Hot Off Our Review Press!

Check out what we (MG staff and friends) have recently read and enjoyed, and other recommended reads. 

 

HOT OFF THE PRESS!

 

Check out the older not-so-hot-off-the-press reviews from each staff member.

 

 

From our March 2017 Newsletter:


Staff Pick Logo
Passing Strange Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780765389527
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 24th, 2017

The setting for the story is as much a part of the tale as the characters. The author’s research of 1940’s San Francisco has you walking the streets of Chinatown, and ferrying to the Golden Gate International Exposition. The lead characters are all women--artistic, smart, resourceful and gay. The story begins with the final days of the last surviving member of the circle and the mystery surrounding a heretofore unknown artwork. How and why the artwork comes to be is the magic and the mystery. I enjoyed the story for its interesting characters, the glimpse into the artistic world of Pulp Fiction magazine art. The ending is left for the reader to draw their own conclusion. Mine was hopeful. – Christine


Staff Pick Logo
Power Game Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399583919
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - January 24th, 2017

Christine Feehan returns to the Bayou for another adventure with the Ghostwalker team fighting to make a safe haven for their families. It’s a rough ride that drags you further into the precarious world of the Ghostwalkers and the battle against their evil maniacal creator and his powerful allies...and enemies. Feehan’s a master at building tension, thickening the plot and kicking you over the edge with a twist just when you think you know what comes next. The intensity of her main male and female protagonists brings a believable element to relationships forged under pressure, and through fire and pain. Ezekiel and Bellisia’s story is passion-drenched definitive proof that Feehan is in no danger of losing her connection to her characters or the action-fueled world of the Ghostwalkers. Power Game doesn’t disappoint. – Guest reviewer Ro


Staff Pick Logo
Blue Light Yokohama Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250110480
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Minotaur Books - March 7th, 2017

We could call this a Japanese police procedural, but it is much more. The author was inspired by an unsolved Japanese murder case where an entire family was slaughtered in 2000, and the case is still open. Inspector Iwata, who is reinstated and reassigned to Tokyo Homicide Division, faces combative superiors and a rather stubborn partner in Sakai. Sakai and Iwata are assigned to the multiple murder case after the previous detective killed himself. At the scene, they find ritualistic details, including black smudges and a symbol of a large black sun that lead them to investigate the history of black sun worshipers and cults. Iwata also knows that his superiors want him gone (but he doesn’t know why), and he is racing against time to solve the Black Sun Killer murders, before the killer strikes again. Blue Light Yokohama will appeal to readers who enjoy a unique location for their mysteries, and a believable cop who faces challenges both within and on the job. – Linda


Staff Pick Logo
Echoes in Death Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250123114
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 7th, 2017

Eve and Roarke are back and the latest installment of the In Death series isn’t pulling any punches. In a keeping with the “Marriage Rules,” Dallas and Roarke are on their way home from an evening mingling with the glitterati only to crash into another case, saving a woman who stumbles in front of their car. Dallas’s hunt for the perpetrator not only demonstrates her skill and instincts as an investigator, it seamlessly showcases her deepening personal relationships and how that growth poignantly guides her work. Robb’s writing guarantees you’ll root for Dallas. If you’re a new to the In Death series, this isn’t a bad place to get the best of what this series offers: an action-packed mystery, a steamy relationship you’ll want for your very own, and a kick ass cop who always gets the job done. – Guest Reviewer Ro


Staff Pick Logo
Letter 44, Volume 1: Square One Edition Cover Image
$10.00
ISBN: 9781620103883
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Oni Press - April 11th, 2017

This book took my breath away. The first volume of Letter 44 introduces us first to newly elected President Stephen Blades. Upon his first day in office, he discovers a secret that’s been hidden for nearly a decade: someone is building something in the asteroid belt, and it isn’t us. As President Blades attempts to navigate the tense political landscape he inherited, a mission is already underway. A crew of nine astronauts, made up of both scientists and military members, is stealthily approaching the alien construct. And it’s only a matter of time before they arrive. This book was compelling and evocative, and left me thinking about the implications long after I finished reading. – Gary


Staff Pick Logo
Descender, Volume 1: Tin Stars Cover Image
By Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen (Artist)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781632154262
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - September 22nd, 2015

This is one of the most exciting graphic novels I have read in a long time. It reminds me of Firefly, Wall-E, AKIRA, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ghost in the Shell all at the same time. Descender is a multi-layered novel with concurrent storylines about cyborgs, transhumans, bounty hunters, pirates, starship captains and robots with commentary on civil war, rebellion and a broken family that is just trying to get back together again. It is fun, but also serious and heartfelt. An amazing work that is original, beautiful and sophisticated. Get this before Hollywood ruins it! – Sam


Staff Pick Logo
The Odyssey Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780763642686
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - October 12th, 2010

The Odyssey is a very old story, with many retellings, though I find this version by Gareth Hinds to be one of my favorites. The story follows a man named Odysseus, and his 20-year journey to return home after being cursed by the ancient Greek god Poseidon. He overcomes hardships while caught in between the fights of the gods to return to his family before they fall apart without him. It’s a story full of adventure and myth, with interesting characters and thrilling battles around every turn. The artwork in The Odyssey is detailed and does the story justice, with every character being well-drawn in an art style that fits in both serious and light moments. – Guest Reviewer Xander


Staff Pick Logo
The Wicked + the Divine Volume 1: The Faust ACT Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781632150196
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - November 25th, 2014

The silver lining to waiting nearly two years to act on friends’ recommendations that I check out this clever, visually-stunning exploration of celebrity, fandom and faith was that I was able to binge my way through the collected story arcs. Gillen and McKelvie postulate a pantheon of a dozen international gods who manifest in mortal teens every 90 years, bestowing worship-worthy talents upon them, and a very finite lifespan – two years after ascendance. This is a story best experienced, rather than described, that makes fabulous use of the format. Four collected volumes are available. – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
Wintersong Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250079213
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin - February 7th, 2017

Wintersong is a retelling of the Goblin King in early 19th century Europe that focuses on Liesl, a female composer whose music can melt even the Lord of Mischief’s heart. But a female composer is a nonexistent thing in her time and Liesl is slowly forced away from her talent as the duties of running the family tavern fall on her shoulders. She begins to ignore the woods and the dangerous games she played with a mysterious boy that — if remembered — might just free her, if they don’t kill her first.
S. Jae-Jones has created a lush, seductive world that explores the journey of embracing oneself and the sacrifices it can require. Set in a hauntingly dark world, this book shows how nothing is gained for free and how in winning one thing another must be lost. The choice is always ours but so are the consequences. The magic, passion and danger of this book held me captive until the very end. A truly beautiful read and a phenomenal debut. – Constance


Staff Pick Logo
In Darkling Wood Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780399556012
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Delacorte Press - March 14th, 2017

This is a charming story of love, friendship, family and fantasy. Alice adores her younger brother Theo and is terrified to learn that he needs a heart transplant in order to survive. When a perfect match becomes available, she is sent to live with her estranged and rather severe paternal grandmother, Nell, while the operation and the long recovery take place. Nell and Alice’s father have not spoken since he walked out on Alice, Theo and their mom over two years earlier. Living in her father’s childhood home nestled in the midst of a spooky forest with no heat, internet or TV, Alice discovers that things are not always explainable and that, well, fairies just might exist. A heartwarming tale of the power of believing in something unbelievable! – Guest Reviewer Bunny Hand


Staff Pick Logo
The Storybook Knight Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781492638148
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky - September 6th, 2016

Leo is a young mouse raised to be a ferocious and valiant knight. When his family gets the news that there is a dragon to be defeated, it is up to Leo to save the kingdom. But there’s one thing his parents just don’t understand: Leo is not a fighter; he’s a reader! Leo sets out armed with sword and shield, but as he meets various magical creatures along the way, it may be that there is only one thing he needs to save the kingdom — a good book! This is a delightful story with full page illustrations sure to capture the imagination and heart of kids of any age. An Indies Next Pick! – Kelly


Staff Pick Logo
The Beauty and the Beast Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780062456212
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Design - January 31st, 2017

Just in time for Disney’s release of their live-action musical version of Beauty and the Beast, a tale as old as time arrives in a glorious new, unabridged edition. Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, the graphic artists behind the MinaLima design studio, were responsible for many of the props in the Harry Potter movies. As with their previous editions of Peter Pan and The Jungle Book, they’ve made a new edition of a classic . . . a classic in its own right. Originally published in 1740 as La Belle et la Bête, De Villenueve’s story of a young woman’s courage, and a love that sees beneath the surface to the beauty in the beast, comes to life with stunning illustrations, a map of Beauty’s French city, a 3D fold-out of the Beast’s castle, a spinning ring, pop-up windows, and lovely ornaments. A must-have for book lovers who cherish beautiful books. – Rob


Staff Pick Logo
The Metropolitans Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781101997666
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - March 14th, 2017

Kelly's Kids Pick for March!

New York. 1941. It’s the day of the Pearl Harbor attack, and four young teenagers collide in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. When the museum’s curator shows them pages of a hidden Arthurian manuscript, they slowly discover that these pages may just hold the secrets to preventing another attack like Pearl Harbor. As they read through the history of King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, Guinevere, and Merlin, the past and present collide and a series of new adventures—and magic—unfolds. Goodman delivers a diverse cast of characters who, through the power of history, storytelling, and a little magic, discover a unique friendship. Arthurian motifs like loyalty, betrayal, and most importantly equality, set against the backdrop of an America in fear, make this book an important and topical story for young readers today.

 

From Our February 2017 Newsletter:


Staff Pick Logo
The Impossible Fortress Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781501144417
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 7th, 2017

Near the end of the 1987 school year, 14-year-old Billy Marvin, and his two best friends, Alf and Clark, are obsessed with Vanna White. This obsession drives these three boys to concoct a scheme to obtain copies of the recent edition of Playboy with her pictures in it and make a small business out of reproducing the content. The results are hilarious and a blast to the past.

Billy lives with his single mother in an old, rundown house in Wetbridge, New Jersey, where his other passion is coding with the latest computer (a Commodore 64) to create a winning entry in a computer game contest. In the midst of trying to create the game of his dreams, where the hero rescues a damsel from an impossible fortress guarded by a mountain filled with ogres, along comes Mary Zelinsky, the smartest girl in town, who also loves coding and is very good at it.

Laugh along in a stream of nostalgia, wonder if the hero will rescue the girl, the boys will get their magazine, and what the future holds for Billy and Mary. For all ages. – Terry


Staff Pick Logo
The Cold Eye Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781481429719
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Saga Press - January 10th, 2017

The Weird Wild West of The Territory reveals new challenges as Isobel grows into her role and responsibilities as The Devil’s Left Hand. Along with her mentor, Gabriel, she rides roads filled with natural and unnatural magic, Native and settler, magicians and deeper powers of the terrain – terrain where most inhabitants, like Isobel, have made a deal with the Devil. When a new natural / supernatural disaster with earth-shaking consequences manifests, it will test all she knows about her role and abilities. The sophomore installment in Laura Anne’s tale continues to give the sense not of a new story, but of a retelling of an established mythology of the American West. – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
Norse Mythology Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393609097
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 7th, 2017

An enchanting retelling of Norse mythology that includes all of our favorite Norse stories. Each myth is written traditionally, without any heavy reworking or modernizing, but Neil’s signature dark, compelling, and original style shines through. Gaiman has constructed a lively retelling of mythology with realistic gods and digestible material for any myth or story lover. A rewarding book for the well-seasoned and novice mythology enthusiast alike! – Kelly


Staff Pick Logo
The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780765391414
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martins Press-3pl - August 16th, 2016

How wonderful to find that one of your favorite authors (Kij Johnson, At the Mouth of the River of BeesThe Fox Woman) loves H P Lovecraft’s The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath as much as you do! Johnson’s pastiche brings back Lovecraft’s zugs and ghouls and moon-cats, now imagined inside-out, where dream Kadath is the real world, and the human waking world a far-away, legendary place. The quest Vellitt Boe undertakes to find the human world redeems the original work of its misogyny and racism, and reminds us of just how strange our own ordinary reality can be. Highly recommended. – David


Staff Pick Logo
The Return of the Shadow Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780618083572
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - September 2000

Return of the Shadow (an abandoned title for The Lord of the Rings) contains the early drafts of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. In it you’ll find early character names (did you know Frodo was once Bingo, Bilbo’s son? That Merry was once called Marmaduke?), threads of forgotten plots (Bilbo getting married! Farmer Maggot as a Tom Bombadil-like being! Elf-wraiths!), all the while witnessing the development of ideas and plots that became a central part of The Lord of the Rings. As a whole, Christopher Tolkien’s History of Middle-earth series is a remarkable feat of scholarship and The Return of the Shadow is no different. Looking into the early drafts of The Lord of the Rings is not only fun and fascinating, but feels incredibly special. What a treat! – Kelly


Staff Pick Logo
Behind Her Eyes: A Suspenseful Psychological Thriller Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250111173
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - January 31st, 2017

Adele Martin’s entire being is focused on one goal – nurturing her marriage to her husband, therapist David. Shortly before David begins a job at a new London clinic, he flirts with a woman in a bar. Later, despite her better intentions upon discovering that David is not only married but is also her new boss at the clinic, secretary and single mother Louise is unable to resist beginning an affair with him. The affair continues, even after Adele befriends Louise, and Louise begins to question David’s behavior towards both women. Even with insights from chapters in her point of view, experienced readers will be kept guessing what Adele’s motivations and actions will lead to (hence the hashtag #WTFthatending), in Sarah’s stunningly twisty suspense novel. – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
Little Heaven Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501104213
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - January 10th, 2017

Cormac McCarthy meets Stephen King in Nick Cutter’s off-the-rails fourth horror thriller, set in the backwoods of New Mexico. In 1966, an assassin, a bounty hunter, and a hired-gun named Micah, made an unholy truce in lieu of killing each other, and went to rescue an abducted child from a religious cult. In Little Haven, the evil they faced was both human and monstrous, including a preacher like Jim Jones channeling the Old Ones, and an eldritch Big Bad stitched from carcasses. The trio of rescuers were cursed by what they found there, echoing the horrors of “The Monkey’s Paw.” Fifteen years later, Micah’s daughter goes missing, forcing him to reunite with his partners in perdition, and return to Little Haven for a final showdown. A gruesome, poetic yarn with a rip-roaring finish. – R.J. Crowther Jr.


Staff Pick Logo
The Lonely Hearts Hotel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735213739
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - February 7th, 2017

I am sure that comparisons will be made between The Lonely Hearts Hotel and The Night Circus. Both have a sense of magic hovering in the background and introduce fascinating protagonists with unique talents and personalities. In The Lonely Hearts Hotel, Pierrot and Rose are raised in an orphanage in Montreal in the middle of the Great Depression. Both suffered early childhood trauma at the hands of the nuns who ruled the orphanage with iron fists. But in the midst of dire despair, they find each other, discover their (almost magical) gifts, and make plans for their future. None of this plays out smoothly and their lives take discouraging turns and twists away from each other and into the depths of the Montreal criminal underworld. Ultimately, they will reunite and move toward their dream of creating entertainment that will wow their world. This book is captivating and joyful and romance rules much of the plot despite some of the dark subject matter. – Terry


Staff Pick Logo
To Catch a Killer Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780765381910
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Teen - February 7th, 2017

High school is hard for some kids. We all know that, but it is especially difficult for Erin Blake. When Erin was three her mother was brutally murdered, but Erin was spared. Fourteen years later and the murder is still unsolved. Erin’s biology teacher, Miss Peters, is helping Erin with a project to see if she can discover the identity of her father. When Miss Peters is murdered, Erin discovers her body. Erin believes the two murders are connected. Along with her BFFs Spam and Lysa she sets about to see if they can discover the identity of the murderer. Erin is intelligent, persistent, and not always likable. She keeps secrets from her friends and her guardian, Rachel, her mother’s best friend who took her in – secrets that put her and her friends in harm’s way. The mystery has a satisfactory ending, but also leaves the door open for further adventures. – Christine


Staff Pick Logo
The Star-Touched Queen Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250085474
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - April 26th, 2016

Roshani Chokshi writes in poetry, building a world that envelops you in its beauty. She paints breathtaking details and breathes life into a band of characters that guide you down a mystic world of love, betrayal, life, death, happiness, and despair, but above all, hope. It’s a hope that we can overcome our mistakes and misunderstandings to one day find happiness. Our hardships and trials do not define us but open doors to paths that can simply make us stronger and while we cannot rewrite the past, we can grab the threads of our fate and weave the future we want.

I highly recommend you join Maya, the princess born under cursed stars and shunned by all, on her journey of self-discovery as she becomes the queen of a powerful kingdom and rewrites her stars. I wanted to highlight all the dialogue between Maya and Kamala as quotes and it was one of the most unique and special relationship between characters I’ve read in a really long time. This book is a must read. – Constance


The Rithmatist Cover Image
By Brandon Sanderson, Ben McSweeney (Illustrator)
$10.99
ISBN: 9780765338440
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - May 13th, 2014

The Rithmatist is a fantasy story following a student named Joel, and takes place in a world ravaged by wild and magical beasts. Joel aspires to become a rithmatist, someone who has powers to control and fight with chalk. While he studies, rithmatists start to mysteriously disappear, leaving everyone concerned and confused. Joel, along with friends and teachers, starts to uncover the oddities of rithmatics and defeat evil. This book is filled with discovery and intense fight scenes near the end that are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. – Xander 


Staff Pick Logo
The Uncommoners #1: The Crooked Sixpence Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780553498431
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - January 31st, 2017

Kelley's Kd Pick for February!

Welcome to the world of Lundinor, a strange and wonderful marketplace hidden beneath London where uncommon items hold extraordinary magic. Here there are candles that make you invisible, yo-yos that turn into weapons, belts that enable you to fly…the more uncommon, the more magical! When young Ivy and her brother Seb find themselves in this mysterious world, they must use uncommon objects of the everyday world to fight off those who are after them. Along the way they must navigate their own relationship and a slew of long held family secrets. Jennifer Bell, a children’s bookseller in London herself, has written a charming and imaginative book, perfect for early fans of Neil Gaiman and lovers of magic!

 

From our January 2017 Newsletter:


Staff Pick Logo
The Bear and the Nightingale Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781101885932
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey Books - January 10th, 2017

The Bear and the Nightingale is a magical Russian fairy-tale of a novel, a gorgeous Ivan Bilibin illustration come to life. There are rusalkas, upyrs, and domovoi, the supernatural creatures of Russian folk-tales; Tsars and boyars, priests and peasants, the traditional inhabitants of medieval Russian tales; and there are bears and wolves and snow and unrelenting winter that in an instant evoke Russia for us in our imaginations. Then there is Vasya, the heroine of the tale, whose courage and resourcefulness when facing family troubles, natural disasters, courtly intrigues, mad monks, and a deep, implacable magical evil make the fairy tale real and immediate. Author Katherine Arden has written the best of books: a book which we never knew we wanted, and now can't live without. The Bear and the Nightingale is orginal, brilliant, and wonderful. My highest recommendation. – David


Staff Pick Logo
Six Wakes Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316389686
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - January 31st, 2017

And Then There Were None meets Alien in this locked-room, SF-thriller, which grips you from the first scene in the frozen depths of space. On the generational starship, Dormire, Maria bolts awake in a cloning vat, her core-self just imprinted after her last body was killed. Five other crewmembers have been brutally murdered, and their new incarnations awake near their own floating corpses. The artificial gravity is off, the ship far off course, and the A.I. that runs the ship is starting to reboot. The cloning tech that saved her has been sabotaged, so if someone kills her now, there’s no coming back. One of Maria’s fellow crewmates is the murderer; problem is, all of them have blood on their hands. Two thousand hibernating souls will never revive if she doesn’t stop the killer before she dies again.  –Rob


Death's End Cover Image
By Cixin Liu, Ken Liu (Translator)
$26.99
ISBN: 9780765377104
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - September 20th, 2016

The final volume in the epic trilogy that started with the highly successful The Three-Body Problem. Those not familiar with the series, and are fans of hard science-fiction, are strongly encouraged to pick up the first book. Readers will be hard pressed to find another series with a scope and scale as grand as what Cixin Liu has written. And Death's End is by far the most awe-inspiring of the trilogy. Moving from the emotional-driven storytelling of the previous novels, the third volume tells a story with an even greater focus on large scale events and scientific ideas that impact the whole of humanity. Years and decades unfold across chapters, resulting in a story that spans centuries. Central to these events is our new young protagonist, Cheng Xin, whose journey contains shocking, touching and tragic moments. With multiple tip-of-the-hat references to the Foundation Trilogy, fans of the classic science fiction writers like Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke will not be disappointed in this very thought-provoking series. -Jared


Staff Pick Logo
Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780345511492
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey Books - November 15th, 2016

The newest release of the Star Wars canon, Catalyst sets up the events of the new "Rogue One" film. The story follows Jyn Erso's father Galen. A brilliant scientist, Galen's research has attracted the attention of Orson Krennic, a top member of Chancellor Palpatine's Death Star project. Determined to create a superweapon before their enemies can, Krennic enlists Galen to do his bidding. Trapped under his thumb, the Ersos must escape Krennic's plans in order to save themselves and the galaxy! – Gary


Staff Pick Logo
The Fortress at the End of Time Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780765392817
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 17th, 2017

In The Fortress at the End of Time, Joe McDermott writes military science fiction of an almost unbearable psychological intensity. Ensign Ronaldo Aldo, a clone posted to the farthest outpost of human galactic civilization, is torn by the angst of clones, doubting his own humanity. He encounters in excruciating detail the mania and despair of military personnel isolated in the ultimate dead-end assignment. He suffers both the guilt of those who crack under the strain and the guilt of those who survive. And he finds himself obscurely sustained by the hope of transcendence that sustains people stressed continuously to their limit. A highly original, completely affecting work. –David


Staff Pick Logo
The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780316029186
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - May 2008

I loved the narrative underlying the smash game Witcher 3, so I wasn't surprised to find out the game is based on a series of books by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. What took me by surprise was just how good these books are! The benighted love between Geralt and Yennefer, their affection for their foster child Ciri, the complex melange of altruism, racism, love, and hatred between humans, dragons, dwarves, and elves, the sheer humor of the author's storytelling, and the all-too-human history and mythic background that underlie the characters' individual stories--all of these elements combine to create a profound and classic work of fantasy. I am busy reading every word of Sapkowski's translated into English--you should too. – David


Staff Pick Logo
The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780765391414
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martins Press-3pl - August 16th, 2016

How wonderful to find that one of your favorite authors (Kij Johnson, At the Mouth of the River of BeesThe Fox Woman) loves H P Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath as much as you do! Johnson's pastiche brings back Lovecraft's zugs and ghouls and moon-cats, now imagined inside-out, where dream Kadath is the real world, and the human waking world a far-away, legendary place. The quest Vellitt Boe undertakes to find the human world redeems the original work of its misogyny and racism, and reminds us of just how strange our own ordinary reality can be. Highly recommended. – David


Staff Pick Logo
The Dry Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250105608
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - January 10th, 2017

Debut author, Jane Harper, has written this story so perfectly, you can almost feel the heat of the severe drought and taste the dust of the small Australian town of Kiewarra. Federal Agent Aaron Falk has been summoned to return to this, his hometown, for the funeral of his boyhood friend, Luke Hadler. Luke’s father sent a note to him in Melbourne saying simply “Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral.” Twenty years ago, Falk was under suspicion of drowning sixteen-year-old Ellie Deacon, another childhood friend, but Luke produced an alibi for him. Now Luke has killed himself, along with his wife and son. However, the local detective has some questions, and along with Luke’s parents, convinces Aaron to stay in town for a while to investigate further. Falk’s dreaded eighteen-hour visit is extended to what seems like eternity as old memories and secrets resurface to reveal a brilliant tale of suspense. Characters, setting and plot construction are perfect in this enthralling debut novel. – Bunny


Staff Pick Logo
Once a Crooked Man Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781250112064
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - January 10th, 2017

Crime boss Max has made crime pay. But he’s getting older and his doctor says to slow down. Max decides to close down the family business and take care of loose ends, including getting rid of anyone who knows too much. Meanwhile, actor Harry Murphy has to pee. He wanders into a restaurant only to be told to get lost. Harry goes around to the alley and does his business. Above him is an open window where Max and his family are talking about who needs to disappear for good. Harry overhears the discussion and decides to take action and warn their intended victim in London. And so, the chaos ensues, with Harry in a foreign country carrying a suitcase full of cash, a killer on the loose, a pretty girl who happens to be a British agent who is sort of helping Harry, and a series of unfortunate coincidences throwing monkey wrenches into the plans of the crooks, the cons, the dames, and the law. A darkly humorous chase novel reminiscent of Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake. – Linda


Staff Pick Logo
The Girl Before Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780425285046
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - January 24th, 2017

One Folgate Street is an architectural masterpiece in London with sleek simplicity and sophisticated technology that would seem to demand a hefty rent; yet, instead it comes with a complicated and very personal application questionnaire and a stringent list of rules set forth by Edward Monkford, the property’s successful, aloof and affluent creator. Emma and her doting boyfriend Simon have their particular reasons for seeking the security of the property, and are amazed when they pass the scrutiny of the eccentric owner. The space, however, seems to transform the occupants and dark occurrences take place. Years later Jane has her own reasons for coveting One Folgate, and is also surprised to find that she has been approved to take occupancy. Delaney switches from one story to the other throughout the psychological thriller, weaving a masterpiece of duplicity, death, and deception with the correct amount of erotica injected to keep the pages turning and the reader mesmerized. – Guest Reviewer Bunny Hand


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The Nowhere Man: An Orphan X Novel Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250067852
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Published: Minotaur Books - January 17th, 2017

Evan Smoak, the assassin formerly known as Orphan X, has made plenty of deadly enemies in his time, both while working for the blackest of black government ops, and later as The Nowhere Man, utilizing his resources to rescue and avenge the deserving. His dedication to protective survival behavior means he leads a lonely solitary life by choice, but even the Nowhere Man can draw unwanted attention, with lethal consequences.  Gregg has received acclaim from diverse sources, including a SCIBA T. Jefferson Parker Award nomination, and consistently creates some of the best thrillers on our shelves. – Maryelizabeth


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Little Deaths Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316272476
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Published: Hachette Books - January 17th, 2017

“Grief came to her as a heaviness, an open roaring mouth that became bigger and deeper the more she focused on it until it filled up her mind with no room for thoughts, words, food or faces.” This is how Flint describes Ruth’s pain after the murder of her two children ages 5 and 3, abducted from their apartment in the middle of the night in the summer of 1965. Estranged from her husband and juggling long hours as a cocktail waitress and single motherhood, Ruth is immediately suspected by detectives, the press and neighbors. The empty liquor bottles, sexy clothing and many suitors are viewed as obvious conclusions; however, there is a deep love, determination and pride within Ruth that no one can calculate except Pete Wonickie, a rookie tabloid reporter who believes her innocence. Can he help her abate the false testimonies and bias opinions in time to save her from jail? Inspired by real events, this debut marks a new talent in crime fiction and amazing character analysis. – Guest Reviewer Bunny Hand


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Lucky Boy Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781101982242
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 10th, 2017

Lucky Boy is a timely and heartbreaking immigration story, and a masterful debut. There are two immigrant families at the heart of this accomplished novel. Young marrieds, Kavya and Rishi Reddy, are second generation Indian Americans who live in Berkeley and want to become parents. Their attempts to get pregnant have not been successful and they find themselves on the road to adoption.

Solimar (Soli) Castro-Valdez's story is one with which we are all too familiar. She traveled from central Mexico to Berkeley where her cousin helped her find a job and provides her with a way to begin her life as an illegal immigrant. When she finds herself pregnant, she incorporates her son into her new life as a nanny for a young family. When her life unravels, the interests of these two families intersect after Soli is detained and her son (Iggy) goes into foster care with the Reddys.

The collision course these two families are traveling toward is almost too terrifying to read. All three parents love Iggy unconditionally. There is no singular winner in this race to claim a beloved son.  This is a current and important story of our time. – Terry


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Hamilton: The Revolution Cover Image
$45.00
ISBN: 9781455539741
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 12th, 2016

The hottest Broadway musical of 2016, Hamilton has become an absolute sensation! For those of us unable to travel for the live show, this book is the next best thing! Hamilton: The Revolution contains a full script for each song, along with introductions, cast photos, annotations, and more. I've spent hours poring through this incredible book and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface. There's so much to sink into, and it’s rich with information. The perfect gift for any fan of Hamilton! – Gary


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A Narrow Bridge Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781938849824
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Prospect Park Books - February 14th, 2017

I couldn’t put this book down, beginning by being drawn in by one of the most compelling first lines I have ever read. This multi-cultural debut is about two very different people, from very diverse circumstances and backgrounds.

Jacob Fisher is a devout Jew living and working in his orthodox Brooklyn neighborhood. He has a troubled past, but a miraculous current life, until the unthinkable happens and his family is killed in front of his eyes. Rosie grew up in the rural south and has returned to her hometown in Alabama following the breakup of her marriage. She works very hard to reestablish herself and reclaim her life.  It takes her a very long time to warm up to this newcomer who has no place in her community.

Ultimately, this is a beautiful examination of human connection and finding a reason to live again after all hope is gone.
J.J. Gesher is the pen name for co-authors Joyce Gittlin and Janet B. Fattal. This is their debut novel together following their successful careers in screenwriting.

– Terry


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Nowhere Near You Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781681191782
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Published: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books - February 7th, 2017

The saga of Ollie and Moritz continues in this sequel to the highly-praised debut novel from Leah Thomas, Because You’ll Never Meet Me. I didn’t think BYNMM needed a sequel so I went into this with some trepidation because the world of Ollie and Moritz was already so special and important. But I can say that Nowhere Near You is just as special and important, maybe even more so. If you haven’t read BYNMM, I don’t think it’s necessary but it does help create an immediate sense of story. Ollie enthusiastically embarks on a road trip to find other kids like him and Moritz, the “Blunderkids.” These are kids with unique characteristics, such as Ollie’s allergy to electricity and Moritz’s eyelessness. Meanwhile, Moritz attends an exclusive school despite his antisocial tendencies. The journey for both boys is heart-breaking, hilarious, and shocking. Nowhere Near You is a quirky contemporary science fiction take on the importance of friendship and identity. Another standout from Thomas. - Sarah


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Love Me Never Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781633752290
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Published: Entangled Publishing - April 5th, 2016

Life is full of ups and downs and navigating your teenage years can be difficult. It is full of your highest highs but lowest lows and high school is the ultimate battlefield. This book is the classic tale of a the new girl in town who is the strong willed outcast and the bad boy everyone wants but can’t have and how their hate for each other just might become something more. It is done perfectly and with beautifully real characters who show how growth can be painful and messy but possible. It reveals how the cold exterior we sometimes create is simply the best armor we can find to get through all the hurt buried deep inside and wrapped in scars. 

The fun dialogue hooked me right away and the pacing of the chapters kept me reading until I was done. I’ve never read a book that so perfectly placed me inside the head of a smart, sarcastic, but troubled teenager and I loved every minute of it.

-Constance


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Scythe Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781442472426
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Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 22nd, 2016

A gripping new novel by Neal Shusterman where there is no sickness, no injury, no war that can kill humans. In this perfect world there is only one way to die: at the hands of those called Scythes, revered killers who keep the population under control. Even though killing is the last thing young and empathetic Citra and Rowan want to do, both are chosen to become apprentices to a Scythe and master the art of taking lives. As the story unfolds, so does a captivating plight of two teenagers trying to both keep and understand their own humanity in a sea of red. A perfect read for dystopian lovers who want something fresh to add to their bookshelf—I couldn’t put this one down once I started! – Kelly


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Seven Black Diamonds Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062011183
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Published: HarperCollins - January 31st, 2017

Lilywhite Abernathy is crime royalty. Her favorite accessories are weapons and she’s more comfortable ordering around mobsters than talking to kids her own age.  But Lily has secrets that no one can ever know. She is half fae in a world where humanity has outlawed her kind. If anyone ever found out she’d be killed or locked away in a hole where no one could find her. 

In the land of the fae the queen has been waging a secret war on humanity since they killed her daughter. Her secret warriors kill on command, but what will happen when they finally meet Lilywhite and she wants nothing to do with them no matter how charming and tempting they may be. This book is full of secrets, lies, manipulation, and a fight to make things right (Way easier said than done right?).  It’s a fun read with an interesting new take on a world filled with fae and leaves you excited and curious about what lies ahead for the world and this unexpected group of protagonists. – Constance


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A Crack in the Sea Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780399545191
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - January 3rd, 2017

Long ago the doorway between worlds opened and quickly closed, creating a Second World called Raftworld, so named after the fact that its inhabitants mostly live on rafts roaming the seas. Young Pip and his sister Kinchen live in this Second World and soon get captured by the Raft King who incessantly wanders the seas determined to find a way into the First World. Yet Pip and Kichen are just two characters in a sweeping narrative of how the Second World came to be. Soon, we learn about two other pairs of siblings who, at different points in time, have in one way or another come face to face with the magical portal. An invigorating novel that interweaves three stories into one magical book that is both fantasy and historical fiction, told in beautiful prose throughout.