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Delacorte Press – April 14, 2009

Mary’s world is surrounded by the moans and shuffles of the Unconsecrated.  The Unconsecrated look for ways to breach the fences that protect her village.  They try to find weakness in the metal links.  They reach through trying to grab hold of anyone unfortunate enough to walk too close to the fence.  Mary’s world is based in fear.  Fear that the Unconsecrated will one day break through and devour everyone in the village.

Mary’s mother goes to the fences everyday to look into The Forest of Hands and Teeth.  She is searching for a glimpse of her husband who disappeared in the Forest months ago.  Mary’s mother is the only one that remains hopeful that he’ll come back to her unharmed.  Mary and her brother Jed, a Guardian, makes sure their mother never goes to the fences alone – afraid she’ll get too close if she sees her husband.  When Jed is off on a fence repair mission and Mary gets held up doing laundry, her mother does the unthinkable.  She gets too close to the Forest and is bitten by an Unconsecrated.  

The ramifications of this disastrous event leave Mary with no choice but to live with the Sisters.  The Sisters hold the knowledge of the village and make the rules for the community.  They never marry, but instead devote their lives to the Scriptures.  Mary must decide if she can settle for a life with the Sisters or if she is going to keep faith in the stories of a life outside the village and beyond The Forest of Hands and Teeth that her mother always told her about. However, after a major fence breach, her decision is made for her as she must brave the Forest along with Jed and his wife, Mary’s best friend, the man Mary loves, and the man who loves her.  Emotional complications just add to the stress of staying alive when they are surrounded by the Unconsecrated.

THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH is an enthralling post-apocalyptic masterpiece.  Carrie Ryan’s description of the unrelenting Unconsecrated comes through loud and clear to the reader.  At times, the suspense will cause you to put the book down for fear of what you might read next only to pick it up again because you can’t wait to find out.  You’ll be able to feel the boney fingers of each and every Unconsecrated reaching for you as you turn page after page of this amazing novel.  The ending definitely leaves the reader begging for the next installment in this amazing series.

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The Forest of Hands and Teeth

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NAL Jam (Penguin) – January 6, 2009

Be aware that you will need to read the other books in the series in order to fully understand the world of the Morganville Vampire Series.

Glass Houses
Dead Girls’ Dance
Midnight Alley
Feast of Fools
Lord of Misrule

 

LORD OF MISRULE picks up right where FEAST OF FOOLS leaves off.   Bishop is in town and Morganville is on fire. Vampires are choosing sides and the humans are using the confusion to rally together and try for a take over themselves.  Claire, Shane, Michael, and Eve have their hands full and danger is around every corner.  

Amelie gives everyone a job.  Eve goes with Oliver to Common Grounds to protect the valuable territory, Michael heads to the University to protect the thousands of clueless students, Claire is set to go with Amelie to rescue Myrnin, and Shane is going to drive the Blood Mobile around to keep it and an important book out of Bishop’s hands.  Just making it through the night is going to be tough.  

LORD OF MISRULE lives up to the expectations of the others in the Morganville Vampire Series.  There is non-stop suspense, heartwarming romance, and great vampire action.  Rachel Caine has done an excellent job keeping the action going through each and every one of the installments in this series.  You’ll be chomping at the bit to get your hands on the next one, CARPE CORPUS, which is due for release on June 2, 2009.

At about 240 pages and $6.99 each, these books are accessible to everyone.  If you haven’t started the series yet, be sure to get GLASS HOUSES today.  You will be addicted on page 1.


Lord of Misrule
(The Morganville Vampires, Book 5)

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5-glasses

Hyperion – December 2008

Camelia lives a very normal life. She has loving parents, two best friends, a good job, and decent grades. Everything changes for her when she is almost killed in the parking lot at school on the last day of her sophomore year. A mysterious stranger saved her by pushing her out of the way. His touch is electric and Camelia can’t get his face and the feel of his touch out of her mind. The problem is, he disappeared after he saved her.

Three months later, at the beginning of junior year, strange things start to happen. Camelia receives photos of herself in her mailbox with notes attached. Notes that say she is being watched at all times. Notes that tell her to be a good girl. Notes that say her time is coming soon. She also receives phone calls from someone with a whispery, male voice. Camelia is being stalked and, coincidently, her mysterious savior enrolls at her school at the same time.

A cloud of rumors swirl around Ben’s arrival. Apparently he was accused of killing his girlfriend and the people at Camelia’s school aren’t happy he is there. Camelia is drawn to Ben because of the connection she feels after he saved her, but Ben doesn’t make it easy to get to know him. As she spends more time with Ben and the stalking escalates, Camelia doesn’t know who to trust.

Laurie Faria Stolarz has written a creepy mystery. The story is packed with red herrings. As you are reading, you’ll be asking yourself, “Could it be him?” “Could it be her?” Interspersed throughout the chapters, the reader gets a glimpse into the mind of the stalker by seeing his handwritten journal entries where he obsesses about Camelia. This just adds to the creep factor of the story.

If you are easily frightened, I would recommend you read this book during the daytime. You might even make sure that other people are in the house with you. Be prepared to become obsessed yourself. Once you start DEADLY LITTLE SECRET you won’t want to stop. DEADLY LITTLE SECRET is the first in the Touch series. Be looking for the sequel, DEADLY LITTLE LIES, sometime in 2009.


Deadly Little Secret
(A Touch Novel)

Rachel Caine has done it again.  She starts FEAST OF FOOLS like she does the other books in the Morgenville Vampire series – right in the middle of the action which grabs you by the hair, yanks you in, and won’t let go until the story is over.

At the end of MIDNIGHT ALLEY, the foursome living in the Glass House gets some unexpected visitors in the form of Claire’s parents and (in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Speak) the Big Bad – Mr. Bishop A.K.A. Amelie’s “father.”  With him in town there has to be trouble a-brewin’.

On top of the trouble that is inevitably on the way, Claire has to deal with the stress of her parents being in town.  She is, of course, worried about their safety, but also has to convince them that she isn’t going to move in with them – that she is perfectly capable of staying at the Glass House.  Claire’s duties to Amelie are still a high priority which requires that she continues her work with Myrnin while at the same time making it to all of her classes during the day.

The Big Event (where everything hits the fan) takes place during an invitation only masquerade feast.  Claire manages to get herself an invitation and is front row center when everything comes to a head.  Mr. Bishop is in Morganville for one reason and if he doesn’t get what he wants he will declare war on those that oppose him.  Battlelines are drawn, people are in danger.  You’ll never believe how this one ends.

Rachel Caine is an amazing writer.  She writes so vividly that you can picture everything that is happening in your head like a movie.  As crazy as it sounds, I feel like I know the characters from the book and  I love the developing relationships between Claire and Shane / Eve and Michael.   The one drawback to the series is they are definately NOT stand-alone novels.  If you picked up FEAST OF FOOLS without having read the other three in the series I think you’d be lost.  So, take my word for it.  If you haven’t read GLASS HOUSES, THE DEAD GIRL’S DANCE, and MIDNIGHT ALLEY go do it right now!  You won’t regret it.

THIS BOOK WILL BE RELEASED ON OCTOBER 2, 2007.

 

Claire’s life isn’t getting any easier since the last time we saw her in DEAD GIRLS’ DANCE.  Everyone should be safe now that she has signed a contract with Amelie.  Shane, Eve, and Michael should be protected and Claire should be able to rest easy, except for the fact that she has to keep her contract a secret, because her housemates would freak if they knew.  There is already enough tension in the house since Shane can’t forgive Michael for becoming a vampire.  Claire doesn’t want to add to the turmoil already in the house, but can’t avoid it when Amelie finally contacts her with her assignment and sends her a bracelet to wear for proof of protection.

Amelie wants Claire to become the apprentice to Myrnin, the vampire with the knowledge of the portals that are used throughout the town.  At first, Claire doesn’t know why she is being asked to learn, but eventually realizes Amelie’s motives aren’t simply to pass on the knowledge of the vampires because Myrnin is getting old and senile, but because Amelie wants Claire to assist Myrnin in finding a solution to a bigger and more deadly problem the vampires are facing in Morganville.
Dead girls are turning up around Morganville as well and vampires aren’t the cause.  It so happens that Eve’s brother, Jason, is out of jail and skulking around so everyone assumes he is behind the murders, but the police can’t find any evidence to link him to the crimes.  Everyone is on edge because he is threatening to harm Eve and he’ll hurt anyone that gets in his way.  Claire and Shane are injured in different confrontations with Jason which leaves Claire in a deadly situation and Shane fighting for his life.

If you’ve enjoyed the other books in the Morganville Vampire series, you’ll love MIDNIGHT ALLEY.  Rachel Caine uses her skills as a writer to take you on a wild ride that you’ll hate to see end.  You’ll feel like you have been transported into the story with the characters.  MIDNIGHT ALLEY has a cliffhanger ending like the other books in the series and leaves you begging for the next story.  It is clear that Claire’s life isn’t going to get easier any time soon.

 

Hold on to your hats people!  Things are getting serious.  Like with the previous books in the series, PERFECT picks up the story right where FLAWLESS left off.  If you have been disappointed by a book series in the past that dwindled in excitement, be assured that the PRETTY LITTLE LIARS series isn’t going to let you down.

 

 

The story continues to follow Hanna, Spencer, Aria, and Emily as they attempt to find out who keeps sending them threatening messages and exposing their deepest, darkest secrets to their friends and family. The police renew their efforts in the investigation of Alison’s death and begin to question the girls about the night she disappeared again.  A video that Aria took while they were all still friends is leaked to the media and leads Aria to discover the secret Ali was keeping from all of them.  Spenser begins therapy in order to deal with the stress of everything and discovers a horrible secret as well.  Hanna, however, receives the biggest clue and actually knows who the killer is by the end of the book, but is unable to tell anyone because of a terrible accident that leaves her in the balance between life and death.

 

Personal issues escalate for each of the girls too.  Emily has to do more self searching about her feelings for Maya.  Spenser has to deal with the aftermath of turning in her sister’s papers as one of her own.  Hanna becomes shunned by her best friend and stresses over the fact that she is putting on weight and Aria finds her feelings for Ezra aren’t as resolved as she thought they were.  Through every new development “A” is there taunting and threatening. 

 

By the end of PERFECT it doesn’t seem like it can get any worse.  I’m sure Sara Shepard has more surprises in store for us in the next installment of this wonderfully, suspenseful series.  UNBELIEVABLE is due to come out in March 2008.

FLAWLESS picks up right where PRETTY LITTLE LIARS leaves off with Spencer, Aira, Emily, and Hanna are all trying to figure out who keeps sending them nasty messages that threaten to reveal some of their deepest secrets.  They all feel guilty for the incident in seventh grade that they refer to as The Jenna Thing and now that Jenna and her step-brother Toby are back in town, the girls begin to suspect Toby is the mysterious “A”.

The story is still told in the same 4 story format, only merging together when the girls actually team up toward the end of the book to attempt to save Emily from a dangerous situation.  Hanna’s father comes to visit which opens up old wounds and cause her to start binging and purging again.  Spencer decides, after much thought, to keep seeing Wren, her sister’s ex-boyfriend.  Emily still struggles with feelings she is having for Maya, the girl that moved into Alison’s old house and Aria discovers that her father is continuing to see the girl she caught him with before they left for Iceland.  All four girls feel their lives are spiraling out of control, but none feel they can trust the other for fear their darkest secret, the ones that only Ali knew, would come out.

Even though we can eliminate one possible suspect at the end of this book, we still don’t know who “A” is or who killed Alison.  The girls are in worse shape than they were in PRETTY LITTLE LIARS which leads the reader to wonder just how much more they can take.  FLAWLESS is just as suspenseful as PRETTY LITTLE LIARS.  Once you start the book you need to be sure you have time to read because you won’t want to put the book down.  PERFECT, the third book in this series is already out and promises to be just as thrilling.  UNBELIEVABLE, the fourth book comes out in March of 2008.