As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog post, I’ve really enjoyed the few books I’ve read from the SFF Young Adult imprint Strange Chemistry, which has now sadly been closed down.
Of course, I’m looking forward to the sequels that former Strange Chem authors will publish elsewhere, or maybe self-publish, as some have already started to discuss on twitter. When these books come out, I’ll buy them to support the authors, but in the meantime I want to talk about the wonderful-sounding Strange Chem books I haven’t read yet, and can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on.
It’s not all doom and gloom, and Angry Robot Books have already announced that they will be supporting Strange Chemistry titles so that they remain available to buy. So y’ know, please consider buying them from your local independent bookshop. If you don’t have one, give the Big Green Bookshop a shout (on twitter, by email or at 020 8881 6767), they do free UK delivery.
And yes, I will shamelessly pimp my beloved local bookshop, because they are amazing and if anything, the closure of Strange Chemistry & Exhibit A shows us that if we like something we should put some monies towards it.
On a distant water world colonised by Russian migrants from Earth, Katya is making her first submarine voyage as crew. In the deep black waters of Russalka, she will encounter death, tragedy, pirates, war criminals and more.
I bought this because of the gorgeous cover art and because the Russian underwater world sounded fascinating, but haven’t started it yet.
Shift, by Kim Curran
When 16-year old Scott finds out he’s a ‘Shifter’, with the power to undo any decision he’s ever made, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world quickly starts to unravel around him he realises shifting might well get him killed.
I heard Kim read from her latest novel, Glaze, and loved her portrayal of teenagers and use of technology, so I really want to read this book. It has one sequel out, Control.
Pantomime, by Laura Lam
Runaway Micah joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice while Gene, daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline. But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.
I’ve heard so much praise about this book (specifically its portrayal of non-normative gender roles), I couldn’t keep it off my reading list. Plus I met Laura Lam briefly at a con and she was lovely to this convention noob.
The Woken Gods, by Gwenda Bond
When rebellious Kyra encounters two trickster gods on her way back from school, it turns out her life isn’t what it seems. She escapes only to discover that her scholar father has disappeared with a dangerous relic. The Society of the Sun needs it, and they don’t care that she knows nothing about her father’s secrets.
This book was on the Reading Group’s menu a few months back when I couldn’t attend. I haven’t read it, but my ARRG co-conspirators liked it a lot, so it’s on the list!
Emilie and the Sky World, by Martha Wells
When Emilie joins an expedition to investigate a strange and potentially deadly airship in the upper aether currents, she finds herself deep in personal entanglements. Not to mention a lost family of explorers, the strange landscapes of the upper air, and the deadly menace that inhabits the sky world.
Sequel to Emilie and the Hollow World. ‘NUFF SAID.
The Wizard’s Promise, by Cassandra Rose Clarke
All Hanna wants is to be a proper witch, but she’s stuck working for a grumpy fisherman. When their boat is blown wildly off course by a strange storm, Hanna finds herself further away from home than she’s ever been before. As she tries to get back, she learns there may be more to her apprentice master than she realized.
The ARRG discussed Clarke’s novel The Mad Scientist’s Daughter and loved her writing style, so I want to try her YA. Plus the gorgeous cover would have made me covet this book anyway.
Essence, by Lisa Ann O’Kane
Growing up in a cult, Autumn has always believed emotions drain your Essence, only questioning her faith after her younger brother’s passing. When she encounters a group of Outsiders, they take her to their free-spirited Community and introduce her to a life of adventure and freedom. But as she uncovers dark, she realizes how far she has to fall.
Maybe I’m just weird, but I really like stories about cults. They’re creepy as all get out, of course, but also kind of fascinating. Also my next writing project involves a space cult, so this would totally be research.