Zeltserman has written an entertaining novel but not one that will keep you from turning off the lights.

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THE BOY WHO KILLED DEMONS

Humor outweighs the horror in this amusing look at a 15-year-old saving the world.

Henry Dudlow is a typical upper-middle-class teenager. His father is a lawyer, his mother’s a marketing executive, and they live a very comfortable life in Waban, Massachusetts, where “you don’t find too many kids shoveling snow or mowing lawns to earn money.” That was BSD, or Before Seeing Demons. Where most people see normal humans, Henry sees “flaming red skin, yellow eyes, horns, grotesque faces with twisted misshapen noses” all around him. He becomes obsessed with learning the demons’ wicked ways, teaching himself German and Italian to read medieval texts and conducting experiments to track them at various places around Boston. Enter Sally Freeman, a first crush from grade school who moves to Henry’s high school and fans the flames of adolescence to high heat. Henry is now obsessed with both Sally and the demons he’s hunting. Children nearing their fourth birthdays go missing, and Henry makes the connection to a gruesome find in a warehouse in Brooklyn where 39 kids were found caged in some unspeakable ritual. The pattern is repeating in Boston. Henry embraces his calling, drops Sally—temporarily—and commits to saving the children and the world from the gates of hell. The story is told in the form of Henry’s journal, where he keeps a record in case he doesn't survive. Zeltserman manages the voice of a teenager deftly, and the adolescent angst rings true. The demons are almost background to a tale about growing up.

Zeltserman has written an entertaining novel but not one that will keep you from turning off the lights.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4683-0960-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Overlook

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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

GHOSTED

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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THE STARLESS SEA

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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