In The Red Pyramid, Riordan faces the challenge of introducing us to new characters and a whole new mythology! He is famous for writing the Percy Jackson series, which is based on Greek mythology. The Kane Chronicles series focuses on a brother and sister, whose Egyptologist father endangers all of their lives during a research experiment gone wrong. Soon, Carter and Sadie realize that the gods of Egypt are real, and that saving their father means trying to stop the most evil among them. I had to read this for middle school book group, and I was actually surprised to find myself liking it. Of course, there was a lot of action and some great battle scenes, but my favorite part of the book was actually learning about Egyptian mythology. The second book in this series, The Throne of Fire, is already available, and the third (unnamed) book will be out on May 1, 2012.
Ally Carter is known as the author of the Gallagher Girls spy series, starting with I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You. But, in this book, she goes in a different direction, featuring Kat Bishop, who has been raised as a thief since birth. Kat attempts to escape into a "normal" life, but is sucked back into the family business when her dad is implicated in a major heist that she knows he didn't commit. This book reminded me of a cross between Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman and a heist movie (like Ocean's Eleven or Tower Heist). It was an easy and fun read, with plenty of action, cliffhangers, and plot twists to make it interesting. There's also a sequel, Uncommon Criminals, so look for that as well!
16-year-old Gaia is a midwife-in-training who hands over a quota of babies to the Enclave every month, even though she's never been allowed inside. But when Gaia returns home and finds her parents have been arrested by the very people they serve, she starts a dangerous journey into the city to find them. This dystopian fantasy's strengths are the character of Gaia and the medical problems caused by the small gene pool in the Enclave. Several of the plot elements are a bit too convenient, but a disturbing twist at the end made the reading worthwhile. This book is a good choice if you are a fan of the genre, or particularly interested in science or in childbirth. And, if you like this book, the second book in the trilogy, called Prized, was released last month.