BookClique

Here we will post our musings on a wide variety of titles. You can comment on our posts and find the titles in our catalog.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

darker shadeKell is a rare mage who can travel between worlds, the adopted son of the King and Queen of Red London. It is Kell’s job to travel to the other worlds on royal business. Red London is a world where magic permeates everything. White London is ruled by those who can wrestle magic to do their bidding. Grey London is a land without magic at all. And Black London? Black London is a place that no one travels to, and no one speaks about.

When the story opens, Kell is visiting mad King George in Grey London. As he travels back to Red London, we learn that Kell has a hobby: he smuggles items from one London to another for the right price. This hobby soon lands him in big trouble, and he is charged with treason in Red London. When he flees to Grey London, he finds himself entangled in the life of one Delilah Bard, a pickpocket whose middle name is clearly trouble. And trouble finds them, for they are again forced to flee from a dangerous enemy. It will take all of Kell’s skill in traveling between worlds as well as Lila’s scrappy street smarts to keep them both alive.

I really can’t tell you how awesome A Darker Shade of Magic is. The world is unique, with its four very different Londons. Kell is a fascinating character, at once both naive and wise beyond his years. Lila is keenly intelligent, loves adventure, and yet she has failed at every turn to change her life for the better until she meets Kell. And Kell’s enemies! All I can say is they are true villains, unlike many stories where the bad guy is only misunderstood.

I adored this book. Amazing storytelling. Simply splendid!

Annette G.


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Big Bad Breakfast by John Currence

big badIf breakfast is your favorite meal, the cookbook Big Bad Breakfast by John Currence is for you.  Currence owns several restaurants in Mississippi (including Big Bad Breakfast) and was on Top Chef Masters.  This book makes me almost want to make road trip to Mississippi – everything looks so delicious (sausage cinnamon rolls)!  I love the author’s Ten Commandments of Breakfast and #9 “Thou Shalt Not Over Cook” is my favorite.  I like my steaks to be practically still mooing, my pork a little pink still in the middle and guess what mom?  I’ve been eating raw cookie dough containing raw eggs for 40 years and been fine (my mom always used to get on me for this).  So this cook is right up my alley.  Enjoy the recipes!

Stacy W.


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Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs

tales of PeculiarI loved Ransom Riggs’ YA series. I loved the imagination used, the world building, the character’s transformations. I loved the mystery and action. I cried and laughed and sung with the characters throughout all three books. Then the trilogy came to a close, and I was distraught about whether I would ever find a book (or dare I ask, a series?) that I loved so much. Then I found out he was adding a bit more to the Peculiar World with Tales of the Peculiar (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children 0.5). Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. The strange characters from the peculiar world return in the book and it was amazing. Throughout the tales of the book, Millard Nullings, tells us stories that so many peculiar children grew up listening and learning from. Millard even adds some footnotes in each tale that he finds important for us to know. We learn about the history of the peculiar world and we get to live for just a bit longer in Peculiardom. Through grim tales about ghosts to rather funny tales about cannibals, I was enthralled with the stories. I just wish the book was a bit longer..

Richelle B.


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Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

cop townKate Murphy is determined to be a police officer. Recently widowed, Kate has failed at all the other jobs she’s tried. If she doesn’t find a way to succeed in the Atlanta Police Department, then she’s going to have to go home to her rich family and admit defeat. That wouldn’t be so bad, for some people, but Kate feels the need to stand on her own two feet and find her own life. And this is a fine attitude, except Kate has chosen to become a female police officer in 1974, at a time when a cop killer is driving the Atlanta police force into a frenzy. Unless she is very careful, Kate may not last through her very first day.

Maggie Lawson is having her own difficult time on the police force. She isn’t a rooky cop, but she’s overshadowed by her domineering uncle Terry and the unpredictable actions of her brother Jimmy, both police officers as well. When Jimmy’s partner, Don Mosley, is killed by the unknown cop killer, Maggie’s life starts to come unglued. Lucky for her that she is partnered with newby officer Kate, because together, the two may just solve the cop killer murders and find the confidence to hold their heads high in their chosen career.

Ms. Slaughter has a bold, clear writing style that is easy to read, yet also conveys a great deal of information with very few words. She is a master at creating dynamic characters, and I was very impressed with her setting choice of Atlanta in 1974. This is a hard time in history to pull off well. Women were new to the work force, in many ways, and many of the workplaces were ruled by men. Political correctness was not so correct, and people did not have cell phones on every corner to record misdeeds and random events. Yet, Ms. Slaughter created two very different, yet very powerful women who were able to come together, in spite of their differences, to work together well and succeed in this setting. The dynamics of the female relationships in this book are superb.

I will say that, for me, this was not a mystery, but rather a thriller, and I prefer a good mystery. Yet the setting and writing style of this book was enough to make me try another Karin Slaughter title, in spite of that fact. Excellent writing, an unusual setting, and wonderful female characters. Cop Town is highly enjoyable.

Annette G.


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Security by Gina Wohlsdorf

securityGina Wohlsdorf’s Security takes place in a newly built luxury hotel, Manderley Resort, in California. The hotel is opening very soon and all the workers are scurrying around trying to put the finishing touches on everything. The resort owner, Charles Destin, is a complete jackalope who believes that he can inspire people to work harder by coming by the site periodically and screaming at them. The hotel is marketing itself as an extremely private and secure resort, especially for celebrities and politicians. One whole floor is devoted to the security team and no-one else has access to that floor. There are lots and lots of cameras-some the staff know about but most they do not. Also, the staff has been assured that there is no audio but there is. There is a secret security elevator that is much faster than the public one and is available to only a couple people. The main character, Tessa, is the owner’s on site boss and even though she eats, sleeps, and works at the work site (and is sleeping with the head of security), she has no idea about most of these things either. All of a sudden, staff start disappearing (they aren’t really disappearing, they just keep getting murdered in random places throughout the vast hotel) and as if the grand opening and hunting down errant staff members isn’t enough to deal with, someone from Tessa’s past shows up.

I liked how the author writes parts of the books split screen style as if you the reader are in front of multiple security screens. There is a sex scene that seems to go on endlessly so I started to get a little bored but other than that I thought it was a great read!

Stacy W.


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IQ by Joe Ide

IQIsaiah Quintabe and older brother Marcus are African-American youths living in a rough neighborhood in LA. Marcus is the bread winner for the family, and things are going well for the brothers when Marcus is killed in a tragic hit-and-run. The accident happens in front of Isaiah, but in spite of his presence as a witness, he doesn’t see anything of value that helps police track down his brother’s killer. Now, without his brother’s income, Isaiah is desperate for a roommate to help pay his rent. Enter Dodson–an idea man who likes to spend money. Dodson is helpful with paying the bills, at first, and then cash becomes harder to find. While Isaiah and Dodson struggle with their cash flow problem, Isaiah struggles with his inability to find his brother’s killer. He devotes himself to learning to make meaningful observations with the thought that somehow, he still might find out who killed his brother. Isaiah’s observations help solve some of their financial woes, and new type of Sherlock Holmes is born.

When an attempt is made on the life of a big name rapper, Dodson has the right connection to put Isaiah on the case. If Isaiah can figure out who is behind the murder attempt, both Dodson and Isaiah stand to score some big bucks. The case is an odd one, though, and might be difficult to solve. Who attempts to murder someone by using an attack dog as a weapon?

IQ tells two stories at the same time as it alternates between events in Isaiah’s past and events in present day. Isaiah is a fresh, engaging character. He’s smart, and yet makes some interesting life choices due to his circumstances. I also liked Dodson, who always has thoughts on his next big cash score. The way the story unfolds, and the way each character has his or her own quirks really reminded me of an Elmore Leonard. The dialogue in the book is superb, again reminding me of Mr. Leonard’s work. Joe Ide is of Japanese-American descent, and grew up in LA himself. His novel reflects his knowledge of the area, and adds some wonderful depth to the work.

Annette G.


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Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak

DarkestNightmareHer Darkest Nightmare is the beginning of a new series by Brenda Novak called The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles. I enjoyed this novel because it blends intrigue and romance seamlessly. I also liked that it is the beginning of a series, so we can journey with the main character in healing what she has long ignored about her past. It starts out with a sixteen-year-old Evelyn being kidnapped and tortured by her boyfriend, Jasper. The book then fast-forwards to a thirty-year-old Evelyn who is living in Alaska and and working at Hanover House, a maximum-security facility housing the most criminally insane that America has to offer. Hanover house is Evelyn’s own brain-child so she can work with psychopaths to possibly figure out why Jasper did what he did all of those years ago, and maybe stop a future killer from harming another innocent person. Then, a Hanover House worker turns up brutally murdered and Evelyn must work with the town sheriff to find out who the killer is and face her past in ways she never imagined.

Richelle B.


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Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty

rain dogsWhat else can I say about Adrian McKinty’s mysteries that I haven’t said already?  When he comes out with a new one, I almost don’t want to start it because I don’t want it to end!  His latest Rain Dogs is just as top notch as his previous works that feature Northern Ireland Detective Sean Duffy during the time of the Troubles.  Duffy is tasked with solving an unsolvable murder that was made to look like a suicide in a locked space that no-one could enter.  This is the second time in Duffy’s career that this kind of scenario has happened and he realizes that it’s too much of a coincidence that it has happened again.  The murder victim was a journalist working on a tip about a pedophilia ring involving prominent citizens and also met with a member of the police department about opening an investigation before she died.  The police officer is then killed by a car bomb supposedly planted by the IRA.  As usual, McKinty’s descriptions of Northern Ireland life and working as a police officer during the time of the Troubles is fantastic-this isn’t the bright green grass and shamrocks Ireland this is dark gray concrete and mercury tilt bombs planted under cars Ireland.  Awesome read!  I will say a change comes in Detective Duffy’s life at the end of the book that makes me worry for the future of the series but hopefully a tragedy is coming that will keep Duffy as he is now and not make him a softy!

Stacy W.


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The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan

poets dogOne day, during a terrible snow storm, a family car gets stuck along the side of the road. Nicholas and Flora’s mother leaves them in the car to go find help, and when she doesn’t come back, Nicholas and Flora leave the car to try and find shelter. Max, an Irish Wolfhound, finds them in the snow, half frozen. He leads them to a cabin, and soon the children are snug as bugs. It is in this cabin that the two children learn a valuable truth–that the words of dogs can be understood by children and poets. And in the cabin with the two children, Max learns that love is not something you lose, but something that you gain and gain.

The Poet’s Dog is a beautiful tale, told in an elegant, simple style. Patricia MacLachlan, best known for Sarah, Plain and Tall, returns with a slim tale with hidden depths, one sprinkled with the best bits of wisdom for spice. This is a book for dog lovers, certainly, but this delightful story will be enjoyed by both young and old alike.

Annette G.


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My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

exorcismMy Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix is fantastic!  It takes place during the 1980s so I can relate to a lot of the cultural references.  The main characters are four private school teenagers (three are rich and one is there on scholarship).  It‘s easy to feel like you’re one of them as they eat their lunches together, yak about other kids and teachers, smirk their way through school assemblies meant to scare them away from sex, drugs, and alcohol.  They don’t seem to realize how great their lives are but are so self involved they do not realize it when things start to change or why.  It begins one day when they’re all lounging around on one of the family’s boats, drinking, and having fun.  They decide to try acid for the first time and are disappointed when it doesn’t seem to work.  One of the girls wanders off into the woods and is gone all night.  They find her in the morning and she seems freaked out but not abnormal.  Everything goes downhill from there.   This is not a traditional horror story and might attract those who do not normally read that genre.  There is an animal death towards the end that was sad but I pretty much saw it coming so I was prepared.  The book is styled like a high school yearbook and the author also wrote another unusual read called Horrorstor which is very different.  Both are great reads!

Stacy W.


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Tippecanoe County Public Library * 627 South Street * Lafayette, IN * 47901 * 765 429-0100