The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking, Book 2)

September is Seeing Double
There are so many great books to read out there, I don't always get a chance to read sequels. This month, I'm focusing on some great follow-up books! Some I may even like *more* than the original. Series lovers, get ready for sequels worth reading.
Haven is not what they expected. They arrived to the silence of submission. Shocked to see people, but not hear their noise, Todd and Viola aren't sure what to think. Seeing Mayor Prentiss looming over them doesn't exactly bode well.

Todd is desperate to see Viola after they are separated. She was so injured, he needs to know she's ok ... but he can't really trust the Mayor, uh, "President" Prentiss (as he keeps being reminded). Todd can't believe that the entire town of Haven just rolled over and let the threat of an army win them over. Todd gets thrown into a makeshift prison with the former Mayor of Haven, and all he wants to know is why? Why would you give up your freedom without a fight?

After everything that has happened, nothing could make Todd trust him. The former mayor tells him that they found a cure to the noise, they found a peace, and they decided surrender was the best way to prevent loss of life. Of course, the "President" has commandeered all of their cure for his own men. He threatens to kill the former mayor, but relents. Todd isn't sure what to think except that he knows that the President is manipulative. He knows that it's the bandage after the beating that gains your trust, allows you to let down your guard.

Viola has been taken to the healers. She and the rest of the women have been separated from the men. Mistress Coil is the best healer in all of Haven, and the former leader of the town. She is a formidable woman, and Viola wants to trust her...but she seems to be wary of Viola's attachment to the President. No matter how she tries to protest her innocence, the President's visits have put them at odds. Viola is surprised at the President's kindness, although she knows he is not to be trusted.

The hesitant feeling around town is, "this isn't as bad as I thought it would be," especially after the women are allowed to start coming out during the day. But only in groups of four, and not after dark. Soldiers still patrol the streets with guns. Viola wants to get to the communication tower and try to contact the ships, but it all goes wrong, and now she's alone again.

Sides are formed, "The Ask" and "The Answer." The tentative peace is slowly being eaten away. Can the residents of the town ever find common ground? Will Todd and Viola find a way to reunite?
"Battle not with monsters
lest you become a monster
and if you gaze into the abyss
the abyss gazes into you," (Nietzche, quoted in Ness, prologue, 2009).

If you liked this, check out:
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking, Book 3)

Ness, Patrick. (2009). The Ask and the Answer. Somerville, Mass: Candlewick Press.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World by Bryan Lee O'Malley (Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 2)

Flashback to Scott at 16, starting at a new school (St. Joel's), and immediately getting into a fight. While waiting outside the principal's office, he meets Lisa. Together, they start a band (basically to improve their social standing), and recruit Kim to play drums (after Scott rescues her, and starts dating her).

Fast-forward to now: Scott is back, still crushing hardcore on Ramona Flowers (American Ninja Delivery Girl). Unfortunately, he still has to break up with Knives. It doesn't exactly go well...luckily, dinner with Ramona is a success. Who knew Scott could cook?

Also, there are still several of Ramona's ex-boyfriends that want a piece of him, preferrably the kind you get from beating someone to a pulp. Next up is Lucas Lee (yeah, the famous guy!), who Scott seems a little star struck over.

To complicate things further? His ex-girlfriend (who left him for another guy, and sent him spiraling into a year of depression) is back in town - and she wants his band to open for them. Her band is quickly becoming famous, and this could actually be a good thing for Sex Bob-omb, but can Scott handle that?

There is also a totally sweet fight scene between Ramona and Knives.

If you enjoy cheesy, comic book hijinks, band humor, epic fight scenes, and ninja delivery girls, look no further. Thoroughly entertaining.

Ramona comments that his hair is getting long; Scott immediately freaks out.
(O'Malley pg. 61, 2005).
 *Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness by Bryan Lee O'Malley (Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 3)
Super Crush by Sean McKeever (Spiderman Loves Mary Jane, Vol. 1)
Sana's Stage by Miho Obana (Kodocha, Vol. 1)

O'Malley, Bryan Lee. (2005). Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: [Vol. 2]. Portland, OR: Oni Press.

Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely, Book 3)

Now, I know you're saying to yourself I thought she said sequels...and I did. Although this is technically number three in the series, it is a sequel to book one (book two introduces new characters, and is followed by book four).

Aislinn has been chosen as the Summer Queen, Donia as the Winter Queen, Niall (Keenan's former advisor) is now the Dark King ... and Keenan is flexing his unbound power as full Summer King. Ash only agreed to be Summer Queen if she got to maintain her relationship with Seth, but that is proving to be more difficult than she first anticipated. For one thing, the mortality issue is constantly looming over them. How long until Seth is too old for her, in her never aging body? For another, she had no idea that the link between Summer King and Queen would be so instinctual, so powerful. As Summer approaches, it only grows stronger. When she isn't around Keenan, she feels his absence. What kind of a girlfriend is she?

Seth has befriended Niall, and won the protection of the Dark Court - but that doesn't make him invulnerable. There are dark forces brewing, namely Bananach (Faerie of War) has been stirring up trouble. Her visits are unwelcome at the best of times, but she is prophesying an impending war.

Donia and Keenan have tried to make it work. Keenan admits that he loves her, even tries to deny his feelings for Aislinn. But Winter and Summer were never meant to be together. Their brief time together at the Solstice isn't enough, for either of them. They agree to use the time they have (aka until Seth is out of the picture), and try to enjoy it.

When Seth starts asking about becoming a faery himself, everything gets really complicated. Everyone in the mortal world denies his request (although Ash is on his side), so he follows Bananach to Faerie. The High Queen Sorcha agrees to grant his request, but there is always a price.

Has Seth unknowingly started the next war? Will Aislinn and Keenan manage to handle this new wrinkle in their arrangement without the destruction of their court? Can Donia put the needs of her court before her own feelings? Will Niall be the tipping point - the last straw - letting his dark emotions and resentment of Keenan lead him into battle?

I will always have a soft spot for tales of Faerie. This is a well-constructed series with good characters, intricate plot lines and plenty of star-crossed lovers. Even those who have left high school behind will relate to the complications that life throws into the best relationships, although (if you are like me) you may also end up yelling at Aislinn for her inability to make a decision.
"'What am I going to do?' He sank to the floor.

'Hope that some of us are kinder to you than you've been to us,' she whispered. Then, before she could soften again, she walked away and left the Summer King kneeling in her foyer,” (Marr, 2009).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely, Book 4)
Glimmerglass by Jenna Black (Faeriewalker, Book 1)
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (Darkest Powers, Book 1)

Marr, Melissa. (2009). Fragile Eternity. New York: Bowen Press.

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan (Kane Chronicles, Book 2)

We return to Brooklyn House, home of the Kane siblings, and now home to many new initiates. After they sent out their recruiting hieroglyph, several kids answered the call. Good news: more help. Bad news: Apophis is supposedly rising in 5 days. No big deal, the rise of Chaos and the end of the world...blah blah.

Sadie and Carter are hunting for the three scrolls of the Book of Ra in order to summon him back from his retirement deep in the Duat. He is the only one with the power to defeat Apophis. Their top recruits, Jazz and Walt, join them in the Brooklyn Museum to gather the first scroll. When a fire spell is released (complete with creepy white demons) Jaz manages to banishes them, but quickly falls into a coma.

Hijinks continue on Sadie's visit home for her birthday. Let's just say her grandparents have been possessed, and a giant vulture and giant baboon end up chasing Sadie and her mates around the London Underground. They get by with a little help from Bast's friend Bes, the dwarf god. Sadie doesn't understand the hostility, aren't the gods supposed to be on their side? Don't they want to stop the rise of Apophis, and welcome back Ra?

One scroll down, two to go - but now Desjardins (newly appointed Chief Lector) knows they are searching for the Book of Ra. They get a tip that the second scroll is with Desjardins' right hand man, Vlad the Inhaler, in Russia. Upon arrival, they find more than they bargined for: it seems Vlad is working for the other side!

Carter has been searching for Zia since he discovered that the girl he knew was just a shabti. When he hears that she's been hidden in the ruins of her old village, even the rise of Apophis can't stop him from going to rescue her. (Love makes you do crazy things...) Can they possibly complete all their tasks, and make it to the Duat to summon Ra before the rise of Apophis the Chaos Snake?

Lots of familiar characters make an appearance (my favorite cameo is *cough*Set*cough*), and Riordan seems to continue to improve his writing. Highly recommended for fans of Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, mythology, history, action, adventure, fantasy - almost anyone, in other words.
“The sign was spray-painted in Arabic and English, probably from some attempt by the farmer to sell his wares in the market. The English read: Dates-best price. Cold Bebsi.
'Bebsi?' I asked.
'Pepsi,' Walt said. 'I read about it on the Internet. There's no 'p' in Arabic. Everyone here calls the soda Bebsi.'
'So you have to have Bebsi with your bizza?'
'Brobably,'” (Riordan, 2011). 
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (Kane Chronicles, Book 1)
Hero by Mike Lupica
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott (Secrets of Nicholas Flamel, Book 1)

Riordan, Rick. (2011). The Throne of Fire. New York, NY: Disney/Hyperion.

The Dark Deeps by Arthur Slade (Hunchback Assignments #2)

Modo is back for another adventure. After almost losing his life against the Clockwork Guild, he takes some time off. Of course, evil never rests, so in no time he's back to helping The Permanent Association and Mr. Socrates. His latest assignment is tricky ... he must pose as husband and wife with Octavia on a sea voyage.

If there is one thing he never wants to show to Tavia, it is his true face. Modo's special ability to shape-shift comes in very handy for his spy work. Unfortunately, he can only hold a different face for a limited amount of time. His true face is so disfigured that he knows Tavia would be horrified. He must wear a mask and lie low while they gather information.

On their arrival in New York, they discover that their contact has been murdered! Without much to go on, they decide to continue with the plan to hunt down French-Japanese agent Colette. While they are not exactly sure what she has been investigating, they know it must be important. The coordinates they retreive are in the middle of the ocean. They hire a boat to take them into the icy waters, but everything goes wrong.

The ship is rammed from below, and Modo is thrown from the boat. Barely managing to escape with the vessel in tact, the crew and Octavia flee for safety. All she can think about is how to get back to save him, but no one will help her. The locals think the area is haunted, and only a fool with a death wish would risk going back out there. Can she find someone willing?

Modo plunged into the freezing depths, only to be confronted with a bizarre submarine-like vessel. After forcing his way in, he is greeted by Captain Monturiol. This strange fish-shaped ship is apparently also the first underwater civilization, and she is at the helm. Shortly after arriving, Modo meets Colette who is also aboard. It seems her presence isn't exactly voluntary...

As if things weren't backwards enough, the Clockwork Guild is on their tail. A secret agent has been following their every move. Will Modo ever make it out alive?

Great steampunk adventure novel with excellent strong female characters. It explores some ideas about male beauty that I find interesting. Good for reluctant readers, recommended for 5-12 grades.
"Modo gestured around him. 'I've never seen such a vessel. What is it?'
'It's a submarine ship,' the captain said matter-of-factly. 'Welcome to the Ictineo. You were not invited, but please consider yourself our guest anyway.'
'By guest she means prisoner,' Colette added.
'I do tire of your sharp tongue, Miss Brunet,' said the captain. 'My apologies...I am afraid in her short time here she has grown impatient. Should she offend you at some time during your visit, I apologize in advance on her behalf,'" (Slade pg.101, 2010).

If you liked this, check out:
The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade (Hunchback Assignments, Book 1)
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan, Book 1)
Mister Monday by Garth Nix (Keys to the Kingdom, Book 1)

Slade, Arthur. G. (2010). The Hunchback Assignments #2: The Dark Deeps. New York, NY: Wendy Lamb Books.