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 3.46/5 at goodreads.com, from 7097 ratings. See 986 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: The Wall of Storms (The Dandelion Dynasty) by Ken Liu

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2dHxRvP.
There’s so much in this book. I could talk for ages about how mesmerized I was by the depiction of research and development in wartime; how happy to see same-sex desire represented with loving complexity; how riveted by plot-twists that further complicate the world Liu is building.
Book description from Google Books:
In the much-anticipated sequel to the “magnificent fantasy epic” (NPR) Grace of Kings, Emperor Kuni Garu is faced with the invasion of an invincible army in his kingdom and must quickly find a way to defeat the intruders.Kuni Garu, now known as Emperor Ragin, runs the archipelago kingdom of Dara, but struggles to maintain progress while serving the demands of the people and his vision. Then an unexpected invading force from the Lyucu empire in the far distant west comes to the shores of Dara—and chaos results. But Emperor Kuni cannot go and lead his kingdom against the threat himself with his recently healed empire fraying at the seams, so he sends the only people he trusts to be Dara’s savvy and cunning hopes against the invincible invaders: his children, now grown and ready to make their mark on history.
The book is rated 4.33/5 at goodreads.com, from 1413 ratings. See 225 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2eC1UCx.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2vQkNep.
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An action book recommendation: The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2fe38sk.
What Gidwitz, the author of the Grimm trilogy, accomplishes here is staggering. “The Inquisitor’s Tale” is equal parts swashbuckling epic, medieval morality play, religious polemic and bawdy burlesque, propelling us toward a white-knuckle climax…
Book description from Google Books:
A 2017 Newbery Honor Book Winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award  An exciting and hilarious medieval adventure from the bestselling author of A Tale Dark and Grimm. Beautifully illustrated throughout!  The Inquisitor”s Tale is one of the most celebrated children”s books of the year! ★ New York Times Bestseller ★ A New York Times Editor”s Choice ★ A New York Times Notable Children”s Book ★ A People Magazine Kid Pick ★ A Washington Post Best Children”s Book ★ A Wall Street Journal Best Children”s Book ★ An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book ★ A Booklist Best Book ★ A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book ★ A Kirkus Reviews Best Book ★ A Publishers Weekly Best Book ★ A School Library Journal Best Book ★ An ALA Notable Children”s Book “A profound and ambitious tour de force. Gidwitz is a masterful storyteller.” –Matt de la Pe�a, Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestselling author   “What Gidwitz accomplishes here is staggering.” –New York Times Book Review Includes a detailed historical note and bibliography  1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned, their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, where all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.   Join William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning villa≥ and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne”s loyal greyhound, Gwenforte . . . recently brought back from the dead. Told in multiple voices, in a style reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales, our narrator collects their stories and the saga of these three unlikely allies begins to come together.  Beloved bestselling author Adam Gidwitz makes his long awaited return with his first new world since his hilarious and critically acclaimed Grimm series. Featuring manuscript illuminations throughout by illustrator Hatem Aly and filled with Adam”s trademark style and humor, The Inquisitor”s Tale is bold storytelling that”s richly researched and adventure-packed. “It”s no surprise that Gidwitz”s latest book has been likened to The Canterbury Tales, considering its central story is told by multiple storytellers. As each narrator fills in what happens next in the story of the three children and their potentially holy dog, their tales get not only more fantastical but also more puzzling and addictive. However, the gradual intricacy of the story that is not Gidwitz”s big accomplishment. Rather it is the complex themes (xenophobia, zealotry, censorship etc.) he is able to bring up while still maintaining a light tone, thus giving readers a chance to come to conclusions themselves. (Also, there is a farting dragon.)”–Entertainment Weekly, “Best MG Books of 2016 “Puckish, learned, serendipitous . . . Sparkling medieval adventure.” –Wall Street Journal ★ “Gidwitz strikes literary gold with this mirthful and compulsively readable adventure story. . . . A masterpiece of storytelling that is addictive and engrossing.” –Kirkus, starred review ★ “A well-researched and rambunctiously entertaining story that has as much to say about the present as it does the past.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review ★ “Gidwitz proves himself a nimble storyteller as he weaves history, excitement, and multiple narrative threads into a taut, inspired adventure.” –Booklist, starred review ★ “Scatological humor, serious matter, colloquial present-day language, the ideal of diversity and mutual understanding–this has it all.” –The Horn Book, starred review ★ “I have never read a book like this. It”s weird, and unfamiliar, and religious, and irreligious, and more fun than it has any right to be. . . . Gidwitz is on fire here, making medieval history feel fresh and current.” –School Library Journal, starred review
The book is rated 4.18/5 at goodreads.com, from 3755 ratings. See 1023 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2e8Wy1W.
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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 greatcost–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 3.36/5 at goodreads.com, from 1072 ratings. See 206 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: 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 4.19/5 at goodreads.com, from 11838 ratings. See 2764 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 Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dvwRb7.
I liked that she was so devoted to her work; I have always found it an admirable trait. I thought that she was competent but not arrogant. She made mistakes, but she always fought hard and gave it her best try. I have not met a character like her for quite some time.
Book description from Google Books:
The first in a gripping, adventurous series, The Invisible Library is the astounding debut from Genevieve Cogman.Irene must be at the top of her game or she’ll be off the case – permanently. . .Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.Soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake.The Invisible Library is followed by the second title in The Invisible Library series, The Masked City.
The book is rated 3.73/5 at goodreads.com, from 17412 ratings. See 2919 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dvvlFN.
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An action book recommendation: Angel CatBird Volume 1 by Margaret Atwood

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2eFUTAP.
The art serves an intriguing function: It keeps the story grounded in its genre, making it feel like a real superhero tale. In fact, Angel Catbird is more dreamlike than action-packed.
Book description from Google Books:
The Booker Prize-winning author of The Handmaid’s Tale writes her first graphic novel, a cat-centric all-ages New York Times bestselling adventure. On a dark night, young genetic engineer Strig Feleedus is accidentally mutated by his own experiment and merges with the DNA of a cat and an owl. What follows is a humorous, action-driven, pulp-inspired superhero adventure– with a lot of cat puns. Lauded novelist Margaret Atwood and acclaimed artist Johnnie Christmas collaborate on one of the most highly anticipated comic book and literary events of the year! Published in over thirty-five countries, Margaret Atwood is one of the most important living writers of our day and is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her work has won the Man Booker Prize, the Giller Prize, Premio Mondello, and more. Angel Catbird is her first graphic novel series. Atwood’s The Blind Assassin was named one of Time magazine’s 100 best English-language novels published since 1923 and her recent MaddAddam Trilogy is currently being adapted into an HBO television show by Darren Aronofsky
The book is rated 2.78/5 at goodreads.com, from 2552 ratings. See 634 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dLhoGI.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sdWwwW.
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An action book recommendation: War Porn by Roy Scranton

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2cQQdKl.
It’s a point of view that also comes through in this forceful and unsettling book, though the novel is at its most persuasive not when Mr. Scranton is laboriously trying to illustrate his arguments but when he trusts his own myriad gifts as a storyteller.
Book description from Google Books:
“War porn,” n. Videos, images, and narratives featuring graphic violence, often brought back from combat zones, viewed voyeuristically or for emotional gratification. Such media are often presented and circulated without context, though they may be used as evidence of war crimes.   War porn is also, in Roy Scranton’s searing debut novel, a metaphor for the experience of war in the age of the War on Terror, the fracturing and fragmentation of perspective, time, and self that afflicts soldiers and civilians alike, and the global networks and face-to-face moments that suture our fragmented lives together. In War Porn three lives fit inside one another like nesting dolls: a restless young woman at an end-of-summer barbecue in Utah; an American soldier in occupied Baghdad; and Qasim al-Zabadi, an Iraqi math professor, who faces the US invasion of his country with fear, denial, and perseverance. As War Porn cuts from America to Iraq and back again, as home and hell merge, we come to see America through the eyes of the occupied, even as we see Qasim become a prisoner of the occupation. Through the looking glass of War Porn, Scranton reveals the fragile humanity that connects Americans and Iraqis, torturers and the tortured, victors and their victims.
The book is rated 3.61/5 at goodreads.com, from 123 ratings. See 25 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cQPM2Q.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tPLKkm.

An action book recommendation: Unti Silva Novel #5 by Daniel Silva

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2d4wdnr.
Each page is rife with exciting actions and reactions, and Silva ties up most of the loose ends. That is, most of them. Silva lives up to his reputation as a foremost writer of spy thrillers. This book turns its own pages!
Book description from Google Books:
#1 NYT Bestseller#1 USA Bestseller#1 WSJ BestsellerAn Amazon Editors’ Best Book of the YearA Kirkus Best Fiction Book of the YearAn iBooks Book of the Month“The novel’s grand finale is heart-stopping, unexpected and deeply unsettling.”   — Washington Post“Fascinating, suspenseful, and bated-breath exciting…. Silva proves once again that he can rework familiar genre material and bring it to new life.”   — Publishers Weekly, starred review“Silva builds suspense like a symphony conductor…. A winner on all fronts.”   — Booklist, starred reviewBestselling author Daniel Silva delivers another spellbinding international thriller—one that finds the legendary Gabriel Allon grappling with an ISIS mastermind.Gabriel Allon, the art restorer, spy, and assassin described as the most compelling fictional creation “since Ian Fleming put down his martini and invented James Bond” (Rocky Mountain News), is poised to become the chief of Israel’s secret intelligence service. But on the eve of his promotion, events conspire to lure him into the field for one final operation. ISIS has detonated a massive bomb in the Marais district of Paris, and a desperate French government wants Gabriel to eliminate the man responsible before he can strike again.Acclaimed novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled, entertained and educated readers with eighteen thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back—from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. From its shocking opening to its explosive denouement in Washington, D.C., The Black Widow reveals itself as Silva’s most timely and powerful novel yet. Following the success of his smash hit The English Spy, this electrifying thriller showcases Silva’s consummate skill and brilliant imagination, and is sure to be a must read for his multitude of current and future fans.
The book is rated 4.33/5 at goodreads.com, from 17599 ratings. See 1658 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dLHVkD.
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An action book recommendation: Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2uEOphU.
While you probably won’t pack their hefty and beautiful new hardcover book (titled, of course, “Atlas Obscura”) in your travel bag, you will surely get lost in the nearly 500 pages of skillful storytelling and photographs.
Book description from Google Books:
It’s time to get off the beaten path. Inspiring equal parts wonder and wanderlust, Atlas Obscura celebrates over 700 of the strangest and most curious places in the world. Talk about a bucket list: here are natural wonders–the dazzling glowworm caves in New Zealand, or a baobob tree in South Africa that’s so large it has a pub inside where 15 people can drink comfortably. Architectural marvels, including the M.C. Escher-like stepwells in India. Mind-boggling events, like the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain, where men dressed as devils literally vault over rows of squirming infants. Not to mention the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Virginia, Turkmenistan’s 40-year hole of fire called the Gates of Hell, a graveyard for decommissioned ships on the coast of Bangladesh, eccentric bone museums in Italy, or a weather-forecasting invention that was powered by leeches, still on display in Devon, England. Created by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton, ATLAS OBSCURA revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden and the mysterious. Every page expands our sense of how strange and marvelous the world really is. And with its compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, surprising charts, maps for every region of the world, it is a book to enter anywhere, and will be as appealing to the armchair traveler as the die-hard adventurer. Anyone can be a tourist. ATLAS OBSCURA is for the explorer.
The book is rated 4.24/5 at goodreads.com, from 1744 ratings. See 270 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uXgKvv.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uWQdyj.