Xpress Reviews

Web-first reviews of books and media, including e-original/e-exclusive titles.

Nonfiction on Insect Sculpture, Cetaceans, Paul Robeson, and Samurai | Xpress Reviews

Insects as portrayed by British photographer Biss are breathtaking in color and texture; Hoyt draws on more than 40 years of scientific interactions with these intelligent and fascinating creatures; an excellent and perhaps timely reboot of Robeson’s singularly incredible life; a solid choice to broaden or update collections on samurai

Fiction from Ashe and Final Thoughts from Shepard | Xpress Reviews

While immediate truth-telling would have led our protagonists more directly to their happy ever after, this multilayered story would have been the poorer for it; what it was like to have lived in a great mind in its last moments—highly recommended

E-Originals from Godman, Matthews, Whitaker, and an Anthology Crew | Xpress Reviews

Series fans will enjoy Sebastian and Cindy’s story and how they finally conquer their adversary; recommended for collections where the “Tortured Souls” series is popular; these authors have brought sex and politics together in steamy love stories; recommended for libraries where diverse romances are in demand

Graphic Novels from Fawkes and on Mangasia | Xpress Reviews

Fawkes’s latest work is an overture of mythological imaginings that perfectly match the esoteric tale of performance and magic; an ideal bridge for college-age readers who wish to go from being simply consumers to knowledgeable fans

Nonfiction on Veterans and Dogs and a Nova Scotia Architect | Xpress Reviews

Grossi brings readers into the day-to-day experiences of being deployed, without romanticizing or demonizing the people involved; a lesser-known Nova Scotia architectural firm that seeks a blend of regionalism, minimalist form, geometric clarity, and environmental responsibility

Fiction from Cassidy, Scotch, and Wright | Xpress Reviews

Recommended for sf fans who enjoy stories in which the protagonists fight against seemingly impossible odds; given Scotch’s popularity among chick lit readers, this title will be popular despite its shortcomings; recommended where gentle romances have pride of place

E-Originals from Austin, Husk, Quarles, and Debuter Garland | Xpress Reviews

An author who can pair romance and suspense without losing completely to either is a rarity; enchanting characters and witty banter make this debut a sure bet; smooth and suspenseful, with just enough sexual tension; unfortunately, most of the stops on this road trip don’t feel as integrated as they could be

Graphic Novels from Gallaher & Ellis, Medina & Co., and Oppenheimer & Klein | Xpress Reviews

Combines Weird Western excitement with steampunk flourishes; a deeply felt and absolutely necessary story that humanizes characters too often relegated to statistics and headlines; as the field of psychology has become more humane, readers might be inspired to delve more deeply into areas of interest

Audiobook, with a Star, from Lindsey Lee Johnson | Xpress Reviews

Johnson’s debut novel centering on a high school in a wealthy suburb of San Francisco is destined to become a book club sweetheart

Fiction from Beagle, Powers, Quinn, Wynn, and Debuter Mikulencak | Xpress Reviews

For fantasy fans, Beagle should be a staple; Mikulencak’s debut is a haunting study of race relations, compassion, and mystery; this collection should serve as a solid introduction to Powers’s style; Irish crime novelist Quinn is a writer to watch; this volume will be most welcomed by fans of the series