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The Bone Season

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The Bone Season Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620402658
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - May 6th, 2014

Word is Samantha Shannon is the next J.K. Rowling. I have to admit, I did not want to like the Bone Season; who could live up to Rowling? But I caved, I read it, and I LOVED it. I can’t stop thinking about it. As my fellow booksellers pointed out, I haven’t felt this sense of anticipation for a series since Harry Potter.

Paige is a 22-year-old “dreamwalker” (she can jump into the “dreamscape” of someone else’s subconscious) in 2059 dystopian England, where all forms of clairvoyance are prohibited and use of one’s powers, especially for financial gain, are strictly illegal and punishable by death. Paige flouts the laws, creating a name and reputation for herself in the underworld of “voyants.”

There is a lot of lingo to get used to, but Shannon puts it all in context so it’s not particularly hard to keep up. There’s also a glossary in the back, just in case.

The other members of Paige’s gang are an interesting variety - very colorful, a bit mysterious. I’m hoping we get to know them better in the future.

There’s so much to tell but I think it’s better going in without the background, so I’ll sum up. Paige gets captured pretty early on, we meet a lot of other voyants, learn about the history of clairvoyance and where it appears to be heading. Shannon neatly concludes this first part and sets us up for the future, whatever epicness that may hold.

The writing is very good, in that it’s not really noticeable: natural dialogue, descriptive descriptions, well rounded characters, all that stuff. Most importantly - characters I care about (Paige kicks ass) and a GRIPPING plot line. Shannon whisks readers into a different reality: it’s recognizable enough that you won’t feel alienated, and strange enough to provide an escape. I found myself wondering who I’d be in Shannon’s world.

Read it! ~ Reviewed by Amelia Stymacks

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss - Book Review

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The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo (Pulitzer Prize for Biography) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307382474
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Broadway Books - May 14th, 2013

A fascinating account of the man who inspired The Count of Monte Cristo - a true tale as epic as the novel. ~ Reviewed by Amelia Stymacks

The River of No Return

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The River of No Return Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525953869
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Dutton Books - April 23rd, 2013

I can’t stop thinking about this book!

I’ll admit, Ridgeway’s debut novel might not be for everyone. The time-travel elements put the story on the border of sci-fi, but the rules of this reality aren’t overwhelming. Nice touches of magic, but ultimately it’s the characters driving the narrative (think The Time Travelers Wife, or The Night Circus).

In 1815 Nick is in the midst of battle, about to die, when he unwittingly jumps forward in time to 2003. Picked up by the “Guild,” Nick is taught how to assimilate, given an enormous chunk of money, and sent off to live a new life. For nine years, Nick languishes in New England, making cheese, boozing and carousing like the English marquess he used to be. It’s all fun and games until the Guild decides he can be of use.

Back in 1815, Julia is being held captive by a cousin who is certain she knows the secret to their grandfather’s ability to manipulate time. It isn’t long before Julia discovers she has gifts of her own, which will both aid her in the escape from her cousin, and put her on the Guild’s radar as a potential threat.

A lively cast of characters are woven throughout, (a wily Russian aristocrat, a revolutionary steward, a beet-preserving prostitute) adding depth and humor. Conspiracy brews and romance blossoms - what more could you ask for in a novel?

I began worrying around the end, loose ends weren’t wrapping up, but turns out there’s another installment to come! Glorious! Now we have something to look forward to! ~ Reviewed by Amelia Stymacks


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