Jun 182021

a woman, with light coming from her hands, stands in front of a city skylinePublishers Weekly: Picking up from 2020’s American Demon, Harrison’s 15th The Hollows urban fantasy pits her enduring heroine against a new fearsome foe while still delivering the soap operatic supernatural machinations fans expect. The struggle for control of Cincinnati heats up when master vampire Constance Corson makes it clear that the city isn’t big enough for both her and witch-born demon Rachel Morgan. To protect her friends and save her home, Rachel must fight back with every spell, charm, and ally at her disposal. It won’t be easy: she’s on the outs with her demon mentor, Al; on the verge of homelessness thanks to Constance’s machinations; and her lover, Trent Kalamack, is out of town. While he’s away, Rachel must resist the deadly allure of Pike, her vampiric foil who walks the line between reluctant ally and uneasy enemy. Meanwhile, she’s wrapped up in the intrigues of myriad supernatural factions, caught between friendship and obligation—and if she succeeds in ousting Constance, she may need to accept a level of power and responsibility she’s never wanted. This entry relies on the substantial worldbuilding of the previous novels, which will satisfy existing fans but may leave new readers struggling to catch up. For dedicated readers, however, this proves a rousing addition to the series.

Jun 172021

Publishers Weekly: Moody and atmospheric, this dystopian novella from Mohamed (A Broken Darkness) skillfully turns a murder mystery into a scathing examination of what life might be like in even later stage capitalism. Narrator Jewel and the other courtesans of the House of Bicchieri, an elite brothel, are holding a secret wake for one of their number, Winfield, in the abandoned church that is their place of worship, when Winfield suddenly comes back to life. The undead Winfield recalls being murdered—a fact the owners of the House covered up—and seeks revenge for her death and all the other injuries and injustices meted out to her fellow courtesans by the House’s über-wealthy clientele. Jewel hungers for revenge herself, but is kept in such purposeful and permanent precarity that she can’t act out. Then the owners profane the courtesans’ church, and Jewel must make a choice between protecting Winfield’s plans or her place in the House of Bicchieri. The lush prose, rife with classical allusions, captivates, echoing the brothel’s penchant for containing horrors but covering them up in a wealth of gilded detail. Mohamed’s fans won’t want to miss the mesmerizing lyricality of her latest.

Jun 162021

Ruby Barrett returns to the universe of HOT COPY in WHILE IT’S HOT, in which restaurant owner Amy Chambers hires a former fan favorite reality TV chef to save her struggling kitchen, only to discover that the talented, yet enigmatic woman seems determined to undermine her authority at every turn—but when fire spreads from the kitchen to the bedroom they’re forced to reckon with their growing attraction before they lose everything, world English rights to Stephanie Doig at Carina Adores, by Kiana Nguyen.

Jun 152021

In a preemptive bid, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment has landed the rights to I Don’t Forgive You, the upcoming debut novel of former police reporter Aggie Blum Thompson.

The book will be adapted into a TV series for cable/streaming, which Kaplan will executive produce with Mandalay’s Peter Guber, a longtime friend and former client at WMA.

A psychological thriller with a female lead, I Don’t Forgive You is about a photographer struggling to fit in among the mom cliques in her new D.C. suburb when she is framed for a neighbor’s murder and must frantically try to uncover who is destroying her life by impersonating her on social media.

Jun 152021

To save the city, Rachel Morgan will need to show some teeth in the next Hollows novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison.

The new master vampire of Cincinnati has arrived . . . and she wants Rachel Morgan out. No matter where Rachel goes, Constance is there–threatening Rachel’s allies, causing city-wide chaos, and, to add insult to injury, even forcing Rachel out of her current quarters. Ever since Rachel found a way to save the souls of vampires, the old undead’s longtime ascendancy has been broken. Now Constance sees eliminating Rachel as the key to consolidating her own power.

Rachel has no desire to be enthralled or killed–and she’s terrified of what may become of the city if Constance forces a return to the ancient ways. But even a witch-born demon can’t stand against the old undead–at least, not alone. And if Rachel refuses to claim the role of Cincinnati’s master demon, the city will tear itself apart, taking her and all those who stand beside her with it.

Jun 102021

Library Journal: Lex has been traveling the world since graduating college. She’ll go anywhere but home: Memphis, TN. Rather than facing her mother’s unsettling death, she immerses herself in words, creating a lexicon of her own lived experience. Yet after a heartbreak and with help from her godmother Cami, Lex returns to Memphis for what she assumes will be a short visit. Instead, Cami gives Lex the opportunity to learn her mother’s life story. Through her mother’s own words in diary entries from before Lex was born, this daughter begins to question who she is and how many ways there are to define family. A quick and intimate read, Cook’s second novel (after How To Bury Your Brother) embraces the classic story of a daughter realizing that within her mother was a woman she never knew, who was as spirited and strong-willed as Lex herself. Though the plot is predictable, this isn’t frustrating. The familiarity and assurance that you know what’s coming is rewarding and endears the characters to the reader. VERDICT Readers of Southern and women’s fiction will become deeply immersed in this mother-daughter narrative.

Jun 092021

a woman, with light coming from her hands, stands in front of a city skylineLibrary Journal: Constance Corson, the new subrosa, or master vampire, of present-day Cincinnati, has finally arrived, and she’s ready to take out protagonist Rachel Morgan. As Rachel looks for a new home in the Hollows, she learns that many Inderlander vampires are being forced from their homes so that Constance and her group can move in. Unable to ignore the problem, Rachel starts bringing the evicted Inderlanders into a partially destroyed church for temporary residence. Everywhere she turns, Rachel finds that Constance is bullying her friends, cutting off supplies, and terrorizing everyone in her way. To stop Constance, Rachel might need to usurp her role as Cincinnati’s subrosa—and take control of the city—which is more than Rachel believes she can handle. With the return of long-standing characters and the addition of some new faces, Harrison’s new entry in the series reveals Rachel to be a flawed but tenacious person who puts personal ties before power. VERDICT Rachel Morgan comes back strong in her 15th outing (after American Demon), as she takes on a new master vampire and finds herself dealing with emotional turmoil and high-stakes action in equal measures.

Jun 082021

Booklist: Sharpson’s debut novel takes place in the 2200s in the Caspian Republic, a totalitarian state that is in theory a safe haven from “the Machine,” inhabitants’ term for the rest of the world and its utopian society administered by and populated with sentient AI. The narrative follows Nikolai South, an operative for StaSec, one of the two security forces in charge of maintaining the status quo in the Republic. When a prominent, rabidly anti-Machine journalist dies and is revealed to have been an AI living in a clone body, South is assigned to look after the AI widow of the deceased as she comes to view her husband’s remains. He is thrown into a whirlpool of intrigue as various factions conspire to use the widow’s visit for their own ends, and is simultaneously dragged back into his own muddled past by the widow’s resemblance to his own dead wife. Well-written and suitably grim, this picture of one dystopian holdout in a utopian world should please many sf readers interested in visions of a post-AI future.

Jun 082021

Allie Ross is an accomplished photographer and a new mom in her upscale DC suburb. She’s also being framed for a neighbor’s murder.

It all starts at a neighborhood party, when a flirtatious encounter with a local dad goes terribly wrong. When he’s found dead the next day, the police are soon knocking at Allie’s door, grilling her about a supposed Tinder relationship with the man and pulling up intimate, steamy texts between them.

Only Allie didn’t write them. And she didn’t write the vicious posts that are all over social media in her name.

Someone has hacked her, and is impersonating her online. And it’s not just her reputation―social and professional― that is at stake. It’s her life. As the killer closes in, Allie must delve into a past she hoped to forget in order to learn the shocking truth of who is destroying her life.

A taut, psychological whodunnit, that explores how much our past shapes our lives, and how forgiving ourselves may be the most difficult act of all.