An action book recommendation: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2fpw0xN.
“The Girl Who Drank the Moon” is as exciting and layered as classics like “Peter Pan” or “The Wizard of Oz.” It too is about what it means to grow up and find where we belong. The young reader who devours it now just for fun will remember its lessons for years to come.
Book description from Google Books:
Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal The New York Times Bestseller An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book of 2016 A New York Public Library Best Book of 2016 A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016 An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016 A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016 A School Library Journal Best Book of 2016 Named to KirkusReviews’ Best Books of 2016 2017 Booklist Youth Editors’ Choice Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge–with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . . The Newbery Medal winner from the author of the highly acclaimed novel The Witch’s Boy.
The book is rated 4.20/5 at goodreads.com, from 9740 ratings. See 2312 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dW0ORx.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2t6W9Ew.

An action book recommendation: The Gloaming by Melanie Finn

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2dJgYRl.
In sorting through their motives, “The Gloaming” delivers a searing taxonomy of loss, and shows the way it leads to a cycle of violence. By the novel’s surprising end, Finn even sheds light on the motives of sadistic rebels…
Book description from Google Books:
“Deeply satisfying. Finn is a remarkably confident and supple storyteller. [The Gloaming] deserves major attention.” –John Williams,New York Times “In this richly textured, intricately plotted novel, [Finn] assures us that heartbreak has the same shape everywhere.The Gloaming is chillingly cinematic in contrasting East Africa’s exquisite landscape with the region’s human needs. Yet even in a malevolent setting, Finn shows us acts of selflessness and redemption. Her fascination with the duality of Africa — “the most honest place on earth” — shines fiercely.” –Lisa Zeidner,New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice “A propulsive literary thriller. Finn, who writes with a psychological acuity that rivals Patricia Highsmith’s, switches between Europe and Africa in tense alternating chapters, rewarding close attention. The book is terrific… subtle and thrilling. Remarkably well-paced and well-written… Don’t expect to be able to set this book down or forget its haunted characters.” –Kirkus Reviews, starred “Intense, impressive.” –The Guardian “I rarely get as invested in the outcome of a novel as I did readingThe Gloaming, but the empathies that Finn evokes in this powerful and unpredictable book are not casual; these traumas could be our own. [Finn’s] prose is hypnotic and knife-precise and at times so beautiful it’s unnerving. I didn’t read this book so much as Iexperiencedit and it will haunt me for a very, very long time.” –Jill Alexander Essbaum,New York Times-bestselling author ofHausfrau Pilgrim’s husband left her for another woman, stranding her in a Swiss town where she is involved in an accident that leaves three children dead. Cleared of responsibility though overcome with guilt, she absconds to Africa, befriending a series of locals each with their own tragic past. Mysteriously, the remains of an albino appear, spooking everyone–sign of a curse placed by a witch doctor–though its intended recipient is uncertain. Pilgrim volunteers to rid the town of the box and its contents, though wherever she goes, she can’t shake the feeling that she’s being followed. Melanie Finnwas born and raised in Kenya until age eleven, when she moved with her family to Connecticut. She is the author of the novelAway From You and wrote DisneyNature’s beautiful, haunting flamingo epicThe Crimson Wing, which was directed by her husband, filmmaker Matt Aeberhard. During the filming, Melanie established The Natron Healthcare Project, and now lives in Vermont with Matt and their twin daughters.
The book is rated 3.82/5 at goodreads.com, from 628 ratings. See 131 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2eDNRg1.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sjT4Re.

An action book recommendation: Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2cYKTSe.
“Heroes of the Frontier” again offers complex, believable characters, but their story lacks the magnetic super-realism of some earlier works.
Book description from Google Books:
“A picaresque adventure and spiritual coming-of-age tale — On the Road crossed with Henderson the Rain King… Deeply affecting.” –Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times  A captivating, often hilarious novel of family, loss, wilderness, and the curse of a violent America from the bestselling author of The Circle, this is a powerful examination of our contemporary life and a rousing story of adventure.    Josie and her children’s father have split up, she’s been sued by a former patient and lost her dental practice, and she’s grieving the death of a young man senselessly killed. When her ex asks to take the children to meet his new fiancée’s family, Josie makes a run for it, figuring Alaska is about as far as she can get without a passport. Josie and her kids, Paul and Ana, rent a rattling old RV named the Chateau, and at first their trip feels like a vacation: They see bears and bison, they eat hot dogs cooked on a bonfire, and they spend nights parked along icy cold rivers in dark forests. But as they drive, pushed north by the ubiquitous wildfires, Josie is chased by enemies both real and imagined, past mistakes pursuing her tiny family, even to the very edge of civilization.   A tremendous new novel from the best-selling author of The Circle, Heroes of the Frontier is the darkly comic story of a mother and her two young children on a journey through an Alaskan wilderness plagued by wildfires and a uniquely American madness.
The book is rated 3.47/5 at goodreads.com, from 6357 ratings. See 907 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2brULmy.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tlfdPv.

An action book recommendation: Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dBAhvT.
Marrow Island is a story told in lyrical prose that is both atmospheric and haunting. Smith obviously feels deeply about unwitting damage done to the environment by reckless industrialization and technological advances, but the suspense and excitement one might expect in a story of the conflict between environmentalists and industry is lacking.
Book description from Google Books:
What would you give to save the thing you love the most? It has been twenty years since Lucie Bowen left the islands. Twenty years ago, the May Day Quake set loose catastrophic waves along the west coast, from Alaska to California, shattering thousands of lives. Twenty years ago, Lucie’s father disappeared in an explosion at the Marrow Island oil refinery, a tragedy that destroyed the island’s ecosystem and sent Lucie and her mother to the mainland to start anew. Twenty years ago, Lucie and her best friend, Katie, were just Puget Sound children, tucked up under their desks, hovering under mylar sheets, hoping to survive.   Now, Katie writes with strange and miraculous news. Marrow Island is no longer uninhabitable, no longer abandoned. She is part of a community, a mysterious Colony, that has, somehow, conjured life again from Marrow’s soil. Lucie returns. Her journalist instincts tell her there’s more to the Colony and their charismatic leader–a former nun with an all-consuming plan–than its members want her to know. The island’s astonishing rebirth seems to have come at great cost–perhaps to the colonists themselves. As she uncovers their secrets, will Lucie endanger more than their mission? What price will she pay for the truth?   I was always a part of you, and you were always a part of me, Katie writes. And in this marvelously spun story Alexis Smith reaches into the depths of our connections to our pasts, our loved ones, our devotions. Our choices may bring us to the brink, but within our promises to each other and our hopes for the future, at the intersection of science and faith and grace, there may well be miracles in the making.  
The book is rated 3.37/5 at goodreads.com, from 981 ratings. See 193 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dBBTFP.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uqL1Xm.

An action book recommendation: Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2cYKTSe.
“Heroes of the Frontier” again offers complex, believable characters, but their story lacks the magnetic super-realism of some earlier works.
Book description from Google Books:
“A picaresque adventure and spiritual coming-of-age tale — On the Road crossed with Henderson the Rain King… Deeply affecting.” –Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times  A captivating, often hilarious novel of family, loss, wilderness, and the curse of a violent America from the bestselling author of The Circle, this is a powerful examination of our contemporary life and a rousing story of adventure.    Josie and her children’s father have split up, she’s been sued by a former patient and lost her dental practice, and she’s grieving the death of a young man senselessly killed. When her ex asks to take the children to meet his new fiancée’s family, Josie makes a run for it, figuring Alaska is about as far as she can get without a passport. Josie and her kids, Paul and Ana, rent a rattling old RV named the Chateau, and at first their trip feels like a vacation: They see bears and bison, they eat hot dogs cooked on a bonfire, and they spend nights parked along icy cold rivers in dark forests. But as they drive, pushed north by the ubiquitous wildfires, Josie is chased by enemies both real and imagined, past mistakes pursuing her tiny family, even to the very edge of civilization.   A tremendous new novel from the best-selling author of The Circle, Heroes of the Frontier is the darkly comic story of a mother and her two young children on a journey through an Alaskan wilderness plagued by wildfires and a uniquely American madness.
The book is rated 3.47/5 at goodreads.com, from 6334 ratings. See 905 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2brULmy.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tlfdPv.

An action book recommendation: Riverkeep by Martin Stewart

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2hRMMWw.
Wull picks up some plucky sidekicks, including Tillinghast, the profane homunculus. His story stands out because it has some emotional heft. Much of that story, however, is borrowed from other sources, like almost every element of this novel, which is the most unfortunate aspect of all.
Book description from Google Books:
A stunning debut perfect for fans of Patrick Ness and Neil Gaiman! The Danék is a wild, treacherous river, and the Fobisher family has tended it for generations–clearing it of ice and weed, making sure boats can get through, and fishing corpses from its bleak depths. Wulliam’s father, the current Riverkeep, is proud of this work. Wull dreads it. And in one week, when he comes of age, he will have to take over.             Then the unthinkable happens. While recovering a drowned man, Wull’s father is pulled under–and when he emerges, he is no longer himself. A dark spirit possesses him, devouring him from the inside. In an instant, Wull is Riverkeep. And he must care for his father, too.             When he hears that a cure for his father lurks in the belly of a great sea-dwelling beast known as the mormorach, he embarks on an epic journey down the river that his family has so long protected–but never explored. Along the way, he faces death in any number of ways, meets people and creatures touched by magic and madness and alchemy, and finds courage he never knew he possessed.             Martin Stewart’s debut novel is an astonishing blend of the literary, the comedic, and the emotionally resonant. In a sentence, it’s The Wizard of Oz as told by Patrick Ness. It marks the beginning of a remarkable career.
The book is rated 3.38/5 at goodreads.com, from 399 ratings. See 120 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2acB0yR.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uwShkm.

An action book recommendation: League of Dragons (Temeraire) by Naomi Novik

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2d9RjRH.
Still there is peace at last, no major characters die, elements from the whole series are brought together, the dragons have made real gains in their fight for their rights and a potentially worth while future seems to be opening up for Temeraire. All in all, it’s a fitting and well done wrap up to a beloved series.
Book description from Google Books:
With the acclaimed Temeraire novels, New York Times bestselling author Naomi Novik has created a fantasy series like no other, combining the high-flying appeal of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern saga and the swashbuckling derring-do of Patrick O’Brian’s historical seafaring adventures. Now, with League of Dragons, Novik brings the imaginative tour de force that has captivated millions to an unforgettable finish.   Napoleon’s invasion of Russia has been roundly thwarted. But even as Capt. William Laurence and the dragon Temeraire pursue the retreating enemy through an unforgiving winter, Napoleon is raising a new force, and he’ll soon have enough men and dragons to resume the offensive. While the emperor regroups, the allies have an opportunity to strike first and defeat him once and for all–if internal struggles and petty squabbles don’t tear them apart.   Aware of his weakened position, Napoleon has promised the dragons of every country–and the ferals, loyal only to themselves–vast new rights and powers if they fight under his banner. It is an offer eagerly embraced from Asia to Africa–and even by England, whose dragons have long rankled at their disrespectful treatment.   But Laurence and his faithful dragon soon discover that the wily Napoleon has one more gambit at the ready–one that that may win him the war, and the world. Praise for Naomi Novik and her Novels of Temeraire   “Novik’s influences run the gamut from Jane Austen to Patrick O’Brian, with a side trip through Anne McCaffrey. Her books are completely involving and probably addictive, their central conceit explored in clever detail with a great deal of wit and historical insight.”–San Francisco Chronicle   “These are beautifully written novels: not only fresh, original, and fast-paced, but full of wonderful characters with real heart.”–Peter Jackson   “A gripping adventure full of rich detail and the impossible wonder of gilded fantasy.”–Entertainment Weekly   “A new writer is soaring on the wings of a dragon.”–The New York Times   “A glorious series whose future status as a genre classic is now assured.”–SF Reviews   “If you’ve never read these novels, now is the time to start.”–io9   “Enthralling reading.”–Time From the Hardcover edition.
The book is rated 4.06/5 at goodreads.com, from 3517 ratings. See 545 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2aky1Ya.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2upQhKK.

An action book recommendation: Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot by Mark Vanhoenacker

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2cMSetT.
If this wonderful book has a flaw, it rests paradoxically upon Vanhoenacker’s expert command of his material. He offers a hymn to his favorite plane, the 747, without giving the reader any background…Vanhoenacker’s book is a gentler reminder of the same everyday miracle.
Book description from Google Books:
A poetic and nuanced exploration of the human experience of flight that reminds us of the full imaginative weight of our most ordinary journeys—and reawakens our capacity to be amazed.The twenty-first century has relegated airplane flight—a once remarkable feat of human ingenuity—to the realm of the mundane. Mark Vanhoenacker, a 747 pilot who left academia and a career in the business world to pursue his childhood dream of flight, asks us to reimagine what we—both as pilots and as passengers—are actually doing when we enter the world between departure and discovery. In a seamless fusion of history, politics, geography, meteorology, ecology, family, and physics, Vanhoenacker vaults across geographical and cultural boundaries; above mountains, oceans, and deserts; through snow, wind, and rain, renewing a simultaneously humbling and almost superhuman activity that affords us unparalleled perspectives on the planet we inhabit and the communities we form.
The book is rated 3.96/5 at goodreads.com, from 1746 ratings. See 263 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2abmsm2.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2ubwIpd.

An action book recommendation: As Good as Gone: A Novel by Larry Watson

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2cMRVPB.
As the concluding five chapters unfold, the pacing of As Good as Gone builds momentum from its once-leisurely rhythm…But as with the reward of the lavender- and golden-hued sky to come, the ultimate effect of this novel is well worth the time spent watching.
Book description from Google Books:
The American West is bestselling author Larry Watson’s forte, and in this, his tenth novel, he has created his most vivid, genuine antihero yet in Calvin Sidey, a man stuck in a myth.   Calvin Sidey, steely, hardened, with his own personal code, is one of the last cowboys. It’s the 1960s, and he’s living off the grid in a trailer on the prairie when his adult son, Bill, seeks his help. A mostly absentee father and grandfather, Calvin nevertheless agrees to stay with his grandchildren for a week. He decamps for his son’s house in the small town where he once was a mythic figure, and soon enough problems arise: a boy’s attentions to seventeen-year-old Ann are increasingly aggressive, and a group of reckless kids portend danger for eleven-year-old Will. Calvin only knows one way to solve a problem: the Old West way, in which ultimatums are issued and your gun is always loaded. In the changing culture of the 1960s, Calvin isn’t just a relic; he’s a wild card. At the same time, his old-school ways exert a powerful effect on those around him, from the widowed neighbor, Beverly Lodge, who feels herself falling for him and wants to be part of his life, to his grandchildren. Ann and Will see in their grandfather a man who brings a sudden, if shocking, order to their lives, as Calvin terrorizes those who have often terrorized them. With the crisp, restrained prose for which Larry Watson is revered, As Good as Gone is a story of a man increasingly at odds with the world. This is Larry Watson at his best.Praise for Larry Watson: “With rugged prose as biting as a northern plains wind . . . Watson writes of people universal in their flaws and virtues, a community that cannot be defined or limited to one region or genre.” –The Washington Post Book World
The book is rated 3.66/5 at goodreads.com, from 879 ratings. See 180 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2bgdIM5.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tzEIjK.

An action book recommendation: The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth) by N. K. Jemisin

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2cRmNvz.
The Obelisk Gate is dedicated “To those who have no choice but to prepare their children for the battlefield.” With these books, Jemisin facets diamonds out of the hot mess of our world.
Book description from Google Books:
2017 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Novel”Intricate and extraordinary.” – New York Times on The Fifth Season Continuing the trilogy that began with the award-winning The Fifth SeasonWinner of the Hugo AwardShortlisted for the Nebula, Audie, and Locus AwardsThe inaugural Wired.com book club bookNew York Times Notable Book of 2015This is the way the world ends, for the last time. The season of endings grows darker, as civilization fades into the long cold night. Essun — once Damaya, once Syenite, now avenger — has found shelter, but not her daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, with a request. But if Essun does what he asks, it would seal the fate of the Stillness forever. Far away, her daughter Nassun is growing in power – and her choices will break the world.For more from N. K. Jemisin, check out:The Inheritance Trilogy The Hundred Thousand KingdomsThe Broken KingdomsThe Kingdom of GodsThe Inheritance Trilogy (omnibus edition) Shades in Shadow: An Inheritance Triptych (e-only short fiction) The Awakened Kingdom (e-only novella) Dreamblood DuologyThe Killing MoonThe Shadowed SunThe Broken Earth The Fifth SeasonThe Obelisk GateThe Stone Sky
The book is rated 4.36/5 at goodreads.com, from 11657 ratings. See 1378 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cRlGfq.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2utG5AX.