Pen’s life is all about secrets: the secret of the city’s spirits, deities and monsters her best friend Beth discovered, living just beyond the notice of modern Londoners; the secret of how she got the intricate scars that disfigure her so cruelly – and the most closely guarded secret of all: Parva, her mirror-sister, forged from her reflections in a school bathroom mirror. Pen’s reflected twin is the only girl who really understands her.
Then Parva is abducted and Pen makes a terrible bargain for the means to track her down. In London-Under-Glass looks are currency, and Pen’s scars make her a rare and valuable commodity. But some in the reflected city will do anything to keep Pen from the secret of what happened to the sister who shared her face.
Steph: This sounds so cool! It’s the second in a series, and it just sounds to thoughtfully and creatively plotted, I think I might reserve a copy of number 1 right now. I can’t put my finger on what has me more hooked. The cover is lovely though a little … standard? Nevertheless it is pretty, I’m kind of a sucker for scrawly (yet legible) fonts. I think I like the disfiguring scars as something beautiful, and I love the Through the Looking Glass logic that is happening. Yep, I want it 🙂
Yash: The cover isn’t particularly remarkable, but the title is interesting and the summary is too. I would pick this up at the library if I saw it. I do like the cityscape on the cover, I just wish that the font didn’t have quite as many things happening with it. I also get the symbolism of using those colours, but wow, it does make it look dull. So, yes. Cover isn’t my thing, but hey, summary sounds interesting.
Nafiza: I’m with Yash on this one. The colours are very dull. Surely there was a better way to reflect London-Under-Glass. I do like the font though but I think it, in addition to the cityscape, becomes a tad bit too much. The synopsis certainly grabbed my attention and like Steph, I will give the first book a try in the hopes that it will be immensely readable.
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.
Steph: Sounds epic! Again, number two in a series. The cover is very dramatic with the bird and the small cityscape and that darn beautiful font, but I’m not sure that it would catch my interest in a store because of my own annoyance with bird=female liberation in fiction. This one doesn’t seem to symbolize that … but I have yet to read the books. I am less enthusiastic about this one than the previous but it does sound gripping and good, and I love a story about magic. This goes in the “perhaps?” pile.
Yash: I. Can’t. Wait. I loved The Six of Crows, which already had a pretty remarkable cover (similar to this one in design, so yay for that; you’d think that’s how series work, similar covers, but nope–take nothing for granted in the YA book cover world) and design. Anyway, the last one ended on a pretty nerve-wracking and heart-breaking moment. I just need this in my life. I just need to know that my favourite criminals are doing well.
Nafiza: *stares at cover* This is how you do it, guys. THIS. The cover is elegant, classy, and entirely captivating. Though I haven’t read the first one yet, I have a copy of the ARC and Yash does love it (so does another of my friends, actually) and so yes, please.
On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?
Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.
Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuve, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive — or to destroy one another.
Steph: What can I say? I wasn’t the hugest fan of the writing in Divergent, for me it erred on the side of over-dramatic romance more often than not and the concept had some logic flaws that I just couldn’t read past. I know this one will be read by millions, so I’ll wait and see what the reviewers say before I delve into these pages.
Yash: The cover, though pretty, is also unremarkable. And honestly, I’m not sure the summary makes it sound like it’s my sort of thing. The ideas are interesting, but I need to know how well Roth executed them in her book before I pick it up. So, I’ll wait on reviews. This could turn into my Leigh Bardugo sort of thing–in that I didn’t bother with her first series, but fell madly in love with her second series.
Nafiza: The cover is super pretty and I like the shimmery bits. I don’t know if the synopsis is something that appeals to me. I’m sure it’ll be eminently readable but as Yash said, reviews first. Also, I wish the synopsis had stopped at just the first paragraph. It gave just enough and intrigued me and then the rest of the paragraphs happened.
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.
Steph: Nah. Too romance-y and obvious. I’ll be guessing the next steps the entire way and skipping over lovey-dovey “your awesome” paragraphs. Unless other reviewers rave that it is something totally unexpected, then I probably won’t read it…
Yash: IT’S A F/F ROMANCE?! WITH MAGIC! I AM SO IN! I don’t have enough fun fantasy books with lesbian characters. I’m hoping no one dies in this one. Also, yes, the cover isn’t my favourite, though the colour scheme is nice, I don’t love the “Of ____ and ____” trend happening. I mean, I don’t hate it. Just bored of it? Anyway, what I love the most on the cover are the characters. I wish they weren’t missing faces, but like, I love them anyway, because they are so rare.
Nafiza: I like the cover and I like that it is f/f, something we don’t see too often in fantasy especially. The reviews have been less than stellar though so I think I’ll wait for Yash’s thoughts before I commit.
The Danék is a wild, treacherous river, and the Fobisher family has tended it for generations—clearing it of ice and weed, making sure boats can get through, and fishing corpses from its bleak depths. Wulliam’s father, the current Riverkeep, is proud of this work. Wull dreads it. And in one week, when he comes of age, he will have to take over.
Then the unthinkable happens. While recovering a drowned man, Wull’s father is pulled under—and when he emerges, he is no longer himself. A dark spirit possesses him, devouring him from the inside. In an instant, Wull is Riverkeep. And he must care for his father, too.
When he hears that a cure for his father lurks in the belly of a great sea-dwelling beast known as the mormorach, he embarks on an epic journey down the river that his family has so long protected—but never explored. Along the way, he faces death in any number of ways, meets people and creatures touched by magic and madness and alchemy, and finds courage he never knew he possessed.
Steph: This cover totally reminds me of Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina covers, right? Anyway this – (Steph was abducted by aliens at this point! – Nafiza)
Yash: Funny. I was about to say that this reminded me of Kenneth Oppel’s new redesigned covers. The selection of blue and yellow and the sketch-y illustration type? Anyway, the cover doesn’t really appeal to me. Too … science lab … which I guess, should actually intrigue me, but it doesn’t. The summary is interesting (though I will probably wait for some early reviews), but I wish the cover had reflected some of that interestingness.
Nafiza: THIS IS BEAUTIFUL. Gosh. I love the art style and the synopsis speaks to me. I shall read this (eventually).
Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.
If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest
Yash: I do like this! I love the images of the three crowns and the way the title is spread out on the cover. I love the snakes on that last crown! This is a nice example of how covers don’t have to be elaborate in order to make a great first impression. Summary-wise, I am very, very interested. I like that it’s all about these sisters, who have been forced to compete, and I like that it’s all fantasy and politics. Sign me up!
Nafiza: I think it’s interesting that in the synopsis, Mirabella and Katharine’s powers are so definitely announced but with Arsinoe, the language takes on some ambiguity and she “is said” to have these powers, as in alleged to have them but without the surety that is present in the narration of the other two’s powers. I’m very intrigued but I think I will wait on Yash’s thoughts before I take the plunge.