Reviews and Publicity

Fear Not – LJ Genre Spotlight on Horror

Terrified to recommend horror in your library? RAforAll.com / horror guru Becky Spratford‘s recent Library Journal genre spotlight on horror has you (and Macmillan) covered:

According to Melissa Ann Singer, senior editor at Tor/Forge, horror “becomes increasingly popular during times of societal unease. When people are worried that the world is going to pieces around them, when they have lost faith in the idea that things will soon (or even someday) be better than they now are…. The struggle of the horror novel is often the struggle to restore order and normality to a chaotic world, community, or family.”

Horror is also a genre in which critically acclaimed authors of color, such as Victor LaValle (THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM), Linda Addison, Carmen Maria Machado (HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES), Silvia Moreno-Garcia (CERTAIN DARK THINGS; THE BEAUTIFUL ONES), and Stephen Graham Jones (MAPPING THE INTERIOR), are seeing critical and commercial success, offering inclusive tales that mine terror from both real-world racism and supernatural monsters.

BIG NAMES AND NEW VOICES

The conclusion of Glen Hirshberg’s “Motherless Children Trilogy,” NOTHING TO DEVOUR (Tor, Nov.), contemplates how far a mother—both a human mother and an undead one—will go for her children.

As Michael Homler, an editor at St. Martin’s, explains, the horror genre is ever evolving. “You can have a story that relies on victims getting killed in very painful ways or stories that are more psychological or ones that deal with race and/or religion. They can be literary; they can be commercial. It’s not a one-fits-all genre ­anymore.”

One sign that horror is becoming more mainstream is the willingness of major publishers to take a chance on newer voices. Beginning in July, Rio Youers’s supernatural thriller HALCYON (St. Martin’s) is set on an island oasis in the middle of Lake Ontario, where paradise comes at a horrifying price.

Come September, Brendan Deneen takes the mundane fear of adult responsibility and melds it with the haunted house trope in the fast-paced, chillingly twisted THE CHRYSALIS (Tor). readmoreremove

Thriller Thursday (7/12/18 Edition)

Serial killers, sexual predators, and a mystery island…yep, it’s an average #ThrillerThursday!

HALCYON by Rio Youers
On the heels of tragedy, Martin Lovegrove moves his family to Halcyon, a self-sustaining community on a beautiful island in the middle of Lake Ontario. But he soon suspects there is something sinister beneath Halcyon’s perfect veneer and sets out to discover the truth. “[An] exceptional paranormal thriller… Youers humanizes all his characters and makes readers feel the pain of the events he describes.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

A GATHERING OF SECRETS by Linda Castillo
Also available in audio
“Bestseller Castillo addresses the topic of sexual assault in Amish communities in her riveting 10th mystery featuring Painters Mill, Ohio, police chief Kate Burkholder. Castillo’s sensitive handling of her subject matter builds a nuanced, often troubling picture of insular, patriarchal communities in which silence allows predators to thrive. Details of Amish crafts, family life, and commerce contrast with the ugliness of the crimes…armchair travelers should find this a satisfying outing.” — Publishers Weekly readmoreremove

July 2018 All-Stars

Whether it’s literary fiction, mystery, poetry, or graphic novels, these books all have the same thing in common: multiple starred reviews!

THE GOLDEN STATE by Lydia Kiesling
“Kiesling’s intimate, culturally perceptive debut portrays a frazzled mother and a fractious America, both verging on meltdown. But perhaps best of all is her thought-provoking portrait of a pioneer community in decline as anger and obsession fray bonds between neighbors, family, and fellow citizens.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“There’s so much to love about this novel… Strongly recommended for readers who enjoy contemporary literary fiction and can handle a few swear words.” Library Journal, starred review

BONE ON BONE by Julia Keller
“Keller can spin a mystery plot with the best of them, but it’s her full-bodied characters and the regard they have for one another that really sets her crime fiction apart: a bride’s back-of-the-hand caress of her new husband’s cheek, and his response, is a moment that will linger in memory long after the crime is solved.” Booklist, starred review

“Beautifully written… This thoughtful, painfully empathetic story will long linger in the reader’s memory.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

CITY OF INK by Elsa Hart
“Rich in period detail, a sharply rendered exotic setting, and a web of well-crafted plots, Li Du’s third novel will appeal to fans of historical mysteries by Lisa See, Laura Joh Rowland, and Abir Mukherjee.” Booklist, starred review

“Superb… As always, Hart excels at making even walk-on characters fully realized and at combining a gripping whodunit plot with a vivid evocation of the period. This entry solidifies her status as a top-notch historical mystery author. ” — Publishers Weekly, starred review readmoreremove

Happy #BookBday (7/10/18 Edition)

Literary fiction, romance, and humor—this #BookBday has it all!

IF YOU SEE ME, DON’T SAY HI by Neel Patel
A July 2018 Indie Next pick! A bravura debut story collection in the vein of Aziz Ansari and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, about love, family, success, and the experience of being brown in America today. “A melancholic pleasure with a sense of humor.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

SUICIDE CLUB by Rachel Heng
One of Library Journal’s Best Summer 2018 Debuts! In this exceptional, page-turning debut, set in near future New York City—where the pursuit of immortality is all-consuming—Lea must choose between her estranged father and her chance to live forever. “Fans of modern speculative fiction and readers who love stories that warn us to be careful what we wish for will be enthralled by Heng’s highly imaginative debut, which deftly asks, ‘What does it really mean to be alive?’” — Library Journal, starred review

I SEE LIFE THROUGH ROSÉ COLORED GLASSES: True Stories and Confessions by Lisa Scottoline & Francesca Serritella
Also available in audio
“Novelist Scottoline and daughter Serritella team up for the eighth in a series of entertaining mother-daughter humor books, combining entries in their ‘Chick Wit’ column for the Philadelphia Inquirer and new material. This summer beach read—which is indeed ‘like a glass of rosé, between two covers’—is sure to cheer readers spanning the generations but will be of particular appeal to mothers and daughters.” — Publishers Weekly

THE SUBWAY GIRLS by Susie Orman Schnall
From the author of THE BALANCE PROJECT comes a dual-timeline narrative featuring a 1949 Miss Subways contestant and a modern-day advertising executive whose careers and lives intersect. “Schnall nicely shows that women have always wanted to balance family and a career, and that it’s never been easy.” — Library Journal readmoreremove

Stars for SADIE!

We’re so excited that Courtney Summers’ gripping YA thriller, SADIE, has received two starred reviews!

“Summers’ novel is filled with her trademark biting commentary on sexual assault and the mistreatment of girls and women at the hands of predatory men . . . her hunt for Mattie’s killer is captivating, and Summers excels at slowly unspooling both Sadie’s and West’s investigations at a measured, tantalizing pace.” —Booklist, starred review

A riveting tour de force . . . Sadie is smart, observant, tough, and at times heartbreakingly vulnerable, her interactions mediated by a profound stutter.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review  readmoreremove

NYPL Summer 2018 Staff Picks

New York Public Library’s Summer 2018 Staff Picks for Adults includes 8 excellent Macmillan titles:

ANNIHILATION by Jeff VanderMeer
THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM by Victor LaValle
BEHIND HER EYES by Sarah Pinborough
HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES by Carmen Maria Machado
REGISTERS OF ILLUMINATED VILLAGES: Poems by Tarfia Faizullah
TRUE CRIME ADDICT: How I Lost Myself in the Mysterious Disappearance of Maura Murray by James Renner
WALKAWAY by Cory Doctorow
WHEN THEY CALL YOU A TERRORIST: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & asha bandele

Sneak Peek: August 2018 Indie Next List

Five Macmillan titles made the August 2018 Indie Next List!

MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM by Anne Youngson
For readers of THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY, an epistolary debut novel about a farmer’s wife who begins writing letters to a museum curator and, as he writes back, gradually allows herself to find happiness and love again. “This is the kind of book you clutch to your heart when you finish and sigh with contentment.” — Kelly Moore, Adult Services Librarian, Carrollton Public Library, TX

THE FAMILY TABOR by Cherise Wolas
From the acclaimed author of THE RESURRECTION OF JOAN ASHBY, a new novel set over the course of a single weekend, as five members of a family confront the lies upon which their lives are built. “Read ASHBY if you haven’t, then grab this.” — Library Journal, pre-pub alert

BABY TEETH by Zoje Stage
Also available in audio
A July 2018 LibraryReads pick and one of PW’s Best Books of Summer 2018 / Most Anticipated Debuts with THREE starred reviews! “WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN meets GONE GIRL meets THE OMEN. Interested? That might be the best way to describe Zoje Stage’s highly anticipated debut novel, BABY TEETHa twisty, delirious read that will constantly question your sympathies for the two characters as their bond continues to crumble.” Entertainment Weekly readmoreremove

Maximum Shelf: AN UNEXPLAINED DEATH

“If my pursuits appear unhealthy to the modern eye, that is simply because they are no longer fashionable. Mine is the unhealthiness of the modern-day ascetic, the anchorite, the mortifier of the flesh. These moments I seek are my mementi mori, ritual injunctions reminding me that my own death is a little closer every day.” — Mikita Brottman

Mikita Brottman’s AN UNEXPLAINED DEATH: The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere delves into her obsessive decade-long investigation into a mysterious death at the Belvedere—a once-grand hotel turned apartment complex where Brottman lives. As she examines her own morbid curiosity, she offers a poignant, gripping meditation on suicide and voyeurism.

Maximum Shelf Awareness delves deeper into AN UNEXPLAINED DEATH: “Fans of true crime—and those who enjoy the fictional variety—will find plenty to rivet them in AN UNEXPLAINED DEATH. But the story also offers a lot to those who relish the psychological mysteries of mankind. The richest gem of AN UNEXPLAINED DEATH, however, is Brottman herself.” readmoreremove

Thriller Thursday (7/5/18 Edition)

Happy #ThrillerThursday to these great new mysteries on shelves this week:

STAY HIDDEN by Paul Doiron
Also available in audio
Two starred reviews! A supposed hunting accident becomes a dangerously complicated murder investigation in this intricately-plotted new thriller featuring Maine Game Warden Mike Bowditch. “The plot is complex, and the action intense, made all the more so by forbidding terrain. The extraordinary sense of place makes this Doiron’s strongest novel yet.” — Booklist, starred review

BOUND FOR GOLD by William Martin
Martin’s sixth Peter Fallon novel centers on a stolen Gold Rush journal believed to reveal the location of an actual river, which could set off a modern gold rush in San Francisco. “Fascinating and surprisingly fast-paced, this adrenaline-packed adventure is sprinkled with love, betrayal, and violent death: old-fashioned storytelling at its best, in the style of Peter Carey’s TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG and Wilbur Smith’s Courtney novels.” — Booklist, starred review

PANDORA’S BOY by Lindsey Davis
A suspicious death that leads to a murder sends Flavia Albia down a twisted path to expose corruption, betrayal, and gang activity in ancient Rome. “The reader will be repeatedly astonished by the tricks Flavia has up her sleeve… For fans of crime fiction set in the ancient world, this one is not to be missed.” — Booklist, starred review readmoreremove

Stars for MIRAGE

We’re thrilled that Somaiya Daud’s YA sci-fi/fantasy debut, MIRAGE,  has received two starred reviews!

Readers are thrown right into this incredibly built world with fully developed cultures and characters. Daud expertly uses a sci-fi setting to explore issues within our own society, particularly the effects of colonization on both individuals and cultures as a whole. This poetically written novel will appeal to many, particularly fans of CINDER by Marissa Meyer and AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir.” School Library Journal, starred review

“Daud’s gorgeously written novel features lush and poetic language that brings the setting into vivid color. In addition to the blend of [science fiction] and fantasy, Daud supplies a dash of forbidden romance destined to leave the reader gasping for breath . . . With an ending that is gut wrenching yet still hopeful, this immersive, captivating series starter is sure to have fans eager for the sequel.” Booklist, starred review

MIRAGE will be available August 28 from Flatiron Books and Macmillan Young Listeners. readmoreremove

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