Monday 29 August 2011

News: The Night Children by Alexander Gordon Smith (an Escape From Furnace novella)

I should be having a big sort out of old records, books and other precious items right now (the stuff my wife refers to as my junk), but as usual I am trying to do anything but, and so I thought I would have a quick tour of some of the author websites I have listed on the sidebar to the right of this page. I didn't get much further than the third on my list, that of one of my favourite current YA authors, Alexander Gordon Smith. As you no doubt already know I am a huge fan of his Furnace series (aka Escape From Furnace in the US), so imagine my excitement when I saw a post on his blog about a Furnace novella he has written for (in fact I was so excited I just had to write a blog post about it). Titled The Night Children, it tells the story of how Warden Cross first meets Alfred Furnace. I may be wrong but from this website it looks as if it is scheduled for a 21st September release and it might only be available as an ebook. I really, really hope that UK readers will be able to get their hands on it! The cover design is super creepy, and the story details sound fantastic.

It is December 1944 and Europe is still gripped by war. In the densely forested mountains of Belgium one of the conflict’s most brutal battles is raging. Cut off from the front, a ragtag group of young British and American soldiers finds itself being hunted by a patrol of elite German Special Forces, including a newly commissioned officer called Kreuz—a teenage boy who will grow up to become Warden Cross (the fearsome prison director who will one day rule Furnace Penitentiary, the terrifying underground prison specially built for teen offenders). As both sides fight for their lives in the unforgiving terrain, however, they start to realize that there are worse things hiding in the snow than soldiers. There are creatures out there with gas masks and piggy eyes (ancestors of Furnace prison’s “wheezers”)—demonic entities that cannot be killed by guns and grenades, monsters who do not care what uniforms their victims are wearing so long as they bleed, and so long as they scream . . .

A few more clicks on Alexander Gordon Smith's blog eventually took me to this web page, giving more details about his new series, the first book of which is due out in the UK from Faber in March 2012. I have mentioned The Fury briefly in a previous post, but now here is an image of the book cover, and also a few details about the story:

Imagine if one day, without warning, the entire human race turns against you.

Every single person you meet becomes a bloodthirsty, mindless savage, hell-bent on killing you – and only you.

Friends, lovers, even your mum and dad, brothers and sisters – they will turn on you, and they will murder you. And when they have, they will go back to their lives as if nothing has happened.

The world has the Fury.

It will not rest until you are dead.

Cal, Brick and Daisy are three ordinary teenagers whose lives suddenly take a terrifying turn for the worst. They begin to trigger a reaction in everybody they meet, one that makes friends and strangers alike turn rabid whenever they are close. One that makes people want to tear them to pieces

Cal and the other victims of the Fury – the ones that survive – manage to locate each other. But just when they think they have found a safe haven, a place to hide from the world, things get worse.

Some of them begin to change…

They must fight to uncover the truth about the Fury before it is too late. But it is a truth that will destroy everything they know about life and death.

If The Fury is only half as good as the Furnace series then it will still be a must-watch-out-for in 2012. However, based on the author's previous output I expect this to be pretty damn amazing!

Before I go I just want to show you one more image. There are a number of bloggers who do UK vs US cover features, and I have mentioned in the past that I love the covers that Christian Fuenfhausen has designed for the Escape From Furnace series in the US, however just take a look at this beauty from Poland. Happy nightmares!

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