Nov 29, 2019

 

Book Review - Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days (by Andrea Wilson Woods)

Title: Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days
Series: -
Author: Andrea Wilson Woods
Genre: NonFiction, Memoir
Publisher: Build Your BLISSS
Release Date: October 15th, 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 394
 



"Adrienne Wilson is a depressed, suicidal teenager--until the day she receives a diagnosis of stage IV liver cancer. Facing the fight of her life, Adrienne discovered just how much she wants to live. In Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days, Andrea Wilson Woods chronicles her sister's remarkable life, from the time she was born to the day she dies at age fifteen. Written like a journal, Andrea takes the reader inside her and Adrienne's journey explaining how she gained custody of Adrienne from their mother and how the sisters' relationship evolved over time. Adrienne's courageous spirit shines through as she squeezes more life into 147 days than most people do in a lifetime. From meeting Jay Leno to spending the day with Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction, Adrienne makes every moment count.

As she lay dying, Adrienne teaches Andrea how to live."


Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days
(click to read an excerpt on amazon.com)



- Review -
What Made Me Read It
I was sent a copy of the memoir in exchange for an honest review. The editor described it as a book where "Woods explores the true meaning of living and dying with heart and humor, as she comes to reconcile her life in the face of the ultimate loss - her fifteen year old sister, Adrienne". It sounded like an interesting and profound reading so I decided to give it a try.
 

The Good
"Better off bald" is a memoir written in the first person through the eyes of the author, as she chronicles her 15-year-old sister Adrienne's fierce battle against cancer. Both their lives changed radically the day Adrienne was diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer, rare in teenagers. The author does not hold back and describes the emotional journey in great detail as the disease progresses over the course of 147 days: all the symptoms and side effects of both the cancer and the medication, treatments that cause more harm than good to the point where it's not even clear if the physical debilitation and suffering come from the devastating medical condition or the toxicity of the drugs prescribed, the financial difficulties that come from being unable to work to care for a loved one 24/7, the desperate search for alternate treatments that end up being unavailable due to federal laws based on profit alone, political rulings that get in the way of providing basic quality of life to young patients, dealing with medical staff too hardened by too many failures and losses... but also the psychological trauma that comes along such a diagnosis: the feelings of guilt, insecurity and helplessness, all the natural stages of grief from denial to anger, to bargaining with a god the author doesn't even believe in. It's a brutal reading that will move the reader to tears.
 

Written as a journal, each chapter starts with an entry by Adrienne herself: from her personal journal, letters and emails, even a short story; the book also includes personal photos taken from birth to the final days of her disease, adding and extra layer of reality and deepness to Adrienne and her struggle. The author goes back in time through flashbacks that explore their history, recounting events that introduce friends and family, illustrating how their bonds developed and strengthened over time despite all the damage caused by a prescription drug addict mother. But even through all the hardship, the memoir is filled with quirky humor and hope as Adrienne's personality and inner strength have her living each day to the fullest and still pursuing her dreams until the end, counting winnings in terms of good days and good hours and showing the unrelenting support of friends and even strangers.
 

The Not So Good
Even though the flashbacks are meant to explore the sisters' history and bonds, some of those memories are included in the wrong sections: we're told of important facts (like the author having legal custody of her younger sister) and introduced to meaningful friends and loved ones (like Adrienne's "uncles") but those events and roles aren't explained until several chapters later, which makes it hard and confusing to keep tabs on who's who. If those particular memories were shared earlier in the book instead, it would help the readers to better understand the events and some of the people involved. It's the reason the memoir lost a book/star in the final rating.
 

Final Rating
"Better off bald" is a memoir of the author's 15-year-old sister Adrienne's battle against a rare form of liver cancer. Recommended for those who enjoy biographies and with an interest in oncology, the progression of cancer and its effects on patients and family alike.


• • • •



- About the Author -
Website: andreawilsonwoods.com
Twitter: @AndreaWilWoods
Genre: Memoir, Nonfiction, Humor and Comedy
 

After living in Los Angeles her entire adult life, Andrea [Wilson Woods] returned to Birmingham in December 2014. She had an epiphany about her future after working with a client. She decided to become a life/business/career coach and create her own company, program, and brand. She completed an ICF-certified holistic life, career, and executive coach training. The mission of her company Build Your BLISSS (BYB) is to coach, teach, and empower clients through live workshops, DIY programs, classes, e-books, and one-on-one consulting. Andrea believes through BYB’s practical methods and the power of storytelling that people can create joyful, passionate, and authentic lives so they will become role models for themselves, their loved ones, and their communities.
 

Besides writing, teaching, and coaching, Andrea’s other passion is advocating for liver cancer patients. In 2002, she founded Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association after losing her 15-year-old sister Adrienne, whom she raised for seven years, to stage IV liver cancer. Blue Faery’s mission is to prevent, treat, and cure primary liver cancer, specifically hepatocellular carcinoma, through research, education, and advocacy. In 2015, Andrea received four scholarships to attend various conferences in Washington DC and Chicago to tell her story, increase her knowledge, advocate for more funding, and continue her professional development. Andrea is currently writing an e-book to teach patients how to advocate for their healthcare needs. Raising Adrienne has been Andrea’s greatest joy in life; losing Adrienne to primary liver cancer has been her greatest loss.
 

Andrea obtained her master’s degree in writing from the University of Southern California where she focused on non-fiction. She loves telling and writing stories. After teaching as an adjunct professor for Kaplan University, she started a freelance writing business that focused on content and resume writing as well as social media training for individuals and small businesses. She has worked as a social media manager for the nation’s largest wine importer, as a seventh grade English teacher for the Burbank Unified School District, and as a family service specialist for the Legacy for Children research study sponsored by UCLA, CDC, and RTI.

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Nov 20, 2019

 

Book Review - Freefall: A Divine Comedy (by Lily Iona MacKenzie)

Title: Freefall: A Divine Comedy
Series: -
Author: Lily Iona MacKenzie
Genre: Literary Fiction, Women's Fiction
Publisher: Pen-L Publishing
Release Date: January 1st, 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 250




"The story of four old friends reuniting to contemplate their 60th birthdays turns into a marvelous, magical mystery tour with plenty of surprises and laughs along the way. An enchanting exploration of aging, art, philosophy, feminism, and motherhood, written with style and a heavy dose of humor. A Divine Comedy, indeed!
 

During a four-day reunion in Whistler, B.C., Tillie Bloom, a wacky installation artist, reconnects with three women she had hung out with in the late '50s and early '60s. While in Whistler, secrets surface and a near death experience occurs during a hike, both of which bind the women at a deeper level.
 

Their new intimacy prompts them to celebrate the millennium as well as their approaching sixtieth birthdays in Italy. So a few weeks later, Tillie travels to Venice to have an extended reunion with her friends. While the women assume they're in Venice to vacation and deepen their relationships, Tillie has a hidden agenda: she intends to crash the Venice Biennale, hoping to find a larger audience for her art. Cupid's arrows complicate her goals when she and an Italian priest fall for each other.

The reflective quality of Venice's canals also create unexpected changes in the women, causing them to turn inward. They all end up with a fresh take on themselves and their lives. Tillie, in particular, experiences a deeper understanding of herself. But will it take her on a path she's ready to travel, and will Venice finally give her the recognition she seeks as an artist?"



Freefall: A Divine Comedy
(click to read an excerpt on amazon.com)


- 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 "narrative [that] fits the literary fiction/magic realism category and zeroes in on a fundamental truth: we’re all in freefall, and that’s the real divine comedy. No matter how old we are, we’re still trying to “find ourselves” and discover what we want out of life".
 

The Plot
Tillie is a struggling installation artist fast approaching her 60th birthday, just out of a toxic relationship with a deranged egocentric photographer and frightened of a looming impoverished old age. After a disturbing dream with one of her old friends and feeling the need to reclaim her roots and her youth, Tillie agrees to a 4-day reunion with her friends from the '50s
- the Muskrateers: Daddy, a former radical feminist and hippie turned successful real estate saleswoman; Moll, a dedicated housewife, mother and grandmother with a passion for the Canadian outdoors; Sibyl, a chain smoker bookkeeper with a nose for business, an addition to 4000-piece puzzles and a spot in her lungs.
 

After a scary encounter with a grizzly bear and desperate to achieve international recognition as an artist before the turning of the millennium, Tillie convinces her friends to go to Italy and crash the Biennale, Venice's major art show, hoping to get enough exposure and publicity on her current installation project to find a wealthy sponsor... a journey that will allow Tillie to reinvent herself in more ways than one.
 

The Good
"Freefall" is a literary fiction novel set in 1999 Whistler, B.C. and Venice, Italy. In the late '50s, 4 young women from Calgary calling themselves the Muskrateers - Tillie, Daddy, Sibyl and Moll - journey to the big city looking for adventure and hoping to find rich men to take care of them. Overwhelmed by the night life of Toronto and intoxicated by their new freedom, the 4 friends end up going their separate ways, reconnecting 40 years later. Reunited by their shared histories, experiences and intimacies, the 4 women decide to go on a trip to Venice as a way to shake up their predictable lives and help Tillie crash an art show biennale and launch her artistic projects internationally before she turns 60. An unexpected encounter with Father Lazarus, a radical and non-conformist priest, strange visions of the Black Madonna and a very persistent pigeon named Bird are the agents that will shake Tillie's world and beliefs.

The novel is mostly a character study of the 4 friends, with a slow pacing and a thought provoking narrative as each of the 4 women reevaluates their lives and hopes for the future. Part one of the book focus on the reunion of the Muskrateers in Whistler, B.C. where they reconnect and reminiscence about their youth in Toronto, the choices they've made and the lives they ended up with. The second part of the novel is set in Venice, with vivid descriptions of the colors, scents and life of this city. The plot takes a more bizarre and surreal turn with Tillie's journey of self-discovery through philosophical musings about life and the human condition, relationships and sex, religion and the catholic church, death and afterlife, and the very nature of perceived reality.
 

Final Rating
"Freefall" is a thought-provoking literary fiction and character study novel set in modern days Whistler B.C. and Venice, with a few memory trips to the late '50s and early '60s Toronto and San Francisco. Recommended for those who enjoy women's fiction about fellowship and self-discovery with reflections on the meaning of life, death and sex.



• • • •


- About the Author -
Website: lilyionamackenzie.com
Twitter: @lilyionamac
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Fiction
 

I don’t have hayseed clinging to my trousers, but growing up on a Canadian farm gave me a unique foundation as a writer. I sprouted under cumulous clouds that bloomed everywhere in Alberta’s big sky. They were my first creative writing instructors, scudding across the heavenly blue, constantly changing shape: one minute an elephant, bruised and brooding. The next morphing into a rabbit or a castle. These billowing masses gave me a unique view of life on earth.
 

As a girl, I prowled the land, talking to chickens and pigs and lambs, creating scenarios for them. I also tried to make perfume from the wild Alberta roses and captured caterpillars, watching with wonder when they transformed themselves into butterflies. Everything around me seemed infused by nature spirits waiting to be released.
 

I soon realized that all objects are in motion, waiting for stories to illuminate them. The clouds’ shifting form also schooled me in the various possibilities open to me as a writer. So did Jack Frost’s enchanted creations that enlivened the windows in wintertime, forcing me to view my surroundings as if through a bewitching prism. These early experiences helped me to envision multi-dimensional characters. No wonder magical realism pulses at the heart of my narratives, and my work celebrates the imagination.
 

As an adult, I continue to seek instruction from clouds. Just as they provide the earth with much-needed water, I believe that stories have a similar function, preparing the mind to receive new ideas. Also, conditions inside a cloud are not static—water droplets are constantly forming and re-evaporating. Stories, too, change, depending on who is reading them, each one giving life to its readers.
 

A high school dropout, and a mother at 17, in my early years, I supported myself as a stock girl in the Hudson’s Bay Company, as a long distance operator for the former Alberta Government Telephones, and as a secretary (Bechtel Corp sponsored me into the States). I also was a cocktail waitress at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco; briefly broke into the male-dominated world of the docks as a longshoreman (I was the first woman to work on the SF docks and almost got my legs broken); founded and managed a homeless shelter in Marin County; co-created The Story Shoppe, a weekly radio program for children that aired on KTIM in Marin; and eventually earned two Master’s degrees (one in Creative writing and one in the Humanities).
 

I have published reviews, interviews, short fiction, poetry, travel pieces, essays, and memoir in over 155 American and Canadian venues. Fling!, one of my novels, was published in July 2015 by Pen-L Publishing. Curva Peligrosa, another novel, was published in September 2017. Freefall: A Divine Comedy will be released in August 2018. Tillie: Portrait of a Canadian Girl in Training, featuring the same main character as in Freefall, will come out in 2019. My poetry collection All This was published in 2011. I also taught writing at the University of San Francisco (USF) for over 30 years and was vice-president of USF’s part-time faculty union. I currently teach creative writing at USF’s Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning. When not writing, I paint and travel with my husband.
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Nov 11, 2019

 

Book Review - Benevolent King (by Joe Albanese)

Title: Benevolent King
Series: -
Author: Joe Albanese
Genre: Crime, Literary Fiction
Publisher: Cyberwit.net
Release Date: September 25th, 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 298
 



"Travis, a gangbanger, has aspirations of being the most powerful gang leader in all of Baltimore. After boosting a shipment of Colombian Devil's Breath, his goals may become reality. That is until Isaac, a small-time drug dealer, finds out a secret about Travis that may ruin his plans. When Shannon, torn between the two and herself, becomes a fissure in the gang, there is no telling who will come out the victor, and where each may end up. A story of drugs, guns, loyalty, blackmail, betrayal, and identity."


Benevolent King
(excerpt not available)


- 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 feminist and pro-LGBT crime novel about a gang leader who, after boosting a shipment of Colombian Devil's Breath, tries to grow the most powerful gang in Baltimore, but a blackmailer and fissure within the organization may get in the way".
 

The Plot
Travis is the leader of one of the biggest and most dangerous gangs in Baltimore. Reputation is all a man can control and Travis will stop at nothing to keep the respect from his men, getting his hands dirty and doing the dangerous jobs himself. When he hijacks a shipment of the Devil's Breath, Colombia's most powerful hypnotic drug capable of turning whoever breathes it in into a zombie under the control of its owner, Travis knows he has the means to take down the competition and become the only crime boss in all of Baltimore. But a shameful secret he's spent his whole life hiding threatens his plans and could end his own life.
 

Isaac is a small-time drug dealer working for Travis. After screwing up an important job, he's now stuck in the lowest levels of Travis's crew dealing with weed instead. His dream is to move up and take his girl away from the clutches of the powerful crime boss. Only he has the will but not the smarts and his schemes never quite work out. Still, desperate times call for desperate measures and when Isaac gets his hands on information that could improve his position, he soon finds himself way over his head with his own life on the line.
 

Shannon is the manager of Paradox, the strip club that doubles as Travis' base of operations. Turning the club into one of the most profitable business in the city gives her a sense of purpose and she has no interest in her partner's illegal activities. Shannon isn't the boss and knows her place, but when Travis' schemes start putting her girls in danger Shannon will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the safety of those under her care.
 

The Good
"Benevolent King" is a crime and thriller novel set in modern days Baltimore, exploring the underworld life of gangs and drug dealers. The worldbuilding is complex and well developed, detailing the reality of those who, by choice or necessity, enter a life of crime: the gang wars and rivalry between competing groups over territory and power, the gratuitous violence, the deals made under the table and out in the open, the desperation of those caught in the web of drug cartels struggling to survive another day...
 

The narrative is fast-paced with plenty of intrigue and a fair amount of action sequences, specially in the second half of the book when the characters struggle to make their failing plans and schemes work. Each chapter opens with an insight into the world of each character: their daily lives, personal fears and regrets, motivations, goals and choices.
 

The characters are 3-dimensional, complex and realistic: Travis, the poor kid turned powerful crime boss, ensuring the loyalty of his men through fear and reputation, hiding a shameful secret that will get him killed in the world he rules; Isaac, a small-time drug dealer who dreams big but doesn't have the smarts to achieve his goals and keeps messing up his wild schemes; Shannon, a strong woman who found herself entangled in the crime world, trying to mind her own business but forced to make hard choices when those in her charge are put in danger; Cochran, a skinhead freelance killer with more indifference than actual hate, who does what needs to be done in order to survive and get his next fix; Richie, a happy-go-lucky junkie with no interest in joining  the crime world but who's always willing to help his friend Isaac with his wild schemes... all the characters, even the minor ones help bring this world to life, exploring the extremes desperate people will go to to reach their goals, making right and wrong choices in order to survive in a brutal and dangerous environment.
 

The Not So Good
Fair warning: the book is filled with swearing and cursing. If fits the story and the characters but if you dislike this kind of language you might not enjoy the novel.
 

The plot is also brutal, the author does not hold back on the violence and the drug addition. Again, it fits the story and the characters but you will need a strong stomach to go through some of the scenes described in graphic detail. If this kind of story fits your preferred genre then you will surely enjoy "Benevolent King". However, that was not my case and the reason it didn't get a higher rating, it was just too dark and gruesome for my personal taste.
 

Final Rating
"Benevolent King" is a crime and thriller novel set in modern days Baltimore, with plenty of intrigue and engaging action sequences. Recommended for those who enjoy crime stories of gang violence and drug cartels.



• • • •


- About the Author -
Twitter: @JoeAlba88
Genre: Crime, Poetry, Humor and Comedy
 

Joe Albanese is a writer from South Jersey. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry can be found in publications across the U.S. and in ten other countries. Joe is the author of Smash and Grab, Caina, Candy Apple Red, For the Blood is the Life, and a poetry collection, Cocktails with a Dead Man.

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Nov 5, 2019

 

Book Review - Red in Tooth and Claw (by Jamie Brindle)

Title: Red in Tooth and Claw
Series: -
Author: Jamie Brindle
Genre: Fantasy, Humor, Horror, Anthology
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Release Date: October 29th, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
Pages: 116


"A strange wind that blows out of the world of the dead, and the reason it has changed direction…
 

A finishing school for young dragons, and the unusual career choices made by a problem student…
 

A lakeland holiday, and the ancient darkness which awaits there…
 

Ten stories of magic, mystery, death, and life (not to mention thimbles, drones, sentient body parts and reclaimed memories)."

(click to read an excerpt on Amazon)

- Review -
What Made Me Read It
As a fan of Jamie Brindle's whimsical micro stories (you can read some of them for free on his site and get new ones periodically if you subscribe to his newsletter), I joined the author's beta/arc team for a chance to read and review his novels. So when Red in Tooth and Claw was made available I jumped at the opportunity.

The Good
"Red in Tooth and Claw" is a collection of 10 short stories set in fantasy worlds with a bizarre and surreal context. Each story is unique, wildly imaginative and full of unexpected wacky twists. Some are funny and satirical, mocking the political and social system of today's world; others are cautionary tales of personal growth, sad and touching, introspective and thought-provoking. Two of the stories fit in the horror category, which is the reason I didn't give the anthology a higher rating since it's a genre I really dislike.

"Life Slides" - Zab and Klex are multi-dimensional higher-order entities who spend their existence surfing across the infinite expanse of the cosmos, idling observing the never ending, never changing fragments of space-time for nascent sparks of consciousness. Until the day Zab discovers something very unusual and unexpected in one of the life-slides - true soul-stuff! Rating: 5/5 - the unexpected twist at the end was just brilliant!!

"Lady Dragon" - Lady Dragon runs the Lady Dragon's Finishing School for Sophisticated Young Dragons, a highly successful school of etiquette where young whelplings learn to be a dragon of substance with class. Some dragons though, like young Wilbert, just don't fit in and she doesn't quite know what to do with them. But Lady Dragon isn't one to abandon her students, even if it means helping the poor thing follow a less than respectable route to fulfill his dream. Rating: 5/5

"Soul Wind" - Frances, a very serious politician, finds himself very dead when a falling monument flattens his body against the road. The Soul Wind should have blown him along to his next destination but climate change, the very thing Frances spent his entire political career denying, has reversed its direction and now Frances is  left stranded, unable to reach the farther shore. Rating: 5/5 - so fitting in light of today's environmental policies.

"Any Boddy" - George is a Very Important Person with a Very Important Job, nice clothes, a fancy car, a lot of money and no time to waste. Until the day his body sends out a very insistent message, more like a distress beacon actually, to remind him of what he forgot along the way. Rating: 5/5

"The Necessity of Bitter Things" - in a village far and away, the villagers have broken minds with dull eyes and dull hearts and no joy. Old Liana has come from Elsewhere and she is special, for when the villagers tell her of their problems, the problems are spirited away from thoughts, feelings and memories. Old Liana is old and wise but with no heart of her own and she can only exist on borrowed love. Until the day a young girl named Lost arrives in the village and traps Old Liana inside her mind. Rating: 4/5

"Photo Album" - 7-year-old Cora is all alone in a strange lonely house. She doesn't remember how she got there and she misses her family, even if she can't remember their faces anymore. In one empty room Cora finds an old book, tattered at the edges, with a blue binding and full of photographs that tell a scary but familiar tale. The more she flips through the album the more she remembers, and the more she wishes she didn't. Rating: 5/5 - a dark tale that was surprisingly enticing.

"A Queen's Blessing" - the life Alice wants is vanishing behind plans that are not her own, betrothed to a rich man with bad breath and too many teeth and no joy in him. Alice just needs to get some air, to get away from her father and his endless plans. But then a bomb falls off the sky and she trips over an old dying woman who gives her a special gift. Rating: 3/5

"The Hard Problem" - Philip Frogmore, gentleman and rogue, is in a bind. All he ever wanted was to shift his consciousness out of his frail decaying lump of flesh and shove it into a beautiful metallic body, living forever inside a sleek sexy drone. But his mind was duplicated instead and now a psychopathic machine that thinks just like him, believes its alive and Philip himself is the real imposter... and there's only room in the world for one Frogmore. Rating: 5/5

"The Machine for Existing" - Lazarus and Peck have existed since before the beginning of time and will no doubt exist beyond the end of eternity. All they ever do is watch the eternal predictable dance of existing universes, bubbles of space-time potential whispering their way into existence only to collapse and decay like they always do. Lazarus is bored out of his wits, he's sick of observing and wants to begin experiencing as well, and he may just have found a way to do that. Rating: 4/5

"Red in Tooth and Claw" - Catherine had hoped to enjoy the week off by herself at the rented cottage in Lake District. But her parents had other plans and now Catherine is stuck babysitting her two young wards instead - her half sister Jayne and her friend George. And then a strange old bent man, with skin thin and yellowed under red robes and ragged white whiskers unclean on his face shows up with an ominous warning: be careful with your thoughts, be careful with your choices, for others walk these wills where wolves once ruled, and before them there were other creatures - large and small, fast and slow, weak and terrible... Rating: 2/5 - too dark and twisted for my taste and definitely in the horror category.

Final Rating
"Red in Tooth and Claw" is an anthology of 10 short stories filled with witty humor and unexpected twists in bizarre and surreal fantasy settings. Recommended for those who enjoy odd tales and satirical humor.



• • • •


- About the Author -
Website: www.jamiebrindle.com
Twitter: @mazeman11
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror

I have been writing stories for pretty much as long as I can remember. Although I have mucked about a bit with a lot of different genres and styles, I think of myself mainly as a fantasy author.

I write a spectrum of fantasy, from light, fluffy, comedic stuff, through more more magical, fairy-tale stuff (often with a post-modern or ‘meta’ slant, and sometimes even with a hint of magical realism), to darker fantasy and grim folk-tale inspired fiction. At the very far end of the spectrum, I do write some fantasy that’s so dark it’s bordering on horror. I tend not to write heroic or epic fantasy (though that said, I do have one idea in the pipeline…)

I have worked various jobs (including driving a tractor, working in a lab, and selling boomerangs at Covent Garden in London); I am now a GP registrar in the East Midlands. I am married to a woman who thinks she is a badger, and have a beautiful young boy called Ben. My parents run a hedge maze in Bedfordshire, which you can visit (though the opening times change with the seasons).

You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter; I’m also on Goodreads.

Sign up for my mailing list to be kept up to date with new releases and get free short stories.


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Nov 3, 2019

 

New Monthly Book Releases - November 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 November 2019.


- Science Fiction -

November 5th:

And Go Like This: Stories by John Crowley (Hardcover, 300 pages, published by Small Beer Press)
And Go Like This collects thirteen stories from a master of all trades. Reading John Crowley’s stories is to see almost-familiar lives running parallel to our own, secret histories that never quite happened, memories that might be real or might be invented. In the thirteen stories collected here, Crowley sets his imagination free to roam from a 20th century Shakespeare festival to spring break at a future Yale in his Edgar Award winning story “Spring Break”. And in the previously unpublished “Anosognosia” the world brought about by one John C.’s high-school accident may or may not exist.

Fortuna (Nova Vita Protocol #1) by Kristyn Merbeth (Paperback, 560 pages, published by Orbit)
Scorpia Kaiser has always stood in Corvus's shadow until the day her older brother abandons their family to participate in a profitless war. However, becoming the heir to her mother's smuggling operation is not an easy transition for the always rebellious, usually reckless, and occasionally drunk pilot of the Fortuna, an aging cargo ship and the only home Scorpia has ever known. But when a deal turns deadly and Corvus returns from the war, Scorpia's plans to take over the family business are interrupted, and the Kaiser siblings are forced to make a choice: take responsibility for their family's involvement in a devastating massacre or lay low and hope it blows over. Too bad Scorpia was never any good at staying out of a fight.


Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt (Kindle Edition, 600 pages, published by Titan Books)
Continuing the definitive space opera anthology series. Today's most popular writers produce new stories set in their most famous universes, alongside essential and seminal short fiction from past masters. The follow-up to the critically acclaimed INFINITE STARS anthology, INFINITE STARS: DARK FRONTIERS continues to present today's finest science fiction authors writing new stories set in their most famous worlds. With a new introduction and a short story by David Weber, the authors include Becky Chambers (Wayfarers), Curtis C. Chen (Kangaroo), Orson Scott Card (Ender), Susan R. Matthews, Larry Niven and Steven Barnes (Dream Park), Tanya Huff (Confederation), Jack Campbell (Lost Fleet) and many more. All new stories are exclusive to this volume for 18 months. The unparalleled collection also offers masterpieces by famous writing legends including Arthur C. Clarke, E.E. "Doc" Smith, C.L. Moore, and Robert Heinlein.


Skein Island by Aliya Whiteley (Paperback, 320 pages, published by Titan Books)
From the author of The Loosening Skin and The Beauty,, a powerful and disturbing look at the roles we play, and how they form and divide us. This new edition features a brand new novelette set in the same world as Skein Island. Skein Island, since 1945 a private refuge for women, lies in turbulent waters twelve miles off the coast of Devon. Visitors are only allowed by invitation from the reclusive Lady Amelia Worthington. Women stay for one week, paying for their stay with a story from their past; a Declaration for the Island's vast library. Marianne's invitation arrives shortly before her quiet life at the library is violently interrupted, the aftermath leaving her husband David feeling helpless. Now, just like her mother did seventeen years ago, she must discover what her story is. Secrets are buried deep on Skein Island. The monsters of Ancient Greece and the atrocities of World War II, heroes and villains with their seers and sidekicks, and the stories of a thousand lifetimes all threaten to break free. But every story needs an ending, whatever the cost.


The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (Paperback, 336 pages, published by Random House Trade)
In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a freshman girl stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry her away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. Then a second girl falls asleep, and then another, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. As the number of cases multiplies, classes are canceled, and stores begin to run out of supplies. A quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned. Mei, an outsider in the cliquish hierarchy of dorm life, finds herself thrust together with an eccentric, idealistic classmate. Two visiting professors try to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. A father succumbs to the illness, leaving his daughters to fend for themselves. And at the hospital, a new life grows within a college girl, unbeknownst to her—even as she sleeps. A psychiatrist, summoned from Los Angeles, attempts to make sense of the illness as it spreads through the town. Those infected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, more than has ever been recorded. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?


The Last Dance (The Near-Earth Mysteries #1) by Martin L. Shoemaker (Paperback, 464 pages, published by 47North)
At the heart of a mystery unfolding in space, the opposing forces make a treacherous journey between Earth and Mars. In space, mutiny means death—that’s why Inspector General Park Yerim is taking her investigation so seriously. The alleged mutineer is Captain Nicolau Aames, whose command of the massive Earth-Mars vessel Aldrin has come under fire. The vast System Initiative says he disobeyed orders, but his crew swears he’s in the right. En route to Mars, Park gathers testimony from the Aldrin’s diverse crew, painting a complex picture of Aames’s character: his heroism, his failures, even his personal passions. As the investigation unfolds, Park finds herself in the thrall of powerful interests, each pushing and pulling her in a fiery cosmic dance. Corruption, conflicting loyalties, and clashing accounts make it nearly impossible to see the truth in fifty million miles of darkness, and Park faces danger from every direction. All eyes are on her: one way or another, her findings will have astronomical implications for the Aldrin and the future of space travel.


The New Voices of Science Fiction edited by Hannu Rajaniemi and Jacob Weisman (Paperback, 432 pages, published by Tachyon Publications)
What would you do if your collective of tiny bots suddenly decide to mutiny? Would you find bioprinted steak delicious, even after it was signed by the artist? Is an 11 second attention-span long enough to bond with a cryogenically-revived tourist? Would you sell your native language to send your daughter to college? The avant garde of science fiction has appeared, arriving via time machines and portals that may (or may not) work properly. In this space-age sequel to award-winning anthology, The New Voices of Fantasy, The New Voices of Science Fiction has launched the rising stars of the last five years of science fiction, including Rebecca Roanhorse, Amal El-Mohtar, Alice Sola Kim, Sam J. Miller, E. Lily Yu, Rich Larson, Vina Jie-Min Prasad, Sarah Pinsker, Darcie Little Badger, S. Qiouyi Lu, Kelly Robson, Suzanne Palmer, Nino Cipri, and more. Their wide-ranging tales were hand-selected by cutting-edge author Hannu Rajaniemi (The Quantum Thief) and genre expert Jacob Weisman (Invaders). So go ahead, join the starship revolution. The new kids hotwired the AI.

They Will Drown in Their Mothers' Tears by Johannes Anyuru (Hardcover, 272 pages, published by Two Lines Press)
This daring speculative novel tackles terrorism and anti-immigrant hysteria, combining lyric intensity with the tools of science fiction. In the midst of a terrorist attack on a bookstore reading by Göran Loberg, a comic book artist famous for demeaning drawings of the prophet Mohammed, one of the attackers, a young woman, has a sudden premonition that something is wrong, changing the course of history. Two years later, this unnamed woman invites a famous writer to visit her in the criminal psychiatric clinic where she’s living. She then shares with him an incredible story—she is a visitor from an alternate future. Despite discrepancies that make the writer highly skeptical, he becomes increasingly fascinated by her amazing tale: in her dystopian future, any so-called “anti-Swedish” citizens are forced into a horrific ghetto called The Rabbit Yard. As events begin to spiral and the author becomes more and more implicated in this woman’s tale, he comes to believe the unbelievable: she’s telling the truth. A remarkably intense, beautifully wrought tale that combines the ingenuity of speculative fiction with the difficulties of today’s harsh political realities, They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears is the groundbreaking, award-winning work from the bestselling Swedish-Ugandan author Johannes Anyuru. With echoes of Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, and anti-immigrant hysteria, this largest and most complex novel from an already celebrated poet, author, and spoken word artist catapults him to the front ranks of world writers.

November 9th:


Eternal Shadow (Fall of Gods #1) by Trevor B. Williams (Paperback, 401 pages, published by Trevor Writes)
What would you do if the world was going to end in ten years? For Jennifer Epstein, a by-the-books senior researcher at SETI, there is only one answer: prevent the apocalypse from happening. Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus were destroyed by an alien threat. The deck was stacked against humanity before the cards came out of the box. But Jennifer isn’t alone. She has Samantha Monroe, her excitable but brilliant colleague. From South Africa, CEO Muzikayise Khulu of Khulu Global supplies his vast resources to the ultimate race for survival. The three find themselves in an unlikely alliance while political brinkmanship, doomsday cults, and untested technologies form ever-growing obstacles. Will humanity unite to face the greatest challenge of their time, or will it destroy itself before the alien ship arrives?

November 12th:

Auberon (The Expanse #8.5) by James S.A. Corey (Kindle Edition, 66 pages, published by Orbit)
A novella set in the universe of James S. A. Corey’s NYT-bestselling Expanse series, Auberon explores a new and alien world and the age-old dangers that humanity has carried with it to the stars. Now a Prime Original series. Auberon is one of the first and most important colony worlds in humanity’s reach, and the new conquering faction has come to claim it. Governor Rittenaur has come to bring civilization and order to the far outpost and guarantee the wealth and power of the Empire. But Auberon already has its own history, a complex culture, and a criminal kingpin named Erich with very different plans. In a world of deceit, violence, and corruption, the greatest danger Rittenaur faces is love.


OtherLife (Last Reality #3) by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller (Paperback, 304 pages, published by Rock the Boat)
Simon, Kat, Busara, and Elvis are on the run with the tech super-villains at the Company hot on their heels. The new VR gaming experience the Company created, OtherEarth, will change how the world experiences video games. Paired with the hardware the Company developed, it has the potential to change the world as we know it, altering our reality forever. The Company is on its way to becoming the world's newest superpower. And Simon is determined to shut them down forever. But to do that, he'll have to survive OtherLife--the next phase of gaming, and a complete reality reboot.


Resistance Reborn (Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) by Rebecca Roanhorse (Hardcover, 368 pages, published by Del Rey)
In this pivotal prequel to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the heroes of the Resistance--Poe Dameron, General Leia Organa, Rey, and Finn--must fight back from the edge of oblivion. The Resistance is in ruins. In the wake of their harrowing escape from Crait, what was once an army has been reduced to a handful of wounded heroes. Finn, Poe, Rey, Rose, Chewbacca, Leia Organa--their names are famous among the oppressed worlds they fight to liberate. But names can only get you so far, and Leia's last desperate call for aid has gone unanswered. From the jungles of Ryloth to the shipyards of Corellia, the shadow of the First Order looms large, and those with the bravery to face the darkness are scattered and isolated. If hope is to survive, the Resistance must journey throughout the galaxy, seeking out more leaders--including those who, in days gone by, helped a nascent rebellion topple an empire. Battles will be fought, alliances will be forged, and the Resistance will be reborn.


Starship Alchemon by Christopher Hinz (Paperback, 376 pages, published by Angry Robot)
Nine explorers aboard a powerful AI vessel, Alchemon, are sent to investigate an "anomalous biosignature" on a distant planet. But they soon realize their mission has gone to hell as deadly freakish incidents threaten their lives. Are these events caused by the tormented psychic mysteriously put aboard at the last minute? Has the crew been targeted by a vengeful corporate psychopath? Are they part of some cruel experiment by the ship's ruthless owners? Or do their troubles originate with the strange alien lifeform retrieved from the planet? A creature that might possess an intelligence beyond human understanding or may perhaps be the spawn of some terrifying supernatural force... Either way, as their desperation and panic sets in, one thing becomes clear: they're fighting not only for their own survival, but for the fate of all humanity.


The Andromeda Evolution (Andromeda #2) by Daniel H. Wilson (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by Harper)
The Evolution is Coming. In 1967, an extraterrestrial microbe came crashing down to Earth and nearly ended the human race. Accidental exposure to the particle—designated The Andromeda Strain—killed every resident of the town of Piedmont, Arizona, save for an elderly man and an infant boy. Over the next five days, a team of top scientists assigned to Project Wildfire worked valiantly to save the world from an epidemic of unimaginable proportions. In the moments before a catastrophic nuclear detonation, they succeeded. In the ensuing decades, research on the microparticle continued. And the world thought it was safe… Deep inside Fairchild Air Force Base, Project Eternal Vigilance has continued to watch and wait for the Andromeda Strain to reappear. On the verge of being shut down, the project has registered no activity—until now. A Brazilian terrain-mapping drone has detected a bizarre anomaly of otherworldly matter in the middle of the jungle, and, worse yet, the tell-tale chemical signature of the deadly microparticle. With this shocking discovery, the next-generation Project Wildfire is activated, and a diverse team of experts hailing from all over the world is dispatched to investigate the potentially apocalyptic threat. But the microbe is growing—evolving. And if the Wildfire team can’t reach the quarantine zone, enter the anomaly, and figure out how to stop it, this new Andromeda Evolution will annihilate all life as we know it.

The Menace From Farside by Ian McDonald (Paperback, 160 pages, published by Tor.com)
 In The Menace from Farside, Ian McDonald returns to his elegantly wound solar system of the twenty-second century, full of political intrigue and complicated families. Remember: Lady Luna knows a thousand ways to kill you, but family is what you know. Family is what works. Cariad Corcoran has a new sister who is everything she is not: tall, beautiful, confident. They’re unlikely allies and even unlikelier sisters, but they’re determined to find the moon’s first footprint, even if the lunar frontier is doing its best to kill them before they get there.

November 14th:

Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation (Chinese Science Fiction in Translation #2) by Ken Liu (Paperback, 480 pages, published by Head of Zeus)
Award-winning author Ken Liu presents a new anthology of Chinese short speculative fiction. Some of the included authors are already familiar to readers in the West (Liu Cixin and Hao Jingfang, both Hugo winners); some are publishing in English for the first time. Because of the growing interest in newer SFF from China, virtually every story here was first published in Chinese in the 2010s. The stories span the range from short-shorts to novellas, and evoke every hue on the emotional spectrum. Besides stories firmly entrenched in subgenres familiar to Western SFF readers such as hard SF, cyberpunk, science fantasy, and space opera, the anthology also includes stories that showcase deeper ties to Chinese culture: alternate Chinese history, chuanyue time travel, satire with historical and contemporary allusions that are likely unknown to the average Western reader. While the anthology makes no claim or attempt to be "representative" or “comprehensive," it demonstrates the vibrancy and diversity of science fiction being written in China at this moment. In addition, three essays at the end of the book explore the history of Chinese science fiction publishing, the state of contemporary Chinese fandom, and how the growing interest in science fiction in China has impacted writers who had long labored in obscurity.

November 16th:


... And Other Disasters by Malka Ann Older (Paperback, 201 pages, published by Mason Jar Press)
…and Other Disasters, the smart and moving collection of short fiction and poetry from acclaimed author Malka Older, examines otherness, identity and compassion across a spectrum of possible existence. In stories about an AI built for empathy, a corps of fighting midwives traveling to a new planet, and a young anthropologist who returns to study the cultures of a dying Earth, Older's characters grapple with what it means to belong and be othered, to cling to the past and face the future, all while navigating a precarious world, riddled with natural and man-made disasters.

November 26th:


Age of Legends (The Pantheon Series Book 10) by James Lovegrove (Paperback, 384 pages, published by Solaris)
The shattering conclusion to the Pantheon series! In a post-Brexit world, the Myths and Legends of the British Isles are alive, and ready for war! As Great Britain struggles to face its new reality in a post-Brexit world, the government’s affable-seeming Prime Minister Colin Dubois plays a man of the people, while simultaneously purging the country of what he thinks of as “undesirables”. Ajia Ryker is a young mixed-race woman who in her spare time, when she is not working as a bike courier, runs around London daubing Banksy-esque subversive graffiti on walls. When she runs afoul of the authorities, Ajia finds herself in the world of eidolon, mythical beings who are living incarnations of an idea, from Oberon, King of the Faeries to Robin Hood. As Dubois seeks to crown himself as the new King Arthur with his own round table of knights, using ancient powers to achieve his agenda, only Ajia and her new allies can stop him.

• • • •

- Fantasy -

November 5th:

Council of Fire (Arcane America #2) by Eric Flint and Walter H. Hunt (Hardcover, 480 pages, published by Baen)
The passage of Halley’s Comet in 1759 is catastrophic. The comet appears to strike the Earth, sundering the New World from the Old. A chain of mountains rises in the Mid-Atlantic. No ship from the Old World arrives in America. No ship from the New World can find a passage to the Old—and most who try simply disappear. The comet has also unleashed magic forces, which soon spread everywhere. Slaves begin using powers derived from African witchcraft, bringing monsters from that continent into the New World. The native tribes begin doing the same. Some European settlers devise ways to couple Old World technology with sorcery. Kraken in the Atlantic, revenants in Jamaica, Dry Hands and Floating Heads in the Hudson valley, African ogres and worse set loose in the streets of New York. Magic of all kinds, emerging everywhere, most of it poorly if at all controlled. The powerful Iroquois Confederacy disintegrates. The Onondaga Council Fire is extinguished; the Seneca and Cayuga follow their own shaman and war leader, and the Mohawks ally with the English. For their part, The English and the French in North America, who had been on the brink of war when the Sundering came, now have to contemplate what would once have been unthinkable. They must not simply forge a military alliance against the rising dark powers but may even have to unite politically behind the young English prince Edward, now the only person of royal blood left in the terrifying world created by the Sundering.

Death and Friends, A Discworld Journal (Discworld Companion Books) by Terry Pratchett (Hardcover, 128 pages, published by Gollancz)
There's nothing like a journal to get you thinking about life, the universe, and a Disc suspended by four elephants stood atop a giant turtle. And who better to help than Death, Sir Terry Pratchett's most enduring anthropomorphic personification? With space aplenty to keep note of your daily musings, express your wildest dreams, or write your life story, you'll be aided and abetted by Death's wisdom, witticisms and observations along the way. Fill the pages how you like, there's no wrong way to live a life. Or write a book. So COWER, BRIEF MORTAL, and always look on the bright side of Death.


Fate of the Fallen (The Shroud of Prophecy #1) by Kel Kade (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Tor Books)
Not all stories have happy endings. Everyone loves Mathias. Naturally, when he discovers it’s his destiny to save the world, he dives in head first, pulling his best friend Aaslo along for the ride. However, saving the world isn’t as easy, or exciting, as it sounds in the stories. The going gets rough and folks start to believe their best chance for survival is to surrender to the forces of evil, which isn’t how the prophecy goes. At all. As the list of allies grows thin, and the friends find themselves staring death in the face they must decide how to become the heroes they were destined to be or, failing that, how to survive.


Life and Limb (Blood & Bone #1) by Jennifer Roberson (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Daw Books)
A biker and a cowboy must stop the apocalypse in the first book of the Blood and Bones western urban fantasy series. 'The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.' --Baudelaire. He is, after all, the master of lies. But is it lies when a man comes calling and says the End of Days is nearing? That you must do everything within your power to stop it? Even when you have no powers. You are, after all, just a human. Or do you have no powers? Are you just a human? And what the hell are you supposed to do about preventing hell-on-earth when you're fresh out of prison, a biker ex-con who can't even vote? But the man who bears the message, the mission, is not a stranger shouting on a street corner while hoisting a sign promising death and damnation. He is someone you've known since boyhood, someone you trust implicitly. Someone who has never, ever lied to you. He's Grandaddy. But who is he really? And who are you? Are you truly a weapon meant to be wielded against the devil's return? Against the End Times. The End of Days. Apocalypse and Armageddon. Demons, Grandaddy says, are now loosed upon the earth in the first spasms of a most unholy war. Demons inhabit and make real the beasts and characters of fiction, folklore, fairytales. Gods and goddesses walk the earth. The minotaur. Murderers. A horseman without his head. Myth becomes reality. Legends--and lies--are truths. And maybe the man you've always trusted isn't entirely human.

Made Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Paperback, 192 pages, published by Tor.com)
She was good at making friends. Coppelia is a street thief, a trickster, a low-level con artist. But she has something other thieves don’t… tiny puppet-like friends: some made of wood, some of metal. They don’t entirely trust her, and she doesn’t entirely understand them, but their partnership mostly works. After a surprising discovery shakes their world to the core, Coppelia and her friends must reexamine everything they thought they knew about their world, while attempting to save their city from a seemingly impossible new threat.


Novice Dragoneer (Dragoneer Academy #1) by E.E. Knight (Paperback, 512 pages, published by Ace Books)
In the first book in an exciting and charming new coming-of-age fantasy series from the author of the Age of Fire series, an impoverished girl enters into a military order of dragonriders, but her path won't be as easy or as straightforward as she expected. Fourteen-year-old Ileth grew up in an orphanage, and thanks to her stutter was never thought to be destined for much beyond kitchen work and cleaning. But she's dreamed of serving with the dragons ever since a childhood meeting with a glittering silver dragon and its female dragoneer. For years she waits, and as soon as she is old enough to join, Ileth runs away to become a novice dragoneer at the ancient human-dragon fortress of the Serpentine. While most of her fellow apprentices are from rich and influential families, Ileth must fight for her place in the world, even if it includes a duel with her boss at the fish-gutting table. She's then sent off to the dragon-dancers after a foolish kiss with a famously named boy and given charge of a sickly old dragon with a mysterious past. But she finds those trials were nothing when she has to take the place of a dead dragoneer and care for his imprisoned dragon in enemy lands...


Quillifer the Knight (Quillifer #2) by Walter Jon Williams (Paperback, 544 pages, published by Gallery / Saga Press)
Rogue. Joker. Lover. Reluctant conspirator. The ambitious young Quillifer was been knighted for services to the crown, but was then banished from court by a queen who finds him obnoxious. Now, after a two-year voyage to improve his fortunes, Quillifer returns to court and is plunged immediately into a maelstrom of intrigue that triggers duels, plots, amours, and rollicking adventure. Bounding back and forth from the high councils of state to the warm bed of his mistress, Quillifer must exert every ounce of seductive charm and low cunning in order to survive. Queen Berlauda’s foreign husband brings war in his wake, along with a clutch of officials who enforce the royal will with violence, torture, and judicial murder. A dragon menaces the realm, and political conspiracy threatens the life of Quillifer’s young patroness, Princess Floria. It’s the traditional job of a knight to fight dragons and rescue princesses, but Quillifer is hardly a traditional knight, and he brings to the job an array of unorthodox skills that dazzles his swarm of rivals, seduces their wives, and threatens the realm. But there’s a greater menace to Quillifer than deadly political intrigue, for once again he finds himself hunted by the cruel, beautiful, and vengeful goddess Orlanda.


The Deep by Rivers Solomon (Hardcover, 176 pages, published by Gallery / Saga Press)
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu. Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago. Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.

The Monstrous Citadel (Chronicles of Amicae #2) by Mirah Bolender (Paperback, 416 pages, published by Tor Books)
The Monstrous Citadel is the sequel to Mirah Bolender's City of Broken Magic--a fast-paced, adventure fantasy where a bomb squad defuses the magic weapons of a long forgotten war. Amicae, City of Sweepers, survived the Falling Infestation which nearly destroyed it thanks to the efforts of Laura and Okane. While the ancient monsters have been beaten back for the moment, new and more monstrous dangers face them in the form of belligerent bureaucracy, dangerous gangs, grasping Sweepers bent on personal glory... And Rex, the City of Kings, who breed their own kind of monstrosity. Laura and Okane must go to Rex to reclaim the secret weaponry that keeps Amicae safe and come face to face with a horrifying truth about the Rex and their designs on all of Orien's cities.


The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (Paperback, 568 pages, published by Random House Large Print Publishing)
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues--a bee, a key, and a sword--that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians--it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose--in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

Unnatural Magic by C.M. Waggoner (Paperback, 400 pages, published by Ace)
Onna can write the parameters of a spell faster than any of the young men in her village school. But despite her incredible abilities, she’s denied a place at the nation’s premier arcane academy. Undaunted, she sails to the bustling city-state of Hexos, hoping to find a place at a university where they don’t think there’s anything untoward about providing a woman with a magical education. But as soon as Onna arrives, she’s drawn into the mysterious murder of four trolls. Tsira is a troll who never quite fit into her clan, despite being the leader’s daughter. She decides to strike out on her own and look for work in a human city, but on her way she stumbles upon the body of a half-dead human soldier in the snow. As she slowly nurses him back to health, an unlikely bond forms between them, one that is tested when an unknown mage makes an attempt on Tsira’s life. Soon, unbeknownst to each other, Onna and Tsira both begin devoting their considerable talents to finding out who is targeting trolls, before their homeland is torn apart…


War of the Spark: Forsaken (Magic: The Gathering: War of the Spark #2) by Greg Weisman (Hardcover, 304 pages, published by Del Rey Books)
Brand-new Magic: The Gathering official novel which ties in to the brand-new card game set. The hunt for Liliana Vess is on in the aftermath of the War of the Spark. The Planeswalkers have defeated Nicol Bolas and saved the Multiverse—though at grave cost. The living have been left to pick up the pieces and mourn the dead. But one loss is almost too great to bear: Gideon Jura, champion of justice and shield of the Gatewatch, is gone. As his former comrades Jace and Chandra struggle to rebuild from this tragedy, their future, like the future of the Gatewatch, remains uncertain. As the Gatewatch’s newest member, Kaya aims to help write that future. In joining, she pledged an oath to protect the living and the dead, but now that oath will be tested. The grieving guild masters of Ravnica have tasked her with a grave mission suited to her talents as a hunter and assassin—a mission she is ordered to keep secret from the Gatewatch. She must track down and exact retribution on the traitor Liliana Vess. But Liliana Vess has no interest in being found. Forsaken by her friends, she fled Ravnica after the defeat of Bolas. She was hostage to his wicked will, forced to assist in his terrible atrocities on pain of death—until Gideon, the last one who believed in her goodness, died in her place. Haunted by Gideon’s final gift, and hunted by former allies, Liliana now returns to a place she’d thought she’d never see again, the only place she has left: home.

November 12th:

A Sanctuary of Spirits (Spectral City #2) by Leanna Renee Hieber (Paperback, 368 pages, published by Kensington Publishing Corp.)
New York, 1899, and the police department’s best ally is the secret Ghost Precinct, where spirits and psychics help solve the city’s most perplexing crimes... There’s more than one way to catch a killer—though the methods employed by the NYPD’s Ghost Precinct, an all-female team of psychics and spiritualists led by gifted young medium Eve Whitby, are unconventional to say the least. Eve is concerned by the backlash that threatens the department—and by the discovery of an otherworldly realm, the Ghost Sanctuary, where the dead can provide answers. But is there a price to be paid for Eve and her colleagues venturing beyond the land of the living? Searching for clues about a mortician’s disappearance, Eve encounters a charismatic magician and mesmerist whose abilities are unlike any she’s seen. Is he a link to mysterious deaths around the city, or to the Ghost Sanctuary? Torn between the bonds of her team and her growing relationship with the dashing Detective Horowitz, Eve must discern truth from illusion and friend from foe, before another soul vanishes into the ether...

Flamebringer (Heartstone #3) by Elle Katharine White (Paperback, 368 pages, published by Harper Voyager)
Monsters, manners, and magic combine in this exciting final volume in the Heartstone Trilogy—an exhilarating blend of epic fantasy and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice—in which a fearless healer and her dragon-riding husband must stop a reawakened evil from destroying their world. It starts with the inconceivable: Wydrick, sworn enemy of the Daireds, is back from the dead, possessed by a ghast that grants him immortality and inhuman strength. From the isolated northern mountains, Aliza, Alastair, and Akarra chase him into the dangerous Old Wilds, realizing too late that he’s led them into a blizzard. Before he vanishes, Wydrick utters a warning: A terrible, ancient evil has awoken, hungry for blood, and is headed their way. The danger is closer than they know. The Tekari—sworn enemies of humans—are openly roaming the kingdom and are headed towards the capital, Edonarle. Then unexpected news arrives: riding like a dark dragon on the winds from the south, an ambassador from the Silent King of Els, has left the shores of the distant desert kingdom for the first time in centuries. Unknown enemy? Or unexpected ally? Plunged into a dangerous world of royal intrigue and ancient grudges, Aliza and Alastair soon realize it will take more than steel and dragonfire to save their kingdom. For the silence of Els hides a secret that could shake House Daired to its foundations, and the time has come to settle accounts. Silence, it seems, is about to be broken.


Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender (Paperback, 400 pages, published by Orbit)
An ambitious young woman with the power to control minds seeks vengeance against the royals who murdered her family, in a Caribbean-inspired fantasy world embattled by colonial oppression. Sigourney Rose is the only surviving daughter of a noble lineage on the islands of Hans Lollik. When she was a child, her family was murdered by the islands’ colonizers, who have massacred and enslaved generations of her people—and now, Sigourney is ready to exact her revenge. When the childless king of the islands declares that he will choose his successor from amongst eligible noble families, Sigourney uses her ability to read and control minds to manipulate her way onto the royal island and into the ranks of the ruling colonizers. But when she arrives, prepared to fight for control of all the islands, Sigourney finds herself the target of a dangerous, unknown magic. Someone is killing off the ruling families to clear a path to the throne. As the bodies pile up and all eyes regard her with suspicion, Sigourney must find allies among her prey and the murderer among her peers... lest she become the next victim.

Realm of Ash (The Books of Ambha #2) by Tasha Suri (Paperback, 496 pages, published by Orbit)
The Ambhan Empire is crumbling. A terrible war of succession hovers on the horizon. The only hope for peace lies in the mysterious realm of ash, where mortals can find what they seek in the echoes of their ancestors' dreams. But to walk there requires a steep price. Arwa is determined to make the journey. Widowed by a brutal massacre, she's pledged service to the royal family and will see that pledge through to the end. She never expected to be joined by Zahir, the disgraced, illegitimate prince who has turned to forbidden magic in a desperate bid to save those he loves. Together, they'll walk the bloody path of their shared past. And it will call into question everything they've ever believed... including whether the Empire is worth saving at all.

Revolution (Cold War Magic #2) by W.L. Goodwater (Paperback, 336 pages, published by Ace Books)
In the second novel in a thrilling Cold War fantasy series, American magician Karen O'Neil travels to Cuba to find a missing young girl intertwined with a new kind of magic that threatens to upend the balance of power of the whole world. AFTER THE WALL FELL, NOTHING COULD BE THE SAME. In Cold War Berlin, American magician Karen O'Neil defeated the ghosts of Germany's past and sealed the breach that threatened the whole world, but in doing so she learned a terrible truth: Magic cannot be trusted. Despite her wariness of the new and growing powers she gained in Germany, Karen agrees to help an old friend and is drawn to Cuba, a world of opulence run by a corrupt government and ruthless, magic-obsessed mobsters. In Havana, while the fires of revolution kindle, Karen searches for a missing girl whose fate is intertwined with impossible and deadly magic. And she knows she's being watched; both the Soviets and the CIA have designs on this island paradise, and their eyes are everywhere. But spies and rebels aren't the only dangers hiding in Havana's long shadows, and Karen will learn that the future can be just as dangerous as the past. MANKIND WILL ALWAYS FIND NEW WAYS TO CREATE MONSTERS.

The Ankh-Morpork Archives: Volume One (Discworld Companion Books) by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs (Hardcover, 240 pages, published by Orion Publishing Co)
Think you know Ankh-Morpork? Think again. In this top-secret guide, travellers will receive a first-hand experience of the real city. If you've ever wondered where Unseen University students wet their whistles (while managing to avoid their teachers doing the same), or exactly what the Assassins' Guild constitutes a true and proper means of inhumation - there are standards to be upheld, after all - then this is the book for you. Just don't let the Thieves' Guild catch you with this. They won't appreciate their methods being flogged behind their back. Flogging's their job, after all. Completely revamped and redesigned, this full-colour book contains material from Discworld Diaries across the decades. The book is a compilation of the texts written by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs for the Unseen University, Assassins Guild, Post Office and Thieves Guild diaries. They have been redesigned and formatted into one deluxe digitally re-mastered compendium to showcase the illustrations in large size and the diary element has been removed.

The Impossible Contract (The Chronicles of Ghadid #2) by K.A. Doore (Paperback, 368 pages, published by Tor Books)
Thana has a huge reputation to live up to as daughter of the Serpent, who rules over Ghadid’s secret clan of assassins. Opportunity to prove herself arrives when Thana accepts her first contract on Heru, a dangerous foreign diplomat with the ability to bind a person’s soul under his control. She may be in over her head, especially when Heru is targeted by a rival sorcerer who sends hordes of the undead to attack them both. When Heru flees, Thana has no choice than to pursue him across the sands to the Empire that intends to capture Ghadid inside its iron grip. A stranger in a strange city, Thana’s only ally is Mo, a healer who may be too noble for her own good. Meanwhile, otherworldly and political dangers lurk around every corner, and even more sinister plans are uncovered which could lead to worldwide devastation. Can Thana rise to the challenge—even if it means facing off against an ancient evil?


The Killing Light (The Sacred Throne #3) by Myke Cole (Hardcover, 256 pages, published by Tor.com)
The thrilling conclusion to Myke Cole's Sacred Throne trilogy. Heloise and her allies are marching on the Imperial Capital. The villagers, the Kipti, and the Red Lords are only united in their loyalty to Heloise. They face both internal religious strife and devils pouring through the rent in the veil between worlds, but must overcome everything to topple an empire.


The Reckoning (Dark Storm #3) by Kris Greene (Paperback, 208 pages, published by St. Martin's Paperbacks)
A young man discovers that it's his destiny to lead the war against the Darkness. Not much is left of Gabriel's life ever since he discovered his true destiny as a warrior knight in the final battle against darkness. His life has been rife with soul-sucking demons and creatures straight out of the books he studied in college. His life is no longer ordinary. As a warrior, he has no choice but to fight for good. And if he screws up, the world is toast... The war between good and evil has just been kicked up a notch for Gabriel Redfeather and his partner, the half Valkyrie, De Mona Sanchez. Gabriel is the only one who can stem the tide of darkness creeping across the land. But will he be able to do it without falling into darkness himself?

November 14th:

The Secret Chapter (The Invisible Library #6) by Genevieve Cogman (Paperback, 352 pages, published by Pan)
In the latest novel in Genevieve Cogman’s historical fantasy series, Irene and Kai have to team up with an unlikely band of misfits to pull off an amazing art heist—or risk the wrath of the dangerous villain with a secret island lair. A Librarian’s work is never done, and once Irene has a quick rest after their latest adventure, she is summoned to the Library. The world where she grew up is in danger of veering deep into chaos, and she needs to obtain a particular book to stop this from happening. No copies of the book are available in the Library, so her only choice is to contact a mysterious Fae information broker and trader of rare objects: Mr. Nemo. Irene and Kai make their way to Mr. Nemo’s remote Caribbean island and are invited to dinner, which includes unlikely company. Mr. Nemo has an offer for everyone there: he wants them to steal a specific painting from a specific world. He swears that he will give each of them an item from his collection if they bring him the painting within the week. Everyone takes the deal. But to get their reward, they will have to form a team, including a dragon techie, a Fae thief, a gambler, a driver, and the muscle. Their goal? The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, in a early twenty-first century world, where their toughest challenge might be each other.

November 19th:

Floodtide (Alpennia #4) by Heather Rose Jones (Paperback, published by Bella Books)
The streets are a perilous place for a young laundry maid dismissed without a character for indecent acts. Roz knew the end of the path for a country girl alone in the city of Rotenek. A desperate escape in the night brings her to the doorstep of Dominique the dressmaker and the hope of a second chance beyond what she could have imagined. Roz’s apprenticeship with the needle, under the patronage of the Royal Thaumaturgist, wasn’t supposed to include learning magic, but Celeste, the dressmaker’s daughter, draws Roz into the mysterious world of the charm-wives. When floodwaters and fever sweep through the lower city, Celeste’s magical charms could bring hope and healing to the forgotten poor of Rotenek, but only if Roz can claim the help of some unlikely allies. Set in the magical early 19th century world of Alpennia, Floodtide tells an independent tale that interweaves with the adventures.

Knight of the Silver Circle (Dragonslayer #2) by Duncan M. Hamilton (Paperback, 320 pages, published by Tor Books)
Three dragons wreak havoc throughout Mirabay—eating livestock, killing humans, and burning entire villages to ash. It was nearly impossible to kill one, using a legendary sword and the magic of the mysterious Cup; to tackle three, Guillot dal Villerauvais will need help. The mage Solène fears having to kill again; she leaves Gill to gain greater control over her magic. The Prince Bishop still wants Gill dead, but more than that, he wants the Cup, and he'll do whatever he has to to get it, even sending his own daughter—a talented thief and assassin—into the dragons' path. As secrets mount on secrets and betrayals on betrayals, both Guillot and Solène face critical decisions that will settle not only their own fate but that of all Mirabaya.


The Lights Go Out in Lychford (Lychford #4) by Paul Cornell (Paperback, 160 pages, published by Tor.com)
Be careful what you wish for... The borders of Lychford are crumbling. Other realities threaten to seep into the otherwise quiet village, and the resident wise woman is struggling to remain wise. The local magic shop owner and the local priest are having troubles of their own. And a mysterious stranger is on hand to offer a solution to everyone's problems. No cost, no strings (she says). But as everyone knows, free wishes from strangers rarely come without a price...


Upon the Flight of the Queen (The Ring-Sworn Trilogy #2) by Howard Andrew Jones (Hardcover, 432 pages, published by St. Martin's Press)
In this sequel to For the Killing of Kings, Howard Andrew Jones returns to the ring-sworn champions of the Altenerai in Upon the Flight of the Queen to continue this thrilling, imaginative and immersive epic fantasy trilogy. While the savage Naor clans prepare to march on the heart of the Allied Realms, Rylin infiltrates the highest of the enemy ranks to learn their secrets and free hundreds of doomed prisoners. His ailing mentor Varama leads the ever-dwindling Altenerai corps in a series of desperate strikes to cripple the Naor occupiers, hoping for a relief force that may not come in time to save what’s left of the city and her charges. Elenai, Kyrkenall, and the kobalin Ortok ride through the storm-wracked Shifting Lands to rekindle an alliance with the ko’aye, the only possible counter to the terrible Naor dragons. Even if they survive the hazardous trek deep through kobalin territory to find the winged lizards, though, the three are unlikely to get a warm reception, for the queen of the five realms refused to aid the ko’aye when their homelands were attacked, and the creatures have long memories. While the Altenerai fight impossible odds to save the realms, their queen delves further and deeper into the magic of the mysterious hearthstones in a frantic attempt to unlock secrets that might just destroy them all.

November 26th:

Seasons: All-New Tales of Valdemar (Tales of Valdemar #13) by Mercedes Lackey (Paperback, 336 pages, published by Daw Books)
This thirteenth anthology of short stories set in the beloved Valdemar universe features tales by debut and established authors and a brand-new story from Lackey herself. The Heralds of Valdemar are the kingdom's ancient order of protectors. They are drawn from all across the land, from all walks of life, and at all ages--and all are Gifted with abilities beyond those of normal men and women. They are Mindspeakers, FarSeers, Empaths, ForeSeers, Firestarters, FarSpeakers, and more. These inborn talents--combined with training as emissaries, spies, judges, diplomats, scouts, counselors, warriors, and more--make them indispensable to their monarch and realm. Sought and Chosen by mysterious horse-like Companions, they are bonded for life to these telepathic, enigmatic creatures. The Heralds of Valdemar and their Companions ride circuit throughout the kingdom, protecting the peace and, when necessary, defending their land and monarch. Now, twenty-three authors ride with Mercedes Lackey to her magical land of Valdemar, adding their own unique voices to the Heralds, Bards, Healers, and other heroes of this beloved fantasy realm.

The Rise of Magicks (Chronicles of The One #3) by Nora Roberts (Hardcover, 464 pages, published by St. Martin's Press)
After the sickness known as the Doom destroyed civilization, magick has become commonplace, and Fallon Swift has spent her young years learning its ways. Fallon cannot live in peace until she frees those who have been preyed upon by the government or the fanatical Purity Warriors, endlessly hunted or locked up in laboratories, brutalized for years on end. She is determined to save even those who have been complicit with this evil out of fear or weakness—if, indeed, they can be saved. Strengthened by the bond she shares with her fellow warrior, Duncan, Fallon has already succeeded in rescuing countless shifters and elves and ordinary humans. Now she must help them heal—and rediscover the light and faith within themselves. For although from the time of her birth, she has been The One, she is still only one. And as she faces down an old nemesis, sets her sights on the enemy’s stronghold, and pursues her destiny—to finally restore the mystical shield that once protected them all—she will need an army behind her…

• • • •

- Historical Fiction -

November 1st:

A Transcontinental Affair by Jodi Daynard (Paperback, 348 pages, published by Lake Union Publishing)
A sweeping tale of adventure and danger, innovation and corruption, and two women whose lives intertwine in unexpected ways on America’s first transcontinental train trip. May 1870. Crowds throng the Boston station, mesmerized by the mechanical wonder huffing on the rails: the Pullman Hotel Express, the first train to travel from coast to coast. Boarding the train are congressmen, railroad presidents, and even George Pullman himself. For two young women, strangers until this fateful day, it’s the beginning of a journey that will change their lives. Sensitive Louisa dreads the trip, but with limited prospects, she’s reluctantly joined the excursion as a governess to a wealthy family. Hattie is traveling to San Francisco to meet her fiancé, yet she’s far more interested in the workings of the locomotive than she is in the man awaiting her arrival. As the celebrated train moves westward, the women move toward one another, pulled by an unexpected attraction. But there is danger in this closeness, just as there is in the wilds of the frontier and in the lengths the railroad men will go to protect their investments. Before their journey is over, Louisa and Hattie will find themselves very far from where they intended to go.

November 5th:

On Swift Horses by Shannon Pufahl (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Riverhead Books)
A lonely newlywed and her wayward brother-in-law follow divergent and dangerous paths through the postwar American West. Muriel is newly married and restless, transplanted from her rural Kansas hometown to life in a dusty bungalow in San Diego. The air is rich with the tang of salt and citrus, but the limits of her new life seem to be closing in: She misses her freethinking mother, dead before Muriel's nineteenth birthday, and her sly, itinerant brother-in-law, Julius, who made the world feel bigger than she had imagined. And so she begins slipping off to the Del Mar racetrack, to bet and eavesdrop, learning the language of horses and risk. Meanwhile, Julius is testing his fate in Las Vegas, working at a local casino where tourists watch atomic tests from the roof, and falling in love with Henry, a young card cheat. When Henry is eventually discovered and run out of town, Julius takes off to search for him in the plazas and dives of Tijuana, trading one city of dangerous illusions for another. On Swift Horses is a debut of astonishing power: a story of love and luck, of two people trying to find their place in a country that is coming apart even as it promised them everything.


The Book of Lost Saints by Daniel José Older (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Imprint)
An evocative multigenerational Cuban American family story of revolution, loss, violence, and family bonds. Marisol vanished during the Cuban Revolution, her fate unknown and lost to time. Now, haunted by atrocities long-forgotten, her foul-mouthed spirit visits her nephew, Ramon, in modern-day New Jersey. Her hope: That her presence will prompt her descendant to unearth their painful family history. Ramon launches a haphazard investigation into the story of his ancestor, unaware of the forces driving him on his search. Along the way, he falls in love, discovers a new sense of his own identity, faces a run-in with a murderous gangster, and learns of each "lost saint" who helped Marisol during her imprisonment under Batista's reign. Uplifting and evocative, The Book of Lost Saints is a meditation on family, forgiveness, and the violent struggle to be free.

The Other Windsor Girl: A Novel of Princess Margaret, Royal Rebel by Georgie Blalock (Paperback, 400 pages, published by William Morrow Paperbacks)
In a historical debut evoking the style of The Crown, the daughter of an impoverished noble is swept into the fame and notoriety of the royal family and Princess Margaret's fast-living friends when she is appointed as Margaret's second Lady-in-Waiting. Springing into post-World War II society, and quite naughty and haughty, she lived in a whirlwind of fame and notoriety. In dreary, post-war Britain, Princess Margaret captivates everyone with her cutting edge fashion sense and biting quips. The royal socialite, cigarette holder in one hand, cocktail in the other, sparkles in the company of her glittering entourage of wealthy young aristocrats known as the Margaret Set, but her outrageous lifestyle conflicts with her place as Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister. Can she be a dutiful princess while still dazzling the world on her own terms? Post-war Britain isn’t glamorous for The Honorable Vera Strathmore. While writing scandalous novels, she dreams of living and working in New York, and regaining the happiness she enjoyed before her fiancé was killed in the war. A chance meeting with the Princess changes her life forever. Vera amuses the princess, and what—or who—Margaret wants, Margaret gets. Soon, Vera gains Margaret’s confidence and the privileged position of second lady-in-waiting to the Princess. Thrust into the center of Margaret’s social and royal life, Vera watches the princess’s love affair with dashing Captain Peter Townsend unfurl. But while Margaret, as a member of the Royal Family, is not free to act on her desires, Vera soon wants the freedom to pursue her own dreams. As time and Princess Margaret’s scandalous behavior progress, both women will be forced to choose between status, duty, and love…

The Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton (Hardcover, 288 pages, published by Counterpoint)
In 1925, Josephine is the proud owner of a thriving farm. As a child, she channeled otherworldly power to free herself from slavery. Now, her new neighbor, a white woman named Charlotte, seeks her company, and an uneasy friendship grows between them. But Charlotte has also sought solace in the Ku Klux Klan, a relationship that jeopardizes Josephine's family. Nearly one hundred years later, Josephine's descendant, Ava, is a single mother who has just lost her job. She moves in with her white grandmother Martha, a wealthy but lonely woman who pays her grandchild to be her companion. But Martha's behavior soon becomes erratic, then even threatening, and Ava must escape before her story and Josephine's converge. The Revisioners explores the depths of women's relationships—powerful women and marginalized women, healers and survivors. It is a novel about the bonds between a mother and a child, the dangers that upend those bonds. At its core, The Revisioners ponders generational legacies, the endurance of hope, and the undying promise of freedom.

November 12th:

The Pursuit of William Abbey by Claire North (Paperback, 464 pages, published by Orbit)
South Africa in the 1880s. A young and naive English doctor by the name of William Abbey witnesses the lynching of a local boy by the white colonists. As the child dies, his mother curses William. William begins to understand what the curse means when the shadow of the dead boy starts following him across the world. It never stops, never rests. It can cross oceans and mountains. And if it catches him, the person he loves most in the world will die.

November 19th:

Mary Toft, or The Rabbit Queen by Dexter Palmer (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Pantheon Books)
From the highly acclaimed author of Version Control a stunning, powerfully evocative new novel based on a true story--in 1726 in the small town of Godalming, England, a young woman confounds the medical community by giving birth to dead rabbits. Surgeon John Howard is a rational man. His apprentice Zachary knows John is reluctant to believe anything that purports to exist outside the realm of logic. But even John cannot explain how or why Mary Toft, the wife of a local farmer, manages to give birth to a dead rabbit. When this singular event becomes a regular occurrence, John realizes that nothing in his experience as a village physician has prepared him to deal with a situation as disturbing as this. He writes to several preeminent surgeons in London, three of whom quickly arrive in the small town of Godalming ready to observe and opine. When Mary's plight reaches the attention of King George, Mary and her doctors are summoned to London, where Zachary experiences for the first time a world apart from his small-town existence, and is exposed to some of the darkest corners of the human soul. All the while, Mary lies in bed, waiting for another birth, as doubts begin to blossom among the surgeons and a growing group of onlookers grow impatient for another miracle...

November 26th:

The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky (Montague Siblings #1.5) by Mackenzi Lee (Paperback, 128 pages, published by Katherine Tegen Books)
In this funny and frothy novella that picks up where the New York Times bestselling The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue leaves off, freshly minted couple Monty and Percy fumble through their first time together. Monty’s epic grand tour may be over, but now that he and Percy are finally a couple, he realizes there is something more nerve-wracking than being chased across Europe: getting together with the person you love. Will the romantic allure of Santorini make his first time with Percy magical, or will all the anticipation and build-up completely spoil the mood?

• • • •

- Literary Fiction -

November 1st:

Room to Breathe by Liz Talley (Paperback, 336 pages, published by Montlake Romance)
Bestselling author Liz Talley’s emotional and funny novel about family and forgiveness. For a good part of Daphne Witt’s life, she was a supportive wife and dutiful mother. Now that she’s divorced and her daughter, Ellery, is all grown up, Daphne’s celebrating the best part of her life, a successful career, and a flirtation with an attentive hunk fifteen years her junior… who happens to be her daughter’s ex-boyfriend. Ellery is starting over, too. She’s fresh out of college. Her job prospects are dim. And to support her fiancé in med school, she’s returned home as her mother’s new assistant. Ellery never expected her own life plan to take such a detour. With no outlet for her frustration, she lets an online flirtation go a little too far, especially considering her pen pal thinks he’s corresponding with her mother. As love lives tangle, secrets spill, and indiscretions are betrayed, mother and daughter will have a lot to learn—not only about the mistakes they’ve made but also about the men in their lives and the women they are each hoping to become.

November 5th:

Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz (Paperback, 300 pages, published by Entangled: Teen)
Isabel has one rule: no dating. It's easier--It's safer--It's better----for the other person. She's got issues. She's got secrets. She's got rheumatoid arthritis. But then she meets another sick kid. He's got a chronic illness Isabel's never heard of, something she can't even pronounce. He understands what it means to be sick. He understands her more than her healthy friends. He understands her more than her own father who's a doctor. He's gorgeous, fun, and foul-mouthed. And totally into her. Isabel has one rule: no dating. It's complicated--It's dangerous--It's never felt better----to consider breaking that rule for him.


The How and the Why by Cynthia Hand (Hardcover, 464 pages, published by HarperTeen)
Today Melly had us writing letters to our babies… Cassandra McMurtrey has the best parents a girl could ask for. They’ve given Cass a life she wouldn’t trade for the world. She has everything she needs—except maybe the one thing she wants. Like, to know who she is. Where she came from. Questions her adoptive parents can’t answer, no matter how much they love her. But eighteen years ago, someone wrote Cass a series of letters. And they may just hold the answers Cass has been searching for. Alternating between Cass’s search for answers and letters from the pregnant teen who gave her up for adoption, this voice-driven narrative is the perfect read for fans of Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson.

The Worst Kind of Want: A Novel by Liska Jacobs (Hardcover, 224 pages, published by MCD)
A trip to Italy reignites a woman's desires to disastrous effect in this dark ode to womanhood, death, and sex. To cool-headed, fastidious Pricilla Messing, Italy will be an escape, a brief glimpse of freedom from a life that's starting to feel like one long decline. Rescued from the bedside of her difficult mother, forty-something Cilla finds herself called away to Rome to keep an eye on her wayward teenage niece, Hannah. But after years of caregiving, babysitting is the last thing Cilla wants to do. Instead she throws herself into Hannah's youthful, heedless world--drinking, dancing, smoking--relishing the heady atmosphere of the Italian summer. After years of feeling used up and overlooked, Cilla feels like she's coming back to life. But being so close to Hannah brings up complicated memories, making Cilla restless and increasingly reckless, and a dangerous flirtation with a teenage boy soon threatens to send her into a tailspin. With the sharp-edged insight of Ottessa Moshfegh and the taut seduction of Patricia Highsmith, The Worst Kind of Want is a dark exploration of the inherent dangers of being a woman. In her unsettling follow-up to Catalina, Liska Jacobs again delivers hypnotic literary noir about a woman whose unruly desires and troubled past push her to the brink of disaster.

November 12th:

The Innocents by Michael Crummey (Hardcover, 304 pages, published by Doubleday Books)
From bestselling, award-winning author Michael Crummey comes a sweeping, heart-wrenching, deeply immersive novel about a brother and sister alone in a small world. A brother and sister are orphaned in an isolated cove on Newfoundland's northern coastline. Their home is a stretch of rocky shore governed by the feral ocean, by a relentless pendulum of abundance and murderous scarcity. Still children with only the barest notion of the outside world, they have nothing but the family's boat and the little knowledge passed on haphazardly by their mother and father to keep them. As they fight for their own survival through years of meagre catches and storms and ravaging illness, it is their fierce loyalty to each other that motivates and sustains them. But as seasons pass and they wade deeper into the mystery of their own natures, even that loyalty will be tested. This novel is richly imagined and compulsively readable, a riveting story of hardship and survival, and an unflinching exploration of the bond between brother and sister. By turns electrifying and heartbreaking, it is a testament to the bounty and barbarity of the world, to the wonders and strangeness of our individual selves.


November 19th:

The Confession Club (Mason #3) by Elizabeth Berg (Paperback, 304 pages, published by Random House Large Print Publishing)
In a captivating novel from the bestselling author of The Story of Arthur Truluv, a group of women in Mason, Missouri discover that best friends are made by sharing secrets. It all started as a supper club, a group gathering monthly to share homemade dinners, until the night one woman made a startling revelation. After that, the "Confession Club" decided to meet weekly to feast not only on dinner, but on admissions of misdeeds, embarrassments, and insecurities. When Iris Winters and Maddy Harris are invited to the club, they find that it's just what each of them needs. Iris hasn't yet told anyone about the unlikely man who has captured her attention, and Maddy has come back home to escape a problem too big for her to confront. The Confession Club is a heartwarming and illuminating book about women, friendship, and how sharing the secrets we're afraid of revealing can actually bring us closer.


Twenty-one Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by St. Martin's Press)
1. Daniel Mayrock loves his wife Jill…more than anything. 2. Dan quit his job and opened a bookshop. 3. Jill is ready to have a baby. 4. Dan is scared; the bookshop isn’t doing well. Financial crisis is imminent. 5. Dan hasn’t told Jill about their financial trouble. He’s ashamed. 6. Then Jill gets pregnant. This heartfelt story is about the lengths one man will go to and the risks he will take to save his family. But Dan doesn’t just want to save his failing bookstore and his family’s finances—he wants to become someone. 1. Dan wants to do something special. 2. He’s a man who is tired of feeling ordinary. 3. He’s sick of feeling like a failure. 4. Of living in the shadow of his wife’s deceased first husband. Dan is also an obsessive list maker, and his story unfolds entirely in his lists, which are brimming with Dan’s hilarious sense of humor, unique world-view, and deeply personal thoughts. When read in full, his lists paint a picture of a man struggling to be a man, a man who has reached a point where he’s willing to anything for the love (and soon-to-be new love) of his life.

• • • •

- Young Adult -

November 1st:

Her Crown of Fire (Molten Crown, #1) by Renee April (Paperback, 387 pages, published by Write Plan)
In the dull, everyday world, seventeen-year-old Rose Evermore struggles to plan beyond her final year of high school. But when fire suddenly obeys her every command and her dreams predict the future, she becomes hungry for more of this strange power. Under her dreams’ guidance, Rose lands in the fantasy realm of Lotheria–with a tagalong. Tyson, her best friend since childhood, winds up there with her, just as confused and a hell of a lot more vulnerable. In Lotheria, Rose is welcomed and celebrated as a fire mage at the Academy, while the very un-magical Tyson is forced into hiding under threat of death from the headmasters of Rose’s new school. As Rose’s talent in fire magic draws unwanted attention and Tyson struggles to transition from high school student to blacksmith, Rose must find a way to return Tyson to their own world before the headmasters discover and execute him–no matter the cost.

November 5th:

A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by HarperTeen)
Ever since her mother walked out, Trix McCabe has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive. Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas. Trix doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw long, but there’s something special about her McCabe relatives that she is drawn to. Her aunt, Mia, bakes pies that seem to cure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, can tell a person’s deepest secret with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere. Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life... or keep running from the one she’s always known. With lovable and flawed characters, an evocative setting, and friendships to treasure, A Constellation of Roses is the perfect companion to Miranda Asebedo’s debut novel The Deepest Roots.

A Thousand Fires by Shannon Price (Hardcover, 304 pages, published by Tor Teen)
10 Years. 3 Gangs. 1 Girl’s Epic Quest… Valerie Simons knows the city's gang wars are dangerous—her own brother was killed by the Boars two years ago. But nothing will sway her from joining the elite and beautiful Herons to avenge his death—a death she feels responsible for. But when Valerie is recruited by the mysterious Stags, their charismatic and volatile leader Jax promises to help her get revenge. Torn between old love and new loyalty, Valerie fights to stay alive as she races across the streets of San Francisco to finish the mission that got her into the gangs.

Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy #1) by Maggie Stiefvater (Paperback, 448 pages, published by Scholastic)
The dreamers walk among us... and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die. And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers. To use them. To trap them. To kill them before their dreams destroy us all. Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality. Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it. Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer... and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed...

Fire Sail (Xanth #42) by Piers Anthony (Kindle Edition, published by Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy)
Lydell, a shy, naive man of twenty-one, and world-weary grandmother Grania could not be more different. But when their paths cross on the way to beseech the Good Magician to add some excitement to their extraordinarily dull lives, the one thing they have in common is about to get them more than they bargained for... Lydell and Grania’s exceptional integrity makes them valuable to the Good Magician. He promises to fulfill their hearts’ desires on the condition they pilot a fireboat to its new proprietors, whoever—and wherever—they may be. Along with an obnoxious bird and a robot dogfish as shipmates, they unfurl their sail of flame and cruise through the skies of Xanth, guided by cryptic clues. Picking up a crew of future children along the way, Lydell and Grania must plan a royal wedding, detonate an F-Bomb, evade illusion dragons, rescue Jack and Jill, find a princess for a werewolf prince, and face their greatest fears—all while remaining true to their compulsively honest selves. Fire Sail is the 42nd book in the Xanth series, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.


Girls of Storm and Shadow (Girls of Paper and Fire #2) by Natasha Ngan (Hardcover, 416 pages, published by Jimmy Patterson Books)
In this mesmerizing sequel to the New York Times bestselling Girls of Paper and Fire, Lei and Wren have escaped their oppressive lives in the Hidden Palace, but soon learn that freedom comes with a terrible cost. Lei, the naive country girl who became a royal courtesan, is now known as the Moonchosen, the commoner who managed to do what no one else could. But slaying the cruel Demon King wasn't the end of the plan---it's just the beginning. Now Lei and her warrior love Wren must travel the kingdom to gain support from the far-flung rebel clans. The journey is made even more treacherous thanks to a heavy bounty on Lei's head, as well as insidious doubts that threaten to tear Lei and Wren apart from within. Meanwhile, an evil plot to eliminate the rebel uprising is taking shape, fueled by dark magic and vengeance. Will Lei succeed in her quest to overthrow the monarchy and protect her love for Wren, or will she fall victim to the sinister magic that seeks to destroy her?


Shadowscent (Shadowscent #1) by P.M. Freestone (Hardcover, 368 pages, published by Scholastic Press)
Across the Aramtesh Empire, scent is everything. Prayers only reach heaven on sacred incense, and perfumes are prized status symbols. 17-year-old Rakel has an uncanny ability with fragrances, but her skills aren't enough to buy her dying father more time. Ash bears the tattoos of an imperial bodyguard. When his prince, Nisai, insists on a diplomatic mission to an outer province, Ash is duty-bound to join the caravan. It's a nightmare protecting Nisai on the road. But it's even harder for Ash to conceal a secret that could see him exiled or executed. Rakel and Ash have nothing in common until smoke draws them to a field of the Empire's rarest flower. Nisai's been poisoned, flames devour the priceless blooms, and the pair have "suspect" clinging to them like a bad stench. Their futures depend on them working together to decipher clues, defy dangers and defeat their own demons in a race to source an antidote... before the imperial army hunts them down.

Sisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light #1) by Sara B. Larson (Hardcover, 368 pages, published by Tor Teen)
The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes… Zuhra and Inara have grown up in the Citadel of the Paladins, an abandoned fortress where legendary, magical warriors once lived before disappearing from the world—including their Paladin father the night Inara was born. On that same night, a massive, magical hedge grew and imprisoned them within the citadel. Inara inherited their father’s Paladin power; her eyes glow blue and she is able to make plants grow at unbelievable rates, but she has been trapped in her own mind because of a “roar” that drowns everything else out—leaving Zuhra virtually alone with their emotionally broken human mother. For fifteen years they have lived, trapped in the citadel, with little contact from the outside world… until the day a stranger passes through the hedge, and everything changes.

Song of the Crimson Flower (Rise of the Empress companion) by Julie C. Dao (Hardcover, 288 pages, published by Philomel Books)
From the acclaimed author of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns comes a fantastical new tale of darkness and love, in which magical bonds are stronger than blood. Will love break the spell? After cruelly rejecting Bao, the poor physician's apprentice who loves her, Lan, a wealthy nobleman's daughter, regrets her actions. So when she finds Bao's prized flute floating in his boat near her house, she takes it into her care, not knowing that his soul has been trapped inside it by an evil witch, who cursed Bao, telling him that only love will set him free. Though Bao now despises her, Lan vows to make amends and help break the spell. Together, the two travel across the continent, finding themselves in the presence of greatness in the forms of the Great Forest's Empress Jade and Commander Wei. They journey with Wei, getting tangled in the webs of war, blood magic, and romance along the way. Will Lan and Bao begin to break the spell that's been placed upon them? Or will they be doomed to live out their lives with black magic running through their veins? In this fantastical tale of darkness and love, some magical bonds are stronger than blood.


Supernova (Renegades #3) by Marissa Meyer (Paperback, 560 pages, published by Macmillan Children's Books)
All's fair in love and anarchy... The epic conclusion to Marissa Meyer's thrilling Renegades Trilogy finds Nova and Adrian struggling to keep their secret identities concealed while the battle rages on between their alter egos, their allies, and their greatest fears come to life. Secrets, lies, and betrayals are revealed as anarchy once again threatens to reclaim Gatlon City.

The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1) by Kiersten White (Paperback, 352 pages, published by Bantam Dell Publishing Group)
From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes a new fantasy series reimagining the Arthurian legend, set in the magical world of Camelot. There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl. Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom's borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution--send in Guinevere to be Arthur's wife... and his protector from those who want to see the young king's idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere's real name--and her true identity--is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot. To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old--including Arthur's own family--demand things continue as they have been, and the new--those drawn by the dream of Camelot--fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur's knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free. Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?

Tears of Frost (Heart of Thorns #2) by Bree Barton (Hardcover, 480 pages, published by Katherine Tegen Books)
The electric second book in the Heart of Thorns trilogy explores the effects of power in a dark magical kingdom—and the fierce courage it takes to claim your body as your own. Mia Rose is back from the dead. Her memories are hazy, her body numb—but she won’t stop searching. Her only hope to save the boy she loves and the sister who destroyed her is to find the mother she can never forgive. Pilar is on a hunt of her own. Betrayed by her mother, and plagued by a painful secret, she’s determined to seek out the only person who can exact revenge. All goes according to plan… until she collides with Prince Quin, the boy whose sister she killed. As Mia, Pilar, and Quin forge dangerous new alliances, they are bewitched by the snow kingdom’s promise of freedom and opportunity. But with the winter solstice drawing near, they must confront the truth beneath the glimmering ice, as lines between friend, foe, and lover vanish like snowflakes on a flame.


The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman (Hardcover, 640 pages, published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver. In this pulse-pounding conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.


Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Simon Pulse)
Be careful of the dark, dark wood… Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even. Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing. But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

November 12th:

Crown of Oblivion by Julie Eshbaugh (Hardcover, 480 pages, published by HarperCollins)
Astrid is the surrogate for Princess Renya, which means she bears the physical punishment if Renya steps out of line. Astrid has no choice—she and her family are Outsiders, the lower class of people without magic and without citizenship. But there is a way out of this life—competing in the deadly Race of Oblivion. To enter the race, an Outsider is administered the drug Oblivion, which wipes their memory clear of their past as they enter a new world with nothing to help them but a slip of paper bearing their name and the first clue. It’s not as simple as solving a puzzle, however—for a majority of the contestants, the race ends in death. But winning would mean not only freedom for Astrid, but citizenship and health care for her entire family. With a dying father to think of, Astrid is desperate to prevail. From the beginning, the race is filled with twists and turns. One of them is Darius, a fellow racer Astrid meets but isn’t sure she can trust. Though they team up in the race, as Astrid’s memories begin to resurface, she remembers just who he was to her—a scorned foe who may want revenge. Astrid also starts to notice she has powers no Outsider should—which could help her win the race, but also make her a target if anyone finds out. With stakes that couldn’t be higher, Astrid must decide what is more important: risking her life to remember the mysteries of the past, or playing a cutthroat game in order to win her—and her family’s—freedom.

Dark Star Calling (Dark Intercept #3) by Julia Keller (Paperback, 272 pages, published by Tor Teen)
Out in the observatory, protruding from the vast gap in the roof, was the giant telescope. It stared unblinkingly into the night sky, its gaze peering deep into the wilderness of stars. Somewhere within that wilderness was the single star Rez was determined to find. New Earth, 2297. A year after the resurrection of a universal surveillance system called the Intercept, New Earth is collapsing. Humanity must depend on a group of five friends to find them all a new home. The fate of all rests in the hands of Violet Crowley, a headstrong rebel and former detective turned politician; Shura Lu, scientific genius and gifted artist; Kendall Mayhew, New Earth's Chief of Police; Tin Man Tolliver, Kendall's top deputy; and Steven J. Reznik, aka "Rez," NESA Director and Chief Technologist. Together they discovered their utopian home is on an unstoppable collision course with Earth. Together they look to the stars to find a world suitable for human life and what they find there—or rather who—will change them all forever.

Dead Moon Rising (Last Star Burning #3) by Caitlin Sangster (Hardcover, 512 pages, published by Simon Pulse)
Sev must decode her mother’s last words to find the cure to Sleeping Sickness before Dr. Yang can use it to blackmail the world into submitting to his rule in this thrilling finale to the Last Star Burning trilogy. Sev finally knows where to find the cure to Sleeping Sickness. The only problem is that she’s trapped in an endless sleep herself after refusing to give up her secrets to Dr. Yang. Howl is determined to save Sev, but he has no idea where Dr. Yang is keeping her. When he runs into a group fleeing Port North on a mission of their own, he has no choice but to follow and hope they can get him back to the mountains before it’s too late. June, infected with SS by the very people she calls family, has now become the one thing she most fears. She’s supposed to be Port North’s insurance that Howl and Sev return with the cure, but June has other ideas. And Tai-ge, reunited with the Reds, is airlifted to the City now overrun by SS. He’s charged with getting the factories running again by any means necessary—no matter how many Sephs stand in his way. There’s only one thing strong enough to unite people who have been fighting for years, and Sev holds the key to it inside her mind. If she can’t reach the cure in time, there may not be anyone left to save.


The Sky Weaver (Iskari #3) by Kristen Ciccarelli (Hardcover, 400 pages, published by HarperTeen)
At the end of one world, there always lies another. Safire, a soldier, knows her role in this world is to serve the King of Firgaard—helping to maintain the peace in her oft-troubled nation. Eris, a deadly pirate, has no such conviction. Known as the Death Dancer for her ability to evade even the most determined of pursuers, she possesses a superhuman power to move between worlds. When one can roam from dimension to dimension, can one ever be home? Can love and loyalty truly exist? Now Safire and Eris—sworn enemies—find themselves on a common mission: to find Asha, the last Namsara. From the port city of Darmoor to the fabled faraway Star Isles, their search and their stories become woven ever more tightly together as they discover the uncertain fate they’re hurtling towards may just be a shared one. In this world—and the next.

November 19th:

Blood Heir (Blood Heir Trilogy #1) by Amélie Wen Zhao (Hardcover, 464 pages, published by Delacorte Press)
This hot debut is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father's murder. In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls. When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue. A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.


Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer (Hardcover, 304 pages, published by Tor Teen)
How much does the internet know about YOU? A thought-provoking near future YA thriller that could not be more timely as it explores issues of online privacy, artificial intelligence, and the power and perils of social networks. Because her mom is always on the move, Steph hasn’t lived anyplace longer than six months. Her only constant is an online community called CatNet—a social media site where users upload cat pictures—a place she knows she is welcome. What Steph doesn’t know is that the admin of the site, CheshireCat, is a sentient A.I. When a threat from Steph’s past catches up to her and ChesireCat’s existence is discovered by outsiders, it’s up to Steph and her friends, both online and IRL, to save her.

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black (Paperback, 320 pages, published by Hotkey)
He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne. Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power. Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril. Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics. And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity...

November 26th:

Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Henry Holt)
In a land where magic is outlawed, eight criminals led by seventeen-year-old Larkin are sent on a mission to kill an ancient evil that plagues their kingdom. Descending into an underground realm full of unspeakable horrors, Larkin and her party must use their forbidden magic to survive what lies in wait, teeth sharp and jaws deadly. As she fights for her life, Larkin finds a light in Amias, a fellow outlaw with a notorious past. Soon Larkin and Amias realize their fates are entwined. The eight of them were chosen for a reason. But as the dangers multiply and her band of felons are picked off one by one, Larkin must confront a terrible truth: They were never meant to return. Sarah Harian crafts a thrilling, high-octane fantasy adventure that explores the often-thin line between light and darkness, good and evil.

Starsight (Skyward #2) by Brandon Sanderson (Paperback, 528 pages, published by Orion Publishing Co)
All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she's a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing. Spensa is sure there's more to the story. And she's sure that whatever happened to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars--and it was terrifying. Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie. But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself--and she'll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to.

The Wickerlight (The Wren Hunt #2) by Mary Watson (Hardcover, 416 pages, published by Bloomsbury YA)
It's been two months since Laila was found lifeless on Kilshamble village green, not a mark on her. Rumour says she died of an overdose. Or maybe it was suicide? The autopsy found nothing, but somebody must know what happened. Now Laila's sister Zara is ready to pick up the trail. But retracing her sister's footsteps takes her to David, a Judge at the dangerous heart of an ancient magical feud. All too unwittingly, she begins to tread the same path that led her sister to the village green. Mary Watson's sequel to The Wren Hunt is an eerie, magical thriller about a dead girl, her sister and the boy who can unlock the truth of what happened the night she died.

(sources: www.wordsfromareader.com, www.bookish.com, io9.gizmodo.com 1 2,
Barnes&Noble 1 2, goodreads.com 1 2 3, tor.com 1 2 3 4 5)


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