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CURSE OF THE GRIFFIN

DANIEL'S PRIDE

A dystopian vampire fantasy likely to appeal more to fans of The Hunger Games than the Twilight saga.

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In this action-packed series opener, a starving artist finds that there’s magic in his past, and he’s determined to better his life as a commoner in a world ruled by vampires.

Graphic novelist Walford (Nowhere Man: You Don't Know Jack, Book Three, 2013) introduces readers to a post-apocalyptic world that has only the barest vestiges of similarity to modern life. Humans can exchange blood for currency at ATM-like devices; vampire siblings compete to rule regions in a closed-off city; and daring explorers see life in the Wilderness and hope to save the threatened animals. Daniel Griffin, scrawny and homeless, believes that his ticket to a better life is in winning a competition to become the chief artistic director for an animal preserve, a contest run by his idol, zoologist and author Jessica Winters. Without funds, he cannot enter, but when a chance encounter with a vampire looking for recruits gives him the opportunity to meet her in person, and possibly save her from becoming a vampire, he can’t stay away. The two instantly click—a result unappreciated by the district’s new governor, a vampire set on making Jessica one of his brides. When Daniel is literally thrown to a lion as punishment, he transforms into something more than human. Walford’s world is fascinating, and though the occasional infodump interrupts the story’s flow, the action escalates when Daniel is hunted and again when he finds allies with whom to flee the city and search for his past. At other points, Walford only hints at Daniel’s back story, leaving readers at a loss for where the plot is headed. Still, those clues and the cliffhanger ending—as well as hopes that some of the characters’ deaths might not be as permanent as they seem—will propel readers toward the next volume in the series.

A dystopian vampire fantasy likely to appeal more to fans of The Hunger Games than the Twilight saga.

Pub Date: July 13, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 205

Publisher: Forward Comix

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2013

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  • New York Times Bestseller

DEVOLUTION

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

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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. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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  • New York Times Bestseller


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IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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