Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March Horror New Releases

These are the kids' and young adult horror new releases for February. If I've missed anything out, please let me know in the comments, but remember, these are Australian release dates only.

What I'm Excited About: Ghost Club by Australian author Deborah Abela is a brilliant read, as is BZRK by Michael Grant. Plus, one of my all-time-favourites Barry Hutchison has a new book in the Invisible Fiends series, so what's not to get excited about this month?

Junior & Middle

Raven Mysteries 4: Vampires and Volts, Marcus Sedgwick (Orion).
Ghost Club, Deborah Abela (Random House).
Mort, Martin Chatterton (Random House).
Floods 11: Disasterchef, Colin Thompson (Random House).

Young Adult

BZRK, Michael Grant (Hardie Grant Egmont).
Erebos, Ursula Poznanski (Allen & Unwin).
Skulduggery Pleasant: The End of the World, Derek Landy (Harper Collins).
Slide, Jill Hathaway (Harper Collins).
Vampire Diaries – The Hunters: Moonsong, LJ Smith (Harper Collins).
Department 19, Will Smith (Harper Collins).
Invisible Fiends: The Beast, Barry Hutchison (Harper Collins).
The Repossession, Sam Hawksmoor (Hodder).
Balthazar, Claudia Gray (Harper Collins).
Long Langkin, Lindsey Barraclough (Random House).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Future Frights: Doom Rider

As a bookseller, I see new books every day. One day a month I sit in a room from eight thirty in the morning until five in the afternoon looking at hundreds of upcoming new releases. So you can see how the shine of new books quickly wears off - after all, there are only so many books about ducks a person can stand.

This is why it's all the more exciting when I hear of a book that makes me sit up and say, 'Holy hell, I need to read that. NOW.'

Enter Doom Rider, by David Gatward. Look at this fantastic cover and tell me that doesn't make you think you're in for one awesome read.

I'm always a fan of menacing looks and glowing bows and arrows, but when the title has the word 'doom' in it and it's written by David Gatward (author of the brilliant The Dead series) I'm in book heaven.

Doom Rider is available for pre-order on Amazon and will be out 5 July in the UK. Still waiting to hear on a release date for Australian readers, but hopefully the wait won't be long!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Review - Oliver Twisted

The Eulogy (From the Publisher):
“FLESH, the woe-begotten moaned at Oliver, baring teeth which were ragged and black.
“FLESH,” came another moan, and he turned to see two more woe-begottens behind. They began to shuffle towards him, barefoot – toes blue from cold, arms outstretched.
The world according to Oliver Twisted is simple. Vampyres feed on the defenceless. Orphans are sacrificed to hungry gods. And if a woe-begotten catches your scent it will hunt you for ever. When a talking corpse reveals that Oliver will find his destiny in London, he sets out to seek the truth. Even if it means losing his soul.

The Epitaph (In a Nutshell): A wonderfully gruesome and original adaptation of the Oliver Twist tale.

Dearly Departed,
We are gathered here today to discuss Oliver Twisted by JD Sharpe. I count myself really lucky to have received a copy of this from the UK since I can't yet see it on the Australian publishing horizon, though I hope it does appear on our shelves soon, because this is a fantastic take on Oliver Twist that I think will make a lot of readers very happy.

Let me say right now that you don't have to be an Oliver Twist fan in order to enjoy this book. I had a rather bad introduction to Mr Dickens with Hard Times, which I've since heard is not one of his best, but it also hasn't compelled me to read more. When I started reading Oliver Twist, I was a little worried since I didn't know the original story, save what I've absorbed from pop culture references, but the strength of the story is such that it really doesn't matter if you don't know the original text.

I'm a big fan of multi-creature worlds, i.e. books whose mythologies take different familiar monsters like vampires and swamp things and put them together. This is brilliantly achieved in Oliver Twisted, with the sinister werewolves living alongside malevolent wisps and soul stealers. I also loved the history which was hinted at throughout - the opening of a Hell Mouth which explained why the world was rotten to the core.

The other thing that really struck me about this book was how well the language was written. Normally this isn't something that I mind one way or another, but the mixture of Dickensian phrases and 'normal' English achieved the perfect balance between a modern book for teens and what you might expect to find in a book from the 1800s.

I'm interested to see if there will be others in this series, since the concept of it would seem to suggest not, though the broad world in which it is set almost screams for another tale.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February Horror New Releases

These are the kids' and young adult horror new releases for February. If I've missed anything out, please let me know in the comments, but remember, these are Australian release dates only.

What I'm Excited About: The Grimstones is a fantastic and odd little read complete with gothic puppets, and I'm sure it's going to really well. Also very excited about Mister Creecher, and can't wait to read it.

Junior & Middle

Emily the Strange: Piece of Mind, Rob Reger (Harper).
Zombie Chasers: Undead Ahead, John Kloepfer & Steve Wolfhard (Harper).
Goosebumps 22: Stay Out of the Basement, RL Stine (Scholastic).
Freak Street: Meet the Vampiresons , Knife and Packer (Scholastic).
Beast Hunter, Kathryn White (Penguin).
The Grimstones 1: Hatched, Asphyxia (A&U).

Young Adult
Faery Tales and Nightmares, Melissa Marr (Harper).
Mister Creecher, Chris Priestley (Penguin).
Every Other Day, Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Macmillan).