Here are a few of Random House's offerings this season for the young adult who readers.
The Assault Written by Brian Falkner 304 pages
A team of six has been chosen to infiltrate the enemy's headquarters in the heart of the Australian Outback. The six teens have been modified to look like aliens. They have spent years mastering alien culture so that they can talk, act-even think-like their enemies. But from the start, the recon mission goes terribly wrong. It's only when they are close to discovering the hidden motivations of our intergalactic neighbors that the team turns in on itself-after realizing there's a traitor in their midst…
The Blood Keeper Written by Tess Gratton, 432 pages
For Mab Prowd, the practice of blood magic is as natural as breathing. Growing up on an isolated farm in Kansas with other practitioners may have kept her from making friends her own age, but it has also given her a sense of purpose-she's connected to the land and protective of the magic. And she is able to practice it proudly and happily out in the open with only the crows as her companions. But one morning while she is working out a particularly tricky spell she encounters Will, a local boy who is trying to exorcise some mundane personal demons. He experiences Mab's magic in a way his mind cannot comprehend and is all too happy to end their chance meeting. But secrets that were kept from Mab by the earlier generations of blood magicians have come home to roost. And she and Will are drawn back together, time again by this dangerous force looking to break free from the earth and reclaim its own dark power.
Velveteen Written by Danny Marks, 464 pages
When Velveteen Monroe lands in the City of the Dead after a horrific death at the hands of a killer named Bonesaw, her new job in the underworld doesn't leave much time to do anything about what's really on her mind… Bonesaw.
Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment he deserves. And she's figured out just how to do it. She'll haunt him for the rest of his days. It'll be brutal...and awesome. But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen's obsessive haunting could actually crack the foundation of her new world, not to mention jeopardize her very soul. A risk she's willing to take-except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.
I have to admit, seeing companies put out good-sized novels for the young adult really makes me happy. I've said this before, but as a voracious reader in my youth, it was all King and Koontz. I honestly can't remember companies that seriously put out horror / dark scifi/fantasy novels with youth being the target audience. Any company that does this is doing a great service to the community.
Am I insane? Who else grew up in the '70s and '80s, but remembers books specifically aimed toward youths? Drop a comment, tell me to put down the crack pipe.
He's the puppet master. You don't see him, but he pulls the strings that gets things done. He's the silent partner. He's black ops. If you notice his presence, it's the last thing you'll notice — because now you're dead. He's the shadow you thought you saw in that dark alleyway. You can have a conversation with him, and when you turn around to offer him a cup of coffee, he's already gone.