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Planning to Pillage – ALA Part 3

Planning to Pillage

Planning to Pillage is my way of showcasing books that I’m excited about for one reason or another. They may have recently shown up in my mail, they may have just gotten a cover, I may have recently requested them. No matter the case, they are books I think you should have on your radar too!

It’s time for another edition of awesome books that I learned about at ALA and have to tell you about :D. This time we’ve gotten into the stack that came with me in the suitcase because I couldn’t bear the thought of losing them *pets the precious*.

(Covers link to Goodreads so you can add these too!)

The Blackthorn Key

The Blackthorn Key
(Expected publication: September 1st 2015 by Aladdin) I can’t remember where, but I’ve already seen one glowing review on Blackthorn Key which has me quite excited! It sounds like it’s going to be my favorite kind of middle grade that combines fun story-telling with darker plot elements like murder! (I should be less excited about murder shouldn’t I?)

“Tell no one what I’ve given you.”

Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way.

But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart.

A History of Glitter and Blood

(Published August 18th 2015 by Chronicle Books) All right, people have REALLY different opinions on this one already, but I have to admit that that just makes me more intrigued. Apparently the writing is super hit or miss because it’s fairly strange and experimental, but it also has all the elements I’m a sucker for, so I have to at least try it :D.

Sixteen-year-old Beckan and her friends are the only fairies brave enough to stay in Ferrum when war breaks out. Now there is tension between the immortal fairies, the subterranean gnomes, and the mysterious tightropers who arrived to liberate the fairies.

But when Beckan’s clan is forced to venture into the gnome underworld to survive, they find themselves tentatively forming unlikely friendships and making sacrifices they couldn’t have imagined. As danger mounts, Beckan finds herself caught between her loyalty to her friends, her desire for peace, and a love she never expected.

This stunning, lyrical fantasy is a powerful exploration of what makes a family, what justifies a war, and what it means to truly love.

Our Lady of the Ice

Our Lady of the Ice
(Expected publication: October 27th 2015 by Saga Press) Ahhhhh this book sounds so cool! I loved Clare’s previous duology and have been pumped for Our Lady of the Ice ever since I read about it in an interview. Isolated dome in Antarctica + androids???? YES!

Hope City, Antarctica. The southernmost city in the world, with only a glass dome and a faltering infrastructure to protect its citizens from the freezing, ceaseless winds of the Antarctic wilderness. Within this bell jar four people–some human, some not–will shape the future of the city forever:

Eliana Gomez, a female PI looking for a way to the mainland.

Diego Amitrano, the right-hand man to the gangster who controls the city’s food come winter.

Marianella Luna, an aristocrat with a dangerous secret.

Sofia, an android who has begun to evolve.

But the city is evolving too, and in the heart of the perilous Antarctic winter, factions will clash, dreams will shatter, and that frozen metropolis just might boil over…

The Lightning Queen

The Lightning Queen
(Expected publication: October 27th 2015 by Scholastic Press) So I’ll be honest, I thought this was more magical than it apparently is on second read of the description, but it sounds like it might bring in folklore? It’s gorgeous and features cultures I’ve never read about before though so I’m game!

Nothing exciting happens on the Hill of Dust, in the remote mountains of Mexico in the 1950s. There’s no electricity, no plumbing, no cars, just day after day of pasturing goats. And now, without his sister and mother, eleven-year-old Teo’s life feels even more barren. And then one day, the mysterious young Esma, who calls herself the Gypsy Queen of Lightning, rolls into town like a fresh burst of color. Against all odds, her caravan’s Mistress of Destiny predicts that Teo and Esma will be longtime friends. Suddenly, life brims with possibility. With the help of a rescued duck, a three-legged skunk, a blind goat, and other allies, Teo and Esma must overcome obstacles-even death-to fulfill their impossible destiny. Inspired by true stories derived from rural Mexico, The Lightning Queen offers a glimpse of the encounter between two fascinating but marginalized cultures–the Rom and the Mixtec Indians–while telling the heart-warming story of an unlikely friendship that spans generations.

Black Widow: Forever Red

Black Widow Forever Red
(Expected publication: October 13th 2015 by Marvel Press) *runs around screaming about Black Widow*

Natasha Romanoff is one of the world’s most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow’s infamous academy for operatives.

Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments-until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn’t really the big sister type.

Until now.

When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned-and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava’s dreams. . . .

Darkness Hidden

Darkness Hidden
(Expected publication: November 10th 2015 by Candlewick Press ) I really enjoyed the first book, The Name of the Blade, so I’m really excited that the second is coming to the states finally! Almost had to get the UK editions ;-).

Zoë Marriott’s inventive, Japanese-inflected urban fantasy raises the stakes in a sweeping second installment.

Against all odds, Mio has defeated the evil Nekomata and seen her love, Shinobu, restored to life. But in the wake of the battle, Mio’s unsettling connection to the katana—an ancient sword her family has been compelled to guard for generations—has grown more frightening. And now the Underworld has sent the Shikome—foul women whose feathers carry death—to spread a supernatural plague through London. With her best friend in the hospital, Shinobu’s very existence at risk, and the city in chaos, Mio realizes there is no way she can keep everyone she loves alive. What terrible sacrifice must she make to save the world?

Simon Thorns and the Wolf’s Den

Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den
(Expected publication: February 2nd 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens) I adore Aimee’s current trilogy, The Blackcoat Rebellion and have had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with her a few times when she comes to visit my neck of the woods! I in fact remember her talking about writing this book back when it was a wee thing and I’m so excited to see it coming out :D. Bloomsbury was super excited about this when I was talking to them at ALA too, so I have high hopes!

Twelve-year-old Simon Thorn’s life has never been easy or normal, but things like being bullied at school and living in a cramped Manhattan apartment with his Uncle Darrell are nothing compared to his biggest secret: He can talk to animals.

But when his mom is suddenly kidnapped by a herd of rats, Simon finds out that he, his mom, and his uncle are all Animalgams—people born with the ability to change into an animal at will.

In search of his mom, Simon discovers the Animalgam Academy based at the Central Park Zoo. There he learns about the fractured five kingdoms that make up this secret world . . . and realizes he may be the only one who can save it.

This action-packed page-turner is perfect for fans of the Spirit Animals and The School of Good and Evil series.

What are you excited about reading lately? 

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I haven’t heard of any of these so thanks for sharing! I feel like I’ve been living under a rock because I had no idea Zoë Marriott even had a new series or that Clare was starting one. So exciting! Black Widow Forever Red by Margaret Stohl!?!? WHOA. I NEED.
    Alise recently posted…August 2015 Wrap UpMy Profile

  2. I’m so ashamed. I managed to grab a copy of Black Widow at BEA and recently started it, but I stalled halfway through. Possibly partly because school was looming and I was in the wrong mood. Hopefully that was it and I can go back and finish it at some point while avoiding homework. ;) Great list!
    Kel recently posted…Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo ARC (2 stars)My Profile

  3. So many good ones here :) Good luck!
    Steph recently posted…Building the Book Pile #151My Profile

  4. Black Widow Forever Red looks so good! I saw it on NetGalley but it’s not actually open for requests. And Simon Thorns and the Wolf’s Den also sounds like something I need to get my hands on. *grins* I hope you end up liking at least half of these (if not all!)
    Silvara recently posted…Fantasy Creature Friday – Mares of Diomedes!My Profile

    • I’m not sure how I feel about NetGalley’s thing of being able to ask that the publisher list the book…. I’ll try to read my copy soon so I can pass it on ;-)

  5. O_o Whoa, this is the first time I’ve seen Our Lady of the Ice…

    I am ALL for a book set in Antarctica!
    Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts recently posted…Blog Tour: Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis – ARC ReviewMy Profile

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