For a limited time, you can pre-order a free download of The Strange Case of Finley Jayne for Kindle, which is billed as prequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset. It wasn’t one of my favorites, but fans of steampunk novels may enjoy–and it’s certainly a good way to sample the author’s writing. It’s also available on Barnes and Noble for your Nook, and will be automatically sent to your e-reader on May 1. Don’t forget to double-check the promotion before you click to order, as sales vary in duration!
The Girl in the Steel Corsetby Kady Cross On a dark night in Victorian England, 16-year-old Finley Jayne is assaulted by her former employer but manages to escape, thanks to a thing inside her that she barely understands. She meets up with Griffin King, a wealthy young duke who asks her to help him investigate a series of crimes committed by automatons. This is the first part in a new series called The Steampunk Chronicles, and there is some measure of success in some of the devices used here. The Organites in particular are pretty cool (if borrowing somewhat from Star Trek), as they are tiny life-giving creatures that copy human composition so that scars are healed and bones are mended. Many of the other steampunk elements are also fun, including the decorative but useful steel corset designed for Finley by her friend Emily. But after awhile, there’s almost too… Read more »
Mercy by Rebecca Lim What if you were an angel in exile…but you had no memory of why you’d fallen? Mercy is a fallen angel who repeatedly wakes up in a new body following each time she’s helped someone through a personal crisis. She doesn’t know why she’s doomed to this existence, only that she must somehow try to better that person’s life while she’s there. This time, however, she wakes up as a foster child of a deeply troubled family, whose 18-year-old daughter Lauren has been missing for two years. The mystery unfolds slowly as Mercy and Ryan, the missing girl’s twin brother, follow various clues and interview different people who might know more than they volunteer about Lauren’s disappearance. The blend of suspense, romance, and the supernatural come together beautifully in this first book of a quietly dazzling new series. Mercy’s powers are extraordinary, but as a girl who… Read more »
Try MeFang Meby Parker Blue Sometimes you ask for something…and the author actually grants your wish! After reading Bite Me recently, I noted that the series would be a lot more fun if Val, who is a vampire-slaying part-succubus, actually got a decent boyfriend. I’m happy to say that in the second and third installments in the series, Val breaks up with the honorable but boring Dan and hooks up with someone much more interesting. And that someone is Shade, a fascinating shadow demon who has transparent skin that shows the powerful energy swirling around inside him. Shade’s skin only appears normal when he’s grounded by touching someone else, and paired with the ability to absorb and reshape energy, this character pretty spectacular. Val is partnered with Shade to help figure out who’s betraying the Demon Underground and to recover the missing Encylopedia Magicka, and later finds that he’s very… Read more »
Angel Burnby L.A. Weatherly There’s something a-brew in the heavens, because there has been a streak of great books centered around angels lately. After disappointments like Hush, Hush, Fallen, and various other novels, it’s exciting to have books like Unearthly…and now Angel Burn, which is the first in a trilogy previously published in the U.K. under a slightly different title. What’s unusual about this book is that it takes the whole notion of angels as kindly guardians and turns it upside down. Angels want something very badly from humans in this story, and their secret is a pretty devastating one. Willow is a clairvoyant who sees flashes of the future for anyone she touches, and is horrified by a disturbing vision she sees while doing a reading for a classmate. In the meantime, alternate chapters follow a sexy and mysterious young assassin named Alex, who first sees Willow as a… Read more »
Bite Me by Parker Blue Val Shapiro is a part-demon vampire slayer. And she has a snarky dog named Fang who thinks at her in all caps. Bite Me, the first book in the Underground series, surprised me with its butt-kicking heroine, deadpan humor, and an interesting set-up. I really liked Val and Fang, whose relationship is the most compelling one in the book. There are also some great fight scenes and some intriguing secondary characters, including Shade, Micah, Ramirez, and Tessa, and the whole thing is well-written and moves along at a fast pace. The book could have used some fleshing out, however, in the conflicts with her family. Val handles it maturely (so refreshing for YA), but there’s not much insight into her mother’s or her stepfather’s or her sister’s characters. They only make themselves known in the context of the main character, so it’s hard to get… Read more »
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand Finally, a well-written angel series! This book is a welcome relief for any reader who has been disappointed in the many other teen angel books currently cluttering shelves. Many books in this genre focus on fallen angels/bad boys who like to taunt pretty girls, but who of course end up getting “saved” themselves by love. Cliche after cliche abound in most angel books…but not in this one. This is an original and extraordinarily self-assured story from an author to watch. Clara is just beginning to learn what she can do as an angel on earth, and is trying her best to understand the boy she is meant to help. She and her family, including her mother and brother, move from California to Wyoming so that she can fulfill the mission that comes to her in her dreams–to save the life of a boy she now finds… Read more »