Tag Archives: series

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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A fantasy novel, Six of Crows follows a crew of seven characters who decide to take on a dangerous heist. Set in the city of Ketterdam, the novel switches between the perspectives of the characters as it goes through the heist as well as their own backstories and interactions. It has a really good found family aspect with well written and diverse characters and relationships, and all of the heist and action scenes are incredibly interesting as well.

Availability: COSMOS, USMAI
Review Submitted by:  Esther Markov
Rating:  Must Read
Challenge: Book to TV

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

book coverI wasn’t ever going to read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes on the assumption that, like many books written as late additions to an already stellar series, it wouldn’t hold up. I decided to give it a try and this book is a wayyyy better end than Mockingjay. I 100% recommend this book to anyone who liked the Hunger Games, since previous knowledge gives you more of those “omg I get what’s happening!” moments, but honestly you could read this as a solo book as well. Totally gripping and creepy.

Availability: USMAI and COSMOS
Review Submitted by:  Izzy Lott
Rating: Recommended
Challenge: YA with diverse cast of characters

206 Bones by Kathy Reichs

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One last review to toss into the ring–an interesting series (as long as you can replace the image of the TV show Bones character). As a recovering archaeologist myself, I thoroughly enjoy these types of books, with plenty to learn from forensic science. And not an eyebrow was raised suggestively!

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jane Kostenko
Rating:  Highly Recommended
Challenge: Book to TV

Triple Jeopardy by Anne Perry

book coverIf this wasn’t likely the final book I will review before the Summer Reading program ends, I wouldn’t post yet another set of comments on the same series as before. But, I might not finish my next book in time, so I will just repeat my comments that this set of books shows how murder can be presented and solved in a “clean” and decent way, with wits and observations instead of with high-tech devices. Vexing at times because of the reliance on characters reading so much into the most subtle expression, the book does bog down part-way through. But the ending makes it all worthwhile. Enjoy (she said, with her eyebrow raised ever so slightly)!

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jane Kostenko
Rating:  Highly Recommended

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan

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When twins Jack and Jill were 12, they found a stairwell while seeking refuge from their overbearing parents who tried to fit them each in neat boxes. There they found the Moors, a place of the undead, werewolves and Drowned Gods. In order to survive the harsh world they found themselves in, they learn they need to embrace their true natures which their parents tried to stifle. After all, doors lead to where children need to go.

If you enjoyed the first novella in this series, Every Heart a Doorway, then you will enjoy this sequel. I liked this one more than the latest released and standalone book in the series, Across the Green Grass Fields.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jo Hoppe
Rating:  Highly Recommended

Wicked Witch Murder by Leslie Meier

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A light and fun read that seemed particularly pleasant in the hot summer. I will seek out more (older) books in this series.

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jane Kostenko
Rating: Recommended

 

Force of Nature, Jane Harper

book coverThe sequel to The Dry (which I reviewed earlier this year) was a promising sequel that was a great second novel in what I hope will at least become a trilogy following Australian Special Agent Aaron Falk.

This book makes things less personal and a bit more slow and methodical – but it is a testament to Harper’s confidence in her storytelling that she feels she can shift to a mystery that is a bit more methodical. Falk this time is working on a financial crime case – which is his actual job description – only to find that his essential mole in the investigation has gone missing on a company retreat backpacking in the woods.

Harper keeps many things but tweaks them here. Her flashback sections that she uses heavily are given there own mini chapters here, and Falk gets a partner that is more structured and not by happenstance. There are plenty of directions readers can be pulled in this one to figure out the eventual solution, although I think the first one had red herrings that still had bigger and more meaningful pay offs.

While it may not be as good as the first, that is to the credit of her premiere novel, not the fault of this one, and it shows that Jane Harper didn’t simply get lighting in a bottle on her debut, but truly has the chops to have a number of successes ahead.

This book is good for those who enjoy:
1. Stories that reveal themselves thorough alternating past and present sequences.
2. Mysteries that are more grounded in reality instead of pulp and action.
3. A mystery set in the wooded wilderness!

Overall Rating: Highly Recommended
Availability: COSMOS, USMAI
Reviewer: Nick Huber 2013

One Fatal Flaw by Anne Perry

book coverAnother good read in the new (to me, anyhow) Anne Perry series that features Daniel Pitt as the main character. A fascinating glimpse into the early 20th century when women were just starting their (on-going) struggle for equality and rights. Painfully slow in its progression to the end is what kept me from recommending it more highly; I think I’d have screamed if another meaningful glance was described or yet one more reading of an unspoken message was being told by eyebrows. I guess when forensics was in its infancy, body language spoke louder than it does in today’s murder mysteries.

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jane Kostenko
Rating:  Recommended

 

Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire

book coverAcross the Green Grass Fields is the latest and sixth installment of the Wayward Children series (the first being Every Heart a Doorway). It is a stand alone and can be read without any prior knowledge of the series. After mistakenly revealing a secret about herself to the wrong person, Regan discovers a door that leads to a world of centaurs and other magic equines. There she learns to accept herself and that she is destined to save the Hooflands.

This book has LGBTQIA and lovable characters, and is set against an interesting world. However, even for a novella I found the ending a bit abrupt and sometimes a bit slow. However, if you are looking for a fast, easy read and to scratch your inner horse girl itch, then this book is for you.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jo Hoppe
Rating:  Recommended
Challenge: Book with a color in the title

Twenty-one Days by Anne Perry

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This is the first in the new series that features Daniel Pitt and it was delightful! Crispy, interesting, and just so well written, like all of Anne Perry’s books. I look forward to reading more in this series.

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jane Kostenko
Rating: Highly Recommended

 

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

book coverChildren often go missing. Sometimes, they reappear as mysteriously as they vanished, telling stories of the world they went to through a magic door that appeared just for them, clearly a figment of their wild imagination…or is it? Nancy is one such child. After returning from her world of the dead, she is sent to a boarding school, Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, that specializes in helping other children with her same “condition”. However, when she arrives she discovers all the students, and even the headmaster, have all gone through their own doors and are learning to cope with being back in this world in which they feel they don’t belong to any longer. Soon after Nancy’s arrival, students start to be found dead, and as the new girl suspicion against her starts to mount.

This book was a very enjoyable and fast read. While only 169 pages, interesting characters against a mysterious backdrop. This is an excellent start to a series of novellas that explore other characters and their world.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jo Hoppe
Rating:  Highly Recommended

The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

book coverEvelyn Caldwell is at the forefront of her field… of human cloning. She has recently divorced her husband after discovering he was having an affair with a clone of herself. As Evelyn is attempting to adjust to her new life, she receives a call from Martine, the clone, asking to meet where Evelyn discovers that the clone is pregnant, something that should be impossible. Later, not knowing who else to turn to, Martine calls Evelyn asking for help disposing of her ex husband’s body.

Sarah Gailey is very good at crafting interesting, believable and flawed main characters. The Echo Wife is no exception to this and through Evelyn, Gailey explores what makes us human, our relationships and decisions, and self-actualization.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jo Hoppe
Rating:  Must Read