Monday, March 26, 2012

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 3/24

Hey! This is a weekend chock-full of Family Stuff -- yes, I am very busy lately, which is why this blog has been infrequently updated, thank you very much -- so, once again, I'm happy I only have a short stack of books to quickly tell you about.

Again: these just arrived, sent by publishers to me and, presumably, to an indeterminate number of other bloggers and other "media" folks. I haven't read any of them yet. Here's what I do know.

Kieli, Vol. 6: The Sunlit Garden Where It Began, Part 2 appears to be the latest installment in a light novel series by Yukako Kabei. In my (limited) experience, light novels usually are more like novels -- in that they have individual titles, and stand basically alone -- than like manga volumes -- which are numbered, and usually continue the same story -- but this one could definitely be the exception. The title character is a young woman, I think basically normal, but in this book her "spirit [has been] cast adrift," and she's experiencing the youth of what I think are the two men she's in a love triangle with: Harvey and Ephraim. (I'm assuming this is an Edward-and-Jacob thing rather than a James-Potter-and-Severus thing, but I could very easily be wrong.) Anyway, this was published by Yen, it's out right now, and, if it sounds interesting, you really want to find the first book and begin there.

I have here the first two books in a fantasy time-travel series -- I want to say "trilogy," since the author's two previous serieses [1] were both trilogies, but I don't know that for sure -- by Mark Chadbourn, under the names Jack of Ravens and The Burning Man. In this series, called Kingdom of Serpents, "Jack Churchill, archaeologist and dreamer, walks out of the mist and into Celtic Britain more than two thousand years before he was born," and then of course gets caught up in capital-E Evil on his way back home. They're both from Pyr; Jack was published March 20th and Burning is coming April 3rd -- and I expect that means that, if there are further books in the series, we'll see those very quickly as well.

And next is the greatest idea I've seen in a long time -- a graphic novel by Dave Roman and John Green with the title Teen Boat! The hero -- from a quick glance, he's always just called Teen Boat, or TB -- has the fabulous ability to transform from a teenage boy into a yacht and back, leading to the awesome tag line: "The Angst of Being a Teen! The Thrill of Being a Boat!" This looks like a hoot and a half; I hope to get to it really soon. It's published by Houghton Mifflin's children's division, and will be available in early May.

And last this time is Daniel H. Wilson's new novel Amped -- I don't think it's officially young adult, but it is a near-future dystopia about a young-ish protagonist (29, in this case) on the run from an oppressive future society that Hates Him For What He Is. (What He Is is "amped" -- he has a medical device implanted in his brain, ostensibly to control his seizures, and the Supreme Court, as it does in dystopian future societies, has just declared that the amped are Not Human, to be rounded up like mutants, or uglies, or hunger games tributes, or {insert your comparison of choice here}.) I'm old enough to find those kinds of dystopias dull, but Amped also promises some kind of super-powered conflict between the amped and the normals, and I'm always up for that. (So there could be echoes of Wild Talent, or Beggars in Spain, or Brain Child.) This one is coming from Doubleday in early June.

[1] I insist that this is a real word, and I will continue to use it. So there.

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