Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

ACT OF GOD by Jill Ciment
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 3, 2015

"This absorbing novel about a luminescent fungus affixes itself to your psyche like a spore and quickly spreads to your heart, setting everything in its wake aglow."
Humanity, warmth and wry humor light up Ciment's (Heroic Measures, 2009, etc.) noirish novel about a phosphorescent toxic mold that blooms in a Brooklyn townhouse, circa 2015, and barrels through the lives of two 60-something identical twin sisters and their neighbors, changing everything it touches.Read full book review >
MOSQUITOLAND by David Arnold
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 3, 2015

"Mesmerizing. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Encounters both dangerous and wonder-filled with fellow travelers prompt 16-year-old runaway Mim to scrutinize her perceptions about herself, her family and the world she inhabits. Read full book review >

THE DEAD I KNOW by Scot Gardner
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 3, 2015

"Simply told and powerfully moving. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
A taciturn teen finds solace as a funeral director-in-training. Read full book review >
VANISHING GIRLS by Lauren Oliver
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 3, 2015

"This is an uneven read that suffers from grandiose ambitions. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Two sisters' lives are irrevocably changed by a shared accident. Read full book review >
THE TRAGIC AGE by Stephen Metcalfe
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 3, 2015

"Exhilarating and indicting. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Less Than Zero (1985) meets Catcher in the Rye (1951) in this biting bildungsroman.Read full book review >

WHERE ALL LIGHT TENDS TO GO by David Joy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 3, 2015

"A dark semiautobiographical first novel in which action flourishes at the expense of character development."
The father's a killer, the mother's an addict, and the son's just plain trapped in this blunt-force account of an Appalachian family. Read full book review >
AS GOOD AS DEAD by Elizabeth Evans
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 3, 2015

"A novel about friendship, betrayal and the Iowa Writers' Workshop could have been satisfying in any number of ways, but with a floundering plot and tiresome narration, there are too many missed opportunities here."
In Evans' latest (Suicide's Girlfriend, 2002, etc.), a friendship that has been dead for twenty years is suddenly exhumed.Read full book review >
AQUARIUM by David Vann
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 3, 2015

"Vann's novels are striking, uncompromising portraits of American life; here is another exceptional example."
Vann, whose remarkable novels evoke worlds where violence and revenge seem the inevitable outcome of human relationships, offers here a kind of modern fairy tale, one laced with treachery and trials and the greatest demon of all to battle, the past. Read full book review >
TOO BAD TO DIE by Francine Mathews
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 3, 2015

"Mathews writes well, keeps the pace brisk and has great fun re-creating historical personages."
If the title sounds reminiscent of a James Bond novel, it's no coincidence, for Mathews freely makes use of Ian Fleming's World War II experience as an intelligence officer in Cairo and Tehran to create adventures in espionage and counterespionage. Read full book review >
LEAVING BERLIN by Joseph Kanon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 3, 2015

"Another compelling, intellectually charged period piece by Kanon, who works in the shadows of fear as well as anyone now writing."
Set in 1949, a few years after Kanon's The Good German (2001), this novel explores the grave moral complexities of life in Soviet-controlled East Berlin through the tense encounters of Alex Meier, a young Jewish novelist of some renown working for the CIA.Read full book review >
THE BOOKSELLER by Cynthia Swanson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 3, 2015

"Unfortunately, Kitty is too perfect and naïve in both her worlds to be very interesting. And for a novel about a bibliophile, there's little about books beyond an adolescent interest."
The cat-owning spinster co-owner of a struggling independent bookstore begins to experience more-than-vivid dreams of an alternate life in this debut novel. Read full book review >
THE BURIED GIANT by Kazuo Ishiguro
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 3, 2015

"Lovely: a fairy tale for grown-ups, both partaking in and departing from a rich literary tradition."
A lyrical, allusive (and elusive) voyage into the mists of British folklore by renowned novelist Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go, 2005, etc.). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Pierce Brown
author of GOLDEN SON
February 17, 2015

With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, Pierce Brown’s genre-defying Red Rising hit the ground running. The sequel, Golden Son, continues the saga of Darrow, a rebel battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom. As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. “Stirring—and archetypal—stuff,” our reviewer writes. View video >