An imaginative and thought-provoking tale of human experience, present and past.

THE DEATH DREAM OF GREEN EYES — OR — SECOND NATURE, AN EPIC TALE

An anthropologist encounters a prehistoric man in this SF novel.

Anthropologist and former child prodigy Ruby and her colleague Dr. Steve Reily have done the unthinkable. They’ve broken through the final and greatest barrier to human progress: that of time. In doing so, they’ve accidentally brought three prehistoric humans into the present: a Chalcolithic man (known as Man With Green Eyes for his distinctive feature) and his two children, 10-year-old boy Voice of the Wind and infant girl Mourning Dove. The rest of Green Eyes’ people, the nomadic Soldiers of the Ibex, were recently killed by the settled Metal Men. When oddly dressed strangers appear a few days later, Green Eyes assumes they are Metal Men as well: “Appearing from nowhere, the strange Metal Men who had such powerful magic had hardly moved; had not even run for cover. Great medicine seemed to accompany great stupidity, which seemed impossible. But surely their brains must have fallen out on the ground.” After Green Eyes kills two of her teammates, Ruby—who speaks a reconstructed form of his language—manages to capture him. As she begins to study and understand this 6,000-year-old man, she realizes that she is staring into the face of humanity’s past, present, and future all at once. Hydrick’s (Critical Mass, 2004) prose is elegant and inventive, especially the chapters written from Green Eyes’ perspective: “Blowing wildly in the stiff, cool current of the mountain reaches, Green Eyes felt his pitched bangs wobble under the exhilarating force….Waiting, anticipating, he was not sure what form the battle would take, only that there would be battle.” The plot develops slowly, but it is immediately compelling, and the author smartly alternates between his two protagonists to maximize the sense of collision. The book’s strong philosophical bent is balanced out by the deeply considered and well-dramatized worldview of Green Eyes and the way that it challenges Ruby’s perspective. The novel’s self-aggrandizing title aside, Hydrick has achieved a subtle and realistic work of soft SF that places, in a rather visceral fashion, the human soul at its center.

An imaginative and thought-provoking tale of human experience, present and past.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Manuscript

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2020

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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IT ENDS WITH US

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

ALL YOUR PERFECTS

Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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