An immersive and satisfying science fiction thriller.

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BRINK OF LIFE

From the Brink of Life Trilogy series , Vol. 2

A woman wakes up in a body not her own in this novel from Moskovitz (A Stand-in for Dying, 2019), the second in his Brink of Life trilogy.

January 2059. After somehow losing consciousness, a woman comes to at a funeral—the funeral of her husband, Arlo Kresky. The only problem? She’s never seen the man said to be her husband. Indeed, when she gets in front of a mirror, she’s never before seen the person looking back at her, either: “It was a pretty face. Some might say exquisite. Her hair was jet black and straight, falling almost to her shoulders….Even after this close inspection, there wasn’t a trace of familiarity. The face in the mirror remained a stranger.” She is apparently the widow Petra Kresky, but she does not associate this beautiful, bruise-covered woman with herself. Is she suffering from amnesia? No, because she does have a sense of her former self and of a woman named Macklyn. She learns from her household android that Petra, despite being 42, is kept at the biological age of 20 by some mysterious technology. She also discovers that the dead Arlo was obsessed with immortality and that Petra has been carrying on an affair with Arlo’s hired biographer, Connor. As she digs into the truth of her identity, she uncovers a truly remarkable web of secrets: a clandestine program to keep the rich young forever, a government spy organization, and an anti-immortality hacker group bent on bringing it all down. Moskovitz tells the story with urgent concision, his prose brisk and clear: “She disembarked and melted quickly into a rush hour crowd, hurrying home or to their chosen entertainment of the evening. The sides of skyscrapers were lit with images from the day’s events. She stopped short in front of one such display that featured an image of Connor rising eight stories high.” This makes the story a quicker and more satisfying read than even the previous volume in the series (which is related to this one but not necessary to have read to understand it). With his thoughtful exploration of the ethical consequences of technology and class division, Moskovitz offers another sci-fi morality tale in the tradition of Philip K. Dick and Black Mirror.

An immersive and satisfying science fiction thriller.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-73417-891-3

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Fluke Tale Productions

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2020

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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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