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Sandpiper – May 4, 2009

The Giodano sisters are back from a summer vacation in Italy and things in Nightshade are as strange as ever when they get back.

The first thing Daisy wants to do when she gets home is see her boyfriend, Ryan.  She has missed him and can’t wait to get over to his house.  Daisy is disappointed to find out that he is at football practice, but heads over to the school anyway.  She is very surprised by what she sees.  Ryan has really buffed up in the weeks she’s been gone and so, it seems, has most of the other football players.

Since there are still several weeks left in summer, Daisy decides she should get a job.  She notices that Slim’s has a Help Wanted sign in the window and with her love of cooking, she feels this would be a perfect fit.

After leaving work one evening, she notices someone digging in the dumpster in the alley.  Strangely, it appears to be her missing father.  After other strange appearances in town, the Nightshade City Council comes to the conclusion that Doppelgangers are on the loose causing havoc in town.

Daisy and her sisters have to figure out what is going on in town.  Is there something strange causing the football team to get super strong in such a short time?  Who is creating the Doppelgangers?  Is Mr. Giodano really back or is he a Doppelganger too?

DEAD IS SO LAST YEAR is a fun conclusion to a cute trilogy.  Marlene Perez has a knack for writing with user-friendly, non-intimidating language.  The only drawback is you definitely need to read the trilogy in order.  So, readers, take heed – read DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK then DEAD IS A STATE OF MIND and finally DEAD IS SO LAST YEAR.


Dead Is So Last Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HarperCollins – April 28, 2009

Reading book 1 in this trilogy, THE SUMMONING, is recommended before reading THE AWAKENING.

Chloe Saunders can see ghosts.  She can also raise the dead – mostly without meaning to.  After being sent to Lyle House because her dad thought she was unstable (see THE SUMMONING), she found out that it was just a front for the Edison Group – a corporation that studies paranormal activity.  Chloe, Derek, Simon, and Rae escape in hopes of finding Derek and Simon’s dad and putting a stop to the Edison Group’s evil plans.  Freedom doesn’t last long though.  Chloe is captured and forced to reveal the location of Simon and Derek when THE AWAKENING begins.

After regaining her freedom and being reunited with her friends, Chloe begins to learn more about her powers while staying one step ahead of the Edison Group.  Simon, Derek, and Chloe learn some very disturbing information about their genetic makeup and struggle to come up with a plan to bring down the people responsible.  In addition to the struggles she is already dealing with, Chloe is faced with a massive betrayal. 

With the help of an unexpected ally, Chloe and her friends move one step closer to taking down the Edison group.  She realizes there is no way she will ever be able to return to her old life and that she is going to have to find a way to make this new one work.  Chloe’s relationship with Derek becomes stronger, but it is still unclear what is going on with her and Simon.  It will be interesting to see if there is a romantic element in the future and how the brothers will handle it if there is.

THE RECKONING is the third and final book in the Darkest Powers  Trilogy.  Readers will be clamoring for it to find out how everything turns out for Chloe and her friends.

Visit “Chloe’s” blog for a free novella about Simon and Derek and events leading up to their arrival at Lyle House.  It is being written in serial form.  Kelley Armstrong is posting a section on the 1st and 15th of every month.  When it is complete it will be transferred to the locker section of “Chloe’s” website


The Summoning
(Darkest Powers, Book 1)


The Awakening
(Darkest Powers, Book 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coming March 2009

The third and final installment in the Mortal Instruments trilogy definitely lives up to the reputation of the first two – CITY OF BONES and CITY OF ASHES.  CITY OF GLASS picks up a short time after CITY OF ASHES ends.  Clary has a mission.  Madeleine, her mother’s friend, is possibly the only person who knows how to wake her mother from a coma.  Clary will have to travel to Alicante in Idris to get what she needs.

Alicante is the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters.  It is known as the City of Glass because of the beautifully tall glass towers that guard the city from harm.  The only way to get to Idris is through a portal and Magnus, the warlock, has arranged one.  Clary is planning to go through the portal with Jace and the Lightwoods.  The only problem is, Jace doesn’t want Clary to go so he lies to her about when he and the Lightwoods are leaving.  He thinks it is too dangerous for Clary. 

After being left behind, Clary eventually finds her way to Alicante.  She uses her ability to create runes and makes a portal for herself.  Being new to the Shadowhunter world, Clary doesn’t know that using a portal and entering the city without permission is against the law. If she is found she could be put to death. 

Once in the City of Glass, Clary is thrown in the middle of the largest battle the Shadowhunters have ever had to face.  Valentine’s evil plans are in the final stages and everyone is on full alert, not knowing what he will do next.  Jace and Clary’s complicated relationship keeps them just as confused as ever, but provides great excitement for the reader. 

Cassandra Clare works magic with this novel.  The excitement begins on the first page and doesn’t stop until the final sentence.  She brings everything full circle for a completely satisfying ending – even though fans would be more than happy to read about these beloved characters forever.  One thing Cassandra Clare fans need to keep an eye out for is the release of THE CLOCKWORK PRINCESS: VOLUME 1 of THE INFERNAL DEVICES.  THE INFERNAL DEVICES is a trilogy of prequels set one hundred and forty years ago in Victorian England.  Tessa, a warlock, is the main character.  The first prequel to the Mortal Instruments trilogy is scheduled to be released Fall 2010.

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Are you tired of the typical vampire novel?  Are you sick of vampires with super speed, super looks, and super strength?  Well, this might be the book for you.  THE REFORMED VAMPIRE SUPPORT GROUP by Catherine Jinks is like no other vampire novel I’ve ever read.

Nina Harrison has been a vampire since 1973 when she was fifteen years old.  She lives at home with her mother and earns a living by writing novels about a powerful vampire named Zadia Bloodstone.  Every Tuesday night she joins several other vampires for a support group run by Father Ramon at St. Agatha’s church hall.  As a group, they have made the decision not to drink human blood.

The boring routine of their isolated lives completely change when Casimir doesn’t answer his door when it is time to go to their weekly meeting.  Upon entering Casimir’s apartment, Nina and her friends find nothing but a pile of ashes in his coffin and they realize there is a slayer on the loose. 

While searching for clues as to who the slayer could be, Nina finds herself in many dangerous and exciting situations.  She travels farther from home than ever and attempts to save a werewolf being used in an illegal fighting ring.  Nina does things she never thought was possible.  Things she has written only for her character, Zadia Bloodstone.

THE REFORMED VAMPIRE SUPPORT GROUP is definitely unique.  Some issues that take away from the story are: 1) things work out a little to easily for the group, 2) the romance that is eluded to in the description takes too long to surface, and 3) the reasons for the physical problems the vampires suffer from aren’t explained very well.  For example, why do they throw up so much?  Why do their eyes hemorrhage when they get too much light?  On the flip side, there are several things that are very humorous about the book.  The fact that their only source of blood is guinea pigs is hilarious. 

THE REFORMED VAMPIRE SUPPORT GROUP will be coming out in April 2009. 

needZara hasn’t been herself lately and people are starting to get worried about her.  Since the death of her step-father, Zara has fallen deeper and deeper into a pit of despair.  Her mother decides to send her to live with her grandmother in Maine in the hopes that a change of scenery might perk her up a bit.  Zara doesn’t realize that other, more sinister, reasons are behind the move as well.

Zara begins school the day after she arrives in Maine.  Her grandmother feels that getting Zara in a normal routine is the best way to combat her depression.  Once there, she meets the normal characters usual found in a high school.  There is the Queen Bee, Megan, the quirky new best friend, Issy, and the hunks battling for Zara’s attention, Nick and Ian.

Zara attempts to move on with her life, but being back in the town her step-father grew up just reminds her of how much she misses him.  It also doesn’t help that a strange man keeps lurking around her.  Who is this man and does he mean her harm?  Who can she trust in this town full of strange people?  Which boy should she rely on to tell her the truth – Nick or Ian?

Carrie Jones has written a touching and emotional novel that contains many elements of a great fantasy novel.  The suspense is palpable when Zara struggles to make sense of the odd events in her life.  Readers will come to love many of the characters and will definately want to know more about them by the end of the novel.

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Zara hasn’t been herself lately and people are starting to get worried about her.  Since the death of her step-father, Zara has fallen deeper and deeper into a pit of despair.  Her mother decides to send her to live with her grandmother in Maine in the hopes that a change of scenery might perk her up a bit.  Zara doesn’t realize that other, more sinister, reasons are behind the move as well.

Zara begins school the day after she arrives in Maine.  Her grandmother feels that getting Zara in a normal routine is the best way to combat her depression.  Once there, she meets the normal characters usual found in a high school.  There is the Queen Bee, Megan, the quirky new best friend, Issy, and the hunks battling for Zara’s attention, Nick and Ian.

Zara attempts to move on with her life, but being back in the town her step-father grew up just reminds her of how much she misses him.  It also doesn’t help that a strange man keeps lurking around her.  Who is this man and does he mean her harm?  Who can she trust in this town full of strange people?  Which boy should she rely on to tell her the truth – Nick or Ian?

Carrie Jones has written a touching and emotional novel that contains many elements of a great fantasy novel.  The suspense is palpable when Zara struggles to make sense of the odd events in her life.  Readers will come to love many of the characters and will definately want to know more about them by the end of the novel.

 

Daisy Giordano is back for another installment of Nightshade, CA wierdness.  This time, a beloved teacher has been murdered and it looks like a werewolf is to blame.  To top off everything else, a new and handsome student named Duke Sherrad moves into town proclaiming to be a fortune teller descended from Gypsies.  Daisy doesn’t believe he is authentic and hopes to prove he is a fraud.  She suspects he is connected to the teacher’s death in some way and works with her sisters to solve the case.

Daisy’s relationship with Ryan is put to the test and Poppy finds love in a very strange place. All of this takes place while Daisy is in charge of planning the Prom’s After Party. DEAD IS A STATE OF MIND is just as enjoyable as the first book in the series, DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK.  While you will probably enjoy this story if you were to pick it up first, it would be better if you had the back story from the first book.  Look for the third in the series, DEAD IS SO LAST YEAR, to be published sometime in 2009.