Fiction Reviews | August 2013

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewAtwood, Margaret. MaddAddam. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. Sept. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780385528788. $27.95. F

The compelling conclusion to Atwood’s dystopian trilogy opens with a brief synopsis of the series’ first two books, Oryx & Crake and The Year of the Flood, then launches directly into the story of the MaddAddamites, survivors of a global pandemic that wiped out most of humanity. Readers, even those unfamiliar with the human characters and the genetically engineered new species Atwood has created in her futuristic world, will be quickly drawn in and eager to find out what happens to the MaddAddamites and to the Crakers, a gentle, quasihuman species created by Crake. Their world is full of many dangers, including direct attacks from criminally insane Painballers and from pigoons, transgenic pigs developed to grow replacement organs for humans. Toby, Zeb, and the rest of the MaddAddamites are alive, but will they be able to continue not only to subsist but to build up their small society and, eventually, live alongside the Crakers and even flourish? VERDICT Certainly of great interest to Atwood fans awaiting this third book of the trilogy and for fans of dystopian/postapocalyptic fiction generally, this finale is a gripping read for any reader. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/13.]—Shaunna E. Hunter, Hampden-Sydney Coll. Lib., VA

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewDuffy, P.S. The Cartographer of No Man’s Land. Liveright: Norton. Oct. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780871403766. $25.95. F

The year is 1916, and Angus MacGrath leaves Snag Harbor, a hardscrabble Nova Scotia fishing village, to join the war and search for his adored brother-in-law, Ebbin Hant, who has gone missing on the front lines. An artist, Angus is promised a cartographer’s position in London but is instead sent directly to the battlegrounds of France. Duffy’s astounding first novel depicts terrifyingly real battle scenes, rich in subtle details, displaying the intimacies shared among soldiers and the memories that haunt them. While Angus battles in the trenches, his son Simon is fighting a war of his own back at home—traversing the growing hostility and blistering emotions of a grief-stricken village and his pacifist family while coming of age without his father. VERDICT Duffy’s Nova Scotian roots trace back to over 250 years, and clearly the author has done her research to write a gripping World War I story told from two fronts, France and Canada. Essential reading for historical fiction lovers and war story fans alike; very highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 4/29/13.]—Lisa Block, Atlanta

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewKhoury, Raymond. Rasputin’s Shadow. Dutton. Oct. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780525953135. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698138315. F

Returning to a narrative format that shifts between time periods, Khoury (The Devil’s Elixir; The Last Templar) reunites us with FBI agent Sean Reilly in this thrilling historical mystery. Just as Reilly is undertaking a furtive manhunt for the CIA agent he believes harmed his son, he’s called to the scene of a potential crime: a Russian embassy attaché has plunged to his death from an apartment window. The apartment’s owners are missing, and it soon becomes apparent that nothing is as it seems. Reilly partners with a female Russian FSB agent to uncover the truth before decades of big lies converge with a small, mysterious device to yield devastating consequences. Somehow a Russian émigré, Russian mobsters, Korean gang members, and Rasputin are all connected, and Reilly and company had better figure out how—quickly. VERDICT Readers unfamiliar with Khoury’s “Templar” series featuring Sean Reilly can jump in here without feeling lost. The author provides enough contextual backstory for new readers without risking vexing loyal fans. His ample cultural references are fresh, and most should withstand the test of time. History, mystery, suspense, and action—Khoury knows the recipe for a good read. [See Prepub Alert, 4/22/13.]Laura Cifelli, Fort Myers–Lee Cty. P.L., FL

The following titles are reviewed in the August 15, 2013 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Aitcheson, James. Sworn Sword. Sourcebooks Landmark. Aug. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9781402280764. $24.99. F

Bass, Rick. All the Land To Hold Us. Houghton Harcourt. Aug. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780547687124. $25. F

Bauerdick, Rolf. The Madonna on the Moon. Knopf. 2013. 416p. tr. from German by David Dollenmayer. ISBN 9780307594129. $27.95.

Butler, Robert Olen. The Star of Istanbul: A Christopher Marlowe Cobb Thriller. Mysterious Pr: Grove/Atlantic. Oct. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9780802121554. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780802192967. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewChamberlain, Diane. Necessary Lies. St. Martin’s. Sept. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9781250010698. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250010704. F

Coetzee, J.M. The Childhood of Jesus. Viking. Sept. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780670014651. $26.95. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewDoig, Ivan. Sweet Thunder. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA). Aug. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781594487347. $27.95. F

Franklin, Tom & Beth Ann Fennelly. The Tilted World. Morrow. Oct. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780062069184. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062069207. F

Griffith, Nicola. Hild. Farrar. Nov. 2013. 560p. ISBN 9780374280871. $27. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewHarding, Paul. Enon. Random. Sept. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9781400069439. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812984606. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewHornby, Gill. The Hive. Little Brown. Sept. 2013. 252p. ISBN 9780316234795. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780316234764. F

Jordan, Toni. Nine Days. Text, dist. by Consortium. Sept. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9781921922831. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781921961120.

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewLahiri, Jhumpa. The Lowland. Knopf. Sept. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780307265746. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385350402. F

Loyd, Amy Grace. The Affairs of Others. Picador. Aug. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9781250041296. $24; ebk. ISBN 9781250041302. F

McDermott, Alice. Someone. Farrar. Sept. 2013. 240p. ISBN 9780374281090. $25. F

McFarland, Dennis. Nostalgia. Pantheon. Oct. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9780307908346. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307908353. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewMacleod, Muriel Mharie. What the River Washed Away. Oneworld. Aug. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9781780742342. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781780742359. F

Marías, Javier. The Infatuations. Knopf. Aug. 2013. 352p. tr. from Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa. ISBN 9780307960726. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307960733. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewMiles, Jonathan. Want Not. Houghton Harcourt. Nov. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780547352206. $26. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewNorton, Carla. The Edge of Normal. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781250031044. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250031051. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewPatterson, Richard North. Loss of Innocence. Quercus. Oct. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9781623650926. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781623650933. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewPlame, Valerie & Sarah Lovett. Blowback: A Vanessa Pierson Novel. Blue Rider: Penguin Group (USA). Oct. 2013. 336p.ISBN 9780399158209. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101598566. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewRobinson, Kim Stanley. Shaman. Orbit: Hachette. Sept. 2013. 450p. ISBN 9780316098076. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780316235570. F

Ryan, Hank Phillippi. The Wrong Girl. Forge: Tor. Sept. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9780765332585. $24.99. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewShacochis, Bob. The Woman Who Lost Her Soul. Atlantic Monthly. Sept. 2013. 640p. ISBN 9780802119827. $26. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewSearles, John. Help for the Haunted. Morrow. Sept. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9780060779634. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062199430. F

Simons, Jake Wallis. The English German Girl. Herman Graf: Skyhorse, dist. by Norton. Sept. 2013. 342p. ISBN 9781626360747. $24.95. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewTan, Amy. The Valley of Amazement. Ecco: HarperCollins. Nov. 2013. 608p. ISBN 9780062107312. $27.95. F

Urquhart, Rachel. The Visionist. Little, Brown. Jan. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780316228114. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316228091. $12.99. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewWinterson, Jeanette. The Daylight Gate. Grove. Oct. 2013. 240p. ISBN 9780802121639. $24. F


Library Journal Reviews starred reviewGeni, Abby. The Last Animal: Stories. Counterpoint, dist. by PGW. Oct. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9781619021822. $24. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewOrner, Peter. Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge. Little, Brown. Aug. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9780316224642. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780316224635. $11.99. F