Wednesday, June 9, 2010

This Just In!! (Part 2)

It's always sooooo exciting to get new books in the mail. Today, the lovely UPS man left a largish package at my door and this is what I found in inside:

First, The Maze Runner by James Dashner. I ordered this for a group read in one of my Goodreads groups, Wild Things: YA Grown-Up. Of the two books selected for this month's read, I selected Dashner's Maze Runner because...well, let's be honest. I picked this one because a writer friend of mine got to meet Mr Dashner and pick his brain. I know that's a rather superficial reason but there it is. Oh, the blurb sounds interesting, too. ;o) 

From the flap: 

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is blank.

But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as they could remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, they’ve closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the maze after dark.

The Gladers were expecting Thomas’s arrival. But the next day, a girl springs up—the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might be able to find their way home . . . wherever that may be. But it’s looking more and more as if the maze is unsolvable.

And something about the girl’s arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers—if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.

The second book is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I have heard much praise of this YA novel but I am still slightly leery. Some have said it is rather violent, especially for a YA book. I will give this first in the series a shot, however.

From the flap:

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Third in the stack is probably only of interest to a few but it holds a world of fascination for me. The Intolerable Hulks by Charles Campbell is about shipboard confinement in Britain, 1776-1857. I have a Regency WIP (work-in-progress) that revolves around the hulks of the time.

From the back:

From the time of Queen Anne's reign until the American Revolution, Great Britain followed the practice of transporting as many as a thousand convicts each year to Maryland and Virginia. "Out of sight, out of mind" was an apt adage for this policy. It was a policy that worked well enough until 1776, when the rebellious North American colonies declared their independence and closed their ports to reception of British prison ships. A crisis for the British criminal justice system ensued, leading to a policy of converting old merchantman and, later, deactivated naval vessels, into floating prisons. Thus began the era of the Hulks, a "temporary expedient" that lasted for eighty years. Hardly less feared by the British criminal class than were the gallows, assignment to these deplorable dungeons at anchor became a dreaded purgatory, to be endured for months—sometimes even years—by prisoners destined for eventual transportation to Australia.

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