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Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Book Faeries - March Edition #1

This may be one of my most favorite Book Faeries post yet!  I was hoping a few more titles would arrive that I've been expecting (orders, special surprises) before I showed you, but alas: there have been delays.  I'm not complaining--far from it!  There's a lot of ARC surprises, birthday presents, and some extra goodies in this entry waiting for you to take a peek inside!

 Sisters Red (ARC) by Jackson Pearce

Completely by accident I stumbled upon Tessa Gratton's blog when she was holding an awesome contest: name a monologue from any of Shakespeare's plays you'd love to see Tessa perform solo and you could win a copy of Sisters Red!  I had to enter--if only in the hope that my entry would win and I'd get to see Tessa act out the opening scene of Macbeth ("Double, double toil and trouble;/Fire burn, and cauldron bubble"--you know the bit, right?).

Guess who won?  Not only do I have the opportunity to read Sisters Red before it hits bookstores, but Tessa's going to be a good sport and work on that monologue!

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Received: via Tessa Gratton's blog contest

Ship Breaker (ARC) by Paolo Bacigalupi

That's right!  The wonderful people at Little, Brown publishing have given me the opportunity to read Paolo Bacigalupi's break-out YA title, Ship Breaker, before it hits store shelves!  I can't begin to explain how ecstatic I was to receive their e-mail.  I really loved The Windup Girl (recent Nebula award nominee)--it was one of my absolute favorite books from 2009 and one of the best SF books I've ever read.  I'm really looking forward to (i.e. can barely contain my manic glee) reading Ship Breaker!

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Received: via Little, Brown Teens

Shadow Prowler (ARC) by Alexey Pehov

The early reviews of this book have been mixed. It's a new fantasy series by a Russian author and so, this particular edition has been translated.  I'm always interested in translated texts.  As hard-working and excellent translators are, there will always be something missing from a translation, removed of its original language.  The ambiance, the essence, something is utterly changed when we experience it second-hand, in a sense.  I do look forward to reading this one, though!

Genre: Fantasy
Received: via Simon & Schuster UK
 Blackout by Connie Willis

I caved and treated myself to a birthday present!  Connie Willis interests me because she mixes SF and Historical Fiction elements.  I couldn't pass this up--nor can I wait for another SF/HF book: George Mann's Ghosts of Manhattan.

Genre: Science Fiction
Received: via Amazon.com

Bright of the Sky, Book One of The Entire and the Rose series by Kay Kenyon

This is one of those series I've been meaning to read ever since I saw this book as a new release when I was working at Waldenbooks/Borders Express.  I even checked the first three out from the library last year, but didn't even get to them.  At least now that I own it, I can finally dig in.  The curious thing is: I've heard mixed reaction to Bright of the Sky.  Categorizing it as Science Fiction doesn't seem to work well with those that think the Fantasy elements far outweigh anything else.  We'll see what I think once I get to it!

Genre: Science Fiction? Fantasy?
Received: via Amazon.com

Finch by Jeff VanderMeer

Quite uncharacteristically, I bought the sequel before having read its predecessor!  Admittedly, I was influenced by the recent nomination of Finch for the Nebula, but figured: why not?  I'm hoping I'll be as excited after finishing a Jeff VanderMeer book as I am a China Miéville one (the two have been compared), but that remains to be seen.  I'm always excited about fresh new SF titles and this seems to fit the bill.

Genre: Science Fiction
Received: via Amazon.com

The God Engines by John Scalzi

I'm such a huge Scalzi fan, I couldn't keep myself from buying this one in hardcover.  It's short, but worth the price (I'm all for supporting Scalzi writing more books).  I'm interested to see how he handles Fantasy, but a brief discussion with Calico Reaction hinted at more SF elements--the mix is certainly something to watch out for.

Genre: Fantasy
Received: via Amazon.com

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

This was a birthday present from one of my closest friends!  I was pretty excited to see this in the mail--I've been wanting to read this book for awhile and am so glad he got it for me!  Neil Gaiman is one of those authors that's so popular, fans have divided into two camps: you like his work or you don't.  I know what you're thinking, "but Erika...that happens with every author."  You'd think so, wouldn't you?  I happen to like the way Gaiman writes, but the rebellious naysayers can be pretty adamant in their preference of other authors.  I don't really care.  I think he's got talent. :)

Genre: Fantasy
Received: via friend

Deadful Skin by Cherie Priest

This was also a birthday present from the same friend!  How many Priest titles do I have now, after only having read Boneshaker?  With Deadful Skin I now own almost all of her novels (I am missing at least one that I know of)!  It didn't take much for me to warm to Cherie Priest's writing.  It's wonderful and refreshing.  There's an almost tangible confidence in her work that I really appreciate.

Genre: Fantasy
Received: via friend

A Local Habitation: An October Daye Novel by Seanan McGuire

I recently read and fell in love with Seanan McGuire's first October Daye book, Rosemary and Rue.  The only books I go out to buy on the day (or week of) release are Star Wars titles.  McGuire's series is so much fun, I couldn't wait.  I had to get it right away.  My to-be-read pile is already a teetering tower, but I'm going to find a way to squeeze this into my reading schedule because I'm so over the moon for these books!

Genre: Fantasy
Received: via Borders

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Inheritance Trilogy Book One by N. K Jemisin

None of you are aware of this, but I really, really, really did not like Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Trilogy.  When I found out another fantasy trilogy was coming out with the same name as his, I made it my mission to find out who wrote it, what it was about, and then get my hands on a copy to devour and scrutinize.  I entered a couple of contests to win this, won neither, and so, used a coupon to get it at a price I could afford.  There's lots of buzz around this title and the cover? I like it.

Genre: Fantasy
Received: via Borders

What do you think?  Let me know in the comments! :)


Anonymous said...

Okay, I'M SO JEALOUS that you got an ARC of the Bacigalupi! Would you be so kind as to email me and tell me your secret of getting ARCs? :)

I want to read the Jemsin, but I'm waiting on reviews. I tried reading ERAGON once upon a time ago (when it was self-published) and nearly threw the book across the room. I finished it, but UGH.

BRIGHT OF THE SKY is easily categorized as Science Fantasy, and it really plays into Arthur C. Clarke "rule" of "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." It's a good thing to keep in mind. :)

Love that you have another Priest book! Which ones do you have and which are you missing?

Looking forward to your review of SHADOW PROWLER as well. I saw that in the store yesterday and was tempted, but I want to wait to see what the reviews bring.

eidolons said...

Neverwhere is both mine and my husband's favorite Gaiman novel. I hope that you enjoy it!

Erika said...

@calico-reaction: There's no real secret--I just asked very nicely! :)

I gave my copies of Paolini's books away. I hardly give my books away. And then went on a long verbal crusade telling anyone (quite freely) who asked why I didn't like them. They were not good books. I read a very positive review of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and so, decided to splurge a little on myself and pick it up while I was at the bookstore. :)

Hahaha I can't believe I forgot about that rule. It would definitely apply in this case then. I'm going to sticky that somewhere on my computer so I don't forget it, thank you.

Regarding the Priest books: it's been ones and twos in these Book Faeries posts, but the only one I'm aware that I'm missing is Those Who Went Remain There Still. I literally have everything else greedily in my possession waiting to be read. ;) Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Not Flesh Nor Feathers, Wings to the Kingdom, Fathom, Dreadful Skin.

You know, I saw Shadow Prowler on shelves, too, but the reviews have been very mixed! I have a UK ARC since it has not yet been released there yet and am going to be reviewing it before the month is out (it's released there in the first week of April).

Lily Child said...

Wow, awesome loot! :) Looking forward to Sisters Red, Ship Breaker, Blackout and ALH!!! You'll love Neverwhere. I am such a HUGE Gaiman fan! :)

Erika said...

@eidolons: I have confidence that I will like Neverwhere! It's good to hear positive things about it, though. :)

Erika said...

@Lily: People are commenting faster than I can reply, haha. Thank you! I really do this this is my favorite bunch of books yet. Ooh, I'm really looking forward to reading Neverwhere! Gaimin is one of those authors I really adore, but for some reason never make the effort to get more of his books! I still haven't read The Graveyard Book and have been putting off reading his Sandman comics. :\

Dannie said...


Erika said...

@Dannie: Book faeries are fickle, sensitive creatures. It takes a lot of patience and effort to catch a few and care for them, but the rewards are worth it. They're sweet, generous, and all sorts of of helpful! :)

Anonymous said...

You gotta read SANDMAN. I'm starting Volume 4 of the Absolute editions tonight, and I'm really looking forward to it. :)

Erika said...

@calico-reaction: I'm so far behind on my comics reading! :( I just found a new one I want to start too, which is shameful since I'm not even caught up with Fables yet. It's called The Unwritten, a dark Harry Potter spoof-ish series. Have you heard of it? The first volume of that, Sandman, and Fables vol 10 are next on my list. :)

Anonymous said...

A lot of great titles here!

I plan on reading Shadow Prowler, A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The God Engines, and Blackout myself in the near future.

Then there is the title I'm utterly envious of: Ship Breaker

And then one I'm curious about: Bright of the Sky...

All-in-all, I have to say that you have great taste and I want to hear about every single one of these!

Anonymous said...

Oh, THE UNWRITTEN is one of the ones I started this year! I haven't read the latest issue, but the hubby's got it. :) But so far, the series is quite enjoyable and interesting.

Erika said...

@TJ: The only problem with having so many books I'm dying to read is trying to decide the order to approach them! I just finished The God Engines yesterday and have been thinking it over so I can write my review for tomorrow. It was different than his usual work, but really good. The only bad thing: it's so short!

It was the cover art for Bright of the Sky that first drew me to the book. Then much later I saw a blog post somewhere that broke down the elements that went into making it. It's been on my radar ever since. Unfortunately, the fourth book isn't out in paperback until August, so I'm going to have to make myself wait to read that one.

And thank you. I'd like to think I have good taste as well. ;)

@calico-reaction: That's encouraging! I read the first issue (it was free to download from Vertigo) and am curious to read more. :)

Lily Child said...

My favorite Gaiman book is American Gods. :) Stardust, The Graveyard Book, and Neverwhere are close seconds! I need to read Anasni Boys yet! :P

Erika said...

@Lily: Oohh I liked Anansi Boys! I'm not sure if it was better or just different than American Gods, but I'm leaning toward different--good different, though. :)

The first Gaiman book I read was Stardust. It's so adorable!

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