Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

Last Clear Chance by Bob Bachner
Released: Nov. 20, 2015

"A sweet, occasionally thrilling story of an elderly man trying to make sense of his past and a young man trying to make sense of his own future."
In Bachner's debut novel, a retired English teacher's lifelong regrets spill over into the present. Read full book review >
The Dash of Dr. Todd by Howard E. Adkins
Released: June 26, 2009

"An original, well-researched novel that combines exciting plot twists with thought-provoking themes."
In this novel, Adkins (Hannity's Curse, 2009, etc.), a retired physician, imagines a young doctor's journey to the Western frontier during the Gold Rush. Read full book review >

A Last Wish for Larry by Jeffrey Wu
Released: July 2, 2015

"A touching, elegant novella about the struggles of an overworked doctor."
A realistic debut novella follows a dying teenager and the young doctor who cares for him. Read full book review >
Wet Bliss by Niki Stone
Released: Nov. 5, 2014

"A sometimes-clumsy but often effective debut compilation of steamy stories."
An erotic short story collection full of fantasies from the tame to the taboo. Read full book review >
The Optical Lasso by Marc Corwin

"A campy but engrossing adventure."
Corwin tells the story of a soldier and his powerful invention in this debut sci-fi novel. Read full book review >

What The Heart Murmurs by Marion Cohen
Released: Sept. 19, 2015

"An unsatisfying narrative of a woman whose final transformation is too little, too late."
Debut novelist Cohen's heroine, Mara Berg, is a self-sufficient math teacher with a pattern of meeting men unwilling to commit. Read full book review >
RATH by Herbert J. Shiroff
Released: April 7, 2015

"A novel angle on how an American family worked with Cambodian refugees."
Shiroff has created a moving fictionalized version of how he and other Americans helped political refugees. Read full book review >
The Too-Brief Chronicle of Judah Lowe by Christopher Carter Sanderson
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"An unusual bildungsroman that mostly transcends the limitations of its formats."
In two linked novellas with strict word/character limits, Sanderson (Theatre/State Univ. of New York, Oswego; Gorilla Theater, 2003) playfully narrates the coming-of-age of a New York City high school student.Read full book review >
Whispers in Eternity by Jacinda Buchmann
Released: May 15, 2015

"A well-crafted love story about music, mortality, and living life to the fullest."
Fantasy author Buchmann (Indigo Infinity, 2014, etc.) begins a new series with a romance that reaches across the border between life and death.Read full book review >
Girl in the River by Patricia Kullberg
Released: Aug. 20, 2015

"A historical novel whose empathetic view of women's lives—and the decisions they faced—is welcome in any time period."
Kullberg offers a debut historical novel set amid the illegal sex and abortion trades of mid-20th-century Portland, Oregon. Read full book review >
Hell's Game by Teresa Lo
Released: Dec. 24, 2013

"There's nothing tongue-in-cheek here; just terror, sturdy characters, and unadulterated entertainment."
The only way for teens to free a condemned soul and prevent their own damnation is to endure seven levels of hell's infernal game in Lo's (The Red Lantern Scandals, 2013, etc.) chilling YA horror novel.Read full book review >
Money by A. J. Mahler
Released: Sept. 18, 2015

"An often engaging tale of a woman who's just as comfortable with melodrama as she is with harrowing espionage."
An attorney moonlighting as a covert agent helps a U.S. black-ops group target a powerful but diabolical organization bent on world domination in Mahler's (Smoking Kills, 2010) thriller.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jason Gay
November 17, 2015

In the 1990s, copies of Richard Carlson’s Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (and its many sequels) were seemingly everywhere, giving readers either the confidence to prioritize their stresses or despondence over the slender volume’s not addressing their particular set of problems. While not the first book of its kind, it kicked open the door for an industry of self-help, worry-reduction advice guides. In his first book, Little Victories, Wall Street Journal sports columnist Gay takes less of a guru approach, though he has drawn an audience of readers appreciative of reportage that balances insights with a droll, self-deprecating outlook. He occasionally focuses his columns on “the Rules” (of Thanksgiving family touch football, the gym, the office holiday party, etc.), which started as a genial poke in the eye at the proliferation of self-help books and, over time, came to explore actual advice “both practical and ridiculous” and “neither perfect nor universal.” The author admirably combines those elements in every piece in the book. View video >