Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: The Secret Journeys of Jack London: The Sea Wolves by Christopher Golden

Title: The Secret Journeys of Jack London: The Sea Wolves
Author: Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon
Publisher: HarperCollins, Feb. 2012
Series: Secret Journeys of Jack London #2
Source: Library

The first book in this series, The Wild, frustrated me so much that I ran right out and picked up the second one from my library the next day. Now mind you, I work at said library so it's not like I went extraordinarily out of my way, but I might have done so if necessary. There's a stark wildness about these books that appeals to me, plus I desperately need to know if the character Jack develops into by the end of the first book carries through successfully into the second.

The Sea Wolves picks up immediately after where The Wild leaves off. Headed for home to assure his mother that he's still among the land of the living (hover-parents should chew on the idea of the communication capabilities in the eighteen hundreds for a moment) when his ship is attacked by pirates. And, as it happens, these are no ordinary pirates. In his valiant attempt to stave off the attack, or at least save lives aboard his own ship, Jack manages to become a prisoner aboard the pirate ship. He quickly learns that his survival is dependent upon his quick wits, which have at least temporarily earned him favor in the eyes of the captain. He is not the only prisoner on board, and soon the survival of a trapped young woman lies in his young but determined hands.

The Sea Wolves is a fantastic high seas adventure with a most terrifying paranormal touch. Jack is certainly more realized as a character, and his escapades left me breathless. I read this book in one evening. There are more supporting characters in this go 'round as well, and most of them are very well developed. There were a couple that could have used some more time, but it is all about Jack so it's forgivable. I cared about Jack, his choices, and his fate much more here. Christopher Golden leaves no lag time, and readers are jerked through the pages from one intense moment to the next, Jack and his allies (?) facing both physical, mental, and emotional challenges.

The ending left me pulling at my hair going, "Seriously? We're leaving this here?" There's a hint of a third book on Golden's website, and clearly that's where this leads. No word on a possible pub date for book three that I could find, which is sad.

Egads. This series.

If you like adventure stories, paranormal YA, or suspense, this book might be for you. If you're on the fence because of the first one, skip it. This story, while it alludes to the first book, gives you enough of a bridge so that you won't be lost, but not so big a bridge that it's annoying. (You know what I'm talking about, former BabySitter's Club readers.)

The Sea Wolves, as part of a package with The Wild, has been optioned for film by Fox.

Liam Hemsworth for Jack, anyone?

Booking it,

Sunday, July 8, 2012

BEA Recap!

I had the great fortune to travel up to NYC last month to visit the city for the first time in my life and to attend the ever so awesome Book Expo of America.

Which just sent me a friendly reminder email to respond to their "were you REALLY there" survey.

Yes, BEA, yes I was really there.

Britney (Of I Eat Words), our co-worker Amy, and I got there on Saturday and spent a glorious madcap three days doing touristy stuff and getting to know the city. This included the Museum of Modern Art, Times Square, the ferry to Staten Island and seeing Lady Liberty and eating great food.

If you look closely you can see the Tardis. I also discovered that the subway is possibly the greatest invention mankind has ever come up with. This makes me slightly crazy, I am aware, and I am okay with this. But seriously, the subway. Dear people who built Dallas: Where were you on this? Surely that dry dirt issue could have been overcome.

Also amazing is this little place called Tea & Sympathy which is down in Greenwich Village. It's part of Little Britain, which stole our hearts as well as our stomachs. Lots of British regalia, as well as a little shop next door where you can buy imported goods. Alas, no Benedict Cumberbatch or Matt Smith sightings.

We got to see Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theater, too. (After braving the TKTS line. Recommended: levitation devices. Your feet will thank you later.) It was amazing, and definitely a Gabi-must-do-this-before-she-dies event. 

On day three we met up with the most amazing Claire Legrand and prepped for BEA. There are two rules of thumb for BEA:

1) Meet lots of awesome people.
2) Grab lots of books.

Rinse and repeat.

Also optional are visiting workshops, panels, and author signings. We went to the most awkward author panel in the history of ever, in which the moderator managed to ask virtually nothing about the topic (the evolution of young adult books) but did manage to ask really awkwardly phrased questions about the lack of ethnic diversity in the author's works. All of the authors present were very gracious about the whole ordeal, I must say, especially Jenny Han. Amy and I did go to a really fabulous workshop on hosting graphic novel events. Everyone was very knowledgeable and helpful with tips and such. One of the booksellers represented Midtown Comics, which I am sad to say we didn't get to, but it is most assuredly on my list of places to go the next time I'm in NYC.

Also: Kristin Cashore. Our faces explain the rest. We love her like a lot a lot. 

We got there for her signing line very early and fangirled accordingly. 
The most fun part of it all was getting to meet so many awesome people and hang out at BEA and in the city. So many blogs, so many awesome peeps!

It was awesome to meet Liz of Elizziebooks who does blog posts AND vlogs on her YouTube channel.

Check out the super fashionable and sweet Frankie of First Novels Club 

Bethany Larson covers books, music, and pop culture at her blog. Plus, she loves Joss Whedon and Suits. Major points for both.

It was a pleasure to meet and hang out for a bit with Kelsey of Reading or Breathing and Lindsi of Books, Sweets and other Treats!  Lindsi's blog and her bookshelf are adorable.

I met the lovely Jessica of Wastepaper Prose only briefly, but they run a blog with very nifty interviews and YA reviews.

Be sure to visit Liza at WhoRuBlog for amazing YA reviews!

Author and blogger Melissa Buell was awesome and you check out her blog and works here: Have Imagination, Will Write

And now it's time for that feeling when you know you're forgetting someone and it will strike you at approximately 4am. So, my apologies if I have forgotten! Some of my business cards went into my box of books that I shipped home from BEA. Books and bags and business cards are now...ah...somewhere in the city of New York, presumably, as what arrived in my box was a parka.

No, really. I have a parka from New York and I have no idea why it came to me.

You might notice these are not books.

My box came, with my handwriting on it, and lo, the lord of the post office laid his hand upon it, and so the pages turned into cold weather clothing. (The post office denies such a deity, but is looking into the matter.) So...luckily I managed to shove several of my goodies from BEA in my suitcase, and I'll do a In My Mailbox type thingie tomorrow for the few that survived.

But if I get a job in New York, at least I'll be prepped for winter. Holla.

Loved New York and seeing it with the most awesome travel companions and most awesome host ever, and definitely loved my first BEA experience! Here's to next year!

Booking It,