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 December 2017 Newsletter:


Staff Pick Logo
Blood Truth Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781608092871
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Oceanview Publishing - December 5th, 2017

This is the fourth in the Rick Cahill P.I. series and, for me, the most emotionally-charged. Rick investigates two cases, both involving loved ones, so already, you know there’s a lot at stake. One case involves Kim, his ex-girlfriend, who hires Rick to confirm her suspicions that her husband is having an affair. The other dredges up Rick’s long-suppressed shame of his deceased father, a disgraced cop, when a safe is discovered in his childhood home. The two storylines weave together flawlessly. Kim’s case takes Rick into shady real estate deals and, eventually, murder. His personal crusade to uncover the truth about his father leads to a 20-year-old cold case. Rick struggles between his need to see justice served and the fear of what he’ll discover about his own flesh and blood. Coyle skillfully breaks up the thrilling action with more introspective moments, resulting in a topnotch read. – Sarah


Staff Pick Logo
The Alice Network Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062654199
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - June 6th, 2017

This story pulled me in from the very beginning. Lies, betrayal, danger, intrigue—all these pieces of the puzzle unite to tell the tale of Eve Gardiner, an English spy during WW1, and Charlie St. Clair, in 1947 a privileged, pregnant and single American desperate to find her cousin, Rose, who went missing during the last days of WW2. Tediously working through various documents Charlie finds Eve’s name in connection to her cousin. Eve is bitter, a drunk, and less then receptive to Charlie’s request for help in finding Rose.  Persistence eventually pays off and the two set off on a journey that takes them from England to the French countryside. Along the way each woman’s story comes to light. The fiction is peppered with real people, places and events; if you are a history buff you may wish to write down some of the names and places to look up afterwards. – Christine


Staff Pick Logo
The Tea Dragon Society Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781620104415
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Oni Press - October 31st, 2017

New Zealand author and illustrator O’Neill’s (Princess Princess Ever After) Tea Dragon Society web comic is now a gentle and beautiful book about appreciating and valuing craft. Greta is following in the career path of her blacksmith mother, but has time to pursue the charming but delicate vocation of caring for tea dragons, who produce tea leaves along with their scales. The patient teamerchant, Hesekiel, along with his spouse, adventurer-cum-gardener Erik, and their mysterious foster daughter, Minette, share their story and care throughout the seasons with Greta. Highly recommended for fantasy and tea fans! – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
Sleeping Beauties Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9781501163401
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - September 26th, 2017

The Aurora virus sweeps across the world like a sleeping curse of apocalyptic scale, leaving only the men awake to fend for themselves. Strange cocoons enshroud the women struck by the curse, and woe to the man who tries to free them from their pupal state. If disturbed, the infected women attack in savage rage. Evie Black, imprisoned for murder, is immune to the curse, can communicate with animals, and exhale magic moths. Some men view her as a savior, others as witch, who religious zealots cannot suffer to live. Is Evie (the dark Eve) Maleficent or Moses, as she offers women a promised land free of toxic masculinity? A vicious, timely fairy tale that will keep you up at night. – Rob


Staff Pick Logo
The Wrong Stars Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780857667090
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Angry Robot - November 7th, 2017

The crew of the White Raven thought they had a nice bit of salvage until they discovered an occupied cryopod. That occupant, Dr. Elena Oh, wakes to a home system 500 years older than when she left it, and she has one hell of a story to tell: First Freakin’ Contact! Fantastic, to be sure, but it turns out this is old news. Humanity met extraterrestrials a long, long time ago. These aliens, however, have, shall we say, a rather loose grasp on the truth. The Liars, as they are known, gave us many wonderful things including advanced tech and access to many a star system. All in all they’re rather handy to have around, even if they are a bit fond of the odd exaggeration and tall tale. That said, turns out Elena’s extraterrestrials are not Liars, and their truth could just lead to humanity’s end. The galaxy will never be the same again. The Wrong Stars is excellent space opera and great characters and lots of space-faring action and adventure. Especially awesome if you’re a fan of series like James SA Corey’s Expanse. – Guest Reviewer Patrick Heffernan


Staff Pick Logo
The Core: Book Five of the Demon Cycle Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780345531506
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey Books - October 3rd, 2017

Some of our heroes have fallen and the world’s gone to demon shit. All over the lands, the people are in disarray. The Daylight War is in full bloom and without our Deliverers to keep their peoples united, treachery and villainy and chaos reign supreme. And that’s just the human side of the equation. A whole lot of hurt is about to be visited upon the surface from the dark deep below. Swarm! The Mother of All Demons is a-layin’ and all hell’s about to break loose ... literally. Can those above hold out until our alagai-kicking heroes can take it to the core itself and deliver Ala from evil? Inquiring minds want to know!

I’ve loved this series from the beginning and I loved its conclusion. It took me a while to read The Core, partly because its 800 some-odd pages, sure, but mostly because I didn’t want it to end. Like your last glass of single malt, you have to savor every last sip. I’m going to miss Brett’s world and those who live, and lived, here. That said, ol’ Pete delivered us one hell of an epic sendoff. "Epic" is such a small word for such awesomeness.

And I’ve a feeling that more stories will rise to the surface some day. Master storyteller Brett did drop a seed or two amongst all the happenings and daring do in The Core. I honest word can’t wait until they grow. – Guest Reviewer Patrick Heffernan


Paradox Bound Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780553418330
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - September 26th, 2017

Grab your favorite jalopy and hit the road in a timely fashion. You can’t really travel in time, actually, but you can travel through history. Take a trip down memory lane, visit a few sites along Route 66, and then chase that elusive American Dream. You just have to avoid those pesky paradoxes and those faceless buzz-kills who protect history from anomalies (i.e, you). These guys are more likely to hand out bullets than speeding tickets. (Anachronistic) hats off to Clines for juggling people, places, and moments without skidding off into contradiction’s ditch. Paradox Bound is a splendid romp through the hourglass of history and back to the future, all wrapped up in a red, white, and blue Möbius bow. – Guest Reviewer Patrick Heffernan


Staff Pick Logo
Artemis Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780553448122
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - November 14th, 2017

The author of The Martian sets his sights on a decidedly different celestial orb, the Moon, and its first city, Artemis. Meet Jazz Bashara, small-time porter and even smaller-time smuggler. She's been here on the Moon since she was, like, six and life here sure is no picnic, what with the nearest fresh air being 400,000 kilometers away, and everything being so god-awful expensive. She is on track to make a cool million slugs though. Only thing is that job isn't what you'd call strictly legal. But when you're living in a coffin and you’ve got bills and debts to pay, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? The Moon's not only a harsh mistress, she can be a downright bitch.

Artemis has many of the elements you loved in The Martian: cool tech, sciencing the shit out of things to not die, and one hell of a protagonist. Jazz Bashara is just as brilliant and irreverent as The Martian's Mark Watney. She's just a bit looser with her morals is all. Just a bit. And like our favorite Martian, Watney, she's in way over her head and in danger of sucking some serious vacuum. Unlike Watney, however, Jazz doesn't have an entire planet rallying to save her sorry ass from certain death. She's gonna have to do that little thing on her own (mostly). All of the awesomeness you'd expect from Weir in a book you may just read in one sitting.  – Guest Reviewer Patrick Heffernan


Staff Pick Logo
An Unkindness of Magicians Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781481451192
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Saga Press - September 26th, 2017

A corrupt system of magic is shaken to its foundations when a young woman with tortured past enters the Duel for magical supremacy. Sydney's bent on vengeance with more than enough personal power to get it. She just never imagines the cost would cut so deep. Kat Howard’s written a quick paced and enchanting tale of a people past due for a reckoning over the corruption at the heart of its magic use.  The writing is crisp, engaging, and addictive. The characters fully formed with an intriguing mix of personality types and the story arcs are compelling. Sydney is an unapologetic, vicious, take no prisoners anti-hero. Through her eyes, this story swiftly builds to an unexpected climax that'll have you begging for more of this Unseen World. –  Guest Reviewer Ro


Halls of Law Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780756409333
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Daw Books - August 1st, 2017

Carrying on a family tradition of military service is the only future Kerida Nast wants. But her psychic abilities put an end to that dream and rip her from her family because Talents “belong” to the Halls. After resisting this new path, Kerida realizes she can to learn to use her skills or face a bleak future. Just as she’s begins to apply herself, the brutal Halians cut a bloody path across the empire hunting “witches” to end “rule of women.” Kerida’s thrust into violence and surrounded by questionable allies. Halls of Law tells the story of this reluctant heroine with rich world-building, uncomfortably recognizable gender-based political issues wrapped up in a prophecy that makes this journeyman's tale stand apart. Escalda pulls the best elements of the genre to anchor her story firmly on the adventurous side. The magic system isn’t unusual, but its application in this world as the Rule of Law is unique and excellently weaves its threads for a unique beginning of a new series. –  Guest Reviewer Ro


The Dark Lake Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781538759905
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - October 3rd, 2017

Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is shocked to learn that Rosalind Ryan, her former high school classmate, has been murdered, found dead floating in Sonny Lake in Smithson, a rural Australian town. Everyone loved the beautiful, if distant, teacher “Rose,” including Gemma who secretly idolized her throughout childhood and adolescence. Gemma and her investigating partner, Felix, are puzzled by Rose’s contradictions. Rose led a meager existence although George Ryan, her father, was very wealthy and powerful; held a job as a small-town teacher when she was a successful educator in Sydney; and was quite popular among her students, despite being very aloof to her fellow teachers. The compelling quest for Rose’s killer brings Gemma to a point of frustration and exhaustion that threatens to expose many secrets – Rose’s, Felix’s, the Ryan family’s and Gemma’s own misjudgments. Wonderfully woven characters and compelling plots introduce a talented new author. – Guest Reviewer Bunny Hand


Staff Pick Logo
Displaced Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062484475
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - November 7th, 2017

If you enjoy an engrossing mystery with intense historical undertones, you will love this tale woven into the World War II era existence. The British occupy Palestine in 1946; Lilya has joined the resistance group to form an independent Jewish state. Her assignment, however much she resents it, takes her to war-ravaged Europe in search of Raphael Lind, a scientist reported to have perished in a concentration camp. There is evidence that he is still alive among the many refugees that the British will not allow to emigrate to Palestine, refugees who are housed in camps throughout Europe. Pretending to be a member of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, an organization to aid Jewish survivors, Lilya’s search brings her to London’s Whitehall, home of the British Secret Intelligence Service, and rubble-strewn Munich and Berlin. Meanwhile, someone is mirroring her journey, desperately seeking the same man, and circumstances become very dangerous but immensely interesting. A fantastic debut novel set in a most intriguing time in world history. – Guest Reviewer Bunny Hand


Staff Pick Logo
An Army of One: A John Rossett Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062499875
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - August 29th, 2017

Set in German-occupied Britain, where the Nazis are struggling to maintain civilian order, contain the Resistance, and combat the corruption and dissent among their own German officers. Liverpool is the epitome of discontent and presents the perfect circumstances for criminals to flourish. A perfect habitat for Captain Karl Bauer, the “Bear,” who is a professional killer funded and protected by the corrupt Nazi regime in Liverpool. He was just hired to kill four people involved in a plot to confiscate a huge amount of missing gold. John Rossett, the highly decorated “British Lion,” wants nothing more than to transcend the disgusting devastation the war has inflicted on every human being, and return to being the respectable policeman he was before this world-wide conflict. The US Consul, the British resistance, and the Nazi colluders all vie for the gold as Rossett makes it his personal goal to capture the merciless “Bear.” A great historical espionage novel. – Guest Reviewer Bunny Hand


Staff Pick Logo
Wonder Valley Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062656353
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco Press - November 7th, 2017

Just as in her first novel, Visitation Street, Pochoda has created stories within a larger story, blending and connecting the plots and characters, finalizing in an incredible tale. Set in Southern California from the Pacific Ocean to the slums of Los Angeles to the beauty of the Mojave Desert, this masterpiece of character development includes a menagerie of humankind. Britt is a runaway with a dark secret and Tony is an unhappy lawyer looking for meaning in his boring existence. Ren is just out of juvenile hall searching for his mom, who seems to have abandoned him. Owen and James are discontented teenage twins living in a desert community under the thumb of their father, a self-acclaimed healer of his “disciples.”  Blake is a lifelong drifter trying to stay above the law and hiding from a violent past. Only this talented author could spin this mix of human condition to present another resounding literary success. – Guest Reviewer Bunny Hand


Staff Pick Logo
Two Girls Down Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780385542494
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Doubleday Books - January 9th, 2018

Luna ventures into adult suspense with this extremely engrossing story of two sisters who are abducted from their mother’s car in a K-Mart parking lot in small town in Pennsylvania. The police department is at a minimal force and has no leads, which frustrates Jamie, the girl’s mother, and angers Jamie’s parents; however, her aunt Maggie has the foresight and means to hire private detective Alice Vega, who has a huge success rate in Central California for locating missing children. Arriving in Pennsylvania, Vega is shut out by the local police and hires Max Caplan, a disgraced former policeman from that force who is now a private detective. He still has contacts and favors owed him by his former colleagues. Together Vega and Caplan maneuver through the local police and begin to uncover the lies, misconceptions and secret relationships that have led to this hideous crime, while time is running out to find the girls alive. An intoxicating suspense novel. – Guest Reviewer Bunny Hand


Staff Pick Logo
Anatomy of a Scandal Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501172168
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Atria Books - January 23rd, 2018

Set in London, mostly in the Inner Temple High Court, this engrossing novel is a scrutiny of deceit and abuse of power. Kate, a criminal barrister, has just been awarded the biggest case of her career as well as an opportunity for revenge, seething since her college days. Sophie is a devoted mother and wife of James who has just admitted to having an affair. James, a junior Home Office minister in London’s government, has a promising career if he could only curb his “indiscretions.”  James’ latest mistake is colossal, and he is being charged with rape. The trial must go on, dragging Sophie into depths of despair and doubt. Kate, who is prosecuting the case, faces challenges and memories almost beyond her capacity. When it seems like justice has failed one must hope that the human spirit will rebound – but will it? – Guest Reviewer Bunny Hand

 

From Our November Newsletter:


Staff Pick Logo
The Tethered Mage Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316466875
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - October 24th, 2017

Melissa Caruson’s The Tethered Mage is a historical fantasy, set in an alternative 17th-century Venice where the doge uses the powers of his magical subjects to rule a Mediterranean empire. The novel is also a charming romance, as heroine Princess Amalia fights tradition to realize her love for the commoner soldier Marcello. Above all, the novel is an intelligent and sophisticated exploration of the political dimension of magic, how the power intrinsic to magic draws people inexorably into relationships based on domination and terror, and subsumes magical individuals into the state’s calculus of advantage and control. At once exciting, romantic, and sophisticated, The Tethered Mage is a fresh take on historical fantasy. Highly recommended! – David


Staff Pick Logo
The City of Brass Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062678102
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Voyager - November 14th, 2017

Nahri uses her quick wits and small magics to eke out a living in 18th Century Cairo; when her actions in soothing a possessed young woman have unexpected results, Nahri releases both the djinn, Dara, and a number of ghouls, neither of which she is prepared to encounter. Nahri, Dara, and their companions embark on adventures that will lead them beyond Daevabad, the titular city, from Qart Sahar to Tukharistan, engaging with extraordinary and magical beings associated with the four elements, and discovering the significance of Nahri’s mysterious heritage. Lush and rich with the power of storytelling, The City of Brass is a tale to savor over several pots of cardamom tea. –Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
It Devours!: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780062476050
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - October 17th, 2017

The newest novel from the world of Night Vale is a delicious study of the intersection between science and religion. It’s a book about belief, relationships, interlopers, a mysterious desert otherworld, and a Smiling God. It follows a scientist, Nilanjana Sikdar, who is on a mission to discover the origin of mysterious sinkholes appearing around her town. Are they the result of a government conspiracy? Divine retribution from the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God? Do they have something to do with the House that Doesn’t Exist? Can Nilanjana figure it out before all of Night Vale is consumed? Whether you’re a fan of the podcast or not, this book is a treat! I couldn’t put it down! Joyfully, it devours! – Gary


Staff Pick Logo
Autonomous Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780765392077
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - September 19th, 2017

Autonomous takes a keen look at an all too possible future, examining ideas of intellectual and personal freedom, gender identity, whether corporate morality is an oxymoron, and more – all while presenting an entertaining race-against-the-clock scenario with characters the reader will care about (even though some of the point-of-view characters have conflicting agendas). My favorite new pirate, Captain Judith “Jack” Chen, makes a living crafting street versions of pharmaceuticals – she discovers the latest drug, marketed as a performance enhancer, has an unintended side effect of being super-effective to the detriment of the user, and anyone in their manic work path. The parent company isn’t admitting any wrong-doing, and indeed has suggested Jack’s faux version is at fault. Jack endeavors to create an effective counteragent before she’s captured by the zealous agents of the International Property Coalition. This is a delicious balance of story and thought-provoking ideas. – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
The Tiger's Daughter Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780765392534
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - October 3rd, 2017

This quasi-epistolary work recounts the relationship between O-Shizuka (the Phoenix Empress, Daughter of Heaven, the Light of Hokaro, Celestial Flame, and swordswoman extraordinaire) and Barsalyya Shefali Alshar (Qorin horsewoman and leader). The two were born a month apart, mystically connected from their birth, both through omens and through the belief of their mothers, and yet vastly different in their upbringings and passions. Both their peoples engage in battle against invading demons in the Asian-inspired landscape. K. is a passionate tabletop fantasy gamer, and that influence comes through in the best way as Shizuka and Shefali face trials and tribulations together and separately. Compelling characters – I can’t wait to return to this world for more adventures.– Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
The Scarred Woman Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525954958
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Books - September 19th, 2017

The Scarred Woman features the cantankerous Carl Morck’s unusual and likable cold-case team, Department Q. In this book Copenhagen’s Department Q is tasked with investigating the murder of an elderly woman that is suspiciously similar to a cold case from a decade ago. Concurrently, a hit-and-run murderer of young women on welfare is on the loose, and Department Q’s smart and erratic Rose has a breakdown and disappears. The plot lines come together as Carl and his team investigate these cases and frantically search for Rose, before it is too late to save her. This book touches on a number of themes, including welfare system abuse, prostitution, physical disability, psychological abuse, and mental illness, but it is also laced with dark humor, kindness and love. For fans of Nordic noir, cranky detectives, dark humor, and social satire. – Kim


Staff Pick Logo
Bitch Planet Volume 1: Extraordinary Machine Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781632153661
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - October 20th, 2015

So painfully misogynist that it wraps around to being the best feminist graphic novel ever. Bitch Planet is the story of a prison facility that is the only structure on an otherwise uninhabitable planet, and is populated entirely by “insubordinate” women. In this story, women who disagree with the oppressive patriarchy are sent to the “Bitch Planet” until they can be brainwashed and rereleased into society. When you are sick of politics and the state of our world, read Bitch Planet. It is the balm for patriarchal wounds of the soul. 10/10. – Sam


Staff Pick Logo
The Scarecrow Princess Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781941302422
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Lion Forge - October 31st, 2017

Morrigan Moore, the personification of teen ennui, unwillingly accompanies her writer mother and elder brother on their move to a small town to immerse themselves in the local legend of the rapacious King of Crows, and the Scarecrow Prince who opposes him. Morrigan begins to form relationships with a local teen and the town’s elderly eccentric, but she has drawn the attention of the local murder of crows and the presence behind them. Vibrant art and engaging characters add to the satisfying storyline, suitable for tweens and up. – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
Nameless Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781534300934
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - February 14th, 2017

Super violent and foul, this cosmic horror story is as sick and twisted as it gets. Polynesian, Mayan, and Lovecraftian mythos inspire this bloody mess through a fractured storyline. It is condensed madness, a blood-soaked nightmare, a triumph of grotesquerie. If you like dark stories in graphic form, or horror told from unusual angles, this is the book for you. – Sam


Staff Pick Logo
Trees Volume 1 Cover Image
By Warren Ellis, Jason Howard (Artist)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781632152701
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - February 24th, 2015

Trees is a sophisticated title. It has three or more concurrent character-driven story lines told in a time where alien technology is here on Earth, and it is destroying society. Our beloved characters are learning and enduring in a world at the brink of war and utter annihilation, a fire being fueled by the misunderstood forces of gigantic alien pillars called Trees. The Trees are simply the backdrop, however, and it is the characters in this book that really shine. It is a story of human lows and highs, of love and hate, of compassion and fear. I’ll certainly be keeping up with this storyline! – Sam


Staff Pick Logo
Paper Girls, Volume 1 Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781632156747
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - April 5th, 2016

Paper Girls is a nostalgic, 80’s themed, sci-fi urban thriller, with a great cast of interesting female protagonists, and time travel! Imagine if a gender swapped Stranger Things came upon a time machine, or perhaps if Stand By Me crashed into Back to the Future. A little scary, a little funny, and a lot of totally awesome. Great for fans of Stephen King’s It, Saga, or any 80s era sci-fi! – Sam


Staff Pick Logo
Otherworld Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781101939321
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - October 31st, 2017

Otherworld, set in the near future, asks the important question of what real-world sacrifices people would be willing to make when offered the chance to immerse themselves in a virtual reality that engages all their senses. The mysterious Company that constructed Otherworld promises players a chance to live their “best lives,” with “No laws. No limits. No judgements.” But what are the consequences of (virtually) living without limits, whether engaging in survival tactics, or indulging one’s secret desires? What may be one participant’s utopia may be another’s nightmare. Teens Simon and Kat, once the closest of friends in real life, now are only able to connect in Otherworld. When Simon is desperately seeking Kat, he discovers much more than they bargained for. – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
The Last Namsara Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062567987
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Teen - October 3rd, 2017

Covered in burn scars, feared by her people, and known as the bringer of death, the Iskari, Asha’s one purpose in life is to hunt dragons in the hopes of redeeming her corrupted existence. But the hundreds of dragon heads she delivers to her father’s throne room can’t save the kingdom from the unrest brewing in the streets or the cruelties of the past surfacing to demand retribution. From the world-building to the mix of harsh and gentle characters that come together to weave this tale of growth and change, I was a fan. Ciccarelli’s fast-paced writing whisks you into the world and before you know it you are nearing the end, reading slower and slower to postpone it. The Last Namsara shows the power of stories and makes you feel a full range of emotions including hope, the hope that dark futures can be changed and that we can learn and grow into the people we want to be, not the people we are told to be. – Constance


Staff Pick Logo
A Line in the Dark Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735227422
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - October 17th, 2017

This murder mystery reminded me a great deal of works by Megan Abbott and Laura Lippman. Told in two discrete sections, first in first person from the point of view of possibly unreliable narrator Jess Wong, then from a broader third person POV, it offers readers a reminder of the sometimes suffocating emotions of teenage girls and the occasionally explosive consequences. Jess is no paragon, especially because she stifles her romantic feelings for her best friend to the detriment of their relationship and more, but she is still a sympathetic and recognizable individual. A strong entry in the teen thriller field. – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
The Memory Trees Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062366238
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - October 10th, 2017

Sorrow Lovegood’s strongly matriarchal family trees, depicted in the endpapers, are a strongly defining characteristic of herself – but she has been separated from that part of her roots since she was eight years old. Now, at 16, she returns for the summer to her mother and grandmother on their ancestral apple orchard in Vermont. Sorrow left because of the tragic death of her sister, Patience, who died under circumstances Sorrow can’t quite remember. Back with her depressed mother and silent-by-choice grandmother, Sorrow’s memories are stirred, especially when she comes into contact with the Lovegood’s historical adversaries, the Abrams. Wallace’s second novel will please readers of Shallow Graves, while providing a very different reading experience. – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
The Chaos of Standing Still Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481499187
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon Pulse - November 28th, 2017

On the eve of the one-year anniversary of her best friend Lottie’s death, 18-year-old Ryn has even less desire than most travelers to spend one long day and night snowed in at the Denver airport. However, a chance encounter with a stranger with the same cell phone and case is the first in a series of events that draw Ryn out of her protective self-imposed emotional and artistic stasis. Lottie sent Ryn a text message right before her death; to Ryn’s magical thinking process, as long as it remains unread, there’s still a part of Lottie alive in her world. Charming, immediately emotional, and filled with wry observations about life, death, and the universe’s tendency towards chaos, this is a rewarding read. – Maryelizabeth


Staff Pick Logo
William Shakespeare's the Force Doth Awaken: Star Wars Part the Seventh Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781594749858
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quirk Books - October 3rd, 2017

For fans of Star Wars and/or theater alike, The Force Doth Awaken is a delightful addition to the Shakespeare’s Star Wars saga! Doescher’s dedication and love of theater shines through every scene, from playful references to BB-8’s own iambic verse. I loved this book so much I can hardly wait for the next one. – Gary


Staff Pick Logo
Sorcery for Beginners: A Simple Help Guide to a Challenging & Arcane Art Cover Image
By Matt Harry, Juliane Crump (Illustrator)
$10.99
ISBN: 9781942645689
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Inkshares Inc. - October 10th, 2017

Matt Harry’s Sorcery for Beginners is a fun, fast, and furious story of teenagers discovering that magic is actually real. Fleeing from bullies, Owen Macready ducks into a strange bookstore called Codex Arcanum. Its proprietor insists he take a book of magical instruction called Sorcery for Beginners. Just like that, Owen and his pals become soldiers in a secret war against the terrible Euclideans, people who hate magic and wish to drive it from the world. The book impressively gets the life and tenor of contemporary teens perfectly. And the design of the book — the illustrations, the footnotes, the arrangement of paragraphs on the page — is striking and vivid. Reading the book you know at once that the author is brilliant, the book special, and the pleasure of reading it, wonderful. – David


Staff Pick Logo
Blackwing Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399587795
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ace Books - October 3rd, 2017

If you like your fantasy dark, with gritty, ruined characters fighting hopeless odds, in a world of endless war, with vast landscapes blighted by destruction, and the characters’ inner landscapes blackened to match, why, then, Ed McDonald’s Blackwing is just the novel for you. Captain Ryhalt Galharrow and his band of bounty hunters are caught in a war between staggering, incomprehensible powers: the Deep Kings for the dark side, the Nameless for the light. Forced to mount a desperate defense of their city against the Deep Kings’ innumerable and imaginatively evil hordes, Ryan & Co. fight on, grimly, for each other, for brief remembered love, and if to die, then at least to die fighting. What a book. Not for the faint-hearted. Highly recommended! – David


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An Unkindness of Ghosts Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781617755880
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Akashic Books - October 3rd, 2017

Solomon’s stellar Afrofuturistic debut (a first for Akashic) is set aboard the HSS Matilda, an interstellar space vessel that carries not only a broad spectrum of humanity, but also some of its most virulent traits, including racism and classism. Self-taught medic Aster Grey administers to those in need on the ship’s lower decks, tends a secret botanical laboratory, and seeks answers to the secrets of her dead mother’s past – when she’s not performing mandatory slave labor for benefit of the ruling white supremacists, experiencing violence at the hand of the ship’s enforcers, or trying to have an intellectual if not emotional understanding of how to interact with those closest to her. The inevitable comparisons to Octavia Butler’s work are deserved, and I look forward to seeing more from Solomon. – Maryelizabeth


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Black Bird of the Gallows Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781633758148
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Entangled Publishing LLC - September 5th, 2017

Being a teenager and falling in love for the first time is always a rush of ups and downs filled with its own array of complications. When your dream guy happens to be a harbinger of death who turns into a crow that travels around with his murder feeding off of death energy, the level of complications escalates quite quickly, especially when a Beekeeper feeding off of chaos is thrown into the mix with his own dark agenda that could destroy any chance of happiness. Black Bird of the Gallows is a darkly fun read with an interesting mythology that hooked me right away. Its snarky protagonist who learns to embrace and love not only herself but those around her while on the run from natural and unnatural dangers is an engaging read with a beautiful ending that whispers answers as well as new questions into your mind as you read the last page. I am excited for more books in this world and getting to know more about these characters’ stories and mythology. – Constance


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Daughter of the Burning City Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780373212439
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harlequin Teen - July 25th, 2017

Amanda Foody pulls you into the smoky world of Gomorrah, where undying fires fueled by the souls of the dead light the traveling festival. In this den of assassins, thieves, and entertainers, we find an illusionist with the power to turn her imaginings into flesh and bone. She has constructed herself a family of these illusions and when the impossible happens and one of them is murdered, her world begins to splinter apart as she frantically searches for the villain who is systematically killing off her family. Truths are never simple though and she is tumbled into a world of political intrigue few know of, where the boy she shouldn’t trust seems her only ally. Foody does the remarkable task of weaving an unpredictable tale that readers can try to figure out but won’t until she decides to let you in on the secret. Daughter of the Burning City contains unique characters not frequently seen in its genre thrown into a world of magic, murder, and self-discovery. – Constance


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Madness Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062457851
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Teen - September 19th, 2017

Zac Brewer manages the delicate balance between making the point of view of a teenager with suicidal ideation empathetic and accessible without glorifying her emotional crisis in Madness. When Brooke is released from her recovery center after a suicide attempt, she struggles with reestablishing relationships and routines with family, friends, and schoolmates, even her BFF, Duckie. At first, new arrival Derek seems to be Brooke’s soulmate, the only person who understands what she’s feeling – but is their budding romance helpful or harmful, especially as it begins to isolate Brooke from other people she loves? Part Pretty in Pink and more than a little Heathers for teens in the 21st Century, the book also offers resources for any readers identifying with Brooke’s pain. – Maryelizabeth


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The Blind: A Chilling Psychological Suspense Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780778330875
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Park Row - September 26th, 2017

Samantha (Sam) James is a mess. She is an alcoholic, a complicit partner in domestic abuse, and completely unstable. She knows this about herself even as she continues to drink, date her boyfriend, and show up at work sleepless and incapable of clear thought … night after night and day after day. Sam has little or no self-worth and believes that this is the only life to which she is entitled. Her working hours are spent trying to save other people as a way to redeem and save herself. She is the top psychologist at Typhlos, a psychiatric institution in Manhattan, and the last stop for hard-to-reach psychiatric patients. She prides herself in her ability to fool all of her co-workers, her boss, her patients, and her best friend, David, while maintaining her status as a superhero on the job. This is a compulsive, engrossing, and outstanding debut.  – Terry


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Bluebird, Bluebird Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316363297
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mulholland Books - September 12th, 2017

Attica Locke’s books are rich in atmosphere and slow-drip tension. Her latest title, Bluebird, Bluebird, is no exception and right from the beginning, readers are immersed in a small town of tin-roof joints, sultry blues, and an unmistakable racial divide. Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger who’s grappling with his own personal issues, is called on to investigate a double murder in the rural East Texas town of Lark. It’s no ordinary double murder either: a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman are both found dead in the bayou, days apart from one another. Darren is plunged into a world where family secrets and long-simmering resentment threaten to destroy the tight-lipped community and anyone who dares to seek the truth. This is Attica Locke at the top of her game — a powerful and timely novel about race, justice, and true love. – Sarah


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Righteous Cover Image
By Joe Ide
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316267779
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mulholland Books - October 17th, 2017

Joe Ide’s debut novel, IQ, was one of my favorite books of 2016. The concept was cool and unique: an edgy Sherlock Holmes with a hip hop flavor. Righteous is no different and picks up right where we left off. Isaiah Quintabe or IQ receives a cry for help from his brother’s former girlfriend, Sarita: find her younger sister, Janine. What follows is a sometimes comical high stakes journey to the neon lights of Las Vegas where Isaiah finds himself pitted against a psychotic loan shark and a Chinese triad. Meanwhile, he continues to obsess over the hit and run that killed his older brother, Marcus, eight years ago. The two storylines intertwine together seamlessly, revealing IQ’s intelligence, wit, and buried pain. I love the way Ide guides us down one path only to bring us to a conclusion that is surprising yet so inevitable, we wonder how we missed it. Another standout from Ide and the IQ series. – Sarah


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Bonfire Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781524759841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Archetype - November 7th, 2017

From actress (Jessica Jones), producer, writer, Ritter comes an engaging debut that combines a tortured past with a compelling mystery about a small town that is embroiled in a possible corruption scandal brought about by the company that sustains the community. Going home again is never easy, but it is particularly painful for Abby Williams, who left the small town of Barrens, Indiana 10 years ago to escape her school peers who hated her and pursue a life outside of the rural nightmare of her youth. Part Erin Brockovich, part Mean Girls, Abby Williams is back in Barrens in her role as an environmental lawyer and is only minutes into her return when she begins running into the people who make up her tortured history. Though she is in Barrens to investigate the role of Optimal Plastics in the reported health issues in Barrens, she also begins to uncover the circumstances that lead to the sudden departure of one of her childhood friends over 10 years ago. And then things get complicated. It turns out that this visit is more than just work to Abby; it is really a trip to her past to see if she can free herself from the damage inflicted on her when she lived there. – Terry


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The Driver Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781101986363
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Books - August 8th, 2017

Michael Skellig was a military specialist of the “I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you” type. That life is now over. He now runs a limo service with a few other broken ex-military friends. When his latest client, hotshot skateboarder Bismarck Avila, becomes a target for assassination, Michael’s skills kick in and he saves Avila’s life — after which Avila blackmails Michael into being his driver/bodyguard. Meanwhile his lawyer/ex-girlfriend is trying to keep him out of jail, while his latest love interest is a cop that’s investigating the attempted murder. Michael is caught in the middle and trying to stay above water. This book is fast paced and filled with danger, gruesome action and a sense of humor that will keep you turning the pages until the last bullets fly. – Emilio


Motor Crush, Volume 1 Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781534301894
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - June 20th, 2017

Motor Crush is a rapid-fire, high-action cyberpunk racing story set in near future southern California. It has a strong female protagonist bike racer, and her father, a bike mechanic and ex-racer, fighting for dominance in the hyper competitive bike racing league of the future. Illegal drugs for racing are popular in the unlicensed racing scene, and our protagonist has a strong addiction that she manages by racing in the underground races at night. Throw in a love story, some bike gangs with kickass style, and a mysterious backstory, and you are racing along with Motor Crush. – Sam


Tokyo Ghost Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781534300460
Availability: Backordered
Published: Image Comics - July 11th, 2017

Tokyo Ghost is a brutal cyberpunk dystopia high on amphetamines and 114 octane race fuel — high paced action at its finest. If that was all it was, however, it would fall by the wayside as another fun romp. I was surprised to find that Tokyo Ghost has heart, and it gets a lot done in its two volumes. There is a shocking amount of character development for the protagonists, Debbie and Led. Their childhood, their love, and their losses are all on display, and make you care about what happens to their tiny glimmer of hope in the terrible future they inhabit. – Sam