Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 2015 Staff Book Recommendations

November 24, 2015 

Snowblind 
By Christopher Golden 

This book was published during the summer I moved from Georgia to Massachusetts. Having grown up in the Northeast, I’ve always loved winter, so I thought delving into a New England winter story would be the perfect “welcome home” read for me. At first glance, the cover of Snowblind is breathtaking: diamond snowflakes on the trees and the grounds enveloping a warmly lit farmhouse in the distance; a traveler lost in the woods would surely find solace in that house or another, also inviting, along the lane. However, displayed at the top of the cover in sharp contrast to the glow of whites and golds below, lies this review from Stephen King: Instantly involving and deeply scary. It will bring a blizzard to your bones (and your heart) even in the middle of July. Throw away all those old “It was a dark and stormy night” novels: this one is the real deal. And watch out for that last page. It’s a killer…

Still, I thought I could handle this book. Many scary things happen in a blizzard. Getting stuck in the middle of nowhere and freezing in the car because it won’t start--not at all fun, but not bone-chillingly (except for the possible hypothermia) terrifying. Or, maybe the power goes out at home but there are always candles and flashlights to chase away the darkness, right? 

Not so much in this story. Demons find you outside or inside whether or not you have a car to escape in or lights on at home. Someone or something is haunting these New Englanders and oh, how I wish it was the Yeti. Pure, soundless snow muffles the screams of the dead and the living, and the gorgeous icicles affixed to a sea of trees are knives. 

The weather outside is frightful. You’ve been warned. 

--Cara

November 17, 2015 

Burning Dawn 
By Gena Showalter 

This blog is about to get steamy. Like seriously smutty. The deal: Elin Vale is a prisoner of the Phoenix, an immortal race with the power to regenerate after death. She was ripped from her normal life when the Phoenix killed her family and took her captive. Because Elin is only half-Phoenix, she’s considered an abomination and treated worse than dirt. During her captivity she watches as a Sent One (a race of angel-like beings) is brainwashed and enslaved by Kendra, a powerful noble. Kendra uses the act of love to poison her victims and conquer their wills. Elin decides to help the Sent One, Thane, escape in the hopes that he will take her with him and protect her. As you may guess the pair fall into a passionate romance. The only problem? Thane despises the Phoenix and knows nothing of Elin’s mixed ancestry. Elin is terrified to reveal the truth and face Thane’s powerful wrath. Will they find a way to be together and overcome prejudice?!?!? Find out at your local library! 

Burning Dawn is a stellar example of the paranormal romance genre. Showalter mixes steamy love scenes, angst and just a smidgen of plot and backstory to create the perfect escapist novel. Read it for what it is! 

--Chelsea

November 10, 2015 

A Curious Beginning 
By Deanna Raybourn 

Author Deanna Raybourn is back and has crafted another great adventure in her new book A Curious Beginning! Those of you who have journeyed with Ms. Raybourn in her Lady Julia Grey mystery series are surely in for a treat with this fun read. 

Meet Veronica Stillwell: lepidopterist extraordinaire and reminiscent of Lady Julia in terms of her wit, cleverness, and no-nonsense attitude. The story unfolds with Veronica who has just departed her aunt’s funeral. Her aunt’s death has left her alone in the world but while Veronica is looking forward to her next solo venture, the Vicar, his wife, and the townspeople want nothing more than to see Veronica cast off her rebellious, bold spirit and settle down with the humdrum husband they have already hand-selected for her. Veronica will have none of this. No sooner has Veronica escaped the pitiful looks and tut-tut headshakes of her neighbors does she return to her home in the midst of an intruder ransacking her meager possessions in search of something. Not one to shy away from danger, Veronica makes a surprise launch at the intruder-easily a man twice her size- wielding a sword stick and chasing him out of her house. The intruder clumsily tries to get the upper hand remembering his size compared to hers, grabs her wrists, and yanks her toward his waiting getaway carriage while she bites at him. End of story? Hardly! It is just the beginning. Why is Veronica in danger? She scarcely has a penny to her name and will soon be the town spinster so what would anyone want with her? 

Although A Curious Beginning has its slow moments (Ms. Raybourn packs a lot into this 300-plus page story), the tension constantly builds, suspenseful moments are always around the corner, and I came to care deeply about Veronica and her friends, especially one who has a lot of similarities to Nicholas Brisbane (see Lady Julia Grey mystery series for more about this rakish gentleman). A Curious Beginning was certainly a different take on the traditional whodunit, yet it was satisfying all the way through. 

This was just the beginning of my discovering a new companion in Veronica Stillwell, but I certainly hope it’s not the end!

--Cara

November 3, 2015
Marked
By P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
What if you could leave everything behind? Say goodbye to your fake best friend, who, by the way, secretly has a huge crush on your boyfriend; say goodbye to your quarterback, football- loving, day-drinking, entirely immature boyfriend; and definitely say adios to your evil stepdad with his “God is good” attitude and the mother you used to know.
If the opportunity presented itself, would you leap at the chance to try on another life? Unfortunately, choices in life are not always an option for everyone, and for Zoe, there is no choice. Zoe has been “marked” and when people realize that she has been marked, she begins to see the true nature of her family and friends, which is exactly what she has been trying not to do for the last sixteen years of her life. If you are marked,, you are a vampire-in-training and you either begin training or die.
Forced to confront her overly religious stepfather and her follow-the-leader mother, Zoe must show them her mark and hope they will understand. One way or another, her old life is over and she must accept the darkness, enter a new school, and start training to become a vampire. Zoe’s life has been completely turned upside down and it is up to her to find where she belongs and make the choice to either go forth or be doomed.  
--Jess

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