Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

THE ISLAND by Patricia Mahon
Released: April 21, 2016

"Sweetly earnest utopian metafiction larded with extended quotations from the sages you read in high school."
In a world in which "we're actually so connected, we're disconnected," how do you bring people together again and, incidentally, salvage the collective imagination of the age? Debut novelist Mahon is glad you asked. Read full book review >
BORDERLINE by Mishell Baker
Released: March 1, 2016

"An enjoyable fantasy mystery that tackles physical disability and mental illness without sacrificing diverting, fast-paced storytelling."
In a debut novel that promises to be the first volume of an engaging urban fantasy series, Baker introduces a hard-edged but appealing heroine and a version of Los Angeles that pairs Hollywood with a magical parallel world. Read full book review >

SISI by Allison Pataki
Released: March 8, 2016

"A satisfying saga of the late Habsburg period."
Second and final installment of Pataki's sympathetic fictional biography of Austro-Hungarian Empress Sisi. Read full book review >
Walls Within by Esra Beyatli
Released: Dec. 5, 2015

"An enthralling, if somewhat static, novel about a woman's sudden inner awareness of a much bigger and stranger cosmos than she'd ever imagined."
An ordinary young woman meets a stranger and undergoes an extraordinary inner awakening. Read full book review >
Judgement's Tale by William L. Hahn

"An ambitiously realized world dampened by an unfocused plot."
A collection offers Hahn's (The Ring and the Flag, 2015) four novellas set in his Lands of Hope fantasy realm.Read full book review >

What She Knew by Nadine Galinsky Feldman
Released: Feb. 29, 2016

"A predictable but entertaining story about friendship and financial schemes."
A Wall Street executive's life changes drastically when her firm takes a huge hit during the Bernard J. Madoff scandal. Read full book review >
The Land of Four Seasons Part 1 by Sedric Horn
Released: Oct. 28, 2015

"A readable, foreboding family yarn with material both sensitive and unsettling."
A plotless debut novel chronicles the lives of two abused young siblings in the mid-1980s. Read full book review >
Death Comes to Lake Como by G.X. Chen
Released: Feb. 20, 2016

"These resolute protagonists and self-proclaimed mystery buffs should certainly appeal to genre fans."
The latest murder case for amateur detectives Ann Lee and Fang Chen takes them on an intercontinental investigation in this thriller. Read full book review >
The Bermuda Key by B.R. Bentley
Released: Dec. 17, 2015

"Not exactly a genre buster but still an enjoyable mystery best devoured immediately after Bentley's first effort."
A suspenseful thriller that weaves together journalistic research and fictional embellishments in a tale of a stolen religious artifact. Read full book review >
Red Rain by Toby Neal
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"Persistently riveting; should pique interest in the series' follow-up—and the preceding 10."
In Neal's (Bone Hook, 2015, etc.) latest thriller, Hawaiian cop Sgt. Lei Texeira returns to find the killer of a child, while her husband, Lt. Michael Stevens, struggles to escape captivity in Central America. Read full book review >
Retroactive Romance by Everette Lemons
Released: Dec. 12, 2015

"A classic story of nostalgia fulfilled, the narrative moves slowly but delivers a number of unexpected revelations."
From Lemons (Jeannie-Centristasis, 2011, etc.) comes a sci-fi novel about one man's rare opportunity to connect with the love of his life. Read full book review >
Love Hurts by Tricia Reeks
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"A well-organized, wide-ranging collection of consistently strong genre stories."
In this anthology of short speculative fiction, debut editor Reeks gathers 26 stories about love—and the jealousy, sacrifice, and pain that can haunt even the most devoted hearts. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >