Jun 14, 2019

 

Book Review - By the Feet of Men (by Grant Price)

Title: By the Feet of Men
Series: -
Author: Grant Price
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Action-Adventure
Publisher: Cosmic Egg Books
Release Date: August 30th, 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 344




"WANTED: Men and women willing to drive through the valley of the shadow of death.

The world's population has been decimated by the Change, a chain reaction of events triggered by global warming. In Europe, governments have fallen, cities have crumbled and the wheels of production have ground to a halt. The Alps region, containing most of the continent's remaining fresh water, has become a closed state with heavily fortified borders. Survivors cling on by trading through the Runners, truck drivers who deliver cargo and take a percentage. Amid the ruins of central Germany, two Runners, Cassady and Ghazi, are called on to deliver medical supplies to a research base deep in the Italian desert, where scientists claim to be building a machine that could reverse the effects of the Change. Joining the pair is a ragtag collection of drivers, all of whom have something to prove. Standing in their way are starving nomads, crumbling cities, hostile weather and a rogue state hell-bent on the convoy's destruction. And there's another problem: Cassady is close to losing his nerve."


By the Feet of Men
(click to read an excerpt on Amazon)

- Review -
What Made Me Read It
I was sent a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The author described it as a "dystopian climate fiction novel"; even though the genre is usually a little too grim and dark for my taste, the focus of this novel seemed to be more on the characters and not so much the post-apocalyptic setting, so I gave it a try.
 

The Plot
The Change has driven the planet back to the Dark Ages. In a post-apocalyptic world where desertification, drought, famine and disease run rampant, civilization has collapsed and infrastructures have all but disappeared. Humanity has reversed to a state of savagery, with survivors knifing each other in the back for half a canteen of radiated water and depending on Runners to barter and deliver scarce supplies.
 

Edward Cassidy has been a Runner for over 20 years, driving his century-old pantech Warspite between isolated and heavily defended settlements inside the Bowl, transporting crates of expired food and water in what was once Germany. Until the day a badly wounded man offers him a contract: to deliver urgent medical supplies to La Talpa, a research facility hidden underground in the deserts of Italy.

To increase the odds of success, 4 teams of Runners are selected for the job. The crew of the Silkworm, Victor and Tagawa, is too inexperienced; the crew of the Telamonian, Brandt and Renfield, is getting too old; and Orion's own Katarina and Hearst don't look out for anybody but themselves. It's up to Cassady and his co-driver and mechanic partner Salam Ghazi to lead the convoy of Runners through the Bowl and into uncharted territory deep inside the Alps.
 

Cassady needs to be ready for everything this run throws at him: extreme temperatures, unwanted attention from scavengers and tribal bandits, damaged roads and people who want the convoy to fail - the fanatic religious group Zuisudra, bent on cleansing the Earth of the disease that is humanity, and the Koalition, a merge of corporations determined to maintain an iron grip control over their region. But he's losing his nerve and starting to question everything he does and the reason that keeps him going...
 

The Good
"By the feet of men" is a dystopian novel set in post-apocalyptic Germany, known as the Bowl, in an unspecified (but probably not too far off) future. Throughout the story we're given just enough details about the world the characters live in to get a general idea of the background: a desertified region, where the food is scarce and the few water sources are most likely contaminated by radiation, under extreme heat and an ionized atmosphere, where major cities have been destroyed by conflict and covered in mutant vegetation. We're not told about the events what led to this calamity, only that after something called the Change humanity has reversed to a savage state, struggling to survive each day in the unforgiving environment in small isolated but well-defended settlements, banded together in nomadic violent gangs and fanatical religious groups, frequently resorting to cannibalism. The Runners, men and women driving old reconditioned armored trucks called pantechs, keep the communities going by transporting essential supplies through the few existing roads. Still, the lack of details doesn't harm the narrative since the focus of the novel isn't on the post-apocalyptic setting but the characters instead.
 

The book follows the journey of a convoy of Runners, contracted to deliver much needed medical supplies to a group of scientists working in secret on technology that could reverse the Change, giving humanity a second chance at life. The plot is fast-paced, with plenty of nerve-racking action sequences as the convoy faces innumerous dangers and foes on its run through the Bowl and across the Alps: bandits and scavengers who murder and cannibalize weary travelers, the religious fanatics Zuisudra and the corporation Koalition determined to keep its iron grip on the Zone, a fortified region in the Alps with a bio-engineered pre-Change climate.
 

"By the feet of men" is mostly a road trip character study novel. Each of the 8 Runners that make up the convoy are 3-dimentional and fully fleshed out, with believable personalities and realistic behaviors and reactions. Edward Cassidy has been driving his century-old pantech, the Warspite, for over 20 years; being a Runner has given him a purpose but now he's struggling to find a reason to keep going and survive another day. His co-driver and mechanic Salam Ghazi is the philosophical type, trying to find his place in the grand scheme of things. They've been tasked to lead the convoy, a ragtag group of misfit truck drivers put together on a run with little chance of success: Brandt and Renfield are old veterans in their pantech Telamonian but they're getting too old, too slow and cautious and want to get off the road for good; Victor and Tagawa are newcomers and still too inexperienced, but desperate to prove their worth driving the Silkworm; Hearst turned driving the Orion into an art form but she's too wild and only looks out for herself and her co-driver Katarina. As the story unfolds we get to know each of the Runners, their personal stories and what keeps them going; each character has his/her own flaws and personal demons, trying to survive to the best of their abilities in a desperate and cruel world, making good and bad choices and learning to live with them.
 

Long hours spent behind the wheel encourage each of the characters to reflect on basic questions about their existence and so the novel explores themes of self-sacrifice for the greater good, the meaning of life and its worth, moral and ethics, good and evil.

If you enjoy dystopian tales with good character development, that explore how humanity reacts in the face of adversity, struggling to survive in a ruined world, then this book delivers on its promise. The only reason I couldn't give it a higher rating is a matter of personal taste - it was just too brutal and depressing for me, with a too realistic portrayal of humanity at its worst, eerily believable and entirely too possible in the not so distant future. But that's just me.

Final Rating
"By the feet of men" is mostly a character study dystopian novel set in a future post-apocalyptic Germany, with fast-paced and action-packed sequences. Recommended for those who enjoy stories that focus on the struggles of a dying and savage humanity in a post-apocalyptic world.



• • • •


- About the Author -
Website: www.grantrhysprice.com
Twitter: @MekongLights
Genre: Literary Fiction, Short Stories, Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Science-Fiction
 

Grant Price (b. 1987) is a British-German author currently living in Berlin, Germany. After spending too many years translating and writing copy, he started writing fiction full time in 2015. His first novel, Static Age, appeared on Kindle in 2016. His second novel, By the Feet of Men, is due to be published by Cosmic Egg Books in September 2019. His work has appeared in The Daily Telegraph and a number of magazines and journals. He has taught writing at the University of Gießen in Germany. 

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Jun 9, 2019

 

Book Review - The Coordinate (by Marc Jacobs)

Title: The Coordinate
Series: -
Author: Marc Jacobs
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery & Thriller, Science Fiction

Publisher: R. R. Bowker
Release Date: May 26th, 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 328
 



"Logan West and Emma James grew up together but are now high school seniors going in totally opposite directions after graduation. When they are assigned to work together on one last history project, they hardly expect the monotony of high school life to change. Instead, as they decode a series of unexplained clues hidden within their history project itself, Logan and Emma manage to unfold an ancient mystery that has baffled scientists and archeologists, one that has powerful implications for the present day.
 

As they embrace the adventure they’ve stumbled upon, and a growing romantic attraction to each other, they are unexpectedly pursued by the world’s most rigorous intelligence agencies and ruthless criminals.

Logan and Emma find themselves caught up in a dangerous, high-stakes race across the globe to decipher mankind’s past in order to save humanity’s future, not to mention their very own lives, with a mystery that just might reach towards the stars…"

(click to read an excerpt on Amazon)

- Review -
What Made Me Read It
I was sent a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review. The author described it as "Da Vinci Code for the high-school set, with archeological adventures and a sci-fi rather than religious mystery to uncover". As a fan of Dan Brown's Robert Langdon series, that caught my interest.
 

The Plot
17-year-old Logan West is starting his last year at Jersey North High School, with no future plans other than attend community college after graduation. When a school project pairs him with Emma James, Logan just sees an opportunity to reconnect with his childhood friend. The assignment: to write an essay on historical mysteries with oddities that have baffled historians and scientists alike; their subject - the Copán Temple.
 

Five years ago, Dr. Jones Arenot discovered a hidden crypt underneath the ruins of the Copán Temple in Western Honduras - the Secret Chamber of the White-Eyed Star God, a large spherical room with strange gravitational and temporal anomalies, and covered with thousands of seemingly random Mayan hieroglyphic numbers carved on the walls.
 

Logan and Emma begin their research only to find missing links, removed pictures and deleted websites related to the archeological discovery. Their only clue may lie in Christopher Columbus' personal journals of his 4th voyage to the New World, stored inside the Vatican Secret Archives. Determined to finish the increasingly puzzling project, Logan and Emma set out to Italy.
 

But what started out as an exciting weekend getaway rapidly turns into a dangerous race against time, as the CIA takes a sudden interest in their activities and international mercenaries try to kill them. Logan and Emma find themselves running for their lives, from the Archiginnasio in the University of Bologna, through the Norwegian fjords and into Britain's Stonehenge, while trying to decipher a message hundreds of years old connecting ancient landmarks to constellations in the night sky.
 

The Good
"The Coordinate" is a young adult adventure and mystery thriller, with both historical and science fiction elements, reminiscent of Dan Brown's Robert Langdon series and the National Treasure movies but without the religious theme and spanning several continents and historical landmarks. It follows the journey of two high school senior students working on a history project that draws unwanted attention from security agencies and mercenaries alike, while they try to unravel a mystery that connects ancient monuments to constellations in the night sky and a hidden message that could change the future of mankind.
 

The first half of the novel centers around the initial clues the two main characters, Logan and Emma, must decipher in order to complete the school project. The mystery is engaging and very intriguing; not only did the author do extensive research to include actual facts and real background information, but he brilliantly weaves it all with mythological legends, crackpot conspiracy theories and fictional elements from his own imagination into a whole that is not just credible but actually believable. The pace picks up in the 2nd half of the book, with chase and action sequences that are pure adrenaline rush, keeping us on the edge of our seats and with plot twists I did not see coming.
 

All the background information poured into the novel doesn't feel like an info dump and in no way slows down the pace or hinders the narrative, the author even includes a few maps and diagrams to help visualize the clues the main characters work through. Each piece of extra data is delivered in a natural way, from Google searches, to museum brochures and specific characters in specific situations where we expect them to possess that kind of knowledge. That isn't always easy to achieve but the author nails it throughout the novel.
 

The two main characters are 3-dimensional and believable, acting according to their age and personalities. Emma is the most daring of the pair, wanting one last adventure before following the path her attorney father set out for her. Logan isn't as brave but is willing to step out of his comfort zone and do anything to impress his childhood crush. The two teenagers complement each other, drawing on the other's strengths to solve the puzzles; their romance isn't the typical YA instalove kind but fits the characters, flows naturally and is not the center of the plot... which, for me, is a huge bonus since I tend to dislike any romantic element forced into the narrative.
 

Final Rating
"The Coordinate" is a fun, action-packed young adult novel, with an intriguing mystery and a thrilling engaging plot. Recommended for those who enjoy adventure stories with historical puzzles and sci-fi elements.


• • • •



- About the Author -
Website: marcjacobsauthor.com
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery & Thrillers 
 

Author Marc Jacobs has always looked to the stars as a  reminder of humanity’s minuscule place in the universe. Marc finds inspiration in the science fiction genre because it feeds the imagination and keeps people believing in a greater world of possibilities. In THE COORDINATE, the first novel in Marc’s new science fiction series, he explores the question which has remained unanswered throughout the history of mankind, “Are we alone in the universe?”
 

When Marc is not writing, he lives in California with his wife, two daughters, two cats and an unapologetic English bulldog who runs the house, much to the chagrin of the cats.
 

Marc is also a cartoonist whose work has been published in magazines, journals, newsletters, and websites across the country and even internationally!
 

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Jun 5, 2019

 

New Monthly Book Releases - June 2019



Time to update your to-be-read list and clear some space on your shelves. These are a few of the new book releases for June 2019.



- Science Fiction -

June 4th:

Alphabet Squadron (Star Wars Disney Canon Novel) by Alexander Freed (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Del Rey)
On the verge of victory in what seemed an endless war, five former rebel pilots transform from hunted to hunters as they strike out against the vestiges of Empire. Set after Return of the Jedi, Alphabet Squadron follows a unique team, each flying a different class of starfighter as they struggle to end their war once and for all. The Emperor is dead. His final weapon has been destroyed. The Imperial Army is in disarray. In the aftermath, Yrica Quell is just one of thousands of defectors from her former cause living in a deserters’ shantytown—until she is selected to join Alphabet Squadron. Cobbled together from an eclectic assortment of pilots and starfighters, the five members of Alphabet are tasked by New Republic general Hera Syndulla herself. Like Yrica, each is a talented pilot struggling to find their place in a changing galaxy. Their mission: to track down and destroy the mysterious Shadow Wing, a lethal force of TIE fighters exacting bloody, reckless vengeance in the twilight of their reign. The newly formed unit embodies the heart and soul of the Rebellion: ragtag, resourceful, scrappy, and emboldened by their most audacious victory in decades. But going from underdog rebels to celebrated heroes isn’t as easy as it seems, and their inner demons threaten them as much as their enemies among the stars. The wayward warriors of Alphabet Squad will have to learn to fly together if they want to protect the new era of peace they’ve fought so hard to achieve.


Fall, Or Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson (Hardcover, 896 pages, published by William Morrow)
In his youth, Richard “Dodge” Forthrast founded Corporation 9592, a gaming company that made him a multibillionaire. Now in his middle years, Dodge appreciates his comfortable, unencumbered life, managing his myriad business interests, and spending time with his beloved niece Zula and her young daughter, Sophia. One beautiful autumn day, while he undergoes a routine medical procedure, something goes irrevocably wrong. Dodge is pronounced brain dead and put on life support, leaving his stunned family and close friends with difficult decisions. Long ago, when a much younger Dodge drew up his will, he directed that his body be given to a cryonics company now owned by enigmatic tech entrepreneur Elmo Shepherd. Legally bound to follow the directive despite their misgivings, Dodge’s family has his brain scanned and its data structures uploaded and stored in the cloud, until it can eventually be revived. In the coming years, technology allows Dodge’s brain to be turned back on. It is an achievement that is nothing less than the disruption of death itself. An eternal afterlife—the Bitworld—is created, in which humans continue to exist as digital souls. But this brave new immortal world is not the Utopia it might first seem . . . Fall, or Dodge in Hell is pure, unadulterated fun: a grand drama of analog and digital, man and machine, angels and demons, gods and followers, the finite and the eternal. In this exhilarating epic, Neal Stephenson raises profound existential questions and touches on the revolutionary breakthroughs that are transforming our future. Combining the technological, philosophical, and spiritual in one grand myth, he delivers a mind-blowing speculative literary saga for the modern age.


My Enemy’s Enemy by Robert Buettner (Paperback, 448 pages, published by Baen)
STOP THE NAZI A-BOMB. In September 1939, Nazi Holocaust mastermind Heinrich Himmler conscripts brilliant physicist Peter Winter to devise a secret weapon of supreme power, and to create a revolutionary aircraft to deliver it. Peter, and his Jewish wife, Rachel, know they may only be able to slow Himmler down, and not stop him from developing the ultimate weapon. NAZI MADNESS AND TERRORIST EVIL COMBINE. In modern-day Pakistan, the elite terrorist known as the Asp survives a U.S. drone strike, then undertakes a solo mission to penetrate America’s heartland to wreak destruction. Meanwhile, ambitious aircraft historian Cassidy Gooding and irascible Colorado cowboy Frank Luck unlock an aviation relic’s secret and discover the terrible truth the Asp may be closing in on. THE TARGET: AMERICA. Now high atop North America’s backbone, old secrets collide with new, and Cass and Frank must prevent the possible massive devastation of an American city—or die trying. If they fail? MILLIONS MAY PERISH.


War Criminals (The Bastard Legion #3) by Gavin G. Smith (Paperback, 368 pages, published by Orion Publishing Group, Limited)
It was the kind of dirty, violent work the Bastards were made for. Protect a bunch of colonists in the Epsilon Eridani system, whose moon had become a war zone as megacorp-backed mercenaries fought a brutal proxy war. Just the kind of fight the penal mercenary legion liked. But a hundred headless corpses are hard to explain, even for the Bastard Legion, and soon they are on the run, abandoned by their allies, and hunted by their most dangerous foe yet... but Miska's going to play them at her own game. The Bastard Legion: the galaxy's most dangerous criminals controlled by implanted explosives and trained by the electronic ghost of a dead marine.

Wastelands 3: The New Apocalypse (Wastelands #3) edited by John Joseph Adams (Paperback, 512 pages, published by Titan Books)
In WASTELANDS: THE NEW APOCALYPSE, veteran anthology editor John Joseph Adams is once again our guide through the wastelands using his genre and editorial expertise to curate his finest collection of post-apocalyptic short fiction yet. Whether the end comes via nuclear war, pandemic, climate change, or cosmological disaster, these stories explore the extraordinary trials and tribulations of those who survive. Featuring never-before-published tales by: Veronica Roth, Hugh Howey, Jonathan Maberry, Seanan McGuire, Tananarive Due, Richard Kadrey, Scott Sigler, Elizabeth Bear, Tobias S. Buckell, Meg Elison, Greg van Eekhout, Wendy N. Wagner, Jeremiah Tolbert, and Violet Allen--plus, recent reprints by: Carmen Maria Machado, Carrie Vaughn, Ken Liu, Paolo Bacigalupi, Kami Garcia, Charlie Jane Anders, Catherynne M. Valente, Jack Skillingstead, Sofia Samatar, Maureen F. McHugh, Nisi Shawl, Adam-Troy Castro, Dale Bailey, Susan Jane Bigelow, Corinne Duyvis, Shaenon K. Garrity, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Darcie Little Badger, Timothy Mudie, and Emma Osborne. Continuing in the tradition of WASTELANDS: STORIES OF THE APOCALYPSE, these 34 stories ask: What would life be like after the end of the world as we know it?


June 11th:

Green Valley by Louis Greenberg (Paperback, 352 pages, published by Titan Books)
When Lucie Sterling's daughter is abducted, she knows it'll be no easy feat to find answers. Stanton is no ordinary city: invasive digital technology has been banned, by public vote. No surveillance state, no shadowy companies holding databases of information on private citizens, no phones tracking their every move. Only one place stays firmly anchored in the bad old ways, in a huge bunker across town: Green Valley, where the inhabitants have retreated into the comfort of full-time virtual reality--personae non gratae to the outside world. And it's inside Green Valley, beyond the ideal virtual world it presents, that Lucie will have to go to find her missing daughter.


Moonflowers (Armageddon-Lite Book 1) by David A. Gray (Kindle Edition, 411 pages, published by Ellysian Press)
I’m not like those other freaks. The kids who can look inside your head and bring your nightmares to life. The weirdos who can steal your luck or make a thing true just by wishing it. The outliers born from the mess that followed Armageddon. The ones you call Moonflowers, half mockingly and half afraid. They’re the mistakes that humanity hates – and needs. I’m not like them. I’m worse. And I’m the only thing standing between you and the legions of heaven and hell.


Pass of Fire (Destroyermen #14) by Taylor Anderson (Hardcover, 480 pages, published by Ace Books)
After being transported to a strange alternate Earth, Matt Reddy and the crew of the USS Walker have learned desperate times call for desperate measures, in the return to the New York Times bestselling Destroyermen series. Time is running out for the Grand Human and Lemurian Alliance. The longer they take to prepare for their confrontations with the reptilian Grik, the Holy Dominion, and the League of Tripoli, the stronger their enemies become. Ready or not, they have to move--or the price in blood will break them. Matt Reddy and his battered old destroyer USS Walker lead the greatest army the humans and their Lemurian allies have ever assembled up the Zambezi toward the ancient Grik capital city. Standing against them is the largest, most dangerous force of Grik yet gathered. On the far side of the world, General Shinya and his Army of the Sisters are finally prepared for their long-expected assault on the mysterious El Paso del Fuego. Not only is the dreaded Dominion ready and waiting for them; they've formed closer, more sinister ties with the fascist League of Tripoli. Everything is on the line in both complex, grueling campaigns, and the Grand Alliance is stretched to its breaking point. Victory is the only option, whatever the cost, because there can be no second chances.


Recursion by Blake Crouch (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Crown Publishing Group)
Memory makes reality. That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent. As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it. But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?


Reentry (Mars Endeavour #2) by Peter Cawdron (Hardcover, 304 pages, published by John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
After almost dying on Mars, astronaut Liz Anderson returns to Earth, but not to a hero’s welcome. America is in turmoil. The war is over, but the insurgency has just begun. So while life on Mars may have been deadly, at least up there she knew who the enemy was. Along with her, Liz has brought the remnants of the artificial intelligence that waged war on two planets. Buried somewhere deep within the cold electronic circuits lies the last vestiges of her dead partner Jianyu. Liz is torn, unsure whether he’s somehow still alive in electronic form or just a ploy by an adversary that will go to any length to win. Heartbroken and treated with suspicion, she finds herself caught up in the guerrilla war being waged on Earth, wondering if the AI threat is truly gone, or if it has only just begun.


The Hive (The Second Formic War #2) by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston (Hardcover, 400 pages, published by Tor Books)
Card and Johnston continue the fast-paced hard science fiction history of the Formic Wars--the alien invasions of Earth's Solar System that ultimately led to Ender Wiggin's total victory in Ender's Game. A coalition of Earth's nations barely fought off the Formics' first scout ship. Now it's clear that there's a mother-ship out on edge of the system, and the aliens are prepared to take Earth by force. Can Earth's warring nations and corporations put aside their differences and mount an effective defense?


The Outside by Ada Hoffmann (Paperback, 400 pages, published by Angry Robot)
Autistic scientist Yasira Shien has developed a radical new energy drive that could change the future of humanity. But when she activates it, reality warps, destroying the space station and everyone aboard. The AI Gods who rule the galaxy declare her work heretical, and Yasira is abducted by their agents. Instead of simply executing her, they offer mercy - if she'll help them hunt down a bigger target: her own mysterious, vanished mentor. With her homeworld's fate in the balance, Yasira must choose who to trust: the gods and their ruthless post-human angels, or the rebel scientist whose unorthodox mathematics could turn her world inside out.


The Sol Majestic by Ferrett Steinmetz (Paperback, 384 pages, published by Tor Books)
Kenna, an aspirational teen guru, wanders destitute across the stars as he tries to achieve his parents' ambition to advise the celestial elite. Everything changes when Kenna wins a free dinner at The Sol Majestic, the galaxy's most renown restaurant, giving him access to the cosmos's one-percent. His dream is jeopardized, however, when he learns his highly-publicized "free meal" risks putting The Sol Majestic into financial ruin. Kenna and a motley gang of newfound friends -- including a teleporting celebrity chef, a trust-fund adrenaline junkie, an inept apprentice, and a brilliant mistress of disguise -- must concoct an extravagant scheme to save everything they cherish. In doing so, Kenna may sacrifice his ideals -- or learn even greater lessons about wisdom, friendship, and love.



Velocity Weapon (The Protectorate #1) by Megan E. O'Keefe (Paperback, 544 pages, published by Orbit)
Sanda and Biran Greeve were siblings destined for greatness. A high-flying sergeant, Sanda has the skills to take down any enemy combatant. Biran is a savvy politician who aims to use his new political position to prevent conflict from escalating to total destruction. However, on a routine maneuver, Sanda loses consciousness when her gunship is blown out of the sky. Instead of finding herself in friendly hands, she awakens 230 years later on a deserted enemy warship controlled by an AI who calls himself Bero. The war is lost. The star system is dead. Ada Prime and its rival Icarion have wiped each other from the universe. Now, separated by time and space, Sanda and Biran must fight to put things right.


June 18th:

Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone (Paperback, 480 pages, published by Tor Books)
A feminist Guardians of the Galaxy—a smart, swashbuckling, wildly imaginative adventure of a rag-tag team of brilliant misfits, dangerous renegades, and enhanced outlaws in a war-torn future. A wildly successful innovator to rival Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, Vivian Liao is prone to radical thinking, quick decision-making, and reckless action. On the eve of her greatest achievement, she's trying to outrun those who are trying to steal her success. In the chilly darkness of a Boston server farm, Viv sets her ultimate plan into motion. A terrifying instant later, Vivian Liao is catapulted through space and time to a far future where she confronts a destiny stranger and more deadly than she could ever imagine. The end of time is ruled by an ancient, powerful Empress who blesses or blasts entire planets with a single thought. Rebellion is literally impossible to consider--until Vivian arrives. Trapped between the Pride, a ravening horde of sentient machines, and a fanatical sect of warrior monks who call themselves the Mirrorfaith, Viv must rally a strange group of allies to confront the Empress and find a way back to the world and life she left behind.


FKA USA by Reed King (Hardcover, 480 pages, published by Flatiron Books)
In Reed King’s wildly imaginative and possibly prescient debut, the United States has dissolved in the wake of environmental disasters and the catastrophic policies of its final president. It is 2085, and Truckee Wallace, a factory worker in Crunchtown 407 (formerly Little Rock, Arkansas, before the secessions), has no grand ambitions besides maybe, possibly, losing his virginity someday. But when Truckee is thrust unexpectedly into the spotlight he is tapped by the President for a sensitive political mission: to deliver a talking goat across the continent. The fate of the world depends upon it. The problem is—Truckee’s not sure it’s worth it. Joined on the road by an android who wants to be human and a former convict lobotomized in Texas, Truckee will navigate an environmentally depleted and lawless continent with devastating—and hilarious—parallels to our own, dodging body pickers and Elvis-worshippers and logo girls, body subbers, and VR addicts. Elvis-willing, he may even lose his virginity. FKA USA is the epic novel we’ve all been waiting for about the American end of times, with its unavoidable sense of being on the wrong end of the roller coaster ride. It is a masterwork of ambition, humor, and satire with the power to make us cry, despair, and laugh out loud all at once. It is a tour de force unlike anything else you will read this year.


Stealing Worlds by Karl Schroeder (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Tor Books)
Sura Neelin is on the run from her creditors, from her past, and her father's murderers. She can't get a job, she can't get a place to live, she can't even walk down the street: the total surveillance society that is mid-21st century America means that every camera and every pair of smart glasses is her enemy. But Sura might have a chance in the alternate reality of the games. People can disappear in the LARP game worlds, into the alternate economy of Notchcoin and blockchains. The people who build the games also program the surveillance networks--she just needs an introduction, and the skills to play. Turns out, she has very valuable skills, and some very surprising friends.


The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t with Her Mind by Jackson Ford (Paperback, 496 pages, published by Orbit)
For Teagan Frost, sh* just got real. Teagan Frost is having a hard time keeping it together. Sure, she's got telekinetic powers -- a skill that the government is all too happy to make use of, sending her on secret break-in missions that no ordinary human could carry out. But all she really wants to do is kick back, have a beer, and pretend she's normal for once. But then a body turns up at the site of her last job -- murdered in a way that only someone like Teagan could have pulled off. She's got 24 hours to clear her name - and it's not just her life at stake. If she can't unravel the conspiracy in time, her hometown of Los Angeles will be in the crosshairs of an underground battle that's on the brink of exploding... Full of imagination, wit, and random sh*t flying through the air, this insane adventure from an irreverent new voice will blow your tiny mind.


The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull (Hardcover, 275 pages, published by Blackstone Publishing)
An alien ship rests over Water Island. For five years the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands have lived with the Ynaa, a race of super-advanced aliens on a research mission they will not fully disclose. They are benevolent in many ways but meet any act of aggression with disproportional wrath. This has led to a strained relationship between the Ynaa and the local Virgin Islanders and a peace that cannot last. A year after the death of a young boy at the hands of an Ynaa, three families find themselves at the center of the inevitable conflict, witness and victim to events that will touch everyone and teach a terrible lesson.



The Record Keeper by Agnes Gomillion (Paperback, 464 pages, published by Titan Books)
After World War III, Earth is in ruins, and the final armies have come to a reluctant truce. Everyone must obey the law--in every way--or risk shattering the fragile peace and endangering the entire human race. Although Arika Cobane is a member of the race whose backbreaking labor provides food for the remnants of humanity, she is destined to become a member of the Kongo elite. After ten gruelling years of training, she is on the threshold of taking her place of privilege far from the fields. But everything changes when a new student arrives. Hosea Khan spews dangerous words of treason: What does peace matter if innocent lives are lost to maintain it? As Arika is exposed to new beliefs, she realizes that the laws she has dedicated herself to uphold are the root of her people's misery. If Arika is to liberate her people, she must unearth her fierce heart and discover the true meaning of freedom: finding the courage to live--or die--without fear.


June 25th:

DEV1AT3 (LIFEL1K3 #2) by Jay Kristoff (Hardcover, 448 pages, published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Lemon Fresh has seen better days. After the climactic battle in Babel, she finds herself separated from Ezekiel and Cricket in the wastelands. Lemon’s abilities to manipulate electricity mark her as a deviate, and deadly corporate operatives are hunting her to use as a weapon in the war between BioMaas Incorporated and Daedelus Technologies. Instead, Lemon finds herself falling in with a group of fellow deviates—a band of teenagers with astonishing abilities, led by an enigmatic figure known as the Major, who may hold the secrets to Lemon’s past. Meanwhile, Cricket finds himself in possession of the puritanical Brotherhood, a religious cult set for a head-on collision with the Major and his band. Searching for Lemon, Ezekiel finds a strange ally in an old enemy, and uncovers a plot that may see him reunited with his beloved Ana. And inside Babel, a remade Eve hatches a plan to bring an end to the world.



Hexarchate Stories (The Machineries of Empire) by Yoon Ha Lee (Paperback, 400 pages, published by Solaris)
The essential short story collection set in the universe of Ninefox Gambit. An ex-Kel art thief has to save the world from a galaxy-shattering prototype weapon... A general outnumbered eight-to-one must outsmart his opponent... A renegade returns from seclusion to bury an old comrade... From the incredible imagination of Hugo- and Arthur C. Clarke-nominated author Yoon Ha Lee comes a collection of stories set in the world of the best-selling Ninefox Gambit. Showcasing Lee’s extraordinary imagination, this collection takes you to the very beginnings of the hexarchate’s history and reveals new never-before-seen stories.


• • • •

- Fantasy -

June 4th:

Air Logic (Elemental Logic #4) by Laurie J. Marks (Paperback, 400 pages, published by Small Beer Press)
Laurie J. Marks returns at last to Shaftal in Air Logic, the long-awaited conclusion to her acclaimed series. Karis and those who love her must figure out, in the aftermath of war and an assassination attempt, how to bring together Sainnites and Shaftalese in a country where old wounds and enmities fester and Air magic conceals the treason hidden in the heart of the G’deon’s household. When Medric is taken hostage to force Karis’s hand, a strange boy will guide Zanja to the place where she may yet save him, a mother must remember the son she has been made to forget, and Air children will find what their place in the world may yet be.


Fear the Stars (Chaos Queen #4) by Christopher Husberg (Paperback, 400 pages, published by Titan Books)
IN THE PITILESS VOID, EVEN THE STARS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM. Many forces converge on the great city of Triah, bent on its destruction. By sea, Empress Cova of Roden sails with her armada, determined to bring the rival nation under her yoke. From land, Winter, the Chaos Queen, brings her tiellan army, set on revenge. And their advance brings a yet more terrible army still: awoken by the Chaos Queen’s powers, daemons mass on the border between worlds, waiting for a way in. Caught between the encroaching foes, a small group holds the key to saving the Sfaera from destruction: Knot, the former assassin; Cinzia, the exiled priestess; and Astrid, the vampire-child. But the only way to do so is to step into the Void beyond worlds—from which no one can return unchanged.



Fray (The Unraveled Kingdom #2) by Rowenna Miller (Paperback, 496 pages, published by Orbit)
In this epic sequel to Torn, the magical seamstress Sophie Balstrade navigates a royal court and foreign alliances fraught with danger -- and may well have to risk everything for love and for country. Open revolt has been thwarted -- for now -- but unrest still simmers in the kingdom of Galitha. Sophie, despite having built a thriving business on her skill at both dressmaking and magic, has not escaped unscathed from her misadventures in the workers' rebellion. Her dangerous foray into curse casting has rendered her powers unpredictable, and her increasingly visible romantic entanglement with the Crown Prince makes her a convenient target for threatened nobles and malcontented commoners alike. With domestic political reform and international alliances -- and her own life -- at stake, Sophie must discern friend from foe... before her magic grows too dark for her to wield.


Ghosts of the Shadow Market (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #1-10) by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan, Robin Wasserman and Kelly Link (Paperback, 624 pages, published by Walker Books)
The Shadow Market is a meeting point for faeries, werewolves, warlocks and vampires. There the Downworlders buy and sell magical objects, make dark bargains, and whisper secrets they do not want the Nephilim to know. Through two centuries, however, there has been a frequent visitor to the Shadow Market from the City of Bones, the very heart of the Shadowhunters. As a Silent Brother, Brother Zachariah is sworn keeper of the laws and lore of the Nephilim. But once he was a Shadowhunter called Jem Carstairs, and his love, then and always, is the warlock Tessa Gray. Follow Brother Zachariah and see, against the backdrop of the Shadow Market’s dark dealings and festive celebrations, Anna Lightwood’s first romance, Matthew Fairchild’s great sin and Tessa Gray plunged into a world war. Valentine Morgenstern buys a soul at the Market and a young Jace Wayland’s soul finds safe harbor. In the Market is hidden a lost heir and a beloved ghost, and no one can save you once you have traded away your heart. Not even Brother Zachariah...



Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Tor Books)
Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life—she has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It's a great life and she doesn't wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha. But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach.


Spine of the Dragon (Wake the Dragon #1) by Kevin J. Anderson (Hardcover, 528 pages, published by Tor Books)
Bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson's triumphant return to epic fantasy, Spine of the Dragon, is a politically charged adventure of swords, sorcery, venegeance, and the rise of sleeping giants. Two continents at war, the Three Kingdoms and Ishara, are divided by past bloodshed. When an outside threat arises—the reawakening of a powerful ancient race that wants to remake the world—the two warring nations must somehow set aside generational hatreds and form an alliance to fight their true enemy.


The Beholder (The Beholder #1) by Anna Bright (Hardcover, 448 pages, published by HarperTeen)
Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come. But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all. From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks… and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.


The Fire Opal Mechanism (Gemworld #2) by Fran Wilde (Paperback, 208 pages, published by Tor.com)
Jewels and their lapidaries and have all but passed into myth. Jorit, broke and branded a thief, just wants to escape the Far Reaches for something better. Ania, a rumpled librarian, is trying to protect her books from the Pressmen, who value knowledge but none of the humanity that generates it. When they stumble upon a mysterious clock powered by an ancient jewel, they may discover secrets in the past that will change the future forever.


The Hanging Artist by Jon Steinhagen (Paperback, 354 pages, published by Abaddon Books)
Surrealist modern fantasy in which Franz Kafka, miraculously saved from the tuberculosis that killed him, investigates the supernatural with the aid of a giant cockroach. “Trust me,” the insect repeated. Franz did not. What if Franz Kafka did not succumb to tuberculosis at the age of 40? What if he awoke the day after his supposed death to find himself attended by the giant insect he once imagined in his own story The Metamorphosis? And what if he were recruited to investigate the bizarre circumstances surrounding a rash of mysterious hangings plaguing 1924 Vienna? Hangings that are possibly connected to an equally mysterious performer who commits suicide every night at the music hall (but cannot be connected to any crimes)? The Hanging Artist leads the newly rehabilitated Franz Kafka on an absurdist round of discoveries, the solution of which is more fantastical than anything he imagined.


The Ragged Blade by Christopher Ruz (Paperback, 352 pages, published by Parvus Press LLC)
After decades of loyal military service, Richard has discovered that the Magician he serves is more monster than man--and young women have been disappearing into the Magician's dungeons. To keep his own daughter safe, Richard flees into the desert wastes where magic boils beneath the sand and demons walk the dunes in the shape of men. He has stolen one of the Magician's greatest prizes; the calcified heart of a demon, which he hopes to trade in exchange for sanctuary. What he doesn't know is that his daughter, Ana, is the key to all the Magician's plans and he'll lay waste to the world to get her back...



The Soul of Power (The Waking Land #3) by Callie Bates (Hardcover, 480 pages, published by Del Rey Books)
Sophy Dunbarron--the illegitimate daughter of a king who never was--has always felt like an impostor. Separated from her birth mother, raised by parents mourning the loss of their true daughter, and unacknowledged by her father, Sophy desires only a place and a family to call her own. But fate has other ideas. Caught up in Elanna Valtai's revolution, Sophy has become the reigning monarch of a once-divided country--a role she has been groomed her whole life to fill. But as she quickly discovers, wearing a crown is quite a different thing from keeping a crown. With an influx of magic-bearing refugees pouring across the border, resources already thinned by war are stretched to the breaking point. Half the nobility in her court want her deposed, and the other half question her every decision. And every third person seems to be spontaneously manifesting magical powers. When Elanna is captured and taken to Paladis, Sophy's last ally seems to have vanished. Now it is up to her alone to navigate a political maze that becomes more complex and thorny by the day. And worse, Sophy is hiding a huge secret--one that could destroy her tenuous hold on the crown forever.



Unraveling by Karen Lord (Hardcover, 304 pages, published by Daw Books)
Dr. Miranda Ecouvo, forensic therapist of the City, just helped put a serial killer behind bars. But she soon discovers that her investigation into seven unusual murders is not yet complete. A near-death experience throws her out of time and into a realm of labyrinths and spirits. There, she encounters brothers Chance and the Trickster, who have an otherworldly interest in the seemingly mundane crimes from her files. It appears the true mastermind behind the murders is still on the loose, chasing a myth to achieve immortality. Together, Miranda, Chance, and the Trickster must travel through conjured mazes, following threads of memory to locate the shadowy killer. As they journey deeper, they discover even more questions that will take pain and patience to answer. What is the price of power? Where is the path to redemption? And how can they stop the man--or monster--who would kill the innocent to live forever?


June 11th:

A Sword Named Truth (Rise of the Alliance #1) by Sherwood Smith (Hardcover, 576 pages, published by DAW)
Untested young rulers must cooperate to protect their world from the magical threat of the mysterious kingdom of Norsunder in a new epic fantasy trilogy set in the same world as the popular Inda series. The first installment of a trilogy, A Sword Named Truth launches readers into a story of non-stop action, politics, and magical threats leading to Norsunder's return. Our heroes span continents and cultures, ambitions and desires, but share one characteristic: they are young leaders. Many are rulers of unstable nations, growing into their power and their identities, but they seek ways to trust and bind themselves together--and find the strength to defend against a host that has crushed entire worlds: Norsunder. With incredible powers only hinted at and enigmatic characters who appear in strange circumstances, the magical empire of Norsunder has loomed as the ultimate villain in Sartorias-deles, portending a battle to come, with the very highest of stakes. Set in the complex world of Sartorias-deles, Sherwood Smith returns readers to the enthralling saga begun with the military action of the Inda series and continuing in the magic-based cultural drama of Banner of the Damned, bringing together deadly high politics, engaging worldbuilding, and nuanced examinations of power, love, and betrayal.



God of Broken Things (Age of Tyranny #2) by Cameron Johnston (Paperback, 432 pages, published by Angry Robot)
An outcast magician must risk his body and mind to save the world from horrifying demons, in the heart-pounding epic fantasy sequel to The Traitor God. Tyrant magus Edrin Walker destroyed the monster sent by the Skallgrim, but not before it laid waste to Setharis, and infested their magical elite with mind-controlling parasites. Edrin's own Gift to seize the minds of others was cracked by the strain of battle, and he barely survives the interrogation of a captured magus. There's no time for recovery though: a Skallgrim army is marching on the mountain passes of the Clanhold. Edrin and a coterie of villains race to stop them, but the mountains are filled with gods, daemons, magic, and his hideous past. Walker must stop at nothing to win, even if that means losing his mind. Or worse...


The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey (Hardcover, 432 pages, published by Harper Voyager)
The Grand Dark is a dark, stand-alone fantasy that immerses us in a world where the extremes of bleakness and beauty exist together in dangerous harmony in a city on the edge of civility and chaos. The Great War is over. The city of Lower Proszawa celebrates the peace with a decadence and carefree spirit as intense as the war’s horrifying despair. But this newfound hedonism—drugs and sex and endless parties—distracts from strange realities of everyday life: Intelligent automata taking jobs. Genetically engineered creatures that serve as pets and beasts of war. A theater where gruesome murders happen twice a day. And a new plague that even the ceaseless euphoria can’t mask. Unlike others who live strictly for fun, Largo is an addict with ambitions. A bike messenger who grew up in the slums, he knows the city’s streets and its secrets intimately. His life seems set. He has a beautiful girlfriend, drugs, a chance at a promotion—and maybe, an opportunity for complete transformation: a contact among the elite who will set him on the course to lift himself up out of the streets. But dreams can be a dangerous thing in a city whose mood is turning dark and inward. Others have a vision of life very different from Largo’s, and they will use any methods to secure control. And in behind it all, beyond the frivolity and chaos, the threat of new war always looms.



The History of Soul 2065 by Barbara Krasnoff (Paperback, 220 pages, published by Mythic Delirium Books)
Months before World War I breaks out, two young Jewish girls just on the edge of adolescence—one from a bustling Russian city, the other from a German estate—meet in an eerie, magical forest glade. They are immediately drawn to one another and swear an oath to meet again. Though war and an ocean will separate the two for the rest of their lives, the promise that they made to each other continues through the intertwined lives of their descendants. This epic tale of the supernatural follows their families from the turn of the 20th Century through the terrors of the Holocaust and ultimately to the wonders of a future they never could have imagined. THE HISTORY OF SOUL 2065 encompasses accounts of sorcery, ghosts, time travel, virtual reality, alien contact, and elemental confrontations between good and evil. Understated and epic, cathartic and bittersweet, the twenty connected stories in Nebula Award finalist Barbara Krasnoff’s debut form a mosaic narrative even greater than its finely crafted parts.


The Last Supper Before Ragnarok (Gods and Monsters: Rupert Wong #3) by Cassandra Khaw (Paperback, 352 pages, published by Abaddon)
THE APOCALYPSE IS OLD NEWS. Tanis Barlas, snake-woman assassin. Cason Cole, the killer of gods. Louie Fitzsimmons, the last known Prophet. And Rupert Wong, a chef who just wants to eat his instant noodles and stay home. The Greek Pantheon has been obliterated, and gods and monsters across the globe are looking to fill the vacuum. But Rupert, Case, Fitz, and Tanis have bigger problems to deal with. It’s time to answer the biggest question of all: Where did the father gods go?


June 18th:

Hangman’s Gate (War of the Archons #2) by R.S. Ford (Paperback, 400 pages, published by Titan Books)
The highly anticipated sequel to A DEMON IN SILVER , HANGMAN'S GATE continues the epic saga of the War of the Archons. After uniting the bandit clans, the Iron Tusk has swept into Shengen and taken control of the empire. With an army behind him, he marches along the Skull Road, ready to lay waste to the lands in the west. The mountain fortress of Dunrun and its rag-tag defenders are all that stand in his way. With their country besieged on all sides, troubling rumours of a priestess amassing power in the north, and unnatural alliances to the south, no help is coming. Alone, they must hold back the inhuman powers of the Iron Tusk, or see life as they know it come to an end. The old gods have returned...



Kingdoms of the Cursed: The High and Faraway, Book Two by Greg Keyes (Paperback, 360 pages, published by Night Shade)
Errol Greyson is awake and back in his own body, thanks to his friends Aster the witch and Veronica the half-dead girl. Unfortunately, due to the attempted suicide that led to his months-long coma and temporary reincarnation in Aster’s wooden automaton in the first place, he’s also in a mental hospital. But when the last person Errol expects breaks him out and forces him back to the magical Kingdoms, he has no other option but to attempt to undo a deadly curse threatening reality itself, in hopes of returning the realm to equilibrium. It’s dangerous business, especially in Errol’s merely-human form, weakened from months in bed. Fearing for their friend’s life, Aster and Veronica follow, but are quickly separated. Aster is captured by an ancient evil—the source of the curse—while Veronica confronts a mysterious admirer, her own evolving nature, and the dark spirit that murdered her years earlier. As vast armies collide and dragons take wing, the friends must find each other—and themselves—again.



Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh (Paperback, 112 pages, published by Tor.com)
There is a Wild Man who lives in the deep quiet of Greenhollow, and he listens to the wood. Tobias, tethered to the forest, does not dwell on his past life, but he lives a perfectly unremarkable existence with his cottage, his cat, and his dryads. When Greenhollow Hall acquires a handsome, intensely curious new owner in Henry Silver, everything changes. Old secrets better left buried are dug up, and Tobias is forced to reckon with his troubled past—both the green magic of the woods, and the dark things that rest in its heart.


The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall (Paperback, 352 pages, published by Ace Books)
Upon returning to the city of Khelathra-Ven after five years fighting a war in another universe, Captain John Wyndham finds himself looking for somewhere to live, and expediency forces him to take lodgings at 221b Martyrs Walk. His new housemate is Ms. Shaharazad Haas, a consulting sorceress of mercurial temperament and dark reputation. When Ms. Haas is enlisted to solve a case of blackmail against one of her former lovers, Miss Eirene Viola, Captain Wyndham is drawn into a mystery that leads him from the salons of the literary set to the drowned back-alleys of Ven and even to a prison cell in lost Carcosa. Along the way he is beset by criminals, menaced by pirates, molested by vampires, almost devoured by mad gods, and called upon to punch a shark. But the further the companions go in pursuit of the elusive blackmailer, the more impossible the case appears. Then again, in Khelathra-Ven reality is flexible, and the impossible is Ms. Haas' stock-in-trade.



The Final Days of Magic (Witches of New Orleans #3) by J.D. Horn (Paperback, 364 pages, published by 47North)
The war between witches reaches its terrifying climax in the final book in Wall Street Journal bestselling author J.D. Horn’s spellbinding trilogy. Once caged in an illusory realm by blood relatives, Alice Marin has been freed into a world where the last remnants of magic are quickly passing away. Dissolving with them is the unity among witches… and their sanity. Grappling with the revelations of her true parentage—and her burgeoning relationship with Nathalie Boudreau, a psychic with her own demons—Alice and her allies, both living and dead, must draw on every skill they possess. It’s the only way to defeat the destructive forces borne of the horrifying history of Alice’s own family. That means unlocking the final secrets of The Book of Unwinding. Now, on the longest night of the year, the streets of New Orleans will become a battleground as Alice and the few she can trust engage in a war amid the final days of magic. But the revelations that lie ahead may be too dark to escape.



War (The House War #8) by Michelle West (Hardcover, 560 pages, published by Daw Books)
The eighth and final book in the epic fantasy House War series closes this chapter in a beloved world of magic and political intrigue, where new threats are stirring. When the Sleepers wake. Once, that phrase meant: never. The Sleepers were a myth, part of a story told to children. But in truth, the Sleepers, ancient princes in the court of the Winter Queen, were imprisoned in slumber by the gods themselves--in the cold, dark ruins of the ancient city that lies buried beneath the capitol of the Empire. And that prison is fraying, at last. They are waking. The gods no longer walk the world. There is no power that can stand against the princes when they wake--and the city that has been Jewel's home for her entire life will be destroyed when the Sleepers walk. There is only one person to whom they owe allegiance, only one chance to halt them before they destroy everything in their ancient rage. But that person is the Winter Queen; she is not, and has never been mortal. Jewel carries the last of the surviving saplings that might usher in a new Summer age--but all of the roads that lead to the court of the Queen are closed. Jewel ATerafin has faced the Oracle's test. She has control of the prophetic powers that she once considered a curse and a burden. She will find her way to the Winter Queen, and she will ask--or beg--the Winter Queen to intervene to save her kind, her House, and everything she loves. But she is mortal, and time has never been her friend. The demons are waiting to bar her way, bringing battle to the hidden ancient paths on which she must travel. To win, she must face the true meaning of the Oracle's test, and risk sanity and life to make the choice that has always lurked at the heart of the firstborn's test. And even then, it might be too late.


June 19th:

The Tsar’s Last Dragons by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple (Paperback, 192 pages, published by Tachyon Publications)
It is the waning days of the Russian monarchy. A reckless man rules the land and his dragons rule the sky. Although the Tsar continues to send his reign of fire to scorch his enemies—Jews and Bolsheviks—instead he lays waste to his entire country. Even dragons are cannot quell the conspiracies arising around the Tsar, from the ranks of the oppressed, political operatives, and one nameless functionary watching power slip away. Even the Tsar’s foreign-born wife believes that his tactics are tantamount to evil. But revolution is in the air—and the Red Army is hatching its own weapons.


June 25th:

The Iron Dragon's Mother (The Iron Dragon's Daughter #3) by Michael Swanwick (Hardcover, 368 pages, published by Tor Books)
Caitlin of House Sans Merci is the young half-human pilot of a sentient mechanical dragon. Returning from her first soul-stealing raid, she discovers an unwanted hitchhiker. When Caitlin is framed for the murder of her brother, to save herself she must disappear into Industrialized Faerie, looking for the one person who can clear her. Unfortunately, the stakes are higher than she knows. Her deeds will change her world forever.


• • • •

- Historical Fiction -

June 4th:

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (Paperback, 688 pages, published by Random House Large Print Publishing)
Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love. In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves - and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest. Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life - and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. "At some point in a woman's life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time," she muses. "After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is." Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.



In West Mills by De'Shawn Charles Winslow (Hardcover, 272 pages, published by Bloomsbury Publishing)
Azalea “Knot” Centre is determined to live life as she pleases. Let the people of West Mills say what they will; the neighbors’ gossip won’t keep Knot from what she loves best: cheap moonshine, nineteenth-century literature, and the company of men. And yet, Knot is starting to learn that her freedom comes at a high price. Alone in her one-room shack, ostracized from her relatives and cut off from her hometown, Knot turns to her neighbor, Otis Lee Loving, in search of some semblance of family and home. Otis Lee is eager to help. A lifelong fixer, Otis Lee is determined to steer his friends and family away from decisions that will cause them heartache and ridicule. After his failed attempt as a teenager to help his older sister, Otis Lee discovers a possible path to redemption in the chaos Knot brings to his doorstep. But while he’s busy trying to fix Knot’s life, Otis Lee finds himself powerless to repair the many troubles within his own family, as the long-buried secrets of his troubled past begin to come to light. Set in an African American community in rural North Carolina from 1941 to 1987, In West Mills is a magnificent, big-hearted small-town story about family, friendship, storytelling, and the redemptive power of love.


Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian (Hardcover, 432 pages, published by Balzer + Bray)
It's 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing. Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He's terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he's gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media's images of men dying of AIDS. Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance... until she falls for Reza and they start dating. Art is Judy's best friend, their school's only out and proud teen. He'll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs. As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won't break Judy's heart--and destroy the most meaningful friendship he's ever known.


June 11th:

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner (Hardcover, 480 pages, published by Atria Books)
From Jennifer Weiner, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Who Do You Love and In Her Shoes, comes a smart, thoughtful, and timely exploration of two sisters’ lives from the 1950s to the present as they struggle to find their places—and be true to themselves—in a rapidly evolving world. Mrs. Everything is an ambitious, richly textured journey through history—and herstory—as these two sisters navigate a changing America over the course of their lives. Do we change or does the world change us? Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise. Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life. But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after? In her most ambitious novel yet, Jennifer Weiner tells a story of two sisters who, with their different dreams and different paths, offer answers to the question: How should a woman be in the world?


The Summer Country by Lauren Willig (Hardcover, 480 pages, published by William Morrow)
The New York Times bestselling historical novelist delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet—a sweeping, dramatic Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados. 1854. From Bristol to Barbados... Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous merchant clan—merely a vicar’s daughter, and a reform-minded vicar’s daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family’s lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day. But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheiritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados—a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned. When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts. Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins? Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills—so eager that they invite Emily and her cousins to stay with them indefinitely? Emily finds herself bewitched by the beauty of the island even as she’s drawn into the personalities and politics of forty years before: a tangled history of clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom. When family secrets begin to unravel and the harsh truth of history becomes more and more plain, Emily must challenge everything she thought she knew about her family, their legacy... and herself.


Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald (Hardcover, 416 pages, published by Random House)
On a clear December morning in 1937, at the famous gold clock in Grand Central Terminal, Joe Reynolds, a hardworking railroad man from Queens, meets a vibrant young woman who seems mysteriously out of place. Nora Lansing is a Manhattan socialite whose flapper clothing, pearl earrings, and talk of the Roaring Twenties don’t seem to match the bleak mood of Depression-era New York. Captivated by Nora from her first electric touch, Joe despairs when he tries to walk her home and she disappears. Finding her again—and again—will become the focus of his love and his life. Nora, an aspiring artist and fiercely independent, is shocked to find she’s somehow been trapped, her presence in the terminal governed by rules she cannot fathom. It isn’t until she meets Joe that she begins to understand the effect that time is having on her, and the possible connections to the workings of Grand Central and the solar phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge, when the sun rises or sets between the city’s skyscrapers, aligned perfectly with the streets below. As thousands of visitors pass under the famous celestial blue ceiling each day, Joe and Nora create a life unlike any they could have imagined. With infinite love in a finite space, they take full advantage of the “Terminal City” within a city, dining at the Oyster Bar, visiting the Whispering Gallery, and making a home at the Biltmore Hotel. But when the construction of another landmark threatens their future, Nora and Joe are forced to test the limits of freedom and love. Delving into Grand Central Terminal’s rich past, Lisa Grunwald crafts a masterful historical novel about a love affair that defies age, class, place, and even time.


June 18th:

Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand (Hardcover, 432 pages, published by Little, Brown and Company)
Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century! It's 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother's historic home in downtown Nantucket: but this year Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, a nursing student, is caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests, a passion which takes her to Martha's Vineyard with her best friend, Mary Jo Kopechne. Only son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother who is hiding some secrets of her own. As the summer heats up, Teddy Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, a man flies to the moon, and Jessie experiences some sinking and flying herself, as she grows into her own body and mind. In her first "historical novel," rich with the details of an era that shaped both a country and an island thirty miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again proves her title as queen of the summer novel.



The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Gallery Books)
Roya is a dreamy, idealistic teenager living in 1953 Tehran who, amidst the political upheaval of the time, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood book and stationery shop. She always feels safe in his dusty store, overflowing with fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and thick pads of soft writing paper. When Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry—she loses her heart at once. And, as their romance blossoms, the modest little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran. A few short months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square, but suddenly, violence erupts—a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. For weeks, Roya tries desperately to contact him, but her efforts are fruitless. With a sorrowful heart, she resigns herself to never seeing him again. Until, more than sixty years later, an accident of fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did he leave? Where did he go? How was he able to forget her? The Stationery Shop is a beautiful and timely exploration of devastating loss, unbreakable family bonds, and the overwhelming power of love.


The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung (Hardcover, 304 pages, published by Ecco)
"The first thing I remember being said of me with any consistency was that I was intelligent—and I recognized even then that it was a comment leveled at me with as much disapproval as admiration. Still, I never tried to hide or suppress my mind as some girls do, and thank God, because that would have been the beginning of the end." From childhood, Katherine knows she is different, and that her parents are not who they seem to be. But in becoming a mathematician, she must face the most human of problems—who is she? What is the cost of love, and what is the cost of ambition? On her quest to conquer the Riemann Hypothesis, the greatest unsolved mathematical problem of her time, she turns to a theorem with a mysterious history that holds both the lock and key to her identity, and to secrets long buried during World War II in Germany. Forced to confront some of the most consequential events of the twentieth century and rethink everything she knows of herself, she strives to take her place in the world of higher mathematics and finds kinship in the stories of the women who came before her—their love of the language of numbers connecting them across generations. In The Tenth Muse, Catherine Chung offers a gorgeous, sweeping tale about legacy, identity, and the beautiful ways the mind can make us free.



The Travelers by Regina Porter (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Hogarth Press)
A gripping new novel with a distinctly American edge, THE TRAVELERS highlights the lives of two families--meet James Samuel Vincent--an affluent New York attorney who shirks his modest Irish American upbringing but hews to his father's wily nilly ways; and Agnes Miller Christie--a beautiful African American woman who encounters tragedy on a Georgia road that propels her to a new life in the Bronx; Eddie Christie, a recently married sailor on an air craft carrier in Vietnam and the Tom Stoppard play that becomes his life anchor; an interracial couple, both academic scholars, who travel to far of Brittany to save their aching marriage; Eloise Delaney, the unapologetic lesbian starting life over again in 1970s' Berlin; a black moving man stranded during a Thanksgiving storm in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and two half-brothers who meet for the first time as adult men in a crayon factory. Spanning the 1950s to Obama's first year as President, THE TRAVELERS is both an intimate family portrait and a sweeping exploration of what it means to be American today. With its piercing humor, dialogue and sense of place, THE TRAVELERS introduces readers to a cast of characters destined to make a lasting impression.


June 25th:

The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs by Katherine Howe (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Henry Holt & Company)
Connie Goodwin is an expert on America’s fractured past with witchcraft. A young, tenure-track professor in Boston, she’s earned career success by studying the history of magic in colonial America—especially women’s home recipes and medicines—and by exposing society's threats against women fluent in those skills. But beyond her studies, Connie harbors a secret: She is the direct descendant of a woman tried as a witch in Salem, an ancestor whose abilities were far more magical than the historical record shows. When a hint from her mother and clues from her research lead Connie to the shocking realization that her partner’s life is in danger, she must race to solve the mystery behind a hundreds’-years-long deadly curse. Flashing back through American history to the lives of certain supernaturally gifted women, The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs affectingly reveals not only the special bond that unites one particular matriarchal line, but also explores the many challenges to women’s survival across the decades—and the risks some women are forced to take to protect what they love most.



The Long Flight Home by Alan Hlad (Hardcover, 304 pages, published by Kensington Publishing Corp.)
Inspired by fascinating, true, yet little-known events during World War II, The Long Flight Home is a testament to the power of courage in our darkest hours—a moving, masterfully written story of love and sacrifice. It is September 1940—a year into the war—and as German bombs fall on Britain, fears grow of an impending invasion. Enemy fighter planes blacken the sky around the Epping Forest home of Susan Shepherd and her grandfather, Bertie. After losing her parents to influenza as a child, Susan found comfort in raising homing pigeons with Bertie. All her birds are extraordinary to Susan—loyal, intelligent, beautiful—but none more so than Duchess. Hatched from an egg that Susan incubated in a bowl under her grandfather’s desk lamp, Duchess shares a special bond with Susan and an unusual curiosity about the human world. Thousands of miles away in Buxton, Maine, a young crop-duster pilot named Ollie Evans has decided to travel to Britain to join the Royal Air Force. His quest brings him to Epping and to the National Pigeon Service, where Susan is involved in a new, covert assignment. Codenamed Source Columba, the mission aims to air-drop hundreds of homing pigeons in German-occupied France. Many will not survive. Those that do make the journey home to England can convey crucial information on German troop movements—and help reclaim the skies from the Luftwaffe. The friendship between Ollie and Susan deepens as the mission date draws near. When Ollie’s plane is downed behind enemy lines, both know how remote the chances of reunion must be. Yet Duchess’s devotion and her singular sense of duty will become an unexpected lifeline, relaying messages between Susan and Ollie as war rages on—and proving, at last, that hope is never truly lost.


• • • •

- Literary Fiction -

June 4th:

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Paperback, 368 pages, published by Random House Large Print Publishing)
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family's history that began before he was born--a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam--and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one's own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard. With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.


Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by William Morrow)
A poignant and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties binding three women—two sisters and their mother—in one Chinese immigrant family and explores what happens when the eldest daughter disappears, and a series of family secrets emerge, from the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Translation. It begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes. Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love. But what happened to Sylvie? Amy and her parents are distraught and desperate for answers. Sylvie has always looked out for them. Now, it’s Amy’s turn to help. Terrified yet determined, Amy retraces her sister’s movements, flying to the last place Sylvie was seen. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something much more valuable: the truth. Sylvie, the golden girl, kept painful secrets... secrets that will reveal more about Amy’s complicated family—and herself—than she ever could have imagined. A deeply moving story of family, secrets, identity, and longing, Searching for Sylvie Lee is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive portrait of an immigrant family. It is a profound exploration of the many ways culture and language can divide us and the impossibility of ever truly knowing someone—especially those we love.


The Friends We Keep by Jane Green (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by Berkley Books)
Evvie, Maggie, and Topher have known one another since college. Their friendship was something they swore would last forever. Now years have passed, the friends have drifted apart, and they never found the lives they wanted--the lives they dreamed of when they were young and everything seemed possible. Evvie starved herself to become a supermodel but derailed her career by sleeping with a married man. Maggie married Ben, the boy she fell in love with in college, never imagining the heartbreak his drinking would cause. Topher became a successful actor, but the shame of a childhood secret shut him off from real intimacy. By their thirtieth reunion, these old friends have lost touch with one another and with the people they dreamed of becoming. Together again, they have a second chance at happiness... until a dark secret is revealed that changes everything. The Friends We Keep is about how despite disappointments we've had or mistakes we've made, it's never too late to find a place to call home.



Wild and Crooked by Leah Thomas (Hardcover, 448 pages, published by Bloomsbury YA)
In Samsboro, Kentucky, Kalyn Spence's name is inseparable from the brutal murder her father committed when he was a teenager. Forced to return to town, Kalyn must attend school under a pseudonym... or face the lingering anger of Samsboro's citizens, who refuse to forget the crime. Gus Peake has never had the luxury of redefining himself. A Samsboro native, he's either known as the "disabled kid" because of his cerebral palsy, or as the kid whose dad was murdered. Gus just wants to be known as himself. When Gus meets Kalyn, her frankness is refreshing, and they form a deep friendship. Until their families' pasts emerge. And when the accepted version of the truth is questioned, Kalyn and Gus are caught in the center of a national uproar. Can they break free from a legacy of inherited lies and chart their own paths forward?


June 11th:

Bunny by Mona Awad (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Viking)
Samantha Heather Mackey couldn't be more of an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at New England's Warren University. A scholarship student who prefers the company of her dark imagination to that of most people, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort--a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other "Bunny," and are often found entangled in a group hug so tight they become one. But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation to the Bunnies' fabled "Smut Salon," and finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door--ditching her only friend, Ava, a caustic art school dropout, in the process. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into the sinister yet saccharine world of the Bunny cult and starts to take part in their ritualistic off-campus "Workshop" where they magically conjure their monstrous creations, the edges of reality begin to blur, and her friendships with Ava and the Bunnies are brought into deadly collision. A spellbinding, down-the-rabbit-hole tale of loneliness and belonging, creativity and agency, and friendship and desire, Bunny is the dazzlingly original second book from this author.



The History of Living Forever by Jake Wolff (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
A chemistry student falls for his teacher and uncovers a centuries-old quest for the Elixir of Life. Conrad Aybinder is a boy with a secret; sixteen and ready for anything. A chemistry genius, he has spent the summer on an independent-study project with his favorite teacher, Sammy Tampari. Sammy is also Conrad’s first love. But the first day of senior year, the students are informed that Mr. Tampari is dead. Rumors suggest an overdose. How can it be? Drugs are for unhappy people, Conrad is sure, not for people who have fallen in love. Soon, though, it is clear that Sammy had a life hidden even from Conrad, evidenced by the journals he left for Conrad to discover after his death. The journals detail twenty years of research aimed at creating recipes for something called the Elixir of Life. Sammy has left Conrad a mystery and a scientific puzzle, but also, it seems, the chance to cure his father’s terminal illness. Conrad must race against time and other interested parties to uncover the missing piece of the recipe. What will he do to discover the formula? Spanning centuries of scientific and alchemical inquiry, ranging from New York to Romania to Easter Island, featuring drug kingpins, Big Pharma flunkies, centenarians, and a group of ambitious coin collectors, Jake Wolff’s The History of Living Forever is equal parts thrilling adventure and meditation on mortality, thoughtful investigation of mental illness, and a reminder to be on the lookout for magic in science and life.


June 25th:

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo (Hardcover, 544 pages, published by Doubleday Books)
A dazzling, multigenerational novel in which the four adult daughters of a Chicago couple--still madly in love after forty years--recklessly ignite old rivalries until a long-buried secret threatens to shatter the lives they've built. When Marilyn Connolly and David Sorenson fall in love in the 1970s, they are blithely ignorant of all that's to come. By 2016, their four radically different daughters are each in a state of unrest: Wendy, widowed young, soothes herself with booze and younger men; Violet, a litigator-turned-stay-at-home-mom, battles anxiety and self-doubt when the darkest part of her past resurfaces; Liza, a neurotic and newly tenured professor, finds herself pregnant with a baby she's not sure she wants by a man she's not sure she loves; and Grace, the dawdling youngest daughter, begins living a lie that no one in her family even suspects. Above it all, the daughters share the lingering fear that they will never find a love quite like their parents'. As the novel moves through the tumultuous year following the arrival of Jonah Bendt--given up by one of the daughters in a closed adoption fifteen years before--we are shown the rich and varied tapestry of the Sorensons' past: years marred by adolescence, infidelity, and resentment, but also the transcendent moments of joy that make everything else worthwhile. Spanning nearly half a century, and set against the quintessential American backdrop of Chicago and its prospering suburbs, Lombardo's debut explores the triumphs and burdens of love, the fraught tethers of parenthood and sisterhood, and the baffling mixture of affection, abhorrence, resistance, and submission we feel for those closest to us. In painting this luminous portrait of a family's becoming, Lombardo joins the ranks of writers such as Celeste Ng, Elizabeth Strout, and Jonathan Franzen as visionary chroniclers of our modern lives.



The Virtue of Sin by Shannon Schuren (Hardcover, 432 pages, published by Philomel Books)
Miriam lives in New Jerusalem, a haven in the desert far away from the sins and depravity of the outside world. Within the gates of New Jerusalem, and under the eye of its founder and leader, Daniel, Miriam knows she is safe. Cared for. Even if she's forced, as a girl, to quiet her tongue when she has thoughts she wants to share, Miriam knows that New Jerusalem is a far better life than any alternative. So when God calls for a Matrimony, she's thrilled; she knows that Caleb, the boy she loves, will choose her to be his wife and they can finally start their life together. But when the ceremony goes wrong and Miriam winds up with someone else, she can no longer keep quiet. For the first time, Miriam begins to question not only the rules that Daniel has set in place, but also what it is she believes in, and where she truly belongs. Alongside unexpected allies, Miriam fights to learn--and challenge--the truth behind the only way of life she's ever known, even if it means straying from the path of Righteousness. A compelling debut novel about speaking out, standing up, and breaking free.


• • • •

- Young Adult -

June 4th:

Not Your Backup (Sidekick Squad #3) by C.B. Lee (Paperback, 320 pages, published by Duet Books, the YA imprint of Interlude Press)
Emma Robledo has a few more responsibilities that the usual high school senior, but then again, she and her friends have left school to lead a fractured Resistance movement against a corrupt Heroes League of Heroes. Emma is the only member of a supercharged team without powers, and she isn't always taken seriously. A natural leader, Emma is determined to win this battle, and when that's done, get back to school. As the Resistance moves to challenge the League, Emma realizes where her place is in this fight: at the front.



Shadow & Flame (Rime Chronicles #2) by Mindee Arnett (Hardcover, 496 pages, published by Balzer + Bray)
From acclaimed author Mindee Arnett comes the thrilling conclusion of the stunningly epic, action-packed, and romantic fantasy adventure about a powerful girl possessed of strange magic, the outcast prince she loves, and the kingdom that has torn them apart. Kate and Corwin are on the run, desperate for allies in a new world of war among the kingdoms of Rime. As the book opens, Kate suffers a massive loss, one that will shape the struggle for freedom of all wilders and magic folk—that is, if Kate can learn to control her own power.


Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson (Hardcover, 464 pages, published by Margaret K. McElderry Books)
All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power. Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them. As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.



The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen (Paperback, 400 pages, published by HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks)
Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when she was ten. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges. Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable… until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family—her grandmother and cousins she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl. When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is divided into two people as well. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her. Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake—and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as well. For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her will win out?


War of the Bastards (Royal Bastards #3) by Andrew Shvarts (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Disney-Hyperion)
A year has passed since the fall of Lightspire. The Inquisitor Miles Hampstedt has usurped the throne and rules Noveris with a blood-soaked iron fist. Tilla and her friends have become hardened rebels in the Unbroken, a band of guerilla fighters hiding out in the fringes of the Kingdom. Tilla is plagued with doubt and regret; Lyriana struggles with the burdens of being a fugitive Queen; Zell atones for his guilt by killing for the cause. And even as they all fight, they know their cause is doomed, that with very passing day Miles' power grows, his army of Bloodmages spreading to cover the continent. Then a raid on an outpost produces two unexpected prisoners: Lord Elric Kent himself, now a prisoner obsessed with revenge, and Syan See, a strange girl from the Red Wastes. Tilla struggles with the emotional weight of confronting her father, but it's Syan that offers the true revelation. She demonstrates a new incredible kind of magic, and speaks of a secret civilization hidden in isolation in the mysterious Wastes. With Miles' forces closing in, Tilla and her friends (alongside a hostage Lord Kent) set out to make contact with Syan's people, to make an pact that could turn the war. The journey will test their character, forge unlikely alliances, reveal the horrifying true nature of magic, and set in motion a battle that will determine the fate of Noveris itself.


June 11th:

Rise (Rule #2) by Ellen Goodlett (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers)
Sisters Akeylah, Ren, and Zofi are all a step closer to their dying father's throne, a step closer to the crown that will allow one of them to rule over Kolonya. But the sisters' pasts continue to haunt them. Each hides a secret marked with blood and betrayal, and now their blackmailer is holding nothing back. When King Andros discovers the sisters' traitorous pasts, the consequences will shake the entire kingdom to its core. As Kolonya's greatest threat stalks closer and closer, weaving a web of fear and deceit around Ren, Zofi, and Akeylah, even the people they love are under suspicion. If the sisters are going to survive, they'll have to learn to trust each other above all else and work together, not only to save themselves, but to protect everyone and everything they hold dear.


Storm and Fury (The Harbinger #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Hardcover, 512 pages, published by Inkyard Press)
Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers. When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…



Stronger than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by Page Street Kids)
When a powerful viceroy arrives with a fleet of mechanical dragons and stops an attack on Anlei’s village, the villagers see him as a godsend. They agree to give him their sacred, enchanted River Pearl in exchange for permanent protection—if he’ll marry one of the village girls to solidify the alliance. Anlei is appalled when the viceroy selects her as a bride, but with the fate of her people at stake, she sees no choice but to consent. Anlei’s noble plans are sent into a tailspin, however, when a young thief steals the River Pearl for himself. Knowing the viceroy won’t protect her village without the jewel, she takes matters into her own hands. But once she catches the thief, she discovers he needs the pearl just as much as she does. The two embark on an epic quest across the land and into the Courts of Hell, taking Anlei on a journey that reveals more is at stake than she could have ever imagined. With incredibly vivid world building and fast-paced storytelling, Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon is great for readers who are looking for something fresh in epic fantasy.


The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers)
Seventeen-year-old Marisol Morales and her little sister Gabi are detainees of the United States government. They were caught crossing the U.S. border, to escape the gang violence in their country after their brother was murdered. When Marisol learns that the old family friend who had offered them refuge in America has died and they are going to be sent home, they flee. They hitchhike, snagging a ride with an unassuming woman who agrees to drive them to New Jersey, but when Marisol wakes up in D.C. she learns the woman is actually a government agent. Indranie Patel has a proposal for Marisol: she wants Marisol to be a Grief Keeper, someone who will take another's grief into their body. It's a dangerous experimental study, but if Marisol agrees she and Gabi will be allowed to stay in the United States. If the experiment fails the girls will be sent home, which is a death sentence. Things become more complicated when Marisol meets Rey, the wealthy daughter of a D.C. Senator, and the girl she's helping to heal. Marisol likes Rey's short hair and sarcastic attitude. But she didn't expect the connection from their shared grief to erupt into a powerful love. Suddenly being forced from the United States isn't just a matter of life and death, but a matter of the heart.


June 18th:

All of Us with Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil (Hardcover, 360 pages, published by Soho Press)
Michelle Ruiz Keil’s YA fantasy debut about love, found family, and healing is an ode to post-punk San Francisco through the eyes of a Mexican-American girl. Seventeen-year-old Xochi is alone in San Francisco, running from her painful past: the mother who abandoned her, the man who betrayed her. Then one day, she meets Pallas, a precocious twelve-year-old who lives with her rockstar family in one of the city’s storybook Victorians. Xochi accepts a position as Pallas’s live-in governess and quickly finds her place in their household, which is relaxed and happy despite the band's larger-than-life fame. But on the night of the Vernal Equinox, as a concert afterparty rages in the house below, Xochi and Pallas accidentally summon a pair of ancient creatures devoted to avenging the wrongs of Xochi’s adolescence. She would do anything to preserve her new life, but with the creatures determined to exact vengeance on those who’ve hurt her, no one is safe—not the family she’s chosen, nor the one she left behind.


Eve of Man (Eve of Man Trilogy #1) by Giovanna Fletcher and Tom Fletcher (Hardcover, 464 pages, published by Random House Books for Young Readers)
AGAINST ALL ODDS, SHE SURVIVED. THE FIRST GIRL BORN IN FIFTY YEARS. THEY CALLED HER EVE. THE WORLD HAD WAITED FOR HER ARRIVAL WITH BATED BREATH. She is the last girl on earth, and all her life Eve has been kept away from the opposite sex. Kept from the truth of her past. SHE'S THE ANSWER TO THEIR PRAYERS. THEIR FINAL HOPE. But at sixteen it's time for Eve to face her destiny. Three potential males have been selected for her. The future of the world is in her hands. She's always accepted her fate. EVE IS THE SAVIOUR OF HUMANITY. Until she meets Bram. Eve wants control over her life. She wants freedom. I AM EVE. How do you choose between love and the future of the human race?



Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Roaring Brook Press)
Brody Fair feels like nobody gets him: not his overworked parents, not his genius older brother, and definitely not the girls in the projects set on making his life miserable. Then he meets Nico, an art student who takes Brody to Everland, a “knock-off Narnia" that opens its door at 11:21pm each Thursday for Nico and his band of present-day misfits and miscreants. Here Brody finds his tribe and a weekly respite from a world where he feels out of place. But when the doors to Everland begin to disappear, Brody is forced to make a decision: He can say goodbye to Everland and to Nico, or stay there and risk never seeing his family again.


Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa (Hardcover, 432 pages, published by Inkyard Press)
One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono. Now he has broken free. Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan. Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.


June 25th:

Return to Zero (Lorien Legacies Reborn #3) by Pittacus Lore (Hardcover, 416 pages, published by HarperCollins)
All bets are off in this third and final book in the epic New York Times bestselling Lorien Legacies Reborn series! After the battle in Switzerland, the Fugitive Six find their allegiances torn, dividing them into two factions. Taylor, Kopano, and Nigel return to the Academy with Nine, but nothing is the same. As fear and resentment of the Human Garde continues to grow, the United Nations decrees that all humans with Legacies must be implanted with inhibitors. So our heroes will have no choice but to rebel. And with the Foundation still at large, Isabela, Caleb, and Ran have decided to join forces with their former foes Einar and Five to hunt them down. But when a new threat is revealed, the group may find itself painfully outmatched. Facing capture or annihilation from all sides, the only hope the Human Garde have for survival is to stand together once and for all to fight back against their true enemies. Return to Zero is the epic conclusion to the story of the Garde that began with the worldwide phenomenon I Am Number Four.



The Evil Queen (The Forest of Good and Evil #1) by Gena Showalter (Hardcover, 544 pages, published by Harlequin Teen)
Classic fairy tales are turned on their heads as strong heroines take charge and save the princes and the world in this magical action and romance-filled trilogy from the New York Times bestselling author of the Everlife novels and the White Rabbit Chronicles, beginning with a teen prophesied to become the Evil Queen from Snow White who refuses to be pigenonholed into her destiny. Far, far away, in the magical realm of Enchantia, creatures of legend still exist, magic is the norm, and fairytales are real. Except, fairytales aren’t based on myths and legends of the past—they are prophecies of the future. Though Princess Everly Morrow was brought to the mortal realm as an infant, she knows she’s destined to rule a kingdom in Enchantia, thus fulfilling a beloved fairytale. But which one? At seventeen, when an ability to commune with mirrors manifests, she begins to suspect the truth, and it’s more sinister than anyone ever realized… She is destined to be Snow White’s greatest enemy, the Evil Queen. With powers beyond her imagination or control—and determined to prove herself good—Everly returns to the land of her birth, smack dab in the middle of the creepiest forest of all time. There, Everly meets Roth Charmaine, the supposed Prince Charming. Their attraction is undeniable, but their relationship is doomed. As bits and pieces of the prophecy unfold, Everly faces one betrayal after the other, and giving in to her dark side proves more tempting every day. Soon, she will have to choose. Be a hero and walk away, or become the queen—and villain—of her dreams. The battle between good and evil is on!



Wicked Fox (Gumiho #1) by Kat Cho (Paperback, 432 pages, published by Penguin LCC US)
Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret--she's a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt. But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead--her gumiho soul--in the process. Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl--he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He's drawn to her anyway. With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous... forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon's.



Barnes&Noble 1 2 3, goodreads.com 1 2 3, tor.com 1 2 3 4 5 6, io9.gizmodo.com)

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