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New Fiction - Term 2, 2004

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Rage of a Demon King
Raymond Feist

A loyal soldier and a wealthy merchant have served bravely in the flames of the enduring war that is ravaging in their land. But swords, bows, wits and courage will no longer be enough to defeat the scourge that is descending on their home. For a foul and terrible thing has escaped from a world already devoured to feed on one consumed by chaos -- an insatiable nightmare creature of dark and murderous nature which seeks to own and corrupt the very source of life itself.

The final conflict is joined, pitted serpent angainst man and magician against demon. For those who battle in the cause of good, there will be victory...or there will be doom for all.

There is no other outcome.

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From a Buick 8
Stephen King

There is a terrifying secret shrouded in Shed B in the state police barracks in statler, Pennsylvania. A secret which, for the past 20 years, has drawn the troopers, terrified yet irresistibly tempted, to look at its beautiful chrome fenders, silver grille and exotic exhaust system.

Now young Ned Wilcox has started coming by the barracks: mowing the lawn, washing the windows, shovelling snow; it's the boy's way of holding onto his father - recently killed in a strange road accident by another Buick.

One day Ned peers through the door of Shed B and discovers the family secret. And like his father, Ned wants answers. He deserves answers. And the secret begins to stir..........

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Mister Monday
Garth Nix

The first title in a new Keys to the Kingdom Series

Arthur is not a hero - he's just a boy with chronic asthma, a boy who is about to die. Until he is visited by two strangers from another realm who give him a strange key shaped like the minute hand of a clock.

Arthur has been chosenas the heir to the keys of the kingdom. It's not a role he particularly wants, but with a strange plague affecting his city and everything he knows at risk, Arthur must venture into the other realm and fight for his rights.

He must venture into a mysterious house that noone else can see and unravel the secrets of the key.

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Mark Haddon

Writing his first novel from the point of view of a 15 year old autistic boy, Christopher. Haddon creates a character of such empathy that many readers will feel for the first time what it is like to live a life in which there are no filters to eliminate or order the millions of peices of information that come to us through our senses every instant of the day.

Using the simple subject-verb-object sentence pattern in which Christopher tries to order and communicate with his world, Haddon tells his sory with warmth and often humour, making us see and understand Christopher's problems at the same time that we experience everyone else's frustrations in dealing with him.

Christopher decides to solve the mystery of Wellington, a pet poodle who is killed by a pitchfork. Investigating the crime he uncovers many secrets about his family and learns much about himself.

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Burning Eddy
Scott Gardner

This is a poignanrt story about growing up, about family and about friendship. Daniel is searching for meaning in his life. His family life is dominated by his moody and unloving father. Away from home, he has no friends and little to be happy about.

When Daniel meets a Dutch woman, Eddy, he starts to slowly see changes in his life. Eddy is eighty six. She has a tattoo, a history and can make music with her farts. She pays Dan well for the work he does in her garden, and seems to read his mind. She offers him friendship and gives Daniel hope.

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The Shell Seekers
Rosamunde Pilcher

Penelope Keeling has three children, two of which are after her fortune when she dies. The painting called the Shell Seekers is worth a fortune. This painting was made by her father and symbolises her unconventional life: a bohemian childhood in London and Cornwall, an unhappy wartime marriage and the one man she truly loved.

Penelope has to make decisions that will determine whether the family can continue to survive as a family, or be split apart.

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How to make a Bird
Martine Murray

Mannie is a girl who has to deal with a lot of recent family tragedy. Now having separated from her boyfriend, she is trying to make sense of where she fits in.

We are taken through her childhood and her secret visit to Melbourne where she is trying to fit together the jigsaws in her life. In Melbourne she meets up with situations and people who test her resolve. The answers to her questions are not what is expected.

Teenage fiction.

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The Showgirl & the Brumby
Lucy Lehmann

The Cox's and the Doyle's have been enemies for 20 years and have a past that is bitter and hidden. One family has land and the other nothing and it is not until the country town where they live and the competition for the title of Miss Showgirl that the family secrets, hidden for so long, come to be aired.

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Black Taxi
James Moloney

Eighteen year old Rosie Sinclair's life revolves around her friends, boys, clothes and the gossip at her mother's local hairdressing salon.

Life is normal until Rosie's grandfather Paddy gets put in the slammer and she is left as the 'minder' of his black Mercedes. Rosie becomes involved in a whole new life. - oldies with scandalous secrets, mobile phone trauma, even a giant teddy bear!

Black Taxi is an engaging romp through teenage middle Australia.

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Boys of Blood & Bone
David Metzenthen

This novel links the stories of Henry Lyon, in the summer before he starts his first year of Law at university, and Andy Lansell, Australian digger killed on the Somme in 1918. Andy and Henry's stories meet when Henry's car breaks down in the small country town and he is given Andy's diary to read to pass the time. He finds himself fascinated by the tragic story of this young man of his own age from another time, another world.

The lives of the two boys are compared and point to the extreme differences between the experience of generations, their attitudes to life and to death.

Metzenthen's research into the war is evident and the physical and emotional ordeal these young men went through is vivdly portrayed. This is compared with Henry's somewhat aimless, even unambitious walking through life.

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A Cold Heart
Jonathon Kellerman

A psychological mystery novel

The story begins with the murder of Baby Boy Lee, a legendary blues guitarist with a cult following who is attempting to make a final grab at larger fame and fortune, when he is mysteriously murdered during a cigarette break while playing a gig........more deaths follow and it appears someone is marking performance artists for death.

Alex Delaware the psychologist assigned to the case, along with police detective Milo Sturgis and Sturgis's colleague Petra Connor, approach the investigation from different angles. They all working gradually toward the same goal, with Delaware and Connor working through their own personal problems as well.

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Sister Kate
Jean Bedford

Kate Kelly grew up in a household of women: when the Kelly men were not in jail, they were outlaws. Kate's loyalty to her family becomes a bitter obsession. Inevitably, the police take brutal revenge on the Kelly gang at Glenrowan. Kate must watch as the scorched body of her lover is strung up for public display. Neither wandering nor marriage, time nor drink, can blot out this gruesome climax of her young life.

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Coming Home
Rosamunde Pilcher

It's 1935 and adolescent Judith Dunbar faces being left behind in England while her mother and younger sister return to Ceylon where her father works. She will live with her Aunt Louise to attend school and has no idea when she'll see the rest of her family again.

Judith comes of age in the opening years of World War 11, Judith remains in England. This is a novel about survival and renewal. Pilcher creates an intimate portrait of daily life in England.