Friday, July 6, 2012

The Filth Licker, by Cristy Burne (fiction) - Japanese demons attack British school camp!

book cover of Filth Licker by Cristy Burne published by Frances Lincoln
A week at camp with school chums means bonfires,
ghost stories, silly pranks,
demon attacks?

Away from the protective pillar in her family's home back in Japan, Miku is accosted by yokai, unearthly spirits ranging from annoying to deadly. And away from London, with just a few teacher-chaperones, Miku's classmates will find more in the forest than normal foxes and badgers.

Cursed tofu and Shape Shifters, an amnesia attack on her best friend, sickle weasels and a yuki-onna - maybe the seventh graders should have stayed at school!

Grab the first Takeshita Demons  book (my recommendation here) at your local library or independent bookstore along with The Filth Licker  (#2). You ought to get Monster Matsuri  (#3) while you're there - you know that the demons will keep chasing Miku and her friends!

Hmmm...and perhaps you'd consider having a toad-shaped aka-na-me in your bathroom to slurp up mold and soap scum, right?

Book info: The Filth Licker (Takeshita Demons #2) / Cristy Burne; illustrated by Siku. Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2011.  [author's website] [publisher site

My Recommendation:  A week at camp should be great, but Miku senses demons lurking in the forest. Cait scoffs at her – until the ghost stories told by school friends around the bonfire start coming true!

Ever since Miku’s family moved from their ancestral Japanese home to London, evil spirits have targeted them. So the young teen brings protective charms to camp, along with all the stories and knowledge of the supernatural shared by her grandmother before they left for England.

Of course, nothing can keep Alex from calling her names or stop goofy Oscar from eating anything offered (eww, now he has a stinky black rash!). No one could predict that they’d find a red aka-na-me Filth Licker in the boys’ bathroom, or that its pet keukegen might innocently attract malicious ShapeShifters to camp.

When the campers’ round-robin ghost stories accidentally complete an ancient ritual, the woods become alive with evil spirits in animal bodies, trickster sprites rain down stinging sand from the trees, and Cait’s memory starts to blank out. And somehow, Alex stops teasing Miku and starts helping her track down the forest demons before they can get the rest of their friends.

Which animals will the demons use for their attack? Have the ShapeShifters already taken over any of the campers? Can Miku and friends turn back these evil forces before it’s too late?

Second in the Takeshita Demons’ series, The Filth Licker is followed by Monster Matsuri (#3) as Miku continues to face ancient evil Japanese spirits in a modern world.  (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

In Honor, by Jessi Kirby (fiction) - a last wish, a road trip, a journey of healing

Book cover of In Honor by Jessi Kirby published by Simon Schuster
Happy Fourth of July!

Remembering the freedoms that we cherish in the USA, the courage of the men and women who defend them, and the sacrifices made by their families while they're away from home.

Honor lost her parents while a toddler and now her only brother is coming home to Texas in a casket. Full military honors at a funeral can't ever replace his smile or his teasing or his plans for their futures.

Of course she must take the road trip to fulfill his last wish for her, even though she should be heading for the University of Texas (that's UT, Jessi) at that very moment.

Find Jessi's second novel at your local library or independent bookstore today and travel new highways with Honor as she and Rusty try to figure out a future that doesn't have Finn in it.

Book info: In Honor / Jessi Kirby. Simon & Schuster, 2012. [author's website]    [publisher site]  

My Recommendation:  Honor still can’t believe that her big brother Finn has been killed in Iraq. When his last letter arrives afterwards with special concert tickets, she heads off in his vintage Impala on a cross-country adventure with a few more twists than either could have planned.

Orphaned as young children, Finn and Honor were raised by Aunt Gina to do the right thing, so his enlistment as a Marine rather than taking a football scholarship wasn’t that surprising. Somehow, he and best buddy got crosswise during their senior year, and Rusty stopped coming over to help rebuild the ‘Pala.

Surprising when Rusty shows up for the funeral and won’t let Honor drive alone from Texas to California, along for the journey while she misses university orientation to carry out her brother’s last wish - to tell their favorite singer about him at her final concert.

Off across the dry flats of West Texas, into New Mexico and an improbable scuba dive to look at the stars, trying to get cool as they drive the unairconditioned Impala across the Arizona desert, car troubles cause an unscheduled stop in Sedona to get parts. As they drive and as they wait, there’s more than enough time for Rusty to tell Honor about his argument with Finn, but he seems determined not to talk about it.

Are they going to get to California in time for the concert? Can Honor get to the university before classes start? Can they start to imagine a world without her smiling big brother in it?

This journey In Honor  of the plans that Finn made for their future will linger in memory long after the final page is turned. (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Monday, July 2, 2012

I Hunt Killers, by Barry Lyga (fiction) - following Dad as a serial killer?

book cover I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga published by Little Brown
Dad taught him everything about hunting -
how to sharpen knives correctly,
how to choose the right victim,
how to kill a person without leaving any evidence behind.

Imagine the world's most notorious serial killer - as your dad.

Jazz knows how serial killers think and is determined to never be anything like his dad. But his nightmares continue, the sight of blood can trigger a flashback to being "on the job" with Dad as a kid... and a new killing spree has begun in his small town.

Barry Lyga skillfully takes readers into a killer's mind through vivid yet subtle writing which lingers in memory long after the book is closed. (If you're prone to nightmares, then I Hunt Killers is probably not for you!)

Grab the first 10 chapters and the prequel short story "Career Day" at Barry's website for free, then rush to find I Hunt Killers  at your local library or independent bookstore and pray that Jazz can find the killer before more bodies pile up...

Book info: I Hunt Killers / Barry Lyga. Little Brown, 2012.   [author's website]   [publisher site]   [book trailer]  

My Recommendation: His dad killed people – lots of people. The world’s most infamous serial killer has been in prison for years when his teen son happens upon a dead body murdered in Billy’s style. And then another, and another. Surely the sheriff of Lobo’s Nod doesn’t suspect that Jazz is taking up the family trade…

Jazz is trying to finish high school in their hometown before the social workers find out that he’s taking care of his unbalanced grandmother, instead of Gramma taking care of him. Just one best friend, but who needs more than funny, crazy Howie, a hemophiliac who has to let Jazz have all the adventures. Not many folks are comfortable around Butcher Billy’s kid, but Sheriff G.William has been his mentor for a while.

Now, G.William won’t let Jazz see the files on the victims, refuses to realize that the cases are connected, doesn’t want to know that they are following Billy’s pattern from its very beginning – and that Jazz can predict what type of person will be the next victim.

All those years of Dad making Jazz help him sharpen his knives, clean up afterwards, go with him on ‘jobs’ have allowed his son to see the crime scenes and the victims through a killer’s eyes. Jazz has all the details about every person that Billy killed (refusing to visit the websites dedicated to his dad or his killing spree) – but does he have his dad’s killer instincts, too?

As the body count rises – each victim having one less finger remaining than the last – Jazz’s nightmares about the horrific lessons that his dad taught him increase. Why can’t he figure out who the killer is when he can tell who the next victim will be? When will G.William take his theory seriously and protect the next possible victims? Will finally Jazz have to visit his dad in maximum security prison to find out if somehow Billy unleashed another monster on the world?  

Forecast for Lobo’s Nod: nightmares ahead, trust no one, count all your fingers…A chilling thriller that’s so real that it’s really, really scary – definitely not for the faint-of-heart – I Hunt Killers is first in a new series by Barry Lyga. (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.