Death in the Floating City, by Tasha Alexander, is the seventh book in the Lady Emily series. This is one of my favorite series, and I recommend readers start with the first book, And Only to Deceive. Lady Emily is an aristocratic lady in Victorian England who sometimes gets frowned upon due to her unconventional interests. Due to her inquisitive mind, she pursues her scholarly interests as well as investigates murders with her husband. In this seventh installment, Emily and her handsome husband Colin, an agent for the royal Crown, travel to Venice to investigate the murder of the father-in-law of Emily's childhood nemesis. As they search for clues, they uncover an ancient rivalry of two warring families from Italy, as well as a tragic case of star-crossed lovers. As this information is revealed, Emily and Colin must learn the connection between the feuding families and the murder of this Italian count. Meanwhile, as information gets discovered, someone undergoes deadly measures to ensure that certain information remains undisclosed. Throughout her investigation, Emily goes to a myriad of places to find answers, ranging from libraries to brothels. Meanwhile, a number of unexpected discoveries are made, and there are times when Emily and Colin are not sure what to think. Will they get to the bottom of this murder before somebody else winds up dead? I highly recommend this for readers who enjoy historical mysteries in the Victorian era, and who appreciate a strong female lead.
The protagonist of this sci-fi mystery novel, Chris Shane, is not your average FBI agent. For one, he's the son of one of the wealthiest and most influential families in the United States. For another, he's famous. Oh yeah, and he's been totally paralyzed since he was two years old—not that that stops him from fighting crime. In Shane's world, a flu-like epidemic known as Haden's has left over 5 million Americans paralyzed, including Shane, but technology has provided a way out for these "lock-ins": an interface that lets them interact with the physical world, either by renting another person’s body for the day or inhabiting an android body. The world of Haden’s becomes central to the bizarre murder Shane is faced with solving in this fast-paced novel, the first in a new series from one of sci-fi’s most popular authors. Recommended for anyone who enjoys witty banter, solid world-building, and a vivid cast of characters.
Most Wanted, by Lisa Scottoline, is about a school teacher named Christine Nilsson, who has been unsuccessfully trying to have a baby. She and her husband make the decision to use a donor, and she finally gets pregnant. As she enjoys her pregnancy, her world gets shattered when she discovers that her baby's donor might be a serial killer. Unable to keep guessing, she takes matters into her own hands to try and discover if the alleged serial killer really is her donor. Meanwhile, she and her husband drift apart as they disagree on how to approach the situation. As Christine investigates a string of murders, there are several twists and turns, and things are nor always as they seem. The quest to determine whether her donor is a serial killer or not proves to be a complicated one wrought with unexpected discoveries. I do not ordinarily read contemporary thrillers, but this book made my heart pound and was a page turner. I would recommend this work to those seeking an engaging and suspenseful read.
Captain John "Black Jack" Geary is the lone survivor of the first battle of the Syndic-Alliance War. When rescued from his survival pod after 100 years he learns that the Alliance has inflated his reputation to heroic proportions. After taking charge "Black Jack" Geary must lead the Alliance fleet home to safety through hostile space while coming to grips with his manufactured status. The first in a 6 book series, Dauntless combines fast paced space battles and complex character development.
This graphic novel, as with many by Kindt, seems confusing at the beginning, bringing readers in to the middle of a story without much context. However, persistence pays off with eventual reveals that bring the beginning of the story into beautiful focus and justify the extreme nonlinear storytelling. For somewhat less adventurous readers, Kindt does provide a table of contents that orders the chapters in a more linear narrative.The story covers the machinations of spies on all sides of World War II as they struggle against their enemies at war and with themselves and Kindt examines the nature of loyalty, courage and war itself.
The Circus isn't like any other circus you've been to before; it's actually magical. Two young magicians, Celia and Marco, are in the middle of a competition to prove who has the stronger magic. Their teachers have forced Celia and Marco into a pact where only one will survive, and despite these dire circumstances the pair continue to show off their skills. Morgenstern creates an incredible world where magic is woven into every day life. Her cast of characters are as compelling as the descriptions she uses to show off the Circus.
I have read this multiple times and still find new things to love and enjoy.
The Fifth Season is an incredibly refreshing fantasy novel. What makes the story so engaging is not only the superb world-building that N. K. Jemisin creates, but the fact that the world she creates is doomed to perish in cataclysmic horror. I promise this is not a massive spoiler. The Fifth Season describes a planet that is defined by a history of unfathomable natural disasters, where the only protection comes in the form of orogenes, a small group of the world's population that can magically manipulate the earth to various degrees. The characters are memorable, and the plot is ripe with surprises and twists. Escapism at its finest.
Leigh Bardugo has had enormous success with her recent Six of Crows series, but Shadow and Bone is the first book in the earlier Grisha Trilogy set in the same world. The grisha are magic wielders, rare and prized in a land that resembles a fantasy version of Tsarist Russia. Alina Starkov, the hero, must learn to harness magical powers she never knew she had, while also navigating court intrigue, romance and her own past as an orphan. This book is appropriate for older teens and adults, and is a gripping read that makes a fantastical, foreign land and the people in it seem deeply real to readers.
Aerin is the Sol (or princess) of Damar, the only child of King Arlbeth. She is ostracized by most of the royal court, who accuse Aerin’s late mother of using magic to bewitch and betray the king. They base their suspicions on the grounds that Damarians are all brown-skinned and dark-haired while Aerin is fair-skinned and red-haired, like her mother. Aerin also never developed the Gift, a magical ability evident to some degree in everyone of royal blood. After being goaded into nearly poisoning herself, Aerin begins to study the history of dragons and dragon-slaying. This begins her journey from a lonely, reserved girl to a strong, confident woman who slays dragons, wields a magic sword, defeats an evil enemy, and returns to Damar to rule as Queen. Prequel to The Blue Sword.
When Victor is released from prison, his only ambition is revenge against the man who put him there. With the help of an unlikely computer hacker, a young girl with the power of immortality and a resurrected dog, Victor endeavors to track down the friend that betrayed him so many years before and stop him from killing anyone else with "unusual" powers. This is a modern superhero story about two former friends who become mortal enemies in their quest for power. Who is the villain and who is the hero?