Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Series: Tempest, His Fair Assassins, Under the Never Sky

There are lots of series sequels available for summer reading: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium), Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Divergent) and Out of Sight, Out of Time by Allie Carter (Gallagher Girl series) to name a few.  However, they already have faithful audiences, so I thought I would suggest three new series by promising young authors. Tempest by Julie Cross is the first in a time travel trilogy. Grave Mercy by Robin LeFevers introduces a group of young women who serve as assassins for the God of Death. Finally, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi is a dystopian thriller that is sure to appeal to fans of The Hunger Games.

 Tempest opens with 19-year-old Jackson Meyer stating, "Okay, so it’s true. I can time travel. But it’s not as exciting as it sounds." Jackson  can “jump” back and forth in time and at first it's just harmless fun. But when his girlfriend is murdered, he and his best friend try to figure out how he can go back in time and prevent her death. There he encounters the “Enemies of Time” who will stop at nothing to recruit him for their evil purposes. As Jackson learns to harness his abilities, he travels farther back in time and begins to learn the truth about who he is and who he can trust. Although time travel is a tricky subject and there are many varied opinions about this book in the blogosphere, I think it's a real page-turner that will have many YA fans.

Grave Mercy, the first book in the His Fair Assassins trilogy, introduces seventeen-year-old Ismae who escapes her abusive father and an arranged marriage, finding sanctuary at the Convent of St. Mortain.  There she discovers she has special powers and is to serve as an assassin for the God of Death.  In her first assignment Ismae must protect the Duchess of Brittany and kill the traitor in her court. Set in medieval France with historically accurate details, Grave Mercy combines political intrigue with romance and mystery. That each book in the series focuses on a different assassin allows for a very satisfying ending. Dark Triumph, whose main character Sybella is a minor character in Grave Mercy, is due out in 2013 and Dark Hope in 2014.

In Under the Never Sky the author weaves a world of Dwellers, who live in Reverie, a sheltered environment where all experiences are virtual, and Outsiders, who live in the outer wasteland know as The Death Shop.  When Aria and her Dweller friends escape Reverie for an adventure, they are greeted by cannibals and violent electrified energy storms. Aria is rescued by Perry, a savage hunter for his tribe, and her polar opposite. She, at first, longs to return to Reverie, but he needs her help to rescue his nephew, who has been abducted and taken to Reverie. As she learns the truth about this strange world they inhabit, she begins to wonder where she really belongs.The VOYA review says "The interwoven narratives of both male and female protagonists offer broad appeal. Already selling in more than twenty countries and with film rights optioned by Warner Bros. Entertainment, Rossi’s first novel has the potential to be a blockbuster."