A RADICAL ACT OF FREE MAGIC

Leaders of Britain’s abolitionist movement join forces with a veteran of the Haitian revolution to push back Napoleon’s deadly forces in Parry’s second Shadow Histories novel.

Napoléon Bonaparte isn’t a particularly talented magician, but his potential as a general and conqueror attracts the attention of the same mysterious figure who manipulated Robespierre to set off the Reign of Terror in A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians (2020). When Bonaparte summons a kraken to serve the French navy and later finds a dragon hidden in the sands of Egypt, it’s only a matter of time before France and Europe fall at his feet. William Pitt, meanwhile, is growing weaker by the day as he works to keep a deadly and dangerous magical secret from his enemies. William Wilberforce continues to fight for abolition but is stymied at every turn. Fina uses her magic to help Toussaint Louverture keep hold of Saint-Domingue, but she eventually makes the journey to London and meets Pitt and Wilberforce. With a first-rate blend of political drama and magic battle–action, Parry manages to inject tension and stakes into a historical drama where average readers will know at least the broad strokes of the ending. Effortlessly switching from France to England to Egypt to Saint-Domingue, Parry folds in show-stopping new characters like Kate Dove, a commoner weather mage dead-set on avenging her brother’s death by kraken, and Lady Hester Stanhope, who would become one of the most famous explorers of the 19th century. When the three main characters, Fina, Pitt, and Wilberforce, finally face off with the stranger, the resulting conflict brings the series’ meditations on idealism, the fight for human rights, and the necessary limits of institutional power to a head.

Absolutely superb.

Pub Date: July 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-45915-0

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Redhook/Orbit

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

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IT STARTS WITH US

The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.

Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-668-00122-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

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REMINDERS OF HIM

After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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