Your Pick for Nik! is a monthly feature where I turn over control of my reading list to you!
Here’s how it works: I have nominated titles from my TBR list and YOU get to choose which one gets featured. It can be one you’ve already read and want to discuss, one you want to read but wish to see my feedback on first, or – and this is my favorite part – one you want to read along with me!
Depicted below are my 10 nominees for September. Simply vote for your favorites, and let the best book win! At 10:00 am (MST) on Monday the 19th I will announce the winner. Come the end of September, I will post a thorough review of the chosen title – and hopefully find out what you thought of it as well!
Voting starts today (August 12, 2013) and you’ll have all the way through the weekend to choose your favorites (Remember: YOU CAN VOTE FOR MORE THAN 1).
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Poison Study #1
The Overview: About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…
Why It Nominated: having collected dust on my shelf for years, my interests in it was reignited when one of my favorite book bloggers (The Moonlight Library) included it in a couple of lists of her favorite books and characters of all time. I’ve already snuck a peek at the first couple of chapters, and it’s every bit as good as I was hoping it would be!
Author: Rachel Hartman
Series: Seraphina #1
Genre: Teen Fantasy
The Overview: Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
Why It Nominated: it is a teen fantasy about dragons… I don’t know how I could’ve possibly neglected to pick this one up before now.
Author: Jennifer Fallon
Series: Hythrun Chronicles #1
The Overview: The small country of Medalon lies between the vast nation of Karien in the north and the nations of Fardohnya and Hythria in the south. For centuries the Medalonians co-existed peacefully with the Harshini, a magical race that abhors killing. But now they are gone and in their place the Sisters of the Blade rule Medalon from the Citadel. An elite army of Defenders enforces the Sisterhood’s oppressive rule. The Harshini and their demons are believed to be extinct and Medalon has an uneasy peace with its northern and southern neighbours. R’shiel Tenragan, daughter of the First Sister, and her half-brother Tarja find themselves caught up in the political infighting amongst the Sisters of the Blade. When their mother’s scheming becomes too much to bear, R’shiel and Tarja are determined to follow their own path and they flee the Citadel. Their lives take a turn neither could ever have imagined and the Defenders of Medalon hunt them as traitors.
Why It Nominated: I first read this series in my late teens and liked it so much I devoured it in a couple of days. Because I read it so fast, I remember practically nothing except that I loved it. I’ve been dying to pick this one up again.
Author: Orson Scott Card
Series: Ender’s Saga #1
Genre: Science Fiction
The Overview: In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Why It’s Nominated: This one was nominated by one of my favorite followers who has exceptional taste in books. Even though I’ve already read this one, it was outstanding and I can’t think of a better time to reread it since the movie is right around the corner.
Author: Dan Krokos
Series: False Memory#1
Genre: Teen Fantasy
The Overview: Miranda wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except Peter, a boy who isn’t at all surprised by Miranda’s shocking ability.
Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically-altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn’t easy—especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can’t remember loving. Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn’t seem to matter… when there may not be a future.
Why It’s Nominated: I read and reviewed The Planet Thieves by this author and quite liked it. I’ve heard this series is even better, so that’s why I’m so eager to read it.
Author: John C. Wright
Series: Chronicles of Chaos #1
The Overview: For Amelia and her friends, the strict English boarding school she lives in is all she has ever known. The sprawling estate, bordered by unknown territory on all four sides, is both orphanage, academy, and prison. The school has a large staff, but only five students, none of whom know what their real names are, or even how old they are. Precocious and rebellious, all five teenagers are more than just prodigies. Amelia can see in four dimensions. Victor can control the molecular arrangement of matter. Vanity can find secret passageways where none existed before. Colin is a psychic. Quentin is a warlock. And, as time goes by, they’re starting to suspect that none of them are entirely human . . .
Why It Nominated: Of all the books I’ve nominated over the last six months, I think this might be the one I’m most interested in reading. Despite all of the excellent books on the lists, this one gets my vote.
Author: Julie Czerneda
Series: Stratification #1
Genre: Science Fiction
The Overview: In the first book of the Stratification series, set in an earlier time in Czerneda’s Trade Pact Universe, the Clan has not yet learned how to manipulate the M’hir to travel between worlds. Instead, they are a people divided into small tribes, scattered over a fraction of their world, and prevented from advancing by two other powerful races who control both technology and terrain. Aliens begin exploring the Clan’s home planet, upsetting the delicate balance between the three intelligent races. It is a time, too, when one young woman is on the verge of mastering the forbidden power of the M’hir-a power that could prove to be the salvation or ruin of her entire species…
Why It’s Nominated: as my favorite science fiction author, is the only series I haven’t yet read from her.… It’s guaranteed to be amazing, though.
Title: Beyonders: A World Without Heroes
Author: Brandon Mull
Series: Beyonders #1
Genre: Young Reader
The Overview: Jason Walker has often wished his life could be a bit less predictable–until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason suddenly transporting from the hippo tank to a place unlike anything he’s ever seen. In the past, the people of Lyrian welcomed visitors from the Beyond, but attitudes have changed since the wizard emperor Maldor rose to power. The brave resistors who opposed the emperor have been bought off or broken, leaving a realm where fear and suspicion prevail. In his search for a way home, Jason meets Rachel, who was also mysteriously drawn to Lyrian from our world. With the help of a few scattered rebels, Jason and Rachel become entangled in a quest to piece together the word of power that can destroy the emperor, and learn that their best hope to find a way home will be to save this world without heroes.
Why It’s Nominated: this is not the first time I’ve put this one up for votes, and it tends to win either second or third place. I’ve read everything else by this author and consider him my favorite young reader writer – aside from J.K. Rowling, of course. He says the third book in this series is his favorite one he’s ever written, and that gets me excited.
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: The Dred Chronicles #1
Genre: Science Fiction
The Overview: The prison ship Perdition, a floating city where the Conglomerate’s most dangerous criminals are confined for life, orbits endlessly around a barren asteroid. Life inside is even more bleak. Hailed as the Dread Queen, inmate Dresdemona “Dred” Devos controls one of Perdition’s six territories, bordered on both sides by would-be kings eager to challenge her claim. Keeping them at bay requires constant vigilance, as well as a steady influx of new recruits to replace the fallen. Survival is a constant battle, and death is the only escape. Of the newest convicts, only one is worth Dred’s attention. The mercenary Jael, with his deadly gaze and attitude, may be the most dangerous criminal onboard. His combat skill could give her the edge she needs, if he doesn’t betray her first. Unfortunately, that’s what he does best. Winning Jael’s allegiance will be a challenge, but failure could be worse than death…
Why It Nominated: author of the Grimspace series, it’s no secret how much I love this writer. This is a spinoff series that revisits that world and I sincerely hope this one is just as good!
Author: Daniel Abraham
Series: The Dagger and the Coin #1
The Overview: All paths lead to war…
Marcus’ hero days are behind him. He knows too well that even the smallest war still means somebody’s death. When his men are impressed into a doomed army, staying out of a battle he wants no part of requires some unorthodox steps. Cithrin is an orphan, ward of a banking house. Her job is to smuggle a nation’s wealth across a war zone, hiding the gold from both sides. She knows the secret life of commerce like a second language, but the strategies of trade will not defend her from swords. Geder, sole scion of a noble house, has more interest in philosophy than in swordplay. A poor excuse for a soldier, he is a pawn in these games. No one can predict what he will become. Falling pebbles can start a landslide. A spat between the Free Cities and the Severed Throne is spiraling out of control. A new player rises from the depths of history, fanning the flames that will sweep the entire region onto The Dragon’s Path-the path to war.
Why It’s Nominated: I consider Abraham to be one of the absolute best of the new generation of fantasy writers. His Long Price Quartet had me riveted from start to finish and I have vowed to read anything else he publishes… this one included.
Your votes are all appreciated!
If you want to participate officially, all you have to do is answer the questionnaire at the end of the book review when it posts (which will hopefully generate some awesome discussion). If you post your own review of the book, send me the URL and I will include a personalized link at the end of the review.
Feel free to steal this button for your sidebar:
Happy reading everyone! :-)