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RISING

From the Dark Surf series , Vol. 2

Delivering the salt- and blood-kissed depths readers expect, this vampire tale is everything a sequel should be.

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This second installment of a new-adult series complicates matters in the dangerous world of California surfing and vampire sharks.

Despite difficult beginnings, Jake Ryder and Leilani Waters grew accustomed to the Nomads, a group of vampire sharks and protectors of the natural world of beach and waves, especially Skylar and Tristan, their friends and lovers. But while Jake is now a vampire shark himself and Leilani has largely left her old life as an FBI agent behind, the rest of the group has scattered after a bloody war with the Rogues, a cabal with a bloodier agenda. In addition to the lingering threat of Dean, the murderous, still at-large leader of the Rogues, the two have to contend with real loss and an unfolding mystery, as Skylar and Tristan have both disappeared in the aftermath, the latter presumed dead. Still, the two friends are committed to hunting down Dean, and they follow him to Hawaii. But while Leilani purely misses Tristan, her fiance, both she and Jake have doubts about what Skylar’s been up to. And there’s still more going on behind the scenes. After all, Jake got into this world in the first place to solve his best friend Cody’s murder at the hands of a former Nomad. So what will he do when he finds out that his cohort isn’t dead at all but undead? As in Zmak’s (Dark Surf, 2014) previous romantic thriller, the prose is sharp and pithy here, with plenty of surfer dialect to add personality to the writing. And with high stakes already well established, the narrative doesn’t have to make detours to establish the characters’ identities and histories in the way that the first book did. This leaves the speedy, page-turning rhythm of the chapters room to shine and the relationships space to mix and evolve. As before, there’s romance mingled into the blood and chills. In addition, the book does an excellent job of developing the players’ connections beyond those initial sparks and through further and further trials, making this sequel a real treat to read, maybe even more than the original.

Delivering the salt- and blood-kissed depths readers expect, this vampire tale is everything a sequel should be.

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-692-67225-9

Page Count: 394

Publisher: Zmak Creative

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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A LITTLE LIFE

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

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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. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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