An intriguing but underdeveloped story about a parallel universe.




A debut graphic novel blends sci-fi and myth.

This book is split into two roughly equal parts, both presented by Karel, a freelance reporter on Earth. The first section introduces some students—Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, and Fox —their professor, nicknamed Pro, and Alpha’s mother, Pam, who is romantically involved with Pro. The team is searching for signs of intelligent life on other worlds. The group discovers a parallel universe that contains a mirror planet to Earth called the Twin. There, humans have evolved into a global society quite different from Earth in terms of ethics, economics, and technology. Pam and Pro travel to the Twin to gather and exchange information, where they have a daughter they name Pamela. Pamela makes the arduous journey to Earth to promote understanding between the cultures. The second half of the book starts with the creation story of the twin universes told from Alpha’s point of view. It also includes a chapter briefly describing a fantasy about Pamela written by Karel and a story arc about an overbearing government trying to force itself on a land called Bohemia. There are some captivating sci-fi ideas in Kosman’s short novel, especially those relating to the wormhole between Earth and the Twin and the complex process of traveling from one planet to the other. But the tale reads more like an outline for something longer and more comprehensive than a finished book. Too much is left out. At one point in the first part of the volume, the author writes that criminals from a penal colony invade the Twin, but that episode is summed up and dismissed in a couple of sentences, and only mentioned in passing in the second half. Readers never get to see the full story. Formatting inconsistencies also make this a tough read. There are occasional shifts into first person; some dialogue is in quotes and some isn’t; and footnotes offer key information that should have been relayed through the main narration. And the images by debut illustrator Tiwari don’t enhance the tale. There are only 13 of them and they reveal nothing that is not already covered in the text.

An intriguing but underdeveloped story about a parallel universe.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-692-98738-4

Page Count: 106

Publisher: Quires Investments RLLLP

Review Posted Online: Aug. 24, 2018

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A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.


A middle-aged woman returns to her childhood home to care for her ailing father, confronting many painful secrets from her past.

When Mallory Aldiss gets a call from a long-ago boyfriend telling her that her elderly father has been gallivanting around town with a gun in his hand, Mallory decides it’s time to return to the small Rhode Island town that she’s been avoiding for more than a decade. Mallory’s precocious 13-year-old daughter, Joy, is thrilled that she'll get to meet her grandfather at long last, and an aunt, too, and she'll finally see the place where her mother grew up. When they arrive in Bay Bluff, it’s barely a few hours before Mallory bumps into her old flame, Jack, the only man she’s ever really loved. Gone is the rebellious young person she remembers, and in his place stands a compassionate, accomplished adult. As they try to reconnect, Mallory realizes that the same obstacle that pushed them apart decades earlier is still standing in their way: Jack blames Mallory’s father for his mother’s death. No one knows exactly how Jack’s mother died, but Jack thinks a love affair between her and Mallory’s father had something to do with it. As Jack and Mallory chase down answers, Mallory also tries to repair her rocky relationships with her two sisters and determine why her father has always been so hard on her. Told entirely from Mallory’s perspective, the novel has a haunting, nostalgic quality. Despite the complex and overlapping layers to the history of Bay Bluff and its inhabitants, the book at times trudges too slowly through Mallory’s meanderings down Memory Lane. Even so, Delinsky sometimes manages to pick up the pace, and in those moments the beauty and nuance of this complicated family tale shine through. Readers who don’t mind skimming past details that do little to advance the plot may find that the juicier nuggets and realistically rendered human connections are worth the effort.

A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-11951-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

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Women become horseback librarians in 1930s Kentucky and face challenges from the landscape, the weather, and the men around them.

Alice thought marrying attractive American Bennett Van Cleve would be her ticket out of her stifling life in England. But when she and Bennett settle in Baileyville, Kentucky, she realizes that her life consists of nothing more than staying in their giant house all day and getting yelled at by his unpleasant father, who owns a coal mine. She’s just about to resign herself to a life of boredom when an opportunity presents itself in the form of a traveling horseback library—an initiative from Eleanor Roosevelt meant to counteract the devastating effects of the Depression by focusing on literacy and learning. Much to the dismay of her husband and father-in-law, Alice signs up and soon learns the ropes from the library’s leader, Margery. Margery doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, rejects marriage, and would rather be on horseback than in a kitchen. And even though all this makes Margery a town pariah, Alice quickly grows to like her. Along with several other women (including one black woman, Sophia, whose employment causes controversy in a town that doesn’t believe black and white people should be allowed to use the same library), Margery and Alice supply magazines, Bible stories, and copies of books like Little Women to the largely poor residents who live in remote areas. Alice spends long days in terrible weather on horseback, but she finally feels happy in her new life in Kentucky, even as her marriage to Bennett is failing. But her powerful father-in-law doesn’t care for Alice’s job or Margery’s lifestyle, and he’ll stop at nothing to shut their library down. Basing her novel on the true story of the Pack Horse Library Project established by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, Moyes (Still Me, 2018, etc.) brings an often forgotten slice of history to life. She writes about Kentucky with lush descriptions of the landscape and tender respect for the townspeople, most of whom are poor, uneducated, and grateful for the chance to learn. Although Alice and Margery both have their own romances, the true power of the story is in the bonds between the women of the library. They may have different backgrounds, but their commitment to helping the people of Baileyville brings them together.

A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-56248-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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