Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

WRONG SIDE OF THE STORM

From the Mothman Mysteries series , Vol. 2

An ardent supernatural tale with a bundle of appealing, electric characters.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Someone controlling a fierce storm attacks a secret government agency that works with aliens in this second installment of a YA series.

Eric Jansen is an alien who’s lived on Earth for centuries. In his human form, he’s a mere teen, albeit a roguishly good-looking drummer in a rock band. But his true alien form is the catalyst for the Mothman legend in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. When his failed attempt to save a bridge jumper sparks yet another Mothman sighting, the Agency, Eric’s covert government employer, disciplines him. He’s an asset to the Agency, as he regularly snacks on vampires who, like Eric, are offworlders (excluding the humans turned into vampires). Eric knows he must follow the rules on the humans’ planet so he willingly heads to the Agency’s base for punishment. But once there, along with his human pals Bridget North and Alaire “Duey” Dupont and his handler, Agent Carey Warner, an icy storm aggressively targets the base. Eric manages to escape and tracks down his only clue: information on the dead bridge jumper, Dr. Henry Wallen, a storm scientist. Meanwhile, Bridget, Duey, and Warner try to combat the storm while stuck inside the base. Butler’s (Wrong Side of the Grave, 2015, etc.) delightful supernatural novel moves at a frantic pace with beaucoup action. While the titular storm is the focus, there are intermittent subplot teases throughout, some possibly for later series installments. For example, Eric has good reason to be fearful when Bridget’s estranged mother, Miranda, contacts her daughter. Character backstories are so comprehensive that numerous spinoffs are feasible. Duey, in particular, could carry his own series; after his death in the late 18th century, his consciousness lived inside computers before its present-day return to a 19-year-old body. Interactions between Eric and Bridget are endearing (romance is unquestionably brewing), even if the two characters are disappointingly separated for much of this volume. Their scenes are also quite funny, such as discussing the unintentionally misleading names of Bridget’s book review blog: “Stacked and Dangerous” and “Between the Covers with Bridget.”

An ardent supernatural tale with a bundle of appealing, electric characters.

Pub Date: March 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-79530-087-2

Page Count: 179

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2019

Categories:

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 29


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015


  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner


  • National Book Award Finalist

A LITTLE LIFE

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 29


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015


  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner


  • National Book Award Finalist

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

Categories:

MAGIC HOUR

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

Categories:
Close Quickview