A sci-fi novel that offers a relentlessly paced, action-packed, and undeniably epic-in-scope adventure.

In Earth's Service

From the Mapped Space series , Vol. 2

This second installment in the Mapped Space saga continues the exploits of Sirius Kade, captain of a merchant starship and deep-cover agent for the Earth Intelligence Service.

Attempting to complete what should be a routine mission on a remote planet colonized by a highly intelligent race of space-faring, giant beetlelike creatures, Kade watches as a hit squad murders his contact. Tracking the killers to a nearby planet entangles the intrepid operative and his crew in a grand-scale conspiracy that involves weapons smuggling, slavery, and, above all, a plot that features insanely advanced alien technology that could ultimately obliterate humankind. The answers surrounding the alien tech and how it came to be in the possession of space pirates always seem to elude Kade. In this novel (the sequel to Renneberg’s The Antaran Codex, 2014), Kade finds himself in one perilous situation after another in such diverse places as the high-gravity planet Hardfall. Humanity’s tenuous Access Treaty with the Galactic Forum looms above it all. After having its interstellar access rights suspended for 1,000 years when human religious fanatics attacked an alien home world, the human race is essentially on probation—and any violation could set it back centuries. Kade must tread lightly: the future of humankind is literally in his hands. While not as immersive as the first installment (the grandiose political machinations and military sci-fi-powered maneuverings overshadow the characters’ more intimate story arcs), this sequel is still captivating. Kade is an audacious and endearing leading man, and the various planetary backdrops and inhabitants are meticulously detailed and vividly described. Hardfall, for example, is extraordinarily realized (“Large river valleys snaked from towering mountains in the east, across vast plains to the desolate west coast, although only the great rivers of the south still held water. Their northern cousins were now dry and barren scars across a once fertile land”). This volume also delivers an impressively knotty plotline and impeccably edited writing. Fans of classic space tales (like E. E. Smith’s Lensman saga and Jack Williamson’s Legion of Space) should find this series utterly satisfying.

A sci-fi novel that offers a relentlessly paced, action-packed, and undeniably epic-in-scope adventure.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9941840-0-9

Page Count: 414

Publisher: Stephen Peter Renneberg

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2015

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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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