Just read the sequel to Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines. Predator’s Gold is amazing. Set in a future where cities are mobile and prowl the landscapes searching for others to “eat” for resources and slave labor, Tom and Hester have left the ruins of London and eventually end up crash landed on Anchorage, a traction city in the Ice Wastes region. What follows is action, betrayal, theft, mystery, more betrayal, death, resurrection of a kind, and races through the Ice Wastes.
Other recent sequels: Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins was a great follow up to Gregor the Overlander. And it looks like there will be a third on its way. Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’ Snakecharm is the sequel to Hawksong, which dealt with races of human-animal shapeshifters working out an uneasy peace between two warring groups. The story is good but I wasn’t as into it as the first. Maybe I’ve just been reading to much fantasy.
My new favorite series to plug to teens is Watching Alice by Daniel Parker and Lee Miller. The first book (there’s only 2 so far) is Break the Surface. It’s the journal of Tom Sinclair. A new senior in a Manhattan high school, Tom has a secret and plans to do everything he can to keep it. Though he tries to be aloof, he attracts the attention of Alice, a fellow senior with some intrigue of her own. At the book’s conclusion, Alice has disappeared without a trace and Tom is determined to find her. The second installment, Walk on the Water is Alice’s diary dating from just before she met Tom to hours before her disappearance. You learn more about the strange group (cult?) Alice is trying to break free of and for the rest readers are forced to wait for the next book due in January.
Eoin Colfer’s “The Legend of Spud Murphy” is a great one for those reluctant readers out there. Unable to handle the havoc wreaked each day by their large family of rambunctious boys, the parents of Will and Marty decide to leave them at the library each afternoon where the spud gun-toting librarian, Spud Murphy, keeps a watchful eye on the two. Illustrations are found throughout the book. My favorite shows Spud holding up a sign reading “Shhh”.