A multilayered protagonist and stellar setting help guide this sci-fi narrative to an unforgettable coda.



From the The Brulle Mosaic series , Vol. 3

In 2040, a former convict with an implant to stave off violent impulses finds himself in the midst of a plan to take down a corporate empire in Lutz’s (Book Hunter, 2015, etc.) sci-fi thriller.

It’s been a year since Andre Cross left prison early after agreeing to get a device implanted in his neck that counters his destructive urges by inducing euphoria. He works at a farm that produces Neura, a drug that’s part of a health plan for wealthy citizens in a place called Upper Brulle. Andre’s maintenance job pays him in credits and doses of Neura, but because the implant prevents him from taking the drug, he sells it legally for even more credits. He’s hoping to earn enough to buy a ticket to the utopian city of Anchora. And there’s a chance he could expedite his departure: his preferred customer, Finn, suggests that Andre could swipe a large haul of Neura for a bulk sale. Andre’s subsequent attempt results in his capture by members of the Heart of Grace, a cult that opposes Neura’s owner and creator, a company called Titan. The cultists force Andre to help them infect Upper Brulleans with zilla, a potentially lethal Neura/painkiller combo. The ex-con draws on whatever he can, including his newfound feelings for a female PrePAC (android) named Mo Da, to ensure he lives to see Anchora. Lutz’s story tackles the common sci-fi theme of a robot experiencing emotions. But Andre’s apparent tenderness toward Mo Da is equally complex; he also struggles to subvert the “dark thing” that drives him to violence, even as the implant practically turns him into a zombie. His back story, which involves a not-so-nice older brother, is dramatic and laced with mystery. Characters range from pleasantly ambiguous to dangerously blunt; for example, Kade, cult leader Elron’s right-hand man, doesn’t even try to hide his animosity toward Andre. Technology circa 2040 is chic but believable, particularly Andre’s harness for handling maintenance, which is constructed out of robotic arms. This tech is the subject of one of many visually enticing illustrations, courtesy of Lutz and debut illustrator Gray.

A multilayered protagonist and stellar setting help guide this sci-fi narrative to an unforgettable coda.

Pub Date: June 18, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9946275-0-6

Page Count: 380

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2016

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A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.


A middle-aged woman returns to her childhood home to care for her ailing father, confronting many painful secrets from her past.

When Mallory Aldiss gets a call from a long-ago boyfriend telling her that her elderly father has been gallivanting around town with a gun in his hand, Mallory decides it’s time to return to the small Rhode Island town that she’s been avoiding for more than a decade. Mallory’s precocious 13-year-old daughter, Joy, is thrilled that she'll get to meet her grandfather at long last, and an aunt, too, and she'll finally see the place where her mother grew up. When they arrive in Bay Bluff, it’s barely a few hours before Mallory bumps into her old flame, Jack, the only man she’s ever really loved. Gone is the rebellious young person she remembers, and in his place stands a compassionate, accomplished adult. As they try to reconnect, Mallory realizes that the same obstacle that pushed them apart decades earlier is still standing in their way: Jack blames Mallory’s father for his mother’s death. No one knows exactly how Jack’s mother died, but Jack thinks a love affair between her and Mallory’s father had something to do with it. As Jack and Mallory chase down answers, Mallory also tries to repair her rocky relationships with her two sisters and determine why her father has always been so hard on her. Told entirely from Mallory’s perspective, the novel has a haunting, nostalgic quality. Despite the complex and overlapping layers to the history of Bay Bluff and its inhabitants, the book at times trudges too slowly through Mallory’s meanderings down Memory Lane. Even so, Delinsky sometimes manages to pick up the pace, and in those moments the beauty and nuance of this complicated family tale shine through. Readers who don’t mind skimming past details that do little to advance the plot may find that the juicier nuggets and realistically rendered human connections are worth the effort.

A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-11951-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

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Women become horseback librarians in 1930s Kentucky and face challenges from the landscape, the weather, and the men around them.

Alice thought marrying attractive American Bennett Van Cleve would be her ticket out of her stifling life in England. But when she and Bennett settle in Baileyville, Kentucky, she realizes that her life consists of nothing more than staying in their giant house all day and getting yelled at by his unpleasant father, who owns a coal mine. She’s just about to resign herself to a life of boredom when an opportunity presents itself in the form of a traveling horseback library—an initiative from Eleanor Roosevelt meant to counteract the devastating effects of the Depression by focusing on literacy and learning. Much to the dismay of her husband and father-in-law, Alice signs up and soon learns the ropes from the library’s leader, Margery. Margery doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, rejects marriage, and would rather be on horseback than in a kitchen. And even though all this makes Margery a town pariah, Alice quickly grows to like her. Along with several other women (including one black woman, Sophia, whose employment causes controversy in a town that doesn’t believe black and white people should be allowed to use the same library), Margery and Alice supply magazines, Bible stories, and copies of books like Little Women to the largely poor residents who live in remote areas. Alice spends long days in terrible weather on horseback, but she finally feels happy in her new life in Kentucky, even as her marriage to Bennett is failing. But her powerful father-in-law doesn’t care for Alice’s job or Margery’s lifestyle, and he’ll stop at nothing to shut their library down. Basing her novel on the true story of the Pack Horse Library Project established by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, Moyes (Still Me, 2018, etc.) brings an often forgotten slice of history to life. She writes about Kentucky with lush descriptions of the landscape and tender respect for the townspeople, most of whom are poor, uneducated, and grateful for the chance to learn. Although Alice and Margery both have their own romances, the true power of the story is in the bonds between the women of the library. They may have different backgrounds, but their commitment to helping the people of Baileyville brings them together.

A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-56248-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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