>Dream a little with James Patterson as his imagination allows children to flap their wings and fly. In The Angel Experiment children have been taken from their parents and injected with avian DNA by evil scientists. They may be 98 percent human, but the 2 percent avian DNA creates wings that allow them to soar. They are on the run from their captors and must use other special abilities to protect themselves from the Erasers, wolf-like, extremely strong, genetically-modified creatures who want them back in order to do further experiments. This group of kids looks out for each other and have compassion for each other’s failings and abilities.
After freeing Angel, the youngest of their adopted family, the setting varies from Death Valley to the subway of New York City as the kids flee from the Erasers.
More books follow to continue the story of Maximum Ride, the leader of the bird family and narrator of The Angel Experiment.
>In this wonderfully inventive debut, Mark Hodder pulls together a variety of genres (including time travel, steampunk, alternate history, mystery and more) into a rolicking story set in an alternate Victorian England.
Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton, a Victorian era Renaissance Man, follows a different path in life when he is asked by the prime minister in 1861 to investigate the sightings of the (possibly mythic) figure Spring Heeled Jack. What follows is a tale of werewolves, a talking orangutan, steam-powered velocipedes and rotorchairs as Burton tries to locate Spring Heeled Jack and find out why boys from the East End are disappearing. Burton recruits his friend, the poet Algernon Swinburne, to aid him in his investigation as he faces off with such Victorian era giants as Charles Darwin, Laurence Oliphant, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Florence Nightingale.
The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack is the first in the planned Burton and Swinburne series. While Hodder pulled everything together into a satisfying ending for Spring Heeled Jack, there is more than enough there for another narrative featuring the intrepid Burton and Swinburne.
>There are a ridiculous number of books being published right now featuring vampires (and werewolves and zombies). The Passage by Justin Cronin happens to feature vampires. But if you’re not a Twilight fan, don’t let the vampires put you off of The Passage. These vampires don’t sparkle and don’t get involved in melodramatic love triangles. These vampires are out of the Stoker tradition, although in this wonderfully captivating novel the vampire condition is caused by a virus harvested and modified by the government to create super soldiers.
One hundred years after “virals” escape a government testing facility in Colorado, there live a group of people in a place known as “The Colony” in what was California. On a maintenance trip to the power station powering the lights that keep their settlement from being overrun by the virals, they find a girl on her own. She has a chip implanted in her neck recording her vitals that has been recording for approximately the past hundred years. They have also discovered a radio transmission repeating the message “if you found her, bring her here.” The obvious conclusion is that the transmission refers to this mystery girl.
A small group sets out to discover the source of the transmission and find out if the reason this girl is still alive after one hundred years is information that can save the rest of humanity. The lights at The Colony are failing, and there isn’t much time to find an answer.
>The Hunger Games trilogy has become a cultural phenomenon over the past couple years, and the final book in the trilogy, Mockingjay, goes on sale tonight at 12:01 AM. Like Harry Potter, there will be midnight release parties for this one. If you’re on the hold list for Mockingjay (or The Hunger Games or Catching Fire, for that matter), below are some other books you’ll find in the library that might appeal to you.
Uglies is the first book in a trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. In this dystopic future, people go through surgery to become “pretties” at 16, a change that enhances similar characteristics and shifts features toward the ideal of beauty. Teens are then free to party and play. Tally is one young Ugly who yearns to become a Pretty, but things get turned upside down when her friend Shay runs away and Tally is told to go spy on her or never be allowed to become a Pretty.
Yelena is convicted of killing a general’s son and sentenced to death by hanging. Granted a reprieve in exchange for becoming a poison taster for the Commander, ruler of Ixia, Yelena is soon caught up in castle politics. She also realizes some people want her dead and Ixia is not a terribly stable country at the moment. Poison Study, with a strong leading female character, complicated political machinations and a riveting romance will suck in readers as surely as The Hunger Games did.
For a more grown-up version of The Hunger Games, Genesis may appeal. In this near-future dystopia, Anax is a young historian living in an island society that is a refuge from the rest of the devastated planet. The island is founded on security and order above freedom, modeled after Plato’s Republic. Anax wants to enter the Academy, and completes her entrance exam paper on Adam Forde, a soldier who rescued a young girl from a raft and was sentenced to work with an advanced robot named Art as his punishment. This short novel is a philosophical work centered on the interaction of humanity, technology and the environment, but it manages to read like a thriller the whole way through.
A few other ideas for books like those in The Hunger Games trilogy include:
Feed by M.T. Anderson
Oryx and Crake and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Naughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Jennifer Government by Max Barry
Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
Neuromancer by William Gibson
You can also check out the display cart that’s in front of the teen zone dedicated to Mockingjay readalikes.