A rich, complex meditation on love and mortality among supernatural beings.

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REHUMANIZED DREW

A WINDSTALKER STORY

A fallen angel on the run due to an international conspiracy finds himself in love in this second series installment by Baginski (Windstalker, 2015). 

The Evo-Nephilim, also known as windstalkers, are a species of undead shape-shifters—a cross between men and the angels who roamed the Earth when it was new. Drew, a convicted murderer and former Evo-Nephilim, has been given a chance at mortality, as the Evo-Nephilim alliance has removed his aurion, the organ that makes him immortal. The angel Lothos has been assigned to relocate him away from Sam, who originally sired him into the order of windstalkers. Sam, explains Lothos, is “a rogue leader who refers to us as infidels, since we often hunt his followers.” Sam is also creating his own army of undead and has little concern for his human prey. Drew is hidden by other windstalkers in a beautiful cabin in the woods. There, he meets Nathan, a friendly, hardworking farmer with psychic gifts, and Nathan’s daughter, Amelia, a “flawless beauty” who’s hiding a big secret. The three try to figure out how to outwit Sam, how to save the humans who most need saving, and how they feel about one another. But soon the forces of darkness close in. For readers who are new to the series, this book is probably not the place to start, as the story begins in medias res and new readers won’t quite shake the sense that they’re missing crucial details. For instance, what exactly does being a windstalker entail, aside from being immortal? This and other questions are only answered deep into the book. But for others, the story offers a refreshing new perspective on a character they thought they knew, as Drew, a predator in the previous book, becomes a victim here. The depiction of Drew and Amelia’s growing feelings for each other also rings sweet and true, such as when they share popcorn and flirt while watching a movie at home or when they check each other out as they work in the fields. Their struggles and revelations are worth the price of admission.

A rich, complex meditation on love and mortality among supernatural beings. 

Pub Date: March 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5447-1301-4

Page Count: 222

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A thrilling and satisfying sequel to the 1969 classic.

THE ANDROMEDA EVOLUTION

Over 50 years after an extraterrestrial microbe wiped out a small Arizona town, something very strange has appeared in the Amazon jungle in Wilson’s follow-up to Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain.

The microparticle's introduction to Earth in 1967 was the disastrous result of an American weapons research program. Before it could be contained, Andromeda killed all but two people in tiny Piedmont, Arizona; during testing after the disaster, AS-1 evolved and escaped into the atmosphere. Project Eternal Vigilance was quickly set up to scan for any possible new outbreaks of Andromeda. Now, an anomaly with “signature peaks” closely resembling the original Andromeda Strain has been spotted in the heart of the Amazon, and a Wildfire Alert is issued. A diverse team is assembled: Nidhi Vedala, an MIT nanotechnology expert born in a Mumbai slum; Harold Odhiambo, a Kenyan xenogeologist; Peng Wu, a Chinese doctor and taikonaut; Sophie Kline, a paraplegic astronaut and nanorobotics expert based on the International Space Station; and, a last-minute addition, roboticist James Stone, son of Dr. Jeremy Stone from The Andromeda Strain. They must journey into the deepest part of the jungle to study and hopefully contain the dire threat that the anomaly seemingly poses to humanity. But the jungle has its own dangers, and it’s not long before distrust and suspicion grip the team. They’ll need to come together to take on what waits for them inside a mysterious structure that may not be of this world. Setting the story over the course of five days, Wilson (Robopocalypse, 2011, etc.) combines the best elements of hard SF novels and techno-thrillers, using recovered video, audio, and interview transcripts to shape the narrative, with his own robotics expertise adding flavor and heft. Despite a bit of acronym overload, this is an atmospheric and often terrifying roller-coaster ride with (literally) sky-high stakes that pays plenty of homage to The Andromeda Strain while also echoing the spirit and mood of Crichton’s other works, such as Jurassic Park and Congo. Add more than a few twists and exciting set pieces (especially in the finale) to the mix, and you’ve got a winner.

A thrilling and satisfying sequel to the 1969 classic.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-247327-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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A kicky, kinky, wildly inventive 21st-century mashup with franker language and a higher body count than Hamlet.

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SHAKESPEARE FOR SQUIRRELS

Manic parodist Moore, fresh off a season in 1947 San Francisco (Noir, 2018), returns with a rare gift for Shakespeare fans who think A Midsummer Night’s Dream would be perfect if only it were a little more madcap.

Cast adrift by pirates together with his apprentice, halfwit giant Drool, and Jeff, his barely less intelligent monkey, Pocket of Dog Snogging upon Ouze, jester to the late King Lear, washes ashore in Shakespeare’s Athens, where Cobweb, a squirrel by day and fairy by night, takes him under her wing and other parts. Soon after he encounters Robin Goodfellow (the Puck), jester to shadow king Oberon, and Nick Bottom and the other clueless mechanicals rehearsing Pyramus and Thisby in a nearby forest before they present it in celebration of the wedding of Theseus, Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, the captive Amazon queen who’s captured his heart, Pocket (The Serpent of Venice, 2014, etc.) finds Robin fatally shot by an arrow. Suspected briefly of the murder himself, he’s commissioned, first by Hippolyta, then by the unwitting Theseus, to identify the Puck’s killer. Oh, and Egeus, the Duke’s steward, wants him to find and execute Lysander, who’s run off with Egeus’ daughter, Hermia, instead of marrying Helena, who’s in love with Demetrius. As English majors can attest, a remarkable amount of this madness can already be found in Shakespeare’s play. Moore’s contribution is to amp up the couplings, bawdy language, violence, and metatextual analogies between the royals, the fairies, the mechanicals, his own interloping hero, and any number of other plays by the Bard.

A kicky, kinky, wildly inventive 21st-century mashup with franker language and a higher body count than Hamlet.

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-243402-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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