The Weekly YA Roundup

07 Oct

How this works:

  1. From Amazon I download samples of YA fantasy new releases
  2. I then read them all (to a greater or lesser degree)
  3. Finally, I decide which (if any) I would actually want to buy.

Let’s take a look at what the week had to offer:

  • Cosmo & the Secret Spell by Gwenyth Rees: No sample available. Next!
  • Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld: The first line uses the phrase “On guard” when a fencing expert starts a practice match. And while, yes, that’s the English translation of “En garde” the latter is the official fencing term which an expert would know. It’s the little errors that ruin the suspension of disbelief. (Which reminds me, I’m going to have to get a boating person to read my current novel-in-edit before I release it into the wild.) Next!
  • Nightpool, The Ivory Lyre & The Dragonbards by Shirley Rosseau Murphy: The first book starts with a very distant description of someone swimming then climbing rocks. Not my style, so didn’t try the other two. Next!
  • iDrakula by Bekka Black: Cute conceit. It seems like it’s Dracula told in text messages and email messages. But I don’t like the Dracula story enough to want to read it in a new format.  Next!
  • Magician’s Muse by Linda Joy Singleton: First person narrative where the teenage girl protagonist tells me a whole bunch of things in the few few pages. I don’t want to be told things. I want to see them. Next!
  • The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers: This book could very well be excellent, but the first person narrator talks like Albert Finney/Ewan McGregor in Big Fish and while that works for me listening, I can stand reading it. Next!
  • The Blending Time by Michael Kinch: Dystopian society seen from the point of view of a teenager with a deadline of getting a job soon or ending up what seems like a indentured servant to the state. These types of novels need to grab me right away or I’m gone. This one didn’t.

In three weeks I’ve found one book that interests me enough to read. You might think that I go into these samples looking for reasons not to like them, but that’s not true at all. I want to like them all. Maybe I’ll have better luck next week.  There is a book I really want to read, but it’s not (yet?) available for the Kindle (pout!): Magic Below Stairs by Caroline Stevermer – who cowrote with Patricia C. Wrede one of my all-time favourite books: Sorcery & Cecilia.

What are you reading right now?


Posted by on October 7, 2010 in Book Reviews


2 responses to “The Weekly YA Roundup

  1. Erin

    October 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Having read several of Scott Westerfeld’s books, I urge you to give him another chance. Check out Leviathan, the book that came before Behemoth. (Kindle link:

    Not having received my (pre-ordered) copy of Behemoth yet (it’ll be shipped next week, when Riordan’s new book, The Lost Hero, also pre-ordered, is released), I can’t say whether the “on guard” error was something he did deliberately or an error (possibly introduced by someone else who worked on the book — I’ve seen some doozies in books I’ve proofed, and I imagine not every proofreader catches editing mistakes in content), but I can say if you can can get past it, you’ll probably enjoy the book.

    • Alex

      October 8, 2010 at 6:32 am

      @Erin – Okay, I’ll give the sample another go. If you like his books then I’ll give him a second chance. 😉


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