Cybils season is starting up, which means the books I helped pick for the shortlist last year have been on my mind the past couple of weeks. So naturally, I’ve been working my way through the sequels of some of the finalists.
The Hunted by Matt de la Pena
Like its predecessor The Living, The Hunted so far is fast-paced and doesn’t shy away from life-threatening situations. Shy makes it back to the California coast, and it’s completely devastated. He has to survive in the changed landscape as well as avoid the people hunting him thanks to what he discovered at the end of the previous book. Shy’s voice is strong and I expect (hope) I’ll like this one as much as I did the first.
The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
I started this one a long time ago and I still haven’t finished it. It’s not because it’s bad; exactly the opposite. It’s so good that it hurts to read it. I haven’t been in the mood for books that give me a lot of feelings, and this series is full of feelings – war, thwarted love, betrayal, and no good choices for anyone. It’s the second book in a trilogy, which means it’s practically guaranteed to end unhappily. I’ve been sticking to a lot of happily-ever-afters in my reading choices lately. Still, I think this long weekend is the time to finish it up. And then sob.
Death Marked by Leah Cypess
This is a duology, not a trilogy, meaning this volume should provide a conclusion to Ileni’s story and hopefully avoid the second-book heartache that often occurs in middle installments. At the beginning of this sequel, Ileni is a captive of the Empire, forced to learn fighting magic with the assistance of lodestones. Of course, she hates it, and she also has to contend with some dangerous fellow students with their own agendas. I’m not far enough into the book to determine if I’ll like it as much as the first, but I’m hoping it will impress me just as much with its clever, intelligent plotting.
Sound by Alexandra Duncan
I only wish I were reading this one. It publishes September 22 and I will be first in line to get it (metaphorically speaking).