Black Panther and The Crew – Staff Review – Terry

Black Panther And The Crew #1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates

We are the Streets by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a well written and beautifully illustrated graphic novel featuring Marvel’s Black Panther as well as a host of other prominent Marvel characters, all who are persons of color.  The narrative of the story mostly follows Misty Knight with T’Challa (Black Panther) as more of a supporting role despite the title and this particular perspective is where the book really shines, featuring a black female police detective with no real super powers of her own other than a few high tech gadgets and her own wits and skills dealing with a crisis in New York City and the resulting fallout, which is very reminiscent of current social and political affairs.  An entertaining read with a strong social message.  

5 Stars

No Longer Human – Staff Review – Terry

No Longer Human by Junji Ito

No Longer Human adapted to manga format by Junji Ito is a cathartic story of the spiraling downward of a man’s life in early 1900s Japan. This book is not for the faint of heart as it deals with some very heavy subject matter, often with the use of some very grotesque and morbid imagery. A great find for anyone into body horror or gothic horror, as well as anyone who likes a good story that goes into the fractured mind of a broken soul.

5 stars.

As long as we both shall live – Staff Review – Maddy

As long as we both shall live by JoAnn Cheney

Matt told park rangers his wife was dead- she fell off a high cliff when hiking into the river below. A rescue search ensues, but rangers are skeptical of what the outcome will be. But when a body turns up, it creates more questions than answers.

Matt’s first wife died under mysterious circumstances as well. Detectives Loren and Spengler have a lot of questions for Matt as they delve into the case and the couple’s past.

As long as we both shall live is a psychological thriller novel in which the author keeps readers guessing who did what and who’s guilty to the very end. Not everything or everyone is what they seem and the married couple in this story have much to hide. This book was a quick read and is good for those who enjoyed Girl on the Train and Gone Girl.

3 stars.

Evvie Drake Starts Over – Staff Review- Maddy

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

In a small coastal Maine town, Evvie Drake barely leaves her house. Her best friend Andy and most the town think her seclusion has to do with her husband’s death. Andy’s best friend Dean Tenney, a major league baseball pitcher in New York is struggling with the ‘yips’- he can’t throw straight anymore. Andy invites Dean to Maine, thinking the vacation and fresh air might do him some good. So Dean moves into Evvie’s apartment under the condition that he won’t ask about her husband and she won’t ask him about baseball. This doesn’t last long however, as the two become friends and help each other overcome their demons.

Evvie Drake Starts Over was a cute, fun read that was hard to put down. I enjoyed the relationship between the two main characters and how they helped each other through hard times.

4 stars.

Landline – Staff Review- Izzy

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Landline by Rainbow Rowell is an engaging, funny, and reflective novel about a marriage gone wrong and a magic phone that could be the answer to everything. Georgie McCool loves her husband Neal, of course she does, and Neal loves her, no question. So then why does she find herself home alone and working over Christmastime while her husband and kids fly off to visit his family in Omaha without her? And why has her own family started to tiptoe around her like she is going through a divorce? As Georgie begins to unravel with worry that Neal is more than just his usual upset with her this time, she discovers something different about her landline phone in her old bedroom at her mom’s house – it connects her to Neal from before they got engaged. Staying up late and talking on the phone with her husband’s younger self, she begins to wonder if this is her second chance to make things right before they went wrong. But what does making things right even look like and what will it do to the life and family she has come to build? Read if you don’t mind a book that can bring you to tears and laughter simultaneously and if you ever wished you had a phone that could connect you to the past!

4 Stars

The Adventures of Thor the Thunder God – Staff Review – Terry

Retold by Lise Lunge-Larsen, Illustrated by Jim Madsen

This collection of Norse mythology is a nice set of tales beautifully illustrated by a well known children’s book illustrator. A few of the tales will be commonly known to adults reading this to a child, but a few are lesser known tales such as Stolen Thunder. A great read for children and adults alike.

5 Stars

Banned Book Club – Staff Review – Terry

Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook

Banned Book Club is a great true story about a subject I was initially unfamiliar with, the censorship of books in South Korea. The story is autobiographical, but still very in depth on the other characters and their lives, as well as the political climate around the characters. The story is honest, as a book written for the young adult crowd, it does keep the violence non-viserial, and much of the other trauma as implied without detracting from the seriousness of the risks they take to fight censorship.

5 Stars

The Black Mage – Staff Review – Terry

The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes

The Black Mage is a fun but thought provoking foray into the subject of white privilege especially in the area of private academics. Set in a wizarding school the book has an action based plot without being predictable, there are a few nice plot twists that the reader will not feel led into while still linking back enough to the previous parts of the story that will have you thinking “I should have seen that coming”. Overall, a great read and has a message, one that can resonate with all ages of readers.

5 stars.

Witchmark -Staff Review – Izzy

by C.L. Polk

Set in a city that is reminiscent of post-WWI London, noble families possess magic to rule nations and control the weather. A former military surgeon turned psychiatrist works hard to live an anonymous life of his own, but marked by magic his fate lies between either enslavement to his family or imprisonment in a witches’ asylum. Using the war as an escape from his family’s control, Dr. Miles Singer returns, in hiding, to work in the psychiatric wing of a hospital. With his gift of healing magic, Miles begins to see a mysterious pattern amongst his patients who have returned from war that calls on him to sacrifice the anonymity he has worked hard to build. When the mystery of his patients’ condition begins to intertwine with current political tensions and his own unique family drama, Miles begins to rely on the help of a gorgeous gentleman who’s path he keeps crossing in his attempt to get to the bottom of it all.

Witchmark will rope you in from the very first page and leave you wanting more. If you love compelling stories with complex yet likable characters, this could be the next book for you. I especially enjoyed this novel for the way in which it effortlessly combines fantasy, mystery, and romance. Despite a more historical setting, Witchmark gets you thinking about how the issues of Polk’s fantasy world are eerily representative of our own.

Can’t get enough of Witchmark? Check out the sequel: Stormsong.

5 stars

The Last Book on the Left: Stories of Murder and Mayhem from History’s Most Notorious Serial Killers – Staff Review – Terry

The Last Book on the Left: Stories of Murder and Mayhem from History’s Most Notorious Serial Killers

by Ben Kissel

This book is written by the members of a well-known true crime/mystery podcast known as Last Podcast on the Left and is written in a similar style to the show. The stories within are a good mix of true crime serial killer stories and a look into their mindset but in a light enough fare for a quick read. The book does get into some visceral details from written police reports and testimony but does not actually contain any photographs or illustrations of the actual acts of the subjects being studied within. A nice foray into the macabre as well as true crime related to murder, with a nice dark comedic twist from the quips and jokes that are inserted by the writers between the information.

5 out of 5 stars.

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