B = battle, attack, Ninth City Burning, by J. Patrick Black (book review)

book cover of Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black published by Ace  | recommended on BooksYALove.comAlien war never ending,
Youth who must master their powers.
Humanity’s future is at stake!

Ninth City Burning is great sci-fi with a magic twist, a big book that reads fast, as its many young characters take turns telling how they can use the aliens’ ‘thelemity’ power against them, find ways to work around centuries of military regulations, and scramble to shift the odds of humankind surviving to fight another day.

Be sure to read the first chapter by young cadet Jax at the publisher’s website here – this is not a drill…


Book info: Ninth City Burning / J. Patrick Black. Ace, 2016. [author site]  [publisher site]  [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Five centuries of predictable alien attacks, then changes. Cities turn thelemity against the aliens through the few who can control it. Country folk don’t even know that Earth is at war for its existence. And then…

Told in many voices – reluctant hero cadet Jax of Ninth City, traveler Naomi missing her musical family, overconfident problem-solver Kizabel, and more – this future filled with powerful choices, harnessing power, and the power of lies is a satisfyingly complex tale of aliens, near-magic, war, loyalty, love, and family ties.

Memory Girl, by Linda Joy Singleton (fiction) – can she stay herself?

book cover of Memory Girl by Linda Joy Singleton published by CBAY Books  | recommended on BooksYALove.comLife is too interesting to follow every rule.
Why must she be just a vessel for others’ memories?
Why can’t Jennza remain herself?

Centuries after a mind-virus wiped out humanity, only ShareHaven island research station remains, where no one ever dies. Each 25 years, carefully stored memories of Lost Ones are implanted into youth as lucky Families choose, their specific talents once again in this small world.

But Jennza wants to remember her explorations of the forbidden seashore and its amazing creatures, not have her 15 years of life overrun by decades of someone else’s memories through memdenity. Perhaps scientist Lila is hinting that this is possible. Maybe that’s how Nate survives outside the Fence…

What memories would you keep, above all others?

Book info: Memory Girl / Linda Joy Singleton. CBAY Books, 2016. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: No one dies on ShareHaven in the centuries after mind-virus, but if 15 year old Jennza wants to be more than just a body for someone else’s life-memories, her time is running out.

When she’s Chosen by a Family known for practical hard work, Jennza knows she’ll miss sneaking over the safety fence to the sea cave creatures and mysterious boy Nate, as her own memories will be submerged by the memdenity of a Lost One whose skills are now needed.

Murder strikes their island stronghold, Jennza spots Nate inside ShareHaven, and someone else sees her secret.

How can Nate live outside the Fence where terrible beasts prowl the night?
Who is helping Jennza try to contact Nate?
Why does Daisy in her new Family hate the Milly whose memories Jennza will receive?

This future tale brings a few twists into the carefully ordered world that Jennza and her 14 born-mates must navigate as old minds that lived centuries ago are put into their young bodies.

Huck, by Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque (book review) – strong, brave, good…and hunted

book cover of Huck by Mark Millar, art by Rafael Albuquerque published by Image Comics | recommended on BooksYALove.comOrphan makes good,
loved by town,
hunted by desperate evil!

With super-human strength, unbelievable speed, and the ability to find anything or anyone, Huck is a quiet, unassuming man who is loved and shielded by his small town – until a new neighbor alerts the media!

Now sought out by those missing loved ones and pets, he’s also on the radar of an evil Russian scientist… who’s been searching for his ability a very, very long time.

Just on sale this week, if you don’t see Huck at your local library, ask for it at an independent bookstore or comic book shop.

A charming and humble superhero who does #onegooddeed daily, just as they taught him at the orphanage – join him in that challenge to fill the world with kindness, won’t you?

Book info: Huck / Mike Millar, art by Rafael Albuquerque. Image Comics, 2016. [author site]  [artist site] [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: His superpower is being able to find anything or anyone, but Huck stays humble and helpful, doing a good deed every day in his small seaside town.

When a newcomer blows the protective anonymity that his neighbors have built around the young man since he was found at the orphanage as a baby, the gas station attendant is inundated with requests to find missing persons (and dogs).

While on these missions (with super-human strength), Huck also finds the brother he never knew! Tom knows their mother’s name and that enough for Huck to be able to find her – if the evil Russian scientist’s bad guys don’t get them all first…

Chrononauts, by Mark Millar and Sean Gordon Murphy (book review) – time travel with swagger

book cover of Chrononauts by Mark Millar and Sean Murphy published by Image ComicsTime-travel suits (with longlife batteries),
Science-genius buddies (with a wild streak),
Televised first time jump (with non-scientist commentator),
What could possibly go wrong?

Traveling back in time to film the world’s most important events as they happen, a jump goes wrong so Danny heads to ancient Samarkand to rescue Corbin, only to encounter an armored motor defense!

These best friends are making the most of time with attitude to spare, even if time-hopping to outsmart Roaring 20s gangsters and attend epic concerts wasn’t in their backers’ business plan. Now, if they could just fix what went wrong in their personal and family lives before they began time-tripping…

Ask for this September release at your local library or independent bookstore – because today is National Comic Book Day! No surprise that this mile-a-minute adventure has already been optioned for a movie deal.

So, if you had a time travel suit, where would you go?

Book info: Chrononauts / Mark Millar; art by Sean Murphy. Image Comics, 2015.  [author site]   [artist site]   [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Their time-travel suits can take them back to film important world events, but two science genius buddies find it impossible to remain mere bystanders in history.

Corbin’s marriage and family both lost out to his obsession with inventing the chronosuits, while Danny’s womanizing leaves few who’ll weep if he doesn’t make it back from time-traveling.

Transmitting live video of landmark historical events proves the chronosuits’ worth so when Corbin’s signal is lost, his best friend jumps back to rescue him in 11th century Samarkand, right into a skirmish between motorized forces!

Without the cameras on them, Drs. Quinn and Reilly have some fun with places and persons, knowing that they can time-walk away when the going gets rough. But they have left behind family issues – and bosses waiting for marketable history footage – in their own present-day.

Will these smart guys use their time-suits to repair the broken relationships in their personal pasts or get greedy helping themselves to the riches and experiences of every civilization before now?

Wait, what about the consequences of changing history – for everyone stuck in the present!?

The first four issues of the epic webcomic are published together now to give the full arc of this time-hopping buddy adventure in a single volume.

Scorpion Rules, by Erin Bow (book review) – hostages for peace or pawns in greater game?

book cover of The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow published by Margaret McElderry Books | BooksYALove.comTo keep the peace,
no price is too high –
if children are the hostages.

Four hundred years from now, the artificial intelligence Talis ensures world peace by holding rulers’ heirs as hostages – attack another country for its water, and your heir is executed on the spot.

A new alliance brings a new boy to the remote Canadian prairie where princess Greta has spent a decade lived for years as schoolchild hostage, and he doesn’t plan on staying there quietly…

Happy book birthday to The Scorpion Rules  – fittingly, yesterday (21 Sept.) was International Peace Day.

Erin Bow also wrote mystical Plain Kate (my no-spoilers review here), and her tale-spinning of a former time works well in this too-possible future narrative.

A bitter and breathtaking view of world peace at great cost.

Book info: The Scorpion Rules / Erin Bow. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2015. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Hostage princess Greta prays that her country stays at peace so she stays alive, but a new Child of Peace is ready to gamble away his life in this water-poor future where omniscient AI Talis holds all the cards.

Humanity can no longer wage war from a distance, 400 years after nearly nuking itself extinct, as Talis holds rulers’ heirs hostage throughout childhood, executing any whose home country attacks another.

Yet newly arrived teen Elian doesn’t care to follow Talis’ strict rules, and Greta gradually begins to question the generations-old method of peacekeeping too.

She’s spent years at this remote Canadian location with other royal youth, learning from AI tutors and working to raise their own food – how can Elian become part of their group so quickly?

Her roommate and first love Xie counsels patience as Elian’s foolish remarks (and threats to Talis) earn him terrible scorpion shocks from their proctors and raise new feelings in Greta.

Surely Greta will survive these last few months until her 18th birthday and return to the palace in Halifax – unless the new confederacy that sent Elian as hostage is a threat to her mother’s kingdom…

Elian’s favorite historical person is Spartacus, Talis decides to communicate directly with Greta, and long-quiet concerns suddenly flare to life – nothing for the Children of Peace will never be the same.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on

Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Sam Maggs (book review) – cosplay, conventions, geek girl heaven!

book cover of Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs published by Quirk BooksStar Trek or Star Wars?
Which Doctor?
Fanfic – yea or nay?

Fangirls of the world, unite!

Stake your claim in the imagined/future/fictional universe of your choice, and find friends online and in-person to share the fun.

Happy book birthday to The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy!

Which fanship(s) do you identify with most?

Book info: The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: a Handbook for Girl Geeks / Sam Maggs. Quirk Books, 2015.  [author tumblr]  [publisher site]  [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Geeking out about your favorite sci-fi series or superhero comics is even more fun when you get together with other fangirls – online or in person. But where to begin?

Whether it’s gaming or anime, sci-fi or fantasy, Star Trek or Star Wars, you can find other fangirls who share your enthusiasms. Check out all the interviews with women writers and artists who share their advice on living the geek girl life (yep, many began by writing fanfic and drawing fanart).

From staying safe, hydrated and blister-free at conventions to locating online fangirl communities and staying clear of trolls, Sam Maggs tells you all the hows, wheres, and whens in this super guide.

Busting myths about feminism, girl gamers, and cosplay etiquette? Indeed!
Helping others be proud of the stories and characters they love? Awesome!
Discovering new female characters in comics, video, games, and books? The best!

Hone your reviewing skills, find resources for the best cosplay outfit ever, or get tips for amazing theme parties – YA book nerds, Whedonites, Otaku – The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is for you! (One of 6,000 books recommended on

William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace, by Ian Doertcher (book review) – May the Force be with thee!

book cover of William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace by Ian Doescher published by Quirk BooksKnights Jedi guard while evil Sith draw near,
Out in that “galaxy – far, far away.”
As beings fight for homeworld held so dear
Can heroes rise ‘gainst Federation’s sway?

Villains squeeze the planet of Naboo,
Whose patriots do try, do fight, do die.
When Gungan Jar-Jar offers his aid, too,
Queen Amidala finds a strong ally.

Seek out this so-readable retelling of Star Wars: Episode One at your local library or independent bookstore – ’twas published mere weeks ago.

Why speak just now of this most-worthy tome,
Why note it not upon its natal day?
Mark well today’s harmonious date, kind one,
And may the Force be with us all, I pray!

post scriptum – Verily I say, forthcoming and much-anticipated are part two The Clone Army Attacketh  in July 2015 and part three Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge  in September 2015.

post-post scriptum – Mine thoughts on earlier-released parts of this series? Look ye here: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars  (part 4), The Empire Striketh Back  (part 5), and The Jedi Doth Return  (part 6).

Book info: William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace (Star Wars, Part the First) / Ian Doescher. Quirk Books, 2015.   [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: In the very style of Shakespeare comes this peril-laden tale of Star Wars’ early days as The Phantom of Menace  relays the fall of the Republic, the rise of Anakin, and much swordplay, speeder racing, and treachery.

R2-D2’s bleeps and boops become clear through the droid’s asides, and finally, Jar-Jar Binks’ pidgin and pratfalls are nearly tolerable, as Doescher reveals Jar-Jar’s hidden political agenda of uniting Naboo’s humans and Gungans, using trenchant inner dialogue:

“Such thoughts as these were reprehensible
To all the bosses; thus my banishment.
Yet this is not the story I’ll relate.
[to Obi-Wan:] O issa longa tale you seeuh” (p. 31)

The young queen’s masquerade as her own maid, the fortuitious finding of Anakin Skywalker and arguments among the Jedi about training him (Yoda speaks in haiku), romance cut short, and enemies growing stronger – it’s all here.

While awaiting the newest Star Wars movie, refresh your memories of the history leading to it – The Phantom of Menace  will soon be followed by The Clone Army Attacketh  (part 2) and Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge  (part 3), while William Shakespeare’s Star Wars  (part 4), The Empire Striketh Back  (part 5), and The Jedi Doth Return  (part 6) are available now.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on

In the multiverse, A Thousand Pieces of You seeking me; by Claudia Gray (book review)

book cover of A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray published by HarperTeenEach choice you make creates a fork in time,
a new path in the multiverse through history –
Which dimension holds Meg’s happiness? Read more about this new book

Somewhat scary & completely wonderful: spooky season books pair #1

Y’all know that I cannot read horror books; my imagination is just too good and needs no super-terrifying prompts.

I can take on scary tales in measured doses and do love mysteries, of course..

So as we count down the days till Hallowe’en, check out BooksYALove favorites to get you ghoul and ready for some frights! Today’ pair, future based on past inequities and past predicting the future: Click for today’s titles

Red Rising, by Pierce Brown (book review) – class warfare on Mars, to the death!

book cover of Red Rising by Pierce Brown published by Del ReyDemokracy is a lie.
Mourning is forbidden.
Love adds fuel to vengeance!

Game of Thrones  meets Star Wars and Hunger Games on the Red Planet in this rock ’em, sock ’em story, as lowest-caste Darrow is completely remade so that he can win the ultimate competition among ruling class youth and free his family and friends from slavery in the mines of Mars.

Be sure to visit the publisher’s site and click More Inside to read the first chapters so you know how the injustices heaped upon the Reds for generations have forged Darrow into a weapon.


Book info: Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy #1) / Pierce Brown. Del Ray Spectra, 2014.  [author site]  [series site]   [publisher site]  [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: A quest for vengeance drives Darrow to escape slavery in Mars’ mines and beat the Gold overlords at their own game as they fight to the death for power.

Deep in its hellish mines, Reds have slaved for decades so the Martian surface can become habitable, little knowing that the Red Planet is already a world of luxury.

When his young wife is executed for singing the forbidden death dirge, 16 year old Darrow’s rage makes him a perfect target for the Sons of Ares, fellow Reds who’re willing to rebel against the ruling Golds – from the inside.

Darrow is remade – bones re-engineered to sustain maximum impact, brain retooled for intellectual superiority, reflexes honed to matchless fighting ferocity – and enters the Institute where young Golds compete to become supreme rulers in the Solar Systems where the “noble lie of demokracy” has been stamped out.

All the Reds will stay enslaved if he doesn’t survive this vicious months’ long war against teens of the various Institute houses battling for the choicest apprenticeships of power, truly battling to the death.

A master strategist, a true leader, a Red in Gold’s skin, Darrow intends to win at all costs and to change society from the top down to the helldivers’ mines in this first book of the Red Rising trilogy.