GPL Blog

The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen

From the publisher: London, 1885. A romance develops as a detective partners with a lonely-hearts columnist to solve a murder mystery.

The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart is an entertaining clean historical romance. It has strong, interesting female characters and a sympathetic hero. The plot takes some unlikely twists, but nothing struck me as outlandish. The book pushes the edges of acceptable behavior for women in 1885 in a believable way and introduces societal issues like street urchins and the institutionalization of people with intellectual disabilities. The bad guy is stereotypical with no nuance, but I didn’t mind too much since the story flirts with being a gothic romance.

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Holdout by Jeffrey Kluger

From the publisher: When evil forces are going unchecked on Earth, a principled astronaut makes a spilt-second decision to try to seek justice in the only place she knows how—the International Space Station.

The science in Holdout is good; Jeffrey Kluger is also the co-author, with astronaut Jim Lovell, of Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, which was the basis of the Apollo 13 movie released in 1995, and nine other books. The author worked fictional versions of real space incidents into the plot. I really enjoyed the descriptions of life and work in space, and the relationship between the Russian and American astronauts. Although it’s a minor plot point, I also liked the main character’s concern for the mice that were in space with her.

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Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

From the publisher: Fans of Sabaa Tahir and Tomi Adeyemi won’t want to miss this instant New York Times bestselling fantasy from breakout YA sensation Jordan Ifueko! Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Raybearer is the story of Tarisai, a girl raised in an invisible home with no one but private tutors and a mysterious mother known as the Lady, who she sees only once or twice a year. One day, the Lady tells Tarisai that she being sent to the capital of the empire to meet Crown Prince Ekundayo, where she’ll have a chance to join his Council of Eleven, the children who will make up his future ruling council and whose magical bond protects the…

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While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams

From the publisher: From celebrated national leader and bestselling author Stacey Abrams, While Justice Sleeps is a gripping, complexly plotted thriller set within the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court. Drawing on her astute inside knowledge of the court and political landscape, Stacey Abrams shows herself to be not only a force for good in politics and voter fairness but also a major new talent in suspense fiction.

While Justice Sleeps is an intricately plotted thriller. Sharp and fast paced, it covers a lot of ground. The author clearly knows her way around DC, the federal government, and the Supreme Court. Main character Avery Keene is biracial and has a drug addict mother, allowing Abrams to touch on issues of race and family, addiction and loss. Avery is smart…

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Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells

From the publisher:  The New York Times bestselling security droid with a heart (though it wouldn’t admit it!) is back in Fugitive Telemetry! Having captured the hearts of readers across the globe, Murderbot has also established Martha Wells as one of the great SF writers of today.

Murderbot is a rogue cyborg Security Unit doing adventures in space. I love Murderbot and eagerly look forward to each new adventure. I started Fugitive Telemetry, then I put it down and re-read the first four Diaries before continuing. I didn’t love Fugitive Telemetry quite as much as I did Rogue Protocol and Exit Strategy, but it’s a solid 4.5 stars for me. Not enough interaction with SecUnit’s “human friends” for my liking, but I especially…

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No Guns Life #1 by Tasuku Karasuma

From the publisher: Ex-soldier Juzo Inui has one question—who turned him into a cyborg and erased his memories?

After the war, cyborg soldiers known as the Extended were discharged. Juzo Inui is one of them, a man whose body was transformed, his head replaced with a giant gun. With no memory of his previous life—or who replaced his head and why—Inui now scratches out a living in the dark streets of the city as a Resolver, taking on cases involving the Extended.

Want a story about a faceless loner warrior who helps a child with mysterious powers…

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Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower by Tamsyn Muir

From the publisher: When the witch built the forty-flight tower, she made very sure to do the whole thing properly. Each flight contains a dreadful monster, ranging from a diamond-scaled dragon to a pack of slavering goblins. Should a prince battle his way to the top, he will be rewarded with a golden sword—and the lovely Princess Floralinda. But no prince has managed to conquer the first flight yet, let alone get to the fortieth. In fact, the supply of fresh princes seems to have quite dried up.

Those looking for a quick, easy fantasy read could do worse than Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower. Author Tamsyn Muir made a name for herself with her debut novel Gideon the Ninth, a space opera-fantasy mashup that struck an appealing balance of…

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Thornwood by Leah Cypress

From the publisher: This middle grade debut is Sleeping Beauty like you’ve never seen it before, about a girl who lives in the shadow of her older sister and the curse that has haunted her from birth.

For years, Briony has lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Rosalin, and the curse that has haunted her from birth–that on the day of her sixteenth birthday she would prick her finger on a spindle and cause everyone in the castle to fall into a 100-year sleep. When the day the curse is set to fall over the kingdom finally arrives, nothing–not even Briony–can stop its evil magic.

You know the story.

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In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

From the publisher: Where do you see yourself in five years? Dannie Kohan lives her life by the numbers. But when she awakens, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. Dannie spends one hour exactly five years in the future before she wakes again in her own home on the brink of midnight—but it is one hour she cannot shake. In Five Years is an unforgettable love story, but it is not the one you’re expecting.

In Five Years is a beautiful story of love and friendship. Main character Dannie is incredibly Type A and has her perfect life all mapped out. On the same day she nails a job interview for a prestigious NYC law firm, she gets engaged to her boyfriend David, and everything…

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Daughter of Black Lake by Cathy Marie Buchanan

From the publisher: In a world of pagan traditions and deeply rooted love, a girl in jeopardy must save her family and community, in a transporting historical novel by nationally bestselling author Cathy Marie Buchanan.

It’s the season of Fallow, in the era of iron. In a northern misty bog surrounded by woodlands and wheat fields, a settlement lies far beyond the reach of the Romans invading hundreds of miles to the southeast. Here, life is simple–or so it seems to the tightly knit community. Sow. Reap. Honor Mother Earth, who will provide at harvest time. A girl named Devout comes of age, sweetly flirting with the young man she’s tilled alongside all her life, and envisions a future of love and abundance. Seventeen years later, though, the…

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