Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 3)

THE INCARNATIONS by Susan Barker
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Effortlessly blends the past with the present, dark humor with profound sadness. A deeply human masterpiece."
A letter from a mysterious stalker upends the life of a Beijing taxi driver in Barker's (The Orientalist and the Ghost, 2009, etc.) stunning epic, which spans a thousand years of Chinese history and six lifetimes of betrayal.Read full book review >
CATERVA by Juan Filloy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Filloy, as translator Riley notes, is scarcely known in Latin America, much less the English-speaking world. This beguiling yarn merits him many new readers."
Obscure in its native Argentina, a grand modernist novel finds new life in a vigorous translation. Read full book review >

HOSTAGE TAKER by Stefanie Pintoff
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Readers won't be dazzled by the forgettable Rossi or her team of scalawags, but the galloping storyline and behind-the-scenes view of St. Patrick's make this an addictive read."
After a brutal hostage taker invades St. Patrick's Cathedral, a team of misfits led by the emotionally damaged Eve Rossi takes charge in this fast-paced thriller. Read full book review >
A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN by Lucia Berlin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"A testament to a writer whose explorations of society's rougher corners deserve wider attention."
A posthumous collection of stories, almost uniformly narrated by hard-living women, that makes a case for the author as a major talent. Read full book review >
DARKNESS THE COLOR OF SNOW by Thomas Cobb
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Cobb has succeeded in portraying the dead-end dreariness of contemporary small-town American life, but that dreariness seems to have settled over the author as well as his characters."
A simple traffic stop is the first link in a chain of tragedy in Cobb's novel of small-town political maneuvering. Read full book review >

DECEPTIONS by Linda Armstrong Kelly
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Shifting alliances, mercurial villains, and multiple retellings of ancient tales make the details hard to follow but rewarding to catch."
In the third book of the Cainsville series (Visions, 2014, etc.), Olivia Taylor-Jones is at the apex of a love triangle while magic forces tug at her from both sides. Read full book review >
I WAS A REVOLUTIONARY by Andrew Malan Milward
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"A few of the stories are strong and memorable, but elsewhere, Milward's narrative cleverness and structural experiments can get in the way of empathy for his characters."
The political and cultural history of Kansas is the backdrop for Milward's (The Agriculture Hall of Fame, 2012) ambitious set of short stories.Read full book review >
HARRIET WOLF'S SEVENTH BOOK OF WONDERS by Julianna Baggott
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Moments of heartbreak balance moments of hilarity in Baggott's ambitious portrait of a family created from equal parts secrecy and love."
The life of Harriet Wolf, beloved (though reclusive) author of a series of fanciful novels, is clouded in mystery, and the rumored existence of the manuscript for a final volume provides grist for the mills of academics, fans, and family members alike. Read full book review >
WE NEVER ASKED FOR WINGS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Less schematic and more down to earth than her first novel, Diffenbaugh's latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers."
Question: What kind of parent leaves her two children home alone while she takes off in pursuit of her own mother, who's heading back to Mexico? Read full book review >
THE GIRL FROM THE GARDEN by Parnaz Foroutan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"There's little joy to be found in this tale of a doomed family, flavored with myth and fairy tale, yet the poetic narration overlays the suffering with surprising beauty."
Reminiscing in her Los Angeles garden, an elderly woman pieces together the tragedy of her ancestors' Iranian Jewish household, in which the actions of two brothers "who would sacrifice anything for one another" result in sorrow for three wives. Read full book review >
THE RECKONING by Carsten Stroud
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Clunky closure for a series that's taken on too much ballast."
Stroud wraps up his peculiar Deep South crime trilogy with a host of made men, undead men, evil spirits, and cops trying as hard as the author to hold everything together. Read full book review >
THE AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF EGYPT by Alaa Al Aswany
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Whatever political freight Al Aswany intends, he remains a charming, earthy, resourceful storyteller—albeit with a weakness for cliffhangers—who might seduce even readers closer to Times Square than to Tahrir Square."
In post-World War II Cairo, one family offers a lens on royal corruption, the British occupation, and the economic struggles of urban Egyptians in this rich political fable. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Libba Bray
author of LAIR OF DREAMS
August 25, 2015

In Lair of Dreams, the second installment of Libba Bray’s bestselling young adult Diviners series, after a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to "read" objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title "America's Sweetheart Seer." But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners' abilities....Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer? “Weaving together a chilling mystery with a truly elusive solution, several poignant love stories, agonizing injustice, terrifyingly monstrous dreams, and even a cameo by legendary psychiatrist Carl Jung, this installment wraps enough up to satisfy but clearly sets the stage for more,” our reviewer writes in a rare starred review. “How will readers stand the wait?” View video >