This week brought a lot of books.  For one thing, I was bad and bought 3 myself .  Also, I received 4 YA books from Penguin that were a complete surprise, some of which look very good (and one of which prompted that third purchase of the week since I desperately want to read it but it was a sequel).

The Native StarThe Native Star by M. K. Hobson

This book has already been one I’ve been wanting to read for a while after reading reviews by Janicu and The Book Smugglers. Then when it was announced as a Nebula nominee, I knew I had to read it soon and was given some extra incentive when it was one of the first books to read for the Nebula Readathon. So I bought it and should have started it by the time this post goes up (since I’m writing it the day before).  Chapter One can be read on the author’s website.  A sequel, The Hidden Goddess, will be released in May 2011.

It’s 1876, and business is rotten for Emily Edwards, town witch of the tiny Sierra Nevada settlement of Lost Pine. With everyone buying patent magicks by mail-order, she’s faced with two equally desperate options. Starve—or use a love spell to bewitch the town’s richest lumberman into marrying her.

When the love spell goes terribly wrong, Emily is forced to accept the aid of Dreadnought Stanton—a pompous and scholarly Warlock from New York—to set things right. Together, they travel from the seedy underbelly of San Francisco’s Barbary Coast, across the United States by train and biomechanical flying machine, to the highest halls of American magical power, only to find that love spells (and love) are far more complicated and dangerous than either of them could ever have imagined.

A Madness of AngelsA Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin

Recently, the third book in the Matthew Swift series landed in my mailbox, and I also had received a review copy of the second book.  So when I saw the first copy was available on Amazon for $7 in hardcover, I snatched it up (it was cheap and it would match!).  This was a series I wanted to read anyway so it will be nice to be able to start it from the beginning.

When a man is tired of London he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford – Samuel Johnson

In fact, Dr Johnson was only half right. There is in London much more than life – there is power. It ebbs and flows with the rhythms of the city, makes runes from the alignments of ancient streets and hums with the rattle of trains and buses; it waxes and wanes with the patterns of the business day. It is a new kind of magic: urban magic.

Enter a London where magicians ride the Last Train, implore favours of The Beggar King and interpret the insane wisdom of The Bag Lady. Enter a London where beings of power soar with the pigeons and scrabble with the rats, and seek insight in the half-whispered madness of the blue electric angels.

Enter the London of Matthew Swift, where rival sorcerers, hidden in plain sight, do battle for the very soul of the city …

EonEon by Alison Goodman

This would be the book I purchased because the sequel showed up this week. Thea from The Book Smugglers (her review) had recommended me this book at one point, so it’s been on my wish list for a little while.  Having the conclusion sent to me just gave me that incentive I needed to procure the first book.  It sounds great – Asian-inspired fantasy setting, dragons, gender dynamics.  And the pretty cover didn’t hurt, either – those colors are just gorgeous!  I noticed it’s also published by the same imprint that released Fire by Kristin Cashore (one of the most awesome YA books I’ve ever read) and that just made me more excited to read it.  It’s also a winner of the Aurealis Award, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Locus Recommended Reading Selection, a James Tiptree, Jr., Award Finalist, a CBCA Notable Book, and a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year. I’m hoping to read this one fairly soon – it really does look wonderful!

This book has also been published under the title The Two Pearls of Wisdom in the UK and Australia.

Under the harsh regime of an ambitious master, Eon is training to become a Dragoneye – a powerful Lord able to command wind and water to protect the land. But Eon also harbours a desperate secret – he is in fact a young woman living a dangerous masquerade that, if discovered, will mean certain death.

Brought to the attention of the Emperor himself and summoned to the opulent court, Eon is thrust into the heart of a lethal struggle for the Imperial throne. In this new, treacherous world of hidden identities and uneasy alliances, Eon comes face-to-face with a vicious enemy who covets the young Dragoneye’s astounding power, and will stop at nothing to make it his own.

Eon is based on the ancient lores of Chinese astrology and Feng Shui. It is a thrilling, timeless novel of deadly politics, sexual intrigue and dazzling swordplay set in a brilliantly envisioned world …

EonaEona by Alison Goodman

This sequel to Eon, which concludes the story, will be available on April 19, 2011.  I’ll have to read Eon first, but as you may be able to tell, I’m super excited about reading these books!  For those of you who have already read Eon, the preface and chapter one of Eona can be read online.  This book is also being published with the title The Necklace of the Gods in the UK.

Eon has been revealed as Eona, the first female Dragoneye in hundreds of years. Along with fellow rebels Ryko and Lady Dela, she is on the run from High Lord Sethon’s army. The renegades are on a quest for the black folio, stolen by the drug-riddled Dillon; they must also find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona’s power and the black folio if he is to wrest back his throne from the selfstyled “Emperor” Sethon. Through it all, Eona must come to terms with her new Dragoneye identity and power-and learn to bear the anguish of the ten dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered. As they focus their power through her, she becomes a dangerous conduit for their plans. . . .

Eona, with its pulse-pounding drama and romance, its unforgettable fight scenes, and its surprises, is the conclusion to an epic only Alison Goodman could create.

ChimeChime by Franny Billingsley

After Eona, this is the young adult book I was sent that looks the most intriguing.  That’s partially because I am shallow and once again like the colors on the cover but also because it looks like a good book.  It has a first page that sucked me in and made me want to know more.  Chime will be released in hardcover on March 17.

Before Briony’s stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family’s hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it’s become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He’s as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she’s extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn’t know.

The Dark CityThe Dark City by Catherine Fisher

Since I’ve heard good things about Catherine Fisher’s duology consisting of Incarceron and Sapphique (again, mostly from Thea), I was curious about this one as well.  The cover blurb by Robin McKinley also made me interested in reading it. The Dark City is the first book in a new series, Relic Master, and it will be released in May.  The other three books in the series will be released in increments of one month after that one – The Lost Heroes in June, The Hidden Coronet in July, and The Margrave in August.

Welcome to Anara, a world mysteriously crumbling to devastation, where nothing is what it seems: Ancient relics emit technologically advanced powers, members of the old Order are hunted by the governing Watch yet revered by the people, and the great energy that connects all seems to also be destroying all. The only hope for the world lies in Galen, a man of the old Order and a Keeper of relics, and his sixteen-year-old apprentice, Raffi. They know of a secret relic with great power that has been hidden for centuries. As they search for it, they will be tested beyond their limits. For there are monsters-some human, some not-that also want the relic’s power and will stop at nothing to get it.

Department NineteenDepartment Nineteen by Will Hill

Since this is a vampire book, I’m not as sure I’ll read this one, but it looks like it could be fun.  Since I can’t find a website for the author, I’m not sure if it’s the start of a series or not.  A quote in the praise section on the publisher’s website indicates there will be at least one more installment, though.  Department Nineteen will be released on March 31.

Jamie Carpenter’s life will never be the same. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and he was just rescued by an enormous man named Frankenstein. Jamie is brought to Department 19, where he is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural, founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing and the other survivors of Dracula. Aided by Frankenstein’s monster, a beautiful vampire girl with her own agenda, and the members of the agency, Jamie must attempt to save his mother from a terrifyingly powerful vampire.

Department 19 takes us through history, across Europe, and beyond – from the cobbled streets of Victorian London to prohibition-era New York, from the icy wastes of Arctic Russia to the treacherous mountains of Transylvania. Part modern thriller, part classic horror, it’s packed with mystery, mayhem, and a level of suspense that makes a Darren Shan novel look like a romantic comedy.