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THE SONG RISING

From the Bone Season series , Vol. 3

A tantalizing, otherworldy adventure with imagination that burns like fire.

The third installment of this fantasy series (The Bone Season, 2013; The Mime Order, 2015) expands the reaches of the fight against Scion far beyond London.

Paige Mahoney, though only 19, serves as the Underqueen of the Mime Order. She's the leader of the Unnatural community in London, a city serving under the ever more militaristic Scion, whose government is based on ridding the streets of "enemy" clairvoyants. But Paige knows the truth about Scion's roots—that an Unnatural and immortal race called the Rephaim, who come from the Netherworld, forced Scion into existence to gain control over the growing human clairvoyant community. Scion’s hatred of clairvoyants now runs so deep that Paige is forced to consider moving her entire syndicate into hiding while she aims to stop Scion's next attack: there are rumors that Senshield, a scanner able to detect certain levels of clairvoyance, is going portable. Which means no Unnatural citizen is safe—their safe houses, their back-alley routes, are all at risk of detection. Paige’s main enemy this time around is Hildred Vance, mastermind of Scion’s military branch, ScionIDE. Vance creates terror by anticipating her opponent’s next moves, so with each step that Paige and her team take to dismantle Senshield, Vance is hovering nearby to toy with Paige’s will. Luckily, Paige is never separated for long from her Rephaite ally, Warden, as his presence is grounding. But their growing relationship, strengthened by their connection to the spirit world, takes a back seat to the constant, fast-paced action. The mesmerizing qualities of this series—insight into the different orders of clairvoyance as well as the intricately imagined details of Paige’s “dreamwalking” gift, with which she is able to enter others’ minds—fade to the background as this seven-part series climbs to its highest point of tension. Shannon’s world begins to feel more generically dystopian, but as Paige fights to locate and understand the spiritual energy powering Senshield, it is never less than captivating.

A tantalizing, otherworldy adventure with imagination that burns like fire.

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-63286-624-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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DEVOLUTION

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z(2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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DARK MATTER

Suspenseful, frightening, and sometimes poignant—provided the reader has a generously willing suspension of disbelief.

A man walks out of a bar and his life becomes a kaleidoscope of altered states in this science-fiction thriller.

Crouch opens on a family in a warm, resonant domestic moment with three well-developed characters. At home in Chicago’s Logan Square, Jason Dessen dices an onion while his wife, Daniela, sips wine and chats on the phone. Their son, Charlie, an appealing 15-year-old, sketches on a pad. Still, an undertone of regret hovers over the couple, a preoccupation with roads not taken, a theme the book will literally explore, in multifarious ways. To start, both Jason and Daniela abandoned careers that might have soared, Jason as a physicist, Daniela as an artist. When Charlie was born, he suffered a major illness. Jason was forced to abandon promising research to teach undergraduates at a small college. Daniela turned from having gallery shows to teaching private art lessons to middle school students. On this bracing October evening, Jason visits a local bar to pay homage to Ryan Holder, a former college roommate who just received a major award for his work in neuroscience, an honor that rankles Jason, who, Ryan says, gave up on his career. Smarting from the comment, Jason suffers “a sucker punch” as he heads home that leaves him “standing on the precipice.” From behind Jason, a man with a “ghost white” face, “red, pursed lips," and "horrifying eyes” points a gun at Jason and forces him to drive an SUV, following preset navigational directions. At their destination, the abductor forces Jason to strip naked, beats him, then leads him into a vast, abandoned power plant. Here, Jason meets men and women who insist they want to help him. Attempting to escape, Jason opens a door that leads him into a series of dark, strange, yet eerily familiar encounters that sometimes strain credibility, especially in the tale's final moments.

Suspenseful, frightening, and sometimes poignant—provided the reader has a generously willing suspension of disbelief.

Pub Date: July 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-90422-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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