A vision of the future that’s both harrowing and endlessly entertaining.


Shadow of the Hare

From the Recall Chronicles series , Vol. 2

A woman witnesses atrocities in her personal life and the world around her throughout the 21st and 22nd centuries in Birdwell’s (Way of the Serpent, 2015) dystopian novel.

Malia Poole’s love of books makes working at a bookshop an obvious choice, even in mid-21st century after print copies are no longer mass produced. She’s one of the Vintagonists, individuals who believe in preserving old things and have formed an alliance with like-minded factions collectively known as Recall. The U.S. having succumbed to plutocracy, Recall operates covertly but still falls prey to raids from plutocrats’ agents. When agents storm a music venue, Malia’s lover, Eliomar “Lio” Gaston, gets a message to her in time to flee, but he and his sister, Zelda, disappear. Malia herself ducks away in a community run by Simpletons—a self-deprecating name signifying the group’s minimalist movement. By the time she returns home, both Malia and the world have changed. She, for one, has stopped taking age-preventative Chulel, which notoriously causes memory loss, and is visibly older among the drug-induced young. But despite retaining more memories than others, Malia can’t remember a two-year period when she was a teen. Filling in that blank takes her to Nigeria, where she learns of a virus outbreak that prompts global power outages and a peace treaty–defying war. The novel is rich in its futuristic environment. Corporations taking over, for example, is a frighteningly believable concept, while the story’s technology is progressive and fashionable: the digilet is essentially a flexible smartphone that can be worn as a bracelet. There’s likewise instantly comprehensible slang, including expletives such as F-bomb surrogate “zujo.” A highlight is “cush,” touching the digilet’s pliable surface, and a term Malia eventually realizes is outmoded. There are instances where the protagonist is a mere spectator, unaware of what’s going on. She is, however, a woman of mystery, and details of her “blank period” are shocking and catalytic (she’s searching for someone in Nigeria). Tie-ins to the series’ first installment are clever, opening with the same scene as the preceding novel from an alternate perspective.

A vision of the future that’s both harrowing and endlessly entertaining.

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5330-9576-3

Page Count: 234

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller


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

Did you like this book?