Hot Off Our Review Press!

Check out what we (MG staff and friends) have recently read and enjoyed, and other recommended reads. You can also check out our first newsletter dedicated to Reviews. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the pdf file there.

 

 

HOT OFF THE PRESS!

 

Check out the older not-so-hot-off-the-press reviews on the Newsletter menu.


You can also check out what each staff member is reading.

 

 

From our September 2014 Newsletter:


Book List
$26.99
ISBN-13: 9780062290366
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Harper, 7/2014

Speculative Fiction

The world of Tearling and its many engaging characters is a compulsive read from newcomer Johansen. Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn was smuggled out of the Royal Keep in Tearling as an infant, hidden, and raised and educated by foster parents. Despite her rigorous education, Kelsea has no idea what her life holds for her until she is picked up by the Royal Guard on her 19th birthday in order to claim the throne and be crowned Queen. Her journey to the throne is thrilling, dangerous, and enlightening, and Kelsea is tested at every turn. Her kingdom is in peril, her enemies are many, and it is a treacherous path to save her people, many of whom have no reason to believe that she can do so. Warner Bros. has the rights to the movie … but for me, I can hardly wait for book two. Highly recommended.

– Terry


Soda Pop Soldier (Paperback)

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780062210227
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Voyager, 8/2014

Speculative Fiction

I should confess up-front that I rarely play video games – while I am intrigued by the story telling possibilities the medium offers, I don’t fare well with the vertigo all but the tamest action games induce. Soda Pop Soldier provided a great way to virtually immerse myself (sometimes to vertigo-inducing degrees) in a gaming universe. Join übergamer PerfectQuestion in Nick’s near future technonoir novel, as he strives to uncover the deeper agenda behind the assignment he and his fellow gamers are given to battle as soldiers for mega corporations competing for the prize of advertising space on a significantly damaged world. I suspect video game aficionados will have an even greater appreciation for Nick’s adventure.

– Maryelizabeth


Exo (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780765336545
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Tor Books, 9/2014

Speculative Fiction

In Impulse we met Cent, teenage daughter of Jumpers Davy and Millie … and experienced the angst of going to a new school, meeting people, falling in love, and running … okay, jumping … away from some really bad guys. Now she’s set her sights a bit higher … okay a whole lot higher. Space: The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of Space Girl, intrepid teleporting astronaut. Imagine if you will that you could literally and figuratively “jump” into space. Think of the fun you’d have. Hell, just reading about it was a whole lot of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed this outing of our favorite teleporting family and even learned quite a bit about the ups and downs, ahem, of space travel. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Eryie, Fortress of Solitude … those bad guys aren’t just sitting on their hands, nor is everyone else on the planet below.

--Patrick


$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780385353304
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Knopf, 9/2014

Speculative Fiction

Although you know on page 2 that famed actor Arthur Leander dies of a heart attack on a stage in a Toronto theatre, and you find out very quickly that this is a pandemic tale, you will not anticipate the course of this story as it moves back and forth in time from well before the first scene to 20 years after the world as we know it today no longer exists.

The title, Station Eleven, comes from a comic book series that connects the main characters: Arthur who is both amazed and dismayed at his fame; his first wife, Miranda, who is the author of the series; Kirsten, who is only 8 years old when a deadly flu claims the lives of all she loves; and Clark, Arthur’s oldest friend. Emily St. John Mandel has always impressed me with her work. Station Eleven may just elevate her to the next level as she explores how much we have to lose in the present and what a potential future holds for us. 

– Terry

 


Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates (Mass Market Paperback)

$7.99
ISBN-13: 9780425267233
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Berkley, 9/2014

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

 

 

From our August 2014 Newsletter:


The Magician's Land (Hardcover)

$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780670015672
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Viking Adult, 7/2014

Speculative Fiction

From its magical opening scene in a largely mundane New Jersey bookstore, to its conclusion leaving readers with appropriate-to-the-story if not necessarily happy “good-byes” to Quentin Coldwater, flawed magician, and his compatriots, The Magician’s Land fulfils Lev’s unspoken contract with his readers to both honor and build on the classic tales of adventures at its foundation. After the losses of The Magician King, Quentin gradually develops more self-awareness and grace, while undertaking fabulous magical adventures, of course! Strongly recommended.

– Maryelizabeth

Signed copies available, while they last.

 


The Ultra Thin Man (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780765336941
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Tor Books, 8/2014

Speculative Fiction

The year is 2113. Our heroes are two agents of the Network Intelligence Organization, gumshoes of the highest order. After the apparent suicide of a known associate, and an antimatter attack that destroyed a moon and wrecked an entire planet, Gumshoe #1 is on the trail of the alien leader of the terrorist Movement of Worlds. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, his partner, Gumshoe #2, is on the hunt for those responsible for framing him and his partner for treason most foul. And just who, or what, is behind it all? That, my dear friends, is the question. The Ultra Thin Man is a mystery-thriller wrapped in science fiction, a Fantastic First practically gift-wrapped for Mysterious Galaxy. Interstellar conspiracy, enigmatic aliens, bizarre drugs, body-morphing technology, “Thin Men,” and the fate of the Union … just of few of the elements that make The Ultra Thin Man awesomeyay. I just love this stuff.

--Patrick, no, the other one.

A Fantastic First Pick for August.


The Lost (Paperback)

$14.95
ISBN-13: 9780778317111
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Mira Books, 5/2014

Speculative Fiction

Sarah Beth Durst’s first adult novel bears her trademark unique fantastic stamp – in this case, artist Lauren Chase is driving in the desert with no destination in mind, other than the desire to escape the reality of her mother’s terminal illness, when her circumstances draw her to the surreal town of Lost. By incorporating both themes of those who are lost and those who have suffered losses, set among the minutia of the lost — those stray socks, toys, shopping lists, etc. that we are all familiar with — Sarah Beth adds depth and dimension to her “Wizard of Oz”-like story. Recommended to fans of Seanan McGuire’s Sparrow Hill Road: Lost could be encountered along similar pathways.

– Maryelizabeth 


 


$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780399162367
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Putnam Adult, 9/2014

Suspense

Can you imagine tracing Cain and Abel of the Old Testament to present day Hollywood? The Kellerman duo has done so with riveting flashbacks that fascinate from start to finish. Be prepared to be lost in the past, the present and the mythical in between as Jacob Lev, who has been demoted to the traffic division of the LA police department, unexpectedly gets a promotion to Special Projects and it seems it is because he is Jewish. He reports to 446 Castle Court at the remote northern most reaches of Hollywood to discover and then investigate a decapitated head and a Jewish symbol burned in the kitchen counter, that of “justice.” He discovers not only twisted and psychopathical murderers, but also a link to his identity dating back to the beginning of time. It is a very different and remarkable read.

– Bunny


 


One Kick (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9781476749785
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Simon & Schuster, 8/2014

Suspense

Cain does it again, with a cast of damaged characters whose back and current stories will have you glued to the pages and wanting more. As she did with Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell (two of the most unforgettable characters in crime fiction … if you don’t know what I am talking about, pick up Heartsick today!), Cain breaks new ground with Kick Lannigan. Kick was kidnapped at age 6 and held captive for 5 years until she was accidently discovered in the home of her captor. She is doing her best to survive by arming herself, learning self-defense techniques, and trying to deal with the trauma that formed her. One Kick opens when she is 21 and her world is invaded by the mysterious John Bishop, a man who has seemingly endless resources and a talent for survival. They soon team up to find two missing children, but their story is far from straightforward.

– Terry

An August Fantastic Firsts Pick!    

 


Dear Daughter (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780670016389
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Viking Adult, 7/2014

Suspense

Janie Jenkins has a lot going for her, including her fierce dedication to being a self-protective bitch. She also has a lot of challenges, including being released after a decade in prison after being convicted for the murder of her mother; being hounded by celebrity stalkers and the media; and the nagging sensation that perhaps the conviction was valid, as her memories of the night of her mother’s killing are less than clear. The sharp and prickly Jane assumes a low-profile persona to conduct an investigation based on the thinnest of clues from her mother’s past in strange twinned small towns in South Dakota. Jane may not be likable or pleasant, but she is unforgettable.

– Maryelizabeth

An August Fantastic Firsts Pick!   

 


$16.00
ISBN-13: 9781476762326
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Atria Books, 8/2014

Suspense

If you are intrigued by the Kennedy assassination and love a bold thriller, this book is for you. Gil Malloy, once the best journalist at The New York Daily News, has been disgraced by botched-up coverage of a big story. With his integrity questioned by everyone he knows, he now fights to prove that three recent murders are connected by the appearance of a Kennedy half-dollar at each crime scene. At the same time, a man claiming to be the secret son of Lee Harvey Oswald breaks his silence on the fiftieth anniversary of Kennedy assassination. Gil is on the fast track to redeem himself when it all threatens to fall apart again. Can he find the real executioner and find the truth about the events that occurred in Dallas fifty years ago? The edge-of-your-seat suspense continues to the unexpected climax. Very entertaining.

– Bunny


 


The Good Girl (Hardcover)

$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780778316558
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Mira Books, 7/2014

Suspense

Overlapping narrators, a non-linear story line, and a slow reveal all contribute to elevate this debut suspense novel. In her early 20’s, Mia Dennett still strives to rebel against her parents’ affluent Chicago lifestyle, making her perhaps an unlikely target for someone seeking revenge against her father, an influential judge. Colin, more of a criminal by economy than intent, kidnaps Mia, but then diverts for his instructions, hiding both of them in a remote severely underequipped cabin in the Minnesota woods. Mia is returned, to the relief of her mother, Eve, and the Detective on the case, Gabe Hoffman, but her physical presence only serves to deepen the emotional and psychological puzzle behind her abduction.

– Maryelizabeth  

 


Hyde (Hardcover)

$24.00
ISBN-13: 9780544191181
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Houghton Mifflin, 3/2014

Horror

Daniel Levine’s revisionist take on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is an enthralling feat of storytelling, which not only does justice to the classic tale, but explodes it to reveal darker, deeper truths. We meet Hyde sitting in Jekyll’s laboratory, gazing at the envelope containing Jekyll’s account of the drug induced schism that doomed them both. Disgusted with Jekyll’s sanitized apology, Hyde pens his confession of what really happened. We peer as voyeurs through Hyde’s eyes as he is wrenched into the world, a frightened, half-formed, shadow of a shadow, more akin to Frankenstein’s monster than a sociopath, and watch him grow more savage, trapped in Jekyll’s hide, gnashing at man’s hypocrisy as a domestic animal. Like us, Hyde is desperate to know, “Why am I here?” Is he just a pawn in a deadly chess game Jekyll plays with himself? Levine’s London is a sordid, soot-stained beast, rendered with magnificent historical detail, a mirror labyrinth of mind as much as stone and brick. Hyde will make your heart pound like a cornered animal and haunt you long after the book-serum wears off.

– R.J. Crowther Jr.


 


One Plus One (Hardcover)

$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780525426585
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Pamela Dorman Books, 7/2014

Curated Literature

Moyeshas the uncanny ability to introduce us to characters we would probably never meet otherwise, and create a tie so strong that we literally cannot do anything but turn the pages to find out what will become of them. Jess, Ed, Nicky, and Tanzie embark on an unexpected journey as strangers to each other, and as life happens, an unbreakable bond begins to form. Jess is a single mom struggling each day just to figure out how to take care of her two kids and get the bills paid. Ed is a high-tech entrepreneur who has just been kicked out of his own company for insider trading ... and that’s just the beginning of his issues. Nicky, the son of Jess’ ex-husband, finds himself the target of the neighborhood bullies because of his expression of his individuality. Tanzie, possibly the most fascinating of all of the characters, is Jess’ daughter, and a math prodigy so talented and unusual that she has been sought out for a scholarship opportunity to a school they can’t afford, even with 90% of the tuition covered. They all set out to see if she can win a math contest that will make up the last 10% of her tuition. The resulting journey has many unexpected consequences … for each member of this traveling foursome. Heartwarming.

 

– Terry