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Recently Reviewed

Check out the newest books we've read and reviewed below!

If you're looking for a good new kids book each month see Kelly's Kid Picks and for our horror lovers check out Rob's Featured Nightmares.

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Staff Pick Logo
The Boneless Mercies Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780374307066
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - October 2nd, 2018

This is a tale of glory, not a story woven with flowery words and flowing dresses. Rather it is a tale beautifully carved from blood, dirt, and above all, death. For death haunts these four Boneless Mercies far after they abandon the death trade. It slithers as a viper through the roots of a marsh tree, tears their skin with the unforgiving sharpness of a thorn, and haunts their dreams like a witch’s spell. It follows their shadows, pushing them towards greatness while waiting to devour them at the slightest misstep. Oh there is magic, but of the harsh and demanding kind that provides strength and comfort in one hand but cruelty and manipulation in the other. The Boneless Mercies gives you a gritty saga well worth your time in a style not frequently found in YA but very much needed and impeccably done. Are you Vorse enough to live and become legendary, to be a name spoken around a fire years after your last breath and your body burnt to ash? You’ll know by the end. – Constance


Ball Lightning Cover Image
By Cixin Liu, Joel Martinsen (Translated by)
$28.99
ISBN: 9780765394071
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - August 14th, 2018

During a violent storm Chen witnesses his parents become vaporized by a rare phenomenon called ball lightning. Now a college student, Chen’s obsessive pursuit to study the mysterious ball lightning leads him to partner with a military weapons researcher who intends to harness its immense power for an impending war. As a fan of Cixin Liu’s stunning Three-Body Problem trilogy, I was not disappointed by this follow-up standalone novel . Like most of the author’s previous stories, what starts as a seemingly straightforward journey ends with profound revelations for not just the characters, but for all of humankind. Ball Lightning combines thought-provoking science with grand storytelling; delving deep into challenging but interesting topics of computer science, meteorology, and quantum mechanics. Liu’s limitless imagination and storytelling abilities, with Joel Martinsen’s excellent English translation, make this an enjoyable and fascinating read. – Guest Reviewer Jared


Staff Pick Logo
In the Night Wood Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9781328494436
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - October 9th, 2018

At once mysterious and imaginative, In the Night Wood is a thoughtful and moving novel about what it takes to find --and conquer--the darkness within. When literature professor Charles Hayden travels to a small England town to begin writing a biography of the author of his favorite Victorian children’s book, Caedmon’s Hollow, he does so in the hopes that he can leave the harsh realities of his past behind. But it’s not long before the past and present catch up with Charles. When an ancient and otherworldly power from the Night Wood threatens to overcome the small town, he soon finds the lines between fantasy and reality blurred. Using elements of Victorian literature, medieval fairy tales, and ancient folklore, Bailey paints a heart-wrenching and intimate portrayal of loss, madness, and magic. – Kelly


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We Sold Our Souls: A Novel Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781683690122
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quirk Books - September 18th, 2018

Much like the horror genre, heavy metal music has often been given a bad reputation for its over the top appearance and oftenintense descriptions. It is no wonder then why a marriage between the two works so perfectly. In We Sold Our Souls, Grady Hendrix has written a power ballad in prose narrative that not only plays with the old story of selling one’s soul for fame and glory, but also pays homage to everything about Heavy Metal; the good, the bad, and the weird. And even though Grady has done well to craft some very gut-wrenching moments that forced even me to put the book down for a spell, he also managed to weave in an inspiring story of rebellion and hope in the face of overwhelming odds. After all, isn’t that what metal music is all about? – Nicholas


What If It's Us Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062795250
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - October 9th, 2018

I have read every single one of Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli’s books, so as soon as I found out that they were writing a novel together, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! What If It’s Us is the perfect YA contemporary romance and it was one of the first books in a while that truly made me laugh out loud. This book is touching and so incredibly raw, for Silvera and Albertalli truly capture first love, desperation, and expectations. Both authors work so well together, and this collaboration means that both characters have very unique and distinct voices. I absolutely loved both characters and the authors created a story that read so smoothly and makes you ask, well if a wonderful love story can happen to others, what if it’s us? – Kaitlyn


Staff Pick Logo
Strange Ink Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781785656439
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Titan Books - October 9th, 2018

A debut novel for author Gary Kemble, Strange Ink is a thrilling read of investigative journalism, political corruption, and murder from the horror genre. His use of tattoos as a means to imbue magic into skin is a clever idea in our modern-day, “inked” world. Also, it’s a rare opportunity that I’ll find a horror story set in the likes of Australia, so I relished in the unique cultural references and language that the author employed. Parts of the novel reminded me of a typical Stephen King story, while others reminded me of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium crime trilogy. An imaginative and engaging story for the author’s first published novel, Gary Kemble’s Strange Ink will undoubtedly find a way under your skin. You might never be able to look at tattoos the same way again. – Nicholas


Staff Pick Logo
The Wild Robot Escapes Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316382045
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 13th, 2018

Roz is back, and better than ever! After being refurbished, our dear robot gets shipped off to work for the Shareef family on their diary farm. And since she’s no mere automaton, she proves to be an invaluable asset — not only to the cows she has befriended, but also to the Shareef children. Yet despite her newfound friends, she still yearns to be wild and free ... and most of all, she wants to be reunited with her goose son, Brightbill. And so The Wild Robot Escapes! Peter Brown has once again crafted an effortlessly charming tale, with the narrator adding an extra dose of saccharine goodness. She reads with the soothing cadence of a mother reading a bedtime story, and the added ambiance/sound effects really draw you into the world. –Darcy


Staff Pick Logo
Death Notice: A Novel Cover Image
By Zhou Haohui, Zac Haluza (Translated by)
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385543323
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - June 5th, 2018

Death Notice is a gripping cat-and-mouse thriller by China’s foremost suspense writer, Zhou Haohui. The story pits an elite Chengdu police task force against an elusive vigilante assassin who crowdsources his victims. The killer calls himself Eumenides, after the Greek goddesses of vengeance, and, prior to each assassination, he sends the police a “death notice,” detailing his next victim’s name, alleged crimes and date of execution. The constantly shape-shifting plot includes a series of similar murders that occurred 18 years ago. Moral dilemmas and the quest for retribution are prominent themes, and the modern Chengdu setting is an uncommon treat. Death Notice is the first book in a hugely popular trilogy, and the online series based on these novels has over 2.4 billion views in China. Highly recommended for fans of cinematic police thrillers and international crime fiction. — Kim


Staff Pick Logo
Not Even Bones (Market of Monsters #1) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781328863546
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - September 4th, 2018

I really enjoyed Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer in all of its dark and twisted glory. The characters are monstrous. They are different in how they relate to the world, and they know it, but it doesn’t make them devoid of feelings. They’re constantly torn between their nature and personal set of morals they’ve constructed to not completely lose the shred of humanity that makes them still them. When the protagonist is thrown into the position of those she’s butchered she’ll do anything to survive and her fight grants her empathy for those her mother tortured while also pushing her deeper and deeper into the part of her mind that makes her calculating and at times cruel. The whole concept and execution of the book is well done and it gives a whole new meaning to living a day in someone else’s shoes. Here is a YA protagonist that lives in her own complex shades of grey. Dexter, eat your heart out. – Constance

 


Staff Pick Logo
#MurderTrending Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781368010023
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Freeform - August 7th, 2018

In a not so distant future, the public execution of felons becomes the hottest and goriest show on air. Streaming live from the island of “Alcatraz 2.0,” the mysterious figure only known as “The Postman” soon has most of America obsessed with this twisted hybrid of justice and entertainment. Think Big Brother with more screaming and much more blood. It’s here that seventeen-year-old Dee Guerrera becomes the next convicted murderer offered up for this cruel game. The only problem is that she’s innocent. But, instead of lying down and dying, Dee is determined to fight for survival and discovering the real killer who purposely set her up. Gretchen McNeil’s #murdertrending borrows cues from the likes of The Running Man, The Hunger Games, and The Purge, adding dashes of pop culture references and humor, all wrapped up in a bow of teenage-girl


Virgil Wander Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802128782
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - October 2nd, 2018

I could not be more in love with Enger’s characters, midwestern town, and gorgeous writing. Virgil Wander is an integral part of Greenstone, Minnesota, a small town that you are easily and willingly drawn into as you learn about its inhabitants and history. Years prior to the start of this novel, Virgil Wander moved to Greenstone and bought a movie theatre called The Empress and then dedicated himself to spending his inheritance investing in it. When that path threatened to eat away all his savings, he took a second job as City Clerk where he is in the center of all small-town politics. At the start of the novel, Virgil inadvertently drives his car off an embankment, and the whole town watches his recovery and helps him heal. His recovery takes an interesting turn when a Norwegian visitor, Rune Eliassen, wanders into town with his imaginative designs for kites. The flight of these beautiful kites impact the entire town and even those who passes by. There is comfort in these pages as you hang out with Virgil, Rune, and the other inhabitants of this fine town. This is a book with big heart in a small landscape with solid midwestern roots. I hope I don’t have to wait 10 more years for the next novel by this gem of an author. – Terry


Staff Pick Logo
Wrecked (An IQ Novel) Cover Image
By Joe Ide
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316509510
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mulholland Books - October 9th, 2018

Isaiah Quintabe (“IQ”), and his side-kick, Dodson, are back in another madcap detective thriller set in gritty East Long Beach, LA. Isaiah’s skills are being sought for cases ranging from missing cats to blackmail and kidnapping, and when an intriguing young artist, Grace, asks for his help, he eagerly agrees to take on her case. Grace wants him to find her mother, who disappeared 10 years ago, the night after her father was murdered. As the story unfolds, a secret video from the notorious Abu Graib military prison surfaces, and Isaiah and Dodson come up against the owner of a powerful private military organization, in addition to the usual pimps, thieves, and gangsters. Torture, PTSD, revenge, and racism figure prominently, with Isaiah and Dodson also facing the personal challenges of loneliness, romance, and new fatherhood. The narrative is unfailingly cinematic and action-packed, and Ide adroitly balances the novel’s seriousness with side-splitting dialogue and devastatingly funny prose. Highly recommended for readers with an interest in hip, Sherlockian detective fiction laced with a very dark episode from America’s war on terror. – Kim


Staff Pick Logo
Sea Witch Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062438775
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - July 31st, 2018

Here is a beautiful tale that blends and twists the unique elements of an origin story and a retelling into one. While Henning’s novel subtly incorporates many elements from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” she twists and molds these details into new shapes that form a story that takes on a life of its own and sweetly whispers notes of love, betrayal, and tragedy into your ear. This book completely took me by surprise in the best way possible. The story builds upon itself getting better and better without losing momentum until it ends with a beautiful crash of everything falling into place at the end. I loved the story and while it broke my heart I can only praise how it was done. The way the chapters bounced back and forth with the time line to slowly reveal things was so good! There is a certain moment that will make it impossible for you to stop reading or listening and I can’t wait for it to find you. This review is for the audiobook edition of the Sea Witch for which the narrator did a splendid job. – Constance