Book Review #288

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Hardcover, 388 pages
                               Published December 1st 2015 by Thomas & Mercer

ISBN: 1503950344 (ISBN13: 9781503950344)
Series: Gibson Vaughn #1
4.5 stars

Incredible debut political thriller, full of twists and turns and non-stop action!

10 years ago, the daughter of a high ranking Senator, who is now running for the Presidency, goes missing. She is never heard from again and it is believed to be a kidnapping gone bad.
Gibson Vaughn never got over losing his ‘Bear’-the nickname he gave her when they were young and growing up together. She was his side-kick, like a little sister he inherited. All until his father committed suicide, and Gibson’s life was turned upside down. Deep into his own personal turmoils, he felt he let her down, at a time she really needed him.
Now he has a chance to find out what happened. A picture has surfaced of Bear, one never seen before, so someone out there has information and is finally ready to share it.

The book just explodes from there, taking you on one crazy ride after another. So many bad guys out there trying to stop this team from getting to the truth, but who is the kingpin that hired the bad guys-what do they have to lose if the truth comes out?

There are many layers to this story along with several subplots, but the author executes them perfectly, both in suspense and in timing. There isn’t a dull moment in this book-every character has something about them you can love or hate, and the ending was even better than I could have anticipated.

A must read, even if political thrillers aren’t your thing. While it’s an important element to the story, it is not the main ingredient. There is nothing NOT to like about this book!

I’m excited to have a new author to look out for….I wouldn’t even be surprised if we haven’t heard the last of Gibson Vaughn and his partners in crime. I know I’d like to hear more from them!

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14 Highly-Anticipated Sequels Coming Out This Fall

We know the anticipation of waiting for the latest installment in a new book series we love, and we’re happy to report that there’s a slew of much-anticipated sequels arriving this fall. I’ve rounded up the must-read new releases, complete with publishers’ descriptions. Time to find out what happens next to our favorite characters!

 

A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

The saga that has enthralled the millions of readers of The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End now continues with Ken Follett’s magnificent, gripping A Column of Fire.

Christmas 1558, and young Ned Willard returns home to Kingsbridge to find his world has changed.

The ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn by religious hatred. Europe is in turmoil as high principles clash bloodily with friendship, loyalty, and love, and Ned soon finds himself on the opposite side from the girl he longs to marry, Margery Fitzgerald.

Then Elizabeth Tudor becomes queen and all of Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country’s first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans.

Elizabeth knows that alluring, headstrong Mary Queen of Scots lies in wait in Paris. Part of a brutally ambitious French family, Mary has been proclaimed the rightful ruler of England, with her own supporters scheming to get rid of the new queen.

Over a turbulent half-century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed, as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. With Elizabeth clinging precariously to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents, it becomes clear that the real enemies — then as now — are not the rival religions.

The true battle pitches those who believe in tolerance and compromise against the tyrants who would impose their ideas on everyone else — no matter the cost.

Series: Kingsbridge 

 

Secrets in Death by J. D. Robb

No one is going to miss Larinda Mars. A ruthless gossip queen with a lucrative sideline in blackmail, there’s no lack of suspects when she’s murdered in a fashionable New York bar. With so many people wanting her dead, it’s going to be a tough case to crack.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas may not like this particular victim, but it’s her duty to bring the killer to justice. As she digs deeper into Larinda’s mysterious past, it becomes clear the reporter had a unique talent for uncovering secrets. Including ones very close to home for Eve and her husband Roarke…

Someone was willing to commit murder to keep their secrets hidden. And with Eve now working to uncover the truth, she and her team are heading into serious danger.

SeriesIn Death

 

The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin

The incredible conclusion to the trilogy that began with the Hugo Award-winning The Fifth Season.

The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

Essun has inherited the phenomenal power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every outcast child can grow up safe.

For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.

Series: The Broken Earth

 

 

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire in this next instalment of the Throne of Glass series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas.

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since Aelin shattered the glass castle, since Chaol’s men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

Now he and Nesryn sail for Antica — the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire and of the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme. It’s Chaol’s one shot at recovery, and with war looming back home, Dorian and Aelin’s survival could depend on Chaol and Nesryn convincing Antica’s rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover there will change them both — and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

Series: Throne of Glass

 

A Legacy of Spies by John le Carré

Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, has retired to his family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London are to be scrutinized by a generation with no memory of the Cold War. Somebody must be made to pay for innocent blood once spilt in the name of the greater good.

SeriesGeorge Smiley 

 

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz

Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo, the brilliant hacker, the obstinate outsider, the volatile seeker of justice for herself and others — even she has never been able to uncover the most telling facts of her traumatic childhood, the secrets that might finally, fully explain her to herself. Now, when she sees a chance to uncover them once and for all, she enlists the help of Mikael Blomkvist, the editor of the muckraking, investigative journal Millennium. And she will let nothing stop her — not the Islamists she enrages by rescuing a young woman from their brutality; not the prison gang leader who passes a death sentence on her; not the deadly reach of her long-lost twin sister, Camilla; and not the people who will do anything to keep buried knowledge of a sinister pseudoscientific experiment known only as The Registry. Once again, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, together, are the fierce heart of a thrilling full-tilt novel that takes on some of the most insidious problems facing the world at this very moment.

Series: Stieg Larsson’s Millennium

 

Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older

Sierra and her friends love their new lives as shadowshapers, making art and creating change with the spirits of Brooklyn. Then Sierra receives a strange card depicting a beast called the Hound of Light — an image from the enigmatic, influential Deck of Worlds. The shadowshapers know their next battle has arrived.

Thrust into an ancient struggle with enemies old and new, Sierra and Shadowhouse are determined to win. Revolution is brewing in the real world as well, as the shadowshapers lead the fight against systems that oppress their community. To protect her family and friends in every sphere, Sierra must take down the Hound and master the Deck of Worlds… or risk losing them all.

Series: Shadowshaper

 

Origin by Dan Brown

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old tech magnate whose dazzling inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure around the world. Tonight is to be no exception: he claims he will reveal an astonishing scientific breakthrough to challenge the fundamentals of human existence.

But Langdon and several hundred other guests are left reeling when the meticulously orchestrated evening is blown apart before Kirsch’s precious discovery can be revealed. With his life under threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape, along with the museum’s director, Ambra Vidal. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

In their path lie dark forces which will do anything to stop them. To evade a tormented enemy who is one step ahead of them at every turn, Langdon and Vidal must navigate labyrinthine passageways of hidden history and ancient religion. On a trail marked only by enigmatic symbols and elusive modern art, Langdon and Vidal uncover the clues that will bring them face-to-face with a world-shaking truth that has remained buried — until now.

Series: Robert Langdon

Release date: October 3

 

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Find your magic.

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is a story about the power of love reminding us that the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself.

Series: A prequel to Practical Magic

Release date: October 10

 

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Renowned storyteller Philip Pullman returns to the parallel world of Lyra Belacqua and His Dark Materials for a thrilling and epic adventure in which daemons, alethiometers, and the Magisterium all play a part.

The Book of Dust will be a work in three parts, like His Dark Materials (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass). The book is set 10 years before The Golden Compass and centers on the much-loved character Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon.

Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua…

Series: A prequel to His Dark Materials

Release date: October 19

 

Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch is back as a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department and is called out to a local drug store where a young pharmacist has been murdered. Bosch and the town’s 3-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big business world of pill mills and prescription drug abuse.

Meanwhile, an old case from Bosch’s LAPD days comes back to haunt him when a long-imprisoned killer claims Harry framed him, and seems to have new evidence to prove it. Bosch left the LAPD on bad terms, so his former colleagues aren’t keen to protect his reputation. He must fend for himself in clearing his name and keeping a clever killer in prison.

The two unrelated cases wind around each other like strands of barbed wire. Along the way Bosch discovers that there are two kinds of truth: the kind that sets you free and the kind that leaves you buried in darkness.

Series: Harry Bosch

Release date: October 31

 

The Midnight Line by Lee Child

Jack Reacher takes an aimless stroll past a pawn shop in a small Midwestern town. In the window he sees a West Point class ring from 2005. It’s tiny. It’s a woman cadet’s graduation present to herself. Why would she give it up? Reacher’s a West Pointer too, and he knows what she went through to get it.

Reacher tracks the ring back to its owner, step by step, down a criminal trail leading west. Like Big Foot come out of the forest, he arrives in the deserted wilds of Wyoming. All he wants is to find the woman. If she’s OK, he’ll walk away. If she’s not… he’ll stop at nothing.

He’s still shaken by the recent horrors of Make Me, and now The Midnight Line sees him set on a raw and elemental quest for simple justice. Best advice: Don’t get in his way.

Series: Jack Reacher

Release date: November 7

 

 

End Game by David Baldacci

Will Robie, highly trained assassin and the U.S. government’s most indispensable asset, is called to London.

An imminent terrorist attack threatens the Underground and with the U.S. next in line, Robie is the perfect choice to stop it before it begins.

He knows he has one chance to succeed. One chance to save London lives. One chance to make it safely home to find out what has happened to fellow agent Jessica Reel following their last deadly mission together.

But Robie is about to learn that even if he succeeds, the worst is yet to come.

The game has started. Now only he can end it…

SeriesWill Robie

Release date: November 14

 

Secrets of Cavendon by Barbara Taylor Bradford

It’s the summer of 1949, and things have run smoothly at Cavendon Hall for years, with very few quarrels, dramas, or upsets between the two families. But since the end of World War II, changes have arrived at Cavendon. A new generation is at the helm, and also at the forefront of new scandal and intrigue. With romance, betrayal, heartbreak, and possible murder threatening to tear them apart, the Inghams and Swanns will have to find a way to come together and protect each other in the face of threats they never could have predicted.

Told with Bradford’s inimitable deftness of prose and a beloved cast of characters, Secrets of Cavendon is a captivating novel that will draw readers in and grip them until the very last page.

Series: The Cavendon Chronicles

Release date: November 21

Book Review #287

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Kindle Edition, 286 pages
                                 Published September 21st 2015 by Alibi Publishing

ASIN: B012BL6HSO
Edition Language: English
Series: A Mad Love Story #2

 

Mad Love 2 picks up with a heartbroken Sophie, back home in Los Angeles, licking her wounds after seeing Clayton with his ex on the cover of a tabloid. Where I found her strong at the end of the first book, albeit injured, she’s more pathetically broken at the beginning of the second book. When Erik and Orie tell her about an opportunity to do what she loves, art, she reluctantly agrees to take the job and accompanies them to France where it turns out, the entire thing was orchestrated by Clayton.

Once again, Clayton and Sophie cannot deny their attraction and sparks fly. This time around, their relationship is slightly more balanced, although Clayton is still a controlling pig and Sophie is too quick to excuse his bad behavior because a) he’s filthy rich and b) he’s too attractive to be real. There are some tender moments between them,which helps offset the things that both of them do that make them less than likeable. When tragedy strikes Clayton’s family, he shuts her out, but Sophie finally locates her missing spine and fights for what she wants.

Plot
This installment is more character driven than the last book, with both Sophie and Clayton experiencing growth. The plot is still a romance, though, and it’s still an extremely intense, edge-of-your-seat ride. There is more subplotting going on this time as well, involving secondary characters that adds to the overall enjoyment of the story.

Characters
Clayton’s controlling, angry, possessive behavior and Sophie’s shallowness make them both hard to like at times. Both also have their moments when they’re endearing. When Clayton is considerate, sweet, and playful. When Sophie is selfless and caring. The secondary characters, Erik, Orie, and Clayton’s family all come across as well-developed and add to the story. One of the more interesting subplots involves Clayton’s brother and his cousin-in-law.

The Ending
The ending surprised me. I thought I knew what was going to happen and I was wrong. I love when that happens!

Bottom Line
A worthy follow-up to Mad Love, it’s intense, emotional, and delves deeper into the characters we’ve come to know. The jury is still out on whether or not I love them.

14 Debut Novels by Women to Read This Fall

There are a lot of reasons we love fall — pumpkins, sweaters, and great new books! And this season we have a lot to look forward to, including exciting debut novels by women authors. From historical fiction to heart-thumping thrillers, these are the fall releases we can’t wait to read. Publishers’ descriptions included.

 

 

The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper

We all know the story of the March sisters, heroines of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. But while everyone cheers on Jo March, based on Louisa herself, Amy March is often the least favorite sister. Now, it’s time to learn the truth about the real “Amy,” Louisa’s sister, May.

Stylish, outgoing, creative, May Alcott grows up longing to experience the wide world beyond Concord, Massachusetts. While her sister Louisa crafts stories, May herself is a talented and dedicated artist, taking lessons in Boston, turning down a marriage proposal from a well-off suitor, and facing scorn for entering what is very much a man’s profession.

Life for the Alcott family has never been easy, so when Louisa’s Little Women is published, its success eases the financial burdens they’d faced for so many years. Everyone agrees the novel is charming, but May is struck to the core by the portrayal of selfish, spoiled “Amy March.” Is this what her beloved sister really thinks of her?

So May embarks on a quest to discover her own true identity, as an artist and a woman. From Boston to Rome, London, and Paris, this brave, talented, and determined woman forges an amazing life of her own, making her so much more than merely “The Other Alcott.”

Release date: Out now

 

George and Lizzie by Nancy Pearl

From “America’s librarian” and NPR books commentator Nancy Pearl comes an emotionally riveting debut novel about an unlikely marriage at a crossroads.

George and Lizzie have radically different understandings of what love and marriage should be. George grew up in a warm and loving family — his father an orthodontist, his mother a stay-at-home mom — while Lizzie grew up as the only child of two famous psychologists, who viewed her more as an in-house experiment than a child to love.

Over the course of their marriage, nothing has changed — George is happy; Lizzie remains… unfulfilled. When a shameful secret from Lizzie’s past resurfaces, she’ll need to face her fears in order to accept the true nature of the relationship she and George have built over a decade together.

With pitch-perfect prose and compassion and humor to spare, George and Lizzie is an intimate story of new and past loves, the scars of childhood, and an imperfect marriage at its defining moments.

Release date: Out now

 

Friend Request by Laura Marshall

A paranoid single mom is forced to confront the unthinkable act she committed as a desperate teenager in this addictive thriller with a social media twist.

Maria Weston wants to be friends. But Maria Weston’s dead. Isn’t she?

1989. When Louise first notices the new girl who has mysteriously transferred late into their senior year, Maria seems to be everything Louise’s other friends aren’t. Authentic. Funny. Brash. Within just a few days, Maria and Louise are on their way to becoming fast friends.

2016. Louise receives a heart-stopping email: Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Long-buried memories quickly rise to the surface: Those first days of their budding friendship; cruel decisions made and dark secrets kept; the night that would change all their lives forever.

Louise has always known that if the truth ever came out, she could stand to lose everything. Her job. Her son. Her freedom. Maria’s sudden reappearance threatens it all, and forces Louise to reconnect with everyone with whom she’d severed ties in order to escape the past. But as she tries to piece together exactly what happened that night, Louise discovers there’s more to the story than she ever knew. To keep her secret, Louise must first uncover the whole truth, before what’s known to Maria-or whoever is pretending to be her-is known to all.

With her mesmerizing debut, Laura Marshall offers a timely and essential story of how who we were shapes who we become, the hidden cost of our increasingly connected world, and the dangerous shape that revenge can take in our modern era.

Release date: Out now

 

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

Milly’s mother is a serial killer. Though Milly loves her mother, the only way to make her stop is to turn her in to the police. Milly is given a fresh start: a new identity, a home with an affluent foster family, and a spot at an exclusive private school.

But Milly has secrets, and life at her new home becomes complicated. As her mother’s trial looms, with Milly as the star witness, Milly starts to wonder how much of her is nature, how much of her is nurture, and whether she is doomed to turn out like her mother after all.

When tensions rise and Milly feels trapped by her shiny new life, she has to decide: Will she be good? Or is she bad? She is, after all, her mother’s daughter.

Release date: Out now

 

White Bodies by Jane Robins

This chilling psychological suspense novel — think Strangers on a Train for the modern age — explores the dark side of love and the unbreakable ties that bind two sisters together.

Felix and Tilda seem like the perfect couple: young and in love, a financier and a beautiful up-and-coming starlet. But behind their flawless facade, not everything is as it seems.

Callie, Tilda’s unassuming twin, has watched her sister visibly shrink under Felix’s domineering love. She has looked on silently as Tilda stopped working, nearly stopped eating, and turned into a neat freak, with mugs wrapped in Saran Wrap and suspicious syringes hidden in the bathroom trash. She knows about Felix’s uncontrollable rages, and has seen the bruises on the white skin of her sister’s arms.

Worried about the psychological hold that Felix seems to have over Tilda, Callie joins an Internet support group for victims of abuse and their friends. However, things spiral out of control and she starts to doubt her own judgment when one of her new acquaintances is killed by an abusive man. And then suddenly Felix dies — or was he murdered?

A page-turning work of suspense that announces a stunning new voice in fiction, White Bodies will change the way you think about obsession, love, and the violence we inflict on one another — and ourselves.

Release date: Out Now

 

The Visitors by Catherine Burns

With the smart suspense of Emma Donoghue’s Room and the atmospheric claustrophobia of Grey Gardens, Catherine Burns’s debut novel explores the complex truths we are able to keep hidden from ourselves and the twisted realities that can lurk beneath even the most serene of surfaces.

Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother John in a crumbling mansion on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to live by John’s rules, even if it means turning a blind eye to the noises she hears coming from behind the cellar door… and turning a blind eye to the women’s laundry in the hamper that isn’t hers. For years, she’s buried the signs of John’s devastating secret into the deep recesses of her mind — until the day John is crippled by a heart attack, and Marion becomes the only one whose shoulders are fit to bear his secret. Forced to go down to the cellar and face what her brother has kept hidden, Marion discovers more about herself than she ever thought possible. As the truth is slowly unraveled, we finally begin to understand: maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side….

Release date: Out Now

 

The Blind by A.F. Brady

Sam James has spent years carefully crafting her reputation as the best psychologist at Typhlos, Manhattan’s most challenging psychiatric institution. She believes if she can’t save herself, she’ll save someone else. It’s this savior complex that serves her well in helping patients battle their inner demons, though it leads Sam down some dark paths and opens her eyes to her own mental turmoil.

When Richard, a mysterious patient no other therapist wants to treat, is admitted to Typhlos, Sam is determined to unlock his secrets and his psyche. But she can’t figure out why Richard appears to be so normal in a hospital filled with madness. As Sam gets pulled into Richard’s twisted past, she can’t help but analyze her own life, and what she discovers terrifies her. And so the mind games begin. But who is the savior and who is the saved?

In this unexpected and addictive psychological debut, A.F. Brady takes readers into the psyche of a deeply disturbed woman desperately trying to keep her head above water, showing that sometimes what’s most terrifying is what exists in your mind.

Release date: Out Now

 

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

It’s Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew’s elder daughter — who is usually off saving the world–will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she’s been told she must stay in quarantine for a week… and so too should her family.

For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity — and even decent Wi-Fi — and forced into each other’s orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems.

As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.

In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who’s about to arrive…

Release date: October 17

 

The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst

A dazzling debut about family, home, and grief, The Floating World takes readers into the heart of Hurricane Katrina with the story of the Boisdors, whose roots stretch back nearly to the foundation of New Orleans. Though the storm is fast approaching the Louisiana coast, Cora, the family’s fragile elder daughter, refuses to leave the city, forcing her parents, Joe Boisdor, an artist descended from a freed slave who became one of the city’s preeminent furniture makers, and his white “Uptown” wife, Dr. Tess Eshleman, to evacuate without her, setting off a chain of events that leaves their marriage in shambles and Cora catatonic — the victim or perpetrator of some violence mysterious even to herself.

This mystery is at the center of C. Morgan Babst’s haunting, lyrical novel. Cora’s sister, Del, returns to New Orleans from the life she has tried to build in New York City to find her hometown in ruins and her family deeply alienated from one another. As Del attempts to figure out what happened to her sister, she must also reckon with the racial history of the city, and the trauma of destruction that was not, in fact, some random act of God, but an avoidable tragedy visited upon New Orleans’s most helpless and forgotten citizens.

The Floating World is the Katrina story that needed to be told — one with a piercing, unforgettable loveliness and a nuanced understanding of this particular place and its tangled past, written by a New Orleans native who herself says that after Katrina, “if you were blind, suddenly you saw.”

Release date: October 17

 

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Some women get everything. Some women get everything they deserve.

Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more — a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted.

To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne — a socialite and philanthropist — and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson, are a couple straight out of a fairy tale.

Amber’s envy could eat her alive… if she didn’t have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life — the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrishes and their lovely young daughters, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces.

Release date: October 17

 

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

It has been 10 years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town’s most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’ biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends — just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as she tries desperately to find out what really happened to Kaycee, troubling memories begin to resurface and she begins to doubt her own observations. And when she unearths an even more disturbing secret — a ritual called “The Game,” it will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.

With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of just five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of what happens when your past and present collide.

Release date: November 7

 

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, as London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, the family are forced to leave their home in search of safety. As they move from place to place, shelter to shelter, their journey traces both fear and wonder as Z’s small fists grasp at the things he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds. This is a story of new motherhood in a terrifying setting: a familiar world made dangerous and unstable, its people forced to become refugees. Startlingly beautiful, Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From is a gripping novel that paints an imagined future as realistic as it is frightening. And yet, though the country is falling apart around them, this family’s world — of new life and new hope — sings with love.

Release date: November 7

 

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.

As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places, jeopardizing not only his own life, but the life of Mary, the woman he loves.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell: great storms that evaporate into thin air; fireflies that make phosphorescent honey; a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.

There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.

Release date: November 7

 

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th-century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by — palm readings, zars, healings — are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles and a reliable way to survive.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to question all she believes. For the warrior tells her an extraordinary tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling birds of prey are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass — a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In Daevabad, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. A young prince dreams of rebellion. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say to be careful what you wish for…

Release date: November 14

 

8 Things We Know About the ‘It” Sequel

The film adaptation of Stephen King‘s It hit theaters last week, breaking box office records and earning a heap of critical praise. Because the terrifying movie is performing so well, it’s inevitable that a sequel is in the works. This second film will pick up where this chapter ended — almost three decades in the future. Here’s what we know about the It sequel so far. Warning: Spoilers ahead!

 

1. The sequel has been planned for a while.

This first It film was always intended to cover only the first half of King’s epic novel, which centers on a preteen group in the ’80s who call themselves “the Losers Club” and encounter an evil creature who manifests as a horrifying clown named Pennywise. In fact, the movie even ends with the words “Chapter One.”

In the second half, the group returns to Derry, Maine, 27 years later as adults, upholding their oath to fight Pennywise when he returns. Screenwriter Gary Hauberman, who co-wrote the first movie, is already working on the sequel. Director Andy Muschietti and his sister and fellow producer Barbara Muschietti will also likely return.

 

2. The kids from the first film will be back.

The young cast from this first movie will still be present, according to It director Andy Muschietti. They will be shown in memories of the now-adults in the Losers Club — and not brief memories, either. Muschietti told Entertainment Weekly:

“On the second movie, that dialogue between timelines will be more present… If we’re telling the story of adults, we are going to have flashbacks that take us back to the ‘80s and inform the story in the present day.”

 

3. Pennywise will be back, too.

What would It be without its evil clown? Director Muschietti has confirmed that Pennywise, the terrifying manifestation of the evil creature who lives in Derry’s sewers, will be back for the sequel — and he’ll once again be played again by actor Bill Skarsgård. Skarsgård said:

“There’s a lot more to explore in the character Pennywise… I think the second [film] would delve deeper into who he is and what he is. So I’m really looking forward to delving deeper into that.”

 

 

4. Mike Hanlon’s story will be darker than in the book.

Muschietti’s vision for Mike Hanlon, the only member of the Losers Club to reside in Derry through adulthood, is grittier than King’s version in the novel. The director envisions that Mike’s decision to stay behind to watch and record the evil in Derry will take its toll on him:

“He’s not just the collector of knowledge of what Pennywise has been doing in Derry… He will bear the role of trying to figure out how to defeat him. The only way he can do that is to take drugs and alter his mind.”

 

5. The second film could be bigger — and stranger.

Due to budget concerns, Muschietti had to cut two scenes from this first movie. But with the financial success of the first installment of the adaptation, it’s likely he’ll have more ability to include scenes that examine the mystical elements in the book and It’s strange origins. Muscietti told Collider:

“There are two sequences that I thought of that I had to postpone until more money comes… One is a flashback, that sort of portrays the first encounter of It and humans, which is an amazing scene.”

 

6. One of the Losers won’t be back.

Fans of King’s novel know that one of the kids, Stan Uris, doesn’t make it back to Derry. Stan, played by Wyett Oleff, was so traumatized by his experience with the shapeshifting creature of It as a child that, when Mike tells them all to return, he chooses to commit suicide instead.

 

7. No casting has been announced for who will play the Losers as adults — but there’s a lot of speculation.

Besides Skarsgård reprising his role as Pennywise, it’s not certain who will star in the sequel. But that hasn’t stopped audiences — or the cast — from guessing. The young actors told Entertainment Weekly their dream cast for the adult versions of themselves include Bill Hader as a grown-up Richie Tozier, Chadwick Boseman as Mike Hanlon, Jessica Chastain as Beverly March, Jake Gyllenhaal as Eddie Kaspbrak, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Stanley Uris, Christ Pratt as Ben Hanscom, and Christian Bale as Bill Denbrough.

There’s also been a suggestion that Amy Adams could be an adult Beverly, since actress Sophia Lillis, who plays the character, will play a younger version of Adams in HBO’s upcoming adaptation of Sharp Objects.

 

8. Fans will have to wait several years for part two.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the release date has been confirmed for September 6, 2019, which makes sense given that the studio will need to be conscious of how quickly the kid actors will mature.