Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

FOOL ME ONCE by Steve Hockensmith
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 8, 2015

"Even if the mystery is fairly standard, Alanis' sophomore adventure (The White Magic Five and Dime, 2014) is delightfully quirky. As a bonus, several informative tarot readings are embedded in the narrative, and each chapter begins with a pertinent card and quotation."
A wisecracking magic-shop owner turns sleuth to exonerate a friend from a murder rap. Read full book review >
THE LONG FIRE by Meghan Tifft
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 8, 2015

"An unusual, strikingly written novel about a young woman's desire for understanding and love and how that longing remains familiar in even the most eccentric of circumstances."
A debut novel about a strangely appealing heroine whose lonely search for understanding plunges her into the dark weirdness of her family history. Read full book review >

THE SCAMP by Jennifer Pashley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 10, 2015

"An intense, riveting saga of the multiplying casualties of one family's secrets and a girl's determination to take control after a childhood 'that rips you apart so your insides are one big scar.'"
A chance meeting at a bar draws a young woman into an investigation that unexpectedly brings her answers about her long-lost cousin. Read full book review >
THE ACCIDENT SEASON by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A powerful novel from an exciting new talent. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Ghosts, secrets, and magic collide in this Irish author's astonishing debut. Read full book review >
ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS by Naja Marie Aidt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"An awkward mix of realism and soap opera that, despite intriguing characters, never quite coheres."
From Danish-language poet and short-story author Aidt (Baboon, 2014) comes her first novel, a domestic drama that merges the mundane and the grotesque.Read full book review >

BLACK-EYED SUSANS by Julia Heaberlin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Heaberlin takes what could have been the ingredients for just another episode of CSI and turns them into a truly compelling tale of the fragility of memory and elusive redemption."
As the only survivor of a serial killer, Tessa Cartwright has spent the last 20 years trying to forget her past, but when the killer's execution date looms, she begins questioning everything she once believed. Read full book review >
THE UNINVITED by Cat Winters
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"An intriguing yet thin paranormal read."
In the last days of Word War I, influenza ravages the town of Buchanan, Illinois. But a more menacing plague endangers the town: hatred of Germans. Read full book review >
PRODIGIES by Angélica Gorodischer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Gorodischer writes a poetic, vigorous prose. Her story, dreamlike and start-and-stop, takes effort, for though brief, it is dense—and well worth the trouble."
Pensive, slowly paced study of decidedly nonromantic lives in Romantic-era Saxony. Read full book review >
RECKLESS by Hasan Ali Toptas
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A postmodern Twilight Zone: dark, bizarre, and a bit pretentious."
The first of Toptas' novels to be translated into English introduces American readers to the noted Turkish writer's version of postmodern surrealism as it follows the dreamlike, dream-filled journeys of a Turkish soldier. Read full book review >
THE BEAUTIFUL BUREAUCRAT by Helen Phillips
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Intense and enigmatic, tense and tender, this novel offers no easy answers—its deeper meanings may mystify—but it grabs you up, propels you along, and leaves you gasping, grasping, and ready to read it again."
In a novel that's part love story, part urban thriller, Phillips (And Yet They Were Happy, 2011, etc.) captures the way an isolating job and an indifferent city can stealthily steal our lives and erode our souls—and the protective, nourishing power of love.Read full book review >
THE RACE FOR PARIS by Meg Waite Clayton
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A must for World War II buffs and fans of sharp, boundary-busting female characters."
Clayton (The Wednesday Daughters, 2013, etc.) explores the lives of two courageous women—journalists who set out to document Paris' liberation from the Nazis in 1944 (and find themselves ensconced in a bit of a love triangle in the process).Read full book review >
THE HUNDRED-YEAR FLOOD by Matthew Salesses
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"What carries us through the novel is Salesses' gift for language: here is a meditative, poetic, modern fable crafted in haunting bursts of impressionistic prose."
After Tee, an American college student taking a semester off in Prague, is attacked during a citywide flood, his father arrives and returns him to Massachusetts to recover. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >