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Popular Characters’ Stories Continued – Only on E-book

2013 September 9
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What Really Happened in PeruDo you want to read more about Cassandra Clare’s intriguing character Magnus Bane from both her Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series? Are you dying to know more about gorgeously evil Warner, the guy Juliette loves/hates in Tahereh Mafi’s book Unravel Me and its sequel Destroy Me? If so, you’re in luck because a lot of popular authors have written e-novellas, e-novelettes or e-short stories for you to read while you wait for the next print book in the series to be published.

For some reason, I’ve only just realized how many books by my favorite authors are available exclusively in e-book format. I’d say they are the next big trend but I’d be wrong. A number of series have been coming out with e-novellas and e-short stories since at least 2012.

Assassin & the Pirate - Sarah J. MaasThe first e-novellas that I read were the four that were released after Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults). After being lucky enough to get a copy of the sequel Crown of Midnight at BEA in June and reading it immediately, I kept impatiently checking the pub date for the next book in the series. That’s when I found the four novellas (The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, The Assassin and the Desert, The Assassin and the Underworld and The Assassin and the Empire), all set about a year and a half before the events of Throne of Glass, and only available as e-books. All are stand-alone stories that tell how Celaena Sardothien became a feared assassin and ended up imprisoned in the Salt Mines of Endovier.

Last Stand of the NY Institute Clare Brennan JohnsonIt was only during the recent publicity for the movie version of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments that I discovered the ten adventures in The Bane Chronicles featuring Magnus Bane. Each story is to be released exclusively as an e-novella once a month, starting last April through January 2014, and then they will be published all in one in a print version. Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson took turns co-authoring nearly all the books with Clare.

The Bane Chronicles series includes (all descriptions are courtesy of the publisher):

1. What Really Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan – find out why Magnus Bane is banned from Peru.

Runaway Queen Cassandra Clare2. Runaway Queen by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson – Magnus Bane has a royal role in the French Revolution—if the angry mobs don’t spoil his spells.

3. Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –  Magnus Bane leverages his alliances with Downworlders and Shadowhunters on a venture to Victorian London.

4. The Midnight Heir by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan – In Edwardian London, Magnus Bane discovers old friends and new enemies…including the son of his former comrade Will Herondale.

5. The Rise of the Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson – In 1920s Manhattan, Magnus Bane hobnobs with the elite at a glamorous Jazz Age hotspot.

6. Saving Raphael Santiago by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan – Raphael Santiago, a Manhattan teen, is missing, and Magnus Bane must track him down before it’s too late.

7. The Fall of the Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson – Magnus Bane watches the once-glamorous Hotel Dumort become something else altogether in 1970s New York City.

8. The Course of True Love (and First Dates by Cassandra Clare – Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood might fall in love—but first they have a first date.

9. What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You’re Not Officially Dating Anyway) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan.

10. The Last Stand of the New York Institute by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson – Magnus meets Valentine in battle as the Circle attacks the Downworlders of New York City.

Hana by Lauren OliverIf you’re a fan of Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series (2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults), you’ll be happy to know that there are three e-novellas available featuring characters from the books (originally all were only available on e-book but they are all together in the print version entitled The Delirium Stories).

  • Hana – Told through the perspective of Lena’s best friend, Hana, and set during the tumultuous summer before Lena and Hana are supposed to be cured, this story is a poignant and revealing look at a moment when the girls’ paths diverge and their futures are altered forever.
  •  Lena – Lena’s mother Annabel, always a mystery, is revealed in a taut, gripping narrative as she journeys from teenage runaway to prisoner of the state. This expands the Delirium world and illuminates events — and Lena — through a new point of view.
  •  Raven - This is Raven’s story and how she, as the fierce, passionate leader of the rebel group in the Wilds,  plays anRaven by Lauren Oliver integral role in the resistance effort, and comes into Lena’s life at a crucial time.

I recently finished reading Cassandra Rose Clarke’s The Assassin’s Curse and The Pirate’s Wish. I was happy to find out that Clarke wrote two e-short stories set in the same world.

Automaton's Treasure by Cassandra Rose ClarkeThe Automaton’s Treasure explores Marjani, from The Assassin’s Curse, after she’s dismissed from her home for scandalous behavior. Her ship is stolen by pirates and, in order to save her own life, she pretends to know the location of a great treasure.

The Witch’s Betrayal features assassin Naji from Assassin’s Curse and is set before that book begins as it reveals Naji’s earlier years when he looks for a target and ends up clashing with Leila, the River Witch.

Tahereh Mafi’s e-novella Destroy Me, set after her books Shatter Me and before Unravel Me is told from Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafiruthless Sector 45 leader Warner’s perspective.

SPOILERS: In Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But in Destroy Me, she learns Warner is not that easy to get rid of.

Crossing the Line Katie McGarryKatie McGarry’s debut was the popular Pushing the Limits (2013 Teens Top Teen Nominee). She’s also published an e-novella Crossing the Line in which she tells the story of Lila, Echo’s best friend from Pushing the Limits, who first met Lincoln Turner when tragedy struck both their lives but they discover that sometimes it’s worth crossing the line for love.

Glitches by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles) is the prequel to Meyer’s Cinder (2013 Best Fiction for Glitches by Marissa MeyerYoung Adults). Cyborg Cinder has always been alone in the world.  When she learns that she’s going to be adopted, her whole life changes – she gets an all-new family, complete with a mostly-absent father, two step-sisters and an unwelcoming stepmother.  How will she cope with being the only cyborg in the family?

Tailor by Leigh BardugoLeigh Bardugo’s The Tailor: A Novella focuses on Genya’s role in Shadow and Bone (2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults)  providing a little more background on why she is the way she is. You learn of her thoughts regarding Alina, her rocky relationship with the Queen, and how the Darkling plays a role in her life as well.

Radiant, an e-novella by Cynthia Hand is set in same the world as her Unearthly series. Clara is desperate to get away from haunting memories, and visions of a future she’s not ready to face. She thinks radiant by Cynthia Handspending the summer in Italy with best friend Angela will be the perfect escape. This unforgettable summer, told from both Clara and Angela’s perspectives, tests their friendship and changes their lives.

isolationLeast you think I’m excluding male authors, I must include Dan Wells’ e-novella, Isolation: A Lost Tale part of Wells’ Partials Sequence. Isolation gives you a glimpse into the history from which Partials was born—as well as clues to where the Partials Sequence is heading next.

Some of these stories are available as e-novellas, e-novelettes or e-short stories. Each is defined by the number of words they comprise. Short stories have the least number of words, then novelettes, then novellas, then novels. For a good blog post explaining the differences between them, see this guide from Hunbbel Meer.

As much as I love these e-books because they’ve kept me invested in characters and series I love, I do have to wonder how this explosion of exclusive e-books came about and why certain series have e-novellas, e-short stories and e-novelettes and why others don’t. Are authors asking to write them or is it being directed by the publishers? I only mentioned a few of the many out there and I know there are a lot I’ve missed.

How are you supposed to keep track of them all? Are these exclusive e-books adding something new and essential to the series? Does your enjoyment of the series lose something if you haven’t read all the e-books? I guess only time will tell. I know I will continue to read these exclusive e-books as I wait for the next full-length book by my favorite author to come out.

-Sharon Rawlins, currently reading Crewel by Gennifer Albin and listening to Andrew Lane’s Death Cloud (Young Sherlock Holmes)

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7 Responses
  1. Danielle Nguyen permalink
    September 9, 2013

    I do try to read most of these as long as they’re part of a series I like. They’re usually very cheap (if not free) and quick reads that I can get through while waiting at the doctor’s office, riding the bus, etc. They are so hard to keep track of though, mostly because they keep popping up everywhere! For example, this is the first time I’ve heard of Leigh Bardugo’s “The Tailor”. I just did a quick search on Goodreads and found this list: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/17424.YA_Short_Stories_and_Novellas. Might be helpful.

  2. Sharon Rawlins permalink
    September 9, 2013

    Danielle, thanks so much for the Goodreads list! It’s very helpful. I didn’t read all the titles on the list but I did notice that it’s 270 books so, yeah, there certainly are a lot of them popping up! I just realized yesterday that 2 of my favorite authors also have e-books out that I didn’t include in the post. Marie Lu has “Life Before Legend” (2 e-short stories) and Joelle Charbonneau has “The Testing Guide” a e-novella.

  3. September 9, 2013

    E-books are becoming very popular now, even if they aren’t a relatively new thing! A lot a of self-published authors make their books exclusively available as an e-book that you can purchase on Amazon etc. Interesting post, good to know about all of the different side stories!

  4. September 10, 2013

    I’ve been caught up in Rae Carson’s short e-books in the world of her trilogy starting with “The Girl of Fire and Thorns.” The first time I noticed this phenomenon was with Michael Scott’s “The Alchymest” series. At my library, I purchase many of them for our circulating Kindles. At least our patrons have some access that way.

  5. Sharon Rawlins permalink
    September 10, 2013

    @Julia. I didn’t even know Rae Carson had short e-books. I love her trilogy!Thanks for letting me know. Just more e-books I need to add to my reading list. I try to only buy the free or $.99 ones because at $2.99 the cost adds up.

  6. Sarah permalink
    September 12, 2013

    Anna Banks (Of Poseidon & Of Triton) has shorts too. Caragh O’Brien’s (Brithmarked Series) stand out. I’ve been watching many of my favorite authors over the years release e-novellas. The first I can remember are Julie Kagawa’s shorts between the full titles in the Iron Fey series.

    The pricing is what gets me. Publishers play on readers’ desire to get their hands on new content, so the individual titles are often costing more than if we can just hold out for the complete set. That’s what I’m doing for the Bane Chronicles.

    Regarding the Throne of Glass e-novellas: Bloomsbury did a blog tour leading up to the release of Crown of Midnight with two more “novellas,” “The Assassin and the Princess” and “The Assassin and the Captain of the Guard,” both taking place before Crown of Midnight.

    Harper has a new(ish) imprint Harper Impulse that is just releasing e-novellas as far as I can tell. Jodi Meadows, Amy Plum, Cynthia Hand and more are included.

  7. September 18, 2013

    I’m of two minds on this one. I do think it’s a very cool idea, and since they’re not essential to the main novels, you’re not really missing out on anything essential. Then again, some of these read like they were excised from the original novels, which means they’re not new things, they’re things that were missing from the book for a reason.

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