Book Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway, by Ruth Ware

The Death of Mrs. Westaway, by Ruth Ware

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Published by Gallery/Scout Press on April 30, 2019 (first published May 29, 2018)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, mystery

Format & Length: paperback, 368

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Book Review: Strike Me Down, by Mindy Mejia

Strike Me Down, by Mindy Mejia

Strike Me Down by Mindy Mejia

Published by Atria Books on April 7, 2020 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 304

Source: Netgalley

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From the critically acclaimed author of Leave No Trace, the “nail-biting page-turner that grabs you early and never lets go” (The Real Book Spy), comes a visceral thriller following an accountant’s complicated and potentially deadly search for missing money.

Nora Trier catches thieves. As a forensic accountant and partner in her downtown Minneapolis firm, she’s unearthed millions in every corner of the world. She prides herself on her independence, the most essential currency of accounting, until her firm is hired by Strike.

An anti-corporate, feminist athletic empire, Strike is owned by Logan Russo, a brash and legendary kickboxer, and her marketing genius husband, Gregg Abbott. They’re about to host a major kickboxing tournament with twenty million dollars in prize money, and the chance for the champion to become the new face of the company. Gregg suspects his wife already has a new face in mind—a young trainer named Aaden, for whom Logan feels an unexpected connection.

Days before the tournament begins, it’s discovered that the prize money is missing. Gregg hires Nora’s firm to find both the thief and the money but Nora has a secret connection to Strike that threatens her independence. Her partner pressures her into taking the case anyway, hinting he has information about Strike that could change the course of the investigation in a shocking and deadly way.

A tense and unpredictable thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page, Strike Me Down reveals the remarkable power of Mindy Mejia’s writing which “crosses back and forth between exquisite literary descriptions and thrilleresque escapes and acts of violence” (New York Journal of Books).

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Book Review: The Last Human, by Zack Jordan

The Last Human, by Zack Jordan

The Last Human by Zack Jordan

Published by Del Rey on March 24, 2020 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, science fiction

Format & Length: e-book, 432

Source: Netgalley

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The last human in the universe must battle unfathomable alien intelligences—and confront the truth about humanity—in this ambitious, galaxy-spanning debut

“A good old-fashioned space opera in a thoroughly fresh package.”—Andy Weir, author of The Martian

“Big ideas and believable science amid a roller-coaster ride of aliens, AI, superintelligence, and the future of humanity.”—Dennis E. Taylor, author of We Are Legion

Most days, Sarya doesn’t feel like the most terrifying creature in the galaxy. Most days, she’s got other things on her mind. Like hiding her identity among the hundreds of alien species roaming the corridors of Watertower Station. Or making sure her adoptive mother doesn’t casually eviscerate one of their neighbors. Again.

And most days, she can almost accept that she’ll never know the truth—that she’ll never know why humanity was deemed too dangerous to exist. Or whether she really is—impossibly—the lone survivor of a species destroyed a millennium ago. That is, until an encounter with a bounty hunter and a miles-long kinetic projectile leaves her life and her perspective shattered.

Thrown into the universe at the helm of a stolen ship—with the dubious assistance of a rebellious spacesuit, an android death enthusiast on his sixtieth lifetime, and a ball of fluff with an IQ in the thousands—Sarya begins to uncover an impossible truth. What if humanity’s death and her own existence are simply two moves in a demented cosmic game, one played out by vast alien intellects? Stranger still, what if these mad gods are offering Sarya a seat at their table—and a second chance for humanity?

The Last Human is a sneakily brilliant, gleefully oddball space-opera debut—a masterful play on perspective, intelligence, and free will, wrapped in a rollicking journey through a strange and crowded galaxy.

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Book Review: The Holdout, by Graham Moore

The Holdout, by Graham Moore

The Holdout by Graham Moore

Published by Random House on February 18, 2020

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, mystery, thriller

Format & Length: hardcover, 336

Source: purchased

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In this twisty tale from Moore (The Sherlockian), the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game, young juror Maya Seale is convinced that African American high school teacher Bobby Nock is innocent of killing the wealthy white female student with whom he appears to have been involved and persuades her fellow jurors likewise. Ten years later, a true-crime docuseries reassembles the jurors, and Maya, now a defense attorney, must prove her own innocence when one of them is found dead in Maya’s room.

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Book Review: The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Published by Doubleday on November 5, 2019

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy

Format & Length: e-book, 487

Source: library, purchased

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Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.

A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances. These strangers guide Zachary through masquerade party dances and whispered back room stories to the headquarters of a secret society where doorknobs hang from ribbons, and finally through a door conjured from paint to the place he has always yearned for. Amid twisting tunnels filled with books, gilded ballrooms, and wine-dark shores Zachary falls into an intoxicating world soaked in romance and mystery. But a battle is raging over the fate of this place and though there are those who would willingly sacrifice everything to protect it, there are just as many intent on its destruction. As Zachary, Mirabel, and Dorian venture deeper into the space and its histories and myths, searching for answers and each other, a timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a Starless Sea.

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Book Review: The Atlantis Bloodline, by C.A. Gray

The Atlantis Bloodline, by C.A. Gray

The Atlantis Bloodline by C.A. Gray

Published by C.A. Gray on March 2, 2020

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 480

Source: author

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When sweet Ada Edwards meets the mysterious Kaison Hughes, lead singer of the biggest band in the world, she can’t understand what he sees in her. Despite everyone’s warnings about him, she’s rapidly falling in love. But it’s obvious he has a secret, and he’s not all he appears to be.

Kai’s life isn’t his own, and his fame isn’t the half of it. As a member of a secret organization known as the Elioud, descended from the Atlantean daughters of the Pleiades, he’s been commissioned with a task: to reintegrate the lost line of Maia into their ranks. It just so happens that Ada is the one they’ve been looking for. He doesn’t know what they intend to do to her, and he doesn’t care. All he wants is the prize for a successful mission: one unqualified wish, which he intends to spend on his beloved sister’s freedom.

There’s just one problem: Kai’s falling in love with Ada, too.

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Book Review: You Are Not Alone, by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

You Are Not Alone, by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Published by St. Martin’s Press on March 3, 2020 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, thriller

Format & Length: paperback, 352

Source: publisher

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You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.

You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.

Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.

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Book Review: Follow Me, by Kathleen Barber

Follow Me, by Kathleen Barber

Follow Me by Kathleen Barber

Published by Gallery Books on February 25, 2020 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 349

Source: Netgalley

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From the author of Are You Sleeping—soon to be an Apple TV series—comes a cautionary tale of oversharing in the social media age for fans of Jessica Knoll and Caroline Kepnes’s You.

Everyone wants new followers…until they follow you home.

Audrey Miller has an enviable new job at the Smithsonian, a body by reformer Pilates, an apartment door with a broken lock, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to bear witness to it all. Having just moved to Washington, DC, Audrey busies herself impressing her new boss, interacting with her online fan base, and staving off a creepy upstairs neighbor with the help of the only two people she knows in town: an ex-boyfriend she can’t stay away from and a sorority sister with a high-powered job and a mysterious past.

But Audrey’s faulty door may be the least of her security concerns. Unbeknownst to her, her move has brought her within striking distance of someone who’s obsessively followed her social media presence for years—from her first WordPress blog to her most recent Instagram Story. No longer content to simply follow her carefully curated life from a distance, he consults the dark web for advice on how to make Audrey his and his alone. In his quest to win her heart, nothing is off-limits—and nothing is private.

With “compelling, suspenseful” (Liz Nugent) prose, Kathleen Barber’s electrifying new thriller will have you scrambling to cover your webcam and digital footprints.

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