Spotlight on Guest Reviewers

 

 GUEST REVIEWS!

 

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

Former MG bookseller Patrick Heffernan has his own dedicated page!

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

   

 

 

 

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


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The Curse of the Were-Hyena (a Monstertown Mystery) Cover Image
By Bruce Hale, Bruce Hale (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781484713259
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - July 5th, 2016

What is wrong with Mr. Chu? Carlos’s favorite teacher growled when smelling his oral report. Then Mr. Chu began to sprout hair on his bald head. Weird. Fourth graders Carlos Rivera and Benny Brackman head straight for their comic book store to research mutants and monsters. Mrs. Tamasese, former female wrestler turned comic store owner, encourages the two boys to try an exorcism. To say the exorcism fails is an understatement. Nice, sweet Mr. Chu laughed uncontrollably, insulted students, mocked everything, and tried to eat a live chicken. Yup – something is wrong in Monterrosa. Carlos and Benny’s favorite teacher seems to be turning into a were-hyena. How can two kids deal with this new version of monsters under the bed? With two days to go before the full moon, the two best friends need help. Think comic store owner. Think museum. Think fast!  This fast-paced, fun read will entertain both kids and adults. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale (no relation)


Staff Pick Logo
Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies! (a Monstertown Mystery) Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781484713242
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - March 7th, 2017

According to AJ, the ladies that work in the school cafeteria are turning into bugs. Carlos Rivera and Benny Brackman may doubt his theory, but they will investigate. After all, their favorite teacher almost became a were-hyena. Monterrosa is not your normal small town. Admittedly, the lunch ladies are not their normal cheerful selves. Their lunch looks like creamed grasshoppers, and they are feeding the girls and boys in the school differently. Very differently. The kitchen is free of both rodents and cockroaches. So what? Now a small boy is missing – he vanished in the middle of lunch period from the cafeteria. No witnesses. Just gone. After lunch, during group session, the girls start backstabbing and belittling the boys – even the quiet girls join the ruckus. Little abnormal incidents that hurt feeling and stand out. So best friends Carlos and Benny head for the comic book store and Mrs. Tamasese. Add aliens (as in outer space) to the list of theories. After talking to Carlos’s grandma – think military experiment. How do you decide which option is correct? How do you solve the problem? Once again any chosen solution will create chaos and confusion, as well as an action-packed read. Suspend disbelief and enjoy. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale (no relation)


Staff Pick Logo
The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781455540006
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - January 3rd, 2017

Archeology, anthropology, history, adventure, academic infighting, and medical mystery. This well-researched book has something for everyone. And it's all true. From the early legends of the White City or City of the Monkey God, people outside of Honduras were curious. Artifacts reportedly from the city as well as stories circulated by adventurers insisting they had seen the ruins encouraged this curiosity. A few years ago, a documentary filmmaker, using cutting-edge mapping techniques, went looking for the sought-after city. Well-known author Douglas Preston joined the expedition, intending to write an article on the search. What follows is a riveting book about the mapping process, the expedition, their hardships, and their discoveries. Exiting the jungle did not end their story. Publication of their discoveries caused academic infighting. Then members of the small group began to fall ill. This page turner makes fiction appear tame. Douglas Preston draws his readers into a story that evolves from adventure to terror. I could not put it down. I took it to work, shopping, and lost hours of sleep. And I plan to read it again and again. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


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A Death by Any Other Name: A Mystery Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250101426
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - March 14th, 2017

Both Lady Clementine Montford and Mrs. Emily Jackson, her housekeeper, find their visit to Hyde House unsettling as the two amateur sleuths investigate a mysterious death. With encouragement from Mr. Ernest Stafford, landscape architect and friend to Mrs. Jackson, the ladies are attempting to clear the name of a previous cook. Mr. Rupert Bartholomew died of suspected food poisoning and the cook, blamed for the death, was terminated. Inviting themselves to the meeting of the Hyde Rose Society, the two unlikely partners are surrounded by unhappy marriages, unorthodox servants, and secrets. Many, many secrets which mean many motives. With war looming, could the motive by money?  Roger Haldane, owner of Hyde House, coveted Bartholomew’s business contract. Ladies liked the dead man which irritated husbands. Mr. Bartholomew created beautiful roses which elevated competitive personalities. As Lady Montfort quizzes guests, Mrs. Jackson works her magic downstairs. And reacquaints herself with Mr. Stafford. One by one, the two sleuths reveal secrets. Then one of the female guests is attacks and the stakes elevate. The two main characters are engaging, likeable, and entertaining. With the world in flux, mystery is the least of society’s problems. This is a well written book is the third in the series. As World War I begins and character roles change, I look forward to the next adventure. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


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The Odyssey Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780763642686
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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
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
Power Game Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399583919
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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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When All the Girls Have Gone Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399174490
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - November 29th, 2016

We meet Charlotte, working with convivial (read: sassy and opinionated) retirees discussing their memoirs. She’s sweet enough if somewhat bland; just ask her, she’ll tell you. Max is a former profiler, with a bit of an obsessive streak, turned PI looking into a death written off by the police. As dark secrets are dragged ever closer to the light, that feeling of time running out ends in a bang…for someone. Jayne Ann Krentz masterfully plays with the romantic suspense story genre rules to bring to life compelling characters and a mystery you want solved. If you’re looking for a whodunit and a hero you totally want to help turn a fixer- upper into a home-with a motivating story arc and a happily ever-after worth getting to–I highly recommend this book. – Guest Reviewer, Ro


Staff Pick Logo
Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780399173776
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Philomel Books - October 11th, 2016

Addison and Molly Cooke have problems. Their archeologist uncle has been kidnapped, they are wanted by the police for trashing a museum, and their aunt is missing. Book-smart Addison feels he has the solution: find the second key leading to a lost Incas treasure (the first key was kidnapped with their uncle) and the two kids will get their family back. There are problems with his plan which Molly is only too happy to bring to Addison’s attention. Never fear, Addison has the solution too – create a team. Raj is a survivalist and Eddie speaks Spanish. Armed with his uncle’s wallet and credit cards, the four friends head to Peru to find the Olvidado River. Hidden doors, secret passages, and an ossuary loom in their future. Join four active children as they get plenty of mental and physical exercise, and more than their share of danger and trouble. Action and humor throughout. A fun read. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale 


Staff Pick Logo
Rebel Genius Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781626723368
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - October 4th, 2016

Set in a Venetian renaissance setting, this book has the complex world-building and strong characterization that made “Avatar: The Last Airbender” great. In this world, great artists have a bird-like daemon called a Genius. With the help of their Genius, they can work magic using their artistic talent. An oppressive ruler has killed or captured most of the Geniuses. A team of four orphans, sheltered and supported by a sympathetic duke, go questing for a sacred artifact to defeat the oppressive regime and save their Geniuses. They are pursued by a renegade sorcerer and his man-made servant, the four-armed Tulpa. The nuanced interactions, particularly between minor characters, brought an exceptional complexity and depth to both the imaginative and unique world and the ideas behind it. I look forward to further exploring DiMartino’s creation. – Guest Reviewer Rachel Steinberger 


Staff Pick Logo
Christmas Caramel Murder Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781617732287
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kensington Publishing Corporation - September 27th, 2016

If there’s a body around, Hannah Swensen will find it. Mike, detective and friend, calls Hannah’s talent “slaydar.” The mayor’s former girlfriend Phyllis Bates is dead and the list of suspects includes Hannah’s dear friends. Lisa is jealous because her husband Herb is not coming home nights and Phyllis, his high school sweetheart, works closely with him. Herb, the absent husband, might not have liked the very unprofessional kiss Mrs. Clause gave him on stage. Especially when Mrs. Clause is Phyllis, and Lisa is in the audience. Are the philandering mayor and his very angry wife on the suspect list? With help from her mother and her good friend Norman, Hannah begins to investigate, interrogate, and poke into alibis. Will she be able to nose around and remain safe? Will there be a happy ending and a Merry Christmas? Will the reader have time to bake all the yummy recipes in the book? Read and bake with pleasure. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Staff Pick Logo
Arsenic with Austen: A Mystery Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250065476
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - July 12th, 2016

After reading a letter from a solicitor, Emily Cavanaugh, a fifty-one-year-old college professor and widow, becomes a wealthy landowner in Stoney Beach, Oregon. With the inheritance come the problems. Developers and the mayor want the property for a large hotel. Her cousin by marriage alternately seems to resent her and court her. Her renters have mixed reactions to her presence. Rumors hint that her aunt might have been murdered. The local sheriff is not helping. Luke Richards was her sweetheart in years gone by – the one who vanished and Emily never recovered. Then her housekeeper dies – murder or accident? Her property is set on fire. Emily and Luke, fearing she could be in danger, begin a serious investigation that leads her into her aunt’s past. This cozy mystery, complete with all the required components, is literate and well written. Emily is a remarkable main character who parallels the characters and experiences in her life to her beloved classics. Luke is a classic leading man. The story takes unexpected turns leading to a terrifying conclusion. Beware small towns, their secrets, and their residents. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Staff Pick Logo
The Branson Beauty: A Mystery Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250084385
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - July 19th, 2016

On a very cold winter’s day, the Branson Beauty’s three-hour cruise turned into a nightmare. The paddle boat ran aground on a nearly frozen pond with more than 100 passengers, plus crew and entertainment, aboard. Recently appointed Sheriff Hank Worth became the point man for their intricate rescue. The company man wanted it kept quiet. But with every rescue agency responding and all the townspeople watching, that wasn’t going to happen. Hours later, after the surgically altered boat is docked and all the passengers are safe, Hank and the first mate find the body of a young girl in the locked captain’s dining room.

Written with both humor and poignancy, this mystery delves into the politics, relationships, and class structures of a small town, as the new sheriff ruffles the feathers of the rich and powerful. This is an easy-to-read, enjoyable book filled with unexpected plot twists and surprises. I look forward to the next installment of the series as I wonder if Hank, who is no team player, will be able to hang onto his job in the impending election. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Staff Pick Logo
An Old-Fashioned Murder Cover Image
$27.29
ISBN: 9781250077257
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - May 3rd, 2016

Aunt Emily’s inn is about to host a weekend house party for a few friends and neighbors to celebrate remodeled rooms and new furniture. Unstable antique furniture, unwanted guests, a raging blizzard, and a body turn the pleasant weekend into a locked room mystery with moonshine and southern hospitality to lighten the tragedy. Daisy McGovern, one of the inn’s longtime residents, has too many suspects, too many questions, and very few allies in the search for a possible killer. Rick and Beulah are stranded at a local bar. The recently hired maid is in hiding. The obnoxious husband and wife that are paying guests would love to buy the inn. In the midst of the blizzard, a stranger shows up. Both Daisy and Aunt Emily classify the new man as a fake. Unfortunately, they can’t classify him as a murderer as he found the body seconds after he arrived. As the storm rages and the lights go out, another body presents itself. Join familiar characters as this traditional, stranded with no help, mystery plays out. The tension ratchets up along with the stakes. No one will see the ending coming. This delightful book staggered and leaped in directions I never expected. And I desperately want the next installment as the last page left me stunned. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Staff Pick Logo
The Outliers Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062359094
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - May 3rd, 2016

Wylie, agoraphobic since her mother’s death, is desperate to find her best friend Cassie. Estranged because of Cassie’s alcoholism and choice of friends, the two girls haven’t been hanging out. Of course, Wylie’s anxiety issues don’t help. Now, much to her father’s horror, Wylie is on a road trip in response to Cassie’s cryptic text messages. Accompanied by Cassie’s boyfriend Jasper, a teenager Wylie does not trust, she is on her way into the wilds of Maine The two teens experience car trouble which leads to the hitchhiking experience from Hell.

With her father threatening to commit her and bad feelings about both the trip and Jasper, Wylie wonders if finding Cassie will be a good or bad thing. The teenagers find out you can’t trust anyone, including the police, or Wylie’s father. What does the study he is conducting have to do with Cassie’s disappearance? This fast-paced book has questionable characters, ambiguous motivations, a likeable hero and heroine, as well as lots of action.  The first book in a trilogy, the final paragraphs don’t bring closure but questions.  Book two should be riveting. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


A Study in Charlotte Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062398901
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - March 2016

This is the story of an attractive, uncomplicated teenage boy with anger issues, attracted to a complicated, drug-ridden, but brilliant teenage girl. Complicating the friendship further is family involvement dating back at least a century. James Watson, attending an American school on a scholarship, is the descendent of a very famous Dr. John Watson who was associated with an equally famous detective. Charlotte Holmes descends from Sherlock Holmes’ family tree. When a boy bullying Charlotte ends up dead after an altercation with Jamie, and the method has direct ties to one of Watson’s mysteries, Charlotte and Jamie begin to investigate. When a girl interested in Jamie is injured and the incident mirrors another story, the danger escalates. While this mystery pays homage to the original stories, it has been updated. The two teenage protagonists are engaging and likeable. The relationship between the two pulls the reader into the story. With plenty of twists and turns plus over the top action, this mystery will draw readers into the story and keep them reading. This is the first book in a trilogy and I cannot wait for the next installment. Highly recommended. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Staff Pick Logo
Kill the Boy Band Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780545867474
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Point - February 23rd, 2016

Four Strepurs, extreme fangirls of the boy band The Ruperts, find themselves entertaining one of the band members in their hotel room. Actually, they have tied him to a chair using tights. The fangirls really did not mean to kidnap a member of their favorite band. Had they planned it, they would not have picked the least talented member – and the least likeable one. But now Rupert P is dead, still tied to the chair. He has been strangled by the tights that bind him. Kidnapping is bad. Murder is worse. The antics of these four girls, breaking and entering, stealing underwear belonging to band members, and tweeting, kept this reader shaking her head and laughing. None of the girls have witnesses to prove their innocence. The friendships will falter. The antics keep escalating. Readers will be stunned, laughing, and disbelieving. Remorseless and cold blooded, the four extreme fan girls will keep pages turning. This book gives new meaning to escaping into a story.  – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


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The Man on the Washing Machine: A Mystery Cover Image
$27.29
ISBN: 9781250065803
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - December 15th, 2015

The first thing readers learn about Theophania Bogart is her present life, 5000 miles from home, is a lie.  When she witnesses Tim Callahan take a dive from a third story window, Theo’s already complicated new life comes under intense scrutiny.   Surrounded by neighbors and friends, Theo is the owner of a small bath and body shop as well as the building housing it.  And she is constantly afraid her sordid past will be unearthed.  What will a police investigation do to her carefully crafted identity?  Inspector Lichlyter isn’t helping.  The police woman suspects murder not suicide and she lists the entire neighborhood as suspects.  When another body with direct ties to Theo turns up, Theo fears she is suspect number one.  She is afraid for herself as well as Davie, the teenager who helps around her shop as his home life is shady.  Theo finds a strange man in her house, strange boxes in her garage which are stolen, and gets a new renter at the worst possible time.  This fast paced book is filled with humor, action, and colorful characters.  If you like a good mystery, a feisty heroine, and laughter pick up this wacky mystery and savor it. A Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award-winning novel. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Zeroes Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781481443364
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon Pulse - September 29th, 2015

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


A Study in Death Cover Image
$27.25
ISBN: 9780425277522
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley Books - July 7th, 2015

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


Staff Pick Logo
Truffled to Death Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780425267240
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - June 2nd, 2015

Truffled To Death: A Chocolate Covered Mystery by Kathy Aarons

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


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Seeker Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780385744089
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ember - December 1st, 2015

Y - Factor ... Young Adult Novels

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

– Sandra Hale, guest reviewer


Lock in: A Novel of the Near Future Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780765381323
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - August 4th, 2015

Our Speculative Fiction Fantastic First for September.

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

– Guest Reviewer Terry Hertzler


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Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780425267233
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - September 2nd, 2014

Mystery & Suspense

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

– Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


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Grunt Life: A Task Force Ombra Novel Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781781082010
Availability: Special Order
Published: Solaris - April 29th, 2014

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

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

- Guest Reviewer Diane Bader


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Code Zero Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250033437
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - March 25th, 2014

Speculative Fiction ... grrrr arrrgh ...

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

- Guest Reviewer Diane Bader


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Extinction Machine Cover Image
$17.84
ISBN: 9780312552213
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - March 26th, 2013

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

- Guest Reviewer Diane Bader