fantasy

Strange Country by Deborah Coates

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As Strange Country opens, Army veteran Hallie Michaels finds herself dealing with the consequences of her actions over the last few months. Among those consequences are an inherited ranch with an unusual fence system, a deadly Unmaker set loose in the aftermath of Hallie’s journey into the Underworld, and a new wariness in her relationship with Boyd Davies, the sheriff’s deputy who has prophetic dreams of the future. Boyd, meanwhile, has problems of his own—namely, a murderous sniper targeting people under his protection. When Boyd and Hallie discover the sniper may be after a set of mysterious stones capable of massive destruction, they must uncover the killer’s identity—before they end up in the crosshairs themselves.

With Strange Country, author Deborah Coates returns to the harsh, supernatural South Dakota landscape that she first explored in Wide Open (2012) and Deep Down (2013). Atmospheric and thoughtful, Strange Country has the restrained language and lonely landscapes of Cormac McCarthy combined with the unexpected magic of urban fantasy. If you enjoy western settings, a touch of magic, and complex female characters, check out a print copy or download the ebook today!

New Year, New Who?

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For many people, the end of the year is a time to take stock, reflect on the challenges and accomplishments of the last twelve months, and make plans for the future. But what kind of future can you plan if you can’t remember your past and your present is full of people who want to kill you?

The Bourne Identity, Robert Ludlum: Jason Bourne is fished out of the sea with a head wound and no memory of his past. His talent for violence suggests that he’s been a very bad man—as do the assassins pursuing him across Europe. With the clock ticking, he must discover what his enemies want from him and answer the question: Who is Jason Bourne?

The Rook, Daniel O'Malley: Myfanwy (pronounced like Tiffany) Thomas wakes up in a London park surrounded by bodies—and with no memory of who she is or how she got there. Following the instructions she left for herself before her memories disappeared, she discovers that she’s a high-ranking member of a mysterious supernatural organization called The Chequy—and one of her colleagues wants her dead.

Fledgling, Octavia Butler: Shori is badly burned and nearly dead, with no memory of how or why she was injured, when she awakens in a cave. After killing and eating a large animal with her bare hands, she makes an unnaturally speedy recovery. Is she human? Or something more? With the help of a stranger she meets on the road, Shori discovers what she is, why she woke up alone—and why she may be the last hope of her species.

"The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien

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This is the story of a reluctant adventurer who battles enormous forces. Bilbo Baggins, the protagonist, likes his creature comforts and is unsure as he sets out on an incredible journey to complete an important task. In order to succeed he needs to learn how to get along with others and stand up for what he believes in. It is an inspiring tale of adventure, fellowship, uncertainty, and strength.

Wildalone, by Krassi Zourkova

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Thea Slavin is a teenage Bulgarian piano prodigy. Following in her older sister’s footsteps, she wins a scholarship to Princeton University, where she intends to discover the truth about her sister's death—and the disappearance of her body—fifteen years ago. Her musical talent and her sister’s legacy soon draw her into romantic entanglements with two brothers: the enigmatic Jake and the passionate Rhys. But there’s more to both brothers—and to her sister’s death—than Thea first understands, and discovering the truth will challenge her understanding of life, death, and love. Greek mythology supplies the elements of fantasy in this novel of dark romance, making it perfect for fans of Deborah Harkness and Stephanie Meyer.

Half-Resurrection Blues, by Daniel José Older

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Carlos Delacruz is an agent of New York City’s Council of the Dead, charged with protecting the living and maintaining order among New York’s ghosts. He’s also an Inbetweener: after dying and coming back to life, Carlos gained the ability to see and speak with ghosts—and lost all memory of his past. He believes he’s the only Inbetweener in New York until the Council of the Dead orders him to hunt down a rogue sorcerer who turns out to be an Inbetweener, too. Soon, Carlos is untangling the threads of a conspiracy that threatens to bring down the walls between the dead and the living for good—and whose mastermind might be the man responsible for Carlos’s almost-death.

While the plot occasionally meanders, veteran short-story writer Older’s voice crackles with profane and hilarious life in his debut novel. A must-read for fans of urban fantasy.

City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett

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Shara Divani is a spy with a job: find out who killed her protégé, Professor Efram Pangyui, and why. Her suspect pool encompasses the entire city of Bulikov, once the heart of a vast empire guarded by six omnipotent gods, and now a defeated and occupied city seething with resentful citizens and endless plots. With only a week before she’s recalled, Divani must rely on her terrifying “secretary” Sigurd and a cast of colorful supporting characters in order to discover the truth about what happened to Pangyui—and whether the gods of Bulikov are quite as dead as they seem.

Vividly imagined and skillfully executed, City of Stairs will appeal to readers of Tom Rob Smith and N.K. Jemisin alike.

Clover's Luck by Kallie George

Clover's Luck is the first book in The Magical Animal Adoption Agency series.  Clover has always considered herself unlucky and especially with pets.  Her most recent one, a pet bird, flies off into the forest and when she goes chasing after her Clover stumbles upon a flyer advertising a job at an animal adoption agency.  When Clover goes to ask about the job she is hired on the spot and soon learns the secret of M.A.A.A.; it's full of magical animals.  Fairy horses, magic toads, witch kittens, unicorns, and even a baby dragon are among the animals available to adopt. Just as Clover is feeling her luck might be changing she gets left in charge of the agency and a sneaky witch shows up causing all sorts of trouble.  Can Clover overcome her bad luck and help the animals find good homes?   (Grades 2-4 School Library Journal)

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