PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE, EXCERPT SAMPLER, SPRING 2015 – R E V I S I T E D

cover73357-medium

Description

A BLAST FROM THE PAST!

Revisiting Spring 2015’s Publications!

Table of Contents

The Water Knife: A Novel
by Paolo Bacigalupi………………………………………………………………………………………..7

Seeker
by Arwen Elys Dayton…………………………………………………………………………………..27

The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel
by Nina George ……………………………………………………………………………………………53

At the Water’s Edge: A Novel
by Sara Gruen……………………………………………………………………………………………….75

Liar’s Bench
by Kim Michele Richardson…………………………………………………………………………..97

Let Me Die in His Footsteps
by Lori Roy …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 135

 

MY BOOKS REVIEW!

So, you’re all probably wondering whaaaaat? Come on, 2015 Books are so… over. Not exactly I say with a swagger, a wink as I point quickly at you. They’re over when I say they are. Okay, enough of that.

I think it is a fantastic idea for book publishers to revisit books from past years. Sometimes, during a year of hype and excitement over certain, shall we say, more famous books published that year, other books of equal substance are often overlooked. Their moment in sun is missed as they are placed on the shelf among bestsellers, series’ extravaganzas, or featured debut authors’ new books. Although missed, they are not forgotten.

I would love to re-feature former published novels from lists like this as I think no book ever becomes outdated. After all, we all are guilty of going to thrift stores to find books, some are very old, or old sensations. So let’s take a look at this list:

The Water Knife: A Novel
by Paolo Bacigalupi

23209924

“In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, leg-breaker, assassin, and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel “cuts” water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her luxurious developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet while the poor get dust. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in drought-ravaged Phoenix, it seems California is making a play to monopolize the life-giving flow of the river, and Angel is sent to investigate. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a drought-hardened journalist, and Maria Villarosa, a young refugee who survives by her wits in a city that despises everything she represents. For Angel, Lucy, and Maria, time is running out and their only hope for survival rests in each other’s hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.”

From Goodreads

This novel is strongly written. It came out when dystopian novels were big and popular. This book gives a glimpse into a possible future for humans if they don’t smarten up real soon. The author twists environmental disasters, water shortage and typical human behavior involving power, money, and stupidity.  The author has a knack for descriptive narrative with a very realistic feel. He is able to draw his readers into his worlds quickly and effectively bringing his settings around the reader to almost alarming and possible proportions. In depth emotional conflicts, character struggles, plot twists with a true science fiction flavor. If you love this genre, this book is worth a revisit!

More Paolo here

 

Seeker
by Arwen Elys Dayton

20911450

The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath, she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor.

As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world.

And she’ll be with the boy she loves–who’s also her best friend. But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes.

Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought. And now it’s too late to walk away.

From Goodreads

MY BOOK REVIEW!

While being compared to books like “Game of Thrones,” “Hunger Games,” and “Throne of Glass,” this book suffered from the horrific disorder ‘Invisible Sibling Disorder.’  An unique fantasy book with all the fantastical thrill rides such a genre is known for, Seeker never quite got out of the starting gate like its fellow fantasy success novels had. The whole problem with fantasy books is that they are all compared to one another, are written because of an idea formulated from another and done to death with the same plot, same setting concept and yup, same types of character developments. The truth to be told is, there is only one true fantasy writer, Tolkien. From him came all the rest. The next epic fantasy creator was Stephen R. Donaldson, who ignited the 1970s with his Chronicles of Thomas Covenant Series, his ten-novel fantasy series. His work is characterized by psychological complexity, conceptual abstractness, moral bleakness, and the use of an arcane vocabulary. His work has attracted critical praise for its “imagination, vivid characterizations, and fast pace. Although his work is said to mirror J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, his writings were affected by the influence of many others.  Donaldson was the first to bring about the next epic, successful series following Tolkien.

From there, all the rest came. So while many were critical of Seeker when it first came out. And many reviewer claimed that Seeker was the same as some of the others, the truth is, they all are somewhat influenced by the best, by myths, by legends and folklore that all came before them.

Now, that all the hype is over, well, quieted down a bit about the other prominent fantasy writers, maybe now is the time to give “Seeker” another try!

More Arwen here

 

The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel
by Nina George

31578492

Monsieur Perdu can prescribe the perfect book for a broken heart. But can he fix his own?

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives.

MY BOOK REVIEW!

I always wondered what it would be like to work in a library, to be surrounded by books all day and people who like me, loved to read… then I realized, I wanted to write those books that everyone was infatuated with.

This story, in many ways, reminds me of the book, “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend”,  by Katarina Bivald. If you want to read about heartfelt, down to earth human beings, books, emotional distresses, and resolution to those distresses, then I would say give this book a whirl. The characters are whole, realistic and have real pain that they get relief from through great advice. Books are true treasures, as is this one from Nina George. Check out her other books here

pssst! Beware the giant photo, it might startle you!

 

At the Water’s Edge: A Novel
by Sara Gruen

23209927

This is a Summary & Analysis of At the Water’s Edge. Sara Gruen astounds the historical fiction market once again with her latest novel, At the Water’s Edge. A captivating tale centered against the tumultuous backdrop of World War II, Gruen beautifully builds a story around contradicting ideals as they battle for the win in a world that is turned upside down. Bravery vs. cowardice. The privileged class vs. the working class. The truth vs. the lie.

While the rest of the world is suffering through the devastations of a world war, Philadelphia society rings in the New Year with extravagant parties and expensive champagne. As 1945 rolls in, Madeline Hyde, her husband Ellis, and their friend Hank Boyd create quite a stir at a high society event with their drunken antics. When word gets back to Ellis’s parents, he and Maddie are thrown out onto the streets forced to leave the comforts of their privileged lifestyles behind. This novel is sure to become a quick favorite with fans and newcomers alike.

From Goodreads

MY BOOK REVIEW!

UGH! Romance, lol, okay, okay… However, it’s a historical romance, so that’s something. It’s also about spoiled rich kids during the height of World War II, who flaunt their status and exploit their wealth with parties and bad behavior. Okay, getting more interesting.

They are punished for this badness, ooo, and thrown out on the streets to fend for themselves. Well now! Then romance… UGH! Romance! Is it gripping? No, I don’t think it is. Is it an easy read? I think the reader will enjoy it as a light read. If you like socialites, art deco, and war-time era stories, then this one is for you. Also, can I say I really didn’t like this cover?

If you like historical fiction with some romance… then this book is worth another consideration. The voice in this novel is steady and moving, both in pace and emotions. So give it a try! Let me know what you think!

More Sara here

 

Liar’s Bench
by Kim Michele Richardson

22715912

In 1972, on Mudas Summers’ seventeenth birthday, her beloved Mama, Ella, is found hanging from the rafters of their home. Most people in Peckinpaw, Kentucky, assume that Ella’s no-good husband did the deed. Others think Ella grew tired of his abuse and did it herself. Muddy is determined to find out for sure either way, especially once she finds strange papers hidden amongst her mama’s possessions.

But Peckinpaw keeps its secrets buried deep. Muddy’s almost-more-than-friend, Bobby Marshall, knows that better than most. Though he passes for white, one of his ancestors was Frannie Crow, a slave hanged a century ago on nearby Hark Hill Plantation. Adorning the town square is a seat built from Frannie’s gallows. A tribute, a relic–and a caution–it’s known as Liar’s Bench. Now, the answers Muddy seeks soon lead back to Hark Hill, to hatred and corruption that have echoed through the years–and lies she must be brave enough to confront at last.

Kim Michele Richardson’s lush, beautifully written debut is set against a Southern backdrop passing uneasily from bigotry and brutality to hope. With its compelling mystery and complex yet relatable heroine, Liar’s Bench is a story of first love, raw courage, and truths that won’t be denied.

MY BOOK REVIEW!

Fried Green Tomatoes!

Ya, I know. But this is what jumped into my mind after researching this book. Not that the two are the same or even similar much. Sure, both are written as historical fiction that spans generations, both have avenues that focus on abuse, murder, slavery, but it isn’t that. I think, it’s the voices of the authors that’s similar.

There is a strong plot, excellent character developments, wonderfully written settings and smooth transitions throughout the plot. If you like strong women characters, emotional rollercoasters, and mysteries needing to be solved, then this book is for you.

The author uses a multi-generational pov, fast-paced plot twists, and surprising outcomes to keep the reader fastened to the pages. I believe this book is one that needs to be picked up and read.

More from Kim here

Let Me Die in His Footsteps
by Lori Roy

23398925

In the spellbinding and suspenseful Let Me Die in His Footsteps, Edgar Award–winner Lori Roy wrests from a Southern town the secrets of two families touched by an evil that has passed between generations.

On a dark Kentucky night in 1952 exactly halfway between her fifteenth and sixteenth birthdays, Annie Holleran crosses into forbidden territory. Everyone knows Hollerans don’t go near Baines, not since Joseph Carl was buried two decades before, but, armed with a silver-handled flashlight, Annie runs through her family’s lavender fields toward the well on the Baines’ place. At the stroke of midnight, she gazes into the water in search of her future. Not finding what she had hoped for, she turns from the well and when the body she sees there in the moonlight is discovered come morning, Annie will have much to explain and a past to account for.

It was 1936, and there were seven Baine boys. That year, Annie’s aunt, Juna Crowley, with her black eyes and her long blond hair, came of age. Before Juna, Joseph Carl had been the best of all the Baine brothers. But then he looked into Juna’s eyes and they made him do things that cost innocent people their lives. Sheriff Irlene Fulkerson saw justice served—or did she?

As the lavender harvest approaches and she comes of age as Aunt Juna did in her own time, Annie’s dread mounts. Juna will come home now, to finish what she started. If Annie is to save herself, her family, and this small Kentucky town, she must prepare for Juna’s return, and the revelation of what really happened all those years ago

MY BOOK REVIEW!

Two years ring of importance in this book–1936 and 1952. Each year is represented by a ‘daughter’s story.’

This book is richly dark and filled with a southern conflict. The conflict between families reminds me of a southern family feud between the Hatfields and McCoys. Add a whole lot of superstition, a lot of mumble jumble and characters that are so good, they’re bad. Two stories are told, one from the near past and one from the present by separate women. There’s bad things that result in a hanging, lots of blame and mystery and secrets abound.  I am looking forward to getting to know this author’s work better. Why don’t you give this novel a try?

More from Lorie here

 

So, there you have a BLAST FROM THE PAST, R E V I S I T E D.

 

5 thoughts on “PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE, EXCERPT SAMPLER, SPRING 2015 – R E V I S I T E D

  1. Great book review. I am glad to hear others opinions on books of all different genres so I can see what everyone else thinks and how they do compared to me. Have a great day.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s