Maryelizabeth's Past Reviews

A semi-representative historical selection of Maryelizabeth's reviews in alphabetical-by-author order. 

 

 

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Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781250027436
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - May 7th, 2013

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Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy #2) Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781250044433
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - June 17th, 2014

Young Adult

Grisha Alina and her soldier lover Mal fled Ravka and the machinations of the Darkling, pretender to the throne, at the end of Shadow and Bone. And Alina doesn’t miss the Darkling’s lies or the temptations of abusing her power one little bit. Really. Being captured by a privateer and returned to Ravka is just the beginning of the new trials she will face, both internal and external, on her quest to define herself and possibly be the salvation for her world. This gorgeous Tsarpunk fantasy is recommended to teen and adult readers.

– Maryelizabeth


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Ruin and Rising (Grisha Trilogy #3) Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781250063168
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - August 18th, 2015

Young Adult

Tsarpunk and conflict and power reach an epic and satisfying and costly conclusion in Ruin & Rising, the final installment in Leigh’s Grisha Trilogy, as Alina – Sun Summoner, Saint, orphan, and fulcrum for the fate of her world – and her allies marshal their limited forces in a final confrontation with the Darkling. My friend Molly helped me coin the term “Darklinghosen” to describe Ruin & Rising – meaning “so good and with just the right amount of tragedy and sacrifice.”

– Maryelizabeth


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Six of Crows Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781250076960
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - February 6th, 2018

The first volume in Leigh’s Dregs duology, set in the Grishaverse, is a heart-wrenching combination of caper novel and character studies. Think “Leverage” meets “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” but in an alternate magical Russia. Six of Crows has one of the best opening sentences ever, kicking off a grand magical heist adventure with characters readers will be thrilled to cheer for. This book is so much fun!The first volume in Leigh’s Dregs duology, set in the Grishaverse, is a heart-wrenching combination of caper novel and character studies. Think “Leverage” meets “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” but in an alternate magical Russia. Six of Crows has one of the best opening sentences ever, kicking off a grand magical heist adventure with characters readers will be thrilled to cheer for. This book is so much fun!

—Maryelizabeth


Crooked Kingdom: A Sequel to Six of Crows Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781250076977
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Square Fish - September 4th, 2018

Master strategist Kaz Brekker and his team succeeded against extraordinary challenges and achieved their target objective in Six of Crows, only to be double-crossed at the 11th hour. Leigh follows her fantastic heist novel with a stunning revenge novel, as Kaz and the rest engage all their wiles and skills, magical and otherwise, in the streets, halls, and roofs of Ketterdam to not only acquire the monetary reward they were promised and denied, but also exact their revenge and recover what’s been taken. The stakes are extraordinary; they are vastly outnumbered by the opposition (from three nations, as well as local adversaries and even sometimes allies), and there are even some doubts about their abilities to work together. Leigh engages readers’ brains, as they try to keep up with the elaborate schemes, and their hearts as they engage with the amazing cast of characters. Breathtaking!


Three Dark Crowns Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780062385444
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - April 3rd, 2018

Young Adult

The fantasy island of Fennbirn’s sequence of rule is unique and terrible: each generation a set of specially gifted triplets is born – when the sisters become sixteen, it’s the cue for a battle to the death, with the last sister standing crowned Queen. The sisters are separated as toddlers, and are raised by separate factions, each seeking to enhance their gifts : Mirabella to direct the elements; Katharine to consume deadly poisons unscathed; and Arsinoe to exercise power over nature, both flora and fauna. The most amazing aspect of this book is that Kendare had me equally emotionally invested in each of the three to be the surviving ruler. A dark and delightful epic fantasy! – Maryelizabeth


The Mysterious Madam Morpho Cover Image
$0.99
ISBN: 9781451687682
Availability: Available Now
Published: Pocket Books - October 1st, 2012

One of the great joys of my ereading has been rediscovering the pleasures of shorter works -- short stories, novellas, etc. Delilah's Blud novellas top my list!


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Midnight Crossroad (Novel of Midnight #1) Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780425263167
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ace Books - March 31st, 2015

Speculative Fiction

 

Welcome to Midnight Pawn, one of the few businesses in a small West Texas community marked by the stoplight at the corner of Witch Light Road and the Davy Highway. Few pass through, and fewer stay – and most of the latter share two traits: a craving for privacy and secrets to hide.  Newcomer (familiar to readers of the Harper Connelly series) Manfred Bernardo, who has just relocated to the rental house next to the pawnshop, empathizes with his neighbor’s concerns even as he endeavors to transition from outsider to resident. Readers and Manfred learn much more when the discovery of a murdered corpse and resultant official and unofficial investigations bring a number of hidden stories to light. Recommended for fans of Charlaine’s supernatural and suspense stories.

 

—Maryelizabeth


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Ordinary Grace Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781451645859
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - March 4th, 2014

2013 Pick

An extraordinary exceptional book -- the best book I read all year.

Curated Fiction

Kent Krueger’s novel belongs on the shelves of readers’ hearts and minds somewhere between Stephen King’s “The Body” and Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine.  At the turn of the 21st Century, Frank Drum reminisces about the summer of his 13th year, growing up the son of a Methodist minister in a small Minnesota River Valley community. A series of events, including accidental deaths, murder, and the revelations of deeply-held secrets, test the characters’ faith and family bonds. Kent creates prose that resonates with readers who will care passionately about this story, even if they have no personal connection to the mid-Century middle America of the setting.

– Maryelizabeth


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Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101886717
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey Books - January 24th, 2017

A young girl running through the woods falls into a pit. At the bottom of the pit is a giant metal hand. The hand, buried for millennia, defies any explanation involving humans. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin and a team of scientists and military staff work together, under the direction of a mysterious unnamed supervisor, to seek out and assemble other body parts, and try to glean what the significance of the dismantled Titan means, and who left it to be discovered. Neuvel deals with a vast array of issues – personal and political consequences, questions of morality and manipulation – as well as fascinating scientific speculation, in a brilliantly crafted debut. A young girl running through the woods falls into a pit. At the bottom of the pit is a giant metal hand. The hand, buried for millennia, defies any explanation involving humans. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin and a team of scientists and military staff work together, under the direction of a mysterious unnamed supervisor, to seek out and assemble other body parts, and try to glean what the significance of the dismantled Titan means, and who left it to be discovered. Neuvel deals with a vast array of issues – personal and political consequences, questions of morality and manipulation – as well as fascinating scientific speculation, in a brilliantly crafted debut. 

– Maryelizabeth


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Waking Gods: Book Two of the Themis Files Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101886748
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey Books - March 13th, 2018

Speculative Fiction 

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

– Maryelizabeth


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Orleans Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780147509963
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Speak - March 6th, 2014

Young Adult

This heartrending look at an all too possible future where increasingly severe weather has led to a Gulf Coast ravaged by storms. The survivors of the 2019 Category Six hurricane are nearly uniformly infected with a deadly virus. Eventually the area is walled off from the rest of the United States, leaving a struggling populace divided into tribes by blood type, since blood type seems to correspond to resistance to the Delta Fever.  Fen is devoted to the leader of her O-Positive tribe, and inherits her leader’s newborn baby after a vicious attack by a rival tribe. U.S. resident Daniel may have developed a cure for Delta Fever – or a new superweapon – and can only know for sure once he crosses the wall into the Quarantined area. Smith’s language, especially Fen’s regional accent, and convincing worldbuilding of a New Orleans with minimal population and none of the cultural joys we associate with it, shine in this Fantastic Firsts pick.

– Maryelizabeth


Pasadena Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781101996263
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Speak - September 5th, 2017

The summer before her senior year of high school, Jules is vacationing with her estranged father and his family from his remarriage when she receives the news that Maggie Kim, her BFF, has been found dead, facedown in the family’s swimming pool, a presumed suicide. Maggie had always been larger than life, dramatic, and the center of her social network’s universe – her death doesn’t make sense to Jules, seeming to lack both presentation and flair, and cause. Jules swelters her way through an informal but determined investigation, exploring the dark shadows that linger among Maggie’s family and friends, and gaining insights into her own relationship with Maggie. A fine contribution to the LA noir subgenre.


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Daughter of Smoke & Bone Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780316133999
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - June 5th, 2012

Young Adult

National Book Award Finalist Laini has written my favorite book of the fall of 2011. Artist Karou goes to school in Prague, and in addition to drawing the models provided by her school, also draws fantastic pictures of wildly imaginative monsters. Little do her fellow students know that the latter are drawn from Karou’s adopted family, for whom she goes on errands, collecting teeth from all species from all over the world, for a purpose she doesn’t understand. Karou’s world and its inhabitants are fascinating, original, and richly drawn, and the emotional component of her friendships, familial love, and romantic love are deftly drawn, compelling the reader to devour the novel even as they are tempted to linger. For teen and adult fantasy love.

– Maryelizabeth 


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Shallow Graves Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062366214
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - September 5th, 2017

Local author Kali joins teen horror subgenre authors like Gretchen McNeal, Kendare Blake, and Dan Wells with this strong debut. 17-year-old Breezy discovers a world of monsters when she awakens in her grave a year after her murder, with no clear memories of her own death, but the power to sense darkness in others – specifically those who have killed with intent – and mete out a vigilante justice of her own. Breezy has no interest in existing as a monster; she longs for a return to her time with her parents, sisters, and best girlfriend. Her search for information and assistance takes her down many a dark byway, as she encounters more monsters among both the human and non-human populace. Breezy’s struggle to define the terms of her unlife makes for a rewarding read, and there are some truly scary monsters to boot. 

– Maryelizabeth