Welcome to the March YA SpecFic round up!
First up, a little bit of news – the Aurealis and Ditmar shortlists have been announced recently and you can see our round-ups of all the finalists by clicking on those links.
Andrea K Höst has been shortlisted for best Science Fiction novel Aurealis Award for And All the Stars, her YA Science Fiction novel which I reviewed here last year. Her other works have been gaining popularity with the participants of AWW2013, with two other books of her reviewed last month. The first of these is Stray, reviewed by Tsana, a novel about a young Sydney girl who falls through a wormhole and onto another planet. Strikingly, Cass’s bid for survival in the unknown environment is believable -“[she] didn’t have some secret past as a hard core scout or anything so she was mostly going off common sense and random snippets of half-remembered information.” Tsana recommends the book to science fiction, science fantasy and perhaps even space opera.
The other book by Höst reviewed last month (by Leonie Rogers) is Stained Glass Monsters, the first book in a series about Kendall Stockton, who becomes embroiled with the dark mages, magic and monsters, who hail from The Eferum, a place that co-exists with our world and sometimes bleeds through. Leonie says “Andrea K. Höst has created a clever and intriguing world in Stained Glass Monsters, full of fascinating hints of further things to come.”
Fans of a more traditional kind of YA might enjoy Hidden by Marianne Curley – the first book in an angel-themed series (The Avena). The book is about Ebony, who has always been always been hidden away because of her powers, and all she really wants is freedom, and answers to the questions that plague her. But when disturbing things start happening to her, Ebony has to decide whether she’s ready to accept the truth that’s being revealed. Mandee @ VeganYANerds says “Hidden is a refreshing take on the angel theme, filled with likeable characters and a well thought out world. Definitely a book for fans of paranormal YA.” I’m really excited about this title, and plan to read it soon!
Two sisters, Tally and Grace, separated by an explosion that rips their lives apart, flee separately to the city they have lived in the fringes of their whole lives. The girls have always imagined that beyond the remote regions lay a brighter world: glamorous, promising, full of luck. But for the broke, homeless and alone, the city is a dangerous place – a place where commerce and surveillance rule. Now Tally and Grace must struggle to find each other and survive. This is Black City by Meg Mundell, reviewed superbly by Mark – who says “The main characters are all richly drawn, with distinctive voices (both in terms of dialog and general tone). Mundell invests a lot of energy in creating characters that are both mostly sympathetic (despite their flaws) and compelling.”
Another YA science fiction that has impressed readers is Karen Healey’s When We Wake, the first book in a series centred on sixteen year old Tegan Oglietti, who is the first person to be successfully brought back to life after being cryogenically frozen for a hundred years. Stephanie Gunn has become a fan of the series – “From the first page [Tegan’s] voice is clear and true, and it is easy to always be on her side, even when she makes decisions that put her in danger.” I think this book is worth a read for any fan of YA SpecFic, and am also looking forward to the sequel.
The other books that were reviewed in March are (some of these are technically children’s titles, but I wanted to share them anyway):
- Rowan of Rin (Rowan of Rin #1) by Emily Rodda, reviewed by Mel @ Mel Reviews Books
- The Silver Door (The Three Doors Trilogy #2) by Emily Rodda, reviewed by Mel @ Mel Reviews Books
- The Stone Key by Isobelle Carmody, reviewed by Becky Nosiara,
- A Frightful Recipe (The Chatswood Spooks, #1) by Notti Thistledore, reviewed by Sally from Oz
- Sheets and Ladders (The Chatswood Spooks #2) by Notti Thistledore, reviewed by Sally from Oz
- Rise of the Fallen (Rise of the Fallen #1) by Teagan Chilcott, reviewed by Tsana
Hi! I’m Shaheen from Speculating on SpecFic, a book blog dedicated to works of speculative fiction – fantasy, science fiction, magic realism, paranormal romance and much more. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love reading and use my blog to peddle my love to others. When not reading (rare times indeed), I can be found completing my PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics.
I don’t really read fantasy/speculative fiction, but I really enjoyed reading Rowan of Rinn to my daughter when she was young. It’s great to see it still being read and reviewed now. It’s one of the strengths of this challenge and blogs in general, I think, that older books get brought to the fore again.