Archive for the ‘Science Fiction/Fantasy’ Category

This Just In: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Seven Recently-Arrived Titles from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Section:

Please be sure to contact our stores for an exact stock check!

Ebook available for Cursed Moon.

About Lock In: “Already read it and it’s an instant classic Scalzi novel again. Be sure to check out the prequel novella Unlocked at” – Tiemen, Science Fiction & Fantasy Buyer at ABC Amsterdam

You Review: The Bees – Laline Paull

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Reviewed by Oona Juutinen

Most dystopian novels nowadays seem to be variations of the same few plots and patterns, all with similar protagonists and generally not much to get excited about. Amongst this bunch of The Hunger Games copies, Laline Paull’s book The Bees is like a breath of fresh air. Original to boot, I can honestly say I have never before read something like it: a novel from the point of view of a honey bee.

Flora 717 is born a sanitation worker, the lowest of the low in her hive. The hive is highly organized and the mantra of the bees is to accept, obey, and serve. But there is something different about Flora 717. Unlike her kind usually, she is able to speak, and she appears to have been born with a rebellious streak. Flora ends up challenging the established order of the hive, where each bee has her own place, where anything and everything is supposed to be sacrificed for the wellbeing of the hive – and where only the queen is allowed to breed. Before long Flora 717, like all other dystopian heroines, will find out that in a society that relies on sameness and order, being different can be extremely dangerous.

While The Bees is probably not a book that will stay with me for years (unlike The Handmaid’s Tale, for example, to which the back cover text somewhat ambitiously compares the book), it was definitely a fun and refreshing read. Having read the book, you will never again look at bees the same way you did before.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

Ebook available for The Bees, as well as for the other books compared to it, The Hunger Games and The Handmaid’s Tale.

Prize draw winners: Otherbound and The Fault in Our Stars (twice)

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Win a SIGNED copy of Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis: Hannie + Carola van der Drift

Q: Name at least one other Young Adult novel that you loved that deals with LGBT issues.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer.”

“Lately for some ‘reading challenges’ I’ve been reading a few very good LGBT themed Young Adult novels.
My favourites by far were Ask the Passengers by A.S. King and How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis. I also greatly enjoyed Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. As for sci-fi, I recommend Adaptation by Malinda Lo :)

Want more Young Adult LGBT recommendations? Have a look at this list of 25 must-read books on the theme compiled by and also the Guardian’s still-being-added-to list started during their LGBT-themed week on their Children’s Books site.

Ebook available for The Host, Ask the Passengers, and Adaptation.

Win a The Fault in Our Stars book poster:  Willemijn van Vuure, Darice de Cuba, Lauren Hoeve (Lauren has a great YA book blog!), Nadia Huisman + Minne Los

Q: You’ve read EVERYTHING by John Green. What author should you read next?

“After you’ve read everything by John Green, you might experience what is known as a book hangover. Because although John Green’s books are amazing, some are also quite sad. So to get over this you’ll need another cute and funny read but without the (spoiler alert!) death involved. I think a great book for this is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.”

“After reading a very good book it’s very hard to decide on a next one. It always seems none can compare to how good the last book was. I want to read something just like it but most of the times I can’t find anything. I need to read non-fiction or another genre to lower my expectations again before going to the next fiction book.
After The Fault in Our Stars I started with the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. I read the first one years ago and saw the movie a while back.
On some level Hazel and Odd are the same; you are constantly in their heads. They are very well spoken, intelligent, sarcastic and have a good dry humor for their age. Both defy society norm; terminal cancer at 16 and a fry cook that sees ghosts. Also Odd has his own infinity love story with Stormy.
Odd Thomas is not as good as The Fault in Our Stars, not even close (although the first book is very good on its own), but it’s perfect for me while I lower my expectations again :)

David Levithan.

“This is like the hardest question ever because no author is quite like John Green, and I couldn’t make one choice so here’s a small list: (If this is not allowed, just take the first one and pretend the rest wasn’t there. I’m sorry, I really like books.)(Blogmistress’s note: OF COURSE this is allowed!  We love books, too, so the more recommendations from the heart, the better.  :-))
1. Rainbow Rowell. The internet is already obsessed with her, it’s time the outside world gets to know her! She has written two young adult books and one adult book. Her new adult book Landline is coming out July 8th!
2. Robyn Schneider. Her book The Beginning of Everything is so much like John Green’s work, I always recommend it for people who like him. I just got the urge to re-read it…
3. David Levithan. John has co-written Will Grayson, Will Grayson with this awesome guy, and not enough people are checking out David Levithan’s solo stuff! Especially Boy Meets Boy is amazing. I’m slowly collecting the rest of his stuff!
4. Gayle Forman. Not exactly similar to John Green in that many ways but I think that most people who like John will like Gayle Forman’s books too. She has written two duologies: If I Stay (which is being turned into a movie) + the sequel Where She Went, and Just One Day + the sequel Just One Year (and the ebook novella Just One Night). Just One Day is up there with my all-time favourite books, and that’s a hard list to get on to!”

“John Green is still alive and writing. I will be waiting for his next book!  But while I’m waiting for his next book, I’ll be reading Cassandra Clare books.”

ANDREW SMITH!!!!  Or me, of course. :)

“When you’ve read EVERYTHING by John Green, read EVERYTHING by John Corey Whaley next!”

Francesca Lia Block! Her Weetzie Bat series is quirky and colourful and great fun. And on top of that the books carry a great underlying message of inclusiveness and accepting & even celebrating our differences. It’s a crying shame Block and her books are not more widely known.”

“After you’ve read everything by John Green, you should read more books by David Levithan.”

“The next author you should read is: Stephen Chbosky.”

“The next author I would read would be Jesse Andrews. His book Me and Earl and the Dying Girl makes a great follow up to The Fault In Our Stars.”

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Great, great book! With a wonderful plot twist as well, and so much more. After reading the novel, go watch the movie too!”

“My answer would be David Levithan, because he and Green co-wrote Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which is my favourite book. I love how the book dragged me into the story, it made me feel like I was living those words and not just reading them. Levithan’s way of writing and thinking are similar to Green, but with a certain twist, so you’re not just constantly re-reading different versions of what is basically the same story.”

“My answer to the question would be Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

David Levithan!”

“If I’ve read everything by John Green (which I haven’t… YET) I’d read more books by Rainbow Rowell! I heard she’s amazing, and she’s recommended by John Green himself!”

Ebook available for The Fault in Our StarsFangirl, Odd Thomas, Landline, The Beginning of Everything, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Boy Meets Boy, If I Stay, Where She Went, Just One Day, Just One Year, Just One Night, City of Bones, Winger, and Weetzie Bat.

Win one of these amazing The Fault in Our Stars goodies: Rebecca van der Elst, Eline Corée, Mandy Eveline Blom, Timo Daniels, Natalia Cobas, Mutena Ayas

Q: Besides all the John Green novels, what is your favorite Young Adult book (fiction or non-fiction, English or Dutch)?

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick!!”

Across the Universe by Beth Revis is my favorite YA novel :D :D

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
Just like John’s books, this is one I can read over and over without getting bored.”

“Besides all the John Green novels, my favorite Young Adult book is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.”


Momo en de tijdspaarders by Michael Ende (English title: Momo).
But frankly now I feel bad for all the other beautiful books I read at that time and were just at beautiful…  Shame on you: you do know that there are so many books in that time period. Every one of them beautiful in their own way! (yes, it was very mean to ask for just one favorite YA book.  :-))
Thea Beckman: Kruistocht in spijkerbroek (hooray for the really good Dutch writers)(English title: Crusade in Jeans).
Tonke Dragt: Awesome fantasy books, made me fall in love with fantasy at the age of 6 or 7 (yes, before early adulthood but kept on reading them in that time..)(Most famous title in English: The Letter for the King).
Marion Zimmer Bradley: The Darkover series (and all the other stuff she wrote).
Paul Biegel: De tuinen van Dorr (and every other book he wrote, but this one was the most beautiful at that time).
Sorry for the long list. I don’t want to insult all the other books that made a big impression on my life (and yes, I forgot lots of books already….).  I really love your bookstore. Spending lots and lots of money there ;)  People’re always so nice and friendly and know what they’re talking about!” (Thanks!  *blush*)(also, working here doesn’t make not spending money here any easier…  :/)

“My answer has to be The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.”

“Besides all the John Green novels, my favourite YA novel is Winger by Andrew Smith.”

“My favorite book is Harry Potter.”

“My other favorite YA novel is The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp.”

“My current favourite YA books are Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.”

“Mijn favoriete young adult boek is The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Ik vind de brieven die Charlie verstuurt erg speciaal, vooral omdat hij alles kwijt kan wat hij kwijt wilt.
Het boek heeft mij erg geraakt, ook vanwege de film die ik als eerste had gezien.
Ben mede door de film en het boek, erg benieuwd naar The Fault in Our Stars!
Ik heb het boek al gelezen, en ik ga natuurlijk binnenkort ook naar de film, en dan verder doorgaan met boeken lezen van John Green!”

City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende.”

“First of all, it is obviously impossible to pick just one book as my favourite… But, if I was forced to choose, I reckon I’d pick something by Louisa M. Alcott. Probably An Old-Fashioned Girl or Little Women. Am not sure if they are thought of as YA books nowadays, but I remember reading them as a teen and absolutely loving them, so there. :)

“My favourite YA novel besides John Green’s books is Everybody Sees The Ants by A.S King.”

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl is my other favorite YA novel!”

“My favorite Young Adult book is Harry Potter.”

Ebook available for The Good Luck of Right Now, Across the Universe, Fangirl, Mockingjay, Darkover Landfall, Winger, The Spectacular Now, An Old-Fashioned GirlLittle Women and Everybody Sees the Ants.

You Review: The Oversight – Charlie Fletcher

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Reviewed by Natalie Gerritsen

The natural and supernatural world have lived on the same Earth for millennia, but the supernatural side has always kept its distance from the ‘normal’ side and indeed, the natural world doesn’t even know the supernatural world exists. The balance is kept by The Oversight, a society of men and women with the blood of both sides in them, who guard and protect both sides and punish those who bring harm to the peace.

The Oversight used to have hundreds in its ranks, but due to a mysterious disaster, the society only has five members left, who try their best to protect London in the 1850’s. Every member has the ability to use magic and most have their own special talents.

One day a young girl with her own powers and holes in her memory is delivered to The Oversight. Could she be an asset or is she planted there, and if so, by whom? Soon it becomes clear an enemy is coming for The Oversight and the weakened group may not be strong enough to win. But, as the book cover says, if The Oversight falls, so do we all…

I love urban fantasy and it’s nice to see it translates well to the 19th century. Charlie Fletcher did a nice job of making every member of The Oversight a very unique person, without making their talents feel like superhero tricks. They are members of The Oversight after all and not the X-Men.

Fletcher uses very small chapters, which I usually like, because it invites you to keep reading ‘one more’. This time, however, the story shifted too quickly between different storylines, which made it a bit harder to get invested in the characters. I really loved the story, the setting and the people in it, but it took a little bit too long to get sucked into it. I still liked it enough to buy the promised sequels once they’re published, though.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

Ebook available for The Oversight, as well as of his other books: Stoneheart, Ironhand, Silvertongue, Dragonshield and Far Rockaway.

Store Bits: Staff Choices

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

A new round of Staff Choices of both new and old books. Happy reading!

The Girl With All The Gifts – M. R. Carey
Recommended by JeroenW

“Zombies have been done to death (pun intended), and this might easily slip under your radar as Just-Another-Zombie-Book, and to be fair, to a certain extent it is. But this just happens to be a really well-written one, with well-fleshed-out characters, some nice twists and a great ending. Highly recommended for anyone looking for an exciting and satisfying read.”

Foreign Fruit – Jojo Moyes
Recommended by Simone

“Daisy and Celia are raised as sisters, in a very protective environment, when they are suddenly confronted with the new owners of the luxurious villa in their small town. Artistic people are “not to mix with”, however, Daisy and Celia cannot stay away.
When Celia brings home her new beau, the son of a rich man who imports exotic fruits, Daisy falls head over heels in love with him, and the complications begin.
Halfway through the book the story jumps forward in time, and page by page, the two storylines become one.
A wonderful and intriguing read.”

The Thousand Names – Django Wexler
Recommended by Tiemen

“There is a distinct possibility after reading this book you will yell ‘Form square!’ at random people in public.
This is a fun and exciting read. Instead of the same old, same old medieval fantasy setting this is so called Musket fantasy; a story deeply inspired by the age of the Napoleonic Wars.
And even though this is fantasy, Wexler has grounded it in a firm foundation of military history and knowledge. Wexler knows his musket from his bayonet and the way he portrays how an army in the Napoleonic age would function is done in a marvelous and interesting way.
Add in a few heartpounding battles – FORM SQUARE! – a Holmes & Watsonesque relationship between the commander and his second-in-command, a mystery about a magical artifact and you get one very entertaining and thrilling read.”

Every Day is for the Thief – Teju Cole
Recommended by Renate

“Previously only published in Nigeria (2007), but now
available for everyone. Yes!

This is a sad and funny book about going home
and trying to make sense of the journey and yourself and
the world along the way.

Cole’s prose is sensual and vivid and clear”

Nostalgia: The Russian Empire of Czar Nicholas II – Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
Recommended by Marten

“Behind the somewhat offensive title lies a truly a incredible body of work. These color photographs have been taken between 99 and a 110 years ago. The encounter with people and the world of more then a century ago has never seem more vivid! The silence of a world without automobiles more condemning!”