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Friday, October 16, 2015

What I’m Reading: Another Booklist Reviews Edition

Here are three reviews I recently did for Booklist.

Re: Booklist Review Posts:
"As they go up on the site and are published in the magazine, I will link to them here. But for the blog purposes I will repost the unedited versions with a little bit extra, including my 3 words and possibly a few more readalikes than the ones I managed to work into the review itself."

The first one was web only

Koko the Mighty.

Shea, Kieran (author).
Aug. 2015. 327p. Titan, paperback, $14.95 (9781781168622); Titan, e-book(9781781168646)
First published September 30, 2015 (Booklist Online).
Koko Martstellar, the world’s most badass mercenary, and her boyfriend Jedidiah Flynn are back home trying to live peacefully as the proprietors of the most decadent and violent resort in 26th Century Earth after barely surviving in Koko Takes a Holiday (2014). Koko wants to leave the killing behind, but there is still a determined bounty hunter out finish the job. So begins Koko’s next cyberpunk adventure, one that is even more dangerous and with bigger stakes than the last time. Told in an urgent present tense, with alternating viewpoints, this novel is fast paced, action packed, violent, and just plain fun. And since this is the sequel, readers get treated to even more world building and character development, both of which are just as interesting and satisfying as the action driven plot. Although Koko’s story is told in words only, it has a graphic novel storytelling sensibility that will appeal to fans of series like Hellboy or Saga. As as the ending implies, we can expect more from Koko in the future, so make sure you have this crowd pleasing, well executed series available for your patrons now.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Action, Violent, Fun

Readalikes: I also think readers who like Koko would also enjoy the award winning Imperial Radch series by Ann Leckie which begins with Ancillary Justice.  Leckie has much less violence, but the compelling pace, revenge themes and great characters will appeal here.

The last two not only appeared in print, but also in the FIRST EVER digital edition of Booklist, which is free to all using this link.



Dhooge, Bavo (author) and Josh Pachter (author).

Nov. 2015. 336p. Simon & Schuster/Simon451, hardcover, $25(9781476784649); Simon & Schuster/Simon451, e-book (9781476784663) First published October 15, 2015 (Booklist).
“Styx wasn’t just suffering a midlife crisis. This was a life crisis…” Styx is a good guy, but a dirty cop in the Belgian seaside town of Ostend, best known as home to some of Europe’s most famous surrealist painters. Both Styx and Ostend have seen better days, but when a vicious serial killer starts murdering young women, removing their organs, stuffing them with sand, and leaving them on display in public all over town, Styx will do anything to stop him. When the killer shoots Styx and leaves him for dead, the deceased detective reanimates and the investigation really begins. With alternating viewpoints between Styx and the killer, this is a taut, atmospheric, and suspenseful crime story. Readers can feel the fog settling in, and learn about surrealist art, the history of Ostend, and the effects of Belgian Imperialism as it pertains to race issues in the country today. These details are all seamlessly incorporated into the investigation. Rest assured, Styx’s zombie situation is not a cheap trick, rather it adds complexity to the investigation and allows Dhooge to develop both Styx and his partner’s characters more deeply. Thankfully, the door also appears to have been left open for a sequel. Run, don’t walk, to give this book to fans of Joe Nesbo and Robert Galbraith. Dhooge has won three of Belgium’s most prestigious crime writing awards; it is time for American readers to see why for themselves.
Three Words That Describe This Book: alternating viewpoints, dark, noir

Readalikes: I am serious about the Nesbo and Galbraith comparisons here. But anyone who likes any Nordic Noir would love this book.


Savile, Steven (author).
Nov. 2015. 300p. Akashic/Infamous, paperback, $15.95 (9781617754067); Akashic/Infamous, e-book(9781617754265)
REVIEW. First published October 15, 2015 (Booklist).
In the frighteningly realistic world of Sunfail a shift in the polar magnetic fields is wreaking havoc on civilization. Birds are falling from the sky, wild dogs are roaming the streets, and sunlight is weakening. As people are trying to cope with the disaster in real time, a series of perfectly timed terrorist strikes have also begun. Did someone know what was coming and are they using it to their advantage? Enter Jake Quinn, ex Special Forces Operative, current transit electrician, and overall hero to the scene as he takes it upon himself to figure out what is going on, confronts the bad guys, and unveils a conspiracy that has been orchestrated for years by the world’s most powerful people. But can one man and his cobbled together band of experts save us all? With fast paced action, awesome fight scenes (one between two brilliant female assassins is particularly well done), relatable heroes, and just the right amount balance between intrigue and plot twists Sunfail is a fun and exciting read with a wide appeal perfect for fans of complex series heroes like Jack Reacher and Joe Ledger with a dash of Dan Brown’s sensibility.
Three Words That Describe This Book: conspiracy thriller, fast paced, relatable heroes

Readalikes: Here are some more readalikes from when I read the first Joe Ledger novel by Jonathan Mayberry.:
If Joe Ledger and his exploits with the Department of Military Service are appealing to you, try the Shane Schofield series by Matthew Reillyor anything by James Rollins.  Maberry also gives a shout-out to David Morrell in this novel (a charcater is reading a Morrell novel).  Morrell is a great readalike option here since both authors sneak a bit of more traditional horror appeal into their thrillers. Fans of Patient Zeroshould start with Morrell's Creepers.  
These all work for Sunfail too. 

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