Here’s what arrived on my doorstep this past week:
So one of the reasons I’m late publishing last week’s roundup is because I spent Saturday chatting with Nichols in anticipation of her upcoming novel (not this one). Now That You’re Here follows Danny, a teenage tagger from a dystopian Phoenix who somehow jumps to our universe. Here he meets Eevee, a girl he recognizes from his universe, but doesn’t know really know him in ours. He also finds that his parents are dead and his old friends are all his enemies. Will he get home to his Phoenix, or does he even want to? Available Now.
The sequel to Now That You’re Here takes place in Danny’s mirror universe. We get to find out how our-universe Danny is coping with the dystopian reality of the other Phoenix. What happens with the other Eevee? How will Danny’s parents react to this stranger in their midst? Will he get home? A clever idea for a sequel, and as I’ve said before, it’s fun to read about places I know. A lot of Now That You’re Here was immediately recognizable, turns out I went to high school with Nichols, so I’m looking forward to see how the Northwest Valley is transformed into a dystopian nightmare with a beach. Available Aug. 4.
Flagstaff writer Aslan is part of the same story as Nichols, so I got to chat with him today. His YA duology follows Leilani, an epileptic, 16-year-old half-Hawaiian girl from the Big Island who becomes trapped on Oahu when a mysterious cosmic cloud appears and communications from the mainland fail. Leilani and her father must make the harrowing journey from Honolulu to Hilo as civilization breaks down. Think of it as The Road with less nihilism and cannibalism. Available Now.
Spoiler alert! The sequel to Islands at the End of the World finds Leilani home with her family in Hilo as society starts to rebuild itself, but new conflicts arise as the world reverts to a technology-less paradigm and Leilani discovers more about her strange connection to the cosmic cloud over the planet. And for those in the Valley, Aslan and Nichols are having a joint release party at Changing Hands Phoenix on Aug. 8. Available Aug. 4.
My current big freelance coup is interviewing Day. I’m psyched and a little intimidated, especially after glancing through this memoir. The geek icon behind The Guild has a helluva biography and she shares her stories with trademark wit. And for Phoenix fans, she will be at Changing Hands Tempe on Aug. 17. Available Aug. 11.
The following eARCs were also approved:
More Wendig! In preparation for his new YA “Heartland” novel, The Harvest, his publisher approved me for the first in the series. Wendig describes the series as Of Mice and Men meets Star Wars, this dystopian novel follows a group of teenage scavengers trying to survive in a world where GMO corn is king, controlled by the Empyrean sky flotillas.Available Now.
And this is the finale to the “Heartland” trilogy the flotillas have been brought down, but the battle still rages as the Empyrean commands giant mechanicals across the Heartland. Cael leads his friends in a final battle against the Empyrean to save their Heartland home. And with all this YA piling up, I think I need to make a weekly YA review feature. So keep an eye out in the coming weeks for a special YA feature.Available Now.
And finally we have Jason M. Hough’s latest, the much hyped Zero World. Hough gained attention with his “Dire Earth” trilogy, which was published in rapid succession in 2013. Zero World is a techno thriller set in a time-bending future. It follows Peter Caswell, a spy sent to find a missing crewman from a spaceship that vanished through a tear in the space-time continuum. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for an interview with Hough about this thriller. Available Aug. 18.
Check back in the coming weeks for reviews of all of these.