This frightening tale of a Christian heroine battling satanic forces emphasizes the power of prayer, forgiveness, and love.

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One Plus One

From the The Millionth Trilogy series , Vol. 3

A psycho killer, several cops, and a suburban mom become intertwined with angels and demons in this faith-based paranormal thriller.

If a movie should ever be made of this final installment in Faggioli’s (One In A Million, 2016, etc.) trilogy, the Eagles’ “Hotel California” might be a contender for the theme song. Like the tune’s lyrics, book passages reference voices that call in the middle of the night, characters who are prisoners of their own devices, and spirits that could be in heaven or could be in hell. The trilogy’s main character, Kyle Fasano, continues to suffer the cosmic aftershocks of his act of adultery as he travels other realms unaware of his intended destination. The angel known as the Gray Man, who accompanies him, acts as a heavenly detective on the hunt for Kyle’s wife, Tamara. She’s been taken prisoner by the unhinged Troy Forester, a slave to the devil himself. Tamara grew up in Bolivia, where her missionary parents taught her that “God speaks to us in all situations.” That belief allows her to withstand recent events, including her cheating husband’s supernatural disappearance and her own kidnapping from the home in which she lived as a single mom with her two children. But they had not been alone in the dwelling; something had been hiding under a bed, and it wasn’t dust bunnies. It was evil that came into the residence through an old, rusted lantern a co-worker had left on the doorstep. The true star of this scary volume is Tamara. Hell hath no fury like this captured woman, a committed Christian and certified badass with a mean right hook and killer moves with a hose. Good and evil take turns in the spotlight, with the latter generally resulting in quicker page turning, such as the violent episode in which Kyle and the Gray Man encounter piranhalike, toothed demons, who split to multiply by regeneration (“They simply dug their fingers into their faces, through their own skin…as they tore themselves completely in half”). The pacing is swift and the dialogue believable. Loose strings from the first two books tie together, and there is no unnecessary prologue as in the previous volume.

This frightening tale of a Christian heroine battling satanic forces emphasizes the power of prayer, forgiveness, and love.

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9978974-6-3

Page Count: 370

Publisher: Atticus Creative

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016

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Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

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THE VANISHING HALF

Inseparable identical twin sisters ditch home together, and then one decides to vanish.

The talented Bennett fuels her fiction with secrets—first in her lauded debut, The Mothers (2016), and now in the assured and magnetic story of the Vignes sisters, light-skinned women parked on opposite sides of the color line. Desiree, the “fidgety twin,” and Stella, “a smart, careful girl,” make their break from stultifying rural Mallard, Louisiana, becoming 16-year-old runaways in 1954 New Orleans. The novel opens 14 years later as Desiree, fleeing a violent marriage in D.C., returns home with a different relative: her 8-year-old daughter, Jude. The gossips are agog: “In Mallard, nobody married dark....Marrying a dark man and dragging his blueblack child all over town was one step too far.” Desiree's decision seals Jude’s misery in this “colorstruck” place and propels a new generation of flight: Jude escapes on a track scholarship to UCLA. Tending bar as a side job in Beverly Hills, she catches a glimpse of her mother’s doppelgänger. Stella, ensconced in white society, is shedding her fur coat. Jude, so black that strangers routinely stare, is unrecognizable to her aunt. All this is expertly paced, unfurling before the book is half finished; a reader can guess what is coming. Bennett is deeply engaged in the unknowability of other people and the scourge of colorism. The scene in which Stella adopts her white persona is a tour de force of doubling and confusion. It calls up Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, the book's 50-year-old antecedent. Bennett's novel plays with its characters' nagging feelings of being incomplete—for the twins without each other; for Jude’s boyfriend, Reese, who is trans and seeks surgery; for their friend Barry, who performs in drag as Bianca. Bennett keeps all these plot threads thrumming and her social commentary crisp. In the second half, Jude spars with her cousin Kennedy, Stella's daughter, a spoiled actress.

Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-53629-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Riverhead

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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