What is life? What does it mean to truly live and who – or what – is actually living? These are a few of the prevalent questions and themes that drive the plot of Peter Cawdron’s latest novel, Reentry. A sequel to Retrograde, Reentry sees Dr. Liz Anderson and some of her colleagues return to Earth after their battle with artificial intelligence on Mars – an Earth much different from the one they had left behind.
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.
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
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.
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.