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Smugglivus Day 24 – Guest Blogger: Angie of Angieville

Welcome to Smugglivus – Day 24!

Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2009, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2010.

Today’s Guest: Angie of the Young Adult/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction review blog Angieville. Angie runs one of our very favorite blogs, and has a knack for picking up and reviewing books that both of us Smugglers love. She’s one of our go-to sites for book ideas – if Angie likes it, chances are, we will love it too!

Please give a hand to Angie!

Well, hello there, gentle blog readers! I got all excited when Thea and Ana’s invite showed up. This is my second annual Smugglivus appearance and it is fast becoming one of my favorite holiday traditions. I’m thrilled to pieces to be here again and for the past several days I have been taking notes as fast as I can. All these wonderful recs are going to make 2010 a seriously excellent reading year. I can feel it. For my part, I decided to go ahead and do a repeat performance of last year’s post. So today I’ll be handing out a handful of awards for my Best of ’09 books. Without further ado:

*drum roll*

Best Performance by a Heroine in a Recurring Role: Kate Daniels for Magic Strikes Kate just gets cooler and tougher and couldn’t stop taunting the Beast Lord to save her life. My kind of girl, is Kate.

Best Debut Performance by a Heroine in a Leading Role: Lyn for Girl in the Arena
She’s the daughter of seven gladiators. She loves her family and is true to herself, while refusing to perpetuate a suffocatingly rigid social system. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from Lyn.
Best Performance by a Hero in a Recurring Role: Curran for Magic Strikes
It’s just that he’s Curran. And he’s so furry and cocky and implacable. And out of his mind over Kate. Love the guy. Love, love, love him.
Best Debut Performance by a Hero in a Leading Role: Brigan for Fire
Because if you’re looking for still waters run deep, look no further. His iron self-control and constant putting of duty and family before any personal desires…well, in Kristin Cashore‘s capable hands, he’s utterly spellbinding.
Best Performance by an Antihero in a Leading Role: Nick for The Demon’s Lexicon
Talk about the definition of an antihero. Nicholas Ryves takes the cake, my friends. You love him, you hate him, you love to hate him. And his relationship with his big brother Alan will melt your heart. See if it doesn’t.
Best Performance by a Villain: President Snow for Catching Fire
The dude smells like blood and roses and I can’t read a scene he’s in without gagging. Seriously. What is wrong with him?
Best Performance by a Vampire in a Supporting Role: Stefan for Bone Crossed
Stefan is just, hands down, my favorite vampire around. He smells like popcorn and drives a VW bus painted like the Mystery Machine and he absolutely made Bone Crossed. I hope Mercy gives Marsilia what she deserves one of these days. For Stefan.
Best Series Finale: Diana Peterfreund for Tap & Gown
For never dropping the ball and coming through in every way that matters and more. Tap & Gown is the perfect ending to a ridiculously entertaining series. How many of those have you read?
I just love it. Better yet, its inside is every bit as breathtaking as its outside. And that is saying something.
Best Kiss: Lady Julia Grey and Mr. Nicholas Brisbane for Silent on the Moor
These two are three books in now and the tension…let’s just say it remains high. Part of it can be chalked up to how well-suited they are to one another and part of it is just that Ms. Raybourn can infuse a scene with Victorian heat like nobody’s business.
And last, but not least…
Best Author Pimping: My booktwin and dear friend Martha for her tireless and heartfelt pimping of Megan Whalen Turner‘s Queen’s Thief series: The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia
Thank you, Martha. What can I say? I should have listened to you earlier. I have seen the error of my ways and will never delay reading a book you rave about ever again. This series instantaneously skyrocketed to the top of my beloved bookshelf and Turner is an absolute storytelling master. Highly recommended for fans of Robin McKinley, Kristin Cashore, and Sherwood Smith.
As for my 2010 Must Be Mine list…I’m gonna leave you with my top 15 most anticipated titles. They hail from 3 new-to-me authors and 12 near-and-dear ones. The list is comprised of 8 YAs (4 fantasy, 2 urban fantasy, 1 dystopian, and 1 contemporary), 3 urban fantasies, 3 straight fantasies, 1 historical mystery, and is top to bottom made of awesome. Shiny, no? Here they are in order of publication date:

In a world of fever camps, wandering exiles, and cursed kingdoms, young Finnikin joins forces with the reckless Evanjalin in a bid to save the land of Lumatere from the evil that threatens to swallow it. After the wonder that was Jellicoe Road, I will read anything the woman writes. Due out February 9
A young woman leaves Scotland, bound for Roumania to visit a friend and write her book. There she encounters the mysterious Count Dragulescu and, well, really, need I say more? Due out March 1
The long-awaited fourth novel in the beloved Queen’s Thief series. This one follows Sophos as he fights his way to take his place as the heir to Sounis. Confession: I’m 100 pages into my ARC and it is, in a word, sublime. Due out March 23
A land beset by storms and quakes, a mysterious wizard who brings rain, and a young woman stolen from her home who may hold the key to it all…I am so there. Due out March 23
Fifth Mercy Thompson novel. ‘Nuff said. Due out March 30
The unexpected but delightfully welcome sequel to Perfect Chemistry. This one follows Alex’s little brother Carlos. I enjoyed the hell out of the first book and can’t wait for the follow-up. Plus, that cover? Smokin! Due out April 13
A young girl has lost her memory. A desperate prince risks everything on the mere hope she is who he believes her to be. Forced to return to a place she once fled, amid scheming and lies, Isabel struggles to determine who she used to be and what she must become. Due out April 17
First in the Griffin Mage trilogy. The griffins are coming, bringing fire and desert in their wake. The king prepares for battle to protect his land. Meanwhile a young girl is summoned to heal the Griffin King and her awakening abilities lead her to the truth behind their sudden flight. Due out April 27
The fourth Kate Daniels book. Ilona and Gordon knocked it out of the park with Magic Strikes and I’m just not sure I’m gonna make it until May. Thank goodness for re-reading, right? Due out May 25
The first in the Curse Workers trilogy, it’s about a boy named Cassel and takes place in a private boarding school, features a family of grifters, and is about curse magic. Oh, and a white cat. And is a fairy tale retelling. And it will be mine. Due out May 4
No covers quite yet on the rest of these, but keep your eye out because they are definitely not to be missed.
The fifth Heroes book featuring the lovable Source & Shield duo: Taro & Lee. Due out July 27
This series is #3 in my top favorite urban fantasies. I just love how smooth the writing is and finding out what happens to Ciara and Shane and the gang in the next WVMP Radio installment. Due out August 1
I have no idea how it’s all going to play out but I can tell you one thing. Katniss better knock some heads together in this one because I am THIS CLOSE to losing it. Grrr. Due out August 24
Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
The second Killer Unicorns book (I just love saying that) and the sequel to Rampant. Peterfreund is one of my very favorite authors and I, for one, am looking forward to more Astrid, more Giovanni, more Phil, and more Bucephalus! Due out September 21
Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
The sequel to the lovely Heir to Sevenwaters. This one is Sibeal’s book and one I’ve been waiting for for a long time. If you’ve never read any Marillier before, you have until December to pick up Daughter of the Forest and discover the splendiferousness for yourself. Janicu–I’m lookin’ at you. 😉 Due out December
That’s it for me. Thanks for having me, Smugglers! I’m off to track down some hot cider and wrap the last few presents. Thanks for stopping in this Christmas Eve and I hope your holidays are filled with good cheer and good books!


Thank you, Angie!!!

Next on Smugglivus: Doug Knipe, aka SciFiGuy

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  • Lusty Reader
    December 24, 2009 at 9:09 am

    i love the layout of your post, so fun! Girl in the Arena is on my wish list, so by making YOUR 2009 list means i have to pick it up soon!

    and Tap & Gown WAS excellence. i read the series after caving to thea’s pimping of it and just adored all 4 books, but i agree, there have been plenty of times series haven’t ended *juust right* (said in a goldilocks voice) but this one definitely did. and can we pause for a moment for Poe? Oh Poe! soo fascinating and surprisingly cute, he snuck up on me and stole my heart.

  • Karen
    December 24, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Terrific post! I’ve read and loves all the books on your list except The demon’s Lexicon, Catching Fire and the Queen’s Thief books. They are all on my TBR list, though.

    Your 2010 Must Be Mine list is great. Every book on your list is on mine except two (Simone Elkeles, Rachel Neumeier) which I’ve just added. And I had no idea the new Moira J. Moore book had a title and I’m so glad to see it’s out in July. Also added the Diana Peterfreund to my list even though I haven’t read Rampant. She can really do no wrong in my opinion so she’s an auto buy for me. Rampant’s staring me in the face and I must read it soon.

    Thanks for the list. A delight to read this Christmas Eve. Happy holidays!

  • Best of 2009 & 2010’s Most Anticpated « Tempting Persephone…
    December 24, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    […] 2010’s Most Anticpated Posted on December 24, 2009 by Chelle Using Angie’s fantastic “best of” list guest post over at The Book Smugglers for inspiration, I’m going to go about my own best of post a bit […]

  • Janicu
    December 24, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    What do you mean, I have until December?! *shifty eyes*.

    Yes, Kate & Curran! And Brigan! I just read GRACELING — Cashore writes great guys for her female protagonists. I love them.

    I think I have to just bookmark this post and read all the books on it. I also now have the first 2 Deanna Raybourne books based on your previous pimping. One is on the computer so I can start it over the Holiday break. AND I also found a Mary Stewart mystery novel at a thrift store and I bought that too because of you. So I DO listen… I just have to *read* all of them..

  • Li
    December 24, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Excellent post!

    I am intrigued by Perfect Chemistry. So many mentions. And oh, I really should read The Hunger Games over the Christmas holidays.

    And I’m not going to mention how jealous I am of your CoK ARC…

  • Angie
    December 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Lusty Reader, you know I am always up for a moment of silence for the awesome sauce that is Poe.



    I love him with a very large love.

    Let me know what you think of GIRL IN THE ARENA!

    Karen, I’m still reeling over THE DEMON’S LEXICON. Phew. What a book. My review will be up soon. I highly recommend it and I cannot WAIT for the sequel. Amen to Peterfreund=autobuy. It’s certainly true for me. Merry Christmas!

    Janicu, lol! Well, it is next December so that really ought to be enough time….:)

    Cashore is SO good with strong women and awesome men. I love them so much. And I’m glad you loved GRACELING. Yay!

    You’ve got the Raybourns?!? I will sit here and wait until you return and report. *plops down* They are loooovely.

    Which Mary Stewart? You have thrilled me with all of these lovely holiday purchases. 🙂

    Li, heya! Give PERFECT CHEMISTRY a shot when you’re feeling like something sweet happy and sweet and hot. It’s all those things in spades.

  • orannia
    December 24, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Fantastic list Angie – thank you! I only discovered Ilona Andrews this year (I know, where have I been?) and currently have the second book waiting for me to pick up at the library! Ditto Juliet Marillier. I read Thea’s fantastic review of Heir to Sevenwaters late last year but only picked it up a few months ago. It blew me away. Daughter of the Forest is sitting by my bed waiting for me 🙂 Oh, and I have Megan Whalen Turner on my TBR list, so I’m not a complete lost cause 😉

    Best Kiss: Lady Julia Grey and Mr. Nicholas Brisbane for Silent on the Moor.

    And about time! I *heart* this series.

  • Sarah Rees Brennan
    December 24, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    I beam at Angie for inclusion in this lovely list, and oh, Kate and Curran, the upcoming loveliness of Diana Peterfreund, Holly Black and Megan When Will My ARC Arrive Turner. Thumbs up to this most excellent guest post.

  • Aarti
    December 25, 2009 at 10:34 am

    SO EXCITED for Turner’s next book. I wish I had an ARC. Sigh- so close, yet so far 🙂

  • Janicu
    December 25, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Phew, I have till next December! 🙂

    The Mary Stewart book I got was THE MOONSPINNERS. The cool cover caught my eye.

  • Rhiannon Hart
    December 25, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    I’m listening to Finnikin of the Rock on audio right now and it’s so good. It’s funny how Marchetta has turned her hand to fantasy–and I’m just bursting with pride at her being an Aussie!

    President Snow, good pick. And OH, Brigan. There are no words…

    Thanks for the heads up about Brightly Woven and Lord of the Changing Winds.

  • Angie
    December 26, 2009 at 12:04 am

    Orannia, you are not a lost cause at all. SO much win in store for you! DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST is going to rock your little socks. 🙂 And yay for Julia and Nicholas!

    Sarah, you totally deserve it. My word, I heart Nick and Alan. I kept picturing them tearing into some magicians, gun and sword ablaze! Made of awesome, this duo.

    Aarti, lol, I know. The sound I let out when the ARC showed up surprised even me.

    Janicu, ooh, that’s a good one. Enjoy!

    Rhiannon, the Aussies know how to bring it and no mistake. I am a huge fan. And very interested to see how different FINNIKIN is from JELLICOE.

    There really are no words for Brigan. *happy*

  • Stephanie
    December 26, 2009 at 12:52 am

    Every book I read that you mentioned I totally agree with your review. The ones I haven’t read yet are now on my list to read. Thanks for the list of whats to come in 2010. Some have been on my calendar but others I had no idea. Now I have something to look forward to. Thanks again and Merry Christmas!

  • KIKA
    December 28, 2009 at 1:43 am

    aww Angie! LOVE the way you did this post, even more so that I knew many of the characters you awarded, and others I look forward to getting to know!

    YAY for the “Heroes Return” I didn’t know there were going to be more to the series! and the Thief Series??? I’m still green all over with envy that you have that ARC of the “A Conspiracy of Kings” Oh and so many more books that you’re looking forward to just make my mouth water with anticipation! and also many books to be added to my TBR pile, As always love your posts!

  • Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)
    December 29, 2009 at 7:45 am

    what a great post! I love it. and great selections to choose from.

  • Angie
    December 30, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Stephanie, sounds like we’re likeminded folk. 🙂 I hope you had a Merry Christmas. Happy reading!

    Kika, you know how attached I get to some characters. When I get the chance to spotlight some of the year’s favorites, I really can’t resist. Moira J. Moore has a plan for a total of six books in the Heroes series as far as I know. So definitely more to look forward to! My review of ACoK will be up in the next day or two.

    Serena, thank you! So many good books in store for us this year. I can’t wait.

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