Xpress Reviews

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

E-Originals from Allyn, De Salle, Lerner & Co., and Varlet | Xpress Reviews

Allyn’s first foray into the Regency era offers a somewhat unconvincing romance; Sol and Kitten remain the most amusing and compelling characters in De Salle’s latest; these stories tackle issues of race, sexual orientation, religion, and class while still managing to be heartwarming and humorous; more about feelings, attraction, and letting the right person help heal one’s pain

Graphic Novels from Breathed, Freibert, Mapa, Palmerino & Ciponte, and Debuter Whyte | Xpress Reviews

A fun, relevant series that accurately captures 21st-century America; for adventurous readers looking for something well off the beaten path; a solid historical recollection, with a smattering of personal narrative; YA and adult readers alike will find this work intriguing and informative; a charming blend of coming-of-age saga and fantasy worldbuilding

Nonfiction: Economic Inventions, False Confessions, Natural Philosophy, Punk Rock Women, Jewel Heist | Xpress Reviews

Innovation as a platform for future creativity; an important volume about how the criminal justice system does and doesn’t function; for philosophical and scientific enthusiast; those familiar with punk rock will find this work absorbing and illuminating; for fans of real-life burglary stories

Fiction from Connelly, Harrison, Montreal Noir, and Pruitt, plus Two Debuts | Xpress Reviews

Connelly again delivers a solid crime mystery; Harrison delivers an intimately believable portrayal of women’s friendship; an enjoyable, breezy read that celebrates the uniqueness of Provincetown; an introduction to many Montreal-based mystery authors; an excellent addition to the gritty Southern noir genre; strong characters and fast-paced action define this debut sf thriller

Audiobooks by Berenson, Cambron, Christie, Iles, Love, and Mejia | Xpress Reviews

George Guidall’s accents, his smart use of cadence, and his smooth tone make Berenson’s wonderful story even better; Christie is recommended Philippa Gregory fans; Iles’s latest is highly recommended; a detectiveless crime solved by the criminal herself

E-Originals from Krum, Michael, Persell, and Quarles | Xpress Reviews

The pace is fast, with a few twists and turns along the way; the growing bond isn’t strong enough to be the sole focus; a fun, flirty, and spicy read from Persell; Quarles plays with the pacing conventions of contemporary romance to burn hot and bright

Audiobooks: Lucey’s Portrait of Sargent’s Women | Xpress Reviews

The author/narrator combination provides nonfiction storytelling at a high level, keeping the listener’s interest throughout the almost eleven hours; highly recommended for medium and large libraries, and small libraries with a strong arts readership

Graphic Novels from Czap, Durand, Lemire, and Wazem & Tirabosco | Xpress Reviews

A bold tour de force of illustrative, imaginative chutzpah; a chilling testament to Cold War propaganda from debuter Durand; a worthy selection for those interested in literary graphic fiction; a fine little stand-alone that is quiet, dignified, and strangely relaxing

Nonfiction on Environmental Activism, Aidan Higgins, Chief Joseph, Frankenstein, Drugs and Racing | Xpress Reviews

Ties the goals of democracy and America’s social and economic structure; Higgins’s essays, diary entries, and letters to newspapers written over some 30 years; Howard she sought to separate fable from fact; a fine addition to a course on popular culture or film studies; this tale goes deeper, giving a peek into the drug world and police work

Fiction from Hossain and Quinn | Xpress Reviews

This novel should appeal widely to lovers of the fantastic and of Middle Eastern and South Asian literature; this story will remind readers of what the holidays are truly about: being with the ones you love