2017 Nominees: fiction

APPEARANCES by Michael Collins
Released: Nov. 1, 2017

"Strong, moving poems of reflection in a fine collection."
This poetry collection searchingly considers the ambiguous role of the poet as a mediator between soul and nature. Read full book review >
SLEEPING BEAUTIES by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"A blood-splattered pleasure. It's hard to say what the deeper message of the book is save that life goes on despite the intercession of supernatural weirdnesses—or, as one woman says, 'I guess I really must not be dead, because I'm starving.'"
Another horror blockbuster, Mercedes and all, from maestro King (End of Watch, 2016, etc.) and his heir apparent (Double Feature, 2013, etc.). Read full book review >
SAVAGE COUNTRY by Robert Olmstead
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"Another gorgeous, brutal masterpiece from a great American writer."
Hunting the last of the buffalo. Read full book review >
THE BLACKBIRD SEASON by Kate Moretti
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"Moretti's tale of jealousy and obsession is nothing less than dark magic. Witchery indeed."
Crime fiction adores girls in trouble. Moretti's latest nail-biter (The Vanishing Year, 2016, etc.) is no exception, but it is exceptional. Read full book review >
ARCHANGEL'S VIPER by Nalini Singh
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"Readers just can't get enough of Singh (Silver Silence, 2017, etc.) and her exquisitely rendered paranormal romance."
Holly Chang, formerly known as Sorrow, is still coming to terms with the brutal attack that left her uniquely immortal, but when she discovers there's a hefty reward for her capture, she has to work with the powerful but aggravating vampire Venom to get to the bottom of the mystery. Read full book review >
PARADOX BOUND by Peter Clines
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"A rousing adventure novel that marries steampunk aesthetics to the seminal concept of protecting American liberty."
An aimless young man escapes his dead-end town when he meets a badass, time-traveling adventuress. Read full book review >
FIVE-CARAT SOUL by James McBride
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"McBride emerges here as a master of what some might call 'wisdom fiction,' common to both The Twilight Zone and Bernard Malamud, offering instruction and moral edification to his readers without providing an Aesop-like moral."
A versatile, illustrious author brings out his first short-fiction buffet for sampling, and the results are provocatively varied in taste and texture; sometimes piquant, other times zesty. Read full book review >
THE DUKE by Katharine Ashe
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"This decidedly un-English Regency romance will win over historical fiction readers from all corners."
A devilish duke and a missionary's widow form an unlikely pair. Read full book review >
THE NINTH HOUR by Alice McDermott
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"Everything that her readers, the National Book Award committee, and the Pulitzer Prize judges love about McDermott's (Someone, 2013, etc.) stories of Irish-Catholic American life is back in her eighth novel."
In Brooklyn in the early 20th century, The Little Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor are intimately involved in the lives of their community. Read full book review >
SOLAR BONES by Mike McCormack
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"This transcendent novel should expand McCormack's following on this side of the Atlantic and further establish him as a heavyweight of contemporary Irish fiction along with the likes of Anne Enright and Kevin Barry."
In this one-of-a-kind Irish novel, consisting of a single sentence à la Molly Bloom's interior monologue in Ulysses, a middle-aged man reflects on his life. Read full book review >
KEEP HER SAFE by Sophie Hannah
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"Hannah (Closed Casket, 2016, etc.) continues her quest to identify all the reassuring certitudes mystery novels take for granted and demonstrate how much fun it is to toss them overboard. There's no point in objecting to the coincidences and implausibilities required to launch this brilliant nightmare: resistance is futile."
Overwhelmed by complications arising from her unplanned third pregnancy, a Hertfordshire housewife flees her home for the comforts of an upscale Arizona resort and lands smack in the middle of a fictionalization of the JonBenét Ramsey case, which quickly swallows her up. Read full book review >
BELLADONNA by Daša Drndic
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2017

"An elegant novel of ideas concerning decidedly inelegant topics, empathetic but unforgiving."
A pensive, provocative novel of history, memory, and our endlessly blood-soaked times by one of the foremost writers to have emerged from the former Yugoslavia. Read full book review >

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ABOUT THE KIRKUS PRIZE

The Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a prize of $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. It was created to celebrate the 81 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large. Books that earned the Kirkus Star with publication dates between Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2017 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on November 2, 2017, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.