Staff Picks by Tag

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Circus Mirandus Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780147515544
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Puffin Books - August 16th, 2016

Micah knows what all children know, what imagination and their hearts (and exceptional adults like Micah's grandpa) tell them: miracles and magic are real, they exist just out of sight, and if you look at just the right time you can find them.  And Micah is just the sort of person we all want to be. Though he isn't perfect (or even perfectly confident) he is determined, he won't let life give him No for an answer, and he has a couple of people in his life who care enough about him to help in risky-crazy ways.


Review by Adam

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Gideon the Ninth Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250313195
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tor.com - September 10th, 2019

Who is Gideon Nav?

 

- Badass swordswoman

- Lover of women and smutty magazines

-  Hater of wretched old necrotic nuns and skeleton armies

- Bound in servitude to a power-hungry (maybe mad?) necromancer intent on making her life a living hell

- Absolutely f-in hilarious, even when under an oath of silence by aforementioned necromancer

- Looks like she could kill you, could definitely kill you, but is also actually a cinnamon roll

- Love of my life?! (and could be yours too, if you read this AMAZING book)


Review by Ashley

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All of Us with Wings Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781641290340
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Soho Teen - June 18th, 2019

Is it fate that intertwines 17-yr-old Xochi and 12-yr-old Pallas, or is it simply kindred spirit? On the night of the Autumn Equinox, they cast a playful spell and summon two eerie, green forest children - "Water Babies" in Native American lore - but these creatures do more than cause vivid dreams. Told from multiple POV's (including a bookstore cat!) with interludes in verse and oral storytelling, Keil's debut is a lush, magical novel of first loves and found family. 

 

A delightfully dark "New Adult" read for fans of Francesca Lia Block, Sherman Alexie, and Hayao Miyazaki. 


Review by Danielle

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Magic for Liars: A Novel Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250174611
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tor Books - June 4th, 2019

If The Dresden Files and The Magicians had a book baby, this would be it. Our heroine is an ordinary private eye hired to solve a murder at a boarding school for magical teenagers. Unfortunately, it's also the school where her magical twin sister, Tabitha, works. As Ivy gets further involved in the inner workings of the school, its faculty, and its students, she questions her sanity and skill. Can she keep up appearances, find the killer, and reunite with Tabitha?

 

Excellent storytelling with a plot that had me guessing "whodunnit" until the last 50 pages.


Review by Danielle

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Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780735220171
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - February 5th, 2019

"Truth is just another story." Herein lies, Tracker's testimony.

 

A nose for hire who loves no one and believes in nothing, Tracker is recruited by his shape-shifting friend, Leopard, to find a missing boy of mysterious origin. However, truth turns out to be a slippery thing and is always in contention as Tracker struggles to unravel the real reason behind the quest as well as his own motivations for continuing the journey. Who is right and who is wrong? What is truth? Why this child? Half-truths, hidden intentions, unreliable characters and his own mouth are constant sources of conflict for Tracker.

 

While containing all the classic elements of a fantasy novel (a fellowship, a quest, magical lands, etc.), Marlon James concocts a wholly original tale infused with African myth and lore. James has woven a rich and complex epic packed with violent action and nightmarish creatures both known and unknown.

 

Warning: This book will demand your full attention, but it's oh so worth it. Rated R.


Review by Laura

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Spellslinger Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316525756
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Orbit - July 17th, 2018

De Castell's Spellslinger series is an adventure to take: magic, intrigue, exile, friends, enemies, frenemies, and eyeball eating Squirrel-Cats. The series has it all. I blazed my way through the first four books of Kellen's journeys and the fifth is almost here (out in May!).


Review by Alex

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A Winter's Promise: Book One of the Mirror Visitor Quartet Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781609454838
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Europa Editions - September 25th, 2018

I think I’ve been waiting all my life to find this book. Or, perhaps, I’ve just been waiting for it to find me. With any translated novel there's a kind of unnameable wonder. So, I don’t know if it’s just the beauty of the translation itself from its original French text or something else entirely, but I haven’t read a book this magically alive since Harry Potter. Think of all your expectations of what a fantasy novel can be and know that this novel will surpass every single one. Gah! So this is love.


Review by Claire

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Fire Logic: An Elemental Logic Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781618730886
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Small Beer Press - January 29th, 2019

I love almost everything put out by Small Beer Press, and when I got a copy of Fire Logic in the mail, I read it and immediately blazed through the rest of the series. Fire Logic is the first in an epic fantasy series about a brutal civil war where every character and plot point pivots around history, philosophy, and the aftermath of violence. It's gentler, in later books, and slower than series like Erika Johansen's Tearling books or Ann Leckie's Radch series (though if you like Kalr 5 and her tea cups, you'll also love Garland and his ladle). The questions these books ask repeatedly are, what systems are working to narrow our choices? And what kind of radical thinking will allow us to see another path?


Review by Christina

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The Last Sun (The Tarot Sequence #1) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781633884236
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Pyr - June 12th, 2018

The Last Sun is a fun, expletive-filled and truly wild ride from start to finish. Rune is a moody fallen prince, Brand his foul-mouthed, angry bodyguard, and they're getting along just fine as mercenaries and criminal dogsbodies until a big pile of trouble falls into their laps. Rune and Brand pursue a missing persons case through the court intrigues of New Atlantis's noble houses. Sadly for Rune, anyone in the nobility could be responsible for the anonymous hit job that slaughtered his entire family. Sadly for Brand, the more they investigate, the more he suddenly has to protect Rune from the freshly risen dead. This noir-fantasy mashup, whose elaborate world building is based on the Tarot, is going to delight fans of Max Gladstone, Saladin Ahmed, Daniel Jose Older, and Becky Chambers.


Review by Christina

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Strange the Dreamer Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780316341677
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 22nd, 2018

You won't want to miss a single sentence, word, not even one comma of this magical adventure. Goddesses, librarians, lost cities, adventures, fantastical dreams--have I convinced you yet? No? Well, then let me just add that this was hands down one of the most beautifully-written and imaginative books I've read in years (and, hold on to your hats folks, because the sequel is even better!). Now, what are you still doing here reading this review? Grab the book and start dreaming--I mean, reading!


Review by Claire

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