A safe, cozy adventure built on the solid foundations of everyday life and uncommon imagination.


Two teenagers’ friendship becomes tested while they hone their abilities in this third installment of a paranormal fantasy series.

Fourteen-year-olds Sadie Callahan and Jason Lex have special powers. Sadie is a Yowie (the Australian cousin of America’s Bigfoot) and can shift between human and animal form. Her Yowie heritage also enables her to heal quickly and turn invisible, although she’s yet to master this. Jason is a Rampart Guard, a fire-wielding warden of the barrier that keeps cryptids (Yowies, Yetis, etc.) hidden in the human world. Both Sadie and Jason are in training; whereas he embraces the changes he’s going through, she is less keen. Sadie has been chosen to lead the Yowies, but until she’s ready to face the current leader—the nefarious Garrison Devine—she remains in hiding and can pretend to live a normal life. This head-in-the-sand approach comes unstuck when a stray Bigfoot is seen around town. Sadie and Jason track it down, but when the Bigfoot turns out to be a Yowie—the same one that killed Sadie’s grandma—and Jason refuses to kill it, their bond of friendship is threatened. Will Sadie ever forgive him? And how will she cope when her mother, who everyone thought was killed when Sadie was a baby, comes back into her life? Terrien (The Clan Calling, 2017, etc.) writes in the third person, mixing narrative descriptions and dialogue to good effect. The teens and adults all have their quirks, but readers new to the series may struggle to keep track of the relationships. There are many characters, and they’re all a bit similar (in the sense that they remain good-natured and talk through their issues even when there’s friction). The plot, likewise, is very much a continuation of previous volumes. The complicated backstory goes largely unexplained, and the progression of the big picture is minimal. But while the current installment feels almost as if it’s treading water, its true beauty lies in the protagonists’ growth and the way they deal with ordinary teen issues (of which there are many). Rather than dazzle readers with big developments, the author anchors the paranormal elements and invites teens and adults alike to feel part of Sadie and Jason’s extended family.

A safe, cozy adventure built on the solid foundations of everyday life and uncommon imagination.

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-9983369-4-7

Page Count: 404

Publisher: Camashea Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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If novelists are auditioning to play God, Hilderbrand gets the part.

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From the greenroom of the afterlife—make that Benjamin Moore "Parsley Snips" green—a newly dead Nantucket novelist watches life unfold without her.

In her 27th novel, Hilderbrand gives herself an alter ego—beloved beach-novel author Vivian Howe—sends her out for a morning jog, and immediately kills her off. A hit-and-run driver leaves Vivi dead by the side of the road, where her son's best friend discovers her body—or was he responsible for the accident? Vivi doesn't know, nor does she know yet that her daughter Willa is pregnant, or that her daughter Carson is having a terribly ill-advised affair, or that her son, Leo, has a gnawing secret, or that her ex is getting tired of the girl he dumped her for. She will discover all this and more as she watches one last summer on Nantucket play out under the tutelage of Martha, her "Person," who receives her in the boho-chic waiting room of the Beyond. Hermès-scarved Martha explains that Vivi will have three nudges—three chances to change the course of events on Earth and prevent her bereaved loved ones from making life-altering mistakes. She will also get to watch the publication of what will be her last novel, titled Golden Girl, natch, and learn the answers to two questions: Will the secret about her own life she buried in this novel come to light (who cares, really—she's dead now), and will it hit No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list (now there's an interesting question). She'll also get to see that one of her biggest wrongs is posthumously righted and that her kids have learned her most important lesson. As Willa says to Carson, "You know how she treats the characters in her books? She gives them flaws, she portrays them doing horrible things—but the reader loves them anyway. Because Mom loves them. Because they’re human.”

If novelists are auditioning to play God, Hilderbrand gets the part.

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-31642008-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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Unlike baseball, basketball has contributed little to world literature. Call this Exhibit A.


Legal eagle and mystery maven Grisham shifts gears with a novel about roundball.

What possessed Grisham to stop writing about murder in the Spanish moss–dripping milieus of the Deep South is anyone’s guess, and why he elected to write about basketball, one might imagine, speaks to some deep passion for the game. The depth of that love doesn’t quite emerge in these pages, flat of affect, told almost as if a by-the-numbers biography of an actual player. As it is, Grisham invents an all-too-believable hero in Samuel Sooleymon, who plays his way out of South Sudan, a nation wrought by sectarian violence—Sooley is a Dinka, Grisham instructs, of “the largest ethnic class in the country,” pitted against other ethnic groups—and mired in poverty despite the relative opulence of the capital city of Juba, with its “tall buildings, vibrancy, and well-dressed people.” A hard-charging but heart-of-gold coach changes his life when he arrives at the university there, having been dismissed earlier as a “nonshooting guard.” Soon enough Sooley is sinking three-pointers with alarming precision, which lands him a spot on an American college team. Much of the later portion of Grisham’s novel bounces between Sooley’s on-court exploits, jaw-dropping as they are, and his efforts to bring his embattled family, now refugees from civil war, to join him in the U.S.; explains Grisham, again, “Beatrice and her children were Dinka, the largest tribe in South Sudan, and their strongman was supposedly in control of most of the country,” though evidently not the part where they lived. Alas, Sooley, beloved of all, bound for a glorious career in the NBA, falls into the bad company that sudden wealth and fame can bring, and it all comes crashing down in a morality play that has only the virtue of bringing this tired narrative to an end.

Unlike baseball, basketball has contributed little to world literature. Call this Exhibit A.

Pub Date: April 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-385-54768-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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