A solid blend of genres, though the writing and characters shine brightest.


After a fairy grants his wish, a London architect becomes caught up in the perilous search for a centuries-old cloth displaying a divine image in this fantasy-infused debut.

Alex Harrison had often contemplated what to say to a wish-bestowing fairy. So when he runs into one—“a young, white-robed woman”—at Regent’s Park, he makes sure his wording is precise to avoid a “Monkey’s Paw” scenario. He requests the ability to travel anywhere in the world by simply thinking of it, speaking a couple of words, and tapping his knee. He later doubts the fairy’s validity until he successfully teleports to Oman. That’s where he encounters tenderhearted Burhan, who has a fascinating story to tell of a cloth that, back in the 12th century, reputedly captured the figure of God. Alex has no luck in tracking the cloth but does become enamored with a fellow train passenger, Carol. The two meet and Alex invites Carol to his architectural gig in France. Unfortunately, Burhan’s unsavory cousin, Salah, covets the cloth. Convinced Alex and Burhan can find it within a week, Salah gives them an incentive by kidnapping Carol. Burhan goes after the cloth while Alex’s new ability may prove beneficial in rescuing Carol before the deadline. Paterson takes a curious approach here in that the protagonist’s teleportation power isn’t the focus of the story. The author instead explores the engaging friendship between Alex and Burhan as well as the uncertain romance with Carol. (Alex is confounded that she’s living with a man named John.) But there are harrowing moments; Salah is unmistakably dangerous, and Alex rightly fears for Carol’s safety. And much of the engrossing tale lingers on the various environments presented throughout the narrative. Paterson’s exceptional prose turns the seemingly mundane into alluring imagery: At a shop in France, Alex sees “everything an animal had to offer in death… and a few of the things it provided while alive” (eggs and cheese, of course).

A solid blend of genres, though the writing and characters shine brightest.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: 222

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2018

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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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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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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.


Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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