A fast-paced series opener that will make readers eager to know Chavali’s next move.

THE FALLEN

THE GREATEST SIN BOOK 1

From the The Greatest Sin series , Vol. 1

Kort (A Curse of Memories, 2017, etc.) and French (Ghost Is the New Normal, 2017, etc.) join forces to launch a fantasy series about a woman’s encounter with a highly unusual cabal.

In the land of Tilzam, the Blaukenev clan travels from country to country by wagon. Chavali is the clan Seer—marked by a pink feather sprouting from her forehead—who can know somebody’s thoughts at a touch. During carnivals, she reads customer fortunes in her tent, though the “parade of idiots and twits” with pedestrian problems irks her. Even worse, her bodyguard, Keino, harbors obsessive thoughts about her that bleed into her mind whenever they touch. One day, three men on horseback ask to travel with the caravan. Chavali learns that their names are Teryk, Eliot, and Colby. Each wears a signet ring on his middle finger, and they ask her numerous questions about the clan. After parting ways with the horsemen, the Blaukenev travel west, and one night, after Chavali finishes her readings, an insistent final customer offers to pay double to see her. He has the intense gaze of a predator and tells her, “The Order of the Strong Arm has come for you, Chavali.” This confrontation soon leads her to join a group of resurrected individuals with a very specific mission. In this brooding series opener, Kort and French insightfully explore staple fantasy elements, such as telepathy and resurrection, to luminous effect. Regarding the possibility of having a child, for example, Chavali wonders, “would she know the moment it began to form thoughts and be bombarded with them, unable to prevent it from driving her mad...until it was born?” Characters like Keino and Pasha, Chavali’s younger teenage sister, are sharply rendered and will draw readers deeply into their nomadic world. Events that occur midway through the narrative, however, prove that Kort and French are daring storytellers who aren’t afraid to yank the rug from beneath the audience’s feet. The book’s second half thoughtfully deals with the topic of revenge, and no character ever takes another’s life callously.

A fast-paced series opener that will make readers eager to know Chavali’s next move.

Pub Date: Jan. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9891210-9-5

Page Count: 236

Publisher: Tangled Sky Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

TELL ME LIES

Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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