Hot Off the Proverbial Presses: March 18, 2014

The Course of True Love Cassandra ClareThe Course of True Love (And First Dates): The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood might fall in love—but first they have a first date. One of ten adventures in The Bane Chronicles.

When Magnus Bane, warlock, meets Alec Lightwood, Shadowhunter, sparks fly. And what happens on their first date lights a flame…

This standalone e-only short story illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality populates the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. This story in The Bane Chronicles, The Course of True Love (and First Dates), is written by Cassandra Clare.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: It’s the last short story in the Bane Chronicles featuring love interest Alec Lightwood! So really? What’s not to like?

William Shakespeares the Empire Striketh BackWilliam Shakespeare’s the Empire Striketh Back by  Ian Doescher

The saga that began with the interstellar best seller William Shakespeare’s Star Wars continues with this merry reimagining of George Lucas’s enduring classic The Empire Strikes Back.

Many a fortnight have passed since the destruction of the Death Star. Young Luke Skywalker and his friends have taken refuge on the ice planet of Hoth, where the evil Darth Vader has hatched a cold-blooded plan to capture them. Only with the help of a little green Jedi Master—and a swaggering rascal named Lando Calrissian—can our heroes escape the Empire’s wrath. And only then will Lord Vader learn how sharper than a tauntaun’s tooth it is to have a Jedi child.

What light through Yoda’s window breaks? Methinks you’ll find out in the pages of The Empire Striketh Back!

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: The hilarious continuation of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars takes on the second film in the series The Empire Strikes Back, although you know, with a Shakespearean title.

When We Wake Karen HealeyWhen We Wake by Karen Healey

Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027—she’s happiest when playing the guitar, she’s falling in love for the first time, and she’s joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice.

But on what should have been the best day of Tegan’s life, she dies—and wakes up a hundred years later, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.

The future isn’t all she had hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better world?

Award-winning author Karen Healey has created a haunting, cautionary tale of an inspiring protagonist living in a not-so-distant future that could easily be our own.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: This is probably the first young adult novel synopsis we’ve ever read where the main character is cryogenically frozen and wakes up in the future! And we must admit we’re intrigued.

Hyde Daniel LevineHyde by Daniel Levine

A reimagining of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from the monster’s perspective, Hyde makes a hero of a villain. As a bonus, Stevenson’s original novel is included at the back.

Mr. Hyde is hiding, trapped in Dr. Jekyll’s surgical cabinet, counting the hours until capture. As four days pass, he has the chance, finally, to tell the story of his brief, marvelous life.

We join Hyde, awakened after years of dormancy, in the mind he hesitantly shares with Jekyll. We spin with dizzy confusion as the potions take effect. We tromp through the dark streets of Victorian London. We watch Jekyll’s high-class life at a remove, blurred by a membrane of consciousness. We feel the horror of lost time, the helplessness of knowing we are responsible for the actions of a body not entirely our own.

Girls have gone missing. Someone has been killed. The evidence points to Mr. Hyde. Someone is framing him, terrorizing him with cryptic notes and whisper campaigns. Who can it be? Even if these crimes weren’t of his choosing, can they have been by his hand?

Though this classic has been often reinvented, no one ever imagined Hyde’s perspective, or that he could be heroic. Daniel Levine changes that. A mesmerizing gothic, Hyde tells the fascinating story of an underexamined villain.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Retellings of classic literature can be great, but when they’re told from the perspective of the villain they’re often even better. Also we really want to know what Edward Hyde has to say for himself.

The Riverman Aaron StarmerThe Riverman by Aaron Starmer

“To sell a book, you need a description on the back. So here’s mine: My name is Fiona Loomis. I was born on August 11, 1977. I am recording this message on the morning of October 13, 1989. Today I am thirteen years old. Not a day older. Not a day younger.”

Fiona Loomis is Alice, back from Wonderland. She is Lucy, returned from Narnia. She is Coraline, home from the Other World. She is the girl we read about in storybooks, but here’s the difference: She is real.

Twelve-year-old Alistair Cleary is her neighbor in a town where everyone knows each other. One afternoon, Fiona shows up at Alistair’s doorstep with a strange proposition. She wants him to write her biography. What begins as an odd vanity project gradually turns into a frightening glimpse into a clearly troubled mind. For Fiona tells Alistair a secret. In her basement there’s a gateway and it leads to the magical world of Aquavania, the place where stories are born. In Aquavania, there’s a creature called the Riverman and he’s stealing the souls of children. Fiona’s soul could be next.

Alistair has a choice. He can believe her, or he can believe something else…something even more terrifying.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: We may have already reviewed this fantastical exploration of stories as defense mechanisms HERE, wherein we explain why you should add this creepy yet fun story to your list of books to pick up.

 Time Travelers AlmanacThe Time Traveler’s Almanac [edited] by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer

The Time Traveler’s Almanac is the largest and most definitive collection of time travel stories ever assembled. Gathered into one volume by intrepid chrononauts and world-renowned anthologists Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, this book compiles more than a century’s worth of literary travels into the past and the future that will serve to reacquaint readers with beloved classics of the time travel genre and introduce them to thrilling contemporary innovations.

This marvelous volume includes nearly seventy journeys through time from authors such as Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, William Gibson, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, Michael Moorcock, H. G. Wells, and Connie Willis, as well as helpful non-fiction articles original to this volume (such as Charles Yu’s “Top Ten Tips For Time Travelers”).

In fact, this book is like a time machine of its very own, covering millions of years of Earth’s history from the age of the dinosaurs through to strange and fascinating futures, spanning the ages from the beginning of time to its very end. The Time Traveler’s Almanac is the ultimate anthology for the time traveler in your life.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: It’s the most-definitive collection of time traveler stories in one place with some of the biggest names in the business! Douglas Adams! Ray Bradbury! Ursula K. Le Guin! H.G. Wells! Can we get a hells yes.

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