Spotlight on Guest Reviewers




As you know, our staff delights in reading and sharing what we are enjoying with our customers. Much of the time it's a two way street, and our customers share their finds and faves with us. Here's a place to share customer reviews with everyone... Want to share your $.02? Just ask a staff member!

Former MG bookseller Patrick Heffernan has his own dedicated page!

And watch for Guest Reviews for some of our author event spotlight titles as well.





ISBN: 9781481443364
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - September 29th, 2015

What if the little voice in our heads, the one that could tell a lie to get you out of any situation or go off on a rampage destroying all your friends, could speak for itself? That’d be kind of a terrible superpower. It’s also the set-up for Zeroes, the new YA book about a loose team of superpowered teens who have powers based on interpersonal relationships. Mixing superhero genre tropes with classic teen struggles with change, romance, and wanting to both stand out and fit in with the crowd, Westerfeld, Lanagan, and Biancotti develop a rich world. The alternating points of view between the six main characters keeps the prose engaging, though some characters are easier to identify with than others. Ultimately, a thrilling new take on the superhero genre.  -- Guest Reviewer David Mariotte

ISBN: 9780425277522
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - July 7th, 2015

When Lady Drummond dies of apoplexy during a portrait painting session with Lady Kiera Darby, the artist immediately suspects Lady Drummond’s husband of murdering her. After enduring three years of abuse, Kiera recognized her subject’s body language and knows she was an abused woman. In spite of the doctor’s listed cause of death, it is not difficult for Kiera to convince inquiry agent Sebastian Gage, her fiancé, to help her investigate. Society’s rules and regulations, other crimes, and complications in the pregnancy of Kiera’s sister combine to increase the strain placed on the engaged couple’s relationship. Because this well-written book – fourth in the series -- is set in 1831 Scotland, it is a history lesson as well as a mystery. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale

ISBN: 9780425267240
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - June 2nd, 2015

Truffled To Death: A Chocolate Covered Mystery by Kathy Aarons

Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell, best friends, roommates, and business partners, are hosting a special exhibit of Mayan antiquities for the town museum. Professor Addison Moody, former mentor to Erica, has requested their business, Chocolates and Chapters, host the event. In spite of a couple of incidents and Erica’s increased stress level, the evening seems to go well. Until the antiquities go missing and Erica, because of her degree and background, becomes the prime suspect in the theft. When Dr. Moody is found dead, his assistant Lavender Rawlings accuses Erica of murder. Once again the business partners and friends find themselves racing the police for a solution. With the help of Michelle’s brother, Leo, and Erica’s brother, Bean, the ladies hunt both a murderer and international art thief. Throw in kittens and match-making and readers will enjoy the company of the two best friends. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale

ISBN: 9780385744072
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - February 10th, 2015

Y - Factor ... Young Adult Novels

This may be the first book I have ever read with universal appeal for everyone.  It has elements that will attract any age group, both genders, and readers of all genres.  Like romance? Two boys and a girl in a classic triangle.  Like Steampunk?  Ancient weaponry such as swords or daggers mixed with guns and disrupters.  Horses versus flying fortresses.  Like action?  Battles?  Epic fantasy?  Time and space disruption?  Quin, Shinobu, and John are teenagers trained in the art of combat.  Trained to be Seekers, a legacy passed from generation to generation, they are scheduled to take their oaths.  Then comes betrayal.  Lies.  Murder. The teens realize nothing they learned about their families and legacy is true.  The real battle begins.  Father against child.  Family against family.  Boyfriend against girlfriend.  This book, the first in a trilogy, introduces readers to flawed characters who are frustrating, sympathetic, and likeable.  I couldn’t put the novel down, can’t wait for the second volume, and recommend it to everyone.

– Sandra Hale, guest reviewer

ISBN: 9780765375865
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - August 26th, 2014

Our Speculative Fiction Fantastic First for September.

Many great writers have themes (obsessions may be a better word) they return to in their work again and again. The late, great Roger Zelazny often considered immortality in his novels; the wonderful Czech novelist, Milan Kundera, deals regularly with the ideas of memory and forgetting; and John Scalzi’s novels often address the concepts of identity and free will. On the surface, Scalzi’s new novel, Lock In, is a murder mystery set in the near future. After a global pandemic leaves a significant minority of the population “locked in,” physically paralyzed but mentally functional, they use “threeps,” artificial, mechanical bodies (some would call them robots), controlled by embedded neural nets in their brains, to function more-or-less normally. A few Hadens, as the survivors are called, retain the use of their bodies and become “Integrators,” permitting their bodies to be used by other, locked in, Hadens. Several murders (or perhaps suicides) involving the locked-in are assigned to Chris Sane, a new FBI agent who also happens to be a Haden. The more he investigates, however, the more complex and convoluted the cases become. Isaac Asimov often dealt with these themes, incorporating corporate greed, politics, virtual realities, and what it means to be human. I think Scalzi may do it even better. This is a terrific, compelling novel by one of our most exciting young science fiction writers. 

– Guest Reviewer Terry Hertzler

ISBN: 9780062297211
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - September 9th, 2014

Three bodies. Three rooms. Three floors. One hotel. When young Scotland Yard detective Edward Catchpool interrupts Hercule Poirot’s search a young woman, he has no idea what his future will bring. Nor does he know how to solve the three connected murders he is investigating. As Poirot continues to search for the elusive Jenny, Catchpool travels to the small town the hotel murder victims –  two women and one man – left to visit London. Ostracized, avoided, and ignored by the townspeople, Edward learns of two more bodies and a years-old injustice. The young detective connects another young woman, now famous and in London, to the deceased couple as well as his three new bodies. His biggest concern after visiting the small, unpleasant town is the humbling realization that Poirot is right; Jennie is in danger of becoming the fourth victim, murdered by the same fashion, poisoned with a monogrammed cufflink in her mouth. As Catchpool and the retired Poirot continue to probe the murders, the plot twists, turns, and horrifies. Investigating these murders will plummet Catchpool and Poirot into the selfish depths of human emotion, as well as the primal need for revenge. Not for the faint of heart, but a fascinating read.


– Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale

ISBN: 9780758290847
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kensington Publishing Corporation - September 30th, 2014

Murder at Marble House: A Gilded Newport Mystery by Alyssa Maxwell

The twentieth century looms, the women’s suffrage movement is in its infancy as is the bootlegging industry, the Vanderbilt family is in turmoil, and Emma Cross is involved in murder. Again. When a fortune teller is strangled during a gathering at Marble House, the palatial home of newly-divorced Alva Vanderbilt, servant Clara Parker is arrested. The housemaid, found leaning over the body, swears she was only trying to loosen the scarf which was the murder weapon. Consuelo Vanderbilt, Emma’s eighteen-year-old cousin who is faced with an unwanted marriage, chooses to vanish during the resulting chaos. With the help of Consuelo’s rejected suitor Derrick Andrews, Emma searches for both her cousin and a murderer. Emma, rejecting the restrictions society places on women as well as her overwhelming attraction to the rich Andrews scion, comes close to drowning – with Derrick. This action-paced story is rich in history, turn of the century gossip, and social mores and restrictions, as well as romance. This is book two in a charming series that has become one of my favorites. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


ISBN: 9780316221122
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - April 22nd, 2014

Third in the SF series about Deviana Morris and her Lady Gray (personal first class armor) – Fortune’s Pawn and Honor’s Knight were the first two. Deviana now remembers memories she lost regarding a whole hell of a lot of things. You’ll have to read the book for all of the answers! This book shines as the concluding volume,  with all the secrets out in the open. Oh boy, and what secrets they are. Two other alien worlds are colliding with hers, and Deviana finds someone who really, really loves her. But she doesn’t believe all the revelations, including that of someone who is dangerous and lies about it being close to her. And some of the aliens aren’t really the bad guys. Or are they? You can’t miss the adventure’s last throes with what’s real and what’s not.

– Guest Reviewer Diane Bader

ISBN: 9780761390084
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Carolrhoda Books - March 2014

In my review of The Twelve-Fingered Boy I said that it was an incredible story. The Shibboleth is the sequel to that book - and it’s even more incredible. It’s combustible – on fire! We find Jack and Shreve are separated. Having no other choice, Jack (the twelve-fingered boy) has gone off to be a part of the “evil” Mr. Quincrux’s school for people with powers. What??!! How did that happen?  There is something going on in another part of the country that is quite unnerving and terrifying – there are those out there who can feel it but no one knows what it is exactly. Meantime, Shreve is desperately trying to escape the boys’ prison. The reader follows the trials and horror Shreve goes through as he keeps running and, along the way, finds out more about his powers. John Hornor Jacobs’ book is an impressive trail of twists and turns, of flashbacks, of winning and losing, of terror and joy. His superb writing skills once again carry us off to heights and emotions – extraordinaire.

– Guest Reviewer Diane Bader

ISBN: 9780425267233
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - September 2nd, 2014

Mystery & Suspense

As if Michele Serrano and Erica Russell, roommates, best friends, and business partners, didn’t have enough to do running their shop Chocolates and Chapters, they may have to add sleuthing to their resumes. When Denise Coburn, photographer and fellow shop owner, is found dead in their shop with chocolate froth around her mouth, Chocolates and Chapters is closed due to the crime scene, and the health department threatens. This fast-paced, entertaining read demonstrates all sides of small town life, and introduces a cast of characters with complicated, messy, interwoven lives. I found every page compulsively readable and couldn’t put it down until the final stunning conclusion. Like Michele’s chocolates – try it, you’ll like it.

– Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale

ISBN: 9781781082010
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Solaris - April 29th, 2014

In the acknowledgements at the end of the book (and I give nothing away here), I would like to quote:  “ Special thanks to Jon Oliver for giving me the opportunity to sit in the middle of the intergalactic science fiction sandbox and toss sand gleefully into the air.”  Boy, I tell you what – he built the most fabulous sand castle (or more appropriately, alien spaceship) I’ve ever seen!

Weston Ochse (author of the popular Seal Team 666 series) has written another knockout.  His knowledge of the military and his love of science fiction and writing give us a book that is sure to hit best seller lists. Let me just say that this is much more than aliens running amok here.  It is the story of men and women and their friends, strengths, sorrows, love of Planet Earth and the never ending desire to protect it. And last but not least their fierce fight to free all humans from extinction. Benjamin Carter Mason is standing on the Vincent Thomas Bridge with a bad case of PTSD and a desire to finally get away from all of it – by jumping.  An unknown man comes to stand by him and proceeds to tell Benjamin that he knows his name and the fact that Benjamin died in a house fire that night. The hell? He looks at the stranger and rolls his eyes and jumps off that bridge - falling into a net set up below him to catch him.  And from there comes an amazing story. The world is being attacked by creatures not of this earth and they seem to be winning until a hodgepodge of US military and ex-military – all mentally screwed up; all with serious designs on committing suicide – come together and are trained to be the best they can be and more.  Weston takes you through the process that makes all of them part of the team who must save our planet and our race. We are thrown into a world that could be right around the corner for all of us. A world that is so astonishingly realistic that we could imagine it - maybe not too far into the future.  This book is incredible.  Don’t miss it.

- Guest Reviewer Diane Bader

ISBN: 9781250033437
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - March 25th, 2014

Speculative Fiction ... grrrr arrrgh ...

Jonathan Maberry continues to produce amazing stories and Code Zero is again, amazing. This is the sequel to Patient Zero in which he introduced DMS (Department of Military Sciences) and its major characters, Joe Ledger and Echo Team. Reading one of Jonathan’s novels is like being right there with all the excitement and action flowing around you. Ledger and his team are back and they are still mired in one situation or another where if they don’t fix it – all hell will be out of control and unstoppable. DMS has made it their business to stop terrorists from using world-ending weapons of the biological kind (see zombies in Patient Zero for one). And…. OMG, a secure facility – cannot enter if your life depended on it – has been breached. All of the bioweapons that DMS has confiscated were in that facility and are now gone. One person is claiming she’s doing it - Mother Night. She seems to know everything from everywhere and is threatening to take the entire world down. Put your running shoes on and get ready to zoom off with DMS!

- Guest Reviewer Diane Bader

ISBN: 9780312552213
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - March 26th, 2013

I’m tellin’ you, this man can write. You want to be carried along to places you’ve never been before with incredible people you’ve never met before, this is your man. The Department of Military Sciences (DMS) is back with Joe Ledger leading the team – all of course working for the enigmatic Mr. Church, who seems to have anything and everybody when problems arise. During a test flight of a new stealth fighter, it is shot down – by something surely not seen before except maybe the tabloids. When the shooting is done, the unknown craft simply disappears in front of their eyes. Waitaminute – what’s going on? No, it can’t be aliens, can it? Before you know it the US government, including the president himself, the Chinese and some ruthless enemies are mixed up like a Molotov cocktail – ready to explode. The team is gathered and the first person Joe goes to see is Junie Flynn, a top expert on conspiracy theories in the world, which includes alien existence. Oh, and Joe doesn’t buy it for one little minute -  until he gets his first glimpse of Miss Flynn and his world is turned upside down. Great book, exceptional adventure – excitement, danger, earth shattering discoveries – another jewel of a story. The DMS team is asked to help and they do more than that – they uncover something you’ll never forget. It may just change how you think about the world.

- Guest Reviewer Diane Bader