by Kim Harrison ‧ RELEASE DATE: Jan. 22, 2013
There’s no denying this tale is skillfully written, but the author’s tendency to rely heavily on endless, mundane dialogue...
The 11th volume in Harrison’s popular ongoing urban-fantasy series (A Perfect Blood, 2012, etc.) continues to chronicle the adventures of Rachel Morgan, who is both a witch and a detective.
In Harrison’s alternate universe, set in Cincinnati, the world of magical beings, including vampires, witches, elves, werewolves and demons, has crossed with the world of humans. In partnership with Ivy, a vampire, and Jenks, a pixy, Rachel now works as a freelance investigator. When her friend Quen asks her to watch over Trent, a handsome but stubborn elf who attracts trouble, Rachel bridles at the idea. Then, she discovers that someone is abducting what are known as Rosewood babies, infants stricken with a usually fatal, supernaturally inspired disease. When both Rachel’s close friend and goddaughter disappear, Rachel and Trent have no choice but to put aside past differences and join forces in order to find them and set things right. Along the way, the pair discovers they are up against a merciless and powerful demon named Ku’Sox, who forces Rachel to go outside the realm in which she normally dwells into what is known as the Ever After in order to recover her abducted friends. Harrison’s fans know every corner of the imaginary and intricate world the author has created, including Rachel’s history with Trent, which complicates the path she must take in order to retrieve her friends. Adding to the fanciful characters’ drama is a past when a genetic-manipulation cataclysm reduced the human population and changed the balance of how humans and the others interact. The storyline is populated with insider references that will mystify those who haven’t already been steeped in the world Harrison has created, but for fans of her work, this lengthy and complicated volume will be a welcome new addition to her universe.There’s no denying this tale is skillfully written, but the author’s tendency to rely heavily on endless, mundane dialogue can be a turnoff to readers who would rather have their stories short, sweet and to the point.
Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013
Page Count: 448
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2012
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2012
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by Max Brooks ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 16, 2020
A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.
Awards & Accolades
New York Times Bestseller
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
Page Count: 304
Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine
Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020
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BOOK TO SCREEN
by Blake Crouch ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 26, 2016
Suspenseful, frightening, and sometimes poignant—provided the reader has a generously willing suspension of disbelief.
A man walks out of a bar and his life becomes a kaleidoscope of altered states in this science-fiction thriller.
Crouch opens on a family in a warm, resonant domestic moment with three well-developed characters. At home in Chicago’s Logan Square, Jason Dessen dices an onion while his wife, Daniela, sips wine and chats on the phone. Their son, Charlie, an appealing 15-year-old, sketches on a pad. Still, an undertone of regret hovers over the couple, a preoccupation with roads not taken, a theme the book will literally explore, in multifarious ways. To start, both Jason and Daniela abandoned careers that might have soared, Jason as a physicist, Daniela as an artist. When Charlie was born, he suffered a major illness. Jason was forced to abandon promising research to teach undergraduates at a small college. Daniela turned from having gallery shows to teaching private art lessons to middle school students. On this bracing October evening, Jason visits a local bar to pay homage to Ryan Holder, a former college roommate who just received a major award for his work in neuroscience, an honor that rankles Jason, who, Ryan says, gave up on his career. Smarting from the comment, Jason suffers “a sucker punch” as he heads home that leaves him “standing on the precipice.” From behind Jason, a man with a “ghost white” face, “red, pursed lips," and "horrifying eyes” points a gun at Jason and forces him to drive an SUV, following preset navigational directions. At their destination, the abductor forces Jason to strip naked, beats him, then leads him into a vast, abandoned power plant. Here, Jason meets men and women who insist they want to help him. Attempting to escape, Jason opens a door that leads him into a series of dark, strange, yet eerily familiar encounters that sometimes strain credibility, especially in the tale's final moments.Suspenseful, frightening, and sometimes poignant—provided the reader has a generously willing suspension of disbelief.
Pub Date: July 26, 2016
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016
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