Title: Dance of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Series: Masque of the Red Death (Book 2)
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death.
In Dance of the Red Death, Araby’s world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city.
Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves…or it could turn her into a hero.
With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.
WHY I CANNOT WAIT: Masque of the Red Death blew me away. I mean, it had things I should hate: whiny, druggie heroine, a love triangle, mostly plot-twists. But I didn’t hate it. I loved it. I mean, this is the first love triangle I’ve read where I actually changed my mind about who the heroine should be with. (Elliott—Don’t even get me started.) I love the way she built up the aristocracy and the fear of disease. The way masks come into the novel, into her guilt. How Griffin plays on the readers expectations of family and family secrets. I devoured the first book and am eagerly awaiting the second and final novel in this plague-infested world. (But seriously, she better choose Elliott.)
Title: The Bitter Kingdom
Author: Rae Carson
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Book 3)
Publication Date: 2013 (How can they not be more specific?!)
WHY I CANNOT WAIT: The way Carson ended Crown of Embers was pure torture. TORTURE. I’ve already given her a reaming about it on Twitter, but she just laughed at me. (No really, it was an entire tweet of LOL’s. Grrrr.) I love Elisa. And Hector. (Especially Hector.) And everything about Carson’s Spanish-Moor-esque world-building. This series is one that I can go back and reread. Carson is a strong believer in character arcs and so watching Elisa grow melts my heart in every book. I love strong heroines. But I especially love heroines who don’t know what they’re capable of until they turn out to be total badasses. This is another novel I had an ARC for. So if they don’t give me a synopsis soon, I may wither away before it’s actually released.
Title: Dark Triumph
Author: Robin LaFevers
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Series: His Fair Assassins (Book 2)
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons.
But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?
This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.
WHY I CANNOT WAIT: Duval was one of my favorite heroes of last year, but I’m super excited LaFevers has decided to focus on a different assassin in every book. I’ve been intrigued about Sybella since we saw her elusive figure in Grave Mercy. LaFever’s writing style lends itself to dark undertones, so I won’t be surprised if this novel is even harder on my heart than the first book. Clearly, Sybella’s been through some horrible stuff since she first left the convent on her missions—and we know the convent isn’t the perfect haven we first thought. Paranormal historicals—especially ones with such great integration of the magic—hold a special place in my heart. They’re hard to pull off, especially when the world they live in is so dark. I’m just glad this sequel is going to be as long as the first novel.
Title: Siege and Storm
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Grisha Trilogy (Book 2)
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
WHY I CANNOT WAIT: I am a hardcore fantasy junkie, and Bardugo’s debut Shadow and Bone pretty much made my life. It’s a book I got an early copy of and loved. This pretty much means I’ll be suffering longer, because there’s no way for me to get an ARC shipped overseas. I am dying for more Alina. For more Darkling shipping. For more Mal angst. Pretty much just more all around. I mean, I bought the novel in two languages. I’m hooked. I’ve become whole-heartedly invested in Alina’s quest. I’m already worried about how this series will end in 2014 and whether or not Bardugo will write another in the same world.
Title: House of Hades
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Heroes of Olympus (Book 4)
Publication Date: October 2013
WHY I CANNOT WAIT: Percy Jackson. Need I say more? Alright: Annabeth. Riordan’s world of demigods has been a favorite of mine since The Lightning Thief was first published with its white cover and shiny silver lightning bolt. I’m obsessed with mythology—even made it one of my majors—and Riordan’s world-building speaks to my nerdy-soul. Then there’s the fantastic dialogue and characters. While I wasn’t sure I’d like the Heroes of Olympus series when book one didn’t have Percy Jackson, I’m totally on board and ready for more now. The alternate POVs Riordan uses in this series give the longer books a harder look at Percy’s friends, making their characters just as well-developed and loved as our favorite hero.
Title: Star Cursed
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Cahill Witch Chronicles (Book 2)
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate’s friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.
Cate doesn’t want to be a weapon, and she doesn’t want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood’s schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.
In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess’s quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.
WHY I CANNOT WAIT:, Um, maybe because the ending of Born Wicked totally pulled the rug out from under me?! Gah! It was the perfect first series book and if this synopsis is any indication, the Cahill Witch Chronicles is going to take another surprising turn. Spotswood’s alternate history has phenomenal world-building and dangerous twists—especially for her female heroines. And then there’s Finn Balestra, who reads books and wears glasses and is extremely attractive for his brains more than his brawn.
Title: The Frustratingly Untitled Divergent #3
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: YA Dystopia
Series: Divergent (Book 3)
Publication Date: September 26, 2013
Synopsis: NO SYNOPSIS?! *shakes fist at Katherine Tegen Books*
WHY I CANNOT WAIT: No title (though it’s affectionately called Detergent), no synopsis—you KNOW this novel is going to end the series with a bang. How do I say this without giving away the first two novels? I fell in love with Tris and Four hard with Divergent and Insurgent only confirmed that Four is a worthy YA hero for more than just his good looks. Tris is a badass as the factions begin to fall apart and I can’t wait to see how Roth will bring the series to a close. And by “can’t wait”, what I mean is that sometimes I plot ways to steal the manuscript from Roth’s home. After all, she didn’t live that far away from me! But then I moved to Berlin, so I guess book three is safe. I need an ending! NEED.
Title: Quintana of Charyn
Author: Melina Marchetta
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Chronicles of Lumatere (Book 3)
Publication Date: March 12, 2013
There’s a babe in my belly that whispers the valley, Froi. I follow the whispers and come to the road . . .
Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi must travel through Charyn to search for Quintana, the mother of Charyn’s unborn king, and protect her against those who will do anything to gain power. But what happens when loyalty to family and country conflict? When the forces marshalled in Charyn’s war gather and threaten to involve the whole of the land, including Lumatere, only Froi can set things right, with the help of those he loves.
WHY I CANNOT WAIT: I’m cheating. I’ve already read this one. But I can’t wait to have a US-version on my shelf to complete my soul—I mean, my series. With Froi of the Exiles Marchetta began giving us more perspectives, more intrigue, more complications that we saw in Finnikin of the Rock. Quintana of Charyn didn’t let us down. Everything you felt at the end of book two is magnified and tested in this third installment. The characters we were introduced to in Froi of the Exiles are even better in the third (I categorically refuse to believe it’s the last) novel. Marchetta exceeded even my high expectations with this novel and I can’t wait until I finally own the hardcover.
Title: Battle Magic
Author: Tamora Pierce
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: The Circle Reforged (Book 3)
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
On their way to the first Circle temple in Gyongxi, mages Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy pay a visit to the emperor’s summer palace. Although treated like royalty when they first arrive, the mages soon discover that the emperor plans to invade Gyongxi, posing a fatal threat to the home temple of the Living Circle religion. Accompanied by one of the emperor’s prize captives, the three mages rush to Gyongxi to warn its citizens of the impending attack. With the imperials hot on their trail, Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy must quickly help the country prepare for battle. But even with the help of new allies, will their combined forces be enough to fight the imperial army and win the war?
WHY I CANNOT WAIT: I’ve already waited SEVEN YEARS. Yeah, you heard right. SEVEN. Since The Will of the Empress, I have been jonesing for more Briar. (Back off—he’s mine.) Melting Stones totally doesn’t count. That novel was no where near long enough or intense enough to sate me after such an incredible first book. I’d hoped this Circle Reforged series would feature more of our favorite dysfunctional quartet, like in The Will of the Empress, but it looks like some dreams aren’t meant to be.
I’ve been in love with Pierce’s Emelan world since I was eight and first picked up Briar’s Book in my school library. (Yeah, I read them out of order. Sue me, I have a thing for reformed thieves.) Her novels are what turned me onto epic fantasy and fed my bibliophile soul through the long years of waiting for more Harry Potter. Since Pierce’s novels are few and far between these days, every time a new one appears on the horizon my heart gives a little sigh of relief.
Title: Lover at Last
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood (Book 11)
Publication Date: March 26, 2013
Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another….
Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand.
Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions… but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together… finally become one.
WHY I CANNOT WAIT: OMG, just reading the summary has me bouncing off the walls. This novel is going to be Ward’s longest (I think) coming in at 189,000 words. It picks up RIGHT after Lover Reborn left off (with that LOOK from Qhuinn at the Fade ceremony, if you need reminding) and so I’m pretty much dying. I’ve been waiting for a Qhuay novel in earnest since John Matthew’s novel. Her characters manage to reach into my heart every time, even when I don’t think I’m going to like them based on previous books. She has a way of making characters too complicated not to keep reading, and before you know it you’re sucked in and loving them.
I read all ten BDB books in 4 days, though, so that’s not saying much. I’m really not one for M/M books—not like, politically or whatever. They just don’t do it for me, as a rule—but I’m so invested in Qhuinn and Blay’s future happiness from the snippets we’ve gotten in the other novels that I’m ready to explode. Every. Time. J.R. Ward puts another snippet up on her FB page, I can’t help but make squealing noises. So much angst. So much love. So much…swearing. Seriously, these books have given me the mouth of a sailor.
As much as I ADORE these novels and obsess over them and lay awake at night thinking about my favorite moments, I’ve gotta tell you not to pick them up. It’s probably not good for your health to read them before the next book is out. Or at least closer. Hey, I’m giving you fair warning here.
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