“The Blue” by Lucy Clark – “”[Clarke] paints brilliant images of physical surroundings and takes readers on an emotional journey as she explores the fragile bonds that connect each crew member to the others. . . . The narrative is punctuated with interesting, unpredictable plot twists that keep coming until the final page.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The Cartel: A Novel” by Don Winslow – “A monster of a novel—big in story, big in ambition. Based on real events, it’s unavoidably violent but not voyeuristic. There is a deep understanding of the bonds and betrayals inherent to the drug trade, considerable musing about the difference between vengeance and justice, and a recognition that even in the face of soul-sapping depravity, there can be nobility and courage.” — John Wilkens, The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Crossing the Horizon” by Deanna Emberley Bailey – “Based on the author’s own loss of her two sons, Crossing the Horizon demonstrates love’s unstoppable ability to connect us forever to those we cherish. This is at once a poignant and ultimately uplifting tale of love reaching beyond the boundaries of life and death to a lasting relationship — one that crosses the horizon.” — back cover
“Dragonfly in Amber” by Diana Gabaldon – “”A judicious blend of history and romance…proves that, regarding talent, Diana Gabaldon is light-years ahead of her romance-novelist colleagues.”
Daily News (New York)
“Four Knights with the Duke” by Lisa Kleypas – “A smart, desperate heroine who will do anything to protect her nephew and his heritage and a hero worthy of the challenge find love and trust, as well as a surfeit of passion, in this latest from James. Sparkling dialog, well-placed Shakespearean quotes, and an engaging cast of sharply rendered supporting characters (especially a plucky youngster and a marvelous horse) add to the fun. Readers will also enjoy the cameo appearance by the Duke of Villiers and Mia’s hilarious romance novel notes.” — Kristin Ramsdell. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2015.
“The French Prize” by James L. Nelson – “A lively, rapidly paced yarn set in 1799, a year in which America is embroiled in an undeclared war at sea with its former ally, France. … This is vintage Nelson, with finely drawn characters and vivid shipboard action written by one who has sailed before the mast. Nelson is at his best describing a ship assaulted in a tempest by howling winds and heaving seas.” — Quarterdeck on The French Prize
“A Garden of Sand” by Earl Thompson – “Destitution, hunger, cruelty, rootlessness—all the odds stand against Jacky, the young boy at the center of this powerful, popular American classic, yet still he prevails. Resourcefully, doggedly, Jacky nurtures his spirit of independence, his capacity to love, and his faith in a nation’s dream in a journey that takes him from Wichita to Corpus Christi and from poverty to possibility.” — back cover
“Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee – “Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor, and effortless precision—a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context, and new meaning to an American classic.” — back cover
“Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon – “Unrivaled storytelling,,,unforgettable characters…rich historical detail…these are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work….Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters. Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages…” — back cover
“Twice a Texas Bride” by Linda Broday – “Broday crafts a richly atmospheric Western complete with the grittiness of the frontier as well as the tenderness of blossoming love… With a touching and gentle, yet rugged and real story, Broday captures the West – and readers’ hearts.” – RT Book Reviews
“Voyager” by Diana Gabaldon – “In this rich vibrant tale, Diana Gabaldon continues the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser that began with the now-classic novel Outlander and continued to Dragonfly in Amber. Sweeping us from the battlefields of eighteenth-century Scotland to the exotic West Indies, Diana Gabaldon weaves magic once again in an exhilarating and utterly unforgettable novel. ” — back cover
“Written in the Blood: A Novel” by Stephen Lloyd Jones – “In The String Diaries (2014), the author introduced us to a hidden element of society: a group of people, called the Long Lives, who can change their shapes. There aren’t many of these shape-shifters, and if an ancient evil beast has its way, there soon will be none of them. In this fast-paced sequel, Leah Wilde races against time, and against a creature of almost unimaginable power and deceptiveness, to save the few remaining Long Lives (including her own mother). Even though the book carries over characters and story threads from the previous novel, readers can approach it as a stand-alone; the author provides enough background to keep us from feeling disoriented. And the pace is so fast that readers are essentially propelled through the book, carried from one character to another, bouncing around from one place in the world to another, completely caught up in the story. A novel that’s just as good as the one that came before–and, in this case, that means essential reading for devotees of high-end sf.” — Pitt, David. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.
“Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials” by Ovidia Yu – “Rosie “Aunty” Lee, the feisty widow and amateur sleuth and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved home-cooking restaurant, is back in another delectable, witty mystery involving scandal and murder among the city’s elite.” — back cover
“Aunty Lee’s Delights” by Ovidia Yu – “Wise, witty and charming, Aunty Lee’s Delights is a spicy mystery about love, friendship, and food in Singapore, where money flows freely and people of many religions and ethnicities coexist peacefully, but where tensions lurk just below the surface, sometimes with deadly consequences.” — Ovidia Yu
“Big Little Lies” by LIane Moriarty – “Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.” — inside front cover
“Boo” by Neil Smith – Short story writer Smith (Bang Crunch) delivers a splendidly confident debut novel, a fantasy of emotional healing in a unique afterlife.. … Smith smoothly develops his vision of an afterlife in which a theoretical god supplies random items from the living world, electronics run without power, and kids are left to their own devices. The story is never about providing solid answers, but readers who appreciate that sort of ambiguity will find that the emotional payoffs are both surprising and moving. ” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.
“Hush, Hush: A Tess Monaghan Novel” by Laura Lippman — “Motherhood plus murder equals one intense, uproarious, and riveting mystery from a classy crime writer (Lippman) of wit and wisdom. … With an intriguing cast of characters, stinging dialogue, hilarious moments, and a superbly convoluted and suspenseful plot, Lippman has created an incisive and provocative tale about parents good and evil.” — Seaman, Donna. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“Miss Julia Lays Down the Law” by Ann B. Ross – “Spirited, sassy, and thoroughly charming, Etta Mae Wiggins manages to turn a day of misfortune and mishaps into an endlessly entertaining adventure.” — Erika Marks, author of It Comes in Waves
“Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeover” by Ann B. Ross – “.A fun confection where Miss Julia, in letting go of some of her hidebound ideas and social prejudices, learns that her worst enemy may well be the guy she helped elect…and her best ally may be [one] she’s always thought beneath her contempt. Yes, Miss Julia is back, and I, for one, am a happy camper.” — J.A. Jance
“The Murderer’s Daughter: A Novel” by Jonathan Kellerman – “In his latest, Kellerman introduces psychologist Grace Blades. …Kellerman doesn’t let off-the-charts genius Grace become one-dimensional. Her backstory and challenge to fit in, even into adulthood, are an engaging part of this satisfying mystery, which, though billed as a stand-alone, could certainly make a spin-off series.” — Keefe, Karen. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.
“The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag” by Alan Bradley – “… Flavia’s world is 1950s England—specifically, a very old country house that just happens to have a long-abandoned chemistry laboratory. And Flavia just happens to be fascinated by chemistry—particularly poisons. This helps her solve mysteries because, as Flavia says, “There’s something about pottering with poisons that clarifies the mind.” This time she becomes involved with the members of a traveling puppet show that features the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. When the puppetmaster is mysteriously electrocuted during the show, Flavia knows it can’t be an accident and eventually finds the murderer. The rest of Flavia’s family are also eccentric, to say the least, and add greatly to the overall fun. Thank goodness Bradley is not allowing Flavia to grow up too quickly; we need more sleuths whose primary mode of transportation is a bicycle.” –Judy Coon
“Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?” by Alan Weisman – “Spirited descriptions, a firm grasp of complex material, and a bomb defuser’s steady precision make for a riveting read… Weisman’s cogent and forthright global inquiry, a major work, delineates how education, women’s equality, and family planning can curb poverty, thirst, hunger, and environmental destruction. Rigorous and provoking, Countdown will generate numerous media appearances for Weisman and spur many a debate.” — Booklist (starred review)
“Daughters of the Samurai” by Janice P. Nimura – “A riveting story of three remarkable girls, caught in the maelstrom of one of the strangest culture clashes in modern history, Daughters of the Samurai is history writing at its finest and required reading for anyone interested in Japan.” — (Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being)
“H is for Hawk” by Helen Macdonald – Beautiful and nearly feral, H is for Hawk reminds us that excellent nature writing can lay bare some of the intimacies of the wild world as well. Her book is so good that, at times, it hurt me to read it. It draws blood, in ways that seem curative.” — Dwight Garner, New York Times
“Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution” by Kathleen Duval – ““With deep research and lively writing, Kathleen DuVal musters a compelling cast to recover the dramatic story of the American Revolution in borderlands uneasily shared by rival empires, enslaved people, and defiant natives. She deftly reveals powerful but long-hidden dimensions of a revolution rich with many possible alternatives to the triumph of the United States.”—Alan Taylor, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Internal Enemy
“The Lost Girls: The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus” by John Glatt – “A New York Times best-selling crime writer, Glatt recounts a case that shook us all: Ariel Castro’s over-decade-long imprisonment and repeated rape and beating of three young women in Cleveland and their May 2013 escape. Castro’s family and musician friends weigh in, as do the neighbors who saw the rescue. Creep- and anger-inducing, for sure.” — Barbara Hoffert. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.
“Pig Tales: An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat” by Barry Estabrook – ““Estabrook puts his substantial reporting, storytelling, and writing talents in the service of the pig. He documents the horrors perpetrated in America on this miracle creature, but he also describes the ways to break away from those horrors. . . . Pig Tales appalled me, terrified me, and then filled me with hope.” (Michael Ruhlman, author of Charcuterie and Salumi)
ADULT AUDIO BOOK
“Finders Keepers” by Stephen King – “… Here, the actor’s (Patton) deceptively mellow, vaguely Southern delivery helps spin a thrilling yarn that shuffles two tales separated by 35 years. … Both stories converge when Morris is released from prison and arrives in town expecting to find his cache. Though the novel unfolds in third-person narration, King slants each chapter toward its featured player, and Patton adds an appropriate attitude. For example, he reads the chapters focused on Morris with a sort of grim determination laced with anger. The Pete chapters have a halting quality that reflects the teen’s suspicious nature and lack of self-confidence. The chapters devoted to Drew Halliday, a crooked book dealer, are given a smarmy air of extreme self-satisfaction. The bottom line is that King has added another superb novel of suspense to his ever-increasing list, and Patton’s inventive interpretations make it a must-hear audio.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.
“The Winthrop Woman” by Anya Seton – …The novel focuses on the life of Elizabeth Winthrop, the vibrant and rebellious niece of the colony’s first governor. … The expansive story provides James scope to demonstrate her skill at voicing characters of both genders, and their stories add to the picture of early seventeenth-century life in these colonies. In tone and pace, James’ voice reveals her sympathy for Elizabeth’s travails. Her characterization of Elizabeth’s relationship with Telaka, the Indian woman who becomes her maid and confidant, is especially poignant. The tapestry of English, Dutch, and Indian characters and their stories enliven the novel. Seton’s attention to historical detail, coupled with the narrator’s clear sense of character, makes this a rewarding listening experience.” — McCay, Mary. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.
“Black or White”
“Far From the Madding Crowd”
“How to Get Away with Murder; The Complete First Season”
“The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”
“A Place to Call Home Season 1”
“A Place to Call Home Season 2”
“Homeland The Complete Fourth Season”
“The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season”
“Woman in Gold”
“The Babies and Doggies Book” by John and Molly
“Whose Tools?” by Toni Buzzeo & Jim Datz
“Peter, Paul and Mommy”
“Archie the Daredevil Penguin” by Andy Rash
“Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer” by Tonya Bolden
“A Dance Like Starlight” by Kristey Dempsey & Floyd Cooper
“The Day the Crayons Came Home” by Drew Daywalt
“The Farmer and the Clown” by Marla Frazee
“Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury” by Arnold Lobel
“Grandaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box” by Michael S. Bandy & Eric Stein
“Interstellar Cinderella” by Deborah Underwood
“Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965” by Jonah Winter
“Lizard from the Park” by Mark Pett
“My Teacher is a Monster! No I Am Not.” by Peter Brown
“Night Animals” by Gianna Marino
“Over in the Wetlands” by Caroline Starr Rose & Rob Dunlavey
“R is for Rocket” by Tad Hills
“Sun and Moon” by LIndsey Yankey
“The Tea Party in the Woods” by Akiko Miyakoshi
“We Forgot Brock!” by Carter Goodrich
“What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night” by Refe & Susan Tuma
“Winnie Plays Ball” by Leda Schubert
JUVENILE AUDIO BOOK
“Smek for President” by Adam Rex – “”First-time novelist Rex has written an imaginative, wacky, hilarious sci-fi story that will appeal to fans of Eoin Colfer and Jon Scieszka. Lively cartoon-paneled illustrations are interspersed throughout and add to the fun. This is a fast-paced adventure with a whip-smart protagonist, a lovable and resourceful extraterrestrial, and plenty of social commentary.”―School Library Journal, starred review
“The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse” by Patricia MacLachlan – “K-3. In this exploration of the painter’s early encounters with color, Henri’s mother brightens his gray surroundings, brings him fruits and flowers to arrange, and swathes a room in red rugs. Most inspiring are the changeable colors of pigeons (given to Henri by his father). Relief prints with digital techniques become bolder and brighter as the book progresses while incorporating Matisse’s own imagery.” — THE HORN BOOK, c2015.
“Lexie” by Audrey Couloumbis – “Gr. 3-6. Lexie isn’t looking forward to a week at the summer beach house without her mother, but she is looking forward to spending some time with her dad. It will be their first time at the beach house since the divorce. The idea of time alone with Daddy is upset when Lexie learns that Daddy has invited his new girlfriend and her children to the beach house for the week. Couloumbis has written a story that is relevant to young readers, and Lexie tells her story with an honesty that admits her own petty feelings, but also shows her attempt to see the world from others’ viewpoint. Illustrations and a fast-paced storyline make this a quick read.” — Lisa Hunt, Apple Creek Elementary, ABC-CLIO, INC., c2011.
“Out of my Mind” by Sharon M. Draper – “Narrator Melody is a fifth grader with cerebral palsy. She’s brilliant, but few people realize just how brilliant until she receives ‘Elvira,’ her Medi-Talker computer. Draper paints the picture of a real girl–with tantrums and attitude, problems with mean girls and oafish adults. This is an eye-opening book with an unforgettable protagonist and a rich cast of fully realized, complicated characters.” — THE HORN BOOK, c2010.
“The Serpent’s Shadow” by Rick Riordan – “… This epic battle and the quiet concluding chapters glow, alternating heroism and humanity, with any trace of bombast erased by the wry wit of the alternating narrators, Sadie and Carter. As in The Red Pyramid (2010) and The Throne of Fire (2011), the cast of characters here is confusingly large and the backstory sometimes seems tucked into the spaces between the battles. But powered by Riordan’s talent for creating vividly written action scenes and his ability to keep a complicated story moving, this volume brings the Kane Chronicles series to a rousing conclusion.” — Phelan, Carolyn. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012.
“Amulet Book One The Stonekeeper” by Kazu Kibuishi – “Gr 4 Up-Hurrying to pick up her brother, Emily and her parents have a tragic accident, and her father dies. After this dark beginning, the story skips forward two years to when the remaining family members are forced to move to an ancestral house in a small town. Rumored to be haunted, it is unkempt and forbidding. The first night there, Emily’s mother goes down to the basement to investigate a noise and doesn’t return. The kids search for her and discover a doorway into another world, where their mother has been swallowed by a monster and is being taken away. An amulet that Emily found in the house tells her that together they can save her, but her brother isn’t so sure that this voice can be trusted. Still, what other choice do they have in this strange place? Gorgeous illustrations with great color bring light to this gloomy tale. Filled with excitement, monsters, robots, and mysteries, this fantasy adventure will appeal to many readers, but it does have some truly nightmarish elements.” –Dawn Rutherford, King County Library System, …CAHNERS PUBLISHING, c2008.
“Beautiful Hands” by Kathryn Otoshi & Bret Baumgarten – “Ages 3-up. This celebration of human capability subverts expectations with every page turn, as Otoshi (Two) and Baumgarten twist physical actions, such as planting or lifting, into more abstract ideas. “What will your beautiful hands do today?” begins the book; the question is one Baumgarten asked his children daily, before his death in 2014. Images created from handprints and fingerprints, inked in a vibrant palette of paint and set against white backgrounds, accompany reader-directed questions that are broken up over page turns, allowing each surprising conclusion to make its full impact. “Will you plant… ideas?” write the authors, as circles of handprints attached to green stems suggest both fiery dandelions and the explosive energy of an epiphany. In two spreads dedicated to the phrase “Will they lift… spirits?” a tiny bird is first seen perched on a yellow hand; a page turn reveals the bird in its full splendor as its wings stretch across the spread, slender blue and magenta fingerprints transformed into delicate feathers. It’s an inspiring reminder of all the intangible things that our bodies, hearts, and minds have the capacity to do.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.
“The Colossus Rises: Seven Wonders Series” by Peter Lerangis – “Grades 4-8. Part Goonies, part MacGyver, part Percy Jackson, this big series starter is sure to please readers looking for underdog heroes and their unbelievable adventures. … The tension of whom to trust and why keeps readers guessing, and the quick action, high stakes, and clever solutions make this a slam dunk. ” — Booth, Heather. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2012.
“Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome” by Brad Montague and Robby Novak – “Grades 3-6. Ten-year-old Novak became a YouTube sensation with his Kid President series, coproduced by actor Rainn Wilson, which encourages positivity and cooperation with funny pep talks and celebrity interviews. … Plenty of interviews with inspiring young people who are agents of positive change serve as the backbone of the book’s message. A dynamic mixed-media layout of photographs, illustrations, and fan submissions punctuate Novak’s platform. Even the most ardent cynics will find themselves laughing along with the Kid President’s silly but hugely insightful musings.” — Anderson, Erin. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.
“The Knight at Dawn: Magic Tree House #2” by Mary Pope Osborne – Let the magic tree house whisk you on an adventure with brother and sister Jack and Annie. From a mysterious knight and a medieval castle to a spooky dungeon and a secret passage, The Knight at Dawn has everything to keep young readers turning pages.” — inside front cover
“The Magic Trap” by Jacqueline Davies – “Grades 3-6. Since their parents’ divorce many years earlier, Evan and Jessie have been disappointed that their dad, who travels the world as a journalist, seldom calls or visits. Now he is back in their lives, for a week at least, looking after them while their mother is away. .. their father’s unexpectedly early departure leaves them home alone, and soon they are figuring out how to survive a hurricane on their own. …As the third-person narrative switches from one child’s point of view to the other, the contrast between the two is marked and consistently believable. Readers intrigued by the magic theme will also appreciate the appended instructions for a card trick. ” — Phelan, Carolyn. 248p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
“Mama Built a Little Nest” by Jennifer Ward – “PreS-Gr 3. A practically perfect science picture book. Ward features a different kind of bird’s nest on each spread, with a four-line rhyming verse suitable for reading aloud on the left-hand pages, and a few sentences offering more information, at a higher reading level, on the right. Jenkins’s colorful cut-paper collages, set against white backgrounds that emphasize their attention to detail, illuminate each of the birds’ creations. Readers will find nests ranging from the tree-hole cavities of woodpeckers to the scrape nests of falcons to the astonishing woven nests of weaverbirds, and even some that challenge readers’ assumptions about what a nest is, such as the emperor penguin egg’s “nest” on top of the father’s feet. Equally excellent for classroom or storytime, this harmonious blend of text and illustrations executes a simple concept beautifully, in a manner that allows readers of various ages to approach the book in different ways.” — Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.
“The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea” by Brenda Z. Guiberson – “Handsome, softly realistic illustrations depict an assortment of ocean dwellers, each accompanied by a brief paragraph full of interesting factoids as each creature proclaims itself “the most amazing creature in the sea.” . . . An eye-catching jumping-off point for further investigation.” — School Library Journal,
“Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf” by Olivia Bouler – “Eleven-year-old Bouler, who raised more than ,000 for the Audubon Society’s Gulf Coast oil spill recovery efforts through the sale of her bird paintings, pairs her artwork with casual, informative passages to create an upbeat lesson on bird identification, habitat, and nature preservation. Birds are organized according to kid-friendly classifications, like ‘Birds That Live in the Woods’ and ‘Weird & Wacky Birds,’ including the pyrrhuloxia and Eastern phoebe (‘Dogs wag their tails–and so do these birds perched on a branch!’). Bouler’s depictions of familiar birds like the Canada goose, bald eagle, and hummingbird are carefully observed and spirited; her vivacious attitude may inspire ecologically minded readers to get involved.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2011.
“Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes” by Rick Riordan – “The age-old stories are endlessly strong, resonant, an surprising, while the telling here is fresh, irreverent, and amusing. This hefty volume is also a tall, handsome one, with fine paper, richly colorful full-page and spot pictures, and simple, attractive borders on pages of text. John Rocco…illustrates the myths with drama, verve and clarity. A must-have addition to the Percy Jackson cannon.” — back cover
“Princess Academy” by Shannon Hale – “Gr. 6-9. Miri would love to join her father and older sister as a miner in Mount Eskel’s quarry. Not a glamorous aspiration for a 14-year-old, perhaps, but the miners produce the humble village’s prize stone, linder, and mining is a respected occupation that drives the local economy. When the local girls are rounded up to compete for the hand of the kingdom’s prince, Miri, the prize student in the Princess Academy, gets her chance to shine. …. Hale nicely interweaves feminist sensibilities in this quest-for-a-prince-charming, historical-fantasy tale. Strong suspense and plot drive the action as the girls outwit would-be kidnappers and explore the boundaries of leadership, competition, and friendship.” — Anne O’Malley.AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2005.
“Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle” by Miranda Paul – “A biracial brother and sister explore the out-of-doors (and a bit of mischief) through the four seasons in this poetic look at the many forms water takes on its trip through its cycle. … The water cycle’s importance is brought home in the closing pages, snow leading to spring to mud to roots to apples to cider. Backmatter tells more about each step in the cycle, using solid explanations and science vocabulary. An engaging and lyrical look at the water cycle. (water facts, further reading, bibliography) (Informational picture book.” — KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2015.
“All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven – “”In her YA debut, adult author Niven creates a romance so fresh and funny. . . The journey to, through, and past tragedy is romantic and heartbreaking, as characters and readers confront darkness, joy, and the possibilities—and limits—of love in the face of mental illness.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Brisingr” by Christopher Paolini – “In most respects, this third chapter in Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle feels like the calm before the storm; the majority of the more than 700 pages are dominated by storytelling, plotting, and preparations for battle. If there is a complaint from readers, it will be that Paolini revels too much in long conversations between his characters while action takes a backseat, but fans of the genre will bask in his generosity: …. In fact, clarity is the author’s best asset: few could make such a Tolkienesque universe so manageable. ” — Daniel Kraus. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2008.
“Bone: Crown of Horns” by Jeff Smith – “This final volume in the popular graphic-novel series takes Bone and his companions on one last journey: to seek out Thorn’s vision, a ‘Crown of Horns,’ in the hopes that it will return peace to the kingdom. As all parties converge on the royal city for battle, Smith packs the pages with action, adventure, and a satisfying conclusion.” — THE HORN BOOK, c2009.
“Eldest” by Christopher Paolini – “The second book in the Inheritance Trilogy,…takes up the epic story just three days after the end of the bloody battle in which Eragon slew the Shade Durza, and the Varden and dwarves defeated the forces of the evil ruler of the Empire. … Alternating narratives follow the exploits of Eragon and of Roran as each plays his role in the inevitable advance toward the final battle. Once again, the expected fantasy elements are well in place, and the characters and their relationships continue to develop nicely. The ending promises an even more cataclysmic battle ahead.” — Sally Estes. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2005.
“Eragon” by Christopher Paolini – “… 15-year-old Eragon discovers an odd blue gemstone while exploring an infamous stretch of forest. It is a dragon egg, fated to hatch in his care. Eragon quickly develops a psychic connection with the female dragon that emerges, whom he names Saphira (‘His emotions were completely open to her mind, and she understood him better than anyone else’). Eragon narrowly escapes doom with Saphira’s help, but the uncle who raised him is killed, setting up a robust revenge/adventure tale. … Paolini, who was 15 years old himself when he began this book, takes the near-archetypes of fantasy fiction and makes them fresh and enjoyable, chiefly through a crisp narrative and a likable hero. … An auspicious beginning to both career and series.” — CAHNERS PUBLISHING, c2003.
“Inheritance or The Vault of Souls” by Christopher Paolini – … “Inheritance is the final book of the wildly popular “Inheritance Cycle” by wunderkind Christopher Paolini. …The Christian Science Monitor “Featuring spectacular artwork by John Jude Palencar, this book brings the bestselling Inheritance cycle to a breathtaking conclusion.” Middlesbrough Evening Gazette “It is an extremely compelling and well written book, set in the magical land of Alagaesia, and is one of the best fantasy books I have read. Christopher Paolini is a great author who has been able to conjure up a fantastical yet believable world. This is just as brilliant as all the other books in the series and ends spectacularly, but not in the way I expected…” Kate Lazenby Western Morning News