A strong finale to a dark, compelling series.

THE FAERIE QUEEN

BOOK FOUR OF THE FAERIE RING SERIES

The dramatic conclusion to the faerie fantasy series by Hamilton (The Seven Year King, 2013 etc.).

The story opens with the UnSeelie king closing in on his goal of destroying the Seelie people, including their reluctant queen Tara, who’s sequestered in London trying to reclaim her ordinary, human life. When Larkin, the Seelies’ de facto leader, threatens to kidnap a girl dear to Tara if she refuses to return and help defeat the UnSeelies, Tara decides she can no longer deny her destiny. The devastation she encounters upon her return galvanizes her, but she and her cohorts become distracted when they go on a rescue mission to save a prisoner. Afterward, Tara decides to abandon Faerie and return to her human life after all, despite the fact that the UnSeelie king continues to gain strength. It isn’t until he kidnaps one of Tara’s family members that she finally steps up, recruiting a richly drawn, intriguing cast of secondary characters to help, including her lover, his brother, and another, unexpected ally. Although Tara is the book’s namesake, her decision to abandon Faerie when her people are being tortured and killed makes her appear somewhat weak and selfish. Even when she returns for the final battle, she’s more concerned about her beloved friends than the fate of the world. Larkin is the story’s most compelling character, and her courage, sacrifice and bravery make her worth rooting for. Hamilton delivers vivid battle scenes in the lead-up to a brilliant, surprise ending. The prose is witty and rich throughout, offering a masterful vision of two intertwining worlds. The faerie lore is also intricate and well-developed. As the final book in the series, it wraps up many subplots from prior installments, although it sometimes provides insufficient back stories, which can make it difficult for readers who haven’t recently read the rest of the books. That said, it delivers clever plot twists that keep the suspense mounting and the pages turning.

A strong finale to a dark, compelling series.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-1484936214

Page Count: 316

Publisher: Gaslamp Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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A grade-A, weirdly comforting, and familiar stew of domestic drama, slasher horror, and primeval evil.

THE BOOK OF ACCIDENTS

A family that's banished itself to the woods of rural Pennsylvania finds more than they bargained for when supernatural forces decide they would make quite a snack.

Prolific and delightfully profane, Wendig pulled off a good trick last time with his sprawling, inventive, and prescient apocalypse chronicle, Wanderers (2019). This is another doorstopper, but here he returns to macabre horror reminiscent of his supernatural Miriam Black novels, injected with a juicy dose of Stephen King–like energy. An eerie opening introduces Edmund Walker Reese, a serial killer strapped into Pennsylvania’s electric chair circa 1990 for murdering four girls—a killer who disappears the second the switch is flipped. In the present day, former Philly cop Nate Graves is stewing over the death of his abusive father, who's left him a home in the woods. Maddie, Nate’s artist wife, thinks it’s perfect for her work, not to mention a natural refuge for their hypersensitive son, Oliver, who's imbued with not only a preternatural empathy for others, but also a gift for lending the pained some solace. At Nate's new job as a Fish and Game officer, his partner, Axel Figeroa, always has one eye open for trouble because of their proximity to Ramble Rocks, where Reese committed his dirty deeds, as does the Graves' neighbor Jed Homackie, a whiskey-drinking peacenik with secrets of his own. As happens, things get weird. Nate starts seeing his dead father around every corner. Maddie experiences fugue states that aren’t simpatico with her newfound predilection for chainsaw sculpture. Oliver gets the worst of it, finding himself caught between a couple of vicious bullies and a newfound frenemy, Jake, who quickly emerges as someone­­­­—or something—far darker than he appears. The characters are eccentric and likable even if their plight isn’t quite unpredictable, and the book will be catnip to horror fans, complete with meddling kids, doppelgangers, dimensional fissures, demons, and ghosts; it's a prototypical edge-of-your-seat plunge into real terror.

A grade-A, weirdly comforting, and familiar stew of domestic drama, slasher horror, and primeval evil.

Pub Date: July 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-399-18213-6

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Del Rey

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

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LATER

Horrormeister King follows a boy’s journey from childhood to adolescence among the dead—and their even creepier living counterparts.

Jamie Conklin sees dead people. Not for very long—they fade away after a week or so—but during that time he can talk to them, ask them questions, and compel them to answer truthfully. His uncanny gift at first seems utterly unrelated to his mother Tia’s work as a literary agent, but the links become disturbingly clear when her star client, Regis Thomas, dies shortly after starting work on the newest entry in his bestselling Roanoke Saga, and Tia and her lover, NYPD Detective Liz Dutton, drive Jamie out to Cobblestone Cottage to encourage the late author to dictate an outline of his latest page-turner so that Tia, who’s fallen on hard times, can write it in his name instead of returning his advance and her cut. Now that she’s seen what Jamie can do, Liz takes it on herself to arrange an interview in which Jamie will ask Kenneth Therriault, a serial bomber who’s just killed himself, where he’s stowed his latest explosive device before it can explode posthumously. His post-mortem encounter with Therriault exacts a high price on Jamie, who now finds himself more haunted than ever, though he never gives up on the everyday experiences in which King roots all his nightmares.

Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7890-9649-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Hard Case Crime

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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