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Empire and Honor
Kirkus Reviews : Empire and Honor (December 31, 2012)

Nothing beats a cinder-block–sized adventure novel on a winter weekend.

After the Rain
Kirkus Reviews : After the rain (December 31, 2012)

This charming romance brims with appealing characters and captivating phrasing.

The Threads of the Heart

A three-part book that would have been more interesting without the extraneous details.

Doktor Glass
Kirkus Reviews : Doktor Glass (December 31, 2012)

Another reason to rejoice: Finally, somebody’s moved steampunk out of London.

Big Week: Six Days that Changed the Course of World War II
Kirkus Reviews : Big Week (December 31, 2012)

Well-written and fast-paced, this will be compelling to specialists and general readers alike.

The Noir Forties: The American People From Victory to Cold War

America’s descent into the Cold War during the late 1940s should offer enough complexity and melodrama to satisfy any historian fascinated with the period. And the time was bleak enough to warrant the adjective noir without giving much attention to movies.

Me and the Devil: A Novel

Short on plot and twice as long as it needs to be, Me And The Devil is too firmly situated inside its author’s head to come alive as fiction.

Sweet Tooth: A Novel

McEwan hasn’t lost his gift for ending on a high note, but unlike in Atonement, the ordinary details aren’t imbued with enough convincing drama to earn such a breathtaking finish.

Gun Machine

It’s the perfect book to start reading during an airplane flight; it can be finished by the time the plane lands, and left behind in the luggage rack without regret.

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version

That theoretical novel—a book where Pullman could focus more on his own voice and his predilections, and could take center stage—sounds far more promising than yet another classic-tale collection.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

In the end, "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie" is a callow work by a writer of still unpolished talents. Our great novelists give us fully rounded characters whose lives reflect the limitations, the possibilities and the wonder of the times in which they live. Mathis gives us a one-dimensional portrait of their suffering — and little else.

Me and the Devil: A Novel

Me and the Devil is actually slightly reminiscent of that old Fonda chestnut, On Golden Pond. It’s just that the pond in question here is filled with skin-flaying acid.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

With extraordinary, intricate detail, and not one unnecessary word, Ayana Mathis has woven a portrait of a family spanning three generations and the challenges they face being poor, oppressed and repressed.


When compared to the previous books, Reached seems such a bizarre way to end a series about breaking free from societal repression to seek artistic and emotional freedom.

The Orphaned Worlds

Balancing epic and intimate with brisk pace is a difficult challenge for any writer. I wouldn’t say Cobley completely dropped the ball in this instance, but the problems grew here in the second volume as the net of the story was cast even wider.

The Ingredients of Love

A romp which, too soon, slows to a crawl.

The Ingredients of Love

The predictability of Barreau’s plot and his inability to render Aurélie’s romanticism results in a missed opportunity; what could have been a charming romance set in the romance capital of the world falls flat.

Woes of the True Policeman

If Roberto Bolaño’s “Woes of the True Policeman” were a pop music CD — rather than a posthumous novel from this Chilean writer who, since his death at 50 in 2003, has emerged as the most significant Latin American literary voice of his generation — it would undoubtedly be described as a collection of outtakes, alternate versions and demos.

The Age of Doubt

This book is a sheer pleasure to read. It is fast and pacey, full of local colour, and is an example of what police procedurals should be.