Tag Archives: The Black Isle

Tammy’s Top Ten Books on my Summer TBR List

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, one of my favorite blog events to participate in. It’s been almost a month since my last Top Ten list, so I’m excited this week’s theme is fairly easy (sometimes the themes just don’t resonate with me, so I skip them).  But there are so many great books coming out this summer, it was actually difficult to narrow it down to ten. Here they are, in order of release date:

Shadows Cast by Stars by Catherine Knutsson. Released June 6th. This book is already out. Just look at the gorgeous cover! The story takes place 200 years in the future, and combines elements of Greek mythology and tales of the aboriginal peoples. Sixteen-year-old Cassandra is immune to the plague, but people are after her blood since it has mystical properties. It’s received some awesome reviews on Goodreads, and I’m looking forward to reading it.

The Taken by Vicki Pettersson. Released June 12th. Here’s another book that’s already hit the shelves. I’ve mentioned it before in another post and I’m still excited to read it. How’s this for a blurb: “He’s a fallen angel. She’s a rockabilly reporter. Together they must solve a deadly string of murders plaguing the mortal and the immortal worlds.” (Goodreads) I don’t care how many books are out there that involve humans and immortals, I’m still not tired of them!

Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan. Release date: June 26th. I love Glen Duncan. I loved the first book in this series, The Last Werewolf (you can read that review here.) I don’t want to say too much about the plot because anything I say really will spoil it if you are planning on reading The Last Werewolf. Let’s just say it’s about werewolves and some nasty things are bound to happen. Plus, Duncan’s writing is luminous and incredibly beautiful, and it’s worth reading for that alone.

Gold by Chris Cleave. Release date: July 3rd. Do I need to mention again how much I love Chris Cleave? That his writing fills me with awe? That his story ideas are so creative, horrible, amazing, heart-wrenching and ultimately satisfying? Gold will surely be all of those things. This time he’s written about the Olympics and two women competing for a spot on the British Olympic team. But it’s not just about that. Cleave’s stories have so many layers, and his characters’ voices are so unique, that I hope you give him a chance, if you haven’t already.

God Save the Queen by Kate Locke. Release date: July 3rd. First of all, I love the cover. The story is set in an alternate universe England in the year 2012. Queen Victoria is undead, and all manner of paranormal creatures roam the streets. Our heroine Xandra is a member of the Royal Guard, and when her sister goes missing, she sets out to find her.  Seems like a fantastic combo of urban fantasy and steampunk!

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. Release date: July 3rd. Lots of books coming out July 3rd! Maybe because of the holiday…Tiger Lily is the story of Tiger Lily from, you guessed it, Peter Pan, told from her point of view. It begins before Wendy comes to Neverland, when Tiger Lily falls in love with Peter. But when Wendy shows up, everything changes. I love stories that give you another perspective on a classic, and this one not only sounds fantastic, but has received some very good reviews.

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. Release date: July 10th. I’ve been waiting for this follow-up since I read the last page of A Discovery of Witches.  The love story of a witch and a vampire, A Discovery of Witches was so unique and concluded with a cliffhanger ending. Second books in trilogies are often disappointing, but this one has seen some good reviews, so I’m hoping for the best!

Auracle by Gina Rosati. Release date: August 7th. Sixteen-year-old Anna can astrally project out of her body. That’s a concept for a novel you don’t run across very often.  She becomes trapped when a classmate takes over her body, and she must rely on her friend Rei to help her get back. Love the cover, and love the idea.

The Black Isle by Sandi Tan. Release date: August 7th.  Another book I’ve mentioned before, The Black Isle is a Chinese ghost story about a girl named Cassandra who can see ghosts. It has lots of historical elements and takes place from the 1920’s to WWII. It looks like a combination of real-life places and events mixed with the paranormal. I believe this is Tan’s first book.

Hearts of Darkness by Kira Brady. Release date: August 7th. It’s hard to tell from the book cover that this is actually a paranormal romance novel. It’s the first in a series, and is the story of a nurse named Kayla Friday who is trying to unravel the secret of her sister’s death. Along the way she runs into a sexy werewolf. Bad things ensue. Does love win out? Probably not in the first book.  This cover says neither “werewolf” nor “romance” to me, but who knows?


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Waiting on Wednesday #8 – THE BLACK ISLE by Sandi Tan

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog event hosted by Breaking the Spine.

The Black Isle by Sandi Tan. Release date: August 7, 2012, Grand Central Publishing.  Oooh, a Chinese ghost story! This book sounds fantastic.  Here’s the Publisher’s Weekly review:

Tan’s ambitious debut is a gripping historical novel set on an exotic island in Southeast Asia during a 60-year span that encompasses the island’s primitive condition as a British colony, the WWII Japanese invasion, and its postwar transformation. Thanks to a deep natural harbor, fine climate, and convenient position between India and China, the island becomes “the shiny opal in the empire’s Far Eastern crown.” But since the heroine has the gift—or curse—of seeing the dead, this is also a gothic tale with scenes of grisly supernatural horror, its atmosphere full of dark omens and a sense of the macabre. Narrator Ling, who later changes her name to Cassandra, is born in early 1920s China. As an adolescent, she goes with her father and twin brother to the aptly named Black Island, where she lives through one harrowing event after another as she’s forced to summon spectral apparitions in order to placate the men who rule her life: her feckless father, the Japanese officer who makes her his mistress, and the ruthlessly ambitious Oxford-educated politician in whose bed she finds herself next. Tan’s imagination seems boundless as she involves her protagonist in events that force her to evade moral scruples in order to stay alive. Conveying an atmosphere of corruption, violence and betrayal, Tan anchors the narrative with authoritative details of time and place, and social and ethnic rituals. Her descriptions of the supercilious British and the arrogant, depraved Japanese are brutally candid. Her stark, knife-sharp images of horror-inducing events—a woman in sexual congress with an octopus, a schoolgirl’s body dangling from a ceiling fan, forced sex in public as entertainment for Japanese army officers, occult rites in a cemetery, prisoners forced to harvest fleas from bodies to make pathogens, sharks bursting out of an aquarium tank and devouring children, a huge gathering of ghastly corpses—are not for fainthearted readers, but the tale as a whole maintains its mesmerizing power throughout. Agent: Barbara Braun.

I can’t wait for this book! What are you waiting on?


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