Anything good so far in 2015?

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Anything good so far in 2015?

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feb. 20, 2015, 5:01pm

Doesn't matter if it's actually new or just new to you, but what are some of your stand-out books so far?

New to me would be Dangerous by Shannon Hale, and all three of the newly pub'd books I've read have been great, imo: All Fall Down, The Ruby Circle, and The Shadow Cabinet. (Can you tell I love my series?)

feb. 21, 2015, 9:44am

Surprisingly enough, the best books I've read so far this year have been adult books, like The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon and Uprooted by Naomi Novik, which will be released in May, I believe. I read an ARC of Rachel Hartman's Shadow Scale, which was gorgeous, though a bit lighter on the lovely romance that was introduced in Seraphina than I would have liked.

feb. 24, 2015, 5:58pm

All Fall Down was amazing, I read it on saturday in one go. I highly rec it.

feb. 26, 2015, 7:23am

I've just got Clariel from the library and am looking forward to it. Other than that, I'm most excited about Shadow scale when it is released.

feb. 26, 2015, 7:35am

I've just discovered Sonya Hartnett's books and enjoyed her war-themed The Children of the King and The Silver Donkey (though the latter is MG rather than YA). Looking forward to seeking out her other books through inter-library loan, especially Thursday's Child which sounds fascinating.

>4 Sakerfalcon: Clariel is on my to-read pile. I'm trying to decide if I need to reread the original trilogy to get the full benefit!

feb. 26, 2015, 8:59am

I'm in the middle of the most recent Printz winner, I'll Give You The Sun, and it's very good so far.

feb. 26, 2015, 9:16am

>5 konallis: Thursday's child has been on my Tbr pile for so long I don't actually know where my copy is! When I find it, I'll read it.

feb. 26, 2015, 10:05am

I just finished with V.E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic, which I loved. This is one of those hard to place books. My library has it shelved in the adult section, but others are listing it as a young adult book. I think it could go either way - there's a lot of cross-over potential in either direction.

I loved all the characters, except, of course, the ones who are supposed to creep you the heck out, and the world-building was fantastic. It has one of those action-packed, non-stop plots that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time, so you might want to devote a good couple of hours to just finish the book in one go. The book wraps up nicely without any sort of cliff-hanger, but there are still a good number of questions left unanswered about the main characters that I look forward to discovering the answers to in the coming book(s).

I'm on to Red Queen next. I read an ARC of it ages ago, but I'm looking forward to delving into this world again without having to squint at my phone screen to do so.

feb. 26, 2015, 10:59am

I loved Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.

Now reading The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson, 2nd in the Girl of Fire and Thorns series.
Fantasy, a little different. I'm liking these.

Editat: feb. 26, 2015, 3:37pm

nrmay: I loved the Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. I'm excited for the first book in her new series, Walk on Earth a Stranger, which looks to be coming out in September.

feb. 26, 2015, 3:04pm

>10 Cailiosa:

thanks for the tip; I'll look for that one at the library!

feb. 26, 2015, 4:25pm

I've just finished Century by Sarah Singleton which is a 'supernatural, haunting tale'. Although it won the 'Booktrust Teenage Prize', it wouldn't be a favourite of mine.

març 2, 2015, 12:55pm

>3 FishThatReads:

I can't wait until #2 comes out next year. Embassy Row might topple the Gallagher Girls books as my favorite series of her if the next one is just as good as All Fall Down.

març 2, 2015, 1:09pm

Thanks for the heads up about All Fall Down. It had slipped my mind when the book was going to be released, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it already on my library's new book shelf.

I'm so excited: my copy of The Winner's Crime will arrive at my house tomorrow and I cannot wait to dig into it. Kestrel and Arin took me on a wild ride in The Winner's Curse and I'm sure the sequel will be no different.

març 2, 2015, 4:29pm

Gracefully Grayson is a well done story that involves gender/transgender issues. It came out in Nov. last year. Not sure whether it would be your cup of tea, but our family thought it was great.

març 3, 2015, 4:10am

I'm currently reading The name of the star and really enjoying it. I've only spotted a couple of Americanisms in inappropriate places, but love Rory's narrative voice and her friendship with Jazza.

març 3, 2015, 12:49pm

I loved The Name of the Star and its sequel, even though it stressed me out when Rory made poor choices (though I couldn't really blame her, given all she'd been through). I saw the third book down in Tech Services, so I look forward to reading it soon.

I finished up with All Fall Down last night and I wanted to like it more than I did. The Embassy Row setting joined boarding schools for settings that will never not be awesome, but I just wanted to put my arm around Grace and tell her to look at her life, look at her choices when she did so many stupid things. If she had been a Gallagher girl, it would have been totally different for her to do some of the reckless things she did, but she didn't have that sort of training. Come to think of it, that would make a really cool crossover. I thought the secondary characters had a lot of potential, but it never came to fruition, since Grace spent so much of the book pushing them away. I'm hoping we get to know Megan, Noah, and Rosie a bit better in the coming sequels (especially Noah - he reminded me so much of Grant Gustin's charming and adorkable interpretation of The Flash). I do want to continue with the series, since I have high hopes that things will get better.

març 3, 2015, 2:08pm

>16 Sakerfalcon: : I loved Rory's voice, too! She's very distinct in her descriptions, and I love her Louisiana stories. If we could get some kind of side collection about Rory's life pre-London, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

>17 Cailiosa: : Oh my God, a Gallagher Girls/Embassy Row crossover would be amazing. Macey and Preston might need to do some diplomatic work, right? There's totally a way for those series to connect. And I definitely agree that we need more of the secondary characters in book 2, which I think will happen now that Grace is in a better place for friendship. (And hey, I'd Tell You I Love You was nothing like the rest of the GG books, thankfully, so I think Carter could totally make the rest of Embassy Row even better than AFD). (Also, Grant Gustin's Flash gives me SO MUCH LIFE.)

març 4, 2015, 12:52pm

Just finished reading Blood of Olympus, which is the final book in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. This series started out a nice fantasy series for me, since I loved the precursor, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. However, I've realized they're so much more than a fun action-filled fantasy series. They're really well-researched, and also have one of the most realistic depictions of teens I've ever read. Also, the Heroes of Olympus series is super diverse, with lots of female characters, and also lots of non-white characters, so there's a lot of different characters for different readers to relate to, which I think is really important in YA lit.

març 4, 2015, 12:53pm

Also I'm in the middle of re-reading The Looking Glass Wars, which is essentially new to me since the last time I read it was in middle school! Really interesting interpretation of Alice in Wonderland. Very nice world-building so far.

març 4, 2015, 1:10pm

>19 meghanas: And also some lesbian and gay characters.

But I'm starting to get a little burned out on Riordan. I gave it a 3½*** review, but it wouldn't have been that high if it hadn't been for Clarisse's cameos.

març 4, 2015, 2:39pm

The Winner's Crime was so good, y'all. And so tense. And pretty much all the other things.

març 4, 2015, 5:07pm

>20 meghanas: I'll be interested in how you get on with The Looking Glass Wars - I've got the set on my TBR pile to tackle at some point, but I hadn't found anyone who'd read them to know whether they should move nearer the top of the pile.

Editat: març 4, 2015, 7:42pm

>21 CurrerBell: Totally valid! I'm still attached to them because of a mix of nostalgia, fondness for YA fantasy, and love of the diversity of his characters. And good call on the lesbian and gay characters, I should have mentioned that.

Editat: març 4, 2015, 7:42pm

>23 Peace2: I read the first two books in the series a very, very long time ago. I remember liking them a lot, but who knows! I've had to put my reread on hold for a bit because of school, but I'm liking what I've read so far. Also a friend of mine whose judgment I trust said that she really enjoyed it!

març 5, 2015, 4:14am

The name of the star was great, combining some of the things I like best in YA - a boarding school setting, girls who are friends and the supernatural. I'll definitely look out for the sequels.

>18 jwarbler: I'd buy that too! Rory reminded me a bit of the girls in Texas Gothic in her voice and humour.

Editat: març 5, 2015, 4:46pm

Reading Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett and loving it!

>22 Cailiosa:
Very eager to read Winner's Crime soon as I can get my hands on it.

març 5, 2015, 4:54pm

nrmay: That whole series is hilarious! I love the names Pratchett came up with for the Nac Mac Feegle.

març 10, 2015, 8:57pm

I enjoyed An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, due out in April. I had some quibbles with the story and worldbuilding, but nothing that bothered me overly much.

març 11, 2015, 9:29am

Just started reading Clariel, after realising that it needs to go back to the library soon. So far the set up is making me think of Mercedes Lackey's Brightly burning which has the exact same situation of "youngster moves reluctantly to the city because parents have moved up in their Guild". I'm hoping Clariel will be less whiny than Lavan though :-)

març 11, 2015, 9:34am

El Deafo is a charming graphic memoir about the author's growing up hearing-impaired.

març 13, 2015, 7:34am

Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson, the story of a former slave fighting in the American revolution. It neatly brings out the ironic tension between the ideals of the revolution and the limits of freedom in a slave-owning society. Compelling characters and a vivid depiction of friendship and endurance in horrible conditions.

Forge is a sequel to Chains, which my local library didn't have. I need to seek that one out and read it next.

març 13, 2015, 8:14am

>26 Sakerfalcon:, Now that you mention it, I agree that The Name of the Star's Rory reminded me a TON of Texas Gothic - and I loved them both. It may be re-read time, and I should see if I can track down my copy of Spirit and Dust now...

març 15, 2015, 1:58pm

>19 meghanas: I LOOOOOVE the PJO/HoO universe. Right up there with Harry Potter for me. I love how the characters really do develop these deep personalities over time, and Percy/Annabeth is my second favorite fictional couple ever. (THEIR LOVE IS SO PURE *sobs*)

Anyways, on a less emotional note, I just finished Rebel Belle, which was surprisingly good! Harper and David are so fun, and their "no, really, we hate each other!!1!" tension is DELICIOUS. Can't wait for Miss Mayhem to come out.

Editat: abr. 8, 2015, 5:29pm

jwarbler: I remember really enjoying Rebel Belle, but I've always been a fan of books that show the quirky side of the South. You also can't go wrong with the enemies to something more trope.

I just finished up with Prudence, the first in a new series by Gail Carriger. I really like the adventure aspects of the book (what could be more fun than taking a dirigible to India to uncover a mystery?), but the semi-sort of potential romance was not to my taste. I didn't really care for the gentleman in question - something seemed a bit off about him.

I'm just started reading The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson. We shall see how that goes.

març 16, 2015, 2:46pm

>34 jwarbler: SAME. Sometimes literary romances don't really do it for me, because they're not really well-developed, but Percy/Annabeth DEFINITELY is. I just really like how Rick Riordan writes teenagers.

març 18, 2015, 8:04pm

>35 Cailiosa: Oh my GOD I'm hoping to get Prudence on Sunday and I CANNOT WAIT! I'm also getting Hold Me Closer then - I'm gonna have so much reading to do! I might have to put off my homework for a while....

>36 meghanas: Riordan's characters give me so many emotions, because I usually can relate to some aspect of what they're going through. He nails teenage voices, and I feel like his characters won't be too dated as the books age, too. He doesn't resort to lots of "hip" references in his stuff, which is nice. I've read books that are only 10 years old or so that feel INCREDIBLY dated.

març 19, 2015, 1:34am

Jinx (4****) and Jinx's Magic (4½****), and I've got a Kindle pre-order for the trilogy's conclusion, Jinx's Fire, due out March 24. By Sage Blackwood.

març 19, 2015, 9:21am

>37 jwarbler: jwarbler: Prudence was just such good fun. I hope you enjoy it when you get your hands on a copy. I know the feeling of having a lot of reading to do. I think I have 3, maybe 4 ARCs to read and review, and at least 3 library books and two e-books waiting to be read. I am feeling slightly overwhelmed, but in the best way possible.

The Shadow Cabinet was excellent - a very intense read from cover to cover, but I don't want to have to wait a year or more for the conclusion. I need to know that my babies will be all right NOW.

I got in a couple of chapters of Shutter by Courtney Alameda last night before finally convincing myself it was time to go to bed. I've heard it's more gory than scary, which is probably good, since I don't handle scary all that well. I thought the first season of Supernatural was going to do me in.

març 19, 2015, 10:35pm

I just finished Shadow Scale, sequel to Seraphina, and loved it! I got completely sucked in and read it within twenty four hours. I really loved how there wasn't too much of an agasty romance subplot (unusual for YA fantasy) and the way she wrapped it up was wonderful.

març 20, 2015, 10:34am

>37 jwarbler:: My thoughts exactly! He gets a little bit of slang in there, but mostly his teens' "teen-ness" comes from the way they react to danger and emotion, and the weird sense of humor kids can have. And I feel like that's more timeless.

març 20, 2015, 11:54am

>41 meghanas: For sure.

In other news, I just finished My Family for the War, which was frustrating yet interesting. The protagonist is 10 at the start and 19 by the end, so the timeline feels off at some points, and I feel like her struggles don't take a nice, neat progression - but that's a personal dislike, not necessarily a structural fault. Very captivating, though, and it made me sad about a particular outcome. (Trying to stay spoiler free!)

Editat: març 27, 2015, 1:20pm

So, Shutter was good. It reminded me of Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co. series, in that the public is aware of the presence of ghosts and other creepy things in the world and there are organizations created to combat them. You won't find the same level of humor or scares in this book, but there was an intensity about it that kept me on the edge of my seat. I do wish there was a bit more world-building done, as the concept of a monster hunting organization made up of descendants of Van Helsing and Stoker and all the rest of that clan is fascinating to me, but Alameda kept most of the focus on the story at hand. Maybe we'll get more background in the follow-up book (the ending was left rather open, so I'm guessing there will be a sequel).

I'm currently reading an ARC of Rook by Sharon Cameron, which is a futuristic homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel. It's filled with action and adventure, intrigue, ladies being awesome and underestimated, and a potential love interest who may be playing for the bad guys, or he may be an empty headed dandy, or he may be something more entirely, so, of course, I am loving it. It's such fun.

març 21, 2015, 9:40am

>43 Cailiosa: Ooooh, Rook sounds interesting. I'm going to have to look for that. Do you know the release date?

Editat: març 26, 2015, 3:04pm

>44 jwarbler: April 28th, according to Goodreads. Not long now!

març 23, 2015, 12:27pm

I ended up really enjoying Rook, despite the big bad being on par with a Marvel movie villain (which is to say, not as effective as he could have been). Seriously, though, I'm wondering how this guy managed to be promoted to Ministre of Security, seeing as he bungled nearly every task he was given. Perhaps it's just that Sophia and her merry band of misfits were that much more clever than he was, but that's not all that satisfying when you want a truly villainous villain. The awesomeness of Sophie, her fiance Rene, as well as his entire roguish family, however, more than made up for that deficiency.

Up next is Jodi Meadows' The Orphan Queen, which sounds like good fun. Hopefully, it lives up to my expectations.

març 23, 2015, 1:40pm

I just finished Clariel and overall enjoyed the read although I couldn't like Clariel herself as much as I wanted to. She felt too immature to be seventeen, and she was too single minded - firstly about the Forest, then about avenging her parents - to make good decisions. I also thought the Princess Talethiel subplot was very carelessly handled, almost like an afterthought shoved in after the rest of the book was written. But despite my complaints it was great to be back in the Old Kingdom again, and I thought the politics of Belisaere were very well-drawn.

març 23, 2015, 9:57pm

I just started How it went down by Kekla Magoon. It's a novel (so fiction) about a black youth who is shot by a white man, but the situation is "complicated" . . . and described from the points of view of many witnesses and people who knew the people involved. Each section represents a day, starting with the day of the shooting. Each "chapter" (most of which are only a single page) is one person telling "what happened". I've only read "Day One" and already there are twists and turns . . . not everything is as it seemed at first.

The St. Paul (MN) Public Library chose this book as their "Read Brave" selection this year . . . but I didn't get to attend any events . . . and couldn't get a copy of the book until the events were over.

març 25, 2015, 2:40pm

Reading The Orphan Queen served as a reminder that there is nothing new under the sun. It was pretty good, but nothing that I hadn't seen done better in several other fantasy books. This, I think, is the price for reading a lot of books in one genre - a book has to be something special in order to make a big impact on me anymore.

Laura Ruby's Bone Gap, on the other hand, was that something special. It's one of those books whose characters, story, and setting suck you in and won't let you go. I'm still thinking about it, even after finishing it hours ago. Plus, it proves my theory that any book with a character named Finn is one I'm going to love.

març 26, 2015, 6:07am

I've just started reading Night calls, which has got off to a promising start.

març 26, 2015, 2:52pm

Loved Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

Now starting Hold Tight, Don't Let Go: A Novel of Haiti by Laura Wagner.
First chapter is a harrowing acount of the 2010 earthquake.

Editat: març 26, 2015, 3:04pm

>51 nrmay:: Have you read Pratchett's Wee Free Men series? Somehow it manages to be both hilarious and deep (at least the later books in the series) at the same time.

març 26, 2015, 4:31pm

Finished Hold Me Closer, and ahhhhh I just love Tiny Cooper so much, y'all. So many theater references. My heart is so happy.

>46 Cailiosa: I'm more and more intrigued by this book the more I hear you talk about it. I think it's officially going on the TBR.

març 26, 2015, 4:59pm

>53 jwarbler:: I hope you enjoy it!

març 28, 2015, 11:11am

The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness!
Book 1 of Chaos Walking Trilogy!

març 28, 2015, 5:36pm

>55 celesteporche: Personally, I like Viola Eade a lot more than I do Katniss Everdeen. Viola's more proactive and also less dependent on a boy.

març 28, 2015, 6:44pm

>55 celesteporche: Is it good? It's on my TBR pile - in need of so much time to get through more of the pile....

març 30, 2015, 2:48pm

>57 Peace2: >55 celesteporche:: That whole trilogy is intense with a capital I. We're talking cliff-hangers at the end of every chapter. The books are good, but I wouldn't recommend them as, say, beach reads or right before a stressful job interview.

abr. 1, 2015, 10:02pm

General update: finally reading Prudence whenever I can break away from my class assignments - Midnight's Children is a killer, even if it is really good. I love that the "next gen" of Carriger's characters are getting the spotlight in this! I'm getting a sort of Daughter of the Lioness vibe, for anyone who's up on their Tamora Pierce.

abr. 2, 2015, 5:15am

I think it's a bit younger than YA, but I'm about to start on The islands of Chaldea, Diana Wynne Jones' last novel.

abr. 3, 2015, 1:17pm

Finished Prudence and gaaaaah gonna need the sequel to that ASAP, thanks.

>35 Cailiosa: I kept your qualms about the romance in mind as I read, but I don't think I came to the same conclusions. If we're talking about Q (to keep it as spoiler-free as possible), I think any problems with him will come from Rue's own misinterpretations and not any sketchiness of his own, but it's only book 1, so we'll have to see!

abr. 6, 2015, 11:38am

I haven't had very much time to read this year, but over the summer I'm looking forward to reading Winter by Marissa Meyer, which is the fourth book in her Lunar Chronicles quartet. I don't think these books get enough credit, because at first glance they seem to be a same-y sort of paranormal fantasy YA lit--but they're actually not that same-y at all! Lots of strong females, great unique reimagining of both sci-fi and fairy tales, and also a wonderful view into a futuristic East Asian culture.

I'm also planning on reading The Legend of the King, which is the last book in the Squire's Tales series by Gerald Morris. I'm not prepared for this series to be over! I think I've re-read these books more often than any other series (except maybe Tamora Pierce's works). I haven't been able to find a physical copy of this book online, though, only e-books (which I'd be okay with, except I have almost every other book in paper, and I like a complete set).

abr. 6, 2015, 12:50pm

I just finished One Came Home by Amy Timberlake, from a list of award-winning YA books.

A great adventure set in 1871 Wisconsin with a spirited female as the main character. Some interesting facts and background on Passenger Pigeons in the story.

abr. 6, 2015, 7:53pm

I'm working on Mosquitoland right now and really enjoying it! It's interesting, though I'm still deciding whether the protag is realistically pretentious or just overblown. I'm maybe a quarter of the way in, though, so I've got time.

abr. 8, 2015, 11:41am

I had been anticipating The Sin-Eater's Daughter--I did quite enjoy it, though IMO the story had some significant flaws.

abr. 8, 2015, 5:31pm

>65 SaraHope: I read an ARC of The Sin-Eater's Daughter a little while back and had some issues with it as well. It was a shame, since I had so been looking forward to reading it. I'm glad you liked it.

>61 jwarbler: I think my main issue with Q was that I had just finished reading a book with a great male romantic lead and Q didn't quite measure up to him. Not exactly Q's fault, but sometimes that sort of thing happens.

I just started Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins, which seems to be good so far.

abr. 9, 2015, 4:06am

Just finished When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. I love a nonlinear time paradox story in which everything ties up neatly.

abr. 9, 2015, 3:13pm

I've liked the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver.

Just read the 2nd in the series, Spirit Walker.
First one was Wolf Brother.

abr. 9, 2015, 5:49pm

>66 Cailiosa:: Ooooh, I can see how that would be a killer. And don't tell me anything about Miss Mayhem, I haven't gotten a copy yet!

general update: I just started Down From The Mountain, which is fantastic so far, and then I'm gonna review the ARC of You Deserve a Drink I won from March's ARC giveaways!! (can you tell I'm excited about winning that?)

abr. 10, 2015, 11:12am

>69 jwarbler: I won't say a peep about Miss Mayhem, mostly because I got caught up in another series and haven't revisited that book yet. Someday, I will get around to reading all 11 library books I have checked out and the three or four ARCs I have downloaded, unless, of course, I stupidly keep checking out more books like I have been. Oh, the perils of working in a library.

abr. 10, 2015, 5:38pm

>70 Cailiosa: I know that problem. I feel like I never have just one new book lying around - it always mushrooms out to like four before I know it.

Editat: maig 7, 2015, 9:30am

>71 jwarbler: I had a momentary lapse of self-control and downloaded another ARC the other day, despite having four others I haven't gotten around to reading. In my defense, it's The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow, a book that's been in the works since 2012 or so. She got me hooked with the teasers she had up on her site and then it was years before anything happened with it. It's going to be released in September, I believe, like every other book and its mother it seems.

abr. 28, 2015, 4:18pm

I found Tabula Rasa by Lippert-Martin to be a fun read - a very fast-paced exciting thriller with lots of unexpected twists. Recommended for those who like suspense thrillers with lots of action. Definitely not a literary read.

maig 7, 2015, 9:30am

I read an ARC of Lock & Mori yesterday. I'm not sure when the book will actually be released. It's one of those teenage Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty, but this time Moriarty is a girl. I should have known I wouldn't care for it right off the bat, since I just can't get into prequel-type books when I know the main character is going to go down a dark path. I'm just not the type to love and get invested in future baddies, since reading about their journey to the dark side of the force is like watching a slow moving train wreck. That sort of thing is never a pleasant experience. Plus, Mori, as she's called, is a moody thing, which I can do some of the time, but not throughout the entire book, and she and Sherlock fall into this instalove/lust, which I never enjoy. Might be someone else's cuppa, though.

maig 7, 2015, 9:56am

I've just started Shadowscale - hope it lives up to my expectations!

maig 7, 2015, 10:50am

I hope you enjoy it, Sakerfalcon. I thought Shadowscale was very well done.

maig 7, 2015, 6:39pm

I plan to read The Assasin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas. I hope it is good! I also plan to read Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I like alternate versions of classic stories. Hopefully it will be true enough to the story that you can recognize her as Cinderella, but different enough to be novel.

maig 8, 2015, 11:09am

77: I loved Cinder and all of the Lunar Chronicles novels. They are such fun!

maig 8, 2015, 11:10am

Ditto re Cinder and the Lunar Chronicles.

maig 8, 2015, 11:11am

I'm planning to read Maas's court of Thorns and Roses. She's having a book signing near me this excited. I hope Assassins Blade is good. That's next on my list so let me know what you think :)

Editat: maig 8, 2015, 5:51pm

I just finished up an ARC of Rae Carson's Walk on Earth a Stranger, which I quite liked. It's always interesting to see an author tackle a genre outside of the one they normally frequent. I think Ms. Carson did a great job transitioning to straight up fantasy to historical fiction with a hint of magic. WOEAS was like Oregon Trail in book format, which is high praise indeed, considering that game was one of the highlights of my childhood. I mean, both the game and the book had everything you could ever want and more: cholera, fording rivers, amputations, oxen dying of dehydration. What could be more fun?

maig 13, 2015, 2:47pm

I just finished up Cat Winters' The Cure for Dreaming in the wee hours of this morning, and I quite liked it, though perhaps not quite as much as her previous or forthcoming books (it was a close race, though).
Hypnotism, suffragettes, and allusions to Dracula are not the sort of combination you expect to find in a historical fiction novel, but Ms. Winters pulled it off. While it sometimes seemed as if Dr. Mead was designed specifically to bring out a giant green rage monster in readers, I was more than willing to forgive this emotional manipulation on account of the principle characters, Olivia and Henri, who were both incredibly lovely and engaging.

maig 14, 2015, 9:07am

>82 Cailiosa:: Thanks for the write-up, Cailiosa - I'm intrigued by the sound of The Cure for Dreaming.

I'm attempting to tackle the books shortlisted for the Branford Boase award ( First up is Leopold Blue by Rosie Rowell, a spiky coming-of-age story set in South Africa.

maig 14, 2015, 9:15am

83: It's an intriguing sort of book. I like that the author picks time periods and subjects in history that often go overlooked by other authors, at least that I am aware of.

maig 14, 2015, 9:41am

I finished Shadowscale and didn't think it was as good as Seraphina. The pacing was off, with some parts feeling very slow and others rushed. But there were a lot of good things in the novel such as the scenes in Porphyry and at Lab 4, the characters of Abdo and Camba and the hints we get of Glisselda growing into her role as Queen. I'd definitely read more stories set in this world.

maig 14, 2015, 10:51am

85: Yeah, I liked Shadowscale quite a bit, but I adored Seraphina. I think Shadowscale fell a bit short of Seraphina because Hartman turned it into this grand, epic sort of story and left little room for all of the plot threads to breathe and develop properly. Though I enjoyed meeting the new dragons and visiting different lands, I felt like the people and places I enjoyed so much in the first book got relegated to the backseat. I'm with you, though - I'd definitely read more stories set in this world.

maig 16, 2015, 12:19pm

Have any of you all read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir? I just started and finished it yesterday and I thought it was fantastic.

maig 19, 2015, 9:14am

I just read Blood wounds which was a quick but powerful read. The cover blurb makes you think it's going to be a thriller about a mother and daughter threatened by someone from their past, but that storyline is wrapped up in the first 1/3 of the book; it's the catalyst that brings the undercurrents of family relationships and resentments to the surface which is what the book is really about. I thought it was excellent.

maig 20, 2015, 9:25am

I greatly enjoyed Leopold Blue. Well-structured and with an authentic voice, it tells the story of Meg, a white South African teenager who's stultified by her small town and embarrassed by her left-wing activist mother. A new friend offers Meg adventure but also proves a unhealthy influence. The story is set in 1993-1994, the eve of Mandela's election victory, grounding it in wider social and political change.

juny 17, 2015, 3:16pm

>87 Cailiosa: I read that one several months ago, and though I had issues with it (partly because it was being presented as a standalone when it obviously was not one), I'd definitely read onward on that world. One of my fav book blogs The Book Smugglers did a joint review -- one reviewer really didn't care for it, the other liked it pretty well -- and I found it fascinating because I could totally get both perspectives ( It's a problematic book in many respects for me, but I found it unputdownable.

I found myself so disappointed by Shadowscale recently that I think I might be done with that universe. To some degree I found the story dissatisfying because of my personal preferences -- I like more romance, and also like for the romantic arc to have clear boundaries and a firm conclusion. I've enjoyed other books in which the romance wasn't as clearcut (like Bitterblue, for instance), but combined with the uneven pace, I found this a chore to read.

juny 17, 2015, 4:09pm

From the Branford Boase award shortlist, I especially liked Bone Jack by Sara Crowe (beautifully-written story of loss and continuity with folklore elements) and Cowgirl by G.R. Gemin (in which a herd of cows transforms life on a run-down housing estate).

juny 17, 2015, 7:21pm

The Gaither sisters are back! I'm just starting Gone Crazy in Alabama, which came out in April as the third and final volume of the trilogy, following on One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven (and see my 5***** review of the latter). More "middle reader" than YA though.

juny 18, 2015, 10:09am

@90: I think I saw on Tumblr not too long ago that there will be a sequel to An Ember in the Ashes, so yay for that. If there hadn't been, there would have been a lot of plot elements that wouldn't have been wrapped up in a satisfying way. I didn't know that it had been marketed as a stand-alone, so maybe that's why I didn't have issues after completing the book. Any more, I just assume that a YA book will be part of a series, as that's all the rage now.

I feel you on Shadowscale. I liked all the dragon elements, but the romance was wholly unsatisfying, which is a darn shame, since it was my favorite part about Seraphina. I think there were just two books planned for that series, so I guess we don't have to worry about another book in that world (though that might be a nice way to clean up the rushed ending in Shadowscale).

juny 18, 2015, 1:32pm

90, 93> I had the opposite reaction in regards to the romance with Shadowscale. I loved that it took so little space in the book and ended in a different way.

juny 19, 2015, 7:41pm

pwaites: I just wish the ending wasn't so vague (and wish I didn't have to be so vague for spoiler purposes). I mean, I can maybe guess what might have happened between the troika, but I'm a details person. I like being in the know and prefer having plots wrapped up in a decently neat bow.

juny 19, 2015, 9:00pm

95> That was my largest quibble with the book. It felt like it ended so suddenly. I think she's planning on writing others set in the same world, so maybe we'll get a glimpse of things.

juny 30, 2015, 11:56am

I'm about halfway through The Crossover, which surprisingly won the Newbery over Brown Girl Dreaming, and it's beginning to bring me around. It's in poetry form, like BGD, and centers around twin brothers who play basketball.

juny 30, 2015, 2:52pm

>92 CurrerBell: Follow-up, I finished Gone Crazy in Alabama in a couple days and posted a short review. If TPTB let me give a rating that went "off-the scales" then I'd rate Gone Crazy in Alabama 6½****** (with 6****** to One Crazy Summer and a "mere" 5***** to P.S. Be Eleven, which I thought the "weakest" of the three). Only thing I wasn't "crazy" about was GCiA's cover illustration; maybe there'll be an improvement for the paperback edition.

ag. 17, 2015, 2:07pm

I just finished The War That Saved My Life and promptly turned to the beginning and started it again. I have never done that in my life. It is a wonderful novel about a young girl struggling with a clubfoot and abusive mother at the beginning of WWII. Great plotting and characterizations.

ag. 17, 2015, 7:55pm

Half way through The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson.
3rd one in The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy.

A somewhat different fantasy. Adventure, violence, a strong female protaganist.

ag. 31, 2015, 2:18pm

Aquest missatge ha estat marcat com abús per més d'un usuari i ja no es pot veure (mostra)
I'd be remiss not to mention my debut YA novel called Like a Dream. It is a great read and is the first book in my trilogy. :)

ag. 31, 2015, 3:31pm

101> ShinaJ, self promotion isn't usually allowed on LibraryThing. If someone asks you about it, it's fine, but other wise don't bring it up or you'll get flagged.

set. 1, 2015, 9:42pm

Already been mentioned, but Bone Gap by Laura Ruby was really great.

set. 1, 2015, 10:10pm

I read Matilda Bone by Karen Cushman this month and also A Fit of Shivers: Tales for Late at Night by Joan Aiken.
Liked them both.

Editat: set. 2, 2015, 1:20pm

@103: Yay, another lover of Bone Gap! It's probably one of my favorite books I read this year.

Timothee de Fombelle's Vango and it's sequel, Prince Without a Kingdom were fantastic books. Though there is a large cast of characters, the books revolve around the title character, Vango, and the delicate unraveling of the mystery of who he is. The books start off with a bang (quite literally - just as Vango is about to take his vows to become a priest, the police are about to arrest him for a murder he didn't commit, and a mysterious stranger attempts to shoot him) and take readers on a non-stop adventure across Europe, where we are introduced to all sorts of friends and foes along the way. There's a hint of romance (a certain feisty Scottish young lady is very happy someone didn't take their priestly vows) and a delightful sly wit. I can't recommend these books highly enough.

As a librarian, I never thought I'd say that a book set in a world where librarians have become tyrants hoarding knowledge would be just the book I wanted to read, but Rachel Caine has convinced me otherwise with Ink and Bone. I always like books that allow you to imagine what the world would be like if something major had been changed, and a world where the Library of Alexandria had not burned proved to be a fascinating premise.

September is going to be a ridiculously good month for YA books, as it seems like everyone and their mother decided to release new titles. I'm looking forward to Rae Carson's Walk on Earth a Stranger; Six of Crows, the start of a new series by Leigh Bardugo; Beastly Bones, the sequel to Jackaby, and countless other books.

set. 2, 2015, 7:18pm

103, 105> I really liked both Bone Gap and Ink and Bone.

I've just finished The Shepherd's Crown, the last Tiffany Aching novel. Wow. I'm sad this series is over, but it is a really fitting ending.

set. 2, 2015, 7:39pm

pwaites: The Shepherd's Crown was one of about 12 books I had on hold at the library that came in at once, and I can't wait to dig into it. I wasn't expecting another Tiffany Aching book, so it was a nice surprise to find out it would be released, given Terry Pratchett's death.

set. 4, 2015, 9:12am

>105 Cailiosa:, 106 I too loved Ink and bone. And I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of The shepherd's crown.

set. 4, 2015, 2:55pm

107, 108> I hope you both like The Shepherd's Crown!

set. 9, 2015, 9:49pm

I agreed - very entertaining and quite a page turner.

set. 9, 2015, 9:53pm

Winter by Marissa Meyer is coming out in November. I can hardly wait and I know other folks who can hardly wait. It has been quite a ride with the other 4 books. I just hope Winter is as good as the others. Marissa - you are the queen of scifi!

set. 9, 2015, 9:57pm

Just started the Mark of the Thief by Jennifer Nielsen. It starting off very well, lots of fast action.

set. 16, 2015, 1:05pm

We Were Liars by e. Lockhart was great

set. 17, 2015, 9:28am

I recently read The city's son but was disappointed. If I'd read it before China Mieville's Unlundun or Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere it might have seemed more original, but as it was it felt very derivative and fell flat for me. I didn't care much for Filius, and while Beth was ok she was the kind of character who is always the heroine - tragic homelife, artistic talent, rebellious nature. Pen was far more interesting but we didn't get many scenes with her (although I believe the sequel focuses more on her). If I see the sequel at the library I'll borrow it, but I'm glad I didn't buy this one.

set. 17, 2015, 3:24pm

I really liked The Shepherd's Crown, though it's sad to know there won't be any more Terry Pratchett books after this one.

I adored Every Word by Ellie Marney, which is the sequel to Every Breath, which is a modern-day story inspired by Sherlock Holmes with a pair of Australian teens (the Watson, in this case, is a girl).

I also finished up Firewalker by Josephine Angelini, but the whole lack of proper communication between the heroine and hero made what could have been a book I loved turn into a book I really liked. I did appreciate that there was no clear cut, black and white choices for the main characters and the antagonists -- that they were caught between a rock and a hard place and sometimes the choices that they made forced them to do truly evil things. Made for a fascinating, if slightly uncomfortable read.

I finished reading The Door in the Moon by Catherine Fisher last night, and I honestly don't have much to say about it. There was a lot of things that happened, but I really couldn't bring myself to care about the characters. It had been a long time since I had read the first two books in the series, so that could have had something to do with that, but I will probably not bother with the fourth book. I hate it when that happens.

I'm currently reading A Study in Charlotte, yet another modern day Sherlock Holmes-esque story, this time with the descendants of Watson and Holmes (the latter of which happens to be a girl). I'm really liking it so far.

set. 17, 2015, 4:13pm

I've just finished Updraft by Fran Wilde. I'm not sure if this one is being marketed as YA, but if not it's definitely a cross over. Plot wise, it feels a lot like a YA dystopian - the ruling body is keeping dangerous secrets, which the seventeen year old protagonist must find out. What makes Updraft different is the lack of romance (seriously, none) and the incredible world building. This is a city of towers made from living bone, where people soar on homemade wings... It was very well done.

Editat: set. 17, 2015, 9:16pm

Loved The Compound by S.A. Bodeen. Suggested by a LT reader.

set. 18, 2015, 11:59am

>115 Cailiosa: My experience with Fisher's Chronoptika series was the other way round. I was lukewarm about the first book, but got more into the series with books two and three. I thought the later books did a better job of meshing the various plot elements, which seemed too disparate in the first book.

I still think Incarceron and the Oracle trilogy are more successful, though.

set. 20, 2015, 12:30pm

Not sure if it's YA or middle grade, but I just got Goodbye stranger from the library.

set. 20, 2015, 4:30pm

I just got Lair of Dreams, the second book in Libba Bray's The Diviners series. I'm anxious to start in on it as soon as a get an Early Review read and the review written, because I've read nearly everything by Bray (or at least all of her novels) and I really like everything except for Going Bovine, her Prinz and Locus winner, which I thought was just plain weird.

As for the Early Review book, it's Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson and I suspect it's YR just because of the author. The only book I've read by Anderson is the first volume of Octavian Nothing, which I didn't particularly care for (I thought the use of 18th century styled language was pretentious); but Symphony has an interesting subject, the siege of Leningrad as told from the perspective of Shostakovich writing his "Leningrad Symphony," and since I was one of only 15 out of 594 to win it, I owe it a thorough read and careful review. It's a genuine ARC and Amazon shows an official publication date of September 22.

Editat: set. 20, 2015, 7:22pm

I'm reading all of Laurie Halse Anderson's books this year. She is an excellent writer that writes really intense books. Some of the ones I have read so far are Speak, Wintergirls, and The Impossible Knife of Memory. I recommend all three of them.

set. 20, 2015, 7:23pm

I loved We Were Liars!

set. 21, 2015, 5:03am

>120 CurrerBell: I'll be very interested to hear what you think of Symphony for the dead. Shostakovich was a fascinating person, and much of his music is among my favourites.

set. 21, 2015, 5:03am

>121 MyBookishThoughts: I just read Wintergirls and second the recommendation. Vivid and insightful portrait of mental illness (though an emotionally tough read).

oct. 5, 2015, 5:54am

I borrowed an older novel from the library, Time of Trial by Hester Burton. It's a low-key, unsentimental story of a girl who must deal with family upheaval when her father, a printer and bookseller, is imprisoned for sedition at the turn of the nineteenth century. Unusually political for a YA book. I'll be looking out for Burton's others.

oct. 5, 2015, 4:12pm

Aquest missatge ha estat marcat com abús per més d'un usuari i ja no es pot veure (mostra)
I would recommend Light & Dark: The Black Bonded, it just came out, but I would suggest reading the first book, Light & Dark: The Awakening of the Mageknight. I'm pretty sure it just became free as an ebook.

oct. 5, 2015, 4:13pm

Aquest missatge ha estat marcat com abús per més d'un usuari i ja no es pot veure (mostra)
I would recommend Light & Dark: The Black Bonded, it just came out, but I would suggest reading the first book, Light & Dark: The Awakening of the Mageknight. I'm pretty sure it just became free as an ebook.

oct. 5, 2015, 4:28pm

You're only "pretty sure" that your own book just became free as an ebook? You really need to stay on top of these things.

(Welcome to LT. Read the How Authors can use LibraryThing section of the TOS, and realize that promoting your own books is permitted here only in specific spaces, of which this is not one.)

oct. 5, 2015, 11:29pm

Just finished Lair of Dreams (4½****), the just-released second installment of Libba Bray's "The Diviners" series. I've read all of Bray's books so far, and the only one I haven't liked is her Printz-winning Going Bovine (which didn't make much sense to me). Personally I think Bray's much better at historical fiction than something contemporary, though I really did like Beauty Queens for its satire.

oct. 6, 2015, 11:30am

CurrerBell: I kind of hated Going Bovine. I can do a bit weird, but this book was over-the-top weird. Also, I had to read it for a class, so that was already a strike against it (I hate being told what to read, which is why I will probably never be in a book club).

Okay, so I loved A Study in Charlotte, even though it stressed me out a bit at first (the main characters were murder suspects). William Ritter's Beastly Bones was wonderful. The mystery was much more mysterious this time around, but I read this series for the characters, who are precious snowflakes. The Hollow Boy, the third book in Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co. series was excellent, though the ending made me want to slap someone and maybe wail a bit in sadness.

Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows is the book that is kind of ruining me for all other books at this moment, however. It wasn't so much the plot (though I do love a good heist novel every once in a while), but the fascinating characters and the world in which they lived that gripped me and won't let me go. I can't stop analyzing these characters and why they acted a certain way and what makes them tick. It's both wonderful and a curse, because I haven't been able to settle into any other books since I finished Six of Crows.

oct. 6, 2015, 1:28pm

130> I've really got to get a hold of Six of Crows...

oct. 6, 2015, 3:37pm

pwaites: It's so good and so pretty. I would hang the cover on my wall and it has black-edged pages. Her publisher went all out on the design of this book.

oct. 6, 2015, 5:50pm

132> I'd better get a print copy and not an ebook then. It sounds lovely.

oct. 12, 2015, 3:26am

>123 Sakerfalcon: Claire, I just posted my review of Symphony for the City of the Dead and rated it at 2½**. I would have rated it probably in the range of 4**** except that there's a book currently in print and right now on the shelves in trade paperback at B&N — Brian Moynahan's Leningrad: Siege and Symphony — that covers the exact same subject! There's absolutely no question of plagiarism here, none absolutely, but I'm troubled that Anderson failed to acknowledge the preemption of his subject by a 2013-copyrighted book.

If I've erred, if I've overlooked some acknowledgement that Anderson has given to Moynahan, then my apologies in advance and I'll change my review and my rating if someone can point it out to me. But as of right now, I'm troubled by this issues.

oct. 13, 2015, 12:23pm

I don't think it's fair to hold him accountable because of someone else's book. Many classical musicians have heard the basic story many times (I knew about it before graduating high school having had to play it for conductor who constantly drilled it into our heads ) and to be fair t he 2013 book was pre-empted by a 2011 novel on the same subject The Conductor by Sarah Quigley,

Perhaps his children are musicians, or he was or maybe he just likes Shostakovich, or he heard it on the radio and was curious. Maybe he read one of the many biographies of Shostakovich and decided to delve into that particular story. and I don't doubt that it was written about before then. I'm a classical musician and I love Shostakovich but had never even heard of the Moynahan book until just now.

oct. 13, 2015, 12:47pm

>135 yolana: Reread my review. Anderson's book contains extensive references and bibliographic citations but I can find absolutely no mention of Moynahan's book that's currently on retail sale in trade paperback. Why, with Anderson's otherwise very extensive references, does he completely ignore Moynahan? That's my problem, not that two authors have written a book on the same subject.

oct. 13, 2015, 1:00pm

He really might not have known about it. I've played a lot of Shostakovich symphonies and quartets and have read several of his biographies and had no idea the the book Moynahan's book was in existence so I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt that he just didn't read it for whatever reason, I don't know how long it takes him to research then write a book but it could well be that he had finished with the research portion of the book and was on to the writing itself by the time Moynahan's book was published. Moynahan's was published in 2013 and Anderson probably turned his first draft into his publisher in 2014.

oct. 13, 2015, 3:04pm

>136 CurrerBell: Why mention a book that wasn't used for research and is marketed to a different demographic? I would think this is fairly common for non-fiction. Two titles published in close proximity covering the same or parallel areas. And the slightly newer book has no mention of the slightly older book.

Also, isn't Anderson's book more about the symphony and how it was smuggled out of Russia while Moynahan covers the siege and its effects? I ask b/c I haven't read either book.

Lastly, why not ask the author about Moynahan's book? He's on Twitter. I'm sure his email address is around somewhere.

oct. 13, 2015, 4:00pm

lesmel: I order adult non-fiction titles for my library, and I can confirm that this sort of thing happens quite frequently. Sometimes in the same review magazine, there will be several titles covering the same subject matter, especially when there's an upcoming anniversary of a historical event, like the battle of Waterloo or Hurricane Katrina or the assassination of President Kennedy. Non-fiction goes through trends just like fiction.

oct. 13, 2015, 4:28pm

>136 CurrerBell: in RE to >138 lesmel: I hope I don't sound like I'm picking at your choice. I truly am not. I'm curious about your choice to lower the rating is all. :)

oct. 19, 2015, 6:39pm

132> I just got a copy of Six of Crows. You were right. This is the most beautiful book I've seen. It's even got maps done by Keith Thompson.

oct. 20, 2015, 5:21am

I've just started reading Blythewood, a YA novel by Carol Goodman. I think I was vaguely aware of this when it was released last year but forgot about it until I just saw the sequel the other day. It combines early C20th American history and feminism with a boarding school setting - yum!

Editat: oct. 20, 2015, 12:03pm

@141: As a part of their pre-order deal, they sent out a poster with both of the maps - I'm totally framing them and putting them on the wall. I hope you like reading it as much as you enjoy looking at it.

142: That is such a good series. The third one comes out in December, I think, and I cannot wait. I'm pretty sure Goodman included every historical event of note in that first book, plus my favorite sort of setting (boarding school) and a character discovering she has magical talents, and she totally made it work.

nov. 20, 2015, 4:39pm

Winter by Marissa Meyer is a satisfying conclusion to the Cinder series.

nov. 20, 2015, 6:16pm

jnwelch: I wholeheartedly agree. I'm sad to see this series end, but I'm glad it was completed well.

Have any of you all read Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff? It's one of those set in space /AI goes rogue/evil corporation in pursuit /epidemic/we're all going to die sorts of books that absolutely terrify me, but the story is told in the form of interview transcripts, emails, journals, instant messages, etc. It was one of the most engaging, fascinating, stressful books I've read in a long time and I can't recommend it highly enough.

I just finished up an ARC of The Vanishing Throne, a sequel to Elizabeth May's The Falcon Throne and it was absolutely beautifully done. The only bad thing is the book isn't being released until June of next year and I'm going to have to wait forever and a day for the third book to be released in the States. It's going to be such torture.

Right now I'm debating between starting Wolf by Wolf, an alt-history imagining in which the Axis powers won WWII, and Manners and Mutiny, the final book in Gail Carriger's Finishing School series.

nov. 23, 2015, 4:58am

>145 Cailiosa: I'm really looking forward to Illuminae when I can get my hands on a copy. The Book Smugglers loved it, and I'm glad to see that you did too.

I've just acquired a copy of Carry on which will probably be my next YA read.

nov. 23, 2015, 10:46am

I'm loving the Bloody Jack series. Finished the first one and now reading Curse of the Blue Tattoo.

nov. 23, 2015, 11:31am

nrmay: One of my co-workers says the audio to that series is great.

nov. 28, 2015, 4:30pm

It was so refreshing to read The Name of the Star this year. So many YA books lately fall into the same plot and subplot patterns, (raise your hand if you're tired of love triangles!). This one was great.

nov. 30, 2015, 5:52am

>149 Morteana: I too loved that book! I need to find the sequels now.

nov. 30, 2015, 7:17am

>147 nrmay:, I really enjoyed the Bloody Jack series (as far as I got, anyway, as there are a fair number of books now!), especially the first two!

>149 Morteana:, The Name of the Star was one of my favourite reads last year. I had a really good Gothic-y run with that one and Texas Gothic which was set in my beloved Texas hill country! My hand is very high in the air on the "tired of the love triangles" question.

nov. 30, 2015, 11:53am

Morteana: Especially if the love triangle is introduced in the second book in a series, and the original love interest, whom you quite liked, suddenly changes personality in order for it to make sense that Our Heroine would go running into the arms of love interest number two, who is usually a jerk of a bad boy (but that's okay, because he has some sort of tragic past that made him this way). Ugh, it really is the worst.
Anyway, yes, the whole Shades of London series is great. Rory kind of stressed me out a bit in book two (I won't go into detail), but I remember book three being quite good.

I finished up Wolf by Wolf, which was excellent in a heartbreaking sort of way, and I am eagerly anticipating the next addition to the series, whenever that is going to be released.

I honestly haven't been reading as much as I should here lately, because I've gotten hooked on The Flash and have been mainlining episodes from season one and catching up on season two.