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 May 2017 Newsletter:


Staff Pick Logo
The Collapsing Empire Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780765388889
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - March 21st, 2017

Faster than light travel isn’t possible. Luckily for the citizens of the Interdependency there is The Flow, the unexplained something, kind of like a river, that allows travel between the stars. Until now, that is. The Flow is failing. Not common knowledge, to be sure, but a few know that things are about to get very interesting very soon. But what to do with that knowledge? Prepare humanity for the collapse … or capitalize on it? Politics, machinations, nobility … choices. The Interdependency is an empire, and like the name suggests, its constituents are quite dependent on each other. In fact, there’s really only one currently-reachable planet that can sustain itself, and that’s the appropriately named End. End is about to become the center of the known universe. I loved this novel and can’t wait for the next installment. Oh, and you’re gonna love Kiva. Even if she kills you. – Guest Reviewer Patrick Heffernan


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
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062444134
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Voyager - July 5th, 2016

I am delighted that I was prompted by April’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books to elevate this to the top of my to-be-read-pile, where it had languished since the previous summer. Shortly after new-to-extended-space-voyages bookkeeper Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the spaceship Wayfarer, they receive a lucrative assignment to create a wormhole into space occupied by new-to-the-Galactic-Commons beings. Much space drama ensues, on both a grand and a small scale. And readers can binge right into A Closed and Common Orbit. Highly recommended to fans of C. J. Cherryh, Jo Clayton, or Tanya Huff’s rich multilayered science fiction. – MaryelizabethI am delighted that I was prompted by April’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books to elevate this to the top of my to-be-read-pile, where it had languished since the previous summer. Shortly after new-to-extended-space-voyages bookkeeper Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the spaceship Wayfarer, they receive a lucrative assignment to create a wormhole into space occupied by new-to-the-Galactic-Commons beings. Much space drama ensues, on both a grand and a small scale. And readers can binge right into A Closed and Common Orbit. Highly recommended to fans of C. J. Cherryh, Jo Clayton, or Tanya Huff’s rich multilayered science fiction. – Maryelizabeth


Hold Back the Stars Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501142932
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - May 23rd, 2017

Max and Carys have 90 minutes to live. Stranded in outer space, with their oxygen levels quickly dropping and no hope of being found. As their last moments to live play out, the reader is transported to their time together on Earth. Throughout the novel, the narrative shifts from their early romance to their current situation, playing out a story of small ordinary tragedies that come with falling in love on Earth and pairing it with the great tragedy of mortality in the vastness of space. – Kelly


Staff Pick Logo
The Guns Above Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780765388766
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - May 2nd, 2017

I would advise that you buckle in before picking up The Guns Above. Quoting Josette Dupre, first female airship captain, “They say it’s not the fall that kills you.” So true when you are in the middle of a war and on the new and untested Mistral airship, dodging bullets and bombs. Josette is also dodging Lord Bernat, whose secret assignment is to watch her closely and report back to command any time she shows weaknesses or indecision. After all, what does a woman know about war and battle strategy? The Guns Above is a military tale with airship battles, spicy and snarky dialogue, and the added bonus of a bit of a steampunk feel into the mix. Josette’s goal is to stay alive long enough to prove herself worthy of the role of captain. Bernat starts out as a fop who is clueless about naval warfare, and a bit (well, more than a bit) scared of the gunfire and bombs, who soon discovers the bravery hidden within his narcissistic demeanor. This debut will please those who enjoy military fantasy adventures such as those with Honor Harrington, as well as steampunk fans who enjoy a riveting description of airship manipulation and battle strategy.  – Linda


Staff Pick Logo
The Day I Died Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062560292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - April 11th, 2017

This small-town psychological thriller focuses on Anna Winger, a handwriting analyst whose expertise is requested in the case of a missing local boy. Evidence points to the mother kidnapping her son in order to protect him from her abusive husband. Anna knows firsthand about domestic violence and has mixed feelings about the investigation. She also is struggling with her own son, Joshua, a sullen teenager who is fed up with their constant moving. Eventually, Anna is forced to face her past demons but neither she, nor the reader, is prepared for what she uncovers. The menace steadily builds; Anna’s fear is palpable in every word, every scene. You may not know what it all means initially but that only makes the pages turn faster. The last half takes off like a rocket, hurdling toward a chilling climax. An atmospheric literary thriller with razor sharp insight and beautiful prose. – Sarah


Staff Pick Logo
Caraval Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250095251
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - January 31st, 2017

Caraval is Magic.

Caraval is a maze of Truth and Lies.

Caraval is just a game... don’t let it drive you mad.

Enter a world of escapism where the lines between reality and fantasy are blurred by the rich scents of bottled memories and beautiful dresses that can be bought with secrets and truths. Lose yourself in illusions and give in to your darkest curiosities and notions, if only for a handful of days, but never forget why you entered the game and what is to be gained from winning.

Caraval is a truly unique story from start to finish filled with delightful twists and turns that keep you up into the early hours of morning turning the pages to discover a delight on every page. The mystery and beauty of this world hold you captive, only to leave you wanting more after the last line is read. If it wasn’t obvious... I highly recommend you pick this up. – Constance


Staff Pick Logo
Alive Cover Image
$10.00
ISBN: 9780553393125
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey Books - February 2nd, 2016

A young woman, named Em, wakes up in a coffin with no knowledge of who she is and how she got there. Readers will join Em and her accomplices as they learn who they are and where they come from. This novel is thrilling and suspenseful;  every page will keep you on the edge of your seat. Secrets will unravel and the plot will be twisted as these characters try to escape danger around every turn and discover their backgrounds. – Kaitlyn


Staff Pick Logo
Defy the Stars Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316394031
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 4th, 2017

Noemi Vidal is a soldier of Genesis, a former colony world of Earth locked in a drawn-out war for its independence. During a skirmish, she ends up stranded on a derelict ship, where she comes across Abel – the most advanced Earth mech ever built and the only one of his kind. Bound by his programming, Abel is drawn into Noemi’s plan to end the conflict once and for all...even at the cost of his own life. As they journey across the stars, these two kindred souls form a bond that goes beyond mere programming. Can Noemi still condemn Abel to death, even in the face of his emerging humanity? And what is Abel’s true purpose? The artful prose combined with alternating perspectives of the two immensely likable protagonists will keep you turning the pages, all the way to the bittersweet end.

 

From our April 2017 Newsletter:


Staff Pick Logo
All Our Wrong Todays Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781101985137
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Books - February 7th, 2017

Tom Barron grew up in the utopia we were promised back in the 50s: flying cars, recreational space travel, universal health care. Or would have if he hadn’t screwed it all up by traveling back in time to the moment of his world’s big leap forward, the pivot point that made his reality a reality. Read Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder.” Research the Butterfly Effect. Now John Barron is back in 2016. Our 2016: no flying cars, no recreational space travel, no universal health care. Sucks for us, but his life is actually a lot better: great career, mother and girlfriend are still around, he’s got a sister now, and dad’s not such a tool. Cool for Tom/John, but not so much for the billion or so individuals who now don’t exist. Moral dilemma: Get used to the new first name and enjoy the fruits of his stupidity or try to fix the timeline? This is the quandary that takes us on an adventure across our world, and through time and space. Thought-provoking, poignant, and brilliant. What would you do? – Guest Reviewer Patrick Heffernan


Staff Pick Logo
Heartstone Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062451941
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Voyager - January 17th, 2017

Heartstone retells the Pride and Prejudice story that we all love, but in a fantasy setting with knights, talking dragons, and evil creatures trying to destroy our heroine’s hometown! The author does remain true to the original story in many ways, but she has created a thoroughly unique and captivating world filled with fresh characters that pull you into the book for a truly enjoyable read. The female lead is a healer opposed to violence, and her Mr. Darcy is a knight who is rather good at killing things. Let the personality clashes begin!

While this is a fun retelling, it delves into darker, grittier themes like loss and mourning. The dialogue and action also keep the book at a nice pace that pull you in and keep the pages turning. There are even some pretty epic battle scenes at the end. If you are looking for a fun read, then look no further. Who doesn’t love a good spunky heroine showing the world whats what?! And don’t forget about the talking dragons! – Constance


Staff Pick Logo
Burntown Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780385541367
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books - April 25th, 2017

One of the traits that make Jennifer McMahon’s books such compelling reads for me is her ability to suck me in to her characters’ worlds and perceptions, no matter how skewed or improbable. Burntown is no exception to this experience. Teenager Necco and her mother, Lily, become Burntown residents, part of those who live off the grid in abandoned factories and mills, after the traumatic death of Necco’s father. When danger stalks again, Necco and her unexpected allies – a high school student she only knows through their illicit transactions, a cafeteria chef with deeper ambitions, a part-time private eye, and a group of mystical women – must dig through Necco’s cloudy past for answers. – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
A Different Lie Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781681772554
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pegasus Books - December 20th, 2016

Silver Bear aka Columbus aka (that’s for the end of the story). The story is told from the perspective of a gun for hire, who has been in the profession for many years. He is not a good man. The people he takes assignments from are not good people. He is surrounded by bad people. Columbus dares the reader to believe his narration or not. He has been given the assignment to take out an assassin named Castillo. The situation goes from bad to worse rapidly as Columbus fails in his mission and many people, bad and good, suffer the consequences. I found the book interesting because of the polar-opposite emotions that are the crux of the story: love and betrayal. – Christine


Staff Pick Logo
My Husband's Wife Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735220959
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - January 31st, 2017

Young lawyer Lily has a lot going on in her life right now. She recently married after a very short courtship; she is starting her first criminal investigation with an interview in a maximum-security prison; and she has inadvertently just volunteered to watch her neighbor’s nine-year-old daughter, Carla, while the single mom works on weekends. The marriage to fledgling artist Ed sours quite rapidly when Lily learns the real reason for her new husband’s haste; and her prison interview with Joe Thomas, a convicted murderer who convinces Lily of his innocence and stirs passionate feelings within her, proves to be life-altering. Carla, despite her young age, has a mature propensity for getting what she wants, haunting everyone she encounters for years to come, especially Lily. Corry’s background as the writer in residence of a high-security prison has enabled her to create a psychological thriller that explores the minds and actions of some incredibly felonious and immoral, but deliciously interesting, characters. – Guest Reviewer Bunny Hand


Staff Pick Logo
The Day I Died Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062560292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - April 11th, 2017

This small-town psychological thriller focuses on Anna Winger, a handwriting analyst whose expertise is requested in the case of a missing local boy. Evidence points to the mother kidnapping her son in order to protect him from her abusive husband. Anna knows firsthand about domestic violence and has mixed feelings about the investigation. She also is struggling with her own son, Joshua, a sullen teenager who is fed up with their constant moving. Eventually, Anna is forced to face her past demons but neither she, nor the reader, is prepared for what she uncovers. The menace steadily builds; Anna’s fear is palpable in every word, every scene. You may not know what it all means initially but that only makes the pages turn faster. The last half takes off like a rocket, hurtling toward a chilling climax. An atmospheric literary thriller with razor sharp insight and beautiful prose. – Sarah


Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation Cover Image
By Octavia E. Butler, John Jennings (Illustrator), Damian Duffy (Adapted by)
$24.95
ISBN: 9781419709470
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams Comicarts - January 10th, 2017

While a lot of attention in the first few months of 2017 has focused on Butler’s eerily prescient Parable of the Sower (which was just reissued by Seven Stories Press with stunning cover art), readers are also encouraged to pick up this graphic novel adaptation. Butler’s tale of Dana, a woman of color in the mid-1970s who is repeatedly involuntarily transported to the antebellum South, and the ways in which her experience there are shaped by her skin color, is brought vividly and viscerally to life by the team of Duffy and Jennings. Recommended. – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
Trees, Volume 2 Cover Image
By Warren Ellis, Jason Howard (Artist)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781632155221
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Image Comics - October 11th, 2016

In the not-so-distant future, humanity has discovered that we are not alone in the universe. Huge monoliths have settled on the Earth like giant trees, exerting their pressure on the populace. Ten years later, we still know nothing about the alien craft. Cities in the shadow of the Trees have fallen into various states of chaos. And now, after a decade of silence, the Trees are preparing to speak. This book was so compelling. I waited far too long to pick this up, but it’s quickly become one of my favorites. It follows characters spanning the globe, showcasing different cities around the world and the people who call them home. Highly recommended! – Gary


Staff Pick Logo
Shirley Jackson's
$16.00
ISBN: 9780809066506
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hill & Wang - October 25th, 2016

The Shirley Jackson Centennial began in December, but my enthusiasm for her works is perpetual. While fellow-enthusiasts, including Charlaine Harris, Jonathan Maberry, and Grady Hendrix, usually know a broad spectrum of Jackson’s works, some readers have only encountered one or two of her stories, often having memories of reading “The Lottery” for a school assignment. I strongly recommend checking out this engaging adaptation by Jackson’s grandson Hyman, whether you are revisiting a favorite or entering her world of subtle horror for the first time. Also available: Ruth Franklin’s recent biography of Jackson; We Have Always Lived in the Castle t-shirts from Out of Print, and more! Check out my Staff Picks shelf. – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
A Long December Cover Image
By Richard Chizmar, Ben Baldwin (Cover Design by)
$24.95
ISBN: 9781909640887
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Short, Scary Tales Publications - December 12th, 2016

Richard Chizmar, the editor and publisher of Cemetery Dance Magazine, presents a masterclass collection of his own dark stories. His forthcoming novel, Gwendy’s Button Box, co-written with Stephen King, will make him a household name, but his original work is a chilling exploration of family, loss, and regret. Everyday men and women are pushed to horrific extremes, but their lives and deaths are tempered with humanity. In his heartbreaking, post-apocalyptic story, “After the Bombs,” a man searching for his father asks, “How did he die?” An old blind man replies, “I’d rather tell you how he lived.” Memories are a recurring theme in these stories, but they are lies protecting us from the truth. You’ll find many memory boxes of various shapes and sizes, each one a metaphor for a secret self, filled with awful and amazing revelations. In the titular story, the friend of a killer says with bitter irony, “It’s funny the things you remember—and forget.” These tales will haunt you like photos of the dead. – Rob


Staff Pick Logo
Ararat Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250117052
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - April 18th, 2017

Christopher Golden reminds readers that some mysteries are best left unsolved, as his adventurous reality television power couple and their team investigate a significant and controversial discovery on the infamous site of Mt. Ararat. With Ararat, Chris has crafted a high-adrenaline tale that combines archaeology, a locked room puzzle, and mythical horrors made manifest, that left me breathless and chilled -- and not just from the descriptions of the extreme storm conditions. – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
Mars One Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481461610
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - April 4th, 2017

Meet Tristin, sixteen-year-old high school student, astronaut-in-training, future colonist of the red planet, and semi-reluctant reality TV star. He’s been tapped to go to Mars since he was twelve. And it’s time to go. Too bad he’ll have to leave nearly everything and everyone behind, like his best friend, and especially his girlfriend. Talk about star-crossed lovers! But hell, it’s Mars, man. Can’t pass that up. He’s no ordinary kid, though. How many kids do you know that can repair a damaged starboard solar alpha rotary joint or a malfunctioning intake valve on an oxygenator? Still, he is quite young, the youngest on the mission. How’d you like it if all of your teenage angst and growing pains were played out in public for all the whole world to see … and in then again in space? A great coming-of-age-in-the-Space-Age story, and one kick-ass ride. One of those rare works that reads so visually that you might step a way for a few minutes, return, turn on your TV, and only then realize you’d been reading. And those last thirty pages? Wow. – Guest Reviewer Patrick Heffernan


Staff Pick Logo
Dream a Little Dream: The Silver Trilogy Cover Image
By Kerstin Gier, Anthea Bell (Translator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781250073662
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - May 3rd, 2016

Liv is a modern-day Nancy Drew. With a logical brain, she lives in facts and can’t resist solving a good mystery. But how can you explain dreams where you meet four incredibly attractive guys and spy on them as an owl, only to then go to your new school the next day and meet them face to face? They keep saying things to her too, as if they remember the same dream, and what’s this about her being the key to saving them from a demon??

Now demons and magical dreams are just not real. At least that’s what our logical protagonist keeps saying. Is there even a logical explanation though? And why do Liv’s dreams keep getting stranger and stranger with a magical green door in each one? 

This book is full of dangerous secrets, dark magic, and just a dash of romance. Written with a good sense of humor, this book has an endearing protagonist but also a darkness that creeps page by page into the story, adding depth and a unique plot. My fingers are itching to pick up the next book in the Silver Trilogy. – Constance


Staff Pick Logo
Void Star Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374285067
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - April 11th, 2017

Zachary Mason’s Void Star dazzles with its intricate tale of mentally-boosted people fighting a clandestine war with secret AIs across the battle-space of memory, perception, and cyberspace, in a world gone noir with political collapse, climate change, corporate warlords, and universal surveillance. Giving the story an almost hallucinatory intensity is Mason’s marvelous, superb language, at once endlessly allusive, lush, and incantatory. Reading the book, you suddenly realize he is writing science fiction of the heart, where science and technology make possible new sensations, new feelings, new dreams. During reading you feel awe; afterwards, gratefulness. The best book I’ve read in six years of bookselling at MG. Void Star is one of the great science fiction novels of our time. – David


Staff Pick Logo
Waking Gods: Book 2 of the Themis Files Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781101886724
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey Books - April 4th, 2017

The second novel in The Themis Files is set nine years after the discovery of an extraterrestrial-created giant robot on Earth. Part of the joy of reading this contemporary quasiepostilary series is the pace at which Significant Things Happen! So I don’t want to discuss much of the plot and the further developments with pilots Kara and Vincent, or back-from-the-dead/alternate-timeline Dr. Rose Franklin. I will note it’s a heck of a ride, and readers who discovered The Themis Files when Sleeping Giants was a Fantastic Firsts Pick will not be disappointed by the sequel. – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
The Wanderers Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399574634
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 14th, 2017

In the publishing world where so many new books are compared to existing bestsellers to explain their merits, it is refreshing to read something that is new and different. In the not-too-distant future, private enterprise has seriously moved into the space exploration. The Wanderers of this title have been selected for their experience and their personality profiles to be the first astronauts to visit Mars. Before leaving for Mars, they are hired to live in a simulation that mirrors their future trip. It is somewhat shorter than the actual expedition, but contains the same time frame for traveling to, and returning from, Mars. The only difference is that that they will stay on Mars for one month during this simulation when the actual trip will consist of a one and a half year stay.

What is unique about this book is that it is less about the expedition itself and more about the personalities and personal lives of Helen Kane, Sergei Kuznetsov, and Yoshihiro Tanaka … and some of their family members. In this way, it is more of an SF psychological thriller than a space adventure, and in the end, it is about their personal journey and transformation. – Terry


Staff Pick Logo
The Forgotten Girls Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399174551
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 14th, 2017

Reading a Windermere and Stevens book is like returning to old friends. This sixth entry in Laukkanen’s series featuring the team from the FBI-Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Violent Crimes Task Force doesn’t disappoint and could be read as a standalone too. When Stevens and Windermere find photos on a cell phone that suggest the work of a serial killer, they uncover the story of a “ghost rider” who haunts the High Line train line in the Rocky Mountains. The victims are runaways, prostitutes, and drug addicts so few take notice. The investigation takes the team to the bleak landscape of northern Montana and the Pacific Northwest in the dead of winter. The POV shifts from the two agents to the killer as well as my favorite, Mila Scott, a train hopper who wants to avenge her friend’s death. The savagery of the harsh winter setting really heightens the tension in this action-packed thriller. – Sarah


Staff Pick Logo
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812989885
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Press - March 28th, 2017

This literary thriller is a stunner … both for its unique format and plot and for the two unforgettable characters whose lives are both heartbreaking and violent. Samuel Hawley has a turbulent and disturbing past and is the sole parent to his daughter, Loo, following the death of his wife. The circumstances surrounding the twelve bullets lodged in Hawley’s body and the story of his life is one narrative. Alternating chapters follow Loo from the age of 11 to the present day. She is precocious, brilliant, and resilient, and has inherited some of her father’s violent tendencies. After moving erratically around the country throughout their lives together, they move back to Olympus, Massachusetts, the town where her mother was raised and where her grandmother still lives. Their integration into that town is a rocky path for both of them, but ultimately brings them together in unexpected ways.

The mystery of Hawley’s past (including the death of Loo’s mother) drives both narratives in this non-stop, beautifully paced, and elegantly written novel. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. – Terry


Staff Pick Logo
The Good Byline: A Riley Ellison Mystery Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781938849916
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Prospect Park Books - April 11th, 2017

This laugh-out-loud debut cozy features broken-hearted wannabe obituary writer Riley Ellison. She works in the local library by day, and tries out a dating service in her off-hours in an effort to move on with her life after her long-time sweetheart leaves her in Tuttle Corner, Virginia for greener pastures in Colorado. Riley has a reputation as a bit of a troublemaker after her grandfather (an obituary writer) died under mysterious circumstances and she pressed the town to look into his “suicide.” So when her high school friend, Jordon James “commits suicide,” Riley doesn’t believe it for a moment and begins to look into her death when she agrees to write Jordon’s obituary. All of these plot lines are wrapped around some humorous moments and some great quotes about writing obituaries. For those looking for a new cozy heroine to root for, give Jill and Riley a try. – Terry


Staff Pick Logo
The Bone Witch Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781492635826
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Fire - March 7th, 2017

Chupeco’s created a non-western world of dark mysticism and beautiful complicated relationships that takes witchery and the paranormal to a whole other place where choices are never easy and the future has yet to be written. This is a coming of age journey not like others on offer. Chupeco’s writing choices call to mind the oral history keepers and provoke questions about not only the objectivity of her narrator but also the struggle to understand the motives of the subject of the tale and their world. The Bone Witch is a magical world beautifully steeped in culture with stunning descriptions. Chupeco’s built a nuanced landscape with hills worth climbing and valleys that invite you to linger while traveling through. The Bone Witch can capture your attention in a way that invokes a visceral reaction and piques your curiosity, but it is not a tale, however, for the impatient reader. – Guest Reviewer Ro


Strange the Dreamer Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9780316464277
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 28th, 2017

Lazlo Strange: Orphan. Reader. Dreamer. Ever since a book of fairy tales fell off a shelf and broke his nose, Lazlo has read and dreamed of lost cities and extraordinary heroes—especially of the land of Weep, a city once full of magic but now lost to the world. Lost, that is, until now. The plot and action of this book moves slowly—but in its beautiful, enchanting slowness, I fell in love with reading all over again. Lani Taylor is a master wordsmith and throughout her story she pulls on the threads of enchantment, weaving a tale of sorrow and beauty, love and hate, wonder and bewitchment. A story intricately written and intimately read. Undoubtedly one of the best books of 2017. – Kelly


Staff Pick Logo
Jack and the Geniuses: At the Bottom of the World Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9781419723032
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amulet Books - April 4th, 2017

Bill Nye and Gregory Mone teaming up to write a middle grade book about adventure and science is a dream come true! Jack, Ava, and Matt are three orphans who live on their own; but they are no ordinary orphans—they are geniuses! When they enter a science competition and travel to Antarctica, they not only come across fascinating inventions and science, but uncover a deep mystery of a missing scientist. Told through the perspective of Jack, who is not quite as scientific as his foster siblings, readers of all kinds can enjoy solving the mystery. Nye and Mone have written a story full of adventure, science and heart, complete with scientific facts, explanations, and experiments in the back of the book! – Kelly

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


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Blue Light Yokohama: A Crime Novel Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250110480
Availability: On Our Shelves 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


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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


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Letter 44, Volume 1: Square One Edition Cover Image
$10.00
ISBN: 9781620103883
Availability: On Our Shelves 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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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In Darkling Wood Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780399556012
Availability: On Our Shelves 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


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The Storybook Knight Cover Image
By Helen Docherty, Thomas Docherty (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781492638148
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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


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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


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The Metropolitans Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781101997666
Availability: On Our Shelves 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.