A fine sci-fi debut that offers a glimpse of humankind’s future and a sprawling view of our physical and spiritual universe.


New New York 3000 Years Later

In Gajjar’s (The Gita, 2007, etc.) sci-fi novel, set thousands of years in the future, political turmoil and religious extremism threaten the happiness, and existence, of everyone on Earth.

Liera (nicknamed “Ira”) is the Chief of the Bureau of Education, one of the government departments that upholds the “One Spirit! One World! One Word!” doctrine that unites Mother Earth’s inhabitants. The doctrine took hold thousands of years earlier, after the Descent of the Revealer Varish!, an otherworldly being who sought to bring an end to the “Divisiveness and Faithlessness” that caused trouble and anguish on the planet. Several millennia later, humans have reverted to their old ways and two impassioned groups (Nedlogs and New Agers) clash over the doctrine’s true meaning. Ira has a brief “dalliance” with one of his secretaries but refuses to breed with her; apparently, there’s little room for romance in this world. Bella, his spurned lover, files spurious but serious allegations against him in an attempt to sabotage his life. A pair of wizards help save Ira’s reputation and send him on an intergalactic mission to prove that life exists on other planets and find out how this information impacts the Revealer Varish!’s doctrine. However, despite the extraterrestrial kidnapping, sex and spiritual enlightenment that follows, there isn’t much drama in this sci-fi tale. It may be difficult for readers to believe that things might not work out OK in a story with so many well-meaning characters. Even the Democratic Oligarch Theocracy, a global government with its own futuristic Guantanamo Bay, apologizes when it makes a mistake. However, as in most great science fiction, there’s a strong and valuable message here warning of the perils of extremism, willful ignorance and the “inability to separate our beliefs from the way we govern ourselves.” That’s a message worth reading.

A fine sci-fi debut that offers a glimpse of humankind’s future and a sprawling view of our physical and spiritual universe.

Pub Date: April 26, 2012

ISBN: 978-1460209318

Page Count: 328

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.


In Walsh’s American debut, a woman desperately tries to find out why the man she spent a whirlwind week with never called.

Sarah has just separated from her American husband and is visiting her hometown in England when she meets Eddie. He’s kind and charming, and although they only spend one week together, she falls in love. When he has to leave for a trip, she knows they’ll keep in touch—they’re already making plans for the rest of their lives. But then Eddie never calls, and Sarah’s increasingly frantic efforts to contact him are fruitless. Is he hurt? Is he dead? As her friends tell her, there’s a far greater likelihood that he’s just blowing her off—she’s been ghosted. After trying to track Eddie down at a football game, Sarah starts to become ashamed of herself—after all, she’s almost 40 years old and she’s essentially stalking a man who never called her. But as Sarah slowly learns, she and Eddie didn’t actually meet randomly—they both have a connection to an accident that happened years ago, and it may have something to do with why he disappeared. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of Eddie’s and Sarah’s pasts are revealed, and the truth behind their connection is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. The barriers between Sarah and Eddie seem insurmountable at times, and although their issues are resolved in a tidy manner, the emotions behind their actions are always believable. Walsh has created a deeply moving romance with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of grief at its heart.

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

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A withdrawn graduate student embarks on an epic quest to restore balance to the world in this long-anticipated follow-up to The Night Circus (2011).

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a typical millennial introvert; he likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. But when he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he's unnerved—and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger, and Zachary must decide whether to trust the handsome stranger he meets at a highflying literary fundraiser in New York or to retreat back to his thesis and forget the whole affair. In a high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. Clocking in at more than 500 pages, the novel requires patience as Morgenstern puts all the pieces in place, but it is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion. As in The Night Circus, Morgenstern is at her best when she imagines worlds and rooms and parties in vivid detail, right down to the ballroom stairs "festooned with lanterns and garlands of paper dipped in gold" or a cloak carved from ice with "ships and sailors and sea monsters...lost in the drifting snow." This novel is a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54121-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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