Will be enjoyed most by readers interested in seeing a seemingly normal man rise to a prophet.




Gerovac’s (The Great Angel War, 2014) second novel in a trilogy concerning an unlikely prophet and his mission to stop Armageddon.

Tasked with being “God’s last prophet,” Thomas Mumin is on a mission to prevent the Antichrist from being born. While practicing “no specific religion” (albeit believing in God and accepting Jesus Christ as his savior), Thomas has done his best to understand the Bible, to lead a good life, and, after a nearly fatal car accident in the prequel, to do the work of God. He journeys to Vatican City to speak with the pope, but he gets more than an audience: he’s hit over the head to see whether he’s a demon. Having passed the test, Thomas comes to realize that Lucifer is attempting to create the Antichrist using modern-day science. Will Thomas and others on his side—including a savant named Myrrh, who “sees everything as a probability”—be able to stop this momentous event, or will they succumb to the many demons around them who are willing to resort to all manner of trickery? More Dan Brown than Umberto Eco, the story takes readers down a number of avenues via both action—“He then reversed his spin, bending low and coming up, hitting the fourth bully under the chin and knocking him out”—and Google searches. Despite Thomas’ Everyman attitude—“I am but a humble servant of the Lord,” he points out—events unfold quickly. Though the adventure is alive with the cunning ways of the devil and his helpers, the journey has its share of speed bumps, often due to dialogue that tells readers what’s already known, as when Thomas remarks: “We’re okay. We ran here to check on you and make sure you are okay too,” followed shortly thereafter by “I’m glad everyone’s okay.” As meek as he may seem at times, Thomas proves to be a hero who’s both believable and worth rooting for, a man just humble enough to carry the spirit of a genial holy messenger.

Will be enjoyed most by readers interested in seeing a seemingly normal man rise to a prophet.

Pub Date: March 17, 2015

ISBN: 978-1680283853

Page Count: 268

Publisher: Tate Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2015

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If nothing else, you have to giggle over how this novel’s namesake, who held vicious white supremacist opinions, must be...


Some very nice, very smart African-Americans are plunged into netherworlds of malevolent sorcery in the waning days of Jim Crow—as if Jim Crow alone wasn’t enough of a curse to begin with.

In the northern U.S. of the mid-1950s, as depicted in this merrily macabre pastiche by Ruff (The Mirage, 2012, etc.), Driving While Black is an even more perilous proposition than it is now. Ask Atticus Turner, an African-American Korean War veteran and science-fiction buff, who is compelled to face an all-too-customary gauntlet of racist highway patrolmen and hostile white roadside hamlets en route from his South Side Chicago home to a remote Massachusetts village in search of his curmudgeonly father, Montrose, who was lured away by a young white “sharp dresser” driving a silver Cadillac with tinted windows. At least Atticus isn’t alone; his uncle George, who puts out annual editions of The Safe Negro Travel Guide, is splitting driving duties in his Packard station wagon “with inlaid birch trim and side paneling.” Also along for the ride is Atticus’ childhood friend Letitia Dandridge, another sci-fi fan, whose family lived in the same neighborhood as the Turners. It turns out this road trip is merely the beginning of a series of bizarre chimerical adventures ensnaring both the Turner and Dandridge clans in ancient rituals, arcane magical texts, alternate universes, and transmogrifying potions, all of which bears some resemblance to the supernatural visions of H.P. Lovecraft and other gothic dream makers of the past. Ruff’s ripping yarns often pile on contrivances and overextend the narratives in the grand manner of pulp storytelling, but the reinvented mythos here seems to have aroused in him a newfound empathy and engagement with his characters.

If nothing else, you have to giggle over how this novel’s namesake, who held vicious white supremacist opinions, must be doing triple axels in his grave at the way his imagination has been so impudently shaken and stirred.

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-229206-3

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

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An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

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A withdrawn graduate student embarks on an epic quest to restore balance to the world in this long-anticipated follow-up to The Night Circus (2011).

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a typical millennial introvert; he likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. But when he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he's unnerved—and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger, and Zachary must decide whether to trust the handsome stranger he meets at a highflying literary fundraiser in New York or to retreat back to his thesis and forget the whole affair. In a high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. Clocking in at more than 500 pages, the novel requires patience as Morgenstern puts all the pieces in place, but it is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion. As in The Night Circus, Morgenstern is at her best when she imagines worlds and rooms and parties in vivid detail, right down to the ballroom stairs "festooned with lanterns and garlands of paper dipped in gold" or a cloak carved from ice with "ships and sailors and sea monsters...lost in the drifting snow." This novel is a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54121-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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