Thursday, March 23, 2006

Upcoming From Publishers Lunch

Lots of little tidbits about interesting upcoming books, mostly from Publishers Lunch, but some from other places on the internet. Most of these have very little info available at this point, but some of the authors have more on their websites.

Chris Marie Green, writing as "Crystal Green," sold her Vampire Underground series to Berkley.

Sasha White's LUSH, a contemporary erotica anthology of three novellas centering around a gallery specializing in erotic art.

Bella Andre's WINE, WOMEN AND SEDUCTION and CONSTANT CRAVINGS, erotic romance.

Kim Harrison and Marty Greenberg, editors's HOTTER THAN HELL, an anthology of erotic paranormal stories by today's leading romance writers.

Heather Waters' DEVIL'S POSSESSION, a paranormal historical, in which a woman declares a dead man the sire of her child rather than admitting to a violent assault.

Alesia Holliday's dark paranormal romance ATLANTIS RISING, about a race of Atlantaen warriors tasked to protect mankind in its darkest hour.

Cathy Mulvany's SOMETHING WICKED, about a young journalist who, while searching for the truth behind an ancient Paiute legend, discovers that vampires are real.

Karen Kelley's DOUBLE DATING WITH THE DEAD about a psychic and a skeptic stuck in a haunted hotel with two sex-starved ghosts to Kensington Brava.

Sylvia Day's contemporary erotic novella, A FAMILIAR KIND OF MAGIC, about a rogue Familiar and the warlock who tames her, to Avon.

Louisa Burton's HOUSE OF DARK DELIGHTS, in the tradition of Arabian Nights and Anne Rice's erotica, comprised of linking stories and characters set in a mysterious French chateau and spanning several historical periods, to Bantam.

Pamela Aidan's originally self-published Fitzwilliam Darcy trilogy, based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, AN ASSEMBLY SUCH AS THIS, DUTY AND DESIRE, and THESE THREE REMAIN, all seen from Darcy's point of view, to Touchstone Fireside.

Katie MacAlister's GHOST OF A CHANCE, part of a new darkly comic paranormal mystery series set in her popular Otherworld, to NAL, in a two-book deal.

Elizabeth Hoyt's THE RAVEN PRINCE, a tale of a widow, an Earl, and a scandalous brothel in Georgian London, to Warner, in a two-book deal.

Julie Kenner, Johanna Edwards, and Serena Robar's FENDI, FERRAGAMO AND FANGS about three teenage supermodels who happen to be vampires, to NAL.

Cait London's trilogy of paranormal romantic suspense thrillers about triplet sisters stalked by a psychic vampire, to Avon.

Janice Maynard writing under a pseudonym's NAUGHTY HOUSEWIVES, about three desperate and unhappy wives fighting for what they want and need, who will go to any lengths on their sexual odysseys, to Berkley Heat.

Marsha Moyer's next two novels, continuing the story of Lucy Hatch and country singer Ash Farrell, to Three Rivers Press.

Maureen Child's DUSTING FOR DEMONS, in which a very unexpected birthday gift leaves a thirty-something single mom dealing with the chore of demon killing amongst her daily to-do list, to NAL.

Sasha White and Saskia Walker's KINK, an erotic anthology, featuring White's WATCH ME about a married woman, her exhibitionism, and the husband who catches her at it, along with Walker's SEX, LIES, AND BONDAGE TAPE, in which a backstage media secret leads to sex games, to Berkley Heat.

Eve Silver's DARK PASSIONS, the story of a woman haunted by tragedy, forced to accept the protection of a ruthless smuggler bent on vengeance, to Kensington in a three book deal.

Aisha DuQuesne's THE SINGER, the first title in a new series of sensual crime thrillers, to Bantam Dell.

Sunny's MONA LISA CRAVING, book three of her erotic paranormal Mona Lisa series, and BITE ME TENDERLY, the first book in her new Lucinda, Princess of Darkness erotic paranormal series, to Berkley.

Shannon McKelden's VENUS ENVY, about a goddess-turned-fairy godmother who isn't about to let any reluctant Cinderella get in her way, to Tor for their new chick lit line.

Vickie Taylor sold two more "gargoyle romantic suspense" novels to Berkley.

Anne Kelleher sold fantasy trilogy "The House of the 13th Moon" to Luna.

Sarah Hoyt, writing as Sarah D'Almeida, sold three books in a Three Musketeers mystery series to Berkley/Jove.

Faith Hunter's BLOODRING and two more novels in a "sexy urban fantasy series" went to Roc.

C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp's TOUCH OF EVIL, the first in a new vampire/shapeshifter world, plus two more in their award-winning Sazi shapeshifter series, to Tor Romance, in a three book deal.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Favorite Shojo Manga

I just added a listing of my favorite manga series to my sidebar this week, and thought I would take the time to tell a little about them. Today I'm going to talk about the shojo manga in the group, and I will talk about all of them a little at a time. These are listed in no particular order.

Tokyo Boys & Girls
by Miki Aihara
Published by Viz
Mimori finally gets in to the school she's been dying to attend, and things start off well with her making friends with one of the most beautiful girls in school, but she ends up as the class president and singled out by three boys and her teacher for reasons that aren't so good. And to top it all off, she reunites with a boy she knew from elementary school, but he's out to get revenge for her "bullying" of him. The problem? She doesn't remember any of it.
There will be 5 volumes total.

Beauty is the Beast
by Tomo Matsumoto
Published by Viz
Eimi's parents move for work, and she decides she doesn't want to change schools, so she moves into the school dormitory, where she meets new friends, and a new crush. The problem? Wanibuchi, the guy she has a crush on, has a secret life and is really hard for her to figure out.
I'm pretty sure there will be 5 volumes total.

Boys over Flowers
by Yoko Kamio
Published by Viz
Tsukushi Makino is a girl who gets into an elite high school that is mostly full of the spoiled children of rich and powerful families. She almost immediately runs up against the F4, a group of four incredibly popular boys who basically run the school, and they vow to get rid of her as they have others before her. But Tsukushi doesn't lay down easily, and the leader of the boys falls in love with her. The problem? He won't admit to loving a "commoner" and she has a crush on another boy.
There were 36 volumes in Japan, 19 are published/scheduled so far in the US and it is still going strong.

Fruits Basket
by Natsuki Takaya
Published by Tokyopop
Tohru Honda is orphaned and tries to live alone until a boy she goes to school with invites her to live with his family. She agrees to take care of their house, and finds out that the family is under a curse (they turn into the animals from the Chinese zodiac when they are touched/hugged by someone of the opposite gender). She sees the pain that this curse causes the members of the Sohma family and wants to be friends with all of them.
There will eventually be 19 volumes or more.

Imadoki! Nowadays
by Yu Watase
Published by Viz
Tanpopo is going to start at a new school that is mostly for rich kids (sounds a bit like Boys over Flowers at First, but is handled differently) and so decides to check out the school before the first day. When she's there, she meets a guy who is planting flowers on the school property and she makes friends with him. But the next day when school starts, he completely ignores her and she vows to become his real friend. The problem? He thinks everybody is as fake as the rich kids he goes to school with, and there's another girl out to get him before Tanpopo does.
5 volumes total

Kodocha: Sana's Stage
by Miho Obana
Published by Tokyopop (out of print)
Sana is a child actress who is frustrated with the bully at school who runs the classroom. Sana is a really happy kid, and Akito is really gloomy, and their opposite natures cause problems as they each try to get control over the other. But their clashing creates some romantic sparks and a little bit of mutual understanding.
10 volumes total.

by Fuyumi Soryo
Published by Tokyopop
Kira is an artist who is very introverted, and Rei is the "bad boy" who sees a picture she drew and becomes interested in her. As their relationship develops, secrets from both of their pasts come to the surface and threaten their growing relationship.
15 volumes total.

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Friday, March 17, 2006


... by Keishon and CW.

Four Jobs You Have Had In Your Life

1. Public Library Clerk/Teen Programmer
2. Intelligence Analyst in the U.S. Army
3. Bookstore Clerk
4. Telemarketer

Four Movies You Would Watch over and over:

1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
2. Pirates of the Caribbean
3. Willow
4. The Last Unicorn !!!

Four Places You Have Lived

1. Kansas City, Missouri
2. San Antonio, Texas
3. Sierra Vista, Arizona
4. Clearfield, Utah

Four TV shows you Love to Watch

1. Battlestar Galactica (though the finale made me really mad)
2. Deadwood (really missing it right now)
3. Grey's Anatomy
4. CSI

Four Places You Have Been On Vacation:

1. Rockport & Port Aransas, TX (visiting Steve's parents)
2. South Padre Island, TX (for vacation)
3. Wisconsin (when I was a kid)
4. Nova Scotia, Canada (to visit grandparents)

Four Websites You Visit Daily

1. CNN
2. Amazon
3. Anime News Network
4. My blog -- so I can blog-hop

Four Favorite Foods

1. Hamburgers from Burger King
2. Cookie Dough
3. Strawberries (fresh!)
4. Spaghetti

Four Places You Rather Be Right Now

1. On the beach in Port Aransas, TX
2. On a cruise in the Caribbean
3. At an anime convention
4. Sleeping

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Vampire Books To Look Forward To

With the surge in popularity of paranormal books in general and vampires stories in particular, there are always, always more books on the horizon for the vampire lover. Though I don't like every vampire book I read (by far, because there are always duds, especially when many authors just jump on the bandwagon, rather than write what they love), but I do enjoy vampire stories.

I think my preference is mostly because vampires are exotic and dangerous. I like nice guys in real life and in books, but I definitely enjoy reading about men/creatures who are slightly dangerous. They are of course even better when paired with a woman who is strong and slightly dangerous herself. I have enjoyed books where the woman was the vampire and where both have been vampires, and even seek those out because they promise something different and usually a woman I can respect.

A few of these are out already, but there are also a number that are upcoming

The Devil's Knight
by Lucy Blue
Pocket, 28 February 2006
Second in the Bound in Darkness series, I like that this series is set in Medieval times. I haven't yet read My Demon's Kiss.

Lover Eternal
by J. R. Ward
Signet, 7 March 2006
The highly anticipated sequel to Ward's Dark Lover, this one is out already. It's terrible, but I still haven't got around to reading Dark Lover, though I have it on my TBR pile.

A Hunger Like No Other
by Kresley Cole
Pocket, 28 March 2006
I am really curious about how Cole is going to write her heroine in this one, described as a half-Valkyrie/half-vampire who is destined to marry a man/werewolf warrior who has spent his whole life fighting the vampires. Though this sounds somewhat inspired by the movie Underworld, I think it looks interesting. I haven't read any Cole yet. And I really like this cover -- menacing yet sexy.

Past Redemption
by Savannah Russe
Signet, 4 April 2006
The sequel to Beyond the Pale. It's interesting to me that three of the most interesting new series in paranormal/vampire stories (Ward's, Russe's and Viehl's) are both published by Signet. Somewhere out there is an editor who not only has good taste, but who anticipated the interest in romance/urban fantasy/mystery series.

The Burning
by Susan Squires
St. Martin's, 4 April 2006
Squires turns to the story of a psychic woman who is thought to be insane, and a vampire who must hunt his own kind. Squires is a very talented author, and she's been blessed with some beautiful covers for this series.

Keep Me Forever
by Rosemary Laurey
Kensington, 6 April 2006
I really enjoyed Laurey's first books in this series. I read them when they were originally published by a small press, and was thrilled when they were reprinted in paperback.

Vamps in the City
by Kerrelyn Sparks
Avon, 1 May 2006
I really like the cover for this one, and even though I haven't yet read Sparks, I might have to pick this one up for the cover alone. I hope the author doesn't dance around her premise -- the heroine has been in a vampire's harem for four years -- because that would pretty much turn me off the series. I know this is a "funny" rather than serious series, but it'll be disappointing if she's set this up only to back out of it.

Definitely Dead
by Charlaine Harris
Ace, 2 May 2006
I love the Sookie Stackhouse series and have anxiously been awaiting this latest entry.

Even Vampires Get the Blues
by Katie MacAlister
Signet, 2 May 2006
I read the first couple of books in this series, and thought they were fun but not really my speed. This one is the latest in her series.

Dark Need
by Lynn Viehl
Signet, 6 June 2006
Viehl's series has been very good in my opinion, and I look forward to each of her new releases. Her science fiction novel, Blade Dancer, is in my top favorites across all genres, so I'm pretty loyal to her from now on.

Hunting the Hunter
by Shiloh Walker
Berkley, 30 June 2006
Walker is another Ellora's Cave author that is making it into the print publishing world. This books has a man hunting down a woman that he believes killed his best friend, and she just happens to be a vampire. Definitely sounds interesting to me. And I love this cover.

Be Mine Tonight
by Kathryn Smith
Avon, 1 July 2006
First in a new series, by the usual historical author. I haven't seen a whole lot of details on this one yet, but I am very interested in it.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bad Boys

I have enjoyed a number of the Bad Boys books from Kensington. They're not all great, but I've been introduced to a few new authors through the series, which is definitely the strength of the series. Kensington has done an incredible job branding this series and using it to introduce new authors (and at a high price too, a double success!). It's too bad that more publishers don't try to follow this excellent example, because they would probably find it successful as well. Each title markets the next, and in an industry where there is actually very little effort put into marketing by publishers, every little bit of recognition and goodwill on the part of the readers/consumers should be grabbed and held on to as much as possible.

Bad Boys in Kilts
by Donna Kauffman
March 2006

When Good Things Happen to Bad Boys
by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy and HelenKay Dimon
April 2006

Bad Boys of Summer
by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy and Amy Garvey
June 2006

Bad Boys Southern Style
by JoAnn Ross, E. C. Sheedy and Jill Shalvis
July 2006

Viva Las Bad Boys
by HelenKay Dimon
August 2006

Texas Bad Boys
by Rosemary Laurey, Karen Kelley and Dianne Castell
September 2006
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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Few Upcoming Paranormals

First, here are a couple of series titles that have caught my eye.

Deep Blue
by Suzanne McMinn
Silhouette Intimate Moments, 1 February 2006
McMinn's PAX League series looks interesting, and though I know this isn't the first one, I really like the cover. It is very striking, and definitely got my attention on the shelf at Borders.

Something Wicked
by Evelyn Vaughn
Silhouette Bombshell, 14 February 2006
I really like that Harlequin is mixing the occasional paranormal in with the Bombshell line. I like the lack of focus on romance and relationships as the main action in the books. There is usually still a romantic element, but they remind me more of urban fantasy novels from sci-fi publishers than they do of packaged, series romance.

Familiar Escape
by Caroline Burnes
Harlequin Intrigue, 14 March 2006
I was amazed to see that Burnes has been writing this "Fear Familiar" mini-series for Intrigue since 1990! Because they just don't stay available for long, I know I won't be able to read the whole backlist, but I do think I will try to pick this one up and see if it's any good.

And here are the single titles I'm looking forward to:

Dates from Hell
by Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong and Lori Handeland
Avon, 1 April 2006
I like these anthologies that mix traditional romance authors with the new paranormal-with-romantic-elements authors. I think it really helps to direct readers who might not otherwise realize that the other genres are as good as their normal comfort genre. And I think that the vision of the editor seems to help the authors stretch a little bit outside of their boundaries. I'm looking forward to this one, which I think has a strong group of authors.

Date Me, Baby, One More Time
by Stephanie Rowe
Warner Forever, 1 May 2006
I hope this is the good kind of funny paranormal, but I guess I'll see when it comes out. Here's the blurb for this one: "IF YOU THINK LIFE IS COMPLICATED, TRY IMMORTALITY. Justine Bennett is cursing her life. She’s the Guardian of the Goblet of Eternal Youth, she hasn’t left the house in ages, and it’s been over 200 years since she’s had sex. Oh, and the Goblet has shape-shifted into an espresso machine named Mona. Not exactly the stuff grand destiny is made of... Derek LaValle is worried. Due to a family curse, he’ll be dead in the space of a week unless he finds the Guardian of the Goblet of Eternal Youth and beheads her. Which wouldn’t be a problem if she weren’t so sexy, smart... and ready to behead him right back."

Animal Instincts
by Gena Showalter
HQN, 1 May 2006
Playing with Fire
by Gena Showalter
HQN, September 2006
Gena Showalter is an author who writes entertaining books, but not usually keepers. The reason I keep coming back to her is because she has such a great imagination. This is not an author who is going to get caught writing ten books in a series with every possible friend-of-a-friend getting their own book because she doesn't know how to start something new. Every book Showalter writes has a new and interesting, imaginative premise. Oh, and every time I check out her website, I wonder if other authors are holding out on us or if she's just got really good friends in the art department. She has cover art before her books are even listed on Amazon!

Almost a Goddess
by Judi McCoy
Avon, 1 June 2006
Most of Avon's historical covers really suck (and not in a funny vampire way), but this cover is actually really cool. I thought at first glance that it was an HQN book because it looks like one of their covers, but it really is Avon. This is the story of Kyra, the Muse of Good Fortune, who is banished from Olympus for bad performance, and is sent to Las Vegas, where I guess they figure people could use good fortune.

When You Believe
by Jessica Inclan
Kensington, 6 June 2006
Reason to Believe
by Jessica Inclan
Kensington, October 2006
The subtitle for these books is "A Novel of Magical Temptation", which sounds really interesting to me. I don't know much else about these books (which her website says will be part of a trilogy) but they have great covers and look really interesting. I really like how they look side by side.

Angel with Attitude
by Michelle Rowen
Warner Forever, 1 July 2006
The shoes make me think of Hermes, the messenger god -- it would be really cool if this book was a play on that myth. Nope, it's not about that -- I found a blurb at the author's blog -- "Falling naked into the killer whale tank at MarineLand is always bad news, but it's a real bummer when you've just been kicked out of Heaven. Former angel Valerie Grace is determined to reverse her banishment -- Earth's just no fun. Her best friend is a slightly perverted human-turned rat, and she's being tailed by a sexy Tempter Demon named Nathaniel, who's trying to lure her to hell with kisses that are almost worth the trip. With the talking rodent sneaking peeks down her shirt and Nathaniel getting more irresitible every minute, this ex-angel has only one hope: find the stolen Key to Heaven and go home. Then the oddest thing happens -- Nathaniel starts to show signs of loyalty and love. And soon Val is asking herself if it is such a bad thing to have the hots for a demon."

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Boys' Love

So I finally got a chance to see Brokeback Mountain. I went with a friend from work. I absolutely LOVED it. It was an amazing movie, beautifully filmed, directed just perfectly. Jake Gyllenhaal was great, but Heath Ledger just blew me away. He definitely deserves an Oscar for that performance. When I looked at that movie screen, I didn't see Jake and Heath, but Jack and Ennis. I was so completely lost in that movie that someone could have bombed the theatre and I wouldn't have budged. I cried a lot too because it's a very emotional story. It's been a week since I saw it and I am still thinking about it.

My friend likes arty or literary movies, but I was still a little unsure over how she would feel about the love story, but she enjoyed it. She didn't like it as much as I did, because I think she was still somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of a homosexual relationship. It's just not something that's all that open or visible in midwestern America even now.

It's amazing to me how some people can watch a movie as powerful as Brokeback Mountain and only be concerned with the fact that it was two men in love instead of a man and a woman. Two of the other ladies at work saw the movie as well (separately from us) and they didn't like it, and that was the basic reason -- they had a hard time watching two guys. I just wonder why they went to see it in the first place. And it's pretty clear that they love each other. You don't choose who you fall in love with in life, so why not someone of the same gender as you? That doesn't bother me at all. The more love in the world, the better.

Anyway, the movie made me decide to finally try out some of the anime out there that deals with Boys' Love (or shonen-ai as it is called in Japanese). Here are a few of the titles I've watched or become interested in.

The beginning of this series is available on the Anime Network on Demand, which I get through Time Warner Cable. I've watched the first five episodes so far, and it's really good. I've heard a lot about this series from other anime fans and is a huge favorite in the anime community. I can see why. It's the story of a young man whose band is just starting to break out and his relationship with an older male novelist. Eiri Yuki (the novelist) is a great character, very realistic is the sense that you don't always know what he is thinking, that sometimes it's hard to read his actions that actually show that he has affection for Shuichi.

So far I've only seen one episode of Loveless, but if that episode is an indication of the quality of the full series, then I've found a new addiction. Absolutely gorgeous art, interesting characters, and an intriguing story. A brief description of the story -- "Ritsuka is an alienated sixth grader: his older brother Seimei died under mysterious circumstances; his mother is prone to irrational, violent rages. Two years ago, Ritsuka underwent a change he doesn't understand that's left him unsure of his own existence. Soubi, a mysterious college student, appears and announces he loves Ritsuka and will do anything for him--and that he knows how and why Seimei was killed. With Soubi as his protector, Ritsuka enters a supernatural battle against the forces of the sinister Septimal Moon."

Sukisho and Kyo Kara Maoh are a couple of other shonen-ai anime series that I am really interested in checking out.

If you prefer books, there is always shonen-ai manga. Loveless (there will eventually be six volumes) and Gravitation (12 volumes, all released) were both manga series' before they were anime series' and Loveless is finally being released in the U.S. by Tokyopop. I picked up the first volume already and hopefully will have some time to read it this week.
Demon Diary is a Korean fantasy series that deals with the relationship between a young demon lord and his mentor. I've read three volumes (of seven) so far and am really enjoying it.
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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Anxiously Awaiting

This is a pretty diverse group of books that I am looking forward to -- mostly because of the authors involved. Most are titles I've known about for a while, that just seem like they are forever on the horizon.

Hide in Plain Sight
by Michele Albert
Pocket, 25 April 2006
I discovered Albert after being pointed to her blog at some point because she likes anime. So after reading her for a while, I decided to try out one of her books, which was One Way Out (which, interestingly, came out a year ago today). Since then, I've read some of her backlist and look forward to anything from her in the future.

Duke of Scandal
by Adele Ashworth
Avon, 1 May 2006
Ashworth is one of the few romance authors who I feel consistently writes outside of the romance box -- despite the uproar over her last book and the "virgin widow" issue. This keeps me waiting for each of her books. I hope the cover looks better "in the flesh" than it does here.

Lying in Bed
by M. J. Rose
Harlequin Spice, 1 June 2006
I have enjoyed Rose's mysteries and I like that she is an author comfortable with pushing boundaries and trying new things. When I heard about the Spice line, it was this title that interested me. And I do like the cover. Very elegant.

Kushiel's Scion
by Jacqueline Carey
Warner, 12 June 2006
When I first read Carey's Kushiel's Dart, I couldn't believe how good it was, and how emotional the ride through that trilogy was. And though I have both of the books she's written since then, I haven't gotten around to reading them yet. I was waiting for this one, which is finally in the near future.

by MaryJanice Davidson, Susan Grant, P. C. Cast, and Gena Showalter
Berkley, 30 June 2006
I feel like I am frequently one of the few romance readers who actually enjoys anthologies. I like the chance to try new authors, and I like the chance for authors to explore ideas that wouldn't always work as a full-length novel. I look forward to this one because Grant is consistently good, Showalter is a fountain of amazing ideas, and Cast and Davidson are both good storytellers (though I also have a hit-and-miss relationships with each). A good group of authors.

Whispers of the Night
by Lydia Joyce
Signet, 30 June 2006
Joyce is one of the most unique voices to emerge in the last few years in romance. This probably pegs me as a reader type, but I think it's quite possible that Joyce will fit in the Ivory-Gaffney-Kinsale-Ashworth-Chase group in the future.

Code Noir
by Marianne de Pierres
Roc, 30 June 2006
I like science fiction as much as I like romance, and one of my favorite sci-fi books of last year was de Pierres' Nylon Angel. It was a dark book -- the world isn't a happy place, there are people barely making it, the media runs everything and the only truth is what the TV says is truth. Parrish is a true kick-ass heroine. That's a term that's been tossed around a lot in romance-land lately and is rarely lived up to, but here it fits absolutely. I'm very much looking forward to this sequel.

The Next
by Dan Vining
Berkley, 1 August 2006
Vining's debut novel, The Quick, was a basically a supernatural mystery, but the supernatural elements were blended in so well that it actually took me a while to catch on to them. No scary monsters or legendary creatures shoved down your throat, just some mysterious men called Sailors who existed in the world alongside everyone else. Figuring out the primary mystery and the mystery of who and what these men are/were made for a great book.

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