Saturday, 6 December 2014

On My Radar: Upcoming December Releases

   I bow my head in shame as I write this post SEVEN days after the start of December. I'm usually on top of my Radar Reads, but I've been so busy these past few weeks--pathetic, clichèd excuse, I know-- that it completely slipped my mind. I was off on film productions for the last two weeks, and have barely been home long enough to take a shower and sleep, so sitting down and writing a lengthy blog post was out of the question. But the films have wrapped, and because I love doing this blog and I love my followers, and because I've hunkered down waiting for this typhoon to pass (guys, do send a prayer up for the Philippines--we're in the eye of yet another supertyphoon, barely a year after the last one), I'm finally writing my December Radar Reads.

   Breaking one of my usual rules and including sequels this time, because December for YA wasn't much better than November: not a lot of new books up my alley. But one thing this month had going? Cover art. The 10 books on this list have some of the most gorgeous covers I've seen!

Ticker by Lisa Mantchev (December 1)

   Lisa Mantchev is an amazing writer with a wild, creative imagination whose books are unlike any I've ever read. Her Théâtre Illuminata books which were part Shakespeare-inspired, part Disney on steroids is still the most inventive series I've come across. Her upcoming steampunk novel, Ticker, sounds just as exciting: our heroine has a clockwork heart and goes on an adventure to find her parents. Along for the ride is her brother and a whole slew of other interesting characters who I can't wait to learn more about. 

What I'm excited for: Getting to know that ensemble cast.

Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich (December 4)

   Ever since all the post-Hunger Games dystopian series finished up (Legend, Divergent, The Darkest Minds, The Chemical Garden books, etc), I've been looking for a book to fill the Panem-sized hole in my heart. Rite of Rejection sounds like it could be a worthy successor. From what I gather, there's that atypical dystopian Test That All Youths Must Take To Earn A Place In Society, but our heroine fails completely and goes to prison. She then hatches a plan for a prison break. 

What I'm excited for: The prison setting, because we haven't really had one in a dystopian novel before. It'll be an interesting world to discover.

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes (December 9)
   The first sequel to ever make it on my Radar Reads, Gathering Darkness is the third novel in the Falling Kingdoms series. Falling Kingdoms is YA's answer to Game of Thrones, i.e., not only is it high fantasy, it also contains ~*incest*~ (incest in YA, ooh how controversial). Well, that and author Morgan Rhodes has been killing characters six ways to Sunday since the first book. To be honest, I want to read the third book just to see how many more main characters' lives she can end.

What I'm excited for: Seeing Lucia fully step into her destiny. And let's face it, all the inevitable deaths.

Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay (December 9)
   All hail Stacey Jay, author of what is possibly the best fairytale retelling of all time, Of Beast and Beauty. She's back with another one, this time rewriting Sleeping Beauty's tale. I featured this book on a Waiting on Wednesday post ages ago, and I'll just reiterate here what sold me on the book before: Goodreads has called this book "Game of Thrones meets Grimms' fairytales". If that line doesn't make you wish December 9 would come sooner, then I don't know what's wrong with you and we can't be friends. 

Jk, this time last year I hated Game of Thrones too.

What I'm excited for: Just. Everything. I just want this book in my hands right now.

Zodiac by Romina Russell (December 9)

   Unfortunately this is not a novel about the Zodiac Killer. Fortunately, it is a space opera. The summary on Goodreads is a bit hard to swallow, but from what I gather, each planet is a zodiac sign (House Cancer is where our protagonist belongs to) and massacres are occurring on each one. Rhoma Grace (What. A. Name.) strives to solve this whodunit of literally, galactic proportions. It sounds trippy and epic and just my cup of tea.

I'm excited for: What kind of sci-fi worldbuilding this book will have. I also can't wait to see House Leo, personally. Leos represent!

Under My Skin by Shawntelle Madison (December 9)

   Here we have another example of the Test That All Youths Must Take To Earn A Place In Society trope. This time, our heroine, Tate Sullivan, passes and now has a Big Bad (his name is General Dagon, how can you get more Big Bad than that?) trying to place her under some sort of mind control...? I don't get it either. But there's a love interest who seems like he's not one of those sassy bad boys who instigate a love-hate relationship, so at least that part of the story seems to stray away from clichès. 

I'm excited for: le mind control scenes and how the author will play it out.

Suspicion by Alexandra Monir (December 9)

   Let's take a minute to appreciate that gorgeous cover art. Sigh. Suspicion takes place in England and New York. An old estate is involved. That's all it really takes to pique my interest: just give me murders and old houses and I'm a happy reader. Oh, and the love interest is named Sebastian Stanhope. For those who don't know, there is a Sebastian Stan who exists in real life, and he is God's gift to women everywhere. Raise your hands if you'll totally be imagining him as Mr. Stanhope.

What I'm excited for: le murder mystery angle.

Lumière by Jacqueline E. Garlick (December 15)

   Another steampunk novel on our list, with yet another heroine suffering from a disorder. This time, she suffers from seizures, which will be interesting to read about. I feel like my reading repertoire lacks a bit in the steampunk genre, so this book'll be good for me. But let's talk names. Our heroine is named Eyelet Elsworth. And her love interest is named--brace yourselves--Urlick Babbit. I can just imagine the dialogue:

"I love you, Urlick."
"I love you too, Eyelet."

*rolls around the floor in a fit of giggles*

What I'm excited for: for aforementioned dialogue to take place. Seriously though, I want to see how the author will incorporate the protag's seizures into the story and just how big a part it'll play. I love these imperfect heroines: give me your one-eyed, your seizure-racked, your mentally ill.

Across The Ages by Rashelle Workman (December 21)

   This book turns the typical "modern girl gets teleported to ye olde medieval/Victorian times" plot on its head and instead transports ye olde Victorian girl into our times. This was actually a story I had played around with as an aspiring writer (in my desperation to save the Romanovs, I toyed with writing a book about them time-travelling to the 21st century to avoide the Bolshies. I might still work on that someday, so COPYRIGHT SALVE), and I've always loved the idea of people from two different time periods falling in love.

What I'm excited for: The falling in love bit. I know. Coming from my ice-cold heart, what a surprise.

Lifer by Beck Nicholas (December 16)

   December seems to be a good month for space operas. Like Zodiac, the plot of Lifer seems a bit convoluted, but in a good way. Its blurb says it's "Bourne Identity meets Under The Never Sky" and while I'm not a fan of either, it's enough to make me curious. But that cover, though. Across the Universe rip-off much?

What I'm excited for: Worldbuilding, natch.

That's it for my December Radar Reads! Again, I'm so sorry that this post was late, but I hope you enjoyed reading it! Sending holiday vibes your way!


credits: Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Google, Pinterest. Clearly I had to dig through the annals of the internet to find ten books.

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