Aug 15, 2013
Have you noticed a preponderance of teen novels where the cover illustration shows a character dressed in decidedly less than current apparel? It's true. Corsets, bonnets, skirts with enormous crinolines, high-necked blouses, and the occasional umbrella all are gracing teen fiction covers. And weapons!
Forget about vampires, werewolves, zombies and angels (fallen and otherwise), the hot new trend is the historical girl spy, detective and adventurer! Direct from Teen Librarian Amy B., here are a few new novels you shouldn't miss:
The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress - Cora, Nellie, and Michiko, teenaged assistants to three powerful men in Edwardian London, meet by chance at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered man, leading the three to work together to solve this and related crimes without drawing undue attention to themselves.
A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee - Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan and thief Mary Quinn is offered a place at Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls where she is trained to be part of an all-female investigative unit called The Agency and, at age seventeen, she infiltrates a rich merchant's home in hopes of tracing his missing cargo ships. First in The Agency series. See also: The Body at the Tower and The Traitor in the Tunnel.
A Most Dangerous Deception (Palace of Spies #1) by Sara Zettel (not coming out until November - put it on your Goodreads list!) - Sixteen-year-old Peggy is a well-bred orphan who is coerced into posing as a lady-in-waiting at the palace of King George I. Life is grand, until Peggy starts to suspect that the girl shes impersonating might have been murdered. Unless Peggy can discover the truth, she might be doomed to the same terrible fate.
A few similar novels that a lean a bit more on the steampunk side include:
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger - In an alternate England of 1851, spirited fourteen-year-old Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where, she is surprised to learn, lessons include not only the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also diversion, deceit, and espionage.
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin - In this twist on Edgar Allen Poe's gothic short story, a wealthy teenaged girl who can afford a special mask to protect her from the plague that decimated humanity in the mid-1800s, falls in love, becomes caught up in a conspiracy to overthrow an oppressive government, and faces the threat of a new plague.
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross - Finley, who has a beastly alter ego inside of her, joins Duke Griffin's army of misfits to help stop the Machinist, the criminal behind a series of automaton crimes, from carrying out a plan to kill Queen Victoria during the Jubilee.
Happy reading--and adventuring! (contributed by Amy B.)