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Jan 19 2010

Obernewtyn, by Isobelle Carmody


Isobelle Carmody wrote Obernewtyn, the first novel in her Obernewtyn Chronicles, at the ripe old age of fourteen. Admittedly, the book wasn't actually published until she was thirty, so we'r...

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Aug 7 2013

Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal, by Jennifer Armentrout


After writing about the upcoming film adaptation of Jennifer Armentrout's sexy-aliens-in-peril Lux series, I requested the first three installments—Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal—from my local library. The books' mega-cheesy cover art was off-putting, but I was hoping the story would deliver some enjoyably soapy Roswell-style goodness...

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May 22 2017

Octavia E. Butler's Kindred, adapted by John Jennings and Damian Duffy


Octavia E. Butler's Kindred is a classic for a reason: it's memorable and dramatic and utterly terrifying. And in Damian Duffy and John Jennings's excellent graphic novel adaptation of Kindred, you don't need to imagine the horrors in Butler's novel, you can experience them via full-color illustrations! (The better to keep you up at night.)

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Dec 6 2010

Odd Is On Our Side, by Dean Koontz and Fred Van Lente


Odd Is On Our Side is the second graphic novel to feature Odd Thomas, a twenty-year-old fry cook living in the fictional Californian town of Pico Mundo. Odd—a character first intro...

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Aug 19 2013

Of Beast and Beauty, by Stacey Jay


Of Beast and Beauty, Stacey Jay's horror/fantasy/sci-fi retelling of the Beauty and the Beast myth, takes its fair share of missteps. The story's mythology is murky, the ending felt rushed, and several of Jay's attempts at poetic descriptive passages sound like something written by an overwrought seventh grader, but I must give credit where credit is due: this is a huge, huge improvement over her previous two books...

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Aug 16 2007

The Off Season, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock


Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s The Off Season is just as thoughtful and engrossing as its critically praised prequel, 2006’s Dairy Queen. Murdock’s quiet, football-playing heroine has gotten more self-confident since the events of Dairy Queen, but her attempt to take charge of her future is still very much a work in progress...

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Aug 20 2007

Old Friends and New Fancies, by Sybil G. Brinton


Written in 1913, Sybil G. Brinton’s Old Friends and New Fancies was the first Jane Austen sequel ever published, and features characters from all six of Austen’s books. While Old Friends and New Fancies doesn’t quite stand on its own as an independent novel, Brinton’s engaging continuation features a plausible imitation of Austen’s style and tone...

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Jan 27 2014

Omens, by Kelley Armstrong


Omens, the first book in Kelley Armstrong's new Cainsville series, perfectly encapsulates my feelings about her writing as a whole: her plots are solid and her mysteries intriguing, but her characters lack charm. I get ridiculously invested in finding out what happens to Armstrong's protagonists, but rarely do I care about the protagonists themselves...

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Feb 19 2014

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover and No Good Duke Goes Unpunished, by Sarah MacLean


To once again paraphrase Jane Austen, there are few historical romance novelists that I really like, and fewer still of whom I think well. In fact, the “like and think well” list is pretty much limited to Georgette Heyer and Lisa Kleypas, while the “just like” list includes authors like Suzanne Enoch, Teresa Medeiros, and Julia Quinn—writers who produce enjoyable but anachronistic stories, and mostly use their historical settings as...

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Nov 29 2010

One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding, by Rebecca Mead


Do not give Rebecca Mead's 2007 book One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding to anyone who has recently had a wedding*. Trust me, it will only depress them, and who wants to embark o...

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Oct 10 2012

The Opposite of Hallelujah, by Anna Jarzab


Even if I disliked Anna Jarzab's new novel The Opposite of Hallelujah (and I didn't; I loved it), I would still give it full points for originality. This book is a rare beast—a YA story about faith, honesty, and family that manages to be thought-provoking rather than preachy...

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Oct 3 2016

Otherworld Chills, by Kelley Armstrong


Kelley Armstrong is right up there with J.K. Rowling when it comes to creating supplementary material for her books. She has written more than fifty(!) short stories and novellas set in her Women of the Otherworld universe. Seven of these are now available in the anthology Otherworld Chills, which consists of six previously-published works and one new story...

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Dec 8 2009

Out at Night, by Susan Arnout Smith


Susan Arnout Smith's Out at Night, the second novel to feature San Diego crime-scene tech Grace Descanso, opens with a bit of stomach-churning violence: a middle-aged college professor crawls thro...

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Oct 31 2007

Out of Line: Growing Up Soviet, by Tina Grimberg


Tina Grimberg’s Out Of Line: Growing Up Soviet is an excellent, surprisingly optimistic account of her childhood in the Ukrainian city of Kiev in the sixties and seventies. Grimberg’s book...

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Jun 17 2008

Out of Picture: Vol. 1 & 2, by Assorted Authors


In 2006, a French publisher released the first edition of Out of Picture, a graphic novel anthology of 11 short stories written and illustrated by a group of animators from Blue Sky Studios. The A...

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Mar 22 2013

Out of Warranty, by Haywood Smith


Despite its Viagra-commercial cover art and quirky plot summary, Haywood Smith's novel Out of Warranty isn't a conventional middle-aged romance. Instead, it's a story about two deeply neurotic characters beset by a legion of age-specific problems: fragile parents, irritating adult children, bad health, and worse insurance coverage...

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Jan 24 2007

The Oxford Murders, by Guillermo Martinez


It’s a good thing that Guillermo Martinez’s mystery The Oxford Murders was only 200 pages long, seeing as I had to read half of it twice (and I suspect I’m not the only one). Mr. Martinez is all too willing to embrace big words, obscure metaphors, and complicated mathematical references. Happily, his elegantly wrought whodunit is entertaining enough to hook readers, despite...

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