Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

Justice for Mackenzie by Susan Stoker
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"More romance than thriller but enough of both to make this breezy read pure entertainment."
A Texas Ranger's newly discovered romance may be threatened by a serial killer who buries women alive in Stoker's (Protecting Jessyka, 2015, etc.) thriller, the first in a series. Read full book review >
THE PROMISE OF HOME by Darcie Chan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"A light-handed affirmation of the power of love, faith, and community."
A collection of Mill River residents experiences heartache and triumph as the McAllister mansion is renovated into a bed-and-breakfast. Read full book review >

THE WAY OF SORROWS by Jon Steele
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Never mind the logical improbabilities: it's a Dan Brown knockoff, to be sure, but Steele's story has its escapist virtues."
Looping? A local? And what of us born of light and not of flesh? Steele (Angel City, 2013, etc.) wraps up his Swiss missive with a suitably apocalyptic bye-bye. Read full book review >
THE DUST THAT FALLS FROM DREAMS by Louis de Bernières
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Readable and mildly engaging but lacking fresh insights into very familiar material."
Another historical novel from de Bernières (A Partisan's Daughter, 2008, etc.): the agreeable, albeit predictable saga of an English family transformed by World War I. Read full book review >
DAYS OF AWE by Lauren Fox
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Read it for the magnetic voice and Fox's ever interesting perspective on work, love, friendship, and parenthood—because, really, what else is there?"
When a middle school teacher's best friend dies in a one-car accident, her world begins to fall apart. Read full book review >

THE ETERNAL WORLD by Christopher Farnsworth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Michael Crichton's gone, but Farnsworth entertainingly explores the border where science fantasy meets reality."
Moving away from his President's Vampire series, Farnsworth (Red, White, and Blood, 2012, etc.) offers a fantastical witch's brew of Spanish conquistadors, biotechnology, and hubris.Read full book review >
BLACK CHALK by Christopher J. Yates
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"You can't help but admire how Yates slowly unravels his players' safety nets—their minds—one roll of the dice at a time."
In Yates' debut, six college friends learn the hard way that games are never just games once they're made personal. Read full book review >
THE CURSE OF CROW HOLLOW by Billy Coffey
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"A Southern Gothic morality tale edging into the supernatural."
Coffey (The Devil Walks in Mattingly, 2014, etc.) spins a wicked tale about Campbell's Mountain, where lurk "hungry things that existed only in madness and nightmares."Read full book review >
IT STARTED WITH PARIS by Cathy Kelly
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Though Kelly is a skilled writer, the excess of storylines weighs heavy on the novel."
Planning for a wedding causes loss and regrets to bubble up to the surface in Kelly's (The House on Willow Street, 2013, etc.) new novel.Read full book review >
LAMP BLACK, WOLF GREY by Paula Brackston
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Brackston has all the ingredients for a perfect tale—romance, magic, and mystery—but the final result does not satisfy."
A disappointed artist moves to a Welsh cottage where she gets entangled in an ancient love story involving Merlin, the magician of Arthurian legend. Read full book review >
THE AMERICANS by Chitra Viraraghavan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"A cast of compelling characters with provocative tales frustratingly fractured."
As Tara journeys from India to America to help her sister, Kamala, at every turn she befriends people coping with their own cultural dislocations. Read full book review >
THE BLUE by Lucy Clarke
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Overall, it's quite a voyage."
Two women set sail on a yacht with a group of strangers hoping for a carefree, exotic adventure, but their journey takes an unsettling turn. 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 >