Saturday, 14 November 2009

Looking forward to 2010

Inspired by Joe Craig's contribution to a list of the hottest books for this winter in today's Independent I decided to publish my own list of the books I am really looking forward to reading in 2010. The list of books is in no particular order except for the first one, coincidentally written by Mr Craig himself. Joe is the author of the brilliant Jimmy Coates series; six books have been published in this series to date but as a result of a disagreement with his  publishers we have been kept waiting for books 7 and 8. I stumbled across the first in the series, Jimmy Coates: Killer in Waterstones when it was first published and I have been hooked ever since. Rider got his own movie..... when will it be Coates' turn? So, my most eagerly awaited book for 2010 is:

1. Jimmy Coates: Blackout by Joe Craig

Seventh action-packed adventure for Jimmy Coates - part boy, part weapon, totally deadly...Jimmy Coates seems like an ordinary boy, but he's not. He's genetically engineered to grow into the perfect government assassin. Speed, strength and deadly instinct - it's all in the blood. He has to fight not to kill, while his government fights to kill him. Jimmy Coates can only trust one man to bring the country back from the brink of chaos. When that man disappears, Jimmy must battle the shadow of corruption. But the shadows are darker than they seem, and the darkness reaches further than Jimmy could ever imagine. (from

Let's hope the publishers gets their act together and we finally see this in the shops in 2010!

Due to the pressures of being an Ass Head (as my wife delights in calling me whenever she has the chance) there is no way I am going to have the time to read enough new releases to keep this blog going so I also intend to write reviews for books for boys that have been round for a while, so watch this space for a review of the Jimmy Coates series to date coming very soon.

2. Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days by Derek Landy

OK.... so i lied about the 'in no particular order' part of this list. How could I not prioritise the fourth book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series above all the rest of the books listed below?

It's the fourth Skulduggery Pleasant adventure! only Skulduggery Pleasant himself is lost on the other side of a portal, with only some evil gods for company. Can he possible survive? (Yes, all right, he's already dead. But still.) What can we say, without giving too much away? Not much, is the answer. But what we CAN say is that this book is hilarious, it's tense, and it's packed with all the eye-popping action, crackling one liners and imaginative set pieces you've come to expect. There's a new threat to our plucky heroine, of course. But that's not all. There's also the little fact of the Big Bad, the uber-baddy who's going to come along and really, really destroy the world. (Really.) And what we learn about that villain in this book will literally make your jaw fall off and your hair go white with shock. (Not really.) Will Skulduggery make it out of the Faceless Ones' dimension? Who knows. The problem is, he may not have much to come back to!  (from

The Kane Chronicles: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

2010 is (unofficially) the Year of Rick Riordan. Not only is the first movie in the Percy Jackson franchise soon to be in cinemas, but also the first book in his new Kane Chronicles is to be released in May. Mr Riordan is moving away from Ancient Greek and on to Egyptian mythology in this series and with his mastery of the craft of writing fast-paced, exciting adventure stories the series is sure to be a massive hit. There is a cracking article about this forthcoming series on the Publishers Weekly website.

Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs. (from

Power of Five (Book Five) by Anthony Horowitz

As far as I can work out there is currently no title for this, the final book in the Power of Five series, and obviously no cover artwork either. I am hoping it will be published in 2010, but as Mr Horowitz has supposedly recently said that "Already, I can tell it's going to be a long one; somewhere between 800 and 1,000 pages" then we might just have to wait a little longer.

Zero Moment (The Joshua Files) by M.G. Harris

The third book in the Joshua Files series is scheduled for a February release. The first in the series (Invisible City) was a book that grabbed my attention in Waterstones because of its translucent orange slipcover, and the story turned out to be even better than the packaging. A lot of the current 'post-Da Vinci Code' novellists could learn a hell of a lot from the talented Ms Harris.

Josh thinks that he has discovered the key to time travel. Should he use it to save his father? Ixchel knows what he intends to do. Should she stop him? Before they can decide, Ixchel is kidnapped by the people who want to see an ancient prophecy predicting the end of the world in 2012 come true. It's up to Josh to save Ixchel and possibly save the world. Time is running out... (from 

Closer by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

I count myself to be the very lucky owner of a copy of The Highfield Mole, the self-published book that was later renamed Tunnels when it was published by Chicken House. Since then I have been an avid follower of Will Burrows and his underground adventures. Book four in the series is scheduled to be in the shops in May and you can now see the newly released cover art at TunnelsDeeper.

At the very centre of the Earth, in a world that no one knows exists, Will believes he's safe. But his enemy, the Styx, are close behind. They'll follow him to the ends of the world - any world. And after taking revenge, there's Dominion: their original plan to destroy all humans... Back on top-soil, unexpected allies prepare to fight back. But as they unearth the secrets of the Styx, are they closer to victory or death? (from

Medusa Project: The Hostage by Sophie McKenzie

I quite enjoyed reading The Set-Up, the first book in this series, although it wasn't without faults. However, I am very much looking forward to seeing how Ms McKenzie develops her characters further, and where she takes the story, especially as the story will be told from the point of view of a different character from the first book..... interesting concept!

Fourteen years ago, four babies were implanted with the Medusa gene - a gene for psychic abilities. Now teenagers, Nico, Ketty, Ed and Dylan have been brought together by government agents to create a secret crime-fighting force - The Medusa Project. But now Ketty's brother Lex has stumbled into a dangerous game involving his boss and a hidden bomb. It's up to Ketty to save him without letting on what she knows to the rest of the team. But can she control her psychic visions, and her feelings for Nico, without getting the team's cover - and herself - blown sky high? (from

The Necromancer (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel) by Michael Scott

I remember noticing The Alchemyst, Michael Scott's first offering in this series, in London's Science Museum bookshop. Having asked my ever-loving wife for permission to buy yet another book I then ended up reading it all the way home on the train, and then on into the night (maybe that should be long-suffering wife as well?). The Necromancer is the fourth book in a series of six; if you like your fantasy to be fast-paced and action-packed then you are missing out if you have not yet discovered these books. I'm not going to paste a synopsis of The Necromancer as there are too many spoilers relating to the previous books in the series.

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell

I've been hearing a few good whispers about this book, due to be published in May. I find the synopsis to be an intriguing concept and this is why I am looking forward to reading it:

Damien Locke knows his destiny–attending the university for supervillains and becoming Golden City’s next professional evil genius. But when Damien discovers he’s the product of his supervillain mother’s one-night stand with–of all people–a superhero, his best-laid plans are ruined as he’s forced to live with his superhero family. Going to extreme lengths (and heights), The Rise of Renegade X chronicles one boy’s struggles with the villainous and heroic pitfalls of growing up.

However, and this is quite a big however, which may lead to me throwing the book across the room in frustration, a glance at the opening chapter shows that the book is written in the present tense! I am definitely not a fan of this writing technique, but watch this space for more feedback in the future.

Quicksilver by Samira Osman

Not long to wait for this one (in stores beginning of January 2010) but the incredibly fortunate Vincent at Mr Ripleys Enchanted Books has had a copy for some time and has posted his review here. I am very excited about reading this book and will definitely be spending my Christmas present money on a copy. The synopsis sounds a little similar to parts of Anthony Horowitz's Power of Five series but I have a lot of faith in Vincent's book reviews and this book certainly sounds like a winner.

Dark powers from the past are searching for three extraordinary chilren... Wolfie, Tala and Zi'ib were born on the same day on opposite sides of the world. They are brought together by astonishing coincidence - or so it seems. But only they can fulfil an ancient prophecy - and find a treasure of incalculable power. Can the mysterious energies that flow through the Earth's prehistoric leylines be controlling their lives? And will they discover the chilling truth of who they really are? (from

And the best of the rest......

This list could probably go on and on, however, there are a few more books that I am eagerly awaiting to read in 2010 but most of them are sequels to books I have already reviewed elsewhere in my blog. The first of these is Behemoth, Scott Westerfeld's follow-up to Leviathan (do we really have to wait until October for this?). Add to this The Society of Dread, being the next book in Glenn Dakin's Candle Man series, Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx by James Rollins and Alex Scarrow's TimeRiders and 2010 looks to be an incredilby exciting year for boys' fiction.

And then there's Mortlock, Triskellion 3: The Gathering and does anyone know if L. Brittney has a third Nathan Fox book in the pipeline? And so on, and so on........


  1. Thanks for namechecking my book, TimeRiders. If you're interested in knowing more, there's a trailer to be seen at

    I shall bookmark this blog btw. It's a good one.

  2. Thanks for the comment and I'm glad you like my blog. I've just looked at the TimeRiders website.... is that the new artwork for the book? I love it!

  3. yes...I prefer it. It's more mature and hopefully will make it easier for adults to pick up the book as well as boys.