This week’s book under spotlight is The Shadow Kingdom by C.J. Inkson.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
Elliot West stands vigil as Watchman, on the lookout for signs the Shadow Curse may be spreading across the Barrier Strait to her small northern isle. But in all the centuries since the curse was cast, no one, including Eli, has seen a thing, and even she is beginning to wonder if it’s all some grand hoax. That is, until she’s ambushed by the Lojkin, a warrior clan from the Shadow Kingdom who believe drinking the blood of someone with color will restore their own- stolen generations ago by the Curse.
Against her will, Eli is taken across the sea to the cursed Shadow Kingdom, waiting to be slaughtered as a sacrifice to foreign gods. Just when it seems her death is imminent, a young man with shifting tattoos and a questionable motive, helps her escape, setting them on a dangerous path through strange lands in an attempt to get home.
One teen’s summer job scaring tourists with ghost stories takes a terrifying turn when he accidentally summons the spirit of a dead girl–and she has demands. . . .
The award-winning author of Airborn delivers a roller-coaster ride of a story about the wakeful and wicked dead.
Rebecca Strand was just sixteen when she and her father fell to their deaths from the top of the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse in 1839. Just how they fell–or were they pushed?–remains a mystery. And their ghosts haunt the lighthouse to this day. . . .
Gabe tells this story every day when he gives the ghost tour on Toronto Island. He tries to make it scary enough to satisfy the tourists, but he doesn’t actually believe in ghosts–until he finds himself face to face with Rebecca Strand.
The true story of her death is far more terrifying than any ghost tale Gabe has told. Rebecca reveals that her father was a member of the Order, a secret society devoted to protecting the world from “the wakeful and wicked dead”–malevolent spirits like Viker, the ghost responsible for their deaths. But the Order has disappeared, and Viker’s ghost is growing ever stronger.
Now Gabe and his friends must find a way to stop Viker before they all become lost souls. . . .
She grew up battling the monsters that live in the black seas, but it couldn’t prepare her to face the cunning cruelty of the ruling elite.
Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Fable, this South Asian-inspired fantasy is a gripping debut about the power of the elite, the price of glory, and one girl’s chance to change it all.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
Sixteen-year-old Koral and her older brother Emrik risk their lives each day to capture the monstrous maristags that live in the black seas around their island. They have to, or else their family will starve.
In an oceanic world swarming with vicious beasts, the Landers—the ruling elite, have indentured Koral’s family to provide the maristags for the Glory Race, a deadly chariot tournament reserved for the upper class. The winning contender receives gold and glory. The others—if they’re lucky—survive.
When the last maristag of the year escapes and Koral has no new maristag to sell, her family’s financial situation takes a turn for the worse and they can’t afford medicine for her chronically ill little sister. Koral’s only choice is to do what no one in the world has ever dared: cheat her way into the Glory Race.
But every step of the way is unpredictable as Koral races against contenders who have trained for this their whole lives and who have no intention of letting a low-caste girl steal their glory. When riots break out and rogues attack Koral to try and force her to drop out, she must choose—her life or her sister’s—before the whole island burns.
This week’s book under spotlight is Where the Woods End by Charlotte Salter.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
In a forest filled with treacherous beasts, the thing to be most afraid of is closer than you think in this middle grade horror fantasy.
Kestrel, a young huntress, lives in a seemingly endless forest crawling with dangerous beasts. But the most dangerous beasts of all are the Grabbers—beings that are born when you are and stalk you throughout your life, waiting for the perfect moment to snatch and eat you. No one has ever defeated their Grabber once attacked, and those that die from accidents or other creatures are considered “lucky.” Kestrel has been tasked by her mother, a powerful and controlling spell-caster, to hunt down the Grabbers in an effort to protect their village in the forest. Accompanied by Pippit, a hilariously bloodthirsty weasel, she hones her skills as she searches for a way out of the forest–and away from the judgmental villagers who despise her. But her own Grabber is creeping ever closer, and nothing in this forest is what it seems… including her mother’s true motivations.
A tale set amid the 1956 Hungarian revolution in post-WWII Communist Budapest.
In the middle of Budapest, there is a river. Csilla knows the river is magic. During WWII, the river kept her family safe when they needed it most–safe from the Holocaust. But that was before the Communists seized power. Before her parents were murdered by the Soviet police. Before Csilla knew things about her father’s legacy that she wishes she could forget.
Now Csilla keeps her head down, planning her escape from this country that has never loved her the way she loves it. But her carefully laid plans fall to pieces when her parents are unexpectedly, publicly exonerated. As the protests in other countries spur talk of a larger revolution in Hungary, Csilla must decide if she believes in the promise and magic of her deeply flawed country enough to risk her life to help save it, or if she should let it burn to the ground.
A supernatural exposé of a past system that still has a tight grip on contemporary Singapore and Malaysia. It’s August of 1931 in Singapore, sixteen-year-old Lim Mei Mei (Ah Mei) arrives at the home of Eminent Mister Lee on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Month. She has been sold to the family as a mui tsai, an indentured servant girl. At the Lee household, Lim Mei Mei’s life education begins. There she encounters the spirit of Ah Lian, a mui tsai, who paid the ultimate price for her mistake. Through Ah Lian, Ah Mei discovers the plight of mui tsai, who are both helpless and powerful, and uncovers a shameful secret lurking in the shadows in the Lee house. Ah Mei also meets and falls in love with Hassan Mohamed, an Indian-Muslim and an aspiring poet, breaking every clause in the rule book of love in 1930s British Malaya. She becomes Hassan’s Polar Star, and the young lovers must find a way to stay together. Through a twist of fate, Ah Mei finds a solution that will keep her and Hassan together, at the same time gaining agency that will secure her own future as an uneducated servant girl in British Malaya.