Sep 15

Booklist starred review for The Family Plot

The Family Plot by Cherie Priest

“In Priest’s gothic haunted-house story, workers at failing architectural salvage company are given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reverse their fortunes, if they can survive the ghosts plaguing the property. Dahlia Dutton, the daughter of Music City Salvage’s owner, loves old houses. She’s still sore over losing her own beautifully restored home in her divorce. Once Dahlia arrives at the grand, well-preserved Withrow estate in the Tennessee mountains, she wishes she could save it; instead, she and her crew­her estranged cousin Bobby; his lovable son, Gabe; and salvage rookie Brad­have mere days to rescue the valuables before demolition. To save money, they sleep on-site, when the mansion’s romantic charm turns menacing. Strange occurrences and spectral sightings increase as the crew dismantles the house, exposing the Withrow family’s secrets. Priest spices up a standard haunting with an irresistible premise focused on the “hidden treasure” aspect of salvage work. Careful character building accentuates the novel’s slow build, so by the time the salvagers are in real danger, they feel like real people, too. Despite lulls in pacing, the final scenes are terrifying. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary ghost stories.” — Booklist, Starred Review

Sep 12

Kirkus on Ghost Talkers

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal

“A novel of unsung voices and alternate World War I history, Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal is a wonderful, fraught, and heart-wrenching read. Set against the backdrop of World War I, it reinvents history to allow unheard stories to be told, whilst at the same creating a marvellous piece of romantic speculative fiction. ” — Kirkus

Sep 9

His Amish Sweetheart on PW Bestseller list!

His Amish Sweetheart by Jo Ann Brown (aka Jo Ann Ferguson) has hit #21 on the Publishers Weekly mass market paperback bestseller list for the week of September 5!

Sep 7

NPR Books on Ghost Talkers

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal

“It was the idea of it that got me into the book, and Kowal’s affectless presentation of the mediums and their work that kept me going. Did it help that the main plot concerns American heiress Ginger Stuyvesant (a working medium, exhausted and burnt-out by the stresses of experiencing the deaths of hundreds of young men) and her fiancé, British intelligence agent Benjamin Hartford? Of course it did. I like a good spy story as much as anyone (even without spaceships). And once things get going, Ghost Talkers has a good thrust with the Germans trying to discover the location of the Spirit Corps, a highly-placed mole in the British command, secret murderers, double crosses, codes and ciphers.

But it was that rare ability of Kowal’s to make what could have been a completely goofy add-on to the British war effort into something that felt completely wedded and solid that sold me — that spark of a great idea, well-executed. It is a story that just works. That lays out a presumption (ghosts are real), builds a plot architecture around it (they might be useful intelligence assets), and then grounds it with emotional weight (those forced to talk to the ghosts of the young and dead might not come out of it unscathed).” — NPR Books

Aug 11

The New York Times on Ninefox Gambit

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

“Amid such brutal calculus, Lee (himself an Ivy League-educated mathematician) fortunately doesn’t stint on character development or plot. The protagonist is Kel Cheris, a young soldier gifted in number theory, who is summoned from the battlefield for a strange new mission. She must partner with the disgraced General Jedao, possibly the only person in the hexarchate who can help reclaim the strategically critical Fortress of Scattered Needles and stop the looming threat of calendrical rot. Problem: Jedao has been dead for centuries, executed after he went mad and slaughtered thousands of his own people. Cheris must become host to this unstable genius’s “ghost,” or preserved personality ­and once she does, she must immediately learn how to navigate her way through politics more ancient than the hexarchate itself. Meanwhile, if she slips even once in her self-control or calculations, her ghostly ally will drive her mad too. Or worse.

The story is dense, the pace intense, and the delicate East Asian flavoring of the math-rich setting might make it seem utterly alien to many readers yet metaphors for our own world abound…Readers willing to invest in a steep learning curve will be rewarded with a tight-woven, complicated but not convoluted, breathtakingly original space opera. And since this is only the first book of the Machineries of Empire trilogy, it’s the start of what looks to be a wild ride.” — New York Times

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