A Shiver of Light (Meredith Gentry Series #9) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Kirkus Reviews –
Fae princess Merry Gentry is about to give birth to triplets at the ad hoc Court she's established in Los Angeles, giving rise to political and personal complications across the faerie world and threatening those closest to her. Merry, born Princess Meredith NicEssus, is the first faerie princess born on American soil, with bloodline ties to both the Seelie and Unseelie Royal Courts. Having survived countless assassination attempts, she fled to California and lived a mortal life as a private investigator for years, but recently, her magic has awakened, and she has established her own household with powerful lovers while creating alliances with other supernatural beings. Both Fae Courts are likely ruled by infertile leaders, causing infertility in the population, so many faeries are following Merry to LA and pledging their allegiance to her, hoping she will help them bear children of their own. Meanwhile, her enemy, King Taranis, is using both magical and legal means to get Merry under his influence, all while Merry and her stable of lovers are settling in to life with three babies, from two different fathers. Paranormal superstar Hamilton returns to her Merry Gentry series with the same storytelling imbalance that affects most of her books these days: There's too much boring sex, talking about sex, and Merry waxing rhapsodic about her many, many lovers. We catch occasional glimpses of Hamilton's brilliant storytelling and compelling imagination, and the worldbuilding remains spectacular, with its many amazing physical and spiritual details—when we get to see it. Hamilton grew her reputation on her action-packed, supernatural storytelling and eroticism, and while we get slivers of it, we have to wade through too much banality to get there. A shadow of Hamilton's greatness, but avid fans waiting for the continuation of Merry's story will still buy it.
Any Other Name (Walt Longmire Series #10) by Craig Johnson
Kirkus Reviews –
A favor for an old friend puts Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire in a tough spot. Longmire is due to fly to Philadelphia for the birth of his daughter Cady's first child. But when his friend and former boss Lucian Connally asks for help, he can't say no. Detective Gerald Holman has committed suicide in a neighboring county whose sheriff is willing to have Longmire investigate at the behest of the widow, who refuses to believe her straight-arrow husband could do such a thing. Since his retirement, Holman had been working on cold cases—some of which aren't so cold, like the disappearance of a bright young woman who was working as an exotic dancer at Dirty Shirley's to replenish her college fund. Looking more closely into the case, Longmire finds that several other women have also gone missing from the area. Though they seem to have nothing in common, he has to consider a possible serial killer. Tracking another of the missing women to Deadwood, S.D., almost gets Longmire and his friend Henry, aka the Cheyenne Nation, killed. That's only Longmire's first brush with death as he looks for answers that someone is willing to kill to keep hidden. Once more, you can count on Longmire (A Serpent's Tooth, 2013, etc.) for action both physical and cerebral, a bit of humor and romance, and a mighty good mystery.
Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas by Edward Klein
Jaime Fuller – The Washington Post
Ed Klein's new book, "Blood Feud: The Clintons v. the Obamas" is going to sell many copies. That is one fact about the book that will be hard to dispute. Klein's last book on President Obama, "The Amateur," displaced the latest volume in Robert Caro's Lyndon B. Johnson series in the number one slot on the New York Times bestseller list. His book, "The Truth about Hillary," sold about 200,000 copies.
You should probably fact-check anything else you hear about the book. The other defining characteristic of Klein's biographies, besides their popularity with people who despise the subjects unpacked within, is that the salacious details revealed often have a tenuous relationship with reality -- as commentators of all ideological stripes have pointed out time and time again.
The reviews of Klein's work, filled with contempt and adventurous adjectives, often mirror the gossipy edges of the books they describe. The reviewers may not believe all of Klein's reporting, but they are more than happy to borrow his skillful hatchet job techniques, if only to use it against him.
The City by Dean Koontz
Kirkus Reviews –
Koontz (Innocence, 2013, etc.) genre-bends the metaphysical into a coming-of-age story, one measuring love’s parameters. Honoring his racial and musical heritage, young Jonah bears seven middle names in homage to the African-American greats of swing music. He's the son of Sylvia Bledsoe Kirk, a singer gifted enough to have won scholarships, and Tilton Kirk, a rogue smooth enough to get Sylvia pregnant before she could get to college.There’s an off-again, on-again marriage, Tilton fantasizing about celebrity chef-dom and Sylvia working at Woolworths and singing in nightclubs. The most constant presence in Jonah’s life is grandfather Teddy Bledsoe, "a piano man," a big band veteran now working as a lounge pianist. The Beatles rock radio and records, but preteen Jonah is entranced with big band music, and he’s a gifted pianist. The narrative covers the '60s shake-ups, including opposition to the Vietnam War. Tilton’s skirt-chasing ensnares him in a bomb plot by two psychopaths posing as political agitators, putting Jonah and Sylvia in great danger. Koontz writes Sylvia and Teddy as too good to be true, and Jonah’s too-wise childhood perspective seems overly influenced by Jonah-the-adult’s narration. There are, nevertheless, affecting supporting characters, like the reclusive Mr. Yoshioka, once a Manzanar internee. The cardboard-cutout antagonists are not fully formed, but Koontz’s exploration of the Bledsoes' familial bond gives the story heart. The action is predictable and less interesting than Koontz’s discourses on swing music and his allusions to art, race and social mores. Koontz displays his usual gift for phrase-making—"moments when buildings and bridges, all of it, seemed like an illusion projected on a screen of rain." The setting is New York City, but the great metropolis plays no real part in the narrative other than its metaphysical manifestation in the form of "Miss Pearl," an amorphous character appearing at critical junctures like Cinderella’s fairy godmother. Koontz offers a passable modern fairy tale about good and evil, love and loyalty.