Starred Review Round-Up (2/20/20)

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We’re seeing stars! These titles all received multiple starred reviews:

SHARKS IN THE TIME OF SAVIORS by Kawai Strong Washburn

“Striking style, memorable characters, and a believably miraculous premise add up to a beautifully crafted first novel.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A more than noteworthy first foray into contemporary fiction by Hawaiian native Washburn.”–Library Journal, starred review


“This amazing mix of crime novel and detective story—think Jim Thompson—is even more of a nightmare—think Kafka—stunning in its power and originality. It should entice foremost crime noir aficionados, with potential to break out to a wider audience.”–Library Journal, starred review

“Those looking for a finely honed, pitch-black crime novel will be rewarded.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

OONA OUT OF ORDER by Margarita Montimore

“Montimore (ASLEEP FROM DAY) delivers a rock-and-roll love letter to 1980s–90s New York City as Oona discovers her true self through a lifetime of music and pop culture. A perfect match for those who enjoy well-developed characters with a twist in contemporary women’s fiction.”–Library Journal, starred review

“Imbued with musical and cultural influences spanning decades and reminiscent of Lianne Moriarty’s WHAT ALICE FORGOT (2011) and Kate Atkinson’s LIFE AFTER LIFE (2013), OONA OUT OF ORDER is a delightfully freewheeling romp.”–Booklist, starred review

THE LAST TOURIST by Olen Steinhauer

“The author does a masterly job of evoking dingy desert cities and the rarified air of Davos, Switzerland. Steinhauer reinforces his position at the top of the espionage genre.“–Publishers Weekly, starred review

“What follows is a byzantine tale of alliances formed and discarded, double crosses tripled and quadrupled…. It’s not a fair fight, but Milo is a hell of a counterpuncher, and we love rooting for him.”–Booklist, starred review

MAN OF MY TIME by Dalia Sofer

“Iran’s brutal and tragic years of upheaval are evoked through a one-time revolutionary’s rueful reflections… A perceptive, humane inquiry into Iran’s history and soul.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Readers will find Sofer’s meditation on power’s ability to corrupt as relevant and disturbing as the day’s headlines.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review


“The subtlety and nuance of Vo’s evocative storytelling lend the novella an epic, timeless feel. Equal parts love and rage, this masterfully told story is sure to impress.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Despite its length, THE EMPRESS OF SALT AND FORTUNE will appeal to all fans of epic fantasy, and readers will be excited to read whatever Vo comes up with next.”–Booklist, starred review

FOOTPRINTS: In Search of Future Fossils by David Farrier

“A compelling thought experiment that is sometimes unsettling in its findings but always cleverly conceived and beautifully expressed.”–Library Journal, starred review

“Farrier sees Earth as a vast library, and encourages us to recognize and think deeply about the indelible stories of destruction and catastrophic loss we’re adding to the planet’s archive.”–Booklist, starred review

BECOMING WILD: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace by Carl Safina

Enthralling accounts of three animals that lead complex social lives and deserve to continue living.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Safina writes with awe and wonder of what he observed and learned from the cultures of these remarkable animals, making us reconsider our sense of uniqueness.”–Booklist, starred review

PEW by Catherine Lacey

“Lacey’s talent shines in this masterful work, her best yet.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A silent stranger of indeterminate origin is discovered sleeping on a church pew in Lacey’s haunting fable about morality and self-delusion… Darkly playful; a warning without a moral.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

YOU LET ME IN by Camilla Bruce

“Bruce is especially good at raising goosebumps. Fans of Sarah Pinborough will welcome this new talent.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The characterizations are masterful but don’t take a back seat to an enthralling story, a genre-blender that perplexes us with its whodunit elements and the ongoing mystery as to what is in Cass’ mind and what’s real. Neil Gaiman fans are a ready audience for this superb debut, but also suggest it to any patron who’s ready for something astonishingly different.”–Booklist, starred review

TROPIC OF VIOLENCE by Nathacha Appanah

Searing, lyrical, and ultimately devastating, Appanah’s latest novel might be her finest yet.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“This heralds Appanah as an essential cosmopolitan voice.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

INDIGO by Loren D. Estleman

“Film noir has provided the frame story for a wealth of crime fiction, and now Estleman adds another sterling entry to the growing list… Classic-movie fans who don’t know this series should be ashamed of themselves.”–Booklist, starred review

“The solution to the cold case is both clever and surprising. Film noir buffs will be in heaven.“–Publishers Weekly, starred review

BARN 8 by Deb Olin Unferth

“If this novel isn’t a movement, it has enough heart to start one.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“This entertaining, satisfying genre turn shows off Unferth’s range, and readers will be delighted by the characters’ earnest crusade.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

THE WIFE AND THE WIDOW by Christian White

“A tragedy and longtime secrets bring together two women from different backgrounds in this stellar family drama from Australian author White… A clever twist near the end upends the plot’s trajectory. Readers will eagerly await White’s next.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

“White exceeds readers’ expectations after his super successful debut, with strong, complex protagonists in Abby and Kate and notable secondary characters who are well developed. The plot never stops and the clever twist is thrilling.“–Library Journal, starred review


“Nemens finds a kind of attenuated hope along with melancholy in these sharply etched character studies that ‘end not with “out three” but “out maybe.'”–Booklist, starred review

A triumphant debut; enthusiastically recommended for fans of literary fiction and great sports writing.”–Library Journal, starred review

THE BIG GOODBYE: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood by Sam Wasson

“On par with Wasson’s exceptional FOSSE, this portrait of a neonoir classic will weave a spell over cinephiles.”–Library Journal, starred review

“A detail-rich study of the tortured birthing of a masterpiece.”–Booklist, starred review

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