A God-narrated thriller about an ancient calendar and the possible end of the world.



Two reporters on the trail of a murderer discover an ancient secret of global consequence in Davis’ debut mystery novel. 

In 638, a Mayan astrologer calculates the year that the world will come to an end. In 1935, an archaeologist unearths a codex from beneath the tomb of the last great Mayan king. In present- day Washington, D.C., virtuosic high school student DiShannia Johnson Johns—who recently received the President’s Science Prize for research she conducted on the collapse of the Maya—is found beaten to death in an alley. Washington Post reporters Noah Scott and Kate Chien-Forest—whose challenges include PTSD and family issues, respectively—were already covering DiShannia’s achievements, so her murder feels personal to them. The autopsy proves that something strange is going on: “Two things killed her: the blow to her head was the immediate cause, but something was wrong with that pancreas, not diabetes, something induced.” The two set out to uncover who is behind her death, but the clues raise more questions than answers. The two journalists are soon caught up in a continent-hopping whirlwind of history, science, politics, and conspiracy, all of which point improbably toward an ancient Mayan prophecy about the end of the world. Davis’ prose is sharp and stylized, in part due to his choice to have the novel narrated by God—also known as the Potter—who turns out to be quite smarmy: “It’s true I have no name, or many. The unpronounceable Jahweh for example, the arrogance of I-am-who-I-am. Or Father, raising the specter of my gender, a laughable but understandable worry; humans are so—what’s the exact word here?—invested in gender and sex. Or God.” Davis tries a bit too hard to make everything seem epic, including the largely unnecessary device of using multiple timelines. The result is that the novel takes a while to get started. When it does, it’s engaging enough, though the content is somewhat less than original. Readers who go in for broad historical conspiracies will likely enjoy this offering for all its pretensions. Others will be better off passing it by. 

A God-narrated thriller about an ancient calendar and the possible end of the world.

Pub Date: April 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-970157-04-8

Page Count: 375

Publisher: Story Merchant Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2020

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A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.


In Walsh’s American debut, a woman desperately tries to find out why the man she spent a whirlwind week with never called.

Sarah has just separated from her American husband and is visiting her hometown in England when she meets Eddie. He’s kind and charming, and although they only spend one week together, she falls in love. When he has to leave for a trip, she knows they’ll keep in touch—they’re already making plans for the rest of their lives. But then Eddie never calls, and Sarah’s increasingly frantic efforts to contact him are fruitless. Is he hurt? Is he dead? As her friends tell her, there’s a far greater likelihood that he’s just blowing her off—she’s been ghosted. After trying to track Eddie down at a football game, Sarah starts to become ashamed of herself—after all, she’s almost 40 years old and she’s essentially stalking a man who never called her. But as Sarah slowly learns, she and Eddie didn’t actually meet randomly—they both have a connection to an accident that happened years ago, and it may have something to do with why he disappeared. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of Eddie’s and Sarah’s pasts are revealed, and the truth behind their connection is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. The barriers between Sarah and Eddie seem insurmountable at times, and although their issues are resolved in a tidy manner, the emotions behind their actions are always believable. Walsh has created a deeply moving romance with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of grief at its heart.

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

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A withdrawn graduate student embarks on an epic quest to restore balance to the world in this long-anticipated follow-up to The Night Circus (2011).

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a typical millennial introvert; he likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. But when he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he's unnerved—and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger, and Zachary must decide whether to trust the handsome stranger he meets at a highflying literary fundraiser in New York or to retreat back to his thesis and forget the whole affair. In a high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. Clocking in at more than 500 pages, the novel requires patience as Morgenstern puts all the pieces in place, but it is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion. As in The Night Circus, Morgenstern is at her best when she imagines worlds and rooms and parties in vivid detail, right down to the ballroom stairs "festooned with lanterns and garlands of paper dipped in gold" or a cloak carved from ice with "ships and sailors and sea monsters...lost in the drifting snow." This novel is a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54121-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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