A sci-fi book recommendation: An Almond for a Parrot by WRAY DELANEY

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2uOREhX.
This novel is, above all, an irresistible erotic fairytale. Those who know Gardner’s YA novel Tinder (based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Tinderbox”) will marvel again at the soaring flights of her imagination.
Book description from Google Books:
‘shades of Sarah Waters…irresistible’ – The Guardian ‘I would like to make myself the heroine of this story – an innocent victim led astray. But alas sir, I would be lying…’ London, 1756: In Newgate prison, Tully Truegood awaits trial. Her fate hanging in the balance, she tells her life-story. It’s a tale that takes her from skivvy in the back streets of London, to conjuror’s assistant, to celebrated courtesan at her stepmother’s Fairy House, the notorious house of ill-repute where decadent excess is a must… Tully was once the talk of the town. Now, with the best seats at Newgate already sold in anticipation of her execution, her only chance of survival is to get her story to the one person who can help her avoid the gallows. She is Tully Truegood. Orphan, whore, magician’s apprentice. Murderer? A compelling mix of bawdy romp and magical realism.’ -Sarra Manning, Red magazine
The book is rated 3.67/5 at goodreads.com, from 439 ratings. See 118 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uOPf73.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2wKt9DS.

A sci-fi book recommendation: Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel by George Saunders

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2tBiPk2.
In language reminiscent of James Joyce’s inventive interior monologues, and contentious scenes recalling the graveyard bickering of fellow Irish novelist Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s Cré na Cille…Lincoln in the Bardo fulfills the promise of Saunders’ twisted, inventive, and compassionate short stories.
Book description from Google Books:
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state–called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo–a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul. Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end? Praise for Lincoln in the Bardo “A luminous feat of generosity and humanism.”–Colson Whitehead, The New York Times Book Review “A masterpiece.”–Zadie Smith “Ingenious . . . Saunders–well on his way toward becoming a twenty-first-century Twain–crafts an American patchwork of love and loss, giving shape to our foundational sorrows.”–Vogue “Saunders is the most humane American writer working today.”–Harper’s Magazine “The novel beats with a present-day urgency–a nation at war with itself, the unbearable grief of a father who has lost a child, and a howling congregation of ghosts, as divided in death as in life, unwilling to move on.”–Vanity Fair “A brilliant, Buddhist reimagining of an American story of great loss and great love.”–Elle “Wildly imaginative”–Marie Claire “Mesmerizing . . . Dantesque . . . A haunting American ballad.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Exhilarating . . . Ruthless and relentless in its evocation not only of Lincoln and his quandary, but also of the tenuous existential state shared by all of us.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “It’s unlike anything you’ve ever read, except that the grotesque humor, pathos, and, ultimately, human kindness at its core mark it as a work that could come only from Saunders.”–The National
The book is rated 3.92/5 at goodreads.com, from 26706 ratings. See 5892 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2p1u5DC.
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A sci-fi book recommendation: The Bookshop Girl by Sylvia Bishop

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2xc4lYT.
Bishop’s voice is breezy and warm, but the book’s real charm is in its celebration of the imaginative power and tactile pleasures of books.
Book description from Google Books:
This story is about a little girl named Property Jones, so-called because she was left in the lost property cupboard of a bookshop when she was five years old. Property loves living in the bookshop, but she has a whopper of a secret … she can’t actually read! So Property doesn’t see the newspaper article announcing the chance to win the Montgomery Book Emporium, the biggest and most magnificent bookshop in the world! When her family win the competition, Property finds herself moving to the Emporium, a magical place filled with floor upon floor of books and a very bad-tempered cat. But all is not at it seems at the Emporium and soon Property Jones finds herself in a whole heap of trouble.
The book is rated 4.34/5 at goodreads.com, from 94 ratings. See 27 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2wxZoG6.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2wy2WZ9.

A sci-fi book recommendation: NK3: A Novel by Michael Tolkin

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2wFPQJ3.
…Tolkin does know how to write, but unfortunately NK3 just did not have enough broad appeal to stay entertaining as character after character was introduced and the story progressed to a bit of an anti-climactic and predictable ending.
Book description from Google Books:
WithThe Player andThe Return of the Player, Michael Tolkin established himself as the master novelist of modern Hollywood. In his new novel,NK3, the H LYW OD sign presides over a Los Angeles devastated by a weaponized microbe that has been accidentally spread around the globe, deleting human identity. In post-NK3 Los Angeles, a sixty-foot-tall fence surrounds the hills where the rich used to live, but the mansions have been taken over by those with the only power that matters: the power of memory. Life for the community inside the Fence, ruled over by the new aristocracy, the Verified, is a perpetual party. Outside the Fence, in downtown Los Angeles, the Verified use an invented mythology to keep control over the mindless and nameless Drifters, Shamblers, and Bottle Bangers who serve thegift economy until no longer needed. The ruler, Chief, takes his guidance from gigantic effigies of a man and a woman in the heart of the Fence. They warn him of trouble to come, but who is the person to watch: the elusive Eckmann, holed up with the last functioning plane at LAX; Shannon Squier, the chisel-wielding pop superstar from the pre-NK3 world, pulled from the shambling masses; a treacherous member of Chief’s inner circle; or Hopper, the uncommon Drifter compelled by an inner voice to search for a wife whose name and face he doesn’t know? Each threatens to upset the delicate power balance in this fragile world. In deliciously dark prose, Tolkin winds a noose-like plot around this melee of despots, prophets, and rebels as they struggle for command and survival in a town that still manages to exert a magnetic force, even as a ruined husk.
The book is rated 2.75/5 at goodreads.com, from 174 ratings. See 48 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2wFkUcf.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2wFiVo1.

A sci-fi book recommendation: White Hot (Hidden Legacy) by Ilona Andrews

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2uNVI28.
As in other Andrews books, descriptions are utilitarian, but the dialogue shines with humor and wit. I have just one more minor nitpick—while the entire rest of the book is narrated by Nevada in first person, the epilogue switches to third person in Rogan’s viewpoint. That felt jarringly late in the book to introduce his POV.
Book description from Google Books:
The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hotNevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice … An Avon Romance
The book is rated 4.62/5 at goodreads.com, from 10999 ratings. See 1487 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uwbOSH.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uw6tLh.

A sci-fi book recommendation: Alan Moore: The Complete WildC. A. T.s by Alan Moore

A critic review (source Financial Times) can be read at: http://on.ft.com/2tALshX.
Unquestionably Jerusalem is Moore’s most ambitious statement yet — his War and Peace, his Ulysses. The prose scintillates throughout, a traffic jam of hooting dialect and vernacular trundling nose-to-tail with pantechnicons of pop culture allusion.
Book description from Google Books:
Written by Alan Moore Art by Travis Charest, Mat Broome, Ryan Benjamin and others Cover by Charest Alan Moore is considered by many to be the finest comics writer of the last quarter century. His standout achievements in the medium include WATCHMEN, V FOR VENDETTA, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, and From Hell. Now Moore’s defining run on WildC.A.T.s is collected into a single volume, collecting WILDC.A.T.S. #21-34, plus a story from issue #50, featuring the impressive art of Travis Charest and other fine artists who provide breathtaking visuals. Alan Moore took the WILDC.A.T.S back to their roots and stirred up the WildStorm Universe considerably, creating a perfect starting point for catching up the flagship WildStorm superhero team. It’s a tale filled with unsettling revelations and gripping drama – and the introduction of one of WildStorm’s great villains: Tao! On sale January 2
The book is rated 3.31/5 at goodreads.com, from 451 ratings. See 33 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2tR5QXy.
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A sci-fi book recommendation: Europe in Winter by Dave Hutchinson

A critic review (source Financial Times) can be read at: http://on.ft.com/2meZX4k.
A confident mix of sly satire and diffident humour with intricate jigsaw plotting and political acumen.
Book description from Google Books:
Union has come. The Community is now the largest nation in Europe; trains run there from as far afield as London and Prague. It is an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity. So what is the reason for a huge terrorist outrage? Why do the Community and Europe meet in secret, exchanging hostages? And who are Les Coureurs des Bois? Along with a motley crew of strays and mafiosi and sleeper agents, Rudi sets out to answer these questions – only to discover that the truth lies both closer to home and farther away than anyone could possibly imagine.
The book is rated 4.11/5 at goodreads.com, from 341 ratings. See 50 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2mBHilH.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sdrgxW.

A sci-fi book recommendation: King Kong Vs. Tarzan by Will Murray

A critic review (source Financial Times) can be read at: http://on.ft.com/2uxnB3m.
Will Murray has carved out a fascinating niche writing pastiches of Golden Age pulp fiction, concentrating on crime-fighting superman Doc Savage. He provides pitch-perfect mimicry of the genre’s choppy dialogue and hurried, lurid prose. This mash-up of two iconic characters is terrific fun.
Book description from Google Books:
BEAST-GOD VERSUS APE-MAN The year was 1933. Filmmaker Carl Denham had captured the stupendous monster he had dubbed “King” Kong. But that was only the beginning. Denham was determined to get the dethroned ruler of Skull Mountain Island back to America, and cash in on the greatest wild animal capture in human history. The saga of how Kong was taken in chains from his Indian Ocean kingdom to New York City has never been told. In order for the cargo freighter Wanderer to make the long transit to the Atlantic, she is forced to circumnavigate Africa-jungle home of the legendary Tarzan of the Apes! Here is the long-anticipated clash between the Monarch of Skull Island and Lord of the Jungle. When the largest anthropoid who ever lived encounters the savage superman raised by the great apes, will they make peace-or war?
The book is rated 4.09/5 at goodreads.com, from 23 ratings. See 10 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uPg7nA.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uPBN2G.

A sci-fi book recommendation: White Hot (Hidden Legacy) by Ilona Andrews

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2uNVI28.
As in other Andrews books, descriptions are utilitarian, but the dialogue shines with humor and wit. I have just one more minor nitpick—while the entire rest of the book is narrated by Nevada in first person, the epilogue switches to third person in Rogan’s viewpoint. That felt jarringly late in the book to introduce his POV.
Book description from Google Books:
The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hotNevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice … An Avon Romance
The book is rated 4.62/5 at goodreads.com, from 10938 ratings. See 1481 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uwbOSH.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uw6tLh.

A sci-fi book recommendation: The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2kvgjTH.
It re-introduces all the major elements of the show, sets up the next season, and fills in a lot of blanks for anyone who’s ever been interested in the evil that lurks in those woods.
Book description from Google Books:
From the co-creator of the landmark series, the story millions of fans have been waiting to get their hands on for 25 long years.The Secret History of Twin Peaks enlarges the world of the original series, placing the unexplained phenomena that unfolded there into a vastly layered, wide-ranging history, beginning with the journals of Lewis and Clark and ending with the shocking events that closed the finale. The perfect way to get in the mood for the upcoming Showtime series.
The book is rated 4.00/5 at goodreads.com, from 4407 ratings. See 737 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2kvgoGZ.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tq9nQd.