Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy
War has finally come. But it’s not a war between good and evil, or light and dark – it’s a war between Sanctuaries. For too long, the Irish Sanctuary has teetered on the brink of world-ending disaster, and the other Sanctuaries around the world have had enough. Allies turn to enemies, friends turn to foes, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie must team up with the rest of the Dead Men if they’re going to have any chance at all of maintaining the balance of power and getting to the root of a vast conspiracy that has been years in the making. But while this war is only beginning, another war rages within Valkyrie herself. Her own dark side, the insanely powerful being known as Darquesse, is on the verge of rising to the surface. And if Valkyrie slips, even for a moment, then Darquesse will burn the world and everyone in it.
The Last Thirteen by James Phelan
I click my fingers and everybody dies.
Sam wakes from his nightmare to discover the terrifying reality. It will come true.
Kidnapped from school and finding out his parents aren’t who he thinks they are, Sam is suddenly running from danger at every turn. Nothing will ever be the same again.
With his life and identity shattered, Sam’s salvation is tied to an ancient prophecy. He is in the final battle to save the world, up against an enemy plotting to destroy us all.
He alone can find the last 13.
Are you one of them?
Lockwood and Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .
For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.
Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again…
More Than This by Patrick Ness
A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonising memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this..
Speed Freak by Fleur Beale
Archie Barrington, fifteen, is the third generation of his family to drive karts competitively. He’s good, and this is the year he and his dad have decided he’ll have a shot at the Challenge series of six races. If he comes out the winner overall then he wins the chance to race in Europe.However, he’s not the only good driver after the prize. Craig is his main rival, and Craig’s father is wealthy and prepared to spend whatever it takes to help his son win the Challenge.
Archie doesn’t let Craig worry him, but Silver Adams is another matter. She’s come back into karting after a two-year break and her ambition seems to be to drive her kart like a weapon of destruction to others on the track, Archie in particular.
His life isn’t the smoothest at home either, thanks to Dad’s new girlfriend Erica who, in Archie’s opinion, is ridiculously overprotective of her seven-year-old son Felix. Karting is the last thing in the world she intends for him to do. However, shy, reserved Felix is fascinated by the whole world of karts.
Archie and Craig dice all year – first Archie wins at a Challenge meeting, but next time Craig does. Archie must win the sixth and last meeting if he’s to win the series. All is going well until disaster strikes in the pre-final, when he’s pushed off the track and breaks an axle. That’s it. Craig will go to Europe but he won’t. Then Silver comes to the rescue unexpectedly and Archie is able to drive the race of his life.
Meeting Cezanne by Michael Morpurgo
When Yannick learns that he is to stay with his Aunt Mathilde in the South of France, he cannot believe his luck. If the paintings of his mother s beloved Cezanne are to be believed, surely Provence is paradise itself. So begins an idyllic month for the young boy: roaming the gentle hills and rolling valleys of Aix-en-Provence, daydreaming about his beautiful cousin Amandine; helping in his aunt and uncle s bustling village inn in the evenings; feeling that he has come to the most wonderful place in the world. Then one evening the idyll is spoilt when an important local comes for dinner and Yannick accidentally destroys a precious drawing the man leaves behind. He could never have imagined that his mother s hero, the world-famous Cezanne, would come to his inn, and sit at one of his tables! Yannick is devastated by what he has done, and resolves to make things right. But in so doing he makes a surprising discovery.
Just So Stories, illustrated by Robert Ingpen
“Once upon a time, O my Best Beloved …” So begins this classic collection of gloriously fanciful tales of how things in the world came to be as they are. Here is the story of how the lazy camel found himself with a hump and how the insatiable curiosity of the elephant earned him his long trunk. Of how the whale was given a throat, and why every rhinoceros has great folds in his skin and a very bad temper. Here too, we fi nd out about the cunning cat that walked by itself, and how clever little Taffy and her Daddy Tegumai made the fi rst alphabet. Rudyard Kipling first entertained his own children with these delightful, warm and humorous stories, which he later wrote down for publication in 1902. Conjuring up distant lands and exotic jungles, they are bewitching for both children and adults. In this sumptuous volume, which includes the often missing thirteenth story, “The Tabu Tale” (which Kipling added for the American edition in 1903). Kipling’s unforgettable cast of extraordinary animal characters is brought to life in stunning new illustrations by the award-winning illustrator Robert Ingpen.
Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline’s been at Gram’s bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape – both her family and the reality of Gram’s failing health. So when Caroline’s best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram’s side, or go to the party and live her life. The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline’s fate into two separate paths – and she’s about to live them both. Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending…
I’m really excited to be able to introduce you all to SmackFiction. SmackFiction is a brand-new mobile app, aimed at teens, that allows readers to discover upcoming novels, read free sample chapters, earn rewards and share what they’re reading with friends. You can add reviews or comments about the books on the app and tell others about what you’re reading on Facebook. It’s an awesome app for readers of all ages and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
You can download it for free from the AppStore or Google Play. Libraries and schools can sign up to receive information on the use of the app by library users and students, and you can also receive a promotion pack with bookmarks and posters.
For more information about SmackFiction read the media release below.
A new mobile app aimed at getting younger adults reading has been launched by Wellington-based SmackFiction. The app features sample chapters for readers to browse when they are commuting or waiting for class, as well as entertaining articles about authors and their creations. People can see what their friends have been reading, and status points are awarded to readers who explore new books and share comments with friends.
Early interest in SmackFiction has come from The New Zealand Book Council and Hutt City Libraries who see the app as a way to divert a mobile focussed generation away from games and onto reading. Authors are interested because they can participate on the app community, allowing them to have direct contact with their fans.
Public Libraries of New Zealand Chair Paula Murdoch says “SmackFiction is to be congratulated in offering readers a new choice in the way they read and the added appeal of connecting with others in an online community to share their love of a good book.”
SmackFiction is supported by HarperCollins New Zealand and many other leading New Zealand publishers who have provided content such as Gecko Press, Steampress Books, Huia and Victoria University Press. SmackFiction particularly celebrates Kiwi fiction, but has attracted interest (and content) from quality publishers in Canada, Australia and the US, who are watching the New Zealand pilot with interest.
The SmackFiction app can be downloaded from the Apple™ App Store by anyone with an iPhone or iPod Touch and a Facebook™ account. An Android™ version will be released shortly.
Libraries and schools will be able to get aggregated reporting on their reader activity by signing up at www.smackfiction.com.
How I Live Now was Meg Rosoff’s debut YA novel. I fell in love with Meg’s writing as soon as I started How I Live Now and I’ve read all of her books since then. Each one is incredibly unique and you never quite know what to expect when you pick up her next book.
How I Live Now is not due out until early 2014 in NZ but I can’t wait to see it.