|North American cover|
Here is a book I've been looking forward to since, er, probably last summer, when the author, Laini Taylor, announced on her blog that her next book had been sold at auction and had an American publisher. The reason I was so excited was that I had read her previous, National Book Award-winning collection of two short stories and one novella, Lips Touch: Three Times. The first story is a modern retelling of Christina Rosett's "Goblin Market", the second is set in British Raj India and involves bargaining over souls with demons and a voice that can kill, and the third is a novella involving dual identity, strange demon-like creatues, and a long-running love affair. The prose is rich and the imagery fantastic. I gobbled that book up in about two nights, even though I'm sure I should have been working on my Master's thesis. So, please go read Lips Touch if you like YA fantasy. I'm sure you won't regret it.
The second reason I'm looking forward to this book is that the publisher has offered up the first few chapters as a free preview online (you can find the first five chapters in the widget on the author's blog). Great dialogue, fun characters, mystery. The first 50 pages have totally hooked me.
You can read a glowing review of the novel in the Los Angeles Times here.