An astute, socially relevant tale set in a world that readers will happily get lost in.

1% FREE

In Matiasz’s (End Time, 1994) sci-fi novel, a private investigator scours a dystopian San Francisco for a killer.

By 2042, America has fragmented: massive earthquakes have devastated the West Coast, while riots and social chaos have created lawless regions across the country, and some territories have even seceded from the United States. Private eye Jimmy Hidalgo’s latest gig seems relatively easy: find a missing woman—a deadly OverUnity operative who’s likely in San Francisco. His client is Ajnzar, who turns out to be one of the Majjar, an alien species allied with the OverUnity civilization that governs the Sagittarius galactic arm. Jimmy is also looking into the murder of his friend Danny Delgado, although forensics can’t quite explain the condition of his small, gray corpse. The PI soon suspects that Danny’s killer and the missing human operative, whose name translates to “Anger Cat Stealth,” are the same woman. Meanwhile, another human named Becky Wiley has managed to illegally acquire three security cases, which separately contain a gem, personal documents belonging to a person named Robert Yi Lee, and a bizarre alien artifact; she does her best to steer clear of suddenly inquisitive cops and feds. More murders ensue, and Jimmy eventually crosses paths with Becky, a hunter alien, and a human with psionic ability. Matiasz presents an engaging view of a future world that brims with intriguing political and societal issues; for example, racial segregation is shown to spark migration, and openly gay Becky remembers high school days of homophobic torment. The author also relays extensive exposition in various, clever ways, including snippets of a TV show and part of a lecture about “America’s Terror War.” There’s so much worldbuilding, in fact, that it doesn’t allow much room for action, and the inevitable climax happens very late in the book. The ambience, however, is so richly textured and frightening that it’s palpable.

An astute, socially relevant tale set in a world that readers will happily get lost in.

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9977054-3-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: 62 Mile Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

BAREFOOT

Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

FRIENDS FOREVER

Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more