Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Next book

THE SILVER STRANGER

A relatable protagonist, a believable journey of self-discovery, and a wild SF world.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

In this SF sequel, a young woman’s belief that superheroes do more harm than good takes a dark turn.  

When Alyssa Henson arrives by taxi to the Pacific Coast city of Olympus, where she’s about to start a job as a dental hygienist, she’s annoyed by the reason traffic is at a standstill. Crowds are staring up at the sky, where superheroes Ultra Woman, Mr. Amazing, and Fantastic Man—collectively known as the Terrific Trio—are battling evil unicorns. The sight of a little girl, whose gawking parents are oblivious to their daughter’s precarious perch on a rail overlooking the ocean, just proves Alyssa’s sincere argument that showboating superheroes make the world more perilous, not less. And what if the increase in supervillainy is directly related to the rise of crime fighters with superpowers? (“No weird creatures ever bothered the Earth before superheroes became a thing,” she’s convinced.) Sherrier’s sequel to his creative YA SF novel The Flying Woman (2018) revisits an imaginative world where contemporary city life gets transformed by alternative dimensions and select human beings’ sudden acquisitions of random, unearthly powers. The author’s world is not only outrageously wacky (supervillain powers are reflected in such names as The Candelabra, The Fish Slayer, and The Looking Glass, and an upside-down dimension is peopled by sentient monkeys), but chillingly dark as well. Innocent people are injured and killed during attacks and battles, deliberately and inadvertently, and archsupervillain Doctor Hades’ torture lab is a nightmare. Yet the sequel is also thoughtfully rooted in the realistic emotional journeys of Alyssa and her friends, some of whom have their own secrets. Alyssa’s estrangement from her parents is all too understandable; so is the fact that dreams unrealized have affected her and her best friend, Miranda. When Alyssa’s painful encounter with a zombie unicorn’s horn gives her the potential to eliminate superpowers from both villains and heroes, leading to a disturbing moral dilemma, she must wrestle with what she is in danger of becoming herself. In the end, how Alyssa fares comes in tandem with the explosive disappearance of a few main characters, a welcome hint that there is more to come for the inhabitants of Sherrier’s Olympus and beyond.

A relatable protagonist, a believable journey of self-discovery, and a wild SF world.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2022

ISBN: 979-8-40144-724-1

Page Count: 362

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: April 6, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 154


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

DEVOLUTION

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 154


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z(2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

THE MINISTRY OF TIME

This rip-roaring romp pivots between past and present and posits the future-altering power of love, hope, and forgiveness.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

A time-toying spy romance that’s truly a thriller.

In the author’s note following the moving conclusion of her gripping, gleefully delicious debut novel, Bradley explains how she gathered historical facts about Lt. Graham Gore, a real-life Victorian naval officer and polar explorer, then “extrapolated a great deal” about him to come up with one of her main characters, a curly-haired, chain-smoking, devastatingly charming dreamboat who has been transported through time. Having also found inspiration in the sole extant daguerreotype of Gore, showing him to have been “a very attractive man,” Bradley wrote the earliest draft of the book for a cluster of friends who were similarly passionate about polar explorers. Her finished novel—taut, artfully unspooled, and vividly written—retains the kind of insouciant joy and intimacy you might expect from a book with those origins. It’s also breathtakingly sexy. The time-toggling plot focuses on the plight of a British civil servant who takes a high-paying job on a secret mission, working as a “bridge” to help time-traveling “expats” resettle in 21st-century London—and who falls hard for her charge, the aforementioned Commander Gore. Drama, intrigue, and romance ensue. And while this quasi-futuristic tale of time and tenderness never seems to take itself too seriously, it also offers a meaningful, nuanced perspective on the challenges we face, the choices we make, and the way we live and love today.

This rip-roaring romp pivots between past and present and posits the future-altering power of love, hope, and forgiveness.

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9781668045145

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

Close Quickview