AUTUMN: AFTERMATH

Now that the re-animated dead are an ever decreasing threat, survivors must decide what to do next in the fifth and final book in Moody's (Autumn, 2010, etc.) Autumn series.

It's been 26 days since a contagion wiped out the vast majority of the human race and turned some of the dead into zombies. Pockets of survivors remain, however, emerging from secure hiding places long enough to scavenge supplies. Life is dangerous, as the zombies act aggressively toward the living, and zombie hordes converge wherever they perceive signs of life. But the zombies are steadily decaying, and before long they will be too weak to pose much of a threat. One group of survivors, shut securely in a castle, is just biding its time, waiting for the last of the dead to rot away before emerging to eke out a meager existence amongst the ruins. Their leader, Jackson, pushes them to plan for a post-zombie future that is very difficult for them to imagine, until a member of the group who was separated during a looting run returns with survivors from an island just off the coast. The islanders have cleared away all of the dead, and are working on setting up a self-sufficient society. The castle dwellers quickly split into two factions: one who thinks they should retreat to the safety of the island, and another hesitant to leave without an easy escape route. When the dispute leads to violence, the survivors must choose sides, and in doing so choose a vision for the human race's future. While the earlier books in the series were more focused on adrenaline-pumping escapes from the undead, Moody always took time for character development, and it pays off here. His world is well rendered and well thought-out, and by taking the long view, Moody gets to try something new: asking what happens after the reanimated corpses are gone, when humans must decide whether, after all they've seen and experienced, merely surviving is enough. A fine study of the human race's chances in a post-post-apocalyptic world.  

 

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-312-57002-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin’s Griffin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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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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