Book Review: The Never Dawn, by R.E. Palmer

The Never Dawn, by R.E. Palmer

The Never Dawn by R.E. Palmer

Published by FrontRunner Publications on August 5, 2016

Series: The Never Dawn, #1

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 352

Source: author

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All his young life, Noah has longed to see the sky he’s only heard about in stories. For over one hundred years, Noah’s people have toiled deep beneath the Earth preparing for The New Dawn – the historic day when they will emerge to reclaim the land stolen by a ruthless enemy.

But when Rebekah, the girl of his forbidden desire, discovers a secret their leader has been so desperate to keep, Noah suspects something is wrong. Together, they escape and begin the long climb to the surface. But nothing could prepare them for what awaits outside.

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Book Review: Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword, by Keira Gillett

Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword, by Keira Gillett

Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword by Keira Gillett

Published by Keira Gillet on November 6, 2015

Series: Zaria Fierce, #2

Genre(s): fiction, adventure, fantasy, middle grade

Format & Length: e-book, 272

Source: author

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“Princess, you are needed.”

If Zaria Fierce had her say, being a princess would mean you’d never have to wait for news. In the eight months since Olaf tricked her, Zaria has felt a near constant mixture of restlessness, listlessness, and hopelessness. When the time comes to fix past mistakes, she is more than ready to climb aboard the ship sailing towards the giants. Summertime in Norway promises many more adventures, but also many more perils… something sinister lurks beneath the surface following her every move, haunting her, disturbing her dreams, and stealing her peace. Can Zaria figure out what it is and stop it before it’s too late?

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Book vs. Movie: Annihilation, by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation, by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Published by HarperCollins Publishers Limited in July 2014

Series: Southern Reach, #1

Genre(s): fiction, science fiction

Format & Length: audio, 6:00:14

Source: library

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Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.

Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

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Book Review: Smoke and Iron, by Rachel Caine

Smoke and Iron, by Rachel Caine

Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine

Published by Berkley on July 3, 2018 (expected)

Series: The Great Library, #4

Genre(s): fiction, adventure, fantasy, science fiction, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 368

Source: Netgalley

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To save the Great Library, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire, and Ash and Quill put themselves in danger in the next thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. With the world catching fire, and words printed on paper the spark that lights rebellion, it falls to smugglers, thieves, and scholars to save a library thousands of years in the making…if they can stay alive long enough to outwit their enemies.

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Book Review: The Last Time I Lied, by Riley Sager

The Last Time I Lied, by Riley Sager

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Published by Dutton on July 3, 2018 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 336

Source: First to Read

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Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.

And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.

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Book Review: Shelved Under Murder, by Victoria Gilbert

Shelved Under Murder, by Victoria Gilbert

Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert

Published by Crooked Lane Books on July 10, 2018 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, mystery, romance

Format & Length: e-book, 300

Source: Netgalley

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Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.

October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.

That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder.

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Book Review: The Burning, by S.O. Esposito

The Burning, by S.O. Esposito
The Burning by S.O. Esposito

Published by Misterio Press, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 351

Source: author

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Alice Leininger seems to have the perfect life. She’s happily married, has two beautiful children, a close knit group of friends, and a cause she cares deeply about. But beneath the surface, her world of safety and comfort is unraveling. The periods of lost time she’s kept secret—even from her husband—are happening more frequently. She certainly doesn’t remember leaving her Sarasota home at three-thirty in the morning to burn someone alive. Now she sits in a Florida state mental institution, awaiting judgement on whether she’s fit to stand trial on charges of murder and arson. While a psychologist works to help Alice face her past, her future depends on the answer to one question: How far did she go for justice?

*This book is recommended for mature audiences. While there are no explicit scenes of graphic or explicit violence, it does touch on themes of trafficking and sexual assault.

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Book Review: Bring Me Back, by B.A. Paris

Bring Me Back, by B.A. Paris

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Published by HQ on June 19, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 384

Source: Netgalley

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A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

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Book Review: Baby Teeth, by Zoje Stage

Baby Teeth, by Zoje Stage

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Published by St. Martin’s Press on July 17, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, horror, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 320

Source: Netgalley

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Sweetness can be deceptive.

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

From blazing new talent Zoje Stage, Baby Teeth is a story about a perfect-looking family, and a darling little girl who wants nothing more than to kill her mother.

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Book Review: Good Trouble: Stories, by Joseph O’Neill

Good Trouble, by Joseph O'Neill

Good Trouble: Stories by Joseph O’Neill

Published by Pantheon on June 12, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary

Format & Length: e-book, 176

Source: Penguin’s First to Read

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A masterly collection of eleven stories about the way we live now from the best-selling author of Netherland

From bourgeois facial hair trends to parental sleep deprivation, O’Neill closely observes the mores of his characters, whose vacillations and second thoughts expose the mysterious pettiness, the underlying violence, and, sometimes, the surprising beauty of ordinary life in the early twenty-first century. A lonely wedding guest talks to a goose; a pair of poets struggle over whether to participate in a “pardon Edward Snowden” verse petition; a cowardly husband lets his wife face a possible intruder in their home; a potential co-op renter in New York City can’t find anyone to give him a character reference. On the surface, these men and women may only be in mild trouble, but O’Neill reminds us of the real, secretly political consequences of our internal monologues in these perfectly made, fiercely modern stories. No writer is more incisive about the strange world we live in now, and the laugh-out-loud vulnerability of his people is just as well fodder for tears.

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