A well-executed time-travel tale.

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FLIGHT 39

A sci-fi novel tells the story of a pilot sent back to 1939 on a very special mission.

Christoph Wilder is an amazing pilot, as he proves during an emergency landing after losing two engines of his trans-Atlantic passenger jet. Christoph should be a hero, but instead he’s blamed for the death of an elderly passenger, just like his son continues to hold him responsible for the death of his wife in a car accident. When his airline grounds him for good, Christoph takes a vague job with the German Aerospace Center. He learns that his new bosses have developed time-travel technology and plan to try it out in small increments—going back no more than 24 hours in the past. But during the first test run, the plane is hijacked by Christoph’s co-pilot, who has other plans for how to use the breakthrough: “Our destination is November 7, 1939….We will kill Adolf Hitler!” The temptation to avert the worst war in human history may be strong, but what will the effect be on the present? How does this scheme relate to a simultaneous narrative about a man named Herbert Steinmann living in a bunker on some alternative, nuclear-ravaged Earth? And, if he survives all of this, can Christoph harness the technology to reverse the worst event of his own timeline, the accident that killed his wife? Peterson (Paradox 2, 2018, etc.) writes in a polished, muscular prose that replicates the calm, pragmatic voice of his pilot protagonist: “Christoph knew that with the waves of the North Atlantic, they had no chance of landing the huge aircraft….The wings would be torn off, the cabin would overturn and the wreckage, with the passengers still strapped in their seats, would sink like a stone.” The author takes a while getting to the novel’s main action, though this gives him time to assemble the backstories of Christoph and the other characters. The book is more thoughtful than its simple premise suggests, and while the plot follows the typical time-travel narrative arc, Peterson does a good enough job hiding the ball that the twists feel satisfying.

A well-executed time-travel tale.

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-987580-76-1

Page Count: 260

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2018

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A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

GHOSTED

In Walsh’s American debut, a woman desperately tries to find out why the man she spent a whirlwind week with never called.

Sarah has just separated from her American husband and is visiting her hometown in England when she meets Eddie. He’s kind and charming, and although they only spend one week together, she falls in love. When he has to leave for a trip, she knows they’ll keep in touch—they’re already making plans for the rest of their lives. But then Eddie never calls, and Sarah’s increasingly frantic efforts to contact him are fruitless. Is he hurt? Is he dead? As her friends tell her, there’s a far greater likelihood that he’s just blowing her off—she’s been ghosted. After trying to track Eddie down at a football game, Sarah starts to become ashamed of herself—after all, she’s almost 40 years old and she’s essentially stalking a man who never called her. But as Sarah slowly learns, she and Eddie didn’t actually meet randomly—they both have a connection to an accident that happened years ago, and it may have something to do with why he disappeared. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of Eddie’s and Sarah’s pasts are revealed, and the truth behind their connection is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. The barriers between Sarah and Eddie seem insurmountable at times, and although their issues are resolved in a tidy manner, the emotions behind their actions are always believable. Walsh has created a deeply moving romance with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of grief at its heart.

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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

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THE STARLESS SEA

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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