Book review: Suspense novels promise to thrill

Chris Painter reviews two suspense novels: "The Paying Guests" by Sarah Waters, and "The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins. "The Paying Guests" is a brilliant and compelling blend of Downton Abbey, passionate love story and bone chilling suspense. "The Girl on the Train" is a compellingly suspenseful, twisty and dark novel.  (This review originally appeared in The Steamboat Pilot and Today)

Book review: Wonderful teen novel debut

In a world where the color of your blood means everything, Mare has known only hard work and hardship... "The Red Queen" is a wonderful teen debut with an addictive story line. (This review originally appeared in the Steamboat Pilot)

Book review: An astounding first novel

Fourteen-year-old Kevin is riding in the back seat of the car. He and his mother are on their way to spend the summer with Pops, his maternal grandfather, in Medgar, Kentucky. It had been two months since Kevin’s 3-year-old brother, Josh, had been killed...

This book was 15 years in the writing. Scotten, who always wanted to write, became a software engineer and is currently CEO of an important software company. His writing discipline, up at 5 a.m. to write, returning to rewrite in the late evening, has been rewarded with deserved high acclaim. (This review originally appeared in the Steamboat Pilot)

Book Review: Great historical World War II fiction

In war, heroic action is evident both on the battlefield and at home. Most war stories focus on combat deeds, but civilians also fight for their countries in ways that may be equally as dangerous as picking up a weapon.

If you are looking for great World War II historical fiction that will keep you glued to your seat and bring you to uncontrollable tears, then consider reading this book by Kristin Hannah. (This review originally appeared in The Steamboat Pilot)

Book Review: Exploring race and immigration

Michelle Dover, the circulation services manager at Bud Werner Memorial Library, reviews these two books about race and immigration. Studies suggest that people tend to associate with people who are similar to them — religiously, politically, economically and, yes, racially. How do we get to know the people who are not in our sphere when we naturally isolate ourselves from each other?

Christina Henriques and Celester Ng have written novels in the past year that explore race and immigration from an intimate perspective: the lives, struggles and emotion of immigrants navigating their complex lives as minorities. (This review originally appeared in The Steamboat Pilot)

'Luck Uglies' an adventure!

The Luck UgliesI cannot say enough about this gem of a tale! This is a story full of character, humor, magic and wonder, one that I could not put down until finished, and even then I was aching for more.

Geared toward young readers, "The Luck Uglies" is one adventure that even parents won’t mind reading. It immediately grabs the reader’s attention and plunges them into the middle of a heart-racing action scene as the main character, Rye O’Chanter, and her friends race over rooftops in a daring attempt to escape capture. And it only gets better.

Eleven-year-old Rye lives with her mother and younger sister in the Village Drowning surrounded by bogs that spawn legends of terrible creatures. One such creature is the Bog Noblin, the loathsome beast that eats younger villagers and keeps their feet as trophies.

Old fears and secrets of the village are revived when, against her mother’s rules, Rye wanders out after dark and finds herself face to face with a very real Bog Noblin. She’s not exactly sure what saved her that night, perhaps something scared the Bog Noblin or perhaps it had something to do with Harmless, the unusual man that had been lurking about. Either way, it didn’t matter; the Bog Noblins were real and they had returned.

And unfortunately for Rye and all of the Village Drowning, the nasty, self-absorbed Earl of Longchance has driven out the only ones capable of defeating the Bog Noblins, the mysterious and supposed criminals, the Luck Uglies. As Rye tries to find the Luck Uglies and save her village, she finds out more and more about her true character, her family, their secrets and the father she never knew.

Paul Durham does a fantastic job of creating eccentric characters and an implausible world, both vivid and real. I found myself in Rye as she stubbornly, determinedly and clumsily sets her sights on bringing back the notorious Luck Uglies. I also found myself loving Harmless, even when I wasn’t sure I could trust him, and I found myself running across rooftops and hiding in secret tunnels.

Every hero and heroine is so wonderfully flawed that the reader can relate instantly. They are mischievous and a bit rebellious, but they possess strong family values and morals, and defend right from wrong.

"The Luck Uglies" is more than just an adventure; it delves into the contrariety of good and evil and the true nature of monsters and outcasts. It flirts with the line between heroism and villainy and finds itself perfectly suited somewhere in between.

“Sometimes only the bad guys can save you…”

I cannot wait for the sequel, which is due out in March.

This book review, by Sydney Veldhuizen, one of our wonderful booksellers, first appeared in the Steamboat Pilot.

'High Divide' a beautiful historical fiction

"The High Divide" tells the story of an American family and the rift — or divide — that threatens to break their bonds and their lives. This is a modern, literary Western: beautiful, sweeping historical fiction, set in the post-Civil War West, when railways sliced across the plains, when Custer was king and the vast herds of bison nearly had been decimated.

Check-out Emily Katzman's latest book review for the Steamboat Pilot.

5 books for Adults to check out for the New Year

We open the New Year with the top 5 books our readers chose for the holidays. Check out the article that first appeared in the Steamboat Pilot today.

Book Reviews