Xpress Reviews

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

Graphic Novels from Ellis & Beagle and Maroto | Xpress Reviews

This series holds promise for fans of fluffy yet woke comics, with a first volume light on plot but big on love and friendship; these tales come slithering forth as nightmarish phantoms from the fetid mind of a superior horror wordsmith and a visual interpreter par excellence

Nonfiction: Maps, the Politics of “Christian,” Cycle Touring, and Richard Diebenkorn | Xpress Reviews

Bonnett’s exploration of areas unmarked on any map will delight fans of geography and cartography; a ubiquitous word in American politics that is deceptively difficult to pin down; sure to inspire many cycling odysseys; an accomplished bio of an exceptional, revered American master

Fiction from Andrews, Roberts, Ware, and Debuter Thomas | Xpress Reviews

Mainly for Andrews’s fans; Roberts does an excellent job of creating sympathetic and relatable characters with real-life problems; Thomas writes with confident verve and a gift for expressive dialog; Ware’s fourth novel is her best yet

E-Originals from Edwards, Lincoln, and Meader | Xpress Reviews

This feels like a travelog of the time period, with little payoff for new readers; Lincoln’s writing is engaging—for those who love sports-based romances; readers will enjoy the family dynamics of the band-of-brothers hockey team and the women they adore

Graphic Novels from Arawi, Bagieu, Hiaasen & Chast, Rall, and Simone & Co. | Xpress Reviews

Seasoned fans of comedic manga will want to give this comedy with soul a look; Bagieu has created something remarkable: a fresh and joyous look at women’s history; Hiaasen and Chast combine forces to help us keep our heads clear and our feet grounded; surprisingly energized about Francis’s possibilities but without blinders to the history of the Catholic faith; soon to be released as a TV series, with Simone as executive producer

Nonfiction on Young Hitler, the Trans Generation, Sexual Offenses in Low-Wage Work | Xpress Reviews

Readers might be better served by either of Thomas Weber’s works than this one; more useful for scholars than the general public, would be relevant reading for fans of CN Lester; the pervasive sexualized violence in low-wage work and how urgent the need for both regulatory and cultural change

Fiction from Jennings, Jump, Kidd, Koontz, Pötzsch, Torras, and Widger, plus a Quartet of Debuts | Xpress Reviews

An eye-opening and rewarding debut; a finely tuned, knife-edge thriller with two equally unflinching women; Nora finds her place in her own life as well as within her bustling Irish Catholic family; a fine Irish feast for the literary crowd; for fans who appreciate a fierce female protagonist; for readers whose tastes range from high literary to smart urban fiction; an action-packed adventure; neither a dystopian nor sunny view of our tech-mediated future; language that’s quick and bruising, sharp-edged and relentless; complicated relationships, imperfect technology, and a semidystopian backstory

E-Originals from Arend, Johnson, Linde, and Porter | Xpress Reviews

Readers will want to know more about Heart Falls and the folks who live there; this series launch seems to lack a clear path or central theme; a fascinating and compelling world of vampire and human codependency; the latest in Porter’s “Love on Chance Avenue” series is her best yet

Graphic Novels from Finney & McEvoy and Gill | Xpress Reviews

Will appeal to mature readers with a penchant for classic pulp fiction, great pen-and-ink work, and edgy whodunits; a stellar continuation of the first book in the series. Ideal for YA audiences, high school and college classrooms, and anyone interested in a full view of American history

Fiction from Abbott, Andrews, Barron, Hall, Hart, and McCarthy, plus a Debut | Xpress Reviews

Strongly recommended for fans of suspense and enthusiasts of the short form; a baffling and intriguing science thriller that is part Tom Clancy with a dash of Michael Crichton; Barron delivers a fine first entry in the noir genre; for readers who appreciate twisted, unlikable characters; a must-read for fans of sf-based mysteries; fast-paced with an unexpected ending, this novel has everything fans of the genre could want