a young psychic named Ava wrestles with her gifts. The small town in which she grew up is not only stifling her psychic abilities but her opportunities as well. Feeling trapped, Ava must determine whether or not she wants to stay in the area of her birth and conform to society or move away so she can put her psychic gifts to good use.
Using only an engaging voice-over script, a few actors and beautifully shot photographs, the trailer for The Spirit Writings shows a glimpse of a promising new book series.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, March 27th, 2014||1 Comment »|