Monday, May 17, 2010

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 5/15

Every week I get mail, and every Monday I write about it here. This time around, I only got two packages all week, for whatever reason. (The mail is always unpredictable, and I don't really mind, because I have too many books to read no matter how I get them.)

Darren Shan is a familiar name to teenage readers (not to mention their librarians, teachers, and parents) from his "Cirque du Freak" series (about a half-vampire boy also named Darren Shan) and its successors, but his books haven't been aimed at adults previously. But his new novel Procession of the Dead -- coming as a YA-priced $19.99 hardcover from Grand Central on June 4th -- will be in the adult section of bookstores, either chasing a new audience or following the readers who read his first novel, Cirque du Freak, nine years ago. Procession is the first book in a new trilogy, "The City," in which an amnesiac young man, Capac Raimi, arrives in a darkly magical city that is ruled -- and even more closely connected to -- The Cardinal, who may hold the secrets of Capac's past.

Shan is busy this year -- he also has a novel for teens, The Thin Executioner, coming out in August. It's a standalone novel somehow inspired by Huckleberry Finn -- though it seems to be about a boy "on an eight-month journey to petition the fire god for return and claim the post of executioner from his father." (Which doesn't sound much like the Huck Finn I know.) Thin Executioner is also hardcover, but will be even cheaper, at $17.99. Novels for teenagers are a great bargain, aren't they? I should read more of them to stretch my book budget....

The other package this week came from the good folks at Tokyopop, containing a variety of manga projects publishing in June:

Tachibana Higuchi's Portrait of M & N Volume 2 continues the story of teenage masochist Mitsuru and narcissist Natsuhiko, as they continue to try to hide their proclivities (which, I assume, are nearly uncontrollable, in best manga fashion) from the rest of the world. This series still sounds very weird, and I hope to read some of it before long.

Isle of Forbidden Love is a yaoi story from Duo Brand (and that doesn't sound like a pseudonym, oh no!), with an Edo-era murder mystery and the world of the theater as the background to this stylized gay love story.

Also on the yaoi side is Madness, Vol. 2 by Kairi Shimotsuki, finishing up this story about assassins, mind-controlling microchips, gunplay, and lots of man-on-man love. (With the latter man drawn as hugely effeminate for genre-convention reasons.)

There's also a second volume of Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou's Deadman Wonderland -- I reviewed the first one a few months back.

And there's a third volume of Alice in the Country of Hearts by Soumei Hoshino and Quinrose, which is -- as you might guess from the title -- a manga-tized reimagining of Alice in Wonderland.

Last from Tokyopop is the least manga-ish book, World of Warcraft: Mage, written by Richard A. Knaak and illustrated by Ryo Kawakami. According to the back cover, it's part on an "ongoing class series," which may be of interest to hardcore WoWheads.
Listening to: Kate Miller-Heidke - God's Gift To Women
via FoxyTunes

1 comment:

Chris McLaren said...

I am reasonably that the "new" Shan book, is actually something he published (at least in the UK) under his real name more than a decade ago. At least, I've got a book with the same title, and a plot that matches the Amazon summary, written by Darren O'Shaughnessy that I picked up in the UK around the turn of the millenium.

(I actually hope this "leverage YA notoriety to sell adult books" strategy works out... there are quite a few authors focused on YA right now--and producing excellent books--who I would love to have write some more books outside of the YA constraints.)

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