The suspense, the danger, and the rocket-fueled pace are all turned up to 11 in this more-than-satisfying sequel.

RANDOM SH*T FLYING THROUGH THE AIR

A small team of misfits is the only thing standing between the West Coast and a very unnatural disaster.

Until the earthquake hit, Teagan’s biggest problem had been burning the paella she made for Nic, the crush who turned her down when he found out she was psychokinetic and worked for a secret government agency. But the earthquake is The Big One, and the damage is severe. What’s worse, what nobody knows except for Amber, a desperate mom on the run, is that her hyperintelligent, superpowered 4-year-old, Matthew, triggered it on purpose. And loved it. Teagan thinks her next mission is to steal a list of American spies back from Jonas Schmidt, a distractingly handsome tech billionaire who’s planning to sell it, but no sooner has that mission gone completely sideways than Matthew learns a lot more about fault lines—and starts looking for ways to put that knowledge to work. Soon, Teagan and her team are racing to find Matthew before he can do even more damage...which leaves very little time for worrying about the terrible things Nic said to her when she refused to use her powers in public. Or wondering who gave Matthew his powers, and why. This second book about psychokinetic superspy Teagan is even more suspenseful than The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t With Her Mind (2019). The stakes couldn’t be higher. The damage Matthew can cause is made all too real on the page, and, with his breathtaking abilities and mercurial moods, he makes a chillingly dangerous villain.

The suspense, the danger, and the rocket-fueled pace are all turned up to 11 in this more-than-satisfying sequel.

Pub Date: July 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-51922-9

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Orbit

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

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DEVOLUTION

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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An unforgettable story of survival and the power of friendship—nothing short of a science-fiction masterwork.

PROJECT HAIL MARY

Weir’s latest is a page-turning interstellar thrill ride that follows a junior high school teacher–turned–reluctant astronaut at the center of a desperate mission to save humankind from a looming extinction event.

Ryland Grace was a once-promising molecular biologist who wrote a controversial academic paper contesting the assumption that life requires liquid water. Now disgraced, he works as a junior high science teacher in San Francisco. His previous theories, however, make him the perfect researcher for a multinational task force that's trying to understand how and why the sun is suddenly dimming at an alarming rate. A barely detectable line of light that rises from the sun’s north pole and curves toward Venus is inexplicably draining the star of power. According to scientists, an “instant ice age” is all but inevitable within a few decades. All the other stars in proximity to the sun seem to be suffering with the same affliction—except Tau Ceti. An unwilling last-minute replacement as part of a three-person mission heading to Tau Ceti in hopes of finding an answer, Ryland finds himself awakening from an induced coma on the spaceship with two dead crewmates and a spotty memory. With time running out for humankind, he discovers an alien spacecraft in the vicinity of his ship with a strange traveler on a similar quest. Although hard scientific speculation fuels the storyline, the real power lies in the many jaw-dropping plot twists, the relentless tension, and the extraordinary dynamic between Ryland and the alien (whom he nicknames Rocky because of its carapace of oxidized minerals and metallic alloy bones). Readers may find themselves consuming this emotionally intense and thematically profound novel in one stay-up-all-night-until-your-eyes-bleed sitting.

An unforgettable story of survival and the power of friendship—nothing short of a science-fiction masterwork.

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-13520-4

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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