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April 15, 2014

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Dreams of the Golden Age

Dreams of the Golden Age

When I reviewed Carrie Vaughn’s After the Golden Age back in 2011 (and listed it among our Best Books of the Year So Far), I had to be somewhat coy about my favorite aspect of the novel, because it was revealed in the final pages. But now, I think the time for spoilers has passed: [...]

Short Work

Short Work

Neither of the books reviewed below looks much like a traditional short story collection. Eileen Gunn’s Questionable Practices includes stories as short as one page long, a poem, and a “steam-punk quartet” of stories. Novak’s collection, meanwhile, mocks the whole concept of a “short story collection”, calling itself, in the subtitle,  “Stories and Other Stories”. [...]

Review: All Our Pretty Songs

Review: All Our Pretty Songs

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry. St. Martin’s Griffin. 2013. Review copy from publisher. The Plot: Two girls, best friends since they were born. Sharing so much: heartaches, family, music. They are not identical, no, but rather they complement each other. “Aurora breaks hearts, and I paint pictures.” Aurora drinks her nights away, knowing [...]

Burn

Burn

And so it ends. We reviewed Julianna Baggott’s Pure exactly two years ago. Later in the year, we named it one of our favorite books of the year so far, and were then validated when it won a 2013 Alex Award. A year after Pure, we felt just as strongly about its sequel, Fuse. Now [...]

Review of the Day: The Riverman by Aaron Starmer

Review of the Day: The Riverman by Aaron Starmer

The Riverman By Aaron Starmer Farrar Straus & Giroux (an imprint of Macmillan) $15.99 ISBN: 978-0-374-36309-3 Ages 11 and up On shelves March 18th When a book has worked its way into your cranium and is making a home for itself within the darker recesses of your very soul, the natural inclination is to talk [...]

Life After Death

Life After Death

Two young women with recently deceased fathers find themselves immersed in relics of the past: these are the striking parallels between the two novels reviewed below.  In Ellen Marie Wiseman’s What She Left Behind, the teenaged heroine is sucked into the past by the journals of another young woman who had been committed to an [...]

Death and Love: Sorrow’s Knot & The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Death and Love: Sorrow’s Knot & The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Today, I’m talking about two books that are in my personal top 10 of the year. And both revolve around death and love, two primal, powerful pieces of life. And they’re both fantastic. Other than that, they’re really different, and I suspect neither of them has much chance at a Printz nod, which is sort [...]

From Serial Killers to Fairy Tales

From Serial Killers to Fairy Tales

We do run the gamut here at AB4T. Quite a variety to introduce today, but all three fall under the broad category of speculative fiction.

“Kill the she-elf!”

“Kill the she-elf!”

Do we have any actual evidence that Peter Jackson has gone through puberty? Yes, there’s the beard, and the children, but his Tolkien movies all look like they were conceived and directed by a ten-year-old. I only saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on TV but we saw The Desolation of Smowg in all its […]

The post “Kill the she-elf!” appeared first on The Horn Book.

A Corner of White

orange umbrella to the left, female figure to the right

A Corner of White (Book 1 of The Colors of Madeleine), Jaclyn Moriarty Scholastic, April 2013 Reviewed from ARC and final ebook This is a doozy of a book. Clair talked about the difficulties summing up a complex book like The Raven Boys, but that would be a breeze compared to this one. It’s crowded [...]

Truth & Responsibility

All three of today’s books are concerned with learning the truth and/or facing responsibility. In Ben Dolnick‘s At the Bottom of Everything, young Adam is trying to avoid facing the mistake he and his best friend made as teenagers. If he could only take responsibility for it, he would be better off. So would his [...]

Midwinterblood

Midwinterblood

Midwinterblood, Marcus Sedgwick Roaring Brook Press, February 2013 Reviewed from final copy Let me start with a provocative question: Can a book be so literary that it fails at being a book? Midwinterblood is full of the sorts of things I’ve hardly thought about since my days as an English major: tropes, motifs, archetypes, foreshadowing, [...]

Two New Series

Two New Series

Today we celebrate the launch of two new series. First, an epic fantasy by David Hair, up to now a YA author with two previous series under his belt. With Mage’s Blood he steps into the adult realm. Our reviewer (and an extended post on the Tor blog by Niall Alexander) places the Moontide Quartet squarely in the [...]

Review: Obsidian Mirror

Review: Obsidian Mirror

Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher. Dial Books for Younger Readers, a member of Penguin Group. 2013. Library copy. The Plot: Time travel with a magical mirror. You want more? There are also the Shee. You know, the cold blooded not-human beings of legend who steal human children and never really age. You want more? A [...]

Review of the Day: Rose by Holly Webb

Review of the Day: Rose by Holly Webb

Rose By Holly Webb Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc.) $6.99 ISBN: 978-1-4022-8581-3 Ages 9-12 On shelves now. Like a bullet whizzing past your ear, I shudder when I consider how close I came to never hearing about Holly Webb’s mesmerizing, charming, purely delightful Rose. It’s an innocuous little book. Doesn’t draw a lot [...]

Review: The Dream Thieves

Review: The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. Book II of the Raven Cycle. Sequel to Book I – The Raven Boys. Scholastic. 2013. Reviewed from ARC. The Plot: In Book I, Blue Sargent became friends with the “Raven Boys” — Richard Campbell Gansey III, Ronan Lynch, Adam Parrish, and Noah Czarny. All had become involved in [...]

Year of the Storm

Extremely sharp-eyed readers of this blog may recognize John Mantooth’s name from his story in Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas’s Haunted Legends, which I reviewed a few years back. Of course, since I didn’t mention Mantooth’s story in the review and since even though I am a huge fan of that collection, I myself didn’t [...]

Evil Eye

Evil Eye

By my count, based on her website, Joyce Carol Oates has published 50 novels for adults, 6 Young Adult novels, 12 novellas or novella collections, 8 poetry collections, 36 story collections, 14 works of various types of nonfiction, 9 books of plays, and 3 books for children, for a staggering total of 138 volumes of [...]

Review of the Day: The Real Boy by Anne Ursu

A Little Bit of House Keeping

The Real Boy By Anne Ursu Illustrated by Erin McGuire Walden Pond Press (an imprint of Harper Collins) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-06-201507-5 Ages 9-12 On shelves now My two-year-old is dealing with the concept of personhood. Lately she’s taken to proclaiming proudly “I’m a person!” when she has successfully mastered something. By the same token, failure [...]

Review: The Bitter Kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson. Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. 2013. Conclusion of The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy: The Girl of Fire and Thorns (book one) and  The Crown of Embers (book two). The Plot: Elisa, Godstone Bearer and Queen of Joya d’Arena, is running into the hand of her greatest enemy, the Invierne. In [...]