2016: The (Lyga) Year in Review

Last year around this time, I saw that Holly Black had posted a Year in Review on her blog. On my podcast, I lamented that I hadn’t thought to do the same, and resolved to give it a shot.

So of course, I decided to do my first Year in Review post at the end of what may be the lousiest year in my lifetime, with the promise of more bad yet to come.

Oh, well.

Personal

In my personal life, it was a year of upheaval and complexity, but ultimately one of great joy. [Read more…]

Two Interviews for The Secret Sea

The Secret Sea coverTwo interviews have been posted for The Secret Sea, so I figured I’d point ’em out to you…

First up is SciFiChick.com, where I say stuff like:

It’s about family and friendship and what survives death and how far you’d be willing to go to save someone you love…and what could make you not save them.

Then we have the Teen Librarian Toolbox, where I say stuff like:

…their worst nightmare is a super-smart, fiercely independent 12-year-old girl!

Check ’em out!

SLJ on The Secret Sea

The Secret Sea coverJust in time for launch day, School Library Journal offers up its take on The Secret Sea! (Once again, I’ve redacted a bit for spoiler purposes. Emphasis mine.)

Terrifying visions of subway stations flooded by ocean water. A somnambulistic journey to the World Trade Center. Things are definitely getting weirder by the day for Zak Killian, and that’s before he uncovers the secret of [SPOILER]. That reveal leads Zak and his best friends Khalid and Moira into an alternate universe where Zak can [SPOILER]. Lyga creates a compelling and impressively fleshed out alternate universe; sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopian elements feature throughout, from mysterious wild magic to the glowing electroleum power source. A subplot involving the brutal repression of women by means of a legal system very similar to our own slavery adds depth to the comparison of the two worlds. Though upper–middle grade through young adult readers will appreciate these elements, the narrative’s success ultimately relies on its compelling adventures and character development. However, it is somewhat disappointing that readers have to wait roughly about 100 pages to cross into the alternate universe proper. VERDICT Though it might start a little slow some for some, this work ultimately delivers the sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopian goods and will draw in middle schoolers with its impressive world-building. A strong choice for many young adult and upper–middle grade collections.

The Secret Sea in PW

PW logoThe folks at Publishers Weekly have chimed in on The Secret Sea…and it seems like they dig it! Their review is below…sort of.

I say “sort of” because I’ve redacted a little bit of it for spoiler reasons. No offense meant to PW — I just feel strongly about that sort of thing. 🙂

Anyway, here it (mostly) is:

The Secret Sea cover

When 12-year-old Zak Killian starts dreaming of boats and having visions of flooded Manhattan subways that no one else can see, he begins to think that the voice he keeps hearing in his head might not be his imagination. In a thrilling standalone adventure from Lyga (I Hunt Killers), Zak learns that his longstanding heart condition is [SPOILER!] Now Zak [SPOILER!]and his best friends Khalid and Moira venture into a parallel universe. Lyga used the real-life mystery of a ship under Ground Zero as a spark for the story, and an endnote gives more information and context to the discovery. Readers will love the fast-paced action and terrifying details of the alternate timeline Zak and friends find themselves in, and the satisfying conclusion will leave them considering questions of identity and family.

The Secret Sea’s Cover Secrets!

This is the cover to The Secret Sea, complete with its swanky blurb from R.L. Stine…Secret Sea front cover

And here’s the back cover, complete with its sweet blurb from Gordon Korman…Secret Sea back cover

And here’s the inside front flap, with more artwork that I did not know would exist!

Secret Sea flap

I am so psyched because while I love main character Zak and his portrayal on the cover, his best pals Khalid and Moira are only slightly less “main” than he is. So it’s beyond awesome that they get some love, too. Better yet, the folks at Feiwel & Friends kept this little tidbit from me, so it was a nice surprise when my first author copy arrived the other day!

(Sorry, I Hunt Killers fans — nothing exotic on the case cover!)