A powerful portal story with a stirring protagonist; it’s everything a good sci-fi tale should be and more.



Causey delivers a mix of business, government, religion, and fantastic technology in this debut sci-fi novel.

Time is not running out; it’s running backward. Using the discoveries of the genius Dr. Lacy Sylvan and the work of his paternal grandfather, William, Carlton Ferguson has opened portals into the past—generating massive profits for the family company. Any time and place in the last 48 hours can be reviewed through these Reflection Windows, and while the public doesn’t know it, Carlton hasn’t stopped there, extending his reach by years toward his dream of viewing right up to the beginning of time. Not only that, but he’s kept the secrets of the technology between himself and Sylvan, and even she doesn’t know the full extent of his capabilities. The Reflection Windows have rendered nearly all crime a thing of the past, so it’s tough to imagine anyone going after Carlton. But when Sylvan’s home is bombed, it’s just the beginning of a cascading series of events that could put everything he’s accomplished in jeopardy. Both the religious contingent and the government want control of the technology, either to discover secrets or out of the belief that some things are better left unseen. And when Carlton finally begins to make decisions about monumental issues—whom to trust, how to live, what is right or wrong—the world may be forever changed. This story grapples with ideas that are precise and contemporary, like the question of security versus privacy, and others that are timeless, like whether it is greater for the mind of man to know or simply to wonder. And the glue binding these concepts together is made of precise, well-crafted prose and intricate details, not to mention a fascinating main character. Indeed, the digressions into the precise ways Carlton gets things done and the mechanics of the Reflection system might become dull were it not for the passion the protagonist shows for his life’s mission as well as the complexities of his psyche, from his family history to the loneliness he inflicts on himself. He plays God but nonetheless remains distinctly human. This is a remarkable novel and hopefully a herald of great things to come.

A powerful portal story with a stirring protagonist; it’s everything a good sci-fi tale should be and more.

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5144-0038-8

Page Count: 342

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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

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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. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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A breezy and fun contemporary fantasy.


A tightly wound caseworker is pushed out of his comfort zone when he’s sent to observe a remote orphanage for magical children.

Linus Baker loves rules, which makes him perfectly suited for his job as a midlevel bureaucrat working for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, where he investigates orphanages for children who can do things like make objects float, who have tails or feathers, and even those who are young witches. Linus clings to the notion that his job is about saving children from cruel or dangerous homes, but really he’s a cog in a government machine that treats magical children as second-class citizens. When Extremely Upper Management sends for Linus, he learns that his next assignment is a mission to an island orphanage for especially dangerous kids. He is to stay on the island for a month and write reports for Extremely Upper Management, which warns him to be especially meticulous in his observations. When he reaches the island, he meets extraordinary kids like Talia the gnome, Theodore the wyvern, and Chauncey, an amorphous blob whose parentage is unknown. The proprietor of the orphanage is a strange but charming man named Arthur, who makes it clear to Linus that he will do anything in his power to give his charges a loving home on the island. As Linus spends more time with Arthur and the kids, he starts to question a world that would shun them for being different, and he even develops romantic feelings for Arthur. Lambda Literary Award–winning author Klune (The Art of Breathing, 2019, etc.) has a knack for creating endearing characters, and readers will grow to love Arthur and the orphans alongside Linus. Linus himself is a lovable protagonist despite his prickliness, and Klune aptly handles his evolving feelings and morals. The prose is a touch wooden in places, but fans of quirky fantasy will eat it up.

A breezy and fun contemporary fantasy.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21728-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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