A Farewell in Paris
Paul A. Myers
Paul A. Myers Books, $10.99 paper (236p) ISBN 978-1-4811-0046-5
Kurt and Bill are expat Americans living in Paris after WWI. Kurt is working as a Berlin correspondent and Bill is a literary agent. Kurt is also writing a novel about his experiences as a soldier in the war. While Kurt works on his book, Bill falls for Kate, an American writer who is also living in Paris. Surrounding them are the intellectual lions of the time —Djuna Barnes, André Breton, Man Ray—as well as the lively lesbian enclave of the Left Bank. Kurt and Djuna fall in love, but as fascism starts to rise in Germany, he dies and his manuscript is incinerated with him, leaving friends broken on the edge of uncertain times. In this lively novel, Myers clearly demonstrates his familiarity with the intellectual culture of Paris in the 1920s. However, he seems less certain about the characters he's created. Although they inhabit a detailed world full of richly portrayed geniuses, they do little more than flatly predict the failure of the armistice and the rise of fascism. While Myers has a consummate understanding of his setting, he hasn't matched it with a compelling story.
Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book that Changed the World
Expression Unleashed, $9.59 paper (217p) ISBN 978-0-9844181-3-8
Daniel Waterstone is struggling to write the great American novel. While his agent, Suzanne, believes he has talent, his books have no commercial success. In a fit of despair at the state of modern literature, he decides to write a parody of a self-help book under a pseudonym. This is the book that becomes a bestseller. While he knows it's wrong, Daniel assumes the identity of his pen name—Charles Spectrum, self-help guru—finding it impossible to say no to the money and the prestige. He falls for a woman named Clare, who found his book helpful, but he remains disdainful of the rest of his fans until Clare takes him to meet some of the people he's helped. As Daniel becomes overwhelmed by the guru business, Suzanne's thug brother, Jack, tries to kill him and he realizes the only way he will ever be free is to reveal his hoax on national television. Daniel is an affable protagonist—a bit self-obsessed, but basically decent. Davis's novel is an entertaining farce about modern society, a deft, fast-paced tale that will leave self-aware readers giggling. This is an entertaining book that will reward readers.
Dogs Aren't Men
CreateSpace, $10.50 paper (266p) ISBN 978-1-4904-1245-0
Rebecca Miller is a veterinarian who is happy with her life and her animals. Her mother, however, would like to see her married sooner rather than later. Rebecca doesn't think this is likely until she meets Derrick Peterson. While she and Derrick—who likes to keep his relationships casual—dance around their feelings for each other, Rebecca is threatened by Dalton, her secretary's abusive boyfriend. Dalton is eventually arrested, but just when they think they're safe, tragedy strikes and Derrick almost loses Rebecca, forcing him to confront his feelings and admit his love. Tiner—whose experience with veterinary medicine is clear—has written a quality entry in the romance genre. While her male characters are basic romantic archetypes, readers will appreciate the book's steady pace, well-constructed story, and genial style.
Eternidad: Cimmerian Rising
B. Thomas Harwood
Herschel-Floyd, $12.99 paper (250p) ISBN 978-0-9893750-0-9
The dark plans of a 2,500-year-old tyrant, Jeringas Mortifer, and his sinister assistant, the Soul Collector, kick off this new fantasy series set in the 12th century with a tone of dread. Captive clairvoyant Azura reports that recently discovered stone tablets foretell of a challenger to his rule, and Mortifer sends the Soul Collector in search of Peiman, the one seer who can properly decipher the tablets. Harwood skillfully keeps this tale of legend and myth grounded in reality. Simple fishermen Capt. Pieter Thomas and first mate Franklin Smit of Statia—who think the European imperial powers could easily smash Mortifer—provide another link to the real world. Meanwhile, the determination of the newly freed inhabitants of Camahogne to preserve their liberty and the Soul Collector's solicitation of aid from a vampire colony suggest that a protracted struggle between the powers of light and darkness looms. Hardcore fantasy fans will relish this witch's brew of the macabre and the fantastic.
C Prompt, $14.95 paper (516p) ISBN 978-0-9791815-1-1
When human extinctions occur in South America and spread worldwide, paleobiologist and genetic researcher Mark Freedman senses a connection to the Chromatium Omri bacteria, the oldest known life form on Earth linked to previous extinctions. The growing virulence in the "kill zones" spurs Freedman to join forces with Kathy Morrison, expert on viral and bacterial pathogens with the Centers for Disease Control. Despite personal losses, Freedman and Morrison find romance and make discoveries about the devastation and what lies behind it. Other colorful characters include dedicated policewoman Sarah Mayfair, whose horrific dreams and improbable survival enable contact with the forces behind the outbreaks; cynical Gen. James McKafferty, committed to preserving the U.S. at whatever cost; and Artie Hartman, goaded by his wife's death to wage war on gangs and government forces indiscriminately. The seemingly random attacks and emergence of chaos allow Bohacz to explore such themes as whether humanity deserves to survive, the meaning of being human, and the cost of perfect health and immortality. The originality of Bohacz's ideas is nearly equaled by detailed descriptions of a decontamination lab, the frenzied search for answers, and the aftermath of destruction. His vision of a humanity that faces the need to evolve profoundly or face certain destruction is as timely as today's news and as chilling a doomsday scenario as any ecological catastrophe can suggest.
Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate
Alexis Rankin Popik
Aucoot, $14 paper (190p) ISBN 978-0-9858395-0-5
Clare Stone has been happily married to Richard for years. They have a wonderful home, and he is a powerful and charismatic attorney mid-1990s Los Angeles. When Richard disappears, Clare is terrified. Whe he reappears, in an emergency room, he is clearly manic. Together they learn that he suffers from bipolar disorder, which runs in his family and caused his mother to commit suicide. Slowly, they rebuild their life together and restore their trust in each other. Popik presents bipolar disorder without condescension or exploitation. While readers may find the appearance of an antagonistic ex-husband of a client of Richard's distracting from the central story, they will forgive it for the intimacy of the rest of the tale.
On the Death Beat
CreateSpace, $11.99 paper (282p) ISBN 978-1-4910-4317-2
This uninspired marriage of dark humor and criminal psychology robs suspense from a genre demanding sensationalism. Characters with petty motivations are stripped of believability in Bateman's flimsily constructed narrative. Hoping for membership in the International Great Obituary Writer's Hall of Fame, journalist Jason murders folks in Logan, Utah, for good copy. Graduating from elderly belly dancer Ina Golightly and war veteran Claude "Boots" Hopper to more challenging prey, Jason plays a game of wits with Det. Dan Sheets, leaving a bloody trail of corpses in his wake and then reporting on it. Will Jason make a fatal error as he spars with forensics specialists and frustrated police or will murder truly pay? Awkward point-of-view shifts between wooden characters further hamper the novel. Jason's desires lack the passion or conviction required to emotionally justify his crimes. The result is a diluted thriller unable to arouse delight or dread.
Legitur, $28.95 paper (388p) ISBN 978-0-9893200-0-9
After her husband dies in WWII, Caroline Hunt takes her daughters to her childhood home of Salem, Mass. There, she unexpectedly reconnects with Tom, an old love, and they are soon wed. Her daughters—teenage Dinah and young Jemima—gain a stepbrother in high school athlete Tru. Tru and Dinah are immediately attracted to each other, and while Tru tries to do the right thing, the attraction proves irresistible. Kelly's novel is well paced and features deftly drawn characters and a superb sense of setting that will immerse readers in Salem of the 1950s. While the eventual tragedy is a bit contrived, it serves to make readers more attached to Tru and Dinah, despite their unconventional relationship.
Inkwater, $18.95 paper (380p) ISBN 978-1-59299-937-8
Mysticism and natural beauty pervade Young's novel as different generations of a family derive spiritual direction from music. Led by a dream of a melody, Bernard in 1954 visits a deserted Canadian lumber town and in an abandoned church discovers a venerable guitar similar to one from his dream. Bernard's reference to "divine intervention" sets the tone as other family members find the events of their lives guided by the strum of fate and the redemptive powers of music. Young's intense focus on the natural world provides imagery of glistening beauty, even as the narrative pace drags. But her scrutiny of the internal life of characters makes external incidents seem less relevant. Solid dialogue provides character development, but the overall atmosphere of hushed reverence and the author's overwriting overwhelm the novel.
The North Building
Munroe Hill, $15.50 paper (430p) ISBN 978-0-9887840-8-6
All the elements of an entertaining historical thriller are present in Flanders's novel, as war-weary foreign correspondent Dennis Collins returns from Korea in 1951 to an increasingly paranoid America. Back in New York, where Collins finds his newspaper closed, an old friend advises him to tone down criticism of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's strategy in Korea to avoid getting swept up in the Red Scare. Unfortunately, Collins's experiences are more often told than shown. Flanders sets scenes like a popular historian rather than a novelist, using dialogue to move plot in a manner that's often leaden and obvious. It takes the author a long time to reach the book's central conflict—Collins is caught up in Cold War espionage and intrigue—and the novel gets bogged down in a slow romantic subplot. A long-delayed confrontation and its aftermath demonstrate how all the right elements for a taut thriller can unravel without tight plotting.
The Roche Limit
Exilio, $16.95 paper (244p) ISBN 978-0-615-80145-2
A dying agent's cryptic disclosure leads U.S. Army Maj. Bob Faller to reconsider his patriotic philosophy and life's work in this reflective if ultimately uneven espionage thriller. A humane man overwhelmed by American decline, Faller finds his world view challenged in a meeting with amputee billionaire Sheldon Orelson, who warns that the Roche Limit rule of the more powerful always prevailing applies to both Earthly power games and astronomy. Faller's increasingly unsatisfactory encounters with a decaying, inequitable society engender an angst only heightened by injustice and corruption. As he seeks answers to the death of informant Mahmoud, who was part of the covert Rogue Traveler program, and uncovers the antics of elusive agent Bethany Black-Jones, death and the collapse of his marriage provide heavy-handed symbolic parallels to his transformed understanding of America. Confrontations with various forces spur Faller to fight for the "African Muslim Communist" he once detested, and to reconcile with his politically active daughter, Jennifer. In his debut novel, Vesterberg's portrait of an extremist pulls no punches and has a lingering power.
The Light Changes
Hope Street, $6.12 paper (78p) ISBN 978-0-9890740-0-1
Billone's book of poetry explores personal tragedy, recovery, and hope, but is ultimately a smattering of free verse that, at times, lacks stylistic and thematic cohesion. The major theme of the book centers on a failed suicide attempt and the emotional and psychological recovery from it. However, transitions from trauma to recovery are often haphazard. To push these transitions along, Billone utilizes the redemptive power of love and family and childhood memory. The hope-filled poems that deal with pregnancy and childbirth will likely appeal to mothers and mothers-to-be. Billone has produced a nascent work that draws its strength from the power of emotion.
America's Greatest Blunder: The Fateful Decision to Enter World War One
Burton Yale Pines
RSD, $15.50 paper (440p) ISBN 978-0-9891487-0-2
Pines provides an epic exercise in historical speculation in this detailed and thought-provoking review of the United States entry into WWI. His daring thesis, buttressed by a sweeping review of sentiment at the time, is that U.S. intervention into a war in which American interests were not threatened laid the basis for a disastrous peace agreement, a vengeful postwar spirit, and ultimately WWII and the Cold War. Contending that the Allies and Central Powers were too exhausted to continue the fight, Pines maintains that, had U.S. troops not entered the conflict, a negotiated peace would have ensued. The surrender terms imposed on Germany, he argues, led to a legacy of bitterness that helped foster subsequent Nazi rule. Pines's re-examination of the atmosphere of those times is fascinating food for thought as we approach 2014, 100 years after the start of "The War to End All Wars."
A Long Swim Upstream
Federfiles, $15 paper (294p) ISBN 978-0-9894154-0-8
Radio host Mike Feder plows through his neuroses and personal terrors in these autobiographical stories that cover the highest and lowest points of his life. "Mother" chronicles Feder's long, strange relationship with his mother, her problems, and his own. The author's issues often paralyze him, and reading about his constant life-changing missteps will make the reader want to shake him by the shoulders. But there is always a payoff. Feder's real-life characters shine—particularly the would-be subway driver of "Here's Herbie"—and when he becomes passionate (e.g., when trying to save the 12-year-old Sanford Brodsky) the results are masterful. Part sit-down conversation, part autobiographic poetry slam, Feder's confessional stories may agitate and frustrate readers, but will keep them turning pages.
Me and Murder, She Wrote: My Adventures in Television with Angela Lansbury, Peter Falk, and Jerry Orbach... Among Others
Peter S. Fischer
Grove Point, $18.95 trade paper (254p) ISBN 978-0-9886571-3-7
Fischer spent more than 20 years writing scripts for TV movies and classic series like Columbo, but is best known as one of the creators of Murder, She Wrote. "In so many ways my career has been a fairy story," he writes in this account of his transformation from insurance investigator and trade magazine publisher to writer and producer at Universal Studios and now author of Hollywood-themed murder mysteries. Fischer's humorous tone and comments addressed to readers create a sense of intimacy, but the insider's view he offers is not a tell-all. For the most part, Fischer is generous with compliments for particular producers, directors, and actors, occasionally venting about big egos that sabotaged projects and industry executives. He seems stoical about the arbitrary, cutthroat nature of show businesses, attributing much of his success to lucky breaks and his ability to turn out a story quickly. Yet by pointing to creatively challenging projects and enduring friendships forged despite fears of missing deadlines, going over budget, and cancellations, he convincingly supports his argument that life becomes satisfying only when you follow a dream, however improbable.
So Many Lovely Days: The Greenwich Village Years
Mara Kirk Hart
Kirk, $15 paper (144p) ISBN 978-0-9890478-0-7
Hart (Lovecraft's New York Circle) focuses on the struggles of her parents, George Kirk and Lucile Dvorak, to maintain both a small New York City bookstore and their marriage in the 1920s and '30s. Her clear portrayal of a largely apathetic Kirk and energetic Dvorak suggests that their valiant effort to keep the Chelsea Book Shop afloat for 12 years may have collapsed even without their economic travails. Anecdotes about Prohibition and covertly stocking Joyce's Ulysses, banned then for sale in the U.S., add luster to her account of bohemian life in 1930s Greenwich Village. Hart is more concerned with a history of her family than of the times, and documents her mother's often contradictory feelings toward Kirk. Although Hart arrives at conclusions about her parents' relationship, she is also able to celebrate the couple's happy times. Perhaps most touching is her realization that one's view of any relationship—whether it be of Kirk's famous friend H.P. Lovecraft or of her own—is necessarily partial and blinkered. The author's concluding note that she will remember what she wishes to remember sustains her conviction that the truth is, indeed, whatever one wants it to be.
Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen
She Writes, $16.95 paper (311p) ISBN 978-1-938314-03-2
Judith Newton has spent her life searching for home and family while pursuing an academic career. From seeking affection from her mother and time spent in communal living to her involvement in civil rights struggles, her choice to have a child, and the death of her best friend, Newton has marked the many phases of her life with food. Each chapter of this engaging memoir includes a recipe that relates to a corresponding time in Newton's life. Readers will find her story delightful and resonant—especially given the universal relationship between food and family. This is a well-paced coming-of-age story with all the right ingredients: honesty, well-drawn characters, and plenty of insight.
The Joke's on You: How To Write Comedy
Stephen Hoover. $12.95 paper (216p) ISBN 978-0-9897465-0-2
In this deconstruction of comedy, screenwriter and comedy writer Hoover attempts a broad survey of what makes things funny. He wants to show readers how to identify potentially amusing circumstances, relay those circumstances in humorous form, and possibly make a career out of it. He examines many forms of conventional humor and why they are successful, and encourages readers to start pursuing comedy writing. However, to quote Mark Twain, "Explaining humor is a lot like dissecting a frog, you learn a lot in the process, but in the end you kill it." Despite his attempt to provide a survey of all aspects of modern humor, Hoover has gotten so close to his subject that at times it becomes stale. He never delves deep enough into societal and film criticism to make his exploration of the evolution of the sitcom compelling, and his understanding of humor psychologically—as well as its history—is broadly drawn. Still, aspiring comedians willing to study their craft may find a lot to learn from Hoover.
The Power of Vow: Everyday Tools for Healing
Rainbow Light, $14.99 paper (308p) ISBN 978-0-9895260-0-5
Littlejohn (The 12-Step Buddhist) is clearly quite familiar with the worlds of both Buddhism and addiction. Like many people, he experienced frustration at the perceived Judeo-Christian bent of 12-step programs. But he didn't want to abandon the program because it was working for him. Instead, he worked to incorporate into the program key Buddhist concepts that will keep addicts on a firmer path to sobriety, alleviate suffering, and provide deeper spirituality. Littlejohn offers a number of recommended texts that readers might look to for support and specific help. However, his book is sometimes scattered. Littlejohn's writing is alternately serious and humorous—and that may prove difficult for some readers struggling with addiction. While Littlejohn offers many good points, his message is sometimes hampered by his lack of focus.
The Tsar's Treasure: The Sunken White Star Liner with a Billion Dollar Secret
Martin Bayerle and G.S. Payne
Barnburner, $28.95 hardcover (274p) ISBN 978-0-9888760-0-2
Through meticulous research, contagious passion, and admirable candor, treasure hunter Bayerle explains why he's spent much of his adult life digging for gold buried on a luxury ocean liner that sank in the Atlantic Ocean more than a century ago. The RMS Republic, part of the White Star Liner fleet (which also operated the Titanic), was struck in the early morning hours of January 23, 1909, after the S.S. Florida steamship veered 30 miles off course in heavy fog. While most of the Republic's passengers and crew were transferred to other ships and survived, the Republic eventually sank while being towed to New York City. Soon, rumors spread that a reported million dollars in gold coins had been onboard the ship. After decades of research, legal battles, failed expeditions, and personal struggles, Bayerle insists those rumors are true and makes a compelling argument why. He suspects the involvement of Russian czar Nicholas II and estimates the treasure's potential worth at $1.5 billion. Bayerle also claims to know exactly where the treasure lies and is planning a final expedition to the wreck. By reviving the story of a ship forgotten by history, he captures the political intrigue and human elements with the eye of a novelist.
Sir Francis Drake
Pat Croce, illus. by Tristan Elwell
Pirate & Maritime Research Society (www.thepiratemuseum.com), $15.95 (56p) ISBN 978-0-9897-5330-2
This companion to Blackbeard (2011) casts an earlier British seafaring rogue, Sir Frances Drake, in a dramatic light. The opening sequence sets the scene for Drake's lifelong personal vendetta against the Spanish. After a 1568 skirmish with a double-crossing Spanish viceroy in the New World, in which Drake lost ships and crew members, he "promised himself that he would never forgive or forget the Spanish treachery and one day he would enact his revenge." Author/entrepreneur Croce, who founded the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum in Florida, focuses almost exclusively on Drake's privateering (rather than other aspects of his life), detailing the brazen plundering on sea and land that earned him a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. The meandering narrative includes a great deal of reimagined dialogue, some of which has an anachronistic ring; as Drake triumphantly arrives home on a treasure-filled galleon he seized from the Spanish, his cousin announces that the queen "will be your best friend when her eyes alight on this plunder." Elwell's art—mostly sepia sketches, complemented by several dramatic, full-color paintings—energizes this swashbuckling adventure. Ages 6–12.
Greedy Jack Wallace
Adam C. Veile
East Circle Publishing (www.TheDreamcatcherAdventures.com), $8.99 paper (180p) ISBN 978-0-9883874-0-9
This mashup of contemporary tale/high-stakes Wild West adventure/ghost story launches the Dreamcatcher Adventures series. On the last day of seventh grade, Blake Monroe is dissed by a girl he wants to date, has a run-in with his bullying nemesis, and learns that the bank is foreclosing on his family's home. Riding his horse to escape his woes, the Montana boy encounters Galloping Gray Monroe, the roguish ghost of a 19th-century bounty hunter ancestor. Gray recruits Blake for a somewhat convoluted mission that involves recovering purportedly valuable ransom for the kidnapped daughter of a Chippewa medicine man who made magical dreamcatchers in the 1800s. The action ratchets up when Gray learns that outlaw Jack Wallace—his archenemy, who also has returned as a ghost—is hell-bent on finding the long-lost ransom, too. Gray's amiable cluelessness about 21st-century life delivers some comedic punches throughout: he shoots up the TV when he feels threatened by an on-screen character and chops up utility poles for firewood. Despite the wild premise, Blake is a real-life kid whose grit and quick thinking save the day. Ages 6–12.
Gold in the Days of Summer: A Novella
Brown Beagle Books (www.goldinthedaysofsummer.com), $9.99 paper (176p) ISBN 978-0-9888751-0-4
It's the summer of 1979, Annie's 13th birthday is approaching, and change is in the sweltering air—none of it welcome. It's Annie's first summer without her best friend Ava, who is away at camp; the Vietnam veteran who lives next door, a confidante and adviser, is moving away; Connor, her neighborhood crush, seems smitten by the new girl moving into the vet's house; and her grandmother is sinking into dementia, something her parents try to shield her from. Annie's soulful attempts to sort things out are insightful and realistically muddled. Pogorzelski captures the sense of a girl holding onto the last days of a waning childhood—Annie prefers her memory-stained old sneakers to a new back-to-school pair, and she pans for gold in the local creek, which holds only rocks ("maybe everything was gold if you just looked at it the right way")—but who also recognizes that her life is at a turning point and that she's growing up. Relatable family dynamics enrich this promising debut. Ages 12–18.
CreateSpace, $10.99 paper (308p) ISBN 978-1-4903-6727-9
Long debuts with a coming-of-age melodrama inspired by Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Seventeen-year-old Favor Miller has lived with the Browns ever since her father died, but the situation is anything but ideal. Save for the younger Brown son, Ethan, they've ignored, terrorized, or treated her like an unwanted guest. The final straw comes when the tyrannical Mr. Brown makes Favor sign a contract stipulating she'll stay away from Ethan, on whom she has a crush, in exchange for college tuition. Favor must choose between her education and her heart, even as Ethan falls for another girl. Sadly, the majority of the narrative is fueled by Favor's indecision and passivity, as she bounces emotionally between Ethan and his older brother, Tom, while caught up in the Brown family's various problems. Favor acts as a spectator in her own story, devoid of action or agency, putting up with mental and emotional abuse and neglect; even Favor's hobby of horticulture does little to redeem her. A shade of the original material, this overly dramatic story doesn't distinguish itself. Ages 12–18.
CreateSpace, $14.99 paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-4752-7309-0
Music is 17-year-old Charlotte Goode's life. Unfortunately, she's also coping with neurofibromatosis type II, where tumors grow along the nervous system. When the doctors discover tumors in her brain, they schedule an operation to remove them, but at the cost of Charlotte's hearing. With a month to go until the operation, she has a lifetime of music and sound to squeeze in, including judging a pair of bands for a local magazine. The stark yet emotional narrative flips between pre- and post-operation as Charlotte struggles with the life-altering event, along with family drama and the stirrings of a new relationship with a charming musician, Matthew. Abelson presents the story with complexity and delicacy, focusing more on the emotional aspect of Charlotte's situation than on the medical details; the significance and consequences of Charlotte's decisions are rendered in an almost poetic manner. While some moments and family interactions feel overwrought—Charlotte's brother-in-law is almost criminally oblivious to her feelings—Abelson offers a powerful, honest story. Ages 12–18.
The Thousand Natural Shocks
Michael Sáenz, illus. by Alex Fox
CreateSpace, $8.50 paper (204p) ISBN 978-1-4825-7740-2
In a compelling debut, Sáenz offers a clever coming-of-age period piece primarily set in 1979. At 13, Charles Siskin already knows that he's gay. Hoping to improve on "the daily tortures and humiliations of middle school," he starts his freshman year of high school at St. Ignatius Loyola, an all-boys Catholic military institution. He soon becomes an outcast; his only friends are fellow misfits, like Stuart, who lisps, and Phaedre, a student from the girls' school across the street. As Charles is tormented by homophobes and bullies, he explores his newfound gifts of creative writing and acting, winning a key role in a production of Hamlet. Likewise, he slowly explores his sexuality, leading to some awkward, even regrettable moments. When the bullies take things too far, Charles's inner strength is sorely tested. Incorporating vocabulary footnotes and whimsical New Yorker–style spot cartoons, Charles's story unfolds with sensitivity and humor, a wry tongue-in-cheek self-awareness letting his voice leap off the page. The book abruptly closes on a positive if inconclusive note, followed by an epilogue set eight years later. Ages 12–18.
Madison Place Press (www.themanhattanexiles.com), $11.99 paper (302p) ISBN 978-0-615-83021-6
In this intriguing urban fantasy, first in the Manhattan Exiles series, Remy offers up a world in which the Fae, exiled from their home realm and forced to dwell in New York City, struggle to survive while hiding in plain sight. Teenage Winter, one of the few to escape the city, acts as a consultant for the police in Washington, D.C., which is how he meets Aine, a new arrival from Faerie who was apparently kidnapped as part of a ritual. Investigating the mystery behind Aine, Winter and his allies soon discover a far more terrifying plan at work, one with deadly consequences for Fae and mortal alike. Remy's world-building is substantial and her premise interesting, with memorable characters and some significant surprises along the way, including an unexpected last-minute game changer. Some readers may feel like they're coming into a story already in progress, given how developed the characters and their situations are. That, coupled with a cliffhanger ending, gives this story an incomplete feel. Still, Remy's take on the Fae is worth exploring. Ages 12–18.