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 July 2017 Newsletter:


Staff Pick Logo
Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780399584022
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - July 4th, 2017

Henry reimagines Peter Pan in this prequel novel that tells the story of how Jamie, the first – and Peter’s favorite – lost boy became Captain Hook. Lost Boy is a completely character-driven novel, and I loved getting a close look into Henry’s savage, heartless Peter and her unique Jamie. As was the case with Henry’s Alice, the pages turn themselves. The story itself moves at a perfect speed, giving plenty of time to flesh out characters and get the reader invested in the story. An immensely fun, dark, and twisted book. – 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 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
Holly Farb and the Princess of the Galaxy Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781481471770
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Aladdin Paperbacks - June 6th, 2017

DEAR FELLOW HUMANS: Do you like robots? Do you like adventures space? Do you like to laugh? Then this book is for you! Robot OS-78 narrates the story of an ordinary girl named Holly Farb who gets swept away in galactic adventure when a group of aliens mistake her for the Princess of the Galaxy. Featuring space pirates, bounty hunters, holograms, not to mention laugh out loud interjections from Robot OS-78 throughout! I had so much fun reading this book! -- Kelly


Staff Pick Logo
Glitter Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781101933701
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - October 25th, 2016

Glitter was an unexpected find for me that I picked up for a fun read but found to be full of very real characters and an engaging plot that pulled me in and didn’t let go. You see the main character grow and question herself, learning hard lessons along the way and paying the price for her mistakes. This is a great read with a perfect balance of ball gowns, deadly secrets, the black market, and a dash of romance. – Constance


Staff Pick Logo
Flame in the Mist Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399171635
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - May 16th, 2017

“Death follows indecision, like a twisted shadow. Fall forward. Keep moving. Even if you must pick yourself up first.” Flame in the Mist is a stunning and intriguing mashup of Mulan and 47 Ronin. The story follows a young woman named Mariko as she struggles to find her place in society, often undermined by many of the male influences in her life. After narrowly escaping an ambush, she decides to create an alter ego, to join the clan that was sent to kill her. Mariko discovers secrets about herself, her family, and her world as she experiences a whole new aspect of life. She’s strong, independent, and a relatable character that captivates readers from the very first page. – Kaitlyn


Staff Pick Logo
At the Table of Wolves Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781481487788
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Saga Press - July 11th, 2017

Kay Kenyon’s At the Table of Wolves is everything you like in WWII spy thrillers – louche British aristocrats of dubious loyalty, charming but diabolical Nazis hiding dreadful plots against England, a wonderfully strong, intelligent heroine pressed to her limit to save the day – but with psychic powers thrown into the mix. Kim Tavistock has the power to get people to confess their deepest secrets without intending or realizing it. She is up against a Nazi spy with hidden talents of his own, working in league with a mole at the heart of British intelligence. Will Kim discover their deadly secrets before the Nazi plots bring England to her knees? Read At the Table of Wolves to find out! A fun, fast read. Highly recommended! – David


Staff Pick Logo
Heroine Worship Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780756413262
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Daw Books - July 4th, 2017

Goal-oriented superheroine Aveda Jupiter (aka Annie Chang) is largely recovered from the injury that sidelined her in Heroine Complex – just in time to face a San Francisco landscape that’s been cleared by demons thanks to the work of her BFF Evie Tanaka and their team. Aveda turns her laser-like (figurative, not actual, because superpowers!) focus to a different task –  being the best maid of honor for Evie, even if it means overriding Evie’s preferences with her own superior options. There’s so much to love in this series, including its celebration of female relationships, its enthusiastic embracing of geek culture, and hot nerd romance! – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
The Waking Land Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780425284025
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey Books - June 27th, 2017

The Waking Land is a story of old magic. The kind born from the earth that has slowly seeped into the veins of humanity only to be ostracized and feared by the kingdoms that could never harness the power for themselves. This story begins in one such kingdom with a political hostage who has been raised to hate magic, as well as her mother and father who abandoned her to the king when he came knocking on their door one night to quell a rumored rebellion.

Our young protagonist though is gifted. She hides it well, cloaked in her love of botany, but she is what she has been raised to hate. When forced to flee the kingdom or hang for murder, not only is she on the run from the law but also from the truth of what she is. This is an epic fantasy that focuses on humanity by showing how in accepting the magical parts of who you are, even if you have been raised to hate them, you can change the world. With writing that keeps you caught up in the moment and a band of characters that delight and infuriate you, The Waking Land is a good start to this series.

With its romance and characters I would recommend it for older YA readers. – Constance


Staff Pick Logo
Vanguard Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781101988343
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ace Books - May 16th, 2017

Campbell takes us back in time to before there was an Alliance … to witness its birth. Remember those ancestors, the living stars, that Black Jack and company often prayed (of sorts) to? Well, prepare to meet them. If you thought fighting and a war of attrition across centuries and light years, or battling enigmatic aliens, were problems, try herding cats across the Down and Out. Only these cats are corporations and pirates and the disenfranchised, oh my! It’s the Old West on a galactic scale and not a marshal in sight. Those who would do good and who are just seeking a fresh start versus those who would capitalize on the extreme lack of accountability that interstellar distance makes possible. Campbell never fails to bring the story and I love every hero-filled moment of it. 

Heard of Jack Campbell but are a bit too daunted to get lost in the previous fifteen (so far) books in the Black Jack Universe? Well, here’s a great place to start … the beginning. Those of you who have read those earlier volumes will love meeting the ancestors. – Guest reviewer Patrick Heffernan


Staff Pick Logo
Beren and Luthien Cover Image
By J. R. R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (Editor), Alan Lee (Illustrator)
$30.00
ISBN: 9781328791825
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin - June 1st, 2017

If you’ve read the Silmarillion, you know the tale of Beren and Lúthien. How Beren, a mortal man fell in love with the elven Lúthien, and their quest to recover a Silmaril from the evil Morgoth. But the tale –as was so often the case with Tolkien—was written in many variations throughout his life. Although most versions have been collected in Christopher Tolkien’s 12 volume History of Middle-earth series, for the first time the tales of Beren and Lúthien are collected together with light commentary. Whether you’re a casual fan, or whether you’ve poured over the HoMe series, there is a lot to savor in this book, and it is definitely one to add to your collection! – Kelly


Staff Pick Logo
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501116841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - June 13th, 2017

Lydia Smith works at the Bright Ideas Bookstore in an up-and-coming neighborhood in Denver. For those acquainted with this type of neighborhood, they know it means a population of homeless people are usually waiting at the door when the store opens. Lydia knows that some of the BookFrogs, as she calls them, like to hang around, feeling safe within Bright Ideas’ aisles. When Joey, one of the BookFrogs, commits suicide in the store and leaves his possessions to Lydia, she must unravel the clues left behind within the books, a hidden message that Joey left just for her. As Lydia follows the clues, she rediscovers a long-suppressed memory about her own unusual and violent childhood: a killer who was never caught, the obsessive cop assigned to the case, and her estranged father who may have information about her repressed memories. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is for readers who enjoy the idea of a mysterious death in a great location, their local bookstore, and clever clues left behind to unravel and keep the reader guessing until the end. – Linda


Staff Pick Logo
The Marsh King's Daughter Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735213005
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - June 13th, 2017

Helena Holbrook is the daughter of an abducted sixteen-year-old girl and her kidnapper. Jacob is a brutal man who holds mother and daughter prisoners in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for eleven years, with no running water, heat or electricity. Helena learns to live off the land and reveres and despises her father as his moods fluctuate. Thirteen years later, Helena Pelletier is the grown woman who has changed her identity and has a husband and two daughters and is living quite normally given that her entire childhood was spent in total isolation from civilization. But now Jacob Holbrook has just killed two prison guards, is the subject of a massive manhunt to capture “The Marsh King” as he has been dubbed and Helena knows exactly where he is headed – for her and her family. Her father taught her to hunt and now he is the hunted. A terrifying thriller blending the beauty of nature with the wisdom of Native American culture and remarkable human spirit and resilience. – Guest Reviewer Bunny Hand


Staff Pick Logo
The Thief Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062642967
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - February 28th, 2017

The Thief is one of the first books I ever fell in love with. It follows, unsurprisingly, a thief who has been captured by the crown and just as it seems he may never make it out of the cell he has been left to rot in, an opportunity is granted. If he can steal that which has been lost and hidden for countless years and return it to the queen, he can be a free man once more. He’ll have to risk his life to win it back but what is life without a little risk and gamble? More importantly can a desperate man say no to his only option? Even 20 years later these characters still have a place in my heart where they are surrounded by love and appreciation. – Constance


Staff Pick Logo
The Forbidden Wish Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781595147684
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Razorbill - January 24th, 2017

The Forbidden Wish is an Aladdin retelling, but in this version it is the Jinni using Aladdin, not the other way around. She has waited five hundred years to escape the desert she was abandoned in and losing this opportunity isn’t an option. It becomes harder and harder for her to lie to him though as she falls in love with him, a forbidden thing since the Jinni and humans have been at war for centuries and if anyone in the palace discovers her true nature both she and Aladdin would lose their heads. Filled with romance, magic, and some pretty great battle scenes, The Forbidden Wish is a well-crafted tale that captures your heart as you root for these characters all the way to the finish line. -- Constance


Staff Pick Logo
The Space Between the Stars Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399585111
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - June 13th, 2017

DEAR FELLOW HUMANS: Do you like robots? Do you like adventures space? Do you like to laugh? Then this book is for you! Robot OS-78 narrates the story of an ordinary girl named Holly Farb who gets swept away in galactic adventure when a group of aliens mistake her for the Princess of the Galaxy. Featuring space pirates, bounty hunters, holograms, not to mention laugh out loud interjections from Robot OS-78 throughout! I had so much fun reading this book! -- Kelly

 

From Our May 2017 Newsletter:


Staff Pick Logo
Thrawn Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780345511270
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey Books - April 11th, 2017

In the years preceding the Battle of Yavin, the Empire was at the height of its power. Imperial officers scramble for power through cunning and manipulation. It’s amidst this turmoil that we meet Thrawn, a Chiss warrior from the Unknown Regions of space. Exiled from his militaristic homeworld for radical thinking, he turns out to be a powerful tool for the Emperor. With the help of his translator, Eli Vanto, and the up-and-coming Arihnda Pryce, Thrawn quickly moves up the political ladder, securing his place as one of the most powerful people in the galaxy. 

As a fan of Timothy Zahn’s original Thrawn trilogy, and the animated series Star Wars: Rebels, this book does an incredible job of showing the Chiss warrior’s brilliance and ruthlessness. Despite being a Rebel at heart, this book had me rooting for the rise of an Imperial Officer and cheering as he coolly dispatched any opposition. – Gary


Staff Pick Logo
Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062405371
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dey Street Books - October 25th, 2016

Learn about the women rebels, pioneers, revolutionizers, and warriors throughout history in this fully illustrated collection. Rejected Princesses not only brings to life 100 of history’s fiercest and most overlooked women, but each story runs just a few digestible pages and is accompanied by a full illustration, art notes, and maturity/violence meters. A book that’s perfect for anyone anytime. – Kelly


Staff Pick Logo
Cast the First Stone: An Ellie Stone Mystery Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781633882812
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Seventh Street Books - June 6th, 2017

This is the fifth in the Ellie Stone mystery series and I know I say this every time, but I think it’s my favorite. Perhaps it’s the nostalgic 1960s Hollywood setting or maybe it’s the skill in which Ziskin addresses homophobia and racism during that era. Ellie is assigned to write a story about Tony Eberle, a New Holland native, who lands a starring role in a Hollywood movie. The only problem is when she arrives on the Paramount lot, he’s missing. Ellie is determined to follow through with her story and vows to locate Tony Eberle despite the film’s producer turning up dead and a shrewd studio executive always staying one step ahead of her. The investigation takes Ellie into a more sinister Hollywood and she quickly realizes she’s out of her depth. Perhaps what I appreciate most is the realistic way in which Ellie, a modern young woman for her time, acknowledges her conflicting feelings about homosexuality and alternative lifestyles. Another standout from Ziskin. – Sarah


Staff Pick Logo
Magpie Murders Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062645227
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - June 6th, 2017

I could not be more charmed by this mystery within a mystery by a master in this genre – Horowitz. From the start, you know you are in for a treat and a mystery far beyond the latest installment from fictional English sensation Alan Conway. When Editor Susan Ryeland sits down to edit Alan’s new Atticus Pünd mystery, we are right there with her, reading along. And by the end of manuscript for this delightful/playful/somewhat satirical romp through the English countryside, we are intrigued. It will be no surprise to any mystery reader that the manuscript is incomplete, the author is dead, and our illustrious editor turns into an amateur sleuth, but the enchantment continues as we learn more about all of the characters (suspects) known by Alan Conway. Magpie Murders is fun, creative, and simply a great read. – Terry


Staff Pick Logo
Caraval Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250095251
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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
Roar Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780765386311
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Teen - June 13th, 2017

I picked up Roar because I’d been craving a good romance. The story I read though was the most amazing surprise. I fell in love with a princess who, while running away from an arranged marriage, begins her journey of taking back her kingdom through understanding an illegal magic that can only be found in black markets. 

The magic in this book is a beautifully-crafted thing revolving around sentient storms that destroy anyone they touch. They are a wild magic shrouded in mystery whose origins are unknown, but as our princess begins to understand them, she finds secrets long lost that just might be the key to saving herself and her home. Roar is a dangerously well-done world filled with a great cast of characters whose dynamic relationships draw you in and leave you wanting more. The first thing I thought when I finished this book was, “When is the next one coming out!?” – Constance


Staff Pick Logo
Want Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781481489225
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - June 13th, 2017

Cindy Pon takes readers to a future Taiwan with stark divisions between the you – the privileged few who have all the necessary resources and more, who can not only survive, but also thrive and indulge, and the mei – the marginalized underprivileged masses who struggle to breathe and eat in a contaminated environment. Jason Zhou and his friends intend for him to form a relationship with Daiyu, heiress to the Jin Corporation, which manufactures the environmental suits that the elite wear to protect themselves from their damaged environment, in order to infiltrate the company. When he develops feelings for Daiyu, will he betray his cause, his friends, and the memory of his mother? Great dystopian class warfare drama. – Maryelizabeth