Fiction Previews, Apr. 2013, Pt. 2: Six More Best-Selling Authors, from Kenyon to Keyes

Abé, Shana. The Sweetest Dark. Bantam. Apr. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780345531704. $16; eISBN 9780345531711. PARANORMAL
A New York Times best-selling author and multiple Romantic Times award winner famed for her Drákon series—which features humans who can turn themselves into dragons and living smoke—Abé here crosses into YA territory with the story of Lora Jones. Placed in a London orphanage in the early 1900s, Lora is eventually sent as a charity case to a classy if slightly spooky boarding school on the coast. There she befriends two very different young men and struggles to quiet the voice in her head and the singing only she can hear; soon she’ll discover a secret about herself that we readers already intuit. So atmospheric; for adults as well as YAs.

Clark, Wahida. Honor Thy Thug. Cash Money Content: Atria. Apr. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9781936399390. $22.99; eISBN 9781936399406. URBAN LIT
The queen of thug lit (as Nikki Turner calls her), New York Times best-selling author Clark continues her “Thug” series, picking up where her recent Justify My Thug left off. Here we see the return of Tasha and Trae, whose marriage finally did not run smooth. Sex, drugs, crime, and everything else readers of urban lit love.

Hobb, Robin. Blood of Dragons (Rain Wilds Chronicles, Vol. 4). Harper Voyager. Apr. 2013. 448p. ISBN 9780062116857. $27.99; eISBN 9780062116871. FANTASY
Winner of the Asimov’s Readers’ Award for her short fiction, Hobb has also made the New York Times extended list with her full-length titles. Here she wraps up her “Rain Wilds Chronicles” fantasy series, intriguing because the dragons featured aren’t trouble but in trouble—they will sicken and die if they don’t reach the lost city of Kelsingra. Finally, they’ve made it with their keepers, who are beginning to transform into lovely Elderlings, with markings that link them to their dragons. But the silver wells the dragons really need still can’t be found, so the keepers must do a bit of risky memory walking. As I said, love those dragons.

Kennedy, Douglas. Five Days. Atria: S. &. S.  Apr. 2013. 512p. ISBN 9781451666335. $26.99. POP FICTION
An internationally best-selling author, loved in France (where he lives part-time) and finally acknowledged here, Kennedy returns with an adult love story. Laura, whose work as an X-ray technician at a small hospital in Maine leaves her stunned by the general unfairness of life, is facing an empty nest and an increasingly distant husband, who’s fresh out of a job. On a business trip to Boston, she meets seemingly bland salesman Richard, but a second look shows him to have greater depths. I loved Kennedy’s recent The Moment and am anticipating this new, and very different sounding, book.

Kenyon, Sherrilyn. Born of Fury. Grand Central. Apr. 2013. 704p. ISBN 9780446573290. $25.99. PARANORMAL
Hauk is a fierce Andarion warrior, one of the five founding members of the Sentella, sworn enemy of the League. Sumi Antaxas is one of the League’s surest assassins, newly assigned to execute Hauk. Then, carrying crucial information that could lead to the downfall of the Sentella, she’s trapped by enemies—with Hauk’s help her only recourse. Next in the “League” series for Kenyon-crazed fans and sure to be hugely in demand.

Keyes, Marian. The Mystery of Mercy Close: A Walsh Sister Novel. Viking. Apr. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780670025244. $26.95. WOMEN’S FICTION
An internationally best-selling author, Irish lass Keyes returns to her chronicle of the relentlessly off-the-wall Walsh family, this time focusing on youngest sister Helen. Floundering on her job (she’s a private investigator with a bad case of depression) and with no place to live, Helen has returned home to Mammy. Soon she’s on a case that doesn’t entirely thrill her; she’s to find Wayne Diffney (“the Wacky One”), a member of Ireland’s legendary 1990s boy band, Laddz; the other members (minus the “Talented One,” who has long since decamped) are eager to launch a reunion tour. Not just wacky.


Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.