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Book Review: In The Night Wood By Dale Bailey
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In The Night Wood
Hardcover | Kindle
By Dale Bailey
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: October 9, 2018

With his marriage falling apart due to a series of tragic events, Charles Hayden – a literary scholar – and his wife Erin take a trip to Yorkshire, England to stay at the family estate of the 19th century children’s author, Caedmon Hollow. Hollow’s only book, In The Night Wood, is the subject of Charles’ research and a way to hopefully turn his recent misfortunes around; however, as secrets regarding Hollow’s past begin to reveal themselves, and small-town life threatens to place Charles in a vicious, repetition of the past, the veil between reality and fantasy becomes unclear in the most haunting of ways.

Wow! That was the exact exclamation I used out loud when finishing In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey, and the feeling remains the same 24 hours later while writing this review.

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Book Review: Bluecrowne: A Greenglass House Story
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Bluecrowne review

Bluecrowne
A Greenglass House Story, Book #3
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Kate Milford
Publisher: Clarion House | HMH Books
Release Date: October 2, 2018

Lucy Bluecrowne is really unhappy. She only feels at home on the sea with her father, brother, stepmother and crew aboard The Left-Handed Fate. She knows her father only wants his family together, and after almost losing Lucy, feels that a ship is no place for a girl to grow up. Lucy knows better. The sea is in her bones and the ship talks to her. She tries to make the best of a bad situation for the sake of her brother, Liao, who can make fire magical. When two evil men attempt to steal her gifted sibling, it’s up to Lucy to save the day. But how can an ordinary girl pit herself against such supernatural evil?

More below on Bluecrowne: A Greenglass House Story by Kate Milford

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Book Review: The Blood Card (Magic Men Mysteries Book 3)
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The Blood Card review

The Blood Card
Magic Men Mysteries Book 3
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
By Elly Griffiths
Publisher: Mariner Books | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release date: September 5, 2017
Paperback release date: September 4, 2018

A police inspector and a stage magician team up to investigate the murder of their old wartime commander as well as a possibly related case of the suspicious death of a local gypsy fortune-teller in The Blood Card, the third book in the Magic Men Mysteries series by Elly Griffiths.

It’s May 1953, and all of London is prepping for the imminent coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is busy investigating the death of Madame Zabini, a local gypsy psychic whose body had washed up by the pier, while nearby his best friend and old World War II buddy, the famous magician Max Mephisto, prepares for a prominent two-week run at the Theatre Royal during a time when people more and more are staying home to get their entertainment via television. The two friends are then summoned together by General Petre to the scene of the murder of Colonel Peter Cartwright, the man who had recruited them into the Magic Men, a top secret wartime espionage unit.

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Book Review: Not Even Bones By Rebecca Schaeffer
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Not Even Bones
Hardcover | Kindle
By Rebecca Schaeffer
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
Release date: September 4, 2018

There’s a risk inherent in reading the first published novel by an otherwise new author. There’s additional risk when that first published novel is announced as part of a planned trilogy before the author has even had the opportunity to toe the waters of publishing success. I admit I initially felt this way about reading Rebecca Schaeffer’s Not Even Bones. But the official synopsis won me over and made me overlook my trepidations and dive in.

I am so glad I did!

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Book Review: The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette
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The Spaceship Next Door book review

The Spaceship Next Door
Paperback | Kindle
By Gene Doucette
Publisher: John Joseph Adams | Mariner Books | HMH Books
Release date: September 4, 2018

With a title like The Spaceship Next Door, you’d think this book was a beloved children’s tale about a little girl who befriends her new neighbor, “Shippie,” a spaceship from another world. Instead, in Gene Doucette’s new novel, the little girl is precocious 16-year-old Annie Collins and “Shippie” is not exactly buddy material.

It’s been three years since an alien spacecraft landed in a field in the small mill town of Sorrow Falls, MA, where it’s sat dormant ever since. The U.S. military has formed a perimeter around it, while just outside is an RV campsite filled with eccentric alien watchers with surveillance equipment waiting for something – anything – to happen. And it’s about to. When Ed Somerville, a government operative unconvincingly posing as a reporter, comes to town, he immediately hires the young, knowledgeable Annie to be his guide and together they try to uncover the secret behind this mysterious ship now that it seems to be “awakening.”

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Book Spotlight: The Gift Of Dark Hollow (Longburrow #2)
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The Gift Of Dark Hollow
Longburrow Book #2
Hardcover | Kindle
Sequel to Podkin One-Ear: Longburrow Book 1
By Kieran Larwood
Illustrated by David Wyatt
Publisher: Clarion House | HMH Books
Release Date: August 7, 2018

Podkin, Pook, and Paz survived the battle against the Gorm, and are now seemingly safe in Dark Hollow, a hidden warren. Curiosity, boredom, and a feeling of uselessness get the better of Podkin, and he stumbles upon another magical gift, one that can help them defeat the Gorm instead of hiding from them. Such is the opening premise of The Gift Of Dark Hollow, the second book in the Longburrow series by Kieran Larwood.

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Book Review: The Wild Dead (The Bannerless Saga Book 2) By Carrie Vaughn
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The Wild Dead
The Bannerless Saga Book 2
Paperback | Kindle
By Carrie Vaughn
Publisher: John Joseph Adams | Mariner Books | HMH Books
Release date: July 17, 2018

In The Wild Dead, author Carrie Vaughn delves back into the world she created in Bannerless, where in a future dystopian society the survivors must earn their keep and prove themselves worthy of a banner, which permits a household to have a child. This follow-up sees investigator Enid embroiled in another rare murder-mystery after the body of a young woman is found inside one of the far-off communities. After Enid discovers that the murdered woman was one of the “Wild” folk who live outside of The Coast Road, the name for this rebuilt society, she goes above and beyond the call of duty as well as dangerously out of bounds to try to solve the case.

The sequel opens with Enid away on what should be a quick assignment with her new, rookie partner Teeg, to resolve a simple household dispute. She’s eager to get back home, though, as her household is awaiting the imminent arrival of their baby, being delivered by her housemate Olive. It’s an immensely joyous occasion, and Enid promised to be there for it, but she still has a long way to travel back from The Estuary community, the northern-most town, which borders The Wild area. Just as she’s ready to hand down her judgment on the dispute, the young Wild woman’s body is found. Teeg thinks they should leave the matter unsolved and head home, since it doesn’t fall under their jurisdiction, but Enid is compelled to continue the probe, even if it leads her in uncharted territory.

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Book Review: Brightly Burning By Alexa Donne
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Brightly Burning
Hardcover | Kindle
By Alexa Donne
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
Release date: May 1, 2018

In Brightly Burning, debut author Alexa Donne takes the classic Jane Eyre tale and sets it in space aboard a starship in a dystopian future during an Earth ice age.

Orphaned at 7, then discarded by her uncaring aunt, Stella Ainsley lives on the starship Stalwart, where she works in engineering as well as helps educate the children. The Stalwart community is an impoverished one, subjected to water and food rationing and frequent power outages. Since Stella has no real passion for engineering, she decides to apply for governess jobs on other starships in the hopes of making a better life for herself. After several letdowns, the nearly 18-year-old Stella is hired to be both a governess and auxiliary engineer on the Rochester, one of the richer, private ships in the fleet. While she enjoys the comforts provided in her new home, there’s something strange about the Rochester and its 19-year-old captain Hugo Fairfax, a man who exhibits inconsistent behavior and is hard for the young girl to figure out. She hears laughter in the corridor at night and has witnessed several events that appear to be sabotage, yet no one else on board will corroborate her findings. To make matters worse, Hugo holds a secret that could alter Stella’s once-hopeful future, as well as threaten the survival of the entire fleet.

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Book Review: The Robots Of Gotham By Todd McAulty
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The Robots Of Gotham
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Todd McAulty
Publisher: John Joseph Adams | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release date: June 19, 2018

The robopocalypse is coming in Todd McAulty‘s futuristic scifi tome, The Robots Of Gotham.

In his debut novel, McAulty takes us to the year 2083 where many parts of the world are now controlled by a fascist robot regime. After years of war, the United States is now divided, with many areas foreign-occupied, machine-controlled, and/or overrun by Venezuelan “peacekeeping” forces: There’s the Kingdom of Manhattan, a robot-controlled sovereignty; the Occupied States, an area of conflict controlled by the Machine Cabal; the United States Free Zone, which has an elected human President; and the Union of Post-American States, which has a human appointed leader.

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Book Review: The City Of Lost Fortunes (A Crescent City Novel)
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The City Of Lost Fortunes
A Crescent City Novel
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Bryan Camp
Publisher: John Joseph Adams | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release date: April 17, 2018

In Bryan Camp‘s debut novel, The City Of Lost Fortunes, a reclusive New Orleans street magician and demigod with the ability to locate lost items is forced out of magical retirement when he’s tasked with solving the murder of the city’s god of Fortune.

Jude Dubuisson is a New Orleans street magician whose schtick is revealing the location of people’s lost items. Oh, and he’s also a demigod, thanks to the deity daddy he never knew. But after Hurricane Katrina tore through his beloved city leaving an overabundance of lost items in its wake, he’s been overwhelmed by his magical gift. The experience took something out of him, as it did to most of the city’s residents, leaving him without his usual swagger and knowing grin, prompting his retirement from the magical community. Unfortunately, he didn’t walk away six years ago scott-free – he still owes a debt to the Fortune god and it looks like now it’s being called in. An invitation to a divine card game ends with the murder of the Fortune god, and now Jude has been drafted by a former employer to find the killer. Who is powerful enough to kill a god and what is their motive? And how is Jude connected to all of this to begin with?

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