fantasy

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Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Post-apocalyptic zombie fiction at its finest - rich in story but not so gruesome that you have to rush to turn the page lest too much uggliness root in your brain. It all begins 14 years after the rise of the dead. Benny was very young when his parents turned and he has always blamed his significanly older brother Tom for running away from them. Tom is now a bounty hunter, or as he prefers to refer to his occupation, a closure specialist.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This fantastic flight into high fantasy starts out very grounded. Karou is a young art student in Prague. She draws wonderful pictures of beautiful, monstrous creatures. She recently broke up with her boyfriend, Kaz, a goth who leads campy vampire tours. What starts as the thinnest plot line - her attraction to a too-perfect soldier/angel develops into a rich story of good, evil, life, death, rebirth, love, and family. Well written with plenty of action to keep the pages turning, this beginning of a trilogy will make you hungry for more.

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

She could feel it worming its way up her throat, choking her, scraping her esophagus, digging relentless into her uvula. Athena pushed back her gag reflex, reached into her mouth and yanked the bloody feather out. Surveying it with narrowed grey eyes, she knew that another feather would soon grow past the open sore in her throat. They were filling her lungs – these feathers – and they would suffocate her one day. The reign of the gods had ended, but she never expected that they would all begin to die, each in their own way.

Crown of Midnight by Kristin Cashore

The glass castle has many more secrets steeped in its transparent walls. When Celaena Sardothien emerged victorious as the King’s Champion and new royal assassin from the previous book’s competition, she never imagined her life would be as dismal as the slave mines at Endovier. Forced to kill rebel leaders, Celaena offers them a deal – either die at her blade or fake their death and flee the country. In her small acts of rebellion, she uncovers a larger plot to overthrow the king.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

In the land of the seven kingdoms, a person born with two different colored eyes possesses a unique ability, from speaking with animals to manipulating fire. Katsa is blessedly cursed with the Grace of killing and she serves her uncle as the royal assassin. On an ambassador visit, she meets Prince Po from the neighboring kingdom.

East by Edith Pattou

Beauty and the Beast taken up a few lines of latitude in a sweet retelling of the classic story, mixed with elements of Bluebeard’s tale. Rose is a loved member of her small family, especially dear to her ailing father. In return for medicine and supplies for her family, Rose agrees to follow an enormous polar bear king straight from her childhood stories to his castle in the north. She grows affectionate for the bear who keeps her company during the day, and curious for the stranger who rests at the foot of her bed every night.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Aria’s world is a safe, synthetic cocoon protecting her from the horrors of a storm-ravaged ravaged earth. But when the Reverie Dome begins to tremble and break down, Aria is cast out of her haven and into the unwilling arms of Peregrine, an outsider who is searching for his kidnapped nephew.

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Centuries after Edgar Allan Poe died of mysterious circumstances, Varen Nethers picks up an old notebook and begins to write. His words spin the diaphanous dreams of a lonely boy, isolated and achingly vulnerable to the devil’s whispers. Soon enmeshed into a net he can no longer untangle, Varen struggles to keep demon Lilith at bay and away from Isobel, a girl that has come too close to the truth… and too close to him.

Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Ash Fisher lives without a heart, literally. He simply doesn’t need one – the symbiotic bacteria in his blood exchange gases with the environment and perform circulation all on their own. They also charge his hair with electricity and fill the poison sacs behind his fangs – which are both perks of being a half-Darkling. In a post-apocalyptic world, Darklings and humans war for blood and money, kept separate by a nearly useless wall.

Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien

Gaia has ninety minutes to take the newborn child from his mother. Fifteen minutes to make tea to calm the mother. Ten minutes to mark four freckles on the baby’s ankle – a tribute to her lost brothers. Five minutes to explain how her baby would be advanced to a better life inside the Enclave as part of every midwife’s monthly quota – three tributes sent inside the wall. Thirty minutes to deliver the baby, with half an hour left to spare.

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