Posts tagged with action-and-suspense

Mar 9 2017

Mass market

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It's Mickey Spillane's birthday, and there's a great description of his career over on The Writer's Almanac. Spillane sounds like the James Patterson of his day: his books were written fast and critically panned, he apparently never featured a character who drank cognac or had a mustache (because he didn’t know how to spell those words), and...

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Feb 27 2017

Take the Key and Lock Her Up, by Ally Carter

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Take The Key and Lock Her Up is the final installment in Ally Carter’s Embassy Row trilogy. Sadly, this series ends the way it began: fun, frenetic, and stylish, but ultimately a little empty...

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Feb 27 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Take the Key and Lock Her Up, by Ally Carter

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This week's Book Giveaway is Ally Carter's Take the Key and Lock Her Up, the third book in Carter's Embassy Row series and the one that fully pushes this series into "Princess Diaries meets James Bond" territory. (If that's a mash-up you've been hoping for, congratulations!) A full review will follow shortly...

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Jan 30 2017

The Burning Page, by Genevieve Cogman

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I recently reviewed the first two books in Genevieve Cogman's Invisible Library series, and was delighted when the third installment, The Burning Page, showed up on my doorstep. It's a fun read, but I don't see any evidence of a fourth book, and I much prefer The Burning Page as a series installment than a series conclusion...

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Jan 30 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Burning Page, by Genevieve Cogman

2017-01-30-weekly-book-giveaway-the-burning-page-by-genevieve-cogman

This week's Book Giveaway is The Burning Page, the third (but hopefully not final) book in Genevieve Cogman's Invisible Library series. We've enjoyed this series thus far, and our review of The Burning Page will be posted shortly...

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Jan 3 2017

The Dead Seekers, by Barb and J.C. Hendee

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Barb and J.C. Hendee's new novel The Dead Seekers has a very specific target audience: people hoping for a serious take on movies like Van Helsing or Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Set in the same world as the Hendees' best-selling Noble Dead series, The Dead Seekers features a vaguely Eastern European setting, loads of ghosts, and two gloomy protagonists—Tris, an uptight ghost-slayer for hire, and Mari, a young woman determined to avenge her murdered family...

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Nov 7 2016

Bad Blood, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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Bad Blood is the fourth and final book in Jennifer Lynn Barnes's Naturals series. Once again, Barnes has delivered a briskly-paced thriller seemingly tailor-made for a CW adaptation. (Seriously, the fact that this series isn't already on my TV is bewildering to me.)

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Nov 7 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Bad Blood, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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I am in no mood for anything other than 100% undiluted entertainment, so this week's Book Giveaway is the latest book in Jennifer Lynn Barnes's Naturals series, Bad Blood. I'm not sure that even Ms. Barnes's book will be entertaining enough to distract me from my overwhelming election anxiety, but I figure it's got a better shot than most...

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Oct 31 2016

The Secret-Keepers, by Trenton Lee Stewart

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Trenton Lee Stewart's The Secret-Keepers features loads of classic children's literature tropes: secret places, magical devices, traps, puzzles. I appreciate what Stewart was going for, but I'm way past the age of his target audience, and this is even more of a kid-specific effort than his previous series...

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Oct 31 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Secret Keepers, by Trenton Lee Stewart

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This week's Book Giveaway is The Secret Keepers, the latest book by The Mysterious Benedict Society author Trenton Lee Stewart. A full review will follow shortly, but first I must inform you that this cover art is even cooler in person...

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Oct 24 2016

The Invisible Library and The Masked City, by Genevieve Cogman

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The Invisible Library and The Masked City, the first two books in an ongoing series by Genevieve Cogman, read like a blend of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series and Daniel O'Malley's Rook Files. Happily, Cogman takes these familiar ingredients—literary references, bureaucratic rivalries, pragmatic heroines—and...

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Oct 3 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Otherworld Chills, by Kelley Armstrong

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It's October, and we've been in a very horror-lite mood lately, so this week's Book Giveaway is Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld Chills, a collection of "rare and never-before-published novellas and short stories" set in her "Women of the Otherworld" 'verse. A full review will follow shortly...

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Aug 8 2016

The House of Shattered Wings, by Aliette de Bodard

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Aliette de Bodard's novel The House of Shattered Wings looks like a standard fantasy novel, but has more in common with The Godfather than your typical sword-and-sorcery adventure. In an alternative universe/post-apocalyptic version of 20th century Paris, fallen angels periodically drop from the sky, stricken with amnesia but chock-full of magic. Those who survive Paris's magic-hunting street gangs usually join one of the Great Houses, mafia-like organizations...

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Jul 20 2016

E.L. James, take note.

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Stephenie Meyer has a new book coming out: The Chemist, to be released on November 15, 2016. I notice there's no mention of Twilight on the cover, although the artwork is thematically similar. Is this because Twilight is officially passé, or is...*

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Apr 21 2016

They'll get my $9.50

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And in other trailer news, they're releasing yet another Bourne thriller, this one simply called Jason Bourne. Thankfully, they're back to Matt Damon in the title role. Apparently casting Jeremy Renner in a Bourne spin-off that felt like a slap-happy take on Flowers For Algernon didn't work out...

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Mar 28 2016

Arena, by Holly Jennings

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Holly Jennings's novel Arena looks and sounds like a sci-fi novel, but it's really more of a near-future sports story. I'd like to think that the idea of virtual gaming tournaments watched by millions of rabid fans is pure fantasy, but apparently the future is now...

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Feb 1 2016

A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab

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V.E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic is plastered with encomiums that make it sound like the second coming of Dune—it's described as “compulsively readable”, “ingeniously clever”, and “an exhilarating adventure”. This breathless enthusiasm struck me as distinctly overblown, but Schwab's story is undeniably thoughtful, imaginative, and action-packed...

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Jan 11 2016

The Rook, by Daniel O'Malley

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For a book that pretty much goes like this: infodump, infodump, action sequence, rinse, repeat, Daniel O'Malley's debut novel The Rook is astonishingly entertaining. It strongly reminds me of Seanan McGuire's InCryptid books, although I'm happy to report that I like The Rook even better...

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Jan 11 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Rook, by Daniel O'Malley

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This week's Book Giveaway is Daniel O'Malley's 2012 novel The Rook, which we recently learned is being developed as a TV series by Twilight author Stephenie Meyer. Meyer clearly knows what she's doing, because it's evident from the first chapter that this book is going to make for some great TV...

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Dec 21 2015

Winter, by Marissa Meyer

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I love Sailor Moon fanfiction and I love retold fairytales. You'd think combining the two would be an automatic win for me, but Marissa Meyer's best-selling Lunar Chronicles series proves that there's no such thing as a surefire bet...

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Sep 21 2015

The Hollow Boy, by Jonathan Stroud

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I absolutely loved The Screaming Staircase and The Whispering Skull, the first two installments in Jonathan Stroud's horror/adventure series Lockwood & Co. The third book in the series is more problematic than the first two...

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May 26 2015

The Liar, by Nora Roberts

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After her most recent—and truly terrible—series, I was ready to give up on Nora Roberts forever, but her latest standalone novel, The Liar, is the kind of satisfying, sturdy, girl-power effort that drags me right back in. Curse you, Nora Roberts, and your ability to wrest away my hard-earned spare cash...

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May 26 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Liar, by Nora Roberts

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Okay, I'm giving Nora Roberts one more shot: this week our Book Giveaway is her recent standalone novel The Liar. We'll have to see where it ranks on her scale of shameless self-replication. My hopes aren't high, but Roberts has surprised me before...

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May 1 2015

Undertow, by Michael Buckley

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Michael Buckley's Sisters Grimm is one of my all-time favorite kids' series. The books have their problems—actually, some really big problems—but they are so funny, romantic, and action-packed that it's easy to overlook their flaws. Buckley's new YA novel Undertow is much darker than his previous books, but...

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Mar 25 2015

Pocket Apocalypse, by Seanan McGuire

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In my review of Seanan McGuire's first three 'InCryptid' novels, I gave the author a very specific request for book four: I wanted the plot climax to kick off with the hero naked, unconscious, and in need of rescue. I don't want to spoil anything, but I would give Pocket Apocalypse a solid B+ for its wish fulfillment alone...

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Feb 23 2015

Karen Memory, by Elizabeth Bear

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Elizabeth Bear's novel Karen Memory has all the hallmarks of a great YA novel: the plot is unabashedly romantic and imaginative, and the author is clearly determined to deliver plenty of value for your entertainment dollar. In fact, I suspect the only reason this wasn't packaged as a teen book is because the sixteen-year-old heroine is A) gay and B) a prostitute...

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Nov 17 2014

Gated, by Amy Christine Parker

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Amy Christine Parker's debut novel Gated occasionally strains credulity, but teen suspense fans are going to absolutely love it. It's engrossing, fast-paced, and about as real-world creepy as YA literature gets...

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May 14 2014

Rebel Belle, by Rachel Hawkins

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Bestselling YA author Rachel Hawkins has a new iron in the fire. Her latest book Rebel Belle is the first installment in a projected trilogy, and thus far I'm pretty excited about it. It's action-packed, wryly funny, and romantic, and as long as it ends on a less irritating note than her Hex Hall series did, Ms. Hawkins should have an enormous hit on her hands...

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Mar 10 2014

The Kill Order, by James Dashner

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In 1988, John Christopher wrote When The Tripods Came, a prequel to the Tripods series, his famous 1960s science fiction trilogy. Creepy and deeply weird, When The Tripods Came simultaneously established the post-apocalyptic world featured in the main series and worked as a standalone novel. James Dashner's novel The Kill Order attempts to...

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Mar 7 2014

Discount Armageddon, Midnight Blue-Light Special, and Half-Off Ragnarok, by Seanan McGuire

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The third book in Seanan McGuire's InCryptid series hit bookstores last week, making it officially Way Past Time for me to feature this fantastic (in all senses of the word) urban fantasy series on the site. Do your best to ignore the cover art—I promise this isn't a R-rated story about an anime schoolgirl gone rogue—and believe me when I say this series is wildly fun...

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