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MADreads

Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Sweet Anticipation for October 2018

Sweet Anticipation Graphic
New Titles

Readers will full to-read lists might do well this month to clear out some space in preparation for this October, as those lists are sure to be refilled with all the offerings coming this fall. Most of the big titles this year have been squarely in the political realm, but the buzz this October is centered on big fiction releases from names consistently associated with prizes and book discussion favorites across genres. On to the specifics:

September 14, 2018

Worlds at war

Cover of There Before the Chaos
A review of There Before the Chaos by K. B. Wagers

Hail Bristol is back. If you follow my MADreads reviews (and really, you should <g>) you'll know that I loved K. B. Wagers Indranan War trilogy. In that trilogy Hail was introduced as the last remaining heir to an empire she wasn't sure she wanted. Events conspired to force her to take on the responsibility, and once taken there was no going back. Hail is the Empress of the Indranan Empire and she's hoping that now that the civil war is over, she and her people can take some time to regroup and rebuild.

September 10, 2018

All girl "Empire Records" plus vigilante fight club

Cover of Heavy Vinyl
A review of Heavy Vinyl by Carly Usdin

I am a proud Gen X-er and the 1995 film Empire Records is part of my lexicon. This graphic novel replicates the independent record store vibe, the staff is all female and it's set in 1998, so for me, it's the coolest. It's also about a girl fight club hiding underneath the record store. And the girl vigilantes must save missing rock stars. Like I said. The coolest.

September 5, 2018

Partnering one another

Cover of A Rogue of Her Own
A review of A Rogue of Her Own by Grace Burrowes

There are a few tropes that will always hook me when it comes to historical romance. One of those tropes, the marriage of convenience, is the underpinning for Burrowes' latest in her Windham Brides series. What starts out as an attempt by the heroine, Charlotte Windham, to have a brush with scandal so that she can avoid further London seasons, turns into a marriage to Lucas Sherbourne, her unwitting accomplice.

September 4, 2018

Margaret in a fun-house mirror

Cover of Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Pr
A review of Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown

Thanks to the recent popularity of Netflix’s series The Crown, there has been a resurgence of interest in the series’ most fascinating character, Princess Margaret. Younger sister of Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret has to be arguably the most polarizing royal figure of her era. Alternative portraits present her as a woman frustrated by royal constrictions which denied her any real purpose in life and marriage to the man she loved versus a mean, manipulative society maven who never failed to remind people of her superior rank in a world that viewed her as a camp figure.

August 31, 2018

Is there ever an acceptable reason to "ghost" someone?

Cover of Ghosted
A review of Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

"Ghosting" according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication. Several recent reports tout it as the new toxic behavior. It's cowardly, it's destructive and it doesn't resolve anything.  

August 29, 2018

Magical steampunk

Cover of The Clockwork Witch
A review of The Clockwork Witch by Michelle Sonnier

In this first of a series Sonnier offers a vibrant and fast-moving tale that melds steampunk and magic to great effect. Arabella is the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter of England's most powerful family of witches. As such she was expected to do great things. But Arabella has aged past the point where her powers should have been revealed with nary a spark of talent showing, much to the dismay of her mother and delight of some of her more competitive sisters.

August 27, 2018

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